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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all! Been watching the forums for awhile now. I think I'm ready to dive in and start my project.















It will probably be a year or two long project, we will see. The wife is in nursing school at the moment, one year to go. I figure I can get the dirty work outta the way and prepare for replacing stuff when we have money again, lol.
 

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Ed, my experience is more like twice the time, four times the cost. It's a square law. Gets out of control really fast.

Good luck with the project, Opi. Looks like a tough one.
 
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This car looks like the type of car we used to try and save when I lived in the Midwest. I moved to the South and now I would not think of trying to restore a car in this condition after finding pretty rust-free examples all day long around here in the Atlanta area.

Not when I think you can save a boatload of money starting with a car like this: 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider (No relation to seller. Just did a search to see what I could find.)

That being said, don't know where you are located and if you have any other options on a car. Good luck with the restoration and I think you will learn a lot.
 

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please reconsider! you would be in a much better starting point if you could find a car with a better body! the mechanicals are dont matter as you will have to probably replace them on most vehicles. save youurself much time and very much cash this way!!!! this is just an opinion from an experienced car guy. good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thank you

Thanks for all the advise and view points. I have gotten a little farther into the dis-assembly. There was an undercoating job done early in its life with saved much of the under-body. Previous owner says it was in a wreck after only a couple years off the dealership lot. It looks like the majority of the rust comes from those repaired areas.

Sorry about the lost photos here, more later on.

IAP has most of the parts I will need, like the spare tire well, fender bottoms and maybe rockers. Not sure if I want to fabricate the rockers. I will decide later when I cut the outer and middle away and see what I really have under there.

Oh, and I am in Michigan, Big Rapids area. my first A.A.S. degree is in Automotive Body Repair from Ferris State University, which is where I work now, in web programming and digital video. Yea, I know, my first 2-year degree has been put to hobby support, lol.
 

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Dont do it!

Dude don't do it! IMHO this car is way too far gone to be savable with out pouring money in a whole - unless you happen to be a skilled welder and panel beater with ALOT of spare time. I have recently undertaken total body repair on a car in much better condition than this and to do it *properly* is EXPENSIVE! ie thousands of dollars in welding, not including a couple in body panels alone. (There is no point just replacing the outer panels if you're not going to cut out ALL the rust you find, which adds alot of $$, otherwise you'll have a car that will be a death trap in a few years) Then you'll need completely retrim the interior (you'll need to rebuild the seats from the frame up, not easy to do properly yourself - I know, I did - and very expensive if you're going to pay someone) and new everything else. You are much better off stripping this beast of everyting you can take off it (save the burman sterring box if you can, they are VERY hard to find if you need one) and going and buying one that *someone else* has spent a fortune on and needs to sell. Go to IAP otr some other supplier and add up the cost of ALMOST EVERYTHING in the catalogue, and then add 50% (labor cost), then see if you can find a mostly rust free one somewhere for £3 or 4K. Just my opinion though... If you do Good Luck!
 

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Agree, this is a tough one. Do not do it, unless you are an experienced welder, able to make replacement panels from sheet metal.

On the other hand, if you proceed, post pictures. Do not hesitate to ask for advice.
 

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The 79 is less than desirable.
Its heavier, lower powered and where I live, still needs smog. My advice, pull out the motor and everything else salvagable, sell what you dont need or want and look for a 74 or earlier car, or one of the last ones.
Your car, sadly is in really poor shape, and need more than it would ever be worth in money or your time.
I am the last one to listen to other people, and will admit it up front, but go find a more worthy car.
 
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man. i thought i had a spider problem at my house.:eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:. you might have more spider( the real type:eek:) than me.. be carefull.. before i would start rooting around in some dark craves in you car.:eek:. i would put it under a car cover or something like it..and set off a bug bomb.... this way you won't find and alive black widows.:eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:. that could ruin your day:(
 
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No 'black widows' here in Michigan...too cold & wet. BUT we have other equally enjoyable little buggers...like bees and wasps and 'black jumper' spiders with pincers bigger than a Buick...and don't forget "mold"...Ed K.
 

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I've got to admit I've never seen a spring pan rusted through, that is a first. That area around the top shock mount is scary.
It never hurts to have a parts car and this is a good place to start. You should be able to get a good rust free car farily reasonable, heck I tried to sell my 77 spider that I had fixed all the rust on, there wasn't much, new paint, tight suspension, good clutch, great gearbox, new top, just a tired but faithful engine and it wouldn't sell at what I thought was a very reasonable price. Not trying to sell a car just pointing out that you will save yourself a TON of money by starting off with a decent car and have a heck of a lot better Alfa experience in the long run and that car is a marathon.
 
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There was an undercoating job done early in its life with saved much of the under-body.


Saved? Looks like the undercoating didn't do a lot for the L side springpan!

Previous owner says it was in a wreck after only a couple years off the dealership lot. It looks like the majority of the rust comes from those repaired areas.


If the car is only rusted in the areas that were repaired from the collision, how did the bottom of the spare tire well get damaged by the accident?

As others have advised, you should find a cleaner Alfa, use the first one as a parts car. You will save time, save money, and end up with a nicer car.
 

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Opiwan88,

Of course, everything can be restored. The question is if it is economically feasible. However, if you have an emotional reason, or you just want to do it, pls proceed and post pics. Do not hesitate to ask for advice if needed. Good luck with your decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Speculation

If I had to speculate, and if knowing would help me attain my goal, I would first believe that in the late 70s and early 80's, undercoating was probably focused toward the body, and not so much the suspension. After that I would think that the SPICA and other components on the passenger side may have had various leaks that coated the suspension on that side with a protective layer of chemicals that the drivers side spring pan did not benefit from. I would also imagine that body shops back then, or even now, aren't entirely thorough, so they probably missed some collateral damage in the back end, stress fractures that could have opened up some seams, or cracked the paint and undercoating allowing the elements to penetrate areas other than the visible damage, like the spare tire pan. These types of thoughts should allow me to find the stuff that needs care.

This car was given to me by the original owner. I have always wanted to fix it up for him but life happens and he discovered other things that needed his care. He also got rid of his 54 Chevy Suburban, former school bus even, lol. I have always enjoyed extending the life of stuff, giving things the ability to be useful, and stay around for another 10-20 years, when you take care of them, maybe more.

A fair warning, I will most likely not be keeping this Spider stock or original. I can say I won't be doing anything crazy either, like some posts I have seen here. Not that crazy is bad, they are all unique and owner specific. I just feel like I can add some little changes that will make it more "My Alfa". I would like to stay with a roadster feel to the car, not really sure of the details yet.

If this needs to be moved out of restoration since I am not going original, I will understand.
 

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I think that car was found off the coast of Nova Scotia. Dude, my car was beat but it looks good next to that one. You could buy a perfect car for about half what that will cost to restore. Sorry but I'm just trying to help.
 

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Almost every Alfa need sills and boot floor ... Just like this car.
Pete
 

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You are better off using this car as a "parts donor" and obtaining another one in much better condition to clean up rather than restoring "this old beast".

I restored my 73 Spider in Australia to concourse condition 8 years ago and it cost over $45k and it was in miles better condition than this car to start with.

I think you would have more success "pissing into the wind" than trying to bankrupt yourself fixing up this bomb!

Good luck anyway!
 
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