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Discussion Starter #21
Plugs can be deceiving, they're often tighter than you'd think and take a fair bit of force to "break loose",. especially if they've been in there a while. A breaker bar would help with some leverage but you should be okay with a regular socket wrench unless someone put thread locker on them when they were put in. You really have to pull hard on them sometimes, don't be afraid. If you have the proper spark plug socket which it sounds like you do, you shouldn't worry about breaking off the porcelain part. Word to the wise, mechanics gloves are your friend here, when they break loose, you'll discover the best way to smash your knuckles off something...

The oil pooling in the plug cavity is likely from someone filling the oil without a funnel, if you miss the filler neck it'll pool around the plug and stay there. Good news is you'll likely find that #1 will be the easiest to remove.
Thanks @Andrew Smythe!

When I say I couldn’t budge them. I couldn’t move them. I tried my darnedest. (Good tip on the gloves - ty!)

Re: oil where spark plug is. I had cleaned it all out totally before trying to remove them. Then noticed more oil in #3 after driving the car for a bit.


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Great progress it sounds like.
When I first got my car I had the opposite with the spark plugs, they were loose!
If you use a breaker bar, start gently, if you're worrier about them not coming out squirt some oil around the plugs and let it seep through the threads overnight. In the instance you break the porcelain (and I doubt you will) just go ahead and break the plugs loose, and before pulling them out vacuum the broken pieces off.

Those old air hoses can be tricky, if they ever come loose you'll stutter or just not start. This isn't just an Alfa thing either...

Those plug wires look like they need to be tossed and replaced, you really want to keep fresh wires on the car for it to run right. Now thats not to say it won't run with old wires, as long as electrical juices can flow through all the wires, the car will run. I think on most older car Ive ever bought, cap/rotor, wires and plugs are one of the first things I do.

You're making good progress though, you have a fun car just waiting to be brightened up
 

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oil gathering in the plugs like that comes from either the filler rubber seal (you could try turning the rubber over so it seals on a new area), or it is loose, or a loose cam cover.
(or a warped cam cover from over tightening those bolts, but let's assume not!)
Just test the cam cover bolts, if they are snugged down ok, use a small open wrench and with wrist strength, not your whole arm or you will strip the cam cap studs! Be very careful.
It might just need a new gasket (in which case also get 2 half moon rubbers and 4 new red paper washers for the bolts - the rear two have aluminium washers, you can reuse.)

the lights thing: I don't see a problem...they should not go brighter when you rev up!
(the light test was only to test when you crank the starter if the lights go dull or not)
If the alternator is only putting out 13V, then perhaps get a new brush/regulator set (20-30 bucks) and you can put it in yourself, quite easy job.

but you still have a starting problem...it should start almost immediately....it cranks over strongly, but much too long before it catches.

Does it also do that just after a drive? or haven't you had a chance to drive it? (just thinking cold start system, CSI or TTS....you could remove the cold start injector and see if it sprays into a jam jar whilst someone cranks the starter)
are plugs new? What does your rotor and dizzy cap inside look like? photos?
Those leads although a littly rusty on the outside edges of the metal skirts, are probably OK as long as the contact point inside is shiny (and the other ends into the dizzy cap are likewise shiny) but as Aaron says new leads always help if you do not know the age of them...they can break down
So I would look at leads, rotor cap and plugs. The leads I'd get the same type ones with the L shaped metal plug cap.
 

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Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
Ok!
Those old air hoses can be tricky, if they ever come loose you'll stutter or just not start. This isn't just an Alfa thing either...
That looks like what happened. The hose doesn't feel old (to me though) - just was loose or not connected properly? I have a photo of the engine below and if anything it's super clean. (And I haven't cleaned it :) )

the lights thing: I don't see a problem...they should not go brighter when you rev up!
(the light test was only to test when you crank the starter if the lights go dull or not)
If the alternator is only putting out 13V, then perhaps get a new brush/regulator set (20-30 bucks) and you can put it in yourself, quite easy job.
I was doing the test for this comment from @ghnl on -> My 2020 "Slow to Start" Diagnostics thread -...

But I do remember @Norseman50 saying I can get brushes and regulator from (My 2020 "Slow to Start" Diagnostics thread -...) so looks like I should get that going. Figuring that's a Centerline purchase?

oil gathering in the plugs like that comes from either the filler rubber seal (you could try turning the rubber over so it seals on a new area), or it is loose, or a loose cam cover.
If I can get them off I'll check the rubber seal and see if I can shift them or replace.

Does it also do that just after a drive? or haven't you had a chance to drive it? (just thinking cold start system, CSI or TTS....you could remove the cold start injector and see if it sprays into a jam jar whilst someone cranks the starter)
I DID get to drive it (again, yippee!) and It did take a second or two to restart, but honestly nothing like what you saw in the video. So might be cold start related? (Still trying to figure out fuel pressure testers and getting the tools to replace the fuel filter - figuring that will help regardless.)

are plugs new? What does your rotor and dizzy cap inside look like? photos?
Plugs are LODGE I think - not sure how new though.
You tell me where to find the rotor and dizzy cap and I'm happy to take photos. :)

Those plug wires look like they need to be tossed and replaced, you really want to keep fresh wires on the car for it to run right. Now thats not to say it won't run with old wires, as long as electrical juices can flow through all the wires, the car will run.
Those leads although a littly rusty on the outside edges of the metal skirts, are probably OK as long as the contact point inside is shiny (and the other ends into the dizzy cap are likewise shiny) but as Aaron says new leads always help if you do not know the age of them...they can break down
So I would look at leads, rotor cap and plugs. The leads I'd get the same type ones with the L shaped metal plug cap.
Interesting re: the wires.

The ends look pretty beat up but the wires themselves, from the outside, feel new-ish (to novice me).
2020-06-13 16.23.11.jpg 2020-06-13 16.23.46.jpg

I have a pile of receipts from the PO - I can see if there's anything in there about when they were bought.
Here's a blurry shot of what I could get of the inside.

2020-06-13 16.33.17.jpg

I'll get a can of what @jcslocum recommended and clean them at least.

You're making good progress though, you have a fun car just waiting to be brightened up
Thank you! Appreciate the comment! I'm really enjoying learning about it - and sorry if I'm moving super slow at diagnostics for you guys. I promise to share the patience forward to future memebers :)
 

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By oil filler seal I just meant the oil filler cap, unscrew it and inside is a flat rubber seal
By dizzy cap I meant distributor cap ( the spark plug leads come from there)
Unclip it and check inside that the 4 contacts are clean etc
 

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Discussion Starter #26
By oil filler seal I just meant the oil filler cap, unscrew it and inside is a flat rubber seal
Got it - will do. Question though - how would the seal there affect oil in the areas around the spark plugs?

By dizzy cap I meant distributor cap ( the spark plug leads come from there)
Unclip it and check inside that the 4 contacts are clean etc
Ahh - makes sense now :) Thank you! Adding to the list.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
I think your looking at a fuel issue. Delivery or pressure. Maybe a gas cap that the vent is blocked too.
I did have a fuel smell in the trunk of the car last year - haven't really driven it enough this year to see if it's returned. I replaced one of the fuel lines from the tank to the line that feeds the engine b/c I felt the smell was coming from there.

I've opened the gas cap and it has seemed fine I think (no hiss). Looking at buying a fuel pressure tester, but honestly overwhelmed at the options. Any things to consider when getting one? They're like $12 to $200 :oops:
 

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Looking at buying a fuel pressure tester, but honestly overwhelmed at the options. Any things to consider when getting one? They're like $12 to $200 :oops:
earlier I suggested check the fuel pressure regulator.
if the regulator (FPR) is bust, you just replace it.
I have marked it here, on top is a small vacuum hose....follow this short hose down to the air intake plenum and pull it off the plenum...suck on that hose, ithe FPR has to hold vacuum and there must be no raw fuel in the hose.

engine1.jpg
 

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Be sure to blow out the holes the plugs are in with compressed air BEFORE you remove them. If you don't all the crud collected in there goes into your engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
earlier I suggested check the fuel pressure regulator.
if the regulator (FPR) is bust, you just replace it.
I have marked it here, on top is a small vacuum hose....follow this short hose down to the air intake plenum and pull it off the plenum...suck on that hose, ithe FPR has to hold vacuum and there must be no raw fuel in the hose.

View attachment 1634505
Thanks!
Checked that tonight.
No fuel in the hose and when I sucked on it no fuel came through (and there was none in it.
Green is start of the hose, red is where it connected.



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Discussion Starter #31
Be sure to blow out the holes the plugs are in with compressed air BEFORE you remove them. If you don't all the crud collected in there goes into your engine.
Yes thank you!

Glad you mentioned it. I wouldn’t have thought to do that if I didn’t see it on Chris Fix :).

I don’t have a compressor (yet.. Father’s Day is soon tho. ) so I used shop towels wrapped around a screwdriver and an old lens camera cleaner to blow stuff out of the way.



Sometimes you need to make do.


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hard to see, but within that red circle, is that a hose missing from one of the nipples there? (I marked it in green)
If so it needs to be connected (or at least blocked off) or the vacuum required for the FPR will be affected.

hose.jpg

the nipples there all have a purpose and any just open to the atmosphere, is a bad thing...
Plenum Vacuums.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #35 (Edited)
So I ran down to my garage in my pajamas this morning and sure enough @spiderserie4 - you have an eagle eye. That valve was missing a hose.
1634605


I tried to follow the line from where it's supposed to connect (comes off the bottom of the Oil vapor separator and should go to the plenum, right?), but the line wedged in down there and in the 10 minutes I had I couldn't see where the line ended.


1634617

1634618



While poking around I found this just sitting. Anyone know what it is and what it's supposed to be connected to?

1634614
 

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that is a thermo switch for the AC fan run-on function (ie. when you turn off the engine the fan runs on a bit if it needs to cool)
It is screwed to your radiator shroud:
fan shroud.jpg

and yes that hose on the OVS (you have traced it exactly correct in that diagram you posted!) is probably dangling loose somewhere....hook it up to the middle nipple on the plenum and I bet your will get an easier start.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
So I connected the hose to the OVS and I did have one clean start, but haven’t replicated that since.
Not sure if it’s because the battery wasn’t fully charged (forgot to check it) or something else. Need to do a cold test, battery on the charger, removed to let surface charge dissipate, and checked before turning the key.

Is the way I ran this hose okay?

Concerned it’s too close to the throttle and other things. Unless I go over the plenum not sure how else to do it and don’t have anything to compare it to.

I also checked the distributor cap. I had about 10 min the day I checked it so couldn’t get in there to really take the cover off and check all the wires, BUT I did see this one end is split.


Plan on a better inspection next opportunity.

I did get a good 90 min Father’s Day drive in today. Good stuff.


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yes that one split rubber on the coil HT lead certainly needs checking.
To remove the distributor 'splash guard' there are two spring clips, one you have removed, but there is a smaller one at the bottom, with a big loop in it so you can get a finger in there and simply pull it off.
you can see it here:
distributor splash cover.JPG
Once splash guard is off, unclip the dist. cap and look inside for any signs of arcing or burning. Check the rotor is not burned and clean. Check the carbon brush in centre of cap is good and still springy.

Also remove each of the leads from the cap (if you do one at a time you will not mix them up!) and check the contacts have not corroded or you notice signs of greenish gunge. If so replace the lead set
(In fact replacement leads might not be a bad thing in any case!) and the cap and rotor.

the 'Bosch type' leads with the metal ends (and right angled cap so the one lead fits under the big air hose) can be got from Kingsborne leads
88 Alfa Spider spark plugs and gap
 

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Discussion Starter #39 (Edited)
photos of center wire and broken pieces in gallery below 👇

View media item 3912Click this photo for a series of other images. Or here Alfa Romeo Forums

Haven’t gotten to open the cap yet (do I need to disconnect the battery to do it?) but looked at the wires and noted the center one is totally broken and I found this little piece floating inside the splash guard.

will look for those new leads, @spiderserie4 Thanks for the link!

distributor cap looks cracked too



Anything easy to move/remove to get easier access to the distributor? It’s hard to get in there 😬

Note: gallery doesn’t work on TapTalk and can upload photos directly if folks need them.
 
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