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I parked my 76’ last fall with an alternator issue, so unfortunately that meant physically parking it without any of the storage preparation I’d normally do. Two weeks ago I fired it up for the first time and didn’t have a single issue except for some rust on the brake rotors.

Check the oil (you photo is showing that it’s near minimum, or at least lower than I’d be comfortable with) change it if you don’t know when it was changed last, check the tire pressures, put some fresh gas in the tank if there’s room, and you should be okay provided there wasn’t anything catastrophically wrong last season.

For the first drive, I just took mine for a few laps of the block as a precaution, just get the engine up to temperature, and make sure the oil pressure is good. If that works you should be okay to go further.

Unless you left the parking brake on and it seized, or you let all the tires lose air and flat spot or rodents got at it, If it ran well last year, and you stored it properly, which it sounds like you did, it’s unlikely anything major would pop up over the winter from sitting.

Happy driving
 

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Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
Thanks @Andrew Smythe! Your comment is really reassuring and the “it started fine” outcome is what I'm hoping for.
I'm overly precautious often... especially with things I don't know how to diagnos/fix easily... hence this thread. Glad I posed the oil photo. I would have thought that was fine. I'll get oil in the next day or so then attempt a test drive.
 

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My pleasure!

I’m also new to the Alfa world, Only bought mine late last summer after spending many years with old American and English cars.

At first I fell for the “Alfa Romeos are Italian and therefor fragile, finicky cars” stereotype but the more I work on it, it’s very much the same as anything else and in a lot of ways better engineered, maybe just a little quirky if nothing else.

Provided you do the basics like change the oil and keep all the vitals monitored you’ll be fine

They’re much more fun to drive than worry about, trust me :)
 

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Discussion Starter #25 (Edited)
Tried to start it today. Feels same as last season

So I added oil per recs (20w-50, 1 qt)

I think I can add more oil to get to the top mark.

Hooked up the battery (which tested at 12.93 two days ago, but forgot to check before turning the key)

No joy.

I tried for a few minutes - here’s the set of attempts



Similar to what it felt like last year, but I’d keep trying until I got it.
The battery was drained so I charged to 13.40.

After cranking for a bit it started!!

Here’s what it looks and sounds like


Exhaust smells a bit like cleaning fluid. Don’t know how else to describe.

Going to drive up and down the street for a bit to see if I notice anything.

Thanks for everyone’s support!


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👍👍
 

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Discussion Starter #27
That was the most fun 10.7 miles I’ve had in a long time. (Added bonus - they just repaved the main road so it’s perfectly smooth!)

Added air to the tires, at 40 psi now but it was after I drove for a bit. Will check again tomorrow morning after it’s sat.

Will add more oil to get it to the top marking.

Got it up to 50 mph after driving it for 15 min or so. That felt good for me and the car.

@vintagemilano - I did that dipstick test. It dipped a hair and wavered a bit, but nothing substantial. Can take a video of it if that’s helpful. I could hear a slight change too.

The issues from last year are still there (all my finger crossing didn’t help apparently), and I have a new sound from the back of the car that changes with the speed of the car.

BUT overall I’m stoked. I could drive my car again!

Sincere thanks to the folks on this thread (and the whole AlfaBB community).


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40 psi for such a light car ... hmmm. What does Alfa Romeo recommend for these cars?

Pete
 

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Hopefully others will chime in on the dipstick test, I’m not super up to speed on it. It’s good that you have some drop, my understanding is about a 300rpm drop is ideal.
I could find just now to a clean reference for the dipstick test, some also pop off the oil fill cap instead. I did find this thread about hunting down vacuum leaks.
 

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Well sounds like you had some fun!
The motor sounds pretty healthy from the video

Don’t be shy with the oil, if yours is like most Alfa’s it’ll drip a little so Im usually feel more comfortable knowing it’s full. It takes 7 quarts I believe so you have some room there. You be blowing any oil seals or anything unless you way over fill it.

Also ditto on the 40psi being too high. Factory recommendation on my 76 was 24lbs front and 26lbs rear if I remember correctly, yours should be similar. I usually run around 30lbs all around and it drives nicely.

40lbs and it would ride like a tank
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Thanks all!

Re: vacuum - I’ll do some research too.

Re: tire pressure

I filled it to 40 psi because:
A) there was some comments earlier in the thread about filling it to 32 psi or better and even up to 40.

B) I had been driving on the tires for 20 min or so and figured they were “hot” so they’d lose pressure after they cooled overnight (Getting me down to 32psi?) so I went with 40 because it was easier to let air out at home then driving to the gas station again and adding more air for $1.25.

As far as the manual - it says 24F/26R


The consensus was to go higher so I did .

I’ll bleed them off before I drive it again.

Looks like next investigation is the CSI so it starts w/o me cranking it for a few minutes.


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Looks like next investigation is the CSI so it starts w/o me cranking it for a few minutes.
your starting problem is to do with cranking voltage, if you ask me
look at the needle when you are cranking....that is no good for a start
(oops, sorry for the pun:))
cranking voltage.jpg

If you have a proper DVM, stick it across the battery terminals and have someone crank the engine......now tell us what the real volts is "whilst" cranking (those gauges are guestimate things, but when they sit that low you have to investigate)

your injected car needs a healthy 11V whilst cranking (doesn't matter if the battery reads 13V static....the cranking voltage is more important)

My first check would be the lead from the battery negative bolted to the trunk floor....remove it and sand under the bolt till it is shiny clean, then put back with some copper grease.
 

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Congrats on getting your Alfa going.

Make sure to run through the old tank of gas as quickly as you can. Fill up with premium. The exhaust should smell better using new fuel.

I have better luck using SeaFoam gas stabilizer.

Have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
If you have a proper DVM, stick it across the battery terminals and have someone crank the engine......now tell us what the real volts is "whilst" cranking (those gauges are guestimate things, but when they sit that low you have to investigate)

your injected car needs a healthy 11V whilst cranking (doesn't matter if the battery reads 13V static....the cranking voltage is more important)

My first check would be the lead from the battery negative bolted to the trunk floor....remove it and sand under the bolt till it is shiny clean, then put back with some copper grease.
Not sure what a DVM is yet, but I did clean the ground and did the test using a multimeter. I started and put it in a new post to track looking into the slow start.

Make sure to run through the old tank of gas as quickly as you can. Fill up with premium. The exhaust should smell better using new fuel.

I have better luck using SeaFoam gas stabilizer.
Trying my best :) I'm down to 1/2 a tank already. Will check out the gas stabilizer too.


thank you!
 
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