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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an 86 and 87 spider quadrofoglio. I recently pulled the 87 out of storage to change fluids and anything else that was in need of replacement. So, oil, oil filter. Full coolant flush and replacement. new air filter, cleaned the runner between the airbox and the manifold. Checked the plugs. Car ran fine, but old fuel, so drove until low. I elected to instal rebuilt calipers and flush the brake fluid.

The calipers took 2 weeks to arrive. In the interim, I left the car on jack stands in the front only. So the front was elevated and the rear low. When I finished the brakes, I bled the lines and decided to go for a spin. Nothing.. turned over fine, just no hint of catching. Pulled a plug and the plug was firing and DRY. I got in the car, closed the door and turned the key, could not hear the pump coming on at all in the pre start mode. I pulled all the relays, one at a time and swapped thin with the 86. Nothing from the 87 (not running) caused the 86 to not energize.

So.. would that mean the relay is fine and the pump is bad? What is the best way to proceed at this point? Check power at the pump? I don't even know which relay is the pump relay.. Thanks for your help!

Another symptom.. when I turn the key on the 86, the fuel gauge energizes. When I turn the key on the 87 it does not.
 

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There is (or should be) a fuse holder & fuse near the FI computer & relays for the fuel pumps. Check that fuse. If your car still has the 'bullet' type fuse change the fuse holder to one that uses the more reliable blade type fuse.

Check the fuses in the main fuse box, too. The '86 & '87 models should have blade type fuses there but still a Good Idea to check them. Sometimes just pulling them out and re-inserting them will scrape off a bit of corrosion that was blocking the flow of electrons.

Click the link in my signature below for a page of info about L-jet diagnosis. I suggest checking the flywheel sensors - I've had them go bad for no known reason.
 

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I too have an 87 Quad and recently became fairly familiar with the fuel system out of necessity. The in-tank pump has 4 terminals that are easy to access through an access opening in the trunk by the fuel filler hose. lift the carpet and you will find the pump located there under a rubber cover if the cover is still there. 2 terminals are for the fuel gauge and there is a ground located at the outer perimeter of the pump. The 12v pos terminal is the one that is pretty much in the center. On mine it is also a larger spade connector than the others. Run a wire straight from your battery positive post to the pos terminal on the pump. It should run with a noticeable humming noise. If it doesn't you have a bad pump. If it does run, based on what you've already done, I'd say you have a wire/connector issue.
 

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Check your battery output. Do you have at least 11 volts while turning her over? Many times during long repairs, a door or two gets left open for a day and the courtesy lights drain the battery. You may have enough juice to run the starter but not boot up the ECU so the injectors don't get triggered.
 

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the pump relay is the larger of the two near the ECU (if you're lucky its still the original Bosch, if it has been replaced it'll likely be a KAE)

if you pull the relay and jump pins #30 and #87 the pumps will run continuously...try starting. If it starts the relay is bad.

if you have the old bullet fuse holder, probably best to change it for a blade fuse
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I do have a battery tender on it which says it is ok and just maintaining.. will check the voltage anyway. The odd think is the fuel gauge doesn’t move at all.. so thinking it’s related to that
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So we checked voltage at the battery (13) and at the in-tank pump and it is getting power, but not making noise?. So, we will pull the in tank unit and see if putting power to it will do anything. I think if its easy to get the in-tank pumps out, we will swap the one from the 86 into the 87 and see if that resolves the issue! Will update when that is accomplished!
 

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How are you checking that the in-tank pump is getting power? When the L-jet system is operating properly, the pumps (there are two - the in-tank pump and the main pump under the car) only get power in one of two conditions. 1) the engine is running (the drive relay gets a signal from a sense wire on the coil to switch on the fuel pumps) or B) the key is turned to the start position - this sends power to the fuel pumps via a bypass circuit (bypasses the drive relay) to ensure they are powered up while starting the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The in-tank pump is bad.. IT was getting power and we pulled a unit from our other car and it energized and read the fuel level.. We ordered a new in tank pump and are hoping the potentiaometer is ok..
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We replaced the in tank pump, drained the bad fuel, and then replaced the other file pump and fuel filter. I installed a blade fuse holder and with everything complete the car started and runs like a champ. Just waiting on insulator bushing for the fuel pump as they failed on removal.

Many thanks for all the help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi All! Just when I thought our issue was resolved.. We replaced both pumps, and the fuel filter.. Put in a spade fuse holder, and it started right up. Ran for enough time to believe all was well.. I had full drained the fuel tank, so I went and got 5 gal of premium and put it in.. I started the car and pulled it our of the garage and up our drive, and it died.. maybe 100 yards.. felt like no fuel again.

I checked the Fuse, the external pump was energizing, swapped the battery from our other alfa that is running fine. Nothing.. Pulled all fuses and reinserted them. The relay sounds fine.. Pulled the in tank pump and it is running fine when powered directly. Put the pump back in the tank.. just cranks, nothing else.. I pulled a spark plug to confirm no fuel..

Any ideas?
 

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When I first got my 86 that had sat for 17 years, I looked in the tank and it was nasty. I took a drill powered pump ( made for water so it was basically a one time use only...), took a length of hose and used it like a vacuum through the fuel pump hole. Sucked a lot of crap out but still looked bad but I was not pulling the tank! Had your issue, changed the filter again, and again, and again... I think I went through 5 filters in about the same tanks of fuel before the fuel coming out of the filter looked clean. After the first filter I just religiously changed it every tank or so. Never had an issue after the first filter......
 

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Any chance you are sucking in air through the stepped hose adapter between pump and sender hose? 5 gallons isn't much fuel. Fill the tank and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The tank is totally clean.. there isn't any garbage in the bottom and we siphoned it dry..

I will put more fuel in it and see if that is the issue.. I am pretty sure the hose is tight as I fiddled with the in tank pump a bit to make sure all the connections were solid.
 

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My stepped adapter looked perfectly fine and seemed tight, but over the years the rubber must have crept or expanded. It was actually a loose sliding fit and no doubt sucking air when fuel level was low. It was only when changing the in-tank pump that the stepped hose sort of slid/fell off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So the in tank pump is pushing fuel.. BUT now the key is unwilling to fully rotate to the start position.. I had a tough time actually removing the key.. could it be the ignition? Any way to test? that?
 

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So now the key is unwilling to fully rotate to the start position.. I had a tough time actually removing the key..
Once the ignition switch starts to give you trouble, it never gets better (for long) or "fixes itself" and it's only a matter of time before you are away from home and you won't be able to turn the key or start the car at all (which initiates a tow bill).
I would seriously start making plans to replace your ignition switch. Not a super easy job, thanks to the anti-tamper bolt that secures it to the column housing, but I have heard that it's easier to just replace the entire steering tube with switch than just the switch alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Oh Boy.. Will I need to get the steering wheel off? Is there a youtube set of steps to do an ignition swap? Could that be the issue with it starting?
Are there any repair shops in the Maine/NH area that anyone is happy with ?
 
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