Author Topic: Which car?  (Read 1661 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

00Mart1

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • AROCA Member #: N/A
Which car?
« on: October 03, 2018, 03:12:50 PM »
Hi everyone, first time posting on this forum and not actually an Alfa owner...yet  :D
The reason I'm posting is to try and get some idea of what I should look for when buying a sub 5K Alfa and which models you think would be good options. The car will be a daily driver, so I'd like it to be relatively confortable, but I'd also like to take it to a track day for two, so performance is also quite high on my list. I was hoping to get a GTV Lusso, however I can't quite stretch my finances quite that far yet.
I have been looking at the 156 as I would prefer a sedan over a hatch. How are these in terms of driving experience and maintenance? I understand that the TS engines need the timing belt changed every 3 years on the GTV, I assume it is the same for the 156? Has to be manual. Any other options I should consider?
Many thanks
Now: 1965 MG MGB

bonno

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 683
  • AROCA Member #: 8683
Re: Which car?
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2018, 05:28:01 PM »
Hi 00Mart1
Welcome aboard and hope you find a suitable Alfa that will meet your requirements. My suggestion is for a 156 TS manual which you can use as a daily driver and then drive to track and race on the weekends in a specific category known as the TS Cup (NSW & Vic ). The TS engine is quite reliable if maintained correctly and is not prone to consume oil at the rate of the JTS engine that is on the later face lift model. There are several on the market at present on both carsales and gumtree that are well within your budget. I would spend a little more for a car that has a good service history and travelled upto 160K. Additionally have a good buyer checklist that you can go thru in making your choice and a suitable one can be found on this forum at the following link.
http://www.alfaclubvic.org.au/forum/index.php?topic=17743.msg101523#msg101523
now
83 Alfetta GTV
05 156 JTS manual
past
00 156 selespeed
72 1750 GTV

Pseudonym

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 111
Re: Which car?
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2018, 03:44:38 AM »
Twin spark gtv do come up now and again for under 5 - same as the spider. The 156 twinspark are generally cheap and plentiful but as has been said, go for one with regular service history as they don't like neglect. I've found the 147 to feel a bit punchier than the sedan but they're a lovely engine in both car, I'd actually get a V6 if I were looking again. I had the choice of a twinspark 156 and jts recently and bought the jts for a bit more - it's not as lively as the twinspark but for my sedate daily commute the torque is more useful.

Sent from my HTC 2PS5200 using Tapatalk


CitroŽnbender

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1314
  • Gen. 3:19
Re: Which car?
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2018, 07:19:24 AM »
Iíd say the 147 has a couple of hidden cost savings compared to the 156. Itís more fully interrogated by aftermarket diagnostic programs, and the keys/fobs are more straightforward to augment or replace. Fuel gauges become unreliable after about 150K.

Canít speak for the 156 but the 147 chassis is the same for 2.0 and V6 models, an adventurer might take on a full repower and harness swap. The SD7V16 compressors are all ageing now and reports are varied on success in just replacing the displacement modulation valve (cheap on Aliexpress, unavailable ex OEM). The V6 ECU is notable for some internal surface mount component issues. Alternators and starters to all models are readily serviced by parts suppliers.

Degradation of the thin foam behind door fabric panels and roof lining (ďorange rotĒ) is age-induced and requires more comparable effort on the roof than (say) a 2004 Falcon as thereís more labour to remove the roof lining.

Paint is OK, but below the standard of equal age Volvo or BMW finishes in durability. Corrosion protection is excellent and rust is a sign that Something Has Happened.

OEM shocks are a bit average, decent aftermarket will run you $1K plus fitting and top mounts. CV boots seem inclined to split. Lower wishbones are changed with every fifth tank of fuel. Good tyres of original spec are in the sweet spot currently for pricing.

poohbah

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1852
Re: Which car?
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2018, 09:10:33 AM »
Hi mate and welcome. We all have our bias, so as the owner of my second 156, the best version is the V6 with 6speed manual trans. Still needs belt changed every 3yrs/60Kkm, and a bit thirstier, but best sound, best performance, and most bulletproof of the lot. Plus, I'm old fashioned, and think hatchbacks are for grocery shopping! (No offence 147 owners. NB I have an 81 GTV "Hatch" too...)
Now:    1999 156 V6
             1981 GTV
Before: 2001 156 V6 (sadly cremated)

ugame

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 330
  • Evil Twin (spark)
Re: Which car?
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2018, 01:57:20 PM »
in the 5 grand bracket I think we'd all agree you're looking for a Twin Spark "something" (or JTS I guess).

Assuming you drive manual.

156 are great cars. Not owned one myself but love the look of them.

Being "daily" in my view does NOT exclude the 916 GTV unless you want to carry 4 full size humans. If realistically, it's yourself +1 other (or 2 at a squeeze) then I never had an issue dailying a 916 keeping in mind we also had a..........

147, great versatile car that does everything from have fun on a track, to lugging a family around to the shops and back, to throwing mountain bikes IN the back (yes...IN the back).

My very bias pic would be a clean TS 916 GTV. God I've fallen in love with them. You can easily get a clean one for $5K, and I'm crazy enough to say, potential investment.

What to "look for" in any of the above?

1) Full service history. Unlike jap cars, this is a MUST. Walk away from anything that doesn't offer it.
2) Timing belt service. When was it last done and by who? This is due every 3 years or 60,000k's which ever comes first.
3) Is it straight? Do the doors and everything line up and open/close with ease? Do all the bolt holes under the bonnet line up? And with the GTV, is the gap between headlights and bonnet even both sides?

Bazz probably has more technical input so I'll move on to the fun stuff.......

My first 916 GTV TS on a track:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVchOlIwWcA

My 147 on a track: (360 degree video. View in chrome or on the app on your phone and you can look around)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSoiTqpZ9SQ

Comparison between my Ph1 and Ph2 GTV's, and my 147.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvQjIDksrCg

Me banging on about my $3K GTV
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbLbL1xjwK0

How much do I stand by cheap GTVs? I sold mine to my SON as his first daily. I literally swear by my kids life  8)

If you REALLY need more cabin/boot space then I did love the 147, but I had more issues with it. The sensors. God the sensors killed the ownership experience for me. But could just be me.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2018, 05:01:35 PM by ugame »
Past: 180SX | 300ZX Twin Turbo | 350Z HR Roadster | 300C 5.7 V8 HEMI | 98 GTV 2.0 TS
Present: 2002 GTV 2.0 TS | 147 TS | 74 Super Beetle | Porsche Cayman S 987.1
Future: I've stopped looking. Wife says "No more Alfas" lol.

00Mart1

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • AROCA Member #: N/A
Re: Which car?
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2018, 03:49:37 PM »
Hi All,
Thanks for the replies. I think I'll probably end up going for a TS 156 (unless I find a 147 I fall in love with), and hopefully later sell that for a v6 GTV as I'd like to experience both engines. How difficult is it to change the timing belt on a TS? I'm sure I'll be confident to do the work, but what specialist tools would it require? How much does this job run on average if taken to an Alfa specialist? I've never really done any work on "modern cars" before, just an old MGB I have as my first car, is there really any limits to what a home mechanic can do with regards to the electrics that may pose a problem?
I'll certainly look for a solid one with a comprehensive service history, are there any other sources I should check other than carsales and gumtree?
Thanks a lot for the replies and advice.
Now: 1965 MG MGB

bazzbazz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1292
    • ON THE SPOT ALFA
  • AROCA Member #: 870
Re: Which car?
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2018, 04:27:53 PM »
I myself charge $795 for a full belt change, that includes all parts with pump, coolant & camshaft cover gasket, but don't forget I am a mobile service without the added costs of running a workshop, so expect a little more than that from a workshop over your way.

ON THE SPOT ALFA
Mobile Alfa Romeo & Fiat Diagnostic/Repair/Maintenance & Servicing
Brisbane & Gold Coast

2004 Alfa 156 2.0 JTS Sportwagon (Patty)
2000 Alfa 156 2.0 TS Selespeed with Sports Pack
(Eibach 2.5 Lowering Springs)
(Bilstein Sports Dampers )

poohbah

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1852
Re: Which car?
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2018, 04:32:17 PM »
How far do you travel Bazz? Belt change for my V6 usually costs about $500 more, and I'm just round the corner 3000km away in Perth ... :D
Now:    1999 156 V6
             1981 GTV
Before: 2001 156 V6 (sadly cremated)

bazzbazz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1292
    • ON THE SPOT ALFA
  • AROCA Member #: 870
Re: Which car?
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2018, 08:49:26 PM »
Before you get too giddy, that was for a TwinSpark 4 cylinder. Standard belt change on V6 is $1160. As you know its all time & labor with the V6.
ON THE SPOT ALFA
Mobile Alfa Romeo & Fiat Diagnostic/Repair/Maintenance & Servicing
Brisbane & Gold Coast

2004 Alfa 156 2.0 JTS Sportwagon (Patty)
2000 Alfa 156 2.0 TS Selespeed with Sports Pack
(Eibach 2.5 Lowering Springs)
(Bilstein Sports Dampers )

poohbah

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1852
Re: Which car?
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2018, 08:57:44 PM »
yep for sure, the local workshop I go to is right on the mark and does excellent work.
Now:    1999 156 V6
             1981 GTV
Before: 2001 156 V6 (sadly cremated)

Craig_m67

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 975
Re: Which car?
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2018, 12:34:38 AM »
Buy a 156 Sportwagon.  Itís the pick of the bunch, sexy and useful
'66 Duetto (lacework of doom)
'73 1600 GT Junior (ensconced)
'03 156 1.9JTD Sportwagon (daily driver)

CitroŽnbender

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1314
  • Gen. 3:19
Re: Which car?
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2018, 11:58:20 AM »
I personally reckon going from DIY on a chrome bumper MGB to the same ethos on a drive-by-wire Alfa is a pretty big leap.

ugame

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 330
  • Evil Twin (spark)
Re: Which car?
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2018, 01:23:46 PM »
I personally reckon going from DIY on a chrome bumper MGB to the same ethos on a drive-by-wire Alfa is a pretty big leap.

^^^^ This x100

Messing with timing belt is as DIYable as any other job BUT......do you want to risk your entire car/engine?

Because mess up this job, and it's good bye top end.

I'd rather pay a reputable professional who will not mess it up, and if they do, with rectify the mistake at their expense.\

Some jobs are worth paying for.

This is top of the list for me.
Past: 180SX | 300ZX Twin Turbo | 350Z HR Roadster | 300C 5.7 V8 HEMI | 98 GTV 2.0 TS
Present: 2002 GTV 2.0 TS | 147 TS | 74 Super Beetle | Porsche Cayman S 987.1
Future: I've stopped looking. Wife says "No more Alfas" lol.

V AR 164

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 590
  • AROCA Member #: 5003
Re: Which car?
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2018, 07:18:18 PM »
What about a 159? I picked up my one owner 159 with full service history for a very reasonable price. It has pretty much every creature comfort you would ever want in a daily and is very comfortable.

Yes it's probably not as track friendly as a 156 or 147, and yes the maintenance may be a little more, but the 159's are starting to become really affordable and a fantastic option for a daily driver.

Andrew.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2018, 07:29:07 PM by V AR 164 »
-2006 159 2.4 Ti (Daily Driver)
-1992 164Q (Weekend Toy)

& Multiple Other 164's...