I'm thinking of turning my 147jtd into a basic track car - Alfa Romeo Forum
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I'm thinking of turning my 147jtd into a basic track car

I have a jtd which failed mot on suspension. It needs brakes and tyres but as the car is surplus to requirements I am thinking of stripping it out, getting suspension sorted and a trailer to have some fun at track days.
I realise there is little power but wondering if anyone has done anything similar. I really just want something fun to drive around a track in rather than raw power.
Other option would be selling and trying to pick up mx5 or similar to do the same thing with

I'm wondering if anyone has done anything similar with the jtd and any advice on weight saving as this is a first project for me
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I have not done it.
While there is a lot wich can be done to the suspension and brakes one thing will remain - the heavy diesel engine.
Power is no real problem on the JTD's at least not on the later ones - but they will remain heavy and this does compromise handling quite a lot (sadly).
Everytime i had driven the V6 (156) i was astonished how nice the turn in and balance of the car was - while mine JTD with Bilstein Shocks and Eibach Springs on wider Tires handled like a brick in direct comparision.

Just get the things sorted - drive it - have fun usinge little to no fuel everyday and buy a cheap 1.8 for track.

Selling a Brembo Upgrade for 156's, Project Mu Pads (New) and fitting brake lines (new).

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Thanks for the reply. I resigned myself to the same decision, probably not worth it better to get something else
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Dude, the JTD can keep up with a GTA if done right - go for it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQI8mBU0U8M

The race start at 5:25 he is QUICK compared to the guys around him ... Good slide catch at 9:50.

Last edited by Gertie; 18-12-14 at 09:35.
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Footage from the race form off-track camera's
The Green JTD GT coming through the field
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wqa3mrmbKBc
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For serious results JTD Alfa on track must be tuned a lot, and a lot money must be spend.....
OEM 156/147/GT suspension is IMO really bad designed for performance, too heavy as well.......
For a sunday trackdays and without money invested maybe i'll choose different car.
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Personally I found handling of my 156 JTD (Eibach springs/Koni FSD dampers/Eibach ARB/GTA uprights) a much better than my GTV V6 (Eibach springs/Koni Sport dampers). Although not a track condition experience, just a fast road.
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@yan.ko

you are right with ARB, Springs and dampers things get better - but don't compare apples to oranges - the GTV has not the complex front suspension a 156/147/GT has - they are double wishbone which is something outstanding today (things start to get worse now everything has ESP) ... the GTV has a simple McPherson front axis and that is.... simple.... (sadly the delta alsow went McPherson )

in other words try get a ride in a 156/147/GT Petrol with the same suspension setup and you will notice quite a huge different to the JTD.

BTW: the 156 suspension will most likely feel better than a 147 - the unsprung mass is less on 156. 147 uses steel parts more often - for example the lower damper mounting - it's nearly 4 times the weight of the 156 part.
Don't know about the GT.
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I know the 147/156/GT has double wishbone front suspension while GTV is McPherson. I just don't understand Speedmaster comment on its bad design.

I didn't know the front suspension parts are so different on 147.

Btw I have driven all TS/JTD/V6 in 156 and have never found JTD handling any worse than V6. (well, maybe I''m not comparing with OEM JTD setup, as I don't remember it much )

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I think I can comment on the TS vs V6 (and then by deduction - the JTD is similar weight to V6)

At my "home" track - where most of my trackdays are spent - I managed a lap time of 1:18.0 with my lightened (1080kg) - and slightly modded 2.0TS (83wkw) 156 race car. With the same suspension (and semi-slicks) in my 156 3.0V6 SW (not lightened at all) - I managed 1:19.2 (And I was not pushing my daily as hard as the racer). Ok yes the 3.0 has Q2 in that does help putting power through corners, but V6 has 285mm discs with EBC Yellow the racer has 305mm with Endless ME20 compound (race-spec).

So my comment is that with the right suspension (I used D2 coil-overs) and Q2 / Quaife the V6 (and by deduction the JTD) is as stable as the TS

Last edited by Gertie; 19-12-14 at 08:28.
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Quote:
While there is a lot wich can be done to the suspension and brakes one thing will remain - the heavy diesel engine.
Power is no real problem on the JTD's at least not on the later ones - but they will remain heavy and this does compromise handling quite a lot (sadly).
Last time I checked 4cyl diesel was ligher than V6:

2002 Alfa Romeo 156 1.9 JTD specifications, information, data, photos 100859

2002 Alfa Romeo 156 2.5 V6 24v specifications, information, data, photos 92169
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Btw. when it comes to weight distribution, it's 61:39 on 4cyls TS GTV and 63:37 on V6 GTV. TS/V6 ratio won't be much different on 147/156 too I guess.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black-Sheep View Post
Everytime i had driven the V6 (156) i was astonished how nice the turn in and balance of the car was - while mine JTD with Bilstein Shocks and Eibach Springs on wider Tires handled like a brick in direct comparision.
The wider tires could well be the cause of that. Wider isn't always better...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank147gta View Post
The wider tires could well be the cause of that. Wider isn't always better...
More tyre contact patch on the road always means more grip......at least when we compare same tyre compound.......

Quote:
Originally Posted by yan.ko View Post
I know the 147/156/GT has double wishbone front suspension while GTV is McPherson. I just don't understand Speedmaster comment on its bad design.
Let's start with 147/156/GT ARB bushes - ever wonder why they change it's bushes so often and most of all why there is about 0.2 - 0.5mm wear on the ARB.....and not evenly wear - the bar wears front-to-rear side, no matter that it works up-down direction.......well - because of it's mounting bracket - when changed bushes once, the mechanic must drill into the 2 mounting holes to separate both parts of the bracket......from now on he must know that there is 3 types of subframes - difference is in place where bracket meets the subframe......if this unnoted, one side of the bracket can lay unevenly on the subframe......
Did someone ever observe how this bracket bends when ARB is loaded up or down.....and why there is different bracket on Alfa 166 and for 7 years we only have one 166's for ARB bushes change......why my UK imported Fiat 20VT had still play-free ARB bushes no matter it's 16 years of living.......
Let's move to the upper wishbone - such a unique solution, mounted to not that much unique alloy "support body".......and why on earth they fitted it in such angle compared to the forces that the car endure.......guess no one tried to find out how much bends this entire combo when you brake hard or cornering hard.......there is almost 7-9mm play and most of it comes from the upper wishbone support body......
Some may say that Audi A4 had 4 upper arms that are angled same way, but they use 2 separated bone ball-joints ant that makes little difference.....little......Luckily for all 159's owners they make upper bone as it should.......
Lower wishbone - well....it's heavy.....but it works fine IMO......
One of the most underrated aspects of the car handling is unsprung mass - and 156's unsprung mass is 1.9kg heavier than A4's......and again IMO A4 is not too grip friendly suspension, but maybe gives more comfort......
I don't trying to convince all of you that i'm such a suspension guru, but at least i'd compared on track 156's with OE suspension and again with made by me lower, upper wishbones, ARB mounts and front subframe.......and there was night and day difference.......
Again - i'm not smarter than all that bunch of engineers and so on in Alfa factory.......i just have the advantage to see the cars they made after 3-4-5-6-7-8 years of driving and testing(they did not have it).....and only then most of the weakness appears.......

Rear Wheel Drive Mid - Engined Alfa 156 3.0 V6 '99 - trackday car
Alfa 156 2.0 TS '00 - daily car

Fiat Coupe 20VTurbo, GT2860RS,
water-meth injection 120cc, custom manifold, 3" Downpipe, FMIC - entertainment car

Last edited by Speedmaster; 20-12-14 at 06:43.
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Hello,
The size was 215 on 17? on the Diesel and 205 16 inch on the v6.

I don't know the exact weight of those engines, but the diesels do carry one additional cooler and the weight of the turbo is realy realy close to the front bumper - the engine is alsow placed quite straight while the v6 is angled .....

.... i don't know but it could be the weight distribution wich makes the differance


Btw my 2002 1.9 16v was registered with 1420kg

Last edited by Black-Sheep; 19-12-14 at 15:55.
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Turbo is not that heavy. Same goes for the intercooler. Thats just around 10 kilos.

Take a look at the size of V6 engine, and how close to the front bumper is one of those heads. I think thats more of a problem than the turbo on a JTD.

Registration weight includes all fluids and optional extras in the car.

1.9 JTDm 16V with GTB2260VKLR and bigger FMIC will give serious beating to any V6.
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I'm most concerned with the suspension. It has been really crashy for a few years. I was thinking of trying to do the cheapest improvements to get most enjoyment, really stripping all unnecessary weight and replacing front shocks and maybe springs as this is current mot failure. Sounds like it could be fun to throw around a wobbly stock 147
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Good set of dampers will make a huge difference...

Rear dampers are equally important, if you want good handling, not just the front ones.
And fit a thicker rear ARB, that will help a lot with front end grip. If you can make it go on 3 wheels in corners thats a great start
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Thanks for all the replies guys
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tribesman View Post
turbo is not that heavy. Same goes for the intercooler. Thats just around 10 kilos.

Take a look at the size of v6 engine, and how close to the front bumper is one of those heads. I think thats more of a problem than the turbo on a jtd.

Registration weight includes all fluids and optional extras in the car.

1.9 jtdm 16v with gtb2260vklr and bigger fmic will give serious beating to any v6.

this !!!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedmaster View Post
More tyre contact patch on the road always means more grip......at least when we compare same tyre compound.......

true, but a wider tyre does not mean more tyre contact patch. without changing the weight on the tyre, or varying the tyre pressure, there's no change in contact patch area.
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Originally Posted by cuore_sportivo_155 View Post
true, but a wider tyre does not mean more tyre contact patch. Without changing the weight on the tyre, or varying the tyre pressure, there's no change in contact patch area.
+1
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More width does not mean more grip.

If you change the width of the tyre, you'll not have the same circumference and most people tend to go for a lower circumference rather than higher. This leads to an increase in road wheel torque and that can cause further grip issues.

I bought Team Dynamic light weights to try to reduce rotating masses but they are very poor quality and not noticeably lighter than the standard Vauxhall wheels.

Trying to get more grips is never straight forward and the best option is to limit torque to different levels for each gear.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nutron View Post
More width does not mean more grip.
If we compare same compound, same OD and pressure of the tyre, more width ALWAYS is more grip......
For example if we have same compound tyres - 225 wide, 17" rim, 65cm OD and 245, 17", 65OD, and both inflated to 28psi, wider 245 will always produce more grip......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuore_Sportivo_155 View Post
true, but a wider tyre does not mean more tyre contact patch. without changing the weight on the tyre, or varying the tyre pressure, there's no change in contact patch area.
True, but all you said is only valid when car is stationary on the ground.....when brakes, accelerates or cornering there is a lot of weight transfer......
When car in motion all these quoted formulas for contact patch-pressure-weight can not be applied......Weight and load changes all the time......and wider tyre always means more contact patch and more grip......
Not many tyre makers had listed it's tests, Avon is one that can be useful.....
Fact or fiction? Tire contact patch size is determined mostly by weight and tire pressure. | Performance Simulations

It's worth read to the end......
And maybe it's worth mention that tyres does not follow Newton's Laws when rolling.....at least because there is stiction involved......

Last edited by Speedmaster; 29-12-14 at 17:59.
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The writer of that article made a wrong assumption it seems. I’m on my daughters dutch tablet so it’s a major pain to write in english. More later.
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