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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Small correction, I've bought one and three quarter 166s, with a bit of luck I'll end up with one. Ending up with none would be bad, ending up with two would be a lot worse. Though I'm blaming Mrs rxe for this crime - she told me to do it. Sort of.

The story starts, as they often do, at a railway station at the sort of time in the morning that doesn't really exist:



Where on earth are we going at this time in the morning? It's traditional to photograph the tickets, but its 2018, and we have an app for that.



Two things:

1) I expect to get some grief for going first, but it was £3 more expensive than second, and the full english was worth 3 quid on its own.

2) Note the supreme confidence of the single ticket. This is a man who is driving home.

Hmmm, Penrith, what happens in Penrith? There's some Alfa place in Penrith isn't there? Anyway, Dan picked me up at the station and drove me to the workshop, where my trusty steed was waiting. I had a good poke round - he has a fine yard there, and the Fiat Turbo 156 is going to be awesome. We found the keys, did the log book thing, and I was ready for the off.

A small point of legal order - it had no tax or MOT. However, it is perfectly possible to drive a car to an MOT that has been booked, and there is no limit on the distance. So I booked it into Alfaaid in Maidenhead. Sorted.

First task of the day. Sausages. There is a fine butcher next to the petrol station, and my brother inlaw told me in no uncertain terms that I must get sausages. So I did.



Then we have the car assuming a position that will become alarmingly familiar over the next 5 hours:



The drive home? I'm not going to incriminate myself about the roadworthiness of a car I was driving, so lets just say the brakes weren't great. All of those stops with the bonnet up weren't for petrol, they were for brake fluid. The engine was fine - never missed a beat on the whole journey. Suspension also seems fine, I wasn't exactly caning it, but there were no untoward noises. The gearshift was impossibly hard in the left/right plane, the cure is top hat bushes which is easy and cheap.

Oh, the ICS. Blank screen, not a sausage. Though to be honest, the requirement to drive very defensively and look several cars ahead meant I was not bored.

First impressions of a 166? It’s a Jag that handles. It's got that same quiet hum while you move, but it doesn't feel barge like. The interior is lovely, I could fondle the door card leather for hours. I didn’t find the seats overly comfortable, but that could have been because I was somewhat wound up with the need to drive carefully. A more relaxing drive may change my views.

The slow rate of progess meant that Alfaaid was shut by the time I reached them, and home is only 3 miles away, so I took it home. It would at least give me a chance of getting it ready for a viable MOT. On the plus side, I had covered 300 miles in a 3.2, and still had well over a third of a tank left. That must be some sort of record.

Next morning, I could observe my purchase in the cold light of day. It’s spent its life in the Highlands, and as a result the condition of the bodywork is poor. Base of the offside wing here, other wing is the same:



Near side rear arch is crusty, as is the back of the sill:



Offside rear arch is properly going, I would imagine if I hit that with a wire brush there would be big holes:



This explains the movement of the engine when coming on and off the power:



A quick look in the wheelarch suggests that cambelt access is a lot easier than a 156:



Here is the emergency fix - a new hard line from the ABS to the offside caliper. Not a perfect solution, that means taking the engine out, but it will work.



Brakes bled, the car now stands on its nose. A very quick scrub with an oily rag suggests the inlet chrome is recoverable:



I took it for a drive down the (private) lane, it all seems to work:



If you’ve read this far, you’re probably questioning my sanity, and you’d be right to do so. Why on earth would someone buy a rusty 166 in need of serious bodywork (and we haven’t even begun with what’s happening underneath yet)?

The answer is that this story does not begin with this car, it begins with a 3.2 that was dropped off at Alfaaid with a blown up gearbox. They promptly nicked the engine and ECU out of it for a GTA. They are now left with a complete shell that is in good order (wheelarches etc are OK). I have a car with a rotten shell, but good engine and gearbox. Rather than scrapping two cars, I will take the engine + box from this one, and stick it in the other one. What could possibly go wrong? What eventually happens to this car depends on how much of it I have to nick to make the other one perfect. If I hardly need anything other than engine and box, I might have a go at fixing this shell. If it needs material pillaging, then this one is for scrap once its organs have been harvested.

The loose plan is this:

- Attempt an MOT on this car. If it is condemned, then its life stops there.
- If it passes, I will drive it for a while to iron the niggles out of the engine - it has a lumpy idle, I suspect cambelt alignment, but I want to prove it before transplant
- Get the other shell home and completely renovate the front end as the engine is out. New brake lines, pressure test the A/C, everything.
- fish the engine out of this car. Do cambelt, Q2, probably de-cat the manifolds if I can get some suitable replacements.
- drop engine in the intact shell, get MOT and drive it
- work out what to do with the remains of the rusty car.

It will probably go horribly wrong along the way, but that’s the current plan.
 

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I'm not sure any help is available for this kind of addiction... :thumbs:

(Thread anticipation is brewing...)
 

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The 166 is my favourite Alfa...leaves the 156 GTA standing..well ok, apart from brute acceleration.

Aluminium foil will clean up the chrome....if only that was the only job!

Pud has been advertising parts off this on the 166 forum for months...seems like they are so reliable no one needs any parts? Actually no one is on the 166 forum these days!

I've never , ever , ever seen rust like that on a 166...front wings yes, rear arches...never even seen a spot of rust...shocker :eek:gre:


3, I found the 166 to be much more comfortable than a 156....heavier, but not by much and surprisingly chuckable...

4, Can't see any reason as to why you can't easily transplant the best bits of the rotten one into the solid car? Not a problem for a man of your calibre.
 

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Pud has been advertising parts off this on the 166 forum for months...seems like they are so reliable no one needs any parts? Actually no one is on the 166 forum these days!
Not a huge amount of interest really, but I didn't put it on ebay. I didn't want to take engine/box out until I had sold the engine cause I've got no more room for engines inside the workshop. Also got a 166 3.0 CF2 here breaking so sold lots of the trim bits off that instead.
 

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By my reckoning you are at ninety..errr...three?....no... four, yes ninety four Alfas and will soon need to free up some space. I’ll go for the dog wagon, GTA wagon or 166 facelift.

Jtalfa is the only person I know who has similar numbers and is also a 166 nut so PM him if you are stuck.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
This car has made its last journey on the public highway. It was laughed off the ramps at Alfaaid, rotten as a rotten thing underneath. The box section stiffener on one side of the floorpan has completely gone, there are holes in the floorpan, and the rear brake pipes (need to remove fuel tank and rear suspension to replace) are shot. In a way, this is a good thing, the decision is clear - it will be harvested for parts. There is a truly enormous amount of camber on one of the rear tyres, something looks bit off. I've had a quick look at the other shell - it is indeed perfect in all the places that this one isn't, and I'll be able to make a decent car out of the two. The interiors are identical, which will help.

Shell will be picked up on Saturday, next instalment then.

Not quite ninety something, the current tally (in rough acquisition order) is:

166 3.2 - dead
156 JTD aka Dogwagon - in service
156 GTA - in service
156 TS - aka Parts Car - in bits
156 V6 - project car - still in bits
155 V6 - in service
GT 3.2 - in service
159 2.4 - in service, Mrs rxe's daily
156 V6 - in service
Alfetta GTV 2.0 - SORN for winter

That is too many, isn't it.
 

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Excellent. I love your build/rescue threads. Just what's needed on dreary cold January evenings.

Good luck!
 
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This car has made its last journey on the public highway. It was laughed off the ramps at Alfaaid, rotten as a rotten thing underneath. The box section stiffener on one side of the floorpan has completely gone, there are holes in the floorpan, and the rear brake pipes (need to remove fuel tank and rear suspension to replace) are shot. In a way, this is a good thing, the decision is clear - it will be harvested for parts. There is a truly enormous amount of camber on one of the rear tyres, something looks bit off. I've had a quick look at the other shell - it is indeed perfect in all the places that this one isn't, and I'll be able to make a decent car out of the two. The interiors are identical, which will help.

Shell will be picked up on Saturday, next instalment then.

Not quite ninety something, the current tally (in rough acquisition order) is:

166 3.2 - dead
156 JTD aka Dogwagon - in service
156 GTA - in service
156 TS - aka Parts Car - in bits
156 V6 - project car - still in bits
155 V6 - in service
GT 3.2 - in service
159 2.4 - in service, Mrs rxe's daily
156 V6 - in service
Alfetta GTV 2.0 - SORN for winter

That is too many, isn't it.
There is a gaping, 147GTA-sized hole in that list. :lol:

Shame about this one - it always was going to be a non-economical way to getting a nice 166 3.2. I did hope that the rest of the car was good-enough that it could be made mechanically sound cheaply enough to get a year or two's more use from, before the rear quarters got too bad. But never mind, at least the other shell will be saved. Shame to scrap a perfect shell for the sake of an engine/box.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If I had an engine, ECU and box already, this car is saveable. I reckon a week of amateur welding would get a structural MOT, and another few days of rear end work would get the brakes sorted. But with a big hole in the bonnet, there is little left on this that is good. I suppose you could stick a 3.0 in it cheaply enough - but I assume you'd get into ECU challenges again.

I started this whole thing because I was so outraged that a 3.2 in perfect order was going to be scrapped for the sake of a gearbox. That car will at least be saved.
 

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Not quite ninety something, the current tally (in rough acquisition order) is:

166 3.2 - dead
156 JTD aka Dogwagon - in service
156 GTA - in service
156 TS - aka Parts Car - in bits
156 V6 - project car - still in bits
155 V6 - in service
GT 3.2 - in service
159 2.4 - in service, Mrs rxe's daily
156 V6 - in service
Alfetta GTV 2.0 - SORN for winter

That is too many, isn't it.
Ten is a good start. I'm on 13 not including parts cars. But I don't have as many pairs of shoes as my wife.
 

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If I had an engine, ECU and box already, this car is saveable. I reckon a week of amateur welding would get a structural MOT, and another few days of rear end work would get the brakes sorted. But with a big hole in the bonnet, there is little left on this that is good. I suppose you could stick a 3.0 in it cheaply enough - but I assume you'd get into ECU challenges again.

I started this whole thing because I was so outraged that a 3.2 in perfect order was going to be scrapped for the sake of a gearbox. That car will at least be saved.
Did the diff fail on the other one? 166es get scrapped because the engines have been worth more than the cars..

I had a quaiffe diff put in my 3.0 166 when the clutch was done...it means it can be driven a bit harder without risking implosions. The original diff and clutch had done 132,000 miles when I had them changed. Clutch was still ok, but the pedal was an effort.

I don't know what kind of flywheel the 3.2 166 has? The 3.0 Super had a duel mass flywheel, but I went for a solid flywheel, GTA clutch and quaiffe diff, and had the "damper" removed. The clutch operation is still very smooth, and very little torque steer now....
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yes, diff exploded and wrecked the box. New boxes are rare and/or expensive (Alfisti.net lists them for EUR 2900) - so the owner was looking at a massive bill. Alfaaid then nicked the engine for a GTA, and the car was effectively scrap. Or, if you had access to an engine and box .... a cheap shell.

When I do the transplant, I will stick a Q2 in while the engine is out - it’s literally a 30 minute job at that stage. I may well go for the SMF conversion because I will be doing the clutch at the same time. This one is on 80k, but gearbox extraction on these looks hard - don’t want to be changing the clutch in a year or two.
 

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Changing clutch on a 166 is a much bigger job than 156/147/GT/GTV etc.
 

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You can use a 156 V6 box in a 166 if you want, just needs diff housing swapping over as the 166 diff housing is different.
 

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166 3.2 uses a dual mass flywheel from factory - none of the other 3.2 engines do but I guess the 166 just demanded that bit extra refinement. New flywheels are out of production, same as GTV 3.0 / 166 3.0 dual mass flywheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Wouldn’t a 2.5 box be rather short geared? It would have comedy acceleration, but motorway would be rather thrashy!
 
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