What have you done to your Alfa 147/156/GT today? - Page 94 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Been out fitting my new (Cheers Joey!) Connects2 CTAARBT001 box of tricks today!

Had to remove the old CTAARUSB001 (now available if anyone wants it going cheap!), the Nokia N20 Z276 hands free kit that the previous owner had installed (also available for cheap if anyone wants it), and the USB Bluetooth dongle thing that I was using to connect the phone to the CTAARUSB001.

I was hoping to re-use the loom from the older Connects2 box I had, and the pre-installed mic from the Nokia kit, but no luck.. New loom had an extra wire compared to the old one (turned out to not be needed after all...), and the mic connector was a 2.5mm rather than a 3.5mm on the new box of tricks... So the whole lot came out, and I took it as an opportunity to clean up the wiring runs hide it all away more neatly under the carpets etc...

Turns out the PO's install of the Nokia kit was a total hack job... Tap spliced on to the factory loom, a dirty great blob of solder on top to try and secure it (spoiler alert, it didn't), then cover all their handy work in that 'orible cheap black vinyl tape that makes everything sticky and gunky as it ages... Not a single crimp/splice connector in site, terrible insulation on the live feed from the battery etc...

I managed to cut the majority of the cr*p out and pretty much restore the factory loom with heatshrink tubing, but really I ought to get back in there and un-pin the ISO connector to get heatshrink properly applied over all the old splices.. They're still taped, a lot better than previously though, and everything is working correctly so I'm happy enough for now.

Bottom line - love the new toy! Has all the functionality of the previous 3 devices that have just come out, plus integrates with the steering wheel controls much better (can skips tracks now!), and no device conflicts trying to connect to multiple Bluetooth devices!

So, CTAARBT001 gets my thorough recommendation - But still, someone want to buy my CTAARUSB001? (147 / 156 / GT - Connects2 CTAARUSB001 For Sale)
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Last edited by _The_Editor_; 17-04-16 at 08:47.
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is this the gear?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bilt-Hambe...EAAOSwzgRWxwum

I have recently used armorall and was very impressed with the finish, thought the same about the metallic flakes coming through nicely, i have the same issue as you the car is black, 9 years old and not garaged, she looks great all things considered and when clean and waxed could pass for months not years old, but I have been looking for something that lasts a bit longer than a week!

will give it a try I think...thanks for the heads up..
I can't speak for its longevity first hand - but I've seen posts on other sites and the makers claim it to be pretty tough - you linked to the supplier I used and they delivered v.quickly. It's the lack of residue and the good effect on plastics that's the clincher for me - that's like another two jobs you don't need to do.

And "David P" you are absolutely correct - without a picture its all just hearsay. But I was dodging showers of rain, hail and sleet all day and by the time I was done the car had rain on it and the light was poor. Tomorrow (weather allowing) I'm going to do the wheels with this stuff - picture to follow that. I really wish I'd taken some "before" pictures of the swirls, spider webs and holograms because the improvement is remarkable for the little work you do. It's not quite a "paint correction detailing" but nothing else I've tried has had as good an effect.
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is this the gear?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bilt-Hambe...EAAOSwzgRWxwum

I have recently used armorall and was very impressed with the finish, thought the same about the metallic flakes coming through nicely, i have the same issue as you the car is black, 9 years old and not garaged, she looks great all things considered and when clean and waxed could pass for months not years old, but I have been looking for something that lasts a bit longer than a week!

will give it a try I think...thanks for the heads up..
Smart move, ditch that silicone armouall stuff. It's pretty much makeup for cars, a lot of dealers use it to quickly and cheaply hide scratches and make old cars look shiny. Probly not so much an issue over there but in Oz it reacts badly with the sun and ages stuff twice as fast. Might try some bit hambler whatever too, jonb makes it sound like the bees **** Have Duragloss Polish on atm which is excellent but it doesn't hide scratches. If bild hammer can do that it will save on a costly paint correction!
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Last edited by bobulon; 16-04-16 at 22:35.
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Smart move, ditch that silicone armouall stuff. It's pretty much makeup for cars, a lot of dealers use it to quickly and cheaply hide scratches and make old cars look shiny. Probly not so much an issue over there but in Oz it reacts badly with the sun and ages stuff twice as fast. Might try some bit hambler whatever too, jonb makes it sound like the bees **** Have Duragloss Polish on atm which is excellent but it doesn't hide scratches. If bild hammer can do that it will save on a costly paint correction!
Your view was correct a decade or two ago about Armor All but they switched to water based silicone years ago. Silicone isn't the issue, they all use silicone based components, it was the type of silicone (dimethyl silicone oils) used in the old Armor All formulae that made it destroy plastics. Sadly for AA (much like Alfa!) the stigma has stayed around and a lot of misinformation is spread that is just factually incorrect. They haven't used dimethyl silicone oils in their products for years.

In AUS AA products definitely DID cause a lot of issues with our harsh sun baking plastic dashboards and trim coated in de-plasticising dimethyl silicone based AA products but that hasn't been an issue for years since they shifted to water based silicone components.

Now I do agree with you that you should avoid AA but purely from the fact that there are much better products out there such as Meguiars for not a lot more money. But AA products now use water based silicone (have for years) and should do a perfectly fine job for a cheaper product.

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Been out fitting my new (Cheers Joey!) Connects2 CTAARBT001 box of tricks today!

Had to remove the old CTAARUSB001 (now available if anyone wants it going cheap!), the Nokia N20 Z276 hands free kit that the previous owner had installed (also available for cheap if anyone wants it), and the USB Bluetooth dongle thing that I was using to connect the phone to the CTAARUSB001.

I was hoping to re-use the loom from the older Connects2 box I had, and the pre-installed mic from the Nokia kit, but no luck.. New loom had an extra wire compared to the old one (turned out to not be needed after all...), and the mic connector was a 2.5mm rather than a 3.5mm on the new box of tricks... So the whole lot came out, and I took it as an opportunity to clean up the wiring runs hide it all away more neatly under the carpets etc...

Turns out the PO's install of the Nokia kit was a total hack job... Tap spliced on to the factory loom, a dirty great blob of solder on top to try and secure it (spoiler alert, it didn't), then cover all their handy work in that 'orible cheap black vinyl tape that makes everything sticky and gunky as it ages... Not a single crimp/splice connector in site, terrible insulation on the live feed from the battery etc...

I managed to cut the majority of the cr*p out and pretty much restore the factory loom with heatshrink tubing, but really I ought to get back in there and un-pin the ISO connector to get heatshrink properly applied over all the old splices.. They're still taped, a lot better than previously though, and everything is working correctly so I'm happy enough for now.

Bottom line - love the new toy! Has all the functionality of the previous 3 devices that have just come out, plus integrates with the steering wheel controls much better (can skips tracks now!), and no device conflicts trying to connect to multiple Bluetooth devices!

So, CTAARBT001 gets my thorough recommendation - But still, someone want to buy my CTAARUSB001?
hey Ed,


glad the installation went well! It really is a fantastic bit of kit and has for me been the one thing that made the car usable for work, Music and call quality is excellent and I really like the that the SWC work properly.

I'm glad you took it off my hands as I remember from a previous thread when you were talking about your set up you mentioned alternator noise and when I realised I had a spare I did think ''Ed could do with this''. I had put up with that alternator noise on the set up I had pre connects2 and it is awful!

glad to have been able to pass a small bit of good fortune on, and it has also funded my new/used door handles for anthraciting ..(if there is such a word) so happy days all round


FYI if you develop any BT issues between the headunit and the adaptor it will likely be to do with the BT driver on android lollipop, there is an app available on playstore called carbluetoothconnect which fixes it. took me a while to get to the bottom of it and as I said the reason I had two units.

Even connects2 couldn't figure out what was wrong and I didn't work it out because the phone I used to ''rule out'' a phone problem was also running android lollipop!

anyway ..enjoy hands free in car streaming and talking.

p.s there is a really good DAB app called radioplayer that get's around the sketchy reception we sometimes have in our cars as well as giving you a host of great stations to listen to on the move and it also is completely controlable from the SWC

best

Joe
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hey Ed,


glad the installation went well! It really is a fantastic bit of kit and has for me been the one thing that made the car usable for work, Music and call quality is excellent and I really like the that the SWC work properly.

I'm glad you took it off my hands as I remember from a previous thread when you were talking about your set up you mentioned alternator noise and when I realised I had a spare I did think ''Ed could do with this''. I had put up with that alternator noise on the set up I had pre connects2 and it is awful!

glad to have been able to pass a small bit of good fortune on, and it has also funded my new/used door handles for anthraciting ..(if there is such a word) so happy days all round


FYI if you develop any BT issues between the headunit and the adaptor it will likely be to do with the BT driver on android lollipop, there is an app available on playstore called carbluetoothconnect which fixes it. took me a while to get to the bottom of it and as I said the reason I had two units.

Even connects2 couldn't figure out what was wrong and I didn't work it out because the phone I used to ''rule out'' a phone problem was also running android lollipop!

anyway ..enjoy hands free in car streaming and talking.

p.s there is a really good DAB app called radioplayer that get's around the sketchy reception we sometimes have in our cars as well as giving you a host of great stations to listen to on the move and it also is completely controlable from the SWC

best

Joe
Good to know, cheers Joe

I tend to stick to Podcasts whilst driving, but so long as I get good reception I might check out the DAB app.. Been looking for an excuse to give 6-Music a bit more attention!

Now lets hope it brightens up a bit outside today, she's a dirty mess at the moment and could do with a good wash!
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In AUS AA products definitely DID cause a lot of issues with our harsh sun baking plastic dashboards and trim coated in de-plasticising dimethyl silicone based AA products but that hasn't been an issue for years since they shifted to water based silicone components.

Now I do agree with you that you should avoid AA but purely from the fact that there are much better products out there such as Meguiars for not a lot more money. But AA products now use water based silicone (have for years) and should do a perfectly fine job for a cheaper product.
Fair enough, it still leaves a nasty oily finish on anything you use it on which attracts dust and is troublesome in other ways though. A friend recently bought a 4WD that the dealer had bathed in armourall and his dashmat keeps falling off every time he accelerates as the dash is so slippery
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Seeing as how the GT is behaving itself a little better now (with the change of Body Computer) I've let it come down from the naughty step and treated it to some "Meguiars"clay and some "Bilt Hamber" "Auto-Balm". I'd never used the auto balm before but I have to say I'm pretty impressed.

It is a different technique to wax and it did take me slightly longer than I would have taken with the "Meguiars Deep Crystal" carnauba wax I used previously but I think worth the extra effort:

1, it's only one step - previously I've tried; glaze plus wax, glaze plus sealer, wax plus glaze - to hide some of the marring and produce a nice shine - this beats them all for me.
2, there's no white residue to clean out of the crevices and off the plastic trim - in fact the black trim bits look better for a coat of this (I was still finding bits of white in the corners 6 months after my last waxing).
3, it DOES fill minor scratches - I'm amazed how well it does this - much better than "Poorboys Black Hole Glaze" which I bought in the past to help with that issue (my car is; old, not garaged and black-apologies to Bob and Marcia who recorded the original I think).
4, the shine is remarkable - even better than I expected really - I have never noticed quite so much metal flake in the finish before.
5, it's not too expensive, the tiny tub I bought off ebay for about 8.00 has enough left in to do the same again maybe three more times - unlike the v.expensive "GTechniq SiloSeal" which did it twice and didn't look so good - being both retired and Yorkshire this matters!

So all-in-all I'm happy. I've saved time and I've saved money and got the result I was hoping for.
As promised - the weather permitted so pictures taken:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...8/IMGP0224.jpg

that's the car untouched since yesterday's exertions and we had a fair bit of rain overnight - you can see the excellent reflectivity and the improved look of the plastic surround to the back passenger window, because this is softer more porous rubber than the front trim it generally looks much greyer than the front and if you get traditional wax on it - its a pig to get off. The auto-balm looks better on it than even "Gummi Pflege".

The same sort of improvement can be seen on the aerial base, previously it was nearly white around the front half:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...8/IMGP0229.jpg

And looking at the top of the boot lid - somebody's clearly stolen all my swirl marks and replaced them with extra metal flake:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...8/IMGP0227.jpg
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Fair enough, it still leaves a nasty oily finish on anything you use it on which attracts dust and is troublesome in other ways though. A friend recently bought a 4WD that the dealer had bathed in armourall and his dashmat keeps falling off every time he accelerates as the dash is so slippery
Yep the old dealer trick of coating everything in AA so it looks all nice and shiny!

Personally I never buy AA products, would rather spend the extra $5-$10 and get some Meguiars or something similar since I find them to be much better products.

Ideally I want to buy an orbital buffer sometime in the summer. Car has swirl marks and would look a hell of a lot sharper with a nice deep buff and polish! Shame a decent buffer and compounds is around $400+
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As promised - the weather permitted so pictures taken:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...8/IMGP0224.jpg

that's the car untouched since yesterday's exertions and we had a fair bit of rain overnight - you can see the excellent reflectivity and the improved look of the plastic surround to the back passenger window, because this is softer more porous rubber than the front trim it generally looks much greyer than the front and if you get traditional wax on it - its a pig to get off. The auto-balm looks better on it than even "Gummi Pflege".

The same sort of improvement can be seen on the aerial base, previously it was nearly white around the front half:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...8/IMGP0229.jpg

And looking at the top of the boot lid - somebody's clearly stolen all my swirl marks and replaced them with extra metal flake:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...8/IMGP0227.jpg
very nice have you ever tried Solution Finish on your exterior plastics, it's the best gear on the market for black plastics. btw you can buy those little antenna rubbers/gasket thingies on ebay for a few dollars, I got one recently.
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Had a great day with over 600 other Alfas at Beaulieu
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Had a great day with over 600 other Alfas at Beaulieu
Where were you parked Chris? The girlfriend and i were there. Met ChrissyD really nice guy. But never got to meet many others.

Damien.
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Where were you parked Chris? The girlfriend and i were there. Met ChrissyD really nice guy. But never got to meet many others.

Damien.
Great to see your gem of a GT at Beaulieu in the 'flesh' Damien. Good to meet you too! Brilliant day out - great weather & some fab Alfas. Feeling inspired now for further 'mods'!!

Chris
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Where were you parked Chris?
I was parked on the left as you drove in - my silver GT V6 was parked next to a blue GTA sportwagon one side and a white 147 GTA and Black 156 GTA the other. We had bonnets open for part of the day so you may have spotted us!

Hope to get some photos of the day up during the week....
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Hope to get some photos of the day up during the week....
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On the 5th of next month I have owned my 147 jtdm for 8 years, so at 139000 she had a good fettle, full service,Cam belt,water pump, belt tensioners,new discs and pads all round new hand brake cables,filters oils and MAP sensor. MOT booked tomorrow, just really like my car been faultless totally reliable. Many thanks to Lloyd at Clovertech who keeps her running so sweet.
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MCSF came on today. ****ting ********.

Misfire on cylinder 2 and 3.

Delightful.
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MCSF came on today. ****ting ********.

Misfire on cylinder 2 and 3.

Delightful.
Clean the contacts on the coil packs
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External Coat of autoglym red resin polish,coat of autoglym gold polish , polish all exterior black surfaces with autoglym surface cleaner
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Sitting here drinking a beer planning my first road trip in the 156 SW.

Going away with the missus so I'm trying to find somewhere to go where I can at least have some nice roads to drive on along the way!

Hopefully the beer helps me come up with ideas
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Beautiful sunshine here today, so I drove mine
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Sitting here drinking a beer planning my first road trip in the 156 SW.

Going away with the missus so I'm trying to find somewhere to go where I can at least have some nice roads to drive on along the way!

Hopefully the beer helps me come up with ideas
there must be loads of mountains in Sweden
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