Hello, fellow AO members!
My name is Mario and i am from Estonia. I have been a member for a while now and haven't introduced myself or my car the proper way
I am 25 years old, in three days i'll be 26 :P. I have always loved how Alfas looked like. Something different and totaly refreshing. First Alfa i bought with my own money was back in Oktober 2006. It was 145 QV pre-facelift model. I bought it next day when i saw it :P
Which was a bit of hasty move, because i didn't know anything what to keep an eye on, when buying Alfa Romeo
First everything was superb- rare sporty car in Rosso Red, whats not to like and that 2.0L TwinSpark noise was very tingeling. Compared to my moms Peugeot 205 1.4L engine
. Few days later some knocking noises started and soon found out that gearbox was hanging on only with 1 bolt ! And some suspension problems. First repair bill was 1/3 of the car price
Was a bit down when i heard that, but forget it soon enough when i got the car back :P And during 4 years time, i had that great 145, i repaird it bit by bit to a very reliable car. At the beginning of this year i tought of tottaly restoring and tuning the car. New turbod engine from 147 and suspension upgrade and new interior- the whole nine yards! But then i noticed a GTA that had been on sale for almost a year, had dropped in price- significantly! Almost 1/3 from price. From 9600 EUR to 6700 EUR.
And that got me excited
Because i could have tuned my old 145 with the same money i could now buy the GTA. Didn't waste much time. Wen't to see the car on market and contacted the owner. Did a testdrive- OMG
i was SOLD! Made all the pre buy services. Was happy with the result. Nothing serious problems, some minor leaks after a year on standby on the market. Car had done little over 57000km (35600 miles). Which seemed to be correct. Interior was in good condition. And to 38000km all services had been recorded.
At that point the car was brought from Germany to Estonia. Here it was driven almost 18000km (11250 miles) in 4 year time period. Which i was very happy about, because i know Estonian city roads and they are not that smooth. So i was happy it had done so few km/miles here.
The guy i bought it from, said that the prevoius owner (german) had just changed the engine belt when he brought the car from Germany. That was 4 years ago or 18000 km back. So it seems the time was right to change the belt altough there were plenty of miles left. But the engine belt was checked and it seemed OK condition. And thats why i put it off. I wanted to repair the more urgent and leaking seals etc.
After i got the car back from my first minor service i drove it around 500km and it was sublime! But then tottaly out of the blue i got Engine Control System failure on my screen. And a loss of power, car worked but i noticed that it had lost like 30% of the power. Didn't suspect that very serious thing had happened- the car worked! Maybe some faulty sensor or something. Went back to service same day, and they started sorting it out. It was Friday night so i got the bad news on Monday morning. No sensor- much much worse. They didn't tell me right a way called me down there (my office is at the same building as Estonia's main Alfa dealer and service). Went down there and they started showing me belts. Engine belt was on but it was seriuosly loose on one side of the pulley. The engine belt had slipped!
2-3 teeth had gone over. How's that possible, i asked? They said that this is new to them as well but it seemed that AirCooling compressor belt (which was totaly shredded at the side which was against the engine belt cover). They suspected that ribbons from that AC belt had gone through the crack that engine belt cover has at the bottom. And engine belt pulled those ribbons between the tooth wheel (i dont know the english term :P ). The AC pulley was probably main reason what caused the AC belt to rub of the side against the engine belt cover. The pulley was loose...
Picture material and a repair thread can be found here (sorry its in estonian, but pictures are not :P )
Alfa Romeo Foorum • Vaata teemat - Alfa Romeo 156 GTA, Slicer
But at that point i didn't know the range of damage the slipped belt had done. It was next day when the engine was opened up, 8 inlet valves were bent. So i could say that i was "lucky" only 8 valves and no piston damage. And that message from them i got at the last week of May 2010. Since then i have had the car at service, while i was organising some parts myself and most of them i let the service buy. I got the car back last Friday (30'th of July). And have done almost 800km in 4 days. And it's fantastic! I wait when i have run in the engine (3000km) then i'll visit the service again to be sure everything is ok. And after that i'll probably do a dyno run. To check what has been lost or maybe hopefully stayed the same.
Repair's cost me roughly 3600 EURos. I repaired everything that needed repairing in the engine and outside the engine. Now was the perfect time.
The complete list is too big and i dont know the correct techincal language in english, but here are some things:
1) Cleaning and sanding the engine also 8 new inlet valves.
2) All the engine pulleys and belts. Including AUX belt and pulleys and AC etc.
3) Complete AC compressor rebuild.
4) New clutch kit.
5) New waterpump and thermostat.
6) Complete seal and gasket kit.
7) Nozzles checked and cleaned.
8) Drive shaft simmerling (left and right).
9) Front ARB busehes (StrongFlex).
10) New liquid cooling tank.
11) Engine covers were glass blasted and so were the front bumper grills. Then repainted.
12) Caliper seals (2 were changed). Calipers also blasted clean and repainted with G2 paint kit.
13) Oilfilter and airfilter and cabin filters changed.
14) NGK Platinum sparkplugs.
15) Zeatek aluminium undertray.
16) Top engine mount.
17) Rear spring damper struts (Lemförder parts).
18) Shell Helix Ultra Racing 10W-60L 5.9 L
19) Coolant Comma extreme RED 9.2 L (5L container of diluted concentrate)
20) Gearbox and differ oil W90-75 and all other liquids.
21) Regular Dot 5.1 brake fluid.
22) H&R coilovers re-calibrated to softer setup (so the rear spring damper doesn't get so heavy strain).
and many other parts and serviceses.
I am very happy with the result. All the rebuilding was done in PilotMotors (Pilot Motors
Main Alfa Romeo dealer. And the guys worked on their free time as well to get the car moving again. So i am very greatful for their effort.
Next thing in my list are Q2 diff and all the bushes changed to polyurethane ones. After that the exhaust and then maybe engine tuning :P It never ends
After 800km i got a lambda sensor error. That lambda that is after the last cat in the exhaust. Needs replacing also.
But right now i am a happy camper and a very proud owner of the 156 GTA
Soon i will upload some fresh photos.
Good to be one of the AO members, Thank You!