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Discussion Starter #1
First i should state its going to be some time before i can even really think about putting any money down, but part of me feels rushed as i know these cars aren't getting any more common, and if nothing else are probably just getting rustier

Anyways i kinda singled out the Milano because its seemingly a little better at rust-resistance then the GTV6, and as far as i know the spyder is as bad or worse then the GTV6 when it comes to rust, so thats out of the question as im in Michigan and still learning restoration/fabrication, so i think a super-rusty car is a no-no at this point, i need my general education first.

Anyways im wondering if as a first alfa it would be okay to look into a standard 2.5, i know its a bit less sporty, but is it more comfortable? Also since its hard to find a 1987 "Platinum" with the LSD (i think im right in saying later U.S. platinums were all automatics), how hard is it to fit a LSD with the rear transmission, and how much do the LSDs usually cost?

I'm basically wondering how soulful of a car im going to be missing if i just start out with a 2.5, i thought the base 2.5 models are essentially slightly heavier GTV6s in a less dramatic body and with better practicality, is this correct?

also if i can't afford a LSD for awhile how is the balance?, is it one of those cars that simply doesn't work without a LSD, or does the rest of the chassi make up for it? I'd like to maintain the car as beautifully a possibly and just run my usual track-days and whatnot.

To be honest i want a car i wont have to invest way too much into, but i don't need something that will run the worlds fastest laps at anything, just something that is as fun and soulful as it can be. I have heard the 2.5 sound is no less thrilling then the 3.0, is this true as well? sound is critical to me. With that said should i really worry to much if its a Silver, Gold or Platinum (besides the LSD of course) if i do go with a 2.5? And i suppose that is my main concern. For what its worth this would be my first European car even, let alone Italian :cool:
 

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I have a different impression from what you've described, but we are all different and our impressions are based on what we've done or seen... (I've been a continuous Alfa owner for several decades.) The best advice I can give you is to join your local Alfa Romeo Owners Club (www.aroc-usa.org) and attend the activities so that you can see first hand the different cars and converse with the owners or perhaps ride/drive some of the vehicles.

Best regards,
 

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Buy the best Milano your budget will allow. Figure a very nice condition Silver/Gold/Plat will be in the $4k range; a nice Verde will be in the $6-7k range. So if your budget is limited, a G/S/P for $4k is a better buy than a Verde at the same price; if you have the extra money, then indeed consider the Verde.
 

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The Milano is a great car for Alfa quirks and fun.

Having said that, it's actually common consensus that the 2.5 sounds a lot better than the 3.0 - But when you bring a 24V into play it's just not a fair playing field! :D

They may not be the quickest things out there, or the greatest handling, but for a late 80s car they're pretty **** good!

ROCK ON
R~R
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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The Milano is a great car for Alfa quirks and fun.
Yeah, although I always debate with myself whether the quirk-to-fun ratio is greater or less than 1.0 :D

I kid - I love my 2.5 as a daily driver.
 

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Tom is great because he's spending real money on the often neglected 2.5 liter Milano. He spent real money and consequently has a real car that he can get to work with reliably.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Just trying to keep it running. Except for needing new cams it hasn't been that bad (and the way I look at it, that was a decent excuse to get some 164S cams).

Still cheaper than a new car, I always tell myself. Borderline insanity doesn't hurt, either.
 

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For a start Platinum's did come with the manual in the US (I had one) but at this point in the life of an LSD, the plates will be pretty worn and ineffective unless they've been replaced or adjusted. Unless you're on the track or driving in snow you'll probably never notice. I had an Alfetta sedan (same layout but 4cyl and no LSD) that was great in the snow. I don't know if it was the Hakki tires, great balance, minimal torque or the pre-bashed fenders but I'd look forward to snow on the ground.

I've got a Verde now and the 3.0's torque and Verde gearing makes for very relaxed driving. It can still rip but you don't have to drive it that way. The 2.5 seemed sportier but that was the gearing and the fact it was my first V6. Which you prefer depends on what you want. I love driving my Spider Jr. with the 1300 engine not because its fast or handles very well but because it keeps me involved. Somebody else might find it slow and uncomfortable.

One advantage of going with a Silver or Gold is you don't have to worry about the ABS brakes. OTOH...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
hell yes! i love manual brakes ;)

i suppose its true that buying a car for its factory LSD isn't going to make any sense on a car this old


One thing i forgot to ask is how bad the price of parts are for these cars, im okay with rebuilding bits of the engine as long as its not too costly, ive read before that Alfas aren't bad to work on, that wasn't a lie was it?
 

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They thrive on attention and care, and if you neglect or abuse they bite you back :D
 

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Opinions differ on this forum, but the 2.5 liter has an amazing sound that my 3.0 can never match. The 3.0 is a much more powerful car but if sound is a major factor, look into a 2.5. A stock 2.5 milano can be sort of slow, but the same 2.5 in a later GTV-6 isn't quite as bad (because of the weight). I really suggest you drive both the 3.0 and the 2.5 and make your decision from there. If you do drive the 2.5, make sure to accelerate to 5K (the tack might be slow on the 2.5 milanos) and let off the throttle. That noise right there is what got forum member Potenziato and I hooked on these cars!

They can be hard to work on though. I think the assembled the car w/o thinking about how hard it would be to repair or work on them. Japanese cars are very easy to access bolts and replace things, Alfas often require you to make a special tool just because the access is soo terrible on a fully assembled car. I've run into this many time! However, I feel like I can just about tackle anything out there!
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
about the engine sounds, don't they 3.0 and 2.5s have the same headers and exhausts? as well i thought the cylinder heads were the same? or is that wrong as well?


Sound is hugely important to me. I drove a Spider with a twin-spark swap and thats what got me interested in Alfas, it was magnificent, and i rarely ever use words like that to describe cars

all the cars i own have lower power to weight ratios then a 2.5, so i don't really care.


On subject of "abuse" does this refer to track-days and such, or just manhandling like it a truck?
 

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about the engine sounds, don't they 3.0 and 2.5s have the same headers and exhausts?
The noise the 2.5V6 makes is sweeter. It's partly due to the smaller bore and shorter stroke of the smaller engine. It seems to want to rev forever, and makes a wonderful noise while doing so. My first 75 was a 2.5V6 and I still think it's the best sounding one today. However, over time my priorities changed and I "stepped up" to a 3.0V6. It still sounds marvelous, but not quite as melodic as the 2.5V6. Remember, this is all relative. The 3.0V6 sounds great, and the latest 3.2V6 24v in the 156GTA sounds sexy as all get out too BUT it ain't sweet like the 2.5V6 :D

On subject of "abuse" does this refer to track-days and such, or just manhandling like it a truck?
Don't do burnouts, or donuts in a parking lot.

That's abuse.

Tracking the car isn't hard on it as long as you are smooth and drive sensibly.
 

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The 2.5 is more melodious in a way. At lower revs it makes a bit of a burble, like a 5 cylinder engine.

Personally, I prefer the 3.0 when it gets into it's stride (3000 - 6000 rpm). IMO It sounds harder and meaner than the 2.5. It's also more powerfull of course.

Anyway, as Nizam mentionned, all Alfa V6s sound REALLY nice. From 2.5s to 3.2 24Vs.
 

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Or even 3.7L 24vs! :D :D :D

I think the general point is that if you want something different and enjoyable, buy the Alfa. If you just want to be like everyone else and incredibly boring buy a BMW. ;)

ROCK ON
R~R
 

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I loved my 2.5! It was my first Alfa, 1987 Gold. Blue with blue leather/suede and five speed. The sound alone got me to write the check. Well that and the feel of the chassis and steering had something to do with it. 3.0's and the extra tourque are a thing of beauty but you won't go wrong with either one. Buy a west coast car if possible to avoid the rust issues. I can keep an eye out for you. An lsd is perferable but like others have said the clutch plates maybe well worn and the new packs are getting tough to find and expensive. Personanly I would spend as much as I could on a well documented model for a first Alfa instead of buying a project.
 

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Personally I would spend as much as I could on a well documented model for a first Alfa instead of buying a project.
That's a good approach. Cheap ones are everywhere, and if the closest thing you get to hearing a 2.5V6 scream is on YouTube as opposed your own car, it's not worth it. Get a good, well-maintained example and promise yourself you'd keep it up. You'd be well-rewarded by doing so.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So then it looks like it might take a little while before i can get a Alfa (wasn't going to buy till spring anyways) but i suppose it rings true with all the other cars i've bought.

I suppose that gives me time to save money by driving the diesel jetta, as well will hopefully keep me occupied with restoring the MR2 (rust, and yes its a rare year, color, optioned one etc, im not completely crazy :p)


the only problem with west-coast cars is that i have found with other used cars they condition and the price don't always go hand in hand, so unless i spend a week or something out in California test driving Milanos i would think it would be hard to buy one from over there
 

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Hey a week in Cali is worth something! :) If you call Dan at Foreign Auto Menders in Poway Ca, he has a few rust free milanos that are worthy of a first owner. I'm sure he has one or two that would fit your needs without breaking the bank. I'm actually hoping he has a Platinum with a decent 4.10 posi to go into my GTV6. He's going to open up a few diff's (I think) and let me know. Other than that I have a near mint 87 gold with auto you can have for $2000.00!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
thats very kind! and if i hadn't been so stupid and spent my money on a dumbass diesel jetta i would be all over one of those Milanos, but i need to fix my current cars so as to be responsible, even if thats no fun :rolleyes:
 
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