Restoring and building a Milano track / Lemons car - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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Restoring and building a Milano track / Lemons car

I thought I'd start a build thread here to track our progress on our "new" Lemons car. It's been a fun adventure so far, but I'm going to start with a question.

We're in the process of diagnosing the ABS system and trying to get it to at least pump up some pressure to make the brakes a little better than the wood they feel like now.

We are only getting 2 or 3 volts at the ABS pump, so we are tracing relays to see if any are bad. Any thoughts there?

We have a spare pump/accumulator we can try, but have no idea if it's any good. The current pump might be good, but 2V is probably not cutting it.

Also, does anybody know what these two wires are for at the firewall? Next to the red wire there are two connectors, and it looks like the top part has been cut on each.

Thanks!
Ian (and Seth) - Team Milano Brothers
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Ian Lomax - Current: 1973 Berlina, 1987 Milano Platinum "racecar"
Past: 71, 74 Spiders, 2x 74 Berlina, 74 GTV, 76 Alfetta GT, 88 Milano 3.0, 164LS
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 05:58 PM
Richard Jemison
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ABS

Why dont you just swap it out for one from a GTV6 or Alfetta?
Bolt in change with no persistant problems.

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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 07:11 PM
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I second that motion. I once lost the ABS pump at an autocross at the local 1/2 mile asphalt track, it really sucked.
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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I'm leaning towards swapping it out. We're trying to see if we can get it going in the short term. And my partner is into Porsches and likes doing things the difficult way sometimes. Plus anything that we know works can be sold to fund other parts.

Ian Lomax - Current: 1973 Berlina, 1987 Milano Platinum "racecar"
Past: 71, 74 Spiders, 2x 74 Berlina, 74 GTV, 76 Alfetta GT, 88 Milano 3.0, 164LS

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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-08-2016, 05:03 AM
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I would just do a non-ABS swap if you can get ahold of the components. My verdes abs system had all sorts of problems when I first got it. Best thing I've done to the brakes so far
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-08-2016, 05:58 AM
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I was able to keep my ABS functioning and it was working when I eventually sold my Verde but I would not want it on a track car. It is not a case of if it will fail but when, and one of the common failure modes is a major loss of braking power. It is the very opposite of "fail safe".

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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-08-2016, 07:37 AM
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Swapping abs to non-abs may not be everyone's cup of tea because it is a lot of work.

+2 on it sucking for track. Even on the street it sucks. My pump would intermittently work and it's a scary thing when you're slowly down to the back of a stopped car and all the sudden you have to jam all your weight on the pedal to stop the car.

I'm building my Milano specifically for track and minor street, so the entire abs system: wiring harness', relays, brake booster, etc all got swapped and removed.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-08-2016, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archeologist View Post
I thought I'd start a build thread here to track our progress on our "new" Lemons car. It's been a fun adventure so far, but I'm going to start with a question.



We're in the process of diagnosing the ABS system and trying to get it to at least pump up some pressure to make the brakes a little better than the wood they feel like now.



We are only getting 2 or 3 volts at the ABS pump, so we are tracing relays to see if any are bad. Any thoughts there?



We have a spare pump/accumulator we can try, but have no idea if it's any good. The current pump might be good, but 2V is probably not cutting it.



Also, does anybody know what these two wires are for at the firewall? Next to the red wire there are two connectors, and it looks like the top part has been cut on each.



Thanks!

Ian (and Seth) - Team Milano Brothers


It's the fuse. I had this happen on mine. They develop a hairline crack and it sort of lets voltage pass. It can be procured from the VW dealer as it is the same an old diesel rabbit's glow plug circuit. I forget where the fuse is physically but try to unscrew it and it will disintegrate. Then you'll go ah ha!

VW Part number N-017-125-1

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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-08-2016, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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The PO replaced that fuse with a big honking 40 amp fuse. I will buy a new one to check, but I don't think that's the issue. The wiring might be suspect, or the relay corroded. We will check both.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-08-2016, 01:59 PM
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Pictures we need pictures

lets see this beast!

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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-08-2016, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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So let me back up and tell the story to date.

I'm obviously a long time Alfisti. Seth is a former Porsche mechanic and currently owns 3 including a 951/944 Turbo, a 70's 911 and a Cayenne. But he thinks the Milano is gorgeous. So you can see he's crazy too.

We found someone locally who was selling three Milanos so we went to look at them. By the time we finally got there one Platinum was sold. The other Platinum is low mile, but a rusty former Monteal car with a Canadian title. And not drivable. So we passed.

The one we liked was a Gold from New Mexico with no title. Super rust free, and the engine sounded great. The clutch needed help, but that's manageable. We said we'd think it over and call back if interested. But within the week it had sold, so we were back to square one.

Seth posted a wanted ad on Craigslist and got a few leads. Chad from Eugene said he had a Milano with 190k miles. He had sanded down the trunk, hood and roof and they were starting to rust again. It ran and had a relatively recently rebuilt engine, a recent water pump and timing belt replacement, and lots of receipts from previous owners, but the clutch wasn't working. His asking price was fair, so we tried to find a time to go see it down in Eugene (about a 2 hour drive). Between work, travel, family etc. it took a few weeks but on the Friday after Thanksgiving we decided to do a little "Black Friday" shopping. Alfa style.

Chad had mentioned that the clutch pivot pin was broken, so we bought one from Centerline, grabbed a spare battery, and came prepared with all sorts of tools to get the pivot pin out. We hoped.

This being Oregon, it was of course raining the whole way down. Once we arrived Chad showed us the car. Overall it was straight but worn out. It took a lot of persuading to get it started, but once warmed up a bit it ran ok. We could hear a couple exhaust leaks, but nothing too major. And we also figured out that it was a Platinum, so it has the LSD transaxle. Yay!

Since the Milano was parked on the street and on a steep hill, we needed to get it into Chad's driveway to see what we could do with the clutch. Seth volunteered to use his Cayenne to pull it up the hill, and I piloted it back down the hill and wrestled it into the driveway. First problem solved.

Once in the driveway we got the rear end up in the air and started looking at the clutch. Surprise #1, the clutch pivot pin wasn't broken, it had just backed out and was in the bottom of the transmission! Woo hoo! I managed to fish it out with a magnet, and we screwed the new one it.

Surprise #2, the clutch slave was leaking. Shocking right? Chad mentioned that it was recently rebuilt so we popped it out and took a look. One of the seals was pinched so we pulled it apart, straightened it out, and it held well enough to work a little bit. After much bleeding we had about 1/2" of pedal travel, just enough to release the clutch.

We took it for a spin around the block, and it started, stopped (barely) and shifted, so we decided to head for home.

Since I had formerly owned a Milano I won the toss and got to pilot the battleship. Very quickly I figured out that the car has a bad driveline vibration. Chad had mentioned recent giubo work, but I don't think the shop put everything back together properly. I figured out that 3000 RPM in 4th gear was smoother than 2500 in 5th, so I drove home most of the way in 4th. With no radio, and a passenger window stuck down 1" in the rain. But at least the heat and wipers worked. Woo hoo!

On the way home as we passed a car broken down on the shoulder Seth texts me to say "the number of dead cars we pass is our race number." We passed 4, and made it home without further incident. Lucky number 4.

So here are a few shots the day we picked it up. The photo of the floor in the last shot is to show it was full of water from the stuck window, and also a windshield that might be leaking.
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Ian Lomax - Current: 1973 Berlina, 1987 Milano Platinum "racecar"
Past: 71, 74 Spiders, 2x 74 Berlina, 74 GTV, 76 Alfetta GT, 88 Milano 3.0, 164LS
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-09-2016, 10:43 AM
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I personally prefer the feel of the ABS in the Milano over the standard set up in the GTV6. Milano is much firmer and positive. GTV6 is fairly fresh with braided hoses, clean fluid, etc. Milano is stock with braided hoses. So a good comparison.

You don't want to loose system pressure in the ABS - it is hard to stop. I had a connectivity issue and ran w/o power for a day - it was a bear. However, once fixed, the system has been reliable for 2+years and 40K miles that I have driven the car.

It is good to have a working accumulator in the system - otherwise your pump runs with every application of the brakes. There are possibilities other than the NLA stock accumulator. I am running a Mitsubishi accumulator with a bit of modification on the threads. $120 or so

If you are running Lemons and you have to buy all the components to switch to a standard system, that may not be as cost effective as fixing what you have.

84 Spider - Long gone, but started the addiction; 85 GTV6 - Current project, Supercharged, Mega Squirt; 88 Verde - "Milo" It has a name, must be a keeper
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-09-2016, 12:39 PM
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can you hear the abs pump pumping? is there power to the pump?
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-09-2016, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barboncino105 View Post
can you hear the abs pump pumping? is there power to the pump?
The pump isn't running, and as I mentioned in the first post we only read 2 or 3 Volts at the pump. So something upstream in the wiring isn't right.

We plan to try jumping the pump with 12V to see if it works at all, but need to solve the wiring problem somewhere.

If we have to convert the system we will. But part of the fun of the $500 races is trying to make things work with labor, not $. And I love chasing problems like this.

Ian Lomax - Current: 1973 Berlina, 1987 Milano Platinum "racecar"
Past: 71, 74 Spiders, 2x 74 Berlina, 74 GTV, 76 Alfetta GT, 88 Milano 3.0, 164LS
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-09-2016, 01:46 PM
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My next guess would be the relay. Jumper it where the relay plugs in.


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DOM! 1987 Milano Verde 1983 GTV6
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