After what seems a lifetime of being sensible, driving german, but contemplating Italian ownership, I've gone and done it.
The 'it' is a '01, 156 Selespeed Sportwagon, in silver, with red leather and 85000 on the clock. I bought it with a Selespeed fault
. I bought it as bit of a 'project' with it suffering the complaint of intermittently dropping gears.
Having read the excellent Selespeed guide on the net (which is also referenced in this forum), and a 156 factory manual I bought from Ebay, I went armed with knowledge of the systems function. I have mechanical repair and technical experience and so, with a borrowed scan tool, I began my pre-buy assessment.
The cars battery was dead flat, so after a jump start it fired up. After 10 mins ticking over I hooked the scan tool up and got several fault codes. According to the seller, many garages had either looked and found nothing wrong or just not looked at all, due to the 'rariety' of the system and their lack of knowledge. I cleared the codes and was able to get 1, 2 and R. The car was hemmed in so I couldn't drive it. I took a good look for leaks, checked the levels, listened for the pump, monitored selespeed pressure at idle and during gear changes, all seemed in order. So, taking a huge chance that the car could be either an unrepairable money pit, or a do-able project, I made an offer and the car is now my 'problem'.
The history/documentation showed that this vehicle had a new gearbox, actuator and pump around 14,000 miles ago at a cost of £3661! Experienced forum members can probably see a pattern of dealer misdiagnosis here.
On dragging it back to the workshop I also discovered that the project needs OSF wheel bearing, disks and pads all round, exhaust centre/rear section plus a new battery. I fitted a new Bosch S5 005 and took it for a drive. I was surprised to be able to select all the gears. On completion of the road test, a journey of around 40 miles, the Selespeed gear system had performed without fault. The road test was a little bit tricky as I couldn't hear the engine above the wheel bearing noise!
The brakes, exhaust and bearing replacement will be completed by Monday. After this I shall try to use the Selespeed and see what develops. The scan tool I am using can perform all of the necessary Selespeed functions (end of line relaibration, clutch position relearn etc.) so I intend to run these and perform a more thorough system check once the Selespeed has its new brakes/bearing and exhust.
I am sure that the help, knowledge and assistance of this community forum will be most welcomed as my 'affair' with the Selespeed develops. I also hope to offer whatever I can in the way of help and advice.
I hope to post again next week, with either news of my joy of ownership, or, looking for parts, or inspiration, or both!