Do I mod my 156, or change it?? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Do I mod my 156, or change it??


I have a 2000 156 2.0TS and love the general feel of the car, particularly the motor. I've owned it for a year and 8000 reliable miles, and am generally happy.

I have no idea what 'spec' it is... if there were different levels at the time.

I have a few gripes though...

The handling is soft and bouncy... on std 15" alloys and a mixed bag of Michelin Premacys on the front and a Pirelli P6000 and a P7 on the back... (yeah, I know... but I don't think that's the issue here). My old Mondeo 2.0Si was tighter in the bends... can't be right. I'd like it to be a lot firmer in the bends, with less roll and bounce.

The brakes are a bit wishy washy (and both F discs and pads will need replacing soon).

The colour... cosmic blue (metallic black!)... never looks clean and disguises some of the lines of the car compared to lighter versions.

I'm considering either doing some mods to suspension, wheels, brakes to make it go the way I want to, or, especially given point 3, changing it for another 156.

What I'd like to know from you experts is... is there a model which addresses all these mechanical issues in one go? Veloce spec, or whatever? I could probably swap the car for a newer model for what the mods would cost, and sort the colour at the same time. The downside may be that I seem to have myself a well looked after, reliable example, and swapping the car may introduce new problems I currently don't have!

What do you think? What have you done to improve handling and braking? Is it possible to do it on a sensible budget or is it more economical to swap the car for a sportier spec model?
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Re: Do I mod my 156, or change it??


It sounds to me that finding another 156 may be a less expensive solution for you, though I don't know the exact prices of used 156 there.

The mods to improve your current car will likely include:

1) A set of wheels & tires, at least 16-inch. A set of 16" telephone-dial rims will help handling, and improve the look of the car a lot. Ride comfort is not compromised either. Moving to 17", you'll need to find a set of wheels with proper offset (I recommend Alfa's optional alloys) to retain that sharp steering feedback and ride comfort.

2) A set of dampers to go with original springs if you go with 16" wheels, or a new suspension kit to keep things under control.

3) A set of brake pads (Ferodo DS-series) to improve braking on original discs

Now if you can't stand the blue color, then it's pointless to do all these. You should probably decide whether you're comfortable with the color or not.

//2000 156 2.0TS / AD Remap / Supersprint Exhaust / K&N Filter Kit / Rhoddy Harvey-Bailey Suspension / AR Strut bar /16" Telephone dials + Yokohama V550 / Tar-Ox discs + SS lines + MQ pads //

//2005 Subaru Impreza WRX PPP / K&N Short Ram-air Intake / Brembo 4-pot Brake Kits / Prodrive GC-010 British Black 18x7.5 Forged Alloys / Michelin Pilot Sport Cup / Prodrive Spring Kit / STi Aero kit //
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Re: Do I mod my 156, or change it??

I wouldn't trade a good Alfa for a used one unless I was very sure about the other car's condition and history.

For the suspension I would consider replacing the anti-roll bars with those of the GTA model for less body roll without making the suspension any firmer. Other than that, 156's in Greece came with an optional extra "sport suspension kit" that included Bilstein shocks and lower/firmer springs (not too low, 1.5cm IIRC). I've heard very good reviews for this kit by several owners, so if there is an equivalent available in your country consider it as well.

The high-profile wheels also contribute to the body roll and many people have suggested that the best tyre/wheel dimension for 156's and 147's is 205/55/16 which is a good compromise between crispy handling and comfort. Will make the car's final transmission ratio perceivalbly longer though, 205/50/16 would be much closer to 195/60/15 in diameter.

The std brakes of the 2.0lt version are inadequate IMHO. Brembo has a 305mm disk/4-pot caliper set that fits perfectly to 156's and 147's. If you plan to use this -or any other 4-pot system for that matter- keep it in mind when you look for wheels because the calipers are considerably bigger than the stock ones and need more space in the (minimum 16") wheel. For instance Selespeed stock wheels do not have enough space for 4-pot calipers which makes spacers mandatory.

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Re: Do I mod my 156, or change it??

if you are not changing ebspares do a superb harvey-bailey handling kit around 600 quid which would transform your car, especially with some larger(16") wheels and some quality tires
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Re: Do I mod my 156, or change it??

Originally Posted by gtachris
if you are not changing ebspares do a superb harvey-bailey handling kit around 600 quid which would transform your car, especially with some larger(16") wheels and some quality tires
I fitted my 156 with a strut bar (AR part) and this really makes a difference, further more I have 215/45-17, the car has SP2 .
Konis shocks (yellow) are a treat. Also keep the tyres at 2.8 bar front and 2.5 bar rear.
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Thumbs Up Re: Do I mod my 156, or change it??

Well then of course if you want to juice it up slightly then i suggest contacting Nigel of angeltuning, few of your hard earned bucks will get you a re-map. Getting mine on monday.
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Re: Do I mod my 156, or change it??

IMO if you can find another good one go for it in the colour that you prefer, If you make the modifications then this will keep you happy for a few months but then you will be back to the colour, whereas if find one in your fav colour try to go for a top spec 2.0 TS (must have leather IMO) with the sport pack (teledials, lowered suspension and side skirts) or a 2.5 V6 with the sportpack

I personally had a 2.0 TS selespeed with sportpack a few years ago and it suffered from none of the problems you mention above, it also felt genuinely like a sports saloon especially with the red leather.

The mods you talk about could cost anywhere from 1200 - 3000 depending on tghe type of quality you go for, so best new car I would say.
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Re: Do I mod my 156, or change it??

Yes, I think it will have to be a new one... Mine isn't going to keep me happy for long, and it's really not worth enough to spend good money on... Parkers reckon about 3000... as it has 80k on the clock.

In fact it might really be a new one... 156 2.0JTS Veloce Ti in Alfa Red from Broadspeed is now 14k ish... with all the good bits.

Never bought a new car with my own money before...

I bet 'her indoors' will want a new Galaxy as well ... or instead
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