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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just purchased a 1988 spider. The car has been parked for three years. It ran and had no problems prior. Where do I start? I will not start and the clutch goes to the floor. I put a fuel pump (in Tank) and filter prior to trying to start it but it still has bad fuel in it. How do you drain the tank?
 

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We like pictures!!!
Where are you located Cam? If you are near a chapter of the Owner's Club, that can be a wonderful resource - knowledge, assistance, and advice.

p.s. - hydraulic clutch - how's the brakes/master cylinder/slave cylinder?
 

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Drain the tank by siphoning the contents. New fuel goes bad so fast it's scary. I li,e Seafoam as an additive.

The clutch is hydraulic s you could have a few places of failure. Master cylinder, slave cylinder, clutch pedal pivot, etc... Check the master for fluid and top it off. Are you familiar with how to bleed brakes?.
 

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Hi Camdog.

I had the same story when I purchased my 86. Owners always state the car ran when last time parked. The truth is, "the car ran before it was towed home and parked."

Mine was parked for two years. Pull the gas tank out and and drain through the filler. I brought mine to a shop and had them drain and re-coat the tank. While they did that, I replaced all the rubber fuel lines, made sure the metal ones were clear and removed the fuel injectors and let them soak in seafoam overnight.


Clutch - fill the the fluid and look for leaks. If you do not see any listen for the fluid spraying into the master cylinder while pumping the pedal.

I bet the car was parked because it quit running. I would check the two flywheel sensors right away.

Like Nicola suggested, see if there is an Alfa owner near you to come by and help get you started.

Enjoy the new toy!
 

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Hope you're not allergic to rust. Review the Bosch FI Tech info. Clean the spark plug wells and remove plugs. Pour some oil in each hole. Check for spark. Get rid of the old gas. Don't forget the fuel lines. Review clutch pivot posts. They fail often. Have fun.
 

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Be careful pouring oil in sparkplug holes.. If you put the plugs back in before you blow the oil out you could mess up things. If you pour oil in turn the engine over to blow the oil back out before putting plugs back in.. Oil in cylinders will cause some serious smoke when you get it started.
 

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Be careful pouring oil in sparkplug holes.. If you put the plugs back in before you blow the oil out you could mess up things. If you pour oil in turn the engine over to blow the oil back out before putting plugs back in.. Oil in cylinders will cause some serious smoke when you get it started.
The devil is always in the details.
 

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Sounds like you got some work to do. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. So far, you have at least a weeks work to do on it. Good luck, Man. Stay on this forum, and we'll get you going, with proper feedback.

be careful when messing with gasoline. No sparks sources! Dont drop a hammer nearby!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was able to remove all the old gas with my shop vac, still looks nasty in there. I am not sure about pulling the tank and having it coated. Cleaned all the metal fuel lines with my compresser. Is the tank glued in and does it come out through the trunk? The in line fuel pump was jammed up to and barely moved anything through it. I gave it a quick shot of ether and it started with the gas lines disconnected. Filled the clutch resevoir and pumped the clutch up. I've got a leak somewhere. first things first get it running. Spark plugs look new, maybe the seller was trying to get it running.

I am located in Plymouth Ma. is there a group in Mass?
 

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I was able to remove all the old gas with my shop vac, still looks nasty in there. I am not sure about pulling the tank and having it coated. Cleaned all the metal fuel lines with my compresser. Is the tank glued in and does it come out through the trunk? The in line fuel pump was jammed up to and barely moved anything through it. I gave it a quick shot of ether and it started with the gas lines disconnected. Filled the clutch resevoir and pumped the clutch up. I've got a leak somewhere. first things first get it running. Spark plugs look new, maybe the seller was trying to get it running.

I am located in Plymouth Ma. is there a group in Mass?
You got big cahoonas, sucking out gas with a shop vac. Dont do that again. You are lucky you didnt blow your arse to pieces. I once saw that on 1001 ways to die.. You probably got lucky that the gas was so old that it wasnt very combustable.
 

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I sucked most of it out with a short garden hose first. There was mybe a half gallon left in there.
Geez, Cam, ya gotta know- a galon of gas = 14 sticks of dynamite explosive energy, or over 1000,000 BTU's!!!!!

Evan a half gallon is bad, fella. Even if old. That wet vac is full of sparks from the coil/elec field! Whattya doing?!

Better to have siphoned out the entire amount with a 3/16" clear plastic tubing from HD. Then, remove tank, fluush/fill with water. Drain all. Then, drip dry, and air dry (in sun best).

Whew.........
 

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I sucked most of it out with a short garden hose first. There was mybe a half gallon left in there.
That's just incredibly stupid. You are lucky to be alive. Many other morons have burnt themselves badly trying that trick.

Let me google that for you (click the link for more)

SPRINGFIELD – A 65-year-old Liberty Heights man suffered third-degree burns to his legs early Friday afternoon when he attempted to use an electric shop vacuum to siphon gasoline out of a snowblower.

The incident was reported about 1:25 p.m. at 40 Thornton St., Fire Capt. Michael R. Richard said.

The homeowner’s girlfriend of 30 years put out the flames with a garden hose before firefighters arrived. Richard said the woman reported that “the fire was huge” and that she couldn’t believe that house and garage had not caught on fire.​
 

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In case you end up needing one, I have a brand-new, still in factory shrink-wrap Bosch main fuel pump. Might have an in-tank pump sitting around as well, but not sure about that.
 

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Is the tank glued in and does it come out through the trunk?
Yes! It does come out through the trunk.

No telling what the gas turned into after three years. I believe the mechanic used something to clean out the deposits before coating the tank. I'm sure someone can respond to what settles out of 3 year old gas.
 

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Indeed the tank comes out through the trunk. The carpet is attached along the left side under the weatherstrip. Leave it attached and fold it back over the left rear fender. Next remove innumerable bolts and lift out a heavy steel plate (after making note of the electrical connections & hose routing and removing those). Finally you'll be looking at the top of the tank. Remove innumerable screws around the perimeter. The tank is not actually glued in but it'll be stuck down by some gooey sealant. Place a wide board over a jack and gently push it up from underneath.

It will seem like the tank can't come out through the trunk but twist & turn it just right and it'll come out.
 

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Forget the fuel tank for a moment. My first question would be: does it turn over? Assuming yes, I would spray a little starter fluid in the intake and see if it fires. If not you likely have electrical issues to deal with first. If yes then I would work my way backwards to find the source of the fuel problem. I would remove the incoming fuel line, stick it in a bottle and if you are getting fuel. Go from there back.
 

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Camdog, So you dodged the Darwin award.....this time.

Yes the tank comes out thru the trunk. It has a sealer holding it in and to keep water out. If near empty, you can pull the sender and inspect the insides with a flash light NOT a match!!!

You have 2 fuel pumps, one in the tank and one under the car, pass side under where the back seat would be. Both have to be a runnin to get the car to run. The pump in the tank feeds the high pressure pump under the car. They can both be gummed up or clogged.

Check it all out and once cleaned up and the rust cleaned up the car should run.
 
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