I've been a member of this forum for just under a year now, haven't posted much, but on occasion I have had a few issues with my beloved Selespeed and you guys have been only too happy to help! Now I understand the frustrations of some, who seek help with a problem they may have been experiencing with their alfa but haven't been able to find a solution.....
I'll try to keep the story short....... I purchased my 156 2.0 Selespeed 18 months ago of my brother in law, who had it sat on his drive for almost 5 years......un moved (hadn't even started it during that time). He purchased from someone in Cornwall who had a lot of work done on it.... Full custom body kit, flared arches, Speedline wheels, custom back exhaust system (cut out the spare wheel tray and welded it shut to accommodate the new exhaust) plus it only had 69,000 miles on it with a full alfa service history. I've had my eye on it for 5 years now but he was reluctant to sell.......eventually he gave in
. April 2013 I Loaded it onto the back of a flat bed and drove it 15 miles home, got it on the drive and was grinning ear to ear...... prepared for the worse as I checked the fluids, popped a new battery on it and turned the key, it started first time and sounded amazing!
So since then I've had a plan which was to go travelling around Europe in December this year in my beloved Alfa with the misses to meet some friends, drive round the French and Austrian mountains and of course....hit the Autobahn
So the reason why I started this thread? well, upon realising that my selespeed requires a hell of a lot of work to get it ready for the trip, I thought I'd share my experiences along the way, show you guy the problems I've encountered, the parts I've had to replace and how I will (Hopefully) overcome them.
A lot of people say Alfa's are problematic and their not far wrong, further to that people say Selespeeds are even more problematic and again their probably right about that too
but it's the best damn car I've ever owned!
sooo lets start this project....
Here's a few pics of what the car looked like when I purchased it...
The car had no MOT, no TAX, and the last MOT 5 years ago had a few advisories. Initially inspecting the car the following things needed to be done before the first MOT.
1. Airbag light on the dash wouldn't go off.
2. ABS light wouldn't go off on the dash.
3. Brakes were shot
4. doors wouldn't open (I'll explain more on this later)
So the very first thing I purchased was a VAG cable with AD (Alfa Diag) to diagnose the problem with the airbag system and the ABS. Alfa diag was showing a fault code for the airbag system which was 001 internal error, which basically means its F*****. These airbag ecu's will go over a period of time, not too sure whether its an internal counter or something but I swiftly replaced it...Contacted Autolusso who supplied me with a replacement unit second hand delivered for £90 roughly and as they quoted over the phone it had no faults when it was tested and they weren't wrong about it either
. So air bag light now comes on and then goes off like it should do.
ABS Fault....loads of problems here...some people had suggested on here to check the abs rings located on the wheel hubs as these can get damaged through general ware and tear, disconnect clean and then reconnect the abs sensor plugs on the front wheels etc but nothing worked.... then eventually someone mentioned that there is a main strip fuse located on the black box which connects to the positive battery terminal on the battery.... I check this and sure enough it had blown
result! popped doen the brakers picked one up and popped it in, problems solved!
Brakes.....pad had gone and offside rear caliper has seized, promptly changed the pads and after many hours of trying to free the sized piston on the caliper, popped doen the brakers and found a replacement caliper for £20.... job done.
Doors......well some of you may have noticed from the pictures there are no door handles for the front doors. The previous owner before my brother in law had a load of work done to the car, one of with was door poppers......the bain of my bloody life! the actuators in the doors had gone, he had placed buttons on the underside of the wing mirrors which activate the actuators but again they weren't working either. So I had 2 choices here, in order for the car to pass an MOT your doors need to close, but they done need open...seems strange right? well the MOT examiner explained to me that if your in an accident, the emergency services probably will just cut the car open anyways! makes sense I guess. But not knowing what my future plans for the car was I decided to re wire the actuators, replace them with new solenoids and replace the buttons. Now it all works ready for the MOT.
MOT morning and I was very excited (the first time I actually get to drive the car on the road
). Instantly fell in love with the car... when you set it to manual, drop a gear and put your foot down, the sound is addictive...VERY addictive.... Pulled up at the garage, waited around for an hour for the verdict and.....it passed! couldn't actually believe it! I was ecstatic. It come away with 3 minor faults.... flexi pipe on the centre section had a hole in it, the rear exhaust section (after the centre cat) mounting heavily rusted and as he couldn't get access to the cills due the the side skirts, he had to put that down as an advisory as he couldn't physically see them to inspect. very very happy.
so drove the car for a few months before December last year and took it off the road over the winter period, whilst pondering what to with it!
now this brings me up to present date...... So as I mentioned above me and the missed are taking the car around Europe for a few weeks December this year and returning January next year...... the project commences!
below is a list of all the parts I will be purchasing to get the car ready:
Cambelt, balance belt, idlers and pullys.
service items (oil, filters etc..)
replacement gear box (synchro's gone in mine
Alloy radiator, thermostat, water pump and upper and lower hose as mine have developed a hole in it.
Upper and lower wishbones
Anti roll bars
Braided brake lines
Caliper rebuild kits all round
New Pads (I only fitted naff temporary ones for the MOT)
New exhaust centre section, rear section and customer made back boxes.
Alloy wheels refurbished
New Tyres (Mines have crackes appearing doen the sieds of them
New rear driverside door (rust, enough said.....)
New front doors, with handles.
Probably tons more but cant remember everything (It's getting late)
I've ordered some of the parts which should be arriving in the post this week, so I'll take photos when they arrive.
I'll be starting the work this weekend and taking photos every step of the way. I'll post up the difficulties I'm sure I'll be encountering along the way. Hopefully someone on here may find it helpful if they have a similar problem.
Apologies if my writing is sloppy it was getting very late when I wrote this!
Looking forward to keeping you all up dated