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Eons ago, when I had more time than money. I called every tire shop in Denver and settled in on the lowest quote for the set of tires that I wanted. Big mistake. There were two guys operating out of an old gas station. They had no equipment and managed to change the tires out on the floor. Difficult to watch. They scratched some paint off the wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #462 ·
I’m fairly infamous for criticizing people who buy on price. In this case, the Pirelli P7s at WM were about 1/3 less that most other places. I figured it was a typo. So, I let them do the install as a way of buying the hazard protection, which I’ve found is a good investment.

Anyway, got unlucky.

Today, WM handed me $175 in cash to get my wheels refinished. Already have them in the hands of the restoration shop.
 
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Discussion Starter · #463 ·
Whoa!

Maybe we can call it “Alfa Syndrome”. This being when a person, probably male, buys an Alfa. Then, in spite of a century-ish track record of remarkable, and constantly improving, engineering, the new owner decides their car would certainly be improved by making a series of modifications based upon.... what?

“The bigger wheels with thick spacers really fill the wheel wells better!”

Took the car for a test drive after mounting original 16” wheels (no spacers) with new Pirelli P7 205/50 R16 tires.

Ahhhhhhhhhhmmmmmm.

Lovely handling. Nicely compliant. No more banging over tiny bumps or road ridges.

Pleasant AND good performance. That’s why I like Alfas.
 

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They are nice cars hey Don. Over 20 years old now but still drive well like most Alfa. Without looking it up the 156 won European car of the year a few times back in the day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #465 ·
They are nice cars hey Don. Over 20 years old now but still drive well like most Alfa. Without looking it up the 156 won European car of the year a few times back in the day.
yup.

I’m not above modding an Alfa for a solid reason, just don’t enjoy coming behind a previous idiot.

The bright side here is that, it seems, I found a barely-used car with no significan corrosion or wear. It could be, and I’m guessing here, that the original owner was an idiot, made the changes that led to the car being a combination of undrivable and unpleasant, and subsequent owners didn’t have the interest or patience to sort it all out. So... it sat.

So, now I’ve got a set of 5X98 17” Novitec wheels shod with new tires. Maybe a GTV6 owner can use them? I won’t.

I’m curious if you, or anyone, can clarify the TS differences? Both the engine that came with the car, and the replacement from GTV City, have the rubber cap over an unused outlet on the water manifold. Plus, my new engine has a slightly different exhaust manifold than the previous, but the front pipe connected ok. The heat shield from the first does not fit the new. The new engine has a metallic plug in the head near the thermostat, where my first had an unused sender.

According to Giuseppe, the unused sender on the back side of (IIRC) the trans, indicates it’s from a phase 1.

My radiator has an unused sender or two, as well.

Mysteries abound. But, it all hooks up and works without tossing codes, so...
 

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Excuse my typos I’m on my phone.

I can’t really add specific information but just a few suggestions that I have mentioned before. The plug on the manifold may be used on cars with the header tank in a different location ie 156 or something.

The exhaust changed at some stage. Maybe it was an emissions upgrade? Maybe it was an attempt to fix a fault they develop where they start to leak around where the primary pipes are attached to the plate that bolts to the head.

There are a few versions of the ecu over the years so the extra sensors where probably made redundant or vise versa.

It’s not just Alfa however they are particularly good at making small changes in production. I don’t know if you would ever find definitive information on some of the decision making. Maybe it just keeps the engineers employed 😬
 

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Discussion Starter · #468 ·
Hmmm. In retrospect, silence related to one’s daily driver is a good thing, yes? But there has certainly been activity in the shop.

Ive engaged a new machine shop for my nocturnal noodling. I like their work and attitude. However, when I took them the spun-journal TS crank, I gave instructions that if the rod journals would all clean up at .010, do so. If anything else was required, bin it. They don’t do their own cranks, so sent it out with the two I have for the old cast iron 2000.

When I returned, Eric the owner says “they welded up the journal and turned them all to .010, but need to turn the mains to straighten everything out. Gonna end up around $500”.

WHAT THE HEY?!

Eric acknowledged my instructions, but said the grinding shop was a new vendor, so didn’t want to piss him off. Looks like I’m going to end up with a spare crank, and out $500.

I may ask for some favors in return.

The GTV still has a slight hunt during idle, but I’ve not yet done a reset since the engine installation. I’ll get around to it.

Totally thrilled by replacing the 17” wheels with 16” teledials and Pirelli P7 all season tires. It no longer feels like I’m in a steel barrel being rolled over an endless plain of large rocks.

Definitely have a small oil leak, but like the other exceptions, haven’t spent any time on it. I do check the dipstick regularly, however.

Wish I could find a new windshield. Mine has two, long, wiper scratches. I’d like to meet the idiot that treated this car to such abuse and mindless modifications.

I don’t know if it’s original, or another Ronnie-racer mod, but it has what appears to be a polished stainless, or aluminum, gear shift shaft and handle that is super short. While the shifting is pleasant, I have to choose between sufficient legroom or leaning forward and sideways to reach the gear shift.

I caught the light right the other day, and could see a “ghost” of where a long Alfa-snake decal must have lived on the hood in front of the driver. There’s other flaws, chips, and dings in the paint and body, but still better than my 11 year old Mazda. I might have the 916 redone by my friend, the paint wizard. I also might actually enjoy replacing the snake decal, just to help distinguish the car from the hoard of high-revving Hondas dashing around. Can these be had?

I’ll be spending much of the day dancing between an engine assembly for an early-60s 2000, finishing the front-bow seal replacement on the 77 Spider top, and moving forward on a hard-top refreshment for the same car.
 
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Hmmm. In retrospect, silence related to one’s daily driver is a good thing, yes? But there has certainly been activity in the shop.

Absolutely. I figured things had been going well.



Ive engaged a new machine shop for my nocturnal noodling. I like their work and attitude. However, when I took them the spun-journal TS crank, I gave instructions that if the rod journals would all clean up at .010, do so. If anything else was required, bin it. They don’t do their own cranks, so sent it out with the two I have for the old cast iron 2000.

When I returned, Eric the owner says “they welded up the journal and turned them all to .010, but need to turn the mains to straighten everything out. Gonna end up around $500”.

WHAT THE HEY?!

Eric acknowledged my instructions, but said the grinding shop was a new vendor, so didn’t want to piss him off. Looks like I’m going to end up with a spare crank, and out $500.

I may ask for some favors in return.


I had no idea cranks could be welded up. Shows what I know.




The GTV still has a slight hunt during idle, but I’ve not yet done a reset since the engine installation. I’ll get around to it.

Totally thrilled by replacing the 17” wheels with 16” teledials and Pirelli P7 all season tires. It no longer feels like I’m in a steel barrel being rolled over an endless plain of large rocks.

Definitely have a small oil leak, but like the other exceptions, haven’t spent any time on it. I do check the dipstick regularly, however.

Wish I could find a new windshield. Mine has two, long, wiper scratches. I’d like to meet the idiot that treated this car to such abuse and mindless modifications.


Do you guys have windscreen repair (not replace) people. Might be able to polish the marks out of the screen.




I don’t know if it’s original, or another Ronnie-racer mod, but it has what appears to be a polished stainless, or aluminum, gear shift shaft and handle that is super short. While the shifting is pleasant, I have to choose between sufficient legroom or leaning forward and sideways to reach the gear shift.

I caught the light right the other day, and could see a “ghost” of where a long Alfa-snake decal must have lived on the hood in front of the driver. There’s other flaws, chips, and dings in the paint and body, but still better than my 11 year old Mazda. I might have the 916 redone by my friend, the paint wizard. I also might actually enjoy replacing the snake decal, just to help distinguish the car from the hoard of high-revving Hondas dashing around. Can these be had?

Ah but one of the many joys of owning a modernish alfa is not to attract attention and distinguish from the crowd but to blend in and contemplate what it must be like for everyone else to have never driven a proper car.


I’ll be spending much of the day dancing between an engine assembly for an early-60s 2000, finishing the front-bow seal replacement on the 77 Spider top, and moving forward on a hard-top refreshment for the same car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #470 ·
Got the soft top seal finished on the 115 Spider.
The hard top’s new clasps and J-Hooks are all in, plus original bow seal tweaked and glued back in place.
102-2000 engine moving forward. Crank, lower chain, and front and rear end plates bolted up. Oil pump installed. I intend to devise a way to test the pump and correct flow before putting on the sump. This engine lasted about 30 miles after my previous rebuild. So far, all dismantling and inspections have revealed nothing.

Shop’s a mess. Happy boy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #472 ·
As with all things, the Federal Aviation Regulations are brilliant in their brevity, and ability to result in multiple interpretations.

The actual rebuild/overhaul/repair is thoroughly spelled out. Every part requires traceability, and the licensed mechanic doing the work must document and attest to the work.

At the conclusion, the engine can be run on a test bench, if available, or in the aircraft. The test run requires “calibrated instruments”. It must perform as expected and described in the ops manual.

Then.... off you go!

Mechanics often claim to not have a pilot’s license, so the owner gets to test fly the work of a guy who was probably the lowest bidder.
 
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Same process as they used for the 737 Max, "she's good to go mate" ...

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #474 ·
Actually..... the problem with the Max was not so much what got published....

RTFM!!!
 

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Actually..... the problem with the Max was not so much what got published....

RTFM!!!
Still shouldn't have been allowed to fly with only a single sensor

Pete
 

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As with all things, the Federal Aviation Regulations are brilliant in their brevity, and ability to result in multiple interpretations.

The actual rebuild/overhaul/repair is thoroughly spelled out. Every part requires traceability, and the licensed mechanic doing the work must document and attest to the work.

At the conclusion, the engine can be run on a test bench, if available, or in the aircraft. The test run requires “calibrated instruments”. It must perform as expected and described in the ops manual.

Then.... off you go!

Mechanics often claim to not have a pilot’s license, so the owner gets to test fly the work of a guy who was probably the lowest bidder.
Its interesting. I hear and see aircraft sitting on the infield and running their engine at a steady high throttle and assume they are testing them after maintenance.
Is it possible to equate the air running time in hours comparative to car mileage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #479 ·
Still shouldn't have been allowed to fly with only a single sensor

Pete
Well, you speak to the oldest problem in aviation. How do you make an airplane failure-proof? You add so many redundant systems that it becomes too heavy to fly.

The single sensor was a customer option. The operational instructions on how to deal with a failure were clear, but it would appear, inadequately studied/trained/followed by the pilots.

The current thinking in air carrier design appears to be making the pilot a residual instead of primary part of the system. There’s sound arguments for that. Not sure I wanna ride on those airplanes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #480 ·
Its interesting. I hear and see aircraft sitting on the infield and running their engine at a steady high throttle and assume they are testing them after maintenance.
Is it possible to equate the air running time in hours comparative to car mileage.
Im not sure which comparison you’re interested in. Speed? Efficiency? Engine life?

My Mooney cruises at a very predictable 150 knots (airspeed. Over the ground is +/- wind speed. Equivalent to about 173 MPH, Or 278 KPH)
Depending upon altitude, it will consume 7.4 - 10.0 gallons per hour.
The engine is rated for 2,000 hours of operation between overhauls.

Thus, I can estimate between 15 - 20 MPG fuel consumption, although it will always be a little less due to higher burn rate during climb to altitude.

Time between overhauls is a recommendation, not a guarantee. It’s not uncommon to need some engine maintenance before 2000 hours, but my Lycoming is known for running well beyond the recommendation.

The post-overhaul ground test tends to be brief. Aircraft engines are air cooled, so running them on the ground for too long can do damage.

A small airplane is one reason all my cars gather so few miles. It requires 4+ hours of soul-destroying traffic to drive to San Francisco to attend a King Crimson (or Dame Edna) concert. Or, 1 hr 10 minutes in the Mooney.

Lastly, a well maintained aircraft tends to retain its resale value. The maintenance can occasionally be dear, but probably no worse than a modern super-car.

I just spent $700 for a set of eight spark plugs. On the other hand, tires are cheaper.
 
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