Car Mechanics (UK)

Glove­box fix

PART EIGHT: We’ve come to the end of our Alfa Romeo GT project as Rob Hawkins com­pletes the fi­nal few re­pairs.

- Alfa Romeo GT · Austria · Youtube · Belarus · Belgium · Avon Products · Avon · Alfa Romeo Automobiles · Bedford · Alfa Romeo 147

We’d been look­ing for a straight­for­ward and cheap means of fix­ing our Alfa GT’S glove­box and its miss­ing chrome-ef­fect cover ever since we col­lected the car from Bed­ford BCA. As dis­cussed last month, a new glove­box was out of the ques­tion and a new lock may not have been the an­swer. Thank­fully, the solution was even sim­pler when we looked at the back of the cover and spot­ted a threaded hole. All we had to do was work out a means of ma­noeu­vring a screw through the glove­box lock’s han­dle to se­cure the cover.

On this oc­ca­sion, Youtube came to the res­cue through a short video show­ing some­one fix­ing a sim­i­lar prob­lem on an Alfa 147, which has the same design of glove­box. The only trou­ble was the en­tire video was spo­ken in Ital­ian! After switch­ing on sub­ti­tles and choosing a trans­la­tion to English, we had a bet­ter idea of what was go­ing on. The video ex­plained that by drilling a hole through the lid of the glove­box, a screw could be fed through to se­cure the cover to the han­dle. As you’ll see from our pho­tos, the repair worked per­fectly.

One job that we haven’t been as suc­cess­ful with is the re­moval of a dent in the near­side rear wing. We’ve man­aged to re­duce it a little, but not com­pletely.

So our Alfa GT project has come to an end. We’re now using the car on a daily ba­sis and, so far, it is be­hav­ing it­self. The coolant needed top­ping up (roughly half-a-litre) after the head gas­ket repair, but it hasn’t lost any fluid since. And with the di­rect-in­jec­tion JTS en­gine now fir­ing on all four cylin­ders, it sounds and feels live­lier. The ride qual­ity is firm but com­fort­able, and with new Avon tyres all-round, the han­dling is grippy. In the tra­di­tion of Alfa Romeo, this GT is def­i­nitely a driv­ers’ car.

Hav­ing threat­ened to be­come a money pit, our GT has been turned around. Alfa Romeos of this age are rarely trou­ble­free, so even if we had paid a higher price and bought a ve­hi­cle with a full ser­vice his­tory, we would still have had to per­form all of the same rou­tine main­te­nance we’ve cov­ered through­out this project and would have un­doubt­edly have had sev­eral re­pairs to tackle.

On re­flec­tion, bar­gain bangers such as this Alfa GT are of­ten auc­tioned for a rea­son, although we have been luck­ier than most with our project cars. What we have now is an Alfa GT that should hope­fully last for many years to come, pro­vided it’s looked after and rou­tinely ser­viced.

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