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RexSeven UberDork
9/30/14 2:35 p.m.

The Alfa was off the road for another month. Last month, I went to get it inspected and it failed because of bad ball joints. When you fail Mass. safety inspection you get a big red "R" on the registration sticker and a big ticket if a cop catches you driving anywhere but to a mechanic with it. I found some new ball joints in the trunk (maybe PO knew something I didn't?) and found some NOS OEM control arms to go with them on the AlfaBB forum. I've been busy lately but I finally made some time to install them this weekend. What a pain in the ass! Getting the bushing mount holes to line up with the bolts on the subframe took forever.

They're in, and the Alfa passed re-inspection yesterday. I also really, really need to replace the CV boots. There's grease all over the inside of the front passenger wheel well.

Adrian_Thompson PowerDork
10/1/14 8:08 a.m.

Congrats on getting it up and running well. Does this mean you'll actually get to run your winter beater through the winter this year and spare the Mustang the salt?

You do realize that most people run their modern car through the winter and use their classic Alfa as a summer car don't you?

RexSeven UberDork
10/1/14 9:59 p.m.

In reply to Adrian_Thompson:

I'll certainly try to get at least one winter out of the Alfa! Yeah, I know I'm doing it backwards but I mentioned in another post the 164 makes a decent winter car. FWD, tested in Finland, and much better rust-proofing than older Italian cars.

I'm not sure the 164 could be considered a classic. At least in the US, the 164 is mostly forgotten, and some who seek one out only want it for the V-6 engine to swap into their RWD Milano/75 or GTV6.

RexSeven UberDork
10/17/14 2:13 a.m.

Two steps forward, one back in the electrical department. When I bought the 164, two of the more useful winter features were not working, the rear defroster and the heated front seats. This past weekend I got the rear defroster (bad fuse) and driver's side heated seat (switch needed cleaning) to work, but now the power door mirrors are not working.

RexSeven UberDork
11/17/14 9:54 a.m.

Update: I've been driving the 164 for two months now and it is running great. It's a hell of a highway car, being super comfortable and quick. The automagic transmission tends to get warm in stop-and-go driving and the cooler fan is LOUD. It sounds like a fighter jet taxiing! A manual swap is definitely on my wishlist but for now, with cold temperatures here, I can live with it. I know of someone in the US who is selling a six-speed with a LSD from a 166. It is a direct swap into the 164, but that is not in the budget right now.

However, there are two problems I need to deal with sooner rather than later. First, there is an oil leak. Yes, I know it's Italian and they're all supposed to do that, but in this case it's a bit worrisome, especially because the engine was not leaking before the rebuild. The Alfa is due for an oil change anyways so I will take the opportunity to check out underneath the car. We used new seals everywhere on the bottom and top ends and new valve cover and front head gaskets. I suspect either something wasn't tightened down properly or the oil pan didn't seal completely. I hope it's not the rear head gasket because changing that on a 24V 164 is a monster of a job.

The other issue is the starter motor. We put a remanufactured unit during the engine rebuild because we were not sure we could get the original starter rebuilt in time. Since then, I had the OEM starter rebuilt by a Bosch specialist because the one that is installed is taking longer and longer to engage. It now takes 30 sec-1 min for the starter to engage and crank the engine. Why would it take so long to work? Is it a problem with the starter or possibly the battery?

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/18/14 8:40 p.m.

I would assume it would be a starter issue. But a battery would be easily verified at your nearest o-vancedzone.

It could be a bad/greasy connection to the starter as was the case with an old Toyota pickup I had. The connection was tight, but oil/dirt got in there and wasn't letting enough juice through to engage the starter all the time (sometimes it'd be a delay, sometimes "click"). I spent a month parking it on hills (bump starts) before I finally got in there and had it checked. Once it was cleaned, it never gave me another problem.

Still enjoying the read. Keep up the good fight!

Adrian_Thompson UltimaDork
7/15/15 9:11 a.m.

Long time silence on this one. What was the outcome of the starter and running it through the winter?

Still on the road I hope?

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