Right, after deserting this thread (and the car!) for over a year now, I thought I'd bring it upto date.
After getting the car resprayed (see pics of during and after below) and getting the powder coated engine back together the car developed a major problem - a big misfire!
After scratching my head for a number of weeks I spoke to my mechanic (Paul at Motormech in B'ham) and he had a similar story. He got the plenum of a Barcetta powder coated and it immediately developed the same problem. We think both cars (my GTV and his Barchetta) had sucked in the blasting grit from the inside of the powder coated plenum chambers and knackered the valve seats.
Testing the compression of all the cylinders confirmed that compression was an issue. The readings of the cylinders are (in psi)
1 - 160
2 - 195
3 - 140
4 - 50
5 - 210
6 - 210
There was no way a cylinder with 50psi compression was going to fire.
Now, I have spoken to Paul again today and I have a few options;
a) Get the car booked in to have the cylinder head off the front bank of cylinders, the valves ground back in and the head replaced along with a new cambelt, tensioner and idlers. I already have the cambelt kit so that little job would be about £350 labour.
b) Get all the valves ground back in - this will involve the engine/box being dropped out of the car and the whole top end stripped. It would make sure every cylinder is evenly balanced and that the car runs as sweetly as possible. It would also be an opportunity to get the radiator and clutch replaced at the same time for minimal cost as the rad will have to come out anyway and getting to the clutch will be easy. Cost - about £1000 inc parts and labour.
To be honest, I'm thinking about going for option b. It would make sure the engine is A1 (with mega compression across all cylinders) and all major jobs are done. It should also hopefully aid resale value.
I will probably be selling the car later this year and I'd like it to be as sorted as possible for its new owner. This big engine work would also make the gubbins under the bonnet as sorted as the rest of the car (full respray, cup kit, gleaming white leather interior, 100% new suspension back and front, full stainless exhaust, gleaming powder coated engine, waxoyl-ed).
It would be great to do a few shows with the car this year as well once its better weather and enjoy it before I sell up.
I would keep the car but its a second car for me (also have a 159) and I'm loving that too. I really don't use the GTV enough to justify paying a second lot of tax and insurance (and putting up with grief from the Mrs!)
Anyway, that brings the project upto date. I'll keep this updated a little more often from now on.
By the way, the last two pics are of the inside of the car during its Waxoyl-ing.