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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Fellow Alfistioso,
In a previous thread we discussed how my 91' Veloce was idling rough, and stalling at startup. Many, many ideas were presented, and my thanks to all of you (you know who you are) in helping me to gain great knowledge on the air, fuel and fire of the Alfa engine and systems.

So what was the culprit? Bad IGNITION COIL. The IC rubber boot on top was worn and torn, and the new IC coil worked like a charm. The ONLY small issues I have are inconsistent non-stall variations in idle when the engine is warm/hot, less than 200 rpm. That can be fixed with a new IAV going into the plenum. Car runs solid and like a champ!

So what did I get out of the whole ordeal you say? New in-tank pump and sending unit, new O2 sensor, new crank position sensor, checks on all air and fuel systems, ECU relay box check and the mechanic knows the car really well now.

Today's December drive in the car was fantastic.

Vince
:thumbup:
 

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Wow! Thanks for reporting. You may have saved others the expense of unnecessary repairs while troubleshooting. Now enjoy her while the weather cooperates.
and also demonstrated conclusively the invaluable lesson associated with not understanding how correct diagnostic procedures can keep you from spending a lot of money and throwing away a lot of stuff that there was nothing wrong with.
 

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Nice looking car, I'm pleased you found the fault.

Do they put salt on the roads in Moscow when it snows?
I won't drive mine here in England when it snows as the salt is a killer for the bodywork (and they are lousy drivers in the snow anyway, without proper winter tyres which I don't have)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
and also demonstrated conclusively the invaluable lesson associated with not understanding how correct diagnostic procedures can keep you from spending a lot of money and throwing away a lot of stuff that there was nothing wrong with.
Steve you are correct, but in my case the in tank parts needed replacement, and I'm happy to know my O2 sensor has a fresh start on my watch with the car. The crank sensor wiring was chaffed thru the insulation and that had to be replaced. So all in all keeping ahead of the car is a good thing. But yeah, who would have thought IGNITION COIL!?

Anglo, yes they salt and cinder heavily here. Mostly liquid brine is used. It's my first winter with this Alfa. I will only take it out when the roads are dry and there is no "mist up" off the roads. I will get an undercarriage cleaning when I find a place locally to do it.

Vince
 

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FWIW, dry salty roads can be as bad as wet roads, or worse. The salt dust gets airborne and will find it's way into places the salty water won't make it to.
 

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Coulda, woulda, shoulda!

Yo Vince!

Thanks for reporting on this happy story!

It's often been my experience following such troubleshooting exercises, that "if only" I had taken a different approach to the process, I might well have arrived at a satisfactory ending somewhat sooner (and on one memorable occasion for me, months sooner :whistling:). While you did indeed identify a number of sketchy areas requiring attention, in retrospect how do you think you may have solved your problem more expeditiously?

All the best and thanks for sharing. :thumbup:
 

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I think it went perfectly for you.

I dont wait for things to break before i fix them. this is a long-term ownership for me. I literally, whenever holding a bit of extra cash, let my mechanic walk underneath and identify things that MIGHT look like they could use replacement.
Why? because then i can:
A) find the right part, OEM if possible, and order it online for the best price and not overpay for expedited shipping
B) Have peace of mind that something isnt going to go on me unexpectantly, and leave me on the side of the road somewhere, dealing with mechanics that dont know the car, or having to fix it myself.
C) knowing that my current record of 200,000 miles on my 1990 without ever being 'caught by suprise' or roadside-screwed, can maintain its perfection.

dont get cheap. in-tank pump needs replacement? then also replace the filters, the inline-pump, the lines, and that bushing that holds them. know its all like new, and that the next thing down the line will now fail.

If youre really into it, I think in terms of optimizing my money spent on labor costs. so lets say my clutch starts slipping, well that means i need a mechanic to drop the transmission, so while its down, I have him also replace drive-shaft U-Joints, the throwout springs on the clutch arm, the clutch master-cylinder, etc. theyre not broken, but he can only charge me for the time he was already spending on taking those parts off to do the job anyway!
 

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Pay me now, or...

Sage advice, the_sicilian, although some may say (not me, of course :)), your words tread closely to OCD ?.

But who can argue with 200,000 miles :thumbup:.

While I'm not a fan of Fram filters, here are words of wisdom from one of their old ads:


Regarding your signature line, yesterday, my wife wanted to know what an Auxilliary Air Valve was doing in the oven at 250F (?). Of course she did not know what it was, but you get the picture :).

Am I an Alfisiti?

All the best.
 

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What a great picture. Beautiful car, love the red and tan combination. And what a charming house, all decorated for the season, including the snow. Glad to hear the problem is resolved, and thanks for sharing the outcome that we may all learn from your experience.
Merry Christmas!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
While you did indeed identify a number of sketchy areas requiring attention, in retrospect how do you think you may have solved your problem more expeditiously?


Well, SteveW, I'd have to say it all would have been solved sooner if I learned what I did about Alfa's in 3 days vs. 3 months LOL! Really, I learned one big thing about Alfa engines, and generally, all engines. Basically, an engine problem is going to involve either 1) air, 2) fuel, or 3) fire(electric). Air was not an issue, all systems are tight, hoses, etc. Fuel was suspect, due to the infamous fuel vapor smell, and the fact that the in-tank system was installed shoddy. (still need to update my trunk lines and vapor canister). And the throttle system and IAV were suspect. But the mechanic figured #3, Fire. The electric was suspect, since the rubber boot on the Ignition Coil was worn and torn. Not getting enough spark (fire) to energize the plugs made sense, it got worse over the course of a few weeks.

If it went to injection, electrical wiring, etc. then I would have been nervous. Bad relays were not the cause. I knew it was a simple issue, just needed to find the cause. The engine ran super at speed, but the lower RPM's induced stalling. It wasn't something obvious, but could have been anything, too. Theory on L-jetronic systems seemed overkill. My mechanic knew it was down to one or two possible things.

Vince
 

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Steve you are correct, but in my case the in tank parts needed replacement, and I'm happy to know my O2 sensor has a fresh start on my watch with the car. The crank sensor wiring was chaffed thru the insulation and that had to be replaced. So all in all keeping ahead of the car is a good thing. But yeah, who would have thought IGNITION COIL!?

Anglo, yes they salt and cinder heavily here. Mostly liquid brine is used. It's my first winter with this Alfa. I will only take it out when the roads are dry and there is no "mist up" off the roads. I will get an undercarriage cleaning when I find a place locally to do it.

Vince

I will admit directly that " ignition coil " would have been very very near the bottom of any list I made , if it was on there at all... I was two laps from the end of a race while leading and started getting the " meatball" black flag which means " something wrong with your car " . I finished and won and in impound the tech guys came up and said something was dragging... pulled the deck lid off and the coil bracket had broken and the coil had dragged on the ground for two laps and worn about a 1 " wedge off the bottom... all the oil was gone as were a fair amount of the windings and the car had never missed a beat. pretty rugged and foolproof devices...

well... good deal you got it running. well done.
 

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I will admit directly that " ignition coil " would have been very very near the bottom of any list I made....
me too, never had a right out coil failure in 40 years of driving!

now the loose HT lead on top of the coil, that is another matter altogether....that just happened to me......the rubber cap was on there snugly, but the lead itself had worked its way out the coil and had slid up inside the rubber cap....contact lost (that lead, being fixed one end to the coil and t'other to the dizzy, gets jiggled as the engine vibrates and twists.

well that's my theory;)
 

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I have had a coil failure and it resulted in misfires and low power at higher rpm. I still think that insulation breakdown is the main failure mode and this first becomes apparent when the coil is "worked harder".
 

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Regarding your signature line, yesterday, my wife wanted to know what an Auxilliary Air Valve was doing in the oven at 250F (?). Of course she did not know what it was, but you get the picture
I just had to buy my wife a new hairdryer for Christmas. Who would have thought that a substantial hairdryer like hers wouldn't be able to cope with drying out the headlights on my sons Fiat without burning out? :whistling:
Naturally I have had to have a word with her about getting decent quality next time she buys any electrical stuff...
 
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