Tuesday, March 9, 2010

On my lonesome...

The weekend didn't give me enough time to really do what I wanted to do, as I was too sick on Saturday to spend time on it... I tried... fell asleep in the car... LOL

Sunday I went to Zwartkops Raceway to go check out the Super Trax Day, and afterwards I took off the front fairing (which was welded onto the Alfa Triangle support - so I had to wiggle it off...). I then started on removing the AC system. What a mission! The compressor is at the bottom, tucked in-between the engine-block and the body. I left that for later and started taking off the different pipes connected to it. This also meant I took off the AC Radiator that was sitting in front of the normal radiator. Then I left it.

Tonight I managed to scrape together the patience to take out the AC Compressor, and did it rather quickly! Only thing is, after I got it loose, I couldn't get it out as all the vacuum pipes and some oil and water pipes were blocking its exit! So I started taking off all the obstructing pipes. 

I also took off the air-intake pipe that leads to the throttle-body, and found that it is totally split right where it connects with the throttle-body... will see what I'll do to correct that... Then opened the thermostat to check it since the car is overheating - and found nothing! LOL Housing is empty! Should sort that out!! The housing is pretty corroded too, so will probably have to find a better one.

That's it for now... will do some more tomorrow night! :-) Here are some pics!

Front off...

The AC Compressor... which weighs a ton! 

And where it used to sit...

The AC Radiator and some pipes that go with it...

The thermostat housing.. that is empty...

The corrosion on the thermostat housing...

Saturday, March 6, 2010


With the car in the garage, I set out to remove the hideous bumpers on the car. Also, the rear-lights have these silly plastic surrounds which is just unbearable.

First thing I took off was the rear bumper - it's anyway not usable, since it's totally bent. I then removed the light-surrounds, and found some more rust under it... the silly things make water pool inside them... :(

Bumper off shows how the towbar is fastened to the boot... In this pic the one light has its surround still on, and the other is off. I prefer them OFF! (First two pics are cellphone pics)

Here is the car with both surrounds off.

I then tackled the front... the bumper has to come off, as the front fairing is completely bent and in very bad shape. I will most likely take off the whole front fairing and replace it with something else.

I want to wash the car, inside and out next. And get the engine clean! Then we can start tracing the cause of the overheating problem.

The beginning...

This blog will follow the transformation from a 1984 Alfa Romeo Alfetta 159i into a track / race car. I've wanted to do such a project for quite some time now, and now I have the chance! We will try and do most of the work ourselves.

This is what the car looked like when I picked it up on 4 March 2010.

Currently the car is fitted with a stock 2.0 Nord motor, with Bosch Motronic Fuel Injection. The motor also features a variable inlet cam, which is more for economy than performance though. The 14" (6J) Momo Vega rims look nice on it, but I will probably have to go to 15" for track use. It's just a more popular size.

The overall state of the car is good. There is rust. But that is normal for any old Alfa! The motor revs freely, sounds nice and pulls quite well. It will get a complete service to make sure it is fine.

The gearbox also feels solid, despite the crunching on 2nd when changing quickly. It is probably a worn syncro ring, so we will have to inspect it. Another shorter ratio'd gearbox might be an option, as the 159i's gearbox's ratios are extremely long.

The suspension feels solid, with minor clicks coming from the front. This will be ditched for adjustable shocks and thicker torsion bars though. Most of the rubber components need replacing.

The car is overheating at the moment though. The system doesn't seem to hold pressure, which sees the water temperature needle climb to a 100 in no time. We will have to check the system and trace the problem.

We had to stop twice on the way home to let it cool down a bit. So we had our first to breakdowns within the first 30 mins of ownership!

Breakdown number 1:

Breakdown number 2:

Now the journey begins...