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Discussion Starter #161
Where do I find these brembos?

Sweet Irony! Phoned the garage and yes, the car failed MOT for the want of a boot that locks Ha! Ha! Essentially Adam must have just gone through the MOT, having previously ordered a boot catch. Can do no more but wait for that to arrive. Then it will be time to settle in and just enjoy the moment.

But I do like those front discs and calipers.
 

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Discussion Starter #162 (Edited)
LAST POST!

For those that believe that software is the only way to resolve mechanical issues, please see below MOT certificate for Catless Manifold, Colombo Bariani Camshaft - ed Brera Engine now installed in 159 Q4.

I have only come to realize, this project has been a reflection of my professional life. Someone said to me, decades ago, "You need disciples". The problem with this is, by the time the project has ended, one is off to the next, whereby, one has to create more disciples.

It has been well over three years since this latest challenge started. The disciples now, could in no way be described as disciples then. Each of them brilliant in what they did for their bread and butter. But pretty unthinking outside their comfort zones.

The challenges I have faced, wrt this 159 project have been no less difficult than any project I undertook in my professional life. The difference is, I was paying for it. It is all very well to be obstinate with one's own money, but not with a customers!

At almost 73 years, one realizes, there are only so many years left. But what is indeterminate is, when it will all end! And I guess, the vast majority are happy with that - the not - knowing aspect of it all.

For years I have suffered with chronic pains in my feet and after many X - rays and various treatments, nothing could be attributed to the problem.

At my annual MOT; 15 moths ago, at the local surgery, I was declared a "Spring Chicken". Cholesterol fine, Blood pressure normal, kidney function down a little, but nothing untoward. But still no resolution to my chronic feet pain - hobbling around for months on end. But the doc took an extra Blood sample. In fact, I have had so many blood samples taken, I simply refer to them as "Hancocks".

Two weeks after being declared fit, I was asked to go down to the surgery for further tests - but you told me I was fine!
40 minutes later, I was Ambulanced to West Suffolk Hospital. I had suggested I drive myself there, but was told "You aren't going anywhere".

Anyway, eventually they sort me out and with respect to my Heart, it is the best they can do.

But it did not end there. I was booked into the Macmillan ward for tests. Bone Marrow samples were taken and it was discovered I have Myeloma - Bone Cancer! So it is hardly surprising that I took exception to some of the stupid comments made about Chernobyl being on a Holiday Itinerary. Yes, I did work on Nuclear Reactors and yes my cancer could be linked to that. Youth is always Blaise about risks they may face in later life - I know I was.

But it is nothing short of stupidity to ignore the weight of evidence, no matter what it relates to.

So this 159 project has had a particular kind of poignancy for me. Not for any maudlin reasons. Just simply that it is the way I have approached every challenge. I have made many enemies along the way. But gained many disciples, post event - so to speak. No good when you are up to your knees in alligators.

The prospects for me are not bleak, they are just what people of my age have to face. And it seems so pathetic to come out with statements to the effect that this can be beaten. In the case of this form of illness, it can't.

But this is just one challenge too far. "Spend your time wisely on the things you can change and accept those you can't".

The 159 has provided me with the kind of stimulus I have always needed. It would have been thus, without my illness. And now it is drawing to an end, I shall look for another challenge to sustain my ego.

However, I now have a engine in my 159, 3.2 JTS Q4 that can genuinely claim to be an Alfa Engine. It is better than the Busso, But so it should be! Were this not to be true, evolution would not be true!

A name from the past sprung out, whilst I was savouring the moment - the knowledge that the 159 was now back on the road.

The name was "Paul Landless". Simply asked whether we should pursue the approach I proposed to a particular problem wrt a nuclear issue he simply stated. "Brian cares". That will do me!
 

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have you got any pictures of the cam covers fitted?

Just wondering if your front cam cover fitted perfectly?

Would be great to hear what it sounds like!
 

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Let's hope for the best, as the good side of being 73 is that it all progresses or gets worse at a slower pace.

I'm glad that 3.2JTS has came to life, and passed MOT easily. It would be really nice, after the engine break-in period, if you could get back to this thread with an update on how it performs, maybe some audio recording, and maybe even some dyno pull. As an engineer myself, I really appreciate all the Afla owners that took the effort to explore, understand and thoroughly document technical details, even if some of them prove to be wrong. There is almost nothing that works like a charm for the first time... hydraulic tappets proved that in you case, injectors in mine:) So please keep this thread alive, that JTS beast deserves it.

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #165
Not fitted yet. With the Hydraulic Tappet issue consuming hours, I felt it more important to get to the bottom of that first. A new Boot - Lock has been fitted, car taxed and just about to insure her - then I shall walk into town to pick her up.

I went to down yesterday and she was sitting in the compound, polished and valeted. The car isn't flawless, a couple of scratches, front bumper gouged as it was pulled onto the recovery vehicle and a little crack around one of the reversing sensors. But they are things I can get too in good time.

The engine builders did such a good job and balancing the crank, pistons and con rods has made a tangible difference to how she runs - Adam said, "Super, silky smooth". Not much had to come off to bring everything into balance and that is also true of my Alfetta GTV6, which became almost "Turbine - like". The 159 emission test figures are amazing, with HC rocking in at 84 ppm.

However, the problem with the tappets cost some time. But the guy came down and acknowledged the mistake. And I respect and value that. So, given I intend to rebuild the 159 engine, I shall ask him to do it. The engineer is a youngish man and extremely good, although has never done an Alfa, let alone the 3.2 JTS. And Adam, apart from taking the Brera engine out of his brothers car and reinstalling a second hand one, has done nothing with Alfa's. That Brera engine is the one I rebuilt and is now back in the 159. Adam is also a young guy as are all the mechs at Fast Test. There are so few good garages around and certainly not many Alfa Specialists, I for one do not want to discourage more people becoming expert. And I certainly don't want the engine builder to shy away from Alfa's in the future. So we will come to some arrangement over the tappet issue. I think I got a bargain with the work he did in spite of the tappet issue.

The removed 159 engine is in a terrible state. I have seen less tar on the road than there is on this engine. I will need to get it away from Fast Test soon and when I arrange it I shall take my covers down an check them against the old engine and if fits OK, then I shall have them fitted onto the car. But, If I remember rightly, the front cover does fit. But I will check again tomorrow when I take some beers down for the guys.

The car sounds similar to the one in the clip, but the overrun is not as messy. I am not sure if the one in the clip still has the manifold cats. I have to take it easy for the first 500 and then change the oil. Then a few more miles before I get it up to Clive Atthowe's Dynamometer. I need a base line figure for the changes, but it is going to be in the New Year at the earliest.
 

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The engine builders did such a good job and balancing the crank, pistons and con rods has made a tangible difference to how she runs - Adam said, "Super, silky smooth". Not much had to come off to bring everything into balance and that is also true of my Alfetta GTV6, which became almost "Turbine - like". The 159 emission test figures are amazing, with HC rocking in at 84 ppm.
I think @baxter2308 's 156 GTA blew something like 12ppm hydrocarbons last time we tested it, that was with Wizard decat manifolds too.
 

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Discussion Starter #167
Let's hope for the best, as the good side of being 73 is that it all progresses or gets worse at a slower pace.

I'm glad that 3.2JTS has came to life, and passed MOT easily. It would be really nice, after the engine break-in period, if you could get back to this thread with an update on how it performs, maybe some audio recording, and maybe even some dyno pull. As an engineer myself, I really appreciate all the Afla owners that took the effort to explore, understand and thoroughly document technical details, even if some of them prove to be wrong. There is almost nothing that works like a charm for the first time... hydraulic tappets proved that in you case, injectors in mine:) So please keep this thread alive, that JTS beast deserves it.

Cheers!
Thanks,

But for now I need to spend some time re - capping. And looking for another challenge/project. I've not given up on issues surrounding the 159 and still think it is an incredible car - well the Q4's and the bargain of the century second hand. But deep pockets are needed and people who work on them - all Alfa's really, need to view their input as a little less of a cash - cow. Otherwise, they will become exclusive to the wealthy. And those that do hanker after an Alfa, should be less prepossessed by "Trim - Levels, fancy wheels and Snake Oil improvements", which do not stand scrutiny.
 

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By the way, do you need any 3.2 JTS parts? I am breaking a 159 Q4 Sportwagon. The engine has been sold already, but it was sold bare so I have all the ancillaries, and the rest of the car too. Its a Q-tronic model too.
 

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Discussion Starter #169 (Edited)
By the way, do you need any 3.2 JTS parts? I am breaking a 159 Q4 Sportwagon. The engine has been sold already, but it was sold bare so I have all the ancillaries, and the rest of the car too. Its a Q-tronic model too.
Thanks Pud.

I am going to need a couple of rear light clusters. The lenses are misted and now badly cracked, The central console is broken inside where the cigarette lighter is - the lighter is now flopping freely. I will need to get a rear bulkhead panel for behind the passenger seats - probably best to replace the whole boot lining. And then, there is the plastic trim which fits at the base of the windscreen. It must have had a new windscreen just before I bought and that plastic trim was never refitted properly and keeps lifting off. The Plastic trims in the roof channels are also free agents, but I am not sure whether I should just re - glue them with some silicone sealant.

The inside trim is beautiful - light biscuit leather. But the same colour has being used on the switch panels. It is only the drivers cluster that has worn badly with the paint they used wearing through to the black plastic. so I need to find a replacement or some matching spray paint.

On a further note - picked the car up yesterday and went to Diss and then to Bury St Edmunds. Two obvious changes. I now have and oil level gauge that actually works. The old engine, there must have been so much crud on the sensor that it always read full - which it always was because I always checked the dip - stick. However, I am now getting and indication which is other than full. Levels change depending on whether the engine has just been switched off or has stood for a while - says so in the hand book - this is normal as the block drains back down to the sump when she has stood over night.

Secondly, Oil temperature is way down - more than 20 deg.C. I need to get a probe into the external lines to read it directly. But it does confirm what was said in the video clip about temperature drop when a 3.2 GTA had the cats removed. - David Cirone.

Just as a foot note, I dug out an old MOT Certificate for 2014
Listed below is a comparison with the latest :-

Now - CO 0.14%, then 0.2%, HC now, 84 ppm, then 6 ppm, Lambda now 1.004, then 1.002

Natural Idle now, 750 rpm, then 740 rpm, CO now 0.05%, then 0.04%.

This seems to confirm the science/research that HC are reduced/catalyzed at higher temperatures given there is an increase in HC of 76 ppm with the latest MOT, after the cats were removed and an indicated oil temperature drop in excess of 20 deg. C.

Importantly, the latest figures show the emissions are well below the maximum target figures dictated in MOT limits. This suggests to me, Alfa were following regulations to comply, without challenging the validity of Manifold Cats. I can't see, from these figures, any benefit to the environment, these perfunctory devices perform, if this is the sum total of MOT test results.

But, if the evidence of severe caking of tar residues within my 159 engine are anything to go by, premature aging/degradation of oil and loss of it's protective properties indicate to me, if one has any regard for the design of any engine, and in particular, the Busso, Manifold Cats should be sent for recycling as soon as possible.
 

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Its surprising even an old GTA with over 100k on the clock blows well under the MOT limit, even with manifold cats removed. I think the emissions rules for type approving and registering a new car were considerably stricter than the MOT emissions limit for cars over 3 years old. For example MOT emissions are tested at fully warmed up engine, but I know that the Euro-3 onwards emissions tests that new cars were subjected to involved having emissions tested from a cold start. They tightened the rules up on the diesels MOT emissions tests a few years ago now - they now have to meet their factory smoke opacity spec. But diesels are not tested at MOT for NOx emissions, which is what the whole VW-dieselgate emissions scandal was all about.
 

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manifold cats have no Eco function at all. Their main goal is to ensure optimal working temperature for the big cats. Thats why the lambdas are situated before them and not after. as you said, MOTs are done on hot engine, therefore the presence or absence of precats is irrelevant for theMOT excercise.
 

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Discussion Starter #172
manifold cats have no Eco function at all. Their main goal is to ensure optimal working temperature for the big cats. Thats why the lambdas are situated before them and not after. as you said, MOTs are done on hot engine, therefore the presence or absence of precats is irrelevant for theMOT excercise.
If only it were that simple. If one digs far enough into these attachments - and many more, it can be fairly assumed that I have made matters worse. The problem with all research work is, it is mostly "Stand - alone", addressing a specific issue. It then becomes a nightmare to pull all research together to balance seemingly contradictory evidence.

For instance, the point in time that direct injection of fuel occurs in the cycle, the location it is directed towards, upper cylinder temperatures, valve timing, position of cats and temperature gradient of exhaust gases between heads and cat all become critical, yet seem to be mutually exclusive.

Negative valve overlap appears to promote swirl, pulling unburnt HC's away from the piston.ring/liner region and into the central volume of a stratified charge (direct Injection engine), where it will be incorporated with the directly injected fuel such that they will be consumed in the burn. But the density of the stratified charge and timing of the fuel injection can cause the fuel mixture to be radically modified; chemically converted, from simple fuel/ar + unburnt HC's. This process being desired.

The function of the manifold cats is to promote rapid warming of the cylinder heads as unburnt HC volumes are greatest when the engine is cold and running at 1 - 2 thousand rpm where volumetric efficiency is lowest. HC's convert at higher temperatures whilst Nox is converted at lower temperatures.

So in principle, the manifold cats are essential to get cylinder head temperatures up quickly, such that the engine can do most of the emission conversion. and the secondary cats - below the car, are actually operating at a lower temperature due to heat losses - temperature attenuation due to the gradient losses of the exhaust pipe - act upon the NO and Nox components.

The Autodelta manifolds should not substantially change how the system works as the valve timing remains the same with the NVO preserved.

The C.B. camshaft have changed this however, having gone from 9 deg. after TDC exhaust valve closes and 11.5 deg. after TDC inlet valve opens, 2.5 deg. NVO to 23 deg. after TDC exhaust valve closes and 0.5 deg. before TDC inlet valve opens, 23.5 deg. POV.

That the car still comfortably passes emissions is not in question. However, the change in valve timing may not now result in the same process of emissions reduction as when the car was unmodified. Demonstrating there are many ways of skinning this particular cat (excuse the unintended pun).

Theory!! - well mine anyway.

Manifold cats are best employed on small engines with lower Specific Power Outputs. It is, in my opinion, the fact that this engine can go from very high power to low, with little time for the cat temperatures to dissipate sufficient heat to keep the upper cylinder temperatures in that optimum window, and thus excessive heat is reflected back into the engine, that is the real problem.
 

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manifold cats have no Eco function at all. Their main goal is to ensure optimal working temperature for the big cats. Thats why the lambdas are situated before them and not after. as you said, MOTs are done on hot engine, therefore the presence or absence of precats is irrelevant for theMOT excercise.

Apart from the fact that removal of ANY factory fitted emissions equipment is an instant fail these days whether it passes emissions test or not. So sizewell either has a friendly tester or...more likely.... one that did not know it had manifold cats in the first place! Also it's punishable by a £1000 fine if caught by a roadside check....which is in itself extremely unlikely but useful to know. And no.... it would not stop me doing it either...lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #174
Apart from the fact that removal of ANY factory fitted emissions equipment is an instant fail these days whether it passes emissions test or not. So sizewell either has a friendly tester or...more likely.... one that did not know it had manifold cats in the first place! Also it's punishable by a £1000 fine if caught by a roadside check....which is in itself extremely unlikely but useful to know. And no.... it would not stop me doing it either...lol.
Well, that's a positive contribution! "Alfaitalia" - seems a bit of a travesty to use such a term, given you appear to be so "Risk Adverse". Of course at almost 73 I need to be taught how to suck eggs!!!!!!

So Pud can abandon his proposed manufacture of cat-less manifolds. Cat - back and exhaust element deletions will need to be removed and any pretense to power enhancement by software modifications will need to be removed. And you admonish yourself by saying "it would not stop me doing it either ...lol."

God, to even come up with such a post suggests you really do lead a boring existence. What exactly do you believe owning an Alfa Romeo represents? Is it just a badge, the Kudos you hope to acquire in owning it? My posts are clearly not intended for the likes of those who are devoid of ambition. What ever possessed you to intercede with such comments when having offered no contribution to the issues, it is clearly of no interest to you?

Just get on with your life and stop ruining it for yourself by wasting your time being so negative. You will be much happier in the long run! Life should not be risk free. And it is churlish to point out risks to others when one goes through life living in a bubble, unwilling to step outside the womb!
 

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Blimey....get over yourself grandad. Lol...(I'm actually only 20 years younger than you!). I ride fast bikes (road and track days (I have 4 plates and 60 screws in my left arm to prove it)), snow board, surf and have parachuted in the past....my life is lived anything but in a bubble. I have a lot of respect for your technical knowledge...some of it i will happily admit is well beyond me even as an ex mechanic and MOT tester. I was merely pointing out a fact. I have race exhausts with "Not for highway use" stamped on them on my bikes and decatted my last Audi (back on for the MOT of course) but that does not make it legal or right. So if I suggest doing something like that on an open forum I tend to back it up by saying that it might not be legal or at drivers risk.......the individual then makes their own choice from there. Apologies to you and the other snowflakes who take everything so personally.....I'll make sure i try not to offend anyone in the future!
 

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Blimey....get over yourself grandad. Lol...(I'm actually only 20 years younger than you!). I ride fast bikes (road and track days (I have 4 plates and 60 screws in my left arm to prove it)), snow board, surf and have parachuted in the past....my life is lived anything but in a bubble. I have a lot of respect for your technical knowledge...some of it i will happily admit is well beyond me even as an ex mechanic and MOT tester. I was merely pointing out a fact. I have race exhausts with "Not for highway use" stamped on them on my bikes and decatted my last Audi (back on for the MOT of course) but that does not make it legal or right. So if I suggest doing something like that on an open forum I tend to back it up by saying that it might not be legal or at drivers risk.......the individual then makes their own choice from there. Apologies to you and the other snowflakes who take everything so personally.....I'll make sure i try not to offend anyone in the future!

I'm 23, and you gave me the exact same lecture when i had my secondary cats removed on my 3.2

regardless of what anyone does, as long as it passes the mot on emissions when hot then its fine, its declared on insurance so there is actually 0 issue.

It's only people, such as yourselves that dont do things like this that seem to have an apparent issue with it
 

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Discussion Starter #177
Blimey....get over yourself grandad. Lol...(I'm actually only 20 years younger than you!). I ride fast bikes (road and track days (I have 4 plates and 60 screws in my left arm to prove it)), snow board, surf and have parachuted in the past....my life is lived anything but in a bubble. I have a lot of respect for your technical knowledge...some of it i will happily admit is well beyond me even as an ex mechanic and MOT tester. I was merely pointing out a fact. I have race exhausts with "Not for highway use" stamped on them on my bikes and decatted my last Audi (back on for the MOT of course) but that does not make it legal or right. So if I suggest doing something like that on an open forum I tend to back it up by saying that it might not be legal or at drivers risk.......the individual then makes their own choice from there. Apologies to you and the other snowflakes who take everything so personally.....I'll make sure i try not to offend anyone in the future!
You did not offend me! Your observations wrt MOT's and legality may well be correct. I have no issue with that. It is just your advice/observations seem ill timed. Like having an engineering meeting to discuss some serious production issues and one individual points out they don't like the colour of the ink used on the snagging list!!!!!

There is a raft of technical issues within the documents I posted, the vast majority in plain English and I give credit to the authors for making the supporting text pretty readable, for anyone with a modicum of interest. Yet you seem intent; not for the first time to side step it, with observations that have absolutely no bearing on the purpose of this particular exercise.

The cost of this exercise is not for the faint - hearted, disregarding the actual cost of manifolds and camshafts. The labour itself, even when undertaken by a garage that does not charge Alfa's rates, is staggering. And it is neither helpful or particularly bright to point such trivia out, after the the expense has been incurred.

It is not as if I or others that undertake such projects, are not aware. And for those that go ahead, they clearly feel what they get from their project is sufficient to mitigate the cost and the risk!
 

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Discussion Starter #178 (Edited)
have you got any pictures of the cam covers fitted?

Just wondering if your front cam cover fitted perfectly?

Would be great to hear what it sounds like!
Cambridge today. About 100 mile round trip. Bit of a worry/scare with the engine. still keeping the revs down to ~2500 rpm, but just clipped 27/2800 and had to back off and pull into nearside lane as she started misfiring. Settled down again and once again tried to press on a little more - misfires again at about the same revs.

Looking at my diary, the car failed at Bruntingthorpe on the 27th Nov 2017, so she has stood for two years on a pretty low fuel tank. So my thoughts turned to fuel contamination. Not before revisiting the VVT rebuilds. They are pretty sophisticated and to clean them they had to be dismantled then re - assembled. There are a lot of parts inside, and the spring tension does not make it any easier. I also had to figure out, what philosophy the manufacturers used in their design.

I finally settled on a) - the exhaust VVT Phasor. In the rest position, the pin is in, locking the camshaft in the fully advanced position. But the spring pressure in the locked position is extremely heavy. This is because of two conditions that exist when the engine is running :- 1. when the lock pin comes out, the phasor sprocket has the force of the valves acting upon the cam, trying to force it back into the fully advanced position. So the spring pressure, along with the hydraulic oil has to resist this. 2) Depending upon the exhaust valve timing, open the valve early and there is still pressure within the cylinder which resists the camshaft and thus puts pressure again upon the hydraulics and the spring. The Spring therefore has to be extremely strong to overcome both of these phenomenon. And it is; and it is extremely difficult to assemble without a second pair of hands

b) - the inlet VVT Phasor. In the rest position, the pin is in, locking the camshaft in the fully retarded position. But the camshaft does not have to work against the same forces as the exhaust camshaft. So the spring is much softer, weaker. In this instance the bulk of the work is done by the hydraulics and given the inlet valve timing needs to be very responsive to get the most performance from the engine - more so than the exhaust, it needs only needs to drive the hydraulic fluid from the solenoid valve when the engine is switched off and allow the rotor to return to the locked position with the pin keeping the camshaft fully retarded when the engine is not running.

But after dismantling and re - assembly, I fretted that perhaps I had got it wrong. Even when it became obvious that the tappets were incorrect, I worried that that might only be part of the problem. And today, with those misfires, nagging doubts came back.

However, she behaved herself all the way to Cambridge on light throttle. Parking at Newmarket Road, Park and Ride, I stopped the engine, raised the bonnet and felt the engine. She had been running at 90 deg. constant water temp. The engine was hot to the touch, but not unbearably. In fact, comfortably hot on the inlet manifold and the cam covers. Oil level was good and coolant level fine.

Coming home, I tried to exercise the throttle a bit more and she behaved impeccably. On slightly more than light load, the exhaust is less droning than before and the resonance I experienced at 2500 rpm absent. But sitting in sixth it could be annoying if one drove for extended periods. But ordinarily, driving at 57 mph @ 2000 rpm, she was a quiet as a church mouse. And take her to 2700, she passes through this exhaust noise band and the level drops like a stone, before taking on a different tone as the revs climb. Gently taking her to 3000 rpm and I could not provoke misfires. working the gears a little more - limiting it to 3000 rpm and she responds beautifully from 2700 onwards.

So, maybe it was contaminated fuel - certainly there was no fault indications on the dash. So maybe she has just blown it through. I will find out in the next few days. Got out of the car on getting home, walked around to the back and listened to a lovely low yet constant exhaust blow, not a burble. Rock steady, constant low frequency tone. Baritone, not Tenor. Above 2700 rpm, she climbs to a different octave, perhaps Tenor. I hope when I finally do go large, the hole gamut of will be played. Please, let it sound like my Alfetta GTV6!

Two years was a long time to wait. But, had this been any variant of the 159, it really is a lovely place to sit. For me, it is pure luxury. Totally Un - Alfa - Like. Buff/Biscuit leather, beautiful instrumentation, driving position superb and a feeling of security and a solidity this wonderful chassis gives. Road noise from the tyres was a bit disappointing - should have higher profiles than 40 on these 18 inch rims. And these P Zeros not as good as some, although they have great grip. Definitely not like any Alfa I have owned. It is a bit special. I am happy to forgo any Italian quirkiness, if this is what they can do when they try.

If I were to change one thing, it would be the inside rear view mirror. I would swap it for my 3.0 GTV's. Every car behind me in that car, looks completely different. A Testa - rosso, looks like a Double Decker London Bus. That has always put a smile on my face!
 

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the only thing i found with mine was that under harder acceleration mine would missfire and i found it to be the front right coilpack needed replacing which i got a new bosche one for £45, but i presume you may have replaced these anyway
 

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Discussion Starter #180
the only thing i found with mine was that under harder acceleration mine would missfire and i found it to be the front right coilpack needed replacing which i got a new bosche one for £45, but i presume you may have replaced these anyway
I wasn't being that hard really. Still being cautious, so was winding it up slow - ish in 6th. Garage says, as I didn't replace the rings, then no need to worry unduly, but after all the expense and in particular the hassle of getting the project moving, I am taking it steady. So not gone WOT or stabbed the throttle at all. But it's a fair point, although I've had no trouble with coil packs at all - could be I am due some?

A bit annoyed with myself as I had a half dozen long thermocouples for years, but seem to have got rid of them. I was going to insert one into the Dip - stick hole to get an oil temp reading because the gauge doesn't seem to have moved. Water temp comes up very quickly and settles out at 90 deg. But inlet manifold and cam covers seem to be much cooler than I expected, even though I was expecting the engine temperature to have dropped after the cats were removed.

Perhaps I am being unfair on the exhaust system as, although the droning at 2500 has gone, it can't be said the tone is pleasant. But in fairness, I haven't been working the gearbox - sticking in sixth. Maybe accelerating normally through the gears, it will be lessened as the load on the engine will be less as it climbs through the revs more quickly, getting it to where I want - speed wise.

This thing has more grunt than I recall, because at 57 mph/2000 rpm, it is just sinking in how quiet it is and how well it is pulling - A14/A11 intersection to Stowmarket. But still haven't got any sense of just how different it is yet, though it is different.
 
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