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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, are there many of you using 166's to commute 20k+ miles a year?

I've never owned an Alfa but the 166 seems to have made it to the top of my must have list in the last few months. I've been running a 2001 C70 2.4LPT on LPG for a couple of years, so time to change in the next few months.

It has to be LPG due to the mileage - and i may transfer the kit over from the Volvo as it has worked superbly. But that also means i could probably afford to go for any engine/box combination. All maintenance will be DIY as i've managed to keep everything else on the road for the last 15 years and all the research i've done so far looks OK - i think i'm going in with my eyes open.

The Volvo is running at 193bhp and to be honest i wished i'd bought the 240bhp T5. So i'm naturally thinking that the V6 3.0 6 speed is a serious option.

Anyone running a V6 for commuting and wished they'd opted for a sensible 2.0TS?
I probably do 70% motorway and really just need to average 24mpg (if i can be moderately sensible) to get the LPG sums to deliver an equivalent 40+mpg. With these miles the TS worries me more for reliability and maintenance than the V6 - fair interpretation?

You generally seem to prefer the 3.0 above the 2.5 - is that just for posing or practical use on this scale?
A six speed box sounds fun as part of the package. Do the V6's i've been tracking on ebay and autotrader between £800 - £1,200 mark seem like disasters waiting to happen?

Any advice or opinion?
 

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The only reason to get the 2.5 over the 3.0 is that low-milage cars are cheaper to buy than equivalent 3.0 ones. That's why I got a 2.5. But in the UK cars are cheaper than where I bought, so in the UK I'd probably go for the 3.0 - especially when you say you wished you had gone for a T5 in your Volvo.

I'm happy to have the V6 over the 2.0 (twinspark) since they have a reputation for being more robust - one thing I appreciate is that they don't tend to snap the cambelt as often as the twinsparks. But the real reason I went for the V6 is the sound and power.
 

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To be fair now the biggest problem with all 166,s now is the age and they are a high maintenance vehicles.The V6,s are more durable but neglect and lack of mechanical sympathy can easily kill any Alfa engine even though they are all robust units. The TS is reliable its the human element that usually fails it by poor service or lack of it and not keeping a constant eye on oil levels. The V6 is more durable to an extent as the cost of repairing the V6 should the worst happen is obviously more expensive and the cam belts are a worry on these engines as well.
But its all the other stuff bolted and connected to the engines that make life a little more shall we say interesting .
My preference would be in an ideal world where some one else pays for fuel and servicing would be a Face lift 3.0 sportronic for comuting and mixed traffic conditions but the danger of these is the leaking heater matrixes that kill the sportronics ecu.
I used to have one of these a few years back but it was only a couple of years old so not so many problems then.
I currently run a Facelited 2.0 TS that is a really underated car that is a more usable proposition for every day use.
But good luck which ever way you choose to go and with any car especially a 166 buy the best you can afford and the newest as these cars fetch peanuts now .
 

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hi carcathan,

I'm also in Kent (T/Wells). I've done over 20k in the last 16 months in my 2005 3.0 sporto.

My mileage is mainly motorway too, none of it commuting (almost all for business, which means that my employer pays for the fuel).

My principal routes take in the roadworks areas of the M25 & M1 which are restricted to 50mph. This keeps my average speed down and my average mpg up. Overall the display tells me that I average 26 to 28mpg (sometimes as high as 30+, but I find that embarassing to admit).

I've certainly paid more for servicing, repairs and improvements in the time that I've had the car than I have paid for fuel.

Go for the V6 before they're outlawed!
 

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a Face lift 3.0 sportronic for comuting and mixed traffic conditions but the danger of these is the leaking heater matrixes that kill the sportronics ecu.
This really is not a danger in the slightest. It is incredibly easy to fix and equally easy to check. All it needs is a plastic bag over the ECU and it's not difficult to locate. Before you buy, simply check that this has been done. If it hasn't, then do it. There's plenty of info on here to find out how.

IMO. a much more important issue for an older heavier car like the 166 is the suspension. If things have not been replaced/maintained it will be soft & wallowy and will need sorting.
 

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yes totally agree with the plastic bag fix but this is typical of the sort of care that a 166 needs to keep on the road that usually any one with a less high maintenance car wouldnt have to worry about and the sort of trivial problem that can kill an otherwise healthy 166.
 

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I think that after 6-7 years any car will have its issues. I had a laugh the other day when I googled "Audi multitronic problems". There's even a website entirely for it. You can also google "BMW electric gremlins" and have another laugh.

It's a total myth that older Alfas are difficult to maintain. Issues creep into all cars of a certain age.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well if anything i'm looking at the 166 because it seems like any car that can get to 10 or 12 years and still be in good running order is generally not a lemon.
None of the german or japanese models i've looked appear fundamentally more reliable at this age. The rarity, style and (from what i read) sound of these give them top billing.
I'm slightly obsessed wth the 3.0 6 speed box never having had one before, is it a nice box to use over the 2.5 5 speed? Automatics seem like ticking bombs for DIY at this age though i guess they probably mean slightly less abuse of the engine to date.

Where does the 3.0 make a noticeable improvement over the 2.5 - mid or upper range?

What about mileage - i'd prefer to start with 80k on the **** if only for resale in a couple of years - but i've often bought 150k+ mile cars in the past.

Sorry about the barrage of questions - i usually trawl the web for months before i buy but i'm quite keen not to let the right car get away if i spot it anytime soon.
 

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Alfa Romeo 166,

The full fat 3.0 V6 24v, 6 Speed manual. Zender Kit and Super sports.

Its been maintained by myself and any work no matter how large or small has been done……nothing been skimped on.

Most bushes have been power flexed recently too. The rose joint has been replaced for the merc bearing (A must). Upper and lower front wishbones have also been replaced.

The suspension is Eibach springs and Konis sport adjustable dampers.

The clutch has been changed for a GTA clutch kit and a GTA solid flywheel. – Last you for years.

Cambelt kit (Full) inc aux and the dreaded water pump has been changed last year in the service (sparks, filters and oil).

New front Brembo discs – rears didn’t need changing nor did the pads.

Oil change last month – and the oil that came out was still golden brown (a good sign).

Rear back box is new…ish and little things like the rad, MAF and hand brake cables (with have been greased and sealed by myself) have been done.

The car has a few extras such as the built in phone (on the ICS), SatNav with the upgraded G3 unit. It’s a lusso spec so heated, electric and momo leather with memory and lumber support, Xenons and im sure its got plenty of other bits and bobs. Leather is in great condition too.

The cars great and anyone looking for a well-maintained Alfa Romeo 166 would be nuts not to come and have a look. A quick drive will tell you everything you want to know…..the cars effortless, creamy smooth and its in a class of its own. In the deep blue it looks the part too.

There are other 166’s for less then £1500 ,..if you do the maths……..the labor involved to get it up to scratch would be another £1500 if not more. (Clutch change alone is £650 job, cambelt and water pump another £600-£700)

I have been forced to sell this car, its not something I want to do. My soon to be 100+mile daily journey needs 60mpg. Its certainly going to be an emotional sale for me.

Thanks for reading my advert just to be clear. I am not open to offers. With the spec, the bullet proof maintenance, almost a full MOT and Tax its worth the money. The car is being used everyday, and a trip to London and Scotland coming up the mileage will be changed – todays reading is 101, 000. - The cars feels like its done about 30k by the way - A 100mile test drive at my cost will confirm this!

£2999 - Its a good buy - and something I do not want to sell - and hope I dont have to :(
 

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166 gta :)

Alfa Romeo 166,

The full fat 3.0 V6 24v, 6 Speed manual. Zender Kit and Super sports.

Its been maintained by myself and any work no matter how large or small has been done……nothing been skimped on.

Most bushes have been power flexed recently too. The rose joint has been replaced for the merc bearing (A must). Upper and lower front wishbones have also been replaced.

The suspension is Eibach springs and Konis sport adjustable dampers.

The clutch has been changed for a GTA clutch kit and a GTA solid flywheel. – Last you for years.

Cambelt kit (Full) inc aux and the dreaded water pump has been changed last year in the service (sparks, filters and oil).

New front Brembo discs – rears didn’t need changing nor did the pads.

Oil change last month – and the oil that came out was still golden brown (a good sign).

Rear back box is new…ish and little things like the rad, MAF and hand brake cables (with have been greased and sealed by myself) have been done.

The car has a few extras such as the built in phone (on the ICS), SatNav with the upgraded G3 unit. It’s a lusso spec so heated, electric and momo leather with memory and lumber support, Xenons and im sure its got plenty of other bits and bobs. Leather is in great condition too.

The cars great and anyone looking for a well-maintained Alfa Romeo 166 would be nuts not to come and have a look. A quick drive will tell you everything you want to know…..the cars effortless, creamy smooth and its in a class of its own. In the deep blue it looks the part too.

There are other 166’s for less then £1500 ,..if you do the maths……..the labor involved to get it up to scratch would be another £1500 if not more. (Clutch change alone is £650 job, cambelt and water pump another £600-£700)

I have been forced to sell this car, its not something I want to do. My soon to be 100+mile daily journey needs 60mpg. Its certainly going to be an emotional sale for me.

Thanks for reading my advert just to be clear. I am not open to offers. With the spec, the bullet proof maintenance, almost a full MOT and Tax its worth the money. The car is being used everyday, and a trip to London and Scotland coming up the mileage will be changed – todays reading is 101, 000. - The cars feels like its done about 30k by the way - A 100mile test drive at my cost will confirm this!

£2999 - Its a good buy - and something I do not want to sell - and hope I dont have to :(
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sounds like a great car ... but too good for me.
If i can buy a sound 166 for £1k then that's a better bet for my purposes than an excellent one over £2k or a superb one for £3k. I do understand the logic of start with the best you can afford but the budget is pretty fixed - remember i've also got to LPG this otherwise it's a no goer.
I'm in a similar position mileage wise but i've done the boring 60mpg diesel for a year or two and now i'm convinced that LPGing a decent petrol car lets you have your cake and eat it.
 

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I was going to LPG it this week..........i am tempted to do it still......but then maybe the GT JTD.

Diesel would cost me £67 a week £268 a month 60mpg
Diesel would cost me £76 a week £307 a month 50mpg
Diesel would cost me £96 a week £384 a month 40mpg
Petrol would cost me £114 a week £456 a month
LPG would cost me £101 a week £ 404 a month

Its a HUGE difference - if for example a GT JTD did 40mpg id keep the 166, maybe if i can get 50-55 id consider one.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well the other thing i think you have to remember is the difference in size and ride quality you get when switching to a smaller diesel car. But i agree on cold facts a smaller diesel's fuel costs are significantly less - but you could switch to a motor bike and cut them still more.
If you compare a diesel of similar size to the 166 then i think the 40mpg looks like an excellent alternative - not sure that the newer diesels are always so cheap to repair either with DPF etc.

Are there any other 166 high mile commuters out there?
 

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is it a nice box to use over the 2.5 5 speed?

Where does the 3.0 make a noticeable improvement over the 2.5 - mid or upper range?QUOTE]

The six speed box is nicer to use than the 5 speed - it's a bit more snickety and a faster change IMO.

The 3.0 engine is much more flexible than the 2.5. You have to rev the nuts off the 2.5 to get it to perform and it's torque doesn't come in until about 5000 rpm IIRC. I owned a very nice 5 speed 2.5 with Zender bodykit for about 2.5 years, sold it a few months ago and just recently bought a 3.0 Super. I've not driven the Super much but in the short time I've owned it I have noticed just how much quicker the 3.0 is over the 2.5. The torque seems to kick in much lower down the rev range. If you're pootling along at 30mph in 4th gear and floor it the car really takes off even with the STR button off (probably around 1500rpm). The engine seems much more responsive lower down the rev range which suits me more as I do a lot of 30mph town driving on a day to day basis.

The best thing for you to do is to drive both and make up your own mind but from my experiences you should probably seek out a 3.0 as the fuel economy is no different between the two V6 engines and you'll have more fun in the 3.0! As for your budget you should be okay to get something within that price range but try to buy one with a recent belt change and expect to shell out soon after on suspension stuff, clutch, etc, etc, etc.

Spending £3k on the best 166 is still no guarantee that nothing will go wrong but it does eliminate lots of risk from the equation! I've said it before and I'll say it again - there is no such thing as a cheap 166. :)
 

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Is a 166 a good buy ? Yes goodbye however much you paid for it.:cheese:

Oh and make sure your breakdown/recovery service is up to date and your mobile is allways fully charged.
 

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Is a 166 a good buy ? Yes goodbye however much you paid for it.:cheese:

Oh and make sure your breakdown/recovery service is up to date and your mobile is allways fully charged.
Seems like you've had some bad experiences recently. I've never had to call recovery services and have never even had to stop for any issues. There's a chap on here who's passed 1/4 million miles in his 166. I'm at 136K or something.

The V6 3l sporto is probably the least stressed of the bunch. If you're adding LPG I'd definitely get the suspension seen to (esp. rear) if it doesn't appear in the history.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I've just been out to test drive a manual 1999 2.5 V6 with 97k miles just under £1k.
I thought i drove really well and when it got above 4000prm it went well too - but i must admit that from lower revs pulling away in 3rd it was a bit pedestrian till it got into its stride. Nice though. Is this where the 3.0 scores as it will pull well from any revs?

Far superior in handling to the c70 - so i was a bit surprised to see in the paperwork that the previous service by an alfa specialist had strongly recommended front and rear bushes needed replacement. Also recommended a new rad and clutch seemed to bite on the very last part of travel which i assume indicates its at the end of its adjustment. So although it was pretty good those immediate costs look pretty significant.

I also thought that 2.5 V6 was almost too quiet on the move. Is the 3.0 more vocal? or was i expecting too much of a howl!

Struggling to find a 6 speed in Kent to test at the moment but if it makes a significant improvement on the 2.5 to justify the £90 insurance hike and the 2mpg difference then i'm sold. Just got to find the right car for my £1k target.

On the 3 cars i've seen so far the paint quality wasn't exactly tip top especially the bumpers (silver and burgundy) - is that par for the course for Alfa or were they all poor?
 

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I don't do many miles in my 166 3.0 these days but it has been very reliable and has cost buttons in routine maintenance over the four years I've owned it. 24mpg is easily attainable in day to day driving.

I wasn't sold on the Sportronic gearbox and if we only ran one car I would go for a manual. However we also have a 6-speed 156 2.5 V6 and whilst it goes better than the 166 it seems to have too many gears. Clutch replacement is expensive and manual 166s can have problems with the pedal box and (on 6 speed cars) gearbox failure. Sportronics suffer from different problems but if you choose carefully then any 166 should be a good high mileage proposition.
 
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