Alfa Romeo Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi gents,

I have just posted an introduction in the newb section and thought I'd post here for some advice.

I have just bought a meticulously maintained Alfa 156 TI JTD 150.

The car drove home without missing a beat and I am over the moon with it. She handles like she's on rails. I have had Volvo track cars with 1000's spent on suspension setup but the Alfa isn't far off tbh.

I owned a shed of a 156 as a runaround many years ago and I put the poor braking down to age and lack of maintenence. Well this car has the same problem! The brakes are awful and really take away from the driving experience. I have never owned any other cars with brakes as poor as my 2 156's. They have some initial bite but pushing the pedal harder doesn't result in any extra braking force? Are there any remedies to this? It isn't down to lack of maintenance, they are just crap.

Also do you have anyone within the community who can offer remaps? In the Volvo and Saab forums we had very competent mappers within the forum community who could offer an excellent service for a fraction of the price of the big named companies. This was a huge bonus when constantly modifying a car and needing carious tweeks done as the build progressed. Any help will be much appreciated.

I will get some piccys tomorrow of the car and post them up. She is a beauty!

Many thanks in advance, Mitch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,339 Posts
It may need new fluid ... It should be changed every couple of years but never is.

And flexi hoses could be getting soft.

I'd recommend Ferodo Performance pads and new quality discs should these be worn as well though. Mine stops on a sixpence now ... Castrol Response fluid in mine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
157 Posts
Can't agree enough about changing the fluid, did it on mine last year made a world of difference. Forum mappers would be great for me as well looking at getting the GT done in the new year
 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
4,556 Posts
Well done, these cars are fine motoring bargains, particularly if you can do some of the work yourself (and the floor pans are good).

Brakes - the standard system is very good, but most cars of this age have knackered brakes. Unless the discs are perfect, change them - no need to spend a fortune on Tarox or whatever, MTEC or similar work fine. Pads are a personal choice, I am very happy with boggo Mintex, I don't like the cold response of performance pads in normal driving. Change fluid as well.

Tuning - I am not aware of any end user tools to fiddle with maps. I have a Rover 4.6 v8 in the fleet, it's 14CUX ECU is broken wide open and I have tweaked mine a lot on the local 'virtual rolling road', aka a desterted 2 mile straight road near my house. Multiecuscan is a vital diagnostic tool. There are loads of people on the boards here who have got the diesel up to silly outputs - 200 HP is pretty pedestrian to most of them!
 
V

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Congratulations Mitchy, sounds like you got yourself a corker :thumbs:.

I can't think of any more to say on the subject of brakes, the guys above have said it all. Having the Ti, you'll have big enough calipers to stop you well when the brake system is working properly.

Sounds like your suspension is well-sorted and in good nick. As you will probably know, the 156 suspension can be a bugbear, what with knackered wishbones/balljoints/droplinks/ARB bushes.

The only thing I would add is that unless you want to really go to town on tuning yours, a remap to around 180bhp and 280ftlbs will give you very worthwhile and usable improvements without having to go down the route of stronger clutch, improved induction, bigger turbo etc.

Enjoy!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,222 Posts
Having the Ti, you'll have big enough calipers to stop you well when the brake system is working properly.
The Ti didn't get different brakes.
It will have exactly the same 284mm discs & single piston calipers as the non-Ti.
 
V

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Some earlier versions of the 156 had a smaller front caliper, I believe? I was just pointing out that the calipers on the Ti are necessarily the bigger, 284mm ones.

Unless he goes for a stonking remap, the 330mm ones won't be necessary.


*Edit - sorry, more specifically should have said 'discs' rather than calipers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,222 Posts
Some earlier versions of the 156 had a smaller front caliper, I believe?
Pre 2001 8V 1.9JTD, 1.6TS & 1.8TS had the 281mm solid discs, same size caliper, but different.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,374 Posts
Congratulations on your purchase, the 156 is a lovely car. I have a 99 1.8 TS and had the same problem, brakes were terrible. My solution was new discs + pads all round (performance friction z), braided hoses and performance fluid.
My calipers were original so I had those refurbed at big red brakes. They charge around 140 per pair and this includes full refurb with new cylinders and painted in a lovely finish of your choice. Autolusso also do brake refurbs for a similar price.

The result? My 1.8 TS actually stops better than my 3.2 GT with 330 brembo's!

EDIT- Mine had the non-vented front discs and smaller rear, I upgraded these to vented front and larger rear. I paid £50 for old front calipers and 80 for rears and had these reconditioned.
 
V

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
...you've just given me an idea...:lol:

Do Autolusso keep refurbed calipers in stock, ready for a swap?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Wow! I wasn't expecting so many replies. Thanks for the suggestions guys. It seems like the general concensus is to give the brakes an overhaul up front (rears already done) and see where I am from there.

A remap to 180bhp sounds excellent, although I may go a stage or 2 further if the bank balance allows. I'm no stranger to fitting bigger turbos and intercoolers etc but all of my experience has been with Turbocharged petrol cars so far.

The Alfa has had the clutch and flywheel done with genuine parts very recently at a cost of £1140 by Alfatech with the previous owner. The belts and waterpump have also been done last year. I noticed on the way home it runs a bit cold so I think the thermostat is sticking open. Are the stats easy to replace on these?

Thanks,

Mitch.
 
V

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Well looking at that ad, with all the (necessary) expensive work that's been done recently, even with 105K miles on the clock, I'd say you have a very nice car there.

The 1.9JTD engine is an excellent unit and if well looked after, there's certainly easily another 60K miles to be had, probably more. New clutch and DMF, new timing belts (hopefully inc. waterpump) and the front suspension sorted, the previous guy's done the lion's share for you.

The only elephant in the room now is the swirlflaps in the inlet manifold - they have a nasty habit of breaking off and falling in the engine. If I were you, I'd go for an EGR-valve blank-off/delete and a mild remap, and get the swirl-flaps removed.

Then you could be looking at another 60K miles of fun motoring with little expense beyond fuel and servicing. You're in a good place.

But the choice is yours, lots of options for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
450 Posts
Well looking at that ad, with all the (necessary) expensive work that's been done recently, even with 105K miles on the clock, I'd say you have a very nice car there.

The 1.9JTD engine is an excellent unit and if well looked after, there's certainly easily another 60K miles to be had, probably more. New clutch and DMF, new timing belts (hopefully inc. waterpump) and the front suspension sorted, the previous guy's done the lion's share for you.

The only elephant in the room now is the swirlflaps in the inlet manifold - they have a nasty habit of breaking off and falling in the engine. If I were you, I'd go for an EGR-valve blank-off/delete and a mild remap, and get the swirl-flaps removed.

Then you could be looking at another 60K miles of fun motoring with little expense beyond fuel and servicing. You're in a good place.

But the choice is yours, lots of options for you.
No swirl flaps on a 156.
 
V

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
:paranoid: Fantastic, even better! :lol:

I'd still go for a remap and EGR blank/delete though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,757 Posts
Wow! I wasn't expecting so many replies. Thanks for the suggestions guys. It seems like the general concensus is to give the brakes an overhaul up front (rears already done) and see where I am from there.

A remap to 180bhp sounds excellent, although I may go a stage or 2 further if the bank balance allows. I'm no stranger to fitting bigger turbos and intercoolers etc but all of my experience has been with Turbocharged petrol cars so far.

The Alfa has had the clutch and flywheel done with genuine parts very recently at a cost of £1140 by Alfatech with the previous owner. The belts and waterpump have also been done last year. I noticed on the way home it runs a bit cold so I think the thermostat is sticking open. Are the stats easy to replace on these?

Thanks,

Mitch.
be careful once you get past the 200 BHP mark. the stock clutch will be toast in no time. the clover 170 clutch is uprated it will slot nicely into your gearbox and is a nice ''stage one'' option and advised. there are various stage 2 set ups out there that keep it driveable in normal conditions...once you get up to the 230 BHP and above levels its pretty much dual friction paddle clutch time, nothing else will reliably hold the torque levels for long.

you say you have experience with petrol's which will help, but diesel power delivery comes in a big lump, transmission will suffer as a result if the map and driver are not sympathetic to it.



180 is what the car should have come with, its not especially quick, but brings the car to acceptable performance levels, 150 bhp is very pedestrian IMHO.


i'm currently at around 200 BHP with my GT and also must say that the quaife LSD is a must if planning stage 2 power...I also have Bilstein B12's all round and the eibach ARB kit...its fun now and when the FMIC goes on and the hybrid it will be a quick car by most standards, up there with the 3.2 for sure.

the map will uncover all of the suspension woes in anything but a straight line on flat road...se be prepared to spend some money!

that said I think the SW is the best balance of all the 156 derived cars...

stat is easy...:yes:


good luck with your plans and welcome!


p.s autolusso do performance pads for the fronts at £100 fitted. HUGE difference over the pagids had on..(once warm anyway)


pps +1 on the egr delete, even without a re-map it makes sense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thanks guys. Right, EGR delete, performance pads and a stage 1 map are all on the cards. I don't think I'll go any further with the tuning as from past experience any monetary figure in mind gets at least trebled. I will put that money in the savings towards a 159 instead. Two Alfas on the drive will be nice. The 159 may be flawed but they look so bloody good I don't think I can resist.
 
V

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
With the new clutch/DMF you already have in the car, that should be luvvly jubbly. So long as you don't stomp on the loud pedal too much from low revs, the torque from a relatively conservative remap shouldn't wreck them and you should get a reasonable mileage out of them.

It all depends on how far you want to go of course, but apart from new springs & dampers or coilovers, the only thing that would improve things at that level of performance would be a Q2 diff (or Quaife equivalent), around £600 inc fitting. But that's something for you to suck and see.

Good luck, and do post up news of your progress :yes:.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,757 Posts
Thanks guys. Right, EGR delete, performance pads and a stage 1 map are all on the cards. I don't think I'll go any further with the tuning as from past experience any monetary figure in mind gets at least trebled. I will put that money in the savings towards a 159 instead. Two Alfas on the drive will be nice. The 159 may be flawed but they look so bloody good I don't think I can resist.

I love the Brera, I really do, but every time I test drive one I walk away disappointed, its just too bloody heavy. I'm aware if I ever get rid of my GT for one I have to change my expectations and just enjoy being in a comfortable stylish cruiser. no point in any mods bar a re-map, oh and BTW it would be the 2.2 I would get as its by far the best drive being 160kg lighter than the 5 pot derv and the Q4 in the 3.2 weighs a whole load on top of the weight of the engine.

pro drive did a nice job but really the cars need more power. 185 BHP pulling along nearly 1500KG is never going to be hugely quick...if you could get that to 205hp with a touch more torque that could be enjoyable.

the 5 pot derv is slightly more powerful at 210BHP but it weighs another 150kg at 1650kg its a heavy little coupe!

and the 3.2 weighs 1605 KG...having driven all three the derv feels quickest,the 3.2 is quickest but the 2.2 handles the best.


anyway I digress, I love the 156, especially the face lift and the 2.5 V6 is a peach of an engine, would love to at some point get one of those and facelift the front and give it the suspension treatment.

anyway in a round about way i'm saying by all means get a 159 but once you have spent some time in the 156 you will find it boring, that said when I had motorbikes its interesting that i spent more time on my Vespa 250 GTV rather than my hornet 650.

its not always about speed and handling...:yes:
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top