Newly acquired '94 164LS - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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Old 02-23-2009, 09:43 PM
Ian Evans's Avatar
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Newly acquired '94 164LS

Hey gents,

Just made an offer the seller could not refuse and am bringing home a high mileage 164LS to complement my stable, '63 Sprint, '81 Superspider 2.5L, '88 spider, '91 164L. It's true what they say, "Always Looking For Another" This happened to be in my home town, so how could I resist? So, a 164LS with a dead console readout, leaky exhaust, worn seats, but otherwise perfect. I'm not that familiar with the differences between a '91 L and the '94 LS. I see that there is a chrome trim added, a different center console, bigger seats, smaller headlights? different wheels and upper console. Of course 4 cams and 24 valves, the reasoning behind the purchase. What are the other differences?

Same long term issues? Leaking steering rack, sticky and deteriorating interior bits? Stepper motor?

Input is welcome.

Al Fista
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:53 PM
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LS items!

Welcome to the 24V club! I fix the display unit ; do a search on LCD and you will find references to my work.

I have not seen not heard of stepper motor issues in 24V cars. Steering rack-- mine has 162K on it no leaks. I donlt think its epidemic in the 24V for leaking racks. Only sticky interior bit I know of is the radio door -- clean it with xylene and the sticky stuff comes off, leaving a nice plastic door -- can be buffed out with plastic polish to make it very new looking in-situ if desired.

biggest thing is timing belt. Make sure its done and idler pulleys etc are all good. Is your new car auto or 5 speed == both have their virtues and detractions -- I have one of each so I can pick n choose which one (personally prefer the auto for san diego driving in stop n go situations)

good luck, lots of knowledge on this 164 board from many well established 24V gurus
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:14 PM
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Looks like the original owner LS in Fullerton that the owner was asking $1500 OBO. With good engine and auto-trans as well as decent exterior, how can you go wrong? I was tempted to go look at it, but sanity prevailed (in my case). Congrats and good luck,
Jes
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:35 PM
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The very same... How can you go wrong at those figures? Price includes original window sticker. I'm still giddy, your giddiness may vary based upon what is discovered in the harsh light of reality...

Ian
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Old 02-24-2009, 05:21 AM
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Congrats, can't lose for the money, comparing to what it was worth brand new.
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Old 02-24-2009, 07:08 AM
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Dittos, what Goats said.
I did my steering rack a couple of years ago. Not fun, but do-able. Space is limited.

Never had a problem with the steppers, but my climate control display is in Klingon. I simply set the temperature and forget it.

Timing belt is maddening. They tend to slip a tooth or two on occasion, leading to poor low-speed running. Replacement and proper tensioning is labor- and time-intensive; It is best done with the factory tools and the patience of Job. Steve taught me. There are extensive write-ups on the process on the BB.

Despite all the pitfalls, you got a fantastic bargain on that one.
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Old 02-24-2009, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Evans View Post
Hey gents,

Just made an offer the seller could not refuse and am bringing home a high mileage 164LS to complement my stable, '63 Sprint, '81 Superspider 2.5L, '88 spider, '91 164L. It's true what they say, "Always Looking For Another" This happened to be in my home town, so how could I resist? So, a 164LS with a dead console readout, leaky exhaust, worn seats, but otherwise perfect. I'm not that familiar with the differences between a '91 L and the '94 LS. I see that there is a chrome trim added, a different center console, bigger seats, smaller headlights? different wheels and upper console. Of course 4 cams and 24 valves, the reasoning behind the purchase. What are the other differences?

Same long term issues? Leaking steering rack, sticky and deteriorating interior bits? Stepper motor?

Input is welcome.

Al Fista
Ooh nice. Welcome to the club. This is the right place to be.

The differences are fairly large to list. Some things are interchangeable, such as window switches. It has pretty much different everything.
Same headlights, seats are slightly different but really the same, just different motors, side bar for buttons and functions, Chrome trim and the whole bumper system is different, side mirrors, the whole thing. Body parts are fairly interchangeable, suspension. But if your going to buy parts you must specify LS and 1994. 1995 does have some differences as well with an EGR system.
Leaky exhaust, steering rack are easily fixed (check all connections first) .LCD goats can fix. Stepper?? Never heard a 24V going out? They upgraded the gears in 1994. Still plastic but much better. Maybe something else is the issue like rod slipping off flap arm or stepper arm. Interior if you want parts, order them quick or find them good used which I may have some if I look.

Great car, be aware of the timing belt, when was it done? It is an expensive job if you are having someone with experience in 24V cars do it (recommended to have lots of experience).

Anyways, nice looking, seats may be not hard to find either, just look. I sold my last set.

Ciao!
Jason
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Last edited by Alfissimo Int.; 02-24-2009 at 07:29 AM.
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Old 02-24-2009, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john.harrill View Post
Dittos, what Goats said.
I did my steering rack a couple of years ago. Not fun, but do-able. Space is limited.

Never had a problem with the steppers, but my climate control display is in Klingon. I simply set the temperature and forget it.

Timing belt is maddening. They tend to slip a tooth or two on occasion, leading to poor low-speed running. Replacement and proper tensioning is labor- and time-intensive; It is best done with the factory tools and the patience of Job. Steve taught me. There are extensive write-ups on the process on the BB.

Despite all the pitfalls, you got a fantastic bargain on that one.
I have heard there is a not too cheap remedy for the slipping T-belt. Are not the pulleys notched where a pin can be inserted to prevent slipping?
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:38 PM
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console

Goats, looks like I will be needing your help eventually as money permits. If I hold my mouth just right and squint I can make out 1 bar on the right side window that seems to vary with fan speed. Clock is out, temp readings are out. Drove the car home tonight, had to stick in a battery. Radio door is indeed sticky, where do I find Xylene? Have to look at some kind of oil leak in the daylight. Initially the trans must have been set on "ice" mode as it would not allow the engine to build any revs before upshifting. Once I pushed buttons it was more driveable. No accessories, no alarm, no sport suspension, no heated seats. Must be the base model Lusso. I'm missing the driver's side visor in black, anyone??? Also the cruise stalk is broken out of the column shroud, stalk is OK, need the upper shroud.

Got an intermittent check engine light, comes and goes. Had to put tape on one of the Intake tube boots which is severely cracked, surprising how well the car ran in spite of the gross vacuum leak.

Ian
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Evans View Post
Goats, looks like I will be needing your help eventually as money permits. If I hold my mouth just right and squint I can make out 1 bar on the right side window that seems to vary with fan speed. Clock is out, temp readings are out. Drove the car home tonight, had to stick in a battery. Radio door is indeed sticky, where do I find Xylene? Have to look at some kind of oil leak in the daylight. Initially the trans must have been set on "ice" mode as it would not allow the engine to build any revs before upshifting. Once I pushed buttons it was more driveable. No accessories, no alarm, no sport suspension, no heated seats. Must be the base model Lusso. I'm missing the driver's side visor in black, anyone??? Also the cruise stalk is broken out of the column shroud, stalk is OK, need the upper shroud.

Got an intermittent check engine light, comes and goes. Had to put tape on one of the Intake tube boots which is severely cracked, surprising how well the car ran in spite of the gross vacuum leak.

Ian

The engine light may be the intake boot. Also all the 164 LS models came with alarms. Did this car have 200k miles and a cracked windshield as well?
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by AlfaTango1 View Post
I have heard there is a not too cheap remedy for the slipping T-belt. Are not the pulleys notched where a pin can be inserted to prevent slipping?
Unfortunately, slipping is inherent in the design as noted in many previous posts.
The short version of the issue is that the belt tends to "jump" a tooth or two, usually on the rear head. The likely cause is an inadequate amount of the belt is in contact with the cam pulleys.

Not sure what you mean by a pin in the pulleys. The cam pulleys are held to the camshafts without a key or pin; just a bolt in the end. The mating surfaces between the two are cone-shaped.
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:04 AM
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Even though 24v pulleys aren't keyed/pinned to cams they don't slip because of tamper fit. That being said sure they are designed to slip if you loosen retaining bolt, knock pulley loose to help set belt/cam pulley timing with cams locked with dies or held with visegrips.

They have to be able to slip on cam taper to get perfect timing set up. Then you torque retaining bolt to reset pulley on cam taper so it won't move.

The problem is belt slips because belt tensioner is not set correct or retensioned as belt stretches over time.

Granted a better design with more belt wrap on cam pulleys would lessen belt slipping but this 164 24v engine cam set up is a high maintenance system no way around it.

Believe me John and I have had our fun with this design on both his 24v and on Myron's 95LS. Using correct timing tools, ensuring tensioner piston is preloaded with no play (failing internal charge) and set correctly and then redoing job all over again within 10k is only way to stay on top of this set up.
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Last edited by Alfisto Steve; 02-25-2009 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 02-25-2009, 04:19 PM
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Congratulations
Nice to see another, White on Silver LS. Mine has 120 K . Jason is right, it's usually the hoses that leak - I've had several leaking at once. A semi heated, insulated garage helps keeps the aging process at bay, no hard evidence though.
Yours is a automatic so, keeping the car out of gear, when parked is not a sacrosanct rule.
I wonder, if timingbelt slippage is equal between Auto's and manuals???? Mine was not immune to this malady.
The timing belt broke in 96, due to an old style belt! The belt has been change once after that.
But I digress, enjoy your new found beauty.
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:05 PM
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Windshield is good, but I do have 195,000 miles. Found the alarm where it is supposed to be. Original owner says he didn't know it had one. Now need to order a transmitter or 2
Thanks for the welcome, white looks classy.
Ian
'63 Giulia Sprint
'81 Spider 2.5L
'88 Spider
'91 164L
'94 164LS
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Old 02-26-2009, 05:56 AM
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Welcome to the 24v club. I have had to replace many parts on mine over the years. Basically they are just old car stuff that wears out, and this has been over a period of about 4 years so not all of this hit at once. I have replaced:

Catalytic converter - did this upon purchase, the inner honeycomb material inside was cracked and portions of it had turned into gravel

Timing and serpentine belts (twice). Also, my serpentine belt would slip quite a bit and we ended up not using the Alfa belt but instead put on a Goodyear belt that had the "gator back" design. That got rid of the squeaky sound coming from the pulleys when it was cold.

Radiator fluid expansion tank and cap (did this early on as the system would not keep pressure)

Brake master cylinder. My brake booster is also not working fully and makes a squealing sound when it is cold or under certain pressure conditions. This involves removal of the dash to access the part and I have been living with the squeak for now.

Radiator - original one developed a hairline crack

1 spark plug coil pack (for the rear cylinder bank no less - arg!)

Center console replacement with a fixed one (thanks Jason!)

I had the wheels refurbished at about $125 per wheel. They were scratched and in fair condition. Now they look brand new!

One of the driver's side seat motors broke and I was able to find a used on over in England.

Ignition switch - mine got to where it would not shut the car off!

and lastly, a new starter motor. That service cost a pretty penny! The design of the 24V engine regarding the starter is completely different from the 12V motors. It is very time consuming, is difficult to access, and involves removing the rear exhaust headers among other things. I think my mechanic ended up snapping a few of those bolts off as part of the removal, thus the high cost. Hopefully I never will have pay for that repair again - ever.

While the list sounds daunting, I attribute it mostly to items that wear out on a 15 year old car. The interior is in good shape and the body does not have too many paint chips or scratches. I get positive comments about the car from other Alfa owners. Also, every now and then, someone will approach me at a gas station who knows Alfa’s and comment about how good it looks.

Good luck with your purchase and be patient on parts and repairs. Suppliers like Jason, APE, and DeFatta Brothers have been excellent sources for new and used parts. They really go the extra mile to find obscure parts for us.

Cheers,

Jeff
Dallas, Texas
1994 164 LS
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