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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
At least this time the outbreak seems to be rust-free, major accident free, and running! :surprise:
Did not pay a lot but did spend money intended for something else.



Needs a serious tune-up, new tires, and some electrical work. :frown2:
Minor paint touch-up and my gold Ronal basket-weave wheels should have it at least looking very good.
Wheels on on now are some sort of 14" Campy but I do not know the model, anyone recognize them?
Value?
Interior is pretty good, top appears to be recent, and I have a fiberglass top to put on it for the winter.

If the &@^^# SPICA does not get the engine much more lively after the tune-up it's getting changed to Webers. >:)
A previous owner already removed the dead-weight of the cat, so saving me the effort. :smile2:

Not planning to get carried away with this one, want to DRIVE it.
Do have a set of "Yellow" springs for it, not sure how they differ from stock.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So the wheels may be original to the car as it is a '79.
Somewhat rare in the U.S. but not particularly valuable.
Probably cannot get a good weight on them with the tire still on.
 

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Ronal made similar rims for the german car world in the 80's. Sorta ugly by US standards, as we were enamored with basket weaves. 15" BBS on a 320i or 325i= drool. European guys liked those disk rims a lot more, it seems...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
May have burned myself again.

Got it home today, barely.
Never had an Alfa run so poorly before.
Pulled plugs and they are velvet black despite appearing to be very recently installed.
Spica, so no easy adjustment.

Have to shift slow, hoping some fresh oil may help, maybe some use too.
Car has clearly been sitting so lots of fluids to change.

Not easy to hook up the tune-up center with the battery in the trunk.

I will try to get a base-line on it and work with the Spica.
But it the Spica has real issues it's coming off.
 

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May have burned myself again.

Got it home today, barely.
Never had an Alfa run so poorly before.
Pulled plugs and they are velvet black despite appearing to be very recently installed.
Spica, so no easy adjustment.

Have to shift slow, hoping some fresh oil may help, maybe some use too.
Car has clearly been sitting so lots of fluids to change.

Not easy to hook up the tune-up center with the battery in the trunk.

I will try to get a base-line on it and work with the Spica.
But it the Spica has real issues it's coming off.
Hi mate just a word of encouragement. It's not full of rust, it runs, the support network for these cars is enormous, and most importantly, you're prepared to work on it. Good luck with it she looks pretty good...........Regards John
 

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May have burned myself again.

Got it home today, barely.
Never had an Alfa run so poorly before.
Pulled plugs and they are velvet black despite appearing to be very recently installed.
Spica, so no easy adjustment.

Have to shift slow, hoping some fresh oil may help, maybe some use too.
Car has clearly been sitting so lots of fluids to change.

Not easy to hook up the tune-up center with the battery in the trunk.

I will try to get a base-line on it and work with the Spica.
But it the Spica has real issues it's coming off.
Hi mate just a word of encouragement. It's not full of rust, it runs, the support network for these cars is enormous, and most importantly, you're prepared to work on it. Good luck with it she looks pretty good...........Regards John

P.S. Not a lot in the way of SPICA injected Alfas here in Aus.
Lots of Webbers though.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Some update, set of Lodge plugs are like aspirin, feeling (running) much better.

Some one must have really liked this car at one time as it's body has been repaired and repainted, although not to the highest standard.
The cloth top cannot be original but also looks fairly recent.
Interior is pretty fair, some conditioner should restore the leather as it's a little dry but not gone hard and the seams are still good.

Still trying to track down why the turn indicator is ALWAYS on, even if the key is not.
Need to go to Kinko's and get the wiring diagram printed in a large format for legibility.
Bad flasher can?
Signals do work.

Spica appears to be working fairly well, need to check the rest of the tune as the old plugs were velvet black.

Of course I just HAD to find out where the other end of the vacuum hoses that came loose belongs.
I only find ONE vacuum port on the radiator end of the intake manifold and no other vacuum devices, so no idea why there were two hoses.

Had to pull the air-box for a better look and access to the vacuum port, now the head-ache is back!
Two air-box to spica hose clamps missing.
Unless '79 is very different than a '78 it seems some items have been removed that should not have been.
I believe that the firewall mounted plastic cylinder with wires at the bottom and a button at the top is the fuel shutoff in case of a crash?
Missing and replaced with a relay.
Original fender mounted fuel filter for the Spica, gone, seems small metal filters were added to the hoses instead.
Should be able to use the one from the '78 as with Webers it's not really needed there.

Spica assembly is dirty externally, just annoys me, so I guess the car goes outside for the engine compartment to be cleaned.

At least the gold basket-weave style Ronal wheels I put on look very sharp with the black paint.

A note on the old wheels, even with tires on I can easily tell that they are lighter than the Ronal wheels.
Since they are somewhat vintage 6J which I believe means 6" wide I may have a use for them on my Dio Tipo kit car project.
They do resemble racing wheels I have seen that are claimed to help exhaust air from under the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Got to drive around the block checking out the Spider.
Seems slower than my much older cars were, excess weight?
Brakes are poor so slow may be a safety factor.
Looks like brake work before tires!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If Lucas electrics are "The prince of darkness'', what does that make Alfa electrics, King?
If this car was Lucas I would have all the gauges and heater working already!
I did get the turn signal indicator always on issue taken care of, bad or incorrect flasher can.

Dead gauges are not too impressive for a car that does appear to have only about 45600 miles as indicated.
I'm basing that on the fact that the pedal covers are like new, the leather seats are excellent with no tears or bad seams.
Even the carpets and door cards are good.
The top is also excellent and is cloth.
The original wheels had Pirelli tires on them

I have power to the senders but no response at the oil and temp gauges.
Gas gauge does work, no blown fuses.
Traced the heater switch wires, switch is working but the blower motor is not.
Ground wire could scarcely have been mounted to a more awkward location but does seem to be grounded.
Of course the heater motor is mounted in the most inaccessible location and manner possible, with LOTS of shaped rubber hoses attached.
I know this car sat unused for a while, indicated by the low mileage and tire damage.
Hoping the heater motor may just be a bit stuck and could possibly be freed with a well directed blast of compressed air.
If so, where would I aim the air from?

Other notes on this car.
It apparently had an exhaust air pump fitted originally, someone thoughtfully removed that for me and filed it appropriately.
Engine compartment was pretty oily, does not seem right for low mileage.
I note that the original hose to the oil vapor separator has been replaced with a piece of heater hose that kinked and was poorly attached.

Also notice that the brake rotors are a bit more scored than I would expect for low mileage, have to work on the brakes as they are not very good.
Hoping it's just a need to bleed them.

Engine seems to run fairly well but it's certainly not snappy like my old 1300 and 1600 were.
Tube exhaust with a heat riser that is supposed to cross over the engine.
Of course the flimsy plastic retainers on the cam covers are broken.

Lots more work to do, really hoping the heater can be fixed without having to tear it apart.
This was supposed to be a Driver as bought!
 

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Factory One Way Check Valves in Fuel Lines

Original fender mounted fuel filter for the Spica, gone, seems small metal filters were added to the hoses instead.
I have the same "metal filters" in my very stock (so far) '77. When getting the TA from Wes Ingram I asked what these were and this was his reply:

"They are factory one way check valves. The early Alfas, 69 through 74 ran on leaded fuel and did not need the check valves. The 75 through 81 cars ran on unleaded fuel and premature plunger wear became a problem. The lead and sulfides in unleaded fuel protected the (very precise) plungers and barrels in the pump. The oil companies began using additives so once we replace all the worn plungers the pumps are good for another life cycle, As the plungers begin to wear and if you parked your Alfa facing downhill where the gas tank is above the injection pump, gas can over time fill the engine with gas. The check valves were nothing more than a circumvention for the above condition, but they did not address the wearing plunger and barrel phenomenon."

Info was very helpful to me hope it is to you as well.

Darren
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The SPICA is on very thin ice!
Seems to be running VERY rich.
Fresh plugs and the Spider runs almost decent.
Come back later after the plugs have cooled and it barely runs at all.
Pull plugs and they are velvet black.

I'm going through the SPICA diagnoses list.
Looks like my next task is a test-fake thermal actuator.
Have to look some more, so far I have not found a price on a replacement actuator.
But I have found mention that they are expensive.
May be looking for a manual version soon.
Trying to keep this car pretty much stock if it will let me.

Fixed the oil pressure gauge, need the SPICA working right to set idle properly and find out what my idle pressure really is.

Odd note of the night, seems the linkage bottoms on the engine mount at full throttle!
Never heard of that before but should be an easy fix with a burr and air-grinder.
 

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With the engine warm, look at the throttle arm on the rear of the injection pump. Is there a large gap between the arm and the reference screw? If so, it's likely the T/A is bad.

Replacement T/A's are $250, if the capillary tube is not broken.

Ingram Enterprises, Inc. || Price List

You can make a dummy T/A for testing purposes out of a 1/4" bolt, some washers and two nuts. See the Spica guide for details.

Throttle linkage hitting the motor mount?? Post a pic of that. Something's way off.

I think you probably need to do a readjustment of the system from start to finish. No telling how badly the previous owner maladjusted it. Let me know if you want to use the relay crank setting jig.
 

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Replacement TA

Something indeed is way off with that throttle linkage hitting the motor mount. I would hold off on the grinder until you sort out why it is hitting - it should not be.

Contact Wes Inram at the address given by Roadtrip. I had the same velvety black plugs when I first got my '77. I put in a TA from Ingram and followed the instructions in his manual and the car starts and runs very well. Also, when I pull the plugs, they look brown as they should.

Wes is also a wealth of information and if you e-mail him he will answer you and is very helpful.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
27.3 mm extended warm.
Should be 29 mm.

At this rate I will never get my new tires.
Or the project '70 I found.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Got some time and pulled the exhaust headers today.
Thought I would find a rusted out spot to explain the exhaust leak.
Nope, poor welding at the 1&4 Y joint.
Probably leaked from new.
No idea how long these headers have been on the car but you would think some one would have noticed and fixed the leak before now.
I will bolt them to my junk head for repair.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Two jobs I do NOT want to repeat!

Replaced both engine mounts.
Left not so bad since I already had to remove the headers.
Not fun, but not terrible.
Terrible is the mildest possible expletive for the right (Spica) side.
Had to separate the engine mount from the rubber, with the lower nut inside the steel channel getting about 1/12 of a turn at a time.
Yes, for both removal and install!
Job might have been easier if I had removed the starter, but the XXX spica is just too much work to take off.
I suppose NOW someone here will chime in with an easy way to do this.
Original mounts were the consistency of old chewing gum, and had sagged.
On the left a former owner or their hammer-mechanic has put a 1\4" wood shim under the mount.
At least my throttle linkage will no longer hit the engine mount at full acceleration.

Second job was completing the header repair.
Does anyone sell headers that do not demand two men, a boy, and sailors vocabulary to put back on?
Almost put the '73 cast headers on, but I do not have the collector for them.
If these leak again I will find the parts so that the cast headers may replace them.
And yes I did make the Old Rome pagan blood sacrifice, stud on the alternator nailed my hand.

It's a fairly nice car and will make a fine cruiser but I'm getting really anxious to get my Alfa "Kit Car" done.
I'm making easy service a priority of the build.
Will be as easy to work on as a sports racer, flip-up body front and rear, with the rest on Dzus fasteners.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Completed the exhaust repair today.
Need to order new rubber for all of the tie-rods.
May as well do them while it's already on stands.

And as a small side note, I never owned a British car that had leaked so much oil!
Will have to pressure wash the Spider to find where the leaks are.
Hope they are not too hard to fix but I'm not optimistic.

I already registered for the FOC's Virginia City hill-climb.
Last year they were allowing Ford Focus and similar mundane appliances to run.
The Spider and I may well be the slowest car there but at least it will be an Italian car.
Seems very few Ferrari's show up anymore, "Too valuable to risk".
Sad state of affairs in my opinion.
 

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Good luck, sounds like you are making very good progress. A hill climb you say? Better pay extra attention to your front end bits, lest you fly off the road!

British cars leak, also. Mine prefers to leak while driving. My car self-undercoats.
 

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And as a small side note, I never owned a British car that had leaked so much oil!
One thing you must remember as an Alfa owner is that the longer you drive your car, the less oil it will leak. Some people say this is true even if you add more oil now and then.
 
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