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My "TI" lookalike project and some recomendations

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I just thought I'd take a moment to share my recent modifications and recommend some parts and suppliers.

I bought my 159 1.9 JTDm Lusso about three weeks ago. It was exactly the colour combination I wanted (black bodywork with biscuit/natural leather) and it had FSH, 112,000 miles. I paid £4800.

However, I had seen a lot of pictures of the 2.4 Ti models whilst looking around and LOVED the look of the larger wheels and lowered suspension so I started looking around at aftermarket bits and bobs.

I found a nice set of 19" TI alloys (with Pirelli P Zero Nero tyres) for £675 locally. I fitted them to the car but of course the car looked a little silly - it needed to be lower.

I looked for lowering suspension kits on ebay and found these on ebay for £229. I wasn't 100% sure about buying an unnamed brand but thought I'd give it a go. If the shocks were rubbish I could still use the springs. When the kit arrived I was very pleased to see FK markings on the springs and shocks! They all had FK code numbers on which corresond to the FK suspension kits on sale for a lot more than £229! The shocks and springs are now fitted and the car sits perfectly on its new wheels. It also rides very nicely. Not too firm, just surefooted and reassuring. Not crashy or harsh like other aftermarket suspension I've had in the past. Perfectly livable with. I'm very happy.

I looked around for TI skirts next to complete the look. I found a couple of breakers who wanted far too much for skirts and then found this supplier on Italian ebay. They arrived quickly and are a very snug, neat fit. They're plastic (not fibreglass) and my local spray shop said they were great. Not bad for £124 a pair. They're costing me £60 to get sprayed and I'm picking them up this Saturday.

Once the skirts are fitted (along with a pair of nice chrome mirror backs and some nice TI badges I picked up) it should look the business.

I'll post up some before and after pics tomorrow. I'm very pleased and the car looks so much better now than before. Very smart without looking "kitted up" or chavvy. Like a TI that just rolled out of the showroom. Well nearly....

James
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Yes I'm sure the lowering kit would work with any wheels you have. I ran my car for a couple of days with my original 17" wheels and the new suspension kit on. No pics though unfortunately.
Thanks Perksy , BTW who fitted the new lowering kit ? ,( Currently I'm on 17inch wheels ) does it require a "specialist" or would the lads at somewhere like kwik-fit be up to the job ? :) thanks !
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Thanks Perksy , BTW who fitted the new lowering kit ? ,( Currently I'm on 17inch wheels ) does it require a "specialist" or would the lads at somewhere like kwik-fit be up to the job ? :) thanks !
I did the rears (fairly straightforward) but I got a mechanic (who also did the cambelt job) to do the fronts for me - they're a bit of a problem on the 159 because of the double wishbone suspension. I didn't fancy the job anyway.

Not sure if I'd trust Kwik-fit though! A trusty local mechanic maybe - but get a price first. I was charged £50.

James
 

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perksy, would you have been driving into Brum on the Aston Express Way this morning???

I was in the red GT that sat alongside you for a second, I admired your car thinking, hmmmm, nice Ti, then as you passed I spotted the tell tale standard exhaust! Need some chrome bling on that to finish it off.

Looks a treat to be fair, nice job.
 

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Yes I'm sure the lowering kit would work with any wheels you have. I ran my car for a couple of days with my original 17" wheels and the new suspension kit on. No pics though unfortunately.
Thanks Perksy - one other question ... can the suspension \ car be lowered using the existing springs \ dampers or do you have to replace them to lower the car ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
@ wynne71

Yep that was me! Georgeous GT by the way. I think you passed me a coulple of mins beforehand. I was admiring it thinking how good Alfas look in red.

Yes the exhaust (and a lack of skirts) definitely give the car away. It's having a double stainless cat-back fitted tomorrow (along with a remap, dpf removal and egr delete). I'll then be doing the skirts next week if the weather is kind.

@ vromm.

Yes, the springs definitey have to be changed to lower the car (shorter springs = lower car) and it's also a good idea to fit updated dampers (shocks) while you're at it. The shorter springs are also stiffer and standard shocks don't offer enough damping to stop the car getting bouncy.
The package I got was a bargain. Very pleased with them.

James
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
perksy, how did you get on with the remap etc?
Because I've also asked them to do the exhaust (along with an oil change and investigate the stiff gearshift) I won't be getting the car back until tomorrow afternoon.

There certainly seems to be a lot of interest in this and I just hope it all comes together ok both for the garage involved and myself. It really does seem a bargain at £300 + VAT for the DPF removal along with a remap and EGR delete.

The maps they use are from Angel Tuning. I have done a search for Angel Tuning on here and it came back with nothing but praise so I'm quietly confident it wil be ok and not TOOOOO aggressive.

I'm just hoping the clutch is going to be upto the extra load. I've already started pricing up replacements just in case. Doesn't look too bad at £131 plus fitting.

James
 

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Because I've also asked them to do the exhaust (along with an oil change and investigate the stiff gearshift) I won't be getting the car back until tomorrow afternoon.

There certainly seems to be a lot of interest in this and I just hope it all comes together ok both for the garage involved and myself. It really does seem a bargain at £300 + VAT for the DPF removal along with a remap and EGR delete.

The maps they use are from Angel Tuning. I have done a search for Angel Tuning on here and it came back with nothing but praise so I'm quietly confident it wil be ok and not TOOOOO aggressive.

I'm just hoping the clutch is going to be upto the extra load. I've already started pricing up replacements just in case. Doesn't look too bad at £131 plus fitting.

James
Good man, I've been in contact with Steve who seems very helpful. I agree the price seems to good to be true; hopefully it isn't!!

My clutch, DMF & gearbox are only 5000 miles old so hoping they will be able to cope with what the 159 should've come out of the factory with (cheers warranty!). Mine will be booked in once its had its next dealer visit to (fingers crossed ) remedy a misfire.

Keep us updated...
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 · (Edited)
Ok, my DPF has now been removed, my EGR has been disabled and the engine remapped.

I also got a Longlife custom twin stainless exhaust made up at the same time.

I've now had the car back a day, done about 150 miles so far and I am VERY VERY impressed! Steve at Motormech really knows his stuff and we chatted for a good while when I picked the car up. He said the car now drove very well.

He wasn't kidding. The car drives completely differently. There are no flat spots at low rpm - there power is always there. From as low as 1300 rpm there is a very reassuring surge everytime you press the throttle. Once the car gets to about 1500rpm you're really getting huge torque and the car just flies. Its just so easy to drive and so few gearchanges are needed.

I would compare it with driving a much larger engined car - it just effortlessly pulls everytime you put your foot down. I've also been getting much better fuel economy (even though I've been giving it a good "test"). I got an indicated 40.5mpg before the work and its now showing 43! Not bad.

Of course I also get a little more noise than before as I had the exhaust done as well. Hardly any difference from standard to be honest but I get a nice deep burble sound when it gets on boost.

I asked to keep the old DPF unit. The thing is HUGE. They had to butcher the unit a little with an angle grinder to remove a sensor that apparently acts like an air flow meter. Not sure quite what it is but you can certainly see that somehting has been chopped out.

One thing I didn't realise is that the DPF unit is in fact a DPF and catalyst combined. There is a gap of about 3" between the two, but they are together in the same casing. Luckily, diesels are only tested for the opacity of the smoke produced (not HC or CO etc) so it will still pass an MOT fine without a catalyst and it gives you a very free flowing exhaust.

I'll take some pics of the removed DPF in a few minutes and post them up.

I'm massively impressed with everything about the conversion. I've spent much of my driving time today with a massive silly smile on my face every time the boost kicks in! It is just SUCH a difference to standard.

For £360 (£300+vat) I think its a bit of a bargain. Of course I also had the custom exhaust done and a small service at the same time. My total bill was just over £700.

James
 

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Nice one I knew you'd be impressed as it totally transforms the way the car drives.

And you got a great deal too.

The biggest benefit I found was the lack of need to drop a gear to overtake. The endless torque mens you can boot it in higher gears
 
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