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(Post Link) post #1 of 12 Old 11-02-10 Thread Starter
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Selespeed or not?

I'm currently looking for a 2.0 147, but I'm not finding many regular manuals.

I've noticed there are a lot of threads on here about misbehaving selespeed boxes, and it makes me nervous about them. What is the failure rate on them, and how often is it expensive? And when I go to look at one what should I be looking out for?

And not really a technical question, but are they how fun are they to drive compared to the manual? How are they in heavy traffic?

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The selespeed is good when it works but personally I'd have a manual. Just less to go wrong. But plenty of people sing there praises so its more on personal preference. Go try one out and see what you think. It could be the box for you
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Poor maintenance is usually the main problem with them. Electrical gremlins are fairly common (there's been a spate of them recently).

Take it to a dealer, and they will fleece you £1000+ for a new actuator, but if you're happy to do a bit of diagnosis (investing in AlfaDiag is a must), you can fix most issues for next to nothing. Even a complete gearbox can be found for under a hundred quid, should the need arise.

Driving them on an open road is a hoot! I'd say (although I'm not a Sele owner) that heavy traffic is their weakness. Even in city mode...
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The only difference between a "normal" 147 and a "selespeed" is that they require a little extra servicing that normal garages just are not capable of carrying out.

1, Clutch rod length checking/adjusting. Annually/12K miles.

2, Replacing sele fluid. 2 years/ 24K miles.

On top of that they are heavy on the gearbox internals and replacement of the gearbox oil IS a must every 2 years. The weakness though is the selespeed system is not the gearbox or actuator though, but the release bearing in the clutch system.
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I had a Selespeed and loved it, it had very regular (every 5000kms) main dealer service with no expense spared but still the actuator failed so I cant say poor maintenance was the cause, it was a '99 model so maybe the later 147 Selespeed is a bit more reliable.

Anyway the biggest problem in my opinion is not having a big failure but the small niggley problems which stop the car in it tracks and since you have no way to get it into gear you are stuck. Only happened to me a few times but its then always in the back of your mind especially as the car gets older

The other problem was that mine wasnt particularly smooth in stop / start traffic, it was like this from new until I sold it after 80,000kms.

But when you have it on the open road then you can really enjoy the Selespeed and downshifts are such a joy with the blip of the throttle

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(Post Link) post #6 of 12 Old 11-02-10 Thread Starter
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As I spend so much of my daily commute stuck in the Bristol rush hour, it sounds like I should hold out for a manual. Cheers guys
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I borrowed one for a while as I was thinking of buying one and I really didn't like it.

Some people rave about them though so have a drive in one, then consider whether you want one or not.

As said above the reliability issues are not the problem they once were, so don't let it swing your judgement too much.
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(Post Link) post #8 of 12 Old 11-02-10 Thread Starter
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It's worth a test drive I guess. They seem to be lower mileage for the same price than the manuals. And finding a manual in Rosso red is proving tough, so I suppose it seems silly to dismiss them without driving one.
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If you spend a lot of time stuck in traffic, maybe the Sele makes sense. Just stick it in City mode, look ma, no clutch better to get the Sele bits thoroughly checked out before you buy the car.

The accumulator seals wear out after a few years and Selespeed fluid should always be at the correct level. I think the facelift 147's and 156's used the 3rd generation system that's supposed to be more robust than the early design. I had a facelift 147, loads of fun making the Twin Spark sing and hearing the throttle blip on downshifts.
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i loved my Selespeed, i did 20,000 miles in 8 months without any issues......

The only gearbox related issue i suffered was the clutch needed replacing, this i consider normal wear for a car that had close to 90K miles on the clock

two days after i sold mine the guy who bought it blew the gearbox up.....from what i was told afterwards he was driving it like a muppet and when he knocked it down 2 gears at a time the box cried enough and went AWOL....

Seles are great......most of the issues i have read about or got involved with have been found to be as a result of another component failing or something stupid like wiring being chaifed etc. but because of the fact that most garages don't want to get involved with Seles the instantly tell the customer that the actuator unit is faulty and it will cost £500.....a good 75% of the time the garage is talking out of their ring spanners

Find a good indy who knows Seles, try and find a sele that has been looked after....and get the best one your money can buy....then enjoy the novelty of changing up and down the box without stressing your left leg, for me the novelty never wore off
(Post Link) post #11 of 12 Old 11-02-10 Thread Starter
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I'm going to see a Selespeed on Saturday, only 47k on the clock and a 3 door So I'll find out then if I like them or not.

Failing that it's looking like a 156. Not that I don't like 156's, but I don't need the extra room but do sometimes need to squeeze into tight spaces.
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I drive one for 8 years now and apart from a release bearing (at 120K normal) it is great, but IF you get
an issue with Sele you need money , more than with a manual. Most dealers don't know anything about Seles
and start replacing costly parts (actuator, sensors etc)
I also have a Porsche 911 and boy... do I miss the Selespeed when driving my supercar !! the clutch on a 911 is very stiff and needs constant attention when driving the car...Selespeed does all the work for you..
p.s. I hope I don't get excommunicated from this forum with my 911.. I drive the 156 sele
most of the time so be gentle
picture was taken by my daughter driving my 156 Sele....

Rarebear 'fastest piston engine airplane in the world' 4000 hp twinspark (!) radial engine.
Thta's what we call an ENGINE>>>>

Last edited by rarebear; 30-01-13 at 12:16.
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