May 2014 - Status check & continued door welding

 
     

2-May-2014: The additional box of Alfasud old stock parts I almost forgot about will be unpacked today to have a closer look at the contents. The cylinder head is the biggest part and the easiest one to recognise. Whilst unpacking I realise that the majority of parts don't ring a bell. Quite some engine parts are included such as inlet valves, outlet valves, valve springs, valve cups (including the ingenious internal hexagonal adjustment feature), a timing belt tensioner, 2 pulleys and some parts of which I don't know the function at this moment. Besides the cylinder head there's also a cam shaft housing in the box. About 10 hinges which appear to me as bonnet hinges are also available. When comparing these hinges to the ones on my car's bonnet hinges the lower half connected to the body is the same, the upper half connected to the body is significantly different. Since the bonnet on my car was an aftermarket bonnet it's hard to say whether these brand new hinges are the appropriate ones for the Alfasud. 2 Bumper brackets, 2 meshes for the air filter, 2 headlight body frames, a steering wheel adjustment knob including bolt, some unknown hinges, 2 door loops, some door lever shells, an unknown fan & fan housing and a couple of boot handles. Also 2 fuel filler covers are included. From size point of view they look similar to a Sud so I try them for size at my car. The size and the hinge hole pitch are same with my vehicle, but The awkward thing is that there is no feature to enable opening of the cover. This seems odd to me so I start the search for the original fuel filler cover of my car. The one I have with car has a feature to put your finger to open the cover. The 2 brand new covers both show an Alfa Romeo tag with part numbers so they must be original parts, I just have no clue for which vehicle.

Contents of box unpacked. Some parts useful and several unidentified ones.

Besides the unpacking of the parts to review the contents it's about time to do a status check once more to ensure items to do are not overlooked.

Summary of known missing parts for my project:

That list is long enough, but probably some items will be added along the way when progress is made in the restoration. Besides trying to find the missing parts there are still many things to do before the car can possibly go to the paint shop. The following items come to my mind:

Besides the long list of missing parts also the list of items to do is still extensive. I guess I won't be ready within a few months.

3-May-2014: Another day so it's good to run through the items yesterday to check whether I didn't forget something. Anyway I have to find some sort of "system" to thoroughly check every single detail to avoid forgetting items which may cause trouble after painting. When the car is painted of course I would like to have a straight forward assembly and not make changes to the car at that stage because I forgot something. I don't have any dreams that the painting will happen anytime soon, but in general I want to ensure as much as possible that no changes have to made after painting. Another review today results (unfortunately) in some additional items.

Alfasud 1st & 2nd series rear window heater switch.

Alfasud 3rd series rear window heater switch.

Giardinetta parts book confirming image on button.

When holding the bonnet stick in the approximate appropriate position I realised this stick needs to be held in place somehow. The bonnet of my vehicle doesn't have a feature for that function. That could be related to the fact the bonnet is an aftermarket part. Luckily for me I still have a genuine bonnet as stock so I hope this part can show me how it should be. The spare bonnet I have shows a plastic feature clicked in position to enable locking the stick, I will take this particular small plastic part from the spare bonnet and assembly it my bonnet. I also make a trial fit for the wheel wrench to the firewall. The available space seems quite tight so that's something I have to study in detail.

The parking brake lever cover assembled in my car at the moment is made out of rubber. All Giardinetta's (tipo 904A & 904B) had a firm plastic cover, the rubber cover was valid from the third series Alfasud so I will replace the rubber part with the appropriate plastic part. Whilst replacing the rubber part with the plastic part I found out the the length of the plastic cap is significantly longer that the assembly feature in my car's chassis, additionally the width of the plastic cover is quite something smaller than the assembly feature currently in the car. I suppose the assembly feature for the cover is different for 1st & 2nd series and the 3rd series vehicles?

By accident I also found out that the boot release cable lever assembled in my car is different from the one I have lying around from the donor Giardinetta. Now that I'm looking in more detail the shape of the release lever in my car resembles the one which I had in my first car which was a 1988 Alfa 33 1.5 TI. The lever from the donor looks more period correct, my assumption is that the lever from the donor Giardinetta is the correct geometry and the one assembled in my car is either from a third series Alfasud or from an Alfa 33. This is a completely unexpected item to add to the "to do" list which was found merely by coincidence. I suppose such items will pop up again and again, I really have to ensure everything is reviewed in detail to avoid nasty surprises.

In April 2014 the only Giardinetta in the USA was offered for sale on E-Bay (VIN AS*5001643*904B). The kind gentleman, co founder of the international Giulia Super registry in the eighties, who bought it has contacted through the contact form and ever since has been asking several questions. The interesting thing is that he is asking questions I so far have not considered. For example whether there are differences between the headliner design between the tipo 904A & 904B and whether the stick to hold the bonnet upright is supposed to be in the vehicle colour or any other colour. It's refreshing to receive some questions which I haven't thought of yet. They help me to fix details on my own vehicle.

12-May-2014: After a short break the welder continues with the doors. I guess the quality of the welder's activities has lead to the fact that he's a popular guy amongst the Alfa club members and that automatically means a waiting list appears. Since my project is not in a hurry other projects are pulled in advance which is logical.

This time the right hand door will be checked for the infamous rust devil and repaired where required. The most notorious spots are of course the front and rear lower corners of the doors and unfortunately the doors of my car are no exception to this rule. Luckily the capable hands of the "Chirurg" will bring the door back into the original shape. Since pictures say more than a thousand words the pictures below show the repair activities executed.

Rear end of rh-door, rust affected material cut out.

 

Rear end of rh-door, repair piece trial fit.

 

Front end of rh-door, rust affected material cut out.

 

Front end of rh-door, repair piece trial fit.

 

Front end of rh-door, repair piece trial fit. Perfect copy of original geometry.

 

Front end of rh-door, repair piece tack welded in position.

 

Front end of rh-door, welded section finished, nice flush surface.

 

Rh-door, rearview mirror holes in too low position (3rd series Alfasud).

 

Rh-door, rearview mirror holes in too low position welded shut.

 

Rh-door, very odd balancing weight, function unknown.

 

Rh-door, rust affected material and balancing weight removed.

 

Rh-door, repair piece trial fit.

 

Rh-door, repair piece welded in position and excess weld material removed.

 

Rh-door, section finished and treated with coroles anti-corrosive coating.

 

Rh-door, rear bottom section finished and treated with coroles anti-corrosive coating.

 

24-May-2014: During a review of the Giardinetta supplement to the instruction manual I found out that the boot release lever in my car is not the correct one. The geometry of the lever in my car is from an Alfa 33 or possibly the third series Alfasud, but anyway not appropriate for my car, so it needs to be replaced. The supplement clearly shows the geometry as it was in the donor Giardinetta so the one in my car has to be replaced. I'm happy I find out these items at this point in time and not later in the project. Since I'm trying to get close to the original specification such small details are important.

Rear hatch release lever, geometry of lever in my car doesn't seem original.

Page from Giardinetta supplement confirming appropriate rear hatch lever geometry.

25-May-2014: Since the parking brake cover is not fitting I'll try to find out the reason why. A few years I purchased a parking brake cover coming from a 4-door Alfasud on E-Bay Germany so I'll compare it with the one assembled in my car and hope to find some differences which explain the fact I can't assemble the cover. I found a difference which might be the reason of the inability to assemble the cover. The lever in my car has a base plate which the one I purchased on E-Bay doesn't have. I also compare it to the lever of the donor Giardinetta I owned. Both my own Giardinetta and the donor Giardinetta have a base plate which the one I won on E-Bay doesn't have. The 4-door Alfasud lever has 2 protrusions which fit exactly to the cover so most probably both my car and the donor had a 3rd series Sud lever and the one I won E-Bay a few years ago is the correct one. When looking in the Giardinetta parts book the drawing indeed looks more similar to the one I won on E-Bay. I wouldn't have guessed that the lever was different between 1st & 2nd series Sud's and the 3rd series Suds, I thought only the plastic cover was changed into a rubber cover. It's fun to find out these things, but I do hope I will be able to find out everything before the car will go to the paint shop.

Parking brake lever of 1st series Alfasud Berlina with 2 protrusions at the end.

 

1st series plastic parking brake lever cover doesn't fit to my vehicle.

 

Parking brake lever of 1st series Alfasud Berlina, base plate significantly different.

Parts manual showing same/similar base plate as the Alfasud Berlina one.

Today an auction on E-Bay Germany ends which caught my eye. It's the 1st series Sud toolkit including the plastic box. The lever for the spark plug wrench is missing, but the box is in good condition although somewhat dirty. Anyway it's no a toolkit I will use, but it will make my car more complete. This toolkit was supposed to be installed in my Giardinetta so if I win it, it will be a nice addition to make the car more "original". Luckily for me the price remains at the opening bid and I won it. Now it's just waiting for the set to arrive.

First series Alfasud toolkit on E-Bay Germany in pretty good condition.

First series Alfasud toolkit on E-Bay Germany, spark plug wrench lever is missing.