General Verdict on a Fiat Coupe 16v Turbo

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General Verdict on a Fiat Coupe 16v Turbo

thekiid

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Hey ladies and gents, I need your help.

Im thinking of buying a Coupe 16v Turbo. My bravo HGT is not quick enough any more.

Do the 16v Turbo coupe's come with lots of problems or are they a good buy.
Someone told me the turbos on the 20v model go queit easily but he's not a reliable source.

Any information that you can provide me on the 16v turbo coupe would be much appreciated.

20v turbo insurance was too much so ill stick with the 16v model.

Thanks a million,
 

Liam

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Moved to Coupe to get more exposure and informative views from the real owners.

Liam
 
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I am not a Coupe owner, but I do know that the 16V unit used in them is the same as the integrale but with less power and cheaper valves in the head, not sure about the rest as an integrale has a forged nitride crank as standard as well which is expensive.

The unit a 1995cc 16V twin-cam was designed by Lampredi, who designed many engines including F1 engines, its a proven unit that at present is still used in competitive hill climb and race series integrales and other Lancias across Europe, I even know of one in Cyprus with over 1000bhp at the fly wheel and he is Hill Climb champion over there decimating the Jap cars who at present can't get near his power from there 2L engines

The key to this engine, and in fact any turbo engine is maintenance.

Oil every 3000miles 6 months, plugs every 6K/12months, cambelts every 20K/3 years whichever is sooner, cambelts are a must, if they go they take the valves with them. I am not 100% sure but on the integrale it has counter rotating balancer shafts to make the engine silky smooth, these belts can be removed and the shafts bolted in place or removed and welded up as counter balancer belts if go take the cam belt with them, people also report of no noticeable drop in smoothness of the engine and in fact gain about 3 or 4bhp from doing this as its one less thing to turn.

As for turbo's they are Garret T3's (integrale) which are found on many many cars including MG Metro Turbo's, Cosworths & SAAB's etc so a proven unit that if treated correctly there is no reason not to see 100k from it of not more.

I know of many integrale with over 100k on them and never had much go wrong with them, even know of some wit near 200k on them, but its all down to maintenance, it really is the key. So try and get one with service history, does need to be dealer as TBH they sometimes suck, better from specialists.

I do not know what you drive at present, but factor in running costs to keep everything tip top before purchasing as skimping on anything only leads to bigger more expensive problems.

I sure a coupe owner will come along and give more exacting info on the car itself soon.

HTH, Aaron.
 

pinin__prestatyn

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Hello, for what it's worth, my experience of the 16vt engine was that it was nothing but trouble, for me at least. However I only have experience of one 16vt so I could well have chose a bad one. I much prefer the 20v engine, it's a lot more smoother in all respects and I get much better economy, as well as using less oil and being more powerfull.
However, with the 20v being out of reach insurance wise, I would say you can have a lot of fun with the 16v engines, after all they have been in use for over 40 years in numerous fiats/alfas.
Just pick carefully, the 16vt's are dirt cheap now so take your time. I'd buy from the coupe forum as there's a better chance the owner knows the coupe's specific maint requirements. I believe the 16vt engine needs a cambelt change every 36k ideally. Try and find one under 70K if poss.
I'd give you the link for the buyers guide on fccuk but it's gone tits up like it always does :rolleyes: :D

just look on www.fccuk.org/forum and go to buying/selling advice, theres a guide pinned on there which should come in usefull.

As for the turbos going on the 20vt, I don't know where that came from. They keep going for in most cases 100K, which is 30K more than you should get out of a typical turbocharger. I'm still on my original at 111k, and highwayman just replaced his original after 140K :eek: (y)
 

Jim C

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I've run a chipped 16VT coupé since September 2001, and engine-wise it's been bullet-proof. I changed the cam-belt when I bought it (on 110,000km) and it's now (over)due another change at 190,000. The chip ups the power to an estimated (never RR'd it) 240Bhp, and it certainly feels way faster than before it was done. You get some good cars and some bad ones. Pinin's experience was bad, mine's been good! Prices are so ludicrously low these days on 16VT's that if you shop around, you should find one that has been well looked after for a decent amount. Check the cam belt and all auxiliaries (plus the water pump I'd have thought) have been done as scheduled - or knock down the price accordingly. Hope you take the plunge - the grin is hard to give up once you've experienced it!
 

Adyr

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I've had mine for 3/4 yrs now it's been running 254bhp for atleast 2 off those, the only trouble i've had up to now is the same troubles as 20vt's/ all coupes have, most off the bills have been modding and mine has been alot more reliable than most of the cars on the forum, yes i had leaking seals, knocking suspension and siezed handbrake but the fun i've had makes up for it all, and now due to my own fault pushing it to hard i've blown the turbo, though fingers crossed i've got hold of a hybrid t3 and as i say " when it brakes it's an excuse to upgrade":D

The main thing to remember is all cars can be trouble no mater what make or model, take your time looking for a nice example and take a mechanic along if you know any to see it before you buy(y)
 

Stuartl

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Spoke to the mechanics at my local dealers about this when I bought my LE Coupe and the general consensece was that the 16vT has the weakest engine. They had more of these with engine damage than the others. 20VT were prone to breaking belts and as Pinin says no matter what car you end up buying put a belt on it to be sure at least that ends covered.
The none turbo car seemed to be very strong as long as the belt was done along with regular oil and filter changes.
 

doody

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fire your mechanic, he knows stuff all about coupes.
just look at ebay and you will find that the 20vt ones are the problem.
there are far less 16vt with knackered engines than there are 20vt's.
can i also add that i'm on my third coupe and love them for reliablity, looks performance and fun of driving.
my 1st one was a 16vt & i had it 3 years and the only thing it needed in that time was a battery (honest to god that is all it needed).when i sold it, it still looked bran new.
i only sold it to buy a 20vt and again it was pretty good, only needing discs, clutch and lower wishbones but that one got written off by a chap in a in crappy vw (doesn't take much to write off a coupe though).
my third isn't actually mine, i bought it for the mrs. it's a 16vt which in my opinion is the better engine although slower.
i personally now have a subaru impreza wrx sti on an 05 plate and have had that many things needing to be replaced that i wish i stuck to my fiats.
my lastest problem with the scooby is it doesn't like starting in the morninig but is ok when warmed.
regards
dean
 

doody

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fire your mechanic, he knows stuff all about coupes. (n)
just look at ebay and you will find that the 20vt ones are the problem.
there are far less 16vt with knackered engines than there are 20vt's.
can i also add that i'm on my third coupe and love them for reliablity, looks performance and fun of driving.
my 1st one was a 16vt & i had it 3 years and the only thing it needed in that time was a battery (honest to god that is all it needed).when i sold it, it still looked bran new.
i only sold it to buy a 20vt and again it was pretty good, only needing discs, clutch and lower wishbones but that one got written off by a chap in a in crappy vw (doesn't take much to write off a coupe though).
my third isn't actually mine, i bought it for the mrs. it's a 16vt which in my opinion is the better engine although slower.
i personally now have a subaru impreza wrx sti on an 05 plate and have had that many things needing to be replaced that i wish i stuck to my fiats.
my lastest problem with the scooby is it doesn't like starting in the morninig but is ok when warmed.
regards:)
dean
 

Denver

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hello , i need advice 2 , don`t wanna be off-topic or something but i really have a problem , the coupe is my dream car i can start driving school only in about 2 months and a half , im from romania the country made of taxes... the coupe`s registered here are about 8.000 euros (the 20VT model , and a 16VT 6.000-7.000) , i want to get one from germany , and here in romania the registration tax will be strange i mean older cars will have cheaper tax , so i didn`t really fiind any older 20VTurbo`s and if i still don`t fiind i`d have to go with the 16VT model , i know it`s a good engine but it`s different , i really need help im not that rich but this car is my dream , i got money to buy one but i don`t have the money for first registration tax :( , to a coupe from `95 the tax is like 1.000 afordable , even `96 - `97 can be afordable , is the 16VT not as realiable as the 20VT ? im so confused , people say the 16VT is not as economyc as the 20VT and not as reliable and from the posts here i see that both models have - and + , but what would be better ? i can`t afford buyng and starting to repare one so please help

PS: sorry for my slappy english i still have some things to correct :(

all be well and good luck with the cars
 

jug

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you wont find an older 20vT because they dont exist, the 16vT was replaced by the 20vT.

Denver said:
i can`t afford buyng and starting to repare one
neither will be cheap to run. you need to understnad that the coupe is a car that you will definately need to spend money on regularly, even when they were younger this was true but now it is even more important. they are not cheap cars to own.
 

symonh2000

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I have owned a 16VT and now own a 20VT. They are both great cars, although I would say a couple of things, the 16Vt has more of a traditional tubo all or nothing power delivery, the 20Vt pulls from lower down the rev range.
The things I prefer about the 16VT are the fact its cheaper to maintain and insure, and the steering has more feel than the 20VT, and with an evo cghip and PRV will be as fast as a stock 20VT.

Things I prefer are about the 20VT are they are newer, and there is less turbo lag.

They are both great cars, get a good one of either of thm and you will love it. Yhey are also far more reliable than you may think. I would say the 16VT is more reliable than the 20VT, although you must make sure there are no crank issues as the cams wear and the metal particles end up in the big ends.
Regular oil changes help prevent this.

There are some good buyers guides on FCCUK
 

bridges

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The 16v and 16vt do less mpg than the 20v and 20vt. A well looked after
16v-16vt will probably be better than a not very well looked after 20v-20vt.

The 20v engines are the newer engines so on the whole will be lower mileage and better.

If you want better reliability and lower running costs then stay away from the turbo's. (y)
 

symonh2000

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My 16VT was better on fuel after I installed the Evo chip. I could get around 25mpg when driven normally, which I thought was pretty good considering the cars performance.
Decent 16VT's are also very cheap...
 

bridges

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My 16VT was better on fuel after I installed the Evo chip. I could get around 25mpg when driven normally, which I thought was pretty good considering the cars performance.
Decent 16VT's are also very cheap...

My 20vt is quite good on juice and considering my chip giving 25 odd bhp was around £30 I would say thats pretty hard to beat :)

Definately agree that 16v's are cheaper to buy initially and insure.
 

symonh2000

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I'll have to get back to you on my 20VT economy, as I have only done 100 miles or so since I bought it. I have bought a GTEC1 chip which with a PRV, colder plugs and bosst gauge set at 1.2 bar should give 255-260 bhp. 260 bhp from a 16VT will require more than a chip ETC.
 

symonh2000

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Sorry to drag this thread up again, but I wanted to update on my 20VT. :)

Since fitting the GTEC and PRV chip the car is quite a faster and seems to be giving similar fuel economy figures as it was before. I usually get around 28mpg.

However I would say performance is pretty much the same as my Evo-chipped 16VT with PRV.

Fuel economy was a bit worse on the 16VT, I got around 25mpg in general driving, however I think from memory that the 20VT has taller gearing which may account for the difference.

Overall I still think the 16VT is a better car. I hear so many horror stories on the 20VT but hardly any on the 16VT, apart from worn cams due to using too thick oil, or neglecting the servicing.

The 20VT is also a lot more cramped under the bonnet, for example cambelts and turbo changes are a nightmare of a job. I have a cracked manifold (which the 16VT doesn't ususually get) and its going to be a big job.. :(

I also keep worrying that something will go wrong, where as on the 16VT if anything did go wrong I could fix it myself.

The 20VT does sound better IMO though and obviously its newer.

So having owned both for a while I would say I preferred my 16VT.. :)

I might yet sell the 20VT and get an Alfa GTV though..
 

Spee

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Just to add to the debate!

Horses for courses really, although your original question was if the Coupe 16VT was a worthy buy, the answer is a big YES!

The 20v and 16v boys will bitch at each other all day about which is the better car/engine etc but it's all down to what you want, and as you don't want to pay the extra for insurance, and it is a significant extra, then the 16VT is the one to go for. Both cars are great, but if cost of running is a worry as well as insurance, then the 16VT is the wiser choice. However, if you do a lot of miles, the difference in insurance between the two will be academic as the 16VT is slightly heavier on fuel, though not by much to be honest.

Performance wise there is little in it, the 20v is quicker to 60 by 2/3 of a second and 6 mph faster, in gear times are similar too, but in favour of the 20v. A chip, air filter and aftermarket exhaust will see this gap vanish though and take your 16VT up towards 240BHP. (The same applies for the 20VT also, obviously!)

They are effectively the same car, only a small dashboard change (centre console) steering rack, brakes (brembo's on the 20v) and the engine are different. The Brembo's are the best of these changes, the engine is slightly more powerful, but rather lazy feeling, and the centre console is all down to taste, I prefer the console in the 16v as it doesn't have a (usually broken) big ashtray at the bottom of it, but, the 20v console has a nicer clock!!! The steering is lighter on the 20v with less feel, the steering lock (so turning circle) on both cars is awful! If you can't do a 3-4-even 5 point turn, don't buy one, and be careful in multi-storey carparks!

Bodywork corrosion tends not to be an issue on either the 20 or 16 but, as with all cars, get it checked for accident damage and factor this into haggling a good price. The only weak spot on these cars is the sills, if left unprotected they can rust leading to an MOT failure and a big bill or worthless car, this is often found on cars that have been lowered for a good part of there lives, speed bumps etc take off the protection and the water gets into the seams. Also, the rear of the arch lip on the front and the front of the rear arches (basically both metal bits!) can be rusty, although it never seems to progress far and is usually easily sorted.

Watch for the clutch on the 16VT, it's not as strong as the 20VT and although costs no more to fit, is still an expensive job compared to lesser cars.

Also, as with all italian cars, make sure all the electrics work, the sunroof motor is a weak spot on both cars, aircon if fitted is reliable. Try to get a sunroof OR aircon, you don't need both, that doubles the potential chances of failure.

The rear light cones are alloy and can corrode in time, once alloy starts going there is no stopping it really so avoid corroded light cones if you can, the later cars seem to suffer from this more than the earlier ones for some reason.

If you can get it, get leather, good for resale, two shades of tan (light and dark) and black are available on the everyday coop's, colour choice is all yours there!

Red is the strongest colour for resale, however, it's the weakest colour for aging. lots of cars go a pinky colour and it's almost impossible to correct without a respray as the paint is sealed under a hard lacquer.

If you are going to modify, it might be worth paying the very little extra required to buy one that is up to the kind of spec you are looking for as suspension mods etc are costly, but add little more to the value of the car when you come to sell it, let someone else spend all the money and get one with all the right bits added already.

Engine wise both need fresh oil as often as is possible, and good quality oil to boot. The 20v is more oil dependent, by that I mean miss oil changes at your peril, the 16v will tolerate this to a point as it's a good old fashioned solid engine, the 20v is a Alloy engine with rather thin liners and also the crank shells on the 20v are prone to wear through oil starvation.

Turbos are turbos, if the oil is changed for the engine in good time, the turbo's will do 100k plus, mine is on 78k now and there is no sign of any trouble, I know my Delta HF Turbo from some years ago passed 120k of very hard and un-sympathetic use on it's original turbo before it let go!

Most 16vt's sound a little tappy, this is fairly normal, although listen to a few before buying, you'll soon get to know how a good one should sound, unless you go to listen to a load of bad ones of course, this is unlikely though!

Power is easily pushed upwards and the engine will take it with no problems to a point, around 300bhp is the acknowledged safe point where you have to start thinking about internal mods, however, the crank is forged (same as the integrale) and strong as an ox.

The Coupe forum is a good place to look, just don't get to swayed by the 16 vs 20 v debate and make sure you ask questions if need be, we'll help you find a good one if we can.

Enjoy your Coupe, it's a great car in either form, will make you smile when you drive it, and cry when it breaks, they all break, just not as often as some people might like you to believe! It will get you looked at too, if that's important to you! (y)
 

matty09

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hi m8 herd bit of a broblem on bravo go for the 16v turbo lot better engine and the power is unbelivble i can wheel spin mine in second at bout 20mph
and the turbo is no prob for them just before you swich off the engine and you are driving dont go above 3000 revs because the turbo will not kick in the turbo only boosts over 3000rpm and this cud save years of life for the turbo bhp is bout 196 0 60 4.5 seconds 149mph roughly ive had 143 out of mine with a induction kit it pushes of 200 bhp bout 201bhp if u need any other questions just ask hope this is a help get back to me cheers.
 

bulldog5046

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hi m8 herd bit of a broblem on bravo go for the 16v turbo lot better engine and the power is unbelivble i can wheel spin mine in second at bout 20mph
and the turbo is no prob for them just before you swich off the engine and you are driving dont go above 3000 revs because the turbo will not kick in the turbo only boosts over 3000rpm and this cud save years of life for the turbo bhp is bout 196 0 60 4.5 seconds 149mph roughly ive had 143 out of mine with a induction kit it pushes of 200 bhp bout 201bhp if u need any other questions just ask hope this is a help get back to me cheers.

outstandaing first post, welcome to the forum.

0-60 in 4.5s? thats gotta be a record breaker for a FWD car.....
 
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