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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I am potentially looking to buy a 147 GT fitted with the 3.2 engine, or a brera fitted with the same unit, mileage around 40 K, im concerned about the reported Cam chain stretch issues that ive now read so much about. So a couple of questions, if anyone can help I would be grateful.

1) what is the real cost of the components to replace the timing chains.
2) Can the timing chains and guides be replaced with the engine in ?
3) are the 3.2 units generally bullet proof, or are they very needy and temperamental, as after my last car /hobby/ weekend toy, I cannot have a car that requires constant attention without any fun in return.
4) I assume the 3.2 is the most powerful unit fitted to recent Alfas ??

Thoughts

Cheers
 

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Panda 4x4 TwinAir
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147 GTA was fitted with the 3.2 Busso V6, which is belt driven, rather than chain, the later GM 3.2 V6 fitted to the 159 and Brera being chain driven.

I don’t know the cost of replacement, but believe that the replacement can be done with the engine in situ.

Generally the busso is reliable enough, but as with most things, buy the next you can as it’ll have been looked after, a few tough jobs that require the engine to come out, and more than a few ECU failures reported.

The 147 and Brera are very different cars, the 147 will likely be the preferred choice amongst users here, the Brera is a classic , but concensus says the 1750tbi engine is the one to go for, if you can find one!

Its not the most powerful, but is one of the best engines fitted to recent Alfas and, widely considered to be one of the best engines ever.
 

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I'm guessing you are thinking about either an Alfa GT (which is derived from the 147, itself related to the 156), or a Alfa Brera (which is derived from the 159 sedan).

Similarities.

Both are Grand tourer vehicles
Both have a big V6 up the front powering the front wheels through a 6 speed manual gearbox. (or automatic in the Brera)
AWD was available on the Brera
Both are large coupe like vehicles with a large hatch back opening and seat 4 reasonably well.

Both can require fairly significant engine work. GT's require regular timing belt changes, and can have issues with ECU's and head gaskets. A GT would benefit from a diff upgrade
Brera's with the 3.2 can suffer timing chain issues. Typically chains are more expensive to replace than a timing belt, but typically do not need to be done as often.
Main cost comes down to labour with most jobs.

For Naturally aspirated engines, then yes they are the most powerful engines fitted to Alfas.

Differences.

Completely different engines. More than just a belt v chain thing
GT's are an older design, and it can show in general cabin quality, sound, comfort, refinement, safety etc.
GT's are lighter, and that can make a car more enjoyable.
Brera probably sounds better, but that's often due to the exhausts

Both cars will be old enough to need some suspension work, checking for rust etc.

You will buy based on looks, and how it feels in your heart over any rational reason.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thankyou both for replying, could either of you expand in regards to typical Busso engine problems, ??? by typical, i mean , more than likely to happen. and what jobs require the engine to be pulled please ??

Thanks again.
 

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With the final iteration of the Busso (CF3) to stay in production the number of catalytic converters was increased to reduce emissions. These extra catalytic converters are situated right near the exhaust manifold off the engine. The heat generated here is assumed to be responsible for head gasket failures and ECU failures as the ECU lived on the top of the engine.

Some people have those catalytic converters removed, some people also have the ECU moved to another place in the car.

I don't know of the frequency of head gasket or ECU failures. I have a 2.5 156 with the CF3 engine, and that is 20 years old at 200k kms. It's had none of those issues that I know of yet. Any car at that sort of age could easily be due for some major work. I think the head gaskets can be done with the engine in the car, but it is easier if the engine is removed. Not to mention you can also have the clutch replaced easily at the same time, and some suspension parts like the ARB bushes which are fairly major jobs with engine in.

At 40K miles I would think you would have at least another 40K miles to go on for before the head gasket might get cooked. Assuming that the car has been well maintained in the meantime with servicing and coolant changes etc.
 
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