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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1989 164 that I've been slowly reviving and is almost ready for registration (had some front suspension and brake issues).

The last three problems I'm down to are these:

1) Hesitation issues. I haven't driven the car much, but quick throttle applications lead to the engine dying. I plan on checking for vacuum leaks and cleaning all the connectors, but since I haven't been able to drive the car until it's warm I don't know whether it's temp. related or not. What are suggestions for the most likely cause of quick-throttle hesitation issues? The car revs out fine so it doesn't look like a timing problem.
2)The auto seems to drop back into limp-home mode (i.e. won't kick down after short drive). Sensors again? The fluid is very dirty, I have a filter kit but won't be changing the oil until after the car is registered so I can drive it further.
3) Brake warning light is still on. New disks/pads on the front, new brake light switch, new bulbs in all brake lights at rear. I suspect it's the level indicator on the fluid reservoir, can it be cleaned up?

I think most of the problems would be sorted by a good italian tune, but that isn't possible on a car out of rego in Australia.
cheers for any suggestions.

dave.
 

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1 - Vacuum leak. Check the big intake hose, hose to the oil catch can (and on to the rocker cover) and the hose to the idle valve (at back of plenum). Also, check the grommet that holds the idle valve into the plenum (shrinks with time & won't seal properly).

2 - No sensors in the tranny. If the fluid is dirty, i recommend draining the fluid & at the very least remove the filter & clean it (but replacement is better). There is also a known fault with a leaking governer seal which can cause lack of kickdown. I have a trans here with the same problem you can have if you want to send it away to be repaired & then just drop it in.

3 - fluid level sensor. Yes it can be disassembled & cleaned up.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks evilgidget - the car will need a good thrashing before I think about changing out the transmission (although I do have a filter and gasket kit here, so the tranny fluid change will be happening shortly).

I reckon you might be right about the vacuum leak too - a few of the fuel hoses were quite badly perished so the vacuum hoses are probably cactus too.

Brake fluid thing - I just noticed that the coolant level indicator has been bypassed under the bonnet, so I hope that can be cleaned up too!

cheers,

dave.
 

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I suggest checking that it is running on all cylinders. I recently spent a lot of time tracking down a similar problem. It appeared to run nicely, but handled quick throttle movements badly. It turned out to only run on five cylinders, and I guess the lambda sensor made the five firing cylinders running very lean in order to keep the lambda value within limits. A V6 running on only five runs smoother than you would expect. The easiest way to check this is to disconnect the fuel injectors and listen for drop in rev.

Another possible cause is a slipped timing belt. This will cause rough idle, poor throttle response, but rather normal driving performance.

Good luck,
/ Mathias
 

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Brake fluid thing - I just noticed that the coolant level indicator has been bypassed under the bonnet, so I hope that can be cleaned up too!
The float stops floating. I cut the old float off & glued a cork onto the end of it until I got a replacement sender.

Hesitation - I forgot to mention - Check your fuel pressure ;) from memory it should be about 40psi
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The float stops floating. I cut the old float off & glued a cork onto the end of it until I got a replacement sender.

Hesitation - I forgot to mention - Check your fuel pressure ;) from memory it should be about 40psi
OK - float check time (shouldn't be too hard). I think the fuel pressure is OK as the car is very easy to start - past experience says vacuum leak (pretty much every Alfa I've owned behaved exactly the same way when a vacuum leak was involved, although on the 4 cylinder ones they are relatively rare if the carb rubbers are in good nick). Ye Olde Jeep Cherokee, however, can have every one of it's multitude of vacuum lines disconnected and that big ol' V8 will still run without hesitating which is amusing and frustrating at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Alright! Hesitation 95% fixed (small vacuum hose from bottom of oil catch can to crankcase at rear of engine). Bugger to reach in and fix it though, couldn't find the right sized hose at the local parts shop and have bunged a bit of 6.5mm fuel hose on there. Starts right up, doesn't smell rich any more and has lost most of the hesitation. I suspect it won't clear everything up until I can get this car out on the highway for a good thrash.

Hopefully now it's good to go. Monday is the big day for it's roadworthy. Family bought me a cheap CD player for my birthday to replace the woeful old tape player (it's Alfa, but doesn't look new enough to be fitted to a 164). Can't wait to replace the ratty rear deck speakers with something good. In fact, I'm itching to use this car period.

If anyone wants a working Alfa Romeo branded Pioneer tape deck (it's the whole-deck-pulls-out type) then let me know - my guess is that it's from a Giulietta or maybe a late Alfetta or 75.
 

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If anyone wants a working Alfa Romeo branded Pioneer tape deck (it's the whole-deck-pulls-out type) then let me know - my guess is that it's from a Giulietta or maybe a late Alfetta or 75.
That's what the car got from the factory :D
Terrible eh? You pay $60K-odd to get it new & it comes with a ****ty tape deck
 

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Discussion Starter #9
After yanking the tape deck, I realised it was the original (holy hell!). The 164 I had in the nineties had a stacker and I assumed they all came with that.

The back speakers were so far gone all the rubber was missing from around their tiny, baby cones. It's always a bit sad to ditch a bit of original kit but I have no use for a 2x3inch oval speaker that sounded like the chipmunks lighting firecrackers. There's a couple of 6 sinch speakers in there now under the original covers (bit of a squeeze but not too bad).

The tape deck is in a box, in a plastic bag in the shed. I guess I will keep it. The cheapy Sony deck is snug as a bug behind the flap and sounds much better, although the front speakers also sound completely screwed so I guess I'll be pulling the doors apart again. Biggest surprise of the day - the electric aerial revived itself after a grease and making sure all the connections were clean. I can only hope the auto transmission comes good after the oil change but rego check tomorrow is the first hurdle.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Failure!

Bruno the 164 failed. Torn outer driveshaft boot (didn't notice that one!) and the steering rack mounting bush is toast - which explains why it steers like Marty Feldman used to see.

Other than that, a clean bill of health (phew!). Not looking forward to doing another driveshaft boot though :(

Good news is the short, sharp drive back and from the workshop has woken up the automatic - it now kicks down properly! I think fixing the vacuum issues might have helped a bit there too. It seems to have plenty of grunt - at full noise in low gear the dodgy rack mount makes the steering wheel go very dodgem-car. It sounds very nice, better than I remember from my earlier car (although this one as a twin pipe and bigger rear muffler).
 

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Step at a time huh! Glad to hear yours is rolling under it's own power. We, too got son's ebay special 91L to drive around the block under it's own power after being dead in driveway(s) his and mine for over 3 years.
 

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Step at a time huh! Glad to hear yours is rolling under it's own power. We, too got son's ebay special 91L to drive around the block under it's own power after being dead in driveway(s) his and mine for over 3 years.
I have to admit it's a great feeling even though I'm not quite done. After digging through the archives on the alfabb about steering rack bushes, I am not very keen on doing that work though. I suppose I'll just have to suck it up :p

I can't complain about working on this car - despite the access issues, everything is very clean and relatively tight and unmolested with. No major oil leaks or freaky homebrew wiring or anything which makes things easy. It certainly has none of the really, really bad work I saw from some photos you posted of your sons car.
 

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I have to admit it's a great feeling even though I'm not quite done. After digging through the archives on the alfabb about steering rack bushes, I am not very keen on doing that work though. I suppose I'll just have to suck it up :p

I can't complain about working on this car - despite the access issues, everything is very clean and relatively tight and unmolested with. No major oil leaks or freaky homebrew wiring or anything which makes things easy. It certainly has none of the really, really bad work I saw from some photos you posted of your sons car.
Could you please clarify - are you talking about rack bush inside rack, or mounting rubber that secures rack to the subframe? I am familiar with the former but not with the latter and am surprised that the mounting rubber would wear loose.

Thanks,
-Alex
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It's the mounting rubber - I hope it's still available (hexagonal bush looking at the parts book)
 

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The hex one is available but the semi-permanent round one is not. Fortunately, you typically can replace just the hex one to mount it solid again.
Charles
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The hex one is available but the semi-permanent round one is not. Fortunately, you typically can replace just the hex one to mount it solid again.
Charles
Fingers crossed then. It doesn't look easy to get at though. I knew there was some bad luck coming as I had not cut myself on this car so far - they are never finished at my house until I've dripped a bit of blood somewhere on them :D
 

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Discussion Starter #18
thanks evilgidget for the offer.

I haven't been able to sight the hex bush, but the flatter (permanent) one came off in my hands on the passenger side. It looks like it can be replaced with a bit of neoprene as suggested in other threads, but how I'm going to get in there I have no idea. Obviously I need to pull the wheel arch covers and get the car up on axle stands, but are the bushes replaceable without removing the whole rack?
 

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thanks evilgidget for the offer.

I haven't been able to sight the hex bush, but the flatter (permanent) one came off in my hands on the passenger side. It looks like it can be replaced with a bit of neoprene as suggested in other threads, but how I'm going to get in there I have no idea. Obviously I need to pull the wheel arch covers and get the car up on axle stands, but are the bushes replaceable without removing the whole rack?
The "round one" bushing on passenger side is not designed to be replaced with rack in car because top half of metal clamp riveted to rack with a hollow rivet design that mounting bolts go through. This end of rack put together at rack manufactures' plant not at Alfa assembly line as driver's side hexagon/pentagon mount it is installed when car assembled.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The "round one" bushing on passenger side is not designed to be replaced with rack in car because top half of metal clamp riveted to rack with a hollow rivet design that mounting bolts go through.
I envisage a lot of hair tearing and swearing, I suppose it's easier to get the rack out than try to finagle the clamp off (where are the rivets?).

There are fallen off bits of under-bonnet insulation in the way of seeing the other end at the moment - I can't really tell the extent of the damage until I get the car up in the air on the weekend. I'll probably replace both bushes though to ward off having to go in there again.
 
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