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Best 156 engine

Hello,

I'm currently looking into buying a 156, but wondering which engine to go for. Sorry if this has been asked before, but I couldn't find it anywhere. I'm looking for something that will be fairly reliable (in alfa terms) and it should produce a (half) decent amount of power. I definitely don't want a diesel. Also, in your opinion, do the larger engines blunten the handling as some say? Would I be better off with a smaller engine? Money isn't really an issue for me since my budget is around 8000

Thanks
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For a 156 in the UK 8000 would buy you a GTA (3.2v6).
The 2.5v6 wasn't generally available in the UK after the 2003 facelift, so you would be looking at an older car.
Which then brings you to a 2.0JTS (for a post 2002 156) or a 2.0TS (for a pre 2002 156).

Impossible question to answer really and 8000 is a big budget for a normal 156 remembering that the newest ones will be 5-years old.
Beware of late registered 156 that are several years older than their registration date.
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With a budget of 8k I'd go for a 159 any time.
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or a gt
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Well I would have a 159 or brera, but I don't like the way they handle, and the rear end of GTs are dog ugly. Just a question though, I have heard stories that the bigger engines in various alfas can blunten the handling because of the extra weight over the front end. Is this the case with the 3.2 GTA? Would a 2.0 handle better than a 3.2 because of this?
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In all honesty, the V6 engines are substantially heavier, so yes, they do tend to understeer a little more. Also, the standard brakes are the same as a normal 2.0 TS, so you've got more power, but slightly underpowered braking. However, for normal use around town, etc. you wouldn't really notice much of a difference.
The GTA is a slightly different story due to different suspension set-ups and bigger brakes, so it would handle slightly differently to a normal V6 model.

It generally depends on how you want to use the car. With 8000 budget, you could easily buy a GTA, or buy a 2.5 V6 and put plenty of upgrade onto it to make it handle the same as, if not better than, a 2.0.

Hope this helps
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Well, I'm a photographer, so plenty of highway and town usage, and loads of twisty b roads on the weekends. I definitely won't be "upgrading" the car since as far as I'm concerned, alfas are supreme beings and are not to be tainted with chavage. So the 2.5 v6 is good on an older car, but what about a newer car?
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Well, i'm not talking about chavvy upgrades. There are very good reputable upgrades for Alfas of all kinds. They don't need a lot doing to them, but a lowered and stiffened suspension set, uprated anti-roll bars and some strut braces can increase overall chassis rigidity and increase tyre contact with the road when set up correctly.
It's generally considered as improving, not spoiling.

As for a newer 156, as someone has already pointed out, the most powerful you can get is the 2.0 JTS, with a supposed 165bhp, however there have been claims that people have had them rolling-road tested with as little as 120bhp. The only other way is to go with the 1.9 JTDM and have it mapped, etc, but you're not wanting a diesel.

There really is little choice, but if you want my personal opinion - go for a GTA, if you can find a good one.
Otherwise, you're into 159 terriroty.
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If you're a photographer, do a lot of miles and don't want a diesel, get the 2.4 20v JTDm

It's very little like a diesel to be quite honest - pulls hard, is quiet, sounds nice when you nail it and has a wide power band. My wife's golf 2.0 GT TD sounds like a right tractor by comparison!

BUT you need to change the suspension for a decent kit, upgrade the ARB bushes and change the rear hub bushes for poly ones to sort the handling. You'd also need better front brakes. Do all that and you don't feel the effect of the heavy engine so much. I love chucking mine around the twisty and often bumpy roads of Derbyshire / West Yorkshire now the suspension's sorted.

You'd need to do the same on a 2.5 V6 model now, anyway, due to the fact that they'll all have done a fair mileage, unless you get one that's already been done. And a 4 pot would also likely be more than ready for new arms and bushes by now (any model would). Yes btw, the 4 pot engines give a more "pointable" car....by comparison at least.

To be fair my suggestion was a tongue in cheek one given you don't want a diesel. My vote would be a GTA Sportwagon. Have a drive of a GOOD 2.4 20v if you can while you're looking though.....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sumopieomnomnom View Post
Hello,

I'm currently looking into buying a 156, but wondering which engine to go for. Sorry if this has been asked before, but I couldn't find it anywhere. I'm looking for something that will be fairly reliable (in alfa terms) and it should produce a (half) decent amount of power. I definitely don't want a diesel. Also, in your opinion, do the larger engines blunten the handling as some say? Would I be better off with a smaller engine? Money isn't really an issue for me since my budget is around 8000

Thanks
If u got that money, you could buy a nice 156 gta with q2, i live in the country an we have some pretty terrible roads but my 156 is great, the handling in a gta is superb unless of course u drive it like an idiot, the q2 i hear makes it much better, but i cant afford that at the mo
from what i see on here the fuel economy is not hugely better in a tspark unless of course u keep ur foot pinned
cruising on a motorway is so comfortable and relaxed in a gta, the sound system is great aswell
for when u want power there is no shortage of it
hope this helps

Running Spec: 2003 156 GTA Red 330s, D&G discs, Mocal Oil Cooler, Fully PU'd, Si intake hose, K&N rep filter, Scorpion exhaust. Eibach arb's, Red Si coolant/intake pipes, Meyle HD, CF2, Wizard pipe, Weichers Fr SB, Quaife & KW V3's


2002 156 Sportwagon 2.4JTD
AP Sus, GTA ARB/PU bushes, Meyle HD, AL Si intake pipe/vac hoses, Blue Leather retro fit, maybe other things!
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Get yourself NICE 156 2.4 jtd AND A GTV v6 with the change
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