June 2010 - Move to welder


June 2nd 2010: I won a first series dashboard on German E-Bay. Unfortunately it's not the type with the glove compartment as it's supposed to be for a Giardinetta, but at least it's a first series one which will suit my car much better than the 2nd & 3rd series dashboards I have available. When I got in contact with the seller he told me he was taking apart a 1976 4-door saloon and asked whether I needed further parts. In the end I bought excellent LH & RH sun visors, 3 first series door pins, 4 first series door levers and 3 first series window levers. Nice to find some first series trim items for reasonable prices. Due to the fact that I work in Germany during the week I had the parts sent to Germany and saved some shipment costs. Of course I couldn't wait for a second and the minute I got home in the Netherlands I made a trial fit for the dashboard. It looks very nice. The manufacturing date of my "new" dashboard is November 27th 1973 so it survived quite well in all these years. There are no tears at all in the trim, only the metal brackets need a grind and some new paint but for the rest it's in good order. Additionally I have to figure out how the dashboard is fastened to the A-pillars because the metal brackets are pointing upwards, I would have expected them to point downward????

Big box of Alfasud parts won on E-Bay Germany.


First series dashboard, LH & RH sun visors, door & window levers, door pins.


First series dashboard manufactured on November 27th 1973.




Empty Giardinetta.

Trial fit of first series dashboard. Looks great!!!!!!!!!

June 3rd: I'm very lucky because today and tomorrow are again holidays. The amount of holidays in Germany is definitely more than in the Netherlands but you won't here me complain ;-) Since my car will be brought to the welder next week Saturday these holidays are very welcome and necessary and will be used to continue the everlasting paint removal. Some remaining filler sections on the outside of the boot have to be done, the right hand door frame, the spare wheel area and the boot frame are items which have to be tackled. I start with the boot. The inside of the boot near the rectangular holes which have to be closed has to be cleaned to allow welding. During the waiting period for the paint remover to do its work I will do some remaining filler sections on the outside of the boot. My dad who is kindly helping me again today will work on the right hand door frame. The door frame is proceeding quite well. Also the inside of the boot is making some progress although there are sections I can't reach. I will start on the spare wheel area. This section has 5 round holes in it. They seem to me as holes for a tow bar which was installed during the time this vehicle served as a working horse for "garage Frijsinger". I am consulting with a member of the Dutch Alfa club (also a Giardinetta owner) to find out of any of the holes are genuine. If not genuine all holes will be closed. Additionally there are 4 holes in the floor with spacers. They seem original however they could also have been added to install the after market tow bar in the past. This is also something I need to confirm. If not original these holes will also be closed. The end result of the 4 hours of work today with my dad is not too bad, but still I have a long way to go in order to be ready for the welder.

B-pillar of right hand door frame getting pretty clean.


Right hand door frame pretty clean.


5 holes in the spare wheel well, don't look original but are some of them original?


Holes in rear section of floor with spacers (LH 2x + RH 2x), original or not?



End result of 4 hours work with my dad. Some paint, more filler and even more corrosion protection material

June 4th 2010: Another holiday today so get up early and start the paint removal again. The weather is excellent so basically it's a shame to spend the entire day in a very dusty garage but there's no choice in order to be ready for next week Saturday. Today I will start with the valance. I partially did it before but stopped due to the fact there's so much filler applied to it. I have to get it clean anyway so I'll give it another try. I will apply the paint remover and let it soak for 20 minutes instead of the recommended 10 minutes. The new strategy seems to work. Still quite some time is required but at least the majority of the filler is getting off. After 2 and a half hours I'll call it a day for this section. Next target is the rear floor near the holes for the tow bar. The floor is covered in sticky black anti corrosion material. This sticky stuff has to be removed in order for the welder to be able to weld. The lower section comes off better than inside the spare wheel well. The curves are more friendly to allow access for the steel brush. The morning is gone. I made some excellent progress on the valance and cleaned the spare wheel well on the outside. This afternoon my dad will help me out again. My dad will finish the right door frame and I will work on the holes in service area from the engine bay area and the passenger compartment. The right door frame is clean relatively swiftly. Also the service area is cleaned quite quick. The only problem I had is that the drill got entangled in all the wires which are hanging around, .... whoops.... The car is now moved to the other side of the garage so the left door can be opened completely to start the work on this door frame. I will tackle the boot and remove more paint near the rectangular holes and start on the window frame inside. The door frame is moving on steadily but there's still a lot of work to do. The same applies to the boot window frame. Tomorrow will be another day.

The dust from paint & filler removal is abundant, the stuff turns up everywhere, even in my ears ;-)


Front valance good progress on the filler removal.


Spare wheel well cleaned from underneath near the holes.


Holes in service area near water bag, paint removed.


Same holes seen from passenger compartment, also paint removed.


Boot near rectangular hole and cleaned, window frame started.


LH door B-pillar and door frame quite clean.

End result of today. Removed paint, filler and corrosion protection material.

June 5th 2010: Another sunny day which I will spend in the garage trying to strip the car from its paint and filler layer(s) ;-) I will start with the left & right hand corner sections of the valance. I keep the paint remover on for about 20 minutes in the hope to get the filler off smoothly. The filler comes off but not as quickly as I want it to. After working on the LH & RH corners for 2 hours I decide to move on to a different area to keep my spirit up. It's quite frustrating to work for hours and see almost no result. The window frame of the boot is the next target. With the drill and the steel brush the window frame is moving on however it's not 100% clean. Underneath the boot handle a very thick layer of filler needs to be removed. I will take off the boot handle to allow easy access to this section and see the condition underneath. The rivets can be drilled out easily. Now the reason of the thick layer of filler is starting to surface. Most probably the welder has to replace a section here as well. The final item to tackle today is the boot inside. Due to the fact that there are no thick layers of filler the paint remover is doing its job well. At 22:00 I call it a day. A long day has ended with an acceptable result.

Inside of boot applied paint remover, some bubbles appearing.


Boot handle section which needs some serious cleaning.


Boot handle removed, thick layer of filler remains.


Boot internal paint removal result of day shift.


End result of day shift.


June 6th 2010: Today is the last day of 4 days in a row I'm able to work on the paint removal. I hope I will make significant progress. My brother will help me today in the morning. It's rather unique to see my brother on Sunday morning at this hour. Normally he would be enjoying his well deserved sleep, but today he decided to get up early and help me out. He will work on the LH door frame. During the activity of cleaning the LH door frame my brother notices the LH rear tyre has a very severe crack. I've never seen such a phenomenon. It must be due to the fact that the vehicle has been standing still for more than 10 years now. Strange that the others tires don't show a similar damage. A small task is to clear all remaining foam from the inside of the A- & B-pillars. The foam comes off quite quickly. The progress today was not extremely convincing but at least again progress was made.

Huge crack in the LH rear tyre.


Excellent result by my brother, clean LH door frame.


The front valance remains a tough section to clean.


The dust is everywhere, I don't want to see any dust anymore.


Section above RH rear light cleaned.

End result of the day. Not too  much but door frame became quite clean.

June 8th 2010: My dad is so kind to proceed during my absence whilst working in Germany. The left hand rear wheel arch at the end sections and cleaning the car on the outside and inside is the task he will do. The car is extremely dusty and dirty due to all the work done on the paint removal. Firstly the car is swept with a small broom then a vacuum cleaner is used to suck up the enormous amounts of dust and debris. The next action is to wipe the car clean with a damp cloth and then dry it thoroughly.

Wheel arch cleaned in section to be repaired.

Cleaned dust free vehicle on in- and outside.

June 11th 2010: After returning from my work in Germany there's little time to do something. I can only admire the work done by my dad on June 8th. The rear wheel arches are cleaned nicely and the vehicle looks clean from the outside and inside. For confirmation purpose I want to check the part number of the parafan. The part looks to be the correct one and all Suds (except the Sprint) have the same parafan so theoretically it should be okay. My Giardinetta part book however specifies a different part number than the one I can find on the actual part itself. The actual spare part is from 1990 when Alfa Romeo was a part of the FIAT company so that hopefully explains the difference. I put the parafan in the car together with my dad. The only way this big part can get in with it's huge box is through the front window. Even though the body is not completely bare the progress made with the help of my dad in the last month is good. 1 Night sleep and then my Italian beauty will move to a craftsman to start the next stage of the restoration process.

Part number in part catalogue; 700272.


Part number on actual part; 00965868290000, doesn't match with part catalogue number.


Even though the part number doesn't match it should be okay.


June 12th 2010: Today is the big today, my car will be shipped to the welder. Unfortunately I forgot to fix the front wings yesterday evening so I will have to do that today with some bolts. Due to the fact I don't have a drivers license for a trailer my former neighbour will drive. He will spend his Saturday helping me out. We leave early in the morning because the welder is approximately 100km away and the trailer has to be returned to the rental company by 5 P.M. The fenders are fastened relatively quickly. Getting the empty car on the trailer is also no problem. The KIA Sorento towing vehicle has sufficient power as well so all boundary conditions are fulfilled. The weather is also co-operating, it's nice and sunny, no rain cloud to see. It takes a little over an hour to reach the destination. After putting the Giardinetta in the work shop I walk around the vehicle with the welder to go through the items which require his craftsmanship. Thanks a lot Toon for helping me out with the transportation! Without his help the move wouldn't have been possible. It's kind of a strange feeling now. I'm happy an important next stage is in the project is about to begin but the empty garage back home is a strange sight to see.

Giardinnetta on trailer behind KIA Sorento, ready for take off.


Giardinetta on highway seen from inside of KIA Sorento.


Arrived at the destination.


My Giardinetta next to an Alfa family member, a GTV6.


Empty trailer returned to the rental company.

Return in the garage. It's a strange sight to see only a few parts instead of a car.

June 23rd 2010: Today an E-Bay Italy auction ended for a brand new and boxed reversing light. I won it!!!! Including the shipment costs it's not really cheap, but this was a part I was searching for for a long time. Both my own vehicle and the donor vehicle I owned before didn't have the reversing light. This was the first time for me to ever see one on E-Bay. I've been searching for more than one and a half years and basically almost gave up hope, but now I've got a brand new one. This makes me very happy. I can't wait for the part to arrive. Additionally today a package arrived at the hotel where I'm staying during the week in Germany. If it's correct a complete ARB system and 2 dashboard airflow hoses and 2 trackrod seal rubbers are inside. Since I don't know how dirty these parts are I'll unpack them at home on Friday.  To make the party complete I received the message that the handmade jacking points for my Giardinetta are ready. I came in contact with a member of the Dutch Alfa Romeo club who can make these jacking points by hand. Since these jacking points are not available anymore this is the only way to get some. At least 1 of the jacking points on my Giardinetta has been replaced by a simple tube. These handmade parts give me the opportunity to bring this part of my vehicle also back into its original condition. All in all a fruitful day today.

Brand new reversing light won on E-Bay Italy, what a pleasant surprise.

Handmade jacking points by Dutch Alfa club member.

June 25th 2010: Time to unpack the parts I received in Germany. Also a part arrived which I won on the Dutch auction site "Marktplaats". It's a gauge cluster of the type without revolution counter. This is the gauge cluster that originally belongs in all Giardinetta's. Whether I will put this one in or one with a revolution counter I haven't decided yet, but at least now I have the option to make it original. The part is quite dusty & dirty due to very long storage.

Box of Alfasud parts arrived at its final destination.


Box of Alfasud parts, complete ARB system, dashboard airflow hoses, etcetera.


Box with dashboard gauges well packed.

Dashboard gauges with multi-functional display on RH side instead of rev. counter.

June 26th 2010: On this very hot day my dad will help me out again. I will start organising all the parts which are lying around on the garage floor and the attic. It's currently impossible to get onto the attic due to the amount of parts on the floor. The target is to conveniently organise all these parts to enable to find them easily when required and distinguish the parts coming from my car and the donor vehicle. A few hours of cleaning very dirty parts and getting parts down from the attic results in the fact that it's now almost possible to actually get on the attic again. Hopefully I will be able to continue tomorrow. During today's activities I realised that the gauges I received this week are English ones with MPH indication instead of the desired KMH. In small print the KMH indication is available, but it's inconvenient to read. Now that I come to think about it the seller clearly stated that the gauges were coming from an English vehicle. I just forgot about it, how stupid .......

Chaos on the attic. Impossible to get onto the attic in this condition.


Some parts from the attic ready for cleaning and organising.


Parts cleaned and organised, ready for the next load of parts from the attic.

Damned, English gauge with indication in MPH and in small print KMH.

June 27th 2010: Another day of cleaning and organising the available parts. Due to the crazy temperature of more then 30 degrees Celsius I won't work too long. After cleaning some parts I call it a day, it's too hot to really make some significant progress. I guess this was it for the month of June.

Dirt removed from donor ARB system and steering gear.