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My Alfa lost power and cannot be re-started. The electric fuel pump is humming normally, the fuel pressure light comes on and goes out almost immediately. There does not appear to be fuel on the plugs or air intake throats after cranking a few times.

I read some earlier posts about the fuel cut off solenoid and microswitch mounted on/in the Spica pump. How can I diagnose these, and fix if there is a problem? Is there any other part of the fuel system that could cause this type of problem?

Thanks for any info you can provide!
 

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My Alfa lost power and cannot be re-started. The electric fuel pump is humming normally, the fuel pressure light comes on and goes out almost immediately. There does not appear to be fuel on the plugs or air intake throats after cranking a few times.

I read some earlier posts about the fuel cut off solenoid and microswitch mounted on/in the Spica pump. How can I diagnose these, and fix if there is a problem? Is there any other part of the fuel system that could cause this type of problem?

Thanks for any info you can provide!
You might test the thermostatic actuator. I replaced mine with a manual one and if it is left in the wrong position (warm engine setting), my car won't start when the engine is cold.
 

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My Alfa lost power and cannot be re-started. The electric fuel pump is humming normally, the fuel pressure light comes on and goes out almost immediately. There does not appear to be fuel on the plugs or air intake throats after cranking a few times.
I hate to state the obvious, but have you checked that the drive belt for the Spica Injection Pump is intact?

No belt = no fuel.

Joe
 

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On the road again

Thanks green 69 gtv and JoeCab! The 72 GTV is running again, after changing the main fuel filter, checking the timing belt (it was OK), and inspecting the thermostatic actuator. I also cleaned out the distributor cap and rotor, which looked good to me. I'm not sure what did the trick, which worries me a bit. Anyway, it's good to be running. BTW, where can I find the manually operated thermostatic actuator?
 

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Thanks green 69 gtv and JoeCab! The 72 GTV is running again, after changing the main fuel filter, checking the timing belt (it was OK), and inspecting the thermostatic actuator. I also cleaned out the distributor cap and rotor, which looked good to me. I'm not sure what did the trick, which worries me a bit. Anyway, it's good to be running. BTW, where can I find the manually operated thermostatic actuator?
Don't know if they are still available but mine was offered by Shankle many years ago. For what it's worth, I'm thinking of going back to a thermostatic actuator at some point. I know they are expensive but I'm always a bit concerned that there is some slop in the Sure-start cable that makes the manual adjustment imprecise.

Glad to hear you got running. You describe most of my experiences to a "T". A) Discover a problem. B) Try a few logical remedies with little effect. C) Replace everything even remotely related to the problem and bingo-problem solved (we hope).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thermo actuator

Maybe I'll just stay with the standard issue thermo actuator for now. As for fixes, as the saying goes "problems that go away by themselves come back by themselves".
 

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A shorting-out microswitch can cause the FCS to actuate and cutoff the fuel. It's possible that this condition can be intermittent. As a temp fix, just disconnect the wire from the top of the FCS. It is permissible to run the engine without a working FCS. You may get a little more burbling or backfire if not in good tune, but it won't hurt anything.
 

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sure start actuator

Alfa Ricambi still advertises the Sure Start in the Alfa Owner. They must have a stack of them. But Ricambi is pretty hard to get ahold of these days.

I 've been running with the Sure Start for several years. It does have some slop that makes it less accurate than a good TA, but I've been able to set it to get easy starting down to freezing weather, yet deliver good performance and 30 mpg (US) in everyday driving.

The cable needs a really strong pull (the spring of this device needs to apply an 8 lbs pressure inside the pump) and has to be attached to something stronger than the dash or console, or you'll rip it out in no time. I replaced the cable supplied with the device (designed to be attached to the original plastic throttle lever!!!) with a heavy duty cable (from NAPA) with a lockable T handle. I attached the handle end to the steel protrusion under the left end of the dashboard, near the fuse box, on my 2000 GTV.

The locking feature is necessary while the car warms up, as otherwise the strong spring pulls it back while you drive - leaning out the mixture.

With the original, non-retractor seat belts, I can't reach it from the driving position. I set it to start and get out of the shoulder belt once it's warmed up. I make sure to push the handle all the way home before locking it to apply full pressure in the pump.

By now you probably get the idea... it's a pest. I went that way in the days of the 65 cents canadian dollar, and couldn't afford to spend $350 for a rebuilt actuator (with all the duties and shipping etc...). If I was to do it again I'd get a rebuilt actuator.
 
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