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Hello,

So I've had my 3.2 V6 GT since November and she's just sailed through her MOT on the first go, woo hoo! Not bad for 82k miles on the clock.
Since we are all stuck in quarantine hell, I'm thinking of planning out what to do with her and need some advice.
Here's my rough plans:

Bodywork: Some chips and surface scratches, I'd like to get taken care of, any recommendations for a good bodywork expert in the Surrey Area?
I really want that Alfa red paint gleaming again and get the dings out of the sills!

Suspension: She's had the drivers side ARB drop link replaced but there's still the odd thud over small bumps from this side, any thoughts?

General creaks: There's a creak behind me I think it's the rear hatch, any ideas how to fix this?

Wipers: Pain in the arse and loud as hell. The mechanism has been replaced and the blades are apparently new. How do I stop the drivers side blade from juddering?

Service work: Clutch can be a bit heavy but the bite is still good. It does creak intermittently which I think is the master cylinder. The clutch only has 20kish miles on it, shouldn't need changed already should it?
The timing belt is also only 30k miles old but I think 4yrs old. So assuming that'll need done next year.
Does anyone know the lifespan of spark plugs in a 3.2 as well? looks like it's been a few years since those were done according to the paperwork I have.

Sorry lots of questions there. Most importantly, if anyone knows of good garages in Surrey I'd be grateful. Had awful experiences with garages down here and really want to find one I can trust.

Cheers
Paul
 

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Hello,

So I've had my 3.2 V6 GT since November and she's just sailed through her MOT on the first go, woo hoo! Not bad for 82k miles on the clock.
Since we are all stuck in quarantine hell, I'm thinking of planning out what to do with her and need some advice.
Here's my rough plans:

Bodywork: Some chips and surface scratches, I'd like to get taken care of, any recommendations for a good bodywork expert in the Surrey Area? - I can't help much with this although Autolusso can help you out with bodywork etc. albeit quite a distance from you in Surrey. Forum users from this area will have a better idea.
I really want that Alfa red paint gleaming again and get the dings out of the sills!

Suspension: She's had the drivers side ARB drop link replaced but there's still the odd thud over small bumps from this side, any thoughts? Suspension is notorious for groans and creaks on the 147/156/GT cars. It could be the other droplink, the ARB bushings or perhaps a lower ball joint. Is it more a knock as opposed to a creak? Upper wishbones tend to squeak / creak when the bushings are worn.

General creaks: There's a creak behind me I think it's the rear hatch, any ideas how to fix this? The parcel shelf on the GT has a couple of rubber spacers on it, when they're missing this can cause a noise. My old 147 had a small creak in the back which turned out to be a loose rear door card which was rubbing on the back seat, took a while to find that one :p. Annoying isn't it?

Wipers: Pain in the arse and loud as hell. The mechanism has been replaced and the blades are apparently new. How do I stop the drivers side blade from juddering? My 156 does this, I go over with some AutoGlym shampoo, rinse it off and that should solve it for a while. A quality screenwash can help too.

Service work: Clutch can be a bit heavy but the bite is still good. It does creak intermittently which I think is the master cylinder. The clutch only has 20kish miles on it, shouldn't need changed already should it? V6 clutches should be relatively light, do all the gears engage smoothly? Does it creak mostly near the bottom of the pedal travel? I agree with you on the mileage, 20k would be some going to muller a clutch but it's not impossible o_O

The timing belt is also only 30k miles old but I think 4yrs old. So assuming that'll need done next year. 4 years old is pretty ripe for changing, most Alfa specialists will recommend 4 years or 40/50k. Worth checking that you have a water pump with a metal impeller, the plastic ones have been known to fail on occasion.

Does anyone know the lifespan of spark plugs in a 3.2 as well? looks like it's been a few years since those were done according to the paperwork I have. It's not that uncommon to find new plugs in the front bank and old rusty ones in the rear bank due to the poor access. With regards lifespan, unless there was an underlying problem I would change these as part of a timing belt service.

Sorry lots of questions there. Most importantly, if anyone knows of good garages in Surrey I'd be grateful. Had awful experiences with garages down here and really want to find one I can trust. In Surrey you're not such a long way from AlfaAid, I hear good things about them on the forum. Autolusso and AlfaWorkshop are near Luton but highly regarded.

Cheers
Paul

Hope this helps, I've added a few comments in bold to your post. Enjoy the 3.2 :)
 

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I had a creaky suspension, replacing the upper wishbones cured it. (with plenty of moly grease)

I also have a ton of squeaky, creaky, leathery sounds from inside the cabin. Very annoying. I'll tear everything out until I find it!
 

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Thanks for the comments guys, this is helpful.
@baxter2308 replys to your comments below :)

Bodywork: Some chips and surface scratches, I'd like to get taken care of, any recommendations for a good bodywork expert in the Surrey Area? - I can't help much with this although Autolusso can help you out with bodywork etc. albeit quite a distance from you in Surrey. Forum users from this area will have a better idea.
Goot to know, she's been to autolusso before to get the Quaife diff and rocker covers powder coated red (big improvement on the original metal I think) but was told they can be a bit mixed in terms of value for money.

I really want that Alfa red paint gleaming again and get the dings out of the sills!

Suspension: She's had the drivers side ARB drop link replaced but there's still the odd thud over small bumps from this side, any thoughts? Suspension is notorious for groans and creaks on the 147/156/GT cars. It could be the other droplink, the ARB bushings or perhaps a lower ball joint. Is it more a knock as opposed to a creak? Upper wishbones tend to squeak / creak when the bushings are worn.
It's on the same side as the droplink that was replaced, massivley improved handlind and the knocking sound but didn't go away completely. She's had the top mounts done and Bilstiens fitted about 20k ago too. It's definitely a knock not a creak. I previously had a 2.0GT and the top mounts were shot to hell, not the same sound or feel at all.

General creaks: There's a creak behind me I think it's the rear hatch, any ideas how to fix this? The parcel shelf on the GT has a couple of rubber spacers on it, when they're missing this can cause a noise. My old 147 had a small creak in the back which turned out to be a loose rear door card which was rubbing on the back seat, took a while to find that one :p. Annoying isn't it?
Interesting. I havent noticed any spacers. I'll fun her without the parcel shelf for a while and see if that improves that creak.

Wipers: Pain in the arse and loud as hell. The mechanism has been replaced and the blades are apparently new. How do I stop the drivers side blade from juddering? My 156 does this, I go over with some AutoGlym shampoo, rinse it off and that should solve it for a while. A quality screenwash can help too.
Good to know, I'll give that a try. I was actually considering changing to the newer flat style blades. (Can't remember the proper name for them, but I know that it's Bosch I would go for.) I'll try autogym first though.

Service work: Clutch can be a bit heavy but the bite is still good. It does creak intermittently which I think is the master cylinder. The clutch only has 20kish miles on it, shouldn't need changed already should it? V6 clutches should be relatively light, do all the gears engage smoothly? Does it creak mostly near the bottom of the pedal travel? I agree with you on the mileage, 20k would be some going to muller a clutch but it's not impossible o_O
It's heaviest near the bottom and that's when it tends to creak too. Gears are all fine, and weirdly sometimes it is light. The only time I ever have an issue is if I go from 1st to revers I sometimes have to double declutch but I've experienced that in brand new cars too. Looking at my spreadsheet with the history it's looking like it was done 10k miles ago. Thinking it could be a cylinder issue rather than the pressure plate giving up?

The timing belt is also only 30k miles old but I think 4yrs old. So assuming that'll need done next year. 4 years old is pretty ripe for changing, most Alfa specialists will recommend 4 years or 40/50k. Worth checking that you have a water pump with a metal impeller, the plastic ones have been known to fail on occasion.
BJust rechecked the history, it's more like 20k miles, since the belt was done

Does anyone know the lifespan of spark plugs in a 3.2 as well? looks like it's been a few years since those were done according to the paperwork I have. It's not that uncommon to find new plugs in the front bank and old rusty ones in the rear bank due to the poor access. With regards lifespan, unless there was an underlying problem I would change these as part of a timing belt service.
Good to know, performance isn't bad, just haven't seen a receipt for any other than the change done in 2014

Sorry lots of questions there. Most importantly, if anyone knows of good garages in Surrey I'd be grateful. Had awful experiences with garages down here and really want to find one I can trust. In Surrey you're not such a long way from AlfaAid, I hear good things about them on the forum. Autolusso and AlfaWorkshop are near Luton but highly regarded.
Good to know, I'll check them out. I used Kinghams of Croydon before after seeing reviews here but they dented the sill last time it went in so I'm loathed to go back. To their credit they did fix it, but I'd rather try somewhere new.
 

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Plug change interval is 60,000miles/100,000km so yes, change with every cambelt change unless you like to change cambelt at 30,000miles in which case every second cambelt change. Changed the plugs on my 2.5 V6 at 130,000km, they were the originals and looked a bit sad but they were working fine and no noticeable difference with new ones.

Your clutch is probably fine, sounds like the pivot on top of the box needs a lube.
 

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Knock could still be ball joints in the suspension.

Perhaps the wishbones fitted were not of the best quality so have already failed?

As for wipers, I have had issues with me 156 noise too. As the wipers wear the whole frame starts having some play in it, so that when it changes directions it makes a loud noise as it all moves, rather than just the rubber blade moving

I also find the rubber blades with the stainless steel stiffeners are quieter than ones with the plastic backing.

If you unbolt the wiper arms and turn the wipers on you will at least know if the motor mechanism is noisy or not. I replaced my factory arms with new arms, the aerodynamic looking ones, unfortunately they don't come with the blades with the stainless steel stiffeners so it's still a bit noisy when the drivers arm changes direction. Not as bad as before though.

With the clutch and having to double de-clutch when going from 1st to reverse. I was under the assumption that is a safety lockout feature so you don't accidentally go from a forward gear to reverse when moving forward.
 

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Plug change interval is 60,000miles/100,000km so yes, change with every cambelt change unless you like to change cambelt at 30,000miles in which case every second cambelt change. Changed the plugs on my 2.5 V6 at 130,000km, they were the originals and looked a bit sad but they were working fine and no noticeable difference with new ones.

Your clutch is probably fine, sounds like the pivot on top of the box needs a lube.
Oh thanks. That's good to know. There's no misfire or anything but definitely looks like I'm right to get them done with the timing belt. Thanks very much.
 

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Knock could still be ball joints in the suspension.

Perhaps the wishbones fitted were not of the best quality so have already failed?

As for wipers, I have had issues with me 156 noise too. As the wipers wear the whole frame starts having some play in it, so that when it changes directions it makes a loud noise as it all moves, rather than just the rubber blade moving

I also find the rubber blades with the stainless steel stiffeners are quieter than ones with the plastic backing.

If you unbolt the wiper arms and turn the wipers on you will at least know if the motor mechanism is noisy or not. I replaced my factory arms with new arms, the aerodynamic looking ones, unfortunately they don't come with the blades with the stainless steel stiffeners so it's still a bit noisy when the drivers arm changes direction. Not as bad as before though.

With the clutch and having to double de-clutch when going from 1st to reverse. I was under the assumption that is a safety lockout feature so you don't accidentally go from a forward gear to reverse when moving forward.
The main wiper mount and motor was replaced in December so it's not that. Might be the arm on the drivers side is at the wrong angle. Or it's just that annoying squeak on the way up the screen. I'll try the hydrophobic coating on the screen.
As got the clutch. Did not know that was even a thing ?. Does make sense though.
 

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On some cars I have realigned by twisting the wiper arm if this makes sense so that the blade is more perpendicular to the screen.
 
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