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Premium Member
27,325 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I found this over under another post in FS section. I posted it in 2006 do I need to revise and add or delete items?

"Kinda depends on the state of the car when you get it.

Areas of concern from front to back for 12v models:

Cooling fan motor bearings seize (can be replaced)
Cooling fan low speed resisitor fails (upgraded one came out in 94).
Serpentine belt idler bearing and belt (Use Dayco cross hatch belt).
water pump bearing due to overtensioning stock serpentine belt
Timing belt and tensioner (oil fed leaks, mechanical one not Murphy proof hard to install/tension correctly without damaging/breaking thermal clutch spring.
input shaft BALL bearing IF INSTALLED pre 94 5-speeds fails replace with overload roller brg.
front strut lower bearings get stiff from dirt
Heater core burst (usually from overheating engine due to cooling fan problem)
Blower motor bearings can seize
inner/outer door handles crack
fuel pump hose inside tank cracks

Add concerns for 24v
Timing belt idler/tensioner bearings seize
Cam timing jumps
coil packs arcing
heater core rupture
cooling fan issues bearings/resistor
a/c control panel LED display fades

If well maintained during its life it is a good car. I have 185,000 on my 164B I bought new and maintained myself. Still have original engine as it came from factory, but at 130,000 changed clutch and input shaft ball bearing in 5-speed tranny with overload roller brg, changed stepper motors 10 years ago and did fuel pump hose in tank about same time.

I have 141,000 on our other daily driver I bought last year for $900. It is a good car but I had to change stepper motors, replace fuel pump hose in tank after bad previous wrong type hose replacement let go, had to replace a/c clutch due to bad bearing, replaced front axle boot and master cylinder that locked up last summer in the heat. Replaced accumulator springs in ZF autobox to correct shifting issue.

Have replaced cooling fan motor bearings in my one owner and serpentine belt idler bearings too. Have replaced oil fed timing belt tensioner with mechanical one and changed timing belt every 30,000 miles for safety.

Never been stranded in my 5-speed and only once in A/T one when that bad fuel hose repair by somebody before me let go on me in traffic.

If you "investigate that noise" before something fails and do scheduled maintenance these cars are nearly bullet proof.

I change timing belt, oil, antifreeze, brake fluid, power steering fluid at regular intervals and keep on keeping on."

1,765 Posts
Re: things to watch out for

It's very good, Steve. Should be made into a 'sticky' so it would appear at the top of the Technical forum.

Timing is nice too as I was going to ask a similar question about what gives problems/leaves you stranded with what is now quite an old car (my 1991 164). At the moment it's running a treat, but due to its acquisition for a bargain price, I'm quite prepared to do a little work/spent a bit of money to ensure that it's reliable. It has had excellent servicing in the past (two caring owners).

In particular it sounds like perhaps I should pull the fuel tank and inspect/replace pipes in that area. My previous 164 had a split breather hose external to the tank - I discovered this the first time I completely filled it with fuel, and rather a lot of it ran out onto the concrete of the forecourt...

I was wondering the other night about the crankshaft sensor - or whether there are any other failure-prone components that could immobilise the car. I know, that could be a huge list, but I just wondered if perhaps we could form a short list of the items to check to ensure that the 164 stays rolling. I'm not so concerned about other refinements (although my stepper motors are working well), but I'd like the car to be reliable, like it is at present.


136 Posts
Dino Enterprises 164

Alex-congradulations on getting that car-a friend checked it out at Dino's a week or so ago-I was considering getting it as a parts car-obviously sat on my hands far too long-from the pics it looks well looked after-too good for parts...

5,943 Posts
add to the 24 v section

* need special tool to reset pesky airbag light
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