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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-14-2006, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Fuel pump funeral?

I should start this with a little history. My fuel pump has always made a humming noise behind the passenger seat, sometimes the pitch would change a little too. About two weeks ago I was driving down the road with my wife, we hit a bump and the car started to sputter. It was still running, just no power. I pulled over and noticed the fuel pressure light on. Shut the car off, turned the key back to "start" and did not hear the normal noise of the fuel pump (uh oh). We were not pulled over for 60 seconds and my wife is on the phone calling for a ride (still not sure if the ride was for both of us). I twisted the fuel pump fuse and poked at a couple other things and badda-bing the fuel pump kicks on and we are on the way. (she called back to cancel the ride)

Today was an unusually bad car day. It started with me dropping my 2002 Chevy 2500HD pickup off to have the squeeky brakes looked at. Rode my bike back home and got ready for work. Drove the Alfa to work, went over the same **** bump and the car starts to sputter again (COME ON!!) So I pull over in the same spot as two weeks ago and go through the same song and dance, no luck. The car will start and barly run, I guess it is running on the in-tank pump. So I had it towed home. It is raining now so I will wait until tomorrow to check all the connections, but my guess is the fuel pump is dead. In doing a little checking before the rain I discovered the intertia switch was popped (problem solved you say??) nope, I guess it was by-passed by the P.O. I took it out and disassembled it and cleaned everything. I will un-by-pass it after I get the fuel pump figured out.

Any thoughts of suggestions are always appreciated. Oh yeah, the truck needed all new brakes and rotors and had a leaking axel seal and frozen parking brake--$950 OUCH! Add another $185 for new fuel pump and that makes for a pretty crappy car day. Beer anyone?!!

Donny
Andover, MA
78 Spider
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-14-2006, 03:30 PM
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Download the Fuel Supply System Diagnostics Guide at:

www.wesingram.com/hp.htm

It should answer all your questions.

John Stewart
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91 164S
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-14-2006, 07:30 PM
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daily driver dream on

Well....I confess. My spider was a daily driver, and I was periodically seen on the roadside.

You hit a bump and the pump "quit out"? Sounds like an electrical open circuit. Use a volt meter and make sure the electrical posts on the pump are seeing battery voltage.

Don't know what year you're driving. The syphon (in tank) pump in my '81 was my culprit. it would give marginal pressure and the main pump would suck vacuum and collapse the supply line. This can kill the main pump and you must give this circuit a complete checkout. I removed my syphon pump out of the tank and installed a plain jane non-positive displacement syphon pump outside the tank, in the trunk. The replacement pump can cost $25 from anywhere. Strongly suggest installing a multi-axis inertia switch to cutoff an external syphon pump, to make this a safe option. BTW as I recall, my syphon pump made plenty of noise, but no pressure to the main pump. I was glad to be finally rid of it.

Use the utmost caution in fuel system work. Disconnect the battery, use only high pressure grade hoses, fuel grade connectors and double check connections. Don't work in spaces that restrict escape in an emergency.

Best of Luck;

Mike Pate
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-17-2006, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Help!
I replaced the fuel pump with a new one (same Bosch 2 port style that was on it before). Turn the key and I can hear the fuel pump making a nice hum now, but the fuel pressure light is still on. Car would start with light staying on, but would die out when I give it gas. Checked rear fuel filter (1 month old) still seems fine. Replaced front fuel filter and now I can't even get it to start at all!!! I also checked and I do not have an in-tank boost pump. Inside of tank looks nice and clean. I get 11.78 volts across the battery and same at fuel pump. Is that ok?

Please help, getting very frustrated and it seems like I am going backwards.

Thanks in advance.

Donny
Andover, MA
78 Spider
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-17-2006, 02:28 PM
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I had the very same issue with my wife's spider. I disconnected the line from the pump to the front filter, I also disconnected the line at the front filter. I placed a drain pan at the pump location and then took my air compressor hose and blew threw it. It had a small amount of debris build up in the line. This was choking off fuel and once I did this it solved the problem. I could here the trash let go in the line.

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-17-2006, 02:56 PM
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Debris or not, you should be getting more than 12 volts across the battery with the engine off, and a bit over 13 volts with the engine running. In addition to a possible debris problem in the lines, you might not have enough voltage to start the car easily, even if you didn't have a fuel problem.

[FONT="Century Gothic"][B]Bob Farace[/B]
[COLOR="DarkGreen"]1971 Alfa Romeo 1750 Spider Veloce[/COLOR]
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-17-2006, 03:35 PM
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What kind of Bosch 2-port pump did you replace it with? Does the pump have a port at each end, or are both ports on one end? If it's the one with ports at each end, you must modify the outlet restrictor port that screws onto the injection pump. It's all explained in the fuel supply guide.

Have you downloaded the fuel supply guide and read it?

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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-17-2006, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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RoadTrip,
I have downloaded the guide. The fuel pump that was on it and the one I replaced it with both have ports on each end. I didn't check the outlet restrictor because I was swapping out for an identical pump and everythink was working great before the pump died. I guess I should check anyway. I think I will try everyones idea's:
1. Trickle charge the battery to make sure I have full voltage.
2. Blow out fuel line between pump and front filter using compressor
3. Check restrictor and solder/drill new hole if neccessary.

Thanks too all for the idea's.

Donny
Andover, MA
78 Spider
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-17-2006, 04:45 PM
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Roadtrip is right on the restrictor. The Wes Ingram's web page covers how to do this. Is pretty easy. As far as battery voltage goes, the reading is only as good as the meter. Most meters are going to have a swing in accuratcy +/- .25 to .50 volts. What effects it's reading is quality of meter, the meter leads and the internal battery to the meter. Also out door tempture effects the discharge value of a battery and was there an attemped to start the car just before the voltage reading? Now with that said there is a great college text book that Interstate battery produced that has about 150 page of good info in it.
Interstate says :
12.66 volts is 100% charged
12.45 volts is 75% charged
12.24 volts is 50% charged
12.06 volts is 25% charged
11.89 volts is 0% charged or completly dicharged.
If we had a 11.78 volts, the thing wouldn't turn over.

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1967 Giulia Super
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-17-2006, 07:45 PM
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no syphon pump?

Hmmm. You haven't mentioned the manufactured year yet, but many spider variants require a syphon pump in the tank. If your model year was equipped with one that has been removed, it needs to be replaced. In the models originally equipped with the syphon pump, the first stage of travel was uphill and the lack of a syphon pump will only cause problems. In this instance, the main pump will draw occasional vacuum and pematurely wear out.


Good luck

Mike Pate
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-18-2006, 05:13 AM Thread Starter
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My Spider is a 78 and it doesn't look like there ever was an intank pump (no pump, no plumbing for it, no electric for it). I guess that could be an issue, but given the fact that the new main pump is the same kind as the bad pump (Bosch 2-port LJettronic) and everything was working fine before still makes be confused as to why these other issues would start to cause problems now. Also, I have two new fuel filters and a full tank of gas. I guess it certainly would not hurt to add the in-tank boost pump and would prolong the life of the main pump, but I also think it is not necessary given that it has always worked without it.

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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-18-2006, 07:23 AM
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check into it

Donny;


I believe that the ''78 had the same fuel routing as my '81. Follow the fuel path, and you may find that the tank exit is at the top of the tank, and then feeding down under the car. This being the case, the car most likely originally had a syphon pump. Without it, the main pump will initially, briefly draw vacuum, until this stress kills the main pump.

Good luck;

Mike Pate
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-18-2006, 08:39 AM
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what kind of fuel system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donny
I guess that could be an issue, but given the fact that the new main pump is the same kind as the bad pump (Bosch 2-port LJettronic)
Oh, wait. An L-jetronic main pump in a '78? Are you still Spica injected?

Still not enough info:
1) If the alfa is still Spica injected, you have a positive displacement pump and require a syphon pump, if the fuel exit is at top of the tank
2) If the Alfa is carburated, a non-positive displacement pump is all that is needed
3) If the Alfa is L-jetronic converted, ensure that you match your fuel circuit against the L-jetronic equipped specs.

Good Luck;

Mike Pate
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-18-2006, 08:54 AM
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Alfa retrofitted the later S2 cars with in-tank boost pumps because under some conditions of low fuel level and agressive manuevering, the main supply pump may have become starved. As far as I know, it wasn't a significant problem otherwise. Fitment of a boost pump will ensure a positive (3.5 psi) head of pressure for the main pump, however.

Go through the guide and troubleshoot the entire system, back to front and back again.

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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-18-2006, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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The car does still have a SPICA and was previously converted to the L-Jetronic 2 port pump before I bought that car. I also see no evidevce of a syphon pump in the trunk. I belive they are normally attached to the sending unit which I removed and there is definately no pump. If anyone has pictures of their tank boost/syphon pump I would appreciate seeing them. This does still go back to the fact that the car worked fine all this time, main pump dies, replace main pump, and now I have issues that were not causing problems in the past?? In Wes Ingrams guide he points out that owners with the old system should not feel compelled to retrofit the newer boost pumps, keep the fuel filters clean and avoiding low fuel levels should prevent any problems.

On a whim, I turned the key to "on" this morning and could hear the new pump humming, I then took off the gas cap and could not hear any fuel returning to the tank. So it is either not getting any fuel out of the tank in the first place (boost pump would probably fix this) or their is a blockage somewhere else. This second option seems more likely since I think I would have encountered fuel issues in the past, before the pump died. I am going to give Akitaman's idea a shot and disconnect the fuel line at the front filter and at the pump and blow it out with a compressor, will also try other lines that I can access.

I put the charger on it last night and last I checked the battery was showing 12.55 volts, still trickle charging. Question: what is the difference between the 1amp and 4 amp switch on my trickle charger? I have it on 1amp now.

Thanks for all the help, I am confident we will get her signing again shortly.

Happy Fathers day to all the Alfa Dads out there!!

Donny
Andover, MA
78 Spider
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