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Went to bleed the brakes today and rotate tires and ended up doing a bunch of little stuff that added up. :rolleyes: Went under the hood and discovered the small nipple at the coolant tank had a crack and was leaking. Installed a used tank I almost sold last week to another BBer. Good thing I had it, hope the slight beginnings of a crack near the cap are going to be OK. Then noticed the infamous crack in the sheet metal at the strut tower. :mad: So I get out the welder and weld up, and repaint. fun. While the AFM is removed, I spray some TB cleaner at the shutter to fix a little stickiness. Start up car and hear a SSSSSSSSSSSS. Great, the elbow for the vacuum line to the cruse is split. Replaced with fuel hose. Not an elbow, but it will do and I am tired of buying these cheap Chinese elbows that last 1 year or so before they fail. Now I hear a SSSSSSSSSSSS coming from the vacuum tanks under the L front fender. No wonder this thing has been stumbling at cold start up for a few seconds for the past few weeks. Jack her back up and remove fender liner. Found the large vacuum hose to the round vac tank disconnected, no wonder the cruise has been inop. :rolleyes: Also, went at the idle switch at the TB to be sure it was clicking just right at just off idle and back. Make a slight adjustment to that. Test spin around the neighborhood and WOW she sure is running great and much quieter without hissing going on. ;) It always pays to raise the hood and give the 164 a little attention every now and then. She will flip 200,000 on Monday.
Charles
 

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1991 164L
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Are we there yet?

Not quite but Black Beauty did roll over to 191k plus some change on our return trip from Alfas in the Blue Grass at about 9 p.m. last night.

He ran like a real thoroughbred. Did open the hood twice once to check and add a qt of oil and once to open heater valve to defog window in the cold rainy mountains during low level flight conditions late yesterday.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Over lunch she flipped, and I wasn't paying attention when it happened. :rolleyes: Oh well, cie la vie. Too many other things on my mind I guess. Running fantastic though today. Back to her old self after the time I spent on it this weekend. Amazing what a little bit of tweeking can do. Smooth, fast and makes all the right sounds. That's why I keep it going.
Charles
 

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Over lunch she flipped, and I wasn't paying attention when it happened.
Congratulations Charles - not sure if yours is a 91 but if it is, your 200K coincides with 20 years in service.

No-one on the BB seemed to mark the 20th Anniversary so far.....unless I missed that?

That kind of mileage keeps me very interested and somewhat awestruck by these engines.

I have just acquired/saved a 164 (Base) with 217K and first impressions are that the engine is still very good in spite of apparent major abuse.

My own daily driver flipped to 116K (as I watched) yesterday and it too has suffered severe abuse but runs sweet and strong with no internal repair so far.
Did I just jinx myself......

Here is to another 100K happy miles....

Ta,

Neville.
 

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Our 20 th comes up this November and we are at "only" 200,000 km (120,000 miles) but she runs 365 days a year in plus 35C down to minus 35C without complaint.

The build date is much earlier than our purchase date (that's news???) so technically she's already 20 plus years old, but from delivery we are not quite there yet.

She's been T boned, cut off resulting in a hood bender and moderately rear ended, she's had rust repair to the windshield header and the right rear quarter. She has had no engine work, the usual transmission repair (5 spd input shaft bearing), a new AC (seized) and three clutches and four T belts (this counts the factory originals as number 1 in each category and she is just beginning to consume the current ones). She's only on her third battery which in Canada is amazing performance from those AC Delco batteries (trunk mounting is a good thing). She runs summer tires (3 sets) and winter tires (4 sets) so has had (counting the factory originals as set number 1) a total of 7 sets of those !!! She runs strong and uses no more oil than when brand new.

What a quality car!
 

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1991 164L
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My 164B was built in 3-90 and I bought it 2-91 and now has about 220k on it using two speedomoters so the odometer in car now shows less that that but with daughter now driving not sure what the reading is now.

It is on second clutch and has had input bearing changed at about 130k when I did clutch Maybe 5 timing belts and due for one this summer.

Engine uses oil but still haven't had a head or pan off of it. Engine used oil from day one.
 

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While the AFM is removed, I spray some TB cleaner at the shutter to fix a little stickiness. Start up car and hear a SSSSSSSSSSSS. Great, the elbow for the vacuum line to the cruse is split. Replaced with fuel hose. Not an elbow, but it will do and I am tired of buying these cheap Chinese elbows that last 1 year or so before they fail. Now I hear a SSSSSSSSSSSS coming from the vacuum tanks under the L front fender.
This sounds very familiar!
How about this for a funny story...

I've been too busy with work to spill the beans about my latest purchase - a 1999 166 with 3.0V6 and Sportronic (auto) gearbox, 111,500km. Bought for NZ$3000, which is US$2555, quite a lot, but still I could not resist saving this 166.

The previous owner has poured so much money into this car in just the last couple of years, including:
  • Three 'Premium Services' ($500+ each), in all three the "injection warning light" (on one invoice called the "hose light") was to be investigated - every six months.
  • About $1000 for tyres.
  • A $4900 cambelt replacement service (including water pump and 'dogbone' upper torque-reaction engine mount).
  • A $200 air filter replacement.
  • A $3009 bill for when the transmission wouldn't come out of Park one morning, which required a heater matrix replacement ($480+$900 labour) and replacement of various ECUs.

In March a final diagnosis session for the injection warning light drew the following comments: "Engine is very "flat", lacks power. Suspect that as well as the engine temperature sensor $237 and the O2 sensor $747, the airflow meter is faulty and the throttle body assembly requires repair, plus the cam timing may be incorrect." This diagnosis cost $490 (including an oil change). The owner elected not to replace the engine temperature sensor or O2 sensor.

In all this owner had clocked up only a few thousand km in the last couple of years at a maintenance cost nudging $10,000 and all without knowing there was a release button for the bootlid/trunk lid (in the glovebox). Understandably, he has sworn never to buy an Alfa Romeo again.

I picked up the car and immediately noticed that, as well has hardly being able to climb a hill, there was a muted banging noise and the occasional pop. Going over 3000RPM the engine management failure light came on (a red picture of a fuel injector in non-EOBD compliant cars, rather than the orange engine outline of EOBD-compliant cars). I guess the injector looks a bit like a hose, hence the name "hose light".

I drove gently for the 1.5hr trip home.

The following day (and this is where we finally get on topic), I listened to the engine idling unevenly and heard a SSSSSSSSSSS. I sprayed brake cleaner all around the chrome pipes, fuel injectors, throttle body etc., no result. I rested my hand on the plastic resonator box that says "do not load" (i.e. don't press here), and the engine just about stopped. Why did I do that... well, it's a bit like touching the paint under the 'wet paint' sign, isn't it.

I then found the rubber trunking (similar to that on the 164) to be in the condition you see in the pictures. I cleaned and degreased it (had obviously been split for a long time, probably caused when the dogbone bushes failed), and wound some insulation tape around it (the really expensive type that cost $1 for the roll), and went for a drive. Was delighted to find full engine power and no injector warning light.

How someone replaced the air filter (buried deep below that resonator box) without noticing the condition of the trunking is beyond me. There is, of course, no fault with the airflow meter or the lambda sensor, and I cleaned the connector to the temperature sensor just in case, since there was indeed a historical fault code lodged for that (I have the software to talk to the car through its 16-pin connector even though it isn't EOBD compliant). What's the betting someone just forgot to plug the sensor back in after some other work... connected it later and didn't clear the code...

I think the moral is clear - no amount of expensive electronic diagnostics and "premium services" at generic service centres can replace the "eyes and ears" detective work that Charles describes.

New intake pipe is on the way over from England, having proved impossible to get in NZ and the five 166s I know of in wrecker's yards all have intake pipes with tape wound around them. How can a piece of rubber pipe cause so much trouble... but even at about $200 for the replacement, I still think I'll be getting better value than the previous owner. I do intend to sell the car, though.

Meanwhile my 2003 156 Selespeed clocked over 250,000km the other day, which is about 31,000km in my care (probably the highest mileage I have covered in any one car). And it's a Selespeed! :eek:

-Alex
 

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It's amaizing how intimate we have become with these cars. I was thinking of this as I was prepping my 164 parts car yesterday to ship her off to the crusher. I removed all sorts of stuff from the interior, engine campartment, trunk, etc. I took off the left front door and left fender I need to replace on my daily driver. I stood back to take a look and it occurred to me, We in this group will be more familiar with the inner workings of these cars than most 164 owners will ever know. Awesome!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Alex, that 166 makes my heart go flippity, flop! I wish I could get my hands on one of those in the States. I think it is absolutely beautiful, and in my favorite color too. It's amazing a bad mechanic/s can make a perfectly good car into a worthless money pit. A good one can turn that very same car into the finest machine on the road. ;) The sad part is the bad mechanic/s lost a future customer for Alfa. Very rewarding for you however, picking it up, enjoying it and setting it straight.
Charles
 

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I can think of another reason to call that light a "hose" light, as in what that incompetent bunch of buffoons did to the PO. Even in NZ $ that cambelt service is a true hosing. The most expensive T belt service I had was CDN$2,000.00 (about NZ$2,500.00) and that included the cam seals and a valve clearance check. as well as the usual water pump and T belt tensioner.
 
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