bringing the old
girl back to life...
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: United Kingdom
I bought my 156 new in 2000 and it was my daily runner for 7 years and since then its done about 4 or 5k, less than 2k in the last 4 years. Ive always fancied doing up an old car wheeler dealers style then my mate suggested that I should try with my own old car rather than looking for something else.
I had the clutch replaced about 2000 miles ago and the timing belts done at 69k last year, about 800 miles ago so why not?
Its an Alfa red/orange/pink colour, veloce/sport pack 1 import from Ireland. The plan was to bring it back to showroom condition, fix every little glitch that Ive let slide for years and then actually use the bloody thing.
Not quite today but over the last 10 days in no particular order....
Replaced rubber in key
Replaced battery in key
Alarm still wont work
Tried to fix alarm (battery corroded inside ruined part of the pcb, awaiting breaker part)
Ordered new key ring
Tried to fix heater blower (see other thread, obsolete part, need to do a heath robinson fix)
Better check the fan for leaves and main dealer screwdriver or spanner or something.
Fixed manifold heat shield rattle with old portable barbeque
Replaced front badge (bottled out of satin blacking the chrome)
Awaiting rear badge and the joys that will bring.
Gta mod on the headlights
Swore at bumper a lot (pop rivet one side, torx bolt in the same place the other side)
Bent wing as a result of above, hammered and bent wing back so it almost fits
Realised that showroom condition is wish list rather than must have...
New passenger wing mirror
Painted all calipers red
Realised that didnt need to replace all discs and brakes that have been sitting here for a year
Realised I dont have the energy left to replace both lower wishbones and driver upper wishbone that have been sitting here for a year
Sanded down and coated all rust in both front wheel arches
Realised I need to replace the front bumper support struts on each side.
Realised I need to put large sticking plasters on both arms after reaching in to remove bumper torx bolts on each side and finding out about rusted support struts above the hard way.
Realised that wish list showroom condition isnt going to be possible on a 14 year old car without complete respray, infinite time and patience.
Drove to motor factors then dealers then home after realising that just taking the spring out of the washer Y piece would be enough to get me through MOT
4 new tyres and tyre slicked them.
New wiper blades
APC'd entire car inside, outside.
Got car up on lift to look at underside rust to realise I dont have the energy left to anti rust it and then waxoyl that. That job has been waiting 2 years, another month or two wont hurt. Instructions say to ideally do in temperatures above 20C. I live in Northern Ireland, thats approximately 2 days a year.
Vacuumed, apc'd cleaned, scrubbed, wet vac'd all carpets, seats etc.
Bought and fitted new custom mats
Autoglym show shined everything inside
Leather treated gear knob and worn steering wheel.
Fixed passenger visor light
fixed broken drivers door window switch.
Thought about doing led mood lighting 2 leds in top and 2 strips of leds in footwells. Decided to add it to the list
Clay bar'd entire car
Touched up every single tiny wee spot, stone chip including using toothpick for the very small parts
Autoglym super resin polished the whole car which included removing the touch ups above and replacing the newly fresh red paint with tiny white spots of polish hence making most of it worthless.
Realised I should have just paid someone to machine polish it instead of doing this all by hand.
Turned the low spoiler from orange to red-pink. Matt black is the last option....
Realised that looking like showroom from 50 metres is the look I am going for.
Autoglym extra gloss protection the entire car x2
Ioncoat naviwaxed the entire car x2 (all of the above including alloys as well)
Cleaned all black and plastic bits with ipa and then c4'd the lot of it. Huge improvement in the baffle bit under the windscreen wipers
No real improvement on the number plate holder
Took hot air gun to the number plate holder
Some improvement to the number plate holder
Melted the number plate holder
New pressed aluminium numberplates on order
Thought about replacing the handbrake cables that have been sitting for the last 2 years, thought about leaving them for a while.
Oil and oil filter change
Changed the coolant
Attempted to change the air filter, swore a lot, thought a bit, brought out hammer, covered new hole with gaffer tape, brought out blowtorch, replaced burnt wiring as a result of blowtorch shenanigans, swore a hell of a lot more, broke off air filter cover, replaced air filter and then screwed air filter cover back on with some old curtain brackets and self tappers. That f**King thing isnt going to move again.
Thought Id better put an extra bit of silicon sealant around the new headlight mod just to be sure to be sure.
put silicon sealant in rear window gap at top... ...does this mean I have to check for rust in the rear footwell as well? probably
glued sideskirts back on, been hanging off for 4 years since I got the clutch changed and the garage decided to jack the car up via the skirts. Realised the next day after the tiger seal had gone off that Id missed a bit. Swore a lot and realised tiger seal is really hard to get off. Reapplied tiger seal and broken skirt section.
Engine degreased, washed and dressed with show shine.
Broken off battery cover thing stuck back on.
Fitted chrome look bit of bling to rear exhaust pipe to cover the dent in the pipe reversing into a rock whilst arguing with passenger.
Its not quite there but its very close, just the alarm to sort out, the internal heater fan and then the hanging down passenger sound baffle trim, replace the old shabby number plates, mood lighting and then the underside anti rust and waxoyl at some point. The underside is in very good nick so its not an immediate priority and the replacement front wishbones can wait until the scars heal and I can put a sentence together without 'f**king car' being part of it.
Took it out for a spin in the sunshine yesterday and how I missed driving that thing (berlingo multispace and transit campervan are the other modes of transport).
When I finish up all the wee niggles and the sun comes out again, I'll do a photoshoot with it and post up the results.
Away for a lie down now.