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Discussion Starter #1
Hi

Always fancied a phase 2 GTV V6 as they just look fantastic and sound brilliant! One has come up for sale near me and I am going to see the car this weekend.

What are the things to look out for? I understand that the cambelt service is key. Will obviously look for the usual things but anything specific would be helpful to know!

Who knows? I might be a real member here with my Alfa wheels soon!
 

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Belt servicing is most key. you want to know how old the belt is in years as well as the miles its done.
Most now are replaced on a time basis rather than mileage (as the cars are rarely doing the miles these days)

Inner CV boots like to split for a past time

Rear suspension bushes wear out. when they do the cast iron lower 'dogleg' arm can rub on the aluminum sub frame wearing the mounting tabs away.

Most of it is covered in the link below..

Spiders Buyers Guide (mostly applies to GTV too aside from roof specific stuff)
 

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As mentioned cambelt service is very important. Do make sure it's a full change though - that is cambelt, tensioner, and the two idle bearings. Sometimes the idle bearings are not changed, they can seize and that as they say is the end of that. The metal impeller water pumps are strong but they do need changing as well, certainly on a Phase 2 you would need to see evidence of this being changed as well.

The suspension is fragile. The front wishbones can last a bit if the original TRW wishbones are used. The rear is the potential headache. Rusting spring pans, dodgy spring pan bushes which result in wear in the sub frame brackets, rusting and sagging springs, rusting bump stop cones with the rubber bump stop on the top long fallen off and gone, rusting rear ARB with tired bushes, the lateral dog leg arms strong in themselves but warn bushes, tired shock absorbers which results in a jittery ride. The rear suspension gets lots of exposure to moisture and just deteriorates quickly. There are plenty of solutions but you need to be determined and a fairly strong bank balance to sort it. If the current owner has invested all well and good.

Rust can be a problem if not kept in check. Front sub frames do rust but if not too bad can be cleaned up. Sills are now becoming a problem, the sill panels hide the problem and many have found on removal significant rust particularly toward the front and rear sections. Rear quarter panels also rust - look for any signs of bubbling.

The V6 is robust but it needs looking after. As well as cambelt changes it likes clean fresh oil. Make sure the owner has looked after this and has changed the oil/filter on a regular basis. Many change at 6,000 miles not 12,000 miles and this is a good idea.

You will know when viewing if it's been looked after. The interior will be clean and the drivers side seat bolster will not be badly warn. You will just tell from looking at the overall condition if the GTV has been looked after. If it hasn't, you will be paying considerably more to get it back into shape than the asking price.
 

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Great cars, had mine 12 years and just hit 160k miles.
They are good value (maybe the best) for the performance and driving experience but are not cheap cars to own.

My advice:
  • Cheap some money aside each year and on initial purchase, I think I've averaged £1k a year. Some years you'll just need a simple service but there could be big bill another year (suspension, brake calliper refurb).
  • Find out how much a cambelt + waterpump is from a specialist Alfa garage, if the car you are looking at needs one soon then you can consider that in the price. I brought my gtv with the belt done recently but only for a specialist to tell me the variator was put on the wrong way and I was lucky I brought it in when I did. That resulted in me having to pay for the cambelt service.
  • Upgrades like a Q2 diff are really good, more expensive than a cambelt so worth prioritizing IMO.
Check all the switches, wipers work, check boot carpets for signs of leaks.

Be good to look underneath for signs of rust but that could be tough and if it's had a recent MOT than remarks should be on the government website. Get them treated before the winter.

Awesome cars and aged well but aren't new so will have issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys, really appreciate the inputs!

The car seems to be well looked after on paper including a 2018 cambelt + water pump service but I will check if the idle bearings were replaced at the same time. The work was carried out at an Alfa specialist so hopefully they knew what they were doing.

It does have an advisory about the rear lower arms with play in bush, so I suspect that the rear suspension will need sorting at some point in the future. There are some signs of surface rust but will investigate that further when I see the vehicle.

Fair point about expecting some big bills every once in a while. I am mentally (and financially) prepared for that given it's almost a 20 year old car!
 

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Agree with the above. Getting the cambelt done properly by a specialist is key - it’s not a cheap job, and be suspicious if it has been done on the cheap, as stuff will have been missed.

In addition to the above, check the oil cooler also. Its behind the bottom of the bumper on the drivers side, in front of the wheel. Tricky to see, so take a torch and shine through the grill above the fog light. If the original is still fitted, it may well be leaking. Kits are available to replace with an aftermarket solution reasonably cheaply. Repairing with original pipes and cooler is an engine out job to get at the pipe connections on the engine block.

They are old cars now, so there is always something. Best to have a maintenance budget. But there is a lot of good help on here, and plenty of specialists to get parts, so not much is unresolvable. Good luck, you wont regret it. The V6 is a peach and worth it.


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Discussion Starter #7
So I saw the car yesterday. Looks in good nick and well looked after overall. I think I should factor in the following work at some point in the near future:
  • Rear suspension service, including rear arms replacement
  • Front springs replacement
Any idea how much costs I should factor in for the above?
 

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Depends which of the 10 links and arms need replacing .If it's the whole lot you won't get any change from £800 but the chances are it won't be.
Decent aftermarket spring pans arms are about £250 each, Dog leg arms £100 - £150each. You may be able to do cheaper by just replacing the bushes. You could go powerflex but I prefer the OE rubberised spehrical joints. NB The V6 arms have this type of joint, the 4 cylinder ones dont. There's a good chance the rear bump stops and top hats will need replacing while you're down there!
Front springs you can get Suplex ones for not a lot.
I've assumed you'll do the work yourself.If not add labour.
Have a look at Alfa Workshop and Alfaholics to get an idea of prices.
 

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Depends which of the 10 links and arms need replacing .If it's the whole lot you won't get any change from £800 but the chances are it won't be.
Decent aftermarket spring pans arms are about £250 each, Dog leg arms £100 - £150each. You may be able to do cheaper by just replacing the bushes. You could go powerflex but I prefer the OE rubberised spehrical joints. NB The V6 arms have this type of joint, the 4 cylinder ones dont. There's a good chance the rear bump stops and top hats will need replacing while you're down there!
Front springs you can get Suplex ones for not a lot.
I've assumed you'll do the work yourself.If not add labour.
Have a look at Alfa Workshop and Alfaholics to get an idea of prices.
Later phase 3 TS and JTS did receive the spherical bushes in the spring pan arms. Either way if these bushes are tired you either replace the bushes with a spherical kit (available from places such as ebspares or Alfaworkshop) or you go powerflex. General consensus on the spring pans is to go the spherical kit route, although my powerflex upgrade is still fine after 16 years of fitment.
 

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I would search out a cherished example and buy it rather than a 'project' or one that needs work. I bought mine in 2013 and have averaged 1K miles a year and have spent nothing save for the belts, oil, thermostat and a battery. Previous owner/s had spent the £000s on new oil cooler, rad, suspension/polybush, Q2/flywheel/clutch, rear demist (!) etc ready for me to enjoy and the value has appreciated significatly too.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks again guys!

@Flanners1 - Not looking for an entire project nor an absolute pristine example as I don't mind doing bits and pieces. Main point is that I would like to know typical issues and costs that I should factor in, for which this thread has been really helpful.
 
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