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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
86 Spider - Restoration - Father and Son Project

Hi AlfaBB members,

My first post, of what will likely be many.

My son and I are mechanically restoring his black Alfa Romeo, Spider Veloce. He's 15 (yes, you read that right), learning a lot and anxious to get it to running condition and looking beautiful.

We sent an email to Italy (thanks to some great information from here on AlfaBB) and determined that our pride and joy, although not yet running, was manufactured in November of 1985 and sold in may of 1986 (in the USA).

Viviana (as we refer to her) is black (Nero Pastello to be exact), has AC, black carpet and a grey leather interior with red piping.

The car has 51k miles and the body is in very good condition with almost no rust (just a small spot in the rear wheel well). Mechanically the car may have had a fuel problem that caused the PO to store it for three years.

Needless to say we are carefully trying to get to the car back to running condition:

Completely emptied and restored the fuel tank
Applied new sealant that the tank sits on
Rebuilt the sending unit
Cleaned all of the electrical contacts
Replaced fuel hoses in trunk and under the car
Installed new fuel filter
Installed new internal tank and external fuel pump
Changed the oil
Replaced the spark plugs (pitted in black)
Used a bit of Marvel Mystery Oil

After all of this we attempted to wake Viviana from her three year slumber. It sounded like she was going to, but no. We thought it was either the starter or fuel injectors. The fuel pump was working fine - we could hear it.

We decided we would replace all of the injectors (Cold Start too) and install a new starter, just in case.

So we took out the fuel rail and injectors. The little gaskets on the end of the fuel injectors fell apart upon being touched. They clearly needed to be changed and had been there for quite some time.

Incidentally, when we changed the external fuel pump and filter, we found a kinked fuel hose to the pump that was nearly flat and appeared to be fraying. We thought that was what likely stopped this car from running several years ago. Oh, the fuel filter was on backwards too. Go figure.

Anyway, we also removed the plenum (those bolts were a nightmare). Thanks again to the great posts here, by the way.

Finally, we removed the intake manifold, and to the point of this post in the first place. Thanks for your patience! Promise, not all my posts will be this verbose.

This first post is a hello, sincere thanks to all who have posted before (RIP TIFOSI), and context to help with my question:

Can someone take a look at the pics attached and provide an analysis of what you see? Can we infer anything about the car's history and potential problems from them? The little coolant you see in one of the pics is what washed back into the manifold as we attempted to take the manifold out. That gasket was old and very stuck.

Lastly, we plan on cleaning both halves of the intake manifold (shown in pictures) and will be using Gasket Remover from Permatex. Any comments on cleaning and prepping before reassembling is appreciated.

Incidentally, I will post a pic of the car in the response to our question.

If you're curious and still reading -

We will replace the intake manifold gasket
Replace the starter
Replace the engine mounts while we're at it
Pull out the radiator, have it checked
Replace the fan and switch, and hoses.

Then we will try to start Viviana again. And keep you all informed about our progress too!

Thanks again.
 

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Welcome! I hope your son knows what a lucky lad he is to have a Dad & an Alfa! (I have many great memories of my Dad helping me get my MGA sorted. I bought it - and still have it - when I was 17.)

Anyway, I'm not sure what can be said about the engine by looking at the intake manifold. One guess is it must have been running rich based on the black deposits. That could be due to a failed O2 sensor. The default fuel map is slightly rich. When the O2 sensor is warmed up & working the computer uses that information to adjust the mixture. If the sensor has failed it remains in the rich mode.

Peruse the link in my signature to a page of things the DIY-er can check to make sure their Spider is running right. Note that L-jet is a system - all the parts have to be working for it to work at all.

BTW, that's a great photo of the oil pressure gauge's sender!
 

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Thank you for the response, Eric. It's great to hear about your dad and the memories made. Hats off to your dad - his impact has been lasting, indeed. Great to hear you still have the MG. My son put in half, and he's got skin in the game, so to speak. He'll be keeping for just as long, I hope.

We will check out the O2 sensor, for sure.

We're having fun with the car, and will be documenting much for the benefit of all.

We did start going through the Bosch L-Jet system diagnostic. What a gold mine:
* Tested the two CTS' and they were operating fine. Even put them in the freezer (in a bag) to make sure they responded to fluctuations in temperature. They did.

* Tested the TTS and that was working too.

* This weekend we will be cleaning the AAV according to the instructions and making sure that is ok.

* We've also tested and cleaned some ground connections as well.

To LoKki - good call! We will definitely attempt to check the flywheel sensor this weekend.

Eric, should I have started (or move) this thread in the Spider forum? Plan on updating about our progress and this spider frequently.
 

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This weekend we will be cleaning the AAV according to the instructions and making sure that is ok.
I haven't had much luck getting a reluctant AAV to work simply by cleaning them. It can't hurt but they don't seem to last forever. New ones are rather expensive so, if yours isn't working, consider a simple manual AAV. They are self-closing (you have to remember to close it yourself...)

Pictures of the innards of an AAV here. Info about the manual AAV are in the Spider FAQ thread.

should I have started (or move) this thread in the Spider forum? Plan on updating about our progress and this spider frequently.
I think that'd be a good idea (both moving this to the Spider section and updates about your progress). If you so desire, I can move this thread to the Spider section.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you, Eric.

Appreciate your insight on the AAV, and we'll check out the manual AAV solution.

Yes, please move this thread to the Spider section. Very much appreciated and thanks for moderating so well.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Flywheel Sensors Tested

Slightly off topic -

I wonder if your no-fuel no-start condition is caused by a bad flywheel sensor? That seems to be a common problem with the mid 80's spiders.

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spider-1966-up/364546-no-injection-pulse.html

Disclaimer: my car is a 71 with webers, and thus no flywheel position sensor, and I ain't no expert.... But somebody here will know
Lokki, tested both flywheel sensors. One checked in at 1004 Ohms and the other at 1010 Ohms - they're within the 800 to 1200 range and good to go.

Need some help now, however. :surprise:

One of the sensors (side attached to the actual bell housing) cracked - due to age, most certainly. It was very brittle and it didn't take much for it to crack.

Outside of purchasing another sensor, any ideas on how to cover the exposed wires and protect them too? As mentioned, both of them work and no need to replace any of them.

Thanks, Lokki!
 

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One of the sensors (side attached to the actual bell housing) cracked - due to age, most certainly. It was very brittle and it didn't take much for it to crack.

Outside of purchasing another sensor, any ideas on how to cover the exposed wires and protect them too?
I would try some PlasticDip - the stuff sold for coating tool handles. It dries to a rubbery product - it may take more than one coat.
 

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replace the broken plug

You can actually purchase a new male connector to replace the broken one. Search on the internet for "3-way male Junior Timer" or "3-way male Junior Power Timer" connectors.

The metal spade contacts are held in place in the plastic housing by an extended or bent tab that sticks out a bit, and prevents it from pulling out of the housing. If you push a very tiny screwdriver into just the right spot next to the contact pin,you will be able to pull the contact out of the housing by tugging gently on the wire. They actually make a special tool for releasing the contacts, but it costs about $30 so I just use a small screwdriver - works fine.

Make a note of which wire goes where, then it's a piece of cake to shove the loose contacts back into the new housing.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
AAV Test Results & Question about Replacing

The AAV has been tested. Input is appreciated on whether or not it needs replacing.

We cleaned the AAV with degreaser, soap & water, photographed the opening of the AAV, placed it in the freezer, and photographed the opening after freezing.

Incidentally, we have noticed since taking it out of the freezer, it is responding and closing again.

Question is does it need to be adjusted (by turning the nut on the valve - counter clockwise or clockwise) or is it ok as it is?

Thanks for your help! Enjoy the pictures!
 

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Question is does it need to be adjusted (by turning the nut on the valve - counter clockwise or clockwise) or is it ok as it is?
IME, that 'adjuster' nut does very little (essentially nothing). See the thread about a disected AAV here.

The pictures show your AAV moves a little bit. That may be as good as as it is going to be. Either keep your ears open for a new one (they are not inexpensive) or install a manual valve.
 

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The AAV has been tested. Input is appreciated on whether or not it needs replacing.

We cleaned the AAV with degreaser, soap & water, photographed the opening of the AAV, placed it in the freezer, and photographed the opening after freezing.

Incidentally, we have noticed since taking it out of the freezer, it is responding and closing again.

Question is does it need to be adjusted (by turning the nut on the valve - counter clockwise or clockwise) or is it ok as it is?

Thanks for your help! Enjoy the pictures!
Chief (bb member) provided a tip about applying 12 volts to the two contacts on the AAV (to verify that the wiper plate closed all the way). It's the same theory as putting the AAV in the oven for a while, but since these little gadgets are worth their weight in gold, I felt safer using the 12 volt heating method instead (and it seemed to work).

Since the two electrical contacts on the back of the AAV are so close together, I made a test plug from a fuel injector pigtail like this:

BMW E30 Bosch Fuel Injector Connector M3 M5 318 325 EFI EV1 | eBay

I just installed a couple of large alligator clips on the ends of the pigtail wires and then I was able to hook them up directly to the battery and plug the AAV directly in to the connector end.

After leaving the AAV hooked up to the battery for a couple of hours, the long tube was pretty warm (there's a heating element in there), and looking through the tube I could see no light (wiper plate had closed).

But when I tried to blow air through the tube, a little still passed. Thinking my AAV wasn't closing all the way, and was faulty (and would result in a vacuum leak in the FI system), I kept purchasing more used AAVs (5 more to be exact) in a quest to find a good one. The result was always the same. After proper heating, the wiper passageway visually appeared to be completely closed, but I could still blow some air through the tubes.

I came to the conclusion that the sealing ability of the wiper plates in the AAVs is less than 100%, and really not that effective. Perhaps it's just not designed or equipped to be. Maybe I just got unlucky and the 6 used AAVs I got were all bad, but I doubt it.

Has anyone else heated their AAV in this (or the oven) manner and then tried to blow air through it? Was it completely air-tight? Does anyone have a brand new one that they can try this with?
 

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Has anyone else heated their AAV in this (or the oven) manner and then tried to blow air through it? Was it completely air-tight?
The best ones I've tested seemed fairly 'air tight' when closed. But many that seemed to close did allow air to pass through.


Reminds me of the joke about the guy who wanted to join the Mafia and was told the initation was that he had to blow up a car. He failed because he burned his lips on the tailpipe...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I don't believe it needs to be completely air tight to be functioning properly or effectively. The sections written in the Bosch Jetronic guide seem to indicate it's the ability of the strip to move (from fully open to fully closed) that matters most and where it is initially set.

Let me explain: if you want good cold starting, you will likely want the opening to be set to be nearly fully open - follow the instructions in the guide on how to do this - this will ensure the car will cold start better. As the car warms up, the opening begins to close, and all is right with the world.

A good strip, in a clean AAV, with good internal mechanics, is what gives the device its ability to respond to changes in temperature. The greater the ability to respond to changes in temperature, the better the car will operate.

Did I get that right? Of course, you can forget all this and go the manual route.

Where on the Hi-Performance site can one find the manual AAV, by the way?
 

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From what Greg has posted on his site, I had the impression the manual AAV is just a plastic heater valve from your local auto parts store. The one on my son's GTV-6 sure looks that way. Cable operated, and it never fails.
 
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