Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

I have been taking photos of things as I work through getting Alfie back on the road. Fuel tank/sending unit/pump rust is the big chore I've found so far. Have not cranked it, getting the fuel system sorted, changing all fluids and filters first.

I thought I'd share a link to the photo album where I'm collecting them and making notes to myself should this all take longer than I hope.

https://plus.google.com/photos/111176050916109003072/albums/6084564272690863585

By the way, it's a "Special Edition" paint and the original owner added the roll bar and Ward and Dean (yes. yellow springs) suspension.

Feel free to ask questions and offer advice!

Carey
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Hello again, just reporting what has been done since my last addition to the photo log in December 14. In March I finally got the time and felt I had read enough about using the POR-15 and Muratic Acid to clean the tank that I could proceed. I had used the tank cleaner twice, one quart each time, and got crud out, but there still looked to be more rust that I expected an etch to be able to deal with. So I practiced cleaning some rusty parts in a little of the acid. I have a mask with Organic Vapors filters which I wore when working with the acid, and goggles.

The acid would turn from clear to bright yellow when it "ate" the rust, then to a dark brown when neutralized with the baking soda. In the process a foam was formed like the head on a beer, only it too was a yellow color like the acid had become. I figured it was neutralized when adding more didn't cause anything to happen. The acid and the foam were both a dark brown color.

My main concern treating the tank were the vapors created while the acid worked and again while neutralizing it with baking soda. The result of the baking soda reaction is CO2 and saltwater, so once neutralized completely I could filter out the big pieces and put the liquid down the drain. How much acid would create so much CO2 at a rate which would exhause acid vapors out of the tank? Since the recommended approach is to add acid to water not water to acid when diluting it, I put a gallon or two of water in the fuel tank, then slowly poured small amounts of acid thru a funnel into the tank using gloves, mask and goggles. I'd shake the tank a bit to mix it all up and repeat.

I did this until I started thinking I had enough acid in the tank to make neutralizing it hard enough. Then I started adding the baking soda. After neutralizing the acid and rinsing the tank, I could see clean spots and rusty spots, so I repeated the treatment. I used a little less than a gallon of Muratic acid in both treatments. And a LOT of baking soda.

After the last treatment the inside of the tank looked like new metal. Perfect! I should have taken a photo of the tank at that stage, because I let it sit for a few days before I could get back to it. The POR-15 instructions said the etch was fine with some light surface rust, in fact better, because there would be more for the sealer to grip. So I didn't worry about the flash rust.

I treated the tank with the etch and after collecting the etch into the original bottle for future use rinsed the tank a few times with water. I dumped out all the water I could and set up a fan blowing air into a funnel that was placed into the fill pipe flange and exhaused out the sending unit hole. I set this assembly out in the hot Florida sun during the days and let it run for several days. I'm pretty sure the tank and all it's crevasses were dry.

There are photos of the tank in the etched state and again after the sealer had dried.

https://plus.google.com/photos/111176050916109003072/albums/6084564272690863585

It wasn't until after etching or maybe after the sealer was poured in that I remembered that I had planned on removing the sending unit so the screws would not be frozen into the threaded holes. Ooops! This is one of the problems with letting too much time pass between steps and not writing the planned steps down. Five of the six screws came out, one required more force than the others. The sixth one twisted off and the screw is still in the tank. I need to get a screw (or maybe a Allen head screws?) and extract the remains of the screw. Worse case if the easy-out doesn't work, I'll re-drill and tap the hole with the screw part in place and hope for the best.

That's where things currently stand. The latest photos are all of the inside of the tank thru the fill tube.

Between March and now - 25-May-15 - I was busy learning to play banjo and fiddle for St Patrick's Day gigs, filling flute and whistle orders, and moving my 89 YO mother back to Ohio. I think I again begin to think about getting that screw out and start putting things back together.

Later,

Carey
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Putting the tank back in.

Today is the day to put the tank back in. I considered installing the pump and sending unit in the tank before I put it back in the car, but I don't want to bung up the bits projecting out the top. So I'll tape off all the openings in the tank before reinstalling it because as I recall it was quite the trick to get the tank out, and all manner of scraping and bumping were required. No point letting undercoating scrapings fall in the tank.

I bought some body sealer putty from Advance Auto Parts. It comes in a tube like window caulk. It might be a little softer than the old dumdum what was originally used, but it should do the trick. Since I want to seal water out, I will install the clips that the sheet metal screws will screw into first, then I'll apply the putty. I suppose I could wait for it to skin over hoping it won't stick to everything that touches it, but I might just try putting the tank back in since it is very rainy and humid a skin might take forever to form.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Putting the tank back in.

After taking three or four runs at it by "just wiggling it around until it goes" not! I had a little think on it.

https://plus.google.com/photos/111176050916109003072/albums/6084564272690863585 (go to the end)

Pushing the tank up might push the fuel lines out of the way, given that they are on top of the tank flange as it comes up and out. Not so on the way in. The flange was pushing down and outboard on the hard fuel lines, and nobody was going anywhere.

So I bent the soft metal strap that secures the lines fully open, and zip tied the hard lines as high up out of the way as I could.

I think the tank would have dropped in with very little cussing had it not been covered in undercoating. In hindsight maybe I should have taken the undercoating off. But it has been on since the mid-80's at least, so why mess with success? I guess a silver tank isn't that important. Unless it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Installing the in-tank electric bits

With the tank installed, I decided to fit the sending unit/submersible pump assembly before putting the reinforcing cover plate in place. I seem to recall having a dickens of a time when I replaced the little section of hose between the pump and the output pipe years ago. I suspect the cover was getting in the way.

Since the metal bracket rusted away and they are no longer available, I decided to hang the pump by the little bit of hose with clamps as others have done.

It turns out the pump has terminals and the sending unit has spade connectors, and a couple pieces of wire needed to be fabricated to connect things up. No problem, I have plenty of terminals and tools lying around. But which one is power? I looked and looked around the terminals, on the plastic near the terminals and never did find the +/- symbols. A call to IAP straightened me out. If you look in just the right light they are easier to see. But they are not particularly close to the terminals.



Ten minutes later everything is all hooked up.



Reading that the filter sock should point to the right when installed, I fitted it so that was the case with the terminals on top of the sending unit in their original position. The float arm is going to have to be a little forward or aft of "to the right" since the way the sending unit is welded together it can't point directly right with the holes aligned with the holes in the tank.

Things slipped right in until ... Oops - The sending unit will not seat on the tank opening. The assembly is 8.5 in long and the space to the bottom of the tank is 8.25 in. It's always something.

Having plenty of rubber to work with I trimmed some off each end until I removed 1/4" of length and then clamped things back together. It was nice to see the rubber was intact once I cut off the outer skin. The skin was cracking a little after 12 years in the tank or so.

Well, it went in. Now to replace the tank cover, put the new fuel lines on and get the trunk finished.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
New hoses installed

I bought new hoses for the trunk and under the car. Today they were installed.



It turns out that the two check valves were installed backwards the whole time I owned the car. Following the instructions that came with the hoses pointed out the silver valve was backwards. No mention of the plastic valve was made, so I looked it up on the web and reversed it so the valve will let air into the tank to avoid negative pressure.

I hooked up the battery and could hear both fuel pumps humming. Yea! Time to get the car down off the stands and roll it into the drive and see if it will start. Good project for tomorrow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
It runs! And leaks fuel.

With everything hooked up I put four gallons of gas in the tank and cranked it over. Not even one revolution and it fired right up, acting like it would really like to go for a drive. Sadly there was a stream of fuel leaking out of the main (engine) fuel filter, so I shut it down and am on to sorting that out.

I have a replacement filter element, and have unbolted the old one, but I'll be darn if I can get the filter canister out of it's niche in the engine bay. Guess I'll start taking things apart until it comes out. Sigh...:frown2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
The filter is out, I took apart the plastic housing that was covering it. Is this housing necessary? Once the housing was split in two, those pieces could be wiggled out the bottom. Then the filter and it's base were just small enough to come out the top once the top piece was unbolted (un-nutted?) from the right side of the engine bay. Bolts would be better so you'd have that clearance to get things out. Sigh.

So, is that plastic sheath necessary? I suppose the filter isn't designed to survive much abuse by tools working on neighboring bits. I still have no idea how to get the filter assembly back where it belongs. If you have any ideas, please let me know.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
928 Posts
The filter is out, I took apart the plastic housing that was covering it. Is this housing necessary? Once the housing was split in two, those pieces could be wiggled out the bottom. Then the filter and it's base were just small enough to come out the top once the top piece was unbolted (un-nutted?) from the right side of the engine bay. Bolts would be better so you'd have that clearance to get things out. Sigh.

So, is that plastic sheath necessary? I suppose the filter isn't designed to survive much abuse by tools working on neighboring bits. I still have no idea how to get the filter assembly back where it belongs. If you have any ideas, please let me know.



I'm not sure about the sheath, but I did find that if you take the mounting bracket off, it is much easier. I had wasted 2 hours trying to get the unit out (That Monofarfal intake is a real bear), and once I removed the housing, it was easy.

Mo in NJ
81 Spider
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Mo. I take it you left the sheath off with no ill effects?

Getting the old gasket out will be easier with the bracket movable. I too spent about two hours on the puzzle. The fuel tank was easier!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Status: Running well, starting intermittently

Not exactly intermittently, but the starter will only crank when the car is cold - as in sitting for several hours, or hot as is just switched off. Don't run into a store and expect it to crank when you come out again.

Before we get to that, I should mention that my Thermostatic Actuator has crapped out years ago, and I was tolerating the rich running an black soot on the floor since I didn't drive the car that much.

Since I was in the mood to tinker after putting the tank back in, I made one of the dummy actuators from a 1/4-20 bolt, a washer and a couple nuts as mentioned in THIS THREAD.

Since I live in Florida I just bent the original in-op actuator up out of the way and screwed the dummy in place. It starts fine, since a cold night here is in the middle 80's. Runs much better of course.

So, now that everything is working fine (except the right side high beam and the left side emergency flashers (!?!) ) I'm interested in getting it to start reliably. In southern Ohio I could most always park on a hill and bump it to get it going if needed. Not so in Florida.

What could be the cause of no cranking when very warm to nearly cold? I'm thinking something binding in the starter - bearings? - when the case is cooler than the guts of the starter. Or maybe there is something binding with the flywheel that is temperature related?

Thoughts? I'll post a separate thread in hopes of attracting more eyes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I've managed to get the blue plastic sheath around the filter assembly, and snapped one side. The other side doesn't seem to want to close. I believe I can feel the little bump on the lower casting slotted into the space in the cover. I have placed that bump such that it is not against the wheel well nor such that the snaps are against the wheel well or in the way of the banjo bolts carrying fuel to the injection pump. I did manage to pinch the skin on my finger and raise quite a nice blood blister. What would have been the matter with a little longer hose to position the filter someplace you could actually work on it?

Photos added to the collection HERE
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Starter time

I have added four more photos to the collection at Alfa Spider 1981 fix-up They are a couple partial views of the old starter in place and the new starter on my bench. I was confirming that I had something that would work before I got to taking things apart.

I noticed there was an extra spade connector on the new solenoid, and after calling the vendor and my local mechanic have arrived at the conclusion that the new spade terminal (on the left in the photo) is to supply 12v directly to the coil from the starter during cranking. This aids ignition when the system voltage is low during cranking. My local guy said it was OK to just leave it bare once installed. YMMV.

Trying my wrenches on the bolts, there were a couple I could not get a wrench to slip over, never mind turn. Rather than buy starter wrenches I'm going to visit my friendly local mechanic who will let me use his lift and wrenches and/or do it for me as needed.

This will also be a good time to change the fluid in the clutch, brakes and flush the cooling system since the car will be up in the air and he has someplace to recycle the used fluids.

If you go to the photo collection make sure to read the comments attached to the photos for an explanation of what you are looking at.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top