Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Melbourne, Australia
It is not too hard to fit the 1.7ie motor into an earlier car, I have had a 1993 33 1.7ie motor in my 1983 Alfasud for 2 yrs now with no problems.
My motor has the Jetronic LE 3.2 System and has no oxygen (lambda) sensor as it was originally sold in New Zealand before high octane unleaded fuel was introduced.
Although the LE3.2 system is old and doesn't have very advanced mapping it is very reliable and economical and gives better torque and driveability than the 16 Valve cars with Motronic.
I also had a 1988 33 1.7ie with Catalyst and oxygen sensor also on LE 3.2 injection (standard in Australia from late 1988) Both engines are standard although the Alfasud still has the standard 1.5 exhaust. In comparing the two cars on a dyno, the standard 1.7 with Cat was 88bhp at the wheels, the non cat car was 96bhp.
Both run fine, the early cars with lambda sensor can idle irregularly due to the position of the sensor a long way back in the exhaust causing a delayed signal back to the computer, later cars are better though.
I haven't checked the emissions but the fuel economy is very similar. In an Alfa Economy run the Alfasud achieved 5.3l/100km so the lack of lambda sensor can't have affected it too much...
I don't know what your laws are but when I fitted the injection to my car I enquired about the law and they informed me that provided the car conformed to the emissions laws in force when the car was first registered it is OK.
As eveyone else says, it doesn't matter whether the car has a catalyst to use the lambda probe, it fits before the catalyst anyway so there is no problem.
You will find that even without an oxygen sensor the injected engine has far lower emissions than any Alfa Romeo carburettor system..
Whatever way you go the car will be much more powerful, reliable and economical...