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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
:) It has taken far too long , but i'm glad to be finally driving it.

It's my first ALFA and I am finding out how fun these cars are to drive.

I can accelerate up to redline in 1st & 2nd gear smoothly and with apparent ease. The car shifts nicely , with no 2nd gear grind at all. And in 4th ,....She still wants to accelerate ! . I'll wait awhile before i even try to max her out in fourth. I wonder what the fifth gear will give me? Oh Yeah.... 5th gear gave me 76-77 MPH @ 4000 Rpm's.
Is that good ???


I replaced the tranaxle with one that I purchased fom Larry SR. at APE. I am pleased with that transation.

ALSO replaced out the donuts. I received alot of helpful info from ALFABB and members on that problem,,,,So THANX again guys for all that help.

Now to the Smog issues. I replaced the mufflers...but not the catalytic converter. ( i didnt want to spend that money just yet.) I wasnt planning for it to pass anyway. But I did need the 2 months the DMV gave me to get it smogged.

I had them do a pretest. That test aborted. The guy said that He wasn't getting a clean reading on the meters/guages/switches.????
Whatever that means?.

The good news for me is that I may have found a mechanic in town that has some confidence in his abilities , to diagnos such an exotic creature as my Alfetta.
It seems to have a slight miss and is not a smooth starting car . It starts ugly. And the starter clunks it sometimes. The guy I bought it from said that the timing chain is out of whack....????

:eek: Any advice,, .. suggestions......or insight from ALFABB members on how
to get this car smogged certified would be much appreciated.

:cool: Here's the first pic ....of what I hope to be many
 

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Nice SS, congrats - they are great fun.:cool: What really knocked me over is that you're from Ridgecrest!! I was born there!! (But only lived there for a year, until we moved to San Diego).
Ah, the smogging issue...:rolleyes: These can be a really trying cars to own in California! My guess is you will need a new cat - but don't replace it until you have the engine running smooth and the Spica dialed in - if it's running too rich, your cat will be mucked up in no time. Hard to say about the starter (clean up the connections & grounds and make sure they are TIGHT), and the timing chain :confused:
Your 5th gear sounds fine - I think I get around 80 mph @ 4K rpm if I recall correctly. Though, I don't really trust the instruments a whole lot :eek:
When you do have the car ready to be smogged - make sure the cat is HOT, take the car out and blast it around for a good 20 - 30 minutes then bring it in to test. See if you can hang around and make sure they don't let it sit and cool down before testing begins. Some people also suggest a full tank of gas, which I can't hurt...though don't know if it will really help either!
Good luck and keep us posted!

p.s. - Keep it out of the desert sun, & or buy a sunshade - the dashes and instrument needles on the '78-'79 SS's like to warp and curl - if they haven't already!
 

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Congrats, I would get the timing dialed in, and invest in an air/fuel ratio gauge if you are having smog issues. I agree, don't replace the cat until you get the car running at top shape. Also you may want to look into an after-market cat, as these seem to be competitive, if not cheaper in price, and seem to work better than the 70's and 80's technology. Both with regards to emissions AND performance. Also, depending on the last time you did a tune-up it could be time for new plugs/wires/dizzy assy... Also the relays, ballast resistor, voltage regulator, ignition coil, etc. And give all those chassis grounds a look at, you'd be surprised how many problems those cause. Good Luck getting everything sorted.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanx again guys for the ............

:) Assistance.

So I call up my new ex-mechanic and I said, "Stop whatever you are doing and assemble whatever it is you may, or may not have disassembled and be sure to have it in running condition when I pick it up in the morning."

I mean you would not believe this guy.

Looks like It's time to put this car in the hands of an Alfa specialist.

Already made the appointment.

:cool: Alfsedan
 

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Hey, great to see her back on the road. Congrats! This is a good car. Good luck with the smog. Do you need any parts? I am picking up another automatic next week to part out, and I still have two more parts cars up at the lake. Let me know if you need anything.

Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I think it is a good car too..........................

:cool:So far so good , anyway.

Thanx for the offer of parts . I really dont know what parts I need or dont need to get the car smogged at this point.

I dont even have a clue as to what a smog certified Alfa motor looks like,,,,,

I guess if I need anything I'll find out, on... or around Aug.20th . Thats when I plan to have the car in the shop.

:cool: ALSEDAN
 

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There might be a good Alfa mechanic down in the Lancaster/Palmdale area. Check some of the Italian shops in the area and find out who is the mechanic that works on Alfa's. You might need a thermostatic actuator (automatic choke for the spica) replaced. If it is old, it is usually shot. They run about $200 exchange. Get that set up, put in some Techrolin injector cleaner to clean out the injectors, check the valves and valve timing, and distributor timing. Is your air pump hooked up?
Congratulations for getting another Alfetta on the highway. A great car. Enjoy that good A/C in the car!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You make it sound so simple.....And I appreciate that.

Great advice Velocedoc.!

And I think I found an Alfa specialist in Orange county. I'm trying to figure out exactly how I get the car there.
I realize that Lancaster/Palmdale is closer......

Do I drive the car over ...or do I tow?

I question the condition of the propshaft. We changed out the
donuts/bearings,,,, bit did not get it balanced.

Aside from that....... :confused:AIRPUMP ?? What airpump?:eek:..... Don't see one of those on my car. Not surprised.
Guess i'll start calling around tomorrow for that piece.

Also my air-conditioning is not working.....kind of bummer ,but it's first thing first right now.

Thanx again Velocedoc.......I will cover all these points with the mechanic.


:cool: ALFSEDAN
 

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There should be four small metal pipes coming out of a "rail" and going into each branch of the exhaust manifold. The rail is connected by hose (metal pipe?) to the air injection pump which is driven by the Spica pump's pulley over on the intake side of the engine compartment. Let me know if you need pictures; I'll try to take some this weekend.

Best,
 

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The air pump is mounted to the front of the cylinder head on a large peice of metal. Some one might have changed your car over to Euro headers and taken off all of the air pump stuff. Most likely won't pass smog with out it. If the car has headers, keep them! Just put the smog stuff on for tests. ;)

Lets hope you put the shaft back together exactly like you took it apart, because if you rotated the shafts out of place, it will be very unbalanced. On some of the shafts there might have been yellow marks. If there were not any kind of alignment marks, then you will be taking that shaft out and rotating the rear section until you find the right combo. It is common for people not knowing how to do this job to get it wrong. Been there done that along time ago.

A/C? cool seasong is coming up. :) I would be concerned about the heater,defroster,wipers.

Lots of great people on here with Alfetta experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanx to Alfabb ...we made sure that we put it back exactly..

As we found it. And although it runs well enough...... there is still a curious ... and somewhat disturbing sound that is made occasionally when we are accelerating. It sounds like it is the front portion of the propshaft....hard to say. I have to careful here b-cuz the history of this car is this , Something happened that took out the driveshaft..:confused:.... ripped apart the bearing supports :eek:and took out the tranaxle.:mad:
I'm wondering if the rear motor mount is the problem ?:confused:

It is concern if I have to drive this car 130 miles approx. to the mechanic.


Anyway thanx again for your sharing your knowledge and experience(s) with me.


:cool:ALFSEDAN
 

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Are the rear brakes disc or drum, because a locked e-brake will tear out a driveshaft. It happened on my 84 e30. The cable for the emergency brake was busty, and unknown to me, while driving the e-brake pads on the rear left would engage randomly for a split second. One time while accelerating from a stop, the brake engaged as I was "getting on it" and the rear half of the driveshaft stopped, but the front did not... it sheared all 6 grade 8 bolts, and ripped the center bearing out if its rubber support. Made a horrible clunking and I heard a few bolts zing off into space. But a motor mount could also be to blame.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Alright Ossodiseppia ! Air pump , bracket and any...

hoses..........Thank you for the timely offer and how much?:rolleyes:

So i walked over to the mechanic this morning...(2 mile walk) .. to pick up my car .... and this was after I told him to STOP everything I asked him to do in the first place. Here's what we did find out:

1. compression test.- cyl.#1- 140-----cyl#2 -125----cyl#3- 125---cyl#4-120

2. Ignition timing is correct, advance works :confused:??

3. the camshaft timing is on,but the chain is loose.

4. the #2 spark plug hole is partially stripped.

5. the valve adjustment is fair, the #4 intake valve is at .015 and should be 016-018.

6. the #1 exhaust valve is very tight , it should be .018-.020 and it
measured .012.

7. Lots of internal engine noise. ??

8. and the hand brake is inoperable. ( the mechanic who switched out the tranny forgot to hook it back)

So I know a little more about the condition of the vehicle , but more than that .... I am extremely happy to get this car out of the hands of this mechanic... . He makes me want to start a new thread entitled "Mechanics from H--L. .... where everyone can share their horror stories.


Thanx again Ossoiseppia for the timely offer ,,,and would you please get back with me on that.


:cool:ALFSEDAN
 

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Discussion Starter #15
They appear to be disc barkes.....

....."half the driveshaft stopped and the front did not" .....Wow...that must have been a crummy day for you. It would be for me.

well here's a couple of more things to add to my concerns list.......brakes and rear motor mount.

On the brakes , I can tell you that when I was "getting on it" .... I was hauling down the backroads and realized I was coming up to a stop sign ( that I forgot was there) and had to jump on the brakes . I normally downshift ....but I didnt this time....My right arm froze and I just hit the brakes. I was very pleased that ... it stopped in a smooth and predictable manner. The car kept as straight as possible and considering how fast I was going.... ..... All I could say was WOW!.

Thanx again for the advice

:cool:ALFSEDAN
 

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hoses..........Thank you for the timely offer and how much?:rolleyes:

So i walked over to the mechanic this morning...(2 mile walk) .. to pick up my car .... and this was after I told him to STOP everything I asked him to do in the first place. Here's what we did find out:

1. compression test.- cyl.#1- 140-----cyl#2 -125----cyl#3- 125---cyl#4-120

2. Ignition timing is correct, advance works :confused:??

3. the camshaft timing is on,but the chain is loose.

4. the #2 spark plug hole is partially stripped.

5. the valve adjustment is fair, the #4 intake valve is at .015 and should be 016-018.

6. the #1 exhaust valve is very tight , it should be .018-.020 and it
measured .012.

7. Lots of internal engine noise. ??

8. and the hand brake is inoperable. ( the mechanic who switched out the tranny forgot to hook it back)

So I know a little more about the condition of the vehicle , but more than that .... I am extremely happy to get this car out of the hands of this mechanic... . He makes me want to start a new thread entitled "Mechanics from H--L. .... where everyone can share their horror stories.


Thanx again Ossoiseppia for the timely offer ,,,and would you please get back with me on that.


:cool:ALFSEDAN
You're just barely withing the 10% rule on that compression ratio. If it were me, I'd enjoy the car for a while before getting concerned about a valve job.

As for the emissions parts, let me finish scrounging everything up before we talk about $. Not to worry, I'll take care of you. I do need to know if you need an exhaust manifauld, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Pictures of the smog assembly would be very helpful right about now......

and thank you. Postem' when got them.

:cool: Alfsedan
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Valve job ?? That sounds expensive.

10% rule ??:confused:

I might as well have it done now.... rather than later. Right?

I dont need an exhaust manifold. We are good there.

TY

:cool:ALFSEDAN

ps. We'll wait to here from you regarding smog pump. I'm am pleased that I dont have to worry about these parts.
 

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The air pump is mounted to the front of the cylinder head on a large peice of metal.
Isn't that the AC compressor? On my '79 the air pump is mounted next to and outside of the spica pump, i.e. on the far passenger side of the engine bay. It is driven by a toothed belt that is driven by the toothed pulley on the spica pump.
 

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What Osso is talking about is an exhaust manifold that has the air injection ports drilled. Also, of course, you will need the rail with the four connector pipes. I will take pictures tonight. Is you manifold drilled? Is the rail attached? Those are the key questions.
 
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