Are my plug wires bad and if so would that cause stalling after the car is hot? - Page 18 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #256 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 10:04 AM
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Could be the starter gave up the fight.. Perhaps all the recent cracking put it over the edge.

Did you try jumping the solenoid with the screw driver trick? Might be tough to get at though..



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post #257 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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I'm trying to figure out how to get to the solenoid. Seems to be inaccessible under the heat shield, which is attached to the exhaust manifold.

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post #258 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Running some errands so I'll drop off the battery for a test and charge again, but at a different shop. Just to see... When I try cranking everything goes dim and the headlights fully shut off. Not discounting the starter has just given up the ghost, as that's been the MO of this car. Resolve one problem and another emerges IMMEDIATELY. It's truly uncanny.

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post #259 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 11:29 AM
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Well try jumping it from another car to rule out the battery.


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post #260 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Apparently it was almost totally dead. It LOAD tested fine, but they neglected to tell me it was almost drained. Seems obvious enough to tell me? Anyway it's charging.

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post #261 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Well, now we're back to where we were. Got the battery back up to a full 12.6 volts, cranked it, started, ran rough for 10 seconds, shut off. It doesn't even run long enough for me to test anything or get from the ignition to the timing light.

Harrumph.

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post #262 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 06:48 PM
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Have you tested the alternator? If it's bad, it could be discharging the system.I suppose it could wreak havoc on the ignition if the internals are bad.
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post #263 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 07:00 PM
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If it will start again, depending on your AAV function it might need some time to get cleared out and start running evenly. You have the standard Bosch auxiliary air valve, or a manual valve? See if it will start again... forget about testing for now, let's see if it will run and warm up everything.

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post #264 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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The voltage regulator could also be the culprit for the fried ignition components. Might have to pull it and bench rest it though. Won't run long enough to get any sort of numbers from it.


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post #265 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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And I do have a manual AAV but I put the original back in after spending far too long adjusting it. Toaster oven and freezer method.


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post #266 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 08:16 PM
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Did you plug fall of the mass air flow meter? That would cause that too..


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post #267 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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Well, a couple of updates. Charged the battery to 12.7 volts and dropped it back in. Started the car with the manual AAV in full open. Grumbled to life, choked and spit for 10 seconds, then died. Tried again with the same result. Trouble starting a third time so I checked the battery voltage and it had dropped to 12.3. I also noticed I had 0 fuel pressure. Fantastic. Swapped the combo relay around, checked some wiring and fuses, and after a half hour on the charger tried again. No start. No fuel pressure.
What the hell, guys.


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post #268 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Fuel pressure is back. No idea but I think the AFM harness was loose. It's still not running it'll start but coughs and sputters before dying. It SEEMS like timing. Maybe the entire distributor is bad? I was sent a spare, some assembly required, so that's next up.


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post #269 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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OK. So let's assess. Help me out.

The timing belt is tight. Turning the motor by hand both cams align with the marks on the caps, the crank pin is on the P/F mark (My '92 has M, a P/F, and an R marks), and the distributor rotor is roughly aligned with the score mark on the body, which also aligns with the #1 plug wire. The plug wires are in order - 1-4-2-5-3-6 going clockwise, and are attached to the correct plug. The distributor is sending signal to the ignition amplifier and will fire the injectors and spark plugs when turned by hand (not seated in the engine). The fuel pressure is correct, as per the permanent gauge on the feed line. The pump, filter and pressure regulator are new. I've swapped the AFM, the ECU, the ignition amp, the ignition coil, and the distributor for know-good parts, in various combinations. The battery is charged to 12.7 volts and rises to ~14 during the brief moments the car will run. I have replaced all of the fuses and cleaned and tightened all of the springy connectors in the fuse box. I have removed, inspected, cleaned, and reinstalled every connector on the back of the fuse box. I have cleaned and tightened every ground connection. Compression in all six cylinders is fine (all within 10% of one another). Spark plug wires are new (I've gone back to the old wires twice, in case the new set is defective). Coil wire is new. Spark plugs are new-ish and gapped to ~.35 mm. I've tried hotwiring the fuel pump. I've swapped the combo-relay. I've bypassed the inertia switch. I've checked continuity of every wire that's testable at the ECU harness. I've tested and/or replaced every sensor and every connector, testing continuity to ensure they'll work. I've gone through the L-Jet tuneup guide a dozen times. I've tried starter fluid. I've disconnected the cold start injector. I've pulled the fuel rail and checked the injectors. The plugs are wet though, indicating the spark isn't burning the gas that's being injected. But there is spark - I've seen it. Somehow the timing is just off and I can't fix it.

Consequently, the car won't run for more than 10 seconds. It sputters, coughs, chokes, backfires, shudders, and dies. Touch the throttle and it dies instantly. Move the distributor and it dies instantly.

I'm going to walk away from the thing for a month or so, try not to think about it at all, and either have an epiphany or decide to drag it to a shop and part with the $2,000 estimated to just diagnose the problem.

I really am at a point where I don't know what else to do without ripping out every piece of wire, building a new harness, and installing a brand new ignition system, or just replacing the engine. I'm really, truly out of ideas. I'm just repeating things I've already tried.

Ugh. Just... ugh.

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post #270 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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The only epiphany I've had - could it be the catalytic converter? The car was running over-rich for an eternity and everything was pretty sooty - plugs and O2 sensor.
That's all I've got.

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