25 year old Alfa 75 back from the brink (hopefully)

  1. Dcal

    Dcal Forum Supporter

    Antrim Northern Ireland
    So almost a year a go i bought a Alfa 75 with the intention of doing just enough to get it through the MOT and drive it for the summer. The plan was to then take it off the road and do another bit over the winter.

    It wasn't serious money, I've always had a notion for one of these and they don't often come up so I thought why not.
    Drove to Galway with a trailer for a look. It was pretty much as I expected and looked a lot worse in the flesh than in the add, but I handed over the cash and dragged it home.
    This isn't the first Italian project I've taken on (Ive a Delta Integral complete stripped out waiting for paint and a couple of Montecarlos on the long finger) but I wanted something I could get on the road with just a little effort.
    Good points - It's an Alfa 75, it starts and drives, it has refurbed "correct" wheels and new tires, it has reasonable miles and a fair bit of history, it's an LE with a nice recaro interior, body work is pretty straight, most of the trim is there and it isn't completely rotten everywhere.

    Bad points - Its not complete, there is rust in all the usual 75 places (and a few unusual), roof cloth has sagged (they all do), It has a K&N air filter, it has the correct 14 inch wheels, I suspect it hasn't been maintained regardless of cost for the last few years of its life and its quite a bit rotten in a lot of places.
    So first job after getting it home was to get all the nice plastic off it to see what we have
    IMG_1879.JPG IMG_1872.JPG


    8ob likes this.
  2. zx9

    zx9 Member

    South East London
    I often thought that a V6 Alfa 75 would be a fun car to own then they got to be clapped out rot boxes or over priced 'good' cars. The nearest I got was a test drive in a supposed good car, it very clearly had been well looked after by a previous owner but the last owner shall we say had not been so attentive, I did not just walk away, I ran away from that one.
    Wallace and slim_boy_fat like this.
  3. bricol Member

    N.Yorks, UK
    I hated changing the rear brake pads on mine . . . came out from underneath after doing it one year to discover there'd been an inch of snow . . . the 500W halogen lamp under there with me had kept me rather warm ;-)

    Check the prop rubbers - carefully! I was under mine trying to find the cause of a loud bang with my mum on the throttle - she's not driven for some 20 odd years, so her throttle control was rather binary . . . as the revs hit maximum, something flew past me head, bounced and flew out from under the car . . . centre rubber had broken up and a chunk had come flying past me!

    A car I learnt controllable oversteer with - often thought of having another. Just the thought of unobtainable spares puts me off.
    slim_boy_fat likes this.
  4. spencer 427

    spencer 427 Member

    uk colchester
    Awesome .I use to have a Alfa 75 v6 veloce.
    Great handling cars. Bad rot killed most of them.
  5. armalites Member

    When I was late teens my friends dad used to drive us to football in a Twin Spark Veloce. He would usually be having a bit of play with another friend's who had an XR4i and was also a bit of a boy :laughing:.
    slim_boy_fat and spencer 427 like this.
  6. Dcal

    Dcal Forum Supporter

    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Hi zx9, if I had any wit I would have run a mile but I have never been sensible, probably why I like cheap Italian cars.
    Bricol, looks like some of the drive shaft donuts have already been change, I'm certain one has as the steel banding that keeps it together to help with installing the bolts in is still on it! Must have been a master mechanic that fitted that. Also know what you mean about finding parts!
    Spenser, agree about the rot killing most. Just hope I don't give up before I have it all cut out and replaced and armalites hope the handling is worth it.

    I didn't go mad stripping everything out for a couple of reasons, I didn't want another pile of bits that I had to store and try to remember where they all go (and with the right sort of fastener) and if I knew how bad it was I would never start.
    So I picked a corner and got stuck in.

    Didn't look too bad, maybe a rub with a wire brush and some paint?
    Maybe not

    Nothing for it but to get the grinder and slitting disks out and start cutting back to something I can weld to
    Seems every thing that's got a hole in it also has some sort of pressing or relief, so I made templates of the pressed areas plasmaed out of 3mm scrap plate
    Clamped the template between a bit of body tin and a lump of 25mm steel plate and start tapping with a blunt cold chisel
    And weld it in.
    Turned out pretty well for a first attempt I thought, but don't zoom in too close. I'm sure I'll get a lot better at this before I have this back on the road.

    One down, who knows how many left to go.
    • IMG_1972.JPG
  7. Rob85 Member

    Northern Ireland
    Got a soft spot for Alfas myself, loved my 156 JTS..... Until a combination of a blown heater matrix flooding the whole drivers side and a horrendous winters road salt rubbed in thru the underseal rotted most of the drivers side floor to bits, sad thing is if I had the welding gear back then and more time I probably would have saved it from the scrap yard.
  8. dobbslc

    dobbslc Forum Supporter

    Hertfordshire UK
    I had a black 155 Silverstone, they have galvanized chassis so I'm surprised the 156 doesn't! :dontknow:
  9. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

    I make my templates out of 18mm ply....also works the same. Looks so nice putting back those little details....makes all the difference I think.
    Parm, Exuptoy and zx9 like this.
  10. Dcal

    Dcal Forum Supporter

    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Sounds like a good idea.
    Do you router the ply to get the correct depth?
    I agree there is something nice about putting in the right detail, even if you are the only one that will notice - or probably ever even see it.
    Exuptoy likes this.
  11. bricol Member

    N.Yorks, UK
    As long as your MOT doesn't fail it on holes that are supposed to be there - as mine did back when I had mine when it was only a few years old . .

    The car I went round the roundabout in the rain near Salford van hire / Readmans (as was) in Leeds looking out the passenger side window on close to full left lock . . . my mum in the passenger seat never batted an eyelid . . .
    dobbslc likes this.
  12. Dcal

    Dcal Forum Supporter

    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Next one - caster control arm mounting point.


    Spot welds drilled out and cut back to good metal.
    Patch made, weld areas cleaned up and painted with weld through zinc primer
    Timber plug to guide hole saw made and installed
    Cut out
    Tacked up
    Patch fully welded
    Welds ground back (except for the caster bush area - which will be fun)
  13. Rob85 Member

    Northern Ireland
    Think it was something to do with the road salters spreading salt over packed up snow that was catching on the car and it may have rubbed off the underseal and maybe took some of the galvy coating off and left it with salt in behind some underseal. Or maybe it was just a bad spot on the car, no rust anywhere else but the drivers side under the drivers seat and passenger footwell behind that rotted clean out of it. Was so gutted
  14. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    very impressive patchwork there....nicely done.

  15. Dcal

    Dcal Forum Supporter

    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Thanks JP,
    I think it's quite therapeutic to make a nice patch, as long as it goes well.
    Can be a mega frustrating when it doesn't go as planned.
    I find the trick is, to take your time and if it doesn't work out, be prepared to scrap it and start again.

    Next one -
    The bracket to support the RH front of the wing and the bumper where it turns around the wing.

    Location and surrounding area of bracket as found


    Close up


    Plasma template for relief recess

    Off cut of 16 gauge electroplated steel and the template set up for dressing on my 25mm steel plate "anvil"?
    Clamp and hammer out relief with blunt chisels and punches
    Check against original

    Mark out cuts and folds with cereal box template
    Finished patch -


    I won't install the bracket until I have the wings, bonnet and bumpers back on to line everything up, which means I will have to sort the front panel and the other side first.
    Hope I don't loose it in the interim.
    Cris B, optima21, Exuptoy and 5 others like this.
  16. marlinspike Member

    United Kingdom
    Nice work. Amazing what you can do using blunt chisels and hard bits of metal as shaping tool. This is the replacement battery tray we made for our Saab c900. The original was past its best: IMG_20180414_125756.jpg
    hermetic, pippyjeto, Parm and 5 others like this.
  17. Dcal

    Dcal Forum Supporter

    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Marlin, hope the rest of you Saab wasn't like that! Pity photo-ransom stole all your earlier shots, but looks like a great project.

    Back at the drivers side inner guard
    Lower wishbone area

    Closeup of previous repair, nothing wrong with the welding but just patched over and no regard to rust proofing

    One of the bolts didn't want to come out and I couldn't get a good crack at it with a hammer because of the position of the sump.
    Bit of 12mm thread bar


    Welded to the head of the offending bolt


    Bit of pipe over the bolt and try and force the bolt off by tightening the nut


    Bit of a faff but it worked
    Then cut the rot out to good metal and see what we have


    Clean it up with a grinder and wire brush and then go over it with a spot blaster


    Make a patch


    And fit it up

    • IMG_2031.JPG
  18. Dcal

    Dcal Forum Supporter

    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Thanks Exuptoy,
    Few more small patches on with the lower inner wing section -
    It amazing how the outer bit is holed but the inner is fine, just a bit of surface rust.
    The steel used is better than what Im used to on old Italian cars. If these car had porper rustproofing applied they would have lasted a lot longer in our climate.

    Patch made -
    I used a cheap ebay shrinker to form the corners. I made a stand for the shrinker that works a treat. I've a bit on it on another thread on the forum somewhere. IMG_2053.JPG

    Welded in IMG_2062.JPG

    And dressed up

    Next one is under the chassis leg and made of 0.8 steel. Don't know why its so light, Alfa must have though it's worth saving a few grams, but the all get bent by people thinking it an ideal spot for a trolley jack, cause the jacking points will be long gone!
    Also shows the room you have to hammer the lower wishbone bolts out.
    Patch made, the relief hammered into it and the side in the chassis leg grit blasted

    And welded in
  19. :clapping: