Alfa Romeo Spider buyers’ guide

10 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Alfa Romeo Spider buyers’ guide
Alfa Romeo Spider

The Spider is now viewed as the classic droptop – but what should you out for when buying?

However, the supply situation is better now it’s been for years. of the car’s complex structure worth looking into who has any work and, if possible, hold of supporting pictures to it being done.

INTRODUCTION

The of the Spider was long and complex, four different engines and an equal number of incarnations – all of shared the same superstructure. But it matter which derivative you it’s always going to be a drive thanks to wonderfully powerplants and a chassis that is so you truly feel you’re at one the car.

As with many of the 1960s and ’70s, the eighth some 40 years down the wasn’t really at the forefront of the minds when the models conceived. Consequently there are traps for the unwary. Rust was pretty much non-existent and are often complex and expensive.

Buy a one and it’ll take years off jump in without looking and you end up ageing very quickly!

If you don’t want to get caught you will need to spend at £5500 on a car that’s usable and require any significant work. better if you can stretch to £8000 for a 3 or £10,000 for an earlier model; kind of figures will you something that’s really

Looking for a quality Duetto? need more in the region of – but for that you’ll be able to get one of the cars out there. If you’d a challenge, you could buy a restoration for £1500 upwards, but be warned: one of these cars back is not the same as with your Meccano-like Triumph or MG.

ENGINE

The twin-cam fours fitted to the are renowned for their sweetness, the design having first used in 1954. However, don’t take neglect well, and a common malady is for the gasket to blow, giving the tell-tale signs of white in the oil.

One of the rules which is broken by owners is to let the engine up thoroughly before exercising it – an all-alloy unit this is important. As long as the motor has serviced properly (preferably 3000-mile oil-change intervals and the anti-freeze) it should last for miles before needing a

One of the things that doesn’t the potential buyer is the fact Spider engines can still healthy long after a is due. The nature of the unit it’ll always sound a bit with noise emanating the timing chains and valvegear, but it be unduly unpleasant.

Oil pressure not fall below half way on the (4kg/sq cm) once above and make sure you check the air if the engine is on its way out, this have traces of oil from the pipe. Other weak are the O-rings below the camshaft If these have failed will be a trio of oil trails the side of the engine block the head) or traces of oil in the cooling header bottle.

Because of its alloy construction, the engine is easily damaged by frost. sealing compounds can hide quite effectively, so check the housing for evidence of them. engine mountings have a of failing (especially on the exhaust so you should make sure you the motor via its cam covers to check

TRANSMISSION

Apart from US-spec Series 4 models, all were fitted with a gearbox. This should be and easy to use – the first problem encounter is likely to be worn on second ratio. It’s that the gearchange won’t be too until the box has fully warmed but once up to temperature it shouldn’t be at all

The clutches originally specified prone to wearing out quickly, but by now have been replaced much stronger units. the back axle rarely any trouble as it’s the same as is to the heavier saloons and coupés. Any coming from it could that there is trouble

The most likely cure is a axle, and the most cost-effective is buying a secondhand unit for £100.

Rear hub bearings can be a as they’re not very easy to There’s a shrink-ring used to the bearing, but if you’re not too handy the toolkit a specialist will ask £50 to fix each side.

SUSPENSION, AND BRAKES

Right-hand-drive cars fitted with recirculating-ball but some Spiders were equipped with a worm and set-up. Neither system gives problems, but the bottom joints do wear to cause MoT

If you need to buy lower ball don’t go for the cheapest available as aren’t really up to scratch – tolerances give enough to produce an immediate MoT failure. The within both the steering and systems are also wear-prone, as are in the rear suspension’s trailing Another area that neglected is the central reaction locating the rear axle.

Alfa Romeo Spider

are cone-shaped rubber bushes quickly wear out, the back wheels to feel When replacing this it is fitting a bush made of rubber or nylon, available specialists.

As if that’s not enough, another fault which afflicts the Spider’s suspension: the bushes in the wishbones. There are bushes, all of which can be affected by as a result of water getting the trunnion. If left, the wishbones can be by the undue strain.

Replacing is a big job, and again you should be of cheap bushes. At the same check the lower spring for rust. Furthermore, inside the pan is an shim that tends to with the passing of time. are selectively fitted in order to the height of the suspension.

This isn’t easy on cars, but EB has shims ranging in up to 10mm.

Another job that’s worth doing every miles or so is to ensure the tracking, and camber are set correctly. To get the best out of the car the suspension must be set up very but it’s not easy to find who can do it properly. A good bet is BenAlfa in Wiltshire, which charges

Check the anti-roll bar mountings, will probably have and may need to be welded up. Front bars often pull out of retaining links as the bushes to be of poor quality, but new links with bonded bushes are for £20. As well as brake leaking, the master cylinders are prone to bore wear. A used car may need a new cylinder four years of replacement.

If looking at a right-hand-drive model was built between 1970 and it’s fitted with a cylinder which costs

Brake calipers can corrode and up, and after years of having to for rebuilt units which sometimes not that great, now possible to purchase new ones They’re the same price you’re buying for the front or the £130 apiece.

CONCLUSION

Buying a Spider to be taken lightly, and if you’re of purchasing a car imported from you could be setting yourself up for amounts of grief thanks to the differences between US-market (which featured Spica injection from 1969) and models.

However, the parts situation is better now than been for years. Because of the complex structure it’s looking into who has done any and, if possible, getting of supporting pictures to show it done. It’s easy to buy an which has been badly and will end up costing you even to put right than an honest car a complete rebuild.

But find a Spider and you’ll wonder why doesn’t have one!

ALFA ROMEO SPIDER

Buying, Sports Cars: Romeo Spider (1966-1993)

Alfa Romeo Spider
Alfa Romeo Spider
Alfa Romeo Spider
Alfa Romeo Spider
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