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Discussion Starter #1
Sad times. Yesterday I took my GT to a well respected Alfa specialist (Peak Alfa) and this is the list of faults I was presented with.

1. Play in D/S upper front wishbone
2. Play in P/S lower front wishbone
3. Rear tyres worn & distorted
4. All wheels have slight buckles
5. Hand brake cables need replacing
6. Exhaust blowing around the turbo
7. Exhaust blowing from tailpipe
8. Major oil leak around rear of engine - possible rear crank oil seal
9. Clutch release bearing noisy

As you can see, this list of work is sure to threaten my ownership of an Alfa. The best estimate I can come up with for this work is around £2000, mainly owing to his advice that I should have both upper and lower wishbones on both sides replaced and the fact that he thinks that the clutch release bearing noise could actually be the DMF (this is after I told him I didn't think the car had ever had a new DMF).

So, I bought the car for £2500 in September, already spent approx £1000 on repairs and now I'm faced with this. Should I keep my 2005 GT JTD with 125k miles and save up from my minimum wage job to get the work done or should I sell up and go back to mediocrity and buy a ford or VW...
 

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Sad times. Yesterday I took my GT to a well respected Alfa specialist (Peak Alfa) and this is the list of faults I was presented with.

1. Play in D/S upper front wishbone
2. Play in P/S lower front wishbone
3. Rear tyres worn & distorted
4. All wheels have slight buckles
5. Hand brake cables need replacing
6. Exhaust blowing around the turbo
7. Exhaust blowing from tailpipe
8. Major oil leak around rear of engine - possible rear crank oil seal
9. Clutch release bearing noisy
How handy are you with the spanners?

Upper wishbones are easy enough, lower's can be a PITA but doable at home.

Rear tyre wear will likely be down to tracking/alignment, so sling a new set of boots on (Nexen N8000's are cheap and aparently perform very well - or check out the deals on Blackcircles) and get the rear tracking sorted - tyres are service items so you'd be replacing them any way down the line.

Handbrake cables is also an easy DIY job.

Slight buckled wheels - If you're on a budget, leave them be... Ideally repair/replace, but as long as they're sound then it's only your discomfort to worry about.. Otherwise you can pick up the 16-17" alloys from 147/156/GT's fairly cheap... The OE 18's are holding their value nicely, but the 16/17s are significantly cheaper.

Exhaust leaks - could be a cheap and easy fix, best thing is to find the leaks and work from there.

Oil and clutch - these could be the killers... Oil at the rear could be a cheap easy fix though.. o-ring on the dipstick tube, crankcase breather pipes/separator are all back here and fairly accessible... Clutch jobs are a pig no matter where you go... Expect £500 for the clutch, £800-1000 if the DMF is knackered too.

Put it this way, I wouldn't be binning it for that list... If you're paying someone else to fix it then yea it'll be expensive, but a lot on that list is tackle-able by the weekend warrior...
 

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What have you spend the £1000 on already?

Is the rest of the car solid other than this list?

Are you in anyway capable with the spanners (quite a bit of that list is well within the reach of a moderately determined home mechanic).

Wishbones - anyone moderately capable with spanners can do this.
Exhaust - bodge it for the MOT with a beer can and stainless ties. Not clever, not pretty, but needs must
Hand brake cables - home mechanic job
All alloys have buckling somewhere, depends how bad. MOT fail or not? Second hand is the way to go - loads of alloys with OK tyres on the 'bay and elsewhere.
Then you're left with the clutch, which is not a routine "do it on the driveway job". If you get the clutch done, then you might as well do the lower bones at the same time. If the oil leak is the rear crank seal, it can be done at the same time.

All depends on what you'd get for a GT with this fault list. £1500? So you then sink £1500 into a Fiesta or something which might just turn round and bite you again.

My plan would be (if you decide to keep it) - book it in for the clutch, rear seal and lower wishbones. They might have some s/h exhaust parts to fix the turbo end. That will at least make it reliable. Then find a handy mate and do the rest if you have no experience.
 

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What where your expectations when purchasing a 13 year old car with over 100,000 miles? I'd expect to be paying the same the next year in services and repairs and the year after. If it's too costly then walk away. Cheaper transport is certainly available.
 

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I would be asking myself and my mechanic a number of questions..

1) when is the cam belt due? the first biggie
2) go around the car and get a list of jobs that will need doing in the next 12 months/10k. brake pads, fluids, all the service items...include EGR removal /cleaning and inspect all the boost,vac and coolant hoses,check MAF/MAP/VNT solenoid switch and listen for any funny noises from the turbo.

if you can establish that after this work is done there will be no other big jobs for a couple of years then it will be economical to go ahead based on a known quantity, VS the unknown quantity of buying another car.

half of what you mentioned is 100% do able at home and I would tackle all of it TBH, exhaust blow could be a failing gasket and cost pennies or you may need a new section but all of the things you have mentioned sound normal for a 13 yr old car with over 100k on the clock that TBH sounds like the previous owner avoided doing some major stuff on.

only things that would put me off would be oil cooler leaks and underside rust plus a cam belt and failing turbo..if the bodywork is a bit tatty it may also change the way I feel about the car, bottom line a thorough inspection is required with a schedule of works for the next 18 months and some time with a calculator.

BTW the wheels can be had for cheap on ebay and you may even get a nice upgrade:thumbup:

best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Firstly, thank you for the encouraging response. I've been feeling pretty crappy since getting this list but maybe there's some light at the end of the tunnel after all.

In regards to what has already been done since buying the car in September - cambelt & waterpump, front brake pads, 1x rear caliper, new MAF sensor, new EGR valve. The clutch has only done 15k and the mechanic told me yesterday that the floorpan was solid and that the turbo had been replaced at some point... while on that subject he told me the blowing from the exhaust at the turbo was covering everything with soot, whatever that is indicative of...

Now, as you can probably tell, I'm not terribly gifted with the spanners. The most complicated job I've completed is the elementary task of replacing the egr. However, I do have a brother who is both capable and willing to help with the jobs singled out as do-able.

Now, because I'm a complete idiot I decided I wanted to mod my car before checking everything was in order. What this means is I'm already committed to having a custom made exhaust system fitted. At this point it was only going to be from the DPF back (I've since learnt there's no DPF) but I'm wondering whether to go for a full system hoping it could resolve the exhaust/turbo blowing?

I apologise if I'm not being very clear, I'm really new to this and don't have any real mechanical knowledge.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
...I forgot to mention that the buckled wheels are probably not an issue for me seeing as I simply cannot feel anything wrong, no vibrations at all.

It's a long trip but I'm thinking of driving down to Autolusso on a saturday morning to take advantage of their free health check... a second opinion couldn't hurt.
 

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OK, some positives then...:thumbup:

as you are having the exhaust partially made you might as well go the whole hog and do the lot...you do need to establish where the blow is coming from before you fit the new exhaust as it will almost certainly be easier to get too whilst its off, replacing things in the hope they will fix an un-diagnosed problem is a costly way to approach things and will end up in higher labour charges and will not always guarantee a positive outcome.

if you are modding the I advise you remove the EGR along with the re-map you will either have already, or are planning..new turbo is excellent news and will ensure any re-map will not result in the demise of it.

so really we are looking at wishbones (replace lowers poly bush uppers) hand brake cables (easy) parts there about £200

wheels http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Alfa-Rome...244530?hash=item210c988b72:g:BL0AAOSwe7BWxzcc and some good tyres can be had for £50 a corner .Nexen N8000's come in at that price and are great...I am running them and highly recommend so wheels +tyres £500

leaving the oil leak, exhaust and clutch release bearing to the garage. budet £500 ish


you should be able to get all this done for £1000-1200, and given the cambelt ,clutch and turbo have been done it will leave you with a car that should only need servicing for a couple of years.

do it...:thumbup:
 

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The only thing I'd consider a second opinion on is the clutch. You say it has only done 15K - seems very odd for it to be failing in that distance. Can you hear the release bearing squeal when you press the clutch? If yes, then it is knackered, if no, keep driving it. If you can't hear anything, and it drives normally, it may plod on for quite some time.

The rest is very standard stuff. You'll just get the same answer.

There are loads of thread on here about doing wishbones, get your brother to have a read. If he has a trolley jack, some axle stands, a ball joint splitter and a decent socket set, he will be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Right, starting to feel more positive now. I can't tell you how much it means to be able to come here and get advice/reassurance.

I don't suppose you have a source for these parts at that price?
so really we are looking at wishbones (replace lowers poly bush uppers) hand brake cables (easy) parts there about £200
 

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The only thing I'd consider a second opinion on is the clutch. You say it has only done 15K - seems very odd for it to be failing in that distance. Can you hear the release bearing squeal when you press the clutch? If yes, then it is knackered, if no, keep driving it. If you can't hear anything, and it drives normally, it may plod on for quite some time.
The clutch pedal does creak/squeek if that's what you mean? Besides that, the only other noise I get is a kind of metallic whirring when the car is under load at minimum revs, this is what the mechanic told me is probably the DMF.
 

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Ive got some Gt wheels for sale 17inch all straight and true. Star design. Just in case you decide to swap. All with good tyres replaced 4months ago. Swap for the buckled ones for 150. That way when I go to scrap the car its still a rolling chassis.
 

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Right, starting to feel more positive now. I can't tell you how much it means to be able to come here and get advice/reassurance.

I don't suppose you have a source for these parts at that price?

https://www.shop4parts.co.uk/?name=store&op=Results&category=18&secondary=29&opts=162 lower wishbones

upper wishbone bushes Powerflex - Performance Polyurethane Bushes

all in about £ 170, only do-able if you have genuine uppers..


if your brother can fit then bobs your uncle:thumbup:
 

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That's excellent, thank you so much.

Just so I'm clear, does this mean I wouldn't necessarily have to replace the uppers if I fit new lowers and poly bushes to the uppers?
Depends what has failed on your wishbones.
If the ball-joints have gone, then you need new wishbones
 

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That's excellent, thank you so much.

Just so I'm clear, does this mean I wouldn't necessarily have to replace the uppers if I fit new lowers and poly bushes to the uppers?
edit, just seen dav's post, he is correct. (as usual!)


That's exactly it..:thumbup:
 

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also even though you only have play in opposing uppers and lowers you may as well do the lot whilst you are in there ,then you should be good for the rest of the life of the car..:yes:
 

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You cannot run a GT on a shoestring. Seems to me as the car has aged work has been neglected. And what should have been spent to keep her right was not, hence you arriving at this point with the car with so many ailments. GT's need upkeep and attention. If you are doubting getting the issues sorted, then probably best to move on and get something more functional and less delicate. Also totally respect having spent 2500 on her the thought of nearly doubling that on work to her does not appeal. All the best mate.:thumbup:

Damien.
 

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The decision is yours but if you do have a brother who is capable then the price will tumble compared to garage charges and you can get the right quality parts much cheaper than most garages will sell them to you for. The the link to the Birth bottom wishbones at £65 each all inclusive is a very good price and very good quality item. You can get other brands quite a bit cheaper but you will be fitting again in 6 months time.

There are a couple of things to consider with the upper arms and one already stated is to be sure it is the bushes that they failed on and not the ball joint as power flexing won't fix that. The other thing is that some after market CHEAP arms are reported to have different manufacturing dimensions and polyflex bushes won't fit so if your arms have been replaced before there may be a risk that polyflex won't fit. Personally I have never found any differences but others have reported it. If you do fit complete new upper arms try to stick with Birth or TRW again cheap arms won't last 6 months before the bushes are loose and squeaking like mad.

With exception of clutch and oil leak all here can be done cheaply and those on this forum have the knowledge and patience to assist.

It sounds like you are on a budget but I do have a difference of opinion to Alfadoit and you can run these cheaply provided you can DIY. Use good quality suspension components and the rest is usually strong enough. My son has a 147 3 door and, under the skin it is the same car as the GT, we run his 147 on a shoestring but I do all servicing and maintenance for him.

On the list above what items were those that caused the MOT failure? They are the ones that really need attention and all the rest can wait and be done when funds allow that. As for the wheels if you can't feel any vibration though the steering or car I wouldn't worry about those for a single second.
 
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