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Alfa-Romeo-SZ 1989 - 1994 More
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  •   Andy Everett reacted to this post about 8 months ago
    / #Alfa-Romeo-SZ / #Alfa-Romeo

    OWNER: CHRIS REES
    CAR: ALFA ROMEO SZ
    ALSO OWNS: FIAT PANDA 100HP, MASERATI QUATTROPORTE SPORT GT
    TEAM CARS
    REPORTS ON OUR OWN CARS RUNNING ON THE EDITORIAL FLEET

    It was going to be so simple. Out of hibernation this spring, the job I decided to treat the Alfa SZ to this year was its drooping doors.

    Zagato’s design and construction methods for the SZ certainly left something to be desired – did you know that it built up SZs fully, then took them apart again to paint them? Often the ‘wrong’ opening panels were then put back on the cars. No surprise that SZs tend to suffer from dropping doors over time…

    Mine were needing a good thwack to close, drooping so much that some of the paint was rubbing off the front wings. So off the SZ went to Alfa Aid in Maidenhead, where Adrian Jardine’s team set about the two day process of removing the doors and fixing them to sit straight. The hinges had warped over time, so new hinges (the very last ones in stock) were fitted. There were also no shims at all, as there should be, so Alfa Aid made up a total of 17 new ones to get the doors to sit properly. Great news: they now swing super-smoothly and with a satisfying clunk.

    The SZ was ready just in time for its first outing of the year, a run around Castle Combe with some classic cars (and, as it turned out, Nick Mason’s LaFerrari). But on my very first series of laps, I started feeling a vibration through the gear lever, followed by a sharp noise and then a much louder vibration that made the car sound like a World War 2 bomber. Track session over! I guessed that a propshaft doughnut had perished and, sure enough, when the SZ returned to Adrian for diagnosis, that’s exactly what he found: the middle of the three rubber doughnuts had spat a piece out. No problem: just fit a new doughnut. Yes, it was going to be so simple. Then Adrian sent me a pic of the dismantled propshaft showing the centre spline severely worn – the result of one of the doughnuts having been fitted incorrectly, allowing the shaft to shimmy around. Could it be fixed? After a long investigation by a propshaft specialist, the answer was ‘no’. So it’s a new one, then? Adrian looked at me: “I gave the propshaft people my last remaining SZ shaft to use as a template – and they’ve lost it…”

    After days of extremely anxious waiting – during which time Adrian discovered that no propshafts remain for SZs at all (or, for that matter, Alfa 75 V6s) – he finally said they’d found his last one. On it went and – hey presto – the SZ is back in action! Adrian also cured an annoying rattling sound that’s been plaguing my exhaust ever since I bought the car five years ago. I’ve got used to it, but Adrian says he had to fix it to keep him sane!
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  •   Chris Rees reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Delwyn Mallett updated the picture of the group
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  •   Chris Rees reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Delwyn Mallett updated the cover photo of the group
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  •   Chris Rees reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Livin’ La Vita Rossa / #1992 / #Alfa-Romeo-SZ / DELWYN MALLETT / #Alfa-Romeo

    I’ve attended the Prescott VSCC meeting for as long as I can remember but never the Frenchthemed ‘La Vie en Bleu’. Noticing that this year the organizers had added a touch of red to the programme with a ‘La Vita Rossa’ Saturday, I was prompted to spring my Franco-Italian Abarth Simca from its temporary rest, only to be thwarted again by sticking brakes.

    I discovered that the rear discs were clamped solid by seized calipers after just a few months of inactivity, and this after a comprehensive rebuild. With rear jacked up and calipers off I then discovered that I needed special tools to wind the self-adjusting piston back into its pot. Once again Martin, the ever-patient proprietor of Rowledge Garage, came to my assistance with the appropriate tools and advice.

    After many hours of to-ing and fro-ing and up-ing and down-ing between carport floor and garage bench, I had one caliper unstuck and functioning properly. With knowledge gained I assumed that caliper two would be a breeze. So it would have been if, in my exuberance, I had not snapped off the lug that retains the handbrake cable. Despair. MoT out of the question. The caliper is working and the handbrake cable is located but even I, well known to travel on a wing and prayer, realise that it is not safe.

    Fallback position. Take the Alfa SZ – it’s Italian, it’s rosso, it’s faster and more comfortable. But it too needs an MoT, which it fails. Slight blow in exhaust and inoperative handbrake on one of the inboard discs. Brakes, again! Well, there’s a surprise. What have I done to deserve this? I’m beginning to feel a bit like Lewis Hamilton must have felt after his spate of early season mechanical gremlins.

    New exhaust downpipes are rushed from EB Spares in Wiltshire and, after consultation with the internet to establish exactly how to adjust the handbrake (obviously it had been done incorrectly previously), I’m MoT’d and ready to roll with just one day to spare.

    Prescott. Weather beautiful, cars gorgeous. Alfa ran well. Chatted for hours with a very charming multi-car owner named Gareth, with taste as eclectic as mine and who, quite remarkably, had just sold his own Alfa SZ to my near neighbour! Yes, there are two SZs residing within a few hundred yards of each other.
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  • Delwyn Mallett updated the picture of the group
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  • Delwyn Mallett created this group

    Alfa Romeo SZ / RZ Club

    Alfa-Romeo-SZ 1989 - 1994
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