I’ve been thinking about what I want out of the Berlina and how best to achieve it. I want a daily commuter that gets as close to 30mpg as possible with plenty of torque and top end. I have been pondering the quickest, cheapest and easiest approach to getting this out of the Berlina and I think I figured it out yesterday after an hour long session going back and forth between a catalog and an Excel spreadsheet followed by a call to my local used Alfa parts supplier. I’m going to pull the carburetted 1750 that is in my 1959 Sprint out and put it in the Berlina then put the original 1300 back in the Sprint.
This may seem like an added complexity, bringing the Sprint into the picture, but I have a lot of reasons to do it this way. Among them:
- The 58 Sprint Veloce is 1750 powered and having 2 1750 powered Sprints is redundant.
- The transmission in the 1959 Sprint is the worst Alfa gearbox I’ve ever shifted that actually still shifted and I have a rebuilt and lightened 101 5 speed ready to go in it.
- The engine compartment in the Sprint is painted rattle-can silver and with the engine out I can get it painted to match the rest of the car.
- I can do the whole job for about $350 in used parts and $450 in new parts, unless I decide to fully rebuild the 101 1300 that is going in the Sprint, which will add another $800 to $1000.
Once my mind was made up I had to come up with a plan. Do I prep the 1300 and have it ready to drop right away, or do I focus on getting the Berlina out of my shop and on the road then finish the Sprint at leisure? Since I’m going to paint and detail the engine compartment it makes sense to finish the Sprint at leisure.
I had an hour and a half scheduled to work in the shop yesterday so I set to it. The hood came off the Sprint, followed by the airbox, Dellorto DHLA 40’s and then radiator. There is no easy access to the 4 lower nuts that mount the carbs to the manifold from above so I had to pull the passenger side wheel off and go in from below. The radiator came out without much fuss, though I probably spent as much time chasing a shop-mates puppy away from the spilled coolant as I did working on the car.
I still have to decide if I will stick with the current carb set-up or change to a Weber down draft on a 1600 manifold for better fuel economy. I’ll worry about that later I suppose. Next up is disconnecting everything on the underside of the Sprint and pulling the engine out. Hopefully that will be done today.
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