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Discussion Starter #1
Alfisti,

I’m thinking about buying a ‘92 164 with the 12V per cylinder V6. It’s a clean version 5 speed for $7K
However im Hesitant because it’s not the Q with 24V with 230 HP. I believe all 92’s had only 183 HP. Is the difference a big deal?
 

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The 164 and 164L 12v V6 had 183 and the 164S 12v had 200. There is a 95 24v Q on ebay now for 10k.
 

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The 24v power is significantly higher than the 12v and revs higher too. In terms of ultimate throttle response I think the 12v is better, though only really noticable if blipping the throttle in neutral.
The 24v has good low down torque too and a brilliant on-cam boost from 4,000rpm. I love the 12v car, but the 24v is just so much better in terms of power output and Alfa tamed the torque steer in the 24v, which in the 12v can be quite strong. Having said all that, they are both great cars and a pleasure to drive.
 

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The cam belt change is a magnitude greater too.
A well sorted 164S is a pleasure. If you have 12v cars already I would recommend sticking with 12v just for parts commonality and parts cars.
I’m sure any well sorted 164 of any trim level is a pleasure, I just have an S.
 

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Sick with the 12V engine, The 24V engine in the 164 chassis is a whole 'nother level of magnitude to work on. Many parts are different too.

Bye
 

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I have both, and yes, the 12V S is simpler, and goes well, has been my DD since 1994, but the 24V LS goes sooo well. It is really a different animal, esp with Konis adjusted to S "sport" settings, the Q intake runners, and decent 16 inch wheels/tires. It does, though, require a more complicated servicing, thinking mainly of the timing belt.

Your choice, of course, depending on just how experienced you are with working on cars, your level of money/spending, and whether or not there is a decent Alfa mechanic nearby if you are unwilling or unable to do the servicing yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah I’m definitely not looking to service myself. I’m still looking for a quality Alfa mechanic in San Diego area. If any of you have a referral . So it sounds like the 12V is less complicated.
I’m just worried about the timing belt, the car has 158K and the belt should’ve been replaced at 150, any idea on what to look for when checking the car to see if it’s been replaced?
 

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If you aren't an Alfa 164 wrenchaholic don't go get one. You can't tell by looking when the belt was changed. I write the date and mileage when I do it on the timing belt cover.
1635892
 

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What belt change service interval are you basing the 8k overdue on? Age is another factor - not just mileage. Personally, I would get the timing changed before driving it any further. If it goes, especially as you say you aren't going to work on the car yourself, you are probably looking at a scrapped car.
 

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I’d go with the 12v 5-speed. Cost up front, maintenance cost, parts availability from used cars, and it will be a great driving experience. Compared to new cars, both are down on power but it is amazing how strong a 3.0 12v feels. Yes more power is nice but I had both a L and and S and they deliver a full experience. Overall condition is most important with deep service records and everything working. Highly suggest a PPI from a person that knows these cars so you don’t get eaten alive with catch up projects.
 

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By any modern standard both cars are slow. The extra valves don't increase torque by all that much in daily driving. Normal North American driving patterns are even slower than our cars so even a 12 valve 164 feels very quick in traffic if driven appropriately. As the saying goes it's not the tool but the man who uses it... (same applies to she of course).

Driven con brio I prefer the 12 valve if only because they don't and won't make such an engine ever again. There is a pleasing elasticity to a big valve, short stroke naturally aspirated port injected engine that you will never experience again. The 12 valve has gigantic intake valves as opposed to the two smaller valves in the 24 valver. You can feel the difference if you know what you're looking for.

Because all my other cars are now forced induction with direct injection and four valves per cylinder I notice the classic feel of a really great two valve engine every time I drive my 164. It keeps me coming back for more. 4,000 rpm to 5,500 is pure delight in this car. Redline (6,300 rpm is it?) isn't really worth reaching, honestly, and that's where the 24 valve advantage really lies.
 

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PS, that timing belt issue is exaggerated in my opinion. My 164 last belt change was in 2008. Mileage is by far the service life limiter, imho, and this belt is only halfway through the more conservative mileage interval. Also, the current belt on my car is of the improved dimpled tooth profile variety. Nobody really knows how long they now last. We may find out if I keep my car long enough. The cost of R&R the T-belt just isn't worth it. Breaks my heart to say so but it's true. The car has no net market value without a new T-belt and as far as I am concerned it doesn't need one. I'm riding this horse until her legs break and then I'll do the decent thing....
 

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Michael what you say is all real and good since you are talking about your 164 and you know the history of it and how you care and drive it. BUT for the new buyer to buy an unknown quantity what ever the brand unless you can verify the true history especially of a pre-owned/abused 164 Busso engine it is best to zero time out the timing belt and tensioner and even the water pump for piece of mind.
 

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I agree which is why I say my 164 has no net value if the T belt is changed. It is only because I know who did the T belt (local Italian mechanic), know the belt is of an improved design and have already accepted the risk of catastrophic failure that I decided to just run it.

Unless you know for sure when the T belt was done it is essential to get it done on any 164 you may buy. Crazy but true.
 

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@richardbradford isnt every 30 or 50k miles?
Does anyone know what a timing belt service would even run me these days?
Hi,
From memory, as my Owners manual doesn't state it, the 24v 3.0 cambelts should be changed at least every 72,000 miles or 6 years, which ever is soonest. The first ever cambelt change was done on my car at 67,000 miles - before I owned it. As I do the cambelts myself, so far without using camlocks/cam cover removal, I change these at about 40,000 miles and under 5 years. Other people change these every 30,000 miles or so. I always use Gates belts - making sure they are genuine before they go anywhere near the car.
Steve makes a really important point about knowing your car's history. When I bought mine, with some 80,000 miles on the clock, I phoned the garage that had worked on the car to confirm if/when the cambelt had been changed. If I hadn't been able to confirm it was not in need of a new cambelt I would have changed it to as a priority - just to be safe. Cambelt falure means bent valves and potentially damaged pistons too. You do not want to go there. Always considered my car to be scrap if that ever happened, even though I work on it myself.
The water pump should be changed too though, to be honest, mine is still on the original - 150,000 miles on the clock. The bearings are a little bit grumpy and changing it this summer but, unlike some other Alfa Busso V6's the 164 3.0 water pump uses metal not plastic (which age and break) water pump vanes.
Check out the radiator too - these age/clog and poor cooling is a recipe for engine overheating - easily avoided by new radiator (easy change).
Hope that helps.
 
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