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I still recommend Italian Job even though I can get most things done privately.

Personally, I wouldn't recommend doing a cambelt on a 24v without camlocks. We bought a 156 v6 auto that had recently had a cambelt changed. Turns out they hadn't done the water pump at the same time. But the real moral of the story was that when I had the cambelt done again (with water pump this time) the car went heaps better - timing belt was off! Use camlocks to get the timing right.
 

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Discussion Starter #563
Now that I have done considerable research on this job, if I had not already made my camshaft locking devices, I would purchase the cam locking tools. Maybe when I do the next cambelt. I'm also no longer scared about undoing the camshaft pulley bolts, although I would not do that without that cam locking tools.

But yes agree with you all, cam timing must be right, and my motor runs like a champ so not concerned about that issue
Pete
 

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and my motor runs like a champ so not concerned about that issue
And that's exactly why you don't do a whole bunch of extra work for no reason.

For the cam timing to be out it would have to jump a tooth. When this happens on the 24V6 the engine has a very distinct idle and exhaust note. A mechanic who knows this would be able to tell if the timing is out. In that case of course you would need to use the blocks to reset it because there are no marks on the camshafts.
On routine cambelt service no need. Just think of it as any other cambelt and imagine the sprockets have a keyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #565
A horribly difficult day working on the 156v6. New belt and tensioner finally on and all marks line up ... but heck what an unpleasant job.

The only good thing is we have finally found the smoking gun, the tensioner bearing was utterly stuffed
Pete
 
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Why? If you don't mess the job up the timing doesn't go out. Its the same as any cambelt.
Not to be rude but this is what people say when they don't know what they are talking about.
I thought I was clear - the timing may already be out.
Not to be rude but this is what people say when they don't read other's posts properly! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #568 (Edited)
Come on you two, let's move on.

My 156v6 will be for sale. Its burnt my family, father (expert mechanic) and I out. I like the car and she fantastic to drive but I don't want to be working on 2 cars constantly. And she has deprived me of 3 weekends work on the GTV.

I would recommend to anybody that wants one of these cars to have a local garage, they trust, to do the maintenance, so you can just enjoy the driving experience as they are horrible to work on. I could write a very long chapter for a book on the poor design from a maintenance point of view of this car. So easily resolved with a little more thought and practical engineering

Yes I would probably be keeping the car if I had that situation, but I've always maintained my own cars ...

Pete
 

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Come on you two, let's move on.
Pete, there is no problem on my behalf, that's why the ignore function was invented. I am a qualified mechanic with extensive experience on Italian cars. In particular 156. I don't come on here to be told rubbish. Quite frankly its insulting. I think your in IT? Imagine if I came to your house and told you how to do your job with my qualifications. Like I said it's insulting.

Shame you are selling the car when just getting the hang of working on it. Alfa engineers where a bit crazy turning that lump of an engine sideways and making it FWD but after a while its as easy to work on as any other piece of crap. Don't give up, start looking for a cheap GTA (y)
 

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Any mechanic worth his salt will know this. Read my posts.
Welcome to my ignore list :giggle:
Bludy Aussies - take themselves so seriously and have no sense of humour! We appear to be in violent agreement - a mechanic (worth his salt) can use their experience but people less familiar with alfa engines might need to do things the pedantic way - but happy to be on an ignore list!

In many ways I agree with you PSk, I tend to get anything major (like a cambelt) done by someone I can trust to do it right.

But, what will you replace your 156 with?

Kerry (not a "mechanic worth any sort of salt")
 

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Discussion Starter #571
If I do replace it, it will be just a car that I don't care about. The GTV is getting closer to being completed and I only need one car that takes all my time. Yes the cambelt is now done and probably will be good for years to come, but I've spent too much time working on it. I found replacing the cambelt to be a horrid job and if I was to do it again, I'd pay somebody :) ... but then be shocked at the cost. I've been trying to run the 156v6 as a family car, and it's just not possible unless you are rich enough to get her serviced. I'm not, or struggle to justify the cost. To all readers: a cambelt is worth putting $10 away a week into a jar and to save up for. You don't want to do it!

But there are many things that could have been designed to be so much easier to work on, i.e. why not have an access opening so you can get at the tensioner bolts, and some of cambelt cover bolts easier, and the crankshaft nut ... ***!!!. It is only holding on a pulley that does not want to come off. Why the need for more than 50 ft/lbs? Just stupid and unnecessary design. I know it is a big nut, but without a rattle gun and a lot of luck you will never get it off ... and it is doing so little. The only reason it is done up to 40000000 ft/lbs is because it is a large nut. But there is no justification for this. Just bad engineering, full stop.

I do actually like the very simple tensioner. Very easy to set. Not super easy to install due to access issues, but once we made the tool to tension it, easy enough. So yes alfettaparts would have done this considerably quicker than my father and I, but it took us over 8 hours I think, and a lot of I hope that is right moments, and a lot of how the heck are we going to get that off/on moments too. I made many tools, and my father spent lots of money buying tools (41mm nut, etc.)

If my father was not available, I would have failed ...
Pete
 

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Its a big job. I did say if you can do this cambelt then anything else is easy. Enjoy the time with your father, time passes quickly. 🍻
 

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You've now spent that 8 hours - it is a sunk cost and shouldn't be part of your decision process! Economics is my stock in trade (cars are just a passion). Remember, the biggest cost in car ownership is depreciation not maintenance. I choose to buy a $4k 156 and pay for maintenance rather than a $10k japanese boring pos and lose 17% per year (AA figures no idea of their veracity). The saved $1,300 per year pays for a fair bit of maintenance. (These are NZ figures - Aussie cars don't depreciate at the same rate so the numbers are different). Depends too where you are in NZ. Christchurch is pretty lucky having The Italian Job to service our Alfas.

You could go electric, next to zero maintenance, no road user charges (so far) and the electricity cost is way lower than petrol. On purely economic grounds they can be a good option. Me, I'm going to plant some trees and drive a 156.

However, I certainly hear you on designs that make servicing hard. I assume a lot of design is to make it easy to assemble not work on. I replaced a 156's broken wing mirror last weekend with one off a parts car (well, two as the replacements were colour coded and the orginals weren't). Then found that one seemed to have something loose inside. The mirror itself just pushes on - I was sooo worried about breaking it pulling it off! Easy to put back together! So it took me as long to fix that wing mirror as to install a replacement front bumper. Then this weekend I think I spent four hours replacing an ABS sensor. It's about a 15 minute job but there are at least three different (incompatible) cable arrangements from the sensor to the first connector - luckly the third parts car had the one I needed. Alfa aren't the only culprits. To replace a Volvo headlight required complete removal of the front bumper which required removing the wheels, wheel well liners ... 6-7 hour job - to replace a headlight!
 

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Discussion Starter #574 (Edited)
The problem is wife now hates the car ... or more accurately hates the fact that another weekend was consumed by me always in the shed

I hate it at the moment too, but the hate will pass but I'm starting to long for a Toyota where I don't give a toss, it just needs to always go
Pete
 

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`61 Giulietta Spider, `65 Giulia Ti 1750, `69 GT junior 1600, `73 Spider 2000, `74 GTV 2000, `98 156
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When the wife gets a thing about the car best for the sake of peace to get rid of it Pete. You could get a manual Twin Spark - they have more room around the engine bay, are a sportier more agile drive and more reasonable in the economy stakes. The biggest problem though is their age regardless of what engine but the same applies to any other brand. Old Toyotas from the same era suffer from the same problems really. it is generally symptomatic of post 2000 cars. Best solution if you`re mindful of the maintenance costs and long term ownership is owning and running an earlier car be it an Alfa (now more expensive to buy than the "moderns") or a Toyota, or Fiat.
We always run a Fiat as our just get in and drive daily transport - current is a 2008 Punto 1.3 turbo diesel 6spd manual and like every Fiat beforehand has been extremely cheap to run and as reliable as any Toyota but with more style and a little more fun to drive. Love it every time I do an oil change with its 3.2 litre capacity and oil filter high up on the front of the engine. Even better it is chain drive not belt driven but heaps of room all around the engine to help make a Fiat a cheap car to own and maintain.
 

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Discussion Starter #576
Won't be an Alfa, and it won't be that old ... and agree with your first sentence alfavirusnz

I will be keeping out of the shed for a few weeks to try and redress the balance
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #577 (Edited)
Wife already looking for replacement car. Wants to just trade the 156 in ... I would prefer somebody from the AROCNZ buys it, but ...

And I have decided I will not be maintaining this car, but paying a local garage too. Should probably have done that with the 156, but would have been expensive
Pete
 

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Pete, if the Mito is sold in NZ its worth a look. Popular car with the ladies and have been very reliable. Not really an alfa as we know it however at least you wont be subjected to driving around in some pussbox. The other car I considered before I bought the Mito was a 500x. If the wife doesn't like something like that it might be time to trade her in :ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter #579
No my wife will do most of the selection. It will be Japanese, or Korean. I've always said that to own an Alfa Romeo you need a backup Japanese car. This is where I went wrong with the 156v6. If the 1750 was up and running it would not have been such an issue as she would have been the back up ...

So back to something that just goes, and more importantly you can get parts quickly for it. I fully understand our American Alfisti's frustration with their poor dealer support. We sell them here but the last 2 times I tried to contact the local one the phone was never answered and they never bothered to call me back when I left a message. Why would anybody buy a new one, when you have that to deal with?
Pete
 

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My Dad (92 now, lives in Auckland) had 4 Alfa’s then swapped to a Hyundai. Happy he is....warranty can be a wonderful thing.
 
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