Projects - 33 1.7 16v Floor, sill, fuel filler & service area repair

October 2017: The days when 33's were offered for sale for scrap prices and in many cases treated as such have gone fortunately. Nowadays people approach these fun cars with a bit more respect. This particular patient was built in the Pomigliano d'Arco factory near Naples in 1993 and has several issues that require attention to avoid spreading the disease. Although a couple of areas are in a poor condition, overall it's still salvage-able without too ludicrous time investment. I first start with left front floor which has some unintended ventilation holes and quite some rust.


Left hand side front floor with quite a big hole near the sill.


Another unintended small ventilation hole which requires closing.

This picture shows the damage extent quite clearly.


Left front floor near jacking point not too healthy either.

Front seat attachment bracket, cage nuts completely broken out, potentially not so safe for the driver.


No other way then to start cutting away material near the sill.


Here some factory original evidence we're dealing with a 1993 manufactured vehicle. No doubts here ;-)


Pealing away rust affected material near sill.

This small disaster seen from a different angle. Doesn't look any better unfortunately.


Surprisingly the left hand sill itself is in good condition. A very thorough cleaning is sufficient.

Hand made repair piece plug & butt welded into position.

Snug fit for initial welded repair piece.


Left hand floor with same connection to sill as factory original.


Jacking point can use some attention as well.

Hole which needs to be closed.


Jacking point section after thorough cleaning and treatment with coating.

Hand made floor repair piece with holes for butt welding purpose.

Welding finished. Seam between the section reconstructed as factory original.


Left front floor completed and treated with anti corrosive coating.


Next up is the right hand sill at the rear end. As shown in the pictures below it can use some mending.


Right hand side sill rear end, clear signs of trouble surfacing here.


Right hand side sill rear end seen from underneath the car, rust damage quite obvious, or...?


Quite some rust affected material removed.


Peeling of the outer skin of the sill.


Sufficient material removed to reach healthy base material.


Inside outer wall section of sill recreated and trial fit.


Outer wall on inside of vehicle welded in position.


Rear end of sill partially recreated and treated with anti corrosive coating.


Inner section of sill recreated in factory original shape, I don't like shortcuts, even when not visible.


Inner section of sill welded & treated with anti corrosive coating.


Outer skin of sill recreated with all square skirt clip holes and of course plug welding holes present.


Outer skin of sill plug welded in position at bottom side and tack welded on top side.


Complete welding of sill finished. Square holes for skirt attachment fully functional as shown by the assembled plugs.


Also the small plastic plug for skirt attachment at the rear end fits.


Right hand side sill rear end finished & treated with anti corrosive coating. Looks pretty healthy.


Right hand side sill rear end finished & treated with anti corrosive coating. Everything fits.


The rear end of the right hand side sill rear end was finished in 2 days. Taking the coating drying time and the fact that I also have to do other things in life then only working on Alfa's into consideration this timing isn't too bad. However there's no time to enjoy only this repair because still several other ones on this car remain.

The third and next problem to resolve is the infamous fuel filler area. This has always been a weak point of the 33's throughout its complete production span from 1983 up till 1994. This particular vehicle is no exception to that rule and has already been repaired in the past by somebody else. The quality of that repair is pretty clear when looking at the pictures below. Material was simply welded behind the original sheet metal and resulting holes and dimples were filled with filler. That's of course asking for trouble. The repair lasted for some years but at the same spots of course the issue is returning. I'll fix it properly this time.


This crater like landscape appears after cleaning and removing a significant amount of filler.


Holy crap, what kind of repair is this?? Luckily I'm not the only annoyed person, so is Tyson Fury as you can see.


Cut out the rust affected material and thoroughly cleaned the connection to the inner section.


Treated the inner section with anti corrosive coating.

Trimmed readily available repair piece to suit size of created hole in body.


Applied sealant to create a leak free connection to the outer metal skin.

Pushed metal skip towards sealant and tack welded repair piece in position to dry for 48 hours.


Removed any excessive available weld material to create a completely flush surface.


With this task taken care of a start can be made on the next problem area. In the service area just below the windscreen the corners on the left and right hand side are deteriorating so bad they are about to loose their functionality as support for the plastic clips which are located in this area. Again no other solution then to remove material amply till healthy base material is available and then recreate the sections by hand.


Pretty rusty section in right hand side service area below windscreen.


Close up of this moon like landscape, hole functionality not given anymore.


Rust affected material removed, quite tricky geometry to manufacture a repair piece for.


Hand made repair piece with factory original shape welded into position. Even the holes are functional again.



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The activities don't seem to end. After repairing the right hand side rear sill end now it's time for the left hand side rear sill end. Although the condition is significantly better than the right hand side still some clear signs of rust are available. No other way then to start cleaning and see what the damage is. As the first appearance showed the damage is definitely less then on the other side previously dealt with.



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Still not finished with this car. The spare wheel well shows an unwanted hole and the fuel pump bracket is completely gone. Reconstruction of the factory original fuel pump bracket is no rocket science. The hole in the spare wheel well is a bit more elaborate activity.



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All in all quite some activities again, but this patient is ready to go for quite some years from a structural point of view. Almost all projects I start on tend to become more elaborate then hoped for, so did this project. Anyway the end result is quite pleasing to me.
Last update: November xxth 2017  

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