87 Quad running like s**t - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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Old 06-15-2012, 05:07 PM
Forzaguy's Avatar
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87 Quad running like s**t

The drama:
I just took my 87 quad back from a mechanic (ex mechanic now). Car has 97K miles on it. About 3 weeks ago I was on a tour with the AZ Alfa Club heading north towards Payson and on to the red rocks of Sedona with the Alfa running smooth and powerful. Suddenly just before Payson the car began to lose power and rolled to a stop, Car was still idling smoothly but it would lurch and sputter if you tried to give it gas and accelerate. Sweeper car behind me said he thought he saw bits being blown out the exhaust. Hmmmm, maybe a CatCon issue. Luckily I had upgraded my AAA and soon I was on a flatbed on my way back to Phoenix where I delivered it directly to the recently "new" mechanic. A few days later he called and said the catcon was plugged and needed replacement and I agreed. A few days later I took possession of the car AND it still ran like s**t. Basically the same symptoms. Now I was thinking "false air" and I discussed it with him. Told him to replace all the top side vacuum hoses and check all the connections on the intake hose from the air cleaner to the throttle body. He kept claiming he was really busy and it might take time to get back to the Alfa. Today I finally brought it home, still running like it did before, and he never replaced the vacuum hoses as we had discussed.
Am leaving town for a week travelling to a reunion of my OLD air force tech school class but will begin troubleshooting it when I get back. I have a new fuel pump and fuel filter I was going to install anyway so I will start with that and replacing the vacuum hoses under the hood. Could a bad TPS cause these symptoms? Any other suggestions eagerly accepted.

Last edited by Forzaguy; 06-15-2012 at 05:32 PM.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 06-15-2012, 05:44 PM
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If the wire to the AFM disconnects, it produces what you describe. Perhaps the TPS or the AFM itself. Of course, check the main air-feed that connects the AFM with the intake plenum, and all other possible vacuum sources up there.
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Carson City, NV

Past Alfas...
59 102 Touring (first Alfa $500 running)
65 Sprint GT (2nd Alfa, $500 daily driver)
102 Sprint (never did anything with it, but wish I had)
74 Berlina (first new car - now certainly rusted into oblivion)
61 Giulietta Spider G-Prod Race Car (where is it now?)
84 Spider Veloce (rarely drove it, so sold it)
86 Quadrifoglio (Dull car - no more 115s for me)

Current Alfas
59 102 Touring Roadster - restoration complete, enough Alfa for any rational man. Or irrational, for that matter
1971 Alfa Montreal (see above comment regarding rationality)

And past...
Two 1946 Stampe SV4C (c/n 294 "Rocinante" - wife's favorite airplane. RIP), and c/n 235 "La Bon Temps Femme" (gone to a new home, but never forgotten)
Zlin 50LA (+9 -6 gees, titanium spar, 1200 lbs, 260HP rumored to now be in Brazil)
1946 Luscombe 8A
Starduster Too (recently spotted at the Nevada City, CA airport - over 20 years and an entire continent separating it from our stewardship in Binghamton, NY)
1955 Cessna 170B (wife taught me to fly tailwheel in this)

And present...
64 Mooney M20E ("Rambo". My faithful steed for over 30 years) Nearly 50 years old, and just returned from a trip to Argentina in him
Newest in the fleet
1967 Piper Super Cub on Wipline amphibious floats (a true "all terrain vehicle")
2010 Triumph Thunderbird


You can snap roll an Alfa only one time...
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Old 06-15-2012, 05:52 PM
Gubi's Avatar
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I'm betting you have a miss on a cylinder. Pull plug wires one at a time. If pulling one of them doesn't make a difference, there's your problem.

A bad miss will send unburned fuel directly into your cat. This ignites when it hits the cat and melts the matrix. If a cat melts, you always need to troubleshoot the problem BEFORE replacing the cat.

Based on the details of your post you probably want to find a new, new mechanic.
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1991 Spider
1987 Milano Gold
1963 Giulia Spider (1750 engine)
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Old 06-15-2012, 05:56 PM
ghnl's Avatar
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Agree with Don (and do not disagree with Tom...!). My first thought was a disconnected/loose AFM harness connection or disconnected/loose intake air duct. Look closely for splits in the accordian section of the intake air duct.

The catalytic converter may well have been bad but if that was the only issue replacing it would have solved the problem.
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~ 1984 Spider Veloce ~
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L-jetronic V-6 diagnosis
OK injectors - fuel injector cleaning
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