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My BFF Craigslist, lead me to a Spider rescue which now has become my C-V shut-in project, PO said he got the car with a blown head gasket and after his repair, she wouldn't start. I know I'll have to sort fuel and ignition (F&I) issues, but am thinking I should first verify the internal synchronization of the engine is correct or should I even bother and just start cranking her to sort the F&I. If I go after sync, I assume I need to verify: crankshaft to cam (C2C) and distributor. I assume to verify C2C I'll need to remove the valve cover and check cam marks correctly line up correctly and same with distributor (PO replaced it as part of his no-start diagnosis)? Any thoughts &/or suggestions on this adventure?? Thanks, Stay healthy and safe!!
 

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86 Veloce
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Be careful turning it over, even by hand until you confirm cam timing, you could bend a valve. I would pull the valve cover, turn the engine over SLOWLY by hand looking for TDC. Any resistance at all, STOP! You may have P/V contact. If you make it safely to TDC (pointer on crank pulley pointed to P) and cam lobes on #1 pointing out, you are at TDC. It is best to ensure you are truly at TDC since those pointers can sometimes be off. When you are comfortable with that check your cam timing, chain tension, etc. Lots of technical data on Centerline's website.
 

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I think as the PO tried to start it, you don't really have to worry about turning it by hand.....either he got it right (and it just wouldn't start) or he got it wrong and the damage is done;)

sure, remove cam cover (or just make sure cyl #1 is at TDC on compression stroke), align cam marks (front lobes pointing out), distributor rotor pointing forward to say 3 o'clock-ish (should be a little notch on the edge of the distributor when the cap is removed, which is #1), and the pulley mark aligns.
check then the leads are in the correct order.

if all that is correct, then check it has spark when you turn it over (you need about 11V voltage 'whilst cranking' for the computor to wake up.
If no spark, check the 2 flywheel sensors.
If you have good spark, check the fuel relay, fuse, pumps etc.
 

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I was quite sure if "wouldn't start" meant would crank and no start or wouldn't crank at all.... if unknown I would rather err on the side of safety! Probably right though.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys!! We're kind of on the same wavelength!! How do I tell if cyl #1 is on TDC on the compression stroke? Does the P mark align with the crankshaft twice (once on compression and again on exhaust)? Or if the cam lobes are "pointed out" is this the compression point? Are there markers on the Cam sprockets that align up at TDC Thanks Paul
 

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What model year Spider are we discussing? For a page on info about the Series 3 Spiders see the link in my signature.

Do remove the cam cover and check cam timing and valve clearances. Note that the camshafts have two marks each - 180* apart. When the #1 piston is at TDC on its compression stroke the cam lobes should be aimed away from each other. In this position the rotor in the distributor should be pointing forwards. Also, the cam caps were align honed in place - they must be re-installed in their original positions. The factory numbered them 1-6. Cap #s 1, 2 & 3 are on the exhaust side with #1 at the front. Caps 4, 5 & 6 are on the intake with #6 at the front.



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That's why you look for #1 cam loves to both be pointing out. You CAN pull # 1 plug look for piston coming up and when it is a couple of inches down stick your finger over the plug hole and turn it over. If you feel air pressure pushing your finger you know the valves are closed. Rudimentary but effective.
 
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