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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
I've been lurking in the BB for a long time, always checking out what cars are for sale, pics, reading people's rebuild threads, etc. I love it. I have to say that I am a Giulia fan through and through. Prices on Giulias have started to become beyond my reach... $15k for one that needs total restoration. I never liked the look of the spider at all, although I'm sure it's still a blast to drive.

The more I look, the more the GTV6 seems like the perfect Alfa for me and my budget. You can get a decent drive-able car for under $10k. I can probably even get a child seat in the back in a pinch. I wanted to ask the forum members, many of you keeping these cars in fantastic shape, what to look out for in a GTV? I know about the rubber donuts. Where should I look for rust problems? I think I have read around the rear window is very hard to fix area. What about mechanically? Watching some you tube videos, the idle sound can be a bit rough. I'm guessing that's normal? It's not a Merc! The De Dion rear end is also really foreign to me. Is there anything to look out for there?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated,
I hope in a year's time to be contributing to the forum as an owner.
Drew
 

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Having bought a GTV6 in good condition a little over a year ago, I would say that finding one without rust would be my first priority. That typically means you will be paying top dollar but ultimately, well worth it. I would add that it is without a doubt, the best value in "bang for buck" of any car out there. Most everything can be remedied easily except the rust. The rear end is sophisticated but not hard to work on and fairly low maintenance. Most parts are obtainable except for interior and exterior trim and even those come up here or on Ebay. They often suffer from worn synchros so if you can find one that shifts smoothly, a bonus. You have definitely come to the right place to start your search and I am sure others will chime in on additional things to look out for.

Good luck with your search!
 

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I definitely agree with the man from Pasadena. I've had maybe a dozen GTV6s over the years. The main issue on rust will be in structural places... like around the shock towers under the hood. ALFAs of that generation came with cheap Russian body steel... so practically pre-rusted on the showroom floor. Not a good idea to use them as a winter car, for that reason. As already stated, synchro problems in second gear is the norm. If you find one with decent synchros, the PO had those fixed in the recent past.

One thing that may be of value, is to have a local mechanic who is experienced with these cars. You don't want to be paying a guy who says "I can work on anything" 3 times as much to learn what an ALFA wizard already knows. I've never had a GTV6 strand me. If a part needs attention, the car will give you plenty of warning on looking into that. If you continually ignore the warning... then it's your fault, not the car's.

IAP, Centerline, etc., can offer new and remanufactured parts on many mechanical bits. Performatek offers good suspension upgrades. And guys like me, with a couple of 'organ donors', can provide the rest. There are some parts that are on the Holy Grail list, so you may want to compare those parts to what your GTV6 may require.

'Bang for the buck', as stated above, is a major headline. You won't understand the true beauty of this car until you find yourself in a series of twisties... and you are giggling like a little girl !!
 

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Drew, you're doing it backwards. Most everybody buys a 'pig-in-a-poke' and later finds out the issues...!

Anyway, for sure rust is the biggest killer. GTV6's with sunroofs tend to rust out around the windshield (the sunroof drains into that area!) and rust at the front suspension attachment areas (in the inner fender areas) can be a major structural problem.

Timing belts should be replaced about every 30,000 miles. And the engine should never be allowed to turn backwards (or the timing belt may skip a tooth or two leading to valve/piston interference).

I'd suggest searching far for a good example. Shipping (or travel to pick it up) will be cheaper than trying to fix a local car that needs a lot of work.

One other option to consider is a Milano. It has the same drivetrain and is a few years newer. But it has four doors...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have a shop right next to where I work. These guys only work on the good stuff. I've seen spiders, Giulias, Giulietta sprints, Lotus, Maserati, Porsche, etc. there getting attention including some 944 track cars that always seem to be there.

As far as the Milano goes, I thought it was front wheel drive? No? Also, the styling on the Milano just leaves me a little cold.
 

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I have a shop right next to where I work. These guys only work on the good stuff. I've seen spiders, Giulias, Giulietta sprints, Lotus, Maserati, Porsche, etc. there getting attention including some 944 track cars that always seem to be there.

As far as the Milano goes, I thought it was front wheel drive? No? Also, the styling on the Milano just leaves me a little cold.
Milanos and Alfetta Coupes use the same basic deDion suspension as the GTV6. All RWD! ALFA started down the FWD path when FIAT bought them out. So the line on that change happens between the last Milano, and the first 164 (at least here in the US).

Great that you have trusted mechanics close by. You may want to find a service manual, in case they don't see many GTV6s.
 

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I tried to find your locale by lurking to your profile, but to no avail. I bought my vehicle (Alfetta GT) from my local Craig's List, which is Albuquerque. This is good as far as rust goes. However, in lots of looking, I found that Phoenix had a lot more cool old cars to choose from. Bigger city, more money floating around. I guess what I'm saying, is depending on where you are, they may be a drier city that is easier for you to get to, has a relative or friend that you want to visit, etc., that would make it worth perusing that CL.

Nick

PS: This is even assuming you're in a "rusty place". I grew up in NY, and spent five years in Pittsburgh. I know ALL about it! Bought a '77 International Scout II in Pittsburgh. Went to fill it up, and it started gushing gasoline at the fuel tank seam at the mid line. Yikes.
 

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You will get more car for your money if you buy a Milano, also fewer rust problems and lighter, quicker steering (provided that the power steering is working). Milano's also had decent air conditioning. The downside is the electrical system which is more complex and more likely to give you problems.
 

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You will get more car for your money if you buy a Milano, also fewer rust problems and lighter, quicker steering (provided that the power steering is working). Milano's also had decent air conditioning. The downside is the electrical system which is more complex and more likely to give you problems.
This is excellent advice. Also, the Milano interior is much more modern and has aged much better (aside from the fragile Recaro fabric in the Verde...) than the GTV6 interior. Most things you touch or use regularly are more durable (i.e. door handles, heater controls, control switches, power windows, wipers, etc.) and just plain work better in the Milano too. Behind the wheel, in many ways the Milano is more fun if you use the car more rather than less. The more upright seating position, more refined cabin, better steering, better gear ratios than early GTV6, etc. make it very pleasant on the street.

Yes the electrical system is more complex in the Milano but it's also more modern and utilizes blade fuses, and like the interior, seems to age better. I've seen so many GTV6's with badly aged and oxidized fuseboxes, poor charging systems, etc.

To Drew - I sent you a PM. I have a GTV6 pre-purchase checklist that I put together years ago, after several GTV6's and consequent lessons. I just need to find it...
 

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This is excellent advice. Also, the Milano interior is much more modern and has aged much better (aside from the fragile Recaro fabric in the Verde...) than the GTV6 interior. Most things you touch or use regularly are more durable (i.e. door handles, heater controls, control switches, power windows, wipers, etc.) and just plain work better in the Milano too. Behind the wheel, in many ways the Milano is more fun if you use the car more rather than less. The more upright seating position, more refined cabin, better steering, better gear ratios than early GTV6, etc. make it very pleasant on the street.

Yes the electrical system is more complex in the Milano but it's also more modern and utilizes blade fuses, and like the interior, seems to age better. I've seen so many GTV6's with badly aged and oxidized fuseboxes, poor charging systems, etc.

To Drew - I sent you a PM. I have a GTV6 pre-purchase checklist that I put together years ago, after several GTV6's and consequent lessons. I just need to find it...
All things here are pretty accurate, now if you can get a 3.0 GTV6 with Milano power steering.... That is a fun ride. But having had both, I will say I like the handling on the Milano much better. Styling is up to the beholder but I love both cars looks, can't go wrong either way. 164's are great cars too but being Alfa's first U.S. FWD cars they are different. Great drivers, really cool in their own right, and they were designed by Alfa before Fiat bought them, so don't believe all you read on that count :) Good luck with whatever you buy.
 

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We had two GTV6's, and ended up with a couple of 164's, and a 89 Milano. The Milano now has ~98k miles on it, and there is no rust, the paint is fine, but had several electrical failures, the ARC computer and the double fuel pump relay, but that's it. Easy to fix with used parts. There have been no other problems. Did put in the Verde radiator, as I thought there was a leak in the original one, but not sure now. the new bigger radiator does make the cooling system better. The coolant tank can fail, and replacements are dear.

I do recommend the Milano for local driving, although we did drive ours to Texas and back with no problems, as the handling is just great, better than our GTV6's, and better than the 164's. The only thing my wife doesn't like is the small trunk and the small gas tank as well, but the four doors make up for them.

I also recommend the 164, as I just love the 164 version of the V-6, esp the 24V version, although the 12V engine is easier to fiddle with, easier services. Once they are sorted out, they are great highway cars and decent as daily drivers. My 91S has been my daily driver since 94, and has 178k miles on it, original clutch and all. Yes, some things have cr*pped out, but it's an older car now, so expect that.

Have fun looking.
 

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.02 worth

My perspective is bit different as I live in the motherland so tend to see things from this "euro' POV but here goes nonetheless. Rust? Run or drive the other way. I've been around Alfas enough to know its bad and very expensive to deal with. I personally would buy a perfect bodied car with a blown motor before fighting rust. Keeping in mind rust is more than body rust. Rusty fasteners, suspension members, bit and pieces and such - for me - dont make a pleasant experience.

The common stuff is where Alfa is not really different than other cars. They're just cars. Nothing really mystical about them as far as how they're designed and built. Now how they drive and how they help you feel, experience the actual drive is where the mystique comes bear.

I've had 4 and currently own 2. The commonality across the fleet has been grounds that are sensitive to corrosion, ensuring you have the exact part you need prior to tossing the old part. By tossing i mean putting in abox and not the trash. And clutch hydraulic system issues on three of the 4. The newest is too "new' to me to have gotten into it yet tho I wont be surprised to see it come. The fiddly bits are also a common issue in my experience. Window switches, fan motors, oddball stuff. All doable by the inclined home mech and the info here on this forum is invaluable

The 4? An Alfetta GTV, 79 with Spica. Fantastic car. My first. 2nd an 88 Spider. So so car, glad i did it but i wont have another Spider. Reliable as a brick. Biggest problem with it was the color - hit me red. 3rd, the 89 164 with a 4 banger, Rossa which i currently own and hope to be buried in it. Reliable as a stone, comfy and fantastic gas mileage. I've pretty much rebuilt this car out of choice vs. necessity and simply love it. And finally the most recent addition, the 75/Milano with the small 4. Also an 89 model. So. 1 RWD, 1 FWD and 2 DeDion RWD. Favorite? Either of the 2 DeDion cars. They're really fun to drive and i might be odd in that i prefer the cars with small 4 as opposed to the heavier 6 cylinders. I think they handle better.

Boils down to what you want, how you intend to look after it and your abilities. I do about 100 percent of the work on mine, have a very trusty parts supplier or 2 and learned early on that cheapest isn't always best and again, there is a ton of valuable info here on the forum. My 3rd cent says look into the Milano (assuming you are in the US) as well as the GTV6. The 3rd and fourth door come in handy. More so as you mention a carseat. good luck, chris
 

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I won't try to influence you one way or the other, on GTV6 vs Milano. It sounds like the styling on the GTV6 has already won your heart.

So, perhaps worth including in your long range goals--- if you found a decent GTV6 that solves the initial issue, you could use that as-is to get your 'fun on'. Over a long period of time, you have the option of considering doing some upgrades in small managable bites. eg: swapping out the 2.5 motor for a 3.0 from a Verde. Then adding an LSD setup from a Milano. And exploring some of the suspension upgrades that Performatek offers. Etc.

The basic stock GTV6 will keep a smile on your face for a long time (especially, if you are new to deDion ALFAs), without any upgrades. If you're still a fan of your platform, after a year or two, then you can still have something to look forward to on making a good car even better. Or, at least suited to your personal desires.

On the suspension upgrades... I have included the advice of other BB members. Very valuable. If I just went crazy on those performance components, I would have ended up with a car that was suited perfectly if it were to spend all its time on a race track. But, with many deficiencies on the road and street. So, I stated my wishes BEFORE making any purchases. I was hoping for even flatter handling on mountain roads, without totally destroying the ride. I have a 24v 3.0 that will end up in that GTV6... eventually. So, that may dictate a beefier setup in itself. My aims were to create what ALFA may have done, if they had continued GTV6 production for another 5+ years.

The recommendations I received toward these goals was to go with a 24mm front sway bar in place of the 20mm stock one, leave the rear sway bar as is, replace the shocks with Konis or Bilsteins, swap out the rubber bushings with poly. And as a last consideration, replace the mount bushing on the front of the deDion triangle with the spherical metal ball SZ design (altho, it might be a bit noisier than stock).

We haven't heard where you are located yet. You will also need some twisty roads nearby, to make a complete package. If you live in a flat state, the amazing handling will never be fully appreciated. In which case, considering handling upgrades might be wasted money.

That's my dos centavos,
Peter
 

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An easy way to get the experience of V6 Alfa ownership is to coat yourself in dirty grease and then sob quietly to yourself while you tear up $100 bills.

Nah, I kid. Mostly.
 

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Hello all,
I've been lurking in the BB for a long time, always checking out what cars are for sale, pics, reading people's rebuild threads, etc. I love it. I have to say that I am a Giulia fan through and through. Prices on Giulias have started to become beyond my reach... $15k for one that needs total restoration. I never liked the look of the spider at all, although I'm sure it's still a blast to drive.

The more I look, the more the GTV6 seems like the perfect Alfa for me and my budget. You can get a decent drive-able car for under $10k. I can probably even get a child seat in the back in a pinch. I wanted to ask the forum members, many of you keeping these cars in fantastic shape, what to look out for in a GTV? I know about the rubber donuts. Where should I look for rust problems? I think I have read around the rear window is very hard to fix area. What about mechanically? Watching some you tube videos, the idle sound can be a bit rough. I'm guessing that's normal? It's not a Merc! The De Dion rear end is also really foreign to me. Is there anything to look out for there?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated,
I hope in a year's time to be contributing to the forum as an owner.
Drew


I am in the minority here and often receive negative comments when I recommend doing everything yourself. I bought our GTV6 and it needed everything. it was basically a running car, that's all. I knew I could tackle much of the mechanical stuff on my own, but I also taught myself body and painting with this car. over the course of a winter we sanded and straightened the body. then turned the garage into a booth and took a weekend to paint the car. 8 hours each day.

often people say "i don't have time" or some other comment like that. well my response is this, " if you intend to own an old alfa, you had better find the time or be ready to write a lot of blank checks to shops". I work full time, but managed with time and some cash to turn our car into one of the better GTV6 cars in existence.

Fear not the car. It is but a simple machine of metal, glass and rubber.
 

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Re GTV6 vs Milano, get the one that you really want -- the one that emotionally appeals to you -- as you'll end up putting money into both regardless of how much work you do yourself, and it is far less painful putting money into a car you love as opposed to a car you settled on for other reasons, be that practicality, up-front expense, etc. I've never driven a Milano but I now have a GTV6 and I enjoy it more than any car I've ever owned, even though it's far from my first car whose primary attribute was great handling. I like the eccentric styling of the Milano but I really love the aggressive styling of the GTV6; I doubt that with a Milano I'd go out to the garage from time to time just to stare at the car, but that's an individual thing of course. In short, get the one you really want, and get a good one up front.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks everyone for the great advice. I'll keep a look out for a Milano. Maybe a cheap one will be fun for a while and I can learn about the drivetrain while I shop for the GTV6 I really want.

I'm located near Boston so rust is a problem for sure. There's a GTV6 on Maine craigslist that the guy wants $13k for. No pics though. That's too much for a northern GTV6 I would think.
 

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Thanks everyone for the great advice. I'll keep a look out for a Milano. Maybe a cheap one will be fun for a while and I can learn about the drivetrain while I shop for the GTV6 I really want.

I'm located near Boston so rust is a problem for sure. There's a GTV6 on Maine craigslist that the guy wants $13k for. No pics though. That's too much for a northern GTV6 I would think.
I was born in Newton, so I know how you feel about a car from Maine. But the best GTV6 guy in the country lives there. Look up "Heavy Metal Alfa", his name is Glen and I think he has 30 or more currently. It could be one of his and it would be top notch if it's a $13,000 car.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wow, thanks for that link.
Heavy Metal
He's got 3 GTV6's. What do folks think of the racing one? Maybe a bit flashy and the interior looks rough. The fact that's an Arizona car is great.
The one in Colorado may, in fact, be the one listed on craigslist as it's priced at $12,500. Although I'm not sure why you'd list it on the Maine craigslist if its located on CO.
 

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(Born & raised in Quincy.)

Look up "Heavy Metal Alfa", his name is Glen and I think he has 30 or more currently. It could be one of his and it would be top notch if it's a $13,000 car.
Agree - definately contact Glen.
 
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