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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Project Zender 3.0 166 "GTA" - First start with Wizard!

Hey!

My first Alfa 6 years ago was a 166 3.0, in Blu Oddissea. Long time later I bought my current project Alfa from a relative of mine to build the GTA that never was produced. Albeit a pre facelift instead of facelift. In short I chose to use this as the base of my GTA because it's one of the rare Zender 166's and it has a sun roof which I had been searching for during a long time! (Plus the AC works! ;) )

As you can see it looks good from far, but in reality far from good. Worst part (I thought) was the part below the left rear door.
 

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As you can see a fair bit of poking around led me from one thing to another. The floor pan has been mostly taken back to clean metal with flapdiscs (a truckload of them), the rear suspension was pulled, the gas tank dropped, exhaust went as well and the whole floor is now in good nick again.

New brake lines were made for both sides (they were SHOT!), suspension turrets were rust fixed all around and the brackets for the rear bumper were created from scratch. The original brackets were close to non-existent.
 

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I am going to do that exact same operation (in the first post..) on my 166, just behind the right front wheel instead..

Good to see another 166 in the nordic region ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good to hear John.

As a side note, John's old Wizard exhaust is now waiting to be mounted to my GTA.

The suspension then got a refurbishment by... well basically by not using anything that was on the car when I bought it. Strongflex bushes in the rear, bilstein b8, 30mm lowering springs, merc bush, new strongflex ARB bushes and generally a good old cleaning. The rear suspension also got a camber adjustment as of today.
 

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The struggle then continued with.. all wheel weels. Left rear was the worst. After thinking all the rust had been cut out I then found more lurking beneath (or is that above) the rear subframe mounts. Cut out 35-40cm and made new parts.
Do excuse my poor welding skills, this is my first ever.
 

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The front wheel wells both had the same rust spot. And then a whole lot of corrosion around.. everything?

When the rust treating started to get done I had to crack on with the paintwork because temperatures were plummeting. The front doors both had around 30-50 major stone chips needing attention and the lower 2cm had started to let go (paint, not metal)

All of the doors, around one handle, both rockers, front part of bonnet were all treated and then paintwork was painstakingly redone. Quite happy with the end result so far but knowing myself I will most likely redo the paint when spring comes. It took 4-5 tries to get no more than OK colour match which was a nightmare.
 

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The lower half of the whole car might get a respray but for the coming winter months this will do! :)
 

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To keep my spirit up a "few" extra bits were needed so the engine got a multitude of coats of 8c rosso competizione which came out magnificent!
I also got the chance to take parts from a parts car so a complete cream interior is getting swapped. Current is dark blue momo. Not my thing so the cream interior is way better in my eyes.

Fuel rails got a few coats of gold and a lot of clearcoat.

I also bought a set of extra headlights to start a GTA mod. (I did this easily on my old 156 and I can tell you the 166 headlights are a nightmare to separate!!)
I just had to show my inspiration shot of the GTAstyle headlights. Menacing!

Goes with my GTA theme as well.
 

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Of course, I can't call it a GTA and knowingly run around with 226bhp so it has the following:
- GTA inlet cams
- Ragazzon straight through middle pipe
- Wizard back box
- ported inlets
- Porsche 78mm throttle body (currently on my GT3.2 and man it does wonders for the feel of the car)
- ACT carbon fibre plenum with internal bellmouths

This engine with a remap really should make GTA power. Oh and must sound lovely with the wizard exhaust! :rofl:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Now that my project is getting closer to completion I guess I'm going to need some help to locate parts gone missing etc so best to give a heads up to you first. ;)

Since it's a Zender 166 I just couldn't do without Zender Sienas. One needs welding but they're finally mine! 18" of pure beaty.

Lots of work has been done already and still to do is to refit the rear subframe, suspension, exhaust, cams, engine work, cam belt needs changing and the interior is one huge pile of parts next to my VW Camper project.

So basically a few weeks, that's all. ;)
(I've said that since June though!) :rotate:

Still to come is fitting and recolouring a set of GTA front seats (will be black/cream), recolouring the back seat to match, colouring the headliner black, customizing the ICS console and I'm insisting on building a folding back seat. Collecting parts for that right now.
 

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Yes the paint is all me. To get it looking good you just have to apply it as thick as you possibly dare. There are some minor runs but they were all clear coat so they will come out with some wet sanding paper and a polish.

It's all rattle cans though so the amount of colour that dissipates into the air instead of actually sticking to the car is silly. We're talking 2 component spray cans here so they do harden and don't just evaporate to cure. Good stuff but quickly adds up to the cost of buying a compressor....

Keep in mind it took me two tries this time with a wet sanding in between (1000grit paper) to get the finish I wanted so it takes forever. ;)
 

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A couple of hours in the garage today resulted in a rear subframe mounted to the car. It's quite heavy to fit when you're on your own. :D

The rear hubs and brakes where fitted, a wishbone got some minor welding done and the remnants of the old drop links where cut out with a dremel. It's become some sort of tradition of mine to cut drop links at least twice/year the last 3-4 years it seems..

The gigantic heat shield got fitted (so much easier than on 156/147/GT!)

Then the repaired front downpipe was fitted, all new exhaust hangers fitted, the ragazzon middle pipe fitted and then the icing on the cake got fitted - wizard back box! :D
 

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Well I don't have much coffee left in the garage so it has to be soon. ;)

Can't wait to hear it. I haven't heard the car running for almost 6 months now and I've never heard a Wizard exhaust in person. I just have a friend's word for it being magnificent.

I'd say I'm a week or three (with a little luck) away from firing it up and sorting out the issues that unfold when half a car gets torn down. Yes I have FiatECUscan available.. ;)
 

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Bravo, top man and great work! And a million other praises :bow: Please please promise to keep us updated on progress, this is exactly the sort of thing we need here in the 164/166 forum, there was a project drought until you came along. And you must put up a vid of the Wizard when it's fired up (I will be giggling like a school girl).

Since I got rid of my 166 I've often dreamed that if I were to get another it would have to be a big project as I found the standard car too compromised for my liking. And you know what? You are building yours almost exactly as I have done in my head. If only I had the time, money and the means.

EDIT: Just realised you've not posted this in the 164/166 forum! I arrived here from your link in the "Show us your..." thread. Get it posted over there man (in the meantime I'll add this to my favourites).
 

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Bravo, top man and great work! And a million other praises :bow: Please please promise to keep us updated on progress, this is exactly the sort of thing we need here in the 164/166 forum, there was a project drought until you came along. And you must put up a vid of the Wizard when it's fired up (I will be giggling like a school girl).

Since I got rid of my 166 I've often dreamed that if I were to get another it would have to be a big project as I found the standard car too compromised for my liking. And you know what? You are building yours almost exactly as I have done in my head. If only I had the time, money and the means.

EDIT: Just realised you've not posted this in the 164/166 forum! I arrived here from your link in the "Show us your..." thread. Get it posted over there man (in the meantime I'll add this to my favourites).
Why thank you! :happy: my first alfa was actually a 166 that met it's fate just a little too soon so this is me doing right by myself. This is supposed to be built to make the 166 all it can be in my eyes. I see it as a fast tourer so that's what I'm aiming for.
Say what would you change if you were doing the same type of project?

There will definitely be videos of the exhaust note when I'm done building and I'll have a hard time to keep from giggling myself I think.
(I was thinking of posting in the 164/166section but I thought most folks posted here. ;) I'll get something going in the 166lounge as well. )
 

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Discussion Starter #19
wow great thread, i hope you take it to the dyno, i would like to see the gains :)
Nice to hear Alan! Thanks. Your threads have been read top to bottom many times. ;)

I'm hoping to see 260 but anything over GTApower means I've built my GTA in terms of bhp. I also need to have my ecu mapped by a good tuner but I'm unsure of who can do right by my ECU here in sweden. The engine will likely run well with my mods and no mapping until I get the ECU done but it sure won't produce 260 without some ECU feddling. ;)
A chap in holland built his 3.0 with the same specs as me except the carbon plenum and his dyno showed 258 horses so my hopes are to squeeze out another 2-3bhp to crack the 260 line.

If I don't, Kartalamakis will get an order for 10.0mm cams. That's for sure.
 

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Say what would you change if you were doing the same type of project?
Put the kettle, ****'s about to get wordy!....

Similar to you I'd be going for a fast GT, with clear cues from the 147/156 GTA. I always thought the 166 could benefit from at least another 50bhp, and personally I'd prefer more of the torque lower in the rev range rather than having to beast it to get any progress out of it. I like the idea of transplanting a bone stock 3.2 and bolstering it up with a centrifugal supercharger as that won't corrupt the exhaust note (though I'd expect it to change the engine note). Or a turbo conversion, modestly sized and running low boost with compression kept as near stock as possible, the aim being to keep it as lag free as possible but with a decent bit of mid-range welly. A Q2 diff of course, and solid flywheel. Equal length downpipes (obviously not applicable if going the turbo route) and a Wizard back box (the rest of the system would need some experimenting to get the right sound for me).

Suspension leaves a lot to be desired when stock. I never experienced one running Billies and Eibachs though. UK roads are Third-world bad now, so I'd be aiming for a setup that retains some sportiness but with vast improvements in compliance, and that might not be achievable with off the shelf parts available for the 166. I reckon a thicker rear ARB would be worthwhile too.

Didn't like the brakes, so room for improvement there.

Headlights are woeful. I'd go to any length to improve those, but would want to keep them fairly OE looking (I'm not a fan of the dark tinted GTA style here, I don't think it's right for a 166). There's some good, but expensive, LED conversion kits on the market now so I'd consider those.

Seating position didn't work for me, or rather, the steering wheel was more the issue. It would need some customisation for me to be happy. Also as a skinny guy I found the seats didn't offer me enough support. I bloody love the 156 GTA seats, and retro fitting them seems like a good idea but then I'd have to make sure they matched the rest of the interior (stitching patterns etc).

Stiff gearstick, a known common issue with known fix. But I wonder if there is some re-engineering that could be done there to eradicate the issue (rather than temp fix it) and further improve shift action. Likewise the stiff clutch pedal, I know there is a mod that can be done to improve that and make it much lighter.

Out-dated ICS would be a big point of focus. My favoured idea is 1) keep the existing screen, but limit its function to just climate and trip display, 2) remove the tape deck (re-fab the whole trim piece) then 3) Mount a 2nd high quality touch screen in place of the cubby compartment on top of the dash, so it's within easy reach and sight. This can serve all other modern functions such as music, calls, nav, reverse camera etc. An android tablet would probably do the trick with the benefit of Android being so customisable. Might even be able to make it flippable so it's hidden when not required. It'd have to be well executed and factory looking, and not some ugly after thought.

ICE - I know everyone says you can't beat the DSP system, but if I didn't have one with DSP I don't think I'd have the patience or inclination to try and source the parts now. With the scarcity of 166s it must be like trying to track down unicorn sperm! So I'd just go for a modest setup, but quality rather than volume and thumping bass. Replacement speakers all round, served by a modest amp, some low profile small subs in the rear shelf where the DSP subs would be with their own amp. And then if I really wanted to push the boat out, maybe integrate a separate processor.

With seat comfort fixed, ICS and sound quality brought up to reasonably modern standards, there's not much else I'd do inside the car as I really liked most of it.
I'd like to weld in some Isofix brackets behind the rear seats for my 2 kids.
A cupholder would be nice (and sod anyone who says otherwise!).
Replace the rear window blind with an electric one that can be controlled from the front, just for ****s and giggles.
Better front seat heating (let's go all out and have multi-level heating!), not sure if they are all poor if mine was just past it's best. In fact let's stick heating in the rear too, why not?
Convert the auto-wipers to variable speed intermittent, like my Volvo has. I prefer it. And I never liked how the wipers park - ready to pounce - an inch above the bonnet line when in auto mode. Yeah it's clever design, but once you get over the awe it's just annoying.
Link the folding mirrors to the central locking so they always fold when locking from the remote fob.
Integrate the old Audi trick of dipping the nearside mirror when you put it in reverse.

Well that's some of it. I'm a big fan of the resto-mod approach, and OE+ modding as some people call it (I'm a big fan of this guy E46 M3 Project - Page 1 - Readers' Cars - PistonHeads), so I'd really like to rip through a 166 and build it from the ground up making improvements along the way (I'd need about 10 years of study in various disciplines first though! :scratchchin:). With the end result being a 166 that is more comfortable, slightly more practical, generously more eager in a straight line and can eat up the worst of British B roads at an 8/10s pace without destroying itself and bouncing in to the hedgerows, but also a nice relaxed motorway cruiser.
 
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