Alfa Romeo Forum banner
61 - 80 of 82 Posts

87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #61 ·
So into the engine bay and all that was going to come with it.

Things I knew would be needed to done.
1. A real deep clean. the whole bay was bogging
2. Clutch and Flywheel change
3. Oil leaks
Once stripped down I found 3:-
Turbo oil drain probably from when the turbo was overhauled​
Rear crankshaft seal​
Oil vent pipe. it had gone hard and was in pretty poor condition.​
4. All the loom in the engine bay needed work. Nearly every cloth taped joint or termination at the electrical connections was undone and dried out. Water ingress wold be easy.
5. All the earths point cleaned and re torqued
6. loads of tin needed re work ( most metal brackets and slam panel)
7. because of the idle issue when warmed up I was going to give the throttle body and inlet manifold a going over
8. Total front suspension and subframe removal and overhaul.

Some before photos before I started. Always good for reference.






One thing I will say about the 2.4 layout. Its not the prettiest engine lay out is it:ROFLMAO::LOL:.

87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #64 · (Edited)
Apologies everyone. I have been cracking on in the background so thought it was about time to post up some detail. I thought it would be easier to show the detail in the build up rather thane the strip down of the engine bay and all that brings but I will still show progress.

Starting at the front of the car i wanted strip the front right off and both sides of the engine bay. I always find this gains me access to everywhere.

So some beginning phots so I can compare once finished


It really one of the ugliest engine layouts I have seen but I went for the 2.4 straight 5 because of Torque figures and Mapped BHP which I thought out weighed the other engine choices in my opinion.

One thing you will notice is that I label absolutely everything electrically on strip down, Bag all the old fittings and clips etc and take hundreds of photos for reference when building up. I actually started the strip down of the front end in Feb so all this reference was needed when building up over the last couple of weeks.

So first job was to remove the front bumper. Very easy and quickly done
alfa 159 front bumper removal - Google Search

then removed the lights to show me the start of the front


The state of the crash bar and slam panel surprised me a bit considering the age and mileage of the car. Bumper stored for later

Next off came the slam panel. I will show detail on build up phots


And crash bar removed


Both ready for the sandblaster and powder coater but you can see what i mean by the state of them.


87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #65 ·
Next up I removed the battery and tray to give access above the gearbox


This time I will say I have seen a lot worse battery trays but the surface rust was setting in.

The battery tray would need stripping in readiness for the powder coater


Under the tray was pretty manky and a couple of rust spots. The wiring across the front is jut wow!!!! surely the design team could have laid that better in Italy.


Back to the front and the first oil leak was evident from the oil cooler pipe connection


I could see the brackets for the Air filter housing and washer bottle were pretty poor so decided to remove them whilst I was at this point.

washer bottle removed

Air filter housing removed


Then the strip down on the air intake system plastic pipework to gain access to right side of the engine bay


And the battery side stripped out.


I then removed all the coolers (oil, Power steering, AC condensor, Intercooler and radiator). The AC condensor almost fell apart in my hands and was in a very poor state, The cooling fins just crumbled. One note of caution I damaged the HP pipe from the at the condensor joiner end trying to release the connection from the condensor. This meant a whole new replacement pipe going back to the expansion valve was required. DOH!!!!

All the coolers remove which gave really good access to the front of the engine

With all this removed 2 x more nice surprises to add to the "things to do" list

Quite an oil leak on the turbo oil drains (probably caused when the turbo was fitted post overhaul)

87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #66 ·
And the radiator bottom brackets and bumper brackets on the front of the sub frame were well rotten


The oil drains fro the turbo use copper washers to seal so I annealed the washers, cleaned up the area and replaced them.


I also cut the damaged AC pipe off back to the engine bay (to be replaced). This gave access to the right hand side mount and all the crud and surface rust on the inner wing (it was only surface rust).


I also unbolted the engine bay fuse box for access

87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #67 ·
I forgot to point out the other oil leak I found on strip down. This one wont be so easy


Yep the oil cooler. The thing is I thought it was the o seal until I had a closer look

Next up I stripped out both suspension legs. Again I will go through the build up for detail



some work to do in this area that for sure.

SO now it was time for the sub frame. Again build photos up will show the detail but this gives some detail
Removing The Front Sub Frame From An Alfa 159/Brera

Now I did leave the steering rack, lower arms and ARB on the frame and lowered everything together.


I then removed the steering once the frame was off the car.


Then stripped off everything to see what would need replacing.



To be honest I can see why these things corrode out. Mine didn't look too bad but you cant tell until you get back to clean metal with these things

2 hours of angle grinder with heavy duty knot brushes. The reason I did it myself and not get it shot blasted was because I couldn't fit the frame in any of my cars. So it was elbow grease and a fair bit of sweat.


To be honest once fully attacked and back to metal the frame looked remarkably good.

There were a couple of repairs to nutserts needed. I drilled them and replaced them with a nutsert rivet gun. Apart from that nothing else was needed.

Any surface rust left was treated and then the whole thing primed with a rust stabiliser primer made by corroless/



87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #68 · (Edited)
Then top coat with glass fibre impregnated qdr chassis pant. Sorry the photo focus isn't so good

All the internals were coated with a cavity wax to preserve the internals for longevity. I have heard some filling with expanding foam, not sure I would do that as surely that would retain moisture.

The subframe was then stored safely at the back of the garage.

I moved onto all the suspension components. This picture shows the main suspension components in parts.


I ditched the struts, Upper arms and the lower control arm from the drivers. The passenger side lower control had been replaced and was in good order joint and mount wise (manufactured by TRW so good quality).

The remaining parts were refurbished and cleaned. The hub carriers needed quite a bit of work to be honest. If I remember rightly all the M5 bolts for the brake dust shields snapped and so did a couple of the M6 bolts holding the brackets on. So plenty of drilling out and re tapping which is always emotional drilling steel out of ally casting.

A before and after together. The only thing I didnt do was remove the ABS sensors (I take it they would need drilling out) and I didnt change the bearings as they were good.


And all the ally components I was keeping were cleaned down. I did removed the dust cap from the lower control arm ball joint I was keeping and re charged with grease and put a new cover on as I nicked the original breaking the ball joint.


I also stripped back and gave a couple of other bits of steel the same process as the subframe.




I checked my Steering rack inner tie rods to see if there was any corrosion. When I drained the steering fluid it was very dark but looked to be green at some point so i was hopeful the rack internally would be ok.

It was

So I sent the rack away to be overhauled.

Onto the gearbox removal and clutch change.

87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #69 · (Edited)
removal of the gearbox is pretty clear once the subframe is off. rather than type everything up this thread has most of the detail. Thanks to the OP who wrote this up(y)

159 2.4 JTDm DMF, Clutch and bearing replacement guide

A couple of points from my experience with the gearbox removal from the 159
1. The driver side driveshaft on the 2.4 has 3 x M6 bolts bolting onto a back plate at the bearing carrier bracket. The shaft is then just withdrawn. The passenger side is as described
2. The upper forward bolt for the starter motor is a right pig. I would love to meet the Italian engineer who obviously had a sense of humour. My hands are quite big and even with a very comprehensive tool kit this bolt was a fight taking out and more so fitting. The added bonus is that the bracket carrying the FW cooling to the heater also uses the top two bolts. Oh I laughed under the car with this bolt.
3. I didn't use 2 x jacks as per the screed in the link. Once I released the gearbox mount I lowered the engine and gearbox unit to the point I could see the gearbox would clear the bodywork and placed wooden blocks under the engine. This helps stabilise the engine for removal and again for fitting of the gearbox. I was worried about the engine mount as this does stretch it.

once the gearbox was off and sat on the garage floor I was met with the clutch. You can see the wooden block under the engine stabilising the engine in position.


Clutch pressure plate is held in place by 6 bolts around the periphery. Remove them and the whole assy can be lifted off. I forgot to take any pics but the friction plate was in fairly good nick. Not overly worn. Not sure why the slipping now.

Next up the DMF. This is held in the centre by 6 x stretch bolts. They are fairly tight and you need to lock the engine.I made up a small bracket which could held in place on one of the mouting holes and locked into the starter ring teeth.

The DMF is heavy but lifts off. I could see plenty of blueing on the DMF driving face which was obviously signs of the slipping. Once removed I was then met with my next oil leak *is that 3 or 4leaks!) the crank seal was leaking


Its a relatively cheap part so I would recommend changing it if you are changing the clutch and DMF. I ordered the oil seal from Alfashop ( I bought most of my parts from them) so whilst I waited for that to come I changed tact.
I decided to give the passenger side engine bay a good clean and repaired any surface rust areas and loom issues. The engine bay loom was in pretty poor state of repair.





I also gave the gearbox a good clean. Inside the bell housing was particularly oily due to the crank seal oil leak. The gearbox mount brackets were sprayed and new HT bolts fitted.


And the new clutch slave cylinder fitted.

All the clutch work is fairly well covered here
Replacing The Clutch, Concentric Slave Cylinder, Flywheel and Rear Main Oil Seal On An Alfa 159/Brera 1750 Tbi.

I bought the DMF and clutch kit all in one. I reckon its the most expensive DMF I have ever bought. Also get new DMF/flywheel bolts x 6.

Back to the engine bay and the right side finished

New crank seal arrived and fitting is covered in the above Alfashop link, DMF fitted with replacement bolts to 144 - 176 NM. The DMF locates on the cranks by a spigot which you can see in the above photo showing the oil seal.


Clutch assembly was aligned with the clutch alignment tool and fitted. Again the mounting bolts were renewed and torqued to 28NM


Whilst the gearbox was out I treated any surface rust on the chassis rails (mostly again where spot welds were) and used underseal to preserve (sorry no pictures).
Also whilst all this is out I also changed the breather hose that goes from the oil filler area back over the engine and down the back. Not sure you could change this hose with the gearbox and subframe in very easily. Another oil leak due to the hose being hardened repaired.

87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #70 · (Edited)


Next up the gearbox fitting
I lowered the engine back down using a jack under the sump onto the same blocks I used to stabilise the engine when removing the gearbox. I have a gearbox mount that fits to one of my floor jacks for lifting gearboxes. with the shape of the Alfa 6 speed box Im not sure I could have done this by myself. In the screed above about gearbox removal and fitting the OP used extension bars to guide the gearbox home. I didn't do this.

fitted from above


passenger side

I put a block of wood under the gearbox to hold the engine/gearbox unit in position for the subframe.

The drive shafts both had a quick overhaul and the CV joints cleaned up and greased

And fitted back into the gearbox. The drivers side being bolted up on the earing carrier and make sure you push the passenger side well home until the circlip clicks. Then give a good tug to make sure the shaft is home.

Next up more engine bay cleaning and rust spot repairs around the back of the bay

Alfa Romeo Brera Spider 2006
24 Posts
wow, this is a project!

332 Posts
Amazing work! As usual!! Fancy popping round to mine and doing some bits?! Haha! First on the list.. bonnet cable!

87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #73 ·
wow, this is a project!
Thanks mate. It's just my hobby.
Cant remember how many cars I have done or come to think of it how much I've spent on car parts over the years

Amazing work! As usual!! Fancy popping round to mine and doing some bits?! Haha! First on the list.. bonnet cable!
Thanks mate. Can I finish this one first

87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #75 ·
Working my way around the engine bay I worked on the bulkhead first. Cleaning everything, repairing the looms and refurbing any brackets. All fastenings changed for stainless.


The fuel filter bracket takes up quite a bit of the rear bulkhead with the expansion tank and brake reservoir. All removed cleaned or sprayed and refitted


And looms repaired


The driver side inner wing was a right mess. With everything removed and big clean and surface rust had to be sorted on the rails where the front crashbar flange bolts up. I resprayed all the rail from the flange back to the engine mount. Colour match is a little off but the finish will suffice. Broken AC pipe still in position for the moment.


Onto the plenum in front of the windscreen. Firstly the black cover needs removing


To remove the wiper arms need to come off and then there are 3 x torx screws under caps on the cowl panel which need to be removed. Sounds easy, All mine were well rusty and beyond any grip

All 3 needed drilling out. Once the screws are removed the rubber trim on the front edge is removed and the cover comes off in 2 x parts exposing the plenum, windscreen wiper mechanism and AC pipe connections for the pipe I needed to replace.

And cabin filter air inlet


Jobs that needed doing under here were
1. Clear out the plenum drains. I see this as a service item on all my cars. both sides were blocked on this car.
2.Sort the surface rust on both sides adjacent to the bonnet hinges. This was caused by a break down in the seam sealer on both sides

87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #76 ·
3. I removed the wiper mechanism. Very easy to do. 3 x bolts and 1 x loom connector and the unit lifts out. this exposed:-
Damaged loom protection and the driver loom gland plate quite rusty (probably caused by blocked plenum drains and the area being sat in water.


The loom on the passenger side had not that much better. ALfas and electrics!! this would cause problems in the future


First the rust on both sides adjacent to the hinges was sorted. I was worried the wings may need to come off but the rust was only to the edge of the decent seam sealer so the job was fairly straight forward.


The plenum was deep cleaned, all the looms repaired and the rusty gland palte on the drivers side treated and protected.



And the AC pipe i damaged on strip down was replaced. All the joints were fitted with new fridge seals (Alfa use GM type seals on these cars)


and run down the inner wing on the drivers side. There are 3 x clips the pipe runs through


The wiper unit was then refitted. You can see the 3 x mount bolts in this picture


The wiper arms were resprayed and the plastic plenum covers cleaned and treated with peanut oil. Yep peanut oil


87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #79 ·
It's shocking how much you're finding when you do a serious dig. Another level of detail tbf. 🤌
It part of the fun when Im stripping down cars to find where the wear and tare takes place. My car hasn't had the best service history so she was probably unloved from the 3rd owner and hence some of the issues.
What a fantastic thread, with an awesome collection of cars to go with it. Love the attention to detail, keep up the good work and keep the progress pictures coming! (y)
Thanks mate good of you to say so.

87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #80 ·
The final part of the plenum cover was to replace the fastenings



Fitting the cover back it slides under the windscreen with these clips


Then screwed into place with the 3 screws (one each end and one in the middle around the join

The end screws are capped to hide them and then finally fur tree clips pressed in along the front edge
Rubber trim refitted and the windscreen wipers fitted back on


After these jobs the steering rack arrived back from its restoration.

This meant I had everything ready to rebuild the front sub frame.

Firstly I cavity waxed the main rails internally.


And undersealed any areas where the frame was going to sit. The car is a keeper so the rust worm needs to be kept at bay.

Next up the really good job of fitting up the subframe.
61 - 80 of 82 Posts