Alfa Romeo 4C Fix Steering Wheel Tilt Angle

The Steering wheel tilt control on an Alfa Romeo 4c as it comes from the factory will not let the wheel go high enough for anyone 6 foot tall or over to be able to see the top of the dashboard. There is a moderately simple fix to improve the angle of the tilt mechanism so the top of the dash is visible.

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Working Brakes and Simple Electric Drive

The car has been sitting around not getting much of anything done to it other than using it as a table. The problem I have is if it is in the main part of my shop it is in the way of anything else I need to work on but once I put it off to the side it just gets forgotten. I needed a way to move it around without having to pull it with something else. I decided to rig up some sort of electric drive to it. I started by looking at welding a larger starter motor to the input shaft of a spare transmission. It would have been messy but would have worked good enough to let me get the car into place by myself. I ended up using a spare transmission and just used a stock Metro starter motor and just put a spare engine block on it to hold the whole thing in place. It looks terrible but it works.

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Working on cargo area layout

I need to get the layout on where everything goes figured out. So before I start making the flange for the trunk lid to seal against I need to come up with how the rest of the stuff is going to fit. The first thing is the wall for the storage area. I used plastic from Speedway motors for it since it is easy to work with and pretty strong. I had to start with making a template out of cardboard then cutting out the plastic to fit and adjusting it to seal to the fenders tight enough to be water tight once it is all done. I didn’t get it finished but it is in place so I can get an idea of how much room I have to work with.


It will give me plenty of storage room and once the inner fenders are put together and all of it is done, the back of the car will be much more usable than it was stock. The engine will be a bit harder to get to but I am hoping the car is reliable enough I really wont have to work on it that much once it is on the road.

Start of framing up trunk and rear fenders

With the trunk lid cut free and the back of the car mounted I need to get it all squared up good before I can build inner fenders and stuff. I tried a few different things to get everything to sit square and finally came up with a way to get it all lined up. I clamped a section of 1 inch square tubing to each side and shimmed it out to get everything sitting right. It was a simple way to hold it together and didn’t need any duct tape.


Now that I have a nice even gap around the trunk lid I can start to build up a lip in the trunk to seal the lid when closed. I am not completely sure what I am going to use to make it. I need something strong enough to not let the fiberglass warp over time so I am thinking of forming up something out of metal and fiberglassing it onto the body similar to how I did the expanded metal on the hinge setup. I thought about trying to use foam to make a form and fiberglass that in the car. I will work on some ideas and see what works best. One good thing will be if I can keep the inner fenders separate from the fenders I can make the whole back body easy to unbolt and drop off the back of the car without all the hassle of the one piece trunk lid. I will work on that after I get everything framed up stiff and can keep it from warping.


Here is what the back end looks like with all the mess cleaned out of it. It has way more room than it did before. Once the inner fenders and trunk area are done it should work out perfect.

Trunk Hinges

I worked out how to attach the hinges to the roll bar. It was hard to get them lined up and attached. I ended up bolting a plate onto the hinges and welding the plates on to the roll bar after I got it lined up right. After getting it welded in place and making sure everything worked like it should I then unbolted the hinges from the plates. I could then drill and bolt the plates down while the weld holds it all in place. I then cut the welds and spot welded the hinges back on to the plates.


The trunk lid now can be removed by taking the 6 bolts off that hold the plates to the roll bar and the trunk lid is free. I will measure and find a set of gas struts to hold it open once I figure out how far I want the lid to stay open. Once I get the rest of the work done on the back end I will get a key and latch setup mounted to the back. I probably won’t put a cable operated remote release on it and just put an electrical release sometime in the future.

Trunk Lid Cut Out

Managed to get the trunk lid cut apart today. It didn’t take long to get it apart and the lower section bolted down solidly. After checking it for square it seems to sit on the frame pretty well. I will probably end up making new inner fenders and seal off the whole back area to make a nice storage area. I will also have to make a few more braces up to make it nice and strong. It should give me a lot more room in the back of the car so maybe I won’t have to put the battery and other stuff up front.


I made up a hinge setup by welding a small piece of expanded metal onto the hinges I am going to use. I then fiberglassed the whole thing onto the trunk lid. I just put a single layer of material on it in a few spots just to hold it solidly to the panel. After it dries I can go back and add a few more layers and make it a lot stronger. Once the hinge section is reinforced strong enough I can bolt the hinges to the roll bar and have a working trunk lid.


I will work on building inner fenders and sealing off a storage area before I put the lid back on. I will probably use cardboard and form the shape then lay fiberglass on top of it to build them up. That seems like the quickest way to build up a shape that I have tried so far.

Finished Trunk Lid and Measuring for Cuts

I have enough fiberglass on the new section of trunk lid to make it good and strong. It just needed some sanding and it is about done.

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More Fiberglass Work

Still working on the trunk lid. I have it thick enough now to be nice and strong. It is pretty close to level now and you can finally start to see what it is going to look like. I haven’t had much time to mess with the car but that just gave the fiberglass plenty of time to set up I guess. I put the last few layers on it today to get it up to full thickness. It is now slightly thicker than the stock fiberglass so it should hold up to being used as the edge of a trunk lid without much problem.


I still need to build up the back it is kind of thin and will need built up pretty good. I will get it built up then sand the whole thing down nice and level. I will probably go ahead and try out putting gel coat on and see how it works before I cut the lid free. Once the lid is free and reinforced on the bottom with some metal bracing I will start putting the finishing touches on the wing and make it in fiberglass.

More Fiberglass Work on Trunk Lid

It has been cold and terrible weather for fiberglass work so not much has been done the last week or so. But the weather is looking better now so it is time to get the work on the trunk lid going again.

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Started Fiberglassing the Trunk Lid

I didn’t get much time today to work on the car but I managed to get a few things done. First thing was level out the new trunk lid lip. I started by clamping a pvc pipe to the back to hold the slight curve I need. I tried measuring out a straight line for the trunk lid since it would be easier to make but the rear body is not made square enough and no matter what it doesn’t look even. A slight curve keeps it from being noticeable.

Once it was straight I covered it with packing tape to keep the trunk lid from sticking to it. I cut a bevel into the top so the new material will have a better bond. After that I put the filler back in place and laid a layer of fiberglass over it. The shape is only approximately right but it is such a large area it is hard to get everything right in one pass. My plan is to let it cure for a few days while I am at work then when I get back on it I can remove the support from underneath it and cut and form that single layer a bit better. Once it is close to where I want I will build it up and join it into the old body panels good. That should give me enough thickness to get it nice and flat and be thick enough to mount a trunk latch in it without breaking over time.