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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The car broke down while a friend was driving. I was too far away to help so told him to have AAA take it someplace he trusts. $400 later the mechanic gave up saying it has some sort of vacuum issues. Now several months later I am home. I charge the battery and the car starts and idles fine stumbles badly trying to give it throttle. Sounds like an air cooled Beetle. Open the hood and I can see where someone has smeared black RTV on the oval end of the flexible AFM duct/hose. Press gently with one finger and a gaping hole opens up. I guess the mechanic was right. Lazy, but right. I got a good used one plus new NGK BP6ES spark plugs as the Bosch Platinum Pluses ,WR7DPs he put in didn't look so good. He also put in some generic CarQuest 7.5mm resistance wires. Also looks like a new Bosch cap and rotor and a new air filter.

It started fine - idled fine - took throttle just a little better. I tried to drive - revs but doesn't make power. I barely made it 100 feet down the road and back. Almost couldn't make it over the low curb at the driveway entrance. Rev- let out clutch - almost stall - repeat several times. Made it up the drive one foot at a time but then it idled a moment and stalled. I am waiting for an order with new intake hoses. The flex one, the short one, and the four intake runners. In removing the intake plenum (I don't remember it being such a PITA the last time) I found one of the cloth braid covered hoses frayed and cracked wide open. I put it back together with a new hose in that location and no change. So I have the plenum out and waiting for parts. I will check and replace as many of the small diameter hoses as I can also.

Does this all sound vacuum related?

Where should I look next?

Plus with this I couldn't get it inspected so the registration has lapsed and when the Home Owners Assoc. Discovers an unregistered vehicle on the property it will only get worse and I am only home for a short period and have a certification exam to study for and take, and a meeting with the national practice manager.

The car and I are in Durham NC

TIA for any and all assistance
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks - I did have the oil cap off but don't remember if the engine was running. I will definately try that when the parts get here and I get it back together tomorrow.
 

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Fuel pressure or air flow meter.
 

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Does this all sound vacuum related?
Could be. The reason is L-jet requires all air entering the engine to pass through the Air Flow Meter (AFM). And intake air or vacuum leaks result in the AFM sending erroneous info to the computer. Thus the computer can not send the right signals for the proper amount of fuel.

Where should I look next?
I'd suggest checking all the items as outlined in the L-jet diagnosis page. L-jet is a system - all the bits have to work for it to work right.

Check that the wire harness plug is securely plugged into the AFM. Check inside the harness plug to make sure none of the small female contacts are displaced. Check that the flap in the AFM moves smoothly - not binding or gunked up. Check that the Oil Vapor Separator is not clogged. Check all vacuum & intake air hoses for splits, cracks, looseness, etc.

How old is the gasoline? Might you have a bad batch? Your 'friend' didn't put diesel in the tank, did he?

The car and I are in Durham NC
What are you doing tomorrow (Friday)? I am off work tomorrow but have to work Sat & Sun. I could come by tomorrow if you're available.
 

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long trip, he live in the upper west coast:):), but it's probley warmer than N.C.:):)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Eric,
I have 2 doctor appointments in the morning. The first will be fast but the second, I expect will take longer. but will be around working on the car as soon as I get out of the Dr. office and through the afternoon.

Wayne
 

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For what it's worth, I had a similar problem where I suddenly lost power driving home from work one day. Was cruising down the highway and then suddenly she bogged down and could barely make it off the road and into a parking lot. The catalytic converter internals came apart and had clogged the exhaust so she could not breath. The hint was when I tried to crank it and it started then died I could hear the exhaust depressurize like a tire leaking air.


Jim P
'87 Spider Veloce
Garland, TX
 

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What are you doing tomorrow (Friday)? I am off work tomorrow but have to work Sat & Sun. I could come by tomorrow if you're available.
Eric,
I have 2 doctor appointments in the morning. The first will be fast but the second, I expect will take longer. but will be around working on the car as soon as I get out of the Dr. office and through the afternoon.

Wayne
Hey, if Eric stops by, remind him to make sure and put the seat up when he's done in the bathroom. :D
 

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I had the same problem after changing plugs and air filter. I left the plug off the AFS...(Air Flow Sensor). Also left rubber intake duct loose. Tightened them up, and bingo bango, duck soup...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
intake leaks

Fastest way to check if its vacuum would be to get it idling and then remove the oil fill cap.
If there's no change in idle speed or quality, you've got a vacuum leak.
We got it back together. New intake runners, new intake boot, new AFM hose. Also replaced several of the 1/2" and 5/8" hoses connected to the plenum and hard plastic intake duct.

Starts, idles fine, doesn't take throttle well. Stumbles, revs, but doesn't make power under load.

We did remove the oil fill cap. No change, so still have a vacuum leak someplace according to this procedure.

I will have to look further for a leak and start over with the basics.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey, if Eric stops by, remind him to make sure and put the seat up when he's done in the bathroom. :D
I didn't see this till after Eric left. I owe Eric some big thanks, he came out in the rain, bearing Alfa parts. He can do what ever he wants in the bathroom.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
extremely poor running continued

Well, as stated earlier there are all new intake hoses.

From cold it starts and idles fairly well, still revved with hesitation and would not make power under load.

We switched out the AFM for a known good one. I thought it worked a little better but still stumbles off idle and doesn't make power under load.

As it warmed up it seemed to worsen, stumbling more off of idle while trying to rev and backfiring some through the intake and then as revs built backfiring some through the exhaust. Eventually I could nurse the revs up and hold them there.

We tried to check the flywheel sensors but couldn't determine if they were good, bad, or our method was flawed. Can anyone confirm that they are the same as some mid eighties BMW. Might have better luck finding them locally that way. Also I don't know how the engine works if one or both of these are bad. Anyone experience this????

We pulled the large hose to the vapor canister from the hard intake duct and blocked the intake end and could feel good vacuum on the hose so it seems that the vapor canister circuit is intact.

So tomorrow, start with basics in case the mechanic messed with anything.

#1 Top Dead Center on the compression stroke, what should the distributor look like?

Thanks to All,

Wayne
 

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We tried to check the flywheel sensors but couldn't determine if they were good, bad, or our method was flawed.
Wayne, it was very confusing to me to have our test of your flywheel sensors seem so inconclusive. I feared that perhaps my eL-Cheapo Harbor Freight volt/ohm meter was faulty. (all - we disconnected the sensor to harness connectors one at a time and measured the resistance the way I've always done it.) Both sensors in Wayne's car showed infinate resistance when they should measure 800-1200 ohms. The spare sensors I had also measured infinate resistance but I had marked them as 'no good'. (why I save broken parts is a story for Discovery Channels "Hoarders"...).

So, when I got home I went out to my dry, heated garage and checked the sensors in our Spider. Results in photos below. So, I think you have faulty flywheel sensors. Typically I have always seen them fail by showing infinate resistance. I haven't seen them measure out of range - they seem to be good or no good.

What is most puzzling is that the engine would run as much as it did with two faulty sensors. I have read that the engine might start & idle with one of the sensors faulty (I assume the rpm sensor) but not with both faulty. I'd assume that without a functioning timing sensor the computer would not be able to provide a spark signal. But perhaps I am assuming too much...

Can anyone confirm that they are the same as some mid eighties BMW.
BB member Bianchi has reported this to be the case. I haven't been able to cross-reference them however. But I haven't tried real hard. Perhaps if you took one of the no-good sensors I left with you to a junk yard, I mean, auto recycler - you might be able to find a good used one that way. Otherwise send some plastic money to IAP and they'll mail you some new ones.

#1 Top Dead Center on the compression stroke, what should the distributor look like?
See the picture in the L-jet diagnosis page. Note that assumes the oil pump/distributor drive and camshafts were properly installed. If the engine has been apart then all bets are off. I suspect about 1/2 of Alfa engine rebuilds end up with the distributor drive 180 degrees off. The engine won't mind and will run fine if the spark plug wires are installed to correspond to the 'new' position.

To time the distributor, position the #1 piston at TDC on compression (remember that in a 4 stroke engine the piston goes to TDC twice in one cycle) and note where the rotor is aimed. If the distributor drive &/or camshafts were correctly installed the rotor must be aligned with a small mark in the edge of the distributor housing. If the drive is 180 degrees off then the rotor must be aimed 180 degrees from the mark. Also note that 'adjusting' the distributor does not change the ignition timing. The computer does that (based on inputs from the flywheel sensor). The only thing turning the distribuotr will do is upset the timing.

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Hey, if Eric stops by, remind him to make sure and put the seat up when he's done in the bathroom.
I didn't see this till after Eric left.
We can ignore Darren in this matter. He's jealous because 'it' is so big my doctor advised me to avoid hurting my back and not lift anything heavy...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

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Can anyone confirm that they are the same as some mid eighties BMW. Might have better luck finding them locally that way.
bianchi1 knows which furrin car sensors fit, perhaps he'll pop in and share.

Also I don't know how the engine works if one or both of these are bad. Anyone experience this????
Usually poorly or not at all depending on if a sensor is on its way out vs dead, and which one it is.

#1 Top Dead Center on the compression stroke, what should the distributor look like?
Ideally dizzy #1 would be at about 3 o'clock/pointed toward the radiator while standing at the left fender when at TDC compression stroke and the dizzy has been dropped in correctly.
(there's little tick marks on the rotor and edge of the dizzy body that all get lined up during install. pix are around here somplace)

That being said, it can really be anywhere depending on if it was 180'd or the oil pump wasn't properly indexed during a rebuild. For the most part between 2 and 5 o'clock is considered acceptable, though it can run with it really out of whack as long at the plug wires have been jockied around on the cap to suit the firing order. (1342, clockwise)

If you have a timing light, you should get 11 degrees advance at warm idle (tickmark closest to the TDC tickmark on crank pulley) and 34 degrees max advance (furthest mark from TDC, may or may not actually be present on crankwheel)


EDIT:
Typing slow again.
Lift heavy things.... pfffft.
I suppose next you'll be saying how deep the water is too, huh. LOL
 

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Lift heavy things.... pfffft.
I suppose next you'll be saying how deep the water is too...
I don't care how deep the water is. How cold it is matters though...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

P = TDC, F = fixed (ignition timing at idle speed if measured with timing light)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
crank postion sensors

surfing around tonight, this is what I found.

from a european parts site the 115 Alfa uses Bosch part # 0 261 210 002

A search for 0 261 210 002 turned up a lot of 80s BMWs, un-confirmed. the list below is from an Ebay seller's list

BMW 533I
year Type liter designation where used notes
1984 L6 3.2 M30 Crank Position Sensor E28
1983 L6 3.2 M30 Crank Position Sensor E28
BMW 535I
year Type liter designation where used notes
1987 L6 3.5 M30 Crank Position Sensor E28
1986 L6 3.5 M30 Crank Position Sensor E28
1985 L6 3.5 M30 Crank Position Sensor E28
BMW 633CSI
year Type liter designation where used notes
1984 L6 3.2 M30 Crank Position Sensor E24 Both measure the flywheel: one measures the teeth & the other measures the reference mark.
1983 L6 3.2 M30 Crank Position Sensor E24 Both measure the flywheel: one measures the teeth & the other measures the reference mark.
1982 L6 3.2 M30 Crank Position Sensor E24 Both measure the flywheel: one measures the teeth & the other measures the reference mark.
BMW 635CSI
year Type liter designation where used notes
1987 L6 3.5 M30 Crank Position Sensor E24; To 5/87 Both measure the flywheel: one measures the teeth & the other measures the reference mark.
1986 L6 3.5 M30 Crank Position Sensor E24 Both measure the flywheel: one measures the teeth & the other measures the reference mark.
1985 L6 3.5 M30 Crank Position Sensor E24 Both measure the flywheel: one measures the teeth & the other measures the reference mark.
BMW 733I
year Type liter designation where used notes
1984 L6 3.2 M30 Crank Position Sensor E23
1983 L6 3.2 M30 Crank Position Sensor E23
1982 L6 3.2 M30 Crank Position Sensor E23
BMW 735I
year Type liter designation where used notes
1986 L6 3.5 M30 Crank Position Sensor E23
1985 L6 3.5 M30 Crank Position Sensor E23
BMW L6
year Type liter designation where used notes
1987 L6 3.5 M30 Crank Position Sensor E24; To 5/87 Both measure the flywheel: one measures the teeth & the other measures the reference mark.
BMW L7
year Type liter designation where used notes
1986 L6 3.5 M30 Crank Position Sensor E23
BMW M3
year Type liter designation where used notes
1991 L4 2.3 S14 Crank Position Sensor E30
1990 L4 2.3 S14 Crank Position Sensor E30
1989 L4 2.3 S14 Crank Position Sensor E30
1988 L4 2.3 S14 Crank Position Sensor E30
1987 L4 2.3 S14 Crank Position Sensor E30
BMW M6
year Type liter designation where used notes
1988 L6 3.5 S38 Crank Position Sensor E24 Both measure the flywheel: one measures the teeth & the other measures the reference mark.
1987 L6 3.5 S38 Crank Position Sensor E24 Both measure the flywheel: one measures the teeth & the other measures the reference mark.

Also from a Porsche site the 928 uses 0 261 210 003 but the lead length is about half.

Also from the Bosch site, in the same family is 0 261 210 001 which has a longer lead


Also from Rock Auto, I think an 87 BMW 535i? Pictures were similar but who knows

ORIGINAL ENGINE MANAGEMENT Part # 9606 More Info {#12141708619}

STANDARD MOTOR PRODUCTS Part # PC508 More Info {#12141708619} Intermotor

AIRTEX / WELLS Part # 5S4616 More Info {#12141274644, 12141708619, 88922318, SU4662}

we shall see what tomorrow brings.

Thanks for all the input.

I will post what I find out.

Wayne
 

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86 spider, yes they do come on 6 cly. bmw's i have takin them off bimmers, and snt them to alfa owners, works just fine, go get a few, at pick and pull there a lot of bimmers there to chose from.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Still no change

So, what I was able to find out yesterday, in the pouring rain, is that I paid to have the distributor cap put on backwards along with the dust shield. So I straightened the dust shield out and put it and the distributor cap on correctly (tab in the notch) and then switched the wires to their correct positions. I had hopes, but no change. Note to Eric, that arc like noise I thought I heard has gone away. At least a little progress has been made.

I triple checked the crank position sensors following the L-Jet procedures from Eric and Greg and can confirm for one of them that it is open circuit or very high resistance. The other will initally give a reading and then climb to a number in excess of the capacity of my meter. Kind of strange but repeatable, I forget which sensor does it.

So I will be getting a couple of the flywheel/crank position sensors and go from there.

Eric - the two sensors you brought are part number 0 261 210 001 the box is labeled 0 261 210 002 -001. On one of the Bosch sites that I cannot find again the language lead me to believe the 001 part had been discontinued and replaced by the 002 part number. The difference being the 002 had longer leads. Did you notice that with your replacements? 001 was lead length of approximately 320mm and the 002 about double that. I forget what the length of the 003 part was. Seems they have defaulted to the longer lead for all applications, maybe.


Also I found that Porsche uses the same sensor:

Bosch Part Number 0 261-210-002 NEW


This is a direct replacement for the 0261-210-003, the only difference is the length of the wire.


APPLICATION

1983-1989 Porsche 944 / 944 (951)Turbo

1987-1989 Porsche 944S / 944S2

1992-1995 Porsche 968

1987-1988 Porsche 924S

1985-1986 Porsche 928S

1990-1995 Porsche 928 GT / GTS

1987-1991 Porsche 928 S4


Previous commitments kept me from the car while the sun shined yesterday and this morning. The rest of the day is committed to reviewing material for an exam tomorrow.

Thanks to all,

Wayne
 
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