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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Starting a post to “document the journey” as I rebuild a 2017 Giulia Ti Q4. After some time debating getting into rebuilds, I finally pulled the trigger on a car that popped up in my watch list. First time rebuild and first time Alfa Romeo owner, but the idea of both has always intrigued me.

I got this car through Copart and due to time available I opted to have it shipped from PA - a bit pricey, and something I’d reconsider in the future, but not having the experience it was the route I took. The car showed up with the damage shown (keep the naysaying to a minimum please ;)). A daunting task for a first timer, but I’ve always been a tinker and have rebuilt other vehicles (farm tractors, motorcycles, etc. ) so I know sometimes the first step is just getting into it.

As mentioned, I hope to use this forum as a way of documenting my experience and to bounce ideas (ask for help) and share what I know with others. More to come!

-theMechEng

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Where in PA? I'm near York.
Are those PA inspection stickers?
 

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Starting a post to “document the journey” as I rebuild a 2017 Giulia Ti Q4. After some time debating getting into rebuilds, I finally pulled the trigger on a car that popped up in my watch list. First time rebuild and first time Alfa Romeo owner, but the idea of both has always intrigued me.

I got this car through Copart and due to time available I opted to have it shipped from PA - a bit pricey, and something I’d reconsider in the future, but not having the experience it was the route I took. The car showed up with the damage shown (keep the naysaying to a minimum please ;)). A daunting task for a first timer, but I’ve always been a tinker and have rebuilt other vehicles (farm tractors, motorcycles, etc. ) so I know sometimes the first step is just getting into it.

As mentioned, I hope to use this forum as a way of documenting my experience and to bounce ideas (ask for help) and share what I know with others. More to come!

-theMechEng

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Good morning brother,
Quite a challenge you set yourself up with this Giulia. I commend you for that. I am on my third rebuild, all from Copart. First one was a Nissan Sentra, my son’s first car.. the other two were Giulia’s. Just completed a 2019 TI Sport, my second Giulia project is a 2017 QV witch I am still workin on. I personally don’t go for cars with front end damage, I look for side or rear collision cars with airbags intact but it all depends on the overall condition of the car of course.
Some people in here will tell you that you are an idiot to try to rebuild a crashed car because they don’t believe a car can be made safe again once it crashed, and they are all entitled to their opinions, but I am in the mindset that anything and everything can be rebuilt. You just need to look at the over all cost vs the value of the car after you completed the project to see if it would be worth your time and effort.
We know that the car came from PA, where are you located? I can probably point you in the right direction to source out some of the body parts you will need to replace. Also, did you buy a crashed car from Copart before or is this the first one?
Shoot my a PM with questions of post here, we are here to help you along your journey. Good luck. 👍🏼
Erdem
 

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Not all cars purchased at salvage yards have the titled branded. In 1989 I purchased an 86 Alfa Spider at a salvage yard in PA. It had 19k miles, looked like it had been nosed under the rear bumper of a pickup truck. Nose panel, hood, radiator and broken valve cover. Paid $2100. and came with a clear title. Me and my body shop buddy fixed her. Still have it.
 

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Not all cars purchased at salvage yards have the titled branded. In 1989 I purchased an 86 Alfa Spider at a salvage yard in PA. It had 19k miles, looked like it had been nosed under the rear bumper of a pickup truck. Nose panel, hood, radiator and broken valve cover. Paid $2100. and came with a clear title. Me and my body shop buddy fixed her. Still have it.
Definitely Andy, I was referring to majority of the cars on Copart today. There is actually a section on there where you can filter and only search Clean Titled vehicles.
One fact about Copart is that it’s a business. They are there to make money, therefore there are a ton of cars listed in there that have been previously bought, half ass fixed to make it look a little better then re-listed for sale. It is up to the buyer to do their due diligence to prevent getting stuck with one of those cars.
Awesome story on your Alfa Spider though, great deal.
Erdem
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the feedback and support guys!

I got a few hours this weekend, between family commitments and field chores to turn up some jams and tinker on the car. I admit it’s slow progress as I try to take special note of how things went together and inspect parts for damage, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless - there is just something about wrenching on warm afternoon, beer in hand, that gives ya the feels.

I’m still digging through the wreckage and studying the service manual so that I can put together a parts list to be on the hunt for. I focused mainly on exposing and cleaning up the engine bay and removing the damaged fenders to get an understanding of what lies beneath. Rails, aprons, and the front subframe/crossmember are the eye-catchers.

For those who have done this, do you lean towards welding in new frame rail ends or working with a frame-straightener to get things true again? I’ve read good/bad things about both and was curious what your experience tells you.

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Thanks for the feedback and support guys!

I got a few hours this weekend, between family commitments and field chores to turn up some jams and tinker on the car. I admit it’s slow progress as I try to take special note of how things went together and inspect parts for damage, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless - there is just something about wrenching on warm afternoon, beer in hand, that gives ya the feels.

I’m still digging through the wreckage and studying the service manual so that I can put together a parts list to be on the hunt for. I focused mainly on exposing and cleaning up the engine bay and removing the damaged fenders to get an understanding of what lies beneath. Rails, aprons, and the front subframe/crossmember are the eye-catchers.

For those who have done this, do you lean towards welding in new frame rail ends or working with a frame-straightener to get things true again? I’ve read good/bad things about both and was curious what your experience tells you.

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I clean cut and welded everything in one of my builds. Worked great. I think welding a new piece helps restore integrity of the structure vs bending damaged metal back in shape.
 

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John Difatta (shop in Baltimore) repaired a similarly damaged Stelvio. He purchased many chassis and body parts directly from Italy for what sounded like very reasonable prices compared to US Dealer pricing. He is away on vacation for the next week or two. If you email him, I'm sure that he will reply when he returns.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
John Difatta (shop in Baltimore) repaired a similarly damaged Stelvio. He purchased many chassis and body parts directly from Italy for what sounded like very reasonable prices compared to US Dealer pricing. He is away on vacation for the next week or two. If you email him, I'm sure that he will reply when he returns.
Thanks for the contact info! As I tear further into the damage, I'll see what all needs to be replaced. I've seen some guys around selling rail/apron cutoffs from the firewall forward. Have you guys used these for welding in in lieu of rebuilding all of the formed-metal pieces?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The past days focus was primarily on exposing the engine and removing items in the way of engine removal. My current approach/thought is that the most correct method of repair is to weld in new rail ends, aprons, and strut towers from a donor. With that in mind, to expose the work area, I’ve got to remove the broken subframe then work towards pulling the engine. To date I’ve pulled the steering rack, sway bar, and both half axles. If anyone has got a pair of front L/R frame assemblies, bumper supports, and radiator support let me know! 😁
 

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I would send this to ur local frame shop to pull and repair the rails. Dont replace the rail or strut tower unless absolutely needed. The welds that u put in for replacement of rails or any parts will not b as strong as factory welds. Not to mention rust protection from ur new welds. As for the metal welded parts that sits on top of the rails, ( baffle/ upper tie bar etc) ya u can replace them if u wish..
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I would send this to ur local frame shop to pull and repair the rails. Dont replace the rail or strut tower unless absolutely needed. The welds that u put in for replacement of rails or any parts will not b as strong as factory welds. Not to mention rust protection from ur new welds. As for the metal welded parts that sits on top of the rails, ( baffle/ upper tie bar etc) ya u can replace them if u wish..
Thank you for the opinion! The strut tower on the passenger side is definitely cracked and I’m concerned about the strength of the straightened rails after being crumpled.

I know other OEMs make the preferred repair methods readily available for their vehicles. Has anyone come across something similar for Alfa Romeo? I did find a good catalog on one of Mopar’s sites listing the various primers, waxes, and pre-finishes to use, but nothing regarding straightening vs welding.
 

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2018 Q4 with Fiamenghi Ti exhaust, Race Mod, and Tecnico wheels.
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I clean cut and welded everything in one of my builds. Worked great. I think welding a new piece helps restore integrity of the structure vs bending damaged metal back in shape.
No doubt that welding done right is best. Even better if you can separate factory welds.

When metal is bent it elongates, thins, and springs back. The spring back becomes a problem when you try to bend metal to a shape (i.e. fix damage) and spring back is more problematic for the high strength steels used in the impact absorption systems in Giulia. For a tiny bend, this distortion might not be a problem but some expertise is required to recognize what you can get away with.
 
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