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Discussion Starter #1
on draining coolant from an LS auto.

Take a guess as to total time -- this is JUST to drain the coolant and have the car ready for a refill.

From the time I put the jack under the car to "ready to refill" was ONLY 3 hours! Can you believe I got it done so fast?

The two bolts holding in the lower steel rad tube were really easy to remove -- only took about 1 hour to get them both off. Then of course I made a huge mess with coolant everywhere, and had to clean that up. But the real time saver here was replacing those two bolts on the lower hose brackets. Man that was an easy gig at only 2 hours -- Given that my hand is the size of a 2 year old, and my arms are the length of Magic Johnson, it was easy to thread those babies in there and tighten them down, at 1/32 of a degree per wrench movement.

Can anyone beat that time???
 

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Your lucky those 8mm lower rad bolts came out at all. I usually break them off, drill and retap for quite a time improvement.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
mine are 10mm

and these are the bolts that hold the cross-pipe to the radiator support bracket. If these broke it would have been easy; theres just a thru-hole on the rad support bracket and a loosely held nut on the underside that the bolt mates with. If they were threaded into the rad support rather than a capture nut underneath, that for me would have been a time saver 24 hour job (remove rad/prop up condensor/remove bracket/put on bench/retap/replace---
 

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Lotta room here for comparison the the other "ladies" in our lives. I'm begining to think the 2L is the way to go. My day was spent cleaning out the oil vapor sperator and various lines. Detailing and the like. Curious...how does this seperator affect starting? I'm equating it to a PCV system of days past. Reson I ask?? Before, I'd get a pop/backfire thru the intake when starting (mainly from cold) and now, niente. Starts like all the other Alfas I'm experienced with. Thoughts?
 

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Never done this sort of work on the 164. Amazes me how much time it takes, I usually can flush, refill and purge the ZX in about an hour, counting the fact I've got to use a makeshift "header tank" out of a plastic bottle to purge the heater core (it's higher than the radiator filler).

Anyway I'm planning to replace the coolant on mine. It's still green but i've no idea how many years it's been in there. Hope it's easy.
 

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I drain the coolant by taking off the right-angle hose that goes between the steel pipe (past the air conditioning compressor/alternator) and the other steel pipe under the radiator. I find the extra time usually goes into removing the steel pipe and wirebrushing/repainting (makes a nice cosmetic improvement if those pipes aren't surface-rusted). Hopefully there won't be much rust under the rubber hose, but if so, that can make pulling the hoses off difficult.

I've never had a pop/backfire through the intake when starting - I wonder if anything else was changed that might affect the mixture strength? If not, then it's interesting to know the vapour separator is capable of that.

-Alex
 

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Bob,

I think I got you beat. It took me about 2 months since Feb 10 accident to cut into manageable pieces Sara's 164B body and cart it off trailer load at a time and get $0.09 per pound for the steel.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hmm -- I don't agree

Your cut-n-cart of the 164 is a one-off experience -- hopefully never to be duplicated by anyone else. On the other hand, draining the coolant in a 24 V is a routine job, by anyone doing their own maintenance! Why in the H$!! did they not include a drain plug somewhere (on that steel cross tube ??). Would have made the job SO MUCH easier!! {{ps I know the answer -- COST}}

One thing I did learn is that in my quest to keep everything as original as I could , I left those 'retained nuts' in the radiator support bracket and fiddled with the bolts coming in from the top for hours, rather than simply pulling those nuts off, and threading a new nut in from the bottom-- that would have easily carved 90+ minutes off the task!

Unfortunately, my personality is that I have mental expectations that things will go smoothly and easily when I work on things-- and 9 times out of 10, that simply does not happen with the 24 V car. Even something simple like a dropped bolt always seems to go somewhere where i cant see it and it takes 15 minutes and a magnet on a coat hanger to retrieve it! One time I dropped a wrench down on the back side of the engine and it literally took 45 minutes to get it out.

So anywho thats the way it is!
 

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I guess then the new amendment to Murphy's Law might read - Goat's Rule always add at least a hour or two to whatever the flat rate manual gives for the simpliest job on a 164.

Cooling system operation MN 0700 600 coolant change, wash, pipe thightness, check and replace all hoses is (not if) necessary

On both 12v and 24v they only give the mech .80 hour so not even an hour.
 

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Step One: Lower the engine and transmission as a unit........
 

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One more rule for you: if you have the 164 engine out of the car to do work on it, never install that older but still new oil filter, which has been sitting around for years on the shelf, on the back of the engine before reinstalling the engine. The older filters for the earlier Alfas were bigger of course and you cannot get it off later when you want to change it. Give that older filter to a friend who has an older 4 banger Alfa.
 

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I find that the earlier 12V with the V-belts is easier to work on than the later 12V with the serpentine belt and I believe the 24V is more complex again.

Specifically, I find the earlier car has fewer capscrews (so, can use spanners), the coolant pipes are fewer and not obscured (the nut holding the steel pipe on the side is above the alternator, not hidden below), fastenings for the alternator and air-con compressor are fewer and simpler, and screw-type clamps are originally fitted rather than Clic-clamps. Electrical connectors are made of a non-brittle material, and fewer different sizes of bolt are used.

I think that like many European products, the 164 grew more complex as time went on. I don't think it was actually all that bad to start with and the engine bay was fairly clean and tidy, wiring and plumbing tucked away neatly.

The worst cars I've worked on have been the later designs - the innocent little FIAT Punto is an absolute bear to work on with all the weird bit-shattering Ribe fasteners, braces under other items, inaccessible capscrews, parts that simply can't fit past other parts (drain gearbox and remove suspension and driveshaft to get alternator out, for example).

A corollary of this is that if you ever have to work on an older car, it seems a piece of cake now. I had the sticky starter motor off my Uno and fixed in ten minutes - it's on the front of the engine, like the old FIAT 128. Ten minutes with the 164 might be long enough to remove one bolt - the easy one.

-Alex
 
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