I am new to the forum and just getting back into the Spider after a 19 year hiatus. My previous car was a 1984 Red Spider Veloce and going from memory a little easier beast to tame than this new acquisition which is a 1977 Canary Yellow 2000 Spider (SPICA) and was the subject of a previous thread:
I found the car on Craig’s list and after using Google Images on one of the photos to see if the post was a scam found the above article on your BB which proved very helpful.
I picked up the car 3 weeks ago and am planning to go through it system by system but so far it appears to be a better car than I originally thought. First thing I did was buff her out and the original paint came back to life. I have also cleaned the engine bay so I can get a better look at the leaks.
The BB has been a great source of information so far and I have procured some of the suggested literature (i.e. The Alfa Owners Bible, Wes Ingram’s SPICA book and the DVD from CARID).
I am currently trying to get the car running “right”. It ran and drove but was pumping black soot and the plugs were covered black soot as well. Car would drive reasonably well but the idle is very low and sometimes would cut.
First step was a new TA which I got from Ingram and have installed and set pump gap to 0.19”. Car now starts up instantly and idles about 1500rpm (according to onboard tach) then settles down to something I will have to set my tach up to measure. I have also cleaned the OSV – but as this appears to be very important I have also ordered a new stainless steel version.
Plan now is to check timing (almost impossible to locate timing marks on this car as the crank pulley is surrounded by smog pump and brackets), and to get that set if not correct.
I don’t think the relay crank is out of adjustment but no easy way to verify without “the tool” other than the throttle plates are closed at idle and putting my hand over them does not cause stumble. Pinching the individual air tubes does though which should be a good sign. Also placing thumb over idle port or vacuum hose that goes from right side (front of engine) of manifold to OSV will cause the car to stall.
Next I then plan to go after the fuel mixture at 2500 rpm as Wes Ingram suggests then hopefully the mixture will be reasonably correct and adjustment to idle air will be effective. Am thinking of just pulling the FCS and setting it to the 9.5 to 10 turns Wes suggests to start as I suspect the PO’s mechanic leaned this out to compensate for the TA which may be contributing to the low idle when engine is warm.
The only ugly thing I have found so far, and almost kept me from buying the car, is that the head is leaking oil between the #2 and #3 cylinder. As the car has so few miles on it (23,006 to be exact), I am hoping I can just re-torque the head to clear this up. No mixing in oil or antifreeze that I have found so far so hopefully a good sign.