Simple explicit steps with supporting illustration.
All important measurements given.
Unique LSD building procedure.
Unique inductive distributor recurving step by step.
Affordable big-brake mods.
Complete suspension subsection.
Twin Spark head mods.
Electrical system mods.
Up to date supplier/specialist list, including web info.
Exciting cylinder head airflow diagrams and dyno data.
The book is illustrated throughout with mainly colour photos and the author writes in a simple, easy-to-understand way which is vitally important for getting technical information across accurately. Not exactly a coffee table book, (unless you are a real Alfa ‘tech geek) but a ‘must have’ for any Alfa enthusiast who wants to get the maximum performance from their engine.
Classic Performance & Retro Monthly
Review for previous editions:
Paul Guinness for Classic Car Mart, August 2006
This isn’t an entirely new book, as first and second editions have already been published. It is, however, a completely reworked combination of the two, with plenty of additional information added for the first time. And for anybody with a relevant classic Alfa or whose custom-built machine boasts Alfa Romeo power, it’s essential reading.
The author of this impressive effort, Jim Kartalamakis, acknowledges the existing Alfa Romeo manuals and guides that have been available for many years. But, in his introduction, he also realises their limitations when describing his own book: ‘What do we do if we need to improve the breed by extracting a bit more power from our already well-designed machines? Well, that’s where I hope to make a contribution to the world’s stock of Alfa literature’.
He certainly does, for this impressively detailed title includes a total of six chapters (covering such generic areas as Engine, Fuel System, Ignition And Electrics and Exhaust System), before dividing those into such specific sections as ‘Basic Areas To Improve’, ‘Twin Spark Cylinder Head’, ‘Turbocharging’ and ‘Do You Really Have To Do All This Work?’. The whole lot is written in an easy-to-comprehend style and makes ideal leisure-time reading for anybody keen to exploit the most potential from their Alfa Romeo powerplant.
This has to be great value for anybody with a classic Alfa who wants to make the most of their beloved machine.
Retro Cars, August 2006
You’re not a proper Alfa owner unless at some point the garage floor has been covered in bits marked ‘Ricambi Alfa Romeo’, which is why Veloce’s reprint of this classic Alfa tuning title went straight to the top of this month’s pile.
The Alfa Romeo DOHC Engine High Performance Manual, to give it its full title, covers, as you might expect, getting more power from the trusty Twin Cam. Author Jim Kartalamakis has revised and enlarged the title to cover all versions of the Alfa Twin Cam, from the early 1300 units right up to the Twin Spark developments which were the final evolution of the proper Alfa design. The book also covers the intriguing 1.8 turbo, which wasn’t offered in the UK.
Kartalamakis starts with the simple DIY tuning you can easily do at home and progresses to full race engines with plenty of theory and graphs to back things up. Unlike many classic Alfa writers, he’s not shy of fuel injection, and offers plenty of material on retaining injection on big-power engines rather than ripping it all away in favour of a pair of 45s.
In addition to engine tuning, the title considers the modifications you’ll need to make to chassis, transmission and braking. Finish the book off with a selection of camshaft graphs and you’ve got most of what you’ll ever need to know about going faster in your Alfa.
Hemmings Motor News
The easy-to-read design and layout of the book, along with the clear, well composed photographs and understandable illustrations, makes it a pleasure to read. The information within is well written and in a style that even newcomers to the Alfa hobby will readily understand.
Pete Vack for velocetoday.com, June 2006
As most VT readers know, the Alfa 1300-2000 DOHC engine is one of our favorite engines, and subjects. It was not perfect, but good enough to survive for years, from it’s inception in 1954 to the last use as the Alfa 75 Twin Spark engine in the 90s – a long and glorious lifespan.
Happily, there are many engines out there, parts are relatively easy to find, and whether you own a Giulietta or Twin Spark 75, eventually, you’ll have a need to do serious work on the engine. Insofar as the US is concerned, Alfa never imported the 75 TS series, using only the V-6 in the Milano and 194 before departing from these shores forever.
Enter Veloce Publishing’s (No relation, but good company) second edition of the Speed Pro series volume, “The Alfa Romeo DOHC High Performance Manual”, by Jim Kartalamakis. First published a decade ago, it now covers the 75 TS engine, and includes the 1300-2000 Alfa engines. The author has used a 105 series 2 Liter engine for his project material, but included references for all the other engine sizes as he goes along, (105 series only.) For the earlier 750 and 101 engines, you’ll find the material useful but not particularly applicable.
Reading tech manuals is not often particularly engaging, but the author’s enthusiasm fills the pages, and it’s not a difficult read. We are assuming, of course, that you are interested in flow diagrams, camshaft timing, porting techniques, valve spring selection, etc. Kartalamakis assumes than not only are you interested, but that you have a reasonable amount of experience in engine rebuilding, and know a 12 mm socket from a set of inside calipers.
Fortunately, most Alfa people are pretty good at this sort of thing – first they have the enthusiasm, second a great support network, and most are pretty intelligent, independent minded people who are not afraid to tackle a mechanical task. And, of course, there are fewer and fewer places around which are qualified to take on serious engine work!
There is a slightly humorous paragraph in the book relating to matching up valve spring tensions. “The easiest way to do this is to visit your local engine builder and use his valve spring tester for about 20 minutes..” Must have been one of the paragraphs written in the first edition. Machine shops, engine builders, and good mechanics are rapidly disappearing, and unless you live in certain highly industrialized areas, finding a local engine builder may be a bit tough in today’s world. Nevertheless, finding a good machine shop is essential for a proper engine rebuild, as is a good working relationship with the machinist.
Kartalamakis covers all the basis, despite more than a few gross assumptions regarding machining, milling, equipment availability and overall technical knowledge on the part of the reader. In chapter one, Kartalamakis covers all the aspects of engine modification procedures, starting with the head, porting, valves, springs, camshaft timing and selection, and there are many useful charts. All of the problems we recall involving 105 engines – oil passageway plugs coming out, head gasket problems, are addressed with suitable resolutions.
Chapter two addresses the fuel systems, concentrating on carburetors rather than FI systems. Interestingly, the Spica injection system used on the 1750-2000 Alfas cannot, according to Kartalamakis, be performance-modified by “mere mortals” and directs us to Wes Ingram Enterprises in the US, a firm which can tailor the Spica to your new performance requirements, if you wish.
This is followed by a description of ignition timing, old style, including a great disertation on distributor advance mechanisms and their modification – a mysterious yet critical step whenever modifying an Alfa engine. Kartalamakis explains a do-it-yourself advance tool which, although is primitive, will, with enough testing, get you to where you want to be in terms of advance curves. Electronic ignition devices are also covered, as well as the TS distributor.
Subsequent chapters include Exhaust systems, Oil and Water Cooling, and Chassis and Drivetrain modifications, with the same emphasis on the older, rear wheel drive Alfas. There are a few things to complain about – the index is truly marginal, subject organization could be better, photos and diagrams could be more relevant to the text, particularly when the subject is complex and needs illustrations. But we liked the large and clear font, the large 8×93/4 size, and the graphics. In addition, every word, every diagram, every subject is unique and directly related to the 105 Alfa series – there is nothing generic about any of the text.
So, did we like the book and is it worth buying? The more we got into it, the better we liked it, and since we have a 105 Alfa waiting for attention, this book is a definite. Highly recommended for those in a similar situation!!!