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JT’s fleet: Range Rover’s burst it’s bag


J-T

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Right, collected these from flippin Watford(!) yesterday, got them on this morning. They were fitted to 147/156GTAs so they're a straight swap. An inch smaller, so 17s but half an inch wider with a lower offset, so they end up pushed out right to the edge of the wheelarch. And crucially they actually have some sidewall. The tyres also happen to be Michelin Pilot Sports which are bloody expensive because they are bloody good, so very happy to finally put some decent boots on it.

 

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Rides better, drives better. I always underestimate just how much difference decent tyres make to the whole drive. Very happy with them. I'll keep hold of the originals, throw them back on when I sell the car and sell these seperately as they tend to fetch good money.

 

As you can see, you really couldn't go any wider and stay within the arch

 

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This thanked me for its new wheels today by snapping the hinge on the driver's door handle. Ungrateful shit. Replacement means door card off and a swear fest. CANNOT WAIT

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  • 2 weeks later...

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Suppose I'd best try and fix this then. The top hinge on them seizes (as they are very disgruntled to be here rather than in Italy) and the hinge snaps. The hinge from a Fiat 500 fits and saves you having to replace the whole handle. Obviously this means removing the door card which is one of my least favourite jobs on any car and always seems to result in broken clips and misery.

 

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Well I got the door card off without breaking any clips (although not everything survived unscathed) but that revealed that this isn't its first rodeo and someone's been in here before. Anyway, replacing the hinge wasn't too bad. You don't have to completely remove the handle, if you leave it connected at the striker end you've just enough room to undo the hinge screw with a screwdriver bit held with some mole grips.

 

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Remember I said not everything survived unscathed? Well to remove the door card you have to unclip and remove the electric window & mirror controls from the door. This sounds lovely and simple and I'm sure to many it would be, however I managed to pull the whole unit out so hard that it fucking exploded to its component parts.

 

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That included spilling loads of tiny, stick like plastic pieces into the door. I fished out what I could and hoped I'd be able to cobble it back together when I'd fixed the hinge.

 

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After messing about with it for a bit, I came to realise that these plastic bits were the plungers that operates the pad when a switch is pushed - the little grey circles are all these plungers. There were also some really tiny white ones that operate the electric window switches (you can see one on the table to the right). Well of course I managed to lose one of those. I certainly wasn't going to buy a new one for want of one of these piddly little fuckers so had a look for some alternatives. I tried the inside of a biro cut down but it was too wide. A cocktail stick would have been about perfect but we had none. So I sat there like a complete bellend, whittling down a matchstick with a knife wondering what I was doing with my life. Anyway, it worked! Threw it all back together and had a fully operative door handle again along with a switch bank containing a bit of matchstick.

 

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Treated it to a wash after because as you may be able to see, I live down the equivalent of a farm track which is a massive pain in the arse in winter.

 

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Stay tuned to find out what falls off next!

 

 

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This thing is PISSING ME OFF now

 

Another clutch issue now. The pedal feel has been a bit odd the past 10 days or so: it was toughening up when stuck in traffic for a while or at low speed then would noticeably lighten again after giving it some beans or a higher speed run.

 

I drove up to the Lakes yesterday to meet some friends and towards the end of the trip the pedal lost resistance for the top half of the travel and the bite point was on the floor. When I got in it to drive home this morning, it was worse and now difficult to select a gear, so I nursed it to the motorway where obviously it could be left in 6th.

 

By the time I’d got home the pedal had come back a bit but it’s still not right. I’m thinking slave cylinder or master cylinder and googling suggests the fucking engine mounts need undoing to create enough clearance to change the master cylinder.

 

This is meant to be my *reliable modern

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Sometimes I miss my 147...reading things like this remind me how well I survived my brief encounter with one :)

 

Btw replacement window switches are about £50 on the bay...fingers crossed the matchstick keeps working.

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Fixed this over the last couple of days, I did both the master & slave cylinder. Car assumed what has come to be its natural position

 

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Did the slave first which wasn't too bad, removing the battery tray gives good access

 

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The cylinder is held into that bracket with a big circlip. This took about half and hour of wrangling to remove as it was rusted on. Then came the fun of trying to get the cylinder out of the bracket. It was well seized in there. I decided to take the whole lot off the car which meant cutting down a 6mm allen key to access the top bolt of the bracket with the cylinder in place. To cut a long story short, even after smacking it with a lump hammer and ruining the cylinder, it would not move so I ended up having to order a new bracket from Alfaworkshop, I think the fact that they carry them in stock tells its own story. So that added a day to the proceedings.

 

Then came the master cylinder. T'internets was suggesting undoing engine mounts and tipping it forward but I wasn't pissing about with that so just undid the fuel filter assembly which created just about enough room to access the bulkhead. When I had a look inside the car, the inlet pipe connection to the cylinder is in the footwell but there was nowhere near enough room to undo the crimp connector and no wiggle room at all on the rubber pipe. Looking at the engine side, the rubber pipe fitted on to a hard line along the bulkhead so I decided to undo it here and pull the whole lot through the bulkhead. This was a right faff as it wouldn't come off and there was no room to get a proper grip so I had to just cut it off. This meant ordering some pipe so I could attach it to the cylinder off the car, then feed the pipe through the grommet in the bulkhead from the inside (no pics as you couldn't really see much!). Much swearing happened but I got there in the end. The master cylinder was clearly the offending article once it was off the car, offering no resistance along half of its travel.

 

Tried to bleed it up with a pressure bleed kit but every time I use this, it seems to not seal properly and just piss fluid everywhere so I gave up with that and did it the old fashioned way. The fluid was black as expected so seals have been breaking down.

 

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Whilst in the area I also noticed that the breather pipe wiggling across the middle of the shot is split at both ends and making a mess so I guess that's on the list next.

 

Oh and the passenger sun visor now will not stay up as someone had the temerity to use it last weekend. Sigh.

 

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It's frustrating how many foibles these things have and how shit they were thrown together in places, as otherwise they really are a cracking mix of good to drive and look at while being relatively practical.

 

Silver lining is that external slave, at least its not a box off job like so many other modernz.

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True, apparently the petrols have a concentric slave inside the box so at least there’s that.

 

It’s a bit of a joke really when you compare it to my partner’s car which in 4 years has required a tyre and a front caliper. Although to be fair I think a Toyota Corolla could survive a nuclear winter. And it’s 3 years older!

 

Since I’ve owned it, I’ve seen 1 other on the road...that’s 1 other 147, not Ducati. I think they’re dying off at an alarming rate now as people cba with them and I can kind of see why, which is a shame as I love it when it works. But I guess it’s always been true of Alfa/Fiat....I can’t remember the last time I saw a Stilo either.

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True, apparently the petrols have a concentric slave inside the box so at least there’s that.

 

It’s a bit of a joke really when you compare it to my partner’s car which in 4 years has required a tyre and a front caliper. Although to be fair I think a Toyota Corolla could survive a nuclear winter. And it’s 3 years older!

 

Since I’ve owned it, I’ve seen 1 other on the road...that’s 1 other 147, not Ducati. I think they’re dying off at an alarming rate now as people cba with them and I can kind of see why, which is a shame as I love it when it works. But I guess it’s always been true of Alfa/Fiat....I can’t remember the last time I saw a Stilo either.

 

 

All fiat/Alfa's seem to be a dying breed at the moment.

 

I've been getting hassled about taking on a fiat 20vT coupe that's been sitting for a few years.

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All fiat/Alfa's seem to be a dying breed at the moment.

 

I've been getting hassled about taking on a fiat 20vT coupe that's been sitting for a few years.

A straight 20v turbo Coupe fetches very serious money now, especially in one of the bright colours.

 

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk

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Close to committing to a new daily. Volvos and Hyundai’s, along with Seats are the sensible all rounders. I ruled out a Guilietta or Mito early doors.

 

But....

 

I ALWAYS stop and look at Alfa’s. I NEVER do that to other brands. I know the Mito is the worst car in its class but it’s just a lovely looker I just know I would love it far more than the others.

 

I would ignore most options apart from the extended warranty though

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Get one, honestly you'll have loads of time to stop and look at it, it'll make sure of that!

 

Not actually that keen on the little Mito's looks and I can't quite make up my mind on the Giulietta (incidentally both of which are ready for their retirement but still seem to be struggling on, as per 147 did)

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I've seen quite a few 147s on the ramp at my local Alfa specialist over the last year or so.  It's reassuring to know there are definitely still a few around here, even if they're ungrateful bastards.

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Mito production is over so I would imagine many dealers will be open to ridiculous offers just to clear the little bastards off the inventory.

 

Only petrol available now is a Twinair engine. Performance will be modest but cheap road tax and the sound of an angry bee on acceleration is something I won’t tire of. 105hp will be enough, my current daily has the same and as it is bigger a Mito may feel a tad more sprightly.

 

And at least it will stand out amongst the grey Premium brands in the car park. I won’t pay extra for a colour, I will go for the standard red as the £495 saved will pay for an extended warranty and an RAC membership afterwards

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A straight 20v turbo Coupe fetches very serious money now, especially in one of the bright colours.

 

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk

 

It's that pearly light purple colour. Portofino Blue

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My 156 was the car that emptiesd my wallet the most. I would not have another even though they do look great. It never felt that special though, unlike the two Alfa 33’s and a GTV my mate had in the 90’s.

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Okay, some advice please. I’m still not happy with the clutch action on this thing. It starts off lovely, then stiffens up as it’s used, especially in traffic. Apparently it’s a well known issue with these and the 156 and is caused by the bottom bush on the clutch actuator shaft getting clogged up with crap inside the bellhousing. The recommended remedy for this is to remove the clutch actuator arm (that the slave cylinder acts upon) which reveals the top of the actuator shaft, remove the top bush and dribble a small amount of oil down the shaft to lubricate the bottom bush inside the bellhousing. If you look at this pic, the actuator arm is what the slave cylinder connects to on top of the box.

 

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I attempted to do this task when I was changing the slave cylinder but I just couldn’t get the actuator arm off the shaft. It’s held on by a circlip which came off ok but it’s welded itself to the splined top of the actuator shaft. I tried copious amounts of plusgas, me hanging off it, levering it with a big screwdriver all to no avail. Any suggestions on removing it for round 2? Access isn’t too bad but there’s nothing great to lever from.

 

I’m pretty confident it is this, as when I first had the clutch done after the box had been apart it was lovely. Now 4 months on it must have got full of crap again. I am determined to get this clutch sorted!

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Looks like a bit of a shit, from other pictures of boxes for sale on ebay etc it looks like there isn't a slot in it or anything to pry it open a bit, and you can't get under it to get a puller on it. 

 

I reckon I would go for sweet, sweet fire. The inside of the box there has just got the metal clutch lever so provided you can move the wiring etc above it, and the problem bush isn't plastic, you shouldn't melt anything.

 

Get a blowtorch on it and get it good and hot, it will expand the lever and also bust some of the rust. 

When it's hot you should be able to pry it off OK with a screwdriver.

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The top bush underneath it is plastic but I was going to order a new one anyway as it's probably dead brittle now and I doubt I'll get it out in one piece.

 

I'll have another go when the weather improves and apply some heat

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ok, been on at this again. When I left the clutch arm last time, I poured a load of 3in1 oil over the top of the splines in the hope it would relesase it over time. It didn't. Reminder of what I was on at

 

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I thought I'd try Dave Q's suggestion of applying heat but I've no blow torch so had to make do with a hot air gun set on high. I used one of the attachments to shield the hose running near it and got it smoking hot. Still wouldn't budge. I let it cool a little, gave it some more plusgas and tried again for longer. Still no. Tried a 3rd time, still didn't work at which point I became concerend I was going to damage something so I put a load of plusgas and 3in1 down the splines again and came inside and sought further suggestions on how to proceed and made some dinner. By the time I went back out to it, it had cooled down and the oil must have done its stuff because it actually moved a tiny amount. Lots of wiggling and lots of oil later...

 

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Success! After that was off, the plastic bush needed removing to allow a small amount of oil down the shaft to lubricate the bottom bush. I'd already anticipated that this would be brittle and a little twat to remove so I ordered a new one. I did end up snapping a little bit off the old one so I'm pleased I did.

 

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I put about 2 teaspoons of oil down the shaft, fitted the new bush (lubricated it with red rubber grease) and put it all back together. I haven't driven it far enough yet to know if this has finally sorted the clutch action, Monday morning will reveal, but the pedal is certainly softer and smoother, I just hope it stays that way all the time now.

 

I hadn't washed it for about 6 weeks so gave it a good clean today. Look at the state of these..

 

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Looking at it, I think the bumper needs to come off to access those and I can't see them coming off without a fight. I think it's wise to pick my battles with this car! They do look proper ropey though!

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