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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I recently purchased my first Alfa -- an '85 Spider Veloce. I've owned VWs, BMWs, and Toyotas before and am fairly comfortable working on them, but I can tell it is going to take some getting used to the Alfa.

Yesterday, while driving, the car felt like it was going to stall from a lack of fuel to the engine. It didn't stall, but also would not rev about 1000 rpm. After about 30 seconds, whatever the issue was cleared, and the car returned to normal (i.e., was driveable). This occurred a couple of times more, and each time, the issue cleared so that I could drive it home. Now, the car will crank but won't start.

My guess is that the fuel pump is dying, but is not quite dead yet. When I turn the key to "on", the main fuel pump makes some noise, so it is getting power, but when I disconnected the fuel hose at the fuel filter, there was only a trickle of fuel.

Has anyone had these symptoms, and how did you resolve the issue? Thanks for all of your help.
 

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Welcome to the Alfa "sickness."

You will find that these cars are great cars and everyday drivers- once you get all the quirks fixed. They are quirky little cars...but having owned VWs and BMWs, you should be able to work on the Alfa. I say quirky, because you'll find that you'll be having these same weird problems, such as having to clean your fuses, oil vapor separator, VVT mount, engine mounts, and other things other cars never suffer from.

The good news is you're at the right place! There is a search feature up at the top. There is also a FAQ section. Peruse through them, and read the shop manual. If you don't have one, buy a shop manual. International Auto Parts, and Centerline Alfa Romeo sell parts and manuals, these are just two companies that sell Alfa parts I'm familiar with....

I don't even know if the 85 Spider had fuel injection??

If it does, there is a fuse and relay behind the seats. You're better off using the search feature and reading what others have posted. This is a common problem. I haven't had it yet, but I have started cleaning my fuses, remounted my VVT solenoind, cured the glowing alternator light, repaired numerous electrical problems with the lights. I drive the car everyday to and from work. It hasn't left me on the side of the road yet. The day it does, someone will get a 1986 Grad for less than what a corvette owner pays for insurance for 6 months.
 

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1966-2013
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I don't even know if the 85 Spider had fuel injection??
Yup, it's EFI (unless someone 'improved' it with carbs or something...)
82~89 for L-jet, 90~94 for Motronic.

slowboy89:
Please to click the diagnostics link in my sig block to jump to a most excellent L-jet writeup by some really special, gracious, intelligent, caring, celebrated and handsome folks from here at the forum.

And we'll be requiring pictures of some type.
Most anything will do, including those of your car.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you very much for the guidance. I'll get started troubleshooting and will post some pics when I'm up and running again.

Rich
 

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Check the intake air ducts for leaks - loose connections or splits/cracks in the hoses. All air entering the engine must pass through the Air Flow Meter (AFM). Any air that bypasses the AFM is known as 'false air'. This unmetered air messes up the computer's calculations for how much (if any) fuel to inject. Saggy engine mounts can stress the intake air ducts - yanking them open as the engine torque twists the engine on its mounts.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Check the intake air ducts for leaks - loose connections or splits/cracks in the hoses. All air entering the engine must pass through the Air Flow Meter (AFM). Any air that bypasses the AFM is known as 'false air'. This unmetered air messes up the computer's calculations for how much (if any) fuel to inject. Saggy engine mounts can stress the intake air ducts - yanking them open as the engine torque twists the engine on its mounts.
Thanks. As I was finishing up working on it today, I noticed that the intake duct had a slight tear at the hose clamp where the two parts are joined directly above the spark plugs. I'll give that a try to see if that's the problem.
 

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There are two fuel pumps. An in line that is on the passenger side and one that is in the tank. I had a problem with my in tank that was close to what you are experiencing but there are a lot of things it can be. If the car won't start, check out the link that Darren has.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks to everyone's help. I've been slugging through Eric and Greg's L-Jet troubleshooting guide -- what a great resource. I've found some things that needed attention (such as some cracked vacuum lines and an out-of-adjustment TPS). Unfortunately, they have not solved my starting problem.

I'm now fairly certain that the issue is with the main fuel pump. I checked the fuel pressure at the line to the CSI per the write-up, and it barely registers. The in-tank pump turns on when the key is put to the "on" position, but the main pump doesn't seem to do anything either at "on" or at "start" when the engine is trying to turn over.

I measured the voltage at the main pump, and it is 8.0 v across the two terminals at "on" and about 6.6 v at "start". (The battery is about 12.5 v and 10.3 v during at "start"). Should the voltage at the pump be higher, or is that about right? I feel I should replace the pump anyway, but am I going the right direction on this?
 

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I measured the voltage at the main pump, and it is 8.0 v across the two terminals at "on" and about 6.6 v at "start".
Well, that's not good. Voltage at the pump should be the same as battery voltage during cranking/engine running and zero volts with key on engine off (after about a half second or so after key on). And 10.3 cranking volts is low enough that the ECUs may not be coming online (charge the battery).
Sounds like you could use a wiring diagram. Please send me your email address in a private message and I'll send them to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thanks to everyone for all of their help on my first Alfa issue. I replaced the main fuel pump today and life is good again. This weekend's project will be to replace a leaking oil-pan gasket and to put the finishing touches on the new rear shelf that I built to replace what was left of the original.

I said that I would post some pictures when I was up and going again, so here you go.


 

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Hi Sloboy89,

If you're looking for Alfa parts/service or manuals, know that you're really close to Vick Autosport located in Fort Worth-- probably a 30 minute drive on I20 from where you are.

www.vickauto.com
Vick Autosports
5200 Vesta Farley Road
Fort Worth, TX 76119

Phone: 817-572-7793
Fax: 817-483-1104
Toll-free: 800-466-3428
[email protected]

Galliano
 

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nice looking car... and everyone knows that the 'RED ' cars are the fastest:)
 

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hi tifosi...to funny:):) a question,, have you seen the road yet..or still snow? got my car running agian, after some improvements..sunny monday, tuesday wensday, and this morning.. then just as way getting ready for a test drive......... you know it...it started raining...
 

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1966-2013
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Nah, it's still crap around here.
Supposed to be like an inch more snow tonight, then rain for the rest of the week.
Currently we're under high wind and possible flood advisories.

Regardless, road conditions are **** anyway with salt, sand and all the new potholes that grew over winter.
(got one at the end of my street that's big enough to eat a whole wheel)
 

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71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
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I knew a guy in Bryan who restored a Giulia Spider when I was at school there. A true old school craftsman in every sense of the word. Absoulutly the best Giulia I've ever seen in every way. Don't know if he still has it but if you see a red Giulia Spider running around town chase him down.
 

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Cool Darren! You've been promoted to a "Sir".:D:D


Donch u start puttin on any of them thar' airs now"
 

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I had the same problems with my 91 Spider and also changed the main fuel pump...however, less than 6 months later the same problem...had to change out the gas tank, in tank fuel pump and filter and main fuel pump and filter and is running fine now and happily reving up to 6K RPM'S,,so if the problem comes back you need to look at your fuel tank to make sure there is no rust,if there is it needs to be changed or recoated..,,.
 
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