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Darren156
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Alfanet: Duncan Slade Recommendation!

Guys,

Had a few issues with my Fiat Coupe 20VT so after Hammy156 (Simon) recommended Duncan I thought I might as well give him a call and arrange a time to see him. He is based in Fishponds, Bristol which was only a few miles away from myself anyway.

On the phone he sounded very clued up and seemed to know an awful lot about both Alfa and Fiat (Especially Coupe's!), better than that though he was a really nice guy and managed to get me booked in for a few days later.

So anyway, today was that day, and as I stated there were a few issues with my Coop. One of them being slight play in the steering wheel, and the other being screeching brakes, another few points I wanted him to take a look at were defects picked up by the guys who serviced it at QAS: AA Nationwide Auto Center. (Bunch of Cowboys but that's another story, )

The defects picked up on by them were an oil leak coming from the rocker cover, and some corroded brake pipes. Serious stuff by the sounds of it, maybe so if they weren't talking out their behinds.

The oil leak is absolutely non-fatal and is a regular occurance on these when they are overfilled, which is what has been done in the past by a previous owner. Just to verify this Duncan checked the oil and it was fine, all topped up correctly and spot on. He also checked the gearbox oil to make sure that was alright, which it was.

He then got the car up on the ramp to check out these 'DANGEROUS BRAKE PIPES' that had me worrying. After close inspection, he did notice some slight cracking in one of the hoses, but it was only outer casing cracking and the hose itself was alright and nothing to worry about.

He then took a look at the rear brake pipe which was apparently badly corroded and in need of changing ASAP. He used a file to scrape what was only surface rust away and left behind a nice looking un-corroded pipe, So, brake pipe/hose wise we are all good!

Whilst it was up on the ramp he checked the wheels and suspension out to see if this would explain the reason behind the play in the steering wheel, along with checking the steering wheel out and top strut mounts he managed to deduce that it requires a new steering rack if it bugs me that much. To be honest, the play is extremely minimal and I have now gotten so used to it I'd probably not like the feeling if I did get it changed,

Duncan also removed the rear bump stops that were loose within the suspension coils for me, as all they were doing was getting in the way.

He then checked out all the brakes for me and said that apart from requiring new rear discs sometime in the near future they were all spot on. He rubbed some metallic based paste into the front discs (Which he believed were the cause of my screeching), apparently on the way home this should have rubbed a layer off of the brake pads and cleaned them all up. I had no screeching on the way home and hopefully this will continue forever, as it was a bloody nightmare,

He also checked out the exhaust that Long Life had done for me yesterday and said they'd done a decent job. Which I'm happy about!

Apparently I've done well and picked a good 'un with this Coop, which I'm ECSTATIC about! There are dudds out there though, quite alot apparently!

Absolute top bloke and I'll be visiting him from now on if I require any work to be done on my car. It's good the way he actually explains and shows things to you unlike most other mechanics out there.

He was just finishing off a service on a brand new Alfa GT when I got there and it looked absolutely gorgeous! It was a JTD though so I was slightly disappointed,

He must have had around 10 Fiats there and 15 or so Alfa's.

He had finished off a timing belt that morning for a guy with a 156 TS who came to collect it whilst I was there, he also seemed quite happy, not sure if he's a member though???

So yeah, if you need any work doing to your Alfa's / Coupe's (In my case!) then I highly recommend him, and I'm greatly thankful to Hammy156 for pointing me in his direction also, cheers fella!

Cheers,
Darren

Alfa-Net, Duncan Slade, 07968 488 942, Fishponds Bristol.
 
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Re: Alfanet: Duncan Slade Recommendation!

Great write-up Darren, good news about your car too
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Re: Alfanet: Duncan Slade Recommendation!

Fantastic news Darren - I recommended him for a reason I'll be visiting him next pay-day myself
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Re: Alfanet: Duncan Slade Recommendation!

Cheers Dan! The car's luckily going well so far, No big bangs or smokey explosions just yet!

Go for it Simon! Blow your wad (Of cash!) on your little red number,
 
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Re: Alfanet: Duncan Slade Recommendation!

Blimey Darren, I didn't know you knew so many words



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Re: Alfanet: Duncan Slade Recommendation!

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Blimey Darren, I didn't know you knew so many words
Oh yeah Gibbo! You should see me when I'm off the boomshine!
 
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Re: Alfanet: Duncan Slade Recommendation!

Moved to General Alfa Discussion
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Re: Alfanet: Duncan Slade Recommendation!

Ditto with my experience thus far.

Always go to Duncan, and have recommended him to countless people.

He is moving to bigger premises in the near future, so even better
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Re: Alfanet: Duncan Slade Recommendation!

Sounds good Darren.
Bump stops are a known problem, fall off very easily apparently. If the brake pipes ever do get bad and need replacing, don't be tempted by braided steel ones. Only one company supplies them to my knowledge (goodridge possibly?) and they're dangerously flawed - they rub against something in the suspension when steering lock is applied and removed and can abrade through, leaving you with no brakes.
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Re: Alfanet: Duncan Slade Recommendation!

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Originally Posted by DelboyMatt View Post
Ditto with my experience thus far.

Always go to Duncan, and have recommended him to countless people.

He is moving to bigger premises in the near future, so even better
Ah right, that should be good then. The way he manages to get cars in the workshop without getting a single scuff on them is beyond me, if I tried to maneuver around there my car would be a write-off,

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Sounds good Darren.
Bump stops are a known problem, fall off very easily apparently. If the brake pipes ever do get bad and need replacing, don't be tempted by braided steel ones. Only one company supplies them to my knowledge (goodridge possibly?) and they're dangerously flawed - they rub against something in the suspension when steering lock is applied and removed and can abrade through, leaving you with no brakes.
Ah right, cheers Bazza. I'll stick with factory ones then instead, don't want to be hurting myself or my motor.
 
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Re: Alfanet: Duncan Slade Recommendation!

It's a tight ole squeeze, isn't it darren!!
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It's a tight ole squeeze, isn't it darren!!
Are you making inappropriate comments again???
 
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Re: Alfanet: Duncan Slade Recommendation!

x 100000
Duncan looks after my gtv (has done for 2+ years) and now my brothers Fiat Coupe Turbo.
Brill chap, cheap but doesn't skimp on the quality.
if it wasn't for him, i'm sure i couldn't afford to keep my GTV in the condition it is.
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Re: Alfanet: Duncan Slade Recommendation!

I've commented elsewhere on the site how much I rate Duncan - top bloke, very reasonable and I only hope he doesn't get too popular otherwise I might not be able to get mine booked in!!

Glad the Fiat is a good'un Darren and I look forward to catching up with you on the next SW meet.
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Unfortunately I've ben having Selespeed problems for over 1 1/2 months now. The car has been up with Duncan for 2 weeks and he's not been able to solve the problem. I've been getting an intemittent fault where the Selespeed pump just stops working. The car is being collected from here today i think by the garage that sold me the car and taken to another garage in Ilminster called Bensport. I spoke to these guys on the phone, tehy too sound very clued up with the Selespeed, so her's hoping guys!
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No doubt it will be the pump,the selespeed system was used & slightly modified by BMW then used in the E36 m3 ,it was rubbish.I had one & converted it to a manual car.
 
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Is a manual conversion possible on the 156?
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Is a manual conversion possible on the 156?
Anythings possible but it wouldnt be cheap if you were paying someone else to do it. Plus you'd need a manual car to use as a donor for the parts (mostly electronics, loom, pedalbox, gearbox etc).

Would be easier & cheaper to sell the Selespeed and buy a manual. Or buy a manual with a knackered engine & put the engine from your Selespeed into it.
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Just wanted to say that we've been customers of Duncan for a while now. He is sound as a pound, so far he's sorted out, Timing chain kit on the Spider, roof jam on the Spider, leaky boot seal on the Spider, best advice on getting the fuel gauge to work on the Spider (big reset). Setting back up all the things buggered by doing the big reset to get the fuel gauge working on the Spider. Sorting out the pressure relief system on the Spiders roof when it jammed open. Spiders not just a nightmare in the bathroom.

He's also compression tested and serviced our Movano camper. Thoroughly decent bloke, breadth of knowledge second to none. The man other Alfa mechanics recomend.
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