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Discussion Starter #1
I was out for a little drive yesterday (had to run some errands, and figure I might as well take the GTV). The car has run flawlessly for the last 10 years (1974 GTV 2000, with Webers now). While cruising through a residential area at maybe 30 mph in 4th, the engine just died. Could not restart it. Turned over fine, and when I got out and checked the carbs I could move the throttle crank and hear fuel coming. The fuel pump was humming as usual when the ignition was one.
Anyone have any tips for what to look for here? I think it's something electrical, based upon how quickly it died (no coughing or sputtering, just abruptly shut off). I managed to get home OK - I reseated a few wires just for good measure (spark plug leads, and the main coil wire) and she restarted. To regain confidence for long drives I want to go through things and clean up connections and stuff. Where should I start? Any recommendation for a readily available contact cleaner solution/procedure?
Thanks for any help! I drive the car regularly way out in the Kansas country, so reliability is pretty important. I'm at a loss, since nothing like this has ever happened to this car.
 

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When I had my '69 GTV :cool: back in the early '70's, I was coming home from a trip upstate and while getting off the expressway exit near home, the car just "died." :(. I (probably) said *** :confused: and I'm not going to have a clue as to what's wrong. Noticed (probably) immediately the coil wire came off:). Promptly connected it and motored home
 

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For cleaning electrical connections, I use emery paper and electrical contact cleaner (and dielectric grease) from Radio Shack. For a thorough cleaning I'd clean/verify the following (assuming coil => plugs are good):

-both battery posts
-3 connections at starter/solenoid
-#1, #2, #6 at fuse block, including the spade connections at the back
-all used terminals at the back of the ignition switch
-#1? terminal (pink wire) on secondary fuse block
-fuel pump ground
-black wire to coil positive
-ground strap between carbs and manifold, and block and body
-ground connection at body to battery neg.

I'm sure if I've forgotten anything, others will add.

Hope it helps,
Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey - same GTV color as mine (Dutch blue)! That's a great color.
I've got a can of that Radio Shack contact cleaner around somewhere that I had forgotten about, so I'll see if I can find that. I think the coil wire is a decent bet since it was one of the few things that I messed with to get the car started again, but while I've got things out I'll go through all of the ignition electrics as suggested. When dead, the car turned over just fine so I think the issue is confined to the ignition system. Most of those connections haven't been touched in probably 20 years, so this will be a good time.
The plugs should be fine (I replace them every couple of years just for good measure). How would I test the coil?
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
still happening, though less...

Well,
I cleaned some stuff up and haven't driven the car too much in the intervening time, but I drove it about 2 hours yesterday (in two 1 hour sessions) out in the straight, flat country. The car didn't die on me, but stumbled three separate times so something is still not quite right. When the car first died a couple of months ago it was really hot out and I wasn't driving fast. Yesterday was 70 deg F and I was driving about 65mph, so things under the hood were cooler. I wonder if there's something in the ignition system that doesn't like high temps any longer and is breaking the circuit temporarily when warm? Any likely suspects? A friend of mine suggested that the condenser could do that.
 

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Well,
I cleaned some stuff up and haven't driven the car too much in the intervening time,

:mad:***:confused:Get your priorities straight - you've had over 3 months to correct this issue now:rolleyes:

;)
 

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While your original description of the problem certainly sounds electrical, the new mention of stumbling makes me wonder about fuel suppy. If you check back through the threads you'll find a bunch about fuel tanks and sending units. Seems like the fuel system warranty is expiring for a lot of our cars after 30+ years. Not long ago, my '67 GTV would stumble a bit or quit without warning. When it sat for a few minutes it would start right up and run fine. It was an accumulation of crud in the gas tank, combined with a disintegrated screen on the end of the fuel tank sender. The former I cleaned through the drain on the bottom of the fuel tank. The latter required a new fuel tank sending unit, which was needed anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
hmmm...unrelated

That's an interesting theory - the initial stall being unrelated (then, I had fuel and starter motor power but no spark) to the current stumble.
I changed the fuel lines and both filter (rear and in the engine bay) maybe 5 years and 6000 miles ago, but nothing in the tank has been touched in probably 15 or 20 years. The front fuel filter is in a clear housing and looks good, but if I get a chance I'll see what the rear one looks like. It could be getting plugged, and the jolt of the stumble knocks things loose for another 20 or 30 miles. I can buy that guess. I converted the rear fuel lines to take the common 1/2" x 1/2" filter last time, so it's a cheap thing to replace at any rate. I guess I might as well do both filters while I've got the wrenches out...
 

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Gas nowadays doesn't have too long a life staying fresh. If you don't use up what's in your tank within 2 months, I'd advise using Stabil.
 

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-black wire to coil positive
My first thought was that the coil negative to distributor wire fell off (kind of common). But since the engine restarted, perhaps it is just loose.
Two other thoughts are worn points (or out of adjustment) and a dodgy condensor.
What is the overall condition of the ignition system? How long since the last ignition tune up?
 

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If the problem is as I'm proposing, changing the rear filter is a temporary fix. It will only take 15 minutes to pull the wires off your fuel tank sending unit, unscrew it and pull it out so you can see if the filter screen is still on the inlet line. Mine was almost completely gone.

I had just filled the tank before deciding it needed to be drained. Still, the new fuel wasn't all lost out the bottom plug. First I siphoned several gallons into gas cans. What washed out when the bottom drain was removed was not a pretty sight.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I had a good Alfa shop back in Boston that cared for the car, so it got a tune-up maybe 8-10,000 miles ago (cap, points, etc. - plugs even more recently). The wires are older than that.
I always used to put Stabil in the tank pretty regularly when not driving the car. It's got a heated garage now so gets driven more regularly, though fewer total miles. I do probably go through a tank every couple of months, though just barely. I've got Stabil so I guess I should toss some in (though I gassed up yesterday on the way home).
I'll pull the sender when I get a chance and see what the bottom of the tank looks like. I'm guessing it's ugly... What does one do to deal with that? I no longer have a garage where I can do that sort of work (loft condo - oil changes are OK, but pulling a gas tank would get me some looks), so I'll have to take the car somewhere if it needs a tank cleaning/repair.
Thanks for all of the thoughts!
 
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