As with many special interest cars, Alfas get modified by their owners. Some changes are good, some are not. Common upgrades are to mag wheels and wider tires. This is OK as long as there is clearance for them, and as long as the offset of the wheel is proper, and does not put too much strain on the wheel bearings or suspension.
The use of stiffer, shorter springs and heavier sway bars is common to all 105/115 cars. This can result in better handling and steering, but also can present alignment problems, wheelwell clearance problems, dragging components on the ground, a rougher ride, and chassis strength problems at the suspension attachment points due to increased loads.
The Berlina at right is a good example of the kind of modification you don't want to get involved in.
Engine, transmission, and rear end swaps are common, as these can be changed among almost any 105/115 Alfa from the period 1962 to 1995 without difficulty. However, one change to be wary of is a US Berlina that has been converted from Spica injection to carburetors. Non-US cars used carburetors for the entire production run, so it is acceptable to make the change, but there are two methods of doing this. The better method is to get a complete European intake system, which includes the manifold, carbs, air filter, linkage, front engine cover, fuel pump, and fuel lines, to make a complete Alfa-designed system. The other way is to buy an aftermarket kit, such as from Shankle, and install that. These aftermarket systems work, but not as well as the original Alfa system. Removing the Spica system is becoming increasingly problematic, as emission testing spreads around the US, requiring the car to have its original fuel and emissions system in place. This trend is causing some Weberized cars to be reconverted back to Spica, so that they can be smog-tested and registered.
Copyright © 1997 by Andrew D. Watry
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