its been a while since i've had anything this new, 2002, as almost who know me, will know, i'm usually a V6 and Boxer fiend!
but it was time to sort the miss's out with a decent modern hatchback, and as a former owner of 145's and 146's, naturally a 147 sprang to mind.
well i found this one, with a common fault, the body ecu was knackered!
what you proabably can't see is the state of the wheels, which were awful, and typical issues with cars that have been stood for a long time, but the bodywork showed potential under the sap and cr4p, the red lusso leather is in good condition, and the 78k history and servicing up to the point of the body ecu issue taking it off the road, was pretty good too, so when we heard it running, we did a deal and i bought it, loaded it on the trailer, and bought it back home.
as soon as i drove it off the trailer, i realised it was suffering from another common fault of this generation of alfa's, the gear selector bush, as back and forth across the neutral gate takes two arms and a good leg!
so, i ordered an ecu set from Italia Auto Parts to get them on their way, and ramped the thing to give it a going over for MOT, and apart from suspecting the exhaust might be advised on the condition of the rear box, and the odd bit of play in the front arb drop links, it all looked pretty good, so once the ecu set turned up, i set about refurbishing the gear selector bush, installed the body ecu, engine ecu, and swapped the key transponder internals over and got it all working well enough to book her in with my usual mot guy in nottingham, and away we went.
a pass! great, but a couple of unsurprising advises which prompted me to think hell to it, if we're going to keep this lets do it right and for long term reliability, and i ordered a full front set of front upper and lower wishbones, front arb drop links, and rear arb drop links.
So i also thought, because i hate the way that from stock they look as if they are on stilts rather than suspension legs, a set of new springs wouldn't go a miss either, but something reasonable, as i said, this one is for the miss's day to day use, and so will soon be full of kids n crud!
a fellow member had bought a full ssk3 Koni set up, but didn't use the lowering sport springs so had put them on ebay, and as he was pretty local for a change, we came to an agreed price and met up to do the deal. These aren't radical springs, but have done the job i reckon, and will probably settle a little lower once we're using it properly too
as i said before the finish on the wheels was terrible, in fact my jet wash removed most of it on its own, but the finish you see now is the result of a full strip, media blast, and then a solid gloss black powder coat, which was the miss's choice to go full solid black, and i reckon she was right too!
looking loads better now eh?
bodywork has been treated to a full G3 rapid mopping, and will get done again before some final top polish to protect it for winter, and inside has had a massive valet, and looks mostly like new!
i'll be on the lookout for some red leather dye to touch a couple of thin area's soon if anyone has any pointers to the right colour stuff for lusso red leather?
future plans will be to either build my own decat manifold, or use a cf2 catless manifold along with a modified downpipe, and free up the back end a bit too, which should compliment the current K&N cone already installed in place of the airbox, and bring it together with a bit of a map, and i'm confident that emissions wise i will have room to move in this area, as it was crystal clean!
so much so that i wondered if i could appeal the Tax Band K? i think it is very undeserving of that emission expectation, the same as a 3.2 GTA and i doubt if that deserves it either? and now that i have also fully flushed the engine, and given her a full fluids and filters change, she's even sweeter! ( the car, not the miss's! mind you????)
all sounds great yeah, and for a bargain price too to be honest, BUT, a couple of issues remain before i can hand it over to the miss's to be her daily hack,
firstly, the ecu set i bought from Italia Auto Parts certainly has cured the body electrical errors, but, i do now have a less than perfect engine ecu
currently i can't rely on it starting and running consistently, the ecu has had a few complete fits! where it would just flutter on/off/on/off/on/off......... and throw up every single kind of fault it can do, essentially, it couldn't power up and "latch" on, it was terrible, and i narrowed it down to the ecu contacts themselves, internally, a common type of ecu failure i believe? (this is why i like carbs and distributors! ha ha!)
if i manage to get things to fall right and contact, it will start and run, and i can connect to the ecu's with multiecuscan, and it is fault free running wise, but whilst turning it over to start it up and the dash backlights flicker until its caught and running, so i am currently trying to eliminate possible bad earths and connections too,
does anyone elses dash lights flicker whilst cranking it over?
anyway, on the whole, she's coming together quite nicely, and once i've got to the bottom of these last issues, i reckon she'll be a stonker!
all the best guys n gells