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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Even though I am new to this site I have read many comments comparing or contrasting the 164 and the 166 and my intention is not to heat things up but to get the opinion of people who own either or both cars to help a fellow Alfisti make a tough choice.
I'll try to make this as short as possible . I own a 164 V6 3.0 12 (facelift) with 120.000 km total, my second car, my first love. I live in a country with no Alfa dealers left. Very expensive and difficult to find parts and qualified service.
Regardless, a year ago I spent around 10k (dollars) plus a lot of time and nerve on a semi complete restoration of the car including an upgraded suspension, 18' wheels, freer flowing exhaust and more; and still have some parts to change or upgrade in order to have the car in perfect condition or better.
Now a friend comes and offers me this spotless 2001 166 v6 3.0 (only two in the country) with 150k, he will take my 164 and will finance the difference. Now, it is easier to get parts for the 164 here than for the 166, there are more 164s around and they have proven to be one of the most reliable and well built Alfas around.
I've been driving the 166 for the last two days and now I absolutely don't know what to do. I wish I could have both, but I can't afford to, I love my 164 dearly but I can see that the 166 is an improved car.
See my problem?
So far I realized the 166 is more confortable and easy to live with than the 164, I couldn't feel a huge power difference although one is noticeable, and in the looks department, the 164 is simply beautiful from all angles (especially the the 18' wheels) and even though there has been a lot of mixed opinions about the front design of the 166 I really like it even though I can't say I like it better than the 164.
Honestly, and with no intention of stirring things up, I still don't know how "better" the 166 is over the 164 and even though I am sure many will argue that it isn't, I would appreciate anyones opinion on this.
Especially those of you who own either or both, and feel as strongly as I do about Alfas, would you recomend the change or should I finish the restoration and have practically a brand new 164.

Thanks in advance
 

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Welcome AM164

If we executed Alfa dealers a few years ago we probably wouldn't have any either.:cheese: :cheese: :cheese: Only joking.

I can't help re the 164 as I never ever liked alfa's until I saw the 166.
If, as you say you have driven one, youlll know why.

In Britain these wonderful cars just dont hold there price...So in my case it was learn as you go along.

I can understand your predicament though and it is a shame you cannot get them both.

Perhaps Dougie will assist as I know he has had both a least 164 and numerous 166's...If I recall correctly he blew up his 164 and someone else on here resurrected her..Well done that man ..Possibly he can advise you further too.

Good luck:thumbs:

Pomeo
 

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A tough choice - Keep your 164 that you have cherished and restored or "upgrade" to its fresher sibling!?

First off - If your 164 is a facelift it is surely a 24v and not a 12!?

Anyway you know the choice is yours and yours alone as you have to live with the decision. I enjoyed my 164s and 166s and seen itas a natural progression as most would to keep a newer fresher motor. As you state I dont think power delivery was massively different from my 192bhp 3.0 12v 164 to my 240bhp 3.2 24v 166 although the later was far poorer on fuel. If you do indeed have a 12v then this is a consideration as the 24v 164s & 166s were around 5 to 10mpg worse off in my experience.

Parts wise should not be a real issue as there are plenty of places outwith Paraguay that will ship parts to you - In long term the 166 is therefore a better proposition as 164 parts are rapidly dissapearing.

God Luck and keep us updated :)
 

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I'd have the 164 as I prefer them, but that's just me.
 

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When I had was faced with the option of parking the 164 and buying a 166.... I bought a GTV TS instead!

I'm thinking 166 for the wife's car but for me a 166 would mean a step down unless I went to a 3.2 (230bhp vs 220) but I was also after fuel economy for daily use, hence my baby TS option.

The 166 does everything the 164 does but it does it better and it does it in more style. It's a newer car, it's more reliable than the 164, especially if comparing 24v engines where the 166 has an updated version of the 164's engine. If I was in your situation, I would probably go for the 166 but my particular 164, does not come close to a standard 166 IMHO.
 

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hi, interesting problem you have. I think you should ask yourself a few questions, and possibly share the answers here;)

First off, why does your friend want to swap newer car for older?
His 166 is 150k vs 120k on yours 164. Is the 166 as well maintained as yours? If you had problems servicing a "more common" 164, you'll for sure have lots of trouble doing service on as rare 166 as you describe it for your country. No scrapyard will hold a tiny bit from a 166, in case you need a mirror, window switch or whatever. 166 has a 24v engine, which is more demanding for the workshop in terms of timing belt change than your 164 12v.

Off course, somehow the car managed to run for 150k with proper service but is it worth to get rid of a rebuilt, reliable car in the name of some more modern look and feel? Soon you might face the whole process of rebuilding a 166 and the question is whether you'll be able to put as much effort and money as you did with your 164.

Despite the fact that I really like 166s and fully understand your dilemma, I think I'd keep the 164.
 

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I'm thinking 166 for the wife's car but for me a 166 would mean a step down unless I went to a 3.2 (230bhp vs 220) but I was also after fuel economy for daily use, hence my baby TS option.
I think you are a tad :confused: here. I take it you have a 164 Super? You do not mention cloverleaf in your member car details.

164 3.0 24v - 210bhp, 230bhp cloverleaf.
166 3.0 24v - Early models were 226bhp, later models 220bhp.
166 3.2 24v - 240bhp.
 

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If faced with the same choice I would keep the 164.

I had one for five years and I miss the effortless low-down power of the 3.0 12 valve. It also has more interior space than the 166. And in my opinion I think the styling of the 164 is ageing more gracefully than the 166 is. A true Pininfarina classic.
 

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I'd have the 166 3.0 v6 24v super simple as that.......:thumbs: & I'm probaly going that way sooner than I think just got to go see a few.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I appreciate the opinions of all who replied, now let me try to answer some questions you had
Dougie, I am positive that my 164 is a facelift with a 12v engine, I'll post a picture soon. I mean, with the "new" thinner front headlights, "new" dash and so on..
Now, you considered something that I completely forgot about which is fuel consumption. As you state the 166 should be thirstier than my 164 which now uses roughly 16-17 L/100 km with the larger, heavier wheels. With premium gas costing almost $2 per liter here this is an important consideration.
E.T., the reason why my friend has offered me the car is that there are not many Alfisti in the country, more so, Alfas have a bad reputation here reliability wise and also some of the costlier parts among european cars. In other words, very few people will be interested in a 166 or basically in any large, thirsty Alfa due to people's ignorance regarding the brand and fear of allusive parts and very high maintenance bills.
Tomorrow I will take it to my mechanic for a detailed inspection and I'll put things on the scale. Willl have the car for a couple more days by when a decision has to be made.
I'll let you know, meanwhile I'll be happy to read more coments.

Thank you all
 
G

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I think you really have to consider the serviceability of the car.

There is plenty of electronics in a 164 but in the 166, the electronics is more integrated with the car. If the 166 should develop a fault that needs full diagnosis, where will you go? If there are only two 166 in the country, nobody will be very experienced at fixing them and I think that makes the 166 a risky purchase, no matter how much you like the car.

I think I'd stick with the 164, even though some parts are starting to become hard to find. At least you know the condition of your car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I guess you are right Mudhut, nice GTA by the way. I guess was just blown away after I drove the 166 for the first time. I don't know about you guys but everytime I drive an Alfa model for the first time, (no matter how new or old it is as long as it is in good condition) I get completely seduced and stop thinking logically.
The fact is that having an Alfa, any Alfa in this country is completelly illogical which brings me to the starting point again. But the parts and service aspects will have to be the most important point in making a decision.
More so, I have to admit that a wide variety of used parts are easily and cheaply found for the 164 here since most people who have problems with theirs, 99% of the time sell their cars to scrap yards rather than fixing them. On the other hand new parts and accessories are extremely expensive and difficult to find.
But I figured that anything I needed for the 166 will be easily obtained on the net although I haven't checked for prices yet.
Are 166 parts FAR more costly than 164 ones?
 
G

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Thanks for the comment on the GTA - I really love this car. I see that you have a f/l 12V. This is something we did not get in the UK (as far as I know all V6 f/l cars are 24V from 1993 on, but can see it listed for some other countries - south America in particular I think). Is your a Brazil spec car?.

I'm sure the net will be able to provide all you need but delivery will be quite slow and the cost quite high - especially anything quite heavy. You also have to find a supplier that can access any part you need and who is prepared to go to the extra trouble of sending overseas. Even if you can, you will have to get it dead right for part numbers etc. The rest of us are lucky we can just go to an AR dealership.

Oddly enough, some parts for the 164 are more expensive than for the later V6 engines - the crankshaft sensor for example. May be belt tensioners and idler pulleys too. Look at ePER or have a look at one online - here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks mudhut,
My car is a Brazil spec car, and all the points you mentioned regarding parts shipping are right on. I guess I will have to stick to my 164 which I love dearly, but I will still miss the 166 on my garage.
Who knows, maybe no one will buy the 166 thus giving me the chance or buying it real cheap in the future.
There, decision made. Thank you all for your comments
 

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I think my 164 V6 12v sounded nicer and smoother at all revs than my 166 3.2 (not that the 3.2 24v sounds bad!). The 12v did a good 5mpg more in equivalent driving. Both cars looked great, the 164 in its day was miles better looking than any other saloon car as does the 166 (facelift) even today.
 

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I think my 164 V6 12v sounded nicer and smoother at all revs than my 166 3.2
That's a good point. There is a marked difference in sound. I remember the first time I ever sat in a 3.0 166, when they first came out, I was surprised at the 'harshness', if I can dare to use that word about an Alfa, at idle. Mine too has that harshness, there is quite a pronounced low frequency "thrum" at idle. I think it comes from the engine being mounted so rigidly. In fact I usually knock it out of Drive in traffic jams not to reduce fuel consumption but to reduce that thrumming sound. The 12 valve in the 164 by comparison was pure cream.

Having said that, the 24 valve sounds like a banshee when the rev counter charges off towards 7,000 rpm. Pure f**king magic. The 12v might have been smoother but the 24v really makes the hairs on the back of the neck stand up.
 

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" I usually knock it out of Drive in traffic jams"

isn't that supposed to increase wear on the gearbox..?

as regards the sound of the different engines, the 24v really does make the hairs on the back or your neck stand up :). my 12v TB is different.. growls, then hisses. nice in its own way as well..!
 

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When I went to view a 24v 164 for the first time and heard it at idle I thought the exhaust manifold was leaking!

The 12v is less noisy but I would not say smoother.
 
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