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I have put 35 miles on my 85 spider for the first time in 20 years, an I have noticed a clank/clunk coming from what seems to be the suspension. When in motion, there is lots of clanking (almost a constant rattling) sound, then when I stop and the car leans forward as I'm stopping, then sits back again when I stop, it clanks once more, then stops, then starts again once I start it in motion again. At first I thought it might be the something in the transmission, but even when I'm coasting in neutral there is still clanking. I haven't been able to isolate the area of origin, partially because I'm driving, and partially because there doesn't seem to be one specific area (I know that is kind of important, but I was hoping maybe one of you might have an idea of what to check). Thanks for all the help!
 

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C'mon, help us out here...clank or clunk?

Actually, Cameron, they all do that :).

All seriousness aside, as you have no doubt discovered, driving with the door open and your head down near the street is a particularly poor way to find the source of this issue and although I'm confident many suggestions will be forthcoming, there are so many things that could contribute to your situation that I see some "up on a rack" time in your future. Mercifully, your issue is not intermittant and some serious shaking of various bits under the car should quickly ID the perp.

"I have put 35 miles on my 85 spider for the first time in 20 years"

BTW, you need to get out on the road more...

Best wishes.
 

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Well the car hasn't run in 20years either. I inhereted it from my grandfather this summer and have been working on it for two months.

So by saying that they all do that, do you mean that the suspension clanking is normal and it's not a problem, or that it's a common problem?
 

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So by saying that they all do that, do you mean that the suspension clanking is normal and it's not a problem, or that it's a common problem?
I think Steve was kidding you.

Your problem is so general that it's tough to diagnose over the Internet. But if you think it's in the front suspension, I would begin by supporting the car securely on jackstands, removing the two front wheels, and wrestling with the spindle/disk. See if any of the ball joints or bushings have any play.

There is a rod about 1' long that runs forward from the top of the spindle to the body, just beneath the headlights. See if the joint between that rod and the spindle has any play. If you hear the clunk on braking, it could be that. Then too, it could be just about anything.
 

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check driveshaft and center support and u joints trans mount and sagging motor mounts c-ya
Good suggestion - it could also be the Giubo joint. After 20 years, the rubber in these parts may have gotten a bit stiff.

Does it clunk on acceleration/deceleration? Or on braking? If the former, look at the driveline, as 71 alf alfa suggests. If the latter, you may be right that it's in the front end.
 

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An easy check is to look for missing or deteriorated front sway bar bushing(s). If the rubber bushing around the bar, at the support strap, is missing the sway bar will make a big rattle as it moves up and down while you drive over small road imperfections.

I have put 35 miles on my 85 spider for the first time in 20 years, an I have noticed a clank/clunk coming from what seems to be the suspension. When in motion, there is lots of clanking (almost a constant rattling) sound, then when I stop and the car leans forward as I'm stopping, then sits back again when I stop, it clanks once more, then stops, then starts again once I start it in motion again. At first I thought it might be the something in the transmission, but even when I'm coasting in neutral there is still clanking. I haven't been able to isolate the area of origin, partially because I'm driving, and partially because there doesn't seem to be one specific area (I know that is kind of important, but I was hoping maybe one of you might have an idea of what to check). Thanks for all the help!
 

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Well the car hasn't run in 20 years either...
Herein is your answer... Any car, and especially a Spider, that has sat for 20 years and has not had any lubricants running through it and anything that could dry off has done so long ago. Some parts for sure are so deteriorated that they are not even completely there. I would bet that such is the source of the clanking.

More important however, you really need to go through the entire car replacing everything that is rubber, or could for another reason have seized. This is a lot of work, but if you don't do it now, you will be addressing one issue after the other for a long time, and you ownership experience will be at best very frustrating.

On decent roads, a 1985 Spider that is up to OEM spec will feel tight, track straight, feel even better as speeds get seriously high, and corner like it's on rails. Going over railroad tracks however, it will exhibit serious cowl shake. This is because the convertible body design has flex, because it does not have a regular roof. This can be corrected with an aftermarket chassis stiffener. Furthermore, the stock springs are on the soft side and the car's nose will dive a bit under hard breaking. This can also be corrected with new springs that are more on the "sport" side.

I would further suggest that you get in touch with a local Alfa Romeo Owners Club chapter, and see if you can get a ride in a Spider so you have an idea of what yours should feel like.

Best regards,
 
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