Phase 1 or 2, which to prefer? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 23 Old 25-09-16 Thread Starter
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Phase 1 or 2, which to prefer?

Hi everyone!

Im looking to buying my first Alfa (first car, even) and I have decided to get a GTV. While there seem to be numerous threads that go over the main differences between phase 1 and 2, which seem cosmetical, are there anything else I should consider? Are there any type faults that are more prone to occur on a phase 1/2 etc. mechanical differences?

EG is there any reason why to prefer one to another other than the different dash?
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Diagnostic ports on the PH1 are all 3 pin (pre obd2) and separate from each other ..this can make codes more difficult to read and clear as most regular garages won't have software or cables.

So you must invest in a switchable 3 pin to 16 pin adaptor and an early version of software. You will also likely need TRW2scan for the airbag.

PH1 being older will also make rust a potentially bigger issue. They also have an early brake compensator valve which is linked to the rear arb. Unions to these can and do rust resulting in brake failure and poor rear brakes in general. Not a PH1 specific issue but worse on older cars.

Early engines are 155bhp as opposed to 150bhp on PH2.

I have a PH1 myself and think the cosmetic improvements on the PH2 are nice ,but the PH1 has its charm too and I prefer it.

I would say buy on condition history and recent work. get underneath if you can to visually inspect brake lines ,suspension and jacking points.

My PH1 will be for sale soon and it has had lots of work to get it sorted...70k on the clock ,lusso with a sunroof 16"teledials and everything fully working.

Will have 12 months MOT from next week ..

PM me if interested.

If not try and buy an enthusiast owned one and avoid non specialist dealers ss they just don't get these cars.

You can buy cheap but be aware that anything sub 1000 is likely to require work and may not eventually end up the bargain it at first seemed.

Good luck with your search and purchase!
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Thanks for the offer, but Im sadly in mainland europe and looking for a right hand drive car.

So besides cosmetics it comes down to the diagnostic ports and software? good to know.

Sadly since there aren't any being sold locally Id have to import and getting it put on a trailer makes more sense than flying down and driving it back (1500 km is a loong distance where stuff can happen). Best I can do is ask as many questions as I can and rely on my gut.

How tall are you, if its ok to ask? Since you have a sunroof, Id like to know about headroom. As Im 6'4"-ish, while I really dig the idea of a sunroof Im afraid it might get too tight with one...
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Im 5ft 8 ...Alfa's suit me perfectly!! Wife is 5ft 10 and gets on with them just fine as well.

I also have a GT and of the two the GT is more suitable for taller drivers..I suspect 6ft 4 may dictate a different car than the GTV as I find it hard to imagine it would be comfortable for long periods..that said I am sure there are some taller owners that will disagree!

PH1 also had iron brake calipers..later replaced with alloy ones...they also had black bumpers which were later body coloured and the seats in the PH2 are also different ...

Chrome trim around the fronf grille on PH2 as well and the engine has a plastic rocker cover. PH1 is metal.

PH2 also has a pre-cat. PH1 only a main.
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My personal feeling is that the Ph2 interior is a bit nicer and more modern looking. You also get a 'semi-automatic' climate control system. I can't comment on TS reliability as I've only owned a V6 for any length of time.
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Originally Posted by joeymannero View Post

Early engines are 155bhp as opposed to 150bhp on PH2.
Not quite.

The CF1 ( Phase 1 cars ) were 150bhp. Phase 2 CF2 cars were 155bhp ( the increase being the result of the variable inlet manifold? ) but that dropped back to 150bhp with CF3 ( twin manivertor cats ).

If shopping for the Ph2/3 dashboard, I'd probably be looking for a very late CF2. Only one catalytic converter and autodrop windows.

For a Ph1, I'd go for a car built after May 1997 as it has the improved electrics ( later engine ECU which controls the radiator fan(s), ABS 5.3, N82* ) and three spoke steering wheel ( actually fitted from about Jan 1997 ).

However, I think the Ph2/3 'modern' interior is now itself looking dated. I prefer the purity of the Ph1 dash ( even if the console does need to be repainted when it goes sticky and gets scratched! ).

* The ABS 5.3 and M2.10.4 engine ECUs came in before May 1997, but it was the N82 and later fusebox that started in May 1997.
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Not quite.

The CF1 ( Phase 1 cars ) were 150bhp. Phase 2 CF2 cars were 155bhp ( the increase being the result of the variable inlet manifold? ) but that dropped back to 150bhp with CF3 ( twin manivertor cats ).

If shopping for the Ph2/3 dashboard, I'd probably be looking for a very late CF2. Only one catalytic converter and autodrop windows.

For a Ph1, I'd go for a car built after May 1997 as it has the improved electrics ( later engine ECU which controls the radiator fan(s), ABS 5.3, N82* ) and three spoke steering wheel ( actually fitted from about Jan 1997 ).

However, I think the Ph2/3 'modern' interior is now itself looking dated. I prefer the purity of the Ph1 dash ( even if the console does need to be repainted when it goes sticky and gets scratched! ).

* The ABS 5.3 and M2.10.4 engine ECUs came in before May 1997, but it was the N82 and later fusebox that started in May 1997.
I stand corrected...mixed up the PH1 PH2 engine output..

Doh..

have a 98 PH1 and agree on all the above in terms of the dash of the PH1 looking a bit more ''pure'' for me the only disadvantage with a later Ph1 is the 3 pin adaptors,and the TRW airbag ECU...as far as the body coloured bumpers go its a matter of taste that one, for me the body coloured bumpers look better but I can see the charm in the PH1 arrangement.

Last edited by joeymannero; 26-09-16 at 19:32.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pine View Post
Thanks for the offer, but Im sadly in mainland europe and looking for a right hand drive car.

So besides cosmetics it comes down to the diagnostic ports and software? good to know.

Sadly since there aren't any being sold locally Id have to import and getting it put on a trailer makes more sense than flying down and driving it back (1500 km is a loong distance where stuff can happen). Best I can do is ask as many questions as I can and rely on my gut.

How tall are you, if its ok to ask? Since you have a sunroof, Id like to know about headroom. As Im 6'4"-ish, while I really dig the idea of a sunroof Im afraid it might get too tight with one...
My GTV has sunroof. And with my 188cm it is a little bit tight. I would prefer without sunroof. BTW I'm thinking to sell mine. It is 1997 V6 TB Alfa Rosso. If you are intereted, PM please.
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I will go and try a Spider on sale to see about the headroom. I guess that should give me a good estimate

E: I dont think I can use PMs as a new user :/

Last edited by Pine; 27-09-16 at 17:12.
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I will go and try a Spider on sale to see about the headroom. I guess that should give me a good estimate

E: I dont think I can use PMs as a new user :/
You can email me montezumijus@icloud.com.
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A Ph 2 on teledials must surely be the best looking of all the 916's. I'm not a fan of the cup kit but each to their own.

The Spider's headroom will probably be slightly different to th GTV. The Spider was never fitted with electric seats because they would've apparently reduced the headroom to an unacceptable level.

That being said I had a GTV V6 for a few days and the electric, heated seats really are quite tasty.
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Phase 2 is my choice of all of them, simply because they ironed out 99% of the issues they found on the phase 1! Both good cars though but when considering both and my experiences with owning many 156's, 147 and a GT all in various engine guise's, I chose the more reliable combinations with less opportunity for known issues.
Then again, Alfa went and screwed it all up with the phase 3 by dropping in the JTS lump... Who knew that they could ruin pretty reasonable reliability even more with over sensitive fuel injectors and burnt valves, never ever again!

I'm six ft and fit in my 916 quite comfortably without issues of leg room or head room for that matter. In fact I found less room in a GT!
Figure that one out if you can, it was supposed to feel bigger!
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Phase 2 is my choice of all of them, simply because they ironed out 99% of the issues they found on the phase 1!
I'm not sure I'd agree with this.

Electrically, late phase 1 is pretty much identical to phase 2. Other than the variable inlet manifold ( TS ) ( and resultant ecu change and re-siting ) and airbag defeat keylock, all the other changes between 1997 and 1998 model years were cosmetic. Mechanically, they're pretty much identical. So much so that when I use Eurocarparts parts finder, I specify my car as a 1998 instead of a 1997 because it then actually shows more parts being available!

Interestingly, there were more recalls for phase 2 cars ( 3 recalls affecting 299, 1209 and 122 cars ) than there were for phase 1 ( 2 recalls at 12 cars each ) -

http://www.dft.gov.uk/vosa/apps/reca...hes/search.asp
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I would go for a face lift phase 1 but get the black plastic bits colour coded. Or is that cheating?
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So I tried a phase 3 Spider and the brief time I was in, there wasnt any problems with head or legroom. The window pillar was a bit close but eh. Legroom was also spot on with the seat in the backmost position.
But now I feel like a Spider would also be nice...
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Originally Posted by Grahameo View Post
I'm six ft and fit in my 916 quite comfortably without issues of leg room or head room for that matter.
My Mrs is 5ft and never stops banging on about my GTV being too small, too low to get in or out of, not having proper door handles etc etc
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I would go for a face lift phase 1 but get the black plastic bits colour coded. Or is that cheating?
What is a facelift phase 1?

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Phase 1 with updated main ECU, different ABS, different brakes,different brake compensator valve and steering wheel. Probably loads of other minor modifications that make ordering parts a mare. From late 1997 onwards I think.
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Right, so it's not a "facelift" then. Just wanted to be sure I hadn't missed something.
(yes I'm splitting hairs but a fact it's a fact)
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Face-lift just means a mid generation refresh. Have heard them called phase 1.5 also.
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Mmm

Do the facelift ph1 have 150 or 155 ponies. ?

I have a PH1 "facelift"..as said before different compensator ,abs ,ecu etc...if only I had OBD11 as well it would be great!!

Sadly not.

3 pin madness persists .
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Phase 1 had 148 bhp. I think I prefer the 3 pin setup. It's easy to check you haven't got a wiring issue when connecting to the ECU's.
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I agree. No issues connecting to Multiecuscan here.

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