A great day for my 166 - actually, two great days - today I fixed the central locking at last (see other thread) when I discovered corroded tracks under the white connector of the blue control unit under the dash.
In one day yesterday, I fixed:
- Oil leak from sump plug. Plug was tight, but annoying drips of oil were soiling my driveway. I put a drain pan underneath and removed the plug - LOL - as if that would work... the oil gushed out over the subframe (the plug faces sideways) and made a huge slick across the drive
While the newspapers (and my right tyre) were soaking up the mess, I fished out the drain plug from the scalding oil and found the copper washer. I heated the copper washer with a butane torch. Oxy-acetylene would be best, because it took three refills of the pencil torch to finally get the washer red-hot - then, I dropped it into cold water. The result is that the copper becomes soft and bendable (tempered). I put the plug back in and refilled with a seemingly endless amount of Magnatec. The engine wasn't due for an oil change, so I didn't bother to replace the oil filter... Result: no more drips!
- Ashtray lid. This hopeless design features an incredibly-slender hinge arm with gear teeth that mesh with a damped pinion that also latches the lid. The critical part is about 3 x 1.5mm and snaps off in an unrepairable way. As seen in the pic, I bulked it up with two applications of epoxy resin, contained by adhesive tape (pic taken after assembly). Unfortunately the shape of the hinge arm arises from the need to clear the ashtray sides - it was either necessary to compromise the shape of my strengthened hinge, or trim away the side of the ashtray. I did a bit of both (pic 2), and some matt black paint finished the repair.
- Air conditioning leak. A week ago, I had a friend top-up the system to get it working - we noticed leak-detection UV-sensitive dye around the pressure switch, so we thought that was the leak. We cleaned the oil/dirt/dye off, and a few days later I noticed bubbles from around the filler valve (on top of the receiver/drier, next to the pressure switch). It was relatively easy to drain the system, replace the green O-ring under the valve, vacuum and recharge the system - and now the air conditioning works properly again.
- Side repeater light. This has a clear lens that retains the diffuser - except that one of my clear lenses was ragged and broken, and the diffuser nearly fell out. The solution was to trim away all the broken pieces, clean the diffuser, and epoxy the diffuser into place. At first glance, you wouldn't know that the clear lens was missing
- Engine stabiliser bar (dogbone). I tried to get these bushes - really I did - I was quoted moonbeams ($625 - 250 pounds) and a few weeks delay for the Alfa part, so I tried a couple of suspension shops in town - 'Nolathane' bushes only available in 49mm OD with the wrong internal hole diameter. And, the price was $170 each (68 pounds) - I needed two. Therefore I bought a $15 cartridge of black polyurethane sealant (made in Italy, even). I was going to use silicone, but thought that the polyurethane would be tougher.
The pictures show the amazing condition of the bushes beforehand - the rubber was so hard and brittle that I used a holesaw to cut it out, and then an assortment of aerosol caps (with indent) to hold the central sleeve - also some foil tape to contain the sealant.
This last repair is ongoing, as I'm still trying to get the sealant to set. At the moment, I have 'hydraulic' (gel-damped) mounts... according to the sealant directions, the stuff takes 24 hours to cure to a depth of 3mm. I have a depth of about 12mm (from both sides), so logically that will be about four days to reach full strength. I have the bushes in the oven at the moment, sprayed with water (polyurethane is moisture-cured). I might get up the courage to reinstall them tomorrow...
The final fix-it job is the indicator lever - doesn't cancel when turning left, of course - I know how to fix it (thanks to this forum), but if anyone is still reading, could you please tell me if it is safe to disconnect my battery if I don't know my ICS code?
I don't want to remove the airbag unless the battery is disconnected - otherwise I guess that would create a fault code in the airbag ECU. But then, while I have the serial number of the ICS on the original ownership card (in German), it doesn't seem to have a code. Displaying the serial number on the unit ('Dark' and 'Clima', or something) doesn't show any 'code' per se either.
What I want to know is, does the ICS always require a code after battery disconnection, or should the body computer (etc.) provide this code?
Anyway - I feel I'm finally getting somewhere with my 166 - almost ready to sell it