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Discussion Starter #1
My wife was about a block from home when the power steering went out. She drove the car home and put it in the garage. When she got out she smelled smoke. My sons pushed the car out onto the driveway.

She called me to ask how to open the hood. I was explaining it to her when she said “it’s on fire” and then hung up. She got the fire put out and called back. The fire was between the engine and the firewall on the passenger side.

We pushed the car back into the garage so I could take a look at the damage. The fire charred the wires next to the firewall. There is power steering fluid behind the pump. There isn’t any left in the reservoir. I assume that fluid splashed onto the exhaust and ignited.

I have a few questions.

Is it likely that the steering pump is ruined, from being without fluid?
What options do I have to fix the wires, given they are behind the engine?
I’m not sure how much longer my wife will put up my Alfa obsession, do you suggest flowers or dinner out at her favorite restaurant?:)

Thanks,
Greg

1991 164S
 

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1991 164L
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Looks like fuel injection harness is burnt but how bad is the question?

P/S pump may not be hurt but you need to determine where leak is located if fluid sprayed onto exhaust manifold probably rack pressure line.

Be sure fire did not get to two short rubber fuel lines way down behind in right corner of firewall where rigid lines to engine meet lines coming from under car.

I expect you will have to pull intake plenum off to get enough room to access and assess damage to wire harness.
 

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I’m not sure how much longer my wife will put up my Alfa obsession, do you suggest flowers or dinner out at her favorite restaurant?
Temporary access to a Ford ought to do it. Not that they are immune to catching on fire either, you just care about it less.

I notice, however, that my wife has been stealing Bruno the 164 for trips to the shop lately. I may be able to ditch the ford in the near future :)
 

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Also, pulling the false firewall may gain you some room to work. It's not hard to get out and would be worth the effort to gain some room. Hopefully the wire sheathing will have protected the wires to an extent. I suspect you'll just have to get in there an find out how much damage was done and discover the root cause as well. I would fill up the P/S system after fixing the leak and see if the pump still works, it very well may still be fine. Things may not be as bad as you might think, don't give up on the car yet.
Charles
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Steve,

Thanks for the reply.

I spent a little more time under the car and in the wheel well. The P/S pump is dry. It appears that all the fluid is coming from the rack. The passage side boot is saturated, especially behind (towards the center of the car) the boot.

Can the seals be replaced or do I have to replace the whole rack?

Thanks,
Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Things may not be as bad as you might think, don't give up on the car yet.
My wife just said, "I really like the car, but I just need it to be more reliable". Hopefully we'll get things sorted out and she can drive for a few months before it breaks down again.

Thanks,
Greg
 

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Just pickup a rebuilt rack and do the swap, its a bit of a pain but can be done, having an extra hand really helps. I think Joergen has racks for about 300 or less, tried finding them on the web but had no luck, but I could be spelling it wrong, I know others here probably have the link. Hope you get her on the road soon, best of luck,
Jon
 

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Dammit somebody just beat me to it! Google let me down, its supposed to correct my misspellings!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the link. I'd be curious to know if anyone here has installed one of Jorgens racks.

Given the difficulty of install, I'd rather pay more and get a new one. I see IAP sells them for $700.

Thanks,
Greg
 

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Thanks for the link. I'd be curious to know if anyone here has installed one of Jorgens racks.

Given the difficulty of install, I'd rather pay more and get a new one. I see IAP sells them for $700.

Thanks,
Greg
Is your car an auto or five speed? I know of a brand new one for a five speed for about $500 I believe. I just bought a rebuilt one for $350 with no core charge.
 

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From a guy named John Kennedy in San Diego. He has a small resto and parts business called aptly enough San Diego Alfa Romeo. He bought out most if not all the Alfa inventory from Ferrari of Denver he also sells a few really nice S4 Spiders.
 

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San D Alfa Romeo thumbs UP!

Yeah John Kennedy is a good guy, highly recommended, honest and true Alfisti (even though hes IRISH!!!)_== check his website San Diego Alfa Romeo - SDAR.com and even if you don;t see your part there email him and ask!
 

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If you want to pay more, I'm sure you can but, like I said many of us here on the BB have used Jorgen Racks and I haven't heard anything bad about them. They are good people to deal with and I am very happy with mine.
Charles
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The racks come in dampener and non dampener. How do I know what I need? I don't see anything in the shop manual that tells me the difference.

Thanks,
Greg
 

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images from IAP website. left image with, right image without. You will have to compare with the rack on your car. you will have to specify to whomever you order one from, manual or auto tranny. The auto trans car has limited turning in the right hand direction so the tire doesn't rub the tranny.
Charles
 

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Makes sense, since yours is an S, but they are interchangeable and it could have been swapped out. That is the reason you have to look at your car. If you don't like your dampered rack you can go undampered.
Charles
 
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