Should i buy an Alfa 156? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 7 Old 08-10-11 Thread Starter
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Should i buy an Alfa 156?

My love affair with the Alfa 166 ended when the inner bearings in the diff needed replacement after 142k. Needed a Gearbox removal Fix and Install so got rid of the car before it got worse. At the moment i drive a 1997 Saab with 170k.

I really like the shape of the ALfa 156 selespeed as they are going cheap with around 130-160k (kms).

But i have a couple of questions as i am scared to buy an Alfa again, it didnt even last me 6 weeks. And i spent over 2k on timing belt,waterpump etc.

Since the selespeed has had many issues, has anything been done to rectify why it fails? why do those components fail? I dont want to get a 156 and have to replace 3 actuators or pumps etc.

If i was to replace a component like the actuator now in 2011 will it last life of the car? 250k as they say, have they been improved?

Why dont we see any Alfa 147's, 156's 166's etc with over 300k (kms). I see heaps of other cars but ALfas seem to be low, if i purchase one will it last until 300k like the avarage cars out there without the need of a new engine and gearbox, providing i drive normaly not like a race car driver

I am planning to save $10k for my alfa 156 selespeed, purchase one for around 4k and keep emergency money and repairs.

Thanks for your help
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Like all cars and their respective marques, there is always a problem child.
I can not offer any words of wisdom as far as the selespeed goes apart from the repairs I have had to do on customer's cars... Although!

The selespeed is generally a reliable piece of kit and lets not forget, it was truly groundbreaking in it's day... Just look at the amount of supercars that have flappy paddle gearboxes now!
All thanks to Ferrari and Alfa, the latter making it affordable for other marques to follow suit & even then the competition couldn't get it right for at least another 5 years afterwards.
The selespeed got it spot on first time, it shows just how innovative Alfa really are/were in comparison.
The down sides are always the same, the more complicated you make a car, the more that can fail!

My work shop is simply jam packed with cars of all marques with electronic failures of some sort from ABS to ODB faults and yet very rarley with actual mechanical failures.

If in any doubt keep it simple, get a manual or alternatively get a 156 Q-System instead.

As you have owned a 166 previously no doubt you will be familiar with the many sportronics out there... Dont be confused into thinking that the Q-Sys is the same, it isn't!

Made by Aisin and not ZF, its a much, much stronger transmisssion that is fitted to Lexus/ Toyota and many Citroen PSA cars amongst others.
Lexus have the same gearbox running 400 bhp + without issues so it is more than capable of handling anything that a 2.5 V6 can chuck at it and it's simply bullet proof

So if you are in two minds with a selespeed, yet semi auto/ full auto appeals to you and you like the 156 shape and familiarity of the 166... That would be my choice, but i am biased really
(Post Link) post #3 of 7 Old 09-10-11 Thread Starter
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thanks for your help, really appreciated, i think i will hold out for a couple of years and get one when i have enough money to take care of it. In the meantime i will drive the Saab which feels nothing like an Alfa.
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yes good choice. mate - don't buy a 4k junker, u WILL have problems. A mint example with FSH and you should be good to go. But u have the right idea with a reserve budget.... these cars need maintenance, and i guess the ones you're looking at are around a decade old now...
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nice engine pics
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my selespeed served me well, but I do a regular calibrate and clutch rod adjustment, the release bearing in a sele
is the weak link because in a sele this bearing is always under presure and the bearing itself is mainly a plastic body (wrong !) with a bearing inside , it gets very hot and you know what plastic does when it is hot.... right !
120k kilometres is max life span of the bearing... (don't ask how I know)
If the damn thing goes, you are up the sh*t creek without a paddle, sele stays stuck in gear and only Examiner or alfadiag can put it in neutral, not a happy event while on the M52 or A12 (in Holland)
Towing is also not possible !!!!

Rarebear 'fastest piston engine airplane in the world' 4000 hp twinspark (!) radial engine.
Thta's what we call an ENGINE>>>>
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There is a diesel 156 on eBay with 370k miles (about 592k kms?) - they will do high mileages but I guess owners who buy Alfas tend do do less miles. I have seen 2.0 litre petrol 156s with 290k miles (464k kms) but the highest mileage Selespeed I've found only had 238k miles (368k kms).
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