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Discussion Starter #1
My 1969 Alfa Romeo 1750 Spider Veloce roundtail is coming out of storage after 4 years. I put a full tank of gas in it with gas preserver when I stored it 4 years ago, and I just put in a brand new battery. But for some reason it won't start.

I tried pumping the gas pedal a dozen times, and of course, pulling up the choke when I turn the key. I hear the starter turning and the engine rumbling when the key is turned (as if it was in idle), but the car won't run on it's own when I release the ignition. I'm certain I have not flooded the engine by pumping the gas pedal too much because I cannot smell the gas.

Nothing seems to work. Does anyone have any ideas?
 

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You might have flooded it by pumping it too much. Just floor the gas pedal and leave it there while you crank, that will put in max air and releive flooding condition. If that doesn't cure it, take a plug wire off, put a phillips screwdrive point into the end and hold the screwdriver by the handle with the blade about 1/4 inch from the engine. Have a buddy crank it over to see if you get a spark. If you have an electric fuel pump, is it working? If a manual pump is fuel being pumped to the carbs? The fuel stabilizer will keep the gas from turning to varnish, but it does nothing to keep a fuel pump from drying out and having it's diaphragm rot. It also does nothing to keep ignition parts from corroding so that you no longer have a spark. After 4 years it would probably be a good idea to replace plugs, points & condenser if you have them, dist. cap & rotor, & maybe plug wires. Once you get it started and warm, change your oil and filter. It probably would also be a good idea to replace trans & diff fluid. If the car was in a location where it saw wide temp changes during those 4 years you would tend to get condensation inside the engine.
 

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Might not hurt to pull the cam cover to see if oil is circulating while you crank, unless the gauge is giving some kind of reading during the process of course. (be a terrible thing to get it to fire up only to find out the oil pump bought the farm or that the filter was terminally plugged with goo)

Prolly going to need to clean the venturis in the carbs regardless as the fuel would have evaporated over that amount of time and certainly stand a good chance of corroding up even without varnishing. (betting there will be a nice galvonic reaction clot at any needle and seat)

I'd be suspicious of the valve springs for a while too. (they can take a nasty set if the engie was not periodically turned over during the storage)


'Clear the suspected flood' trick #1 from Uncle Kenny: Foot flat on the floor, choke fully off, crank.

'Clear the suspected flood' trick #2 from Uncle Kenny: Choke full open, prop throttle wide open, drop lit match into carb throat. After the poof, do trick #1 (Uncle Kenny is an odd sort, but #1 definitely works unless the plugs are so fouled that they drip nasty stuff when you pull them out)

As an aside, have you tired shooting some starting fuid in there to see if it'll at least catch and run for a few seconds? It might help narrow down the other probable/possible causes for your condition. (I concur with Russ regarding replacing several sundry tune-up items. You'll have to very soon anyway and it ain't gonna hurt in the current situation)

Prolly wanna be getting real hot on replacing anything that incorporates 'rubber', 'flexible' or 'soft' and 'brake' into thier part name/description while you're at it, (calipers have a nasty tendancy of seizing up a piston or two also), along with about anything else under the hood made from soft stuff, including the fuel lines front to back.

Presumably you plan on that already, but it never hurts to mention it, especially after bringing a car out of hibernation that you're just dying to drive.
 

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sounds like fuel starvation was your original and current problem. clean the carbs, check the filters, check the electrical contacts at the pump. You should be able to hear the pump working when the key hits the acc position, then check each point down the line from there for proper flow. Are the float bowls full?
 

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I got the car started by spraying a bit of gas into the carbs. But now it's idling very erratically and it stalls as soon as I release the clutch all the way. Any suggestions?
Here's my 2 cents worth:
I'm assuming that you used FRESH gas when you sprayed some in the carbs. When that gas is gone the engine is trying to run on 4-year gas that is no longer up to snuff even though you used a gas preserver. I'm surprised that nobody said to drain the tank, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I had the carb floats removed and the bowls cleaned as best as possible; that made the car run a lot more smoothly. I also put in 1/2 a can of injector cleaner and a fresh tank of premium gas. I hope that will clean it up a bit more. I may have the carburetors rebuilt if she's still running a bit choppy after 2 tanks of gas.

Any thoughts?
 

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You're on the right track. Fuel treatment prevents varnish formation (mostly) but does nothing for the volatiles that evaporate. Three suggestions. First, dump in a can of FI cleaner. Secondly, take it out and drive it fairly hard for a hundred or so km. Then, fill the tank with Chevron Super Premium with Techron. (I know, I know, but in fact it's a good cleaner that does wonders on FI injectors.)
 
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