Are my plug wires bad and if so would that cause stalling after the car is hot? - Page 19 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
 67Likes
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #271 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 05:50 PM
Registered User
 
alfaloco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Lexington, Kentucky USA
Posts: 2,157
Garage
Know what Mr Chairman? I think I'd do the same. And I don't give up easily. This has been one for the books.
alfaloco is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #272 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 12:18 AM
Senior Member
Gold Subscriber
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 238
Hi,

I have been following this thread from the beginning, and have even offered some suggestions, but I stopped once I realized that it seemed to be futile. I suppose could re-read the entire thread, and maybe I would discover a hidden clue that would suggest what to test next, but I am leery of sending you down a rabbit hole that results in another weekend of frustration and pulling your hair out.

I think that this thread proves that internet help can only go so far (not that there have not been lots of good suggestions), because none of the responders can actually see and hear the car, and it is why I refuse to diagnose any customer cars over the phone, even when I am 99.9% sure what the problem is. It seems like you have gotten to the point where you should take the car to a professional shop that is proficient in Bosch fuel injection (does NOT have to be an Italian car specialist). Now, finding a German car specialist or Bosch Service Center that is willing to take on an Alfa GTV6 is another story, but you never know.

You keep stating that it would cost $2,000 just to diagnose what is wrong---if there is a shop telling you this, that means they don't want to work on your car. Sure, the eventual repair could easily cost $2,000, but it's not like your car is only stalling once every 500 miles---because your symptoms seem to be chronic and repeatable, a competent shop with professional test equipment would likely figure out what is wrong within a few hours. If I weren't able to figure out a similar issue with one of my customer's cars after $2,000 worth of labor (even here at Santa Barbara labor rates), I'd consider quitting my job and do something else; this is not to say that I haven't had my share of problem cars over the years, but we certainly wouldn't charge a customer an exorbitant amount of labor if we could not solve an obvious issue.

I hate to sound cruel, but Bosch L-Jet is not rocket science, and none of the components of the GTV6 injection or ignition system are unique to Alfa or Italian cars. Once all of the various Alfa-specific voltage drop issues are taken care of, it is a matter of knowing how the system works and what to test.

Of course, aftermarket wiring and modifications to a 35+ year-old can muddy the waters, and it sounds like your situation is further complicated by the fact that you (at least somewhat) converted the ignition system to the later version, and seem to have other underlying issues as well. But even then, a sharp technician with a good DSO and multimeter and a 5-gas analyzer should at least be able to figure out the reason for the stumbling/stalling fairly quickly.

Please don't take this post the wrong way. I admire your persistence and fortitude, especially because it sounds like you work hard and have a family to support. But at some point, I think you have to throw in the towel.

I should be in Austin in mid-September to visit my sister and nephew who live there and to see the AMLS race at COTA. If you somehow still have the car then and it's still acting up, I'll happily volunteer a couple of hours of my time to at least determine what is going on.

Good luck.

Chris
alfaloco, 101/105guy and ToonRboy like this.

Chris A: '81 GTV6 rescued from junkyard, "GT" car/'86 Porsche 944 Turbo track/street car/'73 BMW 2002tii fun street car/'74 Jensen Healey Lemons Rally car!
cda951 is offline  
post #273 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 05:34 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Manchester, CT
Posts: 445
Garage
Send a message via AIM to DOM!
Is the flap on the air flow meter stuck? Put a screw driver in there and make sure it isn't stuck closed. But that doesn't coincide with the wet plugs.. Worth a try though..


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

DOM! 1987 Milano Verde 1983 GTV6
2017 VW GTI SE 2003 Ducati 999 1992 BMW K1100RS
DOM! is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #274 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 05:42 AM
Senior Member
Platinum Subscriber
 
alfaparticle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Columbia SC
Posts: 12,957
I suggested many posts ago that a plugged exhaust could cause your symptoms. You could disconnect the cat and see if it will run with an open exhaust.

Ed Prytherch
79 Spider
76 Suzuki GT500
2011 Jaguar XKR

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them. - P.J. O'Rourke
alfaparticle is online now  
post #275 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 06:52 AM
Registered User
 
alfaloco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Lexington, Kentucky USA
Posts: 2,157
Garage
Thank you, Chris. Very well stated! Very constructive and helpful advice. I do feel his pain...

alfaloco
Lexington, KY USA
alfaloco is offline  
post #276 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 02:30 PM
Del
Senior Member
Gold Subscriber
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: seattle
Posts: 15,347
Just remembered that a friend years ago had an older Ferrari onto which he had installed a pair of Pontiac (I think) used cats, and the car would start, but not continue running. Turned out that the used cats (from a junk yard) had collapsed inside and were blocking the exhaust. Replaced them with straight pipes and the car ran fine.

Del

Seattle

1989 Milano, Shankle Sport
1991 164S, stock
1994 164LS (~Q)
1972 Morgan 27

previously owned since 1964:

62 Morris MiniMinor 850, 67 Austin 1275 Cooper S (Downton 3/4 race), 64 Giulia Sprint GT (1st red one made), 72 Fiat 128 Sedan, 75 Alfetta Sedan, 78 Alfetta Sedan, 78 GTV, 81 GTV6, 86 GTV6
Del is offline  
post #277 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-29-2017, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 2,127
To clear the air on the blocked exhaust issue, we did check that ages ago but at this point I figured a check specifically on the cat would be an easy thing to accomplish. I just didn't realize the cat is welded to the downtubes and can't be unbolted, so the best I could do was open the O2 bung (no change) then loosen the exhaust manifolds from the heads, again with no change.

To clarify the $2,000 estimate though, that's a flat rate of $180 to tow the car (I also don't have access to a trailer and the only person I know who has one wants $150 to rent it to me, plus a capable tow-vehicle), a two hour flat-rate diagnostic at $80 an hour, and assuming that doesn't uncover the issue I begin to incur the Bosch specialist rate of $120 an hour until they find it, and he estimated 10-15 hours to go through every component in the system. That was from a European specialist with a Bosch certified technician. The only other shop I called in the area that would even agree to work on an old Alfa Romeo was a Porsche/BMW place and they wouldn't give me an estimate, although he said the initial quote was probably accurate for them as well, based on their rates and the fact they'd have to study the Alfa system prior to starting work.

There are a couple of local Alfa guys as well who I've worked with in the past. It's much more difficult and expensive to get the car to them, however, as they operate FAR form my home. If I could find someone with a car trailer with a comealong or winch who'd be willing to let me borrow it for a day... They've been offering advice and parts to test.

So yeah. I give up. You're right. The whole point of this car was to be a fun project and a fun drive, but for the past several years it's been neither. I'm almost certain that once it's running I'm putting it up for sale. Keeping a car like this can be illustrated with a simple Venn diagram - time, money, and skill/expertise. Two areas can make up for the third, but I presently have NONE. No overlap, hence the unmitigated frustration on my part and non-running thing on the car's. But I have to get it running. Without naming names I've received messages from a couple of somewhat-local folks who are sort of circling like vultures, offering peanuts for the car in its non-running state. Someone even flagged a couple of ads I posted for help fixing the car on Craigslist. I mean, there's no proof but when someone is aggressively pressuring me to sell them me the car for $800, while posting in another car forum that they have a lead on a fairly clean GTV6 that isn't running but could be fixed in less than a day because the idiot owner can't fix it himself - har har har - (and thanks to a friend on the Jalopnik Oppo forum for directing me to that post), then several of my posts asking for a mobile mechanic, a local gearhead, or anyone able to work on an older European car, are all flagged, I suspect things.

That's neither here nor there, other than to illustrate how burned out I am with this car. There's no joy left in it. Even if I got it running like a top I don't think I'd ever trust it enough to enjoy driving it.

Anyway, blerg.

as good as a car can be... briefly.
'82 GTV6
chairmankaga is offline  
post #278 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-29-2017, 06:35 PM
Senior Member
Gold Subscriber
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by chairmankaga View Post
To clear the air on the blocked exhaust issue, we did check that ages ago but at this point I figured a check specifically on the cat would be an easy thing to accomplish. I just didn't realize the cat is welded to the downtubes and can't be unbolted, so the best I could do was open the O2 bung (no change) then loosen the exhaust manifolds from the heads, again with no change.

To clarify the $2,000 estimate though, that's a flat rate of $180 to tow the car (I also don't have access to a trailer and the only person I know who has one wants $150 to rent it to me, plus a capable tow-vehicle), a two hour flat-rate diagnostic at $80 an hour, and assuming that doesn't uncover the issue I begin to incur the Bosch specialist rate of $120 an hour until they find it, and he estimated 10-15 hours to go through every component in the system. That was from a European specialist with a Bosch certified technician. The only other shop I called in the area that would even agree to work on an old Alfa Romeo was a Porsche/BMW place and they wouldn't give me an estimate, although he said the initial quote was probably accurate for them as well, based on their rates and the fact they'd have to study the Alfa system prior to starting work.

There are a couple of local Alfa guys as well who I've worked with in the past. It's much more difficult and expensive to get the car to them, however, as they operate FAR form my home. If I could find someone with a car trailer with a comealong or winch who'd be willing to let me borrow it for a day... They've been offering advice and parts to test.

So yeah. I give up. You're right. The whole point of this car was to be a fun project and a fun drive, but for the past several years it's been neither. I'm almost certain that once it's running I'm putting it up for sale. Keeping a car like this can be illustrated with a simple Venn diagram - time, money, and skill/expertise. Two areas can make up for the third, but I presently have NONE. No overlap, hence the unmitigated frustration on my part and non-running thing on the car's. But I have to get it running. Without naming names I've received messages from a couple of somewhat-local folks who are sort of circling like vultures, offering peanuts for the car in its non-running state. Someone even flagged a couple of ads I posted for help fixing the car on Craigslist. I mean, there's no proof but when someone is aggressively pressuring me to sell them me the car for $800, while posting in another car forum that they have a lead on a fairly clean GTV6 that isn't running but could be fixed in less than a day because the idiot owner can't fix it himself - har har har - (and thanks to a friend on the Jalopnik Oppo forum for directing me to that post), then several of my posts asking for a mobile mechanic, a local gearhead, or anyone able to work on an older European car, are all flagged, I suspect things.

That's neither here nor there, other than to illustrate how burned out I am with this car. There's no joy left in it. Even if I got it running like a top I don't think I'd ever trust it enough to enjoy driving it.

Anyway, blerg.
Ugh, sorry to hear that someone is adding insult to injury by pushing you to sell it as-is. I hope that you can somehow work it out, there must be someone out there willing to help you tow it somewhere (future advice: this is why I pay $100+ a year for Platinum AAA with the 200 mile tow option---nice when you have a fleet of old cars like I do!).

At least take a break for a bit to clear your head, then figure things out from there (I wish I had some silver bullet ideas, but I do not). Like I said, I can help you in September if need be!

Chris

Chris A: '81 GTV6 rescued from junkyard, "GT" car/'86 Porsche 944 Turbo track/street car/'73 BMW 2002tii fun street car/'74 Jensen Healey Lemons Rally car!
cda951 is offline  
post #279 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-29-2017, 10:15 PM
Registered User
 
martym00se72's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Posts: 258
Garage
Send a message via Skype™ to martym00se72
Chairman - time to change your signature block I feel...

Tell the vultures to f-off. That is so not cool behavior to kick a guy when he is down.

Engine swap for less that $2k and get into Megasquirt. Then you are changing your focus from getting the **** thing on the road to an upgrade that is worth the blood, sweat and tears. And then also reliable

Just a thought.
GioGTVTS likes this.

'83 GTV6 - 164 12v 3.0 in!
'99 156 Twin spark - for track time fun! And ferrying the kids around in...
martym00se72 is offline  
post #280 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-30-2017, 05:05 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 111
Quote:
Spark plugs are new-ish and gapped to ~.35 mm.
Really??? 0.35 mm = 0.014" plug gap. That seems extremely tight. The plug gap should be around 0.025".
85gtv6 is offline  
post #281 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-30-2017, 06:09 PM
But Mad North-Northwest
Platinum Subscriber
 
Gubi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
Posts: 9,803
Quote:
Originally Posted by chairmankaga View Post
TWithout naming names I've received messages from a couple of somewhat-local folks who are sort of circling like vultures, offering peanuts for the car in its non-running state. Someone even flagged a couple of ads I posted for help fixing the car on Craigslist. I mean, there's no proof but when someone is aggressively pressuring me to sell them me the car for $800, while posting in another car forum that they have a lead on a fairly clean GTV6 that isn't running but could be fixed in less than a day because the idiot owner can't fix it himself - har har har - (and thanks to a friend on the Jalopnik Oppo forum for directing me to that post.
Man, that makes me angry. Some people are only out for themselves and have zero integrity.

Don't let them get you down, Kaga. Take a break from the car and breathe a bit. Then I'd suggest working with the local Alfa club or the folks here to find a good mechanic and see what they can do.

Tom

1963 Giulia Spider (1750 engine)
1974 GTV
1991 Spider
Former: 1987 Milano Gold
Gubi is online now  
post #282 of 302 (permalink) Old 05-30-2017, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 2,127
Quote:
Originally Posted by 85gtv6 View Post
Really??? 0.35 mm = 0.014" plug gap. That seems extremely tight. The plug gap should be around 0.025".


Typo. It's .035 ".


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

as good as a car can be... briefly.
'82 GTV6
chairmankaga is offline  
post #283 of 302 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 05:19 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Manchester, CT
Posts: 445
Garage
Send a message via AIM to DOM!
Any new developments or still in a hiatus?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

DOM! 1987 Milano Verde 1983 GTV6
2017 VW GTI SE 2003 Ducati 999 1992 BMW K1100RS
DOM! is offline  
post #284 of 302 (permalink) Old 06-02-2017, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 2,127
Well, one of the import shops emailed me back and said nevermind, they didn't feel confident working on my car after all - sounded too complicated and would probably cost more that it would be worth. At least they were honest.
Talked with a local guy who's sort of an older Euro expert, and he might be able to provide some insight. He's much happier working on carburated cars than fuel injected and isn't confident he can be of any help whatsoever, but he said he MIGHT be able to help diagnose the problem.

Oh, and I drained the gas tank and only got out about 2.5 gallons. I'd put in close to 5 just a couple of weeks ago. So there's that...

as good as a car can be... briefly.
'82 GTV6
chairmankaga is offline  
post #285 of 302 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 2,127
One small revelation and one question - after removing my broken distributor 2-wire connector and replacing with insulated but separate crimp female connectors, if I'd reversed the position of those wires (solid green + shield) within the coax that feeds into the ignition amplifier, could I have cooked something? And if those wires were still reversed when I tried new parts, could those have been cooked as well? basically, could that small error be the root of the problems and also cause the problem to just self-replicate? All this is assuming that reversing the orientation of those wires would be a Bad Thing to begin with.

Because I'm fairly certain that I had those wires plugged into the wrong terminals on the distributor. Taking a break form the car I started looking at notes in my journal and posts here, I traced the non-running issue back to around the same time as the repairs on the wiring.

And just to clear the air, how are those wires oriented? If the standing on the passenger side looking at the distributor as you would to work on it, and retard diaphragm is on the left and the wires are on the right?

as good as a car can be... briefly.
'82 GTV6
chairmankaga is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome