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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,
As some of you saw, I have been getting alot of advice in the newbie section, but thought i would start a proper thread.

I am after a 156, and went to view a 'bargain' today. It was a 1999 sport pack 2 156 2.0, and despite ad saying 'excellant condition', new cambelt + variator change, fsh etc, the only problem being conditions that look like MAF, i turn up, and it was actually a Cat D write off, which didnt have a great repair. Left hand front wing didnt line up properly, needs 2 tyres + tyre plug now, and another 2 soon, rear bumper's paint was cracked and coming off fast, air con not getting cold, and there was loud clunking from front left. It was dirt cheap, but some other guys turned up the same time as me, and bought it. they didnt even go on test drive - they said they are putting on a trailer and taking to hungary to sell - so didnt care on it - as long as it runs and looks good!


Anyway, I also saw a slightly older car. This one is an R reg, with 101,000 miles, he says FSH, but i havent personally looked at it yet. The car is a maroon car (shame its not red), with the 15 inch alloy wheels. This one seemed alot better - other than some very minor marks, in great condition, and generally seems looked after. the air con does work, but could do with a regas, and seems like front right wishbone is gone, as over rough roads and speed bumps there is a slight knock / clunk. other than that, drove very well. This one had its cam belt changed at roughly 75,000 miles, so would be due in about 10kish (though will be getting done soon, within the next 3kish).

What do you think? Its advertised as £970. I will need to spend £45 regas for air con, and wishbones (not sure on cost). Oh, and also, he only has 1 key, and that key is broken, so the remote locking doesnt work, have to use the key in the door! Also the undertray is completely gone, and some slight scuffs on the front spoiler, though couldnt see any on the sump (will check tomorrow properly).

My questions are:
How much could I expect to pay for the wishbone, i will do the job myself,
How much can I get a second key cut (from alfa so i can get it coded),

And, does this seem good for £970 (will try to haggle). It has tax until 10/08, and MOT though cant remember how much.

Thanks!
 
G

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Hey mate,

Sounds like a nightmare that 156 you went and looked at! :eek: I went to look at a BMW 540i that I thought would be a bargain from the description. I got there and there was an oil leak, gouges in the tyres, and the electrics had packed in, :rolleyes: It's crazy how some people try and mug you off, :mad:

But don't let that hold you back, the search shall continue, :D

Hmm, the next car you've described sounds like an old non-SP boggo 156, :confused: I really wouldn't bother to be honest, as for a few hundred extra you can get a Sport Pack model that needs no work.

£970 for a bog standard 156 with the dodgy 15" wheels, 100K+, in the most hated colour on the forum (Proteo red), that also requires work? That's seriously not a bargain, :( It also needs an air con re-gas, it's due a cambelt change, and has no remote central locking, only 1 key. Not a bargain whatsoever. Steer clear!

£1500 will get you a MINT 156 2.0 TS these days, I'd stop looking at cars with faults because cars with faults to me mean that the owner doesn't care, and hasn't cared, enough about the car to bother sorting them out when they've arisen.

That car is probably worth £600 tops.

Would you be interested in the V6 version at all? The prices of the V6's have dropped dramatically due to the fuel prices etc. Here's a 156 V6 that went on eBay for just over a grand:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ALFA-ROMEO-156-V6-VELOCE-SPORTWAGON-ESTATE-NO-RESERVE_W0QQitemZ230276050722QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item230276050722&_trkparms=39%3A1|66%3A2|65%3A7&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14.l1318

It had a new engine fitted the year before with cambelt change etc, also had FSH, all keys, leather, AND it was a Sport Pack.

It's a Sport Wagon though, which aren't to everyone's taste but they still look good.

Here's a half decent example that's up for sale now:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/1999-ALFA-ROMEO-156-2-5-V6-SILVER-MOT-MARCH-09-NICE-CAR_W0QQitemZ290251602381QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item290251602381&_trkparms=39%3A1|66%3A2|65%3A7&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14.l1318

You'd get that for £1200 I'd wager.

Here's another that sold for just over £1000:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/1998-ALFA-ROMEO-156-2-5-V6-BLUE_W0QQitemZ320281236420QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item320281236420&_trkparms=39%3A1|66%3A2|65%3A7&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14.l1318

Like I say, the V6's are going CHEAP nowadays. It's something you may want to seriously consider. I've had 2 and they're brilliant.

The 2.0 TS is the better all rounder though as it has immense handling capabilities.

Here's a twinny that went cheap:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/2000-ALFA-ROMEO-156-2-0-T-SPARK-CREAM-PEARL_W0QQitemZ300245050810QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item300245050810&_trkparms=39%3A1|66%3A2|65%3A7&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14.l1318

The reason these ones go so cheap is because of the lack of leather, leather seems to be a major selling point for most Alfa's.

My 1998 156 V6 came with terrible Velour interior, so I bought a new interior and fitted it with a mate, makes the world of difference.

I think the best bet is you first decide on the EXACT car you want and then you can start looking properly.

Although, having said 'Don't buy one with issues', I did just that in the form of my current V6. Take a gander at the thread here: http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/just...129593-parke-and-hammonds-project-156-v6.html

But, I'm not driving it, so any issues that are going to be sorted aren't affecting me as I'm sadly driving my 1994 Mondeo, :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi,
Thanks for that.

I would prefer to stick to the 2.0 or possibly 1.8 if possible, so despite getting tempted, have been staying away from the V6's. cant deny though - what bargains they are!


The search shall continue! To me, the most important gadget is working air con, though alloy wheels, electric windows mirrors and leather seats are nice.

there are alot of cars out there, so as you say if i carry on searching, im sure my dream car will surface!
 

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Hi guys,
As some of you saw, I have been getting alot of advice in the newbie section, but thought i would start a proper thread.

I am after a 156, and went to view a 'bargain' today. It was a 1999 sport pack 2 156 2.0, and despite ad saying 'excellant condition', new cambelt + variator change, fsh etc, the only problem being conditions that look like MAF, i turn up, and it was actually a Cat D write off, which didnt have a great repair. Left hand front wing didnt line up properly, needs 2 tyres + tyre plug now, and another 2 soon, rear bumper's paint was cracked and coming off fast, air con not getting cold, and there was loud clunking from front left. It was dirt cheap, but some other guys turned up the same time as me, and bought it. they didnt even go on test drive - they said they are putting on a trailer and taking to hungary to sell - so didnt care on it - as long as it runs and looks good!


Anyway, I also saw a slightly older car. This one is an R reg, with 101,000 miles, he says FSH, but i havent personally looked at it yet. The car is a maroon car (shame its not red), with the 15 inch alloy wheels. This one seemed alot better - other than some very minor marks, in great condition, and generally seems looked after. the air con does work, but could do with a regas, and seems like front right wishbone is gone, as over rough roads and speed bumps there is a slight knock / clunk. other than that, drove very well. This one had its cam belt changed at roughly 75,000 miles, so would be due in about 10kish (though will be getting done soon, within the next 3kish).

What do you think? Its advertised as £970. I will need to spend £45 regas for air con, and wishbones (not sure on cost). Oh, and also, he only has 1 key, and that key is broken, so the remote locking doesnt work, have to use the key in the door! Also the undertray is completely gone, and some slight scuffs on the front spoiler, though couldnt see any on the sump (will check tomorrow properly).

My questions are:
How much could I expect to pay for the wishbone, i will do the job myself,
How much can I get a second key cut (from alfa so i can get it coded),

And, does this seem good for £970 (will try to haggle). It has tax until 10/08, and MOT though cant remember how much.

Thanks!

Those are 3 cars I would walk away from, the R reg though is the best of that bunch from what you say.

Wishbone = £40 eachish, do all four though, 2 upper and 2 lower.
 
G

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This one seems good, and is in london. sent email asking when the cambelt was changed

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI....from=R40&_trksid=m38&_nkw=290251770026&_fvi=1


Also - forgot to add, I quite like the sport wagons. I dont really like the big spoilers though - i really like the smaller flat ones though. cna the big ones be changed?
That one seems okay mate, but then again it's not a Sport Pack so you won't get very good suspension, and you only get the 15" flat faced wheels.

All 156's came with at least front electric windows, but a few came with wind-me-down rear handles for the windows, a bit lame to be honest, make sure you get a car with full electrics all round.

Alot of cars, including Alfa's, are sold without working air con because it's one of those things that not everyone needs, especially in England, so budget for a re-gas. But then again, non working air con could mean something more detrimental, such as the pump or pipes are bust, :eek:

The big spoiler can be removed, but not easily. Personally though the spoiler looks good on certain colours, I liked it on my Silver Sport Pack but don't like them on red Alfa's for some reason.

Seriously though, I'd look at getting a Sport Pack mate and not bother with the bog standard models.

most hated colour on the forum? :( :cry:
I quite like it to be fair in the 156 guise, but really hate it on GTV's, :cry:
 
G

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I quite like the look of this one:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280256086595&fromMakeTrack=true

shame its so far away, but considering it! Its a sport pack right?
Absolutely! That's an SP1 or 2 as it comes with the AMAZING Recaro sports seats, :inlove: I'd LOVE a set of those, they're great! :D

It has FSH and quite low mileage, but he mentions no cambelt change. E-Mail him and find out if it was done, if not then it's due straight away. BUT, the good thing about that is that you can knock him down because of it and then get it done yourself. To get the cambelt, waterpump and variator all done at the same time it costs about £450, which isn't that bad.

If it's NOT had a cambelt change I say offer him £1300, if it has had it done I'd offer £1500 cash.

It does look brilliant though, :D
 

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the recaro seats are good, i got rid of my leather for the recaro, i find them much more comfortable and more supporting and looks :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, sent him / her a message asking if its been done. offered £1300 cash, though regretted that - should have waited to see if the belt has been done, and if not use that as bargaining tool.

How bad are cambelts to change? looks like very tight space, but thinking to do it myself. I was intending to have it changed in bulgaria at an alfa specialist while im there, but would be scared to drive the 1800 miles without a belt i know is fresh!!
 
G

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Well, sent him / her a message asking if its been done. offered £1300 cash, though regretted that - should have waited to see if the belt has been done, and if not use that as bargaining tool.

How bad are cambelts to change? looks like very tight space, but thinking to do it myself. I was intending to have it changed in bulgaria at an alfa specialist while im there, but would be scared to drive the 1800 miles without a belt i know is fresh!!
Nah, you've done okay, because if he comes back with 'No, the cambelts not been changed' you can explain to him that it's a £450 job (Which it is!!) and that your offer of £1300 is quite good. (Which it is!)

How bad are they to change? Mate, they are a *******, :( You'll need cam locking tools, the parts etc etc, it's more of a hassle to do it yourself and still costs about £200 at least in parts. You'll need to change the cambelt and tensioners, the waterpump, and the variator, and that's a £450 job at least.

Oh, and get it done here, not in Bulgaria, :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, he emailed me back and said that the belt was changed at 56,000 miles, 2006 i think he said, so it is roughly halfway through its life.

I am very good at engine work (terrible at bodywork though), so I am still very curious about doing the work myself (i recently rebuilt the engine of a Smart car while is was in situ in the car so know all about working with tight spaces / losing half your knuckles in the process!)

Emailed back and asked if there was anything at all he can do with the price - if so, I had better get to the bank!
 

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Not doubting this car for a minute mate, but are you SURE you've seen enough cars to be offering money today and contemplating a run to the bank?

There are a LOT of 156s for sale out there, and it's a buyers market (see the "trade in" thread elsewhere on the site) - If I was buying a 156 now I'd want to really make sure I was getting the best I could for the money.

As I say - This one might well be the best one for the money (certainly looks good) but until you've driven a few it'll be hard for you to know what's good/better/best.

Don't rush - Unless you want/need to.

Best of luck.:thumbs:
 
G

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Hmm, if you are quite handy with a spanner it is doable, so you could give it a go.

Also, do remember that the cambelt change date is every 36,000 miles / 3 years, so it's due next year, so it isn't half way through its life. I'd say stick to £1300 mate and see what he says, failing that go to £1400 maximum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, he insisted that he doesnt want to let go for less than £1500. I mailed him back, and put the offer of £1300 across with my mobile number, and explained that cambelt needs to be done march at the latest, and its a £450 job.

I do hope he calls (especially as I am not working tomorrow so would be ideal to collect).

There are still no bids on it, so either someone will stick a late bid on it, or no bids at all.


I am happy to keep looking, but have been looking for a while now, and this one seems the best i have seen (just hope the owner is honest - dont want to get all the way to northampton to find its a dog).

But keep looking at the FSH from Alfa, the parts that he says have been replaced, and even the modifications - I like the GTA lights, i am a fan of powerful lights, so the HIDS will be nice (though illegal, so not sure how he passed the mot), and of course the clear repeaters!

If i dont hear from him tomorrow, would be seriously thinking about ringing and trying for either £1350 or £1400.
 
G

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Yeah, sounds like a plan mate. I mean, do try and budget for the £450 though because if you rise to what he's after you'll be spending £2000 in total, and you can pick up a great TS with about 70-90k on the clock with FSH, cambelt AND clutch change for about £1750 MAXIMUM.
 
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