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(Post Link) post #1 of 4 Old 22-07-14 Thread Starter
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Alfa 147 diesels - buying advice please

Hi all,

I may be looking to expand the 'fleet' to include a 147 5dr diesel. Have owned many Alfas including 164 TS, 164 QV and 166 Super. Currently own a 159 1.9 JTDM and a 75 TS Veloce.

Are there the normal Alfa suspension weaknesses and do the diesel models have the dreaded M32 gearbox!?

What about DPF and EGR issues?

Anything else you can think of?

Thanks in advance.
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yes suspension is common across the entire 147 / 156 / GT range - front suspension will have squeaks and knocks.

The 1.9 JTD M-Jet 16v is a cracking motor. It doesn't have a DPF so no need to worry about that, the EGR may clog though but I don't think the ECU monitors air quality until the very late motors, so you could potentially just block it off.

They do have swirl valves in the inlet, at least some do I believe, so you could keep an eye out for that.

NO - they don't have the M32 box so you're safe.

Biggest weak point on the JTDs - water pump. if the water pump wasn't last changed with the cambelt (unless you plan or need to change cambelt any time soon) walk away.

Previous Alfas:
1999 156 1.8TS Sport Pack 3
2001 166 3.0 V6 24V Super
2003 156 GTA 3.2 V6 24V
2005 156 1.9 JTDM-Jet Sport
2008 159 1.9 JTDM Lusso

Current Alfas:
1997 GTV 2.0TS Lusso
2001 147 1.6TS Lusso
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147 Sport Q2

Quite the fleet you'll have if you buy a 147, and from three completely different generations.

So far my 147 has proven itself to be dependable and always starts first time. The suspension is shared with the 156 and GT so it's double front wishbones and radius arms at the back. A creak/squeak from the front usually indicates worn upper wishbones, budget £100 per side for this repair. Less common but more likely on higher mileage cars a front-end creak can be the ARB or it's bushes. I'm not sure of the possibility of just changing the bushes but the ARB is around £100, more if you have the Q2 model. There are four rear arms, two short and two long and these cost around £35 for the shorter arm and £50 for the longer arm. I'm not sure what worn arms sound like but any noises from the back could be the arms or the drop-links. Worn front suspension can cause inner edge tyre wear, but so can poor alignment so it's worth checking both.

I've never found a definitive answer to the DPF question but I know that the 147 had CF3 and CF4 diesel engines, EGR problems are common but is often a simple fix. It's fixed onto the inlet via 4 long bolts and can be dismantled for cleaning quite easily, replacements are around £120. The problem occurs when the EGR solenoid becomes stuck open and you'll find the car has NO power low down, a similar symptom to a faulty MAF sensor or air leak.

I have the 1.9 150bhp JTDm 6-speed manual with the limited slip-diff which I would highly recommend, the gear change is smooth and from my experience problem free. The only issue being the gear linkage bushes which wear over time and cause a stiff/sticky gear change, but this is a fairly easy job and only a few quid for the parts.

When you're viewing any cars I'd make sure you test drive it and check the clutch. A worn clutch will slip in higher gears and set you back a few quid, and anything around £900 if it needs a dual mass flywheel replacement too. Timing belts should be replaced at 60,000 miles or every 4 years which ever is sooner, the water pump should also be replaced at the same time. £350 seems to be a good price at the moment for this repair. The experts say that the water pump tends to seize up first and cause the belt to fail which is why the change interval was reduced from 72k.

Check the buyer's guide from Alfaworkshop too.
Alfa Romeo 147 Buyer's Guide

Best of luck with your purchase.

P.S. If you're interested I still have some recent-ish Parkers valuation packs for some of the 147 trims.

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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(Post Link) post #4 of 4 Old 22-07-14 Thread Starter
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Some good advice there. Thanks chaps...l
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