i've done a few things in the past few days:
*replaced faulty oil pressure sender
*changed steering wheel
the oil pressure gauge was never working, and i determined the 'sender' was faulty. so i bought a new one locally, which was easy to change over.
*replacing oil pressure sender; gauge now works (engine held at 2000rpm for photo, to provide some decent pressure!):
the original steering wheel was rather uninspiring to look at. i'd seen pics of other 155's with nice leather wheels fitted, so i hunted around. i found one on ebay-Japan, which is a Nardi, originally from a Subaru. looks exactly the same as the Nardi from an alfa 33, and i saw one fitted to a 155 which looked great. so i bought it, used, for just under AUS$200, delivered. plus new steering wheel boss to suit Nardi-Alfa, ebay US for AUS$136.
a nice benefit of the new wheel-boss is that it 'sits out' closer to the driver (reduced 'reach'). now it's more comfortable, by an extra inch or so.
however, it meant the original wiper/indicator stalks were too far back and hard for my fingers to reach! hence, i fitted stalks from a 'wide body', which are angled further forwards. i already had a WB indicator stalk (remember i fixed the internals on my original one), so sourced a wiper stalk from ebay-UK (yes, ebay is my friend!) to complete the set.
next, the buttons on the ends of each stalk are of course COSMETICALLY different (skinny vs WB). i liked the originals! well, probably more 'cos i can'
, i changed the ends over. i'd read a description on other forums that they just pull off, and using a vice was best, to firmly grasp each piece. 2 pieces each side needed pulling off, and refitting.
downsides? the new Nardi wheel obscures the stalks cos the steering arms angle downwards, rather than straight across horizontally. oh well, i'll accept that! but the new wheel looks and FEELS very nice. plus, it is slightly smaller in diameter (340mm vs 360mm); i don't notice an increase in steering 'effort', but it makes the steering sharper.
to finish off, i replaced the central 'Nardi' badge with an 'Alfa' one. i used an alloy wheel centre badge cos it's the right diameter!
*removing original wheel; centre pad unclips easily; 24mm securing nut:
*replacement Nardi leather steering wheel off early model Jap-spec Subaru STi; Nardi steering boss suitable for alfa; note difference in 'heights' which improves 'reach' of Nardi:
*improved 'reach' affected stalks; wiper stalk (left of picture) test fitted from a 'wide body' 155; original indicator stalk (right of picture) demonstrates excessive distance between wheel and stalk; laid together, difference between stalks is obvious (forward-angle, buttons on the ends); original end-buttons changed over to new stalks, using a vice to clamp each piece to help pull them off:
*Nardi wheel fitted; centre horn button:
*Nardi badge on centre pad replaced with Alfa badge; this badge is actually for an alloy wheel; rear 'prongs' were cut off, and the badge glued to the Nardi centre pad:
headunit: pioneer one was always going to be ditched. i'm an alpine fanboy, and the pioneer was cosmetically polarising! silver fascia with blue and red backlighting...in a car with black dash and green backlighting!
previous 'installer' must have had trouble figuring out how to remove the dash trim - there are screwdriver marks all around the edge from trying to 'force' it off. dodgy work. after removing the pioneer, i found 2 screws under the top edge of the fascia for extremely simple removal.
factory plugs were still in existance, which was nice. i bought a wiring adaptor harness ages ago for this job, though not a perfect fit (only 1 of 2 plugs matched); no big deal, i can work around those things. the adaptor converted the original plugs to standardised 'ISO' plugs. then i used an alpine-ISO wiring harness: alfa plug > adaptor harness > ISO-alpine harness > alpine headunit.
several wires were connected independently of the harnesses, for ease of installation. i also tapped into the cigarette lighter 'illumination' wire (backlight), for connection to the alpine cos there wasn't such a wire in the original 155 stereo plugs. with the parking/headlights OFF, the wire is 0V; with them ON, the wire is +12V; when the headunit receives this 'trigger' it slightly dims the display and button backlighting so that it is not so 'in ya face' at night. pretty standard feature on decent aftermarket headunits, and part of a routine installation, but not an original feature on the 155!
the replacement headunit is an alpine CDA-9835. i've had this in my cupboard for years (it's 'used'), waiting for such a time! it's an '04 model, but one of alpine's best in recent years. great features (inbuilt crossovers, time correction, parametric EQ, 3 sets of RCA preouts, adjustable backlight colouring with choice of 256 colours) and ergonomics/cosmetics. the supplied rectangular trim piece for it was dark grey, but i had a spare black one, which suits the dash better. the interior now looks nicer and the sound is of course improved! eventually, i will expand the system with new front speakers, a couple amplifiers, and sub.
*removal of pioneer headunit; wires were joined to original plugs using spade terminals (worked, but not ideal; though i ended up doing similar for 3 of the wires); dash fascia secured by 2 hidden screws, though previous 'installer' attempted to remove with a screwdriver around the edges :
(old pic from early days)
*replacement Alpine CDA-9835 headunit; oldie but a goodie, and matches the dash so much better (black-grey with backlighting that could be changed to a matching green); wiring harnesses slightly modified to suit alfa 155, with an 'adaptor harness' connecting to original alfa 155 plugs and ending with standardised ISO plugs, then an alpine-ISO harness:
*cigarette lighter illumination plug accessed to provide trigger to alpine headunit; when illumination is active (parking/headlights ON) wire switches from 0V to +12V and triggers headunit into 'dim' mode (dims display and buttons) for less glare; simple wiring harness built and fitted between existing plug to provide off-shoot to headunit:
*alpine headunit fitted; supplied grey alpine trim piece replaced with spare black version:
*Nardi + alpine = joy :