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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello Alfa Brothers!
Sorry for the long rant, but I want to give you the whole story.
A few weeks ago, my GTV 1750 started sputtering, then backfired & quit. I had no electric power at all & had to get towed home. The next day, I got to work on it, put the key into the ignition & lo & behold, I had power again! I reset the points on my Marelli distributor & also noticed the wire to the condenser was pinched. I repaired the wire, put it back together & she fired right up, strong as usual. I went to take it to work this morning, & it fired right up. I warmed it up & it drove perfectly... for about a mile! It sputtered (almost like it's loading up with fuel), backfired again & stalled out! No power! I let it sit about 15 or 20 minutes, checking to see if it would power up & start every 5 minutes or so. Finally, I turned the ignition & saw I had power again. I fired it up & headed straight for home & it now resides safely in my garage, no tow needed this time.
My questions to you all are:
Could it be the alternator? It's the only thing I haven't replaced & when this happens, it seems I loose power for a while, as if a thermal overload protection is at work.
Could it be the new condenser that pinched a wire? I fixed it, but maybe it grounded out & isn't performing properly?
Could it be that old Marelli distributor? I plan on changing it out for an electronic unit soon.
The twin DCOE carbs are freshly rebuilt, I have new points, condenser, rotor & cap on the distributor. Fresh plugs (properly gaped), new wires & Bosch "Blue Coil. Am I missing something obvious? Your opinions & suggestions are needed.
Thanks in advance!
Electric Lloyd
 

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When you say "I had no electric power at all" do you mean dead battery, no cranking, no indicator lites or any thing else or do you mean no spark at the plugs?? At this point I don't think it is your alternator, condensor, or distributor. But I would like a lot more details to be sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply Brad! I had no power at all. No lights, no fuel pump, nothing. Almost like the battery was disconnected. By the way, the battery is less than a year old, with fresh connectors & a clean & solid contact. Does the voltage regulator have any kind of thermal protection? I've never changed that either.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the reply Neil! Interesting diagnosis. I have a multi-meter. I can also fiddle with the igniton switch to see if I can make it stall out... in the driveway this time! Any other ideas?
 

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Check the condition of the connections at the remote ends of the big wires from the battery. One will be to a local body connection and the other will be at the starter. Also check the condition of the braided ground wire between the transmission and the chassis.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Ed. I will. Does anyone know of anything in the electrical circuit that has an overload protection circuit that is able to reset itself? That's what it seems like is happening.
Thank again,
Lloyd
 

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It is possible that heat is generated in a poor connection which makes the connection worse until it opens up then it re-closes when it cools down.
 

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I had a similar problem some time ago on another type car..It turned out to be corrision in the main batterycable about an inch below where terminal end was Invisible to to naked eye..This can be a problem with new cable ends as many brands advise to NOT solder them in place as with extended load, the solder melts.
Just a thought
good luck
Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guys! I'll be digging into it in an hour or so. I sure hope I find something obvious, as I want to drive the car without fear of getting stranded again! I'll let you know what I find out, hopefully being able to share some info.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, I did check the battery wire connections & I was able to wiggle them loose by hand. The weather got pretty bad & I wasn't able to do much else with the car, so I'm not sure I've found the problem for sure, but it seems likely that it's the loose battery connections. I never thought it would be those, as the terminal connections are are less than a year old. I will also check the ground strap between the trans & the frame too, for good measure. I did check the ignition connections & they are solid, as is the ignition itself. Hopefully I can wrench on it tomorrow & follow up with you all.
Thanks again to everyone that provided ideas!
Lloyd
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just an update to all who have chimed in to help me out.
I feel like an idiot! It's a bad alternator. I went through all of the suggestions, made my repairs to the battery terminal connections & went for a ride. After a short while, it stalled out & wouldn't start again. I had my headlights on this time. That must be why it didn't "recharge" itself after a while.
I got the car home & tested the battery for a charge. It was completely dead, & it's less than a year old. I recharged it & it's holding well, so I removed the alternator & took it to a local rebuild shop to have it tested. They confirmed it was bad, but could be rebuilt. Also of note, the wiring harness from the ignition module to the alternator had some breaks in the insulation on some of the wires & was routed in a very awkward fashion, close to the cooling fan & the alternator belt. I'll rebuild it with fresh wire & reroute it away from the fan & the belt to insure it stays pristine.
Once again, thanks for all of the suggestions!
 
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