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Fitted a new set of Philips Ultinon X-Treme (that I received as replacement, outside of warranty) last night - and just ordered the whole lot of parts for cam belt replacement (coming up in a month or so) this morning :)
I have a cambelt to do too, complete with water pump, variator repair kit, and a new radiator which I decided to do at the same time since both jobs will require changing the coolant. All the parts are on a shelf in my bedroom, where it's clean and dry. Should do something about it really, I need to set aside a full Saturday with good weather because I know it will take me hours!

I did debate whether to just fork out for a new variator. Current one's only slightly rattly at start up so I'm sure the repair kit will work fine, but it would save me time on the day if I didn't have to muck about with it. They're just so expensive now.
 

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2004 Alfa Romeo 156 1.8TS
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I was lucky enough to find one for 200£.. But yes, they've gone up a fair bit in price in the last couple of years!
 

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More-or-less cured the 1.8TS (CF3) oil consumption problems I'd been having .. new rocker cover gasket put on during a TB change - and, as if by magic, no noticed oil consumption in the last few hundred km, despite driving in a spirited fashion. It used consume plenty if I ran over 3k RPM :)

Also got some alloys straightened, as they were more egg-shaped than round :)
 

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My pads and discs have been on the car about 6 years+ and 30k odd miles.

Not huge mileage but a lot of time.

I'm contemplating buying a set of calipers then painting them up in my own time so I can refresh the brakes properly.
 

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Also are the DS Performance simply the new name for the DS2500 which have been around for years?

I don't think so, since on the shop.alfisti.net there's both product up for sale, the DS Performance and the DS2500 with the DS2500 not being homologated so it's not road legal. I'll have it up hopefully by the weekend so I'll be able to give you some feedback in a couple of weeks once it's properly bedded in.
 

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I painted one of the calipers today as part of the brake system revamp project. It's my first ever DIY paint. It ran a little and it's not perfect but after 3 coats I think it turned out pretty good. It won't be visibly bad once the wheel is on as well.

956475
 

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Gave the tin snips a good workout and cut the remains of the cruddy outer skin off my back box.

956484


Happy to see it gone. It was making me itch!

956485


The rubber hangers are a little perished so I've ordered some new ones. Thinking when I get them I'll take the back box off and paint it black to hide the rust before reattaching it. Tailpipe has stayed oddly shiny, must be different somehow.
 

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I painted one of the calipers today as part of the brake system revamp project. It's my first ever DIY paint. It ran a little and it's not perfect but after 3 coats I think it turned out pretty good. It won't be visibly bad once the wheel is on as well.

View attachment 956475
What paint did you use? I'm buying 4 callipers to refurbish and paint in my own time, let us know how the DS Performance pads do as I've used DS2500 in the past but they're not strictly road legal. Likewise with the Performance Friction pads I've got at the moment, they're meant to be the best thing ever and do stop the car BUT they need heat to perform. I don't think I'd use them again...
 

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What paint did you use? I'm buying 4 callipers to refurbish and paint in my own time, let us know how the DS Performance pads do as I've used DS2500 in the past but they're not strictly road legal. Likewise with the Performance Friction pads I've got at the moment, they're meant to be the best thing ever and do stop the car BUT they need heat to perform. I don't think I'd use them again...
I think it's a Hungarian brand of red caliper paint (its called Rally Paint), i picked up two cans at the local supermarket. Gave a good scrub + clear to the caliper and away I went with 3 coats of it.

I'll ler you know with the pads. :)
 

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You don't actually need to use any heat resistant pain on the calipers, any spray can will do the job as long as the surface is prepped properly. Calipers don't go that hot anyway any well prepped painted surface will stay that way for long time. Talking from personal experience on multiple cars.
 

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You don't actually need to use any heat resistant pain on the calipers, any spray can will do the job as long as the surface is prepped properly. Calipers don't go that hot anyway any well prepped painted surface will stay that way for long time. Talking from personal experience on multiple cars.
Thanks! It's good to know, but actually this was the cheapest most readily available paint in my area.

It's also been put back together yesterday - wheel bearing was changed as well.

956545

Don't look at the dirty TI wheel, that will be cleaned soon.
For today I'll do the other rear wheel and I'll check if I have the proper hose to change the brake fluid as well. If not, I'll ask the mechanic who'll do the MOT for it.
 

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The 2 years old battery flattened again. This is what I get for leaving the boot open (even tho there's no light in it). Or maybe the CD player turned on by itself again. But on the bright side the rear brakes are almost changed and painted. I decided not to change the fluid and I'll leave it for the mechanic as I'm a bit concerned about the getting air into the system.
 

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Yesterday, I drove it. In London that's pretty much a criminal offence these days.

In the past couple of weeks I've
  • changed the cam belt (waterpump, tensioner, etc). At 5 and a half years, it was due, despite a tiny mileage. All the old parts still looked immaculate, but better safe than shrapnel.
  • fitted new top hat bushes (a massive improvement - although mine weren't worn, the selector mechanism had dried out since the last time it was done, probably 2015 when the previous owner fitted a new clutch. Lots of Belray waterproof grease was probably more important than the new bushes).
  • oil & filter changed (Fuchs Titan S nowadays, the engine is audibly happier than with the Shell Helix I used to use). But also the oil stays much cleaner since I deleted the EGR - unexpected, but logical, since exhaust soot is no longer being fed into the combustion chambers to be scraped off the cylinder walls into the sump.
  • I got an advisory on inner track rod ends at the last MOT. I could detect absolutely no wear. I suspect the occasional groan from the steering rack was the reason for the accusation. I had actually changed most of the power steering fluid to try and cure that. Oddly, it only did it once, very quietly, yesterday, on full lock. I wonder if temperature is a factor? Yesterday was pretty warm. The MOT was back in October and a bit chilly.
  • New wheel bolts. I am so sick of the OE ones rusting, cleaning them up, repainting, only to have them turn brown within 6m. New zinc plated, much better, but dammit, I didn't notice they were 18mm, heads not 17mm OE. Thread length and seat angle are fine though, and they fit. Hard to find 20mm OE thread length except at £2/each.
  • Finally managed to afford to order a new offside drive shaft. I can feel the beginnings of wear in the inner tripod, but more obvious, there's a little transmission lash that annoys me. Replacing the n/s shaft 2 years ago made a big improvement to that, and the tripod on that was knackered. That'll be the next job: new top and lower wishbone on that side at the same time. I bought the TRW parts to do both sides when I replaced the n/s shaft, but all the o/s bits were fine so I left them for later.
  • I cleaned it! First time since last September, when I clayed the ageing paint and use Turtlewax 6553 Ceramic on it. I only used 1 coat last time, I ran out of daylight. It did pretty well, definitely outlasting waxes. 2 coats this time. Shiny again now, and endless opportunities to marvel at the beading c/o English summer.
  • I even cleaned the interior, especially feeding the leather. Glad to see I still have no significant bolster wear.

Friday rush hour in West London is still not very enjoyable though.
 

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I finally finished up the brake + pads gave the car a quick clean and handed it over to the mechanic so he can take a look at the rusting side skirts, change the brake fluid and do an MOT on it.

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Hopefully I'll have the car back on Friday with 2 years of MOT and so the money pit can finally begin with some quality summer tires. I'm thinking about some PremiumContact 6, Eagle F1 for P Zero, although I have to admit the only reason for the P Zero is because of F1. This is the whole point of F1, isn't it? To sell you stuff.
 
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