Sunday was the first of many surgeries on my poor little Alfa. The good news is the damage doesn’t seem to be as bad as originally thought.
The goal of yesterday’s cutting was to determine how bad the rust and damage is and what needs to be done about it. Strictly speaking that is what the tech session next weekend was supposed to be, but David (The AROCOK president) wanted to get a jump on it to make sure we had something instructional available. I must say, that man knows his way around an angle grinder.
The damage is separated into two broad groups: rocker and chassis rail.
The rocker rust is the most extensive, but not worrying. Alfa Spiders are (apparently) known for accumulating dirt in the void between the outer and inner rockers. The solution of this is to open up the fender liner and power wash the dirt out every once in a while. This works great, so long as you know it is a thing you need to do... which the PO apparently did not. As a result, it rusted out and was taken to a body shop for a cheap repair.
So. Very. Cheap.
Essentially what was done is three strips of thin aluminum were pop-riveted over the damage, and then the whole thing was fiberglassed over. To their credit, it was pretty hard to tell this was the case unless you were looking really close. Also they did take the time to get the dirt out when they did that...
Either way, that needs repaired.
Related or not, the outer rocker further down was showing some rust bubbles and some aggressive scraping and grinding revealed more rust. Luckily while this looks bad, it was confined to the outer skin almost entirely, with the thick intermediate rocker (which is the majority of the structure) taking a little bit of a beating, but no obvious holes or damage.
This is good news.
Hard to say what happened here. I don’t have any good pictures either so... use your imagination. Basically there are these two-piece steel beams that runs from the cross-member, under the seats, to the front of the car where the steering pieces live and the firewall connects. The picture below is it, with the right side being the side that connects to the front of the car.
Either way, at some point someone decided (best guess) to use this as a jacking point, which didn’t go well. The piece yielded, and in the process cracked the driver’s side floor pan. Oh and also the outside skin is rusty.
So the plan is to use a hydraulic ram to push the rail back into place and then repair the floor pans. Also cut out and treat the rot, followed by more repairs.
All in all...
Things aren’t too bad. Costs are looking as follows:
- Outer rocker and fender panels - $150
- Rust converter - $20
- Rustoleum - $25
- Misc supplies - $20
- Repair metal - $??
Of course, as is the way with these things...
We identified a lot of other little things that need doing...
- Tie rods need replacing (6) - $65
- Steering bushing needs replacing - $105
- Exhaust needs replaced - $250 to $800 (normal vs stainless)
- Brake flex lines need replaced - $30 to $90 (normal vs stainless)
- Shocks could use doing - $110 per corner
But those can be done in time. All in all, I am pretty excite!