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Discussion Starter #21
Sounds great Pete. Lovely road and perfect for an Alfa. It joins the main road in Taupo just east of the township doesn't it?
I'm not sure, we just follow the road signs. Pretty open and flowing roads. The road from Tauranga to Rotorua is currently my favourite. Some great curves and undulating.
Is the road around the east side of the lake still as good as it was back in the 80's and 90's? Had some great drives down there, most often coming back through the national park and up the west side of the lack which by memory was a faster road?
New Zealand roads might often suffer course chip surface and therefore be noisy but they are rarely boring drives :).

BTW: The 1750 GTV's shell has been successfully moved today to our house from the rental property. An easy move where we actually towed it along the road on it's trolley for about 2 km's ... luckily no cops spotted us :D Lots of getting the house right first before I can get back working on her though.
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I'm going to contact the North Auckland FIAT Alfa Romeo place that last serviced it and see if I can find out when/if they replaced the timing belt. They might have the service history of the car for the last few years?
Pete
And they did have the service history from 2014 and really good news; the cambelt, tensioner and water pump were replaced in August 2014 @ 108,000 km's so there is no need for me to touch that area for 3 years or ~53,000 km's :) :)

Also the lower front control arms were replaced in October 2014 :)

Very happy 156 owner!
Pete
 

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Always good to have those major items done and paid for by someone else. Glad to see you are enjoying that 156 - the 2 litre Twin Spark is not too bad either, especially in the really twisty bits where its better agility becomes an advantage. Tauranga is not a bad place to live either.
Re your question as to why people don`t drive Alfas -two things ;they don`t like to be too different than their friends, and B they think they are dearer to own just like ANY European car. Obviously they have never worked on a late Japanese or Korean car, nor bought parts for them because ALL modern cars are equally difficult and my experience is parts prices are no different BUT because cars like Alfas tend to be driven for a longer period you can get parts for them in say 20yrs time unlike many *** imports for example.
I get parts from EB Spares in UK for our 156 but try Auckland Italian Job as well as slightly more convenient for you if you want them in a couple of days however if you plan your maintenance schedule ahead so you give yourself time can`t beat EB Spares in UK, and I got my TS plugs out within 4 days - ($NZ136 compared to $NZ300 plus). They carry "modern" Alfa parts in addition to the classic stuff they`ve always carried.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Took her up to the Auckland Ellerslie car show where my father is a judge. Dad, Jarad (nephew), Ben (son) and myself and still flies along, passing a breeze and too much fun.

I have also discovered that the back will let go, as early in the drive we played harder around a few roundabouts ... great fun :).

On the way home we also hammered up the Kaimai's as hard as I would go with my son on board (Dad and Jarad were dropped off in Hamilton) and that was great fun also. Only concern I have is the temperature, on this burst, got up to around 95 degrees C where she normally runs around 80 to 90 ... checked water and oil level this morning and perfect.

Dad has suggested I replace the fuel filter, which makes perfect sense of course.

My to do list:
1. Fuel filter.
2. Replace ashtray lid as it does not close perfectly as somebody has managed to break a couple of teeth off the closing mechanism.
3. Replace engine undertray as rear 2 mounts have been broken off.
4. Calmly wait for the next awesome drive :D
Pete
 

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The under tray was made by alfisti.net in aluminium. I would contact them and inquire if they can still supply for your V6 (different from the 4 cyl. versions).
UK Based EB Spares brake used 156s for spares, so ask there, too.
The UK based alfaowner.com have lots of 156 owners, past and present, so maybe someone have one that they never got fitted.
 

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Discussion Starter #27 (Edited)
My 156v6 has been racking up the miles recently. Last weekend I went from Tauranga to Auckland and back on both days (apparently 231km's from our house to the Auckland destination) to spend time with my wife and son. Managed to get it comfortably down to 2.5 hours.

Wonderful car, just wonderful. Passing is such a breeze, and also great fun. And heck I've been told the 4 cylinder is more sporty but heck she's a great handler ... for the sake of tyre preservation I've had to control myself ... lol

I've also had a (to me) wonderful complement from my son when I mentioned to him that if I ever go too fast, just say so and I will slow down immediately. He said: "It is the best thing I do" ... now at the moment that is very special, and also made the 156v6 even more special to me.

It has only used a tiny bit of oil, no water level movement and just seems to be lapping it up. Can do Tauranga to Auckland and back using only 1/2 a tank ... and with other drivers I'm sure it would do better because when I pass (and heck other times, although I try not to), I nail her :D ... it is simply safer to spend the least amount of time on the other side of the road.

Can't wait to take the whole family for another trip!! ... takes a lot of cleaning the bugs off the front though ;)
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #28 (Edited)
Since I serviced her (10/01/2016) she has done 5000 km's :), mostly from Tauranga to Auckland, so good miles and no problems.

Great for this sort of driving. In fact I love this car and have no intention of selling her. With my current family situation and not being able to continue (currently, I hope in a few years to get back into it) with my 1750's restoration I'm glad that I have this car to remind myself what is so good about this marque.

For those who want to know my son (14) had a mental breakdown and is in the excellent Starship hospital (in Auckland) while they work out his medication, etc. So far the diagnosis is he has Aspergers (high functioning Autism) and he spent too much effort trying to control this resulting in his mental breakdown and self harm thoughts.

Poor kid, and the most upsetting thing I have ever been involved in. I have cried so much that I thought I was going to run out of tears ...

He has been aware that he is not "normal" for a few years and we thought that he had grown out of it but in the end it was him trying ever so hard to be normal. Nobody can do that 24/7 and it burnt him out. (BTW: We've been aware that something was different for a very long time and he has seen more specialists than I have fingers and toes but he is also very good at working out what needs to be said at the right time and we have got nowhere but confused ...)

Of course human nature as it is, he was bullied by those he thought were genuine friends and now has a broken nose to prove it. The upsetting thing is no matter what happens to him it is always his fault and he deserved it ... of course this is not true but that is how victims like my son, whose through no fault of his was born different, think. We always wondered why he was so interested in everybody in the families history. He was trying to relate to another member of the family, ie. I'm like him or her. In the end I'm by far the most like him and maybe I have Aspergers too!

Sorry for this deviation, back to Alfas. The 156v6 is 100% a true Alfa Romeo!, and FWD or not it has huge grip.
Pete
 

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Sorry to read about your son's diagnosis. I hope that the doctors will find a treatment for him very soon.
When some things like this happens other things gets less important. It's very important for the patients family to keep hopes and encourage the patient to have hope for a soon improvement and recovery.
When my wife became ill (breast cancer) I was very happy that I had it in me to support her and finding surprises for her after surgery.
Best of luck for you and your family.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Sorry to read about your son's diagnosis. I hope that the doctors will find a treatment for him very soon.
When some things like this happens other things gets less important. It's very important for the patients family to keep hopes and encourage the patient to have hope for a soon improvement and recovery. When my wife became ill (breast cancer) I was very happy that I had it in me to support her and finding surprises for her after surgery.
Best of luck for you and your family.
Agree and thank you. We are doing all we can and understand that this will be a long process. I also have to thank my extended family who have been great.

I hope your wife is now well.
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #31
BTW: I'm getting 650 km's per tank :)

On my last tank this worked out as 8.6 l/100 or 32.8 mpg. Pretty good IMO.
Pete
 

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BTW: I'm getting 650 km's per tank :)

On my last tank this worked out as 8.6 l/100 or 32.8 mpg. Pretty good IMO.
Pete
Pretty good, 8,6l/100 km is about what I got on my 156 2,0 TS. Did you have an egg under your right food?

I hope your son have good progress!
 

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BTW: I'm getting 650 km's per tank :)

On my last tank this worked out as 8.6 l/100 or 32.8 mpg. Pretty good IMO.
Pete
Yes the V6s are pretty good. I can get close to that out of my 3.2 GT on the open road and 12-14 litres /100 km, (21 -26 mpg), around town, depending on how I drive it.

As you said in an earlier post, there is nothing wrong with the handling of FWD Alfas. They can more than hold their own against all sorts of cars and beat most. A member of our national modern Alfa GT register drove his 3.2 in the TSD class of the Targa Tasmania last week and came second by 0.5 seconds behind a modified Tickford Ford Falcon V8 ute. There were 34 cars in the class, including several BMW M series, Porsche 911s, Caymans, Subaru STI, F series V8 Jag, Holden Monaro, Toyota 86 to name a few. His car has done 190,000km and is fitted with coilovers, strut brace, Q2 Torsen diff and cat back exhaust like mine. The engine is stock apart from a remap which only makes a slight difference if any. It didn't miss a beat driving hard for six days and on the last day outclassed a lot of others in wet conditions.

All the best wishes for your son's treatment Pete.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
BTW my son is permitted home stays now so is making progress, which is three steps forward and two back.

The hardest thing is he appears so confused by what his brain is doing and asks some very soul searching questions. We do believe that with the right drugs, time and counselling he will reach a level of ability and hopefully acceptance of who he (now) is.

He enjoys drives in the 156v6. Relaxes him a great deal :).
Pete
 

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Okay one reason might be because Repco cannot supply even something as simple as a thermostat. Two attempts now and both very wrong, although the second may suit some Alfa Romeo but neither of mine.
Contact Vlad at Arese Spares in New South Wales, (02) 8011 4445 or 0405 434 663 and he'll hook you up with whatever you need.
 

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Discussion Starter #36 (Edited)
Just done another trip to the hospital in Auckland and back. My son and I ended up convoying with a silver 159 (diesel I think) for over half the trip. Was great fun, especially as after I blew past him after passing 4 or so cars in a single pass (the v6 was humming ;) ... and yes I used a bit more fuel in that trip) he decided that was unacceptable and passed me back a few miles later and kept up a good pace all the way to the Auckland motorway. Thank you and nice car you have Sir :) ... a BB member?

Anyway an interesting thing has happened to my family. First my eldest son (step son) asked me why I didn't buy one before in Sydney. He is not a car guy at all but mentioned that he quite likes the 156. Also when ever we go out my wife requests that we use the 156 :D ... interesting.
Pete
 

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Glad you are enjoying it Pete. I recently bought a year 2000 156 V6 to replace my trusty 1998 TS that got written off by a %$#! VW. Really enjoying the V6, should have bought one years ago. So much car for not much money. Thought the TS was smooth but the V6 is even better, much quicker and makes such a wonderful noise. In theory it's for my kids to use, but they have to fight me for it.. 159 has barely moved since the 156 arrived. I'm sure that it is considered good parenting to buy your kids a fine Italian car with a 140kW V6 and red leather bordello interior...?
First driving lesson in it my younger son did discover the effects of too much right foot and a rough clutch action :laugh2:

Something to look forward to when your son is old enough!

Mark.
 

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Nice to hear your V6 stories guys. Despite what some of the motoring writers are suggesting, the 156/147/GT family of Alfas are better cars than their peers in my opinion. They are all great fun to drive. A Busso V6 elevates them to the top of the list. No other car manufacturer has made an engine better than that. My all time favourite piston engines are the RR Merlins and Griffons, followed by the Busso V6. They all have that special sound that stirs the blood. It is a result of a unique combination of design and engineering that cannot be replicated. You can hear all of those engines coming and identify them by their sound, regardless of exhaust systems.
 

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"My all time favourite piston engines are the RR Merlins and Griffons"

My father was a trained mechanic on the Allison V-12 versions of those engines. More reliable and simpler in design, so he thought, having worked on both. Better for hopping up. As team manager, he used to build up hotrod versions of them for the Unlimited hydroplanes being raced in the States back when they used piston engines, not turbines as they do now. Won two national championships in the 50's with his engines.

Some other teams used the Rolls, as they were more available as used war materiel than the Allisons. The US government would try to destroy any US built engines that were found in war surplus depots. I guess they were still worried about the 'enemy' getting war machines, lol. Stupid waste.

Really loved the sound, esp when they were in a fighter flying overhead. The P&W radials didn't sound nice at all.

These engines were basically scaled up Ferrari engines, so to speak, being 60 deg V-12s, single overhead cams. Some outfits ran them with collector exhaust manifolds which were not tuned like race cars, but others ran them with short stacks, just very short single cut off exhaust manifolds, also not tuned (did give them more room around the engine to access some engine parts). Those short stacks were very loud and not nearly as nice sounding.
 

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Even my wife, who is not into machinery like me, was moved by the sound of the Spitfire we saw at Shuttleworth back in 2005. Last night there was a documentary on TV, made last year, about the RAF Red Arrows and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight in which they were preparing for a big airshow. They did a show with a Spitfire and a Euro fighter matching stunts, a BBMF flypast and finished with 18 Spitfires and Hurricanes in the air. It was wonderful to watch. I have stunning air to air photos of all those planes taken by a New Zealand guy, Classic Aircraft Photography, as my screensaver.
 
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