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Discussion Starter #1
Che casino! É sempre una cosa dopo l'altra.

A green, 1991 Alfa Romeo 164L (or 164 L) with 130k miles for sale. After owning it for six years, and putting 18k miles on it, the honeymoon is over, and I'm throwing in the towel, sending it out to pasture, calling it quits. It has been a pleasure to drive--when it works, and every time it works its past inconveniences have an uncanny way of slipping the mind--but troubles continue to accumulate faster than I can find the time and energy to correct them. I renewed the (California) DMV registration last week, putting it on non-operational status. Very likely it would have to be towed by the new owner.

Before getting to the particulars, I want to say about the wonderful Alfa Bullitan Board that though I never posted here until today, this forum has been a great help to me over the years (I still own an '87 Milano Gold), not only for wealth of practical information, but at well for its general atmosphere of enthusiasm that helped me in many repairs. I'll soon be reaching 60 years old, however, and the time and interest I have for mechanical work is less than it was a few decades ago.

I drove the 164L most recently three weeks ago, on a 30-mile trip, and can thereby confirm that the mechanicals of the engine are still normal. Two weeks ago I replaced the starting motor with a used unit, and immediately afterwards the engine then started up just fine, but . . . then I discovered that the ignition switch was now so deteriorated that it was randomly cutting power to the ignition system, causing the engine to die after idling for less than a minute. So, a week later I tried starting it again, and this time got only silence, except for a soft click of the starting system relay under the right-side dashboard. (The battery is fine, and I checked the grounds and high-load circuits for the starting system a month ago.)

o Ignition switch not working (and now no longer certain about the replacement starter motor either).
o Major fuel (?) problem. At half throttle on freeway engine suddenly will sputter along at only 10 mph or so, followed a few minutes later by a sudden blast back to full power, as though nothing had happened. This has happened three times over most recent 4k miles. The mechanic at Roger's Autoworks (in Oakland, CA) suggested this might be caused by bad fuel pump.
o Minor fuel (?) problem. Slight missing at half throttle on freeway, not very noticeable. This has been going on for a few years, with no change in the behavior. Had it looked at by two mechanics, but no luck so far on diagnosis.

o New head gaskets in 1998, at 55k miles
o New thermostat and top motor mount in 2002 at 87k miles
o New oil pressure sending unit in 2006, at 113k miles (oil pressure has been normal)
o Compression test showed pressure range 150 - 160 psi, in 2008, at 120k miles
o New spark plugs in 2008, at 121k miles
o New timing belt, tensioner, and water pump in 2009, at 120k miles
o New auxiliary idler pulley in 2009, at 125k miles
o Air conditioning pump replaced with used unit in 2010, at 126k miles (AC coolant not reinstalled)
o Oil usage has been approximately one quart per 500 miles over past 10k miles

o Stepper motor replaced in 1995, at 33k miles, but it may be acting up again.
o Heater core replaced in 2003, at 94k miles
o New tail pipe in 2004, at 103k miles
o New battery in 2007, at 118k miles. Still seems in good shape
o New Michelin Primacy MXV4 tires (195/65 H15) in 2006, at 120k miles
o New front brake rotors and pads in 2009, at 125k miles
o Transmission has fourth-to-third gear down-shift trouble (clunk!)--something common to the 164 automatics
o Odd electrical gremlins have appeared recently (e.g., the strange behavior of the automatic door-locking mechanism's activating every second or so, when I turn on the emergency flashers! I haven't a clue what this is about.)
o Because of the ignition switch acting up, last summer I installed a push-button starter button in the center console, in the ash tray cubby.
o Backup lights not working
o Oil and filter changed regularly

o Body and paint in reasonably good condition (minor scratches; blemish at left C pillar; no dings to speak of)
o Interior in reasonably good condition. The stitching in the driver's seat, has come loose. All carpeting is present in cabin and in trunk.
o I have work records dating back to original purchase. (The two previous owners were also in the San Francisco East Bay.)
o Car has a steady feel on freeway (one of 164's pleasures); I've taken it briefly a few times to 100 mph, and it still held steady.
o I and the owner before me used only premium fuel.
o Original owner's manual (and the various other bits) and portfolio thing it came in, in glove box
o Spare tire and jack in trunk
o With a few exceptions, all the interior switches work--one exception being the rear windows.
o Sun roof works (with the common ailment that a quick nudge with a finger on the front flap is required as it completes its travel when closing)
o For the past six years it has been stored in a carport, protected from the sun and weather
o Original radio/cassette player is still in car, and still works, except for one speaker that has reduced volume

So, to all you unrepentant Alfa nuts, feel free to drop me a line. I have higher-resolution photos available for interested parties. I'd be happy to talk on the phone at some point, to help any out-of-town parties.

Price 500 dollars
Located in Lafayette, California (San Francisco East Bay)


38 Posts
I might be interested. I have a couple of Spider projects going on right now but don't want to see this car go away. Give me a call and we can talk...559-250-7059.

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