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

  1. Dcal Member

    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Thanks @Exuptoy
    Nearly there with this bit but every time I think I'm finished a I find something else! But it's good to finally say enough is enough and get some paint on.
    Any job is better than getting underseal off, a bit of welding is quite therapeutic.
    Exuptoy likes this.
  2. Dcal Member

    Antrim Northern Ireland
    After letting the epoxy go off for a couple of days I then applied the seam sealer.
    I used two 600ml tubes on the inside and underside.
    I forgot to take a photo of the whole thing but this is what I did to every seam and lap.


    While I was at this stage I remembered that I needed to install the bungs in the floor and boot.
    Most of the bungs were rusty so had to make a new set.
    Fortunately I had already made the dies for this (my first job on the lathe) so was a pretty simple and quick job.

    Started off with some 1.2 electro galv steel.


    Blanks cut to and punched out in the press.


    You can see the dies were somewhat under designed (takes almost 20t to form the bungs) and I had to add some gussets, but works a treat now.


    Next I marked them out and cut them down to size with the electric shears. It's a great tool but it doesn't like tight curves so I cut them a few mm big first before the final cut to size.
    A quick dressing on a flap disk and job done.
    I gave the bungs a coat of epoxy to the underside with a brush and let cure before sticking them in.
    I had already painted the underside with the second coat of epoxy and wanted to get them fully painted. The top I left unpainted as I could get them when I was brush painting the inside.



    I let the seam sealer dry for a day then another coat of epoxy.
    I was looking to see if I could get the 3m PPS or similar locally (to allow me to spray upside down) but no luck.
    I then remembered I had an old Devilbiss JGA pressure pot somewhere and after a bit of a search I found it.


    It was a bit sorry for it's self and didn't spray at all well
    So took it apart and found the pressure regulator diaphragm was shot.

    Not wanting to be beat, I made a new one out of the only thing, close to suitable, I had to hand (a wheel barrow inner tube) so made a temporary one out of that and surprise surprise it worked. I stuck a 1.8mm needle and tip in the gun and it sprayed the epoxy no problem.
    I forgot how much over-spray there is from a JGA compared to the new GTIs but it got the job done.
    I don't expect it to last but so far so good.


    Underside after second coat of epoxy and bungs installed.


    It's amazing how a lick of paint tidies everything up.
  3. dobbslc

    dobbslc Forum Supporter

    Hertfordshire UK
    Looks like a giant Airfix kit!
    Hopefuldave, Dcal and slim_boy_fat like this.
  4. fixedfixer Member

    Respect, amazing job, well done on progress so far. Going to watching this thread. :waving:
    Dcal likes this.
  5. Dcal Member

    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Ha! the car certainly is now.

    I've just done what I said I wouldn't and have completely stripped it out.
    Hope it's worth it.

    I now have two cars in bits, different makes but both Italian and the same colour.
    Hope I can get this one back together again.
    marlinspike and slim_boy_fat like this.
  6. dobbslc

    dobbslc Forum Supporter

    Hertfordshire UK
    As long as you don't end up with a Lanfa or a Alfcia... :scared:
    slim_boy_fat and Dcal like this.
  7. slim_boy_fat

    slim_boy_fat Forum Supporter

    Dcal likes this.
  8. Dcal Member

    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Could happen.
    It's amazing the similarities, same paint code and trim paint seems the same.
    Also built the same way, but hopefully they are different enough for even me.
    slim_boy_fat likes this.
  9. Well done matey. That looks amazing. Almost like you laid on your back to take the pic? :D
    Dcal likes this.
  10. Dcal Member

    Antrim Northern Ireland
    First coat of Sikaguard 6440 stone chip.
    Used a cheap schutz gun and it didn't go well.
    The same gun sprayed 3m stone chip fine and this worked ok for a while then the stone chip started building up around the tip and going on in lumps.
    I had already preheated the stone chip which helped but all in all not great.


    Was going to try another gun, or wait until the weather warmed up, but since I've a pressure pot I'd decided to give it a go. The stone chip isn't any thicker than the 87a after all.


    Pressure pot is far nicer to use and gave a better (more closed) finish.


    I wouldn't call it factory finish, for that I'd have to leave it patchy and miss bits completely.
    I let it dry over night and applied another coat.


    So this is what 7 liters of stone chip looks like, on and off the car.


    I could have left it at that (or use the same stone chip in black) but decided to finish it off with a coat of 2K black as the finish from the gun looks like it will pick up and hold the dirt well. Going base coat and clear is just a step too far (but I did think about it)

    Mixed up a liter and a half of top coat and blew it on with the pressure pot
    I changed to a 1.4 setup (I would have gone smaller if I had one)


    The top coat went on a treat compared to the primers and it's all now very black.
    There won't be much contrast between this and the suspension and other bits when they are bolted on.

    To say I'm pleased this is finally done is a but of an understatement.
    This is over a month of pretty intensive evenings and weekends from starting to scrape the under seal off to getting it all back on.
    It did include a fair bit of patching and welding though.
  11. slim_boy_fat

    slim_boy_fat Forum Supporter

    :clapping: :clapping:
    cr500dom and Dcal like this.
  12. Cris B

    Cris B Every day welding is a school day

    Getting the paint on to finish a job is just so rewarding. I doth my cap to your determination and ingenuity on this restoration so far!
    Dcal likes this.
  13. Lazurus

    Lazurus Member

    Norfolk uk
    There are some dedicated, resourceful and clever people on this planet. :clapping:
    Dcal likes this.
  14. Dcal Member

    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Thanks @Cris B getting paint on is definitely rewarding and closes the door on going back on an area, or should do. Read on!

    @Lazurus Thanks for the encouragement, certainly need it with a project like this which seems like one step forward two back at times.
    I'm also amazed what some people on here have tackled at home.
    This is just a slog, I think keeping motivated is the main thing and I've the luxury of a decent garage and kit now and I do enjoy learning by doing.

    I had already done a bit of repair work in the engine bay but I couldn't get at it properly so decided to pull the engine and do it right, not leave it and do it later as I first intended.
    Naff all left on the shell now.


    I had blown a bit of paint over the front half of the engine bay while I was painting the front panel, but with the engine and loom out I could do a better job.
    First repair on the list was the DS engine mount area.


    Just a bit scabby looking and it did feel fairly solid.
    The top engine mounting bolt had sheared off (someone had put in too long a bolt) and with access it was a simple job to weld a washer, then a nut to it and screw it out.
    Cut the bottom of the engine mount out


    Just kept cutting until I had good metal.
    Then made a patch out of 2mm ms plate and welded it in.
    I painted the back of the patchs with galvafroid and spot blasted and put galvafroid on the chassis leg before installing to see if I can slow the march of corrosion between the two (or three) skins.

    The chassis leg and the patch are both 2mm so this is the first time I was able to weld on this thing without worrying about ending up with a hole. Still managed it though.

    This isn't an exact repair, the strengthening panel for the shock and upper wishbone is 2mm and only extends to the RH lower wishbone mount bolt. The RH bolt is and everything else is covered with a 0.8 panel. I couldn't see the point of putting another layer in so just extended the 2mm panel and installed a shorter 0.8mm cover patch. When you get into it the rot on this always seems to start from doubled up panels.


    While I was working I noticed the cross-member where it meets the chassis leg was a bit soft. Didn't look too bad but decided to investigate.

    By the time I finished digging I had a much bigger problem (always the way)


    There is yet another hidden layer in the cross-member that Ive no idea what it's for so decided to weld it to the repair panel. Seems like a lot of work and material to just have a couple of captive nuts for mounting the rack, but I'm sure Alfa had their reasons.
    This meant I needed to make an even bigger hole for access.

    More galvafroid and patches and start putting it back together.
    Isn't it lovely being able to turn the welder up.


    There was a nasty dent in the cover plate for the chassis leg where someone tried to jack it up!
    Looks like a perfect place (considering there wasn't much left of the jacking points) but it's only 0.8mm thick.
    There is a matching one dent on the other side so fixed it while I was at it.

    Anyway job done just need to do it all again on the other side


    Sorry about the crap photo of the repair before paint, I'm not trying to hide suspect welding, it just the best I have.
    I always seem to spend less time recording stuff after it's almost finished.

    Repair after some brushed Jotun 87A and seam sealer
  15. Dcal Member

    Antrim Northern Ireland
    PS chassis leg in the engine bay next.

    I had patched the bottom of the engine mount bracket while the engine was still in place and filled a hole or two but again with access I might as well try and improve on the quality of my previous repairs - not at all difficult.
    To the right of the engine mounting point you can see a lot of ground down weld. This is where the 2mm and 0.8mm steel plates meet. Again I extended the 2mm plate to cover both of the lower wishbone mounting bolts. Hopefully should do away with this weak spot.


    Cleaned up it didn't look too bad but half an hour with a grinder and a chisel didn't help the look of it


    Bit more grinding, welding of the grinding scars, more grinding and spot blasting and it's ready to go back together again.


    I found another soft spot.
    I cut it out and painted what I could of the inside.
    You can see the welds from the previous repairs I carried out from the other side what seems like years ago.


    Made a patch and welded it in.


    Even went to the bother of filing a slot for a speed nut that isn't used.

    The cross-member was in better shape this side but I took the cover plate off the chassis leg to repair the dent that matched the one on the other side.


    Bit of blasting, hammering and painting and it ready to go back on


    Finish the rest of the patching and weld the towing eye back on


    More grinding, Jotun 87A, seam sealer, stone chip and epoxy primer.


    I finished it off (for now) with a couple of coats of 2K black.
    I'm using the straight black as a ground coat because by the time I paint all the nooks and crannies there will (indeed was) dirt every where,
    I will mask off all the hidden bits and do the main engine bay in base coat and clear before rebuilding.
    • IMG_7397.JPG
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  16. Dcal Member

    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Bit more progress.

    Starting to get the bits and pieces together that need tidying before they go back on.
    Fuel tank first.


    Bit scabby underneath but nothing too bad, few dents too.
    The inside is galv coated so in good shape.
    Decided to give it a blast, but didn't want to fill the inside with grit so had to seal off the openings.
    Made up a few blanking plugs that could be installed from the inside through the biggest opening.


    A top plate could then be fitted from the outside and tightened up.
    I used a bit of inner tube for gaskets.

    Took as much of the plastic coating off with a grinder and a poly stripping disc.


    Then blasted


    and a coat of Jotun 87A


    To make it easier to paint, I made a swivel so I could rotate the tank.


    I let it cure before repairing the dents that show up well in the wet primer.
    The 87a sands nicely if it's fully cured and I used it as a stopper to fill the rust pits and sanding marks.
    Of course I rubbed through to the steel in places so applied more 87A and let that cure overnight before applying a couple of coats of 2K black


    Slow progress and a fair bit of messing (mainly because of the primer curing times) but I now have a nice shinny tank that should last a fair while.
  17. Dcal Member

    Antrim Northern Ireland
    More bits needing blasted and painted before I can start rebuilding the shell

    The rear axle A frame was really rusty and too big for my blast cabinet.
    First job was to seal up the rear bearings and hubs to try and save them from the blasting and dust.


    I made a bit of a shelter to contain the worst of the grit


    Really slow but it does make a job of it.


    The weather was kind so I was able to setup and paint the first coat out side.


    While I was at it I prepped a few other suspension bits.


    All parts got two coats of Jotamastic 87A and 2K topcoat
    The shocks were originally yellow (they are Spax and will probably be upgraded fairly soon) but I decided to give then a coat of yellow to get away from the masses of black.


    Some of the smaller parts were cadmium plated so I had a go at replicating the look using paint.
    This is the effect I am going for. It had lived inside the PS door and was in good shape.


    Primer coat was Sherwin Williams epoxy primer with is very light gray, followed by a light coat of gold base coat.


    Next is a spot here and there of green and then red base coat.
    Final coat is 2K clear


    I think it works OK on the small bits, not so sure on the bigger bits but as most are under the car I can live with it.

  18. Dieselkid 63

    Dieselkid 63 Banned from forklifts

    Wellington, New Zealand
    That’s brilliant, replicating the effect of playing with paint! Very nicely done :)
  19. Dcal Member

    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Thanks @Dieselkid 63 , The look is so incongruous that unless there is a bit of plating beside it, it looks wrong and so obvious, as if you are trying too hard.
    Will see what it's like after it weathers a bit.
    Might be better with just a straight gold?

    Few more bits painted
    I've ordered new track rods, end and boots so didn't bother masking them


    Engine bay painted with base coat and clear


    And the PS door shuts prepped


    And panted


    And the inside of the doors


    I made a jig to hold the doors while I worked on and painted them.
    It worked fine, if a bit wobbly, but OK for the job.

  20. marlinspike Member

    United Kingdom
    Fantastic work. Inspiring stuff for those of us with projects still to finish.
    Dcal likes this.