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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

Am going to have a look at an Alfa Spider S4 and wondered what in particular I should be checking?

The car is RHD but the owner doesn't know who did the conversion, is this a big issue?

Thanks
 

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Check for rust in the rocker panels and floor pans, and if it's got a manual gearbox, see how easily it goes into 2nd gear, as the 2nd gear synchros are notoriously prone to difficulties.
 

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If the airbag light is on it can be fixed, does the spedo work? it can be fixed as well. My 2 S4's have very few issues, grounding in one of them was fixed. I basically have put tires, oil, air filter, done an alignment, battery and have driven them since 2005.
 

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Hi,

Am going to have a look at an Alfa Spider S4 and wondered what in particular I should be checking?

The car is RHD but the owner doesn't know who did the conversion, is this a big issue?

Thanks
Rust! - needs a thorough check round the steering box and bulkhead as Cheshire Alfa (ebay dealer) has found problems with poor RHD conversions- also peek under the wheel arch liners if you can as the S4 still rots - its just more difficult to spot
There are quite a few S4's out there so buy the best you can afford, view as many as you can before committing and take someone who knows their S4's or post up the ads here and we'll have a look
Lots of history is good
 

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it is very difficult to check for floor rust, as the S4 has a one piece molded carpet..getting under it means dismantling a lot of things! (But you can check if the car is up on a ramp)
The sills too from outside are difficult to check, as they have the plastic skirts on, again under the car is better.

The RHD conversions were done either by Bell & Colville or alfa's official converter for the UK, Seaking (Seaking had a glovebox, as did early B&C)
Here is a decent little pdf guide to the S4:
google "Series 4 Spider - Alfa Romeo Owner's Club"
 

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Discussion Starter #6
it is very difficult to check for floor rust, as the S4 has a one piece molded carpet..getting under it means dismantling a lot of things! (But you can check if the car is up on a ramp)
The sills too from outside are difficult to check, as they have the plastic skirts on, again under the car is better.

The RHD conversions were done either by Bell & Colville or alfa's official converter for the UK, Seaking (Seaking had a glovebox, as did early B&C)
Here is a decent little pdf guide to the S4:
google "Series 4 Spider - Alfa Romeo Owner's Club"
Thanks for all the info guys, if there is no history of the RHD conversion, is that a major problem?
 

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Thanks for all the info guys, if there is no history of the RHD conversion, is that a major problem?
not really, both converters had their pros and cons, and a non factory converted car is always a bit of an afterthought (alfa stopped supplying rhd cars back in the 70's I believe, these were designed rhd from the factory so everything fit better)
sometimes it can be a little harder sourcing some specific parts for the RHD. I wouldn't worry about it.

When you get to view the spider, let us know, maybe a few photos.....we all have pretty sharp eyes here:)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
not really, both converters had their pros and cons, and a non factory converted car is always a bit of an afterthought (alfa stopped supplying rhd cars back in the 70's I believe, these were designed rhd from the factory so everything fit better)
sometimes it can be a little harder sourcing some specific parts for the RHD. I wouldn't worry about it.

When you get to view the spider, let us know, maybe a few photos.....we all have pretty sharp eyes here:)
This is the advert, not many photos..

http://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/1990-ALFA-ROMEO-SPIDER-2-0-RED-RHD-/182030483047?nav=SEARCH
 

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Very descriptive isnt it?............. April MoT ... need a bit more than that for £10k... if they do agree to MoT it get it MoT'd again to check
111k - miles or kms? - if miles expect the gbox and engine to be suffering a bit unless rebuilt, ask for history especially if local Alfa dealer in Poole has "looked after it", he should hold history files -
the ad is very half arsed as if they dont want to sell it so I don't know what you can read into that?
just go and have a look and let us know how you get on.
 

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Very descriptive isnt it?............. April MoT ... need a bit more than that for £10k... if they do agree to MoT it get it MoT'd again to check
111k - miles or kms? - if miles expect the gbox and engine to be suffering a bit unless rebuilt, ask for history especially if local Alfa dealer in Poole has "looked after it", he should hold history files -
the ad is very half arsed as if they dont want to sell it so I don't know what you can read into that?
just go and have a look and let us know how you get on.
I'm looking at it tomorrow, he gas said he will take £8,500 for it as have been watching it for a while.

It's 111k miles.
 

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Very descriptive isnt it?............. April MoT ... need a bit more than that for £10k... if they do agree to MoT it get it MoT'd again to check
111k - miles or kms? - if miles expect the gbox and engine to be suffering a bit unless rebuilt, ask for history especially if local Alfa dealer in Poole has "looked after it", he should hold history files -
the ad is very half arsed as if they dont want to sell it so I don't know what you can read into that?
just go and have a look and let us know how you get on.
Is it also a cam belt or chain? I guess if belt it should be every 36k miles/3 years?

Thanks for all the advice.
 

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Very descriptive isnt it?............. April MoT ... need a bit more than that for £10k... if they do agree to MoT it get it MoT'd again to check
111k - miles or kms? - if miles expect the gbox and engine to be suffering a bit unless rebuilt, ask for history especially if local Alfa dealer in Poole has "looked after it", he should hold history files -
the ad is very half arsed as if they dont want to sell it so I don't know what you can read into that?
just go and have a look and let us know how you get on.
Is it also a cam belt or chain? I guess if belt it should be every 36k miles/3 years?

Thanks for all the advice.
 

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its a cam chain, usually lasts longer than the car! (needs adjusting every so often)

the telephone number on the advert leads to a man and a van company in Poole.....in his feedback has been selling cars, so part trade, I'd say.
https://www.gumtree.com/p/van-truck-hire/man-van-hire/1148838101

car looks ok from just 2 blurry photos. You need to have a good close look at it, then report back here with some better photos. Take out spare wheel and look at the metal wheel well under there. Seats wear easily, so check these are OK (expensive) soft top is expensive, so look for staining on the inside (means it is letting water through) and a bad or torn rear vinyl window (can't be replaced separately w/o removing the whole soft top) etc etc.

Before you start it, just see if the engine is cold (or has he been warming it up/driving it around to disguise a poor 2nd gear synchro or poor cold start?) Cold the oil pressure gauge should point straight up and a tad to the right (so 4bar+). Alternator charging should be 13V+

PS: no clue as to why, but in the 15 odd years I lived in Bournemouth, used cars from there or Poole were generally not bad at all!
Dom
 

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At 111k miles the engine and box will be tired (crunchy/baulky first and second) if they are the originals so do what checking you can - take a decent camera if you can and we can have a look - I go to Bournemouth quite regularly but unfortunately not for a few weeks yet otherwise I'd cast my eye
 

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That is a very poor advert, and the photos are dreadful, what there is of them. Everything about this advert is totally unprofessional.

On that basis I would stay well clear, but you never know it may be worth a look. But I would tread very carefully.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi,

I went to see the S4, it had no service history and quite bad rust on the near side engine mount. Also had been resprayed, but only to an average standard. There was also a lot of under seal underneath.

The lack of the service history was the biggest issue for me, so won't be buying.
 

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Sounds like a wise decision - its all good experience so you know what to look for
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hi,

I went to see the S4, it had no service history and quite bad rust on the near side engine mount. Also had been resprayed, but only to an average standard. There was also a lot of under seal underneath.

The lack of the service history was the biggest issue for me, so won't be buying.
 

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Hi,

I went to see the S4, it had no service history and quite bad rust on the near side engine mount. Also had been resprayed, but only to an average standard. There was also a lot of under seal underneath.

The lack of the service history was the biggest issue for me, so won't be buying.
wise!
for that money you should expect a good honest S4.
If they skimped on the paintjob, they skimped everywhere else too, and loads of underseal means loads of hidden surprises;)
 
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