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Hi Everyone,
I am currently looking for a 2000 - 2003 Alfa Spider and cannot wait to have one parked in my garage. However after reading some posts on the T.S engine woes I have become a little worried.
I understand that these engines need a fair bit of TLC but I'm wondering what exactly I should look (or listen out) for when I'm inspecting and test driving these cars?

I read through the "what to look for post" but it doesn't go into detail about what tell tail signs on engine issues to look out for.

I have read posts about timing belts snapping, valves bending, tappets not getting oil ect. but how will I know if someone has had a problem with their car, had it patched up and flogging it off to me. Is their any obvious signs that an engine hasn't been cared for and will cause me grief down the track??

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


P.S I don't mind the maintenance side of things, I have owned a Peugeot 405 Mi16 and am pretty used to the need for above average maintanance. :thumbs:
 
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Having owned a GTV TS myself I can safely say that they are fantastic engines and really are bullet prrof if looked after and maintained. I think the main thing you gotta look for is full history and recent cambelt change. The cambelt change is required every 36,000 miles / 3 years on the Twinspark engines and MUST be adhered to to prevent it wrecking the engine.

Alot of Alfa's have busted temperature sensors and MAF sensors as well. If the car revs freely right up to the red line throughout all gear changes then the MAF sensor is fine. If your onboard temp heats up quite quickly to 90 then it should be fine, as long as it doesn't go past 90.

Also, try to check out the rear suspension, this can be expensive if it's buggered!

Other than that though mate it's all pretty usual stuff to check for. Brakes, Oil, Leaks, etc etc....

Good luck! :D
 

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One word .... no two!! Service history, not just stamps but bunches of receipts, you can see then if its been looked after. Buying one without is like buying blind, could be a corker or a money pit! Otherwise dont be scared they are excellent engines, capable of high mileages so long as they are looked after. Most of the niggly faults are pain in the arse type rather than fatal (except the belts of course!) Wish I still had mine .... more on that later. Thats another two words ..... Direct Line!
 

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bought my 2003 spider 18 months ago,had lots of other problems with it but the engine has been sound although you need to keep a check on oil level, my other half has got a 156 sportwagon with the same engine and other than a snapped cambelt (and all the trouble that costs) he has never had any problems otherwise and seeing as he used to be a mechanic he neglects his and still it goes.
make sure you look at something first thing in the morning so you can hear it on first start-up, look at the oil dip stick to check level and the state of the oil.

whatever you buy the engine won't be a problem (it might be looking good in your garage for other problems) but ehn everyone keeps telling me thats the ALFA EXPERIENCE
 

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Ask the seller how often he tops it up with oil.
Most TS engines use some oil, and if he says he doesn't top it up then there is a good chance it has been run low at some point. Failures due to running low on oil can occur several thousand miles afterwards.
Also avoid buying a car that has had a cambelt snap, unless the big end shells were replaced as well, as there is a good chance that will fail a few thousand miles afterwards as well.

The TS is engine is as reliable as most if looked after, the trouble is many are not.
 

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I've v. recently bought a '97 spider (to replace my 156) with 114k on the clock. Admittedly it has full documented service history and so engine has had correct servicing inc. cambelts etc. Engine runs absolutely as sweet as a nut. Purrs at idle, pulls like a train and appears to use little - if any oil. So, provided its been serviced correctly, I have no qualms about recommending the twinspark engine.
 

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i have a TS thats covered 29k, so abit early to tell, but it drinks ZERO oil. and i check weekly.

Great engine, although i dare say it could do with another 50bhp, but what engine couldnt!? :D
 
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