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Hi guys, this is for the alfisti in the Washington DC metro area. I have been working out of town for the past 4 years. As a result, I have not driven my 164LS in 4 years. Before I left, I put Staybil in my gas because I figured I will be gone for a while. I am back in town now and I want to get my car back on the road. My first instinct was to drain the gas in the tank, change the oil and filter, drain and fill the radiator and then just start the car but I am a little worried about the timing belt because the car sat so long. It was not due for a change for another 20K miles when I parked it but since it sat for 4 years, I am not sure I should just start it. I am thinking of just having the car towed to get the timing belt and waterpump changed before I start it. What do you guys recommend? Also is there anywhere else in the DC metro area that I can get the work done? I usually go to Difatta brothers in Baltimore, but if I am going to have the car towed, I would rather go to somewhere closer to me than have the car towed all the way to Baltimore. (Besides, I heard that Difatta brothers are going out of business but not sure how true that is)
 

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Yes, Diffatta is slowly powering down. Paul their mech and Ed the parts man are both gone. Giovanni and his daughter Gabby are the tag team now.
Contact the AROC DC chapter for suggestions if no one from DC area chimes in here.

I wouldn't worry to much about changing oil and coolant. I would check those fluid levels as well as brake and steering fluid levels.

As for timing belt I would check belt tension by feeling under belt teeth between cam pullies to see if it is taut.

I would also do the following:
1. Charge battery or replace it.
2. Remove black cover over fuel pump and motronic relays by coil on top radiator support and pull fuel pump relay (not the red stripe one). Install jumper wire with two male bayonet terminals in relay sockets between pink socket 30 pink wire and pin socket 87 pink-white wire. Turn on key and see if fuel pump will run and listen for flow fuel through fuel rail on top of engine. I would do a fuel smell test at fuel tank filler to see if fuel stall. If you have to drain fuel from tank and pump works you can disconnect fuel hose at front of engine and add a piece of tubing and long hose to a recovery catch can and turn on key to let fuel pump drain down the tank level.
3. I would jack up under right front of car remove R/F wheel and front inner fender liner.
4. Install a 1 5/8" (41mm) socket, extension and ratchet or hinge handle. Also check the tension and condition of serpentine belt at water pump and crank pulley
5. Rotate engine slightly CLOCKWISE to set tension on timing belt. Helps to remove sparkplugs first.
6. If you didn't remove sparkplugs and spray any fogging oil in each cylinder when you stored car I would spray some fogging oil such as seafoam into each sparkplug hole.
7. Rotate engine at least on full clockwise revolution with plugs out if possible.
8. Now with timing belt in tension and rotated manually with wrench inspect belt for condition.
9. If fuel pump runs and belt looks ok turn key to start and build up some oil pressure with plugs out.
10. Install plugs and start the engine.
11. Report you findings/success.
 

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Paul their mech and Ed the parts man are both gone.
I did not know that Ed had gone. I feel guilty that I did not call him before he left. A great guy.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, Diffatta is slowly powering down. Paul their mech and Ed the parts man are both gone. Giovanni and his daughter Gabby are the tag team now.
Contact the AROC DC chapter for suggestions if no one from DC area chimes in here.

I wouldn't worry to much about changing oil and coolant. I would check those fluid levels as well as brake and steering fluid levels.

As for timing belt I would check belt tension by feeling under belt teeth between cam pullies to see if it is taut.

I would also do the following:
1. Charge battery or replace it.
2. Remove black cover over fuel pump and motronic relays by coil on top radiator support and pull fuel pump relay (not the red stripe one). Install jumper wire with two male bayonet terminals in relay sockets between pink socket 30 pink wire and pin socket 87 pink-white wire. Turn on key and see if fuel pump will run and listen for flow fuel through fuel rail on top of engine. I would do a fuel smell test at fuel tank filler to see if fuel stall. If you have to drain fuel from tank and pump works you can disconnect fuel hose at front of engine and add a piece of tubing and long hose to a recovery catch can and turn on key to let fuel pump drain down the tank level.
3. I would jack up under right front of car remove R/F wheel and front inner fender liner.
4. Install a 1 5/8" (41mm) socket, extension and ratchet or hinge handle. Also check the tension and condition of serpentine belt at water pump and crank pulley
5. Rotate engine slightly CLOCKWISE to set tension on timing belt. Helps to remove sparkplugs first.
6. If you didn't remove sparkplugs and spray any fogging oil in each cylinder when you stored car I would spray some fogging oil such as seafoam into each sparkplug hole.
7. Rotate engine at least on full clockwise revolution with plugs out if possible.
8. Now with timing belt in tension and rotated manually with wrench inspect belt for condition.
9. If fuel pump runs and belt looks ok turn key to start and build up some oil pressure with plugs out.
10. Install plugs and start the engine.
11. Report you findings/success.
Thanks Alfisto Steve! I'll follow your instructions this weekend and report back.
 

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Ed is such a gem. Love that guy. So sorry that he has left, we had a nice chat couple months ago. Fair well Ed, be healthy, enjoy your retirement!
 

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Ed is such a gem. Love that guy. So sorry that he has left, we had a nice chat couple months ago. Fair well Ed, be healthy, enjoy your retirement!
He was a legend, I don't know how many knew Ed or that he did his amazin job of parts manager with only one arm. I visited them one time and watched him at work with phone cradled to his ear and his hand and arm in motion on the keyboard. Paul was a super mech and very knowledgeable. Johnny quite a guy, too. Liked dealing with Gabriela on the phone, too.
 

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Hi guys, this is for the alfisti in the Washington DC metro area. I have been working out of town for the past 4 years. As a result, I have not driven my 164LS in 4 years. Before I left, I put Staybil in my gas because I figured I will be gone for a while. I am back in town now and I want to get my car back on the road. My first instinct was to drain the gas in the tank, change the oil and filter, drain and fill the radiator and then just start the car but I am a little worried about the timing belt because the car sat so long. It was not due for a change for another 20K miles when I parked it but since it sat for 4 years, I am not sure I should just start it. I am thinking of just having the car towed to get the timing belt and waterpump changed before I start it. What do you guys recommend? Also is there anywhere else in the DC metro area that I can get the work done? I usually go to Difatta brothers in Baltimore, but if I am going to have the car towed, I would rather go to somewhere closer to me than have the car towed all the way to Baltimore. (Besides, I heard that Difatta brothers are going out of business but not sure how true that is)
I recently had my '93 Spider Veloce serviced by Tim Rooney in Manassas (Tim Rooney's Garage). Tim is a true Alfa expert, and runs his own small shop. In Falls Church, Nick Vadala services Alfas and Fiats, and is an institution in the community (https://londonautoservices.com). Nick worked on my "new to me" '82 Fiat Spider 2000 this spring, and pays great attention to detail. I think you'd do well with either Tim or Nick based on my experiences. I had taken my Alfa to DiFatta's the past few years (they're closest to me in Annapolis), but made the switch after Paul left.
Welcome back to the DC area!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I recently had my '93 Spider Veloce serviced by Tim Rooney in Manassas (Tim Rooney's Garage). Tim is a true Alfa expert, and runs his own small shop. In Falls Church, Nick Vadala services Alfas and Fiats, and is an institution in the community (https://londonautoservices.com). Nick worked on my "new to me" '82 Fiat Spider 2000 this spring, and pays great attention to detail. I think you'd do well with either Tim or Nick based on my experiences. I had taken my Alfa to DiFatta's the past few years (they're closest to me in Annapolis), but made the switch after Paul left.
Welcome back to the DC area!
Perfect!! Just what I was looking for! Thanks for the info EastPortAlfa!
 

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Julio Matos at Milano Motors in Kensington, Maryland.

Very careful, very thorough, but not the least expensive.
 

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Things must be better than when we had our two Alfas back in DC, trying to get some service, back in 1980. It was miserable then, with some foreign car dealer out in maybe Falls Church, and then Rossanova (called them Rosannadanna) in Anacostia. Both were terrible and somewhat slimey, unable to properly tune our new 78 Alfetta GT, which we bought new at a College Park Ford dealer, and which had several problems from new, and our 75 Alfetta Sedan we had driven out from Seattle. We also had a Fiat 128 sedan we had someone drive out for us. Used the 75 sedan and the Fiat for our DDs for work. Finally, kind of jury rigged the problematic dual point ignition of the GTV and drove it back ourselves, living with the bad shock in one corner, out west to Seattle, where Carlo fixed the problems in an hour. Others (friend and relatives), drove the other cars back, no problem with any.
 
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I second the recommendation for Tim Rooney in Manassas. Not only has he replaced the timing belt in my 164S, he rebuilt my Alfetta GT transmission, and has done other repairs to my Fiat X1/9. Fantastic mechanic, thoroughly honorable, and I keep telling him he should charge more for his services!
 
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Discussion Starter #13
I second the recommendation for Tim Rooney in Manassas. Not only has he replaced the timing belt in my 164S, he rebuilt my Alfetta GT transmission, and has done other repairs to my Fiat X1/9. Fantastic mechanic, thoroughly honorable, and I keep telling him he should charge more for his services!
Don't do that!!:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO: Thanks DSpieg!
 
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