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Discussion Starter #21
OK, so here's where it's at now.. Finally got a chance to put the car back together this morning.
The 159 head was basically scrap, couldn't get the valves to seal and one inlet valve I think leaked more after lapping than before. I'll assume they're bent from the swirl flaps as they were only going dull on 3/4 of the circumference whereas part of it stayed shiny no matter what as if it wasn't touching the valve seat, so I fitted the head from the 156 which had a good seal on all valves.
So it's all back together and runs exactly as it did! There's still no power low down but weirdly there is no boost whatsoever in first gear???
The turbo seems to boost well in every other gear (at least most of the time anyway).
Do they have a gear position sensor that's gone wrong? Why would it make a difference depending on what gear it is in?
I also have a saab with the same engine so have been swapping things as trial and error, so far I have swapped map sensor, maf sensor, boost solenoid, egr valve, checked the turbo while it was off and the veins move freely, the timing was checked and put back correctly and nothing seems to make a difference.
Incidently, the saab still runs fine with all the alfa bits swapped onto that so I can assume there was nothing wrong with any of those bits.
Any ideas?
Also thanks to everyone that has helped up to now.
I'll probably be better off starting a new post with my current issues.
 

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Do you have a vacuum tester.?
I would test the vnt system for leaks and in particular the actuator on the slam panel, I had to change it on both my last diesels as it was leaking. and also the actuator on the turbo, they have been know to leak.
They do have a 1st gear torque limiter but it does give some boost.
Is the egr valve blanked off.? If it isnt I would also try a solid blank on that in case its leaking slightly.
A slow to respond vnt system will be more apparent in first as it doesnt have enough time to build the boost, in higher gears it has more time
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Changed the actuator for several others that I know for sure are all fine and there is no difference, also checked vac both ways and it holds pressure OK (not a proper tool, I used one of them vacuum brake bleeders but I'm sure it does the same job). I've got one of those partial blanking plates on the egr and the one currently fitted worked fine when it was removed from its previous car, also the one I removed from the 159 is working on the car I fitted it to. I'll have a route and see if I can find another one because I hear they can give problems electrically even if they appear to work off the car.
I've used my laptop to activate it on the car and I can hear the solenoid click though.
 
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