I want a Fiat Coupe. Advice anyone?

What is the general concensus? I'll probably be buying a 1997/98. Are there any common problems? Anyone have good/bad experiences owning one? Any comments would be appreciated.
Many thanks.
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in article _xYye.2459$ snipped-for-privacy@newsfe4-win.ntli.net, Paul Cannon at snipped-for-privacy@virgin.net wrote on 06/07/2005 23:02:

Us too!
I've been put off by the reputed timing chain failures and the expensive servicing. I own a classic 900 SAAB turbo anyway, so that's my "bit of fun" ... My wife was after the Coupe as a replacement for our Punto Sporting. Quite a jump, I know :)
As a potential buyer, those were my main issues. I'm sure someone who actually owns one will have better advice. They do shift though! :) Very nice drive indeed!
Paul
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I'll support John in what he has said.
The offical 72,000 mile service time, including cam belt, with engine removal is 15 hours. 15 hours at 55+vat is 969. By no menas cheap. If one is going down the main delear route then try to get 'fixed price' plus extra parts for cam belt change and other drive belts. To expand, because the belt is such a pig to change due to lack of access not only should the belt and tension pulley be changed one should also change all drive belts and other static belt stretcher pulleys at the same time. Sort of an insurance policy because many of these are plastic and there are reports of some cracking and failing resulting in all sorts of damage. The arguements about possible overkill will always be biased :-)
I guess the overall point about the cam belt change is to understand what is involved and thus be aware so you can extract the best and cheapest solution for your chosen route. Regardless of the belt change cost, where can you buy a beautiful Italian sports cars with looks and Ferarri performance for such a modest cost in comparison!
Something to REALLY watch out for on the Coupe 20V is the Poly-V auxilary drive belt. On the Coupe 20V this is a double sided Poly-V which goes from the crank and round the houses to drive the alternator, power steering pump and aircon compressor. Being double sided and the Vs in line with each other means the central mass/section of the belt is very thin. Once the belt begins to wear it happens quickly and belt failure occurs with long sections of the Poly-V tearing off like the edge of a carpet fray/run. This 3 foot plus long piece of rubber string then gets dragged into the crank pulley, gets wound up behind the pulley, causing the the cam belt timing to be thrown out as the cam belt rides over the now ingested poly-V belt fragments. Fairly soon after this happens, with luck, the engine management light will come on as the ecu detects that the main crank is out of phase with the cam shaft phase sensor. I say with luck because if the timing throw is not massive or too rapid one can stop the engine before the pistons hit the valves. Once the light is on the engine will not restart but would continue to run in limp home mode (which I don't recommend).
So, please keep a close eye on a regular basis on the auxilary belt. Could save you a premature cam belt change and/or engine damage.
I hate Poly_V belts, especially double sided ones. When our aux belt started to fail my wife who was driving spotted the light come on and responded accordingly. Cost us 850 as an emergeny repair at the Fait dealer we were recovered to by the RAC.
The RAC guy said that they are now seeing quit a number of poly-v aux belts (even on new Mercs and BMWs etc) failures that are causing very expenensive engine damage. So much for technolgy progress :-) ....
Nick /////
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