Pre-facelift 156 V6 manual into 2002 156 2.0 Selespeed - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 8 Old 11-07-16 Thread Starter
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Pre-facelift 156 V6 manual into 2002 156 2.0 Selespeed

Hello guys! I've been here for quite a while but first time actually posting I reckon.

I've a question that would be interesting I guess: I have a 2002 156 Selespeed (new chassis, new interior with Infocentre and digital aircon display, old exterior styling, GTA-size rear brakes, VDC, black key fob, remote boot lock, etc etc). I'm considering converting it to a 2.5 V6 manual from a halfcut car (complete front part of the car with all the mechanicals and anciliaries attached), but the only V6 manual halfcuts available are all pre-facelift (red key, old interior and exterior styling).

My questions are:
1. There have been quite a few V6 conversions into pre-facelift TwinSpark 156s, I was told that in order for this to work, the facelift dashboard will have to be swapped out for the older version in order for the aircon controls to work.

2. I was also told that the locks and code box from the donor car will have to be used. This will make me lose the function of the remote boot lock. Is this true?

I know the general consensus would be that this isn't a worthwhile idea converting and it's better off to buy a V6 manual car; but in Malaysia where I am, most 156s are pre-facelift Q-System V6 or Selespeed TS. GTAs, 2002 models and Giugiaro facelifts are extremely rare. Any input is much appreciated!
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That's a very interesting route to take. Generally the facelift 156 does not have CAN buses like the 147/GT, so that makes some of the things possible.

1. I remember some projects where pre-facelift dashboards were swapped with facelifted ones. You will need to do some wiring job, and some of the functions may not work or are restricted, for example infocenter screen.
Having said that, it looks like the climate controls are standalone, so that it can still be retained.

2. You will need the engine ECU, matching codebox and immobilizer chips only. The locks are physical part that have nothing to do with the engine swap. The remote/alarm/central locking is again a separate unit and have nothing to do with the engine swap.

Regarding the brakes, the VDC function interfaces with the engine ECU, so with the engine change you will lose that function. The ABS block will have to be replaced.
Technically speaking, changing the size of the brakes may push the system out of the nominal operating parameters of the ABS, since the ABS is calibrated for that particular setup. However, it will not give an error and without actually measuring the performance of the system we will not know if it is operating optimally.
But as we all know, we like to have big brake kits and all that and as long as no error is shown we are happy

I think it is not going to be as straight forward as if you'd just swapped everything over. The challenge will be in interfacing the facelift-type harness with the pre-facelift equipments. Study the wiring diagram, takes a lot of time, but I think it can be done.
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As above, it won't be simple, but anything is possible given enough time and bits.
Not something you'd want to pay someone garage labour rates to do though!

I'd prefer to start with a complete donor car rather than one chopped in half though, just in case a crucial wiring harness has been chopped too. But if a chopped car saves a lot of cash, then I can see the attraction in going in that direction!
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(Post Link) post #4 of 8 Old 12-07-16 Thread Starter
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Thanks guys! I have some experience wrenching and fixing up bikes, admittedly car subframe and drivetrain transplant is not something I've tinkered with, much less on a car with finicky electronics like the 156. I do perform the occasional work on engine, Selespeed and really anything that doesn't involve taking apart the dashboard or suspension though I've managed to repair my VDC ECU twice with the help of a tutorial, but really, dashboard wiring is a different ball game!

1. True, I 've seen a 1999 V6 SportWagon here with the facelift dashboard and he has the digital aircon controls working. I've also since found an old thread on alfa156.net where some guy has successfully gotten even the InfoCentre to work on a pre-facelift car, only catch was he had to make a false VDC signal to trick the module since VDC is not present in the car.

2. Thanks! That clears it up about the locks! I've long suspected that is the case. I think the workshops here switch even the locks and ignition switch to be safe, but clearly that isn't necessary.

3. After starting the thread, it did occur to me that the VDC and engine modules are connected, so that was a question I missed out, thanks for clearing that up too! I'll be fitting bigger brakes too, but probably not the Alfa Brembos since those are costly as hell here, but as stated it doesn't cost any problems to the VDC and we all like bigger brakes

It'll be tough, but I guess if I'm to convert this car to a TS or V6 manual with VDC intact I guess I'll have to get parts from a post 2002 donor. I actually love the Selespeed when it is working (most of the time, fortunately) but I like the V6 sound and rowing my own gears! Most of the chopped cars we get are from Japan, so typically only the front end is sent over, I guess they might remove the brakes and fuel pump from the rear, but perhaps not much else in the back is precious.
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OK, another question, I really hope you guys enjoy these questions cause I couldn't find the answer elsewhere; there is actually a 2002 facelift 156 V6 halfcut available now, but it's a Q-System.

From what I understand is:
1) There are at least 2 kinds of engine ECU: the ones that work with non-VDC cars, and the ones for VDC cars.
2) There is an ECU for Selespeed, and ECU for Q-System, but no extra ECU needed for manual cars.

Say I am to:
a) Transfer the 2002 V6 car's subframe, engine, engine ECU etc to my 2002 TwinSpark car
b) Convert the car to manual using manual gearbox and manual parts from pre 2002 156

Will this make the car a proper manual with fully-functional dashboard controls & displays and VDC? Thanks!
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I have the same problem here too!
I have a facelift 156 cf3 1.6 t.s. and have found an engine from 166 cf3(wiring+ecu+engine+auto gearbox) with 25000km in excellent condition.
I have read somewhere that the engine wiring loom is exact the same with the 2.5 v6 156 cf3.
I have everything else from another car(subframe radiator etc) so the only question are the electrics and if all the bits will work after the conversion(like the VDC ABS aircon etc).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leongsoon View Post
OK, another question, I really hope you guys enjoy these questions cause I couldn't find the answer elsewhere; there is actually a 2002 facelift 156 V6 halfcut available now, but it's a Q-System.

From what I understand is:
1) There are at least 2 kinds of engine ECU: the ones that work with non-VDC cars, and the ones for VDC cars.
2) There is an ECU for Selespeed, and ECU for Q-System, but no extra ECU needed for manual cars.

Say I am to:
a) Transfer the 2002 V6 car's subframe, engine, engine ECU etc to my 2002 TwinSpark car
b) Convert the car to manual using manual gearbox and manual parts from pre 2002 156

Will this make the car a proper manual with fully-functional dashboard controls & displays and VDC? Thanks!
Sounds reasonable, but there might be complications.
1. For CF2 engine (single cat type), the engine ECUs are the same on a manual and Q-system. So you can use the same engine ECU from a Q-system and just leave the gearbox ECU disconnected.
2. For CF3 engine (with pre-cats), the engine ECUs are different between manual and Q-system.
I think by the time the facelift car were produced they have already changed to CF3 type engine. So you will still need the ECU and code box from a manual CF3 car.
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Or i think you could just reprogram your ecu to an alfa romeo dealer with the firmware for manual transmission. Although i am not sure 100% that this can be done.
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