1989 Milano Verde start and stop condition - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-02-2016, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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1989 Milano Verde start and stop condition

I have a 1989 Milano Verde that starts and stalls, I have read numerous threads on this problem, what I have not red is the condition that I have which is that after each start attempt and I take the key off of the ignition switch, the fuel pump remains on. I have to remove fuse #20 in order to shut off the fuel pump, obviously there is some feed back to the pump that keeps is it running. I have checked all grounds, fuel pump is brand new, battery is 3 months old, all resistance on the components pertains to the starting and running of car, all are within specs. I have replaced not one but 2 new dual relays ( I can't believe that 2 new Bosch dual relays are DOA) All injectors are working, the only thing I'm not sure of is what I believe is called an ignition module that is found near the bottom of the coil with 2 connectors on it. However that module I don't think has anything to do with the fuel pump. Has anybody had similar experiences where the the fuel pump staying turned on with the ignition off? I welcome any suggestions.

Pete
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79 Alfetta Sport Sedan
89 Milano Verde
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2016, 04:46 AM
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Pete,

Has the car had this problem since you bought it or is it something that has just started happening? My first guess would have been the combi-relay but you've already ruled that out.

If this has been happening since you acquired the car then I'd next suspect the wiring and check that thoroughly to make sure someone didn't put it back together wrong. If it just started happening then something must have broken. Can you give us an idea of what happened or changed leading up to this?

When you take the key out is anything else still on/running or just the fuel pump?

I would guess that the start/stall is not necessarily related to this issue, what have you done to try and debug that? Are you able to get it running and stay running at all? How long does it run before it stalls? If a few seconds then it might just be running on the fuel from the cold start injector, you might try disconnecting that to see if it starts at all. If you can borrow a noid light tester (Harbor Freight used to have a cheap set but I just checked and it looks like they've doubled the price of it!) you can see if the injectors are getting firing signals.

Kevin

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2016, 06:57 AM
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It sounds like an AFM problem. I would open that up and see if the flapper is binding. The pins that locate the door can be bent or just worn although that doesn't explain why the fuse would reset it? If you need a module, let me know as I have sourced a bmw module that works perfectly and are readily available.
Good luck!
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Kevin first of all let me apologize for the late reply to your prompt response.
My name is Pete Castiglione, I purchased my first alfa in 1973 when I was only 19 years old, a 1969 GTV 1750 and I still own that car.
I have also owned a 1976 Alfetta GT, and a 1987 Milano, Im down to only the 69GTV a 1979 Alfetta Sport Sedan and the 1989 Milano Verde.
June of 2014, with the Verde having only 27826 miles I detected a small amount of play and noise from the water pump and decided to replace the water pump, timing belt and the hydraulic tensioner with the fixed Zat tensioner. While doing all of that work I decided to paint the valve covers, plenum chamber and little bit of detailing while I was at it.
A new job coupled with long work hours, I did not finish the car until this year in April.
At the first start attempt the car didnt start because I had forgotten to connect the harness on the side of the distributor, once connected the car started and ran until reaching operating temperature than I realized that I had forgotten to hook up the wires to the radiator fan temperature sensor, I shut the car off, connected the radiator sensor wires and tried to restart and that is when the start and stall symptoms surfaced.
The only modification to the car are as follows:
1. Complete SS exhaust system including removal of cat conv. and oxygen sensor
2. Modified relay per Fred di Matteo to have cooling fan come on after driving and parking car.
3. Added starter relay based on your excellent write up on this subject.
The above modifications where done and the car ran more than one year prior to this start/stall condition
My troubleshooting went as follows:
When the car didn't start, I decided to remove all old gas (drained tank completely) and replaced the gas with 5 gallons of fresh premium gas and a new gas filter.
Still no start, checked fuel pressure using a borrowed gage from O'Reilly Auto Parts, which read 0 pressure so I decided to replace the fuel pump, still no start with new Bosch pump. I became suspicious of the fuel pressure gage and tried the fuel pressure gage on a working car only to discover that the gage was not working, ok so I have a new fuel pump and a new fuel filter. Now Im getting impatient and focused on the combi relay, purchased a new one installed it and still start and stall.
Red all of Gordon troubleshooting guide (maybe should have done that first), purchased silicon hose kit from him (not all installed yet) still start and stalling condition. Have checked and verified resistance on all sensors, all within specs.
Checked all grounds and all seem good, purchased an additional dual relay in case I got a bad one and a DOA on the first one, still start and stall. Cleaned all connectors with contact cleaner DeoxIT D5 from Radio Shack, still a start and stall condition. Ignition switch checked and working as designed.
The one strange puzzle is that throughout the starting and stalling routine after turning the key off and removing the key, the fuel pump remains on forcing me to remove the fuel pump fuse in order to turn the pump off. Once the fuel pump fuse is replaced the pump does not run but will remain running after another start attempt.
When the key is removed nothing else seems to be running. The car starts immediately because the cold start injector checks ok and seems to work as it should, but the car does not stay running.

I have not checked if the injectors are getting firing signals, I have yet to try running the pump directly from the battery and verify fuel pressure. What can cause the pump to stay on after a non start condition?
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Regards,
Pete
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-14-2016, 03:35 AM
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Pete,

Sorry for taking so long to respond, have you made any progress?

Couple more thoughts, I just posted this link on another thread might help out here but maybe not, it is just a description on how the combo-relay works (it is for a VW bus but almost identical to what we have):

Double Relay Demystified

This might help you debug why the fuel pump keeps running after you turn the key off. One thing you might try is to get it into this situation and then disconnect the connector to the airflow meter and see if that turns the pump off.

I don't think you said how long it runs for before it stalls? As soon as you stop having the key in the start position or for a few seconds after you get it started?

Have you tried disconnecting the cold start injector electrical connector and see what happens (it will probably be harder to start). Does it exhibit the same symptoms or does it just not start at all? It you cannot get it started at all then I don't think you are getting fuel to your injectors, if it still starts then you at least know you are getting some fuel. Here's a bad video I made while using my Autoforce tester to make sure my injectors were firing (this isn't what you would normally do, just something goofy!)
.

Kevin

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 03:16 PM
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so the fuel pump works with the key in the off position(or only when the key is removed.the fuel pressure obviously must be checked with the key in the 'run' position.on a correct running system once the system is pressurized the pump stops, which brings o mind perhaps the pressure adjusting diaphram is letting the fuel back to the tank without letting pressure build.??
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 03:58 PM
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oh yes. if you put the fuse back in, does the pump turn on again?
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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1989 Milano Verde start and stall condition

Thank you for addressing my fuel pump issue. Five months have gone by and this coming week I will be working on the Milano again, (that is a problem in itself, working on solving a problem after so many months).
To answer your question, the engine starts (cold starting circuit undoubtedly) and stalls, the fuel pump remains on after the car stalls with key still in the ignition or with key removed. The fuel pump fuse has to be removed in order to shut off the fuel pump, and after the pumps is turned off with fuse #20 removed, reinserting the just removed fuse, the fuel pump remains off. When you try again to start the engine, the same condition reappears, engine starts for a split second, stalls and fuel pump remains on again.
I believe I have the 3 items that every engine needs in order to run: air, fuel and spark. What I have not done is verify if I have the required fuel pressure, could it be a bad pressure regulator? Do I have an air leak (excessive air). I have yet to find a thread describing the same condition that I'm experiencing, a lot of start and stall conditions but what could be causing the fuel pump to remain on after the non-start condition.
Suggestions are welcomed.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 08:38 PM
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Have you checked AFM door? Sounds like it might be sticking which would result in a no start and the issues you are having. Easy enough to check...take it off and make sure the door and the switch are working properly. The switch may be dirty and or door rubbing, I have a replacement AFM if you confirm that is the problem. Good luck!!!
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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The AFM door (flapper?) seems to moving free, what should I look for that would indicate a sticking/damaged condition?
At this year Italian Happening in Plymouth Michigan, I spoke to Robert Parks (Ferrari master technician at Cauley Ferrari and ex Alfa Romeo technician/rally driver - GTV6) about my current status with my Milano and after thinking about it for a while he asked me if I have ever had excessive backfiring while trying to start the engine, according to his recollection he remembered that backfiring in the intake did and will damage the flapper inside the AFM. I do suspect that the AFM could be defective because I did experienced what I would describe as a major backfire while trying to start the engine. I have 2 questions for you, how difficult is taking the AFM apart, and how much for a replacement AFM. Thanks!!!
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 05:22 AM
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Were you pressing the gas pedal down while trying to start it when you got the backfire (that will cause it)? Have you checked that the plenum is securely attached? A lot of times when you get a backfire like that it will partially blow the plenum off, if you are truly unlucky it will dent your hood. Make sure it is securely seated otherwise you could have a large vacuum leak.

If that isn't it and you do need an AFM then I've got a couple and we can work out a reasonable price.

Kevin

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 06:43 AM
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If I understand correctly, it sounds like you're trying to solve 2 issues at the same time: fuel pump keeps running in the key Off position and engine stalls after starting.

As far as the EFI/fuel pump is concerned Off means Off, so it seems to me you have a wiring issue, probably related to:
Quote:
Originally Posted by 69gtv View Post
2. Modified relay per Fred di Matteo to have cooling fan come on after driving and parking car.
If you disconnect the radiator temp sensor again does the problem with the fuel pump running go away? With it disconnected, does the engine still stall?

A vacuum leak will cause bad running but won't stall the engine unless there's some other problem as well.

Bill

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-17-2016, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Great News!!! My 89 Verde finally started. Before I tell you what the problem was I want to thank the following individuals for all the help and suggestions in trying to help troubleshoot the start and stall condition that I was experiencing.

Thanks to Kredden, jmjohns, cowfy and bill2000 I hope I did not miss anyone. The problem was a grounding ring terminal. The Milano has 3 ring terminals; each ring terminal has 2 black wires attached to them. The pictures that I took before removing the valve cover on the passenger side of the engine clearly showed 1 ring on either side of the AAV and a third one attached to the hold down bolt for the valve cover almost directly in front of the AAV closest to the firewall. It fell under the fuel line and wiring harness and I simply didn’t see it. It is embarrassing to say the least. I’m sure others have had similar experiences of simple basic things overlooked. Thanks again for all the support from the Alfa community.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-17-2016, 06:51 PM
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Good result, congratulations!

And that's a really clean looking Verde you have.

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-18-2016, 06:17 AM
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That's great that you found the issue. Just in case you don't know, those are for the fuel injectors.

Kevin

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