Soon to buy my 1st 164- advice?? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Soon to buy my 1st 164- advice??

Hiya all,

After sitting back for many years and dreaming of a 164, I have finally decided to take the plunge and treat myself. Was looking for a Cloverleaf, but these seem few and far between so have decided on a late 3.0 24v Super. Any advice on trouble spots would be much appreciated. Currently got my eye on 2 Ebay sorts. Items 280032938065 and 300040393424. The second older one sounds like he would take around the 1000 mark. A good buy?

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Re: Soon to buy my 1st 164- advice??

an excellent car indeed. the 24v Super is a great choice. I suggest upgrading its intakerunners to the 45mm ones. It REALLY feels happiers all along the rev range.

Good luck

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Re: Soon to buy my 1st 164- advice??

Hi Shortfuse and welcome to the forum!

Only things I'd look for are have the belts/tensioner been done, worth checking the rubber bushing on the suspension and make sure all the toys work. Check the LCD air con. display aswell, as this is a 300ish fix from a guy in the US.

Good luck with the search and let us know how you get on!
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Re: Soon to buy my 1st 164- advice??

Hello and welcome
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Re: Soon to buy my 1st 164- advice??

As has been said, the 24 valvers are famous for their fragile timing belt system. It's also a pig to change on as the engine bay was only designed for the 12 valve! I've never driven a 24 valve but I've heard several people say that although they are undeniably faster, they actualy "feel" a bit slower - especially lower down the rev range.

Also watch out for missing / dim segments in the climate control display. These are almost impossible to fix and cost a fortune.

Although the majority of 24 valve cars are younger, do carefully check for rust round the rear jacking points and trailing arm attachments. Also around the leading edge of the rear wheelarches where the rear doors cover them.

Finally, with any 164 equipped with climate control, try the heater on every direction setting and go from hot to cold a few times. The "stepper motors" that control the flaps can strip their little plastic gears and the whole dash has to come out to replace them!!!!

Don't let this put you off because to balance al lthat pessimism, I'm on my thrid car and love them to bits. I think they were the best car Alfa have yet done in terms of build quality and reliablility. Mine is 16 years old and has the best part of a quarter of a million miles on it yet it is (in many ways) in better condition than my wife's 156. Certainly burns less oil anyway!
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Re: Soon to buy my 1st 164- advice??

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Re: Soon to buy my 1st 164- advice??

find someone who can tell a good one from a bad one worth while paying an expert to check it over as like everyone has told you there are some seriously expensive problems to deal with if you pick the wrong one but you will be proud and enjoy every minute if you get a good one good luck
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Re: Soon to buy my 1st 164- advice??

although the 164's are galvanised, don't ignore chassis rust as my one was rusty as hell and was pretty much beyond economic repair since it had already been plated....
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Re: Soon to buy my 1st 164- advice??

shortfuse, you may be interested in my 1997 (R Reg) 164 Super 24v automatic if you are not already fixed up. It's red, with 106k miles on the clock, but ready for as much again. I've had it since nearly new, and it's in beautiful condition and goes very well. In many respects it's as good as the day I bought it. I planned to keep it when I bought a new car in August, but I have hardly used it since then simply because I don't need 2 cars. I'm pleased to say that it has not of the horrendous characteristics described by some of the AO members. I'm advertising the car in the AROC November newsletter for 1400. I live in South Hampshire (near Portsmouth), so if that's near you I would be happy to give you a run out sometime.
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Re: Soon to buy my 1st 164- advice??

Stuart's car sounds a good choice if automatic is for you.

I have had various Alfa's including a 164 12v, 164 24v and my current 166.

The 164's were great but I did snap the cambelt on the 24v (had full service history but later found out that the 108k miles cambelt change had been skipped!) so be carefull. Find a seller you can trust or a car with fully documented (receipted) history.

Not to put you off a 164 but have you checked out the 166 prices recently? I always watch them on ebay and am surprised at what some go for. I bought mine via ebay a few months ago - Was only 3 years old and was an amazing bargain!
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Re: Soon to buy my 1st 164- advice??

I really like the 164 - I have a 1994 Super 24V that I bought round about April. It's my first Alfa so I'm finding things out all the time and that's the point. As gibot123 has said, take somebody with you who knows the car, or better take more than one person. Can't emphasise this too much.

I know cars in general quite well, but with any unfamiliar car you just don't know what to look for.

Others have spoken about the cam belt - quite rightly too but you can't check it except by looking at receipts. I've just changed the belts and some of the idlers and tensioners on my car. It's "doable" but is awkward and has taken quite a time with quite a bit of expense if you change all that you perhaps should. This includes the water pump since you've got it all apart anyway. Then there are the special tools needed (cost me serious money) if you want to do it by the book. You'll probably want to change the serpentine belt too.

Study all the advice in the thread.

If you are like me, when you get an "new" car, you'll want to try to make it better. Some Alfa parts are surprisingly cheap but others are really silly money. It's these little things that mount up and make the car quite expensive. That means buy the best car you can - somebody else has spent the money already and you never recover the cost as a seller. StuartHall's automatic might seem expensive (I've seen Cloverleafs go for less) but if the car is really up together as it should be at this kind of price, I'd go for this any day over a cheapie. I wish I had spent more.

One more thing - I turned down a 24V Cloverleaf because I thought there was something wrong with the clutch. The pedal was quite heavy to operate (and all the old hands will be chuckling as they know what's coming here ) but only returned quite slowly. I had visions of horror about having to pull the engine and do I-don't-know-what to fix it. Well it's meant to do that so don't be caught out like me.

I'm in Southampton and although I wouldn't hold myself up as an expert in Alfas, I've already got stuck into the 24V engine so have already learned a bit from stripping off the front of it and retiming the valves. If I can be of assistance by looking at a car in this neck of the woods with you, please get in touch.


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