Alfa Romeo Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I've recently run across an '87 Alfetta that appears to be pretty solid and complete (minus a bit of linkage at the Webber's).
Any feedback on what area(s) I should look at before I write the check?
How difficult will it be to locate parts?
Also, I'm 6'2" and around 190 lbs. Will I be relatively comfortable driving this or is this not designed for a taller frame?
Thanks much!
Scott
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,529 Posts
You might struggle with headroom, I'm 5ft 10, and there isn't a hell of a lot of room above my head, go and check out the car and see for yourself, it may be obvious but check for rust, everywhere but especially the inner and outer front wings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Good to know. I'm actually more concerned about ample leg room.
Will it be a challenge to locate parts?
I really appreciate your feedback!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,529 Posts
Depends what country you are in, leg room is fine but the steering wheel may interfere with your knees
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,242 Posts
I’m 6’2”, headroom is no issue, even with a sun roof. The driving position is ISA (Italian Standard Ape), and does take a bit of getting used to. The radio is closer to your left foot than your left hand....

Mechanical parts - easy. Body parts - harder. Interior bits - all s/h.

Things to look at - rust mainly, front of sills, rear around the shock turrets. If it starts, goes and stops without making funny noises then it is mechanically OK. Prop shaft vibration at high RPM can be a pita to diagnose. Rear brakes can seize and the handbrake won’t work.

Overall, you’re buying a 40 year old car - it’s all about rust, or the lack thereof.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
They are a fantastic car and although the driving position is different I with my six foot three solid frame - ex rugby forward- was comfortable. The drivers seat is height adjustable with a lever and the rake of the steering wheel is adjustable.
Rust is the first thing to look for, then driveshaft doughnuts which are the rubber couplings which do deteriorate and in a worse case scenario can explode and destroy say the front bell housing for example. They need to be crack free and replaced the moment they show cracking. Gear boxes are subject to wear in the synchros but Alfetta g/boxes allow the ability to show off double de clutching skills and provide great pleasure to the driver.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,639 Posts
I’m 6’2”, headroom is no issue, even with a sun roof. The driving position is ISA (Italian Standard Ape), and does take a bit of getting used to. The radio is closer to your left foot than your left hand....

Mechanical parts - easy. Body parts - harder. Interior bits - all s/h.

Things to look at - rust mainly, front of sills, rear around the shock turrets. If it starts, goes and stops without making funny noises then it is mechanically OK. Prop shaft vibration at high RPM can be a pita to diagnose. Rear brakes can seize and the handbrake won’t work.

Overall, you’re buying a 40 year old car - it’s all about rust, or the lack thereof.
From driving a 116 Giulietta, I found the best way to cope with ISA is to hold the steering wheel near the bottom rather than trying to grasp near the top, it's more the 'italian style' and allows you to move the seat back a bit more than you would do otherwise.

I'd add scuttle and inner front wing rot to the list of rust issues to consider, though being a 40 year old Italian you could expect crumbly brown bits pretty much anywhere if it's not immaculate and hasn't already been restored.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
231 Posts
Most service parts are readily available, things to look out for are rust, worn synchromesh (usually a crunch on 2nd gear although the gearbox is known to crunch when cold) various clonks coming from rear (usually worn gearbox mounting bushes, etc) and propshaft vibration, seized rear calipers if left standing too long.

Lovely balanced drive but the transaxle cars are definitely more expensive to look than 105/alfasud ranges if looking at cars from that era if you are paying someone else to do. Suspension can be tricky ie expensive to set up but there arte lots of upgrades for engines, LSDs, sunspension, brakes, etc.

I have several transaxles from GTV6s through to Alfa 75s so know firsthand the running costs.

As always, will be good to see the (expensive) remedial work done by reputable Alfa experts rather than any mechanic.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Speaking as an ex owner (several 2 litre versions, plus GTV6) and a former Euro garage proprietor 116 coupes are easy to work on, engine of the 4 cyl versions has much more space around it than the same engine in a 105. Worse job is probably the adjustment of the rear inboard disk brake pads on replacement but even that job despite my big mits is not too bad. The cost of maintenance should be much the same as a 105 - it is in my case as they are simple analogue cars with possibly better access to most components. The driveshaft requires a little more maintenance because of those flexi -joints (doughnuts) but unless raced or abused they still last quite some time if the driveshaft is set up correctly -ie as straight as possible engine to transaxle.
The car does require warming up before taking off , much more so than a 105 due to the remote location of the transaxle - our Ferrari is the same,however this can be offset quite a bit by filling the transaxle with a quality synthetic gear oil - I use Amsoil in all our cars.
The gear change is slower than a modern car or even a 105 so you young guys who are used to changing gear quickly may get frustrated so something to remember if you haven`t driven one yet. Great cars though and under appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,281 Posts
I'm 6'1 and really struggle to fit in my mates GTV, when I were a lad I squeezed myself into a sprint without many probs but then i was a lot more flexible then, the GTV has the worst Italianate driving position i've come across, much more so than my S2 but all our frames are different and you might be fine
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,120 Posts
At 5' 8" with short legs, I must be Italian!:rofl:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,120 Posts
No, short arms, I must be a pigmy then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,639 Posts
Long arms as well? - TBH I don't seem to recall Italians as having long arms and short legs so wonder why their cars were cursed with this

Easy - in the UK we like to sit hunched over the wheel gripping near the top, whereas the Italians like to take a more relaxed driving position, lay back and hold the wheel near the bottom. So to allow for this the UK cars had the steering column longer so you didn't end up driving like a hunchback bus driver, and the Italian cars had the column shorter so you didn't end up driving like a preying mantis. Modern cars have a compromise column length or telescopic columns, and steering wheel angle adjustment to allow for different driving styles.

Of course the 116 series have one other odd factor effecting them - the convoluted routing of the brake pedal, etc. Looks like they were really only designed to be LHD and the RHD conversion is a bit of a kludge with long rods and weird pivots running over to the left hand side of the car, so presumably the floorpan isn't shaped for RHD use either, leaving you sitting slightly wonkily. I wonder if the LHD 116 series feel more comfortable to drive for people with long legs / big feet than the RHD?

Edit: Hmm, I wonder if an Italian driver, presented with a Capri, would assume UK drivers have the physiology of a t-rex?
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top