Archive for the ‘Repairs’ Category

A Not-So-Cheap Repair – New Upholstery

April 19, 2010

Your correspondent has been gearing up for a long drive in the Alfetta, and part of that effort has been to attend to the disintegrating seats. Suffering from many years of sun and heat, they were actually remarkably intact, particularly (oddly enough) the driver’s seat. However, the passenger seat covering was falling apart, and the back seat seams were splitting every time something was set on them. Have a look at our worst offender:

Alfetta passenger seat



Quick & Easy Fix – Replace Your Hatch Struts

March 1, 2010

For those of you with cars of a certain age, you’re no doubt familiar with the broom-handle method of keeping your hatch open. As an owner of two late 1970s cars using struts to hold up their trunk lids, I’ve been doing this for the last few years. Honestly, though, I don’t really understand why I did. This is possibly one of the cheapest, easiest ways to de-jalopy-ize your old car.

hatch strut

Both my Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT and Lancia Beta sedan use hatch struts. And both of them were failed, the Beta to the degree that they don’t ever hold up the trunk lid. Since I use the Alfetta most, I looked around for a strut online, and ended up finding one from Hatch Struts Depot. So, the reason why this is cheap and easy? Cheap: The strut was $61 shipped and arrived in two days. Easy: Replacing it required removing two circlips and pulling out two pins, then reversing that to put the new one in. Make sure you support the lid with the broom-handle while you’re working on it, otherwise that flat spot on the back of your head (from being hit by the hatch, you know it’s happened) will get flatter. And there you have it – now I have to stand back since the lid opens so quickly. Disclaimer: I’ve got no relationship to Hatch Struts Depot, other than as a customer.

Replace your slave cylinder plus bonus Beta update!

July 14, 2009

While messing with the Lancia and knowing I had some upcoming work on the Alfetta, I took the latter down to the garage in exchange for the former, which I took to Custom Alignment for some new tires and then up to Jaan for final resolution on the rough running and lack of power (more on that later). When I got back to the garage a couple of weeks back just to fire the Alfetta up and take it around the block a bit, the clutch dropped straight to the floor. Sure enough, there was a puddle under the rear of the car (transaxle in the back means the slave is back there too). So I continued on my star-crossed seatbelt installation and left the rest for later.

I picked up a new slave from Alfa Parts for about $67. While this is more than some other vendors charge, I’d read some things which led me to doubt the quality of the cheaper parts, plus I’m all about supporting local vendors, especially those that can get a part to me by Friday when I order on Thursday afternoon.

Alfetta - new slave cylinder