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About J-T

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    Rank: BL Wedge

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  1. It’s really similar on 147/156s - easier to just drop the whole strut if it’s being a pain, but you know now 😂 Im not sure if the Brera has the same hex headed pinch bolt setup at the bottom of the shock absorber, but if it has just pray you never need to undo the fucker.
  2. You know I’m never that sure that these swirl flap issues aren’t over-hyped problems spread on owner’s forums. The smaller 1.9 engine is meant to have ‘omfg will explode’ swirl flaps, but when I took mine to my usual mechanic for his opinion (30 odd years in the game) he said he’d never seen one fail on that engine and hadn’t heard of it being a particular issue with it. This was almost echoed by a well known Alfa specialist I took it to, who, in not so many words, basically said it’s put about on Alfa forums by another well known Alfa specialist to generate work. The flaps can stick and give problems, but in the 15 + years they’d been out, he’d only seen one failure and it was clogged with shite from an equally choked EGR valve. * I accept no responsibility for your grenading flaps
  3. I do like a 480, I nearly had one as my 1st car. I was amazed at 2 ‘proper’ seats in the back!
  4. J-T

    eBay tat volume 3.

    Doesn’t sound particularly salty if it’s as nice as it looks
  5. J-T

    W123 Collected

    Can’t say as I’ve noticed it with mine, but if that’s what the book says I wouldn’t worry about it. Id like to do something about the seat in mine, it’s like a collapsed mattress. Don’t think it’ll be an £800 fix though!
  6. Ok, I’m starting to get irritated now, albeit through my own actions! Ordered the fuel hose and it was the wrong size when it arrived. This was on Friday, so that put it out of action until Monday. It arrived Monday and I’d ordered completely the wrong size (read outer diameter as inside diameter). Ordered the right size for next day, that came today so that got cut to size and fitted. Other than fuel pissing out of the fuel filter when I first started it as the Union wasn’t quite nipped up enough, that is now all good. I took it round the block to make sure all was ok and unfortunately the arse end is really not happy. Making some nasty noises above about 40mph. I can only guess this is the driveshafts. I found, when changing the boots, that instead of the usual CV grease, they were lubricated by oil, as did my drive. Each boot came with a sachet of grease so I just fired that in instead and hoped it would be ok. It clearly isn’t! I think to fill them properly, the driveshafts need removing, turning on their end, then the ‘can’ filling with oil, then the CV boot sealing. Otherwise the oil just runs back out. I really really really cba pulling the driveshafts off. So my current plan is to undo the clamp on the small end of the boot, insert a syringe at the top of where the shaft passes through the boot, wrap a cable tie fairly tightly around the bottom so that it will hopefully stop the oil running back out, inject the oil with the syringe, then pull the cable tie tight. Will it work?...I highly doubt it, but I’ve ordered a syringe and I’m giving it a go. Tune in next time for the inevitable pics of the axle in bits.
  7. Great pic, I’d like to try a 280 to compare.
  8. Forgot to say in that last update, I changed all the coolant hoses as well for some Autodoc specials. I’ve had an annoying day today. Of my original list, all that’s left to do is change the oil in the diff, reseal the diff cover, replace the driveshaft boots and deal with the perished fuel hoses around the pump/filter oh, and change the filter. All stuff at the rear end, so I reversed it on to some ramps and got going. Diff oil change went ok, the fill plug was hella tight but gave way after several wacks with a lump hammer. I used fluid extractor/syringe thing to fill it which is always messy but got the job done. When I properly inspected and cleaned the diff, I realised it wasn’t the diff cover that had been leaking, it looks like it’s the seals where the drive shafts enter. I cba taking the shafts out, so that’ll have to stay leaky. Have a pointless pic of the diff I then started to poke around these fuel hoses. The main feed from the tank to the pump looked suspect and sure enough, with a slight squeeze... Shit. I didn’t have any fuel hose in that size and it had now ruptured good and proper. I wanted to take it with me to the motor factors so I got the right stuff, so I planned to try and pull one end off, cut a bit off and quickly reattach it to stop me losing too much fuel. As I did this though it properly split, so I ended up having to drain the sodding tank. It had just under a quarter of a tank in it so I then had to race round looking for a suitable container. I couldn’t find one, so I turfed out the bedding that was sitting in this plastic box and used that. I also had another 5l in an actual petrol can. I got fucking covered in it, then had to pour it into some old screenwash bottles to store it. I then spent about 90mins driving to 3 different motor factors, none of whom had the right size hose, so I’ve had to internet order it and the car is now laid up until at least Monday. SIGH. I did, however realise why I could never find a setup that looked like mine on any parts diagram... That’s the tank outlet. It’s been fitted with a smaller diameter piece of hose, which the larger hose then fits over and goes to the pump. I’m guessing this happened to replace the proper setup when the noisy fuel pump was fitted, as the fuel pump probably has a larger inlet bore than it should have and so would have required a hose with a different diameter at each end. It didn’t leak before, so I’m hoping it won’t again, once the new hose is on. I changed the filter whilst I was in there And changed out all the 6mm diameter hoses as I had some of that. Once the main tank feed is in place, that’s all the dodgy hoses done. This had now taken up most of the day but I wanted to have a go at sorting this An innovative use of sealant, I’ll agree but probably wants fixing. I’ve bought 4 universal split cv boots to do them all. I’ve never used these before and I’ve been dreading this a bit as I usually find this sort of time saving idea great in theory, but shit in practice when everything is in the way when doing it in situ. I wish I’d bought 5 now as I don’t think this one will stay on long As you can see, I got it on, but I’ve cut the smaller end a bit short so there’s nothing to stop the clamp sliding off. I also ballsed up the other, larger clamp because I was trying to clamp the boot on in the wrong place and hadn’t cut it down enough, so that side is held on with cable ties. The actual glueing bit wasn’t too bad. I reckon I can do a decent job on the other 3 now. Of my original list, there *shouldn’t be anything left to do now. I did manage to find a rear door actuator for the central locking to try and get that working properly but that’s coming from Eastern Europe so won’t be here for a while. I’ve been putting about 70/80 miles a week on it and it seems to be getting better with use. I’m enjoying using it, it’s just a shame the gearbox doesn’t have an overdrive on 4th because it’s doing about 3500rpm at 70 But other than that, I really like it. The brakes are really good for its age and it has enough power to get you out of trouble should you need, whilst being really very simply engineered; you can see why loads ended up in North Africa. Come September I start a new job and this is going to be taking me to the station every morning, hence the slight rush on to get it sorted over the past few weeks - it needs to be reliable. In Alfa news, it’s battery had been struggling to turn it over when left for a few days. I connected it up to my charger and it was only showing about 40% charged. I’ve had it on charge for 24hrs or so and it’s almost showing full now, so hopefully I’ve caught it in time. It’s also on a COVID MOT extension so I want to get that done before the end of August or it’ll run out in the middle of winter and there’s nowt worse than being forced to do a repair job in rain and sleet. I’ve just been holding off until I was further on with the Merc in case it failed and I ended up with both of the fleet off the road,
  9. They really are awful aren’t they! I think the Recaros in the trophy were the same as those in the Megane R26? If so, I reckon they’re the best seat I’ve ever had in a car. What* an accolade. Pinned you in place and somehow kept you very comfy whilst doing so.
  10. They were an option, so fairly rare.
  11. Always amused me how they fitted these with a steering wheel the size of a bus. Looks an honest car. I went to buy a black 182 about 10/11 years ago now from a dealer in Halifax (which should have told me all I needed to know) but when I looked over it, the tailgate didn’t fit right and the boot floor was all rippled. I ended up with a rough Civic Type R instead, as I was without a car and that happened to be in stock as well. I always liked how kitted out these clios were, I know everyone fawned over the cup versions but they were utterly shit inside.
  12. What a pisser, but I think I'd probably make the same decision. Onwards as they say!
  13. Coolant change and flush this morning. I was expecting worse than what came out All went smoothly apart from initially forgetting to reinstate the drain plug in the block before filling up and wondering why I could hear trickling. DOH! I also gingerly tried the bolts on the thermostat housing but they all came out no bother, so I swapped the stat as well. All bled up and it sits dead on 90 now, where it used to waver about a bit. The tailgate must have had a dent in it at some point which has been repaired with filler, that’s now cracked. I dunno why, when you consider the overall state of the thing but this kept bugging me Then I remembered seeing something stuffed in the side compartment of the boot that may work, although it was clearly ancient and had some mega creases in it so I wasn’t optimistic but guess what There we go. A period reflection of continental sojourns past. I can’t actually recall seeing one of those GB stickers for ages!
  14. I decided to have a go at tackling this manifold job, gulp. I thought I’d do it at a leisurely pace over 2 days so I didn’t stress myself the fuck out... I bought new studs and nuts in preparation and a set of nut extractors. I was fairly dubious about the latter but I’d have really struggled without them and can see them becoming a favoured weapon in the old arsenal so wud rekkomend. I first set about heating me nutz with a blow torch, which generated a highly *amusing incident whereby I set the fucking thing on fire. Turns out it’s not a good idea to lather everything in Plusgas and then apply an open flame. Who knew 🤷🏻‍♂️. I was actually rather lucky as there’s enough oil on that engine block to make OPEC do a stocktake, so I put the blowtorch away after that! I somewhat sensibly changed tack and gently tried a 12mm ratcheting spanner, which immediately rounded it. So I tried the 12mm extractor which didnt break the rust seal on the nut but gripped it so hard that it just wound the stud out of the head. It did that for about 6 of the 8 and a couple stayed in. This took a while as the bottom nuts are a bit tricky to access and needed various combinations of spanners, extractors etc. Got it off eventually but I couldn’t fully remove 2 of the studs from the manifold as the nut was stuck on and the casting didn’t allow enough room to extract them. Wasn’t too bothered as I had new studs so I could just cut these. This was the gasket that was leaking It was flat as a pancake and very clearly leaking. I then began to build it back up and realised my new studs were too short by about 5mm as the internet had lied to me. Sigh...that meant salvaging the old ones, which didn’t seem in a bad way but most of them had a nut stuck to them. I didn’t have a nut splitter so had to get a bit creative I actually got quite good at it by the 4th/5th one! System was, hold the stud with mole grips, cut a slit in each side of the nut until you could just see the threads, then lay it on the brick and twat it with a hammer and cold chisel until the nut broke off. I am genuinely proud to say, I managed to salvage them all. Even those two on the car that wouldn’t come out of the manifold. I had to do those in situ as I didn’t wanna remove the manifold from the down pipe and risk another leak, which was tricky as one was underneath, but I got there eventually. Unfortunately it seems that gasket wasn’t sealing because the face of the manifold on that port has sort of eroded away You can see at the top of the port above, when you compare it to a “good” one below Annoying as that left very little chance of the new gasket sealing either. Then I remembered I had this in the shed So I got it all built back up, using the old studs with new nutz and gaskets and applied a smear of that stuff between the face of the problem port on the manifold and the gasket and tightened everything up I started it up and...NO MORE NOISE!!! It only fupping worked. Now I’m not very hopeful that it will stay sealed, I’m 99% sure that as soon as I start razzing about in it, it’ll start blowing again as that stuff is meant for sealing holes back boxes and I don’t think it’ll stand the temperatures at the manifold. To fix it, I think I’m gonna have to get the face of the manifold skimmed. But for now I’ll celebrate a battle win, if not the war! And at least I know it’ll come apart next time. Spurred on by that little victory, I changed out the rocker cover gasket as the old one seems to have been leaking for about two decades. Thankfully this was much easier. It gave me my first look at the valve train Grim! The oil in there is 1 week old and fully blackened again. I reckon it’s gonna need about 3 changes in quick succession to get it any better. It’s a bit sludgy in the crevices, I’ve heard putting oil formulated for diesels in is good at cleaning this, so I might try that next. I don’t fancy running engine flush through it in case it clogs the pickup or something. The rocker cover wasn’t much better So I gave that a clean before it went back on Need to do the rest of the block now. And change the coolant. And replace the driveshaft boots. And change the diff oil. And change the fuel filter and dodgy lines. And...
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