i had the car serviced at my usual Alfa dealership during the week (Lance Dixon, Doncaster, Australia). nothing untoward found; is running a bit better too. i mainly wanted all the major 'fluids' changed cos i had no idea how good the existing ones were (car had been regularly serviced though, so presumably in decent condition, but fluids of unknown quality).
work done included:
*new engine oil: they poured in Selenia Racing
! probably a bit of overkill, but hey, no expense spared
*new gearbox oil: i supplied my own (see below)
*new coolant: flushed and refilled system
*new brake fluid: flushed and refilled system, DOT4
* 'decarbonating' process on engine air intake system: they recommended having this done; i'm not exactly sure what it involved, but presumably they sprayed some form of 'cleaner' through the throttle body and intake plenum with the engine running, to help clean off built-up deposits
work not done included:
*wheel alignment: they ran out of time on the day to have it organised; no big deal, because the geometry is going to continue to change until the (front) springs complete their 'sagging' process and settle to their final height; it still needs doing, but i can arrange it myself with my local Tyrepower who fitted my wheels
*Roadworthy Certificate: there was no point, cos i am still waiting on new brake discs; the originals are not going to pass; plus i'm told i need to fix the driver's door power window too (something i always planned to do, but i was not aware it was required for RWC)
Selenia Racing engine oil is 10W60. this is thicker than prescribed, so i'm unsure whether i should continue to use this. given i live in australia - where it is generally a lot warmer than the UK - it may be ok. probably too thick in countries where it is subzero over winter. but anyone's advice will be taken on board.
the gearbox oil i've used is Redline MT-90 75W90 grade, fully synthetic. i'd used this before, in a 1995 MR2 i had. i'd read a bit about it back then, and it comes with a very good reputation for quality and effect. and the effect is AMAZING!
it's not to say other high quality oils couldn't do the same, but both my 155 - and the MR2 - had similar issues with 2nd gear synchro. changing from 1st to 2nd gear required 'nursing', particularly when the car was 'cold' - it was quite baulky, and if rushed, would 'crunch'. after about 15 minutes, gearshifts were usually easier. having experienced the benefit of Redline before, i was confident it would be good again, and it hasn't disappointed. basically, it has transformed the gearshifts, which are now quite slick (not perfect, but heaps better). i don't have to wait for the gearbox oil to warm up. it just shifts so much better.
so i highly recommend Redline oils if you need something good.
Red Line Oil
speaking of redline (!), another question: what is the factory rev limit on the 2L 8V? given my car is chipped, it may be elevated. for the first time last night, i revved it right out, and it was bouncing off the limit at about 7200rpm. 'redline' on the tacho is marked at 6300rpm.