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alfadriver MegaDork
11/6/16 8:29 a.m.


Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
11/6/16 9:32 a.m.

Here're a few photos of the official Classic Motorsports SEMA afterparty: As you can see, we suckered Wayne Presley of Very Cool Parts and his friend Eric into attending. Our verdict? The oil pressure gauge works fine.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
11/6/16 9:35 a.m.

Here's a photo of it working great at idle on our way out of Vegas.

Next up: Better oil goo! Lucas Oil recommended heavy duty oil stabilizer, then gave us a hearty chuckle when we told them how far we were going to drive while relying on it.

On the bright side, it worked. We picked up about 10psi across the board. Sure, our oil is now roughly 50% gear oil, but it's still running fine.

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
11/6/16 8:16 p.m.

After we replaced a clogged fuel filter this morning the car ran beautifully over the roads of eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. We made it with no problems to Roswell. Tomorrow we head to Dallas, where we have found the correct starter. We are running 70-80 mph with no issues now. This might be the nicest road trip/old car, I have ever driven. And the back roads of Arizona are so beautiful.

wannacruise New Reader
11/7/16 7:39 a.m.

It certainly sounds like your having a great trip and the old Alfa sounds like its a pretty good car too. Your making me think I want to find an Alfa too, to replace my Healey.....ah that would be hard to do. But. where's one of them GTVs.

alfadriver MegaDork
11/7/16 7:48 a.m.
Tim Suddard wrote: After we replaced a clogged fuel filter this morning the car ran beautifully over the roads of eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. We made it with no problems to Roswell. Tomorrow we head to Dallas, where we have found the correct starter. We are running 70-80 mph with no issues now. This might be the nicest road trip/old car, I have ever driven. And the back roads of Arizona are so beautiful.

When you get home, don't forget that there is another fuel filter in the engine compartment.

Oh, and on the low oil pressure- one reason could be that one of the plugs in the crank fell out- it's reasonably common, and has a very reliable fix when you get home. The one thing that could get damaged is the cams and the buckets, but those can be replaced, too.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
11/7/16 9:37 a.m.

Next up: a break to work on the car. Drew Alcazar of Russo & Steele was kind enough to let us use his lift for a few hours.

We started by looking everything over. Overall? Not too bad. The floor's had a few patches. Overall the car is worn out, but otherwise decent. Next up: Fix the rear suspension. The shocks are blown and the springs are toast, so we were bottoming out HARD over every little bump. A few spring blocks gave the rear a boost without taking too much time.

Next, we lubed the front suspension. Supposedly these aren't supposed to have grease fittings (and I think they're rubber bushings, so there shouldn't be grease in there....) Somebody added them, though, and a fresh batch of grease fixed our squeak.

Next: Fix some wiring. Our blinkers kept blowing fuses, and our cigarette lighter didn't work. I traced it to a fantastic stereo installation by the PO. It's okay to leave unshielded hot wires laying against the sheetmetal transmission tunnel, right? After a little rearranging and an added ground, we now have blinkers and phone charging ability.

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Associate Editor
11/7/16 10:01 a.m.

Just moved this thread to the Trips and Adventures forum.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
11/7/16 10:32 a.m.

alfadriver MegaDork
11/7/16 11:01 a.m.

Ok, I found it.

The suspension is really easy to rebuild- assuming you have a good press. Those lower arms should be quite stout, and not need maintenance. Of all of it, those stay as Alfa parts, the rest you can get new bushings from your CM advertisers. Or your local Alfa guys.

And since you are starting to really like it, I'll also point out that the engine is also quite easy to rebuild. (our challenge car back years ago was torn down to nothing before put back together). I'm a HUGE SPICA fan, and if you keep the car, hope you keep it, too.

Glad you guys are having fun!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/7/16 11:49 a.m.
Tom Suddard wrote:

In case anyone was in doubt that Tim is a true Car Guy, look at the happiness on his face as he jury-rigs a way to get his ancient car home.

Also: outside lift. Welcome to AZ.

Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
11/7/16 12:17 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner:

I think perhaps Tim is also taking measures each evening to keep his, uh, spirits up on this trip:


trucke Dork
11/7/16 12:28 p.m.

You guys just crack me up! Love following your antics!

pinchvalve MegaDork
11/7/16 12:35 p.m.

Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
11/7/16 12:45 p.m.

Pinchy, let me remind you of this picture of the gauges at 80 mph--sadly, all of them turned out to be working correctly:

Methinks that route is a bit too ambitious. Then again, methinks ANY route to Florida is a bit too ambitious.


BrokenYugo UltimaDork
11/7/16 1:04 p.m.

The low oil pressure won't kill it, though running it hard with low oil pressure might.

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
11/8/16 5:51 a.m.

We came into Dallas last night in the pouring rain. I mean absolute deluge, roads closed, cops everywhere and yet the Alfa quickly turned into a most excellent (although slightly leaky) boat and got us to an AlfaBB member's house.

I thought this guy knew we were the owners of Classic Motorsports, but he didn't catch that on my AlfaBB posts. He just wanted to help! There are still great people left in this world, and Lokki, as he is called on that board, is one of them: He moved his daily driver outside and opened his garage for our Alfa.

After some great Mexican food and margaritas, he took us to what turned out to be the wrong hotel, but we got the reservation switched and will start rebuilding the car in his garage today. As weird as this trip has gotten, we are having a great time. I think we will be keeping this incredible car forever.

alfadriver MegaDork
11/8/16 6:44 a.m.

So can I be biased when we bring up the best classic car for modern roads?

I'm kidding- I know there are many great old cars out there.

mazdeuce UltimaDork
11/8/16 7:12 a.m.

This trip is awesome. Now I want to buy something old again.

golfduke HalfDork
11/8/16 7:24 a.m.

Love this trip. Is there an approximate time frame to get it back to Flarda, or is your trip length strictly a function of how much crap you have to fix and how much cool stuff there is to see along the way.

Either way, this is a great read and the stuff I dream of doing with my own son someday... Keep it up!

spitfirebill UltimaDork
11/8/16 8:16 a.m.

Two questions.

Did you guys run a compression test before you left?

Has Drew Alcazar cut that 70's cocaine dealer mullet he had?

egnorant SuperDork
11/8/16 8:29 a.m.

Give us a wave as you pass through East Texas! If you go down I-20 just wave at the Lake O the pines sign, if you go down 80 for the backroads stuff I'm sure your neck muscles are well tuned as you check out all the cool stuff tucked near the road.


Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
11/8/16 10:18 a.m.

Tim is so excited about this car, he's getting me excited to see and drive it. Not sure I'm going to part with my 528 for it, though. But since he has a dozen-plus cars, I'm pretty sure I have a strong case for claiming 2 of my own.

Tim and Tom are planning on being back here in Florida sometime Thursday night. If the past serves as any indicator, that means they'll actually roll up to our house sometime in the wee hours of Friday morning.


racerdave600 SuperDork
11/8/16 10:48 a.m.

Thanks Tim! I kicked my Alfa habit long ago but this is making me hunt the classifieds all over again. Great updates!

I remember buying my first one in '85 I think. It was an '83 Spider, so it was almost new at the time. I then promptly went and sold off my Triumphs and hunted more Alfas. I ended up with 8 of them. Be warned, this can be a problem.

Anyway, beautiful car. Hopefully the rest of the trip is as fun as the start. Everyone needs an Alfa at some point in the their life Margie, embrace you inner Italian-ess!

paranoid_android74 SuperDork
11/8/16 11:50 a.m.
Marjorie Suddard wrote: Well, I just posted a slightly different version of the same story on the Grassroots board: Tim and Tom have begun their adventure--the Craigslisted 1971 Alfa Spyder has been acquired, and they looked happy enough on the road: Gauges look less happy: Note the oil pressure--sadly, that was at 80 mph. Temp is creeping up, too. Last I heard from them, they'd made it to Las Vegas after buying some motor honey/bearings in a bottle. I'm thinking I'll see them again approximately never, or they will actually have to stop and fulfill Tom's dream of buying a second E36 M3ter to leapfrog this one across the country. Stay tuned... Margie

"We have a full tank of gas, low oil pressure, and the engine is overheating."

"Hit it!"

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