Hi, I went out today to test drive a 159, although the drive was good, the condition of the car was terrible so I went to see a 147 nearby and I think I have fallen for a car I wasn't even looking for.
Its a 147 Q2 Sport 'Limited Edition'
Does anyone have any advice on what I should look out for when I go back to see it for a second time?
Also, out of interest, how limited is this limited edition?
Alfa Romeo 147 1.9JTDM Sport Q2 5dr
Good choice! I'm not sure how many came to the UK but there's only 240ish still registered here. Best of all the Q2 means you get a limited slip differential which is fun.
What to look for:
1. Timing belt/water pump - Should be changed every 60k or 4 years whichever is sooner. The JTDm has suffered belt failures but many times this is due to seizure of the water pump and can be avoided. A good indy should do this for around £350.
2. Clutch - The clutch will bite high if it's nearing the end, check it doesn't slip and listen to the clutch mechanism. Does it groan/squeak? If so this could be the master cylinder or just in need of some TLC, my clutch squeaks all the time but mechanically it's still fine. A new clutch will cost around £500, push that up to a grand if it needs a flywheel, this cost is due to the fact that the diesels use a dual mass flywheel as standard.
3. Bodywork - The metal body panels are quite thin and pick up knocks easily, check the panel gaps for collison damage and overspray. Rust shouldn't be an issue but have a good look at the floor pans and have a good prod from underneath. Also check the sills behind the front wheels for damage from using incorrect jacking points.
4. Suspension - There's a number of areas to watch out for. The front is a double wishbone setup, the uppers are known to squeak when worn and the bushes are not replaceable, a new arm would be needed. Budget £90 per side inc labour for each upper wishbone. My 147 has racked up 75k and is still on the original lower arms, roll bar bushes and track control arms so it's difficult to say how long they last. Have a good listen to the suspension if you get to drive it, find some speed humps and listen for knocking.
5. Engine - The JTDm's are not known to drink oil like the Twin Sparks so if it's low I'd walk away. Typical EGR issues can crop up from time to time but it's an easy job to clean it, save it if you can as they cost around £120 for a new one. If the EGR sticks open you'll find that the car suffers from a lack of low down power, sometimes to the point of stalling. This can also be caused by blown turbo hoses, the lower turbo hose is known to wear against the gearbox causing splits.
6. Electronics - Check everything works, air-con, heater, climate control, lights and windows as electrical gremlins can be a pain in the neck. That said, the electrics are generally reliable (touches wood).
7. Alloys/Tyres - Some scrapes are to be expected at 70k but badly damaged alloys will start to corrode, refurbs should cost around £85 per wheel. Check the tyres over as well, the 147/GT/156 all like to chew the inside edges of the front tyres but anything excessive can clue you into tracking and suspension problems.
I'm sure there'll be something I've left out but this should give you some idea of the basics to save you a few quid should anything need doing to the car.
Best of luck!
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.