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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all
I LOVE 33's:inlove:- currently I have a 145, and would like to change to a 33 as soon as I'm able, in the next few months I hope.

What exactly do I look for when buying one? Any specific work that needs to have been done, any areas particularly prone to rust etc? Just so I know what to ask about, should I be phoning any sellers as I'm looking around for one, or when looking round the car.
Do 33's suffer from any specific problems?

Would love a P4, do they come up for sale often? I notice there's one on Auto Trader with 132,000 on the clock - do 33's tend to last a while (so I'd be safe to buy one with fairly high mileage) or should I specifically look for one with low mileage?

Cheers,
Daniel:D
 

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33 is a good ship. You have to have the 16v or the Perminator-4.

The 16v engine seems almost indestructible but the P4 has a teeny persistent problem with the propshaft mounts, so check that there's no juddering or vibration when driving, particularly when pulling away.

132k is a bit high miles but the Boxer engine doesn't have any really bad vices. I'd stay away from anything with chavvy airfilters and the like. The more standard it is, the better at this age/mileage.

Rust is a bit of a problem. Inner wings (around the suspension turrets) and the rear 3/4 panel by the fuel filler seem to be the usual suspects.

Also check the fuel tank, as a lot of these are rusty now (the newest ones are 12 years old, or thereabouts), it'll be difficult to find someone crazy enough to weld/repair it and some rumours suggest new ones are difficult to source.

Electrics aren't too robust but normally nothing serious (just a case of tracking down the poor connection/whinging relay).

Brakes are very spongey on all models, even with stainless steel hoses. The m/cylinder is the same as fitted to the 1.3 ltr AlfaSud, so you get the idea. You can make a bracket to brace the m/c against the bulkhead, which helps.. otherwise fit the best pads/disks you can afford, steel-braid the lines and then the brakes will be "quite good".

Interior should be as immaculate as possible as you won't find much trim parts in the shops.

I should also add .. bear in mind the P4 has different exhaust and rear brakes cf. the 16v (as there's the 4WD gubbins where the 16v silencer normally goes). It's not much of a big deal except when you're looking for a replacement. You may be confined to Genoooine or Custom made parts, which can be frustrating when you're looking for something in a hurry (so it's useful if you have a second car from time to time!).

Otherwise an excellent choice. Buy a good one, look after it.

Ralf S.
 

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I've seen the P4 on the trader, very nice, if I get the time I intend to buy it but time is short!
 

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there are good uns about - be patient (there has been 2 mint p4s go for about the 900 pound mark on the alfapages site)i personally wouldnt buy the one with 130000 miles on the clock unless its very cheap.i bought a p4 with 36000 miles on the clock with about 10 months mot (engine had head problem) bodywork in very good condition for £200
 

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i know - even my mechanic mate was impressed and i assure you it takes alot to impress him.i havent got it on the road yet but i am going to make it mint eg. spraying and undersealing the engine bay while the engine is out plus i`ve already had the heads skimmed and ported plus an inlet valve mod so it should shift when its done. i`m also getting all the ally bits polished and i ve sprayed the actual block red. there is one bit of rot on the front inner wing but nothing too bad, the floor and sills are mint.its not the one on my avatat btw - that was a rot box my new one is silver
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Not sure if it's a silly question, but how effective is the 4wd system? Does it make a huge difference to the handling/roadholding compared to front drive models?

I assume the 4wd is devised by Alfa and not shared with any other vehicles? Is it generally a reliable system and easy to maintain, or is it complicated and unreliable?

My 145 has the 1.6 8v Boxer engine...does the 1.7 16v unit differ much in terms of maintenance/things to keep a regular check on? Pardon my ignorance, I'm not technically minded at all!:rolleyes:

Thanks for all the info!:D
Daniel.
 

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the 4wd is a very good system handling wise but there are reliability problems mainly to do with the viscous coupling mounts - they wear very quickly and the problem is you cannot get them anywhere - ask any p4 owner. i believe if mine need replacing i will be able to modify the mount to except square rubber mounts but tbh this is the main downfall of the 4wd system,, the excessive wear on these mounts maybe due to the universal joints on the propshaft being worn but no-one picks up on this( a friend told me this who used to work for a propshaft specialist)shame really because the ujs are cheap to replace.there are 2 different mounts btw one i believe is possible but hard to get and the other - forget it.
basically for reliability and trouble free running go for the 16v but if you want your car to stick like glue to the road and are clever and willing enough to mess with these mounts go for the p4.
i`m not clever i`m just very brave and very mad
 

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alfissimo said:
My 145 has the 1.6 8v Boxer engine...does the 1.7 16v unit differ much in terms of maintenance/things to keep a regular check on? Pardon my ignorance, I'm not technically minded at all!:rolleyes:

Thanks for all the info!:D
Daniel.

It's the same donkey.. just a bit wilder. :D


Ralf S.
 

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To be honest if you can find a good 8v one I'd probably go for that over the 16v. On the road you might find the 8v is actually quicker as the 16v lacks low down torque.
 

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all the road tests I've read say the 16v is only really better above 4k, below that the 8v is the best all rounder?, however if you keep the 16v above 4k all the time, your consumption will suffer badly
 

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Andy G said:
all the road tests I've read say the 16v is only really better above 4k, below that the 8v is the best all rounder?, however if you keep the 16v above 4k all the time, your consumption will suffer badly
well my 33 started life as an 8v now a 16v.i would go for 16v's all day long.if your bothered about consumption buy a mini;) it's an alfa so drive it hard,boxers love it!! both engines are great 8v carb= 117 BHP
16v non cat =137:cool: BHP

regards john
 

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i`d say buy a 16v over an 8v, and like John said "drive it hard" :D
and buy a P4 over a 16v,
the 4wd grip is bloody superb in the dry, not much will stay with it... :)

and as ralf said be pateint and buy a good one. and you will not regret it....
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Which is the alfapages site, what's the web address? I put it in google, but not sure if I followed the right link.

My 8v 1.6 has to be revved to get the best from it too, so guess a 1.7 16v might not be much different to me... Is worth it for that lovely sound anyway!
The fact that the 4wd system is a bit unreliable puts me off a bit, as I'm not mechanically minded at all (unfortunately) & wouldn't be able to play around with the various parts as stedee mentioned (thanks for all that info btw:D). I don't know of anyone in my area who has Alfa's, or knows specifically about them, & might know what they're doing. If I bought a mint example, is it still likely that the 4wd could become a problem fairly quickly?...guess it depends how hard the car is driven? Am I right to be wary or am I just being dopey?

I remember seeing someone compare the P4 to a Subaru Impreza! Must be on roadholding, not speed, surely?

Cheers, Daniel.
 
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:( The main problem with 33's and P4's in particular is finding one,let alone one worth having.

..In its day they were great,the P4 was superb fun in the wet....once you got to know how the diff behaved power sliding the back end around corners became quite addictive.......until you had to pay for tyres anyway.

...The trouble is now that there are very few left,the garage I used to help out at had six or so P4's coming in for servicing etc back in the late 90's,all cherished by enthusiasts........but one by one they all disappeared,we broke at least three of them for spares,having any sort of 33 come in now is a bit of a nostalgia trip.....though I wouldn't want to be doing two clutch changes a day on the buggers now though :lol:

;) In short,good luck with the hunt........but don't buy anything even remotely shoddy or it will sour your experience of owning an Alfa,it can take a bit of perseverance at times..........
 
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