Bought me a MiTo - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 16 Old 14-04-19 Thread Starter
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Bought me a MiTo

Morning everyone,

Long time no see. Certainly not new to Alfas or this forum but had to create me a new account as I don't have the e-mail address to recover the old one anymore. Been a few years since I had an Alfa, last was my white 159 Lusso 1.9jtdm and the wife had a 147 1.6TS Lusso. Currently have a Mazda RX-8 and a Fiat Stilo Abarth.

So, now I've got a little red MiTo Lusso 155 that the wife fell in love with last week and simply had to have, so we have it (SWMBO). She's been named Molly MiTo. At 」1,500 Molly is by far the cheapest 155 going and the joint cheapest running and driving MiTo we could find for sale full stop. So...

She's got more than her fair share of issues bless her.

So far things I need to sort out:

Lower corner of front bumper has paint damage (probably from same incident that broke headlamp)
drivers side door window has dropped to the rear edge - not so sure about this one!
Service history unknown / service required
rear bumper paintwork needs attention / replacement (added 19/05/19)

Lets hope I can chalk stuff off that list quicker than things get added to it but previous experience tells me not to hold my breath.

List of completed jobs:
Back box baffles have collapsed and needs replacing - sports exhaust now fitted
Front near side headlight is damaged (broken brackets and chrome trim) - new lamp and trim fitted
Heater control matrix has a blown bulb - new bulbs fitted
Rear off side arch has a scrape - power polished this out (see bumper above still needs paint / attention
The stereo buttons are worn and lost their markings - buttons / control panel replaced
Proxy alignment failure - proxy alignment performed
massive brake fluid leak - NSR caliper replaced (18/05/19)
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Last edited by Artermis1; 4 Weeks Ago at 05:24.
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(Post Link) post #2 of 16 Old 14-04-19 Thread Starter
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OK... So I can chalk off a couple of the issues straight away (replying to myself a little bit!).

First is the heater matrix illumination. They make this fun to get to, don't they? Pulled them out and picked up a couple of replacements for 」1 each from the local halfords. They're a 286 bulb for anyone interested. Many thanks to the forum's guide which helped me along with this.

Seeing as this job required the stereo out it kind of kills two birds with one stone to sort the stereo out. The car only has 88k on the clock and I really don't understand how you could be ham fisted enough to scrub the markings off the buttons but either way it'd happened. It's a bit of a personal OCD thing I hate seeing buttons like this as it just feels and looks scruffy and worn.

I had a replacement stereo unit but the code of the stereo wasn't known - so I had to swap the face plates over. The face plate is only held on with two screws but not wishing the guess at whether the LCD on the replacement works or exactly where the code might be stored in the unit, I opened it all up and swapped all the internals into the replacement facia.

Two jobs scratched from the list today then, heater control illumination and the stereo buttons are fixed.

Next up is the replacement headlight, which I'm a little nervous about. Hopefully no rotten bolts on the bumper, should be OK. I have a replacement headlamp unit and chrome trim ring ready to go. Wish me luck.

Have a good day everyone!
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Fingers crossed the gearbox nice and quiet? If you don't have any service information it's worth looking at changing the gearbox oil (and pick a good quality replacement oil) to try help mitigate the risk of premature bearing wear!
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Thankfully, last I saw refurbed gearboxes from Germany, there were like 900 euro (and you send your own back) shipped. Not too bad given what it is. One of my headlight brackets were broken on my MiTo, fixed it with epoxy glue and it's been holding up great.
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There are some places around the UK that will do full M32 bearing swaps with gearbox in-situ (they just take off end casing) which helps keep cost down, so yeah it's not so bad if bearings do ever need sorting.

I also had a broken bracket on one headlight too (I realised the annoying jiggling of the beam at night probably was excessive compared to how bumpy the road was)... I used q-bond (or some q-bond-like kit with superglue and a gap filler powder) to fix mine in-situ and that's also held well too .
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(Post Link) post #6 of 16 Old 14-04-19 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Skaffen View Post
Fingers crossed the gearbox nice and quiet? If you don't have any service information it's worth looking at changing the gearbox oil (and pick a good quality replacement oil) to try help mitigate the risk of premature bearing wear!
Thankfully yes, gearbox is fine. An oil change isn't a bad shout all the same! My 159 had the M32 box I believe, so I've heard all about the infamous end bearings previously, although it didn't give me any bother in the 159. My brother had a Corsa VXR with M32, had a complete replacement gearbox under warranty as it ate it.

I think she's been fairly well cared for by someone at some point, it's nice and clean and MOT history looks fairly reasonable, mostly just tyre issues and a broken spring I think. It's just got to that point in a car's age where it needs a bit of TLC. I'm guessing previous owner had an unlucky bump in it, which is what damaged bumper and headlight, so traded it in. The dealer picked it up at auction and sold it on to me.

So the bumper was a predictable nightmare. One of the wing bolts and several of the underside bolts have spun their riv-nuts. Up shot is that it wasn't possible to get the bumper off. I did manage to undo enough things to get enough room to get the headlamp unit out, probably because it was so smashed!

Still, the new one is more secure and fitted now, at least it has 3 mounting points on it. So chalk 1 job off the list, the broken headlight is replaced, but add a new job to the list... I now need to drill out and remove the bumper and replace / repair the bumper riv-nuts and mounts. I also need to do something to better secure the bumper where it meets the wing, as the corner wants to stick out where whatever was there is broken on the side that's been bumped. It's going to be a job but will get there. Couldn't look into it today as got called away to work, bloody employee called in sick.

Hopefully one of the upcoming bank holidays, some dremel bits and a few sets of drill bits will see it right.
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There is a plastic strip with clips pop-riveted to the bottom edge of the wing. The top edge of the bumper clips into this .. when the clips aren't broken. Even a gentle nudge breaks them (got the t-shirt and the protruding bumper edge!) ... or they simply snap when taking off the bumper for whatever reason!

You'll see once the bumper is off ...
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Oops double-post

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I値l be in the same boat on Saturday. Picking up a 2011 1.4 Multiair. Only 36k so hopefully the list will be smaller. In fairness I still have a 2003 147jtd Lusso with 136k, love it. Small petrol engines are a bit of an unknown.......
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(Post Link) post #10 of 16 Old 16-04-19 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gazza82 View Post
There is a plastic strip with clips pop-riveted to the bottom edge of the wing. The top edge of the bumper clips into this .. when the clips aren't broken. Even a gentle nudge breaks them (got the t-shirt and the protruding bumper edge!) ... or they simply snap when taking off the bumper for whatever reason!

You'll see once the bumper is off ...
Hey up Gazza,

I did spot this when I had the lamp unit out and yeh, I could see missing and squashed clips. I did have a hunt but I never found anywhere selling replacements, annoyingly, so an element of creativity may be needed.

Need to order up some more riv-nuts and fixings for the job anyway, not one I'm entirely looking forward too.

She's had a good polish up and feeling pretty now though 😄
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I値l be in the same boat on Saturday. Picking up a 2011 1.4 Multiair. Only 36k so hopefully the list will be smaller. In fairness I still have a 2003 147jtd Lusso with 136k, love it. Small petrol engines are a bit of an unknown.......
Just be sure that that oil hasn't only been changed once during 8 years because of the low miles!
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(Post Link) post #12 of 16 Old 23-04-19 Thread Starter
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Did everyone have a good MiToing weekend? Can chalk another job off the list - the one I was dreading really - exhaust back box replacement.

The wife wanted a sports exhaust in the end, her car her choice, so we bought her one for the princely sum of 」90. I've never fitted an exhaust before in my life, never mind had to cut one off and slide in an old one. It all sounds easy in theory but experience tells me theory vs Alfa can have a number of potential outcomes. In actual fact, I'm happy to report, it was pretty straight forward. I put the car up on ramps on my front, dropped the exhaust from it's hangers, lined up the new next to the old, worked out where to cut and had at it with the angle grinder.

Only slight complication is my angle grinder wheel caught just as I was trying to cut through the last of the pipe at the very top, shattering it (thank god for guards and eye protection, people) so the last few mm were done by hand with a hack saw, which was boring, but we got it done. The new one lined up in it's hangers without any fuss and clamped down.

Personally I'm not so sure about the noise but SWMBO thinks it's bloody marvellous, so I'm happy to reap the rewards of that ;-)

So annoying exhaust rattle from collapsed baffles - fixed :-D
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(Post Link) post #13 of 16 Old 4 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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About time I updated the thread for the "cheapest 155", as it's been an interesting 3 weeks of ups and downs. Not really chalked off anything of the list for a couple of reasons. First is the weather and parts coupled with my wife working weekends has meant there has been little time to tackle some of the more involved jobs that need doing. There have been a couple of other reasons too...

Randomly week before last the car dropped out of proxy alignment (odometer started flashing). Absolutely no idea why it did this still to this day. I bought up an error code about proxy alignment and the DNA switch. DNA switch is operating fine though. Gave a full diagnostic sweep, cleared the codes and performed the realignment and it's been happy since.

The main reason, however, is that we got a brake fluid low warning level. We initially put this down to the increased ambient temperatures we'd experienced and silly italian electronics, topped the reservoir off just to be sure and went on the way. However a few days later and the fault returned. So we had a leak. A bit of fault finding showed that the NSR caliper was leaking heavily; when left stood for a couple of days a puddle formed on the floor!

Not something I've experienced before on examination the caliper was leaking from the rear seal around the handbrake mech on the back of the caliper. Sounds simple enough to sort though, doesn't it? Stripped the caliper off and apart, replaced the offending seal and pressure tested it. Still leaking. Tried again with another seal, just to be sure, still leaking. No idea why but clearly this caliper is toast. Then got to realising - this caliper is silver (bare metal). All the others on the car are red. Something's happened to this caliper / corner before...

So let the games begin trying to find a replacement. Local breakers yards are a bust, nothing in stock. Local motor factors for a brand new caliper have nothing in stock and want 」100 for a caliper. My car has the Bosch rear brakes where everything I can find is the Lucas calipers. So out of sheer desperation I go rummage in the shed. After years of Alfa and Fiat ownership I've collected a fair set of 'spare' parts and I dig out a caliper from my Stilo Abarth. It's the wrong side (i.e. drivers rather than passenger) but it looks remarkably similar...

So I get to looking and I can find brand new Stilo calipers online for 」35... And I've got a Stilo parked out front. So off comes the Stilo wheel and NSR caliper. What do you know, part numbers and markings match. The only difference is the handbrake cable mounts point left rather than right (so handbrake cable on Stilo mounts inwards towards caliper, where on Mito they mount outwards, so the L shaped brackets turn the other way). Big deal, right? But they're bolt on parts. So 20 mins and a tin of brake cleaner later, I've swapped the handbrake cable mount and lever over, which are direct bolt over swap, and fitted it to the MiTo.

Bled the system and it works a treat. Fixed.

Only down side is my Abarth now needs a new rear caliper, but at 」35 new rather than 」100 I'll take that any day.

Hoping to tackle the bumper over bank holiday weekend with any luck and still need to have a poke at the window, as wife complains of wind whistle on motorway.

Happy MiToing
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(Post Link) post #14 of 16 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Red rear callipers are expensive - silvers ones are much cheaper and a straight swap. Mine had three red and one silver! Thinking about it I知 not even sure we were able to source a red calliper at the time. Seized rear callipers are very common on the MiTo.
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Red rear callipers are expensive - silvers ones are much cheaper and a straight swap. Mine had three red and one silver! Thinking about it I知 not even sure we were able to source a red calliper at the time. Seized rear callipers are very common on the MiTo.
I dont even know what colour caliper the motorfactors were quoting for. My guess would have been bare metal / silver but I was more concerned with functionality than aesthetics haha I've probably got a tin of caliper paint somewhere if I'm that excited about red.

I think being the cheapest 155 in the country (and the joint cheapest running driving MiTo full stop at the time I bought it) it's got bigger things to worry about than what colour it's caliper is

Looking forward to getting to tackle the window and maybe the bumper over the coming bank holiday weekend with any luck.
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(Post Link) post #16 of 16 Old 3 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Another successful day of MiToing. Managed to deal with the drivers window issue with relative ease. Door card came off nice and easy, probably the most straightforward door card I've ever dealt with. Turned out to be a look clamp on the bracket for the rear edge of the window. This was easily adjusted with the door card off and the window at half height.

Scratch another job off the list
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