1974 Spider Fuel pump - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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1974 Spider Fuel pump

Greeting,

I have a 74 spider. the problem I have is that when it starts, it runs fine... the next day I can go out, and try to start it, and all it does is turn over. a few days later I can go try it and it starts. a hour later it worn. I can wait 2 weeks, and it wont start.

I really want a car that will start!

I seem to get gas to the filter in the engine bay, and I get a spark. the car is pretty close to correct timing.

So I am at a loss. One person told me to replace the pump in the trunk. So one question... Is there a difference in the Centerline pump Or an after market?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 06:44 PM
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Does your fuel pressure light flick on then off quickly?

Have you replaced the fuel filters recently?

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Ian Lomax - Current: 1973 Berlina, 1987 Milano Platinum "racecar"
Past: 71, 74 Spiders, 2x 74 Berlina, 74 GTV, 76 Alfetta GT, 88 Milano 3.0, 164LS
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 07:05 AM
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I'd say go back to basics, check ignition first, including that you are getting spark reliably at the spark plug. Fuel pressure should be roughly 16 lbs but they'll run, especially at idle, with less. Cold start system might not be right, and maybe your start/nonstart relates to ambient temps? Got gas? I've been caught out by that more than once!

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 07:23 AM
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When initially turning the key switch to IGN, does the fuel low pressure light come on, then go out after a second or two. Can you hear the whine of the fuel pump?

When starting, do not pump the pedal. Press down about a half inch and hold it while you crank the engine.

A '74 model does not have an in-tank boost pump unless some retrofitted a later model fuel tank. Look to see that the fuel line to the main supply pump (right real wheel area) comes out of the bottom front of the tank, instead of out the fuel tank sender flange on top of the tank.

How long have you had the car? Is this a new or old problem?

John Stewart
74 Spider
91 164S

Last edited by Roadtrip; 03-24-2019 at 07:26 AM.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 05:37 AM
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If the '74 has one, I would check the fuel shutoff switch in the engine compartment. I had a similar issue, every now and then I would turn the key and nothing happen. Next time it, it started fine. If you're not hearing the fuel pump on these instances, check the shut off. Mine was corroded and causing intermittent circuit connection on the fuel pump. Take it apart, cleaned it well, and never had the issue again.

Eric
'79 Alfa Romeo Spider
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry for the unexpected absence. I had personal stuff come up that knocked the importance of this down a few rungs. But we are back and ready to solve this! (I hope)

First thanks for you who responded. I really appreciate it.

To answer your questions..
1. Does your fuel pressure light flick on then off quickly. No it stays on very dimly.

2. Yes it has gas. It's been sitting for a couple of years/ (Last time I worked on this and got frustrated.) , so I probably need to drain the tank. How do you check the gas pressure? I've replaced the spark plugs. And the timing is good.

3. Yes it is a problem I've had to awhile. Even since the engine was rebuilt. When I crank it I After a bit, I can smell gas.. just like it floods. I've tried different foot peddle positions.

I've had the car for about 15 years.


4. Good idea on the fule shut off switch. I'll get the book out and check it.


Have a happy easter!
G
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 03:38 PM
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I have the same issue with my 74 Spider, assuming it`s still a Spica injection.
I live with it. It`s very likely the fuel cutoff solenoid (FCS). Very typical you smell that it is flooded. For me i solve it with the correct slight constant pedal pressure when cranking. It always starts when i apply just enough pressure to the gas pedal.
Should it fail you just have to unhook the wire going to the FCS and start it up. Reconnect wire after car has started.
Its a pita if it happens alot, but at least she fires up. Its mostly a matter of proper starting technique. I seem to remember also in another post having read that this issue is so common that some even install a switch in the dash to cut the current to the fcs with. I just fiddle the wire on and off in the engine bay.
I don`t know howto get rid of this problem. Anyone?

Regards,
Tom I

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1974 Spider Veloce 2000 Iniezione (Donna) Spica inj.

Last edited by arluv68; 04-19-2019 at 01:52 AM. Reason: Wrong part name (fuel shutoff —>fuel cutoffsolenoid)
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 07:37 PM
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Your fuel pressure light should not be on dim at all. It should just be On, then a heartbeat later, Off. Solve that problem, then on to the next. I'm thinking there is going to be a next and maybe another next. The clue there being it hasn't started right since the engine was rebuilt. Definitely sounds like a back to basics situation after you get the fuel pressure light correct. Including checking the TDC mark, cam and ignition timing. You may have to follow the full procedure to reset the Spica rigging, it's not hard, a bit time consuming, but once done correctly from the beginning to end you will not likely have to fiddle with it for quite a while. Solve the fuel pressure light, see where you stand. Check the actual light, then both filters, go from there.

Cheers,

Carson, 4 Alfa's, 9 Cars, 4 Motorcycles
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric W View Post
If the '74 has one, I would check the fuel shutoff switch in the engine compartment.
'74 did not have one.

“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough”
Oo--V--oO There is a fine line between "Hobby" and "Mental Illness".
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 07:53 AM
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Start with basics. Replace both fuel filters. Then the light should come on and go off quickly.

You can rent or borrow a fuel pressure gauge and measure fuel pressure while running. It will be a bit better once the car is running and you get more voltage to the pump.

I would also check the fuel lines, make sure they are hooked up correctly.

Once you get that solved then try adjusting the cold start system.

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Ian Lomax - Current: 1973 Berlina, 1987 Milano Platinum "racecar"
Past: 71, 74 Spiders, 2x 74 Berlina, 74 GTV, 76 Alfetta GT, 88 Milano 3.0, 164LS
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 08:45 AM
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There's some bad and misleading information being tossed around here. The Spica system is not something you "fiddle" with until it runs.

1. The fuel low pressure light should either be on BRIGHT, or OFF. The low pressure sensor is on the front fuel filter and grounds when the fuel pressure is below 7 psi. Normal running fuel pressure is 10-17 psi. A dim light tells me that either the switch is bad, or there is a slight short along the wire somewhere. Take the wire off the tang of the fuel low pressure switch and ground it. Check to ensure the dash light (upper left red light on the center dash) comes on BRIGHT.

2. The Fuel Cutoff Solenoid (FCS) could cause the car to initially start, then die immediately IF the microswitch on the back side of the pump is frozen closed, thus energizing the FCS. This is not very likely to be your problem. The microswitch usually does not fail intermittently. To eliminate it as a possibility, disconnect the wire to the FCS and see if that helps.

3. If you're smelling raw fuel, it's likely the engine is being flooded. This could be due to a sticking Cold Start Solenoid (CSS). That is the "can" on the top rear of the injection pump. Disconnect the feed wire and see if that makes any difference in starting reliability. Proper starting technique is to press down very slightly (1/2" or so) on the accelerator pedal while cranking. DO NOT pump the pedal.

First of all, though, you need knowledge before fiddling with the system willy-nilly. You need to go through the trouble shooting process in a logical manner. It's much faster, easier, and cheaper that way.

Get the fuel supply system sorted out first. Go download the Fuel Supply System Diagnosis Guide here and read it carefully for understanding:

https://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/car...al-guides.html

If you would like the factory SPICA manuals and other technical info, PM me an email address (gmail works fine) capable of receiving some large files and I'll send them to you.

John Stewart
74 Spider
91 164S
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 02:08 AM
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STOP!

Been there, done that, went crazy, got sent to the nuthouse, killed nurse Ratchet, threw a sink thru the wall and escaped, replaced the following part and my intermittent spark issues got the ultimate lobotomy...

https://www.centerlinealfa.com/catal...up-plex-single

Seriously, I was chasing this problem for an entire summer. I tried everything. A bad Marelli Plex ignition pickup wire was the problem. And nobody on this BB knew about it. Please stop everything you are doing, replace this wire, and let me know if you need more medication......


JB
74 Spider
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 01:59 AM
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JBBOSCO, awesome!

It seems that i might have fired up Roadtrip with my previous suggestion, quite unintentionally. Of course i don't "fiddle" with a Spica system. Maybe the words "carefully loosen the wire to the FCS" would have been more appropriate ?
Blame it on me being one of them effin foreigners without the right words sometimes

I am on the other hand very meticulous and careful with a Spica injection system. My suggestion is only based on what i do to get my sweet car started, and i know for sure that this works for me. A perfectly working Spica system is undoubtedly a marvel of the world, but when you have a system that is nearing 50 years now and maybe not in the best shape, and you live on the other side of the planet to this forums best Spica minds, read Wes and Roadtrip, then you do what you can to maintain it yourself (and my Spica system still has the original sealing with the white cap on).

So, apologies to Roadtrip if i should have somehow offended your professionalism, absolutely not intentional! I greatly value all your articles and tips on this forum to keep my dear Alfa running

And to Glennw, best of luck to you! Just remember to go by the book, or the manual, which i seem to almost have far too many of
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Arluv68

1974 Spider Veloce 2000 Iniezione (Donna) Spica inj.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
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I’ll check the wire first… And then forge through the rest. I do thing the idea of starting at Square one is sound. And probably best for my mental state! I build myself up and then the euphoria of it starting flushes over me… The next time, you get the kick in the teeth when it starts. Think go my gauge walls are brick. Otherwise most of my tools will be embedded… I had the engine rebuilt and Wes Ingram did the SPICA. So I feel these are pretty sound. I just need a little reliability now.

A Always
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 01:16 PM
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Any luck? Or still waiting on the part?

JB
74 Spider
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