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(Post Link) post #1 of 29 Old 01-07-02 Thread Starter
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Question about timing belt, variator & wp

Hi there,
I am about to buy a 1997 155 1.8 T-Spark 16V. It has 53,000 miles on it and is due a full service @ 60,000.

The first thing I want to do when I buy it is get the timing belt done so I have rang around a few places to price this.

What they are coming back with sounds like extortion.

They are saying that on a car with that mileage, once it is stripped down they "might as well" do the water pump and the variator as well.

This is going to cost €800. This sounds like they're trying to get as much money out of me as possible.

My question is - Do I need the variator and water pump done aswell or is it safe to just get the timing belt done ?

Also, is €800 a bit pricey for the full job ?

Any info would be very welcome as I am completely wet behind the ears regarding Alfa's.

Alfa Romeo A labour of love or a love of labour ?
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wrinx
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Hi B

Welcome to the forum

It is considered wise to have the variator done as the timing belt has to be removed anyway. Normally its the variator that needs doing and people get the belt done at the same time.

Not heard of any problems frm the water pump so perhaps our resident expert Jimybob can advise on that one.

The belts and variator should come in and a lot less than the price quoted. Alfa's are fairly reasonable to run but you will come across expensive items as with any car these days. But above all else..........they are worth it

BTW, what are they asking for it if you don't mind me asking?

wrinx
 
marlon
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Is 800 euros about £500 ???

Marlon
 
(Post Link) post #4 of 29 Old 01-07-02 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick response guys.

I'm buying the 155 for €4,800

Having to sell my MkIV VTec 2.2 Honda Prelude because insurance for young male drivers in Ireland is, well, lets say it's high. Very high. 4 years driving with 4 year no claims bonus and they want €3,755 insurance off me this years. The 155 is €1,700 to insure so it's an easy decision. Have to admit I'm a bit afraid of the reputation (reliability-wise) of Alfa's. I just didn't wanna drive a Mondeo or the like, so hopefully this one wont bite me in the ass and scare me off. The prices so far aren't doing me any favours !!! I have since got a price of €600 and I'm getting friends to contact their recommended private mechanics too I'll get back to you with a pic and the final price when I get it

€800 is currently ~ £520
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jimybob
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i just posted on the other page but here it is again..tensioners DO fail so change it with the belt i wouldnt mess with the water pump if its not leaking but if there are any signs of staining around the shaft then yes change it.
 
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Welcome Bealzbob,

Another new face for forthcoming Dublin Meetings - Any planned for the Summer Joe? - I personally drive an 8V, so I cannot advised you of cost, or procedure - really Jimybob & Wrinx - the Alfa Tech gods are the men for all matters greasey, but I can recommend a good private Alfa garge in Dublin - Gerry Campbell TI Autos, just off the North Circular Road. His number is in the book.

BTW you could meet a nicer more willing to help guy than Gerry, and I sometimes wonder how he's still in Business, he gives than much free advice.

Regards,
D.Guil
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jimybob
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whoooo did you see that wrinx 'alfa tech gods'
 
wrinx
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Who's that then? Cant mean me? I don't even drive an Alfa never mind get me pinkies dirty!

wrinx
 
marlon
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Alfa Tech Gods..................We kneel before you..........

Marlon
 
(Post Link) post #10 of 29 Old 02-07-02 Thread Starter
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D.Guil:
Another new face for forthcoming Dublin Meetings
If I can afford to get the car up to the level I want it at (in other words if I can do myself justice at the meetings ) then sure, count me in. Where's the usual rendez-vous point.

I'm thinking of getting 16" or 17" wheels.
Any recommendations ? I hear 17" wheels make a CD player very jumpy cuz of the lack of suspension in the tyre. Never would have thought of this myself but it sounds feasible.

Chipping it (obviously), superchips. Is an exhaust system worth it ?

What BHP would it have after an exhaust and chip ? Around 160 ?

I look at the spoilers on that Italian site. Some of them look OK but how much would Alfa fit a Silverstone kit for (or would they bother at all ?).

I suppose there's places up North that would be better to get body kit from. They're into it up there a lot more.

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D.Guil:
I can recommend a good private Alfa garge in Dublin - Gerry Campbell TI Autos, just off the North Circular Road.
Thanks man, this is just the kind of vital info I need !! Any help regarding mechanics is very very welcome
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(Post Link) post #11 of 29 Old 02-07-02 Thread Starter
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OK, quick question. I need to know when does the variator usually go (on average, no need to be accurate ) and how much should the part cost (only the part, not the labour involved in replacing it).

My Dad was bored today and started shopping around for bits but he forgot about pricing a variator.

Thanx in advance
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wrinx
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I could be very wrong here but they can go as early as 35k or last for 100k. Most people seem to be changing them around the 50-60k mark.

Just listen for the sound is the only way, unless like you, you are planning to do the belts anyway, its worth doing then.

wrinx
 
jimybob
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the variator is £65+VAT.
 
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Hi Bealzbob,
Welcome to the forum, Ti Autos phone No. is 018386567 I think he is away at the moment on holidays I can highly recommend his work he has done great work on my 155 and other Alfa's I had. Check out the meeting topics for Irish Summer meet hope you can make it. Mr Guil, have spotted a Green 155 in Portlaoise heading for Mountmellick last week very unusual colour, I think 97 reg. any ideas who?
JOE
 
(Post Link) post #15 of 29 Old 03-07-02 Thread Starter
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Just FYI, this is what I'm having to sell

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elp
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Hi Bealzbob
Welcome to the Forum. It’s very wise to have the belt(s) changes at that mileage.
The price in Denmark would be around € 500,- incl. VAT. Have the tension pulley(s) as well. If they are black (early, chap, type) change it (them), if white and not worn, it’s all right. If the engine sounds like a diesel the variator is gone. If the noise is bad, change it, if not, it worth considering, as the belt(s) has to be changes every time they are taken off. When I bought my 2,0 16v the variator had done less than 18k miles and clattered a little, especially when the engine was started hot. The dealer who’d supplied it then new and serviced it since, said not to worry, it might get worse but it’ll not break. I then had the belts and pulleys changes (€300,- at an Alfa Specialist). I’ve just sold the car, then the variator had approx. 48k m behind it, the noise still bearable.
You write that you consider chipping. If HP is important, I’ll consider a 2,0 16v instead. You’ll get the same 10-15 % improvement of both HP and torque so it’s worth having the extra punch from the outset. As your considering alloy wheels, as well; why not find a 2,0 16v “S” which comes with 16” dark gray or black Speedlines, lowered suspension and Recardo seats among other goodies.
I’ve booked flights to Dublin in August, so, please, all Irish pray for some sunshine – your beautiful green island looks it best in the sunshine. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any car rental companies offering Alfas, so the holydays are half spoiled (just joking). Maybe I’ll meet some of you (in a pub)
Good luck finding the right 155.
Alfisti regards
Erik
 
(Post Link) post #17 of 29 Old 04-07-02 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice elp. I have decided to get the belt and tensioner done, and I'm leaving the rest alone for now. As for wheels, I'm gonna get them 2nd hand and retouch them as a new set would cost the guts of €1,000 and then there's tyres on top of that. They will have to be black though

There are hardly any 155's for sale in Ireland and the one I'm buying is very clean and is a very late model (late 1997).

Power is important but insurance is more important. A 1.8 is much cheaper than a 2.0 to insure so I can chip the 1.8 and get more power than a stock 2.0 plus I keep the savings in insurance and tax (and fuel to a lesser extent).

I think I'll get the original look spoiler for the back too but I wonder will the insurance company like that ? We'll see
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Hi B,

Welcome to the Club !

Good luck finding a 2nd hand set of alloys for the 155. You'll have enough problems finding a new set with the odd wheel settings. If you search through the posts you will find plenty of info PCD and OFFSET settings.

Because of the 155's less than common settings your choices are limited when it comes to new alloys, so finding a decent 2nd hand set will be extremely difficult.

Ger.

BTW what colour is the car ?
 
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Hmm the 2.0 16v I have just bought is clattery on start up- less noticable once warmed up but still noticeable. Its done 64k- but the chap I bought it off has had the belts changed although not at an Alfa dealer. Would you reccomend to get the variator changed if you think this is the problem?
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gjmassey:
Hi B,

Welcome to the Club !
Hi, and thanx for the welcome

Quote:
gjmassey:
Good luck finding a 2nd hand set of alloys for the 155. You'll have enough problems finding a new set with the odd wheel settings. If you search through the posts you will find plenty of info PCD and OFFSET settings.

Because of the 155's less than common settings your choices are limited when it comes to new alloys, so finding a decent 2nd hand set will be extremely difficult.

Ger.
Ah, oh well, I'm in no hurry for a set so I'll browse the motor stores and see if they have any that fit. Probably 16" will do. 17" is, maybe, a bit much (price-wise and tyre-price-wise wink )

Quote:
gjmassey:
BTW what colour is the car ?
Wine, just like the one in richward's avatar
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Hi8 Bealzbob,
I can highly recommend Gerry in TI autos. I have found a bill for variator and belt change done two years ago, for IR£ 264 all in (€330). However I had the belt tensioner break this year, repair cost €1100 plus second hand cylinder head, might be worth replacing at the same as the labour cost will not be any different. Gerry said its not the first one he has let go in a big way.
 
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I'm getting the tensioner and belt done but I'm not gonna do the variator. From what I read, it's not really needed and is of minimal actual use
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gjmassey
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If the variator is not broke, then don't fix it.

You would know the variator is on the way out, as the car would sound like a tractor below 3000rpm.

Obiviously the belts and tensioners are the ones to do straight off. They can kill the engine, whereas the variator is at worse an anoyance !

Where did you buy the car ?
What part of Dublin you from ?

Ger.
 
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For what its worth as its water under the bridge now I have the recon engine (you'll see...), the variator was claterring and I had it booked to be done and literally on the way there something else failed - the engine was such a mess inside that finding out exactly what seemed pointless but it could have been tensioner related as it seems as though one of the (two?) belts snapped taking the engine with it (forgive me for not being too technical please but with the demise of the boxer all this new stuff is beyond me!) and I dont think that would have been the variator? Result, hunt for recon engine; this leaked like a drain as the head gasket had slipped (you probably know whao you are!) but is fixed. Now I have other problems (see under Wanted!)

James
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(Post Link) post #25 of 29 Old 11-07-02 Thread Starter
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Where did you buy the car ?
What part of Dublin you from ?

Ger.
Bought the car from a friend of a friend who lives in Kilcullen, and I live in Terenure.
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