Alfa Romeo 164 Twinspark Super

Alfa Romeo 164 Twinspark Super

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Spinakerr

Original Poster:

778 posts

122 months

Monday 3rd January
quotequote all
Thanks! Rest of the car is agreeable at floorpan/sill level - the 'main body'. Main bits left to tackle are on consumables/detachables - springs, wishbones, and of course the infamous rear crossmember.

The Alfa all went back together today - after dodging rain and other commitements over the weekend the Bank Holiday was most welcome to tackle the 164.

I built the fan up Sunday evening, renewing fitting, bolts and clips where necessary. A big improvement!





Radiator support back together too...



The rad support slotted in with its 'spacers' and all cleaned up bolts without issue. I aligned up the power steering hose with the banjo bolt and twin 19mm spanners, and rearranged a few items for order in the lower reaches. I also checked a few inaccessible areas - there are some brake pipes showing their age at the ABS pump so that's added to the list.



The expansion tank came up nicely after some of the standard internet-advised concoctions recently. Not back to bright white but I'd rather keep the original tank than change it for an unknown pattern part.



One of the radiator rubber mounts was permanently deformed from the older, incorrect radiator. Fortunately I had one from the previous 'haul' in a random bag of odments. Result! Fan sensor cleaned up with a file on the contacts and electrical paste.





First obstacle - the fan shoud did sit at the bottom in the rad's slot. I decided to bend the metal out flat, repaint with Hammerite and seat in a strip of rubber to get a close fit. It actually now hugs the radiator perfectly after also tweaking the top tabs.







Rad in and piped up, new Mikalor clamps added, hoses and wires reconnected in a neatened fashion (a few new P clips and ties).





Fresh coolant in the tank (and as much of the rad as I could get to) and Dexron 3 in the resevior.... quick check of all connections and clamps... deep breath...



Engine fires beautifully, and the power steering noises settled down after a few gentle turns. Once the engine warmed up the thermostat opened and the level dropped to the amount I had taken out (yes, I did measure what came out on both steering and coolant!).



Once warmed up a few turns to full lock and the bubbles in the power steering resevoir calmed down.



No leaks at all. I was quite chuffed with that, as something always leaks! I gingerly settled my pristine slam panel down and added the final bits of trim (which now fit, for the first time, as the radiator is the correct shape).



Very happy. I hope 2022 goes this well!



Edited by Spinakerr on Monday 3rd January 19:13

Cambs_Stuart

1,720 posts

61 months

Tuesday 4th January
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That looks brilliant. So much fresher than before.
So what's next with the 164? Any plans for any more overhauls?

just4u

28 posts

21 months

Tuesday 4th January
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Awesome work, one of my favourite threads on here. Thanks for posting.

Spinakerr

Original Poster:

778 posts

122 months

Sunday 9th January
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Thank you both!

Next up is a big choice on suspension component purchases, then I am prepping front and rear subframes for full derustification and Epoxy/Waxoyl treatment of the entire car in spring. Can't wait... (sigh)...

I also need to treat the leather seats, then get two new front tyres. But otherwise the car is ready to march onward, and aiming for Auto Italia on the 30th April.

Here's a photo opportunity I couldn't resist down at the boatyards:



I still absolutely love how this car looks.

Cambs_Stuart

1,720 posts

61 months

Monday 10th January
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That's a great picture. It looks like the henchmen have just arrived.

shalmaneser

5,300 posts

172 months

Monday 10th January
quotequote all
Cambs_Stuart said:
That's a great picture. It looks like the henchmen have just arrived.
Was thinking the same! Two suspiciously well dressed men dropping things off the end of the pier in the middle of the night...

2Btoo

2,823 posts

180 months

Thursday 13th January
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Spinakerr said:
Successful little morning while the weatehr is miserable - poured my first polyurethane bush.

Thanks to the suggestions above I sourced a realtively cheap two part kit, setup my workstation as below.



First task was to take a reference of the existing bush central metal location - dead centre, and fortunately flush on onside with the oter ring. This makes pouring easier with a single flat surface.

Original bush rubber extracted with a variety of tools - saws, hammer, sandpaper and so forth. Keying the metal surafces is key to good adhesion.



Having watched a number of videos and followed forum posts on the process, it was apparant simple cardboard and wood can bond annoyingly to the poured liquid. Examining the kit I had ordered and a quick check of plastics available, I used a simple mailing envelope as a non-bonding base. Liquid was mixed 1:1 on a scale, and poured in.





Thirty minutes later, a scalpel and careful fingers peeled away the envelope. It needs further curing but very pleased with my first attempt - hopefully its Shore rating will hold up!

Spinakerrr, thanks for posting this. I was directed here from another thread asking about pouring polybushes, which I started.

Do you have a link to the product you used? And I notice that the bush you poured was to support an exhaust - do you think it would be suitable for a bush which bears more weight such as a suspension or engine mount bush?

Spinakerr

Original Poster:

778 posts

122 months

Thursday 13th January
quotequote all
shalmaneser said:
Was thinking the same! Two suspiciously well dressed men dropping things off the end of the pier in the middle of the night...
Ha! Let's hope they were dropping off springs and struts as I desperately need them...

I have an Italian friend who said whenever his family were in large towns you were taught as a kid to avoid the black 164s and 166s.

2Btoo said:
Do you have a link to the product you used? And I notice that the bush you poured was to support an exhaust - do you think it would be suitable for a bush which bears more weight such as a suspension or engine mount bush?
Sent you a PM - it worked for my purpose but I would be little hesitant using for more 'significant' mounts...

Cambs_Stuart

1,720 posts

61 months

Friday 14th January
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Spinakerr said:
Sent you a PM - it worked for my purpose but I would be little hesitant using for more 'significant' mounts...
Same here, from what I've seen it'd be hard to get the durability needed for an engine mount without making it rock hard. But there are quite a few youtubers who have done it....

Spinakerr

Original Poster:

778 posts

122 months

Saturday 5th February
quotequote all
A good start to the day with a fresh MOT for the 164. At my usual place they can be ... gracious... with cars they know but this time a new tester was keen to tick every box.



Fortunately a pass after minor fettling and mumbled promises to tackle a few areas that are getting close to breaking point. That distant sound you can hear is my debit card creaking under pressure of current italian stockpiling efforts.

After the test I went to pick up a piece of furniture, skirting the arbitrary ULEZ zone and ending up in tiresome traffic. Despite the chill, the engine temperature crept up past the 75 degrees where the fan usually kicks in. No issues, but upon arrival home it was clear the fan was not operational.

As I has the whole kerfuffle apart recently I had high confidence I could track down the issue:

1) Fuse in the interior panel, 10A - check.
2) Resistance of the actual temperature sensor on the radiator - check.
3) Shorting temperature sensor wires together to kick fan in - fail.



Right, that means a relay, wiring or general power issue.

4) Relay (according to the manual) above N/S headlight - fairly gungy. All contacts filed, and for testing swapped with the identical 2111 yellow 30A item used for the horn.





5) Retry 3) shorting - relay clicking, engagement but still no fan.



6) Check contacts between fan motor and wiring from relay - 12V but... intermittent.

Quick clean of all contacts, check for continuity and then shorting one final time - success!



Restart car, final check that it all works from the radiator sensor... fine. Sorted. Just contacts and connections.

I treated myself to a 'press pack' of the twin spark launch - bliss.





A truly fine typed memorandum with handsome photographs for reprint, including such quotes as:



"(Its) superb blend of performance, handling and economy provides an exciting alternative ti the anonymous ranks of executive saloons."

I think that sums up my interest and the experience with every turn of the key.


Cambs_Stuart

1,720 posts

61 months

Monday 7th February
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Always good to see an update. How is the wiring generally holding up? Did Alfas of this era avoid the biodegradable wire coating of other makes?

Spinakerr

Original Poster:

778 posts

122 months

Sunday 6th March
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Cambs_Stuart said:
Always good to see an update. How is the wiring generally holding up? Did Alfas of this era avoid the biodegradable wire coating of other makes?
Yes luckily completed dodged that bullet, only to fall headlong into the Saab, as you will recall!

The 164 has not been far since the rebuild and MOT, but I have been plotting away in the background...

A good run down to Somerset to clear the brain on Friday was, as always, an therapautic use of hydrocarbons that the Alfa much appreciated. Good to clear the mind given the abhorrent turn current geopolitical events have taken, and a drive to see my dad to have a good chat (he worked in Kyiv for years and it was an incredibly place to visit as an 18 year old) was required.



It needs a proper deep clean, the paint on the wing mirror and the driver's door is not improving with another winter, but everything is working and its a grin-inducing drive on those A roads and hills of Somerset.

Suspension rebuild has made a significant step - having spoken to a numebr of other owners, and failed to secure the extinct front struts, I pushed the boat out to secure Yellowspeed Racing's custom coilover set. Feedback from those that installed this adjustable setup has been very positive, so I am excited to see how this comes together, and I did manage to secure them for the all-in fee of £730 which is very good compared to all the individual parts required for a standard setup.





As I have NOS wishbones, the next stage is to speak to Phil at Alfacraft and see if we can do the entire front subframe at the same time as all four corners. Then I can obtain all the bushes and powder coating necessary prior to a two day ramp booking in May, following Brooklands Auto Italia.

I have the front a rear subframes, trailing arms, pipes, hoses, engine mounts and, perhaps, some spare bolts, so I should be all set for a monster undercarraige refit this year.

No doubt we will find a few rust spots and holes to treat in the nooks & crannies, but if I expect it, they can't hurt me, right?

Oh I should powder coat that manifold if I am going to a coater too...





shalmaneser

5,300 posts

172 months

Sunday 6th March
quotequote all
Excited to see how she works with the yellowspeed coilovers! Presumably a modest drop is to be expected along with the improved damping etc? Nice thing about true coilovers is that the selection of springs is vast so you can tune the ride to your preference.

Cambs_Stuart

1,720 posts

61 months

Monday 7th March
quotequote all
That's not a brand of coilover I've heard before, so I'm interested to see how they go. Do they have a solid top mount or can you put a rubber top on? How adjustable are they?

StescoG66

1,655 posts

120 months

Tuesday 15th March
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A mate of mine has jest picked up a 164 to use its engine in a Stepnose. The rest of the car will be parted out so let me know if anything of interest and can put you in touch with him.

SamZ4si

130 posts

117 months

Wednesday 16th March
quotequote all
Spinakerr said:
As I have NOS wishbones, the next stage is to speak to Phil at Alfacraft and see if we can do the entire front subframe at the same time as all four corners. Then I can obtain all the bushes and powder coating necessary prior to a two day ramp booking in May, following Brooklands Auto Italia.

I have the front a rear subframes, trailing arms, pipes, hoses, engine mounts and, perhaps, some spare bolts, so I should be all set for a monster undercarraige refit this year.

No doubt we will find a few rust spots and holes to treat in the nooks & crannies, but if I expect it, they can't hurt me, right?

Oh I should powder coat that manifold if I am going to a coater too...
Phil currently has my 166 in to fit KW coilovers, he’s not been particularly well though. Amazing progress on your beauty, it’s stunning mate.

Spinakerr

Original Poster:

778 posts

122 months

Wednesday 16th March
quotequote all
Stuart - I belive solid top but lots of adjustment. A lot of the 164 drivers in the forums and owners group have been very surprised at the quality and trabsformation. Mine is on the original fronts so we'll see. Sprinfs are about to go, as are the spring pans at the front!

Steven - PM sent, thank you for the note.

Great to hear a 166 being kept up! I was cobsidering one as ULEZ transport but with the further 2023 expansion planned I may have to rethink my life in general.

No, Phil is not well. He needs a holiday and a good rest - plus a new workshop if the rumours are true.

zainwq

28 posts

189 months

Thursday 17th March
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StescoG66 said:
A mate of mine has jest picked up a 164 to use its engine in a Stepnose. The rest of the car will be parted out so let me know if anything of interest and can put you in touch with him.
Love a 164! I have 2 QV’s myself. Steven, I need some bits (carpet specifically). How do I contact you?

Spinakerr

Original Poster:

778 posts

122 months

Sunday 20th March
quotequote all
Just getting somethign together with hopefully a fellow PHer or the Alfa 164 section - will keep you posted. Looks dry inside, its a mark 1 and complete.


Spinakerr

Original Poster:

778 posts

122 months

Sunday 20th March
quotequote all
A jaunt to see a freind in the New Forest and his project - a Fiat 2300 Coupe. I had to take a few photos with the 164 on sinister skulking duties.

Far off photos in the sunset as it is pretty grubby!







Hard day's work removing the mothy interior. Should be a good base.



Obligatory 'half car half garage' shot, to pretend its in Octane or something:



Booked a load of suspension dismantleables into a powder coater for April, hopefuly for the suspension refresh now booked in with Phil for first week of May, right after Auto Italia.

Just nice to be able to drive in daylight and work in a T shirt for once!