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Hey Everyone,
First time posting on here. I've purchased my first Alfa, an 82 Spider, last year and am looking to get started on improving it. I drive it around town to coffee and kids' sports events a couple times a week and it has always run great for the 92K miles it has on it. Always starts. It has the Bosch f/i with the older style which I like.
I have an aftermarket cloth top that has never been installed and I now know why. The threaded studs inside gutter / drain channel have rusted off in several locations. One side of the gutter had rust that I've repaired. (The car was originally a Michigan car.) To replace these bolt studs I was looking to weld new ones in. What safety measures should I take with welding on a car with all the electronics in place and gas tank in place? Or is this just a big safety No No?

Thanks
B Wiski
 

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You should disconnect the battery and disconnect the ECU from the harness. I did this before welding in seat belt brackets on the '88 Spider. Might want to do a little research on the Web just to confirm.
 

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I haven't disconnected anything and I haven't blown anything up yet. The battery is a low resistance path to ground which I think is a good thing. There is no doubt a good reason for disconnecting it but I have not figured it out.
 

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Hi Ed, I welded on the Sprint and the '78 Spider without disconnecting anything too. Disconnected things on the L-Jet because it sounded like a good idea but can't give a good reason.
 

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Not to change the topic but it's much easier to just cut all those studs off and install rivnuts adjacent to them.
 

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I have looked at several situations in which stray voltages have caused temporary glitches in controllers. Each time it was voltage reaching the electronics through the frame at mounting, heat sink locations, not the wiring harness. Food for thought.
 
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I think till now must have completed your work of improving your car. But if you are still looking forward to improve your vehicle some more then, according to me one of the best ways is to disconnect the battery as 655print said, or you can take the help of professional welding people. Also you can visit this website to get more ideas on welding.
 

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First of all, welcome to the BB. Lots of knowledge and advice here, free for the asking or search. The search function is your friend. Probably anything you run across has already been covered in some thread or another. '82 is a good year. First of the EFI Alfas. Post a picture.

Ditto on Paul's suggestion to use rivet nuts. Much better, stronger, and easier. That's the standard fix to the broken stud problem. Replace any factory studs that even look questionable. Installing a top is a bit complicated, but if you do it methodically and slowly, have all the necessary pieces/parts on hand, AND follow the factory installation manual, it's not that hard. Many people on the BB here have done it, including myself. There are multiple threads on the BB on top installation. Count on killing a weekend doing it, especially the first time.

Check post #19 in this thread for pictures of what we're talking about. Also do a search of the Spider Topic area "rivet nut."

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spider-1966-up/2204-convertible-top-installation-issues.html

Source for rivet studs and tool:

http://www.mcmaster.com/#rivet-nuts/=13e5huq

http://www.mcmaster.com/#rivet-nuts/=13e5ilr

Doesn't look like McMaster stocks the exact ones I used anymore, but part #95105A127 Size 10-24 for material thickness .020-.130 should work fine. $6.49 pkg of 25
I would use the steel ones, vice the aluminum, although there's really not much tension force in play.

If you would like to borrow my installation tool or an electronic copy of the factory Top Installation Manual, send me a PM.

Below is a picture of an installed rivet nut with a stud screwed into it. The stud was made by just cutting the head of an ordinary machine screw. Or you can just use the screw as is, however, it won't look like the rest of the studs/nuts after install . . . not that that is important since they are hidden from view anyway.
 

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Always disconnect the ECU's and battery.
My friend ignored this on his vintage BMW and his electronic ignition module died. We have two expensive computers in our cars for the FI and the ignition, so that would suck troubleshooting why it was running before and not after :frown2:
 

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Always disconnect the ECU's and battery.
My friend ignored this on his vintage BMW and his electronic ignition module died. We have two expensive computers in our cars for the FI and the ignition, so that would suck troubleshooting why it was running before and not after :frown2:
Yep.

And it takes 5 minutes to disconnect. Surely not worth the risk.
Pete
 
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