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Discussion Starter #1
Per my introductory post regarding my new 87 Milano Gold I have been chasing a driveability issue with the Alfa - it has a bit of a surge when accelerating, and has a bit of a miss when cruising at certain RPMs (usually between 2.5 and 3K). Plus the headlights and dash gauge lights flicker.

I've done the following:

Cleaned all underhood grounds (main battery, banks of grounds on the left and right hand side above headlamps, fuel injector grounds on back of head under intake)

Cleaned all alternator wiring at the junction block on the inner fender

Replaced spark plugs with NGK Iridium Plugs

Replaced AFM with another unit from a parts Milano

The car has a relatively new alternator installed by previous owner. It is not a Bosch unit, but an AC Delco unit that was procured from RockAuto.com. Cost about $90 (think that is what the receipt said).

I am beginning to suspect the alternator. I can try to get the alternator out of the parts Milano, but figured I would just bite the bullet and get a new Bosch unit.

I looked at the prices on Centerline and almost fainted...$500+! I've seen several sites that have reman'd Bosch units for about $150-$170 (i.e. Partsgeek.com). What are your thoughts on the reman'd units? I assume the Centerline alternators are new.

Anyway that's where I am. I did install the Ansa from the parts car, initially for a test fit but the OEM muffler split off at the pipe so the Ansa is now on the car. It has a rust hole in the curved section of the pipe, so we'll have to weld in a patch. Quite a bit louder, especially with the hole!
 

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Don't think it would be the alternator. Is the alt red light on when driving? If not, it is putting out. What does the gauge read at idle, and at cruise?

Anyway, the car will even run ok on the battery for a while as long as it puts out enough voltage if the alt gives out, but in any case, a weirdly acting alt will not cause hesitations in drivability, since it does not appear to affect the ignition directly.

It might be also something such as dirty injectors in addition to an electrical problem. I use Techron now and then in all my Alfas to keep them clean. Seems to have worked, as have never had an injector problem. I'd try that stuff for several fillings (takes several thousand miles I suspect) to fully clean things.

But then again, you say the lights flicker. That does indicate an electrical problem somewhere, but still don't think it would be the alt, UNLESS it isn't putting out, and the battery has been very low because of that. Usually, all it takes is new brushes to refresh these alts.

If nothing else, just try the alt from the parts car first before you do anything rash, lol.
 

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Do you have a digital voltmeter? See what the voltage at the alternator is and whether it's steady or not.
 

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Had the same problem on Da NEW Winta Beata, it sat for 17 years. Had bad main connections to the fuse box. The Big Red wires with the oversized connecter was loose. Tighted them up problem gone. No light flicker, stumbling etc...
Unfortunatually you got to get the fuse box out to check this. Remove the top 2 right relays to get it out, and remove the set screw on the bottom. The 2 BIG wires are on top in the center, back side of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks I'll try tightening those wires.

I put one bottle of Techron in so far, have another one I found in the garage that will go in when I fill up tonight.

I did check voltage when I was troubleshooting the charging issue I had when I first got the car - was reading <12 volts at the battery before I cleaned the wires at the junction and the grounds. After cleaning it was >14 volts at the battery. Car munched its battery on the drive home...it was just letting me know what I signed up for.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Yeah, as suggested above power connections to the fuse box are a very good thing to check!

If that doesn't help, check the voltage again. Not just at the battery, though...a few places in the system and actually monitor it for a while, see if you can figure out what's happening when the lights flicker. It should be ~14V (13.7-ish with a Bosch alternator, but you don't have that) and steady.

Do this at the alternator power lug. Then also do it on some circuit with unswitched power through the fusebox, and then someplace with switched power. They should all be steady.

It's an easy test and may help you narrow down the location of the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I popped the fuse box forward to address main power connections. I found three large red wires at the upper center location as mentioned. I pulled each off, sprayed them with a bit of de-oxit and squeezed the female spade connectors to ensure a bit tighter fit.

This seemed to make a difference as car is not surging as much, but I still have a little bit of surge and the lights still flicker. I think we have found the source.

Should I run the voltmeter at these wires while engine is running to determine which one (or ones) are funky? I don't have access to a wiring diagram or manual, so I am not sure which wire is running directly from the battery (maybe all of them). With fuse box tilted forward and looking down from left to right I had three wires, left most had a white plastic cover over the female spade, center had just the spade connector and the right most had black shrink wrap over the spade.

If any one of these shows voltage dropping/flickering I'd like to remove a section of wire at the end and install a new female spade - that is if I have enough slack in the wire. It looks like a fairly heavy gauge so hopefully I can find a big enough female spade...the two sizes I have on hand are too small for these wires. Any clues to the source of these wires...one seems like it attaches to the positive battery cable with an eye connection (secured with a nut and post on the pot metal of the connector)?

Does that sound like a good plan?
 

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Also had to clean the connection of the RED wire on the Battery Post. It looked clean, but wasn't. This is the main feed from the Battery to the rest of the Electrical system, which corroded would cause this issue. The Battery is your electrical system's main capacitor. If this wire is hooked poorly Voltage fluctuations will occur.

As far as the fuse box I would just clean the terminals and plug it back together. I wouldn't attempt to replace the connectors unless they a busted. Waste of time and effort. If it ain't broke don't fix it!

Try this simple proceedure above, I think this will fix you.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It was the alternator...

Well I sourced a used Milano alternator from Adam's parts car last weekend. Installed it today (to replace the recently installed AC Delco unit from P.O.) and guess what...the surge is gone. Plus the lights are not flickering.

While I was at it I replaced the cap, rotor and wires (had already done the plugs)...car is running great.

Now the bad news...my "Italian tuneup" resulted in a big pow at a 6K RPM shift from 1st to 2nd. I blew out the front guibo...I could feel the chunk hit the floor. Now I've got to source some new ones...these things are $$$$$!!!!

Plus the fuel is leaking at the filler hose...:smile2:
 

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I have owned two Milano Verde's and a GTV6 and each one of them blew the front Giubo. They all fail eventually.
 

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I have owned two Milano Verde's and a GTV6 and each one of them blew the front Giubo. They all fail eventually.
The 2 TA cars I've owned both had failed rear engine mounts and subsequently a failed front coupling.
So the OP should check their rear engine mount too. :wink2:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The 2 TA cars I've owned both had failed rear engine mounts and subsequently a failed front coupling.
So the OP should check their rear engine mount too. :wink2:
You sir, are correct :smile2: with car on jack stands I checked and that rear mount is toast, too.
 

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A popular Alfa Parts supplier sold me a tranny mount that did not fit. It stuck part way in and I had to destroy it to get it out. I bought one that did fit from DiFatta Brothers in Baltimore. A correct sized one goes in easily if you get it cold in your freezer and warm up the housing with a propane torch. You may have to cut the old one to get it out.
 

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You sir, are correct :smile2: with car on jack stands I checked and that rear mount is toast, too.
I fill the voids that are in the mounts. Either a common silicone sealant or Sikaflex. I can't tell you if it helps them to last longer, but the engine definitely moves around less. Tho that is comparing the filled mount with a torn/failed mount............ :whistling:
 
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