What car after 156? - Page 2 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #26 of 43 Old 07-08-16 Thread Starter
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When you say big Jag, you're not referring to an X-type or S-type right?

If you're considering a proper XJ or something like that, then why not open the scope to some of the other older German premium? The BMW 530i Sport (E39) is a belter, they have loads of room and are pretty decent on fuel too. You can pick up a tidy one for a couple of grand.
Thanks for suggestions but there is no sense in my range of likes and dislikes. Unfortunately I have a jag thing and love the xj40 xj300. With the exception of fuel consumption running costs are low and the straight 6 models easy to work on. I now have an Alfa thing as well. However, with both brands it's the older models that appeal most. Jags are the exception but generally I like cars with good steering. I suspect the gtv knocks this out of the park! My best steering cars have been: Mark1 xr2, saxo vts, chevette, xr4x4 and spitfire. The 156 is alright. Disappointing cars have been: Mazda 323 turbo4x4, imprezza, rs turbo, omega 3.0, mr2.
I've also owned a huge number of mundane cars ran on a shoe string and usually purchased for less than a loaf of bread.
So basically I can't explain the xj thing but I'm slowly convincing myself that it might be time for another one. I'd also like a triumph gt6 but prices seem ridiculous and the owners don't even take them out the garage yet alone spank the **** out of them. My spitfire got properly ragged until I crashed it and then I got nice insurance payout.
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I'm biased because I did, but I want GT from a 156 and as the best decision ever, built on the same base so good space in the rear, 4 adults can travel happily for hours so I'm told by some friends we want on holiday with and were in the back seats from Whitehaven to Manchester.
I had the 156 Veloce JTD and now have a GT JTDm, great engine and still gives 40+mpg and a great looking car
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I'm biased because I did, but I want GT from a 156 and as the best decision ever, built on the same base so good space in the rear, 4 adults can travel happily for hours so I'm told by some friends we want on holiday with and were in the back seats from Whitehaven to Manchester.
I had the 156 Veloce JTD and now have a GT JTDm, great engine and still gives 40+mpg and a great looking car
Listen to him for he speaketh the truth. (Unless you don't do a huge mileage in which case it's a 3.2
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(Post Link) post #29 of 43 Old 07-08-16 Thread Starter
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Listen to him for he speaketh the truth. (Unless you don't do a huge mileage in which case it's a 3.2
I think the busso gt is a real bargain at the moment. I've been impressed with the 1.9jtdm but it really does sound like a bag of spanners on tick over.
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I like you deliberated on a 156 replacement and I still lament getting rid of my old 2.0 JTS, a good motor no matter what anybody says. In the end I bought a 2.4 Brera, a brilliant car excerpt for the fact it's an oil burner. But it is reasonably ecommomical and goes very well indeed. Mine is used many for long journeys and it ticks all my need boxes. As an aside I agree with the Panda thing, I bought my daughter one a couple of year back and it's a hoot to drive. 1.3 diesel (again) but it pulls like an express train, I love diving it. I also thought about a Jaguar but somehow I don't think they suit me. Enjoy whatever you choose.
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If floorpan rust expenditure is putting you off the 156, I'd be cautious about getting into a GT 3.2. Cheapest and simplest option will be to weld up the 156 - if you take out the relevant bit of the interior, then all you are paying for is welding - which will not be expensive.

My GT has been utterly reliable for 4 years - but I did get it with a blown engine, and I rebuilt it. You may be lucky, but a medium mileage V6 can chuck you a 1K bill as soon as look at you.

Jag X300 or similar? Really? In the same paragraph as a 156? We got one for Mrs rxe (had a foot op, needed an auto), and honestly, it is a barge. If I had 9 points on my licence, and really needed to not get 3 more points, this would be the car for me. It is so big and so ponderous that doing 40 in a 40 is pretty scary. The 3.2 used an awful lot of petrol (more than the GT) and I couldn't for the life of me work out what it was doing with it. Good looking thing, but not much fun.
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If floorpan rust expenditure is putting you off the 156, I'd be cautious about getting into a GT 3.2. Cheapest and simplest option will be to weld up the 156 - if you take out the relevant bit of the interior, then all you are paying for is welding - which will not be expensive.

My GT has been utterly reliable for 4 years - but I did get it with a blown engine, and I rebuilt it. You may be lucky, but a medium mileage V6 can chuck you a 1K bill as soon as look at you.
Yup. I've owned my gt3.2 for 9 months and have spent more on it than I paid for it. I still refuse to sell my 1.8ts 156 though, still a lovely car and we've had some good times.
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(Post Link) post #33 of 43 Old 09-08-16 Thread Starter
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Jag X300 or similar? Really? In the same paragraph as a 156? We got one for Mrs rxe (had a foot op, needed an auto), and honestly, it is a barge. If I had 9 points on my licence, and really needed to not get 3 more points, this would be the car for me. It is so big and so ponderous that doing 40 in a 40 is pretty scary. The 3.2 used an awful lot of petrol (more than the GT) and I couldn't for the life of me work out what it was doing with it. Good looking thing, but not much fun.
I know! I've owned a 3.6 sovereign and a 4.0 gold and I can confirm they are totally rubbish. Still considering another. My 156 however is genuinely a really good car. I'll be coming back to Alfa even if I don't stay for now.
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(Post Link) post #34 of 43 Old 12-08-16 Thread Starter
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Here's the rust. Any ideas how many hours labour these repairs would take an experienced welder. I had hoped to tackle it myself but the subframe looks difficult.

Near side front foot well appears to have a double skin not sure if this is structural. Probably been damaged by some inconsiderate jacking. The second layer appears good. Might pass the MOT? WP_20160812_11_24_05_Pro.jpg

Rear floor pan nearside. I'm sure we've all seen this before.WP_20160812_11_24_14_Pro.jpg

Lastly the most worrying development. The front subframe has a hole. Can his be patched or is a new subframe needed?
WP_20160812_11_23_52_Pro.jpg

Not looking good for the old jalopy. Comments and experiences welcome. The rest of the car is mechanically good looks shiny and new from the outside.
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I would replace the subframe. You could patch it if you just wanted another year out of it but long term you would be best off replacing it. For some reason the later subframes seem to rust quicker than the earlier ones.

If you removed the seats, carpet & sound-deadening and cleaned all that underseal from the floor then I wouldn't think it would need more than a few hours labour to weld it all. Most of the labour is stripping them down & building them back up again.
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+1 on what Pud says, do all the stripping down yourself, so all the welder has to do is what he does best, and being the pass side you can strip it all back and prep it and still drive it down to him.

Have a look on the usual sites like fleabay for a 2nd hand sub, get it cleaned up and just throw a good replacement on would be my thoughts
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Volvo S80 V8. Truly worth a look as a family car with bite.
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Better the devil you know, if you are happy with your 156, fix it.
SH sub-frame from the scrappy and a couple of hours work to fit it yourself if you're handy with the spanners.
Rot is always far worse than it looks, it not just getting rid of the rot its cutting back to find thick enough steel to weld to, i think you're looking at about 250 quid for the welding if you strip it yourself and 50 quid for a sub frame, all in all less than a set of new tyres and you wouldn't think twice about buying them for another 2 years motoring.
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Always looking for the next project, why have 1 boring new car when you can have 3 or 4 decent project cars ?
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Lpg isn't the greatest invention ever. Some systems better than others, some fitting companies better than others.......little less power,extra servicing costs,LPG heavier than air so a leak ain't good......not all areas keep it,high cost of fitting it....
If I did twenty thousand miles plus a year I'd get a diesel not LPG a petrol. No egr issues if you keep the miles high and fast. If LPG were the answer manufacturers would fit it as standard?
We run a Volvo XC70 for her majesty which carries our dogs too and were clocking around 18 thousand miles a year in it mostly on the same long motorway journey. No egr issues and runs fabulous. Petrol fiat for around town. Horses for courses.
Just a note on LPG. I installed a BRC system on a 2000 156sw 1.8ts about five years ago. Cost was about 1500 at the time. Since then I've had absolutely no issues, don't notice the power loss at all, and get a priceless warm fuzzy feeling in my belly every time I shell out the 25 it costs to tank up. Only real downside is the loss of the spare tyre well, and tanking takes longer and sometimes I need to search a bit for a station which has it. I had to give up the car last month because of unrelated issues, but pulled out all of the kit, which the garage wants only 500 to re-install on the '02 sw I just bought. I can't say if it is as good an option in UK as it is in Germany. Fuel price is different in different countries. In Belgium for example it is like 0.40 per liter. In Germany I pay roughly half per kilometer as I would burning petrol.
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Better the devil you know, if you are happy with your 156, fix it.
SH sub-frame from the scrappy and a couple of hours work to fit it yourself if you're handy with the spanners.
Rot is always far worse than it looks, it not just getting rid of the rot its cutting back to find thick enough steel to weld to, i think you're looking at about 250 quid for the welding if you strip it yourself and 50 quid for a sub frame, all in all less than a set of new tyres and you wouldn't think twice about buying them for another 2 years motoring.
I am in this camp, but not sure it is completely sane thinking. I just bought an '02 sw 2.0 ts to replace the '00 1.8 that recently died. I was a bit impulsive, and bought a car with some major problems, but you know what, l don't regret it. I test drove some French cars, and rented a Mitsubishi during my vacation. They all seemed completely silly once I was behind the wheel. In the case of the Mitsubishi, taking an off ramp at speed is a wrestling match with you pitted against a much heavier opponent! I stripped everything I could off the old car before I scrapped it, so hopefully I won't get killed buying parts. It's just that suspension, twinspark motor, seats, climate control, etc., that makes it special. I was even driven around a bit in my friend's BMW X5. I was like, "put lipstick on it if you want, but this thing is a truck!" Even the climate control was poor for such an expensive vehicle. Loud, and the vents not nicely positioned.

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(Post Link) post #41 of 43 Old 16-08-16 Thread Starter
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Decision made! Thanks for all the feed back guys. I'm going to try and get my baby through the mot. Despite the economics of it i just think i'll regret it if it goes to scrap. I'll post some pictures of the rot once cleaned up and might be seeking some more advice regarding the welding. The floor pan looks time consuming but do able. I think I could weld the subframe but a new one is the correct thing to do. Am i right in thinking a GT subframe will fit as there's a clean looking one on ebay for 174? There's also a 156 one for 114 but it doesn't look much cleaner than the one that's got to come off and given the effort it will take it seems sensible to fit the best I can.
While it's off is there any other jobs that make sense to do? My roll bar has been knocking through 2 mots. There also seems to be an engine mount/stabiliser, is this particularly durable? In the likely even that I can't undo any of the bolts what's the next course of action?
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Good news. I've removed the rear seats and found 4 and a small bag of weed. Every little helps.
Bad news. I've broken every trim clip I've touched. Can anyone point me in the correct direction of a how too post before I destroy the pillar trims.
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Well mot time is coming up and my 156 is likely to be costing me some quids.
I'm trying to stop myself from purchasing a big jag and putting it on lpg.
Talk me out of this madness. What Alfa should I get next? I've even looked at finance deals on the mito qv but can you believe they don't do it with red leather! Madness. The 159 2.4 with auto looks good on paper but I sat in one and it just felt big, not special. I'd like a gtv Ts. Has anyone put kids in those back seats or are they just a joke. Anyway I'm sure I'll ignore all suggestion (especially sensible ones) but will enjoy reading them.

P.S. The other option (mostly based on sensible money issues) is a Panda 100hp.
Had a phase 2 lusso gtv v6, in red with cream leather, was the 3.0 24v and been sorry we sold it every day since.
During the years that have passed its fair to say now I e bought a 156 sw that definitely has brought back some missing passion even though it's an old 8v jtd it's so alike the gtv inside and I'd say the handling is pretty good too and its got luggage space.
For me I'm pretty sure now owning our third alfa number four will be a 159 jtdm sw.
It's very special feeling when you know what you want and its alfa Romeo isn't it
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