November 2011 Continued welding


November 5th: The welder is quite busy with all kinds of projects, I guess that's the price you have to pay when you delivery such good quality work. Luckily for me the Giardinetta will have some work done in the upcoming days. When I visited the welder in August I discussed with him about the tow bar holes which are in the floor of the car. Of course these holes have to be closed because they are not original and because in the current state water can run into the chassis beams. Unfortunately my explanation to the welder was not clear. The 4 holes underneath (M10 or M12 holes can't remember) the car should be closed. The 2 larger holes in the luggage compartment are original and therefore have to remain. Due to my poor explanation the 2 holes in the luggage compartment were closed.

Original holes in luggage compartment on lh & rh side.

Original holes in luggage compartment welded shut due to my poor explanation.

My Giardinetta has no towing eye on the spare wheel well. Either it was torn away during its life as a service vehicle at some point in time or it was removed to make way for the after market towing bar which was assembled to the car in its service vehicle existence. Anyway the towing eye has to be put back on the spare wheel well. Luckily the welding received a 1994 Alfa 33 SportWagon a few months ago for another job he was working on. The towing eye geometry between any Alfasud from the start of its production in 1972 and the Alfa 33 till the end of its production in 1994 are the same. After grinding away the body coating some rust damage surfaces. 1994 is of course already 17 years ago in the mean time so it can't be expected that the part is perfect. Repairing the small rust damage on this towing eye is at least a lot faster then creating a new one from scratch. The repairs are swiftly implemented and the end result is a healthy towing eye. With some welds the towing eye is attached to the spare wheel well. Another item to strike out from the many things to do. Nice to see this section back in its original condition.

Donor towing eye from a 1994 Alfa 33 SportWagon.


After removing underbody coating rust hole appears on lh side.


Acceptable rust damage after 17 years?

Rust damage repaired results into healthy geometry.


Towing eye welded to spare wheel well.


During the visit to the welder in August he pointed out a section that hadn't caught my eye before. The left hand rear inner wheel well has an extremely strange repair welded section near the shock absorber attachment. Sometimes there seems to be no end to the "surprises". This is completely unacceptable even though in the end it will not be visible because it will be covered by interior trim. I'm grateful the welder pointed this out to me. I currently can't imagine how I couldn't have seen this before. Luckily the welder is a picky person and he doesn't hide any issues. It's pretty frustrating to find such items, but if they won't be repaired now I am very sure I will regret it in the future. If you look at the pictures below I'm sure you will understand the feeling.

No other way then to cut out the strangely repaired section and make new sections in line with the original geometry which luckily remains on the rh side. A big hole is left after cutting out the sick part.

Right hand side rear damper dome in original condition.


Left hand side rear damper dome, very strange geometry.


Strangely repaired section cut out.


November 7th: Today the recovery work on the shock absorber dome will continue. With the correct geometry on the rh side it's more or less a piece of cake for craftsman like "the surgeon" to recreate the original geometry on the lh side. Of course it's easier said (written) then done. The eye for detail of the welder is something I'm very happy with. He doesn't like quick jobs and puts the geometry back into original condition like it is supposed to be. I guess his life would be much easier if he didn't care that much, but it is in his nature to do a good job. Luckily for me!!! The rear end of the shock absorber dome is back in its original condition as can be seen in the pictures below.

Rear end of lh rear shock absorber dome back in original condition.

Rear end of lh rear shock absorber dome back in original condition.

November 8th: Today the front end of the shock absorber dome will be restored. Looking at the pictures below make it look easy, but it's definitely a time consuming task. The geometry on the left hand side and the right hand side are now the same. Again a very neat job done by "the surgeon". As always after repairing this section it is treated with the well known orange coloured anti-corrosive coating.

Very nicely repaired left hand shock absorber dome.


What a difference between the geometry taken out and the restored geometry.


Beautifully repaired section treated with anti corrosive coating.


The repaired towing eye which was welded to the spare wheel well on November will be 5th will be finished. Excessive welds are grinded down and as a finishing touch the towing will be treated with anti corrosive coating. This geometry is back in its original condition which is very nice. It is not the intention to ever use this towing eye, but it should be in the condition it was designed by Alfa Romeo engineers a long time ago.

Towing eye excessive weld seams grinded down.

Towing eye treated with anti-corrosive coating.

Another item to fix are the holes in the chassis beams which were added to fasten the towing bar. I will not use a towing bar and therefore these holes should be closed. Leaving these holes open will be asking for trouble because water can enter the chassis beams very easily. 2 holes in the beam on the right hand side and 2 on the left hand side. Such repairs are of course child's play. Swiftly the holes are closed and of course treated with anti-corrosive coating.

Holes in the right hand chassis beam for attachment of a towing bar.

Holes in the right hand chassis beam closed & treated with anti-corrosive coating

Another small but necessary task is to close the holes in the ledge for the trunk rubber. These holes have been made in the past for rivets to fasten a rail which held a cover over the luggage compartment. On the left hand side there are 2 rivet holes and these are also available on the right hand side. Basically the repair activities consist out of filling the holes with weld material and then grinding away the excess weld material to create a smooth surface.

Rivet holes in ledge for trunk rubber.

Rivet holes in ledge for trunk rubber filled with weld material.


As a last task for today the rear section above the right hand sill will be progressed. A few months ago a start was made but the other activities/projects of the welder came in between and the work stopped. As can be seen in the picture below the geometry of this section is very far from its original geometry. Cleaning the section and removing some rather weird pieces of material show a tidy geometry. These actions conclude it for today.

Very messy and strange geometry on top of right hand rear sill.

Very tidy section after thorough cleaning and restoring operation.

November 9th: The bare and clean section above the right hand sill will be treated with anti-corrosive coating to protect the nicely restored geometry sufficiently. Now this portion is ready for the next activities.

Repaired right hand section above sill treated with anti-corrosive coating.

November 10th: The section above the right hand side rear sill will be brought back into its original condition today including the important seam above the sill. The left hand side has already been repaired a few months ago with a good result so the right hand side will work out fine as well I assume. This work is very difficult. Recreating the seam above the sill is a job that requires true excellence. No problem for "the surgeon". As shown in the pictures the repair work is of exquisite quality. It makes me very happy to see the original geometry coming back to life. Thanks to the welder for his high level of work and commitment. Due to the fact that the welder has a very good reputation he has to continue work on another project so the welding activities for the month of November are finished.

Seam above sill back in original condition, excellent work.

End result of section above right hand sill after a lot of hard work.