Author Topic: WANTED : 147 or 156  (Read 8831 times)

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147dream

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WANTED : 147 or 156
« on: March 02, 2010, 06:37:00 PM »
Hi, I'm a first car buyer and have recently become quite interested in the Alfa Romeo 156 and even more so in the 147's.

i have been looking at both and it has come to my attention that the selespeed can be quite unreliable, costing up to $3500 to fix?

Therefore, ive decided to post this in a place where you all speak Alfa, and wonder if any of you could offer any tips or suggestions whilst on the hunt for one of these beautiful cars..

The models i am currently looking at range between 1999 and 2001, all $10,000 and under.

This one in particularly..
1999 156 Selespeed. 121,000 K's
New Selespeed , Cam Belt , Tyres and Battery done in the last 12 months
 Fantasy Blue with contrasting Black Leather Trim. Electric Windows and Mirrors, Leather Seat Heaters, Sony CD Player and Tinted Windows.
This car has been very well maintained with Full Service Books including receipts.
Selling for 8,990 .


dehne

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Re: WANTED : 147 or 156
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2010, 11:50:02 PM »
hello and welcome, where are you located r u specificatly after a selespeed as you can get manuals cheap to, are u looking at a 2.0 4cyl or a v6, well you have come to the right place as there is a heap of knowledge here
happy searching
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Evan Bottcher

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Re: WANTED : 147 or 156
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2010, 12:19:44 AM »
The selespeed system can be expensive to repair - although recently more information and procedures have become available for the independant alfa repairers to fix the system.  For example components of the selespeed actuator can be replaced without having to replace the entire unit (the $3500 price). 

I'd recommend you to get in touch with one of the club sponsors (list here: http://www.alfaclubvic.org.au/content/view/20/33/) - especially the independant mechanics (monza motors, maranello pur sang, mauceri motors, italian job, etc).  When you like the look of a car, it's definitely worth getting one of them to do a check over the car before you purchase.

I wonder what "new selespeed" means for your fantasy blue car - there are multiple components (actuator, pump, accumulator etc.).  It'd be worth finding out exactly what was replaced.

In my opinion, $8900 is about $1k-2k too high for that car.  Especially in fantasy blue.

I posted some information that I've collected in this topic: http://www.alfaclubvic.org.au/forum/index.php?topic=2570.0  (note I'm not a mechanic, so don't trust anything I say it's all hearsay :-) ).  In addition to this there's been a lot of talk about the 'selection sensor' on the actuator which can now be replaced independantly and fixes some issues.

Good luck.
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147dream

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Re: WANTED : 147 or 156
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2010, 09:56:17 AM »
Hey Guys, thankyou heaps for both your replies!

I am after a selespeed, preferable in a 2L, and located in Melbourne's West.

Evan, that is extremely helpful information, ill be sure to let you all know if i go get that car checked out, and when i find some others to have a look at .

In the mean time, if anyone knows anyone selling, shoot me a line.

ciao :)

John Hanslow

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Re: WANTED : 147 or 156
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2010, 12:25:00 PM »
The 2L was a manual or selespeed.  But there is the 2.5L v6 which was an auto - and a few manuals were delivered too.  The selespeed was a F1 gearship of sorts - the paddles on the steering wheel.  Evan has covered the selespeed issues here.

But if yiou want a full auto, then there are a quite afew around in your price range.  They have depreciated already. The extra fuel cost of running the V6 will be set off against repairs (later on) to the the selespeed. 

Those are my thoughts only.  Good luck !
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Previously:
1989 164 3.0  V6
2002 156 Twin Spark Sports Edition
2002 147 Twin Spark
2002 916 Spider Twin Spark
1990 Alfa 75 Potenziata

147dream

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Re: WANTED : 147 or 156
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2010, 08:26:37 PM »
Thanks mate.

Yes the auto V6's also interest me, i have not found alot though.. i must be looking in the wrong places?

Theres one 156 V6 going for 9.900 ,always serviced with alpha but downside is it has 180.000 k's clocked on it. so i dont think its really worth looking at...?

dehne

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Re: WANTED : 147 or 156
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2010, 09:45:03 PM »
there is a white one for sale in bendigo vic its advertised for about $10000 and its had a complete engine rebuild due to cam belt the mechanics neglected to change when told to
now
1x 85 mdl road 90
2013 Giulietta 1.4
2015 Launch Edition Giulietta
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Multiple Alfa 90’s, Alfetta’s and 147’s

ALFA156DALE

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Re: WANTED : 147 or 156
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2010, 02:21:03 PM »
Hi, I recently brought an alfa 156 V6, its black with red leather, 130,000kms.
I paid $9300.
So they are out there i was looking for about 4 months.
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Alfa 156 2.5ltr V6
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Land Rover TDI 300
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Holden Kingswood 202

monoman

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Re: WANTED : 147 or 156
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2010, 03:13:18 PM »
Can you drive a manual?  Then don't touch a selespeed unless you are as stupid as I was.

I purchased a 2001 147 selespeed with good history last September.  Spent more time on the back of a tow truck and a various mechanics.  In all that time I only managed to use the car socially twice.  One to go to a 147/156 alfa club workshop/BBq, anddown to my Dad's house for Christmas lunch.  Every other time I drove it was either picking it up from a mechanic, or taking it to another.

Seriously, I must have been out of my mind to buy an Italian car with sophisticated electronics. I recently sold it to the trade at a significant loss.

This is not meant to be an attack on any selespeed owners out there.  If you have one that works, great. 

Andrew156

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Re: WANTED : 147 or 156
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2010, 03:52:38 PM »
I'd support Monoman on this to some extent. I recently purchased a 2002 156 Selespeed wagon. I approached it with a lot of trepidation due to the negative press and I wanted a manual. There is always a but though, the rest of the car was too good to walk away from, so I took a punt. Now in week 4 of ownership, 800km travelled and "touch-wood" drives well.

But go the manual if you can

As an aside, whilst having the timing belt and associated works done it last week, there was a V6 manual on the hoist having a clutch done. I was told that it is easier to do a clutch in these by removing motor and box completely. Sounds extreme and expensive! Just something to consider.

I would have preferred a V6 but figured something will go wrong with the car at some point....will be cheaper in the TS ::)
'02 Alfa 156 Selespeed Wagon

147dream

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Re: WANTED : 147 or 156
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2010, 03:55:34 PM »
hi all thanks for your thoughts and opinions,

I have just gone to look at a red 156 2.0L Monza  , with 130,000 k's. it is a selespeed, very good condititon with Camel leather interior.

it is being sold at a used car dealer which has its own garage,  i asked about the 156, now without me even mentioning anything about selespeed issues, he started off by saying  that to trial the car one of the mechanics was driving it around and the selespeed played up on it. they have replaced the unit (at a place in the city called "city-Manual" or something or rather)  and welcoms anyone to go check it out, and willing to sell it to me with a 1 year warranty that potentially may be increased up to 3 years. Covering transmission and engine.

He also has books and receipts for it all..

its going for 10,900 but he ased if im serious we can sit down n negotiate a good price.

what do we think guys?

Andrew156

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Re: WANTED : 147 or 156
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2010, 04:19:39 PM »
Invest in having it checked by an independant specialist (what I should have done :-[) taking a bit of extra care given that it is an Selepeed Alfa.

Otherwise if all good should be a sub $10K car
'02 Alfa 156 Selespeed Wagon

dehne

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Re: WANTED : 147 or 156
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2010, 08:48:53 PM »
if he is willing to warrany the engine and gearbox for 3 years i think its a reasonable safe buy but check to ensure the accuator and selespeed pump is covered in this also. the good thing about selespeeds now is that you donot need to replace all the expensive parts , the pump is only $300 and the problems with the accuator can be replace with just parts, if you like it then buy it
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2013 Giulietta 1.4
2015 Launch Edition Giulietta
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monoman

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Re: WANTED : 147 or 156
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2010, 12:24:33 AM »
Have a good search on the web.  You are going to find enough selespeed horror stories to keep you too busy to shop for one.   Even experienced Alfa mechanics are clueless when it comes to diagnosing a selespeed.  No disrespect intended to Hugh or Gaincarlo, but there are so many interlocking parts that diagnosis can be nothing but an educated guess.  Try and find 2 mechanics that agree is next  to impossible.  One will say it's the gearbox, and the other will say it's the selespeed.  So when you break down outside some hick town, don't expect Mr RACV to do anything more than call for a flatbed.

At no time did mine display any error codes on the plug in diagnostic tools, so no help there for the mechanics.  And unless you have very deep pockets and are prepared to pay $180/hr you won't be taking it to an authorized Alfa dealer.  

Life with a problematic selespeed was never dull.  First up, the car goes through a fairly complicated and lengthy start up sequence of which any of 2 dozen insignificant things could cause it to refuse to turn over.  So every time I turned the key was filled with dread.  Secondly, if it did start, will it allow me to select 1st gear today.  Thirdly, every time you stop, the selespeed drops into neutral, except when it decides to stay in 4th, or 3rd, or whatever.  This means forget about going anywhere until it remembers how to find neutral.  Often the only course of action was to dial the RACV and wait for the flatbed truck.  Don't forget to buy the highest level of RACV membership because you are going to get to know all the RACV operators very well.  

I bought a selespeed because I really thought it would be cool to drive an F1 style flappy paddle gearbox and they were a fair bit cheaper than the manuals and many more to choose from. Turns out the selespeed actually feels a bit gimmicky and doesn't shift all that well.  Sure it will blip the throttle on fast downshifts, but because you can't slip the clutch, pickup can be a bit harsh.

Be patient, buy a manual.  
« Last Edit: March 05, 2010, 09:43:05 AM by monoman »

John Hanslow

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Re: WANTED : 147 or 156
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2010, 07:38:41 AM »
Back to the V6 auto as an option if you do not want a manual ?
Now:
2011 Giulietta QV

Previously:
1989 164 3.0  V6
2002 156 Twin Spark Sports Edition
2002 147 Twin Spark
2002 916 Spider Twin Spark
1990 Alfa 75 Potenziata