Hi Everyone, after years of running my faithful 7 year old Punto I took the plunge and bought myself a post facelift 147 JTD. Yes I know it is a dirty derv but it does have the hallowed 16v Multijet and (for an oilburner) doesn’t even sound too bad either!
Now for years I have run dirty cars to pay for my dirtier motorbike habit. Bikers love to extract every last bit of power they can get and my bike is fitted with different exhausts and the obligatory Power Commander which sits inline with the original ECU, taking full control of it and allowing you to re-map the bike easily with your own laptop if you so wish. Wonderful bit of kit and the hunt was on for something similar for the Alfa since we all know standard engines are flattened out to cope with Aldi quality fuel and the environmental Nazis.
Had a quick ring around and found a company called Celtic Tuning based somewhere down in deepest cone-head country aka Cornwall. Suits me since I live in the marginally less web-toed and gilled county of Somerset. I spoke to Graham for about 15 minutes to work out what I wanted (same basic curve, more power and torque, better MPG *without* destroying any low down grunt or reliability woes) We decided on their 205 Bhp/305 FtLb map which they say they have done on quite a few cars now which share the common GM financed engine. I only got about another 10% with the bike, but checking up on Google and Wikipedia it seems quite usual for Turbo diesels to extract more from remaps than non turbo’d petrol engines so I decided to go for it.
It took the guys about 10 minutes to remove the ECU from the car and set it in a specially made jig where the interface unit was clamped onto the main memory chip inside. The laptop went onto that and a couple of cups of tea later the job was done, ECU back in and car started (phew!)
Only been running the car since Saturday (Wednesday now) but there are some very nice differences. I can only give you my opinion of course since it has not been confirmed (off to a Dyno hopefully next month to get a solid) but you can expect roughly the same delivery you had before but more everywhere. 3rd feels like 2nd used to, it feels smoother and nippier all through the range. Most noticeable was the removal of the brick wall that you hit at 4k when the car used to just stop accelerating until you hooked the next ratio. It does smoke a tiny bit when you nail it when the engine is stone cold but then it used to do that before. Once warmed up it doesn’t seem to smoke at all according to the GF driving her car behind me. At the moment I am still driving quite ‘enthusiastically’ but the MPG figure is creeping up. On my slow traffic clogged 10 mile commute to work I used to get roughly 42 with the aircon going full pelt and about 47/48 without. Came into work this morning and had 54 on the display. Result!
All in all, well worth the money, the car is running like the engineers originally designed it before the marketing/environmental droids tried to strangle it. I will post the dyno curves when I get em!