04/03/09. I've been thinking about saving for a 3200 fro a while now and when I finally made the decission to let the Lancia go I started to hunt for one. Met Blue or Silver were my first choices but since there isn't that many around I knew I was going to have to pick the best one I could find for my budget. Fortunately it turned out to be a silver one. So off I went this morning to London to pick the car up... When I left London the clock was reading 63,991 miles. and by the time I got home I'd covered 430 miles in 8 hours. As you can see the weather wasn't the best as it snowed a lot after Lancashire. As I was in no hury on the way up to Stranrear I met up with my mate Neil for lunch at jnct 23 of the M6. I hadn't seen him in a while so it was good to catch up. He gave the car his approval thankfully. The car all the way home was almost faultless, as the front windows are frameless they are supposed to drop about a quarter of an inch to clear the rubber frame when you open the door, Well the passenger side just decides to go all the way down. Probably a faulty solenoid. The real test of the car was the A75 from Carlisle on the twisty roads. The car performed really well. Cornered flat through the erm, corners. Road over the bumps much better than I thought it would and only gave me the one scare when I floored it on a straight bit just to see how it performed. The road was damp and straight away the rear wheels started to spin. The ASR light started to flash and the engine cut back telling me I was overdoing it. The back end gave a little wiggle but no drama. I got out of the car at Stranrear as freash as I'd got in. I'm very impressed.
05/03. I got up this morning with the greatest intentions of washing the car and taking it to work but was greated to this.
Undeterred I waited a while and as usual over here the snow melted pretty quickly so I was able to get the car washed and a few photo's for the web site. Yes there are a few little marks but the cars 10 years old come December so I'm very impressed with the overall condition. That's not to say through time I won't work on a few things to make them better.
I never got time to clean the interior as the snow was threatening to come on again.
I did get my Sons seat in as I hope to take my 2 kids out in the car tomorrow at some point.
I went through the bills and the dealer service book on the boat on the way home and it all ties in together so that's good and reflects the condition of the car to.
19/03. I know my car isn't supposed to have a badge on the bonnet but I think it looks nice so I bought one.
21/03. My mate graham was out for a drive in his beautifully kept Alfa GTV and arrived up at the house. I couldn't resisit a photo of the 2 cars together.
24/03. Over the last few days the engine check light has been coming for short periods and to co-incide wth this when the car is cold it's chugging along with no power. This is a well known tell tale sign that a Lambda sensor is on it's way out as it's feeding the ECU the wrong info. I've found out from the guys on the Maserati UK forum (a great site) that the 3200's are prone to going into limp home mode when this happens so I suspect one of the sensors is at fault. As I want to maintain as much of the car myself as practicable (and learn about it) I'm going to pull one of them out and see if my local motor factors can match it to anything.
First job was to find out were the sensors are and ease of access. Both sensors are just ahead of the front boxes pointing up towards the bonnet so I'll be working from under the car. I had read somewere that for to do the drivers side the exhaust has to be dropped. I really don't want to do this so I've decided to do the drivers side first if this is going to be the hardest. first thing I did was remove the shield that protects part of the steering rack. Mine was held on by a 10mm bolt (you can see in the photo the ext bar goes through a ready made hole to get to the bolt) and an 8mm on the side.
Once the cover was removed I could see the sensor. Now I have to admit there isn't a lot of room to get at it and even with my small hands I could just about gain access to it. Sorry about the clarity about the photo by the way, I hadn't much room to take it.
A quick trip to my local Motor factors though proved very fruitfull. You can buy a tool specifically for the job, a 22mm Lambda sensor socket.
Probably the best £13 I've spent as I was able to fit it over the sensor and using an extension bar was able to get the sensor slackened off in less than a minute. However it's one thing getting it losened but it's another getting it out. To do this I went into the engine bay and looked down at it. You can see in the first photo looking down that there is a small nut and thread poking out from the back of the cylinder head. This restricts you from getting your hand down at the sensor.
It's a 10mm nut and then a 13mm double ended thread bolt. Take them off and you can get your hand down to screw the sensor off the rest of the way. Remember to disconnect the wire at the top first though as it will twist up.
Sensor out. It was off to the Motor factors and good news. As the sensor is a 4 wire one you can buy a universal sensor. The only thing you have to do is cut off and re-use the original plug end. The photo shows the old and the new together before I soldered the connection. Oh and I used heat shrink tubing once the solder connections were made to make sure there will be no future water ingress.
All in all the drivers side to about 30 minutes to take out and another 10 minutes to put back in. The passenger side was very easy to do and took about 20 minutes all in. The photo below shows the passenger side with the sensor socket on it to give you some idea of the access to it.
Once I got everything fitted back up, not that there was much, I started the engine to see what the result would be. No check light and the engine is running smoother than it's been since I bought the car. It had been lifting and dropping the revs ever so slightly from cold but now that's all gone. Job well done and a pretty easy one at that. New brake pads is the next job and they should be here by Friday.
27/03. Brake pads arrived today and boy am I pleased, fronts were £28 and the rears were £22, and they are made by Ferodo, a make I've used for years on all different cars.
Fitting the fronts was very simple. Simply pull out the 2 retaining pins, making sure the spring plate doesn't take off across the floor, with the old pads still in place use a decent flat end screwdriver to prise the pistons in using the old pads as leverage so you don't do any damage to the pistons. If they have been pushed in fully the new pads will slide straight in.
Rear pads are just as easy to fit, the only difference being they are held in with strong spring that clips in at the top. The spring is hinged onto the caliper at the bottom and more than likely will have siezed so spray a good bit of WD40 around it and leave it a while before trying to free it. Getting the pads out is exactly the same way as the fronts are done.
The rear discs have to be taken off to get at the shoes. The caliper has to be removed first but it's only a case of removing 2 19mm bolts to get the caliper out. The disc is held on with 2 13mm bolts. Once they are out it's a bit of tapping with a hammer to get the disc to release... The shoes are held on with 2 retaining clips and 2 springs top and bottom. There's an adjusting wheel at the bottom of the shoes to. This will fall out when you have the retaining springs off. I'm holding it on in the photo below so you can see it... Oh nearly forgot, slacken off the handbrake cable as well. It has to be done from under the car and is 2 10mm nuts.
Re-fitting is just the reverse of taking things off. Once the discs are back on you can adjust the shoes via a hole in the disc.
Now, Maserati were looking £137 for a set and there's no way, once you see them, that you will ever figure out how they can charge so much for a set. They are smaller than a Fiat Uno's for dear sake. I wasn't for paying that so off I went with a shoe in hand to my local motor factors to see if I could match them . It took me all of 5 minutes to match them. £22 all in. The ones I bought needed very slight modification to be made fit. I'm not going to post up what vehicle the shoes are the same as because I don't want to be held responsible if you buy the same ones and they don't work, however if you own a 3200 and you want to try the shoes yourself email me and I'll let you know what shoes they are.
After I got the brakes all on it was the first chance I got to try the car after fitting the lambda sensors. "WOW" is all I can say, the car had clearly not been running right since I bought it, and I'd thought it was pretty quick then. It now runs silky smooth and the power delivery is fierce. This is a car that I could lose my license over, you just don't realise how fast your traveling and have to keep one eye on the speedo most of the time. I like this car, a lot.
04/04. Another angle I looked at was to get the original shoes re-lined. I used the The Belfast Brake Company and the results you can see for themselves. A lot cheaper than having to buy a new set! Since I have the other shoes on now, I'll keep these ones good.
08/05. The car Club I'm in are going out for a run up the coast tomorrow so when i got home from work today I went out to wash the car so it would be all nice and clean. The sun was out when I started, but this was litterally the second after I washed the last wheel. Heavy wind, hail stones and rain all together.
09/05. Off we went today on a run with the guys from the club I'm in. We all met up in Belfast and headed off for Spelga damm outside Newcastle.
I managed between the showers to get a couple of decent photos of the car. They were taken at the top of Spelga Damm.
Some of the mates cars lined up.
All in all a great day with some great driving roads that I hadn't been on before.
13/05. Got a chance today to give the interior a really good cleaning, it wasn't bad to begin with but I just wanted to have it right. It's the first decent photo's i've got of the interior.
18/05. Went today to book the car in for it's MOT not expecting to get a date to quick but got booked in for 17.30 tomorrow. So it was off to get the underneath steam cleaned and the headlights checked to have it ready for the test.
19/05. MOT day. Checked everything over to be sure I haven't missed anything out and off I go. The guys seemed to like the car so I asked that they be tough with it and if anything at all looked worthy of noting would they let me know.
After 20 minutes and a drive round the centre "just to make sure all was ok", the tester handed me a nice new MOT cert. The only thing he commented on was that I'd the handbrake pulled up a little to much and to slacken it off a couple of turns. Job done for another year.
03/06. As I've decided to sell the car and I want it right for whomever buys it, I took it to my friends for him to give the once over. He's a specialist in Ferrari, RR, Porsche etc and looks after all my cars when there's something I can't do. He obviously knows his stuff because took the car for a drive and within 2 miles he recond it was slightly hesitant. He went straight back to the garage and proceeded to check the coil packs. He was spot on, 2 of them were working weak and needed changed. I phoned the Motor factors and 2 new ones were ordered straight away. They should be here on Friday. On the plus side nothing else was wrong, in fact he's considering buying the car for himself if he gets his Jag XK8 sold. That won't mean anything to anyone else but for me that's proof I have a decent car.
04/06. The coil packs actually arrived this morning.
So out I went to fit them as soon as I got home from work. To fit them first take off the top cover. It's held on with 2 hexi screws.
Next the wiring plugs all have to be taken off to allow access to the screws below them.
Then the plate that secures the packs has to be removed. Again hexi screws hold this on. once off the plate just lifts out over the packs.
And once plates off the offending packs (1 and 4 in my case) just pull out. And the new ones push in.
I never took a photo but I had to change the plug lead extentions over as the ones on the new coils were smaller. They just pull off and push on. Putting everything back on is just the reverse of how it all came off.
Boy did they make a difference. They must have been on their way out from when I bought the car because I thought it was running great. The car is much smoother to drive, much sharper on pickup through the gears, and generally just feels a lot livelier. I know if I am to move on to a car I really am after I have to sell this car, but after driving it tonight I'm not sure I'm doing the right thing. "Oh no, it's starting to get under my skin"!
10/06. My friends at my local dealer very kindly allowed me to take photo's of the Maserati with not one but 2 brand new Alfa 8C's. I'm glad I got the chance to do this because chances of seeing 2 8C's again together is very slim.