With June coming to a close this week, the Alfa Romeo GTV 2000 project planning is starting to take shape. As I suspected, the stripdown of the car would help me develop the major steps in this project, and the deeper I get into the teardown, the more this car is starting to give up its secrets.
Almost all the hoses have been taken out of the engine compartment allowing me an opportunity to take a good look at the frame members and the engine mounts. So far, no structural pieces appear to be compromised even though the car’s sheet metal is far worse than I anticipated.
One of my major points of emphasis was to get the mangled front bumper off. I could not tell if the bumper mount on the driver side had failed, and with the failed driver’s side front suspension, I initially had concerns of collision damage. Luckily, as suspected, I believe all the damage came during the cars lengthy storage period.
You’ll note the bumper bolt on driver side is deformed and stretched. I’m still not quite sure what caused that, but that bolt was easily sawed in two. The passenger side was frozen and required the square bolt head to be cut away before I was able to saw the bolt in half.
The shields that keep road debris off of the back of the headlamps and wiring loom in the nose cone are pretty beat up. I was able to pull it back to access the bumper bolts but the nut was too frozen and leverage too difficult to develop.
As rusted as this car is, I have had few fasteners not come loose. Before I started the project I went into multiple rabbit holes studying rust penetrating products. My go-to product for many years was Kroil Oil, which I first started using on the submarine in the mid 1980’s. I upgraded to a spray on, Gibbs Brand Lubricant. There is a YouTube channel called Project Farm I am impressed by for the depth of their product reviews. The channel goes to great lengths to develop testing criteria and report analytical and data driven reviews versus the subjective analysis that you’ll more primarily find. Project Farm has done many rust penetrant videos, and they did not fully endorse Gibbs Brand, but Gibbs did test the best under my key metric: the lowest torque required to break a rusted fastener free. As I am not under time constraints, I soak my rusty fasteners for greater than 24 hours before I attempt to loosen them, and so far, so good.
The brake vacuum booster and master cylinder system is next up for removal. One fastener that is hard to penetrate is the wheel lug nuts. Patience and delicate use of a long lever has broken free the front drivers wheel and brake bleed and drain is next up.
You’ll note the massive Air Conditioning compressor mounted to the engine block. That will be deleted in the rebuild and I’ll have to figure out how to rehang the alternator. A problem from another day.
The passenger side door came off as well and the passenger seat, albeit not without a scuffle.
Normally I’d never take the hinges off and just pop the pins, but these hinges are coming off no matter what so I will have to deal with the backing plate as I go.
So much rust. I know I could have saved money and time by buying a car for perhaps double what I spent here, but this is exactly what I wanted. I’m not in a hurry to complete this project. I wanted to perform a full nut and bolt rebuild, transforming this the car into a purpose built, highly reliable, endurance rally machine. The economics are pretty simple: Cut up a more expensive project car, spending less labor time (My time) and less replacement sheet metal (relatively inexpensive) OR save on project car initial cost, spend more labor (my time), more on sheet metal (relatively inexpensive) and build a car that will have less market value to sell compared to its intrinsic value to me as my rally car for the next 25 years? The choice was easy for me, but its a question that is highly debated and polarizing.
Quite frankly, it’s part of the decision that drove the Alfa over the Porsche 356, the price of the project car. To buy a Porsche project car at 4-5X the cost of my Alfa just made no sense. Speaking of rust, the seat sliders were rusted in place and would not slide forward or back, blocking access to the bolts holding them in place. Luckily the passenger seat rear bolts were free because the floor was completely rotted out.
I did find a pair of needle nose pliers under the seat. 48 hours in the vibration cleaner and some new plastic dip and they should be serviceable.
While the passenger and driver side seals were in pretty good shape, and most of the door seal track intact, there are a few spots completely gone.
The headliner is moldy and needs to come out. There will not be a headliner going back in, a functional ceramic product called Lizard Skin will be used to keep headliner area insulated to keep the noise and the heat out. It is two separate products.
Eastwood has a similar product but it combines the insulation and noise deadening properties into one application.
I did do a little surgery today, removing some of the outer sill to expose the base of the “A” Pillar. Good news: Inner sill appears to be pretty solid, but bad news the bottom of the A Pillar as you can see is missing on the Passenger side (the jacking point is in good shape) and on driver’s side it’s not much better or worse.
Finally, my real purpose for removing doors and seats now is to get a better look at floor boards and the structural metal underneath them
I have to pull the decorative chrome sill plates and get the carpet fully out next so I can inspect the structural metal below the car, which so far appears to have heavy surface rust but enough integrity to allow me to perform surgical repairs . We’ll see.
Next Update 15 July. Please follow my Instagram at Satori_Blog for ongoing progress.