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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

Having test driven a 2.0 twinspark yesterday and confirmed I can still fit inside at 6' 2", I've decided to take the plunge and get a 3.0 V6.

I live nr Stevenage, and will have to travel a good hour to find a decent looking GTV V6 for sale. So far I've found 2 on autotrader:

No. 1: Red, 1998, 40K miles, farsh. £4,700

No. 2: Metallic Blue, 2001, 84K miles, full service history, cambelt done at 70K, £6000.

Questions if you've time:

Am I right in thinking that a new version of the GTV was released in 98? How can I tell which version a car is?

Is age more critical than mileage? No. 2 above is obviously 3 years younger, but is this worth over a grand with the difference in miles?

When should the cambelts be changed on the V6? Should No.1 above have had its belts done by now?

I will be either getting the cars checked by a local specialist or a full RAC inspection, but any other pointers you can think of?

Many Thanks, apologies for the long post!

Nick
 
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Hi Nick, welcome. There is a recent thread on the GTv forum titled PH1 to PH2 which pretty much lists all the differences between the two types which will help you tell what you are looking at. Also lots of mechanical and buying advice,use the search at the top of the page, its well worth a couple of hours reading up on the models.
The two cars you are going to look at seem ok on price but on the high end, the early one should have had its belts done on age,also there is a water pump issue on cars of that year. A good Alfa garage will have checked the type when the belts were done.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Cheers for the advice,

Am going to view the 98 tonight. Happier with the lower mileage, and I'll only be doing 5K a year myself. Will probably have some further questions when I return.

Must force myself to remember, just cos it's red and sounds glorious doesn't make it a good buy......

Nick
 

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Nick, if you join the Alfa Owners club there a Phase 2 3.0 GTV for sale in there, looks very tidy :cool:
 

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Nick, not far from you in Codicote there is a garage called David Thomas he specialises in Alfas in fact he races/sponsors a GTA racing saloon.
He doesn't sell cars but definitely knows his Alfas.A good man to know
Mooney
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Oh, the temptation.

Saw the 98 last night. Just over 40K miles. Immaculate condition for age, front leather and dashboard as new, no signs of wear. Slight scuffing on back of armrest where I guess luggage has been thrown on back "seats".

Paintwork excellent, very few stone chips. Panels look fine. Alloys slightly scuffed.

Air flow meter just changed along with oil service and all spark plugs. Drove like a dream, all electrics work perfectly, no audible suspension noises.

The dealer seemed decent enough, and offered to drive the car himself to Black and White Garage, an alfa specialist in Newbury, for a full inspection if I arrange.

Car has Alfa history for first five years, but no receipt showing cambelt change. After discussing, he lowered price by £400.

Air con also doesn't blow cold, (to be honest, this doesn't bother me hugely), so he took off another £100.

The bad: Rear tyres need replacing, how much would this set me back?
(17" wheels.)

The very bad: One stamp missing in the service book, prior to the service just carried out. Assuming this service didn't happen, which I have to do, car has still only travelled 12K miles between documented services. It's just the time I'm worried about.

Your thought on this last issued would be much appreciated, if there was a stamp in the book I'd probably buy, particularly at £4,200.

Will be changing the cambelt at alfaworkshop in Royston as soon as I buy.

And it's still the most amazing alfa red.......
 

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I'd allow two hundred quid for the rear tyres although this is a guesstimate. Someone might be along in a minute with a more accurate figure for this...

With regards to the lack of full service history; Me thinks I'd walk away but i know how hard that would be when you've experienced the thrill of driving that V6 engine :D. I'd want that last stamp in the book though for piece of mind and consider this also; when someone comes along in a couple of years to buy the car from you (assuming that you'll want something newer down the line) they too are going to be demanding a full history which you ain't going to be able to give them. This means it might sit around until you reduce your price dramitically. If you are going to go for it then you'll need to factor this in to the price you're willing to pay now.

Mine's red too, very nice...
 

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Tyre cost will be from £50-90 depending on quality, should be able to get Goodyear Eagle F1 or Toyo Proxes T1-R for under £90 per tyre.

Not sure about the missing stamp, since the mileage interval is 12,000 anyway I wouldn't worry too much unless the time gap is excessive.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok, have spoken to specialist. He will charge £60 for an hours inspection. But he says:

"This is general mechanical check over of the car and check for the obvious GTV weaknesses, It is not the same as an RAC type inspection which is much longer and more in depth and covers History, Bodywork etc.You must satisfy yourself on these points."

So would an RAC inspection be the best bet, despite costing £340? They do seem to be quite thorough (166 point check).

Also, how easy would it be to manipulate mileage readout on the GTV?

Finally, from what I've seen on autotrader just over £4K is quite cheap for this mileage? What would you be paying?

Thanks v. much for your input, really highly valued!

Nick
 

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I think I'd be inclined to give £60 to someone who knows what to look for on a GTV rather than £340 to someone who (possibly) doesn't, even if they do check a greater number of generic things.

From the service book you already know that the history isn't 100%, so it's maybe worth an HPI check?

Like horseman says, if you've got any doubts at all then I'd walk away and wait for the next one - they're not desperately scarce yet. In the cold light of day a missed service, kerbed wheels, dodgy air-con, and a scuffed interior don't make it sound like it's been cherished.
 

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If you're near Stevenage then ask Jamie Porter at the Alfa Workshop what he charges for an inspection.. I'd tend to agree with Jamieboy that I'd rather have someone who knows the car and its common points of failure than someone ticking a check list.

Is the 1998 a 5 speed? Might be worth looking for a 1999 or later and have the six speed

At the end of the day the car is nearly 10 years old so slightly scuffed alloys and interior are probably to be expected (mine has both).

Air con is a worry... mine cost me £600 on my 156.. but it could be a £75 regas. I'd push the dealer for more off the price for this... if it is only £100 (i.e. the amount he offered you in discount) to repair why hasn't he bothered.

Mine's red too :)
 
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The £100 is the least it will cost to get the air con fixed so its not really a price reduction. Also £400 is not really enough to get the cam belt and the associated advisable extra work done, and you want your service record bought up to date. All this could easily blow £1500.
Just for a laugh tell the guy you would rather pay the full price and have him do all the work required and see his reaction. I think it might answer all your questions in one go.
 

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I'd go with it.

Make it a condition of sale that the dealer re-charges the air-con though (let him keep the £100). He'll have trade contacts and get a discount - you'll be sure that the system works before you buy it.

Get the inspection done by the AR specialist, as he'll check the likely failure points. It doesn't sound like it's an abused or dodgy motor though, so a full monty check may be a bit OTT.

Having all the service history is all very well but if it's been serviced very 12,000 miles I can't see what's "missing". The interval IS 12,000 miles. In any case, many a foolish punter overlooks a diamond because it doesn't come in a nice box.

Do the cam-belt and tensioner... change the water pump impeller for later plastic or metal one and change the oil and filters. What else is there, really?

Ralf S.
 

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I'd agree with Ralf, and to be honest, if you did decide to sell the car in a few years time the missing service stamp will be much less of an issue.
 

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Ralf S. said:
if it's been serviced very 12,000 miles I can't see what's "missing". The interval IS 12,000 miles.
12,000 miles or 12 months, I thought? Or is there no real technical reason for the time limit, other than keeping the dealers busy?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Right, I'm gonna go for it.

Drove a 2001 last night, but with 89K on the clock. You could feel the extra miles in it. It did have an excellent history, but bodywork wasn't as nice, engine wasn't as smooth, and the engine management light made an appearance. He was after £6K.

And it wasn't even slightly red.

So, the plan is to go back to the dealer. Ask him to fix the aircon and sell for £4,000, arguing that the tyres will cost £200 and need immediate replacement.

I'll then get the RAC to do the check. I think you're right about an Alfa man knowing the car better, but this car has had a new airflow meter, I'll be doing the cambelt straight away, and as it's a 3.0 the rear suspension isn't as suspect.

And importantly, when I come to sell the car, I can say I had a full RAC inspection because I was worried about the missing stamp myself.

I'll just have to attend the inspection and ask the bloke to pay particular attention to the oil cooler pipes. Are there any other Alfa specific probs I've missed?

At the end of the day we're talking Vectra money for a work of visual and aural art.
 
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