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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Been meaning to post this up for a while now.

Crises of a Monte-Carlo Blue 147
Help! I'm locked out of my 147, and my door lock failed and... :cry:
Introducing the front of your FL 147
Inside the bumper and removing the catch bolts
Opening the bonnet

Changing the Facelift 147 Battery
Changing the battery

Removing the bumper & side grilles
Bolt locations for the front bumper of a 147
Where are my jack points?! Where are my wheel lining screws?
Removing the bumper and taking a look
Which star lock clips do I use?

Help! I want to take my door card off!
The 147 FL door card and removing screw cover
Finding an removing the screws
The interior door mirror trim/cover
Semi-removing the door card from the plugs
Removing the window switch unit
Just when you thought you had all the screws...
Complete removal of the door card
!IMPORTANT NOTE OF CAUTION!

Help! What oil do I use for my 1.6TS?!
An Indie Oil Mix Up!


The Crises of a 147
So you go to open your car and find that the central locking is no longer working; “oh bugger” you think to yourself. You knew that the car’s battery was on its way out, but in the time between ordering a new battery and an old one, the car’s battery finally died!

So you can no longer access your 147, which is a reason to call the AA or RAC… but wait just a moment! Maybe we can Google search our way into the car:
‘Alfa 147 central locking failure’
‘Alfa 147 bonnet wont open’

followed by I bet:
‘Alfa 147 bonnet catch’

followed by the results being for a 156 and many, many links to AO! These threads are what you will likely go through:

http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-147-156-and-gt/299492-bonnet-wont-open.html
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-147-156-and-gt/325252-bonnet-cable-snapped.html
With the closest thing you can find to your problem being the now banned Smacky’s solution which he reveals little detail about, except the fact he is clearly an octopus; or slice ’n’ dice your grille open, and you think ‘OMG! Slice my heart grille with a Stanley! Are you insane?!’.

One approach was this one:

http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-147-156-and-gt/129795-how-to-open-bonnet-on-my-147-a.html

which involved the engineer unbolting and then snapping the bonnet release cable.
Ah, I hear you scream “I don’t wanna ruin my Alfa or its cable!”.

This same problem happened to me, and through the medium of the ever helpful David P, we teamed up and solved the problem. Prepare for the most patronising tutorial in the world. :lol:

An approach to bonnet catch removal
--------Tools you need--------
- Fondue fork or other similar implement of choice
- 30 cm plastic ruler
- 10mm flexi head ratchet spanner
- 10mm socket (ratchet)
- Gardening glove or other thick glove
----------------------------------------
Begin by looking at the front of the car. The way in for me was to not slice ’n’ dice the heart grille, but start with the lower left (nearside) grille. This grille is held on by evil objects called ‘push on fasteners’, or ‘starlock’ shaft clips. They sort of break as soon as you look at them, and this is good.

The holes in the grille allow you to make a device that can slide behind the grille and between the evil fasteners and the clips containing them.



Q - Can I not just pull at the grille and they will snap and I can replace them?
A – Yes, but you will also risk snapping the blue ringlets that hold the fasteners on, which are a direct mold of the bumper. Do not try this I think.
The approach you can try is to bend a Fondue fork to a right angle about the middle. They have an ideal size that can get between the evil fastener and the ringlet.

Q – “So this was your approach?”
A – No, someone before me had clearly had the grille off and there were only two fasteners left! I could reach them by hand and then remove them using a car fuse, which can slip either side of the grille pin shaft and remove the clip without breaking it. That said, I do actually think the Fondue fork would work better, as it would slide through the grille holes, meaning I wouldn’t have had to jack up my car.
Spray the grille clips with some WD40 or ‘penetrating fluid’ if you are Ed China. Clean off the excess from the paintwork with a car friendly wipe, I would hate to see my paintwork ‘burn’ from the WD being sat there.

Time to start probing away with your removal tool of choice. Be careful not to scratch away too much, you should be able to feel the evil things as you poke through the holes, and when you find one, fix your fork behind and push (or pull if you are using a fuse from underneath as I did with all 2 of mine!). There are 8 clips to release from the grille, and this is by no means easy. It is very tedious, but I like working on cars. If you are using the ‘fondue method’ or similar (bent screwdriver would also work or any old flat and thin thing with a 90 degree angle), consider using another one and poke it through to help push the other one and apply a more even force.

On a further note , David P had his 147 since new and discovered that either Alfa did not bother to install the starlock clips, or they have broken and fell away previously; it’s nice to know Italian cars can fall apart in secret these days.

Once you have released the evil clips, then the grill should simply slide out from the holes, pulling slightly towards the centre of the car, as they are angled. Note the use of the word ‘should’. The grille is likely stuck by years of dirt and grime so take cake and use the WD followed by a quick wash around where you sprayed. Do not yank at the grill too hard, otherwise you will risk marking the paintwork in front if it suddenly gives way and the trapped grit scrapes!

Now you have a gaping hole in the front of your Alfa. But we have only sacrificed some evil clips that are cheap to buy.



Next comes the hard part. You can gain access to all of the things you need in theory from here on in.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Q – “Are there any other access issues?”
A – Yes, many. This is a hard task, but very satisfactory. One should have arms and hands that are not meaty, so those of you on the protein shakes and have massive forearm radial muscles, sorry!
Now we encounter a further evil object. The plastic ‘thing’ that goes across the front of the chassis frame:



This helps hold on the reg plate (well I could be wrong, but the problem remains) and performs other safety based things, and prevents you fixing your car nicely. You are going to have to flex like a b***h to get around this. Worry not too much!

Let’s begin by having a feel towards the centre top of the engine. Unless you are Andrew Marr, you will not be able to look through the grille AND undo the bonnet catch bolts at the same time. As you look at the front of the car, the bolt in the lower centre and the offside (driver’s) bolt are easy to get to and unbolt, even past the evil, fixed, moulded outcrop that sits like a ‘roof’ in front of the bonnet catch.

You should be able to flex and get a 10mm ratchet socket or a spanner to the first two I mentioned. The third requires some more work. If you peep through the circular hole in the heart grille, you should be able to locate two of the bolts easily.



When you have accessed and unscrewed the first two, time for the nearside bolt. This step is the hardest step in the process, will likely cause the most stress and will be challenging on the joints. Do not turn your arm so your palm is facing the cabin, just leave your hand palm out, and feel upwards towards the third bolt. You may have a little movement in the catch with releasing the first two, but I am talking millimetres here. Once you have found the bolt, you will also feel the two cables that feed into the catch. The nearest one, with the slightly squashy runner is the alarm microswitch wire, and the one behind is the bonnet release cable. You cannot simply pull the cable to release the bonnet. You will NEED a 10mm flexi head ratchet spanner.

You cannot get this to work without one I suspect, without great difficulty, otherwise a lot of pain may have to be endured. It seriously is worth the money buying a set of these. At this point, remember you need the ratchet to UNDO the bolt, so make sure it is turned the right way around. You will need to slide the ratchet using your fingers between the cables and the front of the slam panel, this is very hard, but doable with patience. You will notice a lot of the time is spent stressing that the flexi head has bent out of orientation with the bolt. Do not panic!

Once you have the socket in about the right place, the tension in the release cable will keep it there in theory if you really must take your hand out, pinned against the slam panel. To move the head of the ratchet towards the nut, you will notice you can see the situation unfolding in the very small gap between the bonnet and the bumper. I took this picture when I managed to open up so the camera’s flash could get a good look in. The bolt you want is in the green circle.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
You can use a 30cm PLASTIC ruler through this gap to push the head of the ratchet over the bolt, voila! Time to start untightening, or crying if you have forgotten that the head must be turned to unscrew first. After the final bolt comes off, the bonnet will make a clunk as the catch moves up and away from its markings made by the outside. The next step is to move the catch forward by sliding you fingers underneath the bonnet, and away from the retaining bolts that poke through the front chassis and keep the whole thing in place.

Hey presto! You have gained about 2 inches of room to play with! This is the final step to unlocking. I highly recommend at this point using heavy duty gloves to do this next part as you are working around some horrible parts that will readily slice your fingers to shreds given the chance.

The next picture kindly provided by David P is the key, it provides all you need to unlock the bonnet. Look at the back of the catch. You can see, and hence feel where the release cable runs towards the release mechanism. This is what you want to get to, and why you need the gloves, looks very dirty usually (Unless you have taken David C’s advice and kept it well maintained as you should).



Put the glove on your right hand, and using your other hand keep the bonnet help up as far as possible without stressing the microswitch wires too much, breaking them would ruin the point of this exercise. If your hands are fair and weak like mine, use the other glove to prevent the pressure causing as much pain on your left hand.
Work your way towards the end of the cable (coming in the direction of the red arrow) and you will feel that the cable contacts a two-pronged or sharp metal outcrop, this is what you need to pull. Pulling this in the direction of the orange arrow should be easy and will release the first stage of the bonnet latch. Take care of your fingers and expect the bonnet to jump a little away from the catch. You can now easily access the second stage mechanism (red lever) and release as normal as can be. The bonnet should now open as normal.
The temptation now is to stop reading this and ignore anything else to be said, and I guess you can with a couple items in mind:

- Do not simply re-bolt the bonnet catch. Take this opportunity to clean the structure using the method described by Colin here: http://www.alfa156.net/tech/bonnetcatch.pdf
Note that the 156 has a subtlety different catch than the 147.

- You will find getting back to the bottom bolt is more difficult than removal. You will likely drop it many times before actually getting it back on.

- You cannot simply slot the grille back into place and hope it stays, you must replace most if not all of the starlock clips that you removed. This is a fun task that requires bumper removal which is easier when one doesn’t have the fancy models with the washer jets.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Q – “I can see the battery now thank god. What do I do now”
A – The battery package does not look very inviting does it? Below are some instructions on changing the battery.

Alfa 147 Facelift Battery Change
--------Tools you need--------
- Crosshead screwdriver
- Socket set (Two sizes, not irregular, I forgot which size for the two battery bolts)
----------------------------------------
David C’s battery knowledge:

“Your 147TS will either take an 027 type (190mm high) or an 075 type (175mm high) depending on the length of your retaining strap. I went with the Varta D15 in my 156 (also 027 type).”

See this thread for more details and me moaning:

http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-147-156-and-gt/806434-alfa-147-1-6-ts-battery.html

The FIRST cable to disconnect is the negative cable (1). This works using a quick release mechanism and is easy to operate, much like a bicycle quick release.
I went with the suggested Varta D15 and it fits perfectly with no issues. As you look at the battery, you can see that there is a distributor gizmo on top of the +ve junction. This is easily removed using a small socket and a screwdriver to remove 2 and 3. The D15 I bought has two new screw holes in place of the old Exide battery it replaces, so there is no need to discard or store the red clip nor the screws.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
Q – “Surely to replace some of the starlock clips you had to remove the bumper?”
A – *Sigh*, yes I did, and I am guessing that I SHOULD really put the tutorial in here on how to get it off.

Very well, if I really must.

Removing the 147 facelift bumper
I shall do this in the most complete manner possible. As such I decided to jack the car and then remove the wheels for easier access. For those of you who have smaller wheels, this could indeed be doable without removing the wheels.
For a prior tutorial on such issues see also:

http://www.alfa156.net/tech/147bumper_data.html

Assuming you now have the bonnet open, look at the top torx screws to remove. I used a T30 head for this, different to the T27 bit used in the above tutorial. Perhaps Alfa changed their size post facelift. Remove two of the top bolts, leaving two for support when you remove the others:



Then the bottom ones of which there are five, that I couldn’t quite take a good picture of:



Note that the two cyan arrows indicate two of the screws that are just in front of the wheels. They are really not hard to locate:

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Now for the tricky bolts. For this part I jacked up the car.
Q – Where are my jacking points!? :cry:
A- They are here on either side of the 147 as far as I understand it DO NOT FORGET TO PLACE YOUR AXLE STAND TOO!:



The next part is the most vague but easy to understand part. You will likely find it advantageous as in the tutorial I posted above to remove some of the wheel arch lining screws. I have highlighted below some suggested screws to take out, one of which is just off field in the camera’s view to the right. Be aware that the screw to the very left is a smaller size than the other three. Which ones you remove is up to you, so long as you can pull the lining with some flexibility in the direction of the orange arrow.





Once you have these screws, you gain some flex in the lining and this can be pulled back. Then look where my torch points.

 

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Discussion Starter #7
I leave my torch in the same place so you get a better idea:



Once you have removed these two bolts on both sides of the bumper, you can then return to the top two that you left on before. Check that if the bumper falls, it doesn’t fall hard onto the floor. I cushioned mine with my wheelie tray for undercar access.
Once you have removed the two top bolts, the bumper should not yet move. Grab a friend if you need to, otherwise cushion the bumper and begin to pull the sides of the bumper away from the wings gently. The bumper will likely suddenly move if it has been pinned in by years of muck so be vigilant.

NOTE: On my particular car, I have no headlight washers, but I do have fog lights. The fog light cable runs from the driver’s side, so the passenger side swings freely. This is why it is extra important to take care when removing the bumper.



Now you can access the rear of the grille you removed earlier. The next picture shows where I have replaced the grille and I circled a couple of the ringlets from behind.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
Time for the replacement of the evil starlock fasteners. I got mine for free at a local garage. I also have replaced them with larger ones, and you do not have to buy the same ones. For reference, the starlock shafts on my grille are 3mm in diameter. I got hold of some adjustable ones so I can alter how tight they are on the shafts. Notice that on the inset picture, I have snapped off the out edges so they do not stick out against the grille. That said, it depends which type you opt for.



The image below shows the starlock clip as can be seen through the grille. I made sure they are larger so that I can poke them off if I ever have issues again. They really are not visible unless you look for them intently, but if you are worried, then get some smaller ones.



Q – “Did you replace all of your starlock clips?”
A – No. I replaced five of them as the clips I got a very strong, and most of the clips were missing as I mentioned at the start. The clips Alfa provide clearly rot away or something during the life of the car sometimes. They are also very flimsy. If you want to replace all of yours, there is nothing stopping you, infact I would recommend it.

Once you have completed the installation of the new starlock clips…
… replacement is the opposite of removal ;). This is of course much easier once you know where all the parts are. My repair took me into the night as can be seen below only because I had to get up and take pictures all of the time to make this tutorial, and because many of my bolts were seized.

If I were to say anything now it is to COPPER GREASE all of your parts, down to your wheel bolts (be careful though, this is a contentious issue, some people argue the torque settings change if you copper grease bolts that have specific torque requirements) upon insertion. You will likely find on this job that the hardest part is getting some of the screws and nuts off the car.
 

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Absolutely brilliant write up but.....

A ****ing fondue fork? I don't even know what one looks like, let alone own one.

Does one have to wear a smoking jacket and cravat, and have a cigarette holder and a large cognac handy too?:biglaugh:
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Absolutely brilliant write up but.....

A ****ing fondue fork? I don't even know what one looks like, let alone own one.

Does one have to wear a smoking jacket and cravat, and have a cigarette holder and a large cognac handy too?:biglaugh:
:lol:

Thanks! I beleive that you could use any slimish metal implement that you can bend really, its just they sprang to mind first. :lol:

I have tested and removed the star lock clips using various objects I found around the house. Just keep WD40 on them and it becomes easier. Actually the original Alfa clips are quite good, because not only are they a bag of s**t, but they don't 'embed' themselves into the plastic because they are so weak.

Also yes, the fix becomes much easier when wearing all of the above items. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Have asked for it to be deleted to keep the thread flow.

;)
No worries. Thanks for the complement. Iv'e been sat on it for months, but thought I'd just let it go out and hope its useful to someone.

More arbitrary tech posts soon I hope! :)
 

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I can only dream of doing such things. My sossij fingers and short stumpy arms would get stuck and the fire brigade would have to cut me free.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Help! I want to get my door card off!

So after discovering that your lock doesn’t work and other things, you want to take the door card off your 147’s door. This is quite trivial on the face of it, but there are subtle points that should be made when doing such things. So below is a picture of my door card, complete with scuff marks on the bottom left.



At this point, we encounter another evil object; the door handle screw cover. This piece seemed to be manufactured in the 9th circle of Dante for the sole purpose of inconveniencing you as an owner when you want to get the door card off. Let’s have a closer look.



At this point, I can give some interesting (dull) information regarding its manufacture, because it is concave, it is easier to remove this horrible thing from the bottom of the part, somewhere around the green circle.



Removing the screw cover
Hahaha! You can’t do it without destroying the cover… or can you? This has recently been floating around as a problem on the Alfabook Facebook page, and made me think I should post this here as a ‘minimal damage’ solution. I cannot guarantee this, but it’s the way I went, and there is hardly a blemish on my cover now.

Don’t bother with a knife just yet. Time to get your sewing kit out. Take a needle and use this to GENTLY slide the needle under the very bottom area of your screw cover. As you are trying to force the needle between the join, you will find that there is resistance, you can help solve this by coating the needle in oil and twisting as you force it in (twisting an oiled needle is very hard, but doable, wear some rubber gardening gloves to get the grip as your skin’s natural oils will not permit this normally). You have two options here. You can use multiple fine needles to gently prize the bottom away and then begin to ‘fettle’ the needle around to get the cover moving, or you can try a larger needle and stuff it in and just use that.

Force the tip of the protruding part of the needle towards the floor (the end you can get old of) and begin to gently, but firmly pull back at an angle; this can help in getting the cover to move away and break the ‘seal’ that has formed if it hasn’t been touched in ages. It can be done, trust me, for example:



Great, now I have a needle stuck in my door. Now you will need a feeler gauge or some other flat implement that we can use to begin to ‘blunt force’ our way into the screw cover. Whatever you use, make sure it isn’t sharp, as I suspect this is one of the reasons people ruin their screw covers. I pulled my needle to the left and used the small gap created by its small diameter to push my feeler guage into the gap. You could theoretically use a butter knife or such; that will achieve the same results. You can even see proof that I have not yet damaged the cover below, and more to the point, you have done 80% of the work required. Same process, angle the feeler gauge down so it is behind the screw cover and pull (otherwise it will just slide out, force vectors and all :lol:). This will begin to work the screw cover out without causing any damage to the cover, and if any force goes into the handle, it matters not as it is solid.



Next get your Stanley knife, and make sure the blade is sharp or new, you should then be able to get the screw cover out the rest of the way using your Stanley. Observe in the picture, still no damage, just be careful not to bed the sharp edge of the Stanley into the rubber grip.



You hence unveil the McGuffin that we really want; the hex screw:


 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
The next step is to remove the hex key. Simply used a hex key and put a spanner on the end so I could turn it, easy:



After this, we need to move to the bottom of the door card and remove the five screws that are along the bottom. One of the screws is embedded right in the centre of the puddle light, but it really is an easy job. Take out the screw under the arm rest as well, again this is obvious to see on the picture.



I taped mine onto paper, but they are all the same really, just give them some copper grease when you put them back later:



Next is the screw behind the interior door handle. Again, this is an easy job with a jewellers driver or an electrical testing driver (be careful with this, don't stab it like some violent cretin!).



That is all of the screws removed (I think). :)

Now you have to pull the cover that slips behind the handle off so that we can access the tweeter cable. This is easy to remove, then you can simply unplug the tweeter from the cable and put the tweeter somewhere safe (So not the Chat Thread :lol:).

 

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Discussion Starter #18
Now the door card lifts up and off the top lip of the metal frame of the door, this job cannot be done with the door mirror interior cover in the way. It's a little difficult to remove, requiring much force. I approached it by using one hand to force down the door card towards the floor, it has a reasonable amount of flex in it really. Then I pushed up the interior cover using my left hand and thumb from my right. Its a bit fiddely, but you'll suddenly realise what you need to do.

 

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Discussion Starter #19
Now it is time to pull the door card off the dreaded clips that have been used for nearly all cars, nearly forever. The fortunate thing is, these ones don't seem to break off. There are three either side of the door card and four along the bottom (I think). They just require prizing away from the door. There are two instances of what will happen:

- The door card will pull away from the plugs, leaving the plugs in the door holes.
- The plugs will pull away with the door card leaving the door holes empty.

Either one isn't a problem so far as I can see. There's a picture of one here:



Once you have pulled all of the door card away from the door fixing plugs or whatever, make sure you remove the bulb of the puddle light away back through the door. If you don't, you may fast find yourself with a smashed bulb. The screw keeping the light's cover on is the same screw we removed before, in the centre.

Now you have loosened the door card from the plugs, we must deal with the interior switches before lifting the whole card up.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The window switches are easy to remove.

DO NOT SWITCH ON THE IGNITION WHILE THE DOOR SWITCHES ARE NOT ATTACHED TO THIER CABLE

The switches are retained by the same screw under the armrest as before. They should (*chuckle*) just pull out from the top of the arm rest when you have undone that screw. Remove the cable from the back of the window switches (can be a bit stiff I found) and put the switch unit somewhere safe.



Make sure to always make sure the plugs to both the window switch and the tweeter are back in place before you start the car.
 
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