Here we go! dead 87 s3:(...guidance? - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Here we go! dead 87 s3:(...guidance?

Hello all,

I'm embarrassed to say I need a bit of guidance by those better versed than myself.

Yesterday on my day off I was excited to spend my afternoon continuing to freshen up my new to me veloce.

Replaced my plugs (ngk), cap, rotor (both were tired-needed them!), fresh bosch oe coil from centerline, new air cleaner, fresh fluids in motor/trans/diff.

Fired up more quickly than usual and had a nice even purr..seeming much happier to fire up than before.

Drove to lunch and on the way back zipping around some switchback curves it straight up died. No indication prior...just died.

4 hours for Hagerty flatbed that could barely load my lowered car but that's a different story I don't want to think about! ha!

OK..so my instincts were I obviously did something with car while changing parts/fiddling or disrupted something else while fiddling in the day. I retraced my steps and see nothing to indicate such...

I tested for spark from a spark plug lead/tester with ground and its sparks beautifully on turnover. OK...she's got spark!

Not worried if she's getting air or not....

Sprayed carb cleaner into the intake just before the throttle body (thanks to help from my sweet ladyfriend) and it turns over briefly.

OK...so....she's not getting fuel.

I have spent more time digging on forums today than I should have at work reading other threads/recommendations....

Can any of you veterans be kind enough to help me with the wisest path to diagnose/narrow down to culprit?

The car has about 1/4 tank and the gauge works (well...id did...)I also reset trip odo at every fill up to be safe and I should not be out of gas for I should have another 50-80 miles left at average usage/range already established.

My instincts are pushing me in this direction:

- Is there a wire going to the coil that could be shorted/poorly grounded that could be no fuel issue?
-check fuel pump fuse under parcel shelf (as recommended by a friendly bb'er)
-check crank sensor? would that cause no fuel? How to check? where is it? lol...
-check fuel pump relay? Would this cause no fuel and no spark or both? for I DO have spark.
-
thanks in advance. gotta run! client just popped up!
Adam

If you can't change the people around you, change the people around you.
Currently: 87 Spider Veloce. Previously Owned:'79 Alfetta GT,'80 Lancia Zagato, 86 Gtv6
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 05:55 PM
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If you hear the pump prime,when you turn the key its not the pump! If not check the relay also, does it click?'1/4 tank, the in tank pump maybe?
You have spark so its only the fuel ECU and fuel related issues....Check both pumps and relay.
Make sure the COil wires are still on...not loose.
JMTC...

Rob s
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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 06:00 PM
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Under rear package shelf is a fuse for fuel pump. Somebody else had a problem with it not long ago. Good idea to replace it. The in tank fuel pump not working. External pump will only pull if tank is more than "half" full.
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76 Alfetta GTV gone to rust haven, 89 Spider the red graduate, 86 GTV6 on wish list
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 07:15 PM
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I'd tend to doubt you did something wrong because it ran fine long enough afterwards to rule out something you screwed up.

The 1/4 tank of gas is worrisome. Alfa gauges are more like a general indicator of what might be happening. First thing I'd suggest is adding ~5 gallons of gas. If still no joy then investigate the fuel pumps & the fuel pump fuse further. As others have mentioned, there are two fuel pumps - an in-tank pump and the main pump under the car. If the in-tank pump has failed - or if the stepped hose that connects the in-tank pump to the outlet pipe (still inside the tank) has failed then main pump cannot maintain fuel pressure especially when the fuel level is low. A struggling main pump could overload the fuse causing it to 'blow'. Also, the fuse holder is a known weak spot. If it still has the original 'bullet' fuse replace the fuse holder with one that take a modern blade fuse. 8 amps is the correct rating.

Finally, check the two flywheel sensors. The fact you have spark means they are likely OK but the computer uses those sensors to know the engine's timing & speed (rpm).

Finally finally, make sure all the intake air duct hoses are secure & intact. If one should get knocked loose or torn (the accordion section of the air duct next to the AIr Flow Meter/Air Filter Housing can tear but be hard to see unless you stretch or flex it and inspect very closely).
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- fuel injector cleaning
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfabeach View Post
Under rear package shelf is a fuse for fuel pump. Somebody else had a problem with it not long ago. Good idea to replace it. The in tank fuel pump not working. External pump will only pull if tank is more than "half" full.
+1 on this.

Just to do easy stuff first though..add a gallon or two of gas. You'll either solve your problem or eliminate it as a possibility.

Also, our cars can have problems with the in tank pump and step hose in the tank. The issues tend to rear their heads when low on fuel.
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Don - 1984 Spider Veloce
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 07:42 PM
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Picture of the in-tank pump & the infamous stepped hose. BTW, be sure you are sitting down when you check the price of the stepped hose.
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- fuel injector cleaning
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 07:51 PM
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In addition to the good suggestions above, and more specifically, check the connections to the big air intake hose above the cam cover. If it slips completely off of the AFM or the hard plastic hose connected to the plenum, the engine might die completely. After that, I suspect fuel pump(s) or related as mentioned above.
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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 12:11 AM
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you need to check the fuel pumps are running. You can pull the fuel (Drive) relay under the shelf and jump pins 30 & 87 of the socket and the pumps should run.
Testing fuel pump relay

pumps running? then
check the FPR (Fuel pressure regulator)...been a few failures here recently.

remove the small vacuum hose on top and check for petrol in that hose (should not be any) and make sure it is not split and still connected to FPR and intake plenum.
if that is OK, next clamp off the fuel return line at bottom of FPR and see if the car starts.
if it does replace FPR (get a Bosch!)

But yes, first I'd stick a few gallons of gas in it, you do not want to start pulling things apart only to find you have run out of gas
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all so very much for your valuable feedback! Hopefully I will have time to isolate my bug this Sunday afternoon. Last night I did get in car and turn key over just before starting step with ignition switch. I hear a hollow drum like sound engaging something but no pump prime or click. Granted, I likely will not be able to hear relay click until parcel shelf is off, but I did assume I would hear the pump prime. What is the hollow drum beat like sound just before starting anyway? lol..kindof odd..thank you again...hope to report back soon with good news!

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Currently: 87 Spider Veloce. Previously Owned:'79 Alfetta GT,'80 Lancia Zagato, 86 Gtv6
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 09:14 AM
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Years ago I had the same issue playing around with some electrical stuff. Ended up by being a blown fuse
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post #11 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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I will put some gas in car to be safe () but im pretty certain that is not the issue...have been wrong before! I reset my trip odo every time at fillup and I can put about 180 (in town) miles on car before the low fuel light starts to flicker around corners (gauge showing about 1/5 tank). My trip odo right now is showing 100 miles. How hard is it to replace fuel filter? perhaps its gunked up and creating the unnecessarily heavy load on the pump(s) when the fuel tank is lower than 1/2 full as was mentioned-perhaps causing the fuse to pop. I'm just theorizing here....I know I need to get into it hands on....thanks again to all.

If you can't change the people around you, change the people around you.
Currently: 87 Spider Veloce. Previously Owned:'79 Alfetta GT,'80 Lancia Zagato, 86 Gtv6
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post #12 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 09:52 AM
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Here's a quick test for the fuel pump relay I've posted in the past:

"The fuel pump relay for the main pump is behind the passenger seat, next to the ECU. Make a little 6" wire jumper with a male spade on each end. Pull the relay and insert the jumper connecting #30 and #87. Turn the key to 'on' and see if the main pump runs. You should hear it. If it does, see if the car starts. If it does, you need a new relay."

good luck,

Mike Macaulay
Seattle

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post #13 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 10:01 AM
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The hollow drum sound may be the main pump cavitating. This can happen when the in-tank pump isn't running or the stepped hose has deteriorated and, the tank is less than half full (regardless of how many miles you get on a tank of gas).
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Last edited by 65Sprint; 04-21-2017 at 10:03 AM.
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post #14 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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thanks again 65Sprint...just digging around on lunch break....centerline says my car needs 2 relays for fuel pump...not 1...is this correct? ouch on the price. found on ebay with off brand for bmw for about $50 instead of $100. I don't even know if that's the issue....just preparing myself.

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Currently: 87 Spider Veloce. Previously Owned:'79 Alfetta GT,'80 Lancia Zagato, 86 Gtv6
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post #15 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 11:27 AM
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There are two relays. The fuel pump relay and the drive relay. I have found the relays to be very durable in ten years of using the '88 Spider as a daily driver; just for reference.
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