916 Spider Twin spark

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jamesbilluk

Original Poster:

3,751 posts

184 months

Monday 10th April 2023
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Hi all.

Ive been looking for something special for the weekend, but wanted a change from the MX5. I really like the look of the 916 Spider, Or GTV, The V6 is out of my price range sadly, so would be looking at a Twin spark. How are they handling wise? Or are they more of a cruiser.

I do like the look of these ones, would they be risky at this price point?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/225377024409?hash=item3...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/225174954920?hash=item3...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/266168657235?hash=item3...

Edited by jamesbilluk on Monday 10th April 19:41

jamesbilluk

Original Poster:

3,751 posts

184 months

Monday 10th April 2023
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This looks lovely as well, with the teledials
https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202303255...

r159

2,279 posts

75 months

Monday 10th April 2023
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The twin spark gtv handles well, engine sounds good ( not as nice as a busso, but not much does)

jamesbilluk

Original Poster:

3,751 posts

184 months

Monday 10th April 2023
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r159 said:
The twin spark gtv handles well, engine sounds good ( not as nice as a busso, but not much does)
I did get carried away in youtube watching the Busso GTVs, they really do sound good.

Great to hear about the handling as well.

wal 45

673 posts

181 months

Tuesday 11th April 2023
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I've got a 1996 Twin Spark Spider I spent the best part of 6 years restoring, I really rate them but they most definitely aren't an MX 5 or Lotus Elise.

The Twin Spark engine really suits these and 150 (CF1) or 155 BHP (CF2/3) is all you need in one, a V6 is just too much for the chassis which isn't particularly stiff. When the suspension is fully refreshed they handle really quite nicely (Alfa used the FWD Lotus Elan as the benchmark) but if it hasn't they can feel a bit rubbish. I left mine as standard as possible and only used poly bushes where I couldn't get standard items.

The 2 cars that are still available on the list you've got look OK, the green Phase One has been for sale for a long time but is a launch edition colour. It's got a few bits that'll need changing but looks honest, the red one looks slightly better condition from the photos. I'd be tempted by the green one though as that colour is really rare now (I've got a Rosso Red car).

Mine is an early Phase One and if I was doing one again I'd look at one of these later cars but you really need decide on condition and how they actually drive. They don't rust too badly but it's worth looking at the 916 forum on Alfa Owner for some real in depth info on what specifically goes wrong.

They are more of a GT car than a back road or track car but are very entertaining and fun, I really like mine and have no plans to sell it.





Edited by wal 45 on Tuesday 11th April 11:16

jamesbilluk

Original Poster:

3,751 posts

184 months

Tuesday 11th April 2023
quotequote all
wal 45 said:
I've got a 1996 Twin Spark Spider I spent the best part of 6 years restoring, I really rate them but they most definitely aren't an MX 5 or Lotus Elise.

The Twin Spark engine really suits these and 150 (CF1) or 155 BHP (CF2/3) is all you need in one, a V6 is just too much for the chassis which isn't particularly stiff. When the suspension is fully refreshed they handle really quite nicely (Alfa used the FWD Lotus Elan as the benchmark) but if it hasn't they can feel a bit rubbish. I left mine as standard as possible and only used poly bushes where I couldn't get standard items.

The 2 cars that are still available on the list you've got look OK, the green Phase One has been for sale for a long time but is a launch edition colour. It's got a few bits that'll need changing but looks honest, the red one looks slightly better condition from the photos. I'd be tempted by the green one though as that colour is really rare now (I've got a Rosso Red car).

Mine is an early Phase One and if I was doing one again I'd look at one of these later cars but you really need decide on condition and how they actually drive. They don't rust too badly but it's worth looking at the 916 forum on Alfa Owner for some real in depth info on what specifically goes wrong.

They are more of a GT car than a back road or track car but are very entertaining and fun, I really like mine and have no plans to sell it.





Edited by wal 45 on Tuesday 11th April 11:16
Thank you for that, very helpful.

That sounds just what I'm after really, I'm not the fastest driver, so this would be great, enough power, looks and sounds good too

I must admit, I do like the green, although the Red is hard to resist as well.

This was another one that I was considering, it seems to be a phase 2, more money, but still in budget for me.

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202304025...


wal 45

673 posts

181 months

Tuesday 11th April 2023
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jamesbilluk said:
This was another one that I was considering, it seems to be a phase 2, more money, but still in budget for me.

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202304025...
Pleased to help, the 916 forum on AO is pretty good for advice as are the UK FB 916 sites...some very knowledgeable and helpful people out there.

The only alarm bells with the Phase 2 you quoted is that it seems to have been off the road for circa 10 years "somewhere". Mileage didn't increase by much either so it didn't go abroad, might be a really good reason but I'd certainly ask.

Good spec though by the look of the photos but strangely no under the bonnet or back of the soft top photos amongst the 49, wonder why? Hoods are about £1200 or so to get done (had mine done last year).

jamesbilluk

Original Poster:

3,751 posts

184 months

Tuesday 11th April 2023
quotequote all
wal 45 said:
Pleased to help, the 916 forum on AO is pretty good for advice as are the UK FB 916 sites...some very knowledgeable and helpful people out there.

The only alarm bells with the Phase 2 you quoted is that it seems to have been off the road for circa 10 years "somewhere". Mileage didn't increase by much either so it didn't go abroad, might be a really good reason but I'd certainly ask.

Good spec though by the look of the photos but strangely no under the bonnet or back of the soft top photos amongst the 49, wonder why? Hoods are about £1200 or so to get done (had mine done last year).
Thank you smile I shall have a look on that section, I think I'm a member still from when I had my 159, really helpful site.

Very good point that! With regards to the time off road.
And lack of the photos. I think it does say its imported, but they didnt say from where. May well give that one a miss with it's price as well.

I wish I had made a move on that Zoe Yellow one from Ebay, lovely looking car that.


paulmakin

671 posts

142 months

Wednesday 12th April 2023
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i posted this up in response to an earlier, similar, enquiry - i think most of it is still relevant

"had several over the years, TS and V6. Mine have all been phase 2's. here's an ammended verson of a previous post

the Busso is a robust unit with no real maladies (apart from getting a little rattly around the bottom - is ok, they all do it) so it's more about the stuff that alfa bolted on around the engine.

many prefer the TS and i can see why. the belts interval is the biggy and it needs doing so often that it's worth buying the tools for DIY. Variator and pump at the same time. oil cooler will eventually start to leak - annoying drip or exxon valdez is in the lap of the gods. for some reason i seem to have had a disproportionate number of stat failures on TS's. Beware a TS that's had a top end rebuild after a belt failure - many have experienced a bottom end failure a few 000 miles later. plugs are expensive and, of course, there are 8. TS's use oil - they just do. the manual tells you that they do.

never had a JTS - Paul at AforAlfa hates working on them but i dont know why.

some parts getting hard to find but perseverance always pays off. took me over a month to find a brake compensator valve but got there in the end (from latvia of all places).

I've never had a rusty one but i believe they do like to rot if neglected. Floor seams, sills under the plastic cover etc. although the body doesn't rust don't be lulled into thinking that nothing bolted to it rusts. bonnet hinges as a case in point. they can get a bit corroded and stiff and do suddenly pull out of their housing. this will leave you desperately trying to wrestle what is essentially a large plastic sail back into position. it may be composite but its arm-achingly big.

front lower arms should be considered service items - decades of running 916's of any persuasion means i just use pattern parts and replace relatively frequently (others will swear by genuine but i didnt really find a difference in longevity). other suspension stuff is manageable (noted some neglected cars beginning to present with rear subframe issues). i've found modified cars to be hopeless in the suspension department and converted them back to standard ride height at quite a cost. refurbed, future proofed spring pans are readily available but a bit pricey.

rear suspension is quite complex and there's a lot of bushes under there. the passive rear steer can get a bit more "active" (and by active, I mean "startling") as things get more loose at the back end. upgrades are available

none of my 916's have ever had electrical faults despite what the received wisdom about italian electrics may suggest. the meta alarm can go a bit squiffy but can be either unplugged (immobiliser will still be active) or refurbed. however, the exception that denies the rule is "beach ball boy" - any attempt to do anything at all with the seats without first removing the battery and dropping the keys off in the next county will result in his appearing, i miss him when he's not there. speaking of keys - make sure you get them all as its very confusing trying to work out what works and what doesnt work if you don't have the master.

trim is holding up well, even the cloth seems to last. check doorcards for the signature "closed the door and trapped the belt buckle" hole. many small bits will fall off but they can usually be forced back into place. Red with tan leather my favourite combo but had a couple of black with red which was also nice. The special trim levels ("red line" and "blue line") dont seem to be commanding higher prices and the red dash that some had just looks a bit over the top. floppy door pull is a slipped bowden cable. what can be a massive pita though is window alignment - the manual lists approx twenty-twelve separate measurements to get it right.

the Cup/Aero kit is, i think, attractive but doesnt seem to add much value despite being quite expensive to buy in component form.

driving position is fine for me but i'm quite small. others moan about offset pedals and the like but never a problem for me. what are problematic though are the sun-visors. fold them down and your forward vision is akin to a comedy "peeping through a letterbox" sketch. speaking of vision - the HRW relay can fail and has been known to trigger small electrical fires - a hack is available.

rear seats are rubbish. tiny people will fit but they will moan if you're going further than the end of the road. boot is vestigial and usually full of space saver (although some later cars got a tyre pump and foamy stuff) and CD changer.

wipers tend to lift off the screen at higher speeds - no real fix for this, Rain-X helps. the wipers were never really properly converted to RHD. this results in some weird non-seating issues at times. they do a kind of half wipe after switching off which may mean they stop in the 12 o clock position - flick wipe reseats them.

this is just quick top of head stuff - they are great little cars and the V6 is genuinely (sort of) fast even today, strongly recommended"

jamesbilluk

Original Poster:

3,751 posts

184 months

Thursday 13th April 2023
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Brilliant post, thank you!

I'm off to see this one on Monday https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202304025...

The MOT discrepancy I was assured is it being imported. And used as a second car. Its said to have genuine miles, and full service history with a folder of paperwork, also only 2 other owners, which is good.

I did do an online check on it, and the milage check all came back OK. Not sure how accurate that is though. The roof works fine apprently, although there is a tiny bit of lacqure peel on the rear, which he will send me a photo of.

paulmakin

671 posts

142 months

Thursday 13th April 2023
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That looks nice and well priced.

At that mileage it should have just had its second belt/pump/variator change done. Not wallet crippling if it hasnt but the vendor is advertising a FSH.

I just noticed this one on the bay of dreams - also looks good and ticks the "belts/MoT/rust repaired/all keys present" boxes. New HG also
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/295620232614?hash=item4...

Edited by paulmakin on Thursday 13th April 18:32

jamesbilluk

Original Poster:

3,751 posts

184 months

Thursday 13th April 2023
quotequote all
paulmakin said:
That looks nice and well priced.

At that mileage it should have just had its second belt/pump/variator change done. Not wallet crippling if it hasnt but the vendor is advertising a FSH.

I just noticed this one on the bay of dreams - also looks good and ticks the "belts/MoT/rust repaired/all keys present" boxes. New HG also
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/295620232614?hash=item4...

Edited by paulmakin on Thursday 13th April 18:32
Looking forward to having a look/drive.

I was concerned about it's hibernation, but from him reading out the history, it does seem to have been re commissioned well.

Will definitely make sure to have a good look through the history. There's a huge folder apparently. I have NJS close to me, so may get them to, if it hasn't.

I shall have your post on my phone ready as well, when I'm looking round the car.

The black one does look lovely, and looks to be in great condition.

paulmakin

671 posts

142 months

Thursday 13th April 2023
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Inactivity never good for vehicles, especially Italians but..

Admittedly i'm speaking of a V6 but, inspired by replying to your post, today i went to my autohaus (mates very big shed) and unpacked my own 916.

To my shame, it has been stored for at least 5 years.

With the exception of an initial Code fault which prevented start but did allow me to spin it over without firing up (and fixed by merely using the master key a couple of times) it started first time. I added fresh fuel and a new battery but thats about all. It's now starting, stopping, going round corners almost as if it had never been laid up.

It will now receive the re-comissioning that hopefully you will see evidence of when you view this car.

jamesbilluk

Original Poster:

3,751 posts

184 months

Thursday 13th April 2023
quotequote all
Just having my evening browse of YouTube, and since I've watched nothing but 916 videos, this popped up!
Doesn't look good.. Can't imagine the paint work has been sorted since

https://youtu.be/Yy6MSuoXoFQ

jamesbilluk

Original Poster:

3,751 posts

184 months

Thursday 13th April 2023
quotequote all
paulmakin said:
Inactivity never good for vehicles, especially Italians but..

Admittedly i'm speaking of a V6 but, inspired by replying to your post, today i went to my autohaus (mates very big shed) and unpacked my own 916.

To my shame, it has been stored for at least 5 years.

With the exception of an initial Code fault which prevented start but did allow me to spin it over without firing up (and fixed by merely using the master key a couple of times) it started first time. I added fresh fuel and a new battery but thats about all. It's now starting, stopping, going round corners almost as if it had never been laid up.

It will now receive the re-comissioning that hopefully you will see evidence of when you view this car.
Great that's yours is up and running again smile

CarlosSainz100

517 posts

121 months

Thursday 13th April 2023
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jamesbilluk said:
Just having my evening browse of YouTube, and since I've watched nothing but 916 videos, this popped up!
Doesn't look good.. Can't imagine the paint work has been sorted since

https://youtu.be/Yy6MSuoXoFQ
At least you can see where all the bad points are on this car, Neil at Italia Autos has basically done you a free pre purchase inspection!

Looks like the sale didn't go through at £5.5k and I'm not surprised. A TS is not worth that.

At 4k....maybe. I reckon despite the advert you could chip him down at least £500 quid.

jamesbilluk

Original Poster:

3,751 posts

184 months

Thursday 13th April 2023
quotequote all
CarlosSainz100 said:
At least you can see where all the bad points are on this car, Neil at Italia Autos has basically done you a free pre purchase inspection!

Looks like the sale didn't go through at £5.5k and I'm not surprised. A TS is not worth that.

At 4k....maybe. I reckon despite the advert you could chip him down at least £500 quid.
Very true!

I did wonder that, certainly quite highly priced then!

I did message the seller, they did say they could get it waxoyled. I mentioned my concern with the paint and the roof, after the video, he didn't mention that at all..

CarlosSainz100

517 posts

121 months

Friday 14th April 2023
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I wouldn't want it waxoyled as it can cover a multitude of sins, although I think they do a clear version as well.

All this is making me realise how much I miss my old one!

If you could get this for around 3.5k based on what Italia Autos say (and I rate him very highly) I think that would be ok, but only if the belts have been done recently. They ain't cheap if done properly.

jamesbilluk

Original Poster:

3,751 posts

184 months

Friday 14th April 2023
quotequote all
CarlosSainz100 said:
I wouldn't want it waxoyled as it can cover a multitude of sins, although I think they do a clear version as well.

All this is making me realise how much I miss my old one!

If you could get this for around 3.5k based on what Italia Autos say (and I rate him very highly) I think that would be ok, but only if the belts have been done recently. They ain't cheap if done properly.
I was very impressed with the video, and the detail Neil went into.

I watched the follow on with the Silver one in too.

That was another concerning thing, I tried to quiz him about the belts, the last history is it been done was 2015 apprently... Which is worrying.

wal 45

673 posts

181 months

Friday 14th April 2023
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Well found and I'd totally forgotten Neil had done this video, definite bit of luck finding that and he's saved you a whole load of work.

My personal view and knowing what this costs to do even when doing it yourself is to find another one.... There is a lot that needs doing to make that where I'd think you'd want it to be, guessed it needed a hood (circa £1200 as you'll need the whole hood as it's shrunk) from the angles the photos were taken from.

Whilst the underside looks OK superficially you'll be surprised what lurks under that Alfa underseal, I had to take all of mine off and there was a lot hidden. Easily treatable but a lot of work if you do it yourself and undoubtedly expensive if you pay someone.

All belts, waterpump and probably a Variator are a given for this car, it's every 3 years to change irrespective of mileage. Add in a clutch, rad, brake lines and probably quite a few bushes and you can easily be a few thousand of outlay in with this car.

And the final nail for me is the paintwork, you'll never match the red and it'll just annoy as it'll really stick out.

As for values though for TS they are going up and regardless of what some Busso owners think the insurance companies agree, mine has an agreed value way higher than £4K, this is my one. Good luck with the search.