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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone! I'm currently in the market for a GTV6, and am on the cusp of a purchase. I'm sure you get this from time to time, but I need advice on what I should look out for with one of these.

A brief introduction: I'm aware that these are 30+ year old cars and will probably need more maintenance than most people can do. I am not a certified mechanic, but have been working on my own cars for a while. I've done engine removals and rebuilds as well as a complete transmission swap (not an r&r, but an actual swap from auto to manual).

That out of the way, I'm aware of and have read the Hagerty and Hemmings buyer's guides as well as the checklist on alfagtv6.com. What I need are some ins and outs of those of you that know these cars really well. Are there things that will look "okay" on an initial inspection but should merit a closer look?

Also, I know that these cars are prone to rust, but aside from a visual inspection, where else should I look? Are the crossmembers or other support structures known to hold water and rust? Is the sunroof an area of potential concern? Can I assume that if there is no bubbling the are body is good? I realize that these came to the US in small numbers to begin with, and I am not necessarily looking for perfection (although I wouldn't mind it at all). I just don't want to get into something that looks good but is held together with scotch tape and chewing gum.

Long first post, but thanks in advance. If I end up getting this car I'll post again and share pics with you all.
 

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First off, welcome. Now, concerning rust; there's numerous key spots on these body styles (the Alfetta GT/GTV/GTV6) that like to rust , some aren't quite apparent but a majority are. The worse contenders are the floor above the front jacking points on both sides, sometimes it cuts up into the wheel wells, the lower section of the front fender by the rocker/door jamb area, the rear corner in the door jamb that curves up into the B pillar, and on sunroof cars the cowl. The area around the taillights can go and almost the entirety of the rockers, but that happens to pretty much all older cars.
 

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Welcome to the AlfaBB.

You are going about this backwards. Most of us fall in love with the idea of an Italian sports car and are blinded to any & all defects. We then spend the rest of our lives - and our kid's inheritance - trying to resurrect a derelict...

Anyway, rust is probably the biggest killer of these cars. Some say they were built with pre-rusted steel. Look carefully at the inner fenders where the spring/suspension is attached. Floor of course. The sunroof drains into the windshield posts. Originally there were rubber or vinyl tubes to drain the sunroof gutters but those tubes shrink and pull away from the gutter attachments. Water then drains directly into the windshield posts.

The GTV6 timing belt was an early design. It had minimal wrap around the camshafts and the shape of the 'teeth' meant if the engine is allowed to turn backwards the belt can slip. If it slips more than a couple of teeth then valve & pistons collide. And the belt is supposed to be changed every 30,000 miles. If the car you are considering has a timing belt of unknown vintage be very wary about driving it far. And if it hasn't been driven recently & regularly (see paragraph about derelicts...) at least remove the spark plugs and turn it over by hand a few revolutions (then plan to replace the timing belt ASAP).

The synchros in an Alfa transmission can be an issue. The 'wrong' type of oil can prevent them from working properly. But if they've been abused a proper rebuild will be needed.

I suggest contacting a local Alfa club. The members there may know fo good cars for sale. And will likely be willing to help you check out any prospects. See: Chapters Search – AROC
 

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1984 GTV6, 1973 Berlina, 1987 Milano
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Rust is definitely the biggest issue. Even mine, which was a Socal car its whole life, has rust at the bottom of the passenger fender. Probably from a blocked sunroof drain. You can't see the rust because it's hiding behind the plastic trim panel. So make sure you get under the car with a flashlight. Also check the inner fenders, they tend to rust and are expensive to fix.

Some common but easier to fix problems incljde:

Crunchy second gear synchros
Driveline vibrations (there are three rubber donuts plus a rubber support hanger)
Slow windows and wipers
No front speakers
Ripped upholstery
Cracked dash
Stuck speedo and tach gauges
Oil leaks

Mechanical parts are readily available and there's tons of info on how to fix things. Mine still needs rear bearings and a front suspension rebuild. I already did an engine reseal as I had lots of small leaks.

Good luck!
 

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On top of what the other guys have said I can't stress how important it is to get any significant perspective purchase inspected by a respected specialist. Cars can be very much like a mud guard, shinny on top **** underneath.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all for the comments... I really appreciate it. Ideally I'll be able to find a non-sunroof car, but I know how rare these are to begin with and beggars can't be choosers. I can weld, are patch panels available? I've looked but haven't found a good source, but I'm also easily distracted, so maybe I'm not searching for the right thing. I'm not really looking to get into that, but an inner fender doesn't sound too bad.... I'm assuming it's just a matter of removing the wheel and suspension for access.

Lol at falling in love with the idea of an Italian sports car and then spending a fortune trying to fix it. My wife teases me that prefer anything axis... I daily a 90's Japanese car, and a German wagon is my fun car, so of course now I'm looking at something from Italy. Also, since you mentioned it, what's the "wrong" kind of oil for the transmission? I'm sure the right kind can easily be found in the owner's manual... I'm guessing these cars have brass shift forks or something that is susceptible to certain detergents in transmission oil.

Lastly, to archeologist: no front speakers doesn't sound so bad... isn't the 2.5 Busso supposed to be the best sounding engine in the world?

Anyway, thanks again. Like I said, I'll let you all know once I get something. The search is on!
 

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1986 Alfa Romeo GTV6
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All of the above and Electrical.
Specially ground.
Oh and here's another page from the "Bible"
Treasure it, you might need it eventually.
Knowing your way around an engine is good, but these cars are a different breed. Find a classic alfa mechanic close. Mecanicly sain, it will last a lifetime. Rust and Electrical are usually the main headaches.
 

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Sekal I understand where you are coming from when you say these cars are a different breed but as a mechanic I would just like to say that there is nothing unique about alfa. Any manufacture has idiosyncrasies that makes someone that has worked on a specific brand a so called expert. There is nothing unique about an alfa that makes anyone that knows how to fix one any different to any quality mechanic. If I'm fixing a ferrari an alfa or a toyota it makes no difference and I find it an offence when someone thinks they are above someone else because they know how to repair a specific brand. Cars go up, down and around. Its all the same poopoo. You are correct that a perspective buyer need to seek out a specialist but the use of the term 'different breed' is offensive as a alfa mechanic. Sorry for my rant but I just don't think its helpful for a perspective buyer to think there is anything unique to alfa from a mechanical point of view. Again my post is in the best of interest, I just cant stand a so called specialist who thinks there socks don't stink.
 

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Sekal I understand where you are coming from when you say these cars are a different breed but as a mechanic I would just like to say that there is nothing unique about alfa. Any manufacture has idiosyncrasies that makes someone that has worked on a specific brand a so called expert. There is nothing unique about an alfa that makes anyone that knows how to fix one any different to any quality mechanic. If I'm fixing a ferrari an alfa or a toyota it makes no difference and I find it an offence when someone thinks they are above someone else because they know how to repair a specific brand. Cars go up, down and around. Its all the same poopoo. You are correct that a perspective buyer need to seek out a specialist but the use of the term 'different breed' is offensive as a alfa mechanic. Sorry for my rant but I just don't think its helpful for a perspective buyer to think there is anything unique to alfa from a mechanical point of view. Again my post is in the best of interest, I just cant stand a so called specialist who thinks there socks don't stink.
I also understand your point of view, also don't want to start a discussion. But they are a different breed. Most of the mechanics I know say no when I say what car it is. Same thing 20 years ago when I had my 75. I really believe them. I don't believe any mechanic would be able to change rear brake pads and leave them correctly on our transaxle cars. Or align the car properly. That simple.
Had a few examples with my Gtv6, but the one that takes the cake was 20 something years ago.
Had a mechanic ask me why my car had 2 distributors 8 plus on a 4 cylinder. I had a 75 twin spark. Don't take offense. Mechanics don't know, don't want to know and will keep away from them as many times as possible.
That is my experience.
And there is a lot of unusual things in our cars. Not unique. Unusual.
 

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I can see both sides of the argument here. I will say that I learned how to work on cars mostly because of hack mechanics. Unfortunately there are a lot of them and they will do things like use an impact gun on your axle bolts when they aren't threaded in properly, leaving you with a car that is dangerous (this isn't off the top of my head... ask me how I know). With different models and things out of the "norm" from what they see, I can understand why a mechanic who works on a Toyota Camry all day would have a hard time finding his / her way around something with inboard rear brakes and a rear-mounted transaxle. On the other hand, mechanical and physical principles are the same, but being applied differently, so these things can be worked out. What's difficult is finding the rare mechanic who takes their time to apply those principles correctly, especially on a 40 year old car with hard to find parts.
 

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Yup not looking for an argument and now I'm hijacking the thread. I know where I am from there are certainly a lot of bad mechanics around. Probably unqualified as the sector isn't regulated. Alfa has a reputation of being difficult to work on which is just utter rubbish. A lot of mechanics will run a mile when you say Alfa but that's a reflection on them, not the car. For example Sekal mentioned wheel alignment. There is nothing unique to an alfa wheel alignment at all, the problem is those shops use kids or unqualified people to do the job and would mess any car up. What really annoys me are the people that think there better than everyone because they drive around in there alfa like a self entitled turd or a mechanic that thinks their poop doesn't stink because they work on them (especially when some of them do a crap job anyway). From my point of view as a qualified mechanic alfa are no more unique than any other car. Its just what you get used to working on. Design philosophy is another matter and we all like alfa because ........well because its an alfa (y)
Anyway I hope the original poster gets something out of the conversation.
 

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So I found this today and thought of you guys. This is work from a so called specialist. I'm not saying I don't make mistakes but seriously? Be careful who looks after your car.
I see this sort of thing way to often.

Wrong shield for the brake master and rather than trying to make it fit its just been bent out of the way.
expert 01.JPG

I had a hell of a time trying to remove the mounting bolts. Only god knows why they where fitted this way. It obviously hadn't occurred to the specialist to orientate the bolts the other way around :ROFLMAO:
expert 02.jpg


expert 03.JPG
 

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Hi alfettaparts2
You are a mechanic who has 'the knowledge' about these cars, YOU are the mechanic I would recommend a new Alfa owner take their car to, thats the difference. I'm not a mechanic but I know through experience every nut bolt and wire on my GTV6. A local workshop owner asked me to help him with an Alfetta that had a driveshaft viberation, one of his mechanics removed the engine together with the front half of the drive shaft and left the rear half in the car because he thought it would be easier than removing the whole drive shaft. Without marking anything! when it all went back together it had the infamous driveshaft viberation. He was lucky I only had to disconnect and rotate the two sections once and the car was fine.
Cheers mate
nbpace
This forum has qualified mechanics as well as owners with decades of experience anything you need to know or learn is on this forum.
Engine , gearbox and suspension parts are all available for GTV'6 some patch panels are available. You have indicated that you can weld this a bonus because it is rust that will eventually kill these cars,
 

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So, here's my experience having a bought a 1983 build GTV6 "barn find" (ish) 3 years ago...
But before that.. there are only 2 kinds of old cars. Those that don't need anything and those that probably need everything. Those that don't need anything are shiny and driven for at least 3 hours per month. Those that probably need everything are trailer queens and the shabby ones.
The "everything" goes like this...
Electrical... as noted above... the contacts throughout corrode. It is a simple sheen but it adds massive impedance EVERYWHERE. A can of contact cleaner sorts this out. Windows and Headlights are slow/weak. But liveable, especially when you see videos of the Ferraris and Lambo's of the era. Same. Same. You may need to "undo" other people's fixes. This took me many hours of pleasant cursing.
Body. :ROFLMAO: Alfa used aluminium rivets to attach a steel splash plate behind the front wheels to the steel footbox where your feet go in the car. This caused electrolytic rust from the very second those rivets went in. They ALL rust there. They also rust where panels meet. This includes, but is not limited to, up inside the front wheel arches, along the back of the car where the rear panel meets the floor and bottom valance, under the windscreen, in the rear hatch (drain holes) and possibly in the A pillars. Salty cars simply rust everywhere.
Interior. Seats fade, dash cracks, there's a shelf in the passenger area. They are now rocking horse poo as it just takes one foot rested on it to destroy it. Heater works, the taps die (currently unobtainable) and the air con is a waste of space. Has a handy back seat. A real plus IMHO.
Suspension: Unless you have PROOF that every bush has been replaced, they ALL need replacing. There's plenty on how to improve the suspension but the presence of body roll does not imply bad handling unless you want to race the car. My car has the original shocks. After 35 years they still worked but the attachment points were NFG due to rotted bushes. The suspension is surprisingly easy to work on. Do it all at once though. MUCH easier that way. Steering rack can be a problem if it is truly worn (rare tho)
Brakes. Basic, reliable and easy. LOTS of go faster _ stop faster options.
Wheel bearings. Front are the same as every other car. The rears! OMG! Good thing they last decades. Do when redoing the suspension at the rear.
Transaxle. Awesome piece of kit but if you spend the $2k, get the heavy duty syncros put in and learn how to change gears (double clutch) you will love it. Watch the David Cironi GTV6 Video.
Drive shafts. Search for "Vibration" in the GTV6 threads. There's a huge thread that I started on this. Be warned but be brave. Mine is now perfect.
Engine. OMG!!! Best sound in the history of cars. Very reliable if maintained. Very fast with go-faster bits. Go-faster bits tend to crunch gears. GTV's are not DRAG cars, they are race cars. Different relationship with your gearbox.

Re. the "complicatedness" discussion above. The GTV6 transaxle and engine is more sophisticated than the 1970s Lambo's and Ferraris. It is ALL alloy, beautifully cast and wonderfully engineered. They are a delight in this way. You can tear a bolt out by over tightening without even trying. Experience matters and so I side with those who advocate for having a Alfa mechanic within towing distance. For me this mechanical sophistication is a huge part of the allure. After the GTV6 manufacturers designed poor cars that were "fixed"with electronics.
What else is there that has this pedigree?

Be warned, if you DON"T like fixing cars buy a Honda. If you do, get GTV6. It is immensely rewarding partially because it is so cleverly and bravely designed. People race these cars. Look up the records the GTV6 held including the speed record for 24 hours and the last 2WD Australian Rally and the European Touring Car CC 4 years running.

Good luck!! take a magnet when you go looking. Fridge magnets tell no lies!
I've driven 80's 911's. I'd rather the GTV6 at ⅓ the price.

As per usual, buy the best car you can afford and make sure you have proof of what has been done.

Good luck. They're an awesome car and strangers in the street will tell you so every time you get out of it..
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Millsy, thank you for the very thorough breakdown. I appreciate everyone taking the time to chime in. Definitely looking forward to finding one.
 
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