New Alfa Spider Graduate owner - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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New Alfa Spider Graduate owner

Hello all and thank you for the valuable information on this board! I just bought a clean 1988 Alfa Romeo Graduate. I drove the car for about 50 miles to get home and the car ran great until the last leg of the trip. The car began to cut out and then back on and finally it just quit running. I costed the car to the side of the road and sat there for about ten minutes. I tried to start the car a few times to no luck. Then after some time passed the car started and got me home. I suspected a bad coils so I tested the resistance and then replaced the coil. Drove the car the next day and it seemed to run fine. Then the problem did the same thing. I let it cool down and drove it home. I suspect the ignition system as this acts like an old ford I had that did the same thing. The ford had a bad ECM. The Alfa has an ignition ECM and an injection ECM. Has anyone had this same type of issue? What were the causes and solutions?
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 12:56 PM
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Welcome!

Pictures! We need pictures.

Wild shot, but fuel filter? Fuel pump? Fuel pressure regulator? Is it heat-related, or fuel flow related? Crank position sensor?
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 01:13 PM
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I also am a new Alfa Spider Graduate owner, a 1985. It will be delivered today. I hope my luck is better than yours. From having read many posts on this forum I am confident the experts here will have you back on the road soon.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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It seems to be heat related. Here are some pictures of the car.
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alfabeach and sporting like this.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 03:13 PM
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Be sure to put what state you live in your user id location. It sometimes makes a difference if you live Michigan or Florida like me. We will try to help you the best we can. Hopefully there is a Alfa club near you that can help also.

Richard
76 Alfetta GTV gone to rust haven, 89 Spider the red graduate, 86 GTV6 on wish list
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 05:11 PM
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I read something about the fuel pump in the tank was added to resolve an issue with vapor lock... perhaps that fuel pump is not working?

Adam -- 1988 Alfa Romeo Spider Graduate
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, the fuel pump in line is working. I guess it is possible that one in the tank is not but The symptoms make me think it’s an ignition issue. In looking at wiring diagrams I have found out the the ignition system is tied to the fuel system so I guess the symptoms my be confusing. When the car dies it’s like the key has been turned off then on then off maybe on again then off and the car dies. It cools down and starts again.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 05:39 PM
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Welcome aboard.

See the link in my signature to a page of info about diagnosing Series 3 Spider ailments.

When an engine dies the first thing I'd want to do is narrow it down to broken internal components, lack of spark or lack of fuel. Assuming no loud bangs and internal parts falling out we can usually rule out internal derangement. An easy way to figure out if it is lack of spark or lack of fuel is to watch the tach as the engine dies. The tach gets its signal from the ignition system - if the tach needle drops to its rest and then the engine dies it is probably ignition related. If the tach registers as the engine dies it is probably fuel related. (but check under the car for things like pistons laying on the road...)

Have you noticed any whoosh of air when you remove the gas cap? The emissions control system means the tank is not vented directly to the air. But it still needs a way to replace the fuel used with some air so there is a small vapor recovery tank, a one way valve and an air vent valve (all located in the compartment in front of the trunk). If those valves get stuck closed the tank won't vent. After driving a while it'll act like it ran out of gas. Usually it will very slowly relieve the vacuum and then start OK after a while or overnight.

A weak or failed in-tank pump will usually reveal itself with stalling/difficulty running when the tank is below ~ 1/2 full. But it probably wouldn't get better by sitting for a while. (but, then again, it's an Alfa so it will do unexpected things...)

- - Eric
don't read this
~ 1984 Spider Veloce ~
- -~ 1981 GTV-6 ~
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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I did think about vapor lock so I did get out and open the gas cap. I did not hear or feel a vacuum as I unscrewed the cap. I actually expected a bit of that and was surprised when it did not happen. I will check out your troubleshooting guide. Thank you. I will also watch the tach when I get back to do more work on the car. I am pretty good with most cars but this Alfa is a different animal so I really appreciate the guidance.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 05:49 PM
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Follow Eric's advice. It covers most all of what i was going to say.
He is pretty sharp.
Where are you located?

Greg
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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I am is Salisbury NC
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pantera928 View Post
Follow Eric's advice.
He is pretty sharp.
And HANDSOME. Come on guys, you keep leaving out that detail...
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- - Eric
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~ 1984 Spider Veloce ~
- -~ 1981 GTV-6 ~
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Hay Eric I am not seeing the link to the diagnostics guide, what am I missing?
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdzink View Post
Hay Eric I am not seeing the link to the diagnostics guide, what am I missing?
Look under “Tech Articles” on the HPSI Motorsports page at Eric’s link and open the L-Jetronic (Spider) link.

Rich

'85 Spider Veloce
'17 Giulia Ti Sport
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 07:29 PM
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https://www.hpsimotorsports.com/l-jetronic--spider-

- - Eric
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~ 1984 Spider Veloce ~
- -~ 1981 GTV-6 ~
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