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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm looking at buying one on a new zealand website.
I've put off buying one for too long!

What should i look at/test before buying one?

Thanks in advance for any advice people :)

I'll copy and paste the ad below.

Alfa romeo 155 V6 Manual 1993
Asking price: NZ$3,500 Or Near Offer

Number plate: I55
Kilometres: 190,000km
Body: Red, 4 door, Sedan
Fuel type: Petrol
Engine: 6 cylinder, 2500cc, Manual
History: 4 owners, NZ New
Registration expires: This month
WOF expires: Dec 2009
Stereo description: Panasonic MP3 CD with aux in
Features: Air conditioning
Alloy wheels
Central locking
Power steering
Towbar

A great car. My favourite by a long shot and I've had over 20! Reluctant sale due to lack of shed space and renovation projects. No expense has been spared with this vehicle by myself and previous owners. Large file of receipts to prove. Cambelt done at 150,000 new clutch at 165,000. Pirelli directionals rear, Bridgestone directionals front, all excellent with lots of tread. All original documents and toolkit etc. Yellow Koni sport shocks and struts with rebound adjustment. Awesome handling!
No dents or rust, small paint defect on right rear door and rear 1/4 only visible close up.
Tidy interior.
Has momo wheel and gear knob. All electrics etc work properly including climate air, just passenger elec window starting to fail (still works slowly).
Great car that always puts a smile on your face, just prod the throttle and listen to the engine sing!
 
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Well just the usual 155 issues.

Wishbones, TRE's CV joints, rust at rear quaters and on floor in from sill.

At that age and miles shocks may be getting tired and brake pipes may be getting on but that's the same as any car.

Engine may well be clattery (V6's tend to get like that) but the engine is very strong and reliable (one thing I check on all cars is oil level as if low gives an indication it may not have been as well looked after).

John
 

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Just get it bought .:)

Don't fool y'self that you're just going over to take a look , the moment you start-up the engine you'll be hooked , like we all have been ...;)..:lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
In my mind i have already bought it :)
Can't wait.

Without flaring the wheel arches - what size wheels would you put on instead of the factory ones?
 

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Aye! I'd say cam-belt and clutch, because every other job is not tooooo bad.

Have a look at the cooling system though as a weedy head gasket is a whole lot of work. Peek inside the header tank and make sure the level is good and the coolant is clear. Check the beast warms up quickly (88C) and that the thermostat cuts in around 95C. Look at the radiator through the bottom bumper slots and see if there's any pieces missing. If all that looks good, then the gaskets has as good a chance as any gaskets can wish for.

Check the rear disks for weak calipers. Any rust residue on the discs (and/or a weak handbrake) may suggest the calipers are going lazy. Fronts should be good.

You probably don't get corrosion as we see in the UK.. but check inside the sill seam and the brake pipes, especially where the metal pipes pass under the inner wings.

Ask about the cambelt tensioner.. hopefully matey changed it along with the belt.. Ditto water pump... but if the coolant is good, water pump can run to 300,000kms. Change it at the next cam-belt change though.



Ralf S.
 
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Aye! I'd say cam-belt and clutch, because every other job is not tooooo bad.

Have a look at the cooling system though as a weedy head gasket is a whole lot of work. Peek inside the header tank and make sure the level is good and the coolant is clear. Check the beast warms up quickly (88C) and that the thermostat cuts in around 95C. Look at the radiator through the bottom bumper slots and see if there's any pieces missing. If all that looks good, then the gaskets has as good a chance as any gaskets can wish for.

Check the rear disks for weak calipers. Any rust residue on the discs (and/or a weak handbrake) may suggest the calipers are going lazy. Fronts should be good.

You probably don't get corrosion as we see in the UK.. but check inside the sill seam and the brake pipes, especially where the metal pipes pass under the inner wings.

Ask about the cambelt tensioner.. hopefully matey changed it along with the belt.. Ditto water pump... but if the coolant is good, water pump can run to 300,000kms. Change it at the next cam-belt change though.



Ralf S.
At that age I would expect lots of fins to be corroded or missing from rad. Not sure I would worry as much. Both my V6's have been like this. Neither have had any cooling issues with rad's like this. It's just what happens to older rads with copper fins.

In fact can't think I have heard of many 155 v6 having gasket issues. Ask Lancsbreaker nobody ever asks him for 155V6 engines. Good advice about checking coolant for being well maintained and doesn't have oil etc. but that is std practice when looking at a car.

People on 155.org tend to recommend changing water pump at same time as cambelt simply because it is easy to do with belt off. Though IIRC last time we discussed it nobody could remember one having failed. Mine has done 170,000 miles though will likely change it next belt change.
 

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Aye! My water pump was a bit "racey" when I took it out but still going strong.

I've had both head gaskets go on mine.. one at 140,000 and the other at 190,000 miles so they're not toooo shabby but HG's have been my biggest aggro' by a long way.

Rad' does get shot-blasted and it doesn't affect cooling for a long time but my beast cools down much more quickly since I replaced my old rad' with an aluminium jobbie which (if you have a HG phobia) is really good to see. I put some alloy mesh behind the bumper slot and so far (10,000m) the new rad' is completely un-marked.

If you're running in a hot climate, check out the 155 Q4 radiator. It is exactly the same as the 93 v6 (non-aircon mind you) rad' but is crucially 5cm wider. The bottom mounting plate has holes already in it, to accept either the normal or the Q4 rad' - you just need to remove the plastic blanking piece behind the grille to expose the extra space where the wider rad would fit.

Ralf S.
 
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Aye! My water pump was a bit "racey" when I took it out but still going strong.

I've had both head gaskets go on mine.. one at 140,000 and the other at 190,000 miles so they're not toooo shabby but HG's have been my biggest aggro' by a long way.

Rad' does get shot-blasted and it doesn't affect cooling for a long time but my beast cools down much more quickly since I replaced my old rad' with an aluminium jobbie which (if you have a HG phobia) is really good to see. I put some alloy mesh behind the bumper slot and so far (10,000m) the new rad' is completely un-marked.

If you're running in a hot climate, check out the 155 Q4 radiator. It is exactly the same as the 93 v6 (non-aircon mind you) rad' but is crucially 5cm wider. The bottom mounting plate has holes already in it, to accept either the normal or the Q4 rad' - you just need to remove the plastic blanking piece behind the grille to expose the extra space where the wider rad would fit.

Ralf S.
I have a 16valve rad in mine... fits fine, is a wider core than V6 (just needs the plastic cowl from the 16v rad as well). not quite as big as Q4 one but cheaper and easier to find...Best to fit rad with the cowl designed for it as it channels the air from bumper better - but not disasterous without it..

Strange can't remember anyone else having any HG probs in the V6's over 155.org and I have had 155's for 3.5years now. Speedy's is well over 200,000 miles.

Is there any chance yours overheated or had some other problem that may have caused HG issues?

Still as I say checking for usual HG symptoms is always a good practice.
 

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I don't know the full history of my old beast but it's been to Jupiter and back a couple of times now and I don't think the previous owners looked after it toooo much, judging by the "briefcase" scratches on the roof and little give-aways like missing and mixed fasteners holding the various pieces on.

I had to change the thermostat and lambda sensors and fit bits of missing airbox etc. (lost during some minor accident repairs by the look of it) and all the fasteners are back to AR spec'. :)

The front HG went in a not too serious way... just started seeing sludge in the header tank.. The rear one went more spectacularly - the beast was creating huge air-locks in the radiator and blowing coolant out, though the oil and coolant didn't seem to be mixing.. it was just combustion gas getting into the coolant.

I took a pic. You can see the gasket just burst. It seems that coolant had seeped into the layers of gasket, between the fire ring and the plasticy outer layer.. then corroded away the internal steel mesh until it was just the plasticy outer layer keeping the pressure at bay (steel mesh had lost its strengthening effect by then). Obviously the next big "stress" on it.. (I remember... it was a hot day, stuck in traffic) it eventually gave way.

I re-fitted both gaskets with Victor Reinz and no worries so far. I also switched to the new styley pink anti-freeze as it may protect against corrosion better.. though I always changed the antifreeze every couple of years and if I topped up, I always used neat anti-freeze, so I dunno how the gasket inners were able to corrode. It could be that in the past the poor lad only had water in the coolant tank and that started it off.


Ralf S.
 

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Yeah think something must have started it....

I take it you had head and block checked to see if they were true (being it's all alloy)....

As I say the V6's rarely die and 155.org recognise the engines as bullet proof - think I said but can't be bothered checking - lancsbreaker has had a good engine for ages but never gets asked for a V6 engine. As they both went quite close together it does seem like somthing caused it.

With yours it was likely damaged before you got it and just took a while to go.

John
 
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