Spica with sure start cable - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
 1Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 06:23 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Opiwan88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Big Rapids, MI 49307
Posts: 104
Spica with sure start cable

I have converted this 79 spider to electronic distributor, brand new bosch blue coil, and it has a sure start cable instead of the TA. I have three manuals on Alfas and have saved as much information from posts and the web regarding tuning.

Questions:

1. Since I have a sure start, the need to warm up the car for tuning isn't needed, as long as I have the sure start set to warm running? Is this correct?
2. The actual warmness of the engine doesn't do anything without a operable TA?

I have gone through the tuning check list, step by step. The car starts and runs ok. Once timed at the M mark at 5000rpm and adjusted FCS at 2500-3000 RPM, it doesn't want to start without either putting the sure start into cold enrichment or enriching the fuel with the FCS. Once I have it adjusted to allow it to start, closing the sure-start for warming running, it dies.

My pump gap screw did have the plastic cap on it, but one side of the retaining wire was broken lose. I feel like I should suspect tampering, since I seem to be having some very nuanced tuning issues.

Questions:

1. Theoretically, the pump gap screw doesn't actually make any changes to the mechanical workings of the Spica, it is just a reference?
2. If I need to increase the pump gap to get the engine to run, while the gap screw is not accurate, I might be moving the pump lever to the original intended position from the factory?

I ask this because, one tuning run-thru had the car running great, no hesitation, no back firing, nice idle. But I noticed that the sure start had been pulled out a bit and the pump gap was about double what it should be.

If I get it running and starting well, but my pump gap is off a bit, is that ok and I should assume the gap screw is wrong?

1979 Alfa Romeo Spider
Opiwan88 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 07:32 AM
Senior Member
Gold Subscriber
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Cranbrook, BC, Canada
Posts: 271
Garage
Hi there, I also have the sure start cable, something sounds wrong with what's going on there. I would not adjust the gap screw on the outside of the rear of the spica pump. In my experience and what I have read, adjusting the FCS is done at 2500. It's not a range. You would put a big screwdriver or something like. that in the throttle stop at the firewall to hold the engine at 2500, then adjust the FCS for peak rpm (half way between the rich and lean stumble points) then tighten the locknut slightly rich.
Did you just put in the sure start? Even if not, it might be worthwhile to measure it's full extension to see if it's correct for your pump T number or not way off in general.
There is a blurb on the BB somewhere about starting spica engines, in that the correct way to do that is with the throttle pedal depressed by a 1/4.
You might need to start the process from the top again, kinda sounds like your short rod might be holding the throttle plates open some.

Cheers,

Carson, 4 Alfa's, 9 Cars, 4 Motorcycles
vintagemilano is offline  
post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 07:42 AM
Registered User
 
slowcreek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Prescott, Az
Posts: 1,059
Garage
I've done exactly what you have done.

Observe the Sure Start movement at the pump.

I adjust it by inserting a .019" feeler gauge at the pump gap spot. With the cable pushed in, the feeler gauge should slide out with some resistance and still leave some gap.

What did you end up with as far as static timing after timing at the M mark?

It's Giuseppe's giubos, not Guido's guibos, on my 78 Spider and Sport Sedan
REFRESH CONNECTIONS BEFORE REPLACING COMPONENTS
slowcreek is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Opiwan88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Big Rapids, MI 49307
Posts: 104
Thanks for the replies.

I do not intend on touching the gap screw, just making the car run well.

The sure start was installed when I received the car. I will check the travel distance on the sure start.

I am not worried about doing the entire tuning process over from the beginning, I have done it three times with week, always double checking TDC and the Spica mark alignment both based on the #1 cylinder technique and also the #4 cylinder technique.

The distributor is lined up well. I mean, it does start and runs well at times, I just need to get them all happening at the same time with the same settings.

After getting the timing set for the M mark, the idle timing fell to the F mark, but that was with a slight bit of sure start engaged, by mistake of course.

I am following the tuning process as best as I can but with the sure start it takes a little interpreting. Unless I shouldn't be interpreting anything and just leave the sure start on warm running. Since this isn't happening automatically with a properly working TA, I'm not sure if its proper to tune with the sure start set for warm running, with it being summer. I first assume that summer temps would mean to tune with the sure start set for warm operation, but I also feel like I need to assume that even in summer temps, a properly working TA would be producing some enrichment on a cold start, and would progressively move to warm running state, but not instantly.

1979 Alfa Romeo Spider
Opiwan88 is offline  
post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 08:12 AM
Senior Member
Gold Subscriber
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Cranbrook, BC, Canada
Posts: 271
Garage
Yes, you can set the .019" with the long rod disconnected on a cold engine and the sure start fully pushed in (extended). FCS tuning at the end should still be on a fully warm engine. All final tuning should be with the sure start in warm running.
andylarry likes this.

Carson, 4 Alfa's, 9 Cars, 4 Motorcycles
vintagemilano is offline  
post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 08:13 AM
Registered User
 
slowcreek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Prescott, Az
Posts: 1,059
Garage
Simplification:

The Sure Start, when pushed in and having a gap of .019" or less is the same as having the engine at full temp with a TA, only more reliable.

Did you disconnect the long rod while inspecting the gap?

You're doing a great job BTW. Don't let my simple questions offend you. Just making sure of things.

So, adjust the SS so you get proper gap at pump with long rod disconnected.

Reinstall long rod, adjusting it so it slips on without disturbing throttle plate adjustment at this point.

Cold start procedure on mine is pulling the SS all the way out, start the car with the slightest pressure on the gas pedal, idles up to 1500 RPM.

Drive car to my gate, open gate, go through gate, leave driveway and push the SS all the way in. Away I go!!!!!

It's Giuseppe's giubos, not Guido's guibos, on my 78 Spider and Sport Sedan
REFRESH CONNECTIONS BEFORE REPLACING COMPONENTS
slowcreek is online now  
post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Opiwan88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Big Rapids, MI 49307
Posts: 104
All good advise. I have been disconnecting the long rod.

I have noticed that the car will only start if the wire from the microswitch is connected to the FCS. Once in a while after adjusting the mixture, I have forgotten to reattach the wire.

Is this normal, or should the car start with the microswitch wire disconnected from the FCS? I thought that only kicked during deceleration. Dumb me, didn't test the microswitch before putting the pump back on the engine.

All this is happening while the car is up on blocks. Have not been able to road test yet.

1979 Alfa Romeo Spider
Opiwan88 is offline  
post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 12:20 PM
Senior Member
Platinum Subscriber
 
Roadtrip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Rapid City SD, Black Hills of South Dakota
Posts: 9,934
Chances are, the Reference Screw has not been messed with.

1. Does your Reference Screw look like the picture below as far as threads showing?

2. With the Sure Start in the normal running position and the long rod disconnected, is the pump gap .019"? With a Sure Start, you probably want to make it .019" and not .019" or less, like with a normal T/A because the normal T/A will continue to extend as the temp goes from 175F to full running temp. The Sure Start will not. .019" pump gap is the point at which increased fuel delivery starts as the throttle is opened.

3. Have you set the Relay Crank with the factory tool. If not I have one to loan.

4. The Microswitch and power to the FCS is to cutoff fuel only during throttle-off decel down to about 1300 rpm, at which point the Microswitch cuts off power to the FCS and restores fuel delivery. I don't see how the engine could run with the FCS energized, so you might want to go back and check that.

Do you have the factory manuals and the AROC tuning cheat sheet?
Attached Images
 

John Stewart
74 Spider
91 164S
Roadtrip is offline  
post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Opiwan88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Big Rapids, MI 49307
Posts: 104
My gap screw could be off. The lever is only out of adjustment because it moved trying to fit my phone down in there. The gap is .019, slight friction on the feeler gauge. Only look at the threads.
Attached Images
 

1979 Alfa Romeo Spider
Opiwan88 is offline  
post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Opiwan88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Big Rapids, MI 49307
Posts: 104
I did get it close again by double checking the butterflies for closure. So close but the timing at that idle is lined up with the M mark on the crank. I’ll share a video soon.

1979 Alfa Romeo Spider
Opiwan88 is offline  
post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Opiwan88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Big Rapids, MI 49307
Posts: 104
Video

https://youtu.be/teCT_THJlc4

1979 Alfa Romeo Spider
Opiwan88 is offline  
post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 02:41 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Central PA
Posts: 324
Did you do the new dizzy and the coil and the SS all at once? Why was the Spica pump removed? Whoa, I just reread post 10. Timing at idle lined up with M mark? That contradicts your first post. 5000 RPMs is good for the M mark. When set at that, what is the timing at idle? What was the running condition before you made these changes / repairs? You said that you did the "entire tuning process". Did that include compression test, valve clearance, cam timing, fuel pressure? Also, I prefer using a drill (bit) of the proper size to check the reference gap. Much easier than feeler gauge. On older, worn pumps I also (sometimes) get better results setting the gap closer to .015 Generally, I lean em out until they won't run, and then sneak-up the fuel until it runs good. Then a few road tests and spark plug checks.

ALFA ANDY
andylarry is offline  
post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Opiwan88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Big Rapids, MI 49307
Posts: 104
I have not done a compression test. The engine sat dormant for easily 10 years. During draining there was coolant in the oil, and oil in the coolant. I needed to replace head gasket and decided to replace all gaskets. Engine was torn down except for pistons, rods and crankshaft. I triple checked all alignments during reassembly, included TDC, cam shafts, crank pulley, spica marks, chain tension, valve lash. I may double check the cam shaft marks but did not think it would even run if they were not aligned correctly, or possibly bend valves, which is obviously isn’t doing that. I didn’t remove the oil pump or mess with the timing gear orientation.

I did time it at 5000 rpm and had it idle back to the F mark after that. But something else happened so I started over again and now it’s back to the M mark during idle.

The distributor is a Vick Auto, the Blue coil came with it. I had an in-line, liquid filled fuel pressure gauge attached for a while which held a nice steady 25 psi at all times.

1979 Alfa Romeo Spider
Opiwan88 is offline  
post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Opiwan88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Big Rapids, MI 49307
Posts: 104
Ok so! Here might be a good indicator for some advice. The liquid I pulled out of the pump logic side, from below the barometric bellows, is straight gas. Does that mean the spica pump needs rebuilding?

1979 Alfa Romeo Spider
Opiwan88 is offline  
post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 04:12 PM
Senior Member
Gold Subscriber
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Cranbrook, BC, Canada
Posts: 271
Garage
Yes, do not run the engine any more with that Spica pump on the engine. I guess you could choose to keep running it but the oil in the engine crankcase is being diluted with gas all the time, more and more as it runs. Pull your dipstick out and smell it. Usual cautions apply but you could try lighting the drip on the end of the dipstick with a match or lighter. That pump you have installed needs rebuilding.

Sorry,

Carson, 4 Alfa's, 9 Cars, 4 Motorcycles
vintagemilano 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