Which transmission for Alfa 156? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 5 Old 27-02-15 Thread Starter
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Which transmission for Alfa 156?

Can an Alfa 156 owner out there give some advice regarding transmissions? I would prefer a manual as there are some scary stories about automatics/selespeed/Q speed/tiptronic or whatever they may be called.
What are the pitfalls? Looking at around late 1990s to early 2000s model.
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For the 156, you have 3 options:

Ordinary manual, available with TS/JTS (5 speed) or V6 (6 speed), or even diesel if you can find one. Nothing to report here - just the usual clutch slave cylinder failure every so often, clutches themselves don't usually go past 200,000km. Be aware that on the TS/JTS the clutch slave is a concentric type fitted inside the bell housing so it's a gearbox off job to fix. The diff on the 3.2 V6 is weak.

Selespeed, available on TS/JTS and 3.2 V6 (GTA) (very rare) - the same gearbox and clutch as above (pretty much) but with electro-hydraulic actuation of clutch and gear change. More to go wrong. Generally the hydraulic actuator needs replacement at somewhere around 120,000km. There's a place in Auckland that refurbishes them but you're still looking at somewhere over a grand to repair. Has a 'full auto' mode called city, kind of works ok.

Q-system, available on 2.5 V6 only. Ordinary 4 speed automatic, it's a Japanese Aisin box and they usually don't go wrong. No flappy paddles but has an unusual H-pattern gate for manual changes.

I have a selespeed and a Q-system. The sele is much nicer to drive.

Last edited by sprint_veloce; 28-02-15 at 02:08.
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Unless you're really hankering for an auto, in which case the 2.5 Q-System is the safest bet, just stick with the manual. Manual has little to go wrong as its just basic cogs and levers.

As said above, the selespeed is exactly the same gearbox / clutch setup as the manual but the clutch pedal and shift lever is replaced by a bunch of hydraulics and electrics. It's fun and works well but being significantly more complex and running some serious hydraulic pressures (hundreds of PSI) it does have leaks and issues etc.

I was never a massive fan of the 2.5V6 engine, it just didn't 'work' for me. Sure it sounds nice and looks nice but it was less powerful and typically less economical to drive than the 3.0 lump found in other models (GTV, 166) and the auto box never helps either of those things - even if it was a solid and reliable auto box.

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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05 156v6 veloce

Ive had my 2.5v6 q-system 6 years.......i like the different options > sport,city or manual h gate

Very reliable and as enjoyable as my 330i bmw i had before....better engine noise obviously
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Thanks for the feed back and have decided to look at manual transmissions first then Q system as a second choice.
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