I hope it goes well for you - I bid on it during the 2nd auction, and was suspicious the 3rd time around as he didn't mention the hail damage and someone in the same city as him (a friend?) bid it to within $10 of the reserve...but all in all a great price for a great car.
I managed to buy one last week ex Southland and are enjoying it 100%
Thanks for your insight!
I got home just a few minutes ago.
Rather than a 'great car', this 166 is very much a mixed bag. The paint problems are over the ENTIRE car due to a cheap respray - every panel has blotchy colour and dirt/runs in the clearcoat...!
My more immediate concern was when one of the tyres went flat overnight in the Hutt Valley - on closer inspection, two tyres were scrap and the other two perished (dated '01). So I shelled out $1050 for a complete set of tyres and a wheel alignment in Porirua. Unfortunately some damage occurred to the rear bumper skirt when the 'technician' backed into a drain that was missing the grate - we'll assume that the large rusty dent on the exhaust box was there before. Also the plastic sill trims popped out when they tried to raise the car - but they were pretty careful and sawed up some tiny rubber blocks to fit the jacking points after that.
With my new Goodyear Eagle F1s, there seems to be a LOT of tyre noise - perhaps unavoidable but I wonder if I made the right choice. They are a tread pattern with very-lengthwise grooves and no grooves across, which I thought might reduce noise but now wonder if it increases it instead.
The odometer says 99,280km now, but I wonder if it is more likely 199,280 given the way the suspension crashes around. I'll be more specific in another post later. I think the shock absorbers and assorted bushings might be shot.
In general I think it would have been more cost-effective to buy a more expensive 166 from closer to home, but there we are. I guess I have quite a project ahead of me, what with the respray, a suspension rebuild, and a myriad of small problems which I'll write about later.
OK, I'll do it now (there's not THAT many I suppose)
- Left-turn indicator doesn't cancel (I think I saw this somewhere on here?)
- Central locking doesn't operate off either front door.
- Key button locks the car remotely, but won't unlock. However I worked out a way to unlock the back doors - unlock a front door with the key, leave it ajar, and then lock remotely. All doors lock and then unlock, due to the door left ajar...
- After switching headlights on, bulb failure warning light comes on, then goes off after a while.
- Windscreen washer pump runs but water emerges from under car and not from jets (!)
- Air conditioning doesn't cool the air, but does make a 'fridge' sound from the vents, so probably not far off working.
- Stereo seems crackly but I can't pin it down to any one speaker and some music types seems to play better than others. The CD changer seems to work fine, though skips due to the shakes/shudders.
- Interior lower plastics (around the handbrake lever, glovebox lid) are sticky, and scratched all over - looks like a taxi. Suspect I may have to use paint thinners to remove the remnants of what was a luxurious coating (164 roof console, anyone?) and respray with matt-finish paint.
- Engine torque reaction rod bushes completely shot, which probably explains the knocking sound on acceleration.
- As mentioned above, I'm disappointed with the fidgety ride of the suspension. There seems to be a shudder set up through the bodyshell - is it rigid enough? (Has anyone here driven an '80s FIAT Croma... the poor cousin of the 164?) Every slight imperfection in the road affects the course that the 166 takes - it doesn't 'glide' like my 164. I actually don't look forward to corners as I know they will be a series of sideways jerks and tugs at the wheel - a pretty sad state of affairs.
This last point is my biggest concern - whether I can ever expect the 166 to ride and handle as well as the 164. I wonder why the suspension design is so radically different. It doesn't seem to have delivered any benefit while instead amplifying uneven surfaces? The bodyshell 'shudder' must be endemic to the design? I thought that being so much newer, it would be more torsionally-rigid than the 164.
Now, looking on the bright side:
- Engine is smooth, quiet, no warning lights, temperature gauge sits at half-way, no noticeable oil leaks. Can't say any of this for my 164!
- Transmission (auto) works perfectly, seems pretty smooth and relaxed, I have no problems with its choice of ratios - EXCELLENT engine braking while negotiating a descent - and around town much less 'snatchy' than the manual transmission and heavy clutch of my 164.
- Brakes are better on the 166 than on the 164. I think the discs are bigger and the pedal feel is more confidence-inspiring.
- I'm impressed by the headlights, though if the road has dips, there are shadows. But at least the pool of light has no holes and for standard halogen bulbs, high beam seems better than usual.
- Seats and driving position very comfortable, more so than I was expecting. The leather chosen is a warm-grey colour and the perforated material is ideal for the greenhouse-like conditions I experienced on the trip
The leather seems much nicer than that used on the 164.
- Trip computer/ICS is brilliant, far better than the >2000 FIAT offerings, and of course the 164 has no equivalent. Even the ICS buttons are solid (not rattly or squeaky).
- The style of the interior (e.g. the chrome rings here and there and pleasant mix of colours and textures) makes the 164 look austere in comparison (my 164 in particular because it has black-on-black door trims). However - when you wind a window up, the door trim bulges out. You don't get that on a 164!
- Door handles are perfect (no corrosion!)
- The shape of the exterior will probably win approval because I think it does look newer than the 164. But time will tell...
That's it for now, I've attached a few pictures representative of the trip.