After aquiring, or should that be gambling, a £280 non running '99 GTV twinspark last year after watching one too many wheelder dealer episodes thinking 'I can do that, easy!', ive been using this forum for advice on the various headaches ive had along the way as ive gradually brought this lovely looking, but swine to work on, car back to life. As im nearly complete in my ressurection duties i thought it would be rude to have used this great site and not joined it!
Although im yet to drive the car in anger, its only a new set of tyres and an MOT away from that reality, and what fun ive had along the way working on the GTV while trying to keep my spend as low as possible!
As I bought it, the battery was flat as a pancake, nearly every warning light was on, and the car had grass and moss growing all over it, but I convinced myself potential was there, even though every alarm bell was ringing in the golden rule of car buying!
Back home and with the battery charged, a VAG lead purchased off the bay, and multiecuscan downloaded, the faults were as follows, the alarm fob was missing, the code light was on, as was airbag, injection, the hazards flashing constantly, and the engine turned but didnt start.
I loved the first fix regarding the factory Alfa alarm, rip it out! Second fix, which I was dreading, was the Code light, turned out the engine earth was missing! New earth and the engine spluttered into life, and oh what a hard life it must have had, ive never heard such a knocking, banging motor! On inspection the engine oil dipstick was leaking like mad, and the cam variator had about 5mm of play in it when you put a pry bar behind the cam pulley, obviously it had been run with no oil, and the engine was brown bread,
Another ebay gamble later, and I had another TS motor for 95 notes, and was also ready for my first engine change! looked easy at first glance, until I came here and realised it had to come out from underneath! Still, with the car on the deck then jacked up to the max, things went fairly smoothly, and bonus items were discovered on the way! The radiator was brand new, as was the clutch, along with the exhaust, and all the front end rubbers, bushes and brakes were sound. New engine in, first turn of the key, and although a hell of a lot quieter the idle was all over the place, and smoke out the back. Bugger i thought, this buy an Alfa on the cheap project looks like its going to bite! But again with help from here and the diagnostic software, a secondhand MAF from Autolusso, the engine runs sweet as, with no smoke!
Finally light was emerging at the end of the tunnel, and it wasnt a train coming the other way! Airbag light was the connector under the seat, easy fix. The cooling fan didnt run, found a crispy resistor, so thats bypassed, the dead engine had a new set of plugs in it, they were fitted, other little niggles were easily sorted (door hinge was very worn, doorhandle spring broke, fitted a radio and new aerial, gearlever bush was cracked, had a cracked headlight, thermostat was bust, but the old engines was ok so that went on) checked over the brakes and everything underneath, and finally gave it a ruddy good wash and wax!
Overall im pretty happy, 280 spent on the car, 95 on the new engine, 20 on the VAG lead, 20 for the headlight, 30 for the aerial, 35 for the MAF, 20 on some new exhaust rubbers, around 60 on lubricants, and ill need around 150 for new tyres and an MOT.
Then of course ill need to spend 400 getting the belts done.
Sorry if ive rambled on a bit, just thought it would be fun to share the experience with you all!
Dave from Donny.