Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Re: considering a 1990 Alfa 33 in USA
Great to hear that there is the occasional 33 in the land of the free !
The Alfa 33 1.7ie isn't perhaps as quick as a carbied version around a race track, but is more economical and perhaps better mid range response. It would be a nice car to get, and probably better in traffic.
The 33 engines tend to live long and run well if lubricated well. Poor oil changing habits is bad news on the cams and cam followers.
Cam belts and cam tensioner wheels should be changed regularly. (I am not a qualified mechanic, but have done four now, and haven't had a problem. )
I did race a 33 with a standard engine with around 160,000 km on it, and it ran well with two freshly rebuilt standard 33s, so they do hold up pretty well.
If taking it for a test drive, do check how well the car goes into 2nd gear (up and down) the synchros on 2nd do wear, but if present it is readily fixable be someone with gearbox knowledge.
Do check for corrosion under the battery (Saw a lovely 16 valve 33 with a big hole there last year - nice car otherwise) There are many examples of high mileage 33s running really well for years and wiith very high Km.
The 164 is a good car, but different. Larger, more power, and I suspect a lot more cost in case of a motor problem or for maintenance. Its all a matter of taste (And I am boxer biased !!)
All the best with your prospective purchase