First published 1996 January
I'd like to share my mechanical experience and
perhaps give you some ideas when you work on your Spider
It's the fun part of being an Alfa Romeo owner to
work and overhaul your pearl. Take the opportunity to meet new
friends and make your own solutions to various problems.
My sites cover the following topics. Enjoy!
DIY articles are from www.diynet.com
Turn on some good music and have fun. Here are
some of my favorites from the good ol' days.
Preferably enjoyed in your garage or while
driving to the hop. In the good old '60's, girls were girls, cars
had carburetors and nobody knew anything about low-fat beer!
Well, time to do some work on
your Alfa. Just click on the item you wish to know more about and
I'll gladly share my thoughts and experience. My mechanical steps
concern the original Spider Veloce, but are also useful for other
Alfas, naturally. If you are a skilled mechanic, have a look anyway,
perhaps there are some good unknown tips even for you!
I made this engine stand years ago. However, I
haven't used it that many times because there is no need to lift the
engine out of the car to overhaul it. Most of the jobs can in fact
be carried out with the engine still in the bay.
It is important to know what you want to do and
why. Sometimes the problem is not what you think it is.
I have learned this the hard way when my oil
pressure was a little too low on my Giulia Super. New bearings all
over but the pressure was still too low. (Censored
#&&##_&%_#). It was the indicator on the engine block
that was incorrect, not the bearings. Anyway, after this operation
in 1969 I am more careful.
In 1980! I made a complete overhaul on my 1750
Roundtail Spider incl. valves, piston rings, bearings, carb rubbers
etc. etc. and new cam chains. The next summer, I only use my Spider
in the summertime, a most annoying razzling occurred sometimes. I
rechecked the valve clearance, cam chain etc., the ignition, was
correct. Still that noise. Next summer, same thing and another
rechecking and adjusting. Still the same. To make a long story
short, I used the Roundtail almost every summer but that #€%€#€
engine noise was still there.
Alfa friends listened but nobody could trace that
razzling. In 1996 I made another complete overhaul on my engine, new
pistons, liners, bearings, valves (3 new), new valve guides and
seals and an electronic ignition system (Marelli from a FIAT 132),
new carb rubbers etc. The engine did not sound like before, it was
now running more quiet but sometimes that #€#% started at 2.500 -
Most distressing. Well, the other day my Mrs and
I were driving on the "cruising roads" here in the forest.
We bought a map from the Ducati MC-Club with good roads highlighted.
Excellent idea. We had been driving for three hours and that noise
increased all the time. #€%€#
Suddenly we came out from the forest on a public
road and I accelerated. Boom! It was like something hit the engine
like a machine gun. I stopped instantly and turned the engine off.
Then I saw the front crankshaft pulley spinning in front of me like
a Frisbee out in the field.
I opened the bonnet and found that the fan was
completely demolished but the radiator was OK, otherwise no damages.
My beloved wife found the pulley after 15 minutes while I was
phoning for assistance. One of my brother in laws came with his
Citroen XM and he towed us to the Alfa garage in Lund, some 30
He was driving very carelessly, I think he wanted
to make even for a dispute we had some time ago. I bought a Siberian
hamster for his son, but my sister was furious when she found out it
was an ordinary rat. That evening I found the missing nut and
locking shim and the next day I reassembled the missing parts. And,
suddenly, like magic, the engine was running so smooth I almost had
to stand at the exhaust to hear it. All those 16 years, it was the
locking late that was loose.
The nut had obviously made one turn and caused
the shim to vibrate. Wow, I probably now have one of the most well
tuned 1750 engines ever. Every tolerance has been checked and
re-checked every year (almost). So, remember this, Alfisti. The
problem might not turn out to be what you think it is. Razzling
noises might come from a loose crankshaft pulley nut. I have learned
this the hard way. BTW, I have a log on the web where you may read
all about my 1967 Roundtail since 1972, when I bought her.
One thing although, don't be afraid to temper
with your Alfas, they like it, and it's very fun too! For
instance, taking the head off is a minor
operation. This is how I use to do it. A blown head gasket is easy
to replace, just follow my steps. Once, the head is removed, take
the opportunity to check the valves. If your
Alfa is consuming too much oil, the answer might be found here.
Talking about oil, if the valves and guides seem to be OK, perhaps
the piston rings need to be changed. Again, no
fuss, you can easily do it with the engine in the bay. It is a minor
operation. I have done it several times, and it's even fun to do it.
With the pistons off, have a look at the liners
since they are quite easy to remove. The heating system and the radiator
are also easy to overhaul. The Webers are the heart of your
engine so adjust them carefully. Always
remember to use good quality oil and change your
filter often. My Alfas are raised and born with Castrol. The brake
booster is usually very reliable, but may need some attention.
Here's what I did. The brakes also need some
care. Not to mention the electrical system.
Reliable, but when the fuses are blown, trouble comes hand in hand.
Good equipment and reliable tools make half of
the job. Bad tools make you mad. Sometimes, when I get the feeling
that the hammer is my favorite tool, it's time to go home. Things
are always different the next day.
My standard tools are what you find in any hard
ware store, However, during the years I have made some special tools
myself. Any local Alfa dealer has factory tools for sale, but I like
to find my own solutions. 35 years ago, things were not that
complicated and it was very fun to have a beer at the "Golden
Crank-Case" and arguing about our Alfas.
If you have any comments, please send an E-mail