Alfa 33 Rebuild

mjheathcote

Centenary Club
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6,198
Liked my 146Ti I had for 4 years as a company car. Was one of the last ones on a W plate in amazon green, did 150k in it and the company sold it for a grand back in 05, was no trouble at all until the last month when the battery was changed, then the electrics went buserk, apparently disturbing the battery knocked a relay/fuse board behind that was heavily corroded.
 

dickyb

Junior Member
Messages
439
Liked my 146Ti I had for 4 years as a company car. Was one of the last ones on a W plate in amazon green, did 150k in it and the company sold it for a grand back in 05, was no trouble at all until the last month when the battery was changed, then the electrics went buserk, apparently disturbing the battery knocked a relay/fuse board behind that was heavily corroded.
I had a W-reg 145 which also did 150000 miles before it died, shame as I was very fond of it. The electrical problems are well known, in the 145/146 community the relays/fuses close to the battery are known as the BBOB, Big Box of Bollox. This area gets constantly blasted with water when driving in the wet which obviously doesn't do the electrical connections much good, mine had to be repaired twice in my ownership.

Not much progress on the 33, slowly stripping out all of the wiring so that the bodyshop can access all of the interior seams correctly, and to hopefully address the issues once and for all. Engine electrics are also slowly being removed ready for the engine to come out again. All lights and a few exterior trim items have also been removed. Still a fair way to go before its ready for the bodyshop but hopefully it should be going for rectification works in the next couple of months.
 

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dickyb

Junior Member
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439
minimal progress recently: engine electrics, fuel system, ignition system, plumbing and inlet manifold are now removed. Just need to remove the a/c compressor and pas pump, then the engine and gearbox will be ready to come out. Sorry for the rubbish photos, proper camera batteries went flat so had to use my potato phone.

I haven't heard anything from the bodyshop I was hoping to use since it went for its inspection last month, I emailed them after I got my car back asking them how much I owed them for the inspection and about timescales, likely costs etc but I didn't get a reply. Based on the amount of chasing I had to do to get them to look at the car in the first place I think its becoming clear that they're not really interested in taking the project on. They initially said they'd put the car on the ramp and put a camera inside all the cavities and check everything thoroughly but in the end they just gave it a quick once over so I guess all those factors indicate that I'd better try elsewhere. I've had a chat today with another company who seem to be just what I'm looking for as they specialise in 1980s and 1990s cars of all kinds so we won't have the kind of snobbery I seem to be coming across with just a humble Alfa Romeo. Unfortunately the costs are looking as though they are going to spiral out of control, I have been informed by a few places that they would insist on stripping the car back to bare metal as they would need to establish what is under the existing paintwork. The ballpark figures I have been given are well into five figures which wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't already lost that kind of money already. We'll see what happens in the next few weeks....
 

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dickyb

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439
Got a more detailed quote for rectification, and it came out as a worst case scenario of £14k + vat! I think I'm a bit in the **** with regard to getting all this sorted out now, I'm reluctant to throw that kind of money at the car having already lost so much on 2 previous failed restorations.

Previous bodyshop have now been sued and I think things are likely to be put on hold until the situation is resolved. At this stage I won't be naming and shaming them as its in my interest for them to stay in business in the short term.
 

zagatoes30

Centenary Club
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10,661
A 105 specialist I know well quotes on average 200-300 hours to strip, repair,repaint and reassemble a car. On the basis that you are stripping and reassembling I would have thought a strip a body back to bare metal, carryout any repairs and repaint would be in the region of 100-150 hours work, based on a £70 per hour labour rate that would equate to £7-10.5k. Now we know that underneath your car should be relatively solid I would have thought you should be in the lower range of this.

I guess the bodyshop are estimating on a worse case scenario based on what they have seen previously of 80s cars. I would suggest you get an estimate to strip to bare metal and then get a revised estimate when you know what you are working with.

As a comparison my SZ has been partially dismantled, had the paint stripped back to the gel coat and then prepared, repainted and reassembled but with very little repair work and the bill will be less than half what you are being quoted.
 

dickyb

Junior Member
Messages
439
I guess the price is expensive because very few bodyshops would be prepared to repaint a car without knowing what's underneath the existing paint and therefore insist on going back to bare metal and starting again. Having cast a more cynical eye over certain areas, particularly the underside, it looks as though there is still missing seam sealant and in places it has pinholes and small gaps so I think it is best to start all over again.

The preparation costs to return the car back to a primed shell ready for painting are not too bad, around £3000 which would include a special hot zinc spray treatment on the underside. At the moment the bodyshop have estimated the paintwork would take around 200 hours and it may not be anywhere near that in reality but we don't know at this stage. Yes I could go and get a blowover for £3-4k but this is a full restoration not a quick once over and I need everything to be as good as it can possibly be, otherwise as far as I'm concerned its a waste of money.
 

dickyb

Junior Member
Messages
439
Radiator, a/c condensers and a/c pipework all removed. You can get an idea of how low down the engine is mounted in boxer engined Alfas, the pistons are approximately in line with the centre of the wheels.

I guess I'll be able to save myself time when it comes to rebuilding it all again, I can just say refer back to page 1 of the thread! :) It's sad to think that after nearly 5.5 years I'm actually further from finishing the project than I was on page 1 :(.
 

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dickyb

Junior Member
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439
I am hoping for the car to go to Retropower for the work to be carried out, they seem to be the only company I have found at the moment who are prepared, and able to do the job properly, unfortunately they are very expensive. I have a couple of other potential options such as the bodyshop that do all the bodywork restorations for Alfaholics but nothing has been confirmed at present. At the moment I am waiting to see how things pan out before committing to anything because the future of the car now depends on whether I am able to recover any money from the previous idiot. As you might imagine, having already effectively wasted around £14k on bodywork as a result of previous bodyshops' ineptitude it is difficult to justify sinking a similar amount into yet another restoration.
 
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Bloomin ell, just read this thread and cant believe what you've gone through, got to say I take my hat off to you I would have blown several fuses and probably had a Police caution by now. The problem is that the classic car market has really taken off over the past number of years and now every Tom, Dick or Harry thinks they can open up restoration companies and fleece people with shoddy work :banghead2:. Keep your chin up and hope you get it sorted soon.
 
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zagatoes30

Centenary Club
Messages
10,661
Bloomin ell, just read this thread and cant believe what you've gone through, got to say I take my hat off to you I would have blown several fuses and probably had a Police caution by now. The problem is that the classic car market has really taken off over the past number of years and now every Tom, Dick or Harry thinks they can open up restoration companies and fleece people with shoddy work :banghead2:. Keep your chin up and hope you get it sorted soon.
So true but there are as many dodgy customers who try to get bodyshops to agree to unreasonable quotes, then complain when additional work is identified and use Social media to blame it all on the **** body shop.
 

dickyb

Junior Member
Messages
439
Well, the bodyshop guy has responded to the court paperwork and predictably he is trying to blame the dipping process. He was the one who recommended it to me yet now is saying that it is the cause of the problems and that nothing is his fault, a convenient scapegoat. The fact that he failed to follow the dipping company's recommended procedures rather undermines his claims, the coatings cannot be expected to perform as they should if he hasn't followed their recommendations. He also describes the replacement panels I supplied as "appalling" and says that the parts that were damaged, lost or got dirty were my responsibility whilst they were in his workshop. He stated that the colour discrepancy was simple to rectify as the new paint could have been blended with the old, if that's the case why did he ignore me and do nothing when I raised it 2 years ago? Amusingly he has stated that he is not prepared to carry out any further work on my car! I wouldn't let that idiot paint my garden fence, yet alone touch my car again!! He also describes me as a "difficult customer". Interesting times ahead...