156 2.5 v6 SW - Jap Import - Alfa Romeo Forum
You are currently unregistered, register for more features.    
 5Likes
  • 1 Post By mj2k
  • 1 Post By mikesalfa
  • 1 Post By mj2k
  • 1 Post By 3litrev6
  • 1 Post By brinker
 
Thread Tools
(Post Link) post #1 of 18 Old 07-05-19 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
3litrev6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Earth
Posts: 151

Member car:

Alfa Romeo

156 2.5 v6 SW - Jap Import

I have been looking around for another ALFA since I bought my first one in January.
Came across this one today. Does anyone here have experience of buying cars that are Japanese imports? What are the drawbacks/pitfalls I would need to look out for?

Are these 156 engines troublesome? This car has only done 21k miles.

Advice, guidance, pointers, etc. would be really helpful!

Thank you, in advance, for your replies!

https://www.gumtree.com/p/alfa-romeo...rhd/1339286343

Last edited by 3litrev6; 07-05-19 at 17:07. Reason: Link added
3litrev6 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Status: -
AO Gold Member
 
chrishendrix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: United Kingdom
County: Greater London
Posts: 10,710
Err.... link?
chrishendrix is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
 
Psircos@gmail's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
County: -
Posts: 417
Theres no link but a 156 must be at least 14years old then?
Its only done 21k so, if thats right then its been lying about for long long periods
Cam belt prob never changed so will need done.
Has it even been serviced at that mileage!?
Brakes too....due to under use!?
Suspension for the same reason
Has it been covered or dry stored?
Could be rusty everywhere. Japan is/can be a very damp place.
[email protected] is offline  
(Post Link) post #4 of 18 Old 07-05-19 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
3litrev6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Earth
Posts: 151

Member car:

Alfa Romeo

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Theres no link but a 156 must be at least 14years old then?
Its only done 21k so, if thats right then its been lying about for long long periods
Cam belt prob never changed so will need done.
Has it even been serviced at that mileage!?
Brakes too....due to under use!?
Suspension for the same reason
Has it been covered or dry stored?
Could be rusty everywhere. Japan is/can be a very damp place.

Interesting. I thought the cars from Japan are rust free! (Hence needing an undercoat when brought to England)

Cam belt change and brakes change : Do you know roughly how much these would cost?

I'm actually planning to use it as a daily runner.
3litrev6 is offline  
Status: -
AO Gold Member
 
chrishendrix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: United Kingdom
County: Greater London
Posts: 10,710
Look at alfaworkshop.co.uk or autolusso.co.uk - they both have prices for cam belts etc.

Although the car in your link has a very low mileage which might be tempting, it's an auto. Personally I'd be looking for a manual, and for that sort of money you should be able to find a really good example.
Main thing is to check thoroughly for rust in the floorpan.
chrishendrix is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
 
Psircos@gmail's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
County: -
Posts: 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3litrev6 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Theres no link but a 156 must be at least 14years old then?
Its only done 21k so, if thats right then its been lying about for long long periods
Cam belt prob never changed so will need done.
Has it even been serviced at that mileage!?
Brakes too....due to under use!?
Suspension for the same reason
Has it been covered or dry stored?
Could be rusty everywhere. Japan is/can be a very damp place.

Interesting. I thought the cars from Japan are rust free! (Hence needing an undercoat when brought to England)

Cam belt change and brakes change : Do you know roughly how much these would cost?

I'm actually planning to use it as a daily runner. [IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/images/smilies/paranoid.gif[/IMG]
They may be.... I guess they dont use salt on the roads so as far as rust goes then great 👍

My garage charges 4hours labour for cambelt change
90mins labour for the fronts(discs and pads)
120mins for the rears.
Add the cost of parts too which will vary dependant on what you purchase but
A couple of hundred quid for the kit plus a water pump?
Maybe the same for discs and pads all round?
You would need to make sure the calipers are not seized too.

Things like brake fluid and maybe gearbox oil would maybe have to be changed too?

With the exception of the timing belt, its all doable by ypur own fair hand. Maybe the belt too if ypure mechanically minded. But, if it has to go to the garage for it all...?...four grand up front is alot imho
[email protected] is offline  
Status: 1 Subaru, 2 Bussos,noAlfa!
AO Silver Member
 
mj2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
County: Herts
Posts: 1,401
Garage

Member car:

Subaru Legacy H6

I've owned several JDM import Subarus, there are definite advantages for them (almost double the BHP for a start) but the advantages to buying a JDM import of a European car (like the Landrover Discovery I owned) will be somewhat less attractive.

For a start the rustproofing will be much less (most likely nonexistent given how poor later 156s' rustproofing was anyway) so you'll need to get that sorted as soon as it touches UK soil, you'll need to get the speedo converted to mph, the insurance will be more (car insurers always charge more for a JDM import, even if it's identical to a UK model) and likely as not, the mechanical condition will be poorer than the equivalent UK model on the same mileage. This is because many Japanese cars spend a lot of time sitting in traffic jams in the cities (which increases engine wear with no equivalent increase in mileage) or being driven on spectacular, technically demanding roads in the countryside (which most EU cars are poorly equipped for). And also because, whilst keeping the car in good mechanical condition is definitely part of the yearly test and no problem at all for a Japanese domestic model because of the price of parts and wealth of expertise, Japanese owners are more concerned about a car's looks than mechanical condition so there's a chance important service items may get missed for a more exotic model and you'll have no way of knowing the car's service history unless you can read Japanese (e.g. my Landy's engine / autobox were on their last legs at 56k and 9 years old).

So in short it'll be more expensive than you think bot to prep it and year on year, and there's a chance you might end up with a lemon mechanically. The one big advantage is there probably will be no rust (e.g. I had a 22 year old import which was spotless underneath!) but that advantage will soon disappear if you don't get the rustproofing sorted to a high standard asap. There are also some advantages with road tax if you were to get a post-2006 gas guzzler which gets penalized under current EU taxation classes (the emissions won't be specified so it'll drop into a default class) but that won't help at all with a 2001 car...
3litrev6 likes this.
mj2k is online now  
Status: -
AO Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 88

Member car:

156 2.5 V6

Generally Japanese imports are very good. Thousands of used imports are imported into New Zealand every year. From typical Japanese cars which are available new in our market (Suzuki Swift), to European cars and exclusive JDM models. Like the Toyota Century, or Toyota MKX.

They care for their cars (cosmetically) to a high standard, especially the interiors. Most imports are immaculate.

There is a good chance that parts of the car, especially bumpers have been repainted. Either because of damage, or just to keep the car looking good from stone chip damage etc. The resprays are often quite easy to spot. Colour matching not quite right, rough paint finishes, or masking tape lines around window trim seals and the like. I would say the red car has had a full respray. But I could be wrong. For instance the image of the rear badges, on the bumper there is a rectangle of different colour. It may have just have had some old Japanese dealer sticker down there, or some other sticker and all it needs is a buff. Or perhaps they masked around the sticker, painted it, and since arriving in the country the sticker was removed.

Of course, what 18+ year old car has not had a little bit of a respray.

Generally not much rust with Japanese imports. Unless it was damaged. Cars from Singapore are usually associated with damp and electrical failures due to tropical humidity. How true that is, is hard to know. Singapore cars usually come with English dash and owners manual.

Car service history is always patchy, apparently this one has service history. Owners manuals are often missing.

Some Japanese cars are imported into Japan in LHD configuration, to make it more a 'prestigious' and 'authentic' foreign car.

The cars often have annoying toll road readers installed which make noises when you start the car. They can be removed, of course. Other car makes (Volvo) often have displays and the like displayed in Japanese characters, which require conversion. The Alfa probably does not.

They have a small space in the passenger footwell for a flare. These are often missing however.
3litrev6 likes this.
mikesalfa is offline  
Status: 1 Subaru, 2 Bussos,noAlfa!
AO Silver Member
 
mj2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
County: Herts
Posts: 1,401
Garage

Member car:

Subaru Legacy H6

And there are another couple of caveats which may or may not apply to an imported Alfa depending on how much bother Alfa went to when it was imported to Japan - JDM cars don't have foglights so it may need an aftermarket fog light added (or Euro-spec rear lights and maybe wiring), and it may be mapped to run on Japanese 100 RON fuel. The latter will mean it gets a few extra horses over the EU models (if it's been done) but it means it'll pink like crazy on standard unleaded so you'd either have to run it on 99RON fuel, get it remapped (if possible) or fit an EU ECU if you don't want the engine to go pop after a few thousand miles.

Edit: don't get me wrong, a JDM import can be a wonderful thing (especially if it has twin turbos and pushes out 300+ bhp ) but there are plenty of potential extra costs which you wouldn't have to worry about with a UK one, and also bear in mind the car most likely cost well under 1000 when it was bought in Japan - most of the asking price will be paying for the shipping / import duty costs.

For example, look at the price of this 159 3.2 Q4 - average sale price 2100, current bit 380!
https://www.japan-partner.com/car-au...4EaKEfAbt.html

Or this rather lovely looking 916 Spider twinspark which sold for 277!
https://www.japan-partner.com/car-au...AOFigTkq3.html
3litrev6 likes this.

Last edited by mj2k; 08-05-19 at 09:59.
mj2k is online now  
Status: 1 Subaru, 2 Bussos,noAlfa!
AO Silver Member
 
mj2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
County: Herts
Posts: 1,401
Garage

Member car:

Subaru Legacy H6

If you are interested in JDM imports and arrange inspection / transit with a trusted company, there are plenty of worthy cars out there for pretty reasonable costs, even when shipping's been paid for.

For example anyone fancy a 156 GTA saloon on around 54000 miles for around 3500 plus shipping?
https://www.japan-partner.com/car-au...7ZVmQBO7C.html
(this one's probably not the best example - it's LHD and has been chavved up a bit, but the bodywork will most likely be rust free)

Or how about this bizarre, beautiful exotica which normally goes for under 1500? It looks suspiciously like a Fiat Dino because the Dino's design was based on it
https://www.japan-partner.com/car-au...3bHSm5Gv9.html
Drivetrain is pretty dull, but just imagine how good this would be if you dumped the wheezy Isuzu 2.0 OHC and dropped a Busso in there...

Sorry, probably of no interest whatsoever, but if you're going for a Japanese import it's worthwhile looking out for something special rather than just going for a 'cooking' model since otherwise you'll be paying more for the transport than anything else, and there's always the chance you'll have lots of work to do since these cars are effectively 'end of life' as far as the Japanese market is concerned.

Last edited by mj2k; 08-05-19 at 18:24.
mj2k is online now  
(Post Link) post #11 of 18 Old 08-05-19 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
3litrev6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Earth
Posts: 151

Member car:

Alfa Romeo

Thank you all for your replies. They have helped me make a decision regarding what would otherwise become an impulse buy!


P.S. I must add that the quality of the comments and advice on this forum is SO much better than most others. I'm a member of one other forum where any question gets shot down and ridiculed. But then, that is not an ALFA ROMEO forum.
mj2k likes this.

Last edited by 3litrev6; 08-05-19 at 19:13.
3litrev6 is offline  
Status: Starting the journey
AO Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: New Zealand
County: Wellington
Posts: 151
I have a Japanese import 1998 2.5 V6 156 in New Zealand. Car is rust free as is most Japanese imports.

Usually the biggest complaint people have about Japanese imports are the radios - Japan operates on a different FM frequency range.

Apart from that it's pretty much a UK spec car.

Sent from my LYA-L29 using Tapatalk
kiwijules0505 is offline  
Status: 1 Subaru, 2 Bussos,noAlfa!
AO Silver Member
 
mj2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
County: Herts
Posts: 1,401
Garage

Member car:

Subaru Legacy H6

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwijules0505 View Post
I have a Japanese import 1998 2.5 V6 156 in New Zealand. Car is rust free as is most Japanese imports.

Usually the biggest complaint people have about Japanese imports are the radios - Japan operates on a different FM frequency range.

Apart from that it's pretty much a UK spec car.

Sent from my LYA-L29 using Tapatalk
Ah yeah, forgot about the radio

JDM imports can be a wonderful thing (I've owned 5 now, one was a dog, one I bought with a blown engine for 1/10 what it cost from it's first UK owner and the other 3 were great) but there are extra costs in the UK (shipping/import is higher than to NZ, extra requirements for the MOT, unavailability of the correct fuel grade, higher insurance costs, poor resale value unless it's a rarity, etc) which make a standard model like a 2.5 sw a poor investment in the UK.

Something more exotic like that GTA would be a different matter though - assuming it was a good one you'd be getting a car which was worth >14k with that condition / mileage in the UK for under 6k

This was my favorite - a 19 year old JDM-only high performance Subaru I bought cheap with a blown engine. Once replaced it had proper 4wd, 0-60 in under 6 seconds, Sud-like handling and the bodywork / interior were immaculate (except for the scratches / dents it acquired as a UK daily); not bad for a car which cost me 700, though 15 mpg on expensive 99 RON fuel even after a remap was a bit painful:


Last edited by mj2k; 09-05-19 at 10:53.
mj2k is online now  
Status: -
AO Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
County: -
Posts: 2,012
See here;
https://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa...sw-24v-ti.html (156SW 24V Ti ?)

@mort , could you explain any problems your car has, please?

Last edited by Fruity; 09-05-19 at 11:59.
Fruity is offline  
Status: -
AO Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
County: -
Posts: 2,012
Fruity is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
 
brinker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Denmark
Posts: 188
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fruity View Post
That one's sold
Fruity likes this.
brinker is offline  
Status: 1 Subaru, 2 Bussos,noAlfa!
AO Silver Member
 
mj2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
County: Herts
Posts: 1,401
Garage

Member car:

Subaru Legacy H6

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fruity View Post
See here;
https://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa...sw-24v-ti.html (156SW 24V Ti ?)

@mort , could you explain any problems your car has, please?
Mmm, nice looking car!

I wouldn't expect he's had many problems if it's a good 'un and he may even be immune to the plummet in resale value (nobody wants a car which has HPI alerts, inaccurate odometer reading, no MOT history and an incomprehensible service history except at near-banger prices) since it's kindof an exotic - a facelift v6
mj2k is online now  
(Post Link) post #18 of 18 Old 4 Weeks Ago
Status: -
AO Traders
 
DAN@ADRIAN FLUX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: United Kingdom
County: Norfolk
Posts: 559

Member car:

Alfa

Hi.
If you needed any help with insurance at all for an imported vehicle then please feel free to drop me a line.
Regards.
Dan.
[email protected] FLUX is offline  
Reply

Go Back   Alfa Romeo Forum > Supported Alfa Romeo Models > Technical & Vehicle Assistance > Alfa 147, 156 & GT

Tags
156 , import , jap

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
So how many and where are the GTA's ??? 156GTASW Alfa GTA 608 27-10-11 09:11

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome