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


J-T

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Those plastic bushes are such mingery, I'm sure it wouldn't have impacted the bottom line much to use something less shit.

 

It's the same thing on the gear linkage that affects every single one of these things.

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They really are shit aren't they and a new one was £16! Those gear linkage ones are kinder egg quality but they did make a massive difference once done.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I gave the rear brakes an overhaul over the last couple of days. I've known the discs were ropey for ages and when I took a closer look the pads had about 2mm of material left so it was well overdue. The handbrake wasn't great either. From when I did the front brakes, I anticipated everything being seized and thought the calipers were probably the cause of the crap handbrake (every handbrake caliper I've encountered just seems to go to shit with age and seize up) and I've never had much success with just exercising the pistons, so I planned on changing them. I found two brand new on ebay for about £65. I was very wary at that price, but they were alright when they turned up. This is fitted with red calipers so I set up a makeshift spray booth in the shed and splashed some colour on.

 

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They aren't exactly showroom finish but they're good enough. When I got to stripping them down they weren't actually as bad as the fronts and it came apart generally ok, although they've clearly seen no maintenance for a while, but the sliders were all free. It's a bit of a pain though as Alfa saw fit to obscure the bottom carrier bolt with a suspension arm so you need to do a pit of jiggery pokery to make enough room to remove the disc without having to remove the suspension arm.

 

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Horrible old discs off.

 

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Shiney new ones built up. I went for Brembo discs & pads, same as the fronts when ECP had a 50% off code. They're good quality and don't rust off in the middle like cheaper ones. It's made a bigger difference than I thought, it stops on a sixpence now.

 

You may notice it still has it's old calipers on. That's because when I got into it, the old ones were fine. I noticed one of the handbrake arms wasn't returning to its stop and this is why the handbrake was crap, the cable was siezed. Whilst I was there I thought I may as well fit them like a dickhead I rounded off the union to the flexi, so I'd probably have to replace the flexi and get the caliper in a vice to get the old line out and I couldn't be arsed getting into that when essentially it all worked. Suppose I've got some spares now!

 

The handbrake cable did put up a bit of a fight, I had to dremel it off as I couldn't get enough slack to unclip it from the caliper. And it was very nicely rusted into the central mount.

 

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Managed to free it eventually. So for the minute I've no handbrake. I've already forgotten it was parked in gear once so hopefully the new one turns up before I drive through a shop window or something.

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I gave the rear brakes an overhaul over the last couple of days. I've known the discs were ropey for ages and when I took a closer look the pads had about 2mm of material left so it was well overdue. The handbrake wasn't great either. From when I did the front brakes, I anticipated everything being seized and thought the calipers were probably the cause of the crap handbrake (every handbrake caliper I've encountered just seems to go to shit with age and seize up) and I've never had much success with just exercising the pistons, so I planned on changing them. I found two brand new on ebay for about £65. I was very wary at that price, but they were alright when they turned up. This is fitted with red calipers so I set up a makeshift spray booth in the shed and splashed some colour on.

 

47608415952_b1b82b83ed_k.jpg

 

They aren't exactly showroom finish but they're good enough. When I got to stripping them down they weren't actually as bad as the fronts and it came apart generally ok, although they've clearly seen no maintenance for a while, but the sliders were all free. It's a bit of a pain though as Alfa saw fit to obscure the bottom carrier bolt with a suspension arm so you need to do a pit of jiggery pokery to make enough room to remove the disc without having to remove the suspension arm.

 

46937187404_34ecefc2a2_k.jpg

 

Horrible old discs off.

 

40694756253_f6b9887f3d_k.jpg

 

Shiney new ones built up. I went for Brembo discs & pads, same as the fronts when ECP had a 50% off code. They're good quality and don't rust off in the middle like cheaper ones. It's made a bigger difference than I thought, it stops on a sixpence now.

 

You may notice it still has it's old calipers on. That's because when I got into it, the old ones were fine. I noticed one of the handbrake arms wasn't returning to its stop and this is why the handbrake was crap, the cable was siezed. Whilst I was there I thought I may as well fit them like a dickhead I rounded off the union to the flexi, so I'd probably have to replace the flexi and get the caliper in a vice to get the old line out and I couldn't be arsed getting into that when essentially it all worked. Suppose I've got some spares now!

 

The handbrake cable did put up a bit of a fight, I had to dremel it off as I couldn't get enough slack to unclip it from the caliper. And it was very nicely rusted into the central mount.

 

33783906798_9461a426ab_k.jpg

 

Managed to free it eventually. So for the minute I've no handbrake. I've already forgotten it was parked in gear once so hopefully the new one turns up before I drive through a shop window or something.

Good work. Thanks for the write up. Helps me to learn stuff!

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  • 1 month later...

Not much to report on this, although it seems to be getting rather claggy. I've run a tankful of BP posh diesel and injector cleaner through it which seems to have improved things. I've asked my usual garage for a price to de-swirl the inlet manifold but two weeks later, I am yet to recieve one, despite ringing to chase (which I think probably means they don't want to get involved).

However I have noticed a rather annoying quirk. The aircon isn't behaving: when the car's first started (with the aircon on), you hear the compressor kick in and it works fine and brings the rad fan on. If you then turn the aircon off, it won't turn back on until the car has been switched off and on again. It also seems to be turning itself off after about 15 mins use and then won't come on again until the car's switched off and on. I think it's probably been doing this the whole time I've had it, as I was always under the impression that the climate control was crap because it probably needed a regas. It's only with the warmer weather that I've realised that when it's on, it gets nice and cold...it just won't stay on.

I've some cheapo diagnostic software that provides the system pressure when it's running and it's constantly cycling between around 11 and 16, but I dunno if this is normal or if it should keep a constant reading?

Any ideas what might be wrong?

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Possibly worth dropping £30-odd (before it goes up to £50 when summer hits in July) on a proper vacuum drain and refill? Anywhere with the proper kit will do a UV leak test and should spot if the compressor isn't compressing when it should. It could just be that it's borderline low pressure that's stopping it from turning on once it's all warmed up.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Right, I’m gonna have to sort this bloody aircon. A black car with black leather and a black headlining does not make a pleasant environment in this weather!

I found a groupon so had it regassed the other week on the cheap but it’s still the same. Reading around I reckon it might be a faulty pressure switch, although I think there’s one each on both the high and low pressure side. I downloaded the free version of MultiECUscan (mainly works on Fiat group stuff) but it won’t connect to the climate ECU without buying the proper version so I reckon I’ll have to bite the bullet and see what it’s saying.

Oh and I did get a price on de-swirling the manifold eventually...over £500! I may as well put a bloody new one on for that kind of money

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I'm not convinced Terraclean and the likes would touch the kind of carbon build up from EGR gasses in an inlet manifold. Don't they just run through the fuel system?

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It's really difficult to get any SCIENCE on whether it's snake oil or not, many positive testimonials but they are from people who have just paid out for one so their brain wants to tell them it was good value and it made a difference. 

One thing I have seen recently is people on local FB selling sites offering off-brand Terraclean equivalents for a more palatable price (£40-60)

My wife's old JTD was fairly claggy when booted, we never got to the bottom of it but it kept passing MOTs.

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It's not so much the clag I'm bothered about - although it's due its MOT now so that may change as I think they've tightened the rules and it has to comply with whatever it's rated at on the VIN plate in terms of emissions/smoke?

It's the fact that the swirl flaps on it now have 105k and 10 years on them and are ever more likely to grenade so either want doing away with or treating as a long term service item. Trouble is, dickhead me bought this when every long term service item was due and the car's worth feck all really. Then I look at it and see paint defects and dents that do my head in that never get sorted as why would I spend £200 getting the dents done when it's chewed another £500, so I think stop spending and bail. It's the ever present conundrum, do you keep going or get rid (and probably start again!).

 

Or do you just shutup and drive it. Probably the latter eh!

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That is still just a smoke opacity test done at idle after a few revs, I don't think it would be much of an issue if it's claggy on boost provided it's not on idle. 

I would be slightly nervous about the flaps but for £500 in your position I would probably just get on and drive it :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Not posted about this for a while. After getting the quote back about the swirl flaps, I decided I was going to move it on and convinced myself I was going to replace it with a blobeye Impreza WRX Wagon after really enjoying blatting about in my old silver 'classic' shape one. Its MOT was due though so in a rare moment of sensible thinking, I made myself wait until I could put 12 months MOT on it to help sell it. It passed its MOT with no emissions hassle and just got an advisory about a balljoint. I even then went as far as advertising it on some Alfa groups on faceache but didn't get much of a response. Whilst it was advertised, for reasons I cannot explain, I decided to whip off the EGR valve and see how clogged up it was. I was somewhat heartened to find that it had been fitted with a restrictor plate (like a blanking plate but with a couple of 5mm holes in the middle that allow just enough gasses through to the inlet so the EML doesn't come on) and the valve itself wasn't really clogged up at all. Just had the expected thin layer of carbon on everything.

This little discovery and the MOT pass ended up being enough to convince me to keep it. The guy who had it before me didn't really have much interest in cars so I can't see him having gone to the trouble of fitting a restrictor plate to the EGR. He had the car for 5 years, so I reckon it's been on there since it was at least 5 years old, meaning it *shouldn't have as much carbon build up in the inlet that ends up making the swirl flaps fall off. Well, that's the theory anyway, obviously I may be completely wrong. Also, because I'm in stop/start traffic so much, it tends to only average around 38mpg, which would probably turn to about 18mpg in a subaru, which is a bit daft really.

I had though, become bored with its performance so if I was keeping it, I made the decision to get it remapped. Before that could happen though, it was due a major service which I decided to tackle myself to save some sheckles. Read on to see how difficult I found a simple task...

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So as you do, I made ordered all the kit from a combination of ECP and GSF as they had 50% & 60% codes running. I also decided to change the gearbox oil so ordered some up from Opie Oils.

Had a bit of an undertray to drop

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That ended up taking me about half an hour despite the fact there was only one bolt remaining at the front and two at the back. The one at the front was unfortunately rather like a corroded murray mint and took much plusgas and back n forth action to extract without snapping the one remaining stud

After reading a quick service guide, my car should be fitted with a 12mm hex sump plug, so I made sure to order a 12mm hex key as I knew I didn't have one. However I got under there to find this..

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Most definitely not a hex key, but a ribe fitting which my very late car definitely wouldn't have. I didn't have one of those either. I tried a torx T50 but it was fucking tight and I could feel the bit flexing so decided to give that up until I had the right fitting. I find this kind of thing fucking infuriating and I seem to manage it almost every time I attempt a job.

Instead I got on with the gearbox oil. Again, I'd looked this up and was surprised to find that this box actually has a dipstick - remember them!? So that acts as the refill point and there are 10mm hex drain points on the bottom of the box and the diff. If it's on ramps like this was it'll all drain through the diff but I took the other off as it's magnetic so cleared the hedgehog like filings from it. As it was draining it didn't look too bad but once collected it was pretty black

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Turned out that box had a pinhole in it, which I didn't realise until it had been sat for about an hour FFS! I left that draining and got on to the air filter. This is a bit of a pain on the 147. Like lots of italian stuff, the airbox is low down and the cover swings open so that there is a gap precisely 3mm too small to extract or insert a filter.

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Held my breath undoing those clips and some crowbar action ensued to force the gap open wide enough. Otherwise you'd have to remove the battery and battery tray to extract everthing from above and I wasn't getting into that again.

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It was pretty manky, it's last major service was 25k ago. Incidentally I just couldn't get the new one in with that bit of foam on, so that got ripped off.

The fuel filter on the other hand has good access, located on the bulkhead and was without incident

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With that done, I went to re-fill the gearbox. I already had a funnel with a long tube extension for this sort of thing, but found that the tube was about 1mm too wide to fit into the dipstick hole. COURSE IT FUCKING WAS. This meant I had to rig something up. I managed to find some small vacuum hose in the shed so used that as an extension to the tube. This was the setup.

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Just after taking this pic, Greenpeace arrived due an oil spill of Exxon Valdez levels. The vacuum hose very quickly came out of the bottom of the main hose and oil went FUCKING EVERYWHERE!

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I was not happy! Battery, inner wing, outer wing, intake hose. All covered. Sigh. So that was another half hour lost.

Pollen filter next after smearing oil all over my engine bay. Except I found I couldn't fucking do that either, as the cover for that is held on by 5.5mm hex headed screws and I didn't have the right bit. How many types of fixing does one car need Alfa!!??

So, round 2, after ordering some ribe bits and the other...

The pollen filter is accessed under the glovebox, the cover's held on by 3 screws, two of which are hard to see. The driver I'd bought turned out to be too long to access them properly so that had to be 'modified'.

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They came out alright but the cover was a right bastard to get back on with the new filters fitted. I ended up upside down, on my head with a screwdriver prising it into the right position. Definitely needed changing though

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With that *success I moved on to changing the oil, now I had the right tool. I'd also ordered a replacement sump plug just in case things got serious. The sump plug was very very tight. Almost as soon as I applied proper pressure, it rounded off. WINNING! The following combination eventually got the little bastard off

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and I didn't have to worry about damaging the plug as I had a new one to go on...that didn't even nearly fit. Thanks ECP! So unfortunately I've had to refit the somewhat knarled old one. So that's a job for the next oil change. The filter is low down, at the front near the turbo with pretty good access so that went without incident.

I'm happy to say that after all that faffing, it did drive noticeably better, with improved pickup.

I'd noticed that there was a fair amount of shunt when coming off the power so had a poke about and found the engine stabiliser bush was looking a bit borked.

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I found a Febi replacment for about £25 so boshed that on. It didn't really make much different to be honest.

So there you go! How to make a simple service last 2 weeks! So since I've had it, it's had..

Cambelt & waterpump change

Clutch & DMF change

Clutch master & slave change

New disks & pads all round

GTA wheels

Aircon regas (which didn't solve the problem)

Full service

Christ! And after all that, in my infinite wisdom, it's booked for a remap next week. It apparently should take it to around 210/215bhp from 170bhp (although it's never felt like 170bhp to me). Will the new clutch survive? Will the turbo give up? Is anyone arsed? Probably not but I'll no doubt tell you anyway. Other than that, I've had a quote from the dent man to go over the car for £180 which I think I'll get done, I'm going to take it to an aircon specialist in St Helens who I've used before to get an answer as to what's going on there and whilst I was underneath, I noticed some bits that are starting to need some attention

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So I'll get those rubbed down and treated once it stops raining again.

Traaaaaaa

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Bonnet won't open. The bonnet pull isn't doing anything. Tried operating it with someone pushing/pulling on the bonnet but nahhh, it's fucked.

This car hates me. And I'm beginning to hate it.

I'm not even attempting this one, a garage can bend themselves double.

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My ex had a lovely 147 1.6 twin spark lusso which I worked on far too regularly. 

 

EVERYTHING is a complete PITA on these cars. I learned to hate it after a few years and it died a horrible tough mot death one year after which I convinced her to sell it to a scrappy and replace it with something newer. 

 

I like this this one tho however those memories can’t be forgotten and I can never own another. 

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13 hours ago, Tenmil Socket said:

I had an Alfa once and I swore never again. Got rid after a few months...

It honestly seems like every success is rewarded with total frustration elsewhere. 

At 10 years old it kind of feels like everything is at end of life - door handles snapping, bonnet pulls snapping, sun visors flapping about. It’s piss poor really but it somehow still adds up to more than the sum of a bunch of parts provided by the lowest bidder.

Eg, it’s steering is one of the best I’ve experienced on a small hatchback, it’s just over 2 turns lock to lock and turn in is great. It’s just unfortunate that I can’t guarantee that I will exit the bend with all the vehicle parts that I entered it with, or at least not fully functioning.

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10 hours ago, J-T said:

It honestly seems like every success is rewarded with total frustration elsewhere. 

At 10 years old it kind of feels like everything is at end of life - door handles snapping, bonnet pulls snapping, sun visors flapping about. It’s piss poor really but it somehow still adds up to more than the sum of a bunch of parts provided by the lowest bidder.

Eg, it’s steering is one of the best I’ve experienced on a small hatchback, it’s just over 2 turns lock to lock and turn in is great. It’s just unfortunate that I can’t guarantee that I will exit the bend with all the vehicle parts that I entered it with, or at least not fully functioning.

Mine failed the MOT on emmissions. I took it to an Alfa specialist* and once I was £500 lighter it still wouldn't pass... it went to auction. 

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This is currently getting its bonnet cable replaced.

It went in on Friday, they managed to access the catch by removing the undertray, removing a bumper grille and the main grille but said it was an absolute pain. Once in, they found the cable had seized. The part wouldn't arrive until today, so I collected it with the grilles removed to use over the weekend and dropped it back off today.

 

I also had it remapped last week. I paid for a 'hub dyno' power reading - I'm a bit sceptical as to the accuracy but it was interesting to watch. The car gets driven on to scales and weighed, then is taken for a run with sensors fixed to the centre of each front wheel. The laptop then does some magic and gives a BHP/NM reading. It turned out it already had a map on it! So as it was, it was making 181bhp and about an extra 25lb/ft over standard, so he made a full backup of this in case anything went wrong as there was no standard file to return to. He then flashed on his map and went for another run. Apparently, it's now making 211bhp and 325lb/ft. Well I can believe it because it's made a hell of a difference! You need to be a bit careful with it now as giving it full beans from low rpm will not be nice to the clutch with all that torque.

I did slightly shit myself as after it had been sat for a couple of hours, I went and started it and the EML came on. I read the code, which came back as 'control unit calibrations'. It was still driving ok and didn't go into limp mode but I'd paid him by this point so thought I might have a battle to get him back out to it. Anyway, he had a look at the file and managed to sort what was causing the issue (some kind of tuning protection apparently) and came back a couple of days later to re-flash it. Touch-wood it's been ok since, bonnet excepted!

Lets see how long it lasts...

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Had my van rolling roaded and remapped about 10k ago. It made a big difference in torque and pulling power. No difference at all to mpg although I do rag it quite a bit. It went from 157bhp to 181.6

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

So...the GTA

I didn't intend writing about this on here as, well it's not really an Autoshite car, but a couple of people asked about it, so here it is (and I suppose it'll be *fun to document my financial ruin).

I really wasn't intending to buy one. I wasn't intending to buy anything. I do keep an eye on 'the market' [sick in mouth] for them as I've always liked them and noticed them rising in value a fair amount over the past 2-3 years. Time was, you could get a probably quite tired example for around 4 grand. Now, I doubt you'll find one under 6. So an occasional ebay/autotrader search highlighted this one for sale a few months back for £9.5k. Obviously it didn't sell, but looked lovely in the pics, had all the right work/mods done and generally appeared a good bet. The price dropped to £9k after a while, then a few more weeks passed. My monthly ebay searched then revealed that the owner had listed it as a no reserve auction, so I put in the watchlist as you do.

Fast forwards a week or so and it's Sunday night with the auction due to finish at 6am Mon morning. The auction seemed to have stalled at an amount that you'd expect to pay for a pretty average car and it didn't look like that in the pics. I downloaded some sniping software, stuck in a bid for £500 more than it was currently at, then went to bed, fully expecting to be outbid by the morning. To make matters worse, I had an exam that morning and was due to fly to Tenerife in the afternoon so I didn't really have time to be messing around organising collections etc...

I awoke feeling fresh on the monday. It was that lovely 2 minute window when you don't remember the worries of the day before and you lie, slowly coming around to the world. I reached over to check the time on my phone and.....OHHHH FUCK!!!!! Reality hit me. Fucking hard. I'd won it for less than my top bid. I hadn't discussed this with my other half. I had an exam to do. I had to pack. What was I thinking?...

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Well I was thinking "Quick, agree the fucking deal!". I sent the guy a message with my phone number but didn't hear anything that morning. I was half expecting to hear nothing as I don't think he would have sold it for this amount under normal circumstances. I went into my exam and tried to keep my mind on the task!

When I turned my phone back on after the exam, I had a voicemail from the seller with his number. I called, explained about the holiday, fired over a deposit so he knew I was serious and agreed collection for the following weekend. I then flew off on holiday and probably for the first time ever, couldn't wait to come home! I also figured abroad and drunk would be a good time to raise the subject of its purchase with my other half!

Fast forward to the weekend and I got my dad to come with me to collect it from the midlands. Pretty much as soon as I cast my eyes on it I knew I'd be driving it home! I had a quick drive and couldn't give the guy my money quick enough. Except my bank had other ideas. I'd arranged to pay by bank transfer and since I'd already sent the guy a deposit, I assumed the balance would go straight in. Not so, unfortunately, and so followed one of the most tense 90mins of ever, including phone calls to my bank, phone calls to his bank, awkward conversation and nail biting waiting for the money to go in ("yes sir, it can take up to 2 hours"). It finally went through and I ....enough waffle, here's the car

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engine.jpg

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