Alfa Romeo Forums banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to buy a spare tire for my spider.

Is the reduced weight of a Donut / Space Saver spare from a Focus worth the effort to find one?

Thanks - Dickson

PS- on that subject, for weight distribution, is it worth buying a light battery, or relocating the battery to the trunk?
 

·
1966-2013
Joined
·
13,741 Posts
Are you a hotshoe with a very delicate sense of balance who drives more at 8/10's + than cruising, or someone who can't tell if a tire is off pressure until someone says 'hey, you've got a flat'?

If the former, yeah, the weight difference is notable from a handling aspect.
(note that doesn't mean 'improved' or 'radically better' as that's relevant to ones particular style, just that it is noticable to someone sensitive to such changes)

If the latter, don't bother trying to trim weight unless its relative to a much larger effort to milk every bit of mileage you can out of a gallon of gas.
Then deal with every other nuance first as a good tune is likely to give better long term results than 8~10lbs of weight loss.

Still, if you've no spare at all, the space saver will likely be more cost effective in general over buying a wheel, tire, then mounting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,961 Posts
Please note that you should confirm that the original wheel nuts will tighten the steel EM spare from the FOCUS. My alloy nuts (87 Quad) would not, so I carry a set of Honda Civic wheel nuts.
Some folks(very rare) indicate a tight fit on the rear hub....if so, you will use the EM spare to sub a front wheel and use the OE front for the back.
I most appreciated the "gain" in head room in my trunk as the EM spare is not as deep.
Plenty of FOCUS EM spares out there "as new" for no more than $25.
If you are really after weight saving....don't fill up your gas tank beyond half and only carry passengers that are not obese or carry none at all ......LOL
TTFN Elio
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,009 Posts
It is true that the weight of the wheel alone does not make a huge difference, but can be part of a more significant weight loss program - smaller battery, stinger tail pipe, steel plate over the fuel tank, rear sway bar, etc. There could be close to 100# to trim from the rear end. Weight removed from the ends of the car will make the handling more agile.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
355 Posts
15 lbs lost is worth the effort. 100 lbs lost is significant indeed. Especially considering the thinner air and mountain roads of CO.

(That said, I choose a full size spare... or no spare at all.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,754 Posts
Is the spare needed/designed as some kind of "structure" during a rear end collision?

I know it is on some cars......
 

·
1966-2013
Joined
·
13,741 Posts
'Mabe'
As it does sit right next to that honkin' steel plate over the fuel cell, one would imagine that having the spare in there would sorta equalize the crush as opposed to just the right side (comparatively) going mush like tinfoil.

Whether that's an actual design thing I have no clue, but mechanically it sorta makes sense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
355 Posts
Full size spare it is.
All it would take is just one ditsy 16 year old texting on a cell phone...

Loss of Alfa - Bad.
Loss of Ability to drive Alfas - VERY Bad.

Don't need proof. Just makes sense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I love having a AAA card & cell phone though...

For safety I should probably add the gas tank shield, huh? :eek:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,009 Posts
Silly conjecture, IMO
 

·
1966-2013
Joined
·
13,741 Posts
Spare tire helping prevent excess crush, or burning?

If the former, like I said, just a guess but mechanically it makes sense to me. Big steel plate on one side lending support vs a deep pan made out of sheet metal. (I know I can bend the hell out of a frying pan by whacking it on edge on the counter, but I've never quite worked out how to bend platestock without tools and a vice)

'Course there's the need for deliberate crush zones to reduce actual forces on the passengers, so over~supporting could be more detrimental than not, but based on the likely impace forces involved I don't believe the spare would create anything exessively firm. Just firmer than bodywork gauge sheet metal alone.

If the latter, seen it on a very large scale.
None of the decedents looked happy and those that lived a while just begged for death 'til they died. Those that didn't die kept wishing they had.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
355 Posts
Overall, if safety is of primary concern, then one should definately choose a more modern vehicle.

This Alfa is as close to a motorcycle as I will ever get, after racing cross country mountain bikes for several years and incuring two substantial injuries in the 30-35 mph range.

IMHO, driving an Alfa - with its agility and sharp response - is safe under most any condition if operated within reason.

And yes - 100+ mph is within reason for a well tuned auto under capable hands. They are from racing stock after all. Production oriented as well... But certainly built to be driven at pace.

A rear impact is my primary concern while in the little car. So even though I am a miser with weight, I have come to the conclusion that a street car has been built for the street. Therefore, I chose not to alter the truck area.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,009 Posts
Why are you so paranoid about fuel tank integrity? Giulettas, Giulias, Duettos, GTV's early series 2 Spiders did not have the plate. Ever heard of them having exploding gas tanks? Don't you think that it was required by the Feds, prompted by Ralph Nader and his lawyer friends? Do you think that anyone at Alfa did structural integrity calculations? If they did, do you think that they factored in the prescence of the spare wheel? If they used it to meet a fed standard, then there would be a warning against driving without the spare.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
296 Posts
I'm certain the tank cover plate was added for to limit tank crush per more stringent standards. Just look at all those M10 bolts holding it down! The spare, however, could not provide reliable stucture during a crash test. I'll bet it's more likely to squirt out of the tub than lend any structure, there's not even a hold-down bolt to give it a fighting chance.
 

·
1966-2013
Joined
·
13,741 Posts
Crash testing to see if the vehicle complied with safety standards before the US department of whatever allowed the model to sell stateside would have included impact testing with the vehicle as equipped: spare in place.

As low as the rear of the car is and as deep as the spare sits in the well, it would prolly have to get hit below the top edge of the bumper to get the spare to jump and somewhere down in the rollpan area to actually pop it out.

Still there's prolly a few pix of rear ended spiders around the board where actual visual record, or even the ability to ask the owners if they had a spare in there or not and if they think it did or didn't do anything of value.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top