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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, Have been reading through for a while. I picked up a 76 spider last week. I orignally bought it as a "non-Running" car to convert to electric (Electrics my thing).

However, Ironcially, I got the engine running. Granted, running barely off starter fluid, but running none the less.
Person I purchased it from has had it in storage for the last 5 years in his garage. He claimed he started it twice a year, drove it up and down the driveway, and parked it again.

So, got it home, looked through the car.
Connected a battery to see if I could get some life out of it. Sparks started flying.
Seems the alternator is bad, as all the terminals are shorted. Dis-Connected the alternator, no more sparks. Figured theirs enough power in my 135 amp hour battery to power starter and still have some left over to keep the car running for a bit.

Fast forward, put the air filter back on, tighten plugs, put the wires on the plugs (NOTE: The wires were connected to the distributor, but not the plugs, I put them on the plugs in the order of length of the plug wires, shortest goes to first plug, and so on).

Did a 30 second spray of starting fluid in the air filter, closed er up and gave it a crank.

Cranked for about 15 seconds, stopped, and cranked it again. Started fireing. However, it will only keep fireing and running while I am still cranking the engine.

I now dis-connected the fuel line from the filter, and filled the line up manually. Tried starting again, it seems like it wants to start, but loud backfireing.


What am I doing wrong? injectors clogged? Plug wires in the wrong order? Fuel pump? Small child stuck in the engine?

THANKS MUCH!
 

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there is a wire from the starter switch to the coil that bypasses the ballast resistor when the starter is engaged. if the other wire, the one from the ignition switch is open, it will only run whileon the stater. check for voltage on the coil terminals with the ignition on, there should be voltage, 6 volts if the points are closed, 12 volts if open. if nothing else comes on with the ignition switch, there is a wire (heavy, red about #10) from the battery lead on the starter to a terminal block near the battery, if the battery is in the front that is. corrosion sometimes eats this wires terminals and this wire is what supplies power to the car.
cliff
 

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First, welcome to the BB!

I would caution you against cranking the engine in a SPICA (mechanical) fuel injection car, as gasoline is what lubricates the injection pump, just as oil is used to lubricate an engine. Most problems with a SPICA car have to do with fuel delivery, or better said, the lack thereof...

My suggestion would be to first read the SPICA FUEL SUPPLY SYSTEM DIAGNOSTIC GUIDE written by John Stewart ("Roadtrip" on the BB), and also spend some time looking at the other publications on the www.wesingram.com web site.

Best regards,
 

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Make sure the wires are in proper order on the distributor cap: 1, 3, 4, 2 going clockwise.

Best Regards,
John M
 

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Correct firing order would be 1-3-4-2 (clockwise). The car will run out of order, but not well (AMHIK).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the input! On this car, would first Cyl be the one twords the front bumper? or the cabin?

Thanks Much
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I checked the plug wires, and they are in the correct order, weather the ones on the auctual distributor are on the correct terminals, I do not know.

Didn't have much time to tinker, as I am a exhibitor at the Wi State Fair this week, so I get about 15 minutes in the morning, and 5 at night (at the fair 7am-11:30pm).


So, next step, I am going to pull the injectors. Is it ok to soak them in cleaner for a while (overnight or all day) to make sure their freed? I usually use Seafoam as my cleaner. Workes like magic!

Also, is it just the one fuel pump under the trunk by the gas tank? Or is their another built in by the injectors?

I ask, because the rear pump seems to leak a bit. I removed the fuel line from the filter housing at the front of the car, and filled it with gas. It seems to keep going through the return line, back to that fuel pump and leaking out. Not fast, but droplets.
I do not even know if that pump works or not yet.
But I would like to dis-connect both lines, and have the return capped and just fill through the input line.
I dont want to spend money on the pump unless I know this engine will runn solidly.

THANKS AGAIN!

Oh, and I ordered a service manunal, it will be here in another week, but by that time, i'd want it running, or start dis-assembeling the engine to begin the gas-electric conversion. ^_^
 

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Spica fuel injectors don't generally need to be cleaned. They work under very high pressure, unlike electronic fuel injection, and tend to keep themselves clean. If you do pull them, notice that they're (probably) numbered as to which cylinder they belong to.

As for fuel pumps, there can be a helper pump inside the tank (I'm not sure what year that started; mine doesn't have one), the main fuel pump at the back of the car, and the injector pump bolted to the engine. I'm fairly certain that you need the return line; it seems to me that if you capped it, you'd be deadheading the fuel pump, which is a big no-no. As for testing to see if the main fuel pump is working, there are four small lights on your center dash around the three minor gauges. Upper left one is for fuel pressure. It should light up when you turn the key to "on" (before cranking the engine) and then go out after a few seconds. (Then you crank the engine.) That will let you know whether the fuel pump is operating properly.
 

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It occurred to me that even with the wires in the right firing order, you could be 180 degrees out of time at the distributor. You need to make sure it's firing the number 1 plug at the top of the compression stroke rather than the exhaust stroke. Put the engine at top dead center and take the cam cover off (don't forget the two small bolts at the front edge). The frontmost cam lobes should be pointing away from each other. If they're not, turn the engine another cycle to TDC again and they should now be pointing away from each other (if they're still not pointing away from each other, something's messed up with your engine timing). Now remove the distributor cap and see which way the rotor is pointing. The terminal it's pointing to is where the cylinder one wire should be plugged in. (Pay no mind if the cap is marked otherwise.) Then place the wires in the correct firing order clockwise around the cap.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Awesome, i'll give that a try tonight! All I need is a small hope of life in this thing!

Now, when I did get it to fire with starting fluid, it did backfire (or sound like backfireing), now, after you said that It could be firing 180 out of sync, that would make sence the back fireing, as the starting fluid ignited while the exhaust port was open!

Cheers, Hope I will get more then 15 min to work on it tonight!
 

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the "low fuel pressure" light may be not working due to a failed sensor switch at the fuel filter.

another way to tell if there's fuel circulating under pressure from the fuel delivery system to the SPICA pump is to pull the tank filler cap and listen for the noise of the returning fuel to the tank. There must be a surplus of fuel circulating from the tank through the injection pump and back to the tank.

The seller said he'd been starting the car for some time, so that suggests that the ignition system ... distributor cap, rotor, and plug wires were in correct time and position, and you re-connected the plug wires in the correct order.

Do check the sparkplugs for heavy fouling, as this will make a SPICA injected car very hard to start, if at all, and keep running on fuel injected by the injection pump.

The Oregon Alfa owner's club has an excellent series of ignition tune up and SPICA tune up day quick guides to checking and adjusting the injection set-up. I think they're referenced in the BB, and available to download. Well worth having in addition to Wes Ingram's guides to the SPICA fuel system.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, I got it running!

Checked the timing, seemed off by a slight smidget, not enough in my opinion to need to mess with it and potentially make it worse (And i'm talking a very tiny bit).
How do you people turn the crank to line up to timing marks? I just used the starter, and happened to land it right on the dot after 20 tries, but I had no other way to turn the crank.

Next, I checked the distributor like you said.
That was where the problem was. It was, as you said, firing 180 out.

#1 was in posision #3, #2 in #4 ad so on. "Flipped" it around, turned the key, instant success! Ran a tad rough, but strong!

I put the gas line in a can filled with gas, and it sucked it right up, so thats all good.

Ran it for 3 minutes. The TAC is broke, but I dont care about that.

After running the gas, I mixed a potion of 50/50 seafoam and gas. About 6 ounces total.

I ran it through, smoked like hell, let it sit 20 minutes, and started er back up on gas again, MAN was that smooth!
Strong + Purred like a kitten.

Moved the car back and fourth about 10 ft in my driveway, ran out of gas.

So thats it for tonight!

I took the day off tomorrow, after 11 days of hell called the WI State Fair, so I will be replacing fuel lines, oil, coolant, brake fluid, and blinker fluid.



(just seeing if your paying attention) ^_^


THANKS FOR THE HELP!
I will update again tomorrow!
 

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Congratulations!

I think some folks turn their engine over by putting a socket on the crankshaft nut, others by putting the car in gear and rolling it forward in the driveway. Mine, being a '71, doesn't have the limited slip differential (started in '72), so I can put the car in gear, jack up the drive wheel, and turn it to turn the engine over.
 
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