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Discussion Starter #1
I am having problems getting my 1984 GTV6 engine to start, after I replaced the ignition wires, spark plugs, distributor cap, and rotor. Prior to this work, the car ran fine. The new plugs are the NGKs that IAP recommended. The new wires are the copper ones with the resistors, just like the original. The new cap and rotor appear to exactly match the old ones.

Now it won't start. I have checked and re-checked that the new wires are in the proper firing order on the distributor cap (based on the Alfa shop manual). I have checked the couple of wires and connections on the coil and the side of the distributor, and they all seem fine, as before. The rotor seems properly pushed into place.

Out of frustration, I took all of the new stuff off of the car, and re-installed all of the original parts (including the old spark plugs), and it still wouldn't start!

I would appreciate any and all ideas for what may have gone wrong here. I am at my wit's end trying to figure this thing out!!
Steve
 

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Check for spark. At the plugs, if no spark, then check at the coil. If it has spark, check fuel pressure. Logic suggests it is something you disturbed while changing the wires/plugs.. Make sure the fuel pump / dual relay is plugged in ..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Joe,

I just checked. There is no spark at the plugs, but there is definitely spark at the coil. What does this mean?

The dual relay is fairly new (about 6 months ago), and connections to that are sound. There is definitely fuel going somewhere - I can smell it here in the garage after I have turned it over. I don't have a way to check fuel pressure, though.

How should I proceed from here?
s
 

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Follow the spark. Is there spark at the coil wire to distributor cap ? If there is, then look inside the cap, make sure the rotor really is seated properly. No spark for any length of time will flood the engine. Plugs will get fouled with unburned fuel. Are they wet ?
 

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I had this happen to me years ago, and I went bonkers trying to resolve it. I towed the car in gear around the block with no improvement; finally I towed it to a nearby garage, where they couldn't make it start either.

Finally the battery went down from cranking enough to need a recharge. After a hard charge the **** thing started. I learned from this, and later verified with others, that this L-Jetronic has a minimum voltage threshold for the ECU to come to life.

On mine if the battery read 12.5 volts on my meter it would start; if it was 12.4 it would not.

Kind of insidious, isn't it?

While you're at it, run a #8 wire from the B+ terminal on the back of your alternator directly to the B+ battery post. I picked up more than one additional volt charging at the battery doing this...

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I just did some more basic diagnostics. There isn't any spark under the distributor cap at the spring-loaded center piece for the coil. There is definitely some current going to the cap, though - my assistant got shocked. I checked the rotor again, and that is definitely properly seated. Still no obvious spark to the #5 spark plug.

I pulled spark plug #5 after cranking it over a few times, and there is definitely fuel getting to the plugs - it was wet and stinky.

As to Cobralfa's comments, I did put the battery on a charger this morning for about 4 hours, and after that it appeared to be 100% charged (according to me cheap charger, anyway!. I guess I could put it on a charger again overnight.

Any other ideas?
 

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Here is another thought .... With the distributor cap off, crank it.. Does the rotor turn ?????

EDIT .. I realized after I sent this ...
The distributor has to turn if you have spark at the coil...
Sorry
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Joe. Yeah, I forgot about having to use a ground with the plug to see the spark. I will try that.

And yes, the rotor is definitely turning.

I think I may also try to give the Alfa a jump start with my other car in the morning. That should address Cobralfa's comment about possible low battery voltage.
 

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My Verde had similar issues and turned out to be the battery. But yours has to be some kind of coincidence since the car was running fine before changing the ignition etc....
It still feels you distracted something while changing the ignition part.....try to reverse everything you did and go step by step checking all the wires and maybe the ignition cap is placed 180 degrees wrong.
If your distributor timing is off by couple of degrees it will not start or sputter.
Put the engine to TDC and check everything is lined up correctly.
 

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Also make sure the distributor is not loose, if it is you might have turned it bit. If it is tight then just leave it alone. And as said about, triple check your wire placement on the cap and then check it again.

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well....I am back in business - thanks for all of your help, guys! I got it started up this morning, to a NICE cloud of blue smoke and gasoline fumes for a few minutes! It turned out to be the position of the spark plug wires on the distributor. What was throwing me off was the diagram in the Alfa GTV^ Shop Manual. My distributor is actually rotated slightly from the way it is pictured in their diagram. Once I noticed that, and got the wires correctly re-positioned, it started.

Now it time to replace my half-baked battery with a new one. The one in there now barely got it started, even after being on the charger for about 12 hours!

Thanks again!
Steve
 
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