...You probably all had one of those moments,... you know when you put so much #time, #energy, #emotion, #passion, #dedication and #nerves, ( I think I ran out of vocabulary) in a car, but then somehow at the end of the day, the Landlord ( a.k.a GOD ) from upstairs decides to mess up your life for a while.
COLD WINTER JOURNEY
I guess it was around mid-winter (February) in Belgium, when I got this bug about buying a GTV (916 generation) with the most powerful 4-pot engine (2.0 155hp) at the time. The power numbers being compared to now.. I mean... come on... my vacuum cleaner has more power.
Guess why I bought this one.... #Philips #wheels #stance #straightpiped #airintak
So, after the bug got into my - anyway quite empty head, I found one GTV sitting somewhere in Germany and waiting for a guy with an empty head as mine #coincidence right ! I rang up the owner, who of course was quite surprised to hear that someone will drive up to his dealership during wintertime to possibly buy his forgotten #Alfa.
Anyway, I took some cash with me, hooked up the auto trailer to a '05 #Mercedes #ML350 (yes, the W163 one with the 3.7 V6) and took off. Some 2 hours later, I landed in front of the beloved Alfa GTV. The guy had it all prepped up for me in case I would want a test drive. ( Which of course I would ) ! Luigi had only 2 owners since the year 2000, but luckily from the same #family (father/son) as the papers stated. The rest of the documents were fine, service records as well, together with the extra winter tyres and 3 keys ( in case you wonder, the third one is the faded red colour one, a.k.a the emergency one, in case you are empty headed like me and you loose the other two.
Went for a test drive, and it felt good, like 2000 good. Direct steering, firm brakes together with the quad exhaust and the Lusso interior making up the whole picture.. ( oh, and the 16'' Teledials wheels and sunroof (a working one ) ).
I was thinking , hey that's a cool car, low mileage by the way, circa 94 000 km, which for a almost 20 year old car feels quite decent.
So, yes I got it (yeah, what a surprise right) #duh .
PATIENCE, PATIENCE , AND AGAIN PATIENCE ...
I really wanted to clean this car, once I came back home. To give him a good deserved clean. In and out, with a 3-stage polish, and all the goodies. But as usually happens, when you plan something , you fail..I went for a full engine wash, full exterior and interior clean, using some engine degreaser, dashboard cleaner, window cleaner, etc - but guess what... This is a 2000 GTV, which means that many important cables are sitting under the bonnet. Now, guess what happens, when you DON'T cover those with a plastic bag and some tape....Yep, the car got "drunk". So on the way back to my garage, the car started to cough, quite bad. You know like when #Jeremy had the pneumonia back in Spain. I thought I lost Luigi.
QUESTIONS WITHOUT ANSWERS
On the next day, I wanted to start the car, but guess what. Water had already reached where it shouldn't. I've tried for more than 2 weeks using my very very limited mechanic knowledge to figure out what was wrong. From changing all 8 spark plugs, to cleaning and air spraying all possible places where water could reach. Checking all fuses, all relays (even the ones in the trunk). I wanted to change the coils, after verifying that no electrical signal was reaching there, no ignition could occur, on top on that the yellow key-code light was staying on. After many late working evenings, I gave up. I couldn't believe that after a engine wash , and general IN/OUT clean such a damage could happen to Luigi.
I called up a very good friend and mechanic of mine, and told him: Stefano, please .. make him sing again !
Fast forward 1 month later, Stefano had time to take a look at the GTV. ( If you already clicked under the name "mechanic" you would know the guy is busy with a F430, F360 CS, F40, so the GTV is quite out of the scene for him. I could agree those particular models are more important than small Luigi. At the end of the day, they are his bigger brothers and cousins.
The ECU was fried, the immobiliser which is connected to the ECU and normally speaks to the key was speaking a language no one could understand. As a result the car could be "driven" only by using at least two good friends pushing it from the back as fast as they could.
The internet search began. Hour after hour, day after day, I was looking online for a proper combination of ECU + keys + door locks + Immobiliser box .
After another month or so, I found a advert from Ebay matching my request. Same year, same engine, same codes, all the same. As you can imagine I took it in a heart beat. Thanks to Elon (cough) and PayPal , transfer could be done fast and safe.
SAME CAR, DIFFERENT PROBLEM
After being almost done with the parts search, I thought to myself, I could try to replace everything alone. And this was the biggest mistake...
I DROPPED ONE OF THESE
Mini Ratchet set from #Amazon
Gearbox of a TwinSpark engine
while assembling the ECU bolts on top of the throttle body. This obviously makes my situation ridiculous, cause now even if I have the electrical bits together and working, I can't test them cause of that fucking screwdriver piece of shit which is sitting in between the flywheel and clutch inside my gearbox. In case I started the car, a horrible noise raised from the gearbox department ! . So, long story short , I had to bring him to another mechanic, cause the first one was out on vacation already. But that second guy, was also busy with other clients, and that's how another month passed by.
THIS IS THE END I PROMISE...
After long 5 MONTHS and many stuff changed on the way, together with the big ones, Luigi was back in the game. Starting and running in 1 day. So, ratio is what.... 5/1 ;)
LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENT SECTION YOUR EXPERIENCES "WITH CARS AND HANDS TOGETHER GO WRONG"