Author Topic: First Alfa, first restoration  (Read 7094 times)

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Damien Smith

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First Alfa, first restoration
« on: July 12, 2016, 09:53:27 PM »
Hi all, I've recently bought my first Alfa - a 1970 1750 GTV. I've always had a soft spot for them and it's also going to be my first restoration after 20-odd years of modifying cars. Took a while for my tastes to mature!

This is how it looks at the moment.



I'll be doing everything except body and paint myself and the first task is to rebuild the brakes. Technically this is the 2nd task as I've already fitted new clutch master and slave cylinders so I was able to get it up my driveway.

The engine runs but could do with a freshen up and the suspension bushes appear to be surprisingly sound. Apparently it hasn't run for a few years and the exterior and interior are fairly ordinary.

Rust so far seems to be minimal but there is some bog behind the front wheels so there might be a surprise in the sills. Floor, boot and the base of the front/rear windscreens are solid but there is some rust below the rear side windows.

Should be a fun project and I'm looking forward to getting out with the family. I already have a couple of keen helpers.



All the brake calipers are off now and will soon be fully dismantled. I'll need to find an electroplater to sandblast and re-zinc them next. The master cylinder is being resleeved & rebuilt this week and a collection of seals etc are on their way to me.

Trying to find new front brake rotors seems to be a challenge though - any tips on where to order a pair would be appreciated!


arancio601

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Re: First Alfa, first restoration
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2016, 09:15:19 AM »
Congratulations on the project. I hope you don't find many nasty surprises in the metalwork but I would always brace for the worst in the sill area. If you are lucky you will get away with only having to replace the outer sill piece. (It is a 3 piece section)

I got my last pair of rotors from Repco. I thought DBA (Disc Brakes Australia?) made them? If not you can get them from a couple of the Australian suppliers like Turin Imports or The Spare Place. Then there are the candy shops of Classic Alfa and Alfaholics in the UK who have extraordinarily fast shipping. Pound is way down at the moment too...

You've got Robert from Manning Motors in Sydney too who knows these cars very well. 

Other than the crappy paint it looks quite original. How is the engine?

Derek Entesano

Damien Smith

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Re: First Alfa, first restoration
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2016, 07:56:49 PM »
Thanks Derek. I tried the Spare Place this arvo (hadn't heard of them before) but they didn't have any stock. I'd not really considered the UK suppliers but Classic Alfa seems to have reasonable shipping on them so I'll give them a try.

The engine starts easily but it's only been used to back into the garage. After I'm done with the brakes there are plenty of electrical gremlins to chase down and I'll eventually make my way to inspecting the engine closer.

The plan is to get everything working, or at least an understanding of what needs attention before worrying about the bodywork. Even in its shabby state I'm quite happy to just sit and look at it!

Derek

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Re: First Alfa, first restoration
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2016, 10:16:11 PM »
Classic Alfa takes 3 days to get here. Even the big box with my exhaust I ordered recently came in 3 days. Amazing.

If you can do it, try and get it on the road as a driver rather than trying to pretty everything up because it will snowball. I'm sure you already know what I mean. Fixing my clutch ended up taking 7 years with a full engine rebuild and bare metal respray... ::)

They are art. I also have been known to just sit in my garage and stare!

Good luck!

bazzbazz

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Re: First Alfa, first restoration
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2016, 10:45:22 PM »
Even in its shabby state I'm quite happy to just sit and look at it!

Looking at the first photo, I was just thinking the exact same thing myself. It gives the perfect image of a quite place to go after a shocking day at the office, with a folding chair and a six pack, and to just admire the view. . . . .

Oh, love the toothless grin on the "Test Pilot" in the second photo ;)

Baz
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Damien Smith

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Re: First Alfa, first restoration
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2016, 09:10:02 PM »
She announced the other night that her favourite show is Top Gear - she's coming along nicely, just working on her younger sister now :)

Derek, good advice. I can definitely obsess about details so I'm trying to stay sensible and just fix what needs fixing.

I was planning to get the brake calipers redone in the goldy coloured zinc chromate but I think I'll just get them
sandblasted and powder coated black. Doesn't show the brake dust so much and it's easy to clean.

The brake pistons cleaned up nicely - the one on the right spent 15 mins in a Supercheap ultrasonic cleaner in 50/50 water & vinegar followed by a light rub with a scotchbrite pad.


Domenic

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Re: First Alfa, first restoration
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2016, 08:31:06 AM »
You can try Italian Automotive Spares in Melbourner for 105 parts....
We got brakes(discs & pads) and caliper kits in stock all the time.

Damien Smith

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Re: First Alfa, first restoration
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2016, 04:43:09 PM »
Thanks Domenic - email sent.

Damien Smith

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Re: First Alfa, first restoration
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2016, 09:47:39 PM »
The rear caliper pistons didn't want to budge. Plenty of surface rust under the dust boot, but some time in the ultrasonic cleaner to get at the rust scale followed by 100psi from the air compressor got them moving.



The trick to get both pistons out instead of just 1 side - a large screwdriver down the middle to stop whichever side moves first.



All apart with the cylinders cleaned up. Ready to have the bodies sand blasted now.


Damien Smith

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Re: First Alfa, first restoration
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2016, 08:36:39 PM »
Some progress if slow. Brakes are all done and I've sprayed them in black VHT paint. I had to refit them to drive the car down and back up my driveway to clean off all the mud it picked up from sitting at a mate's farm before being delivered to me.

I made a DIY pressure bleeder by fitting a bike valve in the top of a spare clutch reservoir cap and my trusty bike pump. 15-20psi pushed a steady flow though.



It's back in the garage and I'm gradually pulling off trim and will polish the brightwork as I go.

I'm making a list of all the little things that need to be replaced so trying to clean up as much as I can and only buy the things I must. Trading dollars for elbow grease as much as possible!

bigrage

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Re: First Alfa, first restoration
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2016, 12:41:58 PM »
Great work!!! ;)

Damien Smith

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Re: First Alfa, first restoration
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2016, 09:31:06 AM »
Currently learning how to polish stainless - worked out there are no shortcuts :)

Craig_m67

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Re: First Alfa, first restoration
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2016, 10:32:48 AM »
Currently learning how to polish stainless - worked out there are no shortcuts :)

I'd love to know the process from whoa to go.. I had my duetto scudetto polished and it looked the same when I got it back, incl. scratches.

Can't afford to send all the stainless parts I have to Franjo :(
'66 Duetto (lacework of doom)
'73 1600 GT Junior (ensconced)
'03 156 1.9JTD Sportwagon (daily driver)

Damien Smith

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Re: First Alfa, first restoration
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2016, 12:35:24 PM »
I found this series of 3 videos to be very informative as a starting point.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTxR8LB9iek

I'm still working out what works on one of the overriders, but still see very fine scratches.



General process I've followed:

- 320 grit sandpaper to remove the worse scratches
- 600 grit
- 1200 grit wet using a 5" disc on a low speed drill
- 2000 grit wet as above
- 6" sisal buff on 560W bench grinder
- 6" loose calico buff

The edges are perfect so I think it comes down to more time & pressure for each stage.

bazzbazz

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Re: First Alfa, first restoration
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2016, 12:39:12 PM »
Currently learning how to polish stainless - worked out there are no shortcuts :)

Aren't you glad you don't own a DeLorean!   :o

Baz

PS - (And believe it or not, Deloreans look to go back into low level production)
        http://www.delorean.com/new-delorean-production-update.htm

ON THE SPOT ALFA
Mobile Alfa Romeo & Fiat Diagnostic/Repair/Maintenance & Servicing
Brisbane & Gold Coast

2004 Alfa 156 2.0 JTS Sportwagon (Patty)
2000 Alfa 156 2.0 TS Selespeed with Sports Pack
(Eibach 2.5 Lowering Springs)
(Bilstein Sports Dampers )