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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Things got dicey last night. Running fine for miles, perfectly warmed up, no problems. As I turned left across a busy street, the engine reverted to limp mode. I barely made it through the break in traffic. No fun.

The engine was chugging loudly when I pulled into the garage, and died before I could even pop the hood to try and diagnose. When I fired it back up, which seemed to take more cranking than normal (it usually fires right up), no problems.

It really felt like it was running on 3 cylinders at most, so I suspect it has to be an issue with the distributor. The cap and rotor are only about a year old, although I realize that doesn't preclude a problem. If it was a mechanical issue, a clogged fuel line, something like that, then I don't see how it could come and go so randomly. An electrical problem might.

One other thing I noticed. The battery warning light was glowing, and would get brighter when I came to an idle stop. The battery was just checked out a few months ago and was perfectly fine. Failing distributor? Could that explain the random power loss issue? Any ideas?

Will not drive the car until I get this sorted out, as the problem is potentially quite dangerous. Seriously. A little pee came out.:oops:
 

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Did you check that the alternator belt is tensioned?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yep. Just a bit of deflection. Belt is maybe 3 years old?

The search tool on this site doesn't dig deep enough. I've found several ancient threads using Google that have been helpful. Lots of fingers pointing to the ECU.

FYI, I recently cleaned and reseated all of the grounds, had the injectors cleaned by Greg Gordon's shop, replaced plugs, dizzy cap and rotor, several vacuum hoses including the plenum connectors, new air filter, cleaned and crack-checked AFM snorkus, and new connectors to TPS, CSI, and TTS.

I've been having this problem for over a year. It began last fall. I thought it was a bad connection to the impulse generator but that didn't solve it. besides, that would likely cause the engine to straight up die. Mine continues to run, but with NO power. Previously it would lose guts for just a second or two, but now it's falling down and staying down until I switch off and restart.
 

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It is possible that something is causing your fuel pressure to drop. I had a run of fuel pressure problems when I first got my GTV6 and I hooked a pressure gauge into the hose going to the cold start injector. Even if the fuel pressure is OK, it is good to be able to confirm it easily when you are chasing problems. Mine is from Harbor Freight and it was inexpensive and it has been trouble free for a number of years.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Worth a try! Could it be crud in the tank? I replaced the filter maybe 6 months ago. I wish I knew of a safe and relatively easy to cut it open and see if it's clogged. I bought four from Rock Auto, since they were so cheap but shipping so expensive.

I'm planning to start over with Greg's L-Jet guide, then delve into electrics.
 

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One other thing I noticed. The battery warning light was glowing, and would get brighter when I came to an idle stop.
Can you connect a voltmeter and see what it reads under various conditions & different places? L-jet is also fussy about system voltage. If it drops too low the EFI computer doesn't function right.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yep. That was going to be the second step after going back through Greg's L-Jet tuneup. Recheck hoses, clamps, MAF, etc. first, before going down that wormhole of doom that is Alfa electrics.
 

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How well are your wires seated between distributor and plugs?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Perfectly, best as I can tell. Dielectric grease and everything. Not to say I don't have a shorted wire that's dropping spark, but it would take several failing at the same time to create the sort of power loss I experienced.

Wondering if, as has been suggested, the finicky nature of L-Jet with regard to voltage isn't the issue though. Possibly a bad connection between the battery and alternator, a failing alternator, or something related.
 

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Start the car disconnect the battery while running, if dies alternator. Could just change the regulator on the back of it. 90% chance of fixing it.
 

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Had a problem this summer with my race car. It would run with the battery disconnected, but if I turn on the lights it died. Put a GTV-6 Alternator in it.
You may want to do that as well if it continues to run.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
All suggestions on the menu for this weekend.

Question - wouldn't the engine simply die if I was losing voltage form the coil? That part seems to be a common point of failure, especially if it's original, but it also seems it causes the engine to totally die.

I also suspect the points could use a cleaning, but that seems like it would be an all-the time sort of problem.

It's the intermittent nature of mine that's so weird. I'm still leaning toward a weak electrical connection somewhere under the hood.
 

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No POINTS in a GTV-6. Check what I said. I also had a bad coil wire on GiGi this year. Ran weird sometimes and it was the wire. Make sure to take it out and inspect it, especially at the coil. Mine was burn't bad. Changed the wire fixed. Forgot about that one! I had a BAD Alfa season.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Gotta be electrical. I'll check that coil wire first as it's given me problems in the past (although that's because it was loose in the coil and causing the engine to randomly die), then on to the alternator, etc.
 

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All suggestions on the menu for this weekend.

Question - wouldn't the engine simply die if I was losing voltage form the coil? That part seems to be a common point of failure, especially if it's original, but it also seems it causes the engine to totally die.

I also suspect the points could use a cleaning, but that seems like it would be an all-the time sort of problem.

It's the intermittent nature of mine that's so weird. I'm still leaning toward a weak electrical connection somewhere under the hood.
I wonder if you're getting a bad short somewhere that's really loading up the charging system to the point nothing can run properly. I agree with pulling the negative terminal and see if it keeps running but you might also check for wiring harness issues.
 

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You can always try the old trick of running the engine in the dark in your garage and check for electrical arcing. Probably won't help but you might get lucky.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So the coil wire was loose in the coil. The boot was applying enough pressure to keep it more or less in place. Given it never actually died, could the crummy connection have been the problem? I have a cheap plug wire test light and all six fired with no issues so I don't think it's a failed wire. They're a fairly new set (less than 5 years old).
 

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That certainly could contribute to the problem. Can't you just spread the connecter out on the end of the wire so it stays firmly in the coil?
 
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