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(Post Link) post #1 of 42 Old 04-10-16 Thread Starter
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Newbie With An Alfa 147 & No Clue!

Hi all,

I have recently inherited a red Alfa 147, well to be exact an...

ALFA ROMEO 147 JTD 16V M-JET TURISMO 5 DOOR HATCHBACK 1910cc (2005) DIESEL

My normal day to day (family car!) is a 1.6 automatic diesel Citreon Grand Picasso, so in comparison the Alfa is rather sporty. I did actually have my eye on a DS3 as a 2nd car before this car came up, so I'm a little torn on what to do with it.

I do quite like the car, although I can't say it would have crossed my mind if I was buying myself. It's also a good few years older than I would look at normally too. That said, I'm seeing the attraction!

I've dropped the car down 'Go Italia' in Maidstone on the basis of the recommendations on this forum. Hopefully they'll give it the once over, and let me know what I'm dealing with. Known issues so far are a broken drivers side wishbone, start up errors with glow plugs / water in fuel and rear quarter panel with multiple dinks from a run in with a lorry. The clock also shows around 105k miles from memory.

So what next? I do have a soft spot for nice condition 'modern classics'. I don't suppose 2005 is just there yet, but if the car was mechanically sound, and the paintwork nice, it could have that feel for me anyway. I didn't pay anything for the car so don't mind spending a little on it. I wonder how far I might get for say around 1500, and would it be 'worth it'? Love the front of the car, although find the back a bit boring / standard. I've thought of maybe having a GTA spoiler added, and a ever so slight tint on the windows. Getting the paintwork upto great finish I assume would take a machine polish at least?

Any thoughts or comments welcomed. No photos for the time being either I'm afraid as the garage has it this week.
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Cam belt and water pump would be top of my list if you are planning on keeping it. Sort the suspension out then spend the rest on fuel (unless you really want to tart it up!). It'll never be worth anything as a classic (which it isn't really anyhow!).
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So what next? I do have a soft spot for nice condition 'modern classics'. I don't suppose 2005 is just there yet, but if the car was mechanically sound, and the paintwork nice, it could have that feel for me anyway. I didn't pay anything for the car so don't mind spending a little on it. I wonder how far I might get for say around 1500, and would it be 'worth it'? Love the front of the car, although find the back a bit boring / standard. I've thought of maybe having a GTA spoiler added, and a ever so slight tint on the windows. Getting the paintwork upto great finish I assume would take a machine polish at least?

Any thoughts or comments welcomed. No photos for the time being either I'm afraid as the garage has it this week.
EGR Delete, cambelt & waterpump (unless you've got a receipt for one very recently), full service (oil, all the filters etc. - should take care of your water in fuel error).. That takes care of the most common issues.. Ask the garage specifically to look at the oil cooler pipe unions whilst they've got it - they're known to corrode and leak.. Any signs of weeping or severe corrosion and it'll pay to have the Autolusso Mocal kit fitted (few hundred to buy, simple enough to fit) before it turns into an engine replacement... Otherwise give everything a generous coating with underseal and hope for the best... Whilst they've got the underseal out, get them to give the floorpans a thorough poke about too! Another corrosion point that's easier prevented than treated.

Paintwork usually polishes up nicely as it's fairly soft.. That being said a decent 2 bucket wash followed by a clay-bar treatment goes a long way before you go near the paint correction compounds and machine polishing! If you give the paint a good decontamination clean before getting the local detailer to polish it, they'll no doubt thank you for it!
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Thanks both

I think modern classic might have been pushing it a bit to be fair! Nicely done up though would be good.

Any idea on the cost of the work you think should be done? I don't mind spending some cash on the basis the DS3 would have been around 5k... so long as it's reliable. A fun car is nice, but getting to work every day is essential! I have absolutely no experience in mechanics, and with a FT job & 2 kids under 2... this is not the time to start learning. Everything will have to be done 'at the garage'.

Same for any potential modifications. The garage would have to do them, and subtle would be the word. A kind of 'that came looking nice from the factory' rather than 'boy racer' look!

Is there a 147 gallery about for inspiration?
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Cam belt and water pump would be top of my list if you are planning on keeping it. Sort the suspension out then spend the rest on fuel (unless you really want to tart it up!). It'll never be worth anything as a classic (which it isn't really anyhow!).
+1

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EGR Delete, cambelt & waterpump (unless you've got a receipt for one very recently), full service (oil, all the filters etc. - should take care of your water in fuel error).. That takes care of the most common issues.. Ask the garage specifically to look at the oil cooler pipe unions whilst they've got it - they're known to corrode and leak.. Any signs of weeping or sever corrosion and it'll pay to have the Autolusso Mocal kit fitted (few hundred to buy, simple enough to fit) before it turns into an engine replacement... Otherwise give everything a generous coating with underseal and hope for the best... Whilst they've got the underseal out, get them to give the floorpans a thorough poke about too! Another corrosion point that's easier prevented than treated.

Paintwork usually polishes up nicely as it's fairly soft.. That being said a decent 2 bucket wash followed by a clay-bar treatment goes a long way before you go near the paint correction compounds and machine polishing! If you give the paint a good decontamination clean before getting the local detailer to polish it, they'll no doubt thank you for it!
+1

Lost count some time ago of what I've spent and have yet to spend. But you're in a great position having not spent anything on the car, as above make sure the mechanicals and body/paint are in good shape before anything else. There is still a healthy market of genuine new and used parts from places like Autolusso and The Alfa Workshop, specialist Alfa Romeo garage and web site and http://www.ebspares.co.uk/ + many more. To be honest if I've learnt anything, especially as a very novice DIY'er, it pays to get work done at specialists. I have a local indie for all my service work and general maintenance and Autolusso look after all the oily stuff which means that anything wrong with my 147 is the result of something I caused. But for you, have a look around and see what takes your fancy... oh and about the GTA spoiler, I liked that idea too but a wise Alfisti told me that 147 spoilers are bonded to the rear screen and therefore a PITA to change.

Welcome to Alfa ownership, enjoy it!
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147 Sport Q2: Autolusso Remap + Swirl Flap & EGR Delete, Mocal Oil Cooler Kit, JTD Performance FMIC Kit + High Flow Elbow, Wizard Downpipe, PF Pads + 5.1 Fluid, Autolusso Braided Brake Lines, MTech Short-Shifter, Autolusso Silicone Turbo-to-MAF Hose, Refurbed Q2's + Some to add later.

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TBH interms of reliable diesel the 05 is the best of the bunch cf3 engine so no swirl flaps and if you bin the EGR a nice clean inlet mani and no related issues.

If it were my car I would spend the 1500 on cambelt and water pump tensioners and idlers. Then front suspension ..genuine only,after that a full service and you should have enough left over for an EGR delete as well.

Check oil cooler unions and be prepared to replace turbo hoses if still orginal.

If performance is important Autolusso have a cracking map that will bring the car to about 180bhp but dont do it unless you have funds for a clutch and possibly flywheel. If the clutch has been done in the last 10k or so it should be fine.

Enjoy ! And welcome to Alfa ownership.

Pics please or you don't really own one..:-)
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Will have to wait for the doomsday call from the garage, hopefully tomorrow, and also for the pictures.

You can buy the spoiler on eBay, which could be the easier way to go on that if can arrange for it to be sprayed and bonded to the rear window.

How many miles these cars good for?
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How many miles these cars good for?
How deep are your pockets? They usually get to a point around 130-140k miles where they start to need a bit more spending on them than they are worth to sell, most people get rid at this point. Mine's at 214k at the moment, hopefully will see 300k from it before it needs another huge load more work.
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They usually get to a point around 130-140k miles where they start to need a bit more spending on them than they are worth to sell...
So... just checked the last MOT - 125,219

I'm wondering if I'm starting with a loser. The car does not seem to have much going for it right now!
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If you are thinking to profit from tinkering it up and on-selling, absolutely.

If you want to divide capital outlay by hours of enjoyment then it's a different situation, one which will reflect your uniquely personal proportions of talking about doing things, doing things, driving the car and exploiting its particular aspects. Everyone balances this ledger differently.
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I've no intention to 'do up' to sell on. The main thing for me is I need the car to be working 99% of the time. If the consensus is that the car is likely to start having regular down time, then it's not one for me.

Slightly off topic (but it's my thread anyway! )... stumbled across the Brera last night... just wow! I do like the Alfas before they started doing them with the large round headlights.
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So... just checked the last MOT - 125,219

I'm wondering if I'm starting with a loser. The car does not seem to have much going for it right now!
Depends what you want. If you want a nice car to drive, good performance, good on fuel, reasonable maintenance costs and very little initial outlay then you can't go wrong really. There's no real 'death by mileage' but sooner or later you get to a point where the clutch is getting a bit stiff, its due a cambelt, a couple of the wishbones are knocking, floor is looking a bit ropey, tyres are low and you think "its cheaper to buy another car". The alternative is just to fix it all and stick with it. For some reason most people in this country prefer to buy a car, spend as little on it as possible, sell it when it needs work. They lose thousands in depreciation but accept it as part of car ownership. I prefer to buy cheap and then spend to get the car to a point where I'm happy with it.
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The cost of going through a car like the 147 to refit it with new OEM bits and bobs, is not a huge expense in the scheme of things.

As to reliability, one of my two has never failed of its own accord, the other is refusing to start after a motor transplant!
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As you got the car for zilch tbh what else can you pick up for 1500 that will tick all the same boxes...?

If you paid 1500 for it in the condition its in fair enough the maths just don't work. But as your expenditure is all on getting it right I suggest you cant lose.

Its the age old Value vs worth argument and I ask myself the same question every time I mod or fix my car. Is it worth in monetary terms what I have spent on it?

God no.

Could I replace it like for like in any Marque in terms of performance,practicality,economy and most impirtantly mechanical condition..?

Again no so elect to keep it.

If the car you have is free of rust I can think of no car at the price point that looks as nice ,handles as well and is as practical as the 147.

The Brera is pretty for sure but a decent one would be 6k..you can pick them up cheaper but buyer beware,oh and they handle like a boat,tbe 2.2 is underpowered the 3.2 potentially a money pit and the 2.4 has swirl flaps an egr and dpf to contend with.

Stick with your cf3 1.9 147...absolutely no reason why 200k plus is not do-able with normal maintenance costs.
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Lots of food for thought there, thanks guys

Will let you know what the garage come back with, which should be today with some luck!
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A 5000 Citroen's going to bite you in the ass anyway so spend some money on the 147. If you have a good garage a full service and you are good to go. Alfa's reputation for fragility is unfounded. I like the DS3 but 5000 worth of Citroen isn't going to be any cheaper to keep on the road than your 147. Budget 1500 a year to keep on top of everything service wise and parts failure. However, do check the underside of the car including the front subframe for rot. But even this can be fixed if you keep the faith!
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I bought my 53 plate 147 JTDm a couple of years ago for 500 or so - it's now on around 154K miles, and all I've spent on it in the intervening period apart from fue, a batteryl and tyres is a replacement top turbo hose (they split) and auxiliary belt tensioners and belt itself. OK, I really should service it, the front suspension is knocking (but still passed MOT) and a rear shocker is getting weak, but it still drives well, has never failed to start (apart from when the battery failed, which can happen on any car), so I reckon its value for money motoring.

In your situation would I spend money on cosmetics? No, just basic mechanical servicing and enjoy it - its years off being a classic and its value is negligible - if it blew up tomorrow you could replace it for less than 1K, so why spend money on it? Heretical, maybe from an Alfa lover, but bangernomics has done me well for the last 30 years.....I bought a new Sud in 1979, and that's likely to be the only new car I've ever had......
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So had "the call"...

- O/S wishbone wants replacing
- N/S lower arm ball joint could do with replacing
- O/S lower arm ball joint has play
- CV boot is rubbing and held on with cable ties
- 3 glow plugs have a low reading
- Rear washer pipe has come away
- Two rear tyres are 1.6 & 2mm

All that lot (apart from the tyres), plus the inspection fee is about 700. Water pump & belt kit are probably overdue.

All in, looking about 1100 including the tyres!

Hmmmmm
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upper and lower wishbones both sides at Autolusso is 400. add ARB drop links as you may as well do them whilst there. another 60
glow plugs do yourself. 5 mins and the plugs themselves can be had from ebay I have these.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_fr...47+glow+plugs&

and tey are more than adequate, never had any issues in 18 months and 40k miles..
rear washer pipe is a DIY job as well. and not sure what Autolusso would charge to do the CV joint but can't be a huge amount.


reckon you can get this lot done for less if you tackle the easy bits yourself, do an oil change and air filter as well.

oh and BTW I recently got 4x toyo T1 sports for the GT fitted on black circles for 380..and mine are 18''s so with the 16's or 17's you have on the 147 you should be able to do Kumho KU39 or Toyo T1 sports at less than 70 a corner fitted easy.

the whole lot under a grand no probs ,leaving you 500 for a bit of ''tarting up''

happy days I think.

GT blackline,Bilstien B12's and Eibach Anti roll bar kit,Quaife Diff,Autolusso performance pads, de-cat downpipe,hybrid turbo,stage one clutch,autolusso re-map, swirl flap and egr delete, leon cupra front splitter,novitec light covers,simone racing gear knob.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagillham View Post
So had "the call"...

- O/S wishbone wants replacing
- N/S lower arm ball joint could do with replacing
- O/S lower arm ball joint has play
- CV boot is rubbing and held on with cable ties
- 3 glow plugs have a low reading
- Rear washer pipe has come away
- Two rear tyres are 1.6 & 2mm
Not such a bad list at all tbh... Uppers and lowers are fair at that age, do all 4 arms completely or it'll come back to haunt you (Birth parts are an OK cheaper option compared to Genuine/TRW).

CV boot - cheap enough

Glow plugs - 5-10 min job. Bosch parts from eBay fit the bill for <30 normally.

Washer pipe will be an easy one I'm sure...

Tyres - fair wear and tear. Sling some Nexen N8000's on there and call it done.

Your mechanic happy to fit parts that you supply? Shop4Parts is usually pretty well priced!
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So had "the call"...

- O/S wishbone wants replacing
- N/S lower arm ball joint could do with replacing
- O/S lower arm ball joint has play
- CV boot is rubbing and held on with cable ties
- 3 glow plugs have a low reading
- Rear washer pipe has come away
- Two rear tyres are 1.6 & 2mm

All that lot (apart from the tyres), plus the inspection fee is about 700. Water pump & belt kit are probably overdue.

All in, looking about 1100 including the tyres!

Hmmmmm
Well it was never going to be cheap as you are paying for someone's time. Most Alfa owners on here are pretty handy with the spanners.

Still if you don't get another bill for 12 months then the gamble is worth it.

I'd budget a little more for the work and get the cv joint replaced as if the boot has failed the joint will be close behind. Of course not having a car while it's in the garage is also annoying.
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Didn't get as far as asking if he'd fit supplied parts. The glow plugs he was talking about were 90 odd, sure said they were same as the factory ones and lasted a long time?

Bearing in mind my mechanical knowledge is near zero, does anything on that list (except the tyres) fall into the dangerous to drive category? I'm not sure I'm massively keen to spend the value of the car on repairs. Especially on this one with the miles on the clock, dinks in the body work, no AC or parking sensors etc.

Some better news... some receipts have been found. Water pump replaced April 2014. Timing belt also done then too, no sure if that is the same belt as referred to by people above? Apparently the AC was looked at then too... so maybe it does have AC after all!
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Didn't get as far as asking if he'd fit supplied parts. The glow plugs he was talking about were 90 odd, sure said they were same as the factory ones and lasted a long time?

Bearing in mind my mechanical knowledge is near zero, does anything on that list (except the tyres) fall into the dangerous to drive category? I'm not sure I'm massively keen to spend the value of the car on repairs. Especially on this one with the miles on the clock, dinks in the body work, no AC or parking sensors etc.

Some better news... some receipts have been found. Water pump replaced April 2014. Timing belt also done then too, no sure if that is the same belt as referred to by people above? Apparently the AC was looked at then too... so maybe it does have AC after all!

90 for glow plugs? are they gold plated?....most on here will know I don't skimp on my GT, it gets everything it needs and most of the time OEM or better , there are however some places you can save a few quid, glow plugs are exactly one of these places..there you go , we have already saved you 70!

re an oil change, if its not within your ability then with a car of that age go to somewhere like nationa tyres and autocare, oil change including filter 45, I normaly would not recommend them and do with the caveat that you ignore anything they say regarding ''other things'' they find whilst under the car.

tyres, go online to black circles ,tyreleader or camskill, my tyres, or similar and have them delivered, agree with the Editor, nexen N8000 are a great tyre, and cheap , any local tyre place will fit and balance for 10 a wheel. you should be able to replace both tyres for around 100

here you go ,with free delivery

https://www.tyreleader.co.uk/car-tyr...-r16-91v-60714

82 for 2 toyo proxes delivered to your door.

if they are charging you 90 for glow plugs I would question the rest of the prices TBH....as an example

Alfa Romeo Servicing

The problems you listed are all par for the course with any car of that age and mileage regardless of marque, as its an Alfa the residual value will be lower than if it were an Audi or BMW but as long as you don't plan to sell it then its not an issue.

cambelt been done in 2014 so all good, you have another 2 years on that,so if you do what needs doing (properly) don't do half the suspension or it will cost later. do both CV boots , get rid of the EGR and give it an oil and filter you should be happy as Larry for well under you 1500 budget...those other bits are ''niggles'' really.

as none of us can see the condition of the car its hard for us to evaluate it from a bodywork condition perpective, if you forget what its worth for a minute and consider that to find a replacement, say a DS3 you will have to spend 5k for a decent one and I reckon (if my wifes brand new peugeot 208 is any measure) its bound to smack your backside for something in the first year and will be no faster or better handling than the 147..especially if you remap it.

so the question really is do you want to spend 1500 on something you KNOW will be right at the end of it or shelve it and spend 4-5k on on something that still may need a gargage visit at some point? only you can anser this as only you know what you really want..

in answer to your original question, yes that car could be very well sorted and more for 1500

if someone gave me a free 147 1.9 JTDm I would turn it into a beast with that to spend..!!!


with that said I would do a good bit of it myself...but I am talking a lairy map, stage one clutch and some lowering springs on stock shockers...polybushed uppers and new lower wishbones. egr delete as well, all do-able for 1500...

all the other bits are an afternoons work.....
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I think the bottom line is, it's going to cost money to make it nice and if the owner is not comfortable spending that money on a car he didn't actively choose, it may be best if the two part company.
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Thanks for the lengthy reply, I appreciate the help. You've got me thinking a bit more positively again on this!

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90 for glow plugs? are they gold plated?....most on here will know I don't skimp on my GT, it gets everything it needs and most of the time OEM or better , there are however some places you can save a few quid, glow plugs are exactly one of these places..there you go , we have already saved you 70!
I'm sure the brand began with 'B'. Quick Google suggests they might be Beru? He did say you can get cheaper ones, but get better life from these. Price included fitting if that helps!

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re an oil change, if its not within your ability then with a car of that age go to somewhere like nationa tyres and autocare, oil change including filter 45
Looking at the receipts, it's had a new oil filter April 2016 (with 8 units of 5w/30) - does this sound like an oil change? Also April 2014... 7 units of oil, and fuel, oil & air filter. I'm guessing the units are litres!


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if they are charging you 90 for glow plugs I would question the rest of the prices
Thanks for the link. I'm not sure on the comparison as the names are not quite the same. The wishbone replacement he quoted 135. Not sure if it is the upper or lower that wants doing mind. 65 for the CV. 178 for what I've written down as 'lower arm ball'. Any further thoughts on how they sound?

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cambelt been done in 2014 so all good, you have another 2 years on that,so if you do what needs doing (properly) don't do half the suspension or it will cost later.
It's only done 15k miles since April 2014, so maybe even longer on that? The CV boot was done April 2016, but apparently not very well according to my guy. It's rubbing against something, and is held on with cable ties apparently?

The N/S/R upper wishbone was done in April 2016 too.

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Originally Posted by joeymannero View Post
if someone gave me a free 147 1.9 JTDm I would turn it into a beast with that to spend..!!!


with that said I would do a good bit of it myself...but I am talking a lairy map, stage one clutch and some lowering springs on stock shockers...polybushed uppers and new lower wishbones. egr delete as well, all do-able for 1500...
Now we are talking Tell me more, especially if it needs new wishbones anyway!
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