High Mileage on 88 Graduate - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-13-2006, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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High Mileage on 88 Graduate

I just bought a 1988 Graduate. I bought it for half of its blue book value $2,800. So I know I'm going to have to throw some money into it. The person who I bought it from appeared very honest and told my I was going to have to have the engine mounts replaced - which I called the nearby Alfa shop and they said that would cost about $500.

My question is the following: Does anyone know what the average life expectancy is on the engine of a 88 Graduate? Mine has 106,000 miles on it and I'm debating whether I should just get the engine rebuilt now (or replaced with a refurbished one) rather than dump $500 into now and then have to have the engine rebuilt in another year.

I'm mechanically challenged so I could use some solid advice.

Thanks for any help.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-13-2006, 01:09 PM
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Have your mechanic perform a compression test. If the engine has good compression across all cyl. you are okay... but if its low... then its time for a rebuild.

Alfa engines are tough, rebuilding depends on how the car was treated previously. If the car was not beat on... then there is a pretty good bet that the bearings, rings, and seals are in drivable shape, and will remain to be so if you take care of the car and dont beat on it.

However if you like to drive hard and fast, then the rebuild re-sets the clock; you start off fresh and dont have to worry.

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Martin.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-13-2006, 01:09 PM
 
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My 88 is low miles so I can't there. I can tell you that with a bit of work you can replace the motor mounts with out taking the engine out. It took me about half a day.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-13-2006, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfa88grad
My 88 is low miles so I can't there. I can tell you that with a bit of work you can replace the motor mounts with out taking the engine out. It took me about half a day.
And for far, far less than $500 too. :nod:


Mileage wise they are all dependant on how much love they get from PO's and a bit of random fate.

I've got 125000 on mine and it's as strong as I'd imagine it to be (nothing to compare it too) while others in here have closer to or upward of 200000 and a few instances of death by 60000.




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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-13-2006, 01:42 PM
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I've seen well maintained bosch fi spiders with over 200K on the original engine, if the car is passing emissions, I'd suspect the engine is sound. The mounts themselves are about $75.00 for the pair, with a small floor jack, block of wood and hand tools you can change the mounts yourself as noted w/o removing the engine; it is dirty and at times frustrating, but not impossible.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-13-2006, 03:04 PM
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matt..

alfa's are pretty easy to maintain,i am restroing mine as i drive it,not much trouble at all, i even auto cross it sometimes,just change all your fluids and do a good clean up and you should be just fine.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-13-2006, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the advice.

I hate to sound like an idiot, but what are the measurement units for cylinder compression and what is considered to be low? I don't want to be taken to the cleaners by my new mechanic.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-13-2006, 03:38 PM
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mat.

120-140 on all clys. should be fine, to make it easy to check compression, remove all the spark plugs( makes it easyer to spin the motor for the test.if all the clys. are with in 10% of each other you are ok if you have 1 low one don't worrie to much, try the same test with a little oil in each cly. and see what it looks like.but if it drives strong you should be fine.some time 1 low cly, is because a loose peice of carbon, and they gen. work there way out, on my 84 i get 250 on a tank in the city and 300 on the highway, another good test of your motors health.take a compression test one day while the motor is cold then try it a week later, this well give you a better idea on your motors health.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-13-2006, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bianchi1
120-140 on all cyls.
That would be closer to 'cold' spec, (no heat in engine), or a *VVT engine.

With oil in a cold cylinder compression will go up a bit as it acts as a sort of sealant.

If you check it hot, you should see upwards of 160-180 with no oil added. (certain heads and/or cam sets will give readings that high cold too and *VVT set may alter it to a lower range)

*On VVT: Being an electronic rig in yours chances are the compression will read a seemingly low-ish # (prolly closer to 115-125 psi cold and mabe in the 140-250 range hot or oiled) which is due to the VVT not being active for the test.

Cam timing is different when it's off and there no way to activate it without the engine running and supplying oil pressure. (you can make the solinoid come on easily enough, but without oil pressure to rotate the cam, there's no change in cam timing)

*

The biggest thing is to have them all within around 5% and no more than 10% of each other as much devation from that usually indicates a problem on the low cylinder. (rings, valve, piston, sleeve, whatever. Any or all could apply)




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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-13-2006, 04:07 PM
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108k does not sound to bad...........change the mounts and drive eh

mine had 90k on it and after fluid changes and some tlc it seems better......these cars just seem to love to be driven.This one was taken care of but not driven enough I think.I would just do what needs to be done for now and enjoy the car and get to know its rythym and pay attention to what the car does.If things are going fine why not just have some fun with the car.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-13-2006, 04:18 PM
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mine had..

129300 miles on it when i bought it in santa cruz, all i did to drive it home was adjust the strearing box.( the owner tought it was worn out,he was susprised on how easy it was for me to adjust it), i drove it frome santa cruz, after i filled the tank, up hy.1 to s.f then101 north, then 37 east, then home 80 west, drove really well.. no worries.. your car should be fine, just take her out for a nice evening drive,( top down )
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-13-2006, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
 
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I appreciate everyone's responses. You have all been very helpful. I'm going to go have some fun with it now.

Thanks.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-13-2006, 07:29 PM
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motor mounts

the driver side motor mount swap will take less time to swap than to assemble the tools to do the job. the passenger side will take the rest of the half day.

wayne
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-13-2006, 07:47 PM
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If the motor mounts are at all suspect, get them done ASAP!

The previous owner of my Spider let one fail (I assume it wasn't intentional) and it wound up costing him about $3000 in parts and labor. He may have gotten hosed, but I don't care because the car had a bunch of new parts in it

Four time Spider owner... now have an 86 Spider Veloce black on black
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-13-2006, 10:04 PM
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how was she?

i live here in sacto. also, a quick trip to drive your car, is, go up hy 50 take the el dorado hills exit, off the freeway turn left, become lathrob rd. after yuo crest the small hill about 1 mile from hy 50 it gets nice and twisty, with elev. changes. this will meet up with hy 16 in about 15 miles.. a quicky
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