Tech Tips


Tech Tips

If you have a ( general ) problem or if you like to get a partnumber than please check first the more than 1200 pages thick SZ workshopmanual, the RZ supplement, the SZ partsbook, the body repair video, or the service manuals please. Copies available.

41.) Rusting petrol tank.
42.) Axle boot cover rear wheel side.
43.) Adjusting / repairing the rev counter.
44.) Taking off the glued modar bodypanels.
45.) Problems with windshield wiper nozzle.
46.) Interior door-pull handles replacement.
47.) Shockabsorbers and Hydraulic jacking system.
48.) Broken seat adjuster.
49.) Mirrors not moving anymore.
50.) Removal of the steering rack.
51.) Changing the petrol screw cap and replace the original lock / Petrol smell.
52.) Overheating or exploding battery.
53.) Removing the doorpanels.
54.) How to build speakers into the doors.
55.) Water entering the interior.
56.) Rust Problems.
57.) Location of the engine bay stickers SZ and SZ / RZ emblem at the boot.
58.) Final gear ratio SZ / RZ.
59.) How to mount the "rubber" profiles.
60.) Blinker Modification ( U.S.A. - Canada etc. )


41.) Rusting petrol tank.

SZ tank

a.) Like classic cars also the SZ / RZ's can have problems with rusty fuel tanks, often because of those cars where stored for a long time with an empty or half full fuel tank.
Than it is possible that you get "fly rust" inside of the tank and when starting to drive the ( outside ) petrol filter gets full of dirt.
But before that happens the inside filter will be full of rust / dirt allready and damaging the petrol pump if not taken care of.
Often the problem is noticed if the engine is not running well anymore when driving with an almost empty petrol tank or stopping completely. If you wait a while and than start the engine it maybe will run again for some time, till the rust ecc. will block up the internal filter ecc. again. If the tank will be filled the problem will not appear anymore,.. till the tank is almost empty again...
If replacing a few times the outside filter will not help, than you can try to flush out the tank completely and after that conserve the inside with repairing stuff / fluid that is for sale at car part shops or companies selling parts for classic cars. If you store the SZ / RZ for longer time it is best to fill up the tank completely and after solving the problem is will be also a good idea to put a few bottles injector cleaner into the tank.
If you want to see a larger picture, click the thumbnail .

tank tank tank tank tank tank tank tank tank tank tank tank tank tank tank

b.) Water entering the petrol tank and causing all kind of problems can happen because of a blocked de-watering hose. The hose is running trough the boot and ending at the rear right side under the car ( together with the de-air-hose from the hydraulic pump ). The hole making the water disappear trough this hose is often a bit hidden under the rubber tank flap ( see pics ). If dirt blocked the opening or the hose itself, than it can happen - during heavy rain or washing the car - that water enters the petrol filler cap. Water is than running into the petroltank and it will not cause only extra rust, but can also give all kind of engine problems.

SZ tank

SZ tank


42.) Axle boot cover rear wheel side.

ashoes

The rubber cover at the "gearbox-side" is the same as used on the 75 / Milano, the covers used at the "wheel-side" have been specially made for for the SZ and RZ.
Those covers are different from the ones on the 75 because the SZ / RZ can go up and down,.. pushing the axle's in or pulling them out.
Those wheel side covers have rotted away now after 20 years at most cars and they are totally not available anymore via Alfa Romeo or other suppliers, there are some alternative solutions ( one is shown at the pictures below ), but after testing not completely satisfactory.

If you want to see a larger picture, click the thumbnail .

ashoes ashoes ashoes ashoes ashoes ashoes ashoes

The metal part with the holes fits as original on the SZ / RZ, but the rubber is different. The original rubber parts moved in and out the metal housing. The replacement has to move outside of the metal base and in some situations there is not enough room to move outside the metal part without touching suspension parts when the car is put in the up or down position, making the rubber boot rip within some time. At some cars it hold longer than a year, but also at some cars they ripped within a year.
It looks different under the car, it can be seen as an emergency solution to get the car trough MOT / TUV / APK / Yearly check-up and is as far as I know the only simple and low budget solution to solve the problem ( temporarily ?? ).

In 2011 I was able to find out wich company produced those original SZ / RZ bootcovers in the first place and luckily I could order - via a trader - 10 pieces from them.
It seems that there are in the mean time also offered similar looking covers ( Chinese replica ? ) for low prices. I confronted that original company with those items and low prices.
According to their sales department, those ( replica ? ) selling prices are almost the same as their production costs for those low numbers ordered. They were only made by them for the SZ/RZ and the same covers have also been used later on a small racing car.
Because of that last -kit kind of- car, they were still producing those boots on request but not always available. They doubt the quality, thickness and oil resistance ecc. of that alternative boot. Also the rubber boot form is slightly different from the original part they produced. Personally I do not have any experience with that alternative, but those originals have been fitted now under several SZ/RZ's over the world past years and till now no complaints.


43.) Adjusting / repairing the rev counter.

rev counter

Sometimes it happens that the rev counter does not work correctly anymore,... showing too low or too high revs for the speed you are driving in.
SZ or RZ rev counters and the other instruments are not available anymore since many years. I still have a few instruments in stock but maybe the counter can be repaired. There are companies specialized in those kind of jobs, but often expensive and sometimes not succesfull and they will burn out anyway if bad luck, causing lots of smoke from under the dash.

rev counter

Here some pics to show how the counter can be openened and how the revs can be adjusted with the little pot-meter inside the counter, but it will be always your OWN responsibility if you alter things.

If you want to see a larger picture, click the thumbnail .

rev counter rev counter rev counter rev counter rev counter rev counter rev counter rev counter rev counter rev counter rev counter rev counter


44.) Taking off the glued modar bodypanels.

According to the official Alfa Romeo workshopmanuals ( UK version chapter 49 ) ecc. it is only possible to take the old / damaged panels off the metal - where they are bonded to -by cutting those modar body panels in pieces to have them replaced by new ones.

bodyparts

There has been found a way to take the panels off the car, without damaging them too much, so that they can be used again.
Good news, because those panels are not available anymore since many years.

*** If you have been granted access to the hidden part of the site you can ask me for more information or pictures, please let me know. ***


45.) Problems with windshield wiper nozzle.

After having the car stored for some time it is possible that there is coming no water anymore out of the wiper nozzles ( In The Netherlands a MOT item ).
In 99 % of the cases it is caused by dryed-in rust or residue in the part showed below.

nozzle

You can de-block it by carefully fiddle a bit around with a small drill untill it opens up.

nozzle

Before putting the hose back on place, first have the window wiper pump activated, so that the - now loosened up - risidue will be sprayed directely out of that nozzle and will not block up the spray nozzles at the wiper arms.

*** If you have been granted access to the hidden part of the site you can ask me for more information or pictures, please let me know. ***

Other possible problems:
1.) Broken window wiper pump ( when activited you will not hear a buzz,... also check the fuse ecc. ).
2.) Broken / stucked plastic valve placed in the hose coming from the spray water tank ( left top corner engine bay ).
3.) The hose at the drivers / left side running from the nozzle as shown in the pics makes a steep bend directely when entering the engine bay, and it can get clamped by the wiper motor mechanism running directely along that hose.


46.) Interior door-pull handles replacement.

The interior door-pull handles are almost similar to the ones used on the first type of the Fiat Tipo.

doorhandle

For the SZ/RZ those parts are not available anymore since several years. But the ones used on the first types of Fiat Tipo are almost the same and with some little changes they can be made perfectely fit on our cars.

*** If you have been granted access to the hidden part of the site you can ask me for more information or pictures, please let me know. ***


47.) Hydraulic jacking system.

KONI

It is a KONI system and one of the best shocks they ever produced. Even after all those years most SZ / RZ's do not have any problems with those shocks and the system is almost maintenance free.

That is the good news, the bad news is that no parts for this system are available anymore.
At Koni they do not want to service those shocks anymore and also the individual parts to rebuild a shock are not available / known anymore.

a.) The system has been filled with hydraulic LHM ( plus ) fluid. It can be bought at every car part shop, because it is also used in CitroŽn cars.

!!!Please read also carefully techtip 47d !!!

b.) The left and right front shock absorber do have different part numbers, the rear ones (left and right side) do have the same part number which makes them interchangeable.
There is a possibility to make the front ones interchangeable also, because the only difference I can detect between both front shocks is the metal pin pressed into the rubber bushing at the bottom of the shock has been placed out of the center, depending on which side of the car that shock is to be used.

BUT in 2014 I found out that at a large number those metal pins have been welded to the bushing with a one point welding at both sides.

So you have to be lucky to find one of the front shocks without those weldings, or you need to press out the complete rubber bushing to turn it.

KONI

KONI

KONI

KONI

KONI

So if one of your front shocks is beyond repair and you were lucky to find a replacement, but for the wrong side, you could push the metal pin out of the rubber bushing and rotate it 180 degrees and push it in again.

c.) In many SZ / RZ's the red warning light ( high position of the car ) can light up spontanuously when driving at high speeds or driving over some bumps. This is normal and a quick push on the green switch makes the light go out again.

d.) Should the hydraulic switch controlling the system (making the warning light on the dash light up when the system is in the high position) be broken then these are no longer available from Alfa Romeo. I once visited a company that was specialized in restoring CitroŽn cars. I showed them an original hydraulic switch used on the SZ. They had suitable switches that were used on the CitroŽns from the 70/80-ties. The only difference was the connector but these can be swapped over easily. The Alfa Romeo partnumber was: 60565678. On the original switch the next text has been printed: SIPEA 1738 10 BAR OB. If someone will find a source who still can deliver those hydraulic switches, please let me know.

KONI

KONI

In 2015 I got the next techtip from a Japanese member. It seemed the best possible alternative !

Please read this techtip till the end !!!

Our Japanese registermember found a possible alternative with the AR part number 60558329. This switch has been used on the end of the brake master cylinder from the 164 QV 3.0 V6 and Alfa 155 2.5 V6 models and is almost a similar looking switch. The best thing: That one is still available !!!

KONI

Below some pictures from the alternative.

The "only" difference is that it works at 20 bar and the original at 10 bar pressure ( It also has been produced by Sipea as the original switch is ).
That 20 bar probably will not be a problem, because the hydraulic pump itself can give 70 bar to the sytem. Although it has been regulated by a valve on the pump to lower output, it will always be more than 20 bar needed for the alternative switch to function.

KONI

In fact a higher one may well stop the light coming on occasionally when driving ( techtip 47c ).

This alternative solution will be tested soon.

!! UPDATE:!!

01 July 2015 the first test did follow at an UK SZ:

Pressure switch 60558329 works fine but slower to react. With the original, the red light comes on pretty well straight away as soon as the car starts to rise. Then only goes out when the car is fully back down. With 8329 the light doesnít come on until the rear is up and the front starts to rise. On the way down the light goes off before the rear has dropped. This all makes sense if it switches at higher pressure.

In November 2015 a Japanes owner installed the alternative 20 bar switch at his SZ and a month later he was still very satisfied with the result. No problems, no LHM oil leak anymore at his car.
In Februari 2017 his pressure switch is still working perfectely.

In conclusion, maybe not ideal but the only "easy" alternative till now.

KONI

!!! Update and Warning !!!!!

Februari 2017: A strange thing was that the modification done in Japan is still functioning perfectely and that there is a problem with the switch installed in the UK.

After some investigations it seemed that in the UK car the wrong hydraulic fluid has been used in the past, because of that the rubber parts inside the switch deformed making the switch not functioning anymore after some months !

There is the old type of Citroen hydraulic fluid that is called LHS wich has a red color. That one it totally wrong for the SZ / RZ and seems to be famous - when used in modern systems ( younger than 1966 ) - for its desintegrating seals in that specific hydraulic system !!

The SZ / RZ really does need the LHM ( plus ) wich has the colour green !! Best to check that on your car first !! If the wrong ( red colored, or transparent ) fluid is in your hydraulic system, than you have most likely a problem. It can cause leaks etc. at all seals used in the complete system ( pump / shocks etc.etc. )

e. ) Problems with the "pump unit jacking system" are normally caused by a too low level of hydraulic fluid, a broken switch on the center console or corroded relays on top of the pump unit in the boot. The black left and right side relais are from Bosch, they are 12 Volt, 20/30 Amp. and they do have the production number: 0 332 204 151. The center relais is also from Bosch 12 Volt 30 Amp. and production number: 0 332 014 411.

Relais

A too low level of hydraulic fluid can be noticed easily. After activating the red switch to raise the system you will hear the pump buzzing for a long(er) period than normal.

f.) Checking the hydraulic fluid level at the pump. The car's hydraulic levelling system has to be in the DOWN position (consequently all the fluid is in the reservoir) !!

KONI

At the top end of the reservoir you will find a small sticker with a min and max mark. The problem is those stickers were stuck at random levels, some higher, some lower.
Conseuqently these are not a good indication of the correct oil level. Over the years I have been advising owners to keep the level between min and max to avoid problems. To my great surprise the service manual confirms my story!

* To top-up or refill the reservoir the bolt on top has to be removed. Do not damage or bend the "de-air" / bleeding hose during that process.
*The car has to be in the DOWN position.
*Fill up to somewhere in between the min and max level as indicated by the sticker.
*Refit the bolt.
*Start the engine and make the hydraulic levelling system go up and down a few times ( activate red / green button )
*Switch off the engine when the car is in the lower position as before.
*Check the level in the reservoir again and if neccesary repeat the process.

g.) If you filled the reservoir to the max or in case of excessive, the excess fluid will be pushed out of the reservoir trough the "de-air" / bleeding hose on top of the pump, making it difficult or even impossible to bleed the system. It will take much longer to get the car in the down position and this problem can last for some time. You will find oil stains under the right rear end of the car, where the bleeding hose is penetrating the floor of the boot.

h.) In 2011 at 2 SZ's we noticed another problem: When the car is in the upper position, it lowers itself slowly. The system does loose pressure somewhere and allready mentioned possible solutions could not solve the problem.

*** If you have been granted access to the hidden part of the site you can ask me for more information or pictures, please let me know. ***

i.) Filling / bleeding the hydraulic system.

!!! PLEASE read first note 2 at the end of this techtip carefully !!

There is no guidance given on how to fill and bleed the hydraulic system but I understand that you need to AVOID running the pump dry because that is what causes the metal shavings you probably found in your pump. You would expect the pump to be flooded when you fill it with oil but this is NOT the case. So...I filled up the reservoir and I opened the hydraulic lines (where they connect into the shocks) once more.

Again one by one but now starting with the front wheels and then the back wheels. So what you are doing is bleeding the air from the lines by letting the oil push the air out at the shockís end. So wait until you see the oil seep out and then close the connector and move on to the next wheel. You will notice the oil will not come out by itself. What I did is use the pump to push it out.

Remove relays 1 and 3 from the pump (refer bottom note 3.) and with one connector at one shock open, push the red button for 2 seconds max.

solenoid valve

Repeat this until you see oil dripping from the open hydraulic line.
You will hear the pump is running dry for a few seconds thatís why you should do it gently, using small intervals of operating the pump, avoiding heat build up and wearing it out. You will notice the sound of the pump changing when it finally sucks in the oil. In hindsight, you probably should insert some oil into the pump before putting it together.
It is weird that although the pump is submerged, it does seem to remain dry until operated for say 10 seconds.... OK, so once you have drained all air from the lines, you can now finish your work. Make sure you top up the oil to the required level and make the car go up/down a few times and check again.

Test if all works fine and refit the relays you removed. The car should stay in its highest position now.

One last thing, there is now LHM plus oil available on the market. Apparently it provides better lubrication then the normal LHM oil. Worth considering !

*** Note 2: till the end of January 1991 the connectors on the shocks where soldered. They may not be opened / closed with more than 3kg/M otherwise they can break from the shock. At the end of January Koni welded those connectors on their new shockabsorbers and the problem was gone. So has your car a productiondate before Januari 1991,...be carefull with those connectors !!! ***

*** Note 3: on the relays: when relays 1 and 3 are removed from the pump, your system will still operate but you will need to hold down the green and red switch to operate the pump/valve. Normally a quick push on the switch will automatically make the car go up/down, now you can do this in little steps. Removing the relays will allow you to operate the pump in short bursts, as required to facilitate the bleeding process. ***


j.) If there are problems with the hydraulic jacking system I myself would proceed as follows (in sequence):

1.) The most obvious,...check the fuse in the fuse box left side from the steering wheel. It is a THICK fuse, number 22 as shown at the picture below. Contact can be wobly so check the screws and tighten them if neccesary.

fuse 22

2.) Check oil level and fill up as required.
3.) Remove and replace the up and down switches on the console (on several SZ / RZ's, not maintaining the high position was caused by the switches.)
4.) If there is corrosion on the relays, either clean or replace the relays.
5.) If there is a poor ground connection in the boot, disconnect and clean.
6.) Fix of the problem mentioned under h. ( if you permission is granted to the hidden part of the website ).
7.) The shock absorbers.


48.) Broken seat adjuster.

seat

A.) It is possible to use / modify a Fiat 124 sport or a Lancia HPE ( 1981 ) seat adjuster, they are almost identical to the ones used on the SZ seats.

seat

seat

The mechanisms from the SZ versus RZ are slightly different, but also for the RZ it is easy to change that Fiat / Lancia mechanism. The pictures below will tell the story.

seat

seat

The unit as shown in the photos is almost identical to the SZ unit, with the only differences being:
∑The lever is incorporated in the adjustment mechanism whereas on the SZ, the lever is on the mechanism on the opposite side of the seat.
∑There is an additional bracket of some sort, attached to the bottom of the adjuster.

seat

To make the unit identical, cut off the lever as shown in the sketch ( 1), preferably by using a dremel with a cut through disc.
Make sure you give the cut a nice finish because it may rub against your upholstery, any sharp edges will damage your seat.
Then grind off the weld that holds the bracket (2) in place, again using a dremel with a grinder. Be careful not to touch the plastic cover
There is a screw on the back, holding the cover in place, undo it and wedge the plastic open to create more room for the dremel. The weld is not substantial and the bracket will drop out easily.

However on the unit I used, when fitting, I noticed the spindle opening size (4) of this unit is different to the SZ unit whereas spindle opening (3) is identical. To avoid having to modify the square opening in the adjuster, it is easier to slightly grind down the spindle itself, again using a dremel. Carefully remove a bit on all 4 sizes of the spindle until it fits into opening 4. Put it all together and job done!

B.) Possibly also the seat adjusters from the Alfetta GTv(6) could be used. They look almost identical, but not tested yet.

seat

seat

C.) At several SZ's the plastic covers over the seat adjuster mechanisms are broken and the good news is that also the plastic covers on the Fiat / Lancia / Alfetta GTV / 2000 GTV adjusters are - almost - the same and could be used as a replacement for a broken plastic SZ/RZ cover.
Maybe even the covers or mechanisms from a Ferrari 412 are usable.

seat

In 2015 some Alfa Romeo part traders did start selling replica's of those seat adjuster covers. By cutting aways some small plastic parts at the back and by painting those covers in the silver grey colour as the original, you will have a very good replacement.

seat adjester covers


49.) Mirrors not moving anymore.

a.) Before you start opening the mirrors,.... First check out the mirror switch because that switch is in 99% of the cases the source of the problem, and making the mirror motors disfunctioning ! So do not try to open the mirror inmediately but first check out the switch.

Taking out the switch is not too complicated:

Push in - with a thin screwdriver - the clip at the top of the mirrorswitch, pull the switch out and if neccesary also push in the clip at the bottom.

switches SZ / RZ

switches SZ / RZ

The switch connector has a locking clamp at the left and right side. To pull off the old switch you first need to lift those clamps a bit to unlock the switch. Than you can pull it off.

switches SZ / RZ

switches SZ / RZ

A new switch can be pushed on and will lock automatically into the connector.

That mirror switch is not available anymore via Alfa Romeo but luckily also used in the Alfa Romeo 164, so maybe on the scrap yard still available.

switches SZ / RZ

If you can not find a replacement switch at all, than you could decide to take the original switch apart and clean and grease it up again as a registermember did. Pictures below will explain what to do.

switches SZ / RZ

switches SZ / RZ

switches SZ / RZ

switches SZ / RZ

switches SZ / RZ

switches SZ / RZ

OR,....

Maybe it is possible to find a new mirrorswitch from a Ferrari 348 Spider to combine parts from both switches to get a functioning SZ / RZ mirrorswitch. ( The surrounding is different, but the rest seems to be the same !? ). If someone gives it a try, please let me know the results.

switches SZ / RZ

b.) If the switch ( fuse ecc. ) is not the problem, than you can carefully open the mirrors by pulling off the mirrorglas with backing plate. Be very carefull, the glass can brake easily. Spare mirror glasses where never available via Alfa Romeo, but I have some available.

mirrors SZ/RZ

If you want to see a larger picture, click the thumbnail .

mirrors mirrors mirrors mirrors mirrors mirrors mirrors


c.) Another thing that happens often is that the little stick from this switch is falling out of the switch. Often it is lost than and the switch has to be replaced. Before that happens it would be best to pull out the little stick yourself and place it back with a drop of ( second ) glue on it, to prevent it from falling out and making the switch useless.

mirror switch


50.) Removal of the steering rack.

steering rack

Removal of the steering rack is quite a bit of work - the exhaust (manifold) will need to be loosened, allowing the engine to be raised slightly.

steering rack

steering rack

steering rack

Loosen the bolts etc. at both sides.

steering rack

You then should be able to remove the steering rack through the opening in the wheel cavity.

steering rack

steering rack

steering rack

steering rack

steering rack

You may need to slightly bend one of the edges of the opening, allowing the rack to pass through. When you have the rack out, you should consider renewing the steering rack boots too. These cannot be purchased from AR anymore but matching aftermarket boots should be available.

steering rack


51a.) Petrol smell / Changing the petrol screw cap and replace the original lock/cylinder.

petrol cap

When taking a fast corner to the right side you can smell some moments later a petrol smell in the car.

There are some possibilities causing that smell. There is further elaborated on in the hidden part of the site.

One of the causes can be a worn petrol screw-cap sealing.

The problem is that if you replace the screw cap you also have a different lock cylinder in the cap and an extra key at the key fob.

You do not like that,... so here the solution to use your old cylinder in the new screw-cap. You still can use the original ignition / door key to open that new cap.

petrol cap

It was possible to order a petrolcap without a cylinder. Till 1993 the partnumber was: 60504097. In 2000 the part got another number: 60590424.

petrol cap

Take off the old cap.

petrol cap

Take / break off the big plastic ring. You may damage it, but because the original petrol cap is useless after this operation it is nothing to worry about.

petrol cap

Remove also the "hat" over the back side of the cylinder.

petrol cap

Pull out the locking spring wich locks the cylinder to the base of the screw cap.

petrol cap

Now you can push /pull out the original cylinder out of the old screw cap.

petrol cap

Than the new cap can be upgraded with the old cylinder. The only thing you have to do is to press the old cylinder in the center hole of the cap till you hear / feel the click when it locks itself in the locking spring at the base of the new cap.

Easy job to do and no extra key needed.

locks

If you have bad luck and one of the door locks or ignition lock has been broken and if you do not want to have several different keys to use, than you probably need a new completely new lock set ( ignition / doors / petrol cap ) with matching keys. Those sets are not possible to get via Alfa Romeo anymore. Luckily I still have some complete sets in stock.

glove box lock

If you do not have the key from the glove box anymore, you could replace the lock by a new one with new keys. Not possible via AR anymore to get this item. I still have a few in stock.

51b.) If you have been granted permission to the hidden part of the site, please ask me.


52.) Overheating or exploding battery.

Often SZ / RZ registermembers with the "Hot Starting Problem" try to solve this by putting a new or a bigger and higher amp. battery in place of the old one. This can help temporary, but often after a year or so also that new battery does not deliver enough power to overcome the "hot starting issue" anymore.

Because of using a bigger battery an extra problem has been created. The top hose from the radiator will touch the battery. This can overheat the battery ! It even can explode !! Over the years I saw some horriffic pictures from SZ enginebays where that happened. Even if cleaned inmediately with a lot of water ( with soda to neutralize the acid ) etc.etc. all the aluminium and metal parts will keep corroding and rusting over the years. It will always stay BAD under the bonnet !

So best to solve the "hot starting issue" and when done it is probably possible to use a smaller battery. At the moment I am experimenting with a high amp. battery wich is not wider but higher. This one does not touch the radiator hose, but maybe the bonnets inner side? So I have to test that next summer. Anyhow much room will not be left over between that battery and bonnet.

As an emergency or temporary solution you could put a piece of isolating material between radiator hose and battery. I did do it for some years, but even than the battery got so hot during a long ride that replacement was neccesary every one or two years.

battery

Best to check at your SZ / RZ how the situation is there.


53.) Removing the doorpanels.

doorpanels

At several SZ/RZ's those black shells have been secured with a screw, wich need to be unscrewed first.

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

Remove the 3 (normally plasticized ) nuts like the ones where the jack has been secured with.

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels


54.) How to build speakers into the doors, with the possibility to change things back to original.

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

Take a piece of plastic, metal or what ever and cut it in the exact size as the "lego" like original and cut a hole in it

doorpanels

Cover it with kevlar / carbon "fablon".

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

doorpanels

The used speakers are from Pioneer. Type TS-G1023I - 200 Watt.


55.) Water entering the interior.

Water entering the interior.

Left ( drivers ) front side.

If there is water leaking from the left corner into the interior, it can have several causes. The best thing you can do - as long as you did not find the cause of the problem - to prevent a lot of electrical problems is to glue a piece of plastic ( bag ) at the rear side of the top of the fuse box, so that no water can enter this critical part of the car. Also a good idea to check if the dooropener relais ( nearby the steering column under the dash, see also techtip 24 ) is mounted with its connector in the direction of the floor or as done at the first series with the connector in the direction of the steering wheel. Water than can enter easily and that causes dysfunction of the electric doorlocks or a fuse blown out.

a.) You can start with checking the easy things to begin with the cable tree where it is entering the interior at the engine side. At first series there wasn't put any special car silicone sealing around the rubber grommet. Later they did, but often not 100 percent watertight. So best to put some new sealing around and also around the other smaller rubber grommet, sitting under the big cable tree entrance hole.

water leak

b.) The pedal box has a very thick sealing around it at the engine side. This sealing can get thinner over the years and in that way give some room for water to enter. Best to check the nuts from the pedal box under the dash and to turn them tighter to close things up again. At the engine side it is also a good idea to put some silicone sealing around the ( top of ) the pedal box, preferably before tightning the nuts.

water leak

water leak

water leak

water leak

c.) Before assembly of the cars all the parts did have partnumber stickers. The aluminium roof had a paper sticker in the neighbourhood of the circle in the picture. Many times they did not remove the sticker when glueing the frontscreen in. Over the years there can be a leakage at that spot. The water works its way down and often will enter in the interior in the left corner.

water leak

Also possible that over the years the glue/sealing from the frontscreen has gone bad or the screen has worked itself loose from the glass adhesive. Than the screen has to come out and will have to put in again with new sealing.

d.) Worstcase scenario !! Luckily only seen over the years at cars wich have been outside for long periods in rainy climates. A part of the A-pillars corner(s) have been rusted away.

water leak

e.) Several SZ's had an 8mm threaded hole which was tapped nearby the hinges of the hood / paravan. Probably because there was an AR75 inner fender used. It could be possible that water can enter the interior via that threaded hole.

water leak

SOLUTION:

water leak


Right ( passengers ) front side.

Possibly the same problems as described above, but also some extra's. The nasty thing here is that the computer / ECU is placed under the carpet at the passenger side. You do not want water to enter the computers casing.

water leak

Water at the right side can also be caused because of:

a.) A leaking hot water ( heating ) tap ( rubbish plastic quality ) or tap sealing under the dash at the right footwell side. It often gives green-isch or blue-isch stains.

water leak

b.) At the first series the metal airco pipes did run unprotected via the passengers foothwell to the airco. Because of condensation waterdrops - wich will form under certain circumstances - on those pipes can fall off and makes clear water stains on the carpet. Later they put a kind of black anti condence stuff around those pipes. The condense water than can gather under that protection layer. A problem will show than after taking a corner. The condense water has gone black from the protection material and than will be spilled over the carpet, making black stains. Only solution is to buy black carpets,..hahahaha !
At the last series they used airco pipes wich had a rubber layer on it,..also they entered the passenger side closer to the konsole. They do not have the stain problem anymore.

water leak

c.) Check under the car if the end of the hose from the airconditioner is open. Endpiece from that hose can stick together, not letting the condensation water out of the system and causing that water to enter the interior.

airco


Left and right rear side running into the boot or on the speakershelf.

a.) Famous are the little gaps at the bottom of the C-pillars, because the plastic / rubber profile is bent there so much that it opens up at most SZ's a bit. Water can enter easily and make the bottom of that C-pillar rot away over the years. First you will notice some blisters in the paint at that spot. If still okee, than it is a good idea to put some special car windows sealing in those small gaps and NOT to use "do it yourself shop silicone sealing", because it often has a high acidity, allowing the steel chassis to get corroded.

water leak

water leak

b.) They drilled at each side enormous holes in the C-pillars to attach the rear spoiler. Often they did not seal the holes properly and also water can enter there. C-pillars inside can be reached by taking of the interior trim. You find at both sides 2 big holes ( to unscrew the rear spoiler )...you can use the holes to spray anti-corrosion stuff inside those holes to the top and bottom. Good idear is to take off the rear spoiler first to put some sealing material around the big holes they drilled to mount the spoiler.

water leak

water leak


Water entering the boot has been described under the topic: "Differences during production".


56.) Rustproblems.

Rust

SZís and RZ's normally got a very good corrosion protection at the rustprotection department at Alfa Romeo. The modar body panels can not rust. Those cars often have been stored very dry in collections. The ones been driven normally have been used as a collectors item, so with a lot of tender loving care.

But some of their brothers and sisters had a hard life in a - for cars - hostile climate ( high humidity, rain, cold winters, a lot of salt on the streets, used daily ) and kept outside on the street for many, many years, without checking or upgrading the standard rust protection. It is really major important to check the cars history before buying one !

Rust

A Japanese car was soo long outside on the street that even the paint etc. did wear off at the protruding parts of the car.

Rust

Rust

Rust

Even in such harch circumstances our cars kept up appearances very bravely. Normally most ( Italian ) cars from that era, would have been rotten away on the street within a few years.

But to show where an SZ can rust I can show some worst-case scenario pictures. For me personally a massive HORROR to look at and to show them. Luckily the owner of this car does not want to save any money but he wants the car to be as new again. A complete "body off" restoration as this, is the only way to get the car back to factory specs. My deepest compliments to the company ( Auto Cosmetics Drachten NL ) performing this major operation.

If there can be seen rust on the bottom of the A and C pillars than check out very carefully if the cars hasn't been resprayed at those spots after being filled with polyester.

If there can be found rust at those spots then the chances are that there could be rust found at other places too. In particular at the locations where the modar panels have been attached to the chassis.

Rust

To give the hollow rooms from the SZ / RZ an inspection with with a scope - as you could do at a normal steel car - would not make too much sense at the SZ / RZ.

It may be that inside those areas it lookes fine, while the corrosion is especially apparent on the edges where the panels have been glued to the chassis ( check out the pictures below ) and that, you can not see with a scope.

So this all makes it extremely difficult to judge the real body condition of an SZ or RZ.

A quick respray of the modar panels ( can not rust ) and filling the holes in A and C pilars with polyester can make an SZ / RZ look as the most perfect car out there,... but in reality it is a rust bucket underneath.

If an SZ or RZ has been resprayed than it the most important is it to get a complete picture overview etc. etc. etc. from that restoration and to get to know the history of the car as complete as possible.

If you want to see a larger picture, click the thumbnail .

rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust

Getting a car again....

rust rust rust rust rust rust

Finisched in 2015. Top job done !

Rust

Despite the fact that the SZ / RZ's did got a good rust protection at the factory, even than it is good to try to put some extra rust protection into the hollow sections of the car as far as reachable. Some suggestions have allready been made at techtip 55.

Some extra things that you can do by yourself, without drilling holes etc. You can give the inside of the wheel arches some protection. Those inside wheel arches can be reached easily by taking of the rear interior trim left and right side. It has been mounted with small black screws. If you take those out, you can inspect the inside of the rear wheel arches. Welding is often done in a sloppy way. Also it is a good idea to spray some anti corrosion stuff inside.

Rust

Rust

Rust

Rust

At the outside - between the rear fenders and the sills - has been made a small invisible slit. Probably made there to de-air the inside fenders. Problem is that also water can enter there. After having sprayed the anti-corrosion stuff inside the rear fenders inside as explained, it can happen that trought that slit the excess of that anti corrosion stuff will appear. It is good to put a plastic bag underneath to protect your floor.

Rust

Another attempt to keep the front left and right side corrosion free from the inside, is probably to take the inside trimm left and right side away from the footwells. Than it should be possible to spray some protection to the inside front fenders etc. Please make some pictures for me if you do so.

Rust


57.) Location of the engine bay stickers SZ and SZ / RZ emblem at the boot.

a.) Stickers in the engine bay from an SZ ( At an RZ is is different ).

Stickers

Stickers

Stickers

Stickers

b.) Stickers in the engine bay from an RZ.

Stickers

c.) Location of the SZ / RZ Emblem at the boot.

Emblem

The easiest way to remove the old emblem is with a dental flosss thread by making a sawing motion between the logo and the trunk.
This allows you - without causing damage - cutting the double-sided tape at the back of the emblem.

Emblem

The first and second picture below are the most important, 3 and 4 can only give an indication, because of the rounded edges of the rear fender.

Emblem

Emblem

Emblem

Emblem

Emblem

And some pics from an RZ left rear fender:

Emblem

Emblem


58.) Final drive ratio SZ / RZ.

The final drive ratio for the SZ and RZ is 11/43.

gears

75 FINAL DRIVE RATIOS are:

11/39 3.0L
11/41 3.0L CLOVERLEAF / POTENTIATO
11/39 2.0L DIESEL
13/40 2.4 DIESEL
9/41 1.6
10/43 1.8
11/43 1.8 TURBO + POLICE + CARABINERI ******** SZ/RZ ******
10/41 2.0 TWIN SPARK

gears

So it seems only the 1.8 Turbo etc. had the same final drive ratio as the SZ / RZ.

One of our registermembers who is racing his SZ frequently, modified the car to make the best impression at the circuits.

The things he did were: to replace the original engine by a tuned GTA engine, he changed the front brakes, ECU, exhaust, but also changed the pinion and crown wheel with a 10/41 ratio, which to make the car accelerate much faster.

This adjustment was made in 2006 and operates to this day perfect. His car now is revving upto 7200 rpm and doing a topspeed of 280 kmh.


59.) How to mount the "rubber" profiles.

Rubber profile

You can find those profiles around the frontscreen RZ and at the SZ all around all screens and roof,- and boot lines.

The rubber profiles at the SZ ( also front screen RZ ) are to be used only in one direction.

!!! So pay attention if you remove the original profiles. You need to put the replacements in, into the same direction as the old ones came out !!!!!

Rubber profile

The difference is at the bottom. On one side of the stem, there are three ridges on the other side only two. The stem is positioned at an angle.

Rubber profile

For the SZ all around you need about 15 meters, for the RZ frontscreen 5 meters is enough.

Rubber profile

At the pictures you will find this complex one directional profile with its ridges, flat and hollow part, a-symetrical and the stem under an certain angle . Really drama to have it produced as original !

Before placing the new profiles, the old glue and silicone residues must be very thoroughly and carefully removed. In case of damage arising therefrom in the paint, it is good - before the new profiles are placed - first to apply a rust inhibitor.

If you pull out the old profiles it can look like if they are wider than the replacement. That is because of the fact that those plastic profiles have been pushed / glued in under pressure and sitting there for 25 years. Maybe they are once or more often removed after replacing a windshield in the past etc.etc.

Rubber profile

New ones will also be a bit flatter when installed !

Best to have this job done by a real good specialist. Even for the Alfa Romeo / Zagato technicians it seems to be a difficult job to place those screens and profiles into the new cars !

Rubber profile

Rubber profile

The original profiles used at the SZ and RZís have been made from a kind of hard plastic, giving at most cars problems over the years and impossible to put back in place after having the screens out, needed for a respray etc. Over the years they bleach, can get blisters, get hard, too short etc.

Rubber profile

But luckily at the end of the production of the RZ a rubber alternative replacement profile has been offered by Alfa Romeo.

That last one was much better, but since the year 2001 out of stock totally. Problem: it was about 1.5 mm. smaller than the plastic trim and that was not always handy.

Rubber profile

I bought in the past some original plastic profiles from the Zagato company. I used those never been been used virgin plastic profiles to have the new tooling / moulds made. So our rubber profiles ( best quality ) where as wide as the original plastic ones and made from original profiles wich came out of the first original moulds used at Alfa Romeo.

Original never been used plastic profile used to have the mould made.

Rubber profile

Rubber replicated ones as wide as the original plastic ones

Rubber profile

On later cars you can / will find at the visible part of the profiles, ridges running along the length of the profile, wich has been caused by the fact that the moulds being used were worse at the end, because of of minor damage to them during the production process.

The problem - when reproducing those sealings - is the complexity from the rubber at the back side.

When it has not been produced in exact that way as the original, than there will be fitting problems ( wich was not the easiest job anyhow ) at the SZís !

We tested that all before and 3 companies made the test tooling and test pieces in the past. In the end 2 companies where not able to make the profiles correctely and the 3th. company succeeded after several moulds and test fittings.

Sadly that supplier stopped in 2008 but I found an alternative company in 2015 and there a limited batch of profiles has been made and test fitted at an SZ.


60.) Blinker Modification ( U.S.A. - Canada etc. )

In Canada, probably also in the U.S.A. ( North American laws ) it is necessary to put - horrible looking- extra side reflectors / blinkers into the front,- and rear fenders at imported cars.

blinker modification

A Canedian registermember did find a perfect an visual totally not disturbing solution. He explained the job he did as follows:
"In the front, I insert an orange reflector without any lamp inside because I mounted a double filament bulb in the front marker light for the day lights when the car start. At the rear, I insert a red reflector and added 3 leds insides, then it light on when the car start".

Maybe a good solution for more members, certainly now several cars also have been exported to the U.S.A.

blinker modification

blinker modification

blinker modification

If you intend to make that modification also,.. please send me some detailed pictures !


If you have any TechTips that can be used for Alfa Romeo SZ or RZ, I am intrested to know about that.
Please email me if you have a special Tip or solution for a problem,..thanks,...Ed.

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