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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Has anyone else found any suspension or chassis cracking on their Alfettta, GTV6 or Milano /75 chassis, the right side shock tower mount on my GTV6 has cracks. I also have another small crack in the floor near the torsion bar mount I have done a search and cant really find anything so there seems to be no pattern of failures . I did find a lot of information on German car forums and some of the chassis damage reported is surprising not just shock pickups there's diff carriers ripped and chassis rail cracks, some of these cars have track histories and are road registered so there not full race cars and they are a lot newer.Is it that alfa chassis's are relatively strong or is it that no one has reported this type of damage
 

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Is it that alfa chassis's are relatively strong?
I'm not sure why you would think that a relatively strong chassis would crack.

By the looks of the damage to your car, I'd guess that you've been smacking the damper mounted bump stop to hard, to often.
Lowered, with standard torsion bars?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
maybe the previous owner did I don't drive it hard at all .I just drive to work everyday and the odd weekend drive. It has been banged hard at some stage
 

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That is unfortunate, that took time to fatigue the metal like that. I had that happen to an XJ6L but the front end is much heavier than an Alfa. If you are good with metal and welding it wont be a problem, but even if your not that shouldn't be too expensive to fix.
Good luck with that one Glen,,,,
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i have a mig so it should not take much to fix it. I found it while replacing upper control arm bushes. I checked the area around the castor arm bushes and the chassis rails at the lower control arms when I replaced those bushes no sign of any cracking there so all other pickup points are fine.
I think this car has been in an accident in a previous life, there are a few welds at the base of the tower on the inner guard that are not factory they are professional welds but not factory and the right side engine mount has also been alloy welded I know the car has done plenty of track days by previous owners so there's every chance its been off track a few times
 

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What is a bit disturbing is the fact that the metal cracked..............
Pretty sure that the chassis is made from mild steel. And mild steel is very ductile and unlikely to crack like that. It'll bend a **** load before it cracks. In fact, it typically doesn't crack that dramatically, it tends to tear as it weakens.
So that has me thinking that the mounting point isn't just a bit of mild steel. So if you're going to weld it, get some means of pre-heating it first to knock the chill out of it and reduce the thermal shock that electric welding (especially MIG welding) causes. Post heat would't hurt either and slow cooling would be good moves too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for that. I have had the car a long time and never noticed it before so maybe the crack has been creeping along over time I haven't been near the top shock mount in 4 or 5 years I only noticed it when removing the shock to do the suspension bushes, it gave no indication no clicking or unusual noises I would not have known if I had not removed the top shock bush. I'm was thinking of fabricating an insert a "BUCKET" for want of a better word to drop in and another for the under side or removing the spot welds and fabricating a new insert to replace the cracked section or welding a strap across the top and down the sides of the tower?????
or any ideas others might offer
I cant find any posts on this repair so will have to trial and error a way around it
 

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I have definitely seen the cracks in the floor by the torsion bar mount, mine were where the floor transitions to the driveshaft tunnel.
 

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Very interesting. Ive dismantled some very high mileage cars and never seen this. In other old cars (not Alfa) I've seen tears like Duk mentions but the kind of crack you have seems more likely to be caused by impact.
 

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in general terms, these cars are pretty lightly built up front and chassis tearing is a common occurrence. much more common on cars that see track time. I have seen the fwd caster bar mount cups pulled right out of the car - like out of the car enough so you can put your hand through behind them. tears all over the sheet metal on and around shock towers. tears all over the front section where sway bars mount. boxed section under the car - the parts that run right behind the lower control arm mounts) pulled from the floor of the car. on and on. some of it no doubt due to scenic excursions off the black part of the track/road. some of it due to driving the whee out of them w sticky tires underneath. as one friend said "there is some structure up there, but its all held together by .030" sheet metal".
for track use, seam welding and welding in structural supports is pretty much mandatory and has the extra benefit of keeping the tires pointing in the same general direction. have friend running lemons Milano who complained for some time because the car was all over the road under hard braking. the whole sentence made no sense to me - just not my experience w these in braking. then, due to a minor crash, had to get serious about repairing all the tears that he knew were there... but he was shocked to see how extensive the tearing was. kind of explained the crappy braking. the 2 front tires were pretty free to wander all over the track when on the brakes (don't even ask about cornering!). did the engine bay repairs - braking and cornering were waaaaay better now. for track cars, sheet metal repair up front is pretty much an on-going maintenance chore. of course the more easy the previous life, the less likely to see these things. drive'em harrrd and you will be doing some repair work.
agree w duk - there is a substantial amount of metal where yours is broken... might be issues w bump stops - or shocks (maybe wrong or broken and acting as bump stops?).. nevertheless, can be fixed and car should be good for long time after. might be a good time to carefully examine the rest of the front end structure to make sure no other damage.
andy
 

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2015 Chevy (Holden) SS, 1989 Milano (Shankle Sport), 1991 164S
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Same thing happens to the top left front strut mounting areas of the 164s, mostly due to a sharp cornered coolant overflow tank mounting fastener hole acting as a stress riser. The fatigue cracks can start running both to the large strut hole or the closest strut fastener hole, and also down the inside of the inner fender past the coolant tank. Welding up the cracks, and then adding reinforcement was required. In my case I had a big washer welded to that tank fastener hole to act as a stress reducer.

In the case of the above GTV6 cracks, welding in a formed plate on top of that location would be the best I would think. Also, the front stabilizer bar mounting areas generally need reinforcement. I have Shankle stabilizer bars on our Milano, and the front bar came with reinforcement brackets which had to be welded in. Otherwise, tearout.

Bottom line, Alfa has generally done an inadequate job of designing the discrete load points for the suspension on many of their cars.
 

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My top shock mounts were bent up but not cracked.
Top of the inner guards have cracks.
I run mine low and ride those bump stops often.

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Cracks are on both sides in the same place.

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Plan is to reinforce the shock points with welded in 3mm plate, find shortened shocks that suit the job properly and thicker torsion bars. Will also be looking at welding in structural reinforcements, but I have a lot to learn before I piss around with that stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
All the other suspension points are good I checked the section that holds the bump stop all is good there. castor bar, chassis rails, sway bar mounts, just this one shock tower I will fix it and consider myself lucky! it could be worse
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
The car has Koni yellows adjusted 3/4's hard, It's lowered but not enough that shock travel stops before the bump stop, also the area around the bump stop has no sign of damage or cracking from repeated hitting or pressure from being leaned on excessively. I will have to keep a closer eye on things each time i'm working in these areas. my GTV does not have bump stops in the shock rubber bushings like a 75/Milano does[see jazig.k photo]and i cant remember if my milano had them in the chassis . I used to tighten my shock rubber bushings too tight, so maybe not allowing enough movement in the bushing has transferred that energy to the shock tower causing fatigue??????
 

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Alfetta's having cracked sway bar mounts and other load points is due the the fact that
Alfa was using steel from a Soviet supplier during the mid 1970's.
This steel had impurities that resulted in rust and lacked the tensile strength that high quality steel has.
 

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2015 Chevy (Holden) SS, 1989 Milano (Shankle Sport), 1991 164S
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One thing I had concluded when we first had the Milano/GTV6 was that they had a fairly lightweight chassis, with thin metal everywhere in an attempt to keep the weight down. This in comparison to my original Alfa, the Sprint GT, where the chassis was heavy compared to the Datsun 510 which it raced against in the TransAm races in the 60-70's. I remember hearing that some of the guys racing them acid dipped the chassis to reduce the weight a little.
 

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I have restored dozens of Alfa's in the past 16 years as well as other Italian cars. This is not uncommon. I'm currently restoring a '69 GTV that was riddled with chassis cracks around all of the suspension mounting points, front and rear. The cross member was so bad it could be pulled away 1/8" from where it was spot welded to the main chassis. This car had no major rust other than a few spots in the front floors. This GTV is the worst I have seen. It was being driven in this condition. I have seen this on many other non-Italian vehicles as well. Obviously, there are many factors that play into this, but keep in mind, automobile manufacturers did not intend their products to be around as long as they are. The automobile industry is the foundation of the idea of planned obsolescence!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Any ideas or opinions on how best to repair cracks or tears. there is another crack or tear near the rear torsion bar mount it is in the floor and runs along the the torsion bar chassis rail it's about 2 in's or 4cm long, do you weld over the tear to stop it running then place a patch over it or what? any ideas
 

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Yep, learn to weld!

I've found that repairing the crack and seam welding around the area seems to work well. Depending on how bad it is I will replace the section and or strengthen it with another piece of metal.
 

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Any ideas or opinions on how best to repair cracks or tears. there is another crack or tear near the rear torsion bar mount it is in the floor and runs along the the torsion bar chassis rail it's about 2 in's or 4cm long, do you weld over the tear to stop it running then place a patch over it or what? any ideas
Post a photo.
 
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