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Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill UltraDork
5/9/13 2:59 p.m.

Not only is this my first Alfa, but this is my first "build log" as well. I'm not entirely sure where to start, but I guess the beginning is a good place:

I found this 1985 Alfa Romeo GTV6 for sale in Slovakia after striking out in Hungary (well, there were only two for sale in Hungary: One was a rust bucket, the other wasn't a GTV6)

Photobucket isn't working for me right now, but when it does I'll have a lot of catching up to do! For now, here is a picture from the advertisement:

(she looks a lot prettier in pictures than she does up close)

I've gotta be honest here; had I known the car was in this condition, I would have never gone to see her. As it sits though, I DID go out to see her and seeing her the way she was really broke my heart. Just the day before I was looking at modifications that would be on par with D-Street Prepared, today I’m just hoping I can get her on the street and safe!

I’ll go over where she’s at so far:

  • I call the current paint scheme “Crap Orange Peel”. That’s “crap” because that’s what it looks like, “Orange” because I’m sure that was the original intent of the boy racer who thought that was a good idea, and “Peel” because that’s what’s happening to it now because they did a bad job.

  • There is over-spray from the crappy paint job everywhere.

  • The brakes feel soft and pull to the left if you decide to use them.

  • The steering pulls a bit to the right, and shakes like the dickens when you go above 2500rpms in 5th gear. I’d tell you how fast that was in KPH but unfortunately that brings me to the next bullet:

  • The speedometer doesn't work.

  • The blinkers don’t work. I hit the switch out of habit, but it really doesn't do anything. As a matter of fact the front blinkers aren't the right ones, but no worries because the PO bent a piece of tin as a mounting bracket to screw them to the bumper.

  • The Zender body kit (I honestly didn't know that was something desirable) was installed poorly, and the paint makes it look cheap.

  • There is something broken under the dash and above my left leg that is allowing a lot of wires and fuses to hang dangerously close to my clutch knee. No worries though, because there is quality hemp rope holding it up and out of the way.

  • The clutch is rather “high” for my tastes. Not sure if this is indicative of it needing to be changed or not.

  • The wipers take a full five-count to make their sweep, and another full five-count to return (regardless of switch speed setting)

  • The exhaust leaks and fills the cabin with fumes.

  • The exhaust leak smells like the engine is burning oil.

  • The exhaust sounds excellent but can’t be original and begins to drone after a while.

  • The engine will stall if you try to take off under 2500RPMs. It also doesn’t like to idle or stay at a constant cruising speed.

  • The engine doesn't seem to make much power

  • If the engine stalls, the battery doesn’t have enough juice to operate the brake lights and the starter (ask me how I know).

  • When I got home the passenger front tire was almost flat.

  • The passenger window wont roll up.

  • The driver’s window requires assistance to roll up.

  • The passenger seatbelt doesn’t retract all the way.

  • The steering wheel is ugly

  • The PO painted all the gauge and vent surrounds “Boy Racer Red”

  • I think the engine might have an aftermarket cam, but I’m not sure. I was just handed paperwork from a German shop with cam duration and lift specs on it.

  • Lots of valve chatter.

  • The steering wont “set” in a turn. It goes like this: You enter the turn and hold steady pressure, when the G’s start to load the car decides to decrease it’s turning radius, you adjust, then it changes again.

  • Rear brake pads could use changing.

  • Dash is cracked, roof lining is saggy, door card covers are wrinkled, and the pillar covers are wrinkled.

  • Girls look at the car, but not in the way you want them to.

On the good side:

  • Lots of spare parts.

  • Tires look almost brand new

  • She wont end up in a Junk Yard

  • Alfa Romeo

Good times! I have high hopes for this ol girl.

mazdeuce PowerDork
5/9/13 3:33 p.m.

One post and this thread is already full of win. I'm going to love following along with this.

crankwalk Reader
5/9/13 3:43 p.m.

■The brakes feel soft and pull to the left if you decide to use them.

■The steering pulls a bit to the right, and shakes like the dickens when you go above 2500rpms in 5th gear. I’d tell you how fast that was in KPH but unfortunately that brings me to the next bullet:

Gently rest your foot on the brakes at all times and it sounds like it will track straight.

Seriously though, it looks nice and it's a good car to save even with those problems if you really like the model.

ransom UltraDork
5/9/13 3:44 p.m.

I'm jealous and terrified for you.

I want a GTV6 badly, but I think it might take running out of examples on the current continent to try to undo that level of PO mayhem...

That said, thanks for keeping a GTV6 out of the crusher!

RossD UberDork
5/9/13 3:50 p.m.

Sounds like you bought an Alfa!

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill UltraDork
5/9/13 3:58 p.m.

Thanks everyone! I do have some good news, I finally got imageshack to work. Unfortunately it's my "other computer" that has all the pictures on it.

I call this one: "Some day son, all these problems will be yours"

SEADave New Reader
5/9/13 4:05 p.m.

Despite all its problems that car looks fabulous. Like park it on the lawn between the Ferrari's and Lamborghini's at the Concorso Italiano fabulous.

I'm sure whatever it takes to fix it up will be worth it.

Woody MegaDork
5/9/13 5:20 p.m.

Double win: Cool car and hanging out with your son.

xflowgolf Dork
5/9/13 6:17 p.m.

Some inspiration... Here's a shot of my dad's red GTV6:

Neckromacr Reader
5/9/13 7:45 p.m.

Great now I'm going to want one... Good luck with her.

Kenny_McCormic Dork
5/9/13 11:57 p.m.

Sounds like an Italian car. You have fire extinguisher(s) in it right?

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
5/10/13 12:11 a.m.

Good luck

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill UltraDork
5/11/13 1:22 a.m.

Good news everyone! I finally got Imageshack to work.

Here's the "up close and personal":

Those turn signals I mentioned:

Notice the trunk lock and the paint on the bumper:

Rusty rear:


The fuse box?

Ugly Steering wheel:



Engine Bay:

Engine bay over spray:

Maybe it's because it's upside down, but this might not be the MAF I'm used to seeing in the engine bay. Also notice the info tags on the wheel well.

In this picture you will find a plugged hose, a lot of zip ties, a broken cable of some sort, and more paint overspray:

Spare parts:

Spare parts (there's a spare set of heads in those plastic bags):

I'll stop there for today. I had a couple of pictures to show the body kit fit issues, but I think I'll save those for when I have enough money saved for paint.

Good times!

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill HalfDork
5/11/13 1:32 a.m.
xflowgolf wrote: Some inspiration... Here's a shot of my dad's red GTV6:

THAT is the goal I hope I to achieve

edit: unless, in attempting to achieve that goal, I'm forced into bankruptcy, threatened with a divorce, or I find myself at risk of alienating my children... (this IS an Alfa after all)

Woody MegaDork
5/11/13 6:37 a.m.

I think this is really interesting for a lot of different reasons. If you don't mind me asking, how did you end up in Hungary?

dculberson UltraDork
5/11/13 10:46 a.m.

You are a brave, brave man. Sending good luck thoughts your way.

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill HalfDork
5/11/13 12:50 p.m.

Woody: I got hired on at Boeing as an "Avionics Technician". The short version of the story is that a group of 12 countries (including the USAF) went in together to purchase three C-17s, with the aircraft Boeing sold them a 3-year maintenance contract. The original contract has expired and now it's a bit "open ended".

But something interesting I found today, there was "lead additive" in the back seat of the car... I'm pretty sure it's not needed in these Alfas, unless I'm mistaken?

mazdeuce Dork
5/11/13 12:57 p.m.

The engine compartment is the least scary part. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not.

fanfoy Reader
5/11/13 9:44 p.m.

As an ex-Milano owner, I want to wish you the best of luck....you'll need it. Things is, I'd still have another one... that disease must have a name.

oldtin UltraDork
5/11/13 10:23 p.m.

Impressive use of zip ties in variety and application. Looks a little daunting, but far from the worst I've seen. Cool project. The MAF looks very similar to the bits on porsche/audis from the time period.

PHeller UltraDork
5/11/13 10:44 p.m.

Did you pay more than $1000 USD for it?

ae86andkp61 Reader
5/12/13 1:45 a.m.

Looks like fun! It also looks like typical Alfa ownership, but still looks like fun!

I have a bit of experience with this chassis, and I love these cars. I suffered a few calamities along the way; headlights blinking out on me on an unlit road as I accelerated through 60mph, driving 100 miles home from a trackday with a cracked rear brake rotor, and my first speeding ticket!

I would buy another someday...even with the vague shifter and the period styling (which has now grown on me, BTW.)

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill UltraDork
5/13/13 10:25 a.m.

Well, Day 1 in the garage goes something like this:

I bled the brakes in an attempt to get rid of the "pulling to the left under braking" and most of the tires were low so I topped those off. Did you know these things had Brembo calipers!?! That's stinking awesome!

There was plenty of pad and rotor life left in the brakes, so that was good news too. I meant to go for a drive to see if the brake pulling issues were solved, but when I removed the drivers front wheel (to bleed the brakes) three out of the five lug nuts were cross threaded on their studs...

Parts are on order, they're about 2-weeks out. Well played Alfa. Well played.

Rusted_Busted_Spit UltraDork
5/13/13 12:53 p.m.

The only thing that really kicked my butt with my GTV-6 was changing the rear disks. If it comes to that let me know and I will share that story with you. The speedo my be an easy fix. The sender is plugged into the transaxle and there are some cold solder joints that crack and cause the speedo to not work. You can take the sender appart and reheat the joints and be good to go. Another thing to watch out for is the needles in the gages. They can bend due to heat and then they will not work.

Can you get the steering wheel to move independant of the front wheels? There is a ujoint at the bottem of the steering column that when it gets worn the steering wheel will turn without turning the front wheels. On mine I could get it to turn if I used quick movements at low speeds.

If I remember correctly those Brembos will be aluminium.

I have the factory manual and a bunch of other documentation on a CD, let me know if you are interested and I will get a copy out to you.

xflowgolf HalfDork
5/13/13 1:24 p.m.
Hungary Bill wrote: THAT is the goal I hope I to achieve edit: unless, in attempting to achieve that goal, I'm forced into bankruptcy, threatened with a divorce, or I find myself at risk of alienating my children... (this IS an Alfa after all)

FWIW my old man has owned that car for almost 20 years now, so it's a long time in the making.

Also of note, as I've seen a few of these but never owned one myself... it looks like this car has had some underhood rust repair done. These tend to rot out around the shock tower. It looks like there's welded patch lines on each side of the shock tower up where the wheelwell meets the fender area in this pic where this may have been previously reinforced.

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