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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings:
The '84 Spider won't start. Cranks but no ignition. A more mechanically inclined friend came over and we went thru a bunch of stuff. We got it to run as long as we sprayed starting fluid into the intake. We put the multi-tester on the fuel sender in the trunk, got a reading (power to the unit). Got no reading when we tested the fuel pump. Everything was dry between the fuel pump and the engine. I've replaced the combi-relay and the fuel pump relay near the ECU thanks to the wonderful people at IAP!! That resulted in..... nothing. Would this indicate that the fuel pump is merely dead? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Try disconnecting both wires from fuel pump, and then measure the voltage between the wire from the relay and ground with the key in the "on" position. If you don't have voltage (should be battery voltage), then you have an electrical issue, not a fuel-pump issue. Did you replace the in-line fuse near the fuel-pump relay?
 

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May we presume you checked the fuel pump fuse? And if it is of unknown vintage simply replace the fuse.

Does you car have the inertia switch to cut power to the fuel pumps in the event of a accident? That item is failure prone. And it can easily be bypassed by connecting the two wires attached to it together. Somewhere around '83-'84 it was eliminated so you may not have one.

You can jump 12V directly to the fuel pump(s) [there are two - the main pump under the car and an in-tank pump in the tank] to test if either can work. If they run with 12V applied directly then you'll need to figure out why they are not getting power.
 

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on the combo relay by the ECU check to see if all the contacts on the female end are inserted and making contact with the relay....also the inline fuse ...and i check your under dash fuses (when in doubt replace) ...trust me on the combo fuse :) something as simple as a wire not making contact will do it ...
good luck ...i feel your pain .
V/R
Chris
 

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Have you pulled the in-tank pump and sender out? Checked the filter sock? It doesn't take much to make the in-tank pump to fail if anything gets into it. If the in-tank pump has been replaced before, it may no longer have the bracket attached that holds the pump to the sender and if the clamps are not tight enough, has a tendency to fall off the sender. I had this happen on my 88 graduate resulting in much speculation about combi-relay, primary pump, fuses, etc. In-tank pump has always been the culprit!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Success!!! After throwing in the towel and having AAA tow it to the local garage, I believe Crowe22485 was had the best guess. My mechanic found (drum roll please ) A BAD GROUND! Something I've read about many times here on the BB. He also found a "bad wire" from a previous repair. I repair I didn't do!!. They replaced a wire and cleaned the ground point. I can't wait to find out what issues the cleaned ground fixed!! Not bad a $200 repair, all labor and a $29 Massachusetts Safety Inspection sticker, for good measure. Thanks for all the suggestions. Next up new tires and an oil change!!!

Cheers
Marc
 

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Same problem - need some help

Hi. Sounds like I have the same non fuel problem. Battery was disconnected for about a a year. hooked up battery. Car will run on starter fluild but no gas. Tank is full. Checked wires at sender in trunk. Can someone direct me to the in line fuse and module referenced in e-mail tread. It is hard to get under the car. I am currently in NY and it is very hot. Need to get car running to sell and get back to Guam.

Thanks Steve

If someone knows a mechanic in Queens that would be great. The mechanic referenced in earlier posts moved to North Carolina. Too bad for me.
 

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1966-2013
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Definitely see the link provided by Chris above.
Provided you are working with an 82~89 US EFI version anyway.

However, as an immediate thing, and based on the presumption you are working with an L~jet car:
Battery was disconnected for about a year. hooked up battery. Car will run on starter fluid but no gas.
If you do not have at least a bleeding edge minimum of 10.3~10.5 volts at the battery while cranking the ECU will not come online, thus no fuel.

Use a multimeter to check.
How it sounds while cranking and what the dash voltmeter (in a monopod car) indicates is somewhere between zero and none AFA productive useful diagnostic information for the test.
Use a multimeter to check.

That being said, when you turn the key from 'off' to 'on' do you hear the fuel pump(s) run for like 1/2 a second or so?
Like just a quick bzzzt and that's it. (buckle the seatbelt before trying so the warning buzzer doesn't interfere with your hearing)

If yes, then the the pump fuse described above is good.
If no, replace the fuse and should that and the cranking voltage check not bring it, start to chase the deeper information in the aformentioned link.

Cleaning every ground you can possibly find won't hurt a bit either especially as the car has sat up for an extended period of time.
 

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'88 Spider fuel pump relay bad?

I am having similar problems with my '88 Spider.

Was running fine, shut off the car, then on re-start it had a massive stumble. It would start okay, then idle poorly. I did a lot of similar troubleshooting as suggested above and I have found that the main pump is not getting any power. I checked the three fuses (the in-line, #5 and #8) as well as the ground from the pump that mounts on the little rear package shelf. All seems okay.

So now I am wondering if the relay has failed. Is there a way to check this? Like run 12v from the battery directly to the hot of the main fuel pump? I have tried a few local places for a replacement relay and can't find the right one. So I might have to order it, but I sure would like to get the car rolling this weekend.

Any insights on the relay, or ensuring power to the main pump, would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Pete
 

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no fuel

Chris and Tifosi,

Thank you very much, the information is extremely useful. I will embark on this project tomorrow morning. The car cranks over well so I think the battery is fine.

I hope it is the pump fuse. When I booked up the battery there was a spark and maybe that blew the fuse. I hope so as that would be the easier fix. I hate to sell the car but can't get it to Guam.

Thanks again,

Steve
 

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The car cranks over well so I think the battery is fine.
Use a multimeter to check.
How it sounds while cranking and what the dash voltmeter (in a monopod car) indicates is somewhere between zero and none AFA productive useful diagnostic information for the test.
Use a multimeter to check.
 

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Main fuel pump had come loose from mounts ...

Another item I should have stated in my previous post is that when I was looking under the car at the main fuel pump, it had broken loose from its mounting tabs. Actually, the rubber isolator/mounts had de-laminated at the rubber/stud interface. So the pump was hanging by the two electrical leads (although the fuel lines were still connected).

I checked the ground and positive ring connectors, inspected the wires, and all seems fine. But could the dangling main pump have "broken" one of the two electical leads to the pump? That is, somewhere up in the casing I can't see? If so, can I just run a new ground and then a new positive? And will the positive just go to that little in-line fuse?

Thanks,
Pete
 

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It's likely just fine.
What kills them is snapping them off, or overtightening to the point that the stud portion begins to turn inside the housing which in turn rips the contacts apart internally.

Now what you can do to assure good power is to make a jumper wire from the +ive of the in~tank pump to the +ive of the main pump.
They actually connect that way to begin with, so you'd be creating a redundant power circut.
However the factory circut has a lot of extra wire length and goes through at least one harness plug point which 'could' be faulty, loose, corroded, whatever. More length and more connections = more chance for failure.

Basically get you a long wire, tie into one pump, go through a grommet in the trunk (the fuel line one would be good) and directly to the other pump.

Doing such will not effect the fuse or its circut, nor will it bypass/eliminate it.
It's simply making absolutely sure that both pumps get a good power supply.

Cleaning the existing ground won't hurt, nor would outright replacing it with a nice fresh wire and good clean contacts.
 

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no fuel - Mechanic in NY?

Update.

In line fuse was Ok. Connections on module seemed Ok not corrosion and seemed tight. Bought a meter, don't know how to use but will test tomorrow to see if pump is getting power.

Will charge the battery over night just to make sure.

Thanks again. Everyone has been real helpful.

If someone has a recommendation for a mechanic in NY that would be great. In case my very limite skills can't make this happen.

Thanks Steve
 

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no fuel

continued update.

The pump under the car is getting power. I found someone to turn the key while I was holding the pump. The pump made a shudder then stopped.

Does this mean that pump is Ok and problem is clogged line or injector?

Thanks

Steve
 

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Victory to the Forum and Shade Tree Mechanics Everywhere

Udpate.

I was about to start taking things apart to figuer this out. As fate would have I charged the batter over night. I was about to jack up the car and put on stands so I could get at the pump and at the last second I thought let me turn the key for the hell of it. Started right up. Drove it around the neighborhood and all worked fine.

Funny, the battery was strong enough to turn the cover over and run on either but not high enough voltage for the pump.

Thanks to everyone to taking the time to comment. It was very helpful to someone who can barely turn a wrench.

The car is listed on e bay. If you want to check out. 85 Alfa Red with Roll Bar. I don't know how to insert the link.
 
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