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

405407 Views 5703 Replies 603 Participants Last post by  baxter2308
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.

Damien.

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My new-to-me facelift 156 got an oil and filter change, I've treated it to some Gulf 10W60. I tried doing the air filter but it's an awkward thing to get to and I ran out of time. Maybe tomorrow.
Also replaced some of the high-level brake light bulbs - on mine you have to access it from the boot after removing some of the boot trim.
When these were new from the factory, did the back seat come covered in polythene? I've got bits of polythene sticking out from around the headrests and it's visible through the centre armrest.
 

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I had the apparently common problem of the "failed bulb" warning light flick on briefly when I started to brake, or when I was holding the brake on with the right indicator on. Following advice on here I took the rear OS bulb holder out and found one of the contacts was corroded as shown in the pic. Cleaned it up with some emery cloth and contact cleaner and problem solved!
 

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Not today, last night - replaced a snapped N/S handbrake cable. It's nice having a handbrake again! Fairly simple job once the back of the car is off the ground. Considering how cheap the cables are I'm now wondering if I should have done the other side too, just as a preventative measure.
 

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Serviced it! Oil, oil filter, plugs and air filter. Those little (6mm?) bolts that hold the airbox lid on are a pain, I had to get brutal to get two of them out and now the lid is only held on by one bolt, think I'll need to look for another.

Broooce, good luck with the cambelt etc - mine needs doing but I don't fancy tackling that myself, think I'll take it to Simply Alfas in Stourbridge.
 

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Replaced a failed tail/brake light bulb. I've previously had a problem with a loose connection in that light cluster, which I thought had happened again, I was very pleased to find out it was actually the bulb that had blown. Vacuumed the boot out to celebrate. At the weekend I treated it to a pair of Pirellli Cinturatos on the front, a big improvement over the Barums that were previously on.
 

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Among a few other fairly minor issues, my 156 failed it's MOT on the front brakes being unbalanced across the axle. I spent a happy couple of hours taking the front calipers off and cleaning up the sliding surfaces on the pads & calipers, and trying to clean up the piston with brake cleaner. I'll find out on Monday if it's done the trick, fingers crossed eh?
 

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Among a few other fairly minor issues, my 156 failed it's MOT on the front brakes being unbalanced across the axle. I spent a happy couple of hours taking the front calipers off and cleaning up the sliding surfaces on the pads & calipers, and trying to clean up the piston with brake cleaner. I'll find out on Monday if it's done the trick, fingers crossed eh?
It's been quiet on here for a few days!

Just to update this, cleaning up the calipers and pads and giving the sliding surfaces a smear of copper grease did the trick, the garage said the brakes were spot on when I got it re-tested. They replaced the exhaust flexible section (I knew it was blowing) and put sorted out the headlights (aim was off due to missing nuts) so now I'm all good for another year.
 

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Snapped the rear right handbrake cable! :(

At least I know it's fairly easy to replace after doing the left hand one in summer. And yes, back in summer I was advised that it would probably be worth replacing both at the same time. Live and learn!
 

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I finally got round to giving my 156 a belt service (cambelt, balancer belt, aux belt, tensioners and idler pulleys, water pump). After I had got everything back together I topped up the coolant only to find I had pinched the O ring on the water pump and it was leaking at quite a rate. I had to take the whole damn thing apart again to get to the water pump and use the O ring from the original pump. This time I topped up and checked for leaks before putting the belts back on.

It got dark so I haven't finished, I still need to refit the new aux belt and covers etc. Engine turns over by hand OK, fingers crossed I got the balance shaft alignment right.
 

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View attachment 940313

Coming along on parts for cam belt diy.
So far I have cam and balance kit, water pump, thermostat, aux pulley tensioner, aux belt.

Thinking I'll need to get valve cover gasket, variator repair kit (gonna give that a go), guessing there is a pulley for aux belt too, cam shaft seal(s)?, harmonic balancer (mine looking rough/wobbly)

And these tools:
TDC gauge
Cam locks
Cam belt tensioning tool

Do I need a DTI tool too? My Alfa parts site in Australia lists that as a tool to use with the TDC.

Are there any sensors I should change while I have all the gear off?

EDIT: There is a aux belt idler and it's double what it costs on my E39, lol. INA vs SKF (for the Alfa)
I replaced pulley and tensioner for the cambelt, tensioner for the balancer belt but I didn't bother replacing the pulley and tensioner for the aux belt, they seemed fine and they're not making a noise now it's all back together.

I took some persuading but I'd definitely get the dial gauge for finding TDC. It would be much more difficult without it, and even with it I managed to get the cam timing a few degrees out first time. I got mine from Totally Alfa as recommended be someone on here.

Before you screw the dial gauge adapter into the plug hole on cylinder # 1, make sure the bottom fitting is done up tight! I unscrewed mine and it left the bottom part of the adapter in the spark plug hole, it was a bit of a faff to get it out. I think I'm going to take mine apart and loctite it before I use it again.
 

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I replaced the bonnet and boot lid badges with lovely shiny new knock-off ones from eBay. On the front I followed the procedure I've seen described on here and other places, drilling a hole in the middle of the badge and levering off with a screwdriver. A bit nerve-wracking! I unfortunately destroyed both original badges getting them off but the new ones look much better, stuck on with some double-sided adhesive pads.

I also fitted the on-arm washer jet kit, which from my testing so far is a big improvement!
 

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Got mine MOT'd - well actually the first MOT was last week, today was when they did the required work and retested it. Most of the things it failed on I was expecting anyway - it needed two new tyres on the rear (the originals were 13 years old!), an exhaust middle section, and a new brake flexi hose. This is all stuff I'd rather leave to the garage, but I did polish the headlights to try to get the beam pattern correct. All set for another year!
 

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I hooked up my new ELM327 cable, laptop and the free version of MultiEcuScan to investigate the intermittent Motor Control System Failure messages I've been getting. In the past I've attributed it to a dodgy battery but they were still popping up occasionally.

I got two codes, P0480 and P0354. It was P0354, indicating a problem with coil 4, that was causing the message. I removed the coils on 3 & 4, cleaned the connections up and swapped them over so if the problem moves to cyl 3 I know it's the coil that's the problem. I tried testing the coil with my multimeter but I didn't really know what I was doing (why are there four pins?) and the probe wouldn't reach to the contact in the plug cap. After clearing the EML it hasn't happened again, fingers crossed...

P0480 indicates a problem with fan relay 1 (low speed I think) but that wasn't causing the EML to come on. I've removed the relay and cleaned the connections but the code is still present. Any advice on testing the relay?
 

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Fitted new brake pads on the rear. They were an advisory at the last MOT, I've been putting it off because I haven't done rear pads before but with a piston wind-back tool it was very straightforward. Feeling rather pleased with myself. Gave the car a quick wash as a reward for not putting up a fight.
 

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My new commute is partly on unlit country roads, which has highlighted how bad my headlights were. Today I fitted a pair of Halfords bulbs which claim to be 200% brighter, and replaced the sidelight bulbs while I was at it - one had blown and I thought it sensible to replace both at the same time. I echo the earlier poster's comments about how awkward bulb replacements are! The lights do seem better although I've only been out for a short run, I think I'll end up polishing the headlights, the O/S one in particular is very cloudy.

Other than that, topped up oil, coolant, screenwash and tyre pressures, and took it for a wash. I'm losing a bit of coolant over the course of a week, which I need to investigate, and the front N/S tyre is losing pressure over a week from 36 PSI to about 30. It'll be time for new tyres soon so I'll just keep topping that up.

My first week of this commute (4 days) has been about 350 miles during which I've got 34mpg, which I don't think is bad considering I spend quite a while stuck in traffic and much of it is country roads.
 
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