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Hi my name is Jackie Holder and i just bought a 1981 Alfa Romeo Spider and in order to pass a SMOG check in CA I need an Air induction pump. I also need a manual and any advice you can offer. :) This is my first car and I am utterly clueless about its operation and maintenance.

Jackie :confused:
 

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Where in ca are you? If your in la I have a guy that will pass you for 100 regardless of what your car smog says. Also there is a junkyard in sun valley to get parts.
 

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im in Rancho Cucamonga, i would like to get it fixed any ways. It kinda stinks, smells like those toy cars at Disneyland.
 

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Jackie,

For your first car and having limited skills, you have jumped into the deep end of the car pool. Read everything you can here and find a good Alfa mechanic to use.

Good luck!
 

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Have him create an account here and people can communicate with him by PM. This could be a pretty good father/son project. Show us pictures!
 

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Have him create an account here and people can communicate with him by PM. This could be a pretty good father/son project. Show us pictures!
Or father/daughter project :)
 

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1984 GTV6, 1973 Berlina, 1987 Milano
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If I remember correctly 1981 had some very unique smog equipment, and was a low point for power for Alfa. You might consider moving into a 1982 or newer Spider if you're not too in love with this one already.

But either way, good luck, and welcome! My first car was a '74 Spider.
 

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My dad know more Is there a way i can give you his email?
Plus, you need to hear all of this and learn it. It's your car, you're the guy that's gotta deal with it when it gives you problems somewhere out on the road (make sure you have your cell phone with you!).

Welcome, congrats, etc.

Chris
 

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If I remember correctly 1981 had some very unique smog equipment, and was a low point for power for Alfa. You might consider moving into a 1982 or newer Spider if you're not too in love with this one already.
Indeed, an '81 Spider plus CA smog will be quite the challenge for a first car. I suspect you're going to want to pull in the services of a pro, if not to fix it at least to give you a list of needs before you decide whether to proceed.

Also, if you bought it in CA the seller is responsible for smogging it. Did you buy it without a smog certificate?
 

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That is correct, the car has to be smogged before the sale in CA. I know Cuca is a bit off the beaten path but if that car is a real problem, take it to Alfa Milano on La Cienega Blvd (about 1.5 mi north of the I-10 Freeway). I would call 310-652-2404 for an appt though. Ask for Aquiles Gemba, the owner. Your car will be put back into proper working order.
 

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81 Spica system!!

Hi
The 80-81 Spica system uses a single butterfly intake and a large aluminum air plenum. The adjustments are hidden in the bottom of the plenum and a special "Alfa only" tool is required to make adjustments. Here in the East, we frequently convert these cars to the 78-79 4 butterfly system, which is more easily adjusted. I'm not sure if you can do that in Cal. If the car is running rich and smells bad, it will take more than just replacing the air pump. The mixture will have to be adjusted as well. Take it to a "GOOD" Alfa mechanic, as has been suggested.
KG
Alfas Unlimited
CT.
 

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I also have a 1981 spider as my first car, and have been driving it for a few years. The engine was totally stock, with all emission equipment intact until last month (finally retrofit 4-valve intake manifold), so I can testify that all of this is true. Since your car smells, either the engine is running rich, or you have an old catalytic converter. If you think the engine is rich, look for the white plastic cap on the SPICA pump (its hard to see because of the monofarfalla, that's something you are going to have to get used to :p ). If the white cap on the adjustment screw is missing, then somebody went and boogered up the fuel injection. The only way to get that fixed properly is to pay somebody a lot of money to recalibrate your SPICA pump. There are DIY tuning methods out there to deal with poorly tuned SPICA's, but they don't work on the 1981 model because of the monofarfalla setup. If your engine is running rich, that is something you may want to fix because it could poison your catalytic converter (if it hasn't already) and contribute to the stink, also making you fail emissions next time.

What the previous poster said about tuning idle is true (about the special tool). However, from my experience with this model year, if your idle is messed up/needs adjustments, you would be better off looking for leaks in the EGR system (it has many bellows fittings which eventually rust and weaken) which may have a substantial impact on idle (EGR is connected to the monofarfalla by an approx 1" ID opening, which can amount to a substantial vacuum leak). That is much better than trying to unravel the mysteries of tuning the idle on the monofarfalla system. I never did figure it out, but if it is like anything else monofarfalla-related, it is probably difficult and time consuming. Best of luck, and have fun!

Ian
1981 spider (daily driver)
1979 'spider' (mostly a heap of bondo, rust, and spare parts)
 

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Ian,

I'm in the process of changing my monofarfalle 1981 to an earlier ('74?) set-up. Since it sounds like you just completed the conversion, is there info you could give me before I start?

Thanks in advance.

Geoff
 
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