Alfa Romeo Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi Folks,

Just purchased a 1989 S3 Spider as a winter project. I bought it unseen from Hampshire and my eldest son drove it across to me here in Ulster. Been stored for 5 years but the previous owner put it through MOT and it gave no problems on the drive over. Pleasantly surprised that until recently it started first time, every time. (more than can be saidfor my classic Lotuses!)
Anyway, about a week ago I started it and let bit idle for a while. Engine cut out and then refused to restart; indeed it refuses to start since but.....
There is a strong spark and if I put easi-start into the cylinders it fires quite happily and runs - until you switch it off.
Plugs show large carbon build up, even after cleaning.
If it was on carbs I would say that it is running too rich but of course it is injected.

Seems to me that there is a fault somewhere in the starting system (yes, starter motor turns the engine over).

It has been suggested that the cold start injector is at fault but, if so, why did it start at the begin ning of the problem, run and then cut out?

Any thoughts please

regards

Martin B
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,983 Posts
Hi Martin,
your S3 is L-Jet injected, so first off I would read through this excellent guide so you get a feel for the injection and all the bits that are required to make it run! If your spider is original euro version, it might differ in a few items like altitude compensator etc, but generally the same l-Jet configuration with 2 ECU's, a Jetronic one for the fuel management and a Motronic one for the engine management.

my first thought (as the no start happened suddenly from one day to the next, and you say you have good spark) would be to check the in-line fuel pump fuse under the rear shelf, near the ECU..see photo of its location in "Step 2- electrical grounds" in the following guide....or the fuel pump relay.
If you still have the "bullet" type fuse holder there, they are notoriously troublesome........in the US, the L-Jet spider guys change this to a later blade type fuse holder.

Step 3 in the same article explains testing of the CSI (Cold Start Injector) and the CTS (Coolant temperature sensor) both critical items.

Bosch L-jetronic Fuel Injection Idle Adjustment Diagnostic and Tune Up Technical Article Alfa Romeo Spider Specific

I presume when you say you try starting her, it doesn't even "try" to catch.....ie just turns over, not a hint of "trying" to catch?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hi "Spider",
Thanks for the prompt and helpful reply. Yes, as you say, the engine doesn't even try to catch even though there is good spark and it is turning over at a good rate. I did think about the in line pump fuse and changed it, along with the holder, but that is clearly not the problem.
It must be in the starting sequence somewhere or else it wouln't run once I have put easi-start into the cylinders and the ignition switch has reverted to it's "run" position.

Martin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,983 Posts
just a thought....is the tank less than half full? If it is over half full, ignore, but if under half full put more gas in, so it is somewhat over half......will it start now?

Do you have fuel getting to the fuel rail? Undo the hose and get someone to briefly turn the starter (use rags to collect the fuel)
If no fuel pumps out you need to check the two fuel pumps.
As pumps only power up for a second with the ignition on (ie. you cannot hear them running just with the ignition on), you will need to check both pumps are operating by wiring them directly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Spider,
Thanks once again - think that the tank is over half full. I still believe that the fault probably sits with one of the valves or sensors, particularly as the car has been stored for a number of years.
Haven't discounted a fuel rail problem but if that is the fault, why will the car run once I have started it with "Easi-start"?
Intend to follow the procedures from the very good article that you kindly pointed out to me.
Will let you know what I discover!!!

Martin
(I thought my early 70's Lotus's were tempremental!!!!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
why will the car run once I have started it with "Easi-start"?
Once started on "easi-start" does it run until you shut it off and need to start from cold again?

If so, sounds like cold start injector is not working, could be injector or thermo time switch that controls it. It is separate from run mode fuel inj system. If it starts but then stalls once the "easi-start" or cold start injector run out it sounds like the injectors may not be injecting. Check the two ground locations near the rear of the head and make sure fuel pumps are both running and that injectors are getting +12 volt power. Under rear shelf you will find L-Jetronic controller, fuel system fuse, Drive Relay (fuel pump relay, top longer one) and Main relay. The Main relay supplies 12v to injectors.

The previously mentioned website will take you through the hole fuel system.

The L-Jetronic system is a solid normally trouble free system but it is very sensitive to air leaks (false air, not going through the AFM, (air flow meter) and poor ground connections.

It has been installed across several marques and licensed for use across several more marques.


The half tank issue can be valid. There is a stepped size rubber tube connection inside the tank pump. If it has dried and cracked/split you may be sucking a lot of air and very little fuel for the main pump.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Hi there,
Just to complete this thread - problem turned out to be a faulty cold start injector. New one on it's way from Bosch, Germany. Thanks to all for advice/help.

Martin B
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top