I’ve just spent a very enjoyable afternoon at JJB Motors in York today.
Johnny B had the car up on the ramps and after having had a good poke around, not entirely unexpectedly, we didn’t find all that much to get really excited about really. It's a really solid thing and a true credit to its former owner. Not bad for a twenty-five year old Alfa Romeo from the (alleged) rust-bucket era......
Having flown through all its MOT tests while in my ownership (the last four years), today's thorough inspection revealed just why this is the case –the car’s a good 'un and has always been maintained to a high standard. It's also used all year round while I’ve had it so it doesn't spend any time idle in a garage for long periods and I reckon this it's the secret to its longevity. Alfasuds, like all Alfa Romeos, just love to be used!
But the time has now come for some serious TLC so today has been a momentous day (and no, I don't just mean the mighty York City beating Crawley Town away!) I've decided to take the ‘Sud off the road at the end of October when its current MOT and tax run out for some well deserved pampering! All the mechanical work will be undertaken by Johnny Barber at JJB Motors in York and will involve:
A thorough overhaul of the braking system including replacement of the notoriously complicated and fragile inboard front brake callipers (sourced from Car Brakes | We stock, Discs, Shoes, Calipers & More!
and due to be collected from a relative’s house where they’re now in storage) in addition to the Goodridge braided stainless steel flexible brake lines (recently won on eBay). I’ve also got some new discs ‘in stock’ (currently living with other associated Alfa Romeo parts in a sort of Ricambi jamboree in my shed) and these’ll be fitted too together with new pads all-round from my collection of the NOS items that I’ve hoarded away over the years .
An engine change for the sake of originality; a 48 000 mile 105 bhp boxer engine taking the place of the 1.7 8v motor currently fitted.
The fitting of all the parts I’ve collected over the last umpteen years including Bilstein front Gas Strut Inserts along with new top strut bearings (to remedy the gradually stiffening steering) and new bottom swivel joints. It’ll also involve fitting the upgraded rear shock absorbers currently residing in my garage and the complete set of new rear suspension bushes I‘ve got stowed away in the kitchen drawer at the moment.
The rear brake discs will also be replaced with new Lucas items (bedroom cupboard) and the regulator valve (loft) that came via the internet from Australia will also find its way to its allotted place on my car. (Think we need a bigger house).
The malfunctioning bonnet catch that’s annoyed me ever since the car came into my ownership will also be replaced thanks to the good second-hand unit supplied by those friendly people at JustSuds.
Interior–wise, the immaculate Ti scripted seats that I bought at National Alfa Day in 2006 will at last be fitted and a stainless steel exhaust system is also on the wish-list.
Naturally, all the work will be photographed as refurbishment progresses and these images will find their way onto this forum. Likely to be a long term thing because I don’t have an undisclosed private income to fund the project (more’s the pity), just an ever-lightening wallet (thanks to the combined efforts of Messrs. Brown and Darling but don’t get me started on that one!)
Looks like I’ll be having me some Alfasud fun over the coming winter months. Wish me luck! I may need it