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Discussion Starter #1
I've been thinking for some time that I need a diesel to fiddle with. V6s are familiar territory, but Mrs rxe's 159 20v is a bit scary and I've avoided fiddling with the engine as much as I can, mainly because I'll probably break it and she needs a reliable car. So then only thing to do is to get a diesel toy, and learn on that - bonus points for getting a filthy Euro 3 engine that Greenpeace hate even more than the 3.2 V6s. The 159 is doing monster mileage at the moment (schlepping backwards and forwards to different schools), so a spare diesel is no bad idea.

Casual ebay trawling has been happening for the last few months. Criteria have been simple: less than £500, reasonably close to home (very close if a non-runner), 2.4 engine, 10v, pre facelift, sportwagon. Or as we say in our family, dogwagon, because the boot is where the big dog goes. There have been some proper nails on eBay - space shuttle mileages, busted bodywork, busted engines, hideous interiors. I've been dropping the odd cheeky bid and getting nothing, but that isn't a problem as the last thing I really need is another car.

So along comes this one (sellers pics from eBay, got none of my own yet).





The seller happily gave me the full reg, and I put it though the MOT history checker. Nothing frightening, just the usual duff bulbs and chocolate bushes. It was doing over 12K a year for the last few years which is a good sign - sane people don't do 12K in a rubbish car.

A bid was placed when the car was sitting at £128 with a day to run. I followed up with a snipe as it ended. And won. For £380. Which was why, last Saturday night, the Father in law and I set off to Bicester in the pouring rain. Pre-purchase checks involved starting the engine, it started first turn so I paid Andy for his car. Other than that, I didn't look at a single thing as the weather was heading into biblical mode. I was handed a massive history folder, and two keys. Win!

So, faced with a 50 mile drive home in torrential rain, what was it like? Well, it's pretty much perfect - especially when you consider I had just been driving a somewhat modified V6. So:

- Engine: starts on the nail, pulls like a train, no turbo whine. Appeared to use no diesel in 50 miles, we did fill it up so the gauge certainly works. There is a small squeal from the aux - wetting the belt with water quietens it instantly, so it is the belt/tracking, not a knackered alternator. The temp gauge is showing a bit cold (60 on the motorway), I haven't got MES on the engine yet to work out if it is the thermostat or the gauge. Belt is due in 2017.

- Drive train: gearbox (5 speed) is sweet. There is a slight grumble from the passenger side if you really give it some welly, might be the tripod. In normal driving, you don't notice it.

- Brakes - fine. Firm and straight

- Tyres - brand new all round. About 7 mm left.

- Suspension - someone has set the DNA switch to "bouncy castle". It was fine on the motorway, but rather unsettled on anything lumpy. Handling was fine - it corners well, no knocks and bangs.

- Equipment - everything works so far. Heater, rear wiper, lights, everything. The air-con apparently needs a re-gas.

- Bodywork - haven't seen a mark on it. It even has the original plastic under tray. I haven't inspected the underside, but given the total lack of corrosion in the MOT history, I'm hopeful.

So, plans.

1) Belts - I need to fix the aux squeak (its annoying) and I might as well do the timing belt as well.
2) Good all round service - the (copious) history say it was last done in Mar 2015.
3) Investigate the grumble under acceleration, might just live with it.

This seems to be a complete bargain so far!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
This car continues to amaze me. I've crawled all over the bodywork. There is a small scratch in the NSF wing and there are two paint chips on the back spoiler where it looks like someone has carried a canoe or similar. Other than that, perfect. The underbody is solid apart from the usual crustiness around the rear drain holes - and that is pretty superficial rather than the usual catastrophe. It will be cured with paint and underseal rather than the MIG. Front passenger seat belt mounting points are good.

Brakes, both discs and pads are nearly new.

Now, on with fettling and fixing. The "christmas boot" is starting to fill up.



To be fair, that pile is spares for several cars, and the suspension arms are "stock" - someone on here posted a link to cheap TRW arms so I got a few.

I started off with the intention of just fixing the aux squeak. I confirmed it was the belt/pulley interface rather than one of the driven items by dribbling water on the belt - which silenced the squeak for a few seconds. That rules out bearings and the like. However, after fighting the aux belt, doing the cam belt was only a short step further, so in the end I did the whole lot - hopefully no worries from this end of the engine for a few years.

The main problem with the 2.4 is the abject lack of space. In comparison the V6 has wide open spaces to work in. This engine is the most awful I've encountered for ripping gloves and generally knackering your hands. You need some tools as well, mainly:

- 16 and 18mm spanners, which you very rarely use.
- a very low profile set of allen sockets - mine are 1/4", if you don't have these, you're in trouble.
- Ribe bits - another fancy fixing, more later
- a 32mm spanner - most normal people don't have one of these.

Thankfully Halfords had the last two in stock on Christmas Eve.

I'm not going to give a blow by blow account of this (there are others out there), but simply offer highlights and bits I found sweary hard....


Firstly removing the aux belt. The amateur mechanic reads the guides and gets busy with the main tensioner using a 32 mm spanner. That's the big set of flats on the tensioner in the picture below, which does move once you've got the centre allen bolt removed:



Unfortunately this comes nowhere near to loosening the belt enough. You need pop the cap off the pulley on the right (red arrow), slacken the nut, and allow the pulley to rotate so that it slackens the belt. Then you swing on the 32mm spanner and off it comes. Swear factor: 2.

Note the first mechanical flaw I've found with the car (purple arrow) - that UJ is toast. Probably the source of the grumble. New ones ordered.

New tensioner in place:



Note the small bolt (circled) - this is locking the tensioner in position - it is needed when you put the new belt on and tension up.

At this stage I've taken the pulley off, this was easy, a couple of firm taps and off it came.

Next is the cambelt clear out - the only had bit is finding a properly low profile allen socket to get the covers off. You need to remove the cam pulley to get the water pump out - this is an 18mm bolt as I recall. Don't lever on the (delicate) sensor behind it - I just gave it a tickle with the rattle gun and it came off. The pulley is keyed unlike the V6, and comes off easily.

Water pump out - not sure if a plastic impellor means it is original...if so, it has done well:



Second flaw with the car - it was running water rather than antifreeze:



Note that the new water pump seats with quite a "crack" as it pops in - I thought I had broken it, but it was fine.

New belt on, and torquing the tensioner. It really is easy - get the yellow bars on the belt matched up with the timing points and away you go. It is impossible to get wrong as one bar is on a tooth and one is in a depression - matching the timing pulleys. Swear factor - 2.



The engine mount that has to be removed - note the big ribe key. There is very little room here, a low profile socket would have helped. In the end I removed the expansion tank and jacked the engine up to get access:



This particular lash up is the way of getting the aux belt back on. Loosen the right hand pulley. Take up the tension from the tensioner with the 32 mm spanner, and ziptie it in place. Then position the belt and rotate the engine to wind it back onto the main pulley. Swear factor: 4.




Setting tension is easy when you know how. With the belt on, wind the main tensioner until you can lock it to the crack case with the bolt in pic two. Then use a big pair of circlip pliers to rotate the right hand pulley. Rotate until the tension is high enough to loosen the bolt in main tensioner. With your third hand, tighten the eccentric pulley without letting anything move. Another swear factor 4.

Grease the engine mount bolt before replacement - this was a pig to get out:



One of the upper arms was wobbly, quick job to replace:



Small amounts of rust in the turret - superficial, can be dealt with later:



With all that done, the thermostat was changed over. This is a military grade swear factor 5 job. Looks like a walk in the park until you get to the bolt hidden under the EGR heat exchanger. In the end I just clattered the mounting on the heat exchange until it bent out of the way. It's not as if the EGR is even being used....

Result? No squeaks or squeals, and the car warms up quickly. I've given it one oil change (it was pretty manky) and it will get another within 500 miles. Much safer than dumping flushing agent in an unknown engine.
 

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You can bin off the EGR system on these altogether without errors or complication. On mine I filled the flange which bolts onto the exhaust manifold with weld and its nice and gas tight at no cost except a bit of mig wire. EGR valve I took off and bolted up a steel blanking plate to seal off the inlet manifold, job done. I left the EGR cooler in place as I didn't have any pipe to hand to bypass it with - coolant passes through the EGR cooler on the way to the oil cooler so you can't just blank it off and remove it like you can on the 1.9 16v.

If you've still got the old auxiliary belt tensioner (big one) and the pulley wheel is good then keep it as a spare, they can be refurbed. I would have it if you don't want it yourself, but you should probably keep it as your new one will likely seize up before the cambelt is due again as they don't grease them inside from factory.

I broke up a 140hp 10v a while back and have a remapped ECU for it with codebox & key chips if its something you might be interested in?

Are you going to do anything with the shocks/springs & wheels or just keep it as it is? 10v Sportwagons on 15" wheels have an unholy amount of lean in the corners!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I already have the GTA ARB - the Eibach one is on the GTA, so the GTA one is going into this SW. I'll do the same when I sort the front ARB on the GTA. Who sells some poly ARB mounts for a GTA rear ARB?

Agree on the EGR - I'll blank off at both ends.

OF course I'm interested in the ECU! Though I fear it would kill the clutch. It isn't slipping, but it is quite high. It would probably survive another 20k of routine M way thrashing, but remapped ragging will kill it in short order. Let me know the damage by PM!

I haven't really thought about the suspension yet. I have a spare set of Teledials - but the 15" wheels have brand new tyres, so I can't bring myself to swap them. I was thinking about changing it to "standard GTA" - so GTA ARBs, GTA springs and B4s for a GTA. I don't want to lower it that much or make it over stiff - this one is more about comfortable mile munching than on the limit roundabout work.

Edit - I'll dig the tensioner out of the scrap bin. I remember thinking the pulley was well b0rked.
 

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I have Powerflex bushes for GTA front and rear roll bars in stock. Get through loads of them. Rear roll bars are starting to need them now, they don't knock much but you can feel the movement.

Good thing about a spare remapped ECU is you can always swap it about and it is a functioning spare. If you can get me the part number off your ECU I will see if my one matches yours. I think it will do. ECU is in the passenger footwell behind the black cover same as a V6 CF2. Happy to let ECU, codebox & key go for £100.

I would put the 16"s on the sportwagon, definitely. Do you use 16" or 17" on your 2.5 V6?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bought both the Dogwagon and the GTA a present:



Dogwagon version on the left. The old undertray was still there, but rather bashed about and had more zip ties than I knew existed. I tried fitting it, but both of the nuts in the subframe have gone, and given the horrible weather, I couldn't be bothered to faff about with new rivnuts - that can be a job for next weekend.

Big challenge for next weekend is the alternator pulley - see thread here:

http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-147-156-andamp-gt/1043033-2001-jtd-2-4-10v-clattering-on-cold-start.html

I drove the car into London last night - no radio (pulled it out...) and no passengers to distract me. This allowed total concentration on the car. Here's the fault list:

1) Gearbox "top hat" bushes need doing. The gear lever is not self centering easily, and changing up to third is obstructive.

2) There is a slight clonk as it takes up drive - you can drive gently so you never hear it, but quick gear changes produce it every time.

3) I've still got the slight shudder as I apply power at about 2100 rpm. Better than it was, but still there.

4) The light in the fuel gauge is loose - it sometimes goes off.

5) I agree with everyone who says the 5 speed box on the 10V is too short - 70 is about 2200, 80 is 2700 or so. A longer 6th would be handy. Its all to easy to see 3K at fast cruising speeds, which is too much.

That's it.

So the plan:

- I suspect (hope) 2 and 3 are related to the rear + dog bone engine mounts - I know the dogbone is knackered, and trying to offer up the undertray suggets that the gearbox is way too low, so the reat is toast as well. So replace the dog bone and the rear mount.

- If that does not cure everything, then the clonk is probably the DMF which would add to the pressure to get on and do the clutch. Or I could just drive it. If I do the clutch, then swapping to a 6 speed box might be a good idea. Can you stuff a quaife in these (thinking forward to the remapping....)
 

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5-speed box in the 10v is similar to the 6-speed box in the 16v, so much so that you can fit a 16v box in a 10v (I have done so in mine). Both use the same dual mass & clutch kit. Quaife goes in either gearbox exactly the same, same diff as V6 6-speed box.

A remapped 10v with 6-speed box, Quaife, decent suspension, roll bars & tyres is an absolute monster, mine is just as quick as my GTA on any backroad. I've also managed to bin 40kg out of the engine bay which has helped tame the understeer.
 

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Yes, although in the 2nd pic you can just make out the mount still bolted to the front of the gearbox casing, you'll have to unbolt that one and bolt on the mount from your 10v as its shorter.

You also need to get a bit creative with the lip on the N/S/F chassis leg as it fouls on the gearbox casing, but you can grind the lip off and then seam-weld what's left to keep it strong, thats how I did mine. You can also get the tyre rubbing on the end of the gearbox casing on full lock, but either drive around it or fit some spacers and it cures it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
OK, I'll do the bottom mount this w/e and if that doesn't fix the "slight clonk", then I'll get the gearbox off and do the clutch + 6 speed. Ah, buggeration, the GTA front ARB is still on the GTA, so I won't be able to stick that in the Dogwagon when I drop the subframe. I'll have to do that first - but that's OK, the Dogwagon is not urgent, and I can stash that box in the shed.

I've secured an SW leather interior for £64, looks in good order.

I'm going to switch the instruments to Veloce orange ones, got most of it in the parts car, just need a JTD revcounter off the 'bay.

I'm not very good at this bangernomics stuff, am I.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
A very frustrating week-end of pouring rain prevented much progress underneath the car. However, a whopping great pallet arrived with the leather interior, so the Dogwagon was stripped out in between the showers. The new seats are heated, which was unexpected, and they're in near perfect condition, even the driver's seat is barely worn.

Half way through the process:



I didn't pull the carpet or anything like that, this was simply a case of getting the new interior into the car before it got wet, I'll lift the back out in the summer and check/treat the floorpan from above. Does anyone know the approved method of adding a loom for heated seats? (i.e. is there anything more elegant than running a cable from the fuse box? )

The only hard bit was finding someone had cross threaded one of the seat bolts in the front section of the rear seats. I'll helicoil it next weekend.

Carbon trim centre console is on order. I've got the orange/veloce rev counter in now, will get the rest of the clocks from the parts car.

The car remains absurdly economical, it still hasn't emptied the tank that I bought when I picked up the car - been up to Leicestershire, numerous trips into London, loads of test drives round my circuit
 

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Did you get a rev counter from another 2.4?

The seats you're talking about, is the button to turn on the heaters very well hidden underneath the seat? If so I have a pair of them from a saloon at the moment, and they are very rare. I think my ones also have electrically adjustable lumbar support!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yup, rev counter is from a 2.4 - quite apart from having the wrong redline, I guess a diesel one simply wouldn't work! I am working on the basis that a speedo from anything will work - the parts car is at about 110K, so MES will let me reset the speedo to 137K which is the Dogwagon mileage.

The seats ARE weird! They have a square button at the front (by the seat rail) which is has the "chair on fire" icon. On one of them, the outer button has fallen off. At the side of the seat they have another switch - not in the same place as the GTA electric recline - but actually in the same space as the GTA heater button. Not sure which one works, and whether they have electric recline. Looking at my pic, the seat in the car does have a manual recline wheel - which suggests no electric recline. Only one connector at the bottom (in addition to the airbag connector).

Does my ECU match the remapped one you have?
 

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Yup, rev counter is from a 2.4 - quite apart from having the wrong redline, I guess a diesel one simply wouldn't work! I am working on the basis that a speedo from anything will work - the parts car is at about 110K, so MES will let me reset the speedo to 137K which is the Dogwagon mileage.

The seats ARE weird! They have a square button at the front (by the seat rail) which is has the "chair on fire" icon. On one of them, the outer button has fallen off. At the side of the seat they have another switch - not in the same place as the GTA electric recline - but actually in the same space as the GTA heater button. Not sure which one works, and whether they have electric recline. Looking at my pic, the seat in the car does have a manual recline wheel - which suggests no electric recline. Only one connector at the bottom (in addition to the airbag connector).

Does my ECU match the remapped one you have?
Yeah the 1.9 & 2.4 rev counters are the only ones which redline at 5k, but the 1.9 rev counters register the rpm incorrectly when fitted to a 2.4 and vice versa.

Sounds like you have the rare electric Momo seats - manual recline but electric lumbar and arse warmers. Good find :thumbs:

Yes remapped ECU part number matches your one too :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Small amounts of Dogwagon progress, one of the fixes has made a truly spectacular difference to the car.

Firstly, the passenger rear door. This was advertised as "dead" by the seller, no power window and no central locking. Given that I was taking the door cards off to put the leather replacements in, it seemed sensible to do a bit of investigation.



There was plenty of evidence of prior fiddling - some cut wires with scotchlok connectors on them. I stripped out the door loom, which showed the plug was knackered - at least one pin missing and several badly corroded. Thankfully the parts car loom was in better nick, new one on the right:



With a good washout using contact cleaner, I now at least have power to the electric windows. They're seized, but it has moved forward a bit. I'll probably get completely new mechanisms, the ones on the parts car will be just as tired.

On to something that has been annoying me for a while - the rear engine mount. I had a go at this a few weeks ago thinking it would be like a V6 one - it isn't. You need to take the downpipe off the car, which involves fighting exhaust nuts.

Blow torch in hand, I crawled underneath. The flange on the turbo put up a reasonable fight, but the catalyst end was much harder. MAPP gas won in the end, and they all came off without breaking anything. The mount has to be completely removed, this involves 2 x 24 mm and 1 x 19 mm bolt.

View underneath:



I think I might need a new downpipe soon:



Does the Wizard do 10v downpipes?

New mount below, old one on the left. It wasn't actually broken, but it was very soft, and was movable with the slightest pressure.



It all went back together easily, loads of copper grease on the exhaust bits and new nuts.

This £28 part has made a huge difference to the car - all of the vibrations have gone, most of the clonks have gone, clutch engagement is smoother, and it feels so much more together. Best change so far! I think I can still feel the DMF taking up drive, but it is more "feel" than "noise" - far better.

Tool of the week - my new torch. Magnetic bottom and runs forever:



 

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No Wizard 10v downpipes unfortunately, but there is nothing wrong with the OEM ones and they don't rust. Just flexis don't like poor rear engine mounts!

Did you get the text I sent you earlier today? I'm heading down south tomorrow, so can finally get those bumpers/skirts ready for their new home. You want the ECU too?
 
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