M​y Alfa Life : Winter Works

N​ot quite the finish to the year I was expecting for my Alfa Romeo 916 Spider

T​his year was quite a busy one for my Alfa Spider. With the sun shining I used it as my daily for most of the summer months and it culminated in its first European road trip back to the factory that built it (https://drivetribe.com/p/alfa-spider-road-trip-KUoz2LLsRVO-Bo9MkQo3Sw). Unforunately it seems that the good luck and running couldn't last. Whilst driving to the office on one of the few sunny autumn days I noticed this in the passenger footwell.

A​t first I thought that it was just leakage in from when I'd cleaned and treated the roof. However the engine started to sputter a bit and was running really rough. Looking into this it became clear that the liquid was coolant that had come from the heater matrix.

G​etting the rest of the engine checked over revealed a slight oil leak from near the oil cooler and another coolant leak from one of the manifold bolts. Combined with misfire on one of the cylinders when cold, which could be a gasket issue or a crack in the head, things were starting to add up. The big question was whether it was worth repairing or selling for spares and picking up another one.

G​even the rare colour combo and the adventures I'd had in the car I decided to look at the options for repair.

I​nvestigating the engine issue could take time and potentially require a replacement head, or engine. Given that a secondhand engine could be found for less than the cost of investigating, and the engine had already been replaced once, I decided to go for that option.

T​he exhaust manifold had previously been welded and, as that was where one of the leaks was coming from, I've decided to pick up a replacement for that as well. Then there was the faulty heater matrix that needed changing. These parts came in at under £400 so much less than the labour needed to find the fault.

I​ don't know whether the clutch is still the original or not so, whilst the engine is out, it seemed sensible to change the clutch as well. This would be free labour option as the old clutch would be being re-fitted anyway so I might as well have a new one in its place.

A​t this stage all of this work is booked in for January and the parts needed for the work are on order.

O​nce things are mechanically sound again I've a couple more fixes to do myself. The first is to replace the nearside clamshell cable. The current one is worn and won't stay in the fixings which is causing the hood to jam. I've got a new cable so will fit that.

T​he second is to fit this replica Zender pedal set.

N​othing that will do anything for the performance of the car except they look and feel good.

A​fter this I'll look at re-booking the car in to get the air-conditioning looked at. This was planned until the issue with the engine and put on hold. I may also get the wheels refreshed as they are showing a bit of wear and tear and it would be good to have them looking their best by the summer.

I​'ll update again once the Spider is running with further plans.

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