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Discussion Starter #1
Right, next up on my 164 is this. When gently gathering speed at low revs there's a real sticky spot, and then suddenly the car will kind of "catch" again, and lurch forwards. I wouldn't describe it as a flat spot, as it's far more prominent than that. My thoughts are vacuum leak/s or a sticking or faulty EGR valve.

I've replaced the intake duct, as the old one had cracks that had been taped up, but this made no difference. It's going to my local Alfa specialist on Tuesday for a service, with instructions to have a look at this problem, but I'd still appreciate any input.

Cheers,

Tom
 

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It could be the split fuel pipe inside the tank.. Mine juddered all over the place until I took the submersible pump out and replaced the hose.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I managed to find a Porsche 944 air mass meter (same Bosch part number) on eBay for £50, so when that comes we shall see if that helps at all. The Alfa garage test drove the car but Sod's law came into play and it drove faultlessly, but the chap said that what I described was usually an air mass meter problem.

Also, it has a blow in the exhaust, so I think that needs rectifying before further troubleshooting.

These seem like the next logical steps, then maybe look at the potential fuel hose problem mentioned above. How difficult was this job ridbar?
 

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Tom,

I see that you have a later 164. From my experience all early S1 cars 'eventually' suffer from the split hose problem. Not sure if this was ever rectified on later vehicles. However, it is well documented on 164 forums !

Some mention it being more of a job to carry out than it actually is. Basically all it involves is :

- Remove boot floor mat - to expose fueltank just behind the rear seats.
- Remove the round sender/pump in the top of tank - disconnecting pipes as needed.
- Lift out fuel pump carefully.
- Then replace fuel pipe on pump (it's the one about 2/3 inches long)
- Refit everything in reverse order.

Take your time, go slow and keep everything clean. It should take no more than 1 hour.

Apparantly the pipe is prone to splitting with age (hairline cracks form). It is recommended you use a modern type of fuel hose to replace, but I just used like for like and expect to redo again in a few years.

My car suffered from power loss after going round corners, then experiencing engine stutter for a mile or two straight after, especially when running on a quarter tank.

I also found out that the relay connections on my radiator fan had become dirty, therefore it didn't function properly, the engine got hot and made matters worse !! My airflow meter was also stuffed. Richard Drake (Richard Drake Motors - Alfa Romeo repairs, servicing and parts) said that they are a pain and best replaced -

So, now I have a car that starts, runs, cools and once the pipe/s are sorted out behind the engine block will hopefully smell better too. Just the leaky exhaust, spongy brake pedal, squeaky rear window, broken front headlamp washer, dislodged gearshifter plate, rear bumper realigned, stepper motors gears replaced, glove box switch, electronic boot relay/pin to realign, courtesy light bulbs replaced, sticky roof console problem to fix.. Then maybe, just maybe, the car might be 100% once again !

Welcome to 164 ownership -

GL. Mark.

PS. My car only has 44k on the clock and full service history..
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for posting the extra info. I'll see what difference the replacement air mass meter makes and take it from there. Exhaust is being done next week, although I think blowing exhausts tend to cause a general loss of power rather than a pronounced flat spot like this, so I'm not expecting this to make a massive difference.

I'm on 1/4 tank at the moment and it doesn't seem any better or worse than when the tank was full, but I'd need to drive it around a bit more to really be able to say for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, the Porsche air flow meter is now on, and my early impressions are that it's much better, albeit still with a very slight flat spot. However, this is now with a full tank, so I'd be interested to see how it goes when the fuel level gets lower. The replacement meter looks cleaner, with less deposits on the sensor. I might get a can of CRC air flow meter cleaner and see what I can do with the old one.

Also, the exhaust is being done tomorrow (blowing around the centre section), which should remove that from the equation.
 

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Tom,

If you still get problems, I would forget the old airflow meter. Richard spent a couple of hours trying to sort my original one, even replacing with a similar 'old' unit. Still issues, until replaced with a new one.

The same meter is used on a variety of other vehicles, so always go for the part number and save buying another motor-branded unit.

Anyway, it seems you are making headway. Finally, search out a good stainless exhaust system when you can, as the Alfa ones are notorious for rotting out..

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I found some interesting stuff on the air flow meter here:

Air Flow Meter (AFM) - from "The 944 Motronic DME" by FR Wilk* ©2001 www.the944.com

I'm guessing that the used 944 one I put in is just less worn out than mine. I think I can see from the link above how wear in the ceramic track could cause flat spots. I'd be interested to take the cover off the old one and have a look at the condition of the ceramic track. This might at least give me an idea of whether air flow meter is the right tree to be barking up.

Anyway, I should get the car back later with a new exhaust. From there on I need to see how it is over the next two or three tanks of fuel to get a feel for whether full/empty is making any difference, to see if I need to have a look at the fuel pump.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Finally the car has the exhaust sorted, after some delay finding a short front pipe at a reasonable price, so I can eliminate that from my enquiries and crack on with this problem.

Ridbar, could you tell me more about what kind of symptoms you found had when your car had this issue? I.e., how you would describe it, was it at high/low revs or throughout the rev range etc.? I should also add that the issue is far more prominent when you have just gone round a corner.

Anyone know what spec fuel hose I would need to get to do the fix?
 

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Do you know that the timing's okay? I only ask as I bought it with similar problems and it turned out the cambelt had jumped a tooth. Given when I had that sorted, it's about due another change. It's about now I was going to have it changed again if I'd kept it.
 

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Tom -

Yep, it seems you need to replace the fuel pump hose. All (the early ones especially) have this problem at some point. I would just get the pump out of the tank, remove the pipe/s, go to a local car parts factor and get like for like, or ask for the latest fuel hose alternative. It's just standard rubber fuel piping you need.

Do not let anyone tell you any different until this issue is sorted out first. Thankfully the old 164 digest forum is still available outlining the problem :

Alfa 164 Notes

It's a relatively easy job and can be done without much grief.

For reference, the main menu is here :

notes0

One piece of advice I can give is that you should run 164's regularly and the warmer the climate, the more they like it. In England, cold weather can sometimes make them cantankerous B's to deal with. Although allowing them to get too hot can lead to more severe issues, so you need to make sure that the radiator fan also kicks in without fault.

Just to add, another problem may be the rubber hose from the airfilter box (if there is a split/damage here this could cause issues too) or the mass airflow meter itself. You can get more advice from Vince (Midlands area) - Home on the matter and replacement parts too !

Regards
Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Do you know that the timing's okay? I only ask as I bought it with similar problems and it turned out the cambelt had jumped a tooth. Given when I had that sorted, it's about due another change. It's about now I was going to have it changed again if I'd kept it.
I don't know about the timing, and I am planning to have that cambelt (and tensioners) done soon. I was going to see how the MOT (in May) went to be sure that it was worth spending money on the cambelt.

I think I should do this fuel hose fix regardless now, as it's a relatively cheap job. The description (below) from Ridbar's link sounds familiar, although my car is not as bad.

From: [email protected]
Date: Sat, 27 Dec 1997 17:48:16 -0500
Subject: 164 cutout on turns - reply

> ... The only problem I'm experiencing
> is if I,m running on a 1/4 tank of gas or less and make a hard turn or U-turn it will cutout for a
> second. It's not too much of a problem I just try to keep it full. But if any of you Guru's out
> there have a fix for this problem it would be greatly appreciated
>
> Curtiss Norheim
> 91 164L (black beauty)
> Huntsville, AL

EDIT: By the way, I have replaced the intake duct (thanks Vince) and air flow meter already. I plan to refurbish my old meter some time.

Thanks for the replies.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I forgot to mention that this issue worsens as the car warms up. Possibly due to fuel/air ratio decreasing?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I may have been imagining or talking myself into about some of these patterns about full/half full tanks, different when it's warm etc. A new Lambda sensor (necessary for an MOT emissions pass) has fixed this one.
 

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Sorry I got here late as my suggestion was going to be Lambda. Mine did the exact same thing as yours and a new probe fixed it. When the probe fails the ECU goes into an open loop and hunts in cycles. It's the hunting for data that makes the car seem to flat spot and then lurch as a default map is used. Reason why it only happens when warm is because the lambda data is not used until the car warms up.

Glad it's sorted!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It took the MOT fail to highlight it, as it would never have occurred to me. The 164 is the newest car I've ever owned and the only one to have a lambda sensor. When the garage told me it needed a new one I had to Google it to find out what the flip it was! :eek:
 
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