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Discussion Starter #1
After all the work and frustration, finally drove my GTV for the first time tonight. My first drive of my first Alfa.

All I say is ---------------
I'm speechless :D
The noise, the intake sound, the exhaust, the soundtrack of double clutch every shift, the backfires when I let off the throttles. Who needs a radio in an Alfa?

Turned high beam on instead of the signal, turned the wiper on instead of fog light, and locked myself out at my friend's house. Woke up all my neighbors when I got home:D

Some problems though -
1) the car idles @ 2k-3k when hot instead of 800rpm when the car is cold.
2) Is that normal for the temp gauge to read 190? Way pass the 175 in the center?
3) Oil pressure gauge not working
4) Generator light is on (very dim though)
5) Can't find a decent sitting position. (yeah, I know, it's an Alfa)
6) Fuel pressure light never on ( i hear the pump working though) (new light bulb and checked instrument circuit already)
7) BRAKE warning light is on, there is no handbrake and the brake is REALLY REALLY WEAK!

PO told me the car was set to run rich because the high altitude and cold weather the car was in.
Would that be the cause of high idle?
I'm going to go through the Owner bible tomorrow to see what I can do with the SPICA. PO gave me the tool to adjust mixture already.

Any suggestion is welcome. THX!!

Alvin, looks like I have to fix the RPM before I can drop by your house. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Transmission

Oh, one more thing!

How much can I "abuse" the first gear?
I've to stop at a stop sign for 10 seconds, and depress the clutch at stop light before I can shift into first gear without a "crunch" sound :)

Second gear seems pretty good, all the double clutch and heel & toe work out for me.
 

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Tricks and some info

I'll try to anwser the majority of your questions in the order you asked.

Double clucthing. No need to double clucth in a GTV "Knife through butter gearbox". It's syncroed, so no need to do it, inless you just like doing it. Just let the box warm up well, and you will feel the knife through butter shifts.

Idle problem, I have the same problem, my GTV idles at 1400-1700. Well get the car warmed up and pull out the hose from the airbox going into the little vaccum system. Use that tool you have and I think if you screw in you're idle should drop. Unfortunely my screw does not work, because the inside washer is worn out/gone. Spica's are hard turner's.

Water Temp. My GTV runs right over the 175 mark, I'd say 180, when I'm in 5th gear going 5000rpm it goes up to 190. You might be running a little high. How's the radiator? Maybe the Gauge is off? Thermostat?

Oil Pressure gauges are known to be faulty on GTV's, even with a working one, I hear the needle jumps around everywhere. Best move is to get a aftermarket one. I'm going to replace my orginal one, the bouncing does'nt bother me, there is a low oil pressure light, and if that turns on, it's time to shut down right away.

Generator light on? No idea. Alternator?:confused:

Fuel Pressure light only turn's on for a quick second and off, everytime I turn my ignition at least. If you here the pump working, I'd say you're ok. But you might have low pressure, or maybe have to get a new fuel filter.

Brake warning light. Check you're master cylinder. The wires going into it might be loose, also the fluid resevoirs have these plastic peice's connected to a small piping. They activate if you're low on fluid, but they also like to act whacky at times. Fiddle with it. When you unscrew the caps the brass looking piping should pop up (or vise versa, stay down. but i think they need to pop up), if it does'nt, that's probably why your light is on.

Also try disconnecting the wire's connected to the fluid resevoirs, if the light turns off, it's what I said above.


The first gear crunch

Here's the secret.

You need to shift into 2nd before you shift into 1st. So if your'e in neutral, hit the clucth in, pop it into 2nd and then shift it into first.

Reverse sometimes like's to crunch aswell, so I put it into 4th and quickly into reverse, and it bypass the crunch.

Hope this helps you out a little.
 

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Check the ground wire going to the gauge, this may correct your generator warning light problem

alfa_chan said:
After all the work and frustration, finally drove my GTV for the first time tonight. My first drive of my first Alfa.

All I say is ---------------
I'm speechless :D
The noise, the intake sound, the exhaust, the soundtrack of double clutch every shift, the backfires when I let off the throttles. Who needs a radio in an Alfa?

Turned high beam on instead of the signal, turned the wiper on instead of fog light, and locked myself out at my friend's house. Woke up all my neighbors when I got home:D

Some problems though -
1) the car idles @ 2k-3k when hot instead of 800rpm when the car is cold.
2) Is that normal for the temp gauge to read 190? Way pass the 175 in the center?
3) Oil pressure gauge not working
4) Generator light is on (very dim though)
5) Can't find a decent sitting position. (yeah, I know, it's an Alfa)
6) Fuel pressure light never on ( i hear the pump working though) (new light bulb and checked instrument circuit already)
7) BRAKE warning light is on, there is no handbrake and the brake is REALLY REALLY WEAK!

PO told me the car was set to run rich because the high altitude and cold weather the car was in.
Would that be the cause of high idle?
I'm going to go through the Owner bible tomorrow to see what I can do with the SPICA. PO gave me the tool to adjust mixture already.

Any suggestion is welcome. THX!!

Alvin, looks like I have to fix the RPM before I can drop by your house. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: Tricks and some info

Maybe I just heard too many things about the second gear syncro and everytime i shift, I think of the "crunch" - classical conditioning (?). It actually happened to me only twice on shifting into first (even I did the "second before first" or "forth before first")

For the double clutch, I just did it for the sake of the sound that it makes. :D and for the protection of the syncro. (it will sometimes crunch if I don't do that)
Everytime my dad sees me shifting without going into neutral first, he will go haywire.

I've put in a new thermostat already, and it keeps stable @ 190, I guess it is the gauge then. It's about 3/4 to the right.

I've also replaced both fuel filters, is that possible the fuel pressure sender is not working at all? It doesn't go on when i turn the key.

I also saw a wire coming out of the brake pressure regulator (?) next to the fuel filter, any idea what that is? I've checked those on the master cylinder reservoir, seems okay. Is there a switch on the hand brake too?

Maybe I should get a whole new set of gauges, vacuum, oil temp, pressure, etc. $$$ :(
 

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First of all, slow down. One thing at a time. Prioritize things in the order of seriousness.

1. Brake light. Check fluid level and security of connection to the master cylinder reservoir. There is a handbrake on switch. You'll just need to check continuity of wiring on this one. If the brakes are weak or spongy, you may have air in the system or the master cylinder may be leaking/bad. In any case the brakes have to sorted out. If you hit me driving around in an GTV with bad brakes, I'd take your Alfa apart and beat you with each piece.

2. Oil Pressure. Operating the engine with insufficient oil pressure will kill it. Let's get that squared away first. If the needle is jumping around, it's probably a ground. First check the security of the connections to the oil pressure gauge sending unit (just above the starter motor) and the oil pressure light (turns on at 5psi and less) at the oil filter. If that doesn't work, you'll need to check the connections at the oil pressure gauge behind the dashboard. My oil pressure gauge did the same thing about a year ago, and it was just some corroded connections.

3. Fuel pressure warning light. Don't drive around with low fuel pressure. The SPICA injection pump relies on recirculated fuel to cool the pump. The sending unit is on the front fuel filter. Make sure that connection is good. It's an on-off type switch (similar to the oil pressure light switch on the oil filter). The fuel pressure light turns on at 7psi and below. When you first turn the key on, you should get a flash of that light until the pump builds up pressure in the line. You can test the sending unit by connecting a test light to it . . . . one lead to the + battery and the other lead to the tang on the sending unit. When the pump is off, you should have a light. If not, the sending unit is bad.

4. Fast idle. DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING UNTIL YOU'RE FULLY READ-UP ON THE SPICA SYSTEM. You'll only do more harm than good. It's probably a bad thermostatic acutator (about $200) that is not commanding a leaner mixture when the engine coolant warms up. With the engine hot, remove the air cleaner box and look down to the throttle arm on the back of the SPICA FI pump. There should only be .019" clearance between the throttle arm and the reference screw on the back of the pump. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES REMOVE THE PLASTIC CAP ON THE SCREW OR CHANGE IT'S POSITION. If you do you will ruin the basic factory set reference setting of the pump. If the clearance looks a lot more than .019", then your thermostatic actuator is probably bad. Look in your Alfa Romeo Owners Bible by Pat Braden for a full explanation. Also, if you plan on retuning the FI system, YOU MUST do it in a methodical and organized fashion . . . . NOT just setting a new mixture. You must do a complete reset of the SPICA system if you want to get it right. Hopefully it's just the T/A and that will bring the system back into tune.

5. 190 on the temp is normal and desireable. 180 is the center mark . . . at least on spider gauges. The needle should stabilize just to the right of 180. If driving at high speeds in hot conditions, you may see 200 or so. Warning. DON'T grossly overheat aluminum engines like the Alfa's.

6. Comfortable sitting position. Have orthopedic surgery to remove six inches of each femur. Take picture of chimpanzee to doctor and tell him that's what you want to look like.

7. The previous owners ****-and-bull story about the fast idle being caused by a mixture being set rich for higher altitudes and cold weather is BS. Since this guy probably didn't know squat about Alfas (or does and just outright lied to you), you know must be very suspect about the maintenance condition of the whole car.

Final words of advice. Get a Brooklands repair manual and the Owners Bible by Pat Braden. Also, get the really nice wire diagram that's on this website. Before you start doing anything to your Alfa, read read read, until you understand the basic workings of the system. You'll save yourself a lot of time, frustration, and $$$$. Alfa's do not tolerate ham-fisted amature mechanics.
 

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idle too high

check the length of the rod that goes from the bell crank to the back of the injection. it's probably a couple of turns too short. check it out, I've seen this in a number of home adjusted Alfas.
good luck geneo
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Gotcha, roadtrip. I will go back and read my Owner bible, cardisc and WI Spica manual once again and fully understand them before I work on my GTV. Thx for the advice. :) I got too carried away by the excitment. :D

My oil pressure gauge is not moving at all. I've already diassembled the whole instrument cluster, cleaned all the connection with cleaner, new bulbs and checked all connection with a mulitmeter.
I will check the wiring and senders as you described today. For the LOW oil pressure sender, is that the one next to the oil filter below the header? And the one near the firewall on intake side is the oil pressure gauge sender, correct?
May I just ground the wire (that connect to the senders) to see if the gauges and lights work? Are there any resistance on the senders that lower the voltage? Don't want to blow the gauges.

The PO didn't tell me about the idle was high, he just sent me the WI Spica manual and the tool with the car, and told me to adjust the mixture after I got the car (got the car off eBay). It definitely sounds like the TA is not working properly to me now. I will go through the SPICA manual and see what I can do.

Maybe I should contact the guy whom my PO bought the car from to learn more about my car. He had owned the car for more than ten years and performed all the regular maintenance (I got two folders full of receipts) and seems like a loving Alfisit.
The PO only owned my GTV for 5 months and only put 1000 miles on it before he sold it to me and bought a Datsun 510.

Chimpanzee - :D I thought my legs are short already. Haha :D
Thx! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Re: idle too high

Oh! Forgot about that!
I will go through the manuals again and pay more attention to the long rod.

Thx! Geneo
geneo said:
check the length of the rod that goes from the bell crank to the back of the injection. it's probably a couple of turns too short. check it out, I've seen this in a number of home adjusted Alfas.
good luck geneo
 

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Re: Re: idle too high

you say it backfires when you raise your foot off the gas, check that the butterfly valves are fully closing when your foot is off the gas.You can check this by removing the air box and looking down the injector bodies.This may also be causing your fat idle problems.I cannot remember if this is adjusted by the rods or a seperate adjustment,I believe it the long rod but it has been a while since I have had to mess with A SPICA system.

alfa_chan said:
Oh! Forgot about that!
I will go through the manuals again and pay more attention to the long rod.

Thx! Geneo
 

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Great advice from RT.

My spider's gen light would also be dimmly lit,
and after a few days the battery would be dead.
I thought the aternator and/or the voltage
regulator were dead, so replaced them both, at
a very high price!!

Found out that the aternator output wire to the
battery was connected to a jumper terminal on
the body, then to the battery. Ended up that this
connection bolt was corroded, and was keeping
a lot of the juice from getting to the battery.
Clean all connections from the alternator to the
battery, then spray them with an electrical sealer
sold at any auto parts place. Should fix your
dim gen light problem.

Backfiring from Spica car probably means a bad fuel
cutoff solenoid or micro switch. Im by no means an
expert on Spica, so dont quote me:D
 

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Snaidy's 1st Gear Crunch Secret

Hey Snaidy,

Don't our 2nd gear synchros take enough abuse already?

Pop it into 4th from neutral instead of 2nd to slow down the gears before popping it into 1st, your 2nd gear synchro will thank you for it:)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My car can barely start this morning, and I've just hooked it up to a battery tenderer.

I will go ahead and check the wires as mentioned by you and RT. Thank you very much :D

Keven said:
Found out that the aternator output wire to the
battery was connected to a jumper terminal on
the body, then to the battery. Ended up that this
connection bolt was corroded, and was keeping
a lot of the juice from getting to the battery.
 

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Was you're battery dying?

Everyone has there different technique of starting there Spica GTV's. Every mourning I put the key in, crank the engine 4 times or so, and hold down the gas and let go of the key, but still holding the throttle (I live in Loas Angeles and car is in garage, might need more cranking if stored in colder spot). I use other techniques sometime's to. Over time you will find easier way's of starting your GTV, you will learn wrong ways, and good ways. Have fun.

Like Geneo said, you can try turning that rod end pieces on the throttle linkages. I tried on mine and it did not work. But every Alfa is set-up differently. I'd say try that out first, because these rod pieces are screwed in deep sometimes and are holding the throttle down. But... when you first start you're car and you're idle is lower then normal and once it's warmed up it then begins to idle high, then it's the Spica.


JoeCab- I don't find there to be any abuse when shifting from 2nd to 1st, when in a stop position. There should not be a grind, when doing it. If there is a 1st gear crunch it probably mean's you lagged heavily shifting. If there is a 2nd gear crunch when in a stop postition, then I personally think it's time to open the tranny box and replace the synchros and worn gears. I have the worst 2nd gear crunch, it honestly take's me a good 1-2 seconds to shift from 1st into 2nd without a crunch. When I'm stopped I can pop it into 2nd whenever and it slide's in buttery.
 

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First of all, check that the ground strap from the engine to chassis is clean and tight. If's it not, it can cause all kinds of weird anomolies and even cause the throttle cable to act as a ground, which will usually fry it's rubber casing really badly - maybe even start a fire. Another recommendation is that if you're having problems with the fuel gauge not reading correctly (or erratically), run a supplemental ground wire from the tank body to the chassis. Sometimes the screws (which normally provide the ground) can get corroded and lose good continuity.

Yes, your are correct. To check a gauge or light (oil, temp, or fuel) simply ground the wire that goes to the sensor. The gauge should read full scale to the right or the idiot light should come on. If it doesn't, either the hot wire to the gauge/idiot light is bad (and since your other gauges work, it's probalby not that), or the wire from the sensor to the gauge has lost continuity. Check with an ohm meter. Gauges are seldom found to be bad. Also, the oil pressure sending unit above the starter is often times banged up on removal and installation of the engine. The fuel pressure and oil pressure idiot light senders are fairly fragile with the bakelit top and can be damaged easily as well.

While you have you gauge cluster out, use a volt meter and check that that the hot wire indeed has electricity and the connections are clean and tight as well. You want your new beauty clean and tight , don't you?

With regards to the SPICA, don't start messing with either of the rods. Check for proper operation of the T/A. It's my guess that is causing the fast idle and backfiring. Unless the T/A extends the proper amount into the pump, the throttle remains partially on. Assuming yours is a post 1969 model pump, there are two idle cutoff circuits in the pump to prevent backfiring. One is the mechanical one that depends on the 3D cam returning to the correct idle position and the other is a microswitch acutating the large solenoid on the top forward part of the pump. We'll get into that later if the T/A proves ok, BUT don't start messing with any of the rods yet. If it gets down to a maladjusted rod, then you're going to need to invest in an afternoon to reset/retune the entire SPICA system. The SPICA system will run tolerably well even when badly maladjusted. To get it right takes a lot of reading and understanding, a methotical approach, and a couple of hours of your time bent over the engine compartment.

I second JoeCab's recommendation on touching 4th before going into 1st gear. 2nd gear syncro is a weak sister under the best of conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just finished reading the books. I think I will go ahead and clean up the conenctions of all the connectors tomorrow. :D

Sniady, when the battery is fully charged, my GTV starts right up with a turn of the key and a gentle touch of throttle (and then follow the "rhythm". Now I can hear the starter having a hard time cranking the engine up.

One more question, would the T/A actually moves the relay crank through the long rod? Or it only moves the internal mechanism? :confused:

Thx!!

Sniady said:
Everyone has there different technique of starting there Spica GTV's. Every mourning I put the key in, crank the engine 4 times or so, and hold down the gas and let go of the key, but still holding the throttle (I live in Loas Angeles and car is in garage, might need more cranking if stored in colder spot).
 

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alfa_chan said:


One more question, would the T/A actually moves the relay crank through the long rod? Or it only moves the internal mechanism? :confused:

Thx!!
The T/A acts on the internals of the Spica pump which acts on the pump lever which acts on the long rod which acts on the relay crank which acts on the short rod which FINALLY acts on the throttles. Psheewww!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I am an idiot...

I am an idiot... I am an idiot... I am an idiot... I am an idiot... I am an idiot... I am an idiot... I am an idiot... I am an idiot...

I tighten the throttle cable when the engine is cold, and I mean TIGHT.

You guys could probably guess what happened.

Fast-idling problem solved. :D back to 600rpm. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
When I put the throttle cable back on, I straighten the cable and lock it in place when the engine is cold. As the engine heats up, the relay crank wants to go back to the original position (all butterflies closed) and turn clockwise , but the throttle cable is locked and doesn't let the relay crank turn. As a result, the butterflies are opened a little bit and idles at 2k. :D

Sniady said:
Throttle cable? Is there something I don't know about?

Inform me please. What exactly did you tighten?
 
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