Swirl flaps How To and MAF clean How To anywhere? 159 1.9 - Page 15 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #351 of 410 Old 29-02-16 Thread Starter
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120miles in since rebuild and running sweet. Starting nicely, running smooth and there is a slight low end increase in power. Feel more confident not to stretch her legs on a nation speed limit stretch or on the motorway. If I didn't mention, I'm running her with the partical blanking plates in which where their before. ECU EGR in the horizon. I'm going to run a test with full blanking plates, which I know with flap an EML but I have mixed reports about limp mode. Been told in some cases the blanking plate can blow through with the heat of the exhaust gases so caution will be taken. Although the difference in the blanking plates to the partical blanking plates I have is very evident as the full blanking plates are 3-4x thicker.
I also didn't get around to drilling the DPF. At least there's plenty of projects ahead.

Hope your coming along ok since your electrics halftone.
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It's complete, aside from not having put the new aux belt on. I've a couple of other jobs I need to do whilst the car is off the ground, gearbox oil change and also sort out the undertray mountings, two of which are wrecked - one with a seized bolt that simply rotates in a no-longer-captive nut in the subframe. The other side rear mounting is knackered too. I'm not putting it back with cable ties, as the previous owner did. I'm hoping I can sort them out with rivnuts, new bolts and penny washers. All the self tappers are pretty horrible too, and need replacing.

I've blanked the EGR completely, no more soot and gunge. Lots of rain forecast the rest of this week, so if it's going to sit for a few more days I might just post the ECU off to Autolusso to get the EGR mapped out, Natwest permitting.

I don't believe there's any issue with stainless blanking plates burning through, it's cheap/diy blanking using old beer cans or thin aluminium that might not last too well.
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(Post Link) post #353 of 410 Old 01-03-16 Thread Starter
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I know exactly what you mean about the under tray fixings. Got all mine out just about. Iv still not mounted mine yet, alone with the wheel arch access panel as to make sure I can visually check everything for another 100 miles or so.

Gearbox oil, does that need replaced more often than the bearings, haha. (If the 147 uses the m32 gearbox too) My gearbox was rebuilt 2000ish miles ago so will be fine for a while. What's a good mileage count for renewing gearbox oil and is it easy?

I did play it safe with the EGR rather than risking anything, not that there is anything to risk, just the Unknown. Would, or should there be any performance differences with it blanked?

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I had a lot of trouble getting the undertray off because of that rotating bolt and crusty screws, which annoyed me, so sorting it out is, I hope, the final bit of undercar unpleasantness for a few months, alternator permitting.

The 6-speed on the 147 is a different box to your M32. Mine is fine, very slick if a bit 'slow', but I don't trust the current mfr. BS of 'lubricated for life'. Oils do wear out eventually and then the 'life' is shortened. At 8yrs/78k new oil seems a good idea, just preventative maintenance. I've changed gearbox oil on a couple of cars recently. My old espace at 25yrs/100k instantly went from being notchy and baulky to delightful, it felt like a new, just run-in gearbox. The same on my wifes little Peugeot 107 at 10yrs/50k, though not as pronounced. Neither had any actual problems, but what came out was filthy and knackered, with the viscosity of water.

With the M32, it seems more a matter of life preservation, as some bearings fail through incorrect clearances and excessive heat. From what I've read in this forum using a better oil than AR specify, and cramming 3L into the box (instead of an official 2.something), helps it stay in one piece. A forum search will supply more info. As usual, Ned at Autolusso is the man.
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Oh, and the blanked EGR. Allegedly a slight performance gain at low engine revs, as the engine is no longer being force-fed low-oxygen exhaust gas, so burns fuel more efficiently. That (allegedly) recovers some or all of the combustion efficiency lost by removing swirl flaps that promote mixing at low throttle openings. The downside is increased NO production c/o higher combustion temperatures, which is bad for humans.

As with most eco-accounting, it seems hatstand to festoon engines with EGR, swirl flaps and DPF to clean up emissions somewhat, at the cost of making the entire vehicle liable to be scrapped prematurely because of the costly problems these systems cause. The major source of pollution is the manufacture of the vehicle in the first place.
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I finally managed to get a couple of dry hours to work on the car this afternoon.
  • It runs, and very well, rock steady idle at 845-849rpm. No more horrid rattle, with or without the aux belt. So replacing the alternator would have been unnecessary. No leaks, drips, shrapnel or escaping gas. Pickup from idle is noticeably cleaner without bent/leaking valves. Result, at long last :-)
  • That aux belt is an awkward f***-pig to put on single-handed. I positively enjoyed doing the cambelt, in comparison. Solution involved a very long tommy bar jammed on top of bricks, to hold the tensioner, whilst I fiddled the belt onto the final pulley (aircon, seemed easiest).
  • 15mins idling and the temp only got to 60C (gauge + OBD), although the fan came on a couple of times. Maybe the thermostat is unwell, after it's long holiday off the car. I need to put the wheels back on and drive to find out.
  • P0401 EGR insufficient flow is already logged as a pending fault thanks to the blanked EGR. No MCSF yet though.
  • I've yet to sort out the undertray mountings, or change the gearbox oil, having so far entirely failed to find the alleged dipstick. Maybe it's only obvious once the battery tray is out? TBC Sunday, I hope.
  • My oil cooler pipes are rusting away after all. Kurust/Hammerite applied, will be OK for a few months until it gets warmer.

    Looking forward to finally driving it now, which will be the first time it's been healthy since I bought it as unwell in December.
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or change the gearbox oil, having so far entirely failed to find the alleged dipstick. Maybe it's only obvious once the battery tray is out? TBC Sunday, I hope.
It's definitely down there!

You can get to it without removing the boost hose or battery at all... Reach under the powersteering fluid reservoir, keep heading down, you'll find it on the top/back of the diff casing..
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15mins idling and the temp only got to 60C (gauge + OBD), although the fan came on a couple of times. Maybe the thermostat is unwell, after it's long holiday off the car. I need to put the wheels back on and drive to find out.
Thats not very surprising, especially with a blanked EGR (very little exhaust gas flow through the heat exchanger).

If you start the car and hold the top radiator hose: warms up gradually = thermostat stuck open. Stays cold for a long time, then all of a sudden goes red hot: thermostat working properly.
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No, entirely unsurprising - it just shows the ECU was paying attention The pending fault was logged immediately.

Yup, the top hose was only gradually getting warm, and I think the thermostat probably is kaput. Didn't make much sense to me that the interior heater was warm and the cooling fan operating. What makes of thermostat are reliable? I'm sure I've seen comments about some being rubbish. Bugger, I'll have to drain down all that nice, expensive new coolant now...
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It's definitely down there!

You can get to it without removing the boost hose or battery at all... Reach under the powersteering fluid reservoir, keep heading down, you'll find it on the top/back of the diff casing..
Thanks... My favourite part of this Alfa, the impenetrable jungle of insane plumbing down the back. I practically live there nowadays, but will go on a dipstick hunt on Sunday.
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No, entirely unsurprising - it just shows the ECU was paying attention The pending fault was logged immediately.

Yup, the top hose was only gradually getting warm, and I think the thermostat probably is kaput. Didn't make much sense to me that the interior heater was warm and the cooling fan operating. What makes of thermostat are reliable? I'm sure I've seen comments about some being rubbish. Bugger, I'll have to drain down all that nice, expensive new coolant now...
I'd get a genuine one, or Behr maybe. Calorstat are at the cheaper end and I've used a few with no issues but I think these stats all come with the temp sensor and I wouldn't want to use an aftermarket sensor, so always swap the original one back in.

The thing I meant was unsurprising is only showing 60 degrees after 15 minutes of ticking over. I'd be surprised if it was up to temp, one of my courtesy cars with the 1.9 JTD 16v engine and EGR blank won't even get past the 50 degree line after 15 minutes idling.

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Great to hear you on the last stages of a slightly larger project than mine. I didn't mind the aux belt, apart from running it the wrong path 1st time around and luckily noticing. When I started up first time it took a good 20-30mins to see the temp increase and it gradually got up to 90. Hope you don't need a new thermostat, as dropping coolant and get those stupid pipes out of the way is a right pain. Easier with the battery out I'm sure, something I didn't do but should have.
All jobs now almost just seem like tinkering compared to what's been done.

Well done, even though you taught me most of what I learnt about this mammoth project.
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Guys .....apologies for jumping in with a random question, but it seemed to be a good place for it.

On the metal manifold with the external linkage, which controls flap number 3 .....if this flap was stuck and unable to move, i realise it would probably throw up an EML ....but would it put the car in limp mode??

Cheers if you can help.


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Thanks... My favourite part of this Alfa, the impenetrable jungle of insane plumbing down the back. I practically live there nowadays, but will go on a dipstick hunt on Sunday.
There is just a little gap to allow you to get your arm between the wiring to the ABS unit (I think) and the large hose to the inlet manifold and it allows you to (just) reach down to the rear of the gearbox near to the bulkhead. The dipstick on mine has a little black rubber top on it. Easy to find once you know where it is. Very impressive work btw and if you can do that I should think that you will be able to find the dipstick.
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...The thing I meant was unsurprising is only showing 60 degrees after 15 minutes of ticking over. I'd be surprised if it was up to temp, one of my courtesy cars with the 1.9 JTD 16v engine and EGR blank won't even get past the 50 degree line after 15 minutes idling.
That's better news. I'm not used to diesel's slow warm up. I'll get it mobile and give it some exercise and see what happens then.
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On the metal manifold with the external linkage, which controls flap number 3 .....if this flap was stuck and unable to move, i realise it would probably throw up an EML ....but would it put the car in limp mode??
I don't know, but I doubt it. I've read elsewhere about people fixing the flaps open, though they have disconnected the actuator motor from the rod, so the actuator is still free to move. That doesn't cause any faults.
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ive got a bit of data on warm up temps and speeds jtdm 16v with std oil cooler , egr delete, fmic.
engine temp vs fuel qty blue n red.png

this first pic shows how the temp only realy increases on sections where fuel is being added , cruising or no fuel flat lines, next fuel temps increase again. so on idle temps are slow to increase.

graph plus old stat data.png

this pic shows temps logged at idle various points , overlayed in red was data from old passing stat but different ambient temp.
also had a passing stat vs good stat pic but cant find it , ill try to make new one from data, but basically I don't think it was much different till it got to the 70-80c point.
ok knocked up again from data
old stat vs new stat.png
time will be off slightly between graphs and again ambient different but same commute so close enough to show only the top end improved considerably
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Last edited by sussexa; 05-03-16 at 11:37.
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That first graph is amazing - the 50C plateau when it's idling. Mine did that for a long time, only later gradually climbing to 60C after (probably) 20mins and a few blips of the throttle. The few times that I actually drove the car before pulling it apart, the temp levelled off at a very steady 88-90C after a few miles, so the thermostat seemed very healthy then.
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Just a postscript, really.
  • The thermostat is fine after all. Just didn't run long enough to operate, before.
  • I found the gearbox dipstick at last, duh. Just smaller and blacker than expected. The oil was like new and recently changed - probably when the car had a new clutch 20k ago. I left it for now.
  • My undertray is knackered, with lumps missing now I have looked. It's never going to be secure, so it's off to the tip.
  • I've already had the MCSF, but it was only the blanked EGR nagging me to give Ned money for a remap.
  • It starts really well now, hot or cold 1-2s on the starter.
  • 'Before' video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH1GsO9kJ14
  • 'After' video https://youtu.be/t-UEYChJymE
  • I've still barely managed to drive it, no time over the weekend except for lots of little jobs that needed doing.
  • The alarm is playing silly buggers, possibly the volumetric sensor, but it didn't disarm today when I opened the car with the fob. I think it got confused by a couple of thing my son did on Sunday, eg trying to open the boot on the fob with the motor running. I'm hoping a period with the battery disconnected will return it to sanity.
  • Needs a wash and wax, after so long in the gutter. So do I.
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Just a postscript, really.
  • The thermostat is fine after all. Just didn't run long enough to operate, before.
  • I found the gearbox dipstick at last, duh. Just smaller and blacker than expected. The oil was like new and recently changed - probably when the car had a new clutch 20k ago. I left it for now.
  • My undertray is knackered, with lumps missing now I have looked. It's never going to be secure, so it's off to the tip.
  • I've already had the MCSF, but it was only the blanked EGR nagging me to give Ned money for a remap.
  • It starts really well now, hot or cold 1-2s on the starter.
  • 'Before' video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH1GsO9kJ14
  • 'After' video https://youtu.be/t-UEYChJymE
  • I've still barely managed to drive it, no time over the weekend except for lots of little jobs that needed doing.
  • The alarm is playing silly buggers, possibly the volumetric sensor, but it didn't disarm today when I opened the car with the fob. I think it got confused by a couple of thing my son did on Sunday, eg trying to open the boot on the fob with the motor running. I'm hoping a period with the battery disconnected will return it to sanity.
  • Needs a wash and wax, after so long in the gutter. So do I.
Good to see you are more or less complete. My Q2 sport has not had an undertray during my ownership. Did they all have an undertray? Have to say I have not noticed any problems without it.
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I think so. OE part number: 51719031. They are a PITA, however.

You have admirable taste in cars :-)
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I think so. OE part number: 51719031. They are a PITA, however.

You have admirable taste in cars :-)
Would the alloy undertray from someone like Alfisti fit? Probably cheaper than the Alfa part.
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I think OE is about 250, the Alfisti one is ~105 (I think they fit all 147's), but aftermarket HDPE clones of the AR piece are from about 30 upwards... which is about my budget limit for a bit of trashable plastic.

Q2 doesn't have a lot of clearance, we have an epidemic of speed humps locally, probably a sump guard and monster truck wheels would be a better idea for me.
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Sounds lovely mate. Your 'after' video has let me see the difference in layout between the 147 and 159, Interesting to see that. I've still no under tray on mine for investigation purposes. Over cautious. No harm the under tray on any car not being there, just with extra caution on the hump epidemic many of our towns residential areas have. My biggest fear with humps is someone ramming my rear as I slow down to go over them. The 19" rims and lowered 159 Ti makes some of them impossible. What rims on your 147? I've never seen the limit edition Ducati corse iv just come across on a Google search, the rims are big on those.

Extra bonus your thermostat is sound.
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One supplementary question. The engine lived with 2 bent valves and low compression on one cylinder for 4,000miles of the previous owner's use. Does this mean the ECU will have made adaptations that should now be cleared, or will it just re-adapt fairly quickly? If adaptations are cleared (possible in MES? I've only been using Torque until my laptop is repaired again), is there a specified driving cycle to establish new ones?

I am aware of this thread, http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-...acle-cure.html (ECU Reset - It's A Miracle Cure !!!!) - but sceptical

I am going to get the car to Autolusso for an EGR-blanked remap within a few weeks, but just wonder whether there's anything I should do meanwhile?
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