Advice on buying 3.2 GT - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 17 Old 3 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Advice on buying 3.2 GT

I've been looking at dipping my toe into Alfa ownership for a while now and found myself looking at GT 3.2 V6s. There's a few kicking around on ebay and auto trader at the moment, it seems £4k gets you into one that's a bit tired and the top end is around £7k.

Many of them seem to have had engine rebuilds at 70-100k miles though - what is this likely due to? Cambelt failure? Or do the engines need a rebuild once they get up into 6 figure mileages generally?

Would you avoid cars that have had that rebuild, or are they more desirable? Or, if it's just a cambelt failure repair, is it of no consequence?

Any and all advice welcome!
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(Post Link) post #2 of 17 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Originally Posted by dmc12 View Post
I've been looking at dipping my toe into Alfa ownership for a while now and found myself looking at GT 3.2 V6s. There's a few kicking around on ebay and auto trader at the moment, it seems £4k gets you into one that's a bit tired and the top end is around £7k.

Many of them seem to have had engine rebuilds at 70-100k miles though - what is this likely due to? Cambelt failure? Or do the engines need a rebuild once they get up into 6 figure mileages generally?

Would you avoid cars that have had that rebuild, or are they more desirable? Or, if it's just a cambelt failure repair, is it of no consequence?

Any and all advice welcome!
I may be pushing my luck saying this, but mine has now done 103k miles and is as sweet as a nut. It had its last belt change a year ago, about 8k miles ago. So no, the engines don't need a rebuild at 6 figures normally.
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(Post Link) post #3 of 17 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Top end rebuild is fairly common, head gaskets don't last forever and the rear bank exhaust valve seats burn up a bit due to the massive amount of heatsoak from the manifold-catalysts, this causes compression loss and eventually misfires particularly at idle and lambda sensor errors. Il Diavolo you should do a compression test before your next cambelt change, see if the back bank is still as strong as the front.

dmc12 if you would also consider a 156 GTA Sportwagon I'm going to sell mine shortly, its a well looked after '54 plate with factory xenons and teledials, it won't be mega money either.
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Thanks Pud - I've always loved the 156 Sportwagons, but my requirements on changing car in the first place is that it's possible to tow with it - and a cursory google seems to suggest the GTA - like my current R53 Cooper S - isn't homologated for it

Let me know if I'm wrong though, as otherwise I'd be very interested.

This pair look interesting, at opposite ends of the price spectrum. Either known to the forum? Quaife differential seems to be highly regarded, any experiences of this?

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classif...ad=Used&page=1

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classif...ad=Used&page=1
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Quaife diff is probably the best modification you can do to a 3.2 V6.

Yes I don't think the GTA Sportwagon was homologated for towing, no idea why, the normal 156 Sportwagon was and doesn't do a bad job of towing. I'm sure you could still tow safely with a GTA wagon, if anything they'd be better as they've got much bigger brakes, but not sure what the rules allow.
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How much difference is there between the rear bumper design and back box etc on the GTA? Any reason why this sort of thing wouldn't physically fit?

Avtomatska vle?na kljuka Alfa Romeo 156 - 4vr.
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Both of those cars look well maintained, both have Quaifes.

The more expensive one has eibach ARBs (which are very good) and quite pricey to fit at the front. The more expensive one also has the nicer Jetfin wheels which are about 500 quid a set.

Both look good. The only thing as Dan says is that the engine can chuck some chunky bills on a fairly random basis and there is not a lot you can do about it. With both of these, if you have a decent rainy day fund, you’ll be fine.

Check the sills for jacking damage - that’s how the rot starts.
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How much difference is there between the rear bumper design and back box etc on the GTA? Any reason why this sort of thing wouldn't physically fit?

Avtomatska vle?na kljuka Alfa Romeo 156 - 4vr.
Rear bumper is not much different in itself, it is slightly deeper, but on the middle of the bumper the GTA has a removable diffuser which you'd probably just be able to unbolt to fit a towbar. You'd probably end up with more space between the bumper & towbar than you would on a standard 156, when the GTA's diffuser is removed.

Backbox is the same external size across the 156 range. The backbox has to come off to fit a towbar but only so you can nut & bolt the chassis plates in place, then the backbox would go back on again.
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Worth considering the 156 2.5 V6 comes with the busso engine and will also tow happily
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Both of those cars look well maintained, both have Quaifes.

The more expensive one has eibach ARBs (which are very good) and quite pricey to fit at the front. The more expensive one also has the nicer Jetfin wheels which are about 500 quid a set.

Both look good. The only thing as Dan says is that the engine can chuck some chunky bills on a fairly random basis and there is not a lot you can do about it. With both of these, if you have a decent rainy day fund, you’ll be fine.

Check the sills for jacking damage - that’s how the rot starts.
Is there any consensus about the way the car drives on the 18s vs the 17s? Too crashy or does the suspension have enough compliance to deal with it? I'm running 16s on my Mini as the 17s and 18s just make the ride horrendous (especially around London).
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Jetfins are better because they look cooler!

Mine rides fine on them, but that is also with KWV3 shocks. If you had something like B6s, your teeth would probably come out on 18s. Standard suspension would be fine with 18”.
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Is there any consensus about the way the car drives on the 18s vs the 17s? Too crashy or does the suspension have enough compliance to deal with it? I'm running 16s on my Mini as the 17s and 18s just make the ride horrendous (especially around London).
My JTS is on 17s, its not the smoothest cruiser (sharp speedhumps or joins in the road will make my CD skip), but perfectly acceptable on anything asphalt. Putting 16s on the front (temporary for a tire change job) felt noticably smoother and more comfortable, but honestly, i dont think a GT looks right on 16s, it really needs proper 17s or 18s. The extra weight of the V6 might change things a bit though, i cant weigh in on that.

As said by someone else above, check the sills, GTs are rustproofed pretty well from the factory, but if some idiot placed the jack under the sill, rather then behind the sill on the actual jacking point, you can be sure the sill will be rotting inside out. Other common problems are the front upper wishbones, the rubbers in those wear relatively fast and end up creaking/knocking. Rear struts are also a point of attention, water doesnt drain properly from the lower spring cup, leading to rusted cups, which are an MOT fail, or if you dont catch em in time, your car will get a spontaneous 100mm drop and need new tires to boot.
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If you're buying one that hasn't had a top end rebuild keep a few K saved for the inevitable job. I bought my 3.2GT with 55k on the clock and the gaskets had failed.

Rust, welding sills can be expensive check these. Rear shocks fail at spring pan, if original these will need replacing.

Clutch and cambelt is an expensive job, factor these into the purchase.

I would buy one that has had a top end rebuild and wizard manifolds fitted, ideally with a queef/Q2.

They are lovely cars and a good way to get a GTA without paying 13k+
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156 2.5 V6- awaiting suspension and brake upgrades!!
GT 3.2 wizard cat back, wizard manifolds, full head rebuild, quaife, KW coilovers, full respray
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Hi dmc12,

Mine is one of those currently on AutoTrader.

My view is that on a performance car you need the 18" wheels to maximise tyre sidewall stiffness, aid high speed handling, traction and stability. I don't know if you have driven one yet, but they are properly quick! 18" wheels also increase your high performance tyre options.

Mine has been perfectly reliable in my 5 year ownership. No engine issues at all... it pulls like a train. I love it, but need the space now. I highly recommend the 3.2 GT as one of the best value performance cars around. It's a fine machine, and built much better than most people realise (this forum excepted, of course!).

I live near Bath and would be happy to take you out for a spin if you like (no obligation!).

Cheers,

Jon
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Hi dmc12,

Mine is one of those currently on AutoTrader.

My view is that on a performance car you need the 18" wheels to maximise tyre sidewall stiffness, aid high speed handling, traction and stability. I don't know if you have driven one yet, but they are properly quick! 18" wheels also increase your high performance tyre options.

Mine has been perfectly reliable in my 5 year ownership. No engine issues at all... it pulls like a train. I love it, but need the space now. I highly recommend the 3.2 GT as one of the best value performance cars around. It's a fine machine, and built much better than most people realise (this forum excepted, of course!).

I live near Bath and would be happy to take you out for a spin if you like (no obligation!).

Cheers,

Jon
Hi Jon,

Sorry for the slow reply - I've been abroad in the states. Do you have the link to your car on auto trader?

Thanks!
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Hi dmc12,

No problem at all, everyone is busy!

My car is here: GT 3.2 V6

Or the word AutoTrader should take you to my car from my previous post.

Always happy to chat about Alfas even if my car is not the right one for you.

Cheers,

Jon
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Jetfins are better because they look cooler!

Mine rides fine on them, but that is also with KWV3 shocks. If you had something like B6s, your teeth would probably come out on 18s. Standard suspension would be fine with 18”.
What's the practical difference between B14s and B6s? Are the B14s just as stiff as the B6s as well as being lower? Trying to work out which mods are desirable and which ones less so, for a car that's going to have to handle London speed bumps!
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