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Discussion Starter #1
Good afternoon. New to the forum here as a poster, although I've been browsing the classifieds for at least a year now. Finally ready to move on a car (this will be my first Alfa), so I've stepped up my search.

I'm located in the Dallas area, and while there seem to be a few cars in Austin worth checking out, I've zeroed in on a car in New Orleans. It's an '83 GTV6, silver on blue. Two owner car (second owner has had it about a year) with 55k miles.

Exterior looks decent from the photos, interior looks absolutely immaculate. Current owner seems to know his stuff about various Italian automobiles (says he just sold a Lancia Beta as well), but isn't an expert by any means.

He claims all is well mechanically and with electrics/gauges/etc, but he does believe that the clutch is about to go because the takeup is very high in the pedal travel. On the other hand, he also admitted that he has done zero work to the car in the year that he's owned it and really doesn't have any maintenance information.

In short, the low-mileage and lack of maintenance history kind of scare me, as I feel like there may be a lot of deferred maintenance to go through. I'm fully prepared to have a steady stream of work in owning a GTV6, but I'd like to daily this car (my DD commute is light) and I'd also rather not have a whole lot of work (and $$) pop up immediately after purchasing the car.

I've looked around and can't find much in the way of Alfa mechanics/shops in the New Orleans area, so I may just have to take a leap of faith on this. Do you folks have any recommendations of what I can look for/expect, or perhaps someone may be familiar with this car (current owner said it came from Michigan)?

Ordinarily I'd just go check it out and make a judgment call, but I'd like to have all of my ducks in order before I fly out and potentially drive it back.

Thanks, look forward to being more active here shortly (hopefully).
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Here are some pictures of the car in question. Additionally, I'd be happy to pay for gas and lunch for any Alfisti who live in the NOLA area that would be willing to come take a look with me. Trying not to make a mistake with my first Alfa purchase, so I'll take any advice/commentary that comes my way.



 

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If there is no documentation as to the last timing belt change, (30k mile intervals?) plan on that as soon as possible. Or else! Usually done with water pump and tensioner I believe.

That should be a good negotiating point if owner can't tell you when is was last done.

Have you priced a clutch yet? If not do it now.

everything works?

I would then look hard for:
Rust. any bubbles around windshield, rear hatch glass, under hood gutter inside engine compartment at top of fender wells, rocker panels.

Leaks - anywhere really but around tensioner letting oil on timinig belt. check water for oil. check oil for water. weeping around head gaskets.

Giubos - donuts in the driveline and driveshaft center support

steering - rock wheel in/out left/right, no clunking. grab top push/pull, hard! no clunking. steering shaft isolator, rubber damped union in steering column

listen for growling while turning hard as rear wheel bearing loads and unloads

Go here:

AlfaGTV6.com ~ Home of the Alfa Romeo Transaxle

Click on the technical folder icon then the checklist document.

I have a generic car inspection checklist in excel format from someplace. Send me your email address and I can send it to you. I don't know the value but it's free.

I hope the more knowledgeable will offer corrections and more detail
 

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Our first 81 GTV6, bought used with 30k miles on it, had a severely worn clutch, no thanks to the PO. The clutches in these cars can wear quickly, esp if mistreated. The clutch in the Milano, however, can last for many K's of miles if not mistreated. Ours has close to 100k miles on it and it is still just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If there is no documentation as to the last timing belt change, (15k mile intervals?) plan on that as soon as possible. Or else! Usually done with water pump and tensioner I believe.

That should be a good negotiating point if owner can't tell you when is was last done.

Have you priced a clutch yet? If not do it now.

everything works?

I would then look hard for:
Rust. any bubbles around windshield, rear hatch glass, under hood gutter inside engine compartment at top of fender wells, rocker panels.

Leaks - anywhere really but around tensioner letting oil on timinig belt. check water for oil. check oil for water. weeping around head gaskets.

Giubos - donuts in the driveline and driveshaft center support

steering - rock wheel in/out left/right, no clunking. grab top push/pull, hard! no clunking. steering shaft isolator, rubber damped union in steering column

listen for growling while turning hard as rear wheel bearing loads and unloads

Go here:

AlfaGTV6.com ~ Home of the Alfa Romeo Transaxle

Click on the technical folder icon then the checklist document.

I have a generic car inspection checklist in excel format from someplace. Send me your email address and I can send it to you. I don't know the value but it's free.

I hope the more knowledgeable will offer corrections and more detail
Definitely planning on water pump, tensioner and timing belt ASAP.

I have priced a clutch, but I'm a little unsure as to what level to go to in replacement. Some threads seem to indicate that just replacing the clutch plate should get the job done (much cheaper), while others recommend replacing the full assembly ($700-1000 from what I can tell). Any input there?

As far as the guibos go, is there any steadfast way to check what kind of condition they're in or is it just a matter of feeling out driveline vibrations?

I have found the alfagtv6.com checklist which was handy for my over-the-phone discussions with him, but I'll take your spreadsheet as well. [email protected]
 

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Per the GTV6 clutch, they pretty much Always catch at the top, which is normal.
Only consider it bad if it slips under heavy acceleration.
They are a lot tougher than you might think.
What is the asking price, if I may? Could be a great value, judging from the photos.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Per the GTV6 clutch, they pretty much Always catch at the top, which is normal.
Only consider it bad if it slips under heavy acceleration.
They are a lot tougher than you might think.
What is the asking price, if I may? Could be a great value, judging from the photos.
He's asking $8500. I think it's overpriced, especially if it has a couple of needs and with the deferred maintenance. I think you guys would have a better opinion than I on this, so I'm glad it got brought up.
 

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One other piece of advice, in my opinion:

Fly out and back if you want to inspect it before buying. Or get a trusted Alfisti to inspect for you. I would not buy and then try to drive it home however, especially since the timing belt is of unknown age. Shipping a car is not so expensive, but getting a tow from the middle of nowhere is, not to mention the potential damage a slipped belt could do.

This concept of 'saving' money by driving the car back instead of shipping it is really not saving anything. You're already spending thousands on a car--spend an extra $200-$400 (over the cost of gas to drive it) and ship it. Slipping a belt or getting stranded will make all that savings evaporate.

Then once you have it local, replace the belt immediately and then drive it locally to see what else jiggles loose. There will be something, no doubt about it. It's a 30 year old car.

I'm sure others here will disagree--but to me it's just not worth the time and headache if something breaks on you in the middle of nowhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
One other piece of advice, in my opinion:

Fly out and back if you want to inspect it before buying. Or get a trusted Alfisti to inspect for you. I would not buy and then try to drive it home however, especially since the timing belt is of unknown age. Shipping a car is not so expensive, but getting a tow from the middle of nowhere is, not to mention the potential damage a slipped belt could do.

This concept of 'saving' money by driving the car back instead of shipping it is really not saving anything. You're already spending thousands on a car--spend an extra $200-$400 (over the cost of gas to drive it) and ship it. Slipping a belt or getting stranded will make all that savings evaporate.

Then once you have it local, replace the belt immediately and then drive it locally to see what else jiggles loose. There will be something, no doubt about it. It's a 30 year old car.

I'm sure others here will disagree--but to me it's just not worth the time and headache if something breaks on you in the middle of nowhere.
Glad to see this advice because it's the same conclusion I've come to over the past few hours. Got a shipping quote for $365 and I can get there and back, round trip, for $130. Really not difficult math for me, especially given that there are places here in Dallas that can immediately assess it for me upon my return.

I'd really like to have someone take a look out it out there to begin with, but it doesn't look like that's a realistic expectation.
 

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I thought timing belts (and water pumps) were to be changed every 30,000 miles and that it is the valve adjustment interval that is every 15,000 miles. Please correct me (and the advice given to the OP) if I am wrong.

Yes, the clutch does take up high in the pedals travel, so if it is not slipping, it may well be okay.

Steve
 

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I would bring old clothes - maybe a set of tyvek coveralls or something. plan on getting a little dirty.

Easiest way to inspect a giubo is visually. If I had to I would drive one side up on a curb and slide under with a good flashlight.

deep cracks, separation, missing chunks. move the car a little and look again. Grab the driveshaft near the support and try to move up/down, left/right. it should move some but the diaphragm or bellows should be intact and the shaft should only move a little and return to center.

30k sounds more reasonable. I just checked in a GTV6 owners manual and the maintenance schedule doesn't list timing belt change. at least I don't see it.
 

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please check your fuel lines carefully b4 driving it

all of these suggestions are gold.. take them to the bank .. these guys have your best interest at heart.. please take this pearlof wisdom from me... have someone who knows what they are doing check all your fuel lines very, very carefully... i made the mistake of not doing so.. and i drove it, and the car went up in flames... and i almost went with it
 

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Good afternoon. New to the forum here as a poster, although I've been browsing the classifieds for at least a year now.
Welcome! Sometimes I think the search is almost as much fun as the owning. As stated the high clutch pedal is normal. As long as it doesn't slip it may fine. But, if it does need replacement they are not cheap. Estimate ~ $800 in parts.

Got a shipping quote for $365...
Hopefully not from one of the clowns on Shipping Wars.

I'd really like to have someone take a look out it out there to begin with, but it doesn't look like that's a realistic expectation.
Have you tried contacting a local chapter of an Alfa Romeo club? See: AROC; chapters

I bought our GTV6 in Houston, TX. A local Alfisti (from this BB) checked it out for me first then I paid an Alfa shop for a Pre-Purchase Inspection. My wife & I then flew from NC to TX and we drove it home over 2 days. My contingency plan if we had major problems was to either have it shipped or rent a U-Haul & car trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Really appreciate the advice and information from everyone. I have a much better feel of what I'm going into now, and it hasn't scared me off.

That said, I'm not sure I'm going to wind up with this particular car. A little digging tonight showed that this car has been up for sale since sometime in October of last year and he hasn't changed the price one time. It was even featured on Bring a Trailer in early December and that didn't manage to get it moved; someone local to the New Orleans area mentioned that the seller wouldn't budge on price at all, either. Front seats are in good shape but aren't correct, and the rear seats are apparently pretty far gone.

I'm going to keep in contact with him and see if I can work the price at all give that he's had it for sale for 4 months now and clearly is having trouble moving it, but he also doesn't seem too motivated to do so.

But it's nice to find out that the market has generally reflected my thoughts on the price, and I also have a new arsenal of information from this thread that I can use to my advantage from here forward.

Thanks for the help, I'll post an update when/if I finally find a car.
 

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Just got a response back from the seller. He believes that if he were to replace the timing belt, the tensioner, the water pump, and the clutch, he'd have a $12k car. I guess that puts the nail in the coffin on this one.
 

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He's dreaming.
 

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Having bought a GTV6 in Dallas a few years back, I do have some thoughts on this:

- Deferred maintenance is a big red flag, esp with well known things like the timing belt and water pump. If these two key things weren't cared for who knows what else is whacked

- although driving home can be a fun adventure, I think its best to transport it back so you can have a local, trsusted mechanic work on it (or yourself). i had some deferred maint like the timing belt addressed in Dallas (I was driving back to LA) by Reed's Automotive (long time Alfa guy suposedly), but they really botched things up and ended up wasting several days of hotel/rental car and had to fly my buddy back for his work. Two days after getting home, the belt jumped a couple of teeth and left me stranded, luckily 2 mi from home...luckily no valves bent.

One thing I wonder about shipping though is how do you tie the shipping with the transaction? I think the trucking companies give you a range of dates when they arrive, otherwise don't you pay through the nose? Do you leave it in the hands of the seller?

Anyway, this deal seems like a pass to me too.
 

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Slowhand.

This car has more than 55 k miles

Alarm bells should be ringing very loud!!!!
A 30 yo car with only 2 owners and a mere 55k miles and no paper work!!!!

Run for the hills it's my advice, you will be buying someone else's problems.
without any service history he can tell you any thing and it can't be proven other wise.
And I agree with DEL with out any records he's dreaming!!!

Jorge.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Having bought a GTV6 in Dallas a few years back, I do have some thoughts on this:

- Deferred maintenance is a big red flag, esp with well known things like the timing belt and water pump. If these two key things weren't cared for who knows what else is whacked

- although driving home can be a fun adventure, I think its best to transport it back so you can have a local, trsusted mechanic work on it (or yourself). i had some deferred maint like the timing belt addressed in Dallas (I was driving back to LA) by Reed's Automotive (long time Alfa guy suposedly), but they really botched things up and ended up wasting several days of hotel/rental car and had to fly my buddy back for his work. Two days after getting home, the belt jumped a couple of teeth and left me stranded, luckily 2 mi from home...luckily no valves bent.

One thing I wonder about shipping though is how do you tie the shipping with the transaction? I think the trucking companies give you a range of dates when they arrive, otherwise don't you pay through the nose? Do you leave it in the hands of the seller?

Anyway, this deal seems like a pass to me too.
Agreed on pretty much all of your points. Going to wind up shipping just about anything that I buy, to be honest. It just makes more sense and I'll have plenty of time to drive whatever I wind up buying.

Not 100% on the shipping, but all of the quotes I've received started with a 2-3 day window and suggested that this would be pared down as the date neared.
 
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