Alfa 156 GTA

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Will01
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Re: Alfa 156 GTA

Post by Will01 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:39 pm

So last night i managed to fit the Chrome polished up intake pipes and get the car to the point to run it(briefly)
Also filled up with new fresh oil. I not looking forward to oil filter changes in future as it is very hard to access. But hey.
I hope you like it, we certainly do.
I ran the car without dowpipes fitted as the gaskets had still not arrived, i had to crank over so i could get the fuel rails upto pressure.
Noticed a leak from injector straight aay which has caused some paint damage, but this is reapairable with a touch up so not that bad.
New Injector o-rings and locking clips are in the post so will be fitted.
I have added a before picture of the engine bay from what it looked like a few years ago. The transformation is impressive for very little outlay. Just alot of patience and bit of paint work. Things i would do differently. I would spray rather than brush paint the rocker covers. Better still if money werr no object i would powdercoat. Get the pipes re-chromed(£50 each was excessive though).
I also have a Red upper Strut brace in the post so this will be fitted aswell to help stiffen up the front end.
Once these niggly issues have been sorted i need to do some shakedown runs and then hopefully she is ready for the open road and long distance again :).
Cosmetically there are still issues to sort on the car, but mechanically its sorted, at least until i fit some coilovers to enhance the ride
Attachments
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Before, mucky, gloomy and suffering with daily duties
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I sure you would all agree it looks much better now
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Will01
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Re: Alfa 156 GTA

Post by Will01 » Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:40 am

So the weekend was the point he car was fully put together and run up for the first time.
Had a few jobs to tackle first. Number one being the fuel leak. Turned out to be injector o-ring has broken. I fitted a new set and then only to find the same injector o-ring broke again. Found it to actually be a tiny bit of corrosion was preventing it from seating properly. Bit of fine paper and clean meant the next new seal went on smoothly.

After that i found myself getting the bumper ready for fitting. Unfortunately the bumper brackets on the car were in a bad shape and one rotted out completely. A mornings work and i made up some new brackets out of thicker 2mm mild steel plate. Painted these up an also undersealed them in place to help protect them for years to come. Yes i know they probably weigh more than standard, but considering i removed the pre-cats from the engine bay i would say i am still lighter than from when i started.

It did take a while to bleed the cooling system, but got there in the end.
Bleeding the power steering fluid also took a while but again we got there in the end.

I took it for a drive up and down the drive to make sure there were no leaks. The cooling system worked how it should with the fans cutting in and cooling it down quickly. What a difference new fluid makes.
I have noticed a slight weaping of power steering fluid, however i am not sure if this is more due to a slight leak when re-fitting the pipe. Therefore i will be keeping an eye on this, as i will with all the other fluids.
The front discs cleaned up nicely with wire wheel after corroding up for sitting soo long, however i do think the rear discs will need changing soon, due to a groove being visible. They are fine for now but are on the list, maybe some ebc ultimax ones with upgraded pads.
I also will be flushing through the brake fluid at the same point. The braided lines have a plastic coating which has cracke dopen in a few places. Although the braiding is good, these may also need replacing at somepoint in the future.

In the near future i will also be fitting the upper strut brace, but because it impedes access to brake and power steering fluid i want to see how the car does fo rht time being and then when i am completely happy i will swap it over.

Really there are still quite alot of cosmetic touches which are required e.g. few small bubbles, however i am going to have to wait for better weather. I just can't wait to drive her. Only thing stopping me is the DVLA. I went to tax the car yesterday only to be told my first month would expire in 2 days time! This was very frustrating so i will wait the 2 days and buy a fresh one on the 1st. I do think that is a scam, but thats what we have to put up with.
Attachments
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Rotten bumper brackets
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New DIY ones
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Nicely painted!
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Front end shot with shiny engine(for now). Note upper strut brace not fitted yet.
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Will01
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Re: Alfa 156 GTA

Post by Will01 » Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:09 pm

Exhaust before fitting cf2 manifolds and stainless downpipes
https://youtu.be/jf3LuHhfKh4
video after manifolds and stainless downpipes fitted
https://youtu.be/9EeuInbec4E
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Will01
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Re: Alfa 156 GTA

Post by Will01 » Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:31 am

First drive into work today as a little test.
Ph how i have missed driving her. I first got in and thought wow this is slow compared to our Mini. Then i looked at the speedo and realised wow its not slow! Feels soo silky smooth compared and the power delivery is just so linear.
I think it is because the new(old) manifolds with new downpipes have got rid of the annoying drone from the exhaust which gave a placebo effect making you fell like you are going faster. It is more civilised inside and seems quieter, not sure out side so may have to ask the wife to do a few drivebys for me.
Just taking it easy at the moment giving her a shakedown but i am impressed.
The new Eibach arb fitted up front helps make the corner so flat with very little roll. The steering is ultra responsive aswell.
The Quaife diff.... wow! It is going to take a little time to get used to but it just fills you with confidence to pin it even when turning. It manages the power so well and helps pull you into a corner when you think you should be pushing wide. Its magic! (haha).
The brakes are now starting to feel better after driving, however these will be flushed through anyway since it was lying for soo long. Plus i will be getting new discs and pads for the rear. EBC Ultimax and redstuff.
Anyway i just glad to have her back on the road so we can start to enjoy her once again. :)
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Will01
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Re: Alfa 156 GTA

Post by Will01 » Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:55 pm

Brakes bled. The fluid has probably been in there for 3 years but you can feel the difference and improvement fresh new fluid makes.
Also had a few knocks to sort out. One of which was subframe bolts had loosened off. These have all been torqued up now.
Also had to.tighten up the droplinks as the paint on arb had caused loss of clamping force. These have all been loctite in place.
Found a few small leaks so these have also been rectified.
I have removed the lower brace due to grounding out. But now have fitted upper strut brace. It's not as effective, however since fitting the stiffer front arb I think the lower brace causes more understeer. Shortly after.removing I have noticed less response but holds on in the corner better.
I also found I had to modify a few exhaust shieldsmall due to knocking but this is also sorted now aswell.
The only things left to do now are fit lower under tray to prevent dirt going into engine bay. Coilovers, new discs and uprated pads, fresh performance tyres and then just keep her in top condition and sort out cosmetics.
Have to say though I love the way she drives now. Just want to enjoy now with my family
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Will01
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Re: Alfa 156 GTA

Post by Will01 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:34 am

So today i have booked the car in at a local crash repair centre to get the suspension all perfectly aligned to factory settings.
I have been on the ohone this lunchtime and they have a few things to talk over aswell, so maybe give me a list of further parts to replace and improve upon.
Otherwise the car is still driving well and i am continuing to monitor fluid levels to make sure all is well.
The only real pain is that the brand new locking wheel nuts that i purchased decided to round off! I am really quite(well you can guess i am sure).
I managed to get 2 out of 4 off the car so hopefully i can get the other 2 off without damaging the wheels etc. With the standard alloy wheels it is very hard to get to the bolts as they are quite deep. Fingers crossed some ingenuity will work.

So the new list of wants and stuff to do
Need to get a replacement Air/con pipe as one had cracked and leaked out the fluid!
I may end up changing the air/con rad aswell as the fins are badly corroded anyway and therefore not completely efficient.
Then i will need to recharge the system after checking for leaks.

Still want to fit coilovers, so i am looking at various options. Ideally some KW V3's would be great but we will see.
Alloy undertray is wanted to have a cover underneath the car to prevent poor being thrown up in engine bay(we live in the country)
Maybe look at repalcing rear trailing arms when required with upgraded items with PU bushing(not available in UK currently)
Discs will need changing so i will be using EBC Ultimax discs and red stuff pads. On the front i will use Performance friction pads.
I may fit a new coolant bottle to help make the engine bay look cleaner still??
Fit new front badge as the current one is bubbled and un readable
Might get extra silencer fitted to remove some exhaust drone(although not bad unless low speed driving)

Then its down to cosmetics
Spray wiper arms black again
Spray plastic black trim black as they have dulled to grey
Spray wing mirror supports as they have corroded, black again
Remove, blast clean and spray grill meshes black again as they are rusty
Paint calipers red again as they are peeling with lacquer and look dull etc
Re-spray front wings, bumper, bonnet and side skirts as they have dulled and got many stone chips. Wings may need repair as one has bubbled quite badly.
May get alloy wheel refurb

Give it a very good clean insdie & out and then thats it. The car will be where i want it.
Attachments
20150405_154604.jpg
Weichers upper strut brace fitted. Just makes it look that bit better
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Will01
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Re: Alfa 156 GTA

Post by Will01 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:27 am

Last update for a while i feel as now the car is running well.
After getting the car back from the crash repair centre the handling is far improved and is driving straight and true once again.
This car is soo forgiving aswell and very easy to drive normally. When pushing on a bit you still need to take care, the diff does take a bit of getting used to.
I will say Quaife know how to design a diff and it completely transforms how you can drive the car. It is very precise with the other additions i have made, but now you can really control the cornering mid corner and really get a move on out of the corner.
As said before now the other changes are mostly cosmetic and some coilovers would just help finish the handling off to make perfection.
It scares quite a few hot hatch drivers when they find they cannot shake off a big saloon in the twisty corners.
I can't wait to get her out on track and really push the limits.
At somepoint i will link to some on board videos, although they may be quite constrained. Mad videos will follow once she is out on track
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Will01
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Re: Alfa 156 GTA

Post by Will01 » Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:28 am

Another little update, so the car is being regularly used for commuting again and we also had a great weekend out in the car for a good few hours and clocking up the miles.
Very pleased with how she is driving, only niggly things now to sort are to get an undertray on her as ther road is throwing up alot of dirt in the engine bay which is making our nice lovely engine bay look dirtier. Maybe my wife will get this for my 30th.
On one side when i turn slightly i am getting a slight noise either the disc is rubbing a pad or maybe start of wheel bearing.
There is no play in the wheels but maybe all the time she has spent rested up has allowed water to get in and maybe rust and pit a bearing??
If they need doing i will tie in with my MOT in not too far future. Also need to get some new pads for the front and give the discs a good clean up. Then whilst the calipers are off i may replace the braided hoses for new stainless ones and give the calipers a lick of paint etc.
I have also noticed that on very rough surfaces i am getting a slight knock from the rear end.
This has been found to be a combination of my DIY rose jointed droplinks which are starting to get a little play in them and also the rear exhaust hanger is getting soft. Therefore some new Meyle HD rear droplinks and PU exhaust bushings will be ordered up.
Had a little play with a few cars over the weekend, one of which was a friend in his BMW M3 V8. Yes i know on the open road it would leave me for dead, but on the twisty roads where we live i think he was struggling to shake me off.
If anyone ever considers buying an Alfa 156 GTA i would say go and try it, its not for everyone but we love ours.
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Will01
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Re: Alfa 156 GTA

Post by Will01 » Mon May 18, 2015 11:16 am

Little update, i had to drill out the new locking wheel bolts i had purchased as they rounded out when trying to remove. Yes it does appear these were of an inferior cheese like steel. I have never drilled through steel soo easily before. In fact it was easier to drill through compared to aluminium!
Anyway this did at least make then very easy to remove. I used 3 different sized drills and made sure i was centred. The last drill i used was 9.5mm which was just below the diameter of the thread. I then jacked the car up removed the other botls and then gave the wheel a good kick, then off flew the wheel(caught before landing on the floor face down).
I still can't get over how easily they drilled out and how easily it was to buy poor wheel bolts. Be careful of what you are buying.
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TomLouwrier
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Re: Alfa 156 GTA

Post by TomLouwrier » Mon May 18, 2015 3:48 pm

So these were the bolts that you hoped would keep your wheels on the car
- by deterring thieves
- by acting as a good fastener

Be glad you found out now, either way.

regards
Tom
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Will01
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Re: Alfa 156 GTA

Post by Will01 » Mon May 18, 2015 4:16 pm

Yes exactly!
I only fitted them on the car and then tried to remove 2 days later. I know the car is 5 stud and have done some workings in the past that i know mean the car could survive on 3 but still.
Always check the stuff you are buying.
I have since replaced with McGard which are of much better quality.
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Will01
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Re: Alfa 156 GTA

Post by Will01 » Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:30 am

So the newest update, a very wheel bearing needs changing!
They were fine when i had everything off, but now one is starting to make noise, and i have found one of the new CV boots has given up already.
Since they are on opposite sides it makes it a bigger job. But this time i am going to remove both front uprights and repalce both wheel bearings at the front. I think i may aswell fit new pads and give the discs a good clean up also.
Got an MOT booked in the next few weeks aswell, so looks like i am going to be a bit more busy again.
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Will01
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Re: Alfa 156 GTA

Post by Will01 » Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:27 am

Had to do a bit more work on the old girl last night as MOT expired at Midnight and had to take to MOT garage
Was waiting on some parts to arrive which has held up MOT which was a pain.
Anyway new Meyle HD droplinks fitted to replace the DIY Rose jointed insitu adjustable items i fitted back in May 2014.
So have done roughly 14months and 9,000miles. I would say in that time easy mileage, maybe if i had abused the car a bit more one of them would not corroded up but hey.
One of the jointed ends was completely corroded solid and the other ones are loose with noticeable play in them.
Conclusion no good for road car as they will not last, hopefully the new ones will last longer.
However i am happy to use this type of joint on the track car as it will last for years on that :)
Good little test i feel

Also fitted the new PU exhaust hangers and also noticed one of the exhaust clamps holding the back box and centre section had rusted out. Promptly repalced with new clamp and this has also help me find where i was getting slight knocking when reversing the car as it used to shake and rattle.
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Will01
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Re: Alfa 156 GTA

Post by Will01 » Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:50 am

Pictures
Droplinks before & After

New(ish) parts
New rear boot seal
Alloy undertray to help keep crud out of engine bay
New Performance Friction Carbon Metallic front pads for 330mm Brembo's
Attachments
20150723_171138.jpg
Old Droplink removed DIY adjustable
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New Meyle HD uprated fixed droplinks
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New (2nd hand) parts for Alfa
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20150718_152418.jpg
Performance Friction Carbon Metallic pads
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Will01
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Re: Alfa 156 GTA

Post by Will01 » Thu Jul 30, 2015 12:08 pm

So just a quick update
Car is back from the MOT garage after i asked him to change one of the front wheel bearings which was making a bit of noise.
So much quieter now, unfortauntely one of the track rod ends fell apart so was replaced, i have now got the car booked in to get the other side sorted and then it will be re-tracked as the car has to drive true and i can't stand having the steering wheel not straight!

I am going to wait fitting the new pads until i really need them as the old ones still have a bit of life in them, plus i will get the discs skimmed as they are a little groove but it also means it gets a fresh surface for the change of pad compound.
Then i will also get the undertray fitted, which also needs a few tweeks to make sure the diff etc gets airflow.

The car is really coming back to its former glory and better than at least mechanically.
Truly is a great car which i really do love and so do my family
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