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Via Veloce by Wille R.     On the Internet since November 1995 and still here.

dotEngine types dotValves dotPistons and liners dot Cooling system


Next First published 1996 January 12                              alfa romeo spares

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!

dotThe word"Spider"   dotSpider pedigree dotBuying a Spider  dotPrices
dotEngine types dotValves dotPistons and liners dotCooling system
dotWebers & carbs dotOil dotBrakes   dotElectrical system
dotNo wheel, no steal dotRims dotEngine removal dotThe speedometer
dotThe Duetto story dotThe 1750 story dotThe 1300 story dotMore mech clues
dotProduction dot1750Veloce dot1600 Duetto dot1300 Jr
dotThe color codes dotMore codes  dotIdentifications dotMore ident.
dotGiulietta Sprint dotThe Graduate! dot1967 Spider Veloce dotVeloce photos
dotAlfa-friends dotPrevious Alfas dotThe log 1967- dotWallpapers
dotLinks dotCat stories dotSling-balls dotSpare parts
dotCamshafts dotFault diagnosis dotFor sale dotFAQ
dotNuts and bolts dotWeber Dellorto Manuals etc old Alfa

DIY articles are from

Turn on some good music and have fun. Here are some of my favorites from the good ol' days.

  • Jerry Lee Lewis - Whole lotta shakin'
  • Buddy Holly - That'll be the day
  • Del Shannon - Runaway
  • Johnny and the Hurricanes - Buckeye
  • Bobby Boris and the Kryptkickers - Monster Mash
  • The Ventures - Walk, don't run
  • Dion - Donna the Primadonna
  • Big Bopper - Chantilly lace!
  • Elvis, of course - Any day now!
  • The Shadows - Apache
  • Jerry Lee Lewis again - Roll over Beethoven!
  • 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!

    Engine stand

    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 - 3.000 revs.

    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 minutes drive.

    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  Top