LHD 166 3.2 V6 from Germany - how risky...?? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 22 Old 3 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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LHD 166 3.2 V6 from Germany - how risky...??

I like my 166 2.0TS so much I'm keen to replace it with a 3.2 manual when it eventually dies, sod the extra fuel costs. However, they are so rare / any decent ones now left in the UK are probably into single figures I'm potentially casting my eye to foreign shores. In particular Germany where the 166 sold fairly well (OK, in large Italian saloon terms at least...!) & where they generally look after their motors, or so I'm lead to believe, esp if it has a current TUV / MOT cert. For example, this 3.2 V6 manual caught my eye, and it's in stunning brunello rosso with cream interior:

https://www.autoscout24.fr/offres/al...9d23?cldtidx=6

LHD "inconvenience" doesn't really bother me (Lancia integrale owners never complain), no VAT to pay, it'll be a keeper so not fussed about 2nd hand values etc. So long as it's been serviced, decent history etc (like this one has) I can't see any problem with it. Would you take a punt...????
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(Post Link) post #2 of 22 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Why not indeed

About 20 left in the uk

Go for it
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Nice colour combo, can see why you are tempted , if Wheel pic is typical they look in good nick too - + shipping costs ?, fingers crossed for u.
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Looks good (apart from the wheels! Type not condition)
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Price wise it will also be cheaper than a rhd 3.2.
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..you can make a nice little holiday out of the whole trip as well

(But do your research on stuff like breakdown cover etc, as getting cover on foreign plates may not be entirely straightforward..)
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Don't forget that some parts are handed for the driver to be on the left & would need to be sourced abroad if needed. On the plus side, in a LHD 166 the button for retracting the mirrors faces the correct way.
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Cheers for the tips. Unfortunately, although seriously tempted by it, I'm just not in the position to buy yet - my 2.0TS has just been serviced & is going strong.... and, most importantly, the extra funds required just ain't there.... . The head wins for a change. The most annoying thing is this is my favourite 166 colour & interior for me, and it's a 166 3.2 V6 so the chances of a repeat are pretty unlikely. I'll just keep telling myself it's been sold anyway!

Still, it's good to know there is another source of manual 166 3.2's in mainland Europe, plus I do like the idea of a "road-trip" adventure / holiday of going down this route. The furthest I've been so far to buy a car is the Isle of Wight, something my missus just cannot get her head around - "....what's wrong with the local garage...?"
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Cheers for the tips. Unfortunately, although seriously tempted by it, I'm just not in the position to buy yet - my 2.0TS has just been serviced & is going strong.... and, most importantly, the extra funds required just ain't there.... . The head wins for a change. The most annoying thing is this is my favourite 166 colour & interior for me, and it's a 166 3.2 V6 so the chances of a repeat are pretty unlikely. I'll just keep telling myself it's been sold anyway!

Still, it's good to know there is another source of manual 166 3.2's in mainland Europe, plus I do like the idea of a "road-trip" adventure / holiday of going down this route. The furthest I've been so far to buy a car is the Isle of Wight, something my missus just cannot get her head around - "....what's wrong with the local garage...?"
I live in Dublin, ROI.
I bought 2 Alfasuds on EBay within 4 months of each other in 2008.
I still have one of them....
Just saying...
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I've done the same thing with Alfas and Lancias...seen 166es and 164s and 33s and suds, flavia coupes and saloons on autoscout and allegro etc etc...

I remember tempted by a 164 2.0 turbo in France for 1500 euros...and a zender kit 166 in Germany for 900euros!
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You’d get 95% of the ownership experience with a 3.0 - and a lot lower costs in terms of ECUs and spare engines etc.
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You’d get 95% of the ownership experience with a 3.0 - and a lot lower costs in terms of ECUs and spare engines etc.
Yep, great shout rxe & very true. However..... the 3.0 was only available with Sportronic and I really want a manual. But unfortunately like you say the manual 3.2 will be more expensive. I understand & kind of appreciate the Sportronic probably suits the 166's overall character more, but I just love a manual 'box. And the one in the 166 (in mine at least) is a joy to use, one of the nicest & smoothest I've ever experienced. It really adds to the driving enjoyment. Plus manual is more economical (albeit by only a couple of mpg perhaps) & arguably more reliable esp if the heater matrix decides to leak
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You’d get 95% of the ownership experience with a 3.0 - and a lot lower costs in terms of ECUs and spare engines etc.
Totally 100% agree, I pretty much got all the parts to build an as-new 3.0 24v in job lots whilst assembling the bits for my 12v, and I reckon in total (excluding gaskets, loom and locking tool) it cost under £300 off Ebay. You'd be lucky to get the crankshaft, ecu and camshafts for £4000 if you were looking for new or as-new bits for a 3.2, and that's without even thinking about the cost of the 3.2's gearbox, driveshafts, hubs and suspension forks.

And tbh, though they're very different cars built on the same platform, I much preferred driving my 3.0 gtv to the 3.2 156 gta sportwagon; both had the 6 speed box but the 3.0 felt much more flexible and free-revving, though how much of that was down to the 3.2's longer stroke and how much was down to the gtv's superior handling and lighter weight is open to question.

Edit: Of course my rambling above has nothing to do with the sportronic vs manual question, but assuming the 166 3.2 (I've never even seen a 3.2 166 for real let alone driven one!) behaves the same as the 3.2 in the gtv / gt / gta you'll be wanting to invest in a Q2 ASAP to save the diff from self-destructing and probably taking the gearbox casing out with it; it also makes the car much less prone to torque steer and improves traction (esp in the wet) so it's a wise investment. BTW how about a pre-facelift 3.0? They were available with manual boxes as far as I know.
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All excellent points!
The pre-facelift Super was a 3 litre manual box.
I would have the same reservations about running costs but if you're heart is set on it lad!
As an owner of both pre and post facelift, I still think the post is the best looking saloon ever.
(Not sure that brings anything to the table either!)
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All excellent points!
The pre-facelift Super was a 3 litre manual box.
I would have the same reservations about running costs but if you're heart is set on it lad!
As an owner of both pre and post facelift, I still think the post is the best looking saloon ever.
(Not sure that brings anything to the table either!)
Agreed

I wonder if it'd be easier to change a pre-facelift to look like a post-facelift or fit a manual box to a post-facelift 3.0?

As for the facelift 3.2, I suspect there are so few of them left in the UK because the 3.2 engine / box made them worth more in bits than as a whole car, much the same as the poor old 3.2 gt.

BTW, for the OP, have a look at some of the JDM auction sites - there are quite a few Alfas in Japan and unless someone's decided to buy it in LHD to make it more 'exotic', they're all RHD. And ditto with South Africa of course.
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Agreed

I wonder if it'd be easier to change a pre-facelift to look like a post-facelift or fit a manual box to a post-facelift 3.0?

As for the facelift 3.2, I suspect there are so few of them left in the UK because the 3.2 engine / box made them worth more in bits than as a whole car, much the same as the poor old 3.2 gt.

BTW, for the OP, have a look at some of the JDM auction sites - there are quite a few Alfas in Japan and unless someone's decided to buy it in LHD to make it more 'exotic', they're all RHD. And ditto with South Africa of course.
Excellent advice.
Interesting re the pre to post conversion.
I'm guessing front wings, bonnet, bumper headlights, grille.
Might be worth finding one without engine etc?
Disclaimer-I'm not taking on any more projects!
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I have a (rotten) 3.2 shell with no engine, but everything else is present and correct.

I suspect a conversion would be:

- Fish engine out
- Attach a box from pretty much any Alfa made since 1998 - they’ll all fit, GTV boxes, 156, 166, GT.
- Stick a Q2 in
- Shove it all back in
- get the cables and gear stick for a 166 manual
- shove those in....

it would then work. I think you’d want to change the instrument cluster because it probably has gear selection data in it.
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Aaaah MJ2K - you make some excellent points there actually, I do hear you. And I totally agree about the 3.0 compared to the 3.2. I've had both (in GTV's & a GT) and I felt underwhelmed by it in the GT to be honest. Like you say it just doesn't have the same responsiveness, verve, joie de vivre, rawness etc (I'll stop with the adjectives, you get the idea.....) as the 3.0 in the GTV which really disappointed me esp as it had more power and I fitted it with a Q2. I put this down to the extra weight, size & gearing of the GT - it is a much more substantial car. However in saying all that, I reckon the nature of the 3.2 suits the 166 more being a mile-munching saloon/ lazier & comfier steer than the GT.

And agreed, the 3.2 is by all accounts a more potentially troublesome unit than the 3.0 esp at these sorts of mileages & age, even Autolusso Penrith have told me that. So even though I do ideally prefer a 3.2 manual, you (and Mufasa) have got me thinking more now about a pre-FL 3.0 Super manual which is a far easier route than potentially going to Europe etc for a 3.2. And crucially like you so correctly say the 3.0 a darned sight cheaper on ALL levels. And RHD easier to find. I do prefer the looks of the facelift..... but you've got to compromise on some things.
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And you've also now both got me pondering the possibility of converting a Sportronic 3.0 facelift into a manual - what a great idea. I'm sure it's certainly do-able, and probably cheaper route to take than buying a 3.2 manual anyway all-in-all. I'll run it by Dan at Autolusso Penrith next time I speak to him, if anyone can do it he can. The other option you say of sticking an facelift front onto a pre-FL 3.0 manual would be more of a challenge & costlier I would think. Plus I don't dislike the looks of the pre-FL THAT much. But Mufasa - if you're up for the challenge, it's not like you've got much happening on the Alfa front anyway .....ahem!

And thanks rxe - that would be one heck of a conversion!
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3.2 166's are rare I'm still running mine in after the engine rebuild. I did fit a quaife and look forward to seeing what it can do.

I also have a 3.0 super and will look forward to seeing what the differences are on the road.

Hope you find a solution to your vehicle, you could always supercharge a 3.0 or stretch it to a 3.5 litre.
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3.2 166's are rare I'm still running mine in after the engine rebuild. I did fit a quaife and look forward to seeing what it can do.

I also have a 3.0 super and will look forward to seeing what the differences are on the road.

Hope you find a solution to your vehicle, you could always supercharge a 3.0 or stretch it to a 3.5 litre.
Or stroke it to make a super-revvy low compression 2.8 and stick a turbo or two on it, though that may require the tiniest bit of extra work
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And you've also now both got me pondering the possibility of converting a Sportronic 3.0 facelift into a manual - what a great idea. I'm sure it's certainly do-able, and probably cheaper route to take than buying a 3.2 manual anyway all-in-all. I'll run it by Dan at Autolusso Penrith next time I speak to him, if anyone can do it he can. The other option you say of sticking an facelift front onto a pre-FL 3.0 manual would be more of a challenge & costlier I would think. Plus I don't dislike the looks of the pre-FL THAT much. But Mufasa - if you're up for the challenge, it's not like you've got much happening on the Alfa front anyway .....ahem!

And thanks rxe - that would be one heck of a conversion!
I'm in enough trouble as it is!
And my skillset is quite limited
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