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Discussion Starter #1
Well this is a little weird. I should have started this blog almost 5 years ago when I bought the car instead of creating sporadic threads for particular jobs I was doing.

However it didn't make sense to start from anywhere but when I bought it, which was October 2013.

I was born in 1983 and I have loved the Alfetta since I can remember, dad owned a Sud Sprint for a while too which probably has something to do with it but anyway I had been seriously looking for at least 3 years when this 1983 GTV6 appeared on ebay. First advertised for more than £7k, then £5k the following week, then finally for £3k and when it didn't sell I went over to see the car and bought it for £2.5k. Granted there wasn't a lot of daylight left when I saw it but I thought I couldn't be very wrong for that price. It didn't look perfect, of course, but it did have some history, specially the fact that it had a recent full engine rebuild worth 7k and I also liked that it had been full cavity waxed, which was evident in bonnet structure, in the boot, etc.

It was sold with a couple of months MOT so I just drove it back home that night. My friend wasn't entirely happy I did that because he soon found out as he drove behind me that the brake lights were not working! Classic :)

The drive back home felt okay, except maybe for how crunchy 2nd gear was but I already expected it so no surprises there.

These are the first photos I have.





And the first photos on a sunny day:





 

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A few days later I traced the brake lights issue to a seized brake light switch and learned the first lesson: The part might be the same for a Fiat, a Lancia, an Alfa, Lamborghini or Ferrari so it could be available in a huge price range. Always look for it properly. I got a new one for a fiver or a tenner, as I recall but I don't have pictures of the work.

I found out I had no reverse lights either. Scratched my head for a while but ended up tracing it back to the reverse light switch on the gearbox. I thought that was really unlikely in an old italian car that the switch was faulty but not the bulb or rear light cluster connectors.
 

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While messing around the rear lights trying to find the fault with the reverse lights I noticed the lack of reg plate lights. The car would have to go through an MOT soon so I took care of those as well.

They had been sprayed with cavity wax so the contacts weren't working great. I cleaned them up and put it back together.

 

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I used the car as my daily driver for my short commute until June 2014. It passed the MOT and just simply worked and never needed attention. I didn't have garage space for it anyway as I was working on my mk4 escort.

Once that was finished the Alfa went in as I wanted to give some love to the engine bay and do some pre-emptive jobs like adding a set of headlight relays.

One thing I wasn't very happy with was the starting procedure. In the morning, the car would only start with the throttle pedal fully pressed and I was reading some nightmare stories about intake plenums shooting off the bonnet. I wanted to investigate and also I wanted to get rid of the ****ty silver paint someone had applied to the plenum itself.





I found the bypass start valve to be completely stuck so I cleaned it and made sure it worked (although it's quite tired and doesn't fully open and close any more, will need to find an alternative) and removed the start injector too. I remember testing it but I don't remember if it was faulty or not.

One thing I learned when I raced karts is that keeping everything clean is a very good way of finding faults even before they happen. Loose nuts and bolts, chafing wires, cables, etc. So I started cleaning the engine bay to both get to know the car a bit more and also to fix any issues I found along the way.

In this case I found the green wire to the distributor to be almost broken



The distributor cap and rotor arm to be in quite bad shape




And several perishing electrical connections

 

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Great Blog, I would love to know who rebuilt the engine for 7k, the car looks nice I see you have the point to the sky handbrake as most of them do, I also love you have the one wing mirror model, look forward to seeing your progress,
 

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The sky high handbrake (at the time) was probably related to the 2, 3mm of rear pad left. But yes, it's such a pain to tune the handbrake travel...
 

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Great Blog, I would love to know who rebuilt the engine for 7k, the car looks nice I see you have the point to the sky handbrake as most of them do, I also love you have the one wing mirror model, look forward to seeing your progress,
I had an MY82 USA GTV6, and the best hing is you get Magnesium alloys, which create terrific fountains of sparks if you drive up a kerb!
 

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Nice one, glad to read the story.
 

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2.5k?
wow a bargain.....the inner wings/strut area looks fantastic
Yes, but again, that was already 4 years ago.

Yes no rust anywhere around there, I did find some further down near the caster arm anchor point which I will show in a future post.
 

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One of the things I enjoy doing the most is the electrics so going over the wiring diagram and designing a clean way to introduce headlight relays to save the poor stalks was quite nice.



I went for 3 dual output (5 pin) relays (Bosch Relay 0332019151), for both low and high beams and also an extra pair of classic looking carello fog lights I found on ebay. Power is from the battery box on the firewall and immediately next to which I mounted a fuse box and the new power wires go around the edge of the engine bay to where the two washer pump relays reside.



I got a modular box to accommodate the 3 new relays and got new wire with the same colour codes. I would have to wait a bit until I saw the practical results how much better the lights worked because some of the headlight bolts were very corroded and I ended up damaging the grille which I had to remove to repair and fit new headlight bolts.

 

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Discussion Starter #13
I don't have photos of the grille repair process but it was about drilling out corroded bolts and repairing some cracks in the plastic. Also had to find appropriately sized plastic inserts and bond them to the grille.

While it was out of the car I cleaned up and retouched the grille mounts to stop them from corroding any further. again the PO applied dinitrol seemed to have done it's job but there are areas where it's impossible to prevent corrosion. For example the upper lip just above the grille was also cleaned up and painted to prevent more corrosion.



Likewise I found some rust starting under the air filter box and also under the washer bottle on the other side, it was treated and painted to avoid it spreading.



I don't think I will ever sell this car. Never say never but the intention is to keep it for life. I don't have the space or the will(£££) to go through a bare metal restoration right now but it will be done at some point. For now (I mean back then in 2015) I want to keep it in relatively good condition and enjoy the car as much as I can.
 

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Great Blog, I would love to know who rebuilt the engine for 7k
Me too! What I have is a relatively extensive collection of service and mot documents, making the 70k miles likely to be real.
Then towards the more recent life of the car I can see it jumped through a few different owners for small amounts of time (1, 2 years) before I bought it and a few receipts from classic alfa shops like eb spares for some bits and bobs.

Then finally I have a piece of paper which is not a professional receipt listing the following in January 2012 (a year and half before I bought it), according to the person who sold the car, he was selling on behalf of someone who had a small collection of cars and was selling some to buy a Porsche or whatever and this was what had been done under his ownership.

"Cut away rear offside arch and replace with repair panel, repairs to front inner wings and front panel, OS door, front OS wing, tidy previous patches to underside underseal and waxoil.
£2300

Remove engine and strip, replace cylinder liners, pistons, rings, bearings, cam belt, tensioner, gaskets and seals (genuine parts), clean engine bay and refit engine. Change gearbox oil.
Parts £1985 labour 40h £2000

Fit original Campagnolo magnesium wheels, refurb and fit new Avon tyres.
£690

Fit koni shock absorvers
£180

Total £7000"

Obviously I can only take this with a pinch of salt but all the non-engine stuff was indeed true and the engine does run very well, who actually did the work, I don't know. For the price I paid for the car, I wasn't too fussy about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
As part of the engine bay tidying up work I bought a new bonnet heat shield (which was missing) and new clips.
The supplier I used was classic9leather shop in the States and I was really pleased with the quality of the material.

Alfa Romeo GTV6 Hood Line

Sure it wasn't the most straightforward thing to fit but the instructions were clear and I was happy with the final result.

I had to clean some of the wax off the underside of the bonnet in order to bond the heatshield to it, hopefully it won't be trapping any moisture under there.

Fitted new washer fluid hose as well and cleaned up the bonnet light, for completeness.



In the meanwhile I also painted the servo unit, got a new expansion tank and replaced a lot of the vacuum hoses and even some water hoses which were not in good condition. I found braided hoses from an italian supplier, possibly the OEM supplier.



Fitted a new air filter as the airbox was also stripped and painted...



...as well as some other bits, the intake plenum was stripped of its horrible silver paint back to bare aluminium and got a new set of stickers :)

Replaced one cracked cambelt cover too.

Still a couple of things to do before going back on the road but this was the final result for the engine bay:







This was December 2014, bring on 2015!
 

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The headlights themselves were not in the best condition, there is some corrosion (on the mirror finish) which I couldn't do much about but I did treat the outer rims in order to at least get a few more years out of them as I soon found out RHD headlights are pretty much not available any more.



Fitted the grille, the headlights and a new front emblem as well :)



I drew up some custom brackets to attach the fog lights to the tow points, I thought it was the best place, other suggestions? This is how they look in place:

 

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Sort of at the same time as the whole headlights / front grille affair was going on I noticed the front splash guards weren't looking very solid anymore, specially the ones behind the wheel.

They needed replacing and in this instance I decided to buy fiberglass replacements instead of second one metal ones. I did not own a MG welder at the time either so repairing wasn't an option either.

I removed the rubber seal from the rusty panels and fitted to the new fiberglass ones with small stainless still screws instead of the original stapled style and also glued in place.





Fitting took a little time to get right, removing bits of material here and there and drilling holes for the fastners.





Removing the LHS front splash guard revealed some rust and the concept of rust under the underseal.



I'm Portuguese, from Lisbon and growing there I never really got much experience with rust. Warm weather, no rain or salt on the roads... I'm always surprised at how fast cars rust in this country. Moreover this was the first car I owned to have been coated with this thick rubbery underseal.

I can understand how an everyday car might be more protected from the salt etc if this coating is applied. However, being completely blind to what might be happening underneath doesn't seem like a good idea.

As evident in the photos, the coating has failed allowing water to remain trapped between it and the metal, with this wonderful result.

Anyway it was brushed, no holes, fortunately, cleaned and painted over to contain it for a while, until the bare metal resto happens, one day, sorry for the photo quality.



On a happier note, around this time Dad became jealous of my car and got himself an Alfasud Sprint 1.3, a post facelift model but still carburettors. Here he is happy at the wheel, back home in Portugal :)

 

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great blog thanks for posting. out of interest where did you get the braided hoses from and do you remember the sizes, i need to buy some replacements for my restoration.
 
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