Changed starter and S3 won't start - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2015, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Changed starter and S3 won't start

I changed my starter and now my S3 won't start. The engine turns over but will not catch. The engine acts like it isn't getting fuel. Even after cranking up to 30 times, there is no gas smell. Here is what I replaced/repaired:

1. Removed plenum
2. Removed fuel injectors and rail and sent off to OKInjectors for service
3. Removed starter (bad solenoid)
4. Installed rebuilt starter
5. Installed starter relay (30, 85, 86, 87 pins)
6. Installed plenum
7. Installed fuel rail and injectors

I tried to ensure that I connected all the plugs and ground wire back into the engine block. I also checked the fuel pump fuse and all fuses under the steering wheel. I can hear the fuel pump relay click when I turn the key.

When I first got everything back together, I tried starting without the fuel pump relay. I left the key in the ignition and when I inserted the relay, I heard a pop that sounded like static in the vicinity of the fuse holder. Could I have killed the fuel pump?

Please offer any suggestions for troubleshooting.

Kim - 1987 Spider Quadrifoglio (~170K original owner miles)
Huntsville, AL
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2015, 04:37 PM
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When I had Sprull rebuild my injectors, my 88 quad would not start after reassembly. I went into the house and got on the computer to ask the same question as you. Someone said to go back outside and try again as the pump takes a little time to reprime all the fuel lines and the fuel pressure regulator. I went back out side and it started right up. Just needed that 31 attempt!

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2015, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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I will keep trying in case it is a priming issue.

I forgot to mention that I recharged the battery as well.

Kim - 1987 Spider Quadrifoglio (~170K original owner miles)
Huntsville, AL
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2015, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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After about 30 more attempts, the engine finally caught but ran very rough. I had to keep my foot on the accelerator to keep it running. A lot of smoke came out of the exhaust. As soon as I let up on the accelerator, the engine died.

Kim - 1987 Spider Quadrifoglio (~170K original owner miles)
Huntsville, AL
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2015, 05:57 PM
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Are you sure the spark plug wires are installed in the correct firing order? 1-3-4-2

After many failed starting attempts the spark plugs could be fouled. Either clean or replace them.

- - Eric
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2015, 06:23 PM
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Did you remember to plug in the air flow meter?
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2015, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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I verified the spark plug wires were in the right order. I checked the connection to the air flow meter and it is good. I then checked the resistance on the flywheel sensors and got about 1000 ohms across the correct connectors and infinite across the other connectors.

Next, I tried to start the car again and it worked! I figured one of the flywheel sensor connections or the AFM connection was loose. I drove around the neighborhood and everything was good. Then I drove on the main road and without warning, I lost power. The engine continued running rough, but there was no response to the throttle. After I stopped the car, the engine died and would not start again.

When I had checked the flywheel sensors earlier, I noticed the connectors on both were broken and there is exposed wire. I got my wife to turn on the ignition and I tried wiggling the connectors hoping that was the problem, but could not get the car to start again.

Can anyone suggest what to check next?
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2015, 06:00 AM
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You probably want to replace both of the fly wheel sensor cables, you may have broken one now. Also check the end of both cables that bolt onto the bell housing to ensure they are seated all the way in and the bolts are snug and ensure the cable is not fractured at that end as well.
I had intermittent issues like this with my 84 and one cable was broken/fractured at the bell housing end and the other was loose.
I searched the cable part number online and found a BMW parts supplier that carried them at a reasonable price.
Replaced them both, snugly tightened the bolts on the bell housing and have not had any problems since.
Les

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2015, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bongju View Post
When I had checked the flywheel sensors earlier, I noticed the connectors on both were broken and there is exposed wire. I got my wife to turn on the ignition and I tried wiggling the connectors hoping that was the problem, but could not get the car to start again.
I had a flywheel sensor that was broken but still worked, like yours. I replaced it (with a BMW sensor bought from eBay for $65) but kept the old one as a backup. I molded some epoxy on the broken connector to prevent further damage.

Rich

'85 Spider Veloce
'17 Giulia Ti Sport
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-15-2015, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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I replaced both flywheel sensors and it still won't start. The grey connector goes to the bottom sensor and the black connector goes to the top sensor.

If I press the accelerator when I crank the engine, it will start but will run very rough. If I let go of the accelerator, the engine dies.

So far, I have checked all fuses, the spark plug wire order, the AFM connection.

When I replaced the fuel rail, I noticed the return fuel hose might be kinked. Could this be causing my problems?
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-15-2015, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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I have another data point. The car behaves the same when I disconnect the AFM; I can start it when the accelerator is depressed but it runs very rough.

I verified the connectors on the AFM look good. I verified there are no major air leaks on the intake.

Kim - 1987 Spider Quadrifoglio (~170K original owner miles)
Huntsville, AL
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-15-2015, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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I found the problem!!!

As ghnl always recommends, I started going through the L-jetronic Spider Diagnosis guide. I found that the connector for the Coolant Temperature Sensor (CTS) was very loose; after I wriggled the connector, the engine started. I rigged up some wire to hold it in place and all is well.

For a permanent solution, does anyone know where I can purchase a connector for the CTS?

Kim - 1987 Spider Quadrifoglio (~170K original owner miles)
Huntsville, AL
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-15-2015, 06:00 PM
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I have a question for Eric (ghnl). Are the Bosch electronic controls on these Alfas so sensitive that if one were to cut a conncetor (say the CTS mentioned above) off a parts Alfa and wire splice it onto the cut off end of a CST wire on the Alfa you are working on, would any difference in line impedience in the spliced wire affect the running of the respliced sensor? On F-4 Phantom jets we could not do inline splices on some sensitive components.

But I installed a Nissan Frontier engine into a Nissan Hardbody truck and did 4 such inline splices because the hardbody injector connectors were not compatable with the injectors of the Frontier engine. And the injectors were not interchangable. The replaced engine started up and I ran it for years with no apparent ill effects. But it was just a second hand truck, so what the H--L. But I would be hesitant to try that stunt on an Alfa.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-15-2015, 06:38 PM
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As far as I know (which is not all that far) you can certainly splice in a new/used connector for most of the sensors. Probably not the flywheel sensors though - they have a grounded shielding braid (like a cable TV wire) which would be more difficult to splice.

If the plastic connector is broken but the wire inside is OK, you might be able to replace just the connector. The small metal connectors inside can be released and re-inserted into a replacement connector.

- - Eric
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~ 1984 Spider Veloce ~
- -~ 1981 GTV-6 ~
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-15-2015, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vf31rhill View Post
I have a question for Eric (ghnl). Are the Bosch electronic controls on these Alfas so sensitive that if one were to cut a conncetor (say the CTS mentioned above) off a parts Alfa and wire splice it onto the cut off end of a CST wire on the Alfa you are working on, would any difference in line impedience in the spliced wire affect the running of the respliced sensor? On F-4 Phantom jets we could not do inline splices on some sensitive components.
FWIW, I spliced in new connectors on my flywheel sensors with no problems (so far at least). I unbraided about an inch and a half of the braided shielding, wound it together, and connected that to the ground pin.

Rich

'85 Spider Veloce
'17 Giulia Ti Sport

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