RichardSIA Reader
9/5/19 12:20 a.m.

Too much rain to keep working on the Rover tonight and the El Camino is currently out of reach.

So I found the time to replace the Alfa Spider's sagging engine mounts.

Not too bad to do, but best to be done before putting the rebuilt Dellorto's back on.

That got me fired up to finally, after YEARS, get on the nose repair.

I bought a nearly perfect used nose clip a few years ago but was a bit intimidated about chopping off the old and grafting on the replacement.

Decided the old nose was so ugly that even if this goes poorly it will still be an improvement.

Sort of laid the replacement over the old as best I could then cut forward of the line I drew.

Easier to take more off than to put too much taken off back on.

Worked my way back slowly until I got a pretty close fit.

Obviously I am not using the factory seams, that takes a factory repair part which is lots of $$$.

No matter how much reasonable effort I make this car is never going to be cherry due to the old accident damage that is just too much for a perfect restoration.

I want to drive it fairly soon, and avoid it turning into ANOTHER frame-up build.

I've reached the point of having to decide how I need to proceed with the welding.

I have TIG and MIG as well as Gas.

With the strong curves I am dealing with I cannot simply lap the metal as I might with a flat panel.

I do have a tool to create a series "Stepped" tabs along the seam edge.

Thinking I will do that along the edge, use Cleco's to hold the patch panel in place, and then mark my final edge for butt welding.

Good plan, or making a mistake?

Uncertainty is why I stopped for the night.

I do have some goodies for it once I have it running decently.

Currently on Dellorto 40's and hotter than stock cams, with headers and no cat.

Will be adding yellow performance springs, a roll-bar, and Maroon paint to go with the 6" wide gold Enkei basket weave wheels.

That's probably enough intro for tonight.

MazdaFace Dork
9/5/19 1:54 a.m.


alfadriver MegaDork
9/5/19 6:19 a.m.

Have fun with the car!  You may want to consider a frame stiffener, BTW, the higher rate springs are pretty darned stiff (I'm guessing north of 1000lb/in, Ward & Deane springs used to be 1200lb for the front, and they were yellow).  

What kind of budget (which is the sneaky way to ask if you are doing this anywhere near a Challenge budget)?

RichardSIA Reader
9/5/19 9:35 a.m.

Budget is whatever I can spare when I can spare it.

Time as well as money.

No interest in a "Challenge" build because:

1. I need this car to become my daily driver so cannot trash it/blow it up!

2. The event will not be local to me, so very expensive to attend.

3. I find the rules a bit complex as most of the cars are clearly way over the stated $$$, but remain compliant with off-sets.

4. I'm not putting in an LS so would not stand a chance of winning.

It will still see spirited driving and may make it around a couple of tracks, just not the full chat of serious racing.

Frame stiffeners may happen if I can find a drawing to make my own.

californiamilleghia HalfDork
9/5/19 2:05 p.m.

Are there any good Alfa Spider websites / blogs ?

I was offered a 1974 ( I think) Spider that has 1998 tags on it , so it sat at least that long , 

Old lady car and garaged at least since 1998,

If I get it I would like to get it started but do know know anything about them !

RichardSIA Reader
9/5/19 2:21 p.m.

74's are HIGHLY sought after and go for pretty big money if they are not rusty.

Rust and ignorant mechanics are the No. 1 killers of Alfa's.

'74 and earlier have stainless steel bumpers that do not protrude from the body very much.

After '74 they got ugly oversized heavy rubber and steel bumpers.

Earlier cars are twin Weber/Dellorto, later are mechanical FI.

As I recall '74 is one year only as they still have the nice bumpers but also have the FI.

Try the Alfa BB, lots of members word-wide and tens of thousands of post under a dozen or more topics.

A little overly PC as they are so sensitive to casual U.S. language.

I decided to modify my car after giving up on finding a '74 or earlier in decent condition at a sane price.

The later FI (SPICA) cars can often be found pretty cheap, later BOSCH Spiders tend to be more expensive but not as good in my opinion.

9/5/19 2:48 p.m.

Not sure why you are concerned, you got this one way or the other. Your plan to use the flange tool will work just fine.


I myself like a good butt-weld. I would use a scribe and make a mark on the old panel, then I would use a snip to cut  the old tin just a hair long in front of that mark. Then I would fit the panel again and see if it all still lines up nice, then trim right up to the scribe mark and Butt-weld that sucker in place. If you can do this with the TIG, so much the better as far as metal finishing it is concerned.



alfadriver MegaDork
9/5/19 2:52 p.m.

In reply to californiamilleghia :  Not just Spiders, but there are Spider specific boards over there.  I used to post there all the time, but have not.

In reply to RichardSIA:

You don't have to do an LS swap to be competitive in the Challenge- BTDT.  But all of the other reasons make sense.  If you don't already have the springs for your car, you will find the same springs for a LOT less money at circle track stores- as both the front and rear springs are actually the same dimensions as commonly used circle track springs....

And where are you?  Quite a few of the national AROC chapters host motorsports events- autocrosses and track days.  Some even do really awesome time trials.

Back to cmm

As for the injected cars- all Alfas post '69 came with SPICA for US versions.  And the pre-'74 Spiders have the SS bumpers.  If you can get the '74 Spider for a good price, you will enjoy it a LOT.  It's a great car, and has some significant value them.  The reality is that they are very simple cars- live axle, double A arm, and in spite of the DOHC, the engines are super easy to work on.  Can be very itimidating the first time, but once you get past that, they are great to work on, and very reliable.  My GTV has been super, duper reliable.  

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
9/5/19 4:52 p.m.

Try reinstalling the hood temporarily and see how it lines up with the other three sides.  Adjust the hood accordingly so the gaps are good.  If you can do that with the hood being somewhere near the middle of its adjustment, you're probably close enough.

californiamilleghia HalfDork
9/5/19 5:47 p.m.

Thanks for the Alfa info , I only saw a couple phone pics of it in a garage with a flat tire , and the guy "guessed" it was a 1974 ,  I will have to check it out more and find out what it really is ......


RichardSIA Reader
9/5/19 9:28 p.m.

I'm still in Yerington NV, about 60 miles from Reno.

Rumor has the 95A track under new ownership and planning to hold road races next year, but no solid contact info.

RichardSIA Reader
9/25/19 12:10 a.m.

The local road-race/dirt oval/drag-strip "95A" track complex is having a roundy-rounder race Saturday night.

Thinking I will attend in an effort to get good contact info, confirm that the road course will be re-opening, ask about a part time job....

It would be GREAT to have a local road course!

cdeforrest Reader
9/25/19 12:40 a.m.

Bumpers aside, when did the actual sheet metal on spiders change? Fat chance of simply taking the ugly DOT 75+ bumpers off and finding a hottie Duetto behind those glasses?

Our Preferred Partners