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Hi everyone. I'm new to this site but not new to Alfas. I have had a 76 Spider since 1995. When I first got it, I knew nothing about them. I had a mechanic deal with most of my issues and as web comm was not what it is today, was terrified of the Spica injection due to lack of information and resources.

The Alfa sat in storage for 6 yrs undriven. Last december i decided to get into a restoration and sent the car out to a body shop. During that time I continued to acquire as much info as I could on the mechanics of the car. I finally got it on the road but it was not running well. Did all the usual stuff, new plugs, points, cables, etc but didn't get to the injection. The car always burned rich, smoky exhaust, smell of fuel. Way back I had a mechanic try to sell me on an engine rebuild and a carb conversion. I was skeptical and the $$$ of all that was probably what kept the car in storage so long. I was leary of the investment but did not want to part with the car. When I bought the car the engine had already undergone a rebuild.

That's the history. As I learned more about the mechanics i have begun to realize how much stuff was tampered with. Due to lack of an original owners manual and very limited photos of stock engines these details can be elusive.

So I have some questions to fill in the missing bits.
1. the vapour tank in the truck is supposed to have a vent in. Mine is an open hole I assume there should be some kind of check valve arrangement there as the trunk is dense with gas vapour. Not so safe. What does it look like and can i get a replacement or equivalent part? IAP and Centerline don't seem to list anything for it.

2. The spica oil filter. Where does it go? Is it the plate on the front of the pump? Any pics? Tomorrow I'm ordering Wes ingram's book on Spica, maybe the answer is in there.

3. at the very front of the engine compartment, on the driver's side behind the headlight, I have a circular mount bracket that is void of any component. What goes in there?

4. Where is the oil separator from the fuel return line? Or is that item 3?

4. There is a sensor at the bottom middle of the air box with a hose coming out of the box. The hose was capped off. Where does it go to and what does it do?

Things that have been tampered with:
The temperature compensation lever and spring on the barometric pressure adjuster has been removed. I don't know what it is set to.

The lead to the fuel pressure sensor was cut out.

Again, tank vent removed.

the more i look the more i find.

I think i'm looking at a full fuel system overhaul. From what i gathered, the rich mixture, smokey exhaust and fuel smell point to a bad TA. Where's my catalog.
The car also loses power and sounds like its missing after the engine heats up. My fuel pump also seems quite loud. Looks like it needs replacing to and all the filters in between.
Any thoughts on all this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Spica woes

Just got my Spica system up and running after about 10 years. The best thing you have in the post is that you are buying Wes's book. Start with that and read it cover to cover. Please do this before making any adjustments. I did not and turned a bad running car into a non running car and it took a lot of time to get it back to life.

Could be that your TA is bad or just needs an adjustment.
 

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Wes Is 'Da Man'

Wes Ingram is 'Da Man' when it comes to Spica. His book is great. There is a flow chart in the back of the book that will walk you thru trouble shooting the spica system. Read the book carefully a couple of times before you touch anything and then follow the flow chart. If you screw something up here it can be really expensive to fix or replace.

Drew
 

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1. Yes, there should be a one-way check valve (“in”) that vents the tank as the fuel level drops. Overpressure air goes a different route into the intake manifold. The local autoparts store should have some one-way check valves. They won't be OEM, but just about any generic one-way valve that's fuel resistant will do.

2. Yes, it’s the round plate on the lower front right side of the injection pump. Three nuts hold the cover in place.

3. Don’t know.

4. The oil separator is on the right side of the engine. It’s has no interface with the fuel return line.

5. On a '76 there is an air temperature sensor that connects to a vacuum source (#4 intake) on one side and the airbox intake diverter valve. It’s purpose is to maintain the air temperature in the airbox at 104F via air heated by the exhaust.

Temp Compensator Lever – If your injection pump is original (should be a T260/1 49 state, or T260 Calif.) it did not have a lever. There is no temp adjustment on those pumps.

Fuel Pressure Sending Unit – Get that fixed. It’s essential. The previous owner probably disconnected it to mask a failing fuel supply pump.

The poor performance upon engine warm-up is probably a failing fuel supply pump and a bad T/A.

I concur that your entire fuel system needs to be torn down, cleaned, and overhauled. You should also pull out the Barometric Compensator from the injection pump and check for gasoline in the logic section of the injection pump. Gasoline in the logic section means the pump is a “leaker” and probably needs overhaul.

If you would like some Spica manuals and guides via email, PM me an email address capable of receiving some large files. What I can send you is:

Alfa Spica Manual for 1976
Spica Benchcheck Guide
Tune up Guide
A few other minor files

Go to www.wesingram.com/hp.htm and download the Fuel System Diagnostics Guide and the Roadside Diagnostics Guide along with Wes’ TA R&R Guide.

Do you have a copy of the Alfa Owner's Manual?? That's a very important booklet to have. It answers a lot of the questions you have asked.
 

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Also peruse the carbs and fuel injection forum on this BB. http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=31
And you should add Pat Braden's book(s) to your library if you haven't yet.
Between Wes' book, and Roadtrip's posts and guides you will get where you need to be. The key is to understand the system as much as practicable before you start mucking with it.
 

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#3 might be a horn mount.
Get the AROC Spica notes and read them through. It'll help understand what you're doing.

Andrew
 

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amuscat
Welcome to the AlfaBB.
You may have owned an ALFA for years but judging by your questions you are new to what's under the bonnet and how it all works.
3. at the very front of the engine compartment, on the driver's side behind the headlight, I have a circular mount bracket that is void of any component. What goes in there?

4. Where is the oil separator from the fuel return line? Or is that item 3?

4. There is a sensor at the bottom middle of the air box with a hose coming out of the box. The hose was capped off. Where does it go to and what does it do?
You don't state your country or location so in question # 3:"on the driver's side behind the headlight" may be factual or a mistake. On the RIGHT inner fender there is a circular bracket for holding the oil separator; which I suspect is missing from your car. On the LEFT inner fender is a circular bracket for the air pump intake filter, which I suspect is also missing from your car.
It appears you have two questions numbered 4. Roadtrip answered these correctly.

You would do well to post some pics of your engine compartment. If you’re having problems adding pics, ask a moderator for some help.
I'm including a pic of a stock 76 Spider engine for your comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for everyone's help

It is much appreciated. Yeah I got a lot of work to do but i'm really into this project.
The goal is to get it it right. I have a phone call into Wes and I'm anxiously waiting a return call. Downloaded his diagnostic manuals off his site and they were extremely helpful.
I'm attaching a picture of that bracket in question. Top left of the pic.

oh, I'm in Canada, Toronto to be exact. Thanks again. Austin.
 

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Austin
OK; the round bracket held the air pump inlet filter. That's gone... along with the rest of the air pump system and the heated air induction to the Spica system. :eek: Actually this quite typical on an ALFA of your vintage.
Once upon a time there were two huge studs extending from the front of your engines head. These supported a massive steel bracket which supported the air pump and associated paraphernalia. Some PO decided to rid your ALFA of 30 pounds of band-aid engineering. Your engine will survive without it.

Your pic leaves us in the dark in regard to the oil separator and fuel supply piping.
HINT: more pics could prove beneficial for making progress in getting you car running properly.:)
 
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