Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
448 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My first no start condition! Yeee Haaa! :(:(:(

She started right up around 11:00 am and ran great as usual when I went for a short drive downtown on some errands.
I parked the car in the driveway and left it for about 5 hours during the afternoon. When I tried to fire her up she started, ran for a few seconds and then stalled. She cranks just fine but won’t start like its not getting any gas.

I have the L-Jetronic diagnostic page and will start the long process of tracking the problem down and making sure the fuel system is working properly. This should be a great learning experience and quite honestly needs to be done as this car is 20 years old and hasn’t had the attention it deserves for a couple of years at least.

Comments and advice are welcome but I don’t know what questions to ask yet, I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks Dana
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,233 Posts
Look over the engine to see whether something has come loose first. It could be as simple as the (black rubber) intake hose has come off!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
612 Posts
HA got similar thing today, went to pickup yarn for my wife to other side of town, parked in front of the store, got back to car and... no start...
crank sensor wire got somehow loose, i moved it a bit and car started at the first crank :)
though yours looks like big air leak...
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,381 Posts
I have the L-Jetronic diagnostic page and will start the long process of tracking the problem down and making sure the fuel system is working properly.
The section about the fuel pump operation needs to be edited. The correct info is as follows: the Drive Relay (near the FI ECU) gets a signal from the coil. When you first switch on the ignition, the drive relay sees that brief signal and sends power to the fuel pumps for an instant then stops sending power (no more input from coil).

During cranking (and running) the ignition pulses to the drive relay trigger it to send power to the pumps. Thus, a functioning ignition system is required for the drive relay to get a valid signal and send power to the pumps.

HTH
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
I have a similar issue with mine, the fuel pressure is good, and the injector connector are pulsing my diode (test light) for the injectors. It seems like the injectors are not spraying.Infact I have removed injector for out of the head and see if it would spray during a crank, but nothing happen?
Anyone has inputs on trouble shooting it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
598 Posts
The very first thing to look for in a non starting L-jet car is Battery voltage. The analog ECU willl not function if the battery is weak. It could have enough in there to turn over the engine but not enough to turn on the ECU functions.

Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
448 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Sorry I took so long to respond.

Didn't have a chance to do much today except take some pictures and nose around.

Posted by DaveC:
The very first thing to look for in a non starting L-jet car is Battery voltage. The analog ECU willl not function if the battery is weak. It could have enough in there to turn over the engine but not enough to turn on the ECU functions.
Dave, the battery measures 12.72 volts on my multimeter. I put the battery minder on last night because I thought all the cranking I did may have drained it.
Thanks for the heads up, now I remember reading something about low voltage and no start conditions, but I had forgotten about that.

Any help pinpointing this problem is greatly appreciated, but I’ve decided to do this right and replace all my hoses as well perform the complete list of diagnostic tips as outlined by Gordon and Eric on the L-Jetronics page. I guess this will also include a check of my ignition system as Eric has suggested.

Monday or Tuesday I will order three hose kits,
1: The vacuum hose kit
2: The oil separator hose kit
3: The trunk hose kit

I was planning on doing the trunk kit this year anyway because of the gas smell, so this is just an upgrade in the amount of hose I will be replacing.
If anyone can think of additional parts or tools that will be needed I would appreciate it (I'm new to this and don't have alot of specialized diagnostic tools).
This project will probably keep my car laid up for awhile since I tend to tread slowly when I’m not sure what I’m doing, but this should make a big difference in the amount of confidence I have in the car when driving longer distances. My ultimate goal is to have car that runs like new and can be counted on to get me where I’m going and put a smile on my face. This should also make me a lot smarter about my Spider.

If anyone can suggest anything else I should do, please feel free. Just be patient with me as I tend to ask stupid questions and take forever to do the work.

Dana
 

Attachments

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,381 Posts
Replacing all the hoses is a good thing to do. That'll help eliminate loose/leaky hoses as a problem area.

While you're waiting for the hoses to arrive, get a can of carb cleaner (spray can) and clean out the oil vapor seperator (especially if it hasn't been done in the past year or so).

You can also spray inside the AAV with carb cleaner then wash it out with soapy water & rinse well.

Inspect the black plastic intake air ducts for cracks & splits. It is not uncommon for it to develop a split in the accordian section of the duct near the AFM/Air Cleaner. All air entering the engine must pass through the AFM. Any leaks leads to 'false air' - air that is not measured by the AFM.

DaveC's suggestion to check battery voltage is a good one. I suggest you measure it during cranking. A battery can measure OK with no load and seemingly crank the engine over OK but if the available voltage during cranking drops below the ECU's threshold (~ 10.3V) - the ECU won't wake up and send the signals for spark & fuel.

BTW, nice looking engine bay - very clean. Got more pictures of the whole car? We likes pictures!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
459 Posts
Did you test for spark yet? Ghnl's advice is great. Always test voltage during cranking. I had a similar situation a few months ago. Turned out it was the fuel pump fuse.

Good luck,
Andy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Try putting propane (like from a small torch) into the air inlet to the air filter and if the engine starts then it is a fuel system problem, if it does not check for spark where the coil wire goes into the ign dist cap. Pull out wire from dist cap and see if spark will jump a 1/4" gap
Other thing we have seen on some of these cars is no spark if cranking voltage is under 10.5 volts.
Also check the fuse in the bin behind the passenger seat where the fuel pump relay lives, this has been known to corrode, get hot and melt the fuse holder.

Pete in VA
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
448 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Wow! The people on this message board are the BEST! :D

Thanks for all the ideas, this is going to be a great learning experience.

You've already gotten my wife to do something she's never done before, she sat in the drivers seat and turned the key. :eek:
You see, she doesn't drive and I've never seen her behind the wheel of a car until a few minutes ago when I needed to test the battery while cranking the engine (she did the cranking and I did the testing). :)

BTW battery while cranking reads 11.5 volts.

Eric, that's a good looking list of things to keep me busy and also eliminate from my search for the problem. I'll try to tackle those items tonight and keep you posted on my progress and what I find.


redspiderveloce and Peterv31:
I have not tested for spark yet, but that sounds like a good idea. I've never done that before though (remember, learning experience), is pulling the wire from the distributor a good way to check or should I check a spark plug?

I think the flaming air filter test has potential to be great fun ;), but unfortunately I don't have a torch or any other way I can think of to get the propane into the air filter. Maybe tomorrow I'll buy a torch, from what I've read it will come in handy when replacing my transmission mount. :eek:


Posted by ghnl:
BTW, nice looking engine bay - very clean. Got more pictures of the whole car? We likes pictures!
Thats the way it was when I got the car last July. I love this car. :D

And now, in keeping with my policy of pleasing co-authors of really helpful articles who also give personalized help to budding Alfista... here are a couple more photos. :)

To the Bat cave Robin!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
448 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Update:

Got the rubber duct off and cleaned. :)
I think it was not original, it was very clean and the rubber feels soft and not dried out. There does not seem to be any cracks, holes or breaks. ;)

Some quick photos for your consideration.

Meanwhile... I'm going back to the Bat cave.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
459 Posts
Nice looking car. I always test for spark by using an extra plug I keep around just for that purpose. Just pull a wire off and put the test plug in. Then hold the plug close to a grounded engine part like a cam cover hex nut. For the spray test carb cleaner and starter fluid will also both work. I'm still waiting to try some of that stuff in the potato cannon :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
891 Posts
Hi. Just a quick question that might help you out.... When the key is in the on position (run) do you hear an audible hum from the fuel pump? I bought an 84 a while back, and the car was supposed to be dead, but the in-line fuse next to the ecu was blown. Good luck, and I too think your Alfa is a beauty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
448 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Closed the Bat cave down for the night! ;)

Took off the Oil seperator and cleaned it out with carb cleaner, left it with cleaner in it to soak overnight. Those hoses definitely need to be changed.

Posted by: redspiderveloce
Nice looking car. I always test for spark by using an extra plug I keep around just for that purpose. Just pull a wire off and put the test plug in. Then hold the plug close to a grounded engine part like a cam cover hex nut. For the spray test carb cleaner and starter fluid will also both work. I'm still waiting to try some of that stuff in the potato cannon.
Thanks for the tip Andy, I'll try that tomorrow after work. Peterv31's flaming air filter idea sounded like it would be fairly easy to do and I do have carb cleaner. :)

Posted by: peterlund
Hi. Just a quick question that might help you out.... When the key is in the on position (run) do you hear an audible hum from the fuel pump? I bought an 84 a while back, and the car was supposed to be dead, but the in-line fuse next to the ecu was blown. Good luck, and I too think your Alfa is a beauty.
Hi Peter!
I've listened for that and heard it in the past after reading about other peoples problems. When the problem occured Saturday, I listened for it again and couldn't hear it. Of course, there were about a thousand things going through my head at the time, so, who knows? I'm ashamed to say I didn't listen for it today when we checked the battery. I'll listen for it tomorrow.

Time to relax for the night, here are some photos of the oil seperator.

Thanks for all the help!
Dana
 

Attachments

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,381 Posts
Don't burn your car down with a 'flaming air filter test'! The idea is to aim an UNlit propane torch into the intake to supply something combustable for the engine to burn. If it starts briefly then you know the ignition system is providing spark but the fuel system is not providing fuel. IMO it is a risky test (i.e 'playing with fire') so be careful if you want to try it.

I also use a spare spark plug to check for ignition system function. It's a lot easier/quicker than pulling out a spark plug from the engine. I'll remove one lead from a spark plug and put it on the spare spark plug. Then I use a test wire I keep in my tool box. The test wire has an alligator clip at each end. Clip one end to the threaded part of the spare plug and clip the other end to a good ground - like to the engine block. Position the test plug where you can see the gap from the driver's seat and crank the engine. A healthy ignition system should show a snappy blue spark - one that'd jump a 1/8" or so gap easily.

What did you get out of the oil vapor seperator?

Remember that the fuel pumps will only energize for a moment when you first switch the ignition to 'on'. Further operation is dependant on the drive relay getting a signal (from the coil) that the ignition system is firing.

Thanks for the pictures. Nice looking Spider!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
I had a similar no-start problem recently with my 86 Graduate. With some help from previous posts and other members of this site, I found the answer was the ignition switch. It really became apparent when I discovered the no spark issue. I then followed the troubleshooting checklist in the Engine Maintenance section of the Cardisk manual. The switch was activating the starter relay but not sending voltage to the ECU. I did the final test by hot-wiring the car and she started right up. Hope this helps, if not you then someone else.

Cheers,
Ian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Try putting propane (like from a small torch) into the air inlet to the air filter and if the engine starts then it is a fuel system problem, if it does not check for spark where the coil wire goes into the ign dist cap. Pull out wire from dist cap and see if spark will jump a 1/4" gap
Other thing we have seen on some of these cars is no spark if cranking voltage is under 10.5 volts.
Also check the fuse in the bin behind the passenger seat where the fuel pump relay lives, this has been known to corrode, get hot and melt the fuse holder.

Pete in VA
The idea is not! to light the torch you just want to get propane into the induction system, or you can light the torch and don't worry about the repair!!!
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top