Author Topic: Buying a used Alfetta GTV  (Read 14788 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Alfista07

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Buying a used Alfetta GTV
« on: February 07, 2010, 01:16:00 PM »
Hey guys,

New to the forums and new to Alfa's.

I am searching for an early to mid 80's Alfetta GTV in Melbourne and trying to gain as much information as possible. Researching used car reviews, this forum and other sites, the biggest problems to look out for in Alfettas are rust, the 2nd gear synchro and the drive shaft rubber donuts. - While a petrol head I am not familiar with shaft donuts. What does a busted donuts look like?

Are there any other parts that are prone to premature wear that I should be wary of?
Is mileage a major determinate of problems to come or general condition itself?
How much would above problems cost to rectify?
Also given the Odo only goes up to 99,999kms how can I tell the true distance the car has done? Are there any problems that's once spotted should have me turn around and walk away?

This is a first purchase so even basic used car information would be helpful. If all goes well I can contribute to this forum soon and see you at AROCA-Vic events.

If you have an Alfetta GTV for sale in Melbourne that is in good order, please let me know. I just want to start driving Alfas!

Thanks in advance.

-Alfista07
« Last Edit: February 07, 2010, 02:10:58 PM by Alfista07 »

prova

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 186
Re: Buying a used Alfetta GTV
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2010, 03:23:22 PM »
Hi there I have sent you a PM.

Mat Francis

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 665
  • AROCA Member #: 3829
Re: Buying a used Alfetta GTV
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2010, 08:17:18 PM »
Rust- biggest problem that kills most cars. Although the later model GTV's aren't quite as pretty as the early ones, they are usually less prone to rust. Check any potential car thoroughly, looking also for any signs of crappy previous repair, which will come back with a vengeance in a few short years.

2nd gear syncro- unless the gearbox was very recently rebuilt and babied, it is unlikely to have much at all. If it does have good syncro, unless you are a master of the double de-clutch, it's not going to have any in 6 months time anyway. Best you get practicing  :)

Attached is a picture of said donut. There is one at the engine end, one in the middle, and one at the gearbox end. A broken one has a chunk of runner missing out of it. Easily noticeable by the resulting vibration. You should bring a torch to inspection anyway to check for rust, but will be useful for donuts too.

By this age most engines have either been rebuilt, semi refreshed or are stuffed. As with all things just be sufficiently wary if there is no proof available. Having said that, a lot of people will do the work themselves, so i'm not saying don't believe everything you hear. But you get the idea.

Lastly, forget the idea of a GTV. Buy a sedan. They look better, are slightly lighter, more stable at high speed, are cheaper, and no one except me seems to like them   ;D
'83 Alfetta Sedan TS
'88 75 3.0
'85 Land Rover County
'87 Land Rover Perentie

Paul Gulliver

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1267
Re: Buying a used Alfetta GTV
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2010, 10:17:59 PM »
Quote
Lastly, forget the idea of a GTV. Buy a sedan. They look better, are slightly lighter, more stable at high speed, are cheaper, and no one except me seems to like them   

I think Mat covered most things although i might not agree with his his conclusion .
Anyway here's my 2 cents worth. First of all if  it is your first Alfa stick to a 2 litre nord engine . They might get sick , but they rarely ever die and are relatively easy to work on . It's old technology but simple.

Importantly be realistic about the budget, don't buy the first one you see but rather the best example you can find, be it sedan or GTV. Finally buy a $5 -7,000 car and spend $2,000 on it,  not the other way around. 

I hope MD " transaxles rule" up in Queensland pipes in  on this thread
Paul Gulliver
Present
2017 Silver Giulia Veloce
1979 Silver Alfa 116 GTV Twin Spark
1973 Red Alfa 105 2.0 GTV

Past
2013 Giulietta QV
2006 Black 159 2.2 J
1970 Dutch Blue Series 2 1750
1975 Blue Alfetta Sedan 1.8
1981 Piper Yellow Alfetta GTV 2000
1985 Red Alfetta GTV2.0
1989 White Alfa 164
2000 156

MD

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1797
Re: Buying a used Alfetta GTV
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2010, 09:47:29 AM »
Yeah Paul I thought about this earlier but then I ran out arm length for the list... ;D

My take on ALL second hand cars is that they are usually stuffed in some way or another. It is a rare occasion in deed when somebody hands you one on a plate unless you are getting it from Mum & Dad.

There are three basic approaches you can take:

1 Buy the car at the market price and hope that all is well. If not, fix the stuff that shows up after purchase. Result, car is a good going concern but is now over capitalised. First step to a burnt arse.

2 Buy the car under market value if possible such as at an auction or through some tough negotiation and then fix the stuff that needs it with the view that you will arrive at the market price when you are finished. Now you have a good car which has the correct capital invested in it. A reasonable approach.

3 Finally you can take the approach that you will buy a dud. You know it all needs to be fixed. There is no illusion here. The car must have a good shell, be straight and preferrably rust free, (and yes there are rust free Alfas believe it or not, particularly post 1983).

The key thing here is that you will make the car into a good thing because you are now progressively working thorough all the mechanical repairs to make a known good thing. Of course it helps if you are mechically able to do this.

Don't waste money on cosmetics and costly non essential appointments like cool mag wheels and hi-fi until you are sure you really love that car and the passion for it it is higher than the one for your girlfriend. If you get there , you know that you have contracted Alfa fever which is incurrable I am sorry to say. Wearing a condom whilst driving wont save you.  ;D

If you want a cheap introduction to the Alfa motoring, buy a sedan. Expect to sell it cheap as well.

The third option is my usual modus operandi.









« Last Edit: February 08, 2010, 09:51:27 AM by MD »
Transaxle Alfas Haul More Arse.

Paul Gulliver

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1267
Re: Buying a used Alfetta GTV
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2010, 10:11:09 AM »
Great response MD. The recurring theme with both your post & Mat Francis is that if you can do the mechanical work yourself you are going to be at a distinct advantage. As opposed to my good self who has the mechanical skills of Mr Ed ( Oh Wilbur). If your like me make sure you strike up a good relationship with an Alfa mechanic.

These are now  around 30 years old and still very cool,  great cars once you start to understand them. As opposed to a lot of the vanilla ice cream  cars currently on offer.
Paul Gulliver
Present
2017 Silver Giulia Veloce
1979 Silver Alfa 116 GTV Twin Spark
1973 Red Alfa 105 2.0 GTV

Past
2013 Giulietta QV
2006 Black 159 2.2 J
1970 Dutch Blue Series 2 1750
1975 Blue Alfetta Sedan 1.8
1981 Piper Yellow Alfetta GTV 2000
1985 Red Alfetta GTV2.0
1989 White Alfa 164
2000 156

MD

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1797
Re: Buying a used Alfetta GTV
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2010, 09:36:54 PM »
Thanks Paul. I know it's a generic type of reply but itemising stuff would  just be too onerous.

A further tip to Alfista 07 and anyone wanting to by ANY used Alfa. Do this.

Find yourself an experienced Alfa mechanic. Commence to build a friendly association with this person as your future ally for the enjoyment of your Alfa.

Find out if they are prepared to examine the Alfa you want to buy. Find out how much they will charge for the job. This is usually a pittence compared to the price of the car and the potential for costly problems which should be avoided.

If the mechanic is prepared to examine the car and express an opinion, take the advice and get a quote to fix it. The quote will be the basis of your negotiation to buy the car after the inspection.

Often the mechanics are more than happy to do this for you because they take a pride on being consulted for their specialist knowledge and know that if you buy the car, invariably you will become a future client so there will be ongoing business. It therefor pays them to give you and honest report which you should take heed of. If they say the car is a dud, forget the deal. If they suggest its a good thing, buy it with confidence.

Unfortunately you might have to shell out a number of inspection fees before you land a good one but when you do, you know you have the real thing.
Transaxle Alfas Haul More Arse.

Alfista07

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Buying a used Alfetta GTV
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2010, 02:00:42 PM »

Thanks Matt, I spoke to one gent recently who swapped the  transaxle for a 75 unit to overcome the 2 gear synchro problem altogether. Is this a common, if pricey solution? One of the reasons buying the GTV is to bring up my driving skills, so I am eager to learn the double de-clutch.

I know what you mean about being on your own about desiring a particular car. The faces I get from telling people I am chasing an Alfa is the same I make when they tell me to buy a Camry...

I take the 2.0L 4cyl is called the Nord motor, cheers Paul. Especially given its use in previous generation Alfas, any issues would have been resolved by the time it was placed in the Alfettas. Out of curiosity, does anyone know how long the engine (in its various guises) was in production for?

Thanks for the potential paths to take MD.  The most suitable option seems to find a reputable mechanic and have the cars checked over for issues and obtain quotes for repairs for negotiation. Like I don't have strong skills to carry out anything major at the moment but will perform basic maintainance and repairs.
Also, come sale time, records of major work by the pros will keep its value up.

Reading other threads, Beninca in Surrey Hills and Pur Sang in Brunswick have a good reputation amongst the other posters here. Are there any other mechanics that any of you have had good experiences with?

Cheers

Mat Francis

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 665
  • AROCA Member #: 3829
Re: Buying a used Alfetta GTV
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2010, 05:53:57 PM »
Swapping a 75 gearbox in won't overcome the syncro problem. They might be a bit better, but by no means are unbreakable. When i bought my 75 about 9 months ago, the syncros felt like new. There is now pretty much none left. Not because i have abused it, i just didn't learn the ratios quick enough.

The advantage of putting a 75 gearbox in (i'm assuming it was a TS one), is that you get a LSD. However, the ratios are also taller, which in my opinion would make an alfetta unbearable sluggish on the road. Havn't tried it myself, but just the way the TS seems to take forever to wind up leads me to believe a Nord motor (yes you assumed right, it's the classic 4cyl motor) with less power would be a nightmare. Would love to hear from anyone who has actually tried it though.

Oh and you will probably pay anywhere between $500 and 2k for a TS gearbox depending on condition. Then putting it in. Probably not an advisable job to tackle as your first on an Alfa.

As well as the aforementioned sponsors, i have always found Hugh at Monza Motors extremely helpful in any situation i can think of.
'83 Alfetta Sedan TS
'88 75 3.0
'85 Land Rover County
'87 Land Rover Perentie

prova

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 186
Re: Buying a used Alfetta GTV
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2010, 08:41:17 PM »
'Alfista' how much do you have to spend? If you pay little money you will get a roughie and it will take a lot of money and time to get it right. What might seem cheap up front could cost you a fortune later on. Buy the best you can and in my opinion the mechanical condition on most Italian cars that you are looking at purchasing should always be secondary to the condition of the body. Check the body, check it again, look for signs of repair, original paint, etc. I am always most wary of the bright shiny recently painted car that could cover over a multitude of sins.

On the cheap an engine can be swapped, a second hand box sourced, etc, etc but a body to restore properly - ouch!
Ask the guys on this forum if you can have a look at their cars even if they are not for sale - I will be at Autobella on the 21st Feb come and say hello and check my car out maybe others will be there as well. Cheers and all the best with the hunt.

redalfaracing

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 404
Re: Buying a used Alfetta GTV
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2010, 08:47:00 PM »
Mat, The problem with Alfa transaxle syncros stems from high rotational mass and wide ratios. The syncros function is to bring the set of gears that are about to be selected to a speed that enables the driven gear to lock to the output shaft. As all gears ( except reverse ) are engaged all the time ( driving and driven ) the clutch plate, input shaft, 1st 2nd 3rd 4th and 5th gear sets all have to change their rotational speed to allow the next gear to engage. Slower to change up and faster to change down. The closer the ratio, the less the speed has to change. So, to fix the syncro problem the mass of all the aforementioned bit needs to be lightened, or the ratios need to be closed up, or you change real slow and double clutch on the change down.
To lighten, a button clutch is the easiest, cheapest way to get rotational mass down. Anyone with a set of spanners and a jack can achive that in a few hrs in the garage. I haven't put one of those in the GTV6 yet ( but it's on the list). Then if you know someone handy with a lathe and ceramic tips you can remove a fair bit of meat from the center of the gears. Pop the syncro carriers off, do both sides down to the soft stuff in the middle, drill holes all the way round ( probably only possible on 1st 2nd and 3rd because the gear diameters start to get a bit small) and you will have much happier syncros.
To close up the ratios is a bit more involved. Most efficient way is to simply put twin spark 1st and 2nd in a box with Alfetta 3rd 4th and 5th. 3rd and 4th are an interference fit on the input shaft. press them off ( needs about 8 tons ), 5th is splined on with reverse. you need to be carefull with the choice of 5th. the twinny from memory is a .78:1, while the Alfetta is .83:1. most Alfetta 5ths wont fit on the twinny input shaft as the spline position is different. There are some boxes around that have a .78 5th that will fit the twinny shaft. Also there are a couple of different reverses. the three reverse gears need to be used as sets. mix them up and you will have a real surpise when you go to grab reverse!
My Alfetta rally car had a twinny 1&2 alfetta 345 and a 4.3:1 final drive and 195/65/15 tyres. Wouldn't have called it a fire breathing monster but it was no slouch either.

I have played with the box a bit for the GTV6, now has Twinny 1st 2.875:1 and 2nd 1.72:1, Alfetta 3rd 1.35:1 all lightened, a special 4th 1.13:1, and an Alfa 90 4th as 5th .946:1 still with the 4.3:1 and 195/65/15 tyres. When i do the engine and tail shaft change, i'll pop in a button clutch.
Anyway, you have travelled in it, works like a charm don't you think?
Greg Wyatt

'79 Alfetta PRC
'83 GTV6 3.0L 24v CRC Project
'83 GTV6 restoration project

116gtv

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 330
Re: Buying a used Alfetta GTV
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2010, 08:49:37 AM »
Thats great advice covering all the bases. To pinpoint further advice, Alfista07 may want to mention what he intends to do with the car and what his budget is.. ;)

Mat Francis

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 665
  • AROCA Member #: 3829
Re: Buying a used Alfetta GTV
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2010, 04:56:07 PM »
Greg- thanks for the comprehensively excellent description. A bit beyond my resources at the moment, but awesome stuff to have there for the future. And yes, it works more than well enough!
'83 Alfetta Sedan TS
'88 75 3.0
'85 Land Rover County
'87 Land Rover Perentie