December 2014 Some small progress


7-December-2014: Today I want to make a start with preparation for the engine removal, lets see if some progress can be made. Due to the outside temperature of 5 degrees the climate in the garage is far from tropical. Luckily the overall and protective gloves help a bit to keep warm to a certain extent. I want to start with draining the cooling system and taking the radiator out to create some additional room. First I need a bucket or something else to put the cooling fluid into. After a 20 minutes search for anything suitable I give up and put it on the list of items to buy. Since this item is not possible to proceed I will look for something else to do to ensure at least something is done.

All the electric wiring needs to be removed so I'll have a look if I can make a start there. The ignition coil with cooling ribs will be my first victim. It is bolted through the inner wing with 2 10mm bolt head / nut bolts. Even though this configuration can lead to some difficulty the disassembly proceeds fairly easy. Now that th coil is out 2 rectangular holes appear in the inner wing. Most probably that's not original and those holes will be closed, but that's something to deal with at a later point in time. The next target is the release of the junction box. I suppose there are a lot of wires in the "tree" that aren't supposed to be there, This thick "tree" makes the movement of the housing rather restricted. With some struggling I'm able to get it out of the bracket/guide, but I wonder how to get it back in at some point in time. Getting it in is potentially worse? Now the wiring at the steering column will be removed where possible. The big plugs can be removed rather easily. The amount of wires is pretty rediculous. A lot of auxiliary items were once fitted to this vehicle, I suppose that when this wiring loom is cleaned up only 60% of the current wires remain. As a final item for today I will try to get the heater out. It is connected to the firewall with 6 M6 thread nuts fitted to thread ends. 2 of these ends contain earth wires which most probably are not original. The nuts can be removed quickly but the heater is making almost no movement. It looks like it is fitted with a lot of kit. Since I don't want to break anything I will leave this item for another time.

Ignition coil bolted to left hand inner wing.


Ignition coil bolted to left hand inner wing, nuts on inner side.


Ignition coil removed, rectangular mounting holes appearing.


Fusebox removed from its bracket with quite some effort.

Bundle of wires at steering column.


10-December-2014: It has been quite some time ago since I worked on the car on a weekday. Usually only the weekends are used, but in order to make some progress I will do some small stuff today. The misses got me a very cheap bucket from store called "Action" for 1,09 Euro. The bucket size is probably sufficient to drain the cooling system. In order to show my appreciation to her for buying me the bucket I will use it today. In order to drain the system except the fluid on the engine I will remove the lower hose from the radiator. As can be expected after such a long time of no use (1999 this car was taken off the road) the clamps on these tubes became inflexible and the tube hardened which makes the removal a bit more work than usual. In order to enable the bucket to be positioned under the car it needs to be jacked up slightly. After some struggling the hose is removed and the cooling fluid starts poring down from the radiator. Unfortunately the fluid first bumps into the front crossmember and that results in a somewhat uncontrolled drainage. This means that a small amount of cooling fluid falls outside of the bucket, luckily the amount is quite small. Next up for removal is the top hose of the radiator, also this hose is rather inflexible and difficult to get off. With some effort and sweat it is off. The expansion tank (is this English?) of the cooling system is screwed onto the left hand inner wing with 3 parkers and therewith removed swiftly, also the thin hoses attached to this tank can be removed relatively easy. The final task for today is to remove the radiator which will gain some space for the intended engine removal. The radiator is jacked into 2 rubber seats in the body and 1 bolt head size 13 bolt on top. The bolt removal is smooth and quick for a change, the radiator removal itself is a bit more work due to the relatively tight fight in the rubber seats but also this task is done swiftly. As a next step the intent was to remove the air filter housing but unfortunately the left hand side clamp doesn't cooperate so I'll leave that particular task for the next time. That's it for this weekday, although the progress is very small it feels good to make some of these tiny steps on a more frequent base, hopefully this kind of pace can be kept up.

Lower radiator hose released.


Upper radiator hose released.


Radiator removed from body.

Radiator & expansion tank disassembled.

29-December-2014: After an unintended pause in the project today an attempt will be made to achieve some progress. Based on the discussion held with the welder my intent is to get the engine out before the end of this year, potentially a tough target but lets see. The heating system removal which was already started a few weeks ago will be a matter for today. The garage I'm working in doesn't have any heating so the temperature is pretty low with the outside temperature being around 2 degrees Celsius. The coolant hoses coming from the engine to the heater unit are released easily, but the actual removal from the heater unit is a bit less easy. With some struggling I manage to get these hoses off the plastic connectors of the heating system. With these hoses removed there is still no movement in the heater unit. I check the inside of the vehicle where all nuts have been removed connecting the heating unit to the firewall. I see some black kit at some of these thread studs. Potentially the heater unit has been kitted to the firewall to avoid leakage?? I remove some of the kit and there is still no movement. I don't want to spend an irrational amount of time on this matter and decide to continue with something else. For the engine removal of course the accelerator cable has to be removed so that is the next thing to do. The end of the cable is equipped with a round geometry ball which avoids the cable from coming out during normal usage, by moving the cable with the ball end towards the inside of the vehicle the cable is removed. The connection of this cable to the firewall is also removed and now the cable with cover can be pulled towards the engine bay.

Cooling fluid hoses released from plastic heater box.


Air filter box removed by destroying clamp on left hand side.


Accelerator cable connected to pedal with ball feature.

Accelerator cable removed from pedal.

The air filter box which was not co-operating the previous time during the attempt to remove it is continued. I sprayed some WD40 on the non moving screw but even that results is no effect, the only way is to force the clamp by levering it a bit with a screw driver. The rubbers around the air filter are in need of replacement. In the future I will have to find replacement parts for these rubbers, but that's a matter I won't worry too much about at this point in time. Next up are the wheels. For the engine removal it's mandatory to remove the subframe and in order to reach that properly I will remove the wheels. Easier said then done, because some of the bolts seem to be tightened very hard. I don't have any power tool so the only chance I have is to use leg power on the tool that comes with the car for wheel disassembly. All bolts come loose with the exception of one on the left hand and one on the right hand side. I spray these non co-operative bolts with WD40 and take a break to let the WD40 soak for a short while. After a 15 minute break I continue and guess what ................... with a lot of effort the 2 bolts are coming loose. This WD40 stuff is truly a magical invention ;-)  Before removing the wheels I jack up the car and put it on stands which rest on the front jack points. To be able to disassemble the front subframe the stabiliser has to be removed. The connection to the front arms is with a clamp that is fastened with 2 nuts. These can be removed quickly. The status of the rubbers inside the clamps is abominable so these also have to be replaced, another thing to add to the list. The connection of the stabiliser to the front subframe is with one 13mm bolt and a big bolt that connects the subframe to the body. The small bolts I remove today and the big ones I don't know yet.

Support in position to enable wheel removal.


Wheel removed.


Unsuccessful attempt to remove horn from left inner wing.

Stabiliser clamp removed from front suspension arm.

Of course the exhaust also has to be removed to enable engine disassembly so that's the next target. Exhaust nuts tend to be extremely stuck due to the very high temperatures these fasteners get whilst using. To be pro-active I spray these nuts with WD40 and in the mean time I will remove the horn from the left hand inner wing to let the WD40 soak for a bit. The release of the nut of the horn is easy, unfortunately the thread stud connected to the horn itself starts turning and therewith ends this operation. I may have to saw the threaded end off, but I'll look into that another day. Surprisingly the 4 nuts of the exhaust I can reach turn relatively easily. I would have expected more difficulties, but you won't hear me complaining. The other 4 nuts are hard to reach in the current position so I have to find a way how to reach them. That's it for today, not a whole lot of progress, but all bits count.


30 December 2014: Today I continue with the disassembly of the exhaust. The manifold section is connected to the cylinder head with 8 nuts. 6 of these 8 nuts can be reached with a normal wrench. Luckily for me these nuts come loose quickly. The 2 remaining nuts on the inside towards the firewall don't enable to use a "normal" wrench with which you can apply some torque to loosen them. The only way I can think of is to use an open wrench size 13mm. I was always taught that one shouldn't use open wrenches to loosen connections which require quite some torque because the chance on this wrench slipping and therewith damaging the nut is not small. Even though I think this is the only way and decide to do it that way. With some struggling I manage to get them all loose and now the only connection to the car remaining are the 2 rubber connections just in front of the fuel tank. As always with exhausts these rubbers don't co-operate. The rubber on the driver side appears very brittle so I can also cut it, but basically I want to have all parts as much as possible in one piece as reference for potential replacement parts. In order to get more room for the disassembly I will jack-up the rear end and put the same supports under the front jacking points. Since I will use the jacking points the only way to lift the car is to put the jack under the rear axle. Now I have more room to get under the car and release the 2 exhaust rubbers.  The final muffler was already removed in a previous project stage when the welder repaired the bracket for the exhaust hanger (April 2011). After some fighting with the rubbers they finally come loose. The driver side one is in pretty bad shape and definitely needs replacement, the passenger side is in quite good condition and will most probably be re-used in the future. As a next item I will target the fuel system. Firstly disassemble the fuel filler pipe with its appliances and if time allows then remove the fuel tank. The strange thing whilst looking at the fuel filler connection to the body is that it consists out of 2 bolts (size 13mm) and 1 screw (size 10mm). I would have expected 3 connections of the same size. These connections are removed easily. Next up is the rubber curved hose which is at the end of the metal filler pipe and connects the pipe to the fuel tank. This rubber is hose is connected with 2 clamps. After releasing these clamps there is no movement in the filler pipe. When looking at the connection to body in more detail it is visible that there's quite some kit there, potentially this kit is obstructing the movement? Since it's getting dark I will call it a day for today.

Poor access to inboard nuts of exhaust at cylinder head.


All nuts removed from cylinder head.


Front end of exhaust released from cylinder head.


Jacking up rear end of car to enable removal of exhaust.


The remaining connection of the exhaust.


Exhaust removed after some struggling.

Fuel filler connection to body, 2 bolts & 1 screw.


Fuel filler connection to body, 2 bolts, 1 screw & cap removed.

Fuel filler lower end, clamps removed but no movement.


Whilst searching the Internet for information on Suds I found a topic on a UK forum with a gentleman who is restoring his 1976 Alfasud Ti. He had his doors chemically stripped completely from paint and any other medium. Since his doors are original they are a good benchmark for me to check how much my 3rd series doors have to change to be compliant to the first series door cards if I shouldb ever find any. The differences are small, but unfortunately more than I wished for. Luckily it seems that the plastic clip holes for the 3rd series door cards are no obstruction to have 1st series cards assembled. The plastic clips are positioned more inboard. Closing these plastic clip holes and adjusting other detailed differences I may add to the list of items for the welder to do in 2015, still have to think about that, anyway the small holes for the screws of the 1st series door cards have to be added. The 1 difference that definitely has to be changed to my own doors is the addition of the weld nut for the door loom. The 3rd series Sud doors don't have such a weld nut because the loom was only applicable to the 1st and 2nd series

Cleansed Alfasud TI door from UK gentleman "vecchioalfa" showing proper geometry of door for 1st series.

My own 3rd series door assembled to my Giardinetta, several differences to the appropriate 1st series geometry.

31 December 2014: Some progress on the engine wiring & preparation of the gearbox removal is the target . The only preparation for the gearbox which can be done is removing the gear know and the bolts for the tailpiece and removal of the back-up light sensor. The 2 bolts with which the tailpiece end is connected to the body can be removed easily with a wrench size 13. The back-up light sensor is connected with 2 plugs. These plugs are removed quickly as well. That's it for the gearbox preparation, the only thing remaining is the removal of the speedometer cable, but for that one I need to find out first how to do it, so that will come at a later point. Next up is an attempt to remove all electrical wiring from the engine. The alternator and the starter engine are most obvious items to work on. The starter engine is the easiest one with just some plugs which can be pulled off. 1 cable near the alternator is not connected to anything, I reckon this is not supposed to be that way, but since I don't have any information at this moment it will have to be looked into detail upon in the future. The starter engine has a few plugs which can be pulled off but also a thick ground cable that runs from the starter engine to the firewall in the service area where it's connected with a M8 or M10 bolt. The connection to the starter engine is with a nut. 2 ground cables are connected and the nut needs to be released in order to enable disassembling the cable eyes. Again no spectacular progress, but if this daily small progress can be kept up for some time it adds up anyway. Another year has passed. 2015 must be the year of significant progress, my goal is to have the body ready for painting, lets see if that works out.

Gear lever knob which can be pulled off easily.

2 bolts connecting the gearbox tail piece to the body.


Back up light wires removed from sensor in gearbox.


Generator with 1 unknown loose cable .

Thick ground cable of starter engine connected by nut to gearbox.