Ignition Advice - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-16-2019, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: RI
Posts: 42
Ignition Advice

Hello, I have an 86 Spider. Have done much of the routine maintenance but now running a little rough. I am guessing its the ignition because its the only thing I did not replace. I assume we have points/condenser on these cars? How difficult is it to replace items on these cars? I have done points/condenser on other cars. I notice Vick sells an electronic distributor with new coil for $200. Any experience with this? how difficult is it to replace the entire distributor with the electronic one? I can find distributor cap, rotor, but not the points and condenser. I realize the electronic would probably last forever but $200 as opposed to $50 for traditional ignition parts is a big difference.

Last edited by alfalori86; 07-16-2019 at 01:53 PM.
alfalori86 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-16-2019, 02:08 PM
Senior Member
Gold Subscriber
 
sloboy89's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 1,678
Garage
Need a little more information. Does your car have the original Bosch L-Jetronic system? If so, before going and throwing money at possible solutions, you should work through the L-Jet diagnostics at the link below to figure out the problem--

https://www.hpsimotorsports.com/l-jetronic--spider-

Rich

'85 Spider Veloce
'17 Giulia Ti Sport
sloboy89 is online now  
post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-16-2019, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: RI
Posts: 42
It has the original Fuel Injection system. I replaced the Air intake duct when I got the car a year ago. The car was idling very rough and couldn't keep it going unless I gave it gas. What I found was that air intake duct must have rotted away and someone replaced it with something other than the correct duct. It was not a tight seal and there was leakage. Once I replaced the duct it ran fine and idled perfectly. I also replaced the fuel filter, plugs, air filter, oil & filter.
alfalori86 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-16-2019, 02:25 PM
Registered User
 
GV27's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Lakewood, Colorado
Posts: 1,734
Garage
Send a message via AIM to GV27
Assuming your car is still running the original Bosch fuel injection and ignition system your car already has electronic ignition, handled by it's own separate computer. The coil and distributor are simple affairs that are completely under the control of the computer. There are no points involved. The only replaceable parts on the dizzy are the cap and rotor. This is the coil you want:

https://centerlinealfa.com/catalog/i...spider-1982-94

Don't think being an old car it has "classic" ignition bits - other than being an analog computer rather than digital, it is just like a modern car. edit, well not like a modern car that has the coils right on top of the spark plugs, but just like a modern car that still uses a distributor!

Chris

1990 Spider Veloce

Last edited by GV27; 07-16-2019 at 02:31 PM.
GV27 is online now  
post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 12:24 AM
Registered User
 
spiderserie4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Cologne, Germany
Posts: 7,124
get a matched cap and rotor, I'd also spend the few bucks and go for Bosch.
A new set of oem type spark plug leads (metal ends, right angle) and new plugs does wonders for any 30 year old car.

Dom - Alfa Spider 1990 S4 - formerly: Alfa 101 Sprint, 2600 Sprint, Montreal - family classics: Jensen Interceptor II, '58 Hooper RR Silver Cloud I, Shadow II, '60 Corvette.
spiderserie4 is offline  
post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 06:58 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: RI
Posts: 42
Yes wires, cap, rotor cheap and easy and most certainly needed.
alfalori86 is offline  
post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 08:51 AM
Moderator
Platinum SubscriberModerator
 
Alfajay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Juan Capistrano
Posts: 9,807
Quote:
Originally Posted by sloboy89 View Post
before going and throwing money at possible solutions, you should work through the L-Jet diagnostics
sloboy89 offers good advice here. A vacuum leak caused the last incident of running poorly, and you have already replaced the spark plugs, so I'd say that your problem is more likely fuel than spark.

Sure, you could replace the wires, cap, rotor, points and condensor just because they're old. But it's just a shot in the dark that they are the cause your rough running problem.

Quote:
but $200 as opposed to $50 for traditional ignition parts is a big difference
Why not just inspect the cap and rotor, and check the point gap before throwing parts at it? That will cost nothing.

Jay Mackro
San Juan Capistrano, CA

'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L

Last edited by Alfajay; 07-17-2019 at 08:58 AM.
Alfajay is offline  
post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 09:58 AM
Registered User
 
SkiBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Redding, CA
Posts: 370
Garage
I purchased an L- jet Spider that had been sitting for 17 years. I replaced all the wires, plugs, cap, rotor, along with injectors, fuel pumps, FPR, and hoses but still ran rough. Found a few vacuum lines that were compromised. Still ran rough. Finally found all the vacuum leaks and now she runs fine. I HIGHLY suggest running through the L-jet troubleshooting guide and take nothing for granted. The smallest vacuum leak will make the car run poorly. Good luck! I know you will find your issue...
SkiBum is offline  
post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 10:58 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Daytona Beach
Posts: 645
Pull the vacuum hose of the FPR and see if the vacuum circuit is full of raw fuel.
The diaphragm is probably broken causing poor idle. Not the ignition at all. Seen it dozens of times.
RML
ballough510 is offline  
post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 11:38 AM
Senior Member
Platinum Subscriber
 
Alfa69GTV1750's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 598
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiBum View Post
I purchased an L- jet Spider that had been sitting for 17 years. I replaced all the wires, plugs, cap, rotor, along with injectors, fuel pumps, FPR, and hoses but still ran rough. Found a few vacuum lines that were compromised. Still ran rough. Finally found all the vacuum leaks and now she runs fine. I HIGHLY suggest running through the L-jet troubleshooting guide and take nothing for granted. The smallest vacuum leak will make the car run poorly. Good luck! I know you will find your issue...
A great way to find vacuum leaks is with a spray bottle of starting fluid. If you spray it around the various vacuum sources and air ducts a vacuum leak will show up as a change in idle speed. You can also use something non-flammable like brake cleaner. WD-40 works too, but its still flammable and messy.

Mike
1969 GTV 1750
1966 Super
San Diego, CA

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Alfa69GTV1750 is offline  
post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: RI
Posts: 42
All great advice and much appreciated. I used the link above to resolve vacuum leaks when I first got it. That is what lead me to replace the air intake duct. Will try the spray bottle technique to be sure i dont have new issues.
alfalori86 is offline  
post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 01:47 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Daytona Beach
Posts: 645
Quote:
Originally Posted by alfalori86 View Post
All great advice and much appreciated. I used the link above to resolve vacuum leaks when I first got it. That is what lead me to replace the air intake duct. Will try the spray bottle technique to be sure i dont have new issues.
Pull the vacuum hose....off the fuel pressure regulator it takes 2 seconds. Do that FIRST!!
ballough510 is offline  
post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 02:26 PM
Registered User
 
SkiBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Redding, CA
Posts: 370
Garage
Also pull the dipstick during idle to see if idle changes. Should drop around 300 rpm. If not, you have a leak somewhere!
SkiBum is offline  
post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 04:44 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Marin County, California
Posts: 131
Send a message via AIM to Calguy 17
I have a 1976 Alfetta GT and recently replaced the original a worn out Marelli distributor with a Pertronix unit.
The installation is very easy as long as you can find TDC and have a timing light. My old GT runs like new
and starts immediately. Gas mileage has also improved. Points and condensers are stone age today. Go with electronic ignition and you will never look back.....
Calguy 17 is online now  
post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 04:48 PM
Registered User
 
SkiBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Redding, CA
Posts: 370
Garage
He has a 86 with the original L-jet system. No points, no condenser, distributor is basically just a 4 way switch....
SkiBum is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome