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Discussion Starter #1
So 210,037 miles on (from 32 on the clock from delivery), 17 years and 11 months later ... my 156 SportPack 2 may have finally succumbed.

MOT fail: rust in front floor pans, and inner wings near brake pipe mounts. O/S/R handbrake mechanism seized, and slight play in O/S/F upper arm ball-joint. Oh and emissions as high as a kite (but that could be down to a couple of blowing joins .. we never found out as it wasn't worth trying while on the lift!)


The mechanicals I could sort .. but not the dreaded tin-worm. :depressed: :censored: :depressed: :censored::depressed: :irked:


The engine is as sweet as a nut ....
 

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Fix it..
It must feel like part of the family by now . but i guess its down to if you have time or space. But by the sounds of whats wrong it wont be too bad , no one likes rust but nearly everything is fixable . if it was a rotten bulk head then maybe i would panic :paperbag:

Either a good time to start welding or even just do the donkey work cutting out the rot and get someone to weld for you.

Have a chill and a deep think as you will never get another 1
 

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Get a quote from a panel beater for the rust and your usual mechanic for the other failures and judge if you think its worth it - you clearly love your 156.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Is it worth it when I am looking at the Giulia?

I've kept this one on the road longer that anyone else probably .. cam belt failed at 72k, big end failed at 81k .. numerous suspension parts, clocking and blowing exhausts, car park damage courtesy of local B&Q when no one bothers to leave details, a cyclist up my rear in the wet in Cheddar (his fault!), head gasket just before Christmas and then a couple of weeks ago burning smell from alternator/steering pump area which I though was the loose cam cover but after it failed to start after the MOT I know think it's the alternator ..

Yes, I do love my 156 but people get divorced for less ..



OK ... is the floor double skinned or just a standard plate? We can see the wiring look and feel the carpet underlay so it looks single there. Inner sill seems strong enough .. I will have to take skirts off so there may be more bad news lurking.

I think the inner wings might be double skinned and rust is very close to the brake pipes so that might be the killer ..
 

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Floor is standard single skin inner wing i think is double.

But if you say you want another car and your ok with getting rid then do it . Maybe someone will want to take on the task and keep it on the road. in the end they are just metal and plastic but some people get very attached which i can understand.

I guess if i couldnt do it all myself i would try and sell it on to someone who would fix it before sending to the breakers.

But if you do decide to keep if i can help in anyway likel end tools/ welders etc just ask you not too far from me.
 
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I put almost £2k into my beloved 2001 156sw 1.8ts three months ago to get through inspection. I wanted to keep it partly because I have LPG installed. A month later the front mainseal blows. I tell the mechanic to do the timing belt while he's at it. Two weeks ago the seal blows again. Turns out the crankshaft was moving in and out, and the block was too worn to fix it. I thought I'd learned this lesson long ago. There's a time to send your precious machine on to Auto Heaven. You need to recognize it when it comes. Like in biblical sacrifice rituals, money burning will only beget more money burning. Walk away before the mechanic priests get you completely under their spell!
 

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That sounds like a 3 figure bill rather than a 4 figure bill - obviously you never really know with rust but I have done some pretty easy rust repairs and also some massive ones, from what you describe it doesn't sound horrific.

Whether its worth saving or not really depends on what the rest of the car is like, and whether you actually want to or not. If you're looking at getting a Giulia then its not a question of being able to afford to fix the 156, just a question of if you actually want to fix the 156.

It sounds like it means a lot to you, but at the moment you have had a bit of a rough time with it. It might be time to put it away for a few years and come back to it later. If you scrap it, its gone for good. Even if you buy another one it won't be the same.
 

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Farm out the structural work, sort the mechanicals yourself, and see 20 yrs ownership from her :)
 

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Puds advice is sound. But sometimes you need to realise you got the wear out of it and it's a tool at the end of the day.

Rust is the only thing that would really stop me from running a car. But it can be a losing battle.

You'll have to decide. But I think you've had good innings from her.
 

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In a lot of places, rust is no worse than a knackered clutch in theory. It only takes 15 minutes to swap a clutch, the labour is in removing & refitting the gearbox. Same with rust. Only takes 15 minutes to tack in a plate, but lots of hours of stripping & rebuilding. But at least the stripping & rebuilding can be done with basic hand tools and no lifting equipment.

If the front brake lines are still original, they are massively overdue for changing anyway given their disposition towards rusting in their clips.
 

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Basically echoing what others have said here, but here's my 2 pence anyway:

I think you should get it fixed, you've done an enormous amount of miles in it over the years and surely it's became a part of the family now. Getting rid of it now would mean getting a new car of course, a Guilia will be £25 000(?), is paying circa £24 000 more really worth it? That said I'd also understand completely if you fancy a change, having a car for 17 years is a long time and not a lot of people would do that, that takes real dedication! - I'd also assume that you were born in 1982 (from your username), so if I'm right you must have got the car soon after passing your test - In that case you should keep it forever now but run another car as a daily or something.

Cheers, Sam
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I think you should get it fixed, you've done an enormous amount of miles in it over the years and surely it's became a part of the family now.
I might get a quote off my local guy for the welding .. just for piece of mind .. but I'm slowly building up a list of the other things that need fixing and that worries me .. when to stop! If I strip it, that will save some money but it will probably need to be transported to the garage as it will be SORNd in a couple of weeks.

Getting rid of it now would mean getting a new car of course, a Guilia will be £25 000(?), is paying circa £24 000 more really worth it?
That said I'd also understand completely if you fancy a change, having a car for 17 years is a long time and not a lot of people would do that, that takes real dedication! - I'd also assume that you were born in 1982 (from your username), so if I'm right you must have got the car soon after passing your test - In that case you should keep it forever now but run another car as a daily or something.
Oh I wish it was my year of birth but no, that's my house number! :) And no it wasn't my first car or last new one (counting company cars) but it was the one we kept. It was my company car for three years, and then I bought it to replace the 75. Unfortunately the job went pear-shaped soon after (think 9/11) and so it soon became my daily again.

I have been thinking about a new car .. the Giulia would be my first choice to stay in the Alfa fold, but until I can get some accurate prices, and delivery won't be until 2017 I bet (no it won't be a QV!), I'm not sure it is worth the wait .. plus then I'll be running a pretty unproven Alfa .. and we all know what that could mean! I could always come back if I stray (and we have the MiTo!)

If I had the space for the 156 and a new one maybe I'd keep it .. but the hole in the garage is reserved for something even older .. a 1958 Austin A35 that has always been on my bucket-list to restore .. that WAS my first car!! and is stored away and has less rust than the 156!!

I do have a back-up car .. but it's not the same trundling around in a 1.4 diesel Peugeot!!
 

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Sad day when they get to that stage, and a real shame when the engine is still strong, but if it's time call it 17yrs isn't a bad old run these days
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The intention was to run her until she broke ... she just broke too early! :)
 

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As much as there is a romance about keeping the car you have had for 17 years, there surely comes a point when you need to accept that she had a good run and its time to retire her. At best, maybe get another 156 and keep it as a parts car if there are bits and bobs that you can salvage? That way you can still have a bit of the car in your new one without going through the hassle of fixing the aforementioned issues.

That's my perspective anyway.

I mean I love my car just as much as the next bloke but there has to be a time where you just need to accept the inevitable and its easy to sit here and say "but it must be like family, fix it!" when its not your money. I think it would be stupid to not buy the Giulia (which is getting great reviews) based on the fact that it's an unknown quantity only to sink over a grand into a 156 that's more or less passed it's use by date. Not to mention you'd be spending more than the value of the car! I think you would be mental to skip the Giulia based on it being an unknown, especially given it will be brand new and have warranty; but are willing to pump money into the 156.....as sad as it may be to say goodbye.

That's my thoughts anyway.

Best of luck either way you go :thumbup:
 
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I applaud your commitment to the long term relationship! I've never been very good at that sort of thing, if it were me I'd be thinking it'd be the opportunity to start a new relationship. But I wouldn't get a Giulia or any other new car, the depreciation would get to me even if I could afford it. I don't think that means i'm tight, just don't think it makes much sense. I'd rather buy a 3+ year old car and spend or donate the difference on a more worthy cause.
 

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I thought the "lots of car for the money" characters on here considered themselves a worthy cause!
I'm impressed by the tenacity of 17 years ownership. We've had our Multipla for seven years and it's reaching the point where money needs to be spent and I'm deliberating moving on. Trouble is, I'm too attached to it.
 
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