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Discussion Starter #21
Decided to sort the discontinuity of the inboard rails. I wasnt really up for a full rail upgrade or chassis brace as it looks too far from stock for me.

The rear rail is a diy one so much thicker and a little wider so stiffer , the front one is a Classic Alfa one and they are pretty thin to be fully effective as is the cross member. This is the problem area really and I dont pretend to have fully resolved it.

Boxing it should move things in the right direction

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Along with thicker plate at the front which now also has some extra 2mm pads either side at the steering box location but not yet fitted in this photo.

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Interesting ...

Is the rear rail already there on a Spider?, as does not exist on the coupe
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Yes the rear rails are already there. The original ones are tapered so narrower at the cross member than at rear suspension pickup. I had to make them as no longer available so made them from thicker steel and parallel.
 

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Sir you have taken on a car with what appears to be terminal rust, many would have run from this project but you are tackling it with skill and thoroughness that is to be admired.
No doubt you earned these skills and this car will be a reflection of your hard work. They are pretty those boat tail spiders and at the rate you are going you could be driving it this summer with the sun on your shoulders. Best of luck for this project.
Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Thanks Tim, I really appreciate the moral support.
I fear the pace will ease off soon as Im forcing progress with the whole covid thing. Once it gets colder in winter I struggle to motivate big time. Its true to say this car was really a parts car but Im attached to it and got it for a good price even though it sat in my shed since 2012 and outside in the rain for many years before that not turning a wheel. Upside is so much is replaced it jumps zero to hero I guess.

So I have welded the middle sill on now and made a start on the other side before I forget what I learnt on the first side. Actually it took longer to get the second side out due to the amount of over plating and less rust , I have a few burns to prove it.

The middle sill
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The other side and a pile of junk , only half the floor.

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I'm really fascinated by the longitudinal chassis rails on the Spider. It amazes me that Alfa Romeo did not line them up, even if they had to be angled. Could have been one continuous chassis rail.

I also did not realise that the rear floor area of a Spider was so different to a Coupe. This is where Alfa Romeo just burnt money where other car manufacturers would have ensured the same pieces could be used on all models. The Spider has lost the little bulkhead that is part of the foot space of the Coupe, at the end of the floor panels, and I assume as that is creating an (admittedly) open box section some stiffness in the chassis. Every size-able change in direction of panels in a monocoque adds stiffness to the overall structure.

Very interesting
Pete
 

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Well the driver side looks good, that's a serious amount of corroded metal you have removed there too, I recall there is a specialist spider wrecker in the UK they used to advertise on Ebay his prices for stuff seemed good may pay to check out, could speed up the job with less fabrication just a thought.
Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #28
The outer sill going in. Its now welded in.

The scissor jack is to set the correct width for the floor pan. The sill is held to the two temporary box section pieces to set its top position in xyz, these were established as a reference before cutting the original sill out.

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And the last of the floor now coming out. So a whole load of grinding and prep now to get the shell ready to take the floors

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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
So the second side floor is more or less in now. So moving onto sorting the front x member spring pan and upper suspension arm pivot.

Also welded some attachments in for the exhaust heat shield , these are off an S4 I believe. I had to guess the location and didnt want it too low in case the front pipe fouls it.

It will be a while before i find out for sure.

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Pivot and pan seat cut out
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New front rail maintaining the position of the x member. The old Burman case is rhd mounted outboard on the lefthand side as a jig. Just need to start fabricating repair sections for welding in.

Last job will be to weld in the outer sill
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Discussion Starter #30
Things are marching on. So the inner flitch is done and the the upper suspension mounts. The main floors and and the inner and middle sills are all in as are the front jack mounts.


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The opposite side part way through installation. Its now fully welded and fitted , this is prior to welding out.

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The welding and rust feels endless so for a change of scene I have moved onto the sway bar mounts but there isnt much to get a refernece for location from.
Yep thats how it is.

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Part way through setting things up

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Welding progressing on the front member. Used a combination of the old attachment point the radiator cowl and a bit of if it looks right it is right. I will move onto the other side to get it to the same point.
Then weld in the radiator support and repair the inner wings.

So far so good
IMG_5312.JPG
 

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Legin, that is a significant amount of work you have done here, those images of the removed old floor with part rails are scary!, to go where others fear to go!
I am sure there is a floor pan with factory measurements on this site if you need it.
Are you going to sand blast the body once the welding is completed? Maybe just the apertures, engine bay and floor areas, then strip the panels with strip disks? No roof to woory about which is good. The Alfa wrecking business in the UK is Cheshire Alfa may have apart or two for the car if you need. Good luck with it and this one will go down as a true Phoenix come Lazarus with triple bi pass operation!
Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Tim it certainly is a lot of work and I dont seem to get any wins with so much requiring rework. The blasting question is good one.

After much consideration I decided not to dip as it strips the oxide layer off internal sections you never touch so needs an E coat dip to get it in good shape. If you you can get this done its very expensive.
I considered blasting but so much of the car in the corrosion hot spots is going to be new it didnt make much sense. Also the logistics of getting it there and the trust they dont damage the panels etc etc.

So I have reverted to what I normally do which is blast the seams and areas I cant reach using a diy blaster. The rest with a rotary wire brush and strip disc. Blasting makes a hell of a mess and I detest doing it so on a bare minimum basis.
Thing is the corrosion hotspots are all new metal and the car sits in sheltered accommodation not driven in salty winter etc.
The silver areas are Zn primer on bare metal as I go.

Then once its all painted I will wax inject everything so it will see me out.

I do use some dimensions off this site as a cross check but for the most part this kind of rebuild really needs a jig which isnt going to happen. In my youth I was specifying, designing and building Aircraft tooling so have an idea of how to cut corners on this. The drivers side was an OMG moment which I did early on as I knew it would define if the project was dead in the water. Past that now so its just man hrs and work.

Just hope its all worth it in the end !!

Nigel
 

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Discussion Starter #33 (Edited)
Made a start on the area under battery. This extends forward to support the bumper bar and takes the load from the tie rod.

Before cutting out for access
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Cut and prep for repair sections

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Repair piece welded in and blended. Next job is to do the second skin under the battery tray and inside the wheel arch.

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Discussion Starter #34
I have a question.

As I dont really do this thread for my own benefit I would welcome feedback. I appreciate this is in lots of detail which makes for a good reference imo but maybe a bit much for some.
So readers. Do you want less , much less, the same or just show me the progress every now and then and come back when its finished.
Wont be offended.
 

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Well, for mine, I like the detailed pics.
Every time I see somebody tackling a project ‘bigger’ than mine (and yours is pretty darned big), it gives me more confidence to boldly go (Sorry!) where I might not have gone before.
I’m very impressed with what you are doing.
 

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it is great to see you tackle such a challenging project! More pictures is always better... even if just a few may ever need them. Thanks and much luck!
 

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I too feel the benefit from your graphic images!, your comprehensive enough for me. I think when I get my Sprint GT into the workshop I will not be so scared to get to the bottom of the rust and previous repairs, mind you I don't believe I have the same amount of rust as your car did have when you began.
I like Arthur the Russian man who rebuilds badly damaged modern high end cars, he is on You Tube, he uses a rod with a movable pin at each end for checking key measurement and distance between panels, seemed quick way to assess a discrepancy. But Legin your technique is good it will be square, the bracing will ensure it.
Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Thanks for the feedback all of you , its consistent and positive so I shall stick to the current format more or less.

Tim I do also take measurements for verification you can see them written in ink at various points. I use these to check and see how much if anything has moved. I have also used something similar to the Russian you reference although in my case I use some 3 x 2 wood with a couple of nails knocked in. Havent needed to use this on the Alfa so far because I could get the tape on it.
The more checks and balances the better for sure.

Ranz one of the things I have learnt through doing restorations is that how much to cut out is the tough question but also a key to success. Too little and the job ends up a mess and takes forever and too much the shell stability and reference points are lost. Always best to err on the less is better side until your comfortable.
An example of this above was do rails first or pans first ? In the end the better answer was the whole lot in one go once the sills were in and believe me I thought about it for some time. I was stuck really because the pans and rails were such a mess neither could be relied on as a reference.
In the end I recognised this was make or break really so got stuck in early before I spent to much time and money, luckily it worked. After this the rest is more straightforward.

The easiest way to judge is thinking through how you will stabilise, remove and then reinstate one section at a time. I look to see where the load will be taken up before I remove anything. If you cant see a way through it then stop until you can.

Its good to see whats others have done as it shows at least a possibility that can be copied. When I first started at this I wasnt quite so ambitious.

Glad to be of help
 

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Discussion Starter #39
I have buttoned up the lower front end rails and inner wings now.
This is the last piece going in before the battery tray
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After welding and grinding the caps off I then did my favourite thing Not ! That was some blasting of seams and the battery support area which was quite pitted.

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And with the battery tray in postion

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Discussion Starter #40
A bit of a sit rep, the current status is the floors and lower front end including rails and mounts are all in. Nice to see the back of that.

The next challenge is the rear rails which are flopping in the wind they are barely attached at the spring platform, I can move it with moderate force. This is an area that Im undecided how to tackle given I will have to make the repair parts myself.

Currently thinking I will repair them piecemeal as cutting the whole piece out looks like a step too far without considerable bracing which I want to try and avoid. Also I would have to make a buck to fabricate new rails - lots of work.
Most likely I will cut it in half length wise top and bottom and cut a big hole out inside the shell to get access to the section next to the shell underside.

Anyone seen this lot repaired before and how ?

The current status
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The next bit Im not relishing. Shame the rail are not available as far as Im aware.

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