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What have you done to your Alfa 147/156/GT today?

426314 Views 5753 Replies 610 Participants Last post by  fridaysniper
Just an idea.:)

To have a thread where we can share what we have done or bought or considered for our beloved cars "today" thread.

Hopefully this might catch on?

I will kick off..

Managed to align my front bumper properly...Big thanks to shiny car's guide to bumper removal. Once i had removed the front portion of arch liner the 2 torx screws were revealed and the bumper was easily aligned as it should be.:thumbs:

Did notice my oil cooler pipes looked a tad ropey. Will have to look into oil cooler options. Is upgrading the unit wise at this point? Covered the pipes in rust protectant for now. Better the devil you know.



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I was after an N/A petrol. due ti the fact that there is less to go wrong. Also not knowing what the future holds with diesel fuel. I was looking at golfs but my Dad found this car just round the corner. 1 elderly owner from new and just 47k from new. There are a few niggles but it is a 15 year old car now. and for what i paid it is a steal.

The plan is to keep her for the next 5 years or so until our mortgage comes to an end. Then treat myself to something a bit special.
Definitely a good move! I would recommend to avoid any Golf outside warranty like the plague! My mother has owned 3 Golf's over the last 15 years and the first one was great but the 2002 and 2006 models she got were nothing but trouble after the warranty ended. Massive bills and completely unreliable. Hence why I laugh every time someone talks about German reliability and build quality and tried to make fun of me owning Alfa's. Safe to say my family are never touching a VW again!

You'll find the TS is a lovely engine. I've never driven one in 1.6 form but had a 2.0 GTV and just yesterday picked up a lovely 2.0 TS 156 Sportwagon with tan leather which I am loving! They're great engines and excellent if you want to learn how to use the spanners since there is such fantastic information on this forum and they are really simple engines to work on. Especially oil changes. Don't even need to jack the car up so long as you have a shallow oil pan to catch the old oil in.

Regarding what I am doing to my 156 SW; giving her an oil, filter and coolant change next week and then I will be getting her up on a hoist for an inspection so that I can start planning my summer upgrades. Hoping to get a Novitec Cup suspension kit and replace all bushings and wishbones if necessary along with a stainless Novitec exhaust.....though the girlfriend might kill me first :paranoid:

Also need to sort out a decent headunit as the PO put some complete POS unit in and I'm pretty sure they didn't wire it properly so I will probably need to rip it out sometime this week and take a look and see if I can fix the mistakes the previous monkey made when putting the unit in. But ultimately I hope to replace it in a couple weeks with a unit with bluetooth and AUX input support.
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Parking up in Liverpool I got an ABS/VDC fail light, so switched it off and restarted and it disappeared :irked: Same thing happened with a low voltage light a few weeks back and everything checked out fine, so no idea of what could be around the corner:paranoid:. But for the meantime the car is running and feeling the best it has ever done so I just need to enjoy it and stop worrying:yes:
Hopefully its due to the battery and not the ABS ECU. I had an ABS/VDC error on my GTV twinny and for a few weeks the warning light would clear upon restarting the car but eventually it became persistent and resulted in me having to replace the ABS ECU with a second hand unit. Which is no easy feat since, on the 916 cars at least, Alfa used about 5 different ABS ECUs and it was a nightmare trying to track down the correct one. Thankfully the replacement fixed it and it was a relatively easy though tedious job with only 6 screws needing undoing and a straight forward swap. Hopefully yours is just a battery reaching the end of its lifespan though. Do a voltage check with the car off. Should be above 12.6V
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New battery and had all the voltages checked out. I did think ecu as I know the cf3's produce a lot of heat and can damage the ecu, I wonder if there is anything you can sort of wrap it in to protect it from the heat?
From what I gathered whilst researching my issue it seems to be more of a Bosch manufacturing issue than anything else. A lot of Bosch ABS modules manufactured in the late 90's - early 00's for various makes and models (especially VW/Audi/Merc/Volvo/AR) seem to suffer similar problems. Usually a tiny slither of solder to one of the solenoids cracks as its barely a couple mm thick which obviously results in the ECU throwing up the error.

As you say, the engine bay heat is the likely cause of the malfunction as I often had no warning lights/error on a cold start but once the engine had warmed up a bit....BAM! Error got thrown up and ABS and Handbrake warning lights came on together.

I suppose you could wrap the entire unit in gold/silver heat reflective tape and then add some insulating layers of that heatproofing padding that is used on the underside of bonnets for added protection. Though how good that protection will be is up for debate. Not to mention at the sort of age and mileage a lot of cars are at that are equipped with these Bosch units; the longevity of the protection could be negligible and the best course of action is still most likely to be to either get the unit rebuilt or replaced. A rebuild would probably be best as most places will warrant their work and will check the entire unit and resolder/replace anything else that may throw up issues later on. Plus you never know if a second hand unit will suffer the same fate and its probably not that much more expensive to get it rebuilt.

But you could always try and insulate the unit and see if that helps anything?
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Had a new flexi pipe and section of pipe from the back box to the centre box replaced today. Huge amount of rust and there was no way it would pass MOT this month if I had taken it in in the condition it was. It is amazing how much smoother the car is with an exhaust without holes in it though haha
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had a spare five mins at work today, so asked the boss if I could fit my fast road cams.
he said YES thanks grayham. :thumbup: all done. run them in over the next couple of days then rolling road time:thumbup:
Been looking into getting my cams reprofiled. Let us know the results once you run them in and have a map done :D
Passed the MOT with flying colours today! :beer:

Everything was healthy and well within tolerance which was great news. I've only had the car for less than 2 months so was dreading the thought of the inspector finding something that I missed but he said it seemed to be in excellent condition which is fantastic :thumbup:

Gotta say I am loving my 156 SW after selling my pride and joy GTV last November when I moved over to Sweden. Its lovely to have a healthy, happy Alfa in my garage :cool:
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Thought about looking into getting a pair of ramps?

Unless the surface is too uneven to make them practical?
Thought about it yea... Needs to be a fairly wide set to accommodate the 225 width tyres, and have a nice wide solid base so they won't sink into the gravel at all..

The common steel frame ramps would be no good, as they're not going to be safe to use on the gravel at all..

For the moment, jacks & stands are good enough most of the time...
Fair points.

You could try and make some out of some solid timber? Not really sure if it would be worth it economically but at least you get create something that easily meets your requirements.
Well had an interesting evening with my new WMI. Went out to change the boost onset the meth comes in at. As at 14psi its drinking meth even at small throttle inputs. So have managed to get a nice balance at 19psi. Comes in later in the rev range. So hopefully will have a longer range for a tank full. Its a learning curve. The car feels awesome at the moment. Solid power and a joy to drive.

The stage one clutch is fine as long as i stay clear of 3k in 4th gear she pulls like a freight train. The impending stage 2 bespoke clutch fit is hopefully being done soon. Then the important map tweak. Its all a never ending spending spree.

Honestly i know i have had a drink or 2 tonight, but its far better to get your self a 300bhp factory spec machine from the get go. Less money loss, and its designed and engineered to cope. When i consider the cost of my build its f'king ridiculous. But hey there you go i am here now. I just pray she behaves herself after the clutch is fitted. I just simply want to enjoy the car and get some track days in now.

Have a great easter everyone...

What sort of methanol consumption are you getting out of curiosity?

I'm assuming you've got some sort of controller that controls the level of meth injection depending on boost level? Or does the system run a set rate of injection regardless of more boost once you hit the 19psi onset?
Well at 14psi i was getting around 70 miles to a 2.5 litre tank when driving fast which was not impressive. Now i should get nearly double that. The rate of injection is set on the WMI boost control board. Basically mine injects at a trigger of 19psi for a preset injection rate.

You can have things added to your system as you go along. Each different engine boost arrangement and thus set demand is obviously very different, so its hard to judge from the get go. I may go with a bigger tank. See how i get on for now.

Thanks for the info. Always wondered what sort of consumption water/meth injection gives.

I'm assuming you are going to be hitting the track regularly over the summer? Have you ever considered an IC water spray kit to cool the IC and air intake temp before you come on boost during track runs? Not really sure of the cost involved and for daily use its probably only useful when stuck in heavy traffic. But on a track day it could be useful to avoid heat soak and keep a more consistent intake temp?

Great work on your car btw! Would love to have the funds to do something similar (although passing the MOT here in Sweden would be another story.....) and its great to see someone so devoted to their car. Keep the good work up :beer:
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Central locking button micro-switch broken on my black key FOB so had to remove fuses 12 and 13 to drive it home without the alarm going mental. Getting it repaired tomorrow.....hopefully not going to cost too much to get the switch replaced.
my gta is the first car i've ever owned with central locking and this is a constant worry lol. not even sure if I have an alarm but this is handy to know! How did you get in the car and where are these fuses, is it that fuse box attached to the battery? not sure if it's that same on your car but i have this plastic box contraption attached to one of the terminals
I popped the boot open and climbed in......even though I have a SW its definitely not easy when you're 6'5" haha

The two fuses are located in the fuse box next to the steering column. You need to pull fuse 12 AND 13 which are both 10A fuses located on the bottom row. The second and third from left. Check you owners manual around page 147 or something iirc and it will show the fuses for the horn and accessories. So you won't have any stereo, heating or interior lighting BUT you can get home.

Just remember to put the fuses back in when you stop the car otherwise the alarm will run off the battery!

Also note that the next time you start the car, in my case at least, the horns weren't blaring but the indicator lights were flashing on and off which is the alarm going off silently. So you need to get the FOB repaired to disarm the alarm and I wouldn't recommend using the car after getting home until you get the FOB fixed. Which I did today for all of 40 quid and it works a treat again :D
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Let me know how those Efficientgrip's go. I will need to pick up some summer tyres sometime in the next month or two and they are on the radar.
Will do.

I do almost exclusively motorway driving, so even slight improvement to MPG adds up over the life of the tyre.. Plus good wear life, A-rated wet grip, nice soft sidewall apparently so a slightly comfier ride on the 18's...

It was a toss up between the GY Efficientgrip's vs. Nexen N8000's... Budget Nexens, but they get a lot of good reviews stating that they're punching above their weight in terms of price/performance... About half the price of Goodyears too!
My line of thinking is pretty much exactly the same as yours re. the goodyears. Most of my driving in on the motorway so any increase in MPG along with the fact that they are one of the quieter tyres (68dB) mixed with them being really well priced over here....they are definitely leading the choice of candidates atm.

My biggest choice will be whether to pick up a new set of wheels as I only have the 1 set. I would probably go for 17s (if they fit) which could then change my tyre options. Suppose it will come down to how much the GF lets me always :thumbup:
How much did you lower yours, and do you have any problems with scraping since you have the cupra splitter fitted? I am wondering because I like the way yours is looking and my new wishbones and coilovers finally arrived today and I was looking to get the same look as yours as long as I dont have to watch out for every single little pothole that is..

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Are your roads better over in the west? The roads in Stockholm are atrocious! I thought Australian roads were absolute rubbish until I moved to Sthlm.....I will never complain again about our lovely roads in Aus. Between the giant, numerous potholes and the stupid number of steep speed humps.....I am considering not lowering my 156 when I change the suspension xD

Maybe you will have better luck in Halland! :thumbup:
Coilovers mounted and adjusted! She is much prettier now:) 35 front 30 back a bit to much camber in the front bust she will be aligned properly soon.

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Looks fantastic! Also like the Fiat Coupe in the background :thumbup:

Meanwhile I am sitting here wishing I had more money so I could get my suspension upgraded already! The missus has agreed to let me change everything as soon as we have the money and I want it done before she inevitably changes her mind!

Good spotting, the Fiat is a new little toy 16v turbo version with a full bodykit I got for 6000 swedish krona, (about 600euros) and without a single fault, only some small cosmetic fixes, an opportunity impossible to refuse..

There are some coilovers for the 156 chassies for 2499:- idk about the ride quality or the overall quality but it will probably better than stock anyway..

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Awesome value for 6k SEK!

I'm looking at either getting the Novitec Cup kit or AP Sports. Though I am a bit concerned with the ~45mm drop on the Novitecs and the 40/30mm drop on the APs. 30mm would be ok but the 45mm drop here in Stockholm could prove to be an issue!

Though I am also going to buy an aluminium undertray which gives an extra 20mm clearance so maybe that can counteract the extra drop on the Novitecs.

Also going either powerflex or strongflex front and rear and the usual wishbone replacement as well. Going to be a lot of work when I get the money to make the change!
Anthracite all the way!

I think the gold would be a little bit too much for my taste.
Smart move, ditch that silicone armouall stuff. It's pretty much makeup for cars, a lot of dealers use it to quickly and cheaply hide scratches and make old cars look shiny. Probly not so much an issue over there but in Oz it reacts badly with the sun and ages stuff twice as fast. Might try some bit hambler whatever too, jonb makes it sound like the bees **** :) Have Duragloss Polish on atm which is excellent but it doesn't hide scratches. If bild hammer can do that it will save on a costly paint correction!
Your view was correct a decade or two ago about Armor All but they switched to water based silicone years ago. Silicone isn't the issue, they all use silicone based components, it was the type of silicone (dimethyl silicone oils) used in the old Armor All formulae that made it destroy plastics. Sadly for AA (much like Alfa!) the stigma has stayed around and a lot of misinformation is spread that is just factually incorrect. They haven't used dimethyl silicone oils in their products for years.

In AUS AA products definitely DID cause a lot of issues with our harsh sun baking plastic dashboards and trim coated in de-plasticising dimethyl silicone based AA products but that hasn't been an issue for years since they shifted to water based silicone components.

Now I do agree with you that you should avoid AA but purely from the fact that there are much better products out there such as Meguiars for not a lot more money. But AA products now use water based silicone (have for years) and should do a perfectly fine job for a cheaper product.
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Fair enough, it still leaves a nasty oily finish on anything you use it on which attracts dust and is troublesome in other ways though. A friend recently bought a 4WD that the dealer had bathed in armourall and his dashmat keeps falling off every time he accelerates as the dash is so slippery :biglaugh:
Yep the old dealer trick of coating everything in AA so it looks all nice and shiny!

Personally I never buy AA products, would rather spend the extra $5-$10 and get some Meguiars or something similar since I find them to be much better products.

Ideally I want to buy an orbital buffer sometime in the summer. Car has swirl marks and would look a hell of a lot sharper with a nice deep buff and polish! Shame a decent buffer and compounds is around $400+ :depressed:
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