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Discussion Starter #1
I need a couple of people who are familiar with the SPICA fuel supply system to proof-read a troubleshooting guide I wrote. The guide will be finished this weekend. Any takers?

Given the ongoing demise of SPICA Injected Alfa's, I'd like to do everything possible to give new/novice owners the knowledge to troubleshoot the system easily and not become frustrated and dump the injection pump for carbs.

Perhaps if Simon thinks it's suitable, this can be the start of a series of Tech Library articles on AlfaBB, all contributed by other fellow Alfisiti.
 

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Hi:

I've been driving Spica Alfa's since the late 70's, and I'll be glad to take a look at the diagnostics guide you've put together. I can readi it in just about any format, so ifi you like, just send what you've got to my email: [email protected]

Regards,

Dean W. Cains
Lutz, FL
'74 & '87 Spider Veloce's
 

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Great idea RT! I'll proofread it too if you'd like.

Welcome aboard Dean. Glad to see you made it to the BB.
 

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Roadtrip,

You are my hero. I love my Spica injection and will never (probably) exchange it for carbs. So, armed with a diagnostic manual and Wes Ingram's manual I may be able to keep it pumping for may years to come.

Regards,

Garrett
 

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Me too! Please send me a copy and I will even try it out on my spider. Nice going!! Please email to [email protected]


Q-man
78 Spider

Roadtrip said:
I need a couple of people who are familiar with the SPICA fuel supply system to proof-read a troubleshooting guide I wrote. The guide will be finished this weekend. Any takers?

Given the ongoing demise of SPICA Injected Alfa's, I'd like to do everything possible to give new/novice owners the knowledge to troubleshoot the system easily and not become frustrated and dump the injection pump for carbs.

Perhaps if Simon thinks it's suitable, this can be the start of a series of Tech Library articles on AlfaBB, all contributed by other fellow Alfisiti.
 

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Road Trip, Your timing is great, I think my spica needs attention! Please E-mail the diagnostics to me for proofing and putting..

Thanks
 

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So what is the latest on your Spica trouble shooting guide?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's coming along. I didn't like the way I organized it at first, so I'm changing it. This has turned into a bigger monster than I had first envisioned. My emphasis is on the owner/mechanic

Part 1 - System Description - Needs editing. I keep finding stuff out and adding to it. I've got to stop somewhere.

Part 2 - Troubleshooting/Repair Guide - down to final edit

Part 3 - Emergency Limp-in Repairs - down to final edit

Part 4 - Fuel Supply System Troubleshooting/Repair - Complete

Part 5 - Removing and Replacing the FI Pump - Just finishing up a R&R on my own car to fix a bad microswitch. Incorporating stuff I learned along the way . . . such as the easiest way to hook the fuel pipes back up.

Part 6 - Tune-up - Half done

Part 7 - Buying a SPICA injected Alfa - down to final edit
 

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Hello again Roadtrip, Thanks for all the valuable info on the fuel system on my 76 Spider. I feel I am very familiar with the whole system now and will be happy to provide some input. Hope all went well with your pump r&r.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If you have any suggestions to improve the fuel supply guide, I'd be grateful. Another thing slowing progress on the SPICA guide is getting good pictures. I shot one roll of film but I'm not happy with it. Color balance all off after using incandecent light vice natural light. I'll try again next week.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Top of gas tank - 74 or earlier & 75 or later
Top of forward FISPA Fuel Filter - 74 or earlier & 75 or later
Fuel Supply Pump & Mounting
Top of SPICA FI Pump installed in engine compartment
In-tank fuel sender/in-tank boost pump assembly - 80-81 cars
 

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OK, this looks like the right thread to help me solve my fuel supply riddle.

The setup -

Freshly rebulit 1750 w/ Spica.

The problem -

Car runs great on the first 2-3 gallons of fuel in a full tank. After 50 miles or so it develps an intermittant miss. Topping off the tank makes the miss go away.

What have I done? -

Checked to see if the miss is ignition related by pulling plug wires one at a time. All ignition seems to be fine.

Suspected contaminated fuel, so I disconnected the fuel line from the filter to the injection pump. I then pumped all eleven gallons of fuel into fuel cans, expecting to see water or some other contaminate. The fuel is clean.

I did note that there were intermittant air bubbles in the stream of fuel. I am not sure if they were in the first two gallons or not, but I did not think that they should be there.

Does this sound normal? I cannot imagine how air could get into the line. I would think that it would have to be after the pump, but maybe this is a sign that the pump is going bad?

Any help would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
1. Is it at any particular rpm or throttle position, or load condition like going up hill.
2. You say it's only after the car has completely warmed up, right?
3. Are you getting a fuel low-pressure warning light, even just a momentary flash or just intermittently?
4. When you first start the car in the morning does it take a long time for the fuel low-pressure light to go off?
5. Have you checked the wire from the coil to the underside of the distributor? There's a spade connector under there that can get corroded and loose. Are the plug wires fairly new? Have you looked at the spark plug wires with the engine running at night and no lights to check for any arcing that you couldn't see during the daylight?
6. Have the fuel filters been changed recently?
7. What type of fuel supply pump is in the car? Does it have ports that are 90 deg from each other or inline with each other on either end of the pump?
8. Are the connections to the supply pump clean and tight?

After eliminating the possibility of an ignition problem, my guess is a failing supply pump,especially. After a period of operation it gets hot and starts to cavitate. Stopping for fuel allows it to cool and also adding cold fuel helps.
 

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Fuel Supply problems

Roadtrip: I recently bought my first Alfa from a guy in Minneapolis.My plan was to drive it back here (Medford, Oregon) About 80 miles east of Souix Falls the car let out a big "Whoomp" and lost power. I pulled over and grabbed the "Alfa Bible." I remembered reading about the boiling problem and though the weather was cool I thought that was the problem. Per the "Bible" the car started about 30 minutes later and ran fine. For twenty miles, then did it again. Anyway I thought it was a fuel starvation problem. Nursed it into Souix Falls where I started messing around, holding my foot to the floor as if it was flooded. The engine tried to respond but not much power. Anyway the short story is I rented a U-Haul and trailered the car the rest of the way. Do you think the problem is with the deceralation module on the fuel injection? The engine backfires when slowing and in gear. The car runs fine between here and work, must like the warmer weather. Wish I'd known you were in SD when I trailered through. I could of bough a new injector unit for the cost of the U-Haul. I like the SPICA system and am determined to figure it out. Will you be making your troubleshooting guide available? Thanks
Phil Messina [email protected]
 

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Just a follow up to my on going fuel challenge. After a few emails back and forth with Wes Ingram, we determined that it is not a Spica problem.

So even though the filters are new and the fuel tank was flushed, it looks like a fuel supply problem. I bought a reconditioned fuel pump from John Norman at Alfa Parts - it made no difference. So I put another new fuel filter on - It ran great just about long enough to get the engine up to operating temperature. At this point I believe that my tank must be rusting itself apart from the inside out.

I plan to have it boiled out and coated with some sort of coating, throw a new filter on and see if I can put some miles on it!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Phil -
Bad luck, guy. Sorry to hear you got stranded. Too bad it didn't happen in Rapid City. I live about 5 miles from the interstate highway . . . could have had you fixed up . . . . providing I was in town (which I'm often not). I'll have to hand it to you . . . . you've got some major cajones buying an old Alfa, then trying to drive it 2000 miles without a really thorough going over and some spare parts. Pretty lonely out there on the prairie with a dead "Eye-tal-ian" car (as the locals would say.)

Questions:
1. Was the fuel low pressure warning light operational when you picked up the car, i.e. did it flash on initially when you turned the key on, then go off?

2. Did the low pressure warning light preceed the fuel starvation symptoms you described?

3. What year and model is it?

My bet is on a failing fuel supply pump. All the symptoms you describe are typical of a failing pump. Ask me how I know that. I'll bet that you didn't even know about the fuel low pressure warning light, much less that it didn't even work.

Doubt that it's a shorted "on" fuel cutoff solenoid. If the switch fails "on" it sends a shutdown signal to the FCS and it immediately stops all fuel delivery. Ask me how I know that. When that happens, the engine stops . . . . like right now. The get-home fix to that is to just pull the electrical lead off the FCS and tape it. The only ramification of doing that is that the car will burble and may backfire a bit on decel. There is a redundant internal cutoff also in the pump. The FCS is just more efficient at cutting off all the fuel.

If you say you're having backfiring problems, it could be that the FCS systems has failed "off" and all you have is the internal one working. You can test the FCS system by attaching a test light from the top of the FCS to a ground source. Rev the engine to 3000 rpm or so, then let off the throttle. If the switch under the pump is working, the light will come on when you cutoff the throttle, then come back on at about 1300 rpm when fuel delivery is restored (to allow the engine to recover to idle).

Answer those questions above and we'll get to the bottom of the problem pronto.

A copy of the Fuel Supply Systems Diagnostics is in the email.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Jeff - Wait a minute. Checking the tank is a good idea, but it'd have to the consistancy of Missouri River water to clog a filter in 10 minutes. Did the pump start to sound labored? Did the fuel low pressure warning light come on when the engine started running badly? What type of supply pump did you replace your original with? If it was a L-Jetronic supply pump, you're going to need to modify the outlet port on the FI pump to 1/16" in order to get the correct line pressure. During the production run, Alfa had several different size ports depending on the year. Are you sure you're getting the full monty of electrical current to the supply pump? It's VERY sensitive to undervoltages. Let me know.

If you'd like a copy of the diagnostics guide, PM me your email address.
 

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I have had a tank filter clog up in 10 miles when I had rust (or what ever it was) in my '71 GTV tank. That's when the radiator shop blew up my 14 gal. tank from my '73 GTV doner car that I was going to put in.
 

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Spica drive belt

Hi Folks another newbie question.
My Spica drive belt broke on a recent drive and I have Wes Ingram's Book to help. However, in the replacement section it is not clear how to snake the new belt on. I have removed the cover which helps immensely, but how much of the front pulleys, waterpump alternator has to be removed in order to get the belt over the engine drive pulley?
Also I'm having trouble seeing the Pump Mark, I can find all of the others but not the pump mark? Time for new Bifocals?
 
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