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Discussion Starter #1
OK, somewhat stumped on this, hoping you guys have some insight.

My father has an 88 Verde, he is the original owner, car has 60k miles or so. It has sat for about 2-3 years needing a timing belt and adjustment.

Installed the new timing belt (we've done this a bunch of times and always use a laminated cam template and the correct process), cleaned and checked the spark plugs, checked the compression on all cylinders, checked the oil and coolant and attempted the start the car.

The car has always run correctly (my father takes good care of it) so he was amazed when it wouldn't idle or really start in general. It turns over and fires, and then just dies. It won't rev up.

I checked the fuel pressure at the rail and it was good. I also drained down the old fuel and put 5 gallons of fresh in, and then jumpered the fuel pump (tied the return outlet to a drain line to get ALL the old fuel out of the lines and rail) and get fresh fuel in the rail.

Here is a video of what is happening:


Anybody have any ideas??

Quick things to check? Was thinking vacuum leaks, but I reinstalled and checked everything (hoses, main intake hose for cracks, etc).
 

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Maybe the distributor pulley is out by one tooth. That has happened to me. Try twisting the distributor (mark it first so that you can return it to where it was if this is not the problem).
 

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You sure the fuel pressure is good? This sounds exactly like our Milano when the fuel pump double relay failed. Car would start, but not keep running because the pump was not putting out. Had to changer that double relay which BTW is mounted on the rhs of the firewall behind some insulation.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I will check both and report back.

Any idea which way/how much to twist the distributor to get the desired effect? Or just wing it and see what happens?

I'll double check the fuel pressure with a gauge, but when I cracked it to check for air/bleed it, it was hella pressurized...

Could it be a REALLY bad vacuum leak?

Weird, as this car is very well sorted and 100% stock/untouched.

HJM
 

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If it happened right after the T belt change its probably related. I don't believe in coincidences. Go back to TDC and check everything, in particular if the distributor is pointing at #1.

If that all checks out then while you are trying to start it you have someone put their hand on the fuel pump to see if it stays running after the cranking sequence.
 

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Had the exact same symptoms on my 88 Verde that I just bought in September. The elbow that sits between the maf and the air intake had miniscule cracks on the underside of it. Loosen up the clamp and remove and inspect it carefully. If it has any cracks, replace with a good one. Why? Because there is a sensor that measures the air/fuel mix, and if that hose has a crack in it, the sensor will read the air pressure as wrong and shut everything down.... Stall. My car has 43 k miles on it, and had not been driven for years. New hose, it started right up and idles like a dream. The black hose is that elbow shaped thing on upper left in you pic. Takes two minutes to check. The underside is more susceptible to dry rot from the heat of the engine. The top of my hose (visible part) looked new. Hairline crack below was the culprit.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
We had the entire system apart from the airbox back to the butterfly valve, so I very carefully cleaned and inspected that main elbow you speak of (I had this fail on my 164S once, so I am pretty careful about checking it). It is in very good shape with no cracks, which is unfortunate because that's an easy fix!
 

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If you flip open the AFM flap in the air box with the key on does the fuel pump switch on.
And is does the flap move freely?

When cranking the gas gets injected with the cold start single injector and the AFM flap is bypassed to make the pump go.
After that the main injectors take over and the air going into the motor keeps the flap open some so the fuel pump will go.

So if the main injectors are stuck this will run like that.
Or if the flap is not working to keep the pump on.
Or if the voltage is less then around 10V (it can still crank and fire on the cold start injector) but the main injectors will not go.
Also check the the l-jet power wire that goes to the +battery post is connected and not eaten up with battery acid.
 

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Few things to look at:

- As mentioned above, make sure that the distributor rotor is pointing near the mark on the distributor casing, if as Ed says the pulley turned a bit on install of the belt then pointing to #1 at TDC won't be correct anymore. There should be a thin notch cut into the distributor case edge.
- To be more specific on what Sly says above, the CRANKING voltage must be above 10.5v for the ECU to fire the injectors.
- Check the Coolant Temp Sensor (CLT), L-Jet tune up page on Greg's site tells you how
- Make sure the Cold Start Injector (CSI) is actually firing (and not leaking)
- Check to make sure the ground strap from the plenum to the head is connected (I can't see it in the video). Also make sure the injector grounds the connect to the passenger side head near the fire wall connections are good
- If the engine is flooded, you can clear it by pressing the gas pedal down all the way while cranking. It can take a bit to get everything out. I've started numerous no start V6 cars this way but it sounds like you already did the equivalent.

Kevin
 

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Put 12 Volts across each injector. You should here it CLICK. Made a special tester for this. If it doesn't click it's stuck. Saves taking them out if they are OK.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OK here's my goal for this afternoon:

Will check all grounds.

Will check fuel pump first and foremost. If it's just getting cold start fuel, it obviously won't idle.

Will check distributor.

Will then check injectors.

Trying to rule out the easy stuff first and spiral in on the problem...Will report back!

Thanks guys.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
OK after some digging, here's what we know:

1) Grounds are good, including plenum to valve cover strap on drivers side.

2) L-Jet power wire was cleaned and re-tightened to 12V post on battery. Is there an in-line fuse here that could fail? (My father said this happened to him once and left him stranded)

3) When flap on AFM is moved with key on, relay and fuel pump are working as they should. I can hear the relay click and fuel pump come on distinctly.

Should the rotor on the distributor be pointing exactly at the #1 conductor on the inside of the cap at TDC? What if it is off a little? Should I adjust the distributor by loosening it and twisting it so that it is pointing exactly at it?

I think my next step is going to be to disable fuel and try timing the car with a timing light, does this make sense?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Adjusted distributor housing so center of rotor is pointing at notch in housing at TDC.

Will report back with findings.

Next steps: injector testing, AAV testing, any other suggestions? TTS is not reading zero when cold, so that may be an issue as well?

HJM
 

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For the distributor, don't just turn it, you need to know where you are. Here is a pic of the notch that I mentioned that I just took from one of my spare engines. For initial setting (prior to making the timing more advanced) the rotor should point about at that notch at TDC. If your distributor is in the "normal" position then when it is pointing at the notch it should also be pointing in the general direction of cylinder #1. If the pulley was rotated a bit when the belt was put on then when the rotor is pointing at #1 at TDC then it won't also be pointing at the notch, in that case simply loosen the hold down nut and rotate the distributor until the rotor is pointing at the notch.

Once that is done and then you can always dial in more advance as desired but the car should start fine if pointing at the notch.

Kevin
 

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Thanks for all this input. Last week my car began running poorly. I checked all the above. I changed my plugs, cleaned the distributor & rotor, cleaned the air intake, and a new air filter. Got her started and it still ran poorly. Finally realized the timing was way off. What must of happened that it was so cold last Wednesday -20F, the shaft of the distributor must of froze and moved when I tried to start it. Put it back to the correct spot, tightened it down good, and now it's running great!
Thanks again everyone.
 
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