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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So today I set out to rectify some niggles and give a basic oil service to my 156 Sportwagon. The things on the checklist were;

1. Attempt to fix rear wiper motor
2. Check why a section of the rear folding seats don't stay latched to the mount in the rear compartment
3. Oil Change
4. Fit Alfisti.net aluminium undertray
5. Change main beam bulbs for Osram Nightbreakers

So out of the checklist the only thing I managed to successfully do was change the main beam bulbs.....and BOY what a total nightmare that was when you have hands larger than a 3 year old girls!!!! Whoever designed that system should be taken out the back and shot and left to rot. Thank god it is now done and hopefully I won't have to touch those bloody front bulbs for a very long time.

Now on to the fun stuff!

Rear wiper motor stopped working a few months back. I assumed it was totally dead but had read that some people had fixed it by giving it a clean out. Sadly for me this didn't help and a replacement unit will be required. I didn't really expect to fix it so I'm not overly fussed on that side of things but it was only the start of my troubles.

The next task was to see why the latch on the rear folding seats is broken. Pulling the handle to fold the seats down doesn't actually do anything to the latch as something must have broken off or is loose. But after a good 45mins of removing the trim off the back of the seat and attempting to take the latch mechanism apart.....I can't for the life of me seem to take it apart. Those T40 bolts on the side of the mechanism must have been welded in! They did not budge for me! I'm going to try again tomorrow with the aid of an electrical drill and see if I can't persuade them. I need to get that latch fixed to get through my MOT which is due this month so if anyone has any ideas or hints please let me know!

And then came the final straw. The last 2 tasks were tedious and tested my patience but this task takes the cake by a country mile! After a previously unsuccessful attempt to remove the sump plug a few weeks back (didn't budge) I came back today with a new pipe wrench and was hoping to get that ******* out so I could finally change the oil. After a little fiddling I managed to finally get some grip with the wrench and saw that the plug had moved! I was overcome with joy knowing that very shortly I'd have brand new oil and a new sump plug and everything would be dandy.

So I'm lying there on the cold floor of the garage in -1 whilst its snowing outside and I'm slowly undoing that bloody plug......or so I thought. It was turning......and turning.....and turning.....and turning.....but it wasn't coming out! After about 30mins of pure hope that maybe, just maybe, the plug would play ball and start unwinding instead of spinning.....I had to accept the fate that I knew deep down....sump thread has been stripped!

Now I'm trying to find the best solution. Whether I drop the sump and replace it or get it re-tapped. Unfortunately I'm going to have to wait on replacing/fixing it either way as I have to get the car through MOT (oil just has to be at correct level) and then pay the annual road tax next month.

But boy what a ******* of a day this turned out to be!
 

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Sympathy, I believe that there is a larger plug that will tap itself in. I cannot remember where I saw it but I will have a scan around.
 

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I recently bought a 156SW and have had similar issues. The larger folding rear seat that held the middle seatbelt wasn't locking into place properly. WD40 and using a screwdriver to work the mechanism and the oil around the mechanism did the trick.
I have also managed to break 1 hex key trying to loosen the sump plug. So going to pick up a set of hex sockets and hope that does the job.
 

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You need an impact driver for the torx bolts .if you use a drill you will probably strip them.:thumbup:

As for the sump is the plug leaking. If so the end result eventually will be to drop the sump.
If you go this route be gentle as you will need to undo the oil pick up inside before it will come off .
Don't try and force it.
Its about as well designed as the headlights :rofl:
Oh yeah there is a metal gasket at the pick up joiner make sure you get it in the right way round when you replace it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I recently bought a 156SW and have had similar issues. The larger folding rear seat that held the middle seatbelt wasn't locking into place properly. WD40 and using a screwdriver to work the mechanism and the oil around the mechanism did the trick.
I have also managed to break 1 hex key trying to loosen the sump plug. So going to pick up a set of hex sockets and hope that does the job.
I'll definitely give this a go tomorrow. I don't really care if I can never fold the seats down again so long as they stay secured to the mounting point. So this is certainly something I will try tomorrow :thumbup:

A pair of stillsons or a pipe wrench also works to grip the outside of the plug. I had to do that to my previous GTV and now my 156 SW. Just a shame the plug must have been over-tightened last time it was placed back on. But if you have a set of Stillsons lying around I would recommend trying them first before going to the cost of buying a new hex set.

You need an impact driver for the torx bolts .if you use a drill you will probably strip them.:thumbup:
Yep going to borrow one from work on Monday, hopefully it does the trick :thumbup:
 

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Oh yeah one more stupid design issue is the 2 torx bolts burried between the engine and bell housing you need to undo to remove the sump I think you need 70mm long shaft torx.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh yeah one more stupid design issue is the 2 torx bolts burried between the engine and bell housing you need to undo to remove the sump I think you need 70mm long shaft torx.
Good to see Alfa thought of everything imaginable to make life as difficult as possible.....
 
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You can helicoil it without taking the sump off. I think it was about £30 when mine needed doing.

Righty tighty lefty loosey - easy to get mixed up when you are lying under the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You can helicoil it without taking the sump off. I think it was about £30 when mine needed doing.

Righty tighty lefty loosey - easy to get mixed up when you are lying under the car.
Was unwound the correct way (not my first time using stillsons/wrench on a twinny sump plug). I have a feeling when it was last put back it was well overtightened as it didn't budge in the slightest when I was first trying to remove it. Hence why I should never bother letting a mechanic change my oil again!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B0...nge+syphon&dpPl=1&dpID=41DRKYnINiL&ref=plSrch

Sump removal is a big job. If the plug is stuck but not leaking then use the sucker.
Heading out to the local Auto store shortly and will keep an eye out for one.
 
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