Alfa 156 2.4 JTD Sportwagon Rolling Project - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Alfa 156 2.4 JTD Sportwagon Rolling Project

Hi Guys
Just bought myself a 156 2.4JTD SW, only had it for a few days but i like it soo far.Thanks to Dan @ Autolusso for giving them a good recommendation.

I bought this as i need a bigger estate type car for two young kids and need something more economical than the GTA. Plus it will give me time to fix my GTA.

The GTA is staying so Alfie will now keep Lizzy(my GTA) company.

I bought this very cheap but there are a few things that need to get sorted and then i can start thinking about making here look a little nicer and drive a bit better.
Cosmetically the condition would be described as rough, however we will be rubbing down quite a few panels and giving them a respray in whatever Dark blue colour it is.

It is a Turismo model, so i will also be fitting (if i can get some) Veloce sideskirts to make her look a little neater.
There is a slight knock when turning right quite hard when on power which i think could be a driveshaft, but time will tell.
The pepper pots on her need a good clean, but my idea here was to get some 16" teledials or some 17" multispokes to fit to her and keep the pepper pots for winter tyres.
The exhaust will need doing in 6 months or so, so i will be going for straight through pipe. Maybe make it sound a little more mean. Are there any good exhaust recommendations?
The car has recently had a full filter service, but i think i will be looking at doing an air filter conversion, maybe use a BMC filter in OE box?
A remap is also already on the cards.

I would really like to upgrade the front brakes at somepoint, i have spare 305 Brembo calipers, does anyone know if this will be easy to convert to fit to the std. Struts?
If not what will i need to do a Brembo upgrade?

One other thing that does appeal to me, i think i will leave this for when i need a new clutch again. This car has recently had one so it may be some time. But i fancy doing a 6 speed conversion. This for me is more about better motorway economy and better pulling at low down revs as i will be towing a Capri on a trailer with this car.

I also have some floor stiffner plates spare off my GTA, so i am going to fit these underneath.
The old GTA ARB's will also be fitted to the SW as i fitted Eibach's to my GTA.
As for suspension i know a nice Eibach Pro Street S Coilover kit would be great, but i am really wanting to keep those for the GTA. Can anyone recommend a good cheaper kit for the 156? I am not looking for the best handling SW, i just want to have a slightly stiffer setup. I may just fit my GTA std. suspension if in good condition, but any other recs?

One last thing i almost forgot, the interior is a blue velour. Therefore i am changing this over to a Black or Dark Blue Leather interior. This will defo be much better for the young babies i have. Plus will look a lot neater and alt easier to keep looking clean.
I noticed there are some very special (non GTA) looking leather front seats off a 156, but does anyone know which car they are from? Are there any other Leather front seats that fit the 156 e.g. 159 ????

Pictures and a rolling project resto will follow.
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Running Spec: 2003 156 GTA Rosso 330's, Drilled/grooved discs, AL Lrg Mocal Cooler, Fully PU'd, PF/SF, AL Blk Si intake hose, K&N rep filter, Scorpion exhaust. Eibach arb's, Red Si coolant/intake pipes, Meyle HD, CF2, Wizard pipe, Weichers Fr SB, Quaife


2002 156 Sportwagon 2.4JTD
AP Sus, GTA ARB/PU bushes, Meyle HD, AL Si intake pipe/vac hoses, Blue Leather retro fit, maybe other things!
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(Post Link) post #2 of 85 Old 16-03-16 Thread Starter
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A few pictures of the new car before i washed and gave it a good vacuum
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In the past few days since purchasing from someone near Reading, i have covered 460 miles in her. 350 miles were done last night driving back home up North near Dumfries.
The car drives really well and i dropped off at Autolusso Penrith to give a once over with Dan. We have made a small shopping list to start with and there is a tiny little drain hole which needs sorting, but otherwise she is in a good state and not bad for a cheap bargain.
There are a few questionable repairs which people have done in the past e.g. Backbox patched up and a rather odd sump plug which looks to be the combination of the original rounded off hex plug and an old wheel nut!! I will post a picture as a perfect bodge.
We also found that someone has fitted 50 profile tyres to the 15" pepper pots! So the speedo is over reading and the wheels look like low profile tyres haha. Not soo great when i ht some potholes today.
16" Teledials are what i am looking for as a replacement.
Anyway she drives great, is quiet and comfortable on a long journey. The torque is just great when running on the motorway and little need to ever change gear unless the traffic is very slow.
I am loving her and can't wait to get her tidied up a bit
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Keep your eyes peeled for some Sport leather, that would look great!

I drove one recently with some AP shocks/springs - worked well. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/281923516329 this is a Twinspark kit but there is one for the V6/5pot too.
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I have an AP suspension setup on my GT v6 it drives really well with them, I would recommend them to others
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Quote:
In the past few days since purchasing from someone near Reading, i have covered 460 miles in her. 350 miles were done last night driving back home up North near Dumfries.
I honestly think that the first journey in a new (old) car is one of the best experiences in life. It's a finely balanced thing - if the car is really good it is dull, and if the car drops its guts on the motorway, it is frustrating, but assuming you make it, the experience can't be beaten. You're constantly picking up things that are wrong (dash lights, those stains on the passenger seat, the warm glow of the engine warning light, the strange rattle from the back) and assembling a list of what needs to be done. Picking up cars on trailers is cheating! I suppose my GTA SW was a bit of a cheat, as Dan had already driven it 150 miles by the time he got to me, so the chances of it all being OK were fair.

Onto the specifics:

- nice car. Leather interiors are as cheap as chips these days, easy upgrade.
- side skirts - I wouldn't bother if your sills are in good order - enjoy de Silva's original lines.
- air filter - stick with standard. Much cheaper, I've seen zero evidence that the "upgrades" make more power - if the diesel is the same as the petrol filters, then that filter will flow enough for a 3.2 - it isn't a problem!
- transferring the GTA ARBs sounds excellent. I've had very good experiences with Bilstein B4s - not too expensive (depending on the car) and good quality bits of kit.
- 305s - you need the GTA uprights, which are different to yours. About £250 for an S/H set. Don't think they will fit under 16" pepper pots without spacers.
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I'll be controversial here - don't upgrade to Brembos. At least not until after you are done tweaking everything else and feel it still needs it then. The JTD brakes are the same as 2.0TS & 2.5 V6, 284mm vented discs at the front, 276mm solid discs at the back, single piston sliding calipers all round. But they are servo'd by a vacuum pump and dare I say it I have always felt the JTDs have stopped better than the Twinsparks and definitely a lot better than the V6s.

Just buy some good quality brake discs, plain ones will do. A good set of pads like Performance Friction (other brands are available ), if the brake flexis are original then replace them, fresh fluid all round, don't forget to bleed the clutch line too, and it will be more than adequate for your needs then. Obviously make sure everything is fully cleaned up & greased on re-assembly, they are likely 14 year old calipers. Not upgrading the brakes gives you the advantage of lower unsprung weight and you can run 16" wheels with 205/55/16 tyres instead of needing 17"s. As the smaller wheels and smaller brakes are lighter, you can quite comfortably run something like AP shock/spring kit without really noticing the difference in ride quality between that and something twice the price when fitted on a GTA with big brakes & 17" wheels. The 2.4 I drove with AP shocks/springs rode as well as my track car on £1200's worth of Intrax HDAs, but obviously the track car has 18" wheels, 225/40 tyres and heavy 330mm/290mm brakes.
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Autolusso Penrith - UK's leading independent Alfa Romeo specialist with branches in Bedfordshire, Cumbria & Dorset

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Last edited by Pud237; 17-03-16 at 11:29.
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Agree on not "upgrading" the brakes. The 284 single piston jobbies on my 2.5 have never caused an issue or melted, they just stop the car every time. They will be the same on yours - similar weight, similar power after you've remapped it. The Brembos will look better....!
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Ok std brakes will stay but some braided lines and fresh flid and better pads will come in. Because i am being a bit of a fanny i will use up the rest of the red brembo paint i had left over to clean up and paint the calipers. Oh dear haha.
I have had a look at the AP, i like the sound of cheaper. It just needs to be slightly stiffer. If i want amazing fun i take out the GTA
GTA Arbs's will defo be going on, but the front can wait until we do 6 speed conversion when it needs a clutch or unless anything else up front needs sorting.
BMC filter is not for performance but more for the noise improvement haha
Also going to sort out a backbox less pipe when it starts blowing to make it sound like well, awesome haha

Ok i saved some more money then on the SW, so more to spend on the GTA. Put it towards the coilover upgrade
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Lizzy & Alfie together
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Thought on the 6 speed. I have a 5 speed 155 V6 - I thought it would be a big problem to start with, but after a few thousand miles, you realise that the final drive is about the same as the 6 speed, and any economy gains are pretty minimal. 6 speed might be slightly better at keeping you in the torque band, but not essential.
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Thought on the 6 speed. I have a 5 speed 155 V6 - I thought it would be a big problem to start with, but after a few thousand miles, you realise that the final drive is about the same as the 6 speed, and any economy gains are pretty minimal. 6 speed might be slightly better at keeping you in the torque band, but not essential.
5-speed to 6-speed conversion on the 2.4 10v engine is great. The boxes have the same gears 1 - 5, but the 6-speed gets a slightly shorter final drive and then the extra long 6th gear. You get the best of both worlds, more torque at the wheels in 1 to 5 and then a better gear for motorway cruising. The 5th on the 10v always felt like it was just slightly too short to me and the 6-speed conversion sorts that out.
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Yup defo have the 6 speed on the cards.
Is it just the box i need or do i need to change driveshafts etc?
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Yup defo have the 6 speed on the cards.
Is it just the box i need or do i need to change driveshafts etc?
Just the box. 2.4 mounts all bolt up to the 1.9 gearbox no problem. 10v driveshafts fit. All seals/cylinders/clutch/flywheel are the same. Its a bit tight in the N/S wheel arch, depending on wheels you may get a slight rub on full lock but I didn't on mine with some ET35 17" wheels.
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Ok so some 16" Teledials will be collected in next few weeks. They need a good refurb and then will be shod with new tyres
Think we will just go for standard silver, not sure anything else will look good on a Blue Sportwagon??
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Ok enjoyed a nice drive up to Perth today (no not the one in Australia, like my wife said haha), picked up some 16" teledials for £40. They are in rough shape and need a good strip clean ready for paint but they are round and not buckled. They will look great on the SW, already tried them out.
So another 300 miles on the clock and she drove well and its great to have a boot where you can put stuff easily.
Avg. 48mpg in the end even after driving back Dalveen pass in the sun

For the picture taken inside the car i pulled over stopped, turned the engine off and took a picture in a safe spot and made sure no one was behind me.
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This SW is still amazing me, outrun a slightly modified Mini Cooper S coming off a roundabout and he was trying to keep up as you could hear his exhaust. He didn't look very impressed after being outrun by a diesel wagon lol
Although it is nowhere near as fast as my wife Mini Cooper S, but then there are reasons for that haha
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Wheels away for acid dip and priming. Hopefully get them back next week so we can paint and then get new tyres and wheels fitted
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Wheels away for acid dip and priming. Hopefully get them back next week so we can paint and then get new tyres and wheels fitted
Stick with the 5 speed. i had a 10v 2.5 5 speed, nice gear change, test drove a 2.4 20v 6 speed, notchy gears and not as nice.
Just my thoughts.
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Stick with the 5 speed. i had a 10v 2.5 5 speed, nice gear change, test drove a 2.4 20v 6 speed, notchy gears and not as nice.
Just my thoughts.
6 speed is not the same gearbox as the 20V units. They are a GM engine, and it is reported those 20v boxes are very notchy. The 6 speed conversion utilises the 6 speed out of the 1.9 156. The gear ratios are the same as the 5 speed in the 2.4JTD, however the final drive is slightly different and the 6th speed works out slightly longer.
I do like the 5 speed and it will be staying until the new ish clutch finally wears out. But that is hopefully a few years away yet.
The only problem i have with the 5 speed is that it seems too eager to oull on the motorway, i think being able to lower the revs slightly will make it cruise better on long journeys and maybe save a few extra mpg
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The only problem i have with the 5 speed is that it seems too eager to oull on the motorway, i think being able to lower the revs slightly will make it cruise better on long journeys and maybe save a few extra mpg
The 1.9 6-speed box is brilliant for those long runs at 80+
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Need to take me for a run in yours Dan when i come over next. Be good to see how it is
Be good to see what yours sounds and runs like aswell with exhaust and filter and remap
Any videos?
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Need to make up an exhaust for repalcing back box.
Need to find the diameter pipe i need to cut out the back box, that easy enough. But does anyone know where i can buy weld on exhaust tips from.
I just want something failry standard looking e.g. single round with slash angle cut.
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Only cause i am a little sad i have started to keep track of mpg for the SW. Good comparison against GTA & Mini(which were about the same)
42mpg lots of short journeys some fast some slow, good mix of everything driving how i want to. Happy with that, be nice to have a little more say 45+ in future.
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Did a bit of heavy modificatin last night on the JTD.
Must have added i think at least 40hp to the car, defo feels faster now..........

Fitted a Richbrook leather gearknob! Yes you heard correctly a gearknob haha. Honestly though it is quicker now as the gearknob that was 'fitted' (used that loosely)when i bought it would just pull off and it was a right pain in the arse. At least i can change gear properly now and quickly(ish). £27 i think and it looks just right. Its not blingy, it almost looks standard. Also comes with repalceable tops so when i convert to 6 speed i can change it accordingly. Only fitted temp at the moment, but i will be gluing the internal sleeve in place.
Also much easier to select reverse now as you had to lift the whole sleeve before which was annoying as hell.

On another note the 16" teledials will be ready tomorrow to pick up ready for Grey high build primer and then painting. Should have on the car next week fingers crossed.

Modifications soo far
- Towbar with bike rack (free with car)
- Roof rails (free with car)
- Boot tidy (free with car)
- Gearknob (£27)
- 16" Teledials with new tyres(which tyres hmmmmmmm???) £40 x4 wheels, strip, blast clean and prime £TBD
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Last edited by will01; 18-04-16 at 08:25.
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