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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks,

Original post if you want the background first:
http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spider-1966-up/349490-latest-debutante-ball-but-problem-pics.html

So, I replaced the OVS but now the car isn't starting at all. I've got the battery on a charger just to make sure that the computer has the necessary voltage to come on. I'll try again later.

But, if it isn't the battery, tell me if you think this is plausible:
The in-tank pump died and that is what was causing the backfiring when giving it gas last time. (I can hear the main pump prime when I turn the key to on so I think its ok.)

Alternatively, my original suspicion of the cat having gone bad may still hold promise: To quote Eric, "Typically a plugged/fail catalytic converter will allow the motor to idle/run slowly but not pick up speed. And they will usually get very hot quickly (>500dF)." That is how I would describe the issue I was originally having, although I can't say with certainty that it is getting hot any quicker than normal because I don't have a reference point for normal.

Or it could be both or neither...and that is where your collective wisdom comes in!

Thanks everyone for helping me out.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I think we have a fuel pump issue...

Ok, battery fully charged and still no start...not even a hint of anything firing.

Could that have also been the cause of the backfiring, though?
 

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Try to determine if there is spark & fuel. Likely one or both are lacking.

To check for spark remove a spark plug wire & connect it to a spare spark plug. Ground the threads then have your trusted assistant crank the engine while you watch for a spark. There should be a snappy blue spark.

If you have spark then check for fuel. After cranking renove the spark plugs and sniff them. If you can smell gas then it is likely there is fuel.

While you have them out clean (or replace) the spark plugs. Fouled plugs can prevent the engine from starting.
 

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If it's like the S4 under the hood things are pretty crowded and the OVS sits not too far from the distributor. Have you checked to make sure you haven't dislodged any leads whilst getting the OVS out?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok, so I don't have a spark but I did smell gas on the spark plug. The plugs are brand new and the one I took out looked fine, not fouled at all.

So, is the ignition issue and the backfiring when it was last running all part of the same problem? If so, what should I be looking at?

Thanks...
 

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Click on the link to the L-jet Spider Diagnosis page. Check everything - L-jet is a system where all the bits have to work for it to work at all. Pay particular attention to the flywheel sensors. They tell the computer the engine's speed (rpm) and position (timing). If one or both is faulty then you can get a no start condition.
 

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Ok, so I don't have a spark but I did smell gas on the spark plug.

Thanks...
I read in your other post you replaced the cap and rotor.

I would double check that they are seated and that you have the spark plug wires in the correct firing order.

Good luck,

Vin
 

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on the cap and rotor replacement, make shure is BOSCh parts. if you replace the cap and rotor with non bosch part all hell breaks loose, non start, crappy running, lower redling( the cap and rotor does that if not bosch)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I bought the cap and rotor from IAP and they are the genuine article bosch items. I double checked that the cap was secure and it was. Don't forget, the car ran really well the first 250 miles and then the next morning it started backfiring and then 2 weeks later didn't run at all. I'm going to test the flywheel sensors asap per Eric's suggestion.

I'll post again once I have more data.

Thanks everyone!
 

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Have you looked inside the distributor cap? There have been reports of mismatched caps & rotors. If slightly too large the rotor's tip can strike the terminals inside the cap breaking them.
Been there, done that!

Vin
 

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You can also test your blocked up CAT theory by unbolting the downpipe from the exhaust mani. I had that happen once a few years ago in another car, but it would start after a fashion; just not go very fast...

Re-check that cap n rotor, as suggested. In my experience it's the more simple things, and I always go for the exotic fixes first. Check your coil, too, if spark is what you lack.
 

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To test the blocked exhaust theory hook up a vacuum gauge to the intake system. If the vacuum drops dramatically when holding the throttle open the exhaust is blocked.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Good call, Eric...one of the flywheel sensors is dead. So, I think we have found the no spark problem. I presume as it was dying it could have also caused the backfiring?

I also checked the the cap and rotor...nothing broken inside, but I could see that the rotor was worn already and the contacts on the cap were too after only 250 miles. It did however look like the old cap and rotor I replaced (also bosch). So, I suppose it is normal for an Alfa. I also compared it to my Toyota cap and rotor which have significantly more mileage and they didn't seem to be nearly as worn, but I'm probably comparing apples to oranges there. I'll take pictures if you think it necessary.

Thank you all for your input and help.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yes, that worked. No other issues. In fact, I took her on a 225 mile trip from Long Island to Hartford and back, much of it on the Merritt Parkway on a beautiful Sunday. Born to Run never sounded better and the car ran perfectly the whole trip. Thanks, again everyone!
 

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Thanks Eric

Your diagnostic links were invaluable!

Grounds, Grounds, Grounds was the case of my no spark condition. Cleaned them all, I believe the root cause was the negative battery cable.

I'll have say, I'm glad my car had this condition, cause the previous owner dumped it cheap!
 
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