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Discussion Starter #1
Good Afternoon Gang,
45 years ago I owned a 1958 and a 1962 Guilietta..loved them both. Now after
all these years I thought I needed another toy...Found a beautiful 87 Spider Quad. The car had not been driven for about 7 months due to previous owner
health. Since I've owned the car it will stall after driving 45 minutes and not
restart. No spark from coil. it will also stall and not restart if let idle for approx.
the same amount of time.
I spent 26 years in the shop with VW, Porsche, Audi, and BMW so I'm not
totally unfamiliar with L-Jetronic..I've made all the usual tests several times
over, have studied the wiring diagrams till my eyes crossed and have concluded
either the diagrams are wrong or the car is...
The blk/grn wire from fuse 8 is in the harness at the ECU but not connected
the the multipin terminal at #4. There is a solid purple wire at #4 that as per
the diagram, belongs in #10...#10 has a light green wire..??????
While the car or diagram may be incorrect, the car runs perfectly normal from cold and for the next 45 minutes.
I'm very impressed with the helpfulness and knowledge of the members of this forum and thought maybe someone could point me in the right direction.
Thanks for your time..
Regards,
Richard
 

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Welcome to the BB.

I would suggest contacting BB member Papajam and request a copy of his awesome color-coded wire diagrams for your model Alfa. Send him a PM (click on his username and select Send a Private Message). Include your email address and he'll send you some 'pdf files that will make chasing Alfa electrons much easier.

IIRC, the purple wire is a supposed to be a 'start' signal from the ignition key to bypass the drive relay's control of the fuel pumps. This is to ensure the pumps are powered on during cranking. Once the engine is running the drive relay should get a 'tachymetric' signal from the coil and keep the fuel pumps on. It sounds like a DPO (D#mn Previous Owner) messed with the wiring. Perhaps it was some sort of work around for a problem but it doesn't sound right.

One clue is to watch the tachometer when the engine dies. If the tach needle drops as the engine dies then it is likely a fuel supply problem. If the needle drops and then the engine dies it is likely an ignition problem.

Keep posting and don't forget we likes pictures. They can even be of your Spider.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick response Erik,
I sent a message to papajam this A.M.
You mentioned "DPO"..very funny, I'll use that in the future....
However, I should have made it more clear in my first post.....I'm positive, I'm
the first person to open the harness, it is definitely an unmolested factory harness.........except for my molestation 3 days ago...
I know the 2 people who have owned this car for the past 20 years and they are sure nothing has been done....in fact it ran fine for all those years or at least up until it was parked 7-8 months ago..
How does one post a photo????
Thanks again Erik
Regards,
Richard
 

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I would change the fuel filter under the passengers side of the car.. Many times dirt will be in the filter and eventually after running for a while it clogs up the flow, then when not running the car it settles to the bottom of the filter and allows flow for a time until it clogs again.
 

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How does one post a photo????
If the photo is on an on-line photo site then you can post a link to it by using the little "insert image" icon that looks like a mountain & sun with yellow sky (just above the text box).

If the photo is on your home computer then either use the "attachments" icon (looks like a paper clip) or scroll down below the text box and click the 'manage attachments' button. Note: you have to be in the 'Reply' section - not the 'Quick Reply' section below each thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Eric, thanks for the tutorial on posting a photo, I'll give it try tomorrow A.M.
Stan, your diagnosis was exactly the same as my first diagnosis and for the same reason.
When it died again after replacing the fuel filter, I had a friend handy to crank the engine
while I checked for spark...no spark, which brings me to this forum...I appreciate your help.
And pasha, very sorry to hear about your Veloce, maybe it's a virus, spread by computers.
Thanks very much guys, for your help..I'll keep you posted on the progress...
Richard
 

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Discussion Starter #8
new home for the spider

This is my new pride and joy/headache the day I brought it home...
Still wearing the hardtop, took it off the same day, doubt whether it'll ever go
back on......by the way, how does one store the hardtop ???
Keep on fixin...
Richard
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good Morning Gang,
Thought I'd give you guys an update on my 87 Quad, stall, no start hot problem...
After all the great help and advise, in particular a BIG thanks to papajam for his remarkable
wiring diagrams he provided, I'm no closer now than before.. For what ever reason, I can
not find a diagram that matches my spiders wiring harness. I have concluded that the
vehicle runs perfectly normal for about 45 minutes so the initial wiring, as it is, must be
correct, with or without the color of wires being correct. I'm am now in the "guesswork"
phase and I really hate to replace both crank sensors AND the ECU only to find that's not the fix...Soooo, Is there any reason I can't simply replace the distributor with an earlier type. I've have no problem replacing the distributor with a points and vacuum advance unit of the early 70's type. Many, many years ago I built a bunch of VW and 356 engines for sprint and gymkhana racing and they all used and did quite well with the stock distributors...If this "road not traveled" seems like a poor choice, please let me know..
Thanks a million all...
Richard..............by the way, How can I become a gold member without using Paypal???
Thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have MNVXer, one of the first things I did. I've checked resistance on the crank sensors,
checked available voltage at all the right places, checked all the connectors and grounds
I could find...The car runs absolutely flawless for 30-45 minutes, then stalls, will not
restart until it has completely cooled, then starts and runs fine again???????
Have you found anything with yours pasha?
Thanks for the quick help guys. Think I'll work on a few things I know I can fix.
Regards
Richard
 

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Discussion Starter #14
problem solved

Hi Gang,
Just thought I'd give an update on my 87 Quad stall, no start hot problem...
It's fixed!!!....I replaced the distributor with an RML electronic unit and Bosch
Blue coil...no more crank sensors, no more ECU, no more harness
mysteries. It's not only more reliable, it runs much better. More power, better
advance curve....and it's simple. I know it's no longer original, but now I'm no
longer worried about driving it more than a few miles from my house...
By the way, the people at RML in Daytona Beach, Florida are wonderful to
deal with...very knowledgeable and excellent service....
I spoke to Ric at RML concerning changing the fuel injection to carbs and his
suggestion was unless I'm changing to dual Webers, don't bother...Think I'll
take his advise and leave well enough alone...
Now I can move on to repairing the front sway bar mounts, replacing all the
coolant hoses, replacing the u-joints, replacing the exhaust, replacing the
ect. ect. ect......
Thanks a million for all the help and suggestions I've gotten from you folks.
Best Regards,
Richard
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Eric,
I just now answered a post from Mike, telling him I didn't know how to merge the two....
Thanks again..
Richard
 
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Replaced the distributor

Hi Richard -
I had the same problem earlier this spring and replaced a bunch of fuel/ignition items and it seems OK....but it made me aware of how complex the Jetronic system is.
Your post infers that if you replace the distributor, all the sensors and ECU are rendered obsolete!? Since those are associated with the Jetronic system, I not sure I understand the connection. Also, the RML website says the distributor simply replaces points, but the Jetronic system (or at least mine) has no points anyway (is mine not stock?).
Anyway, congrats on the fix and hope you're flying around in the Spider with the top and accelerator fully down.

Craig

I replaced the distributor with an RML electronic unit and Bosch
Blue coil...no more crank sensors, no more ECU, no more harness
mysteries. It's not only more reliable, it runs much better. More power, better
advance curve....and it's simple. I know it's no longer original, but now I'm no
longer worried about driving it more than a few miles from my house...
 

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Craig - the L-jetronic system in our cars has two computers, one for FI, one for ignition. Obviously the FI computer can function independently. IIRC, all it needs is a connection to the coil to know the engine is running. The ignition computer uses the flywheel sensors for timing - crankshaft position & speed.

The distributor used in the L-jet Spiders is really just a 4 way switch to send coil output to the appropriate spark plug. The computer tells the coil when to 'fire' & the distributor just distributes the energy. So, no points needed!
 
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