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Need Stromberg Experts!

Discussion in '"Stock" Alpine' started by sunalp, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. sunalp

    sunalp Platinum Level Sponsor

    I have a customer with a one owner Alpine ( his father) that has 38K original miles.
    I had it in the shop for brakes, radiator and exhaust work. The car is almost perfectly
    stock and seems to run very well.

    On his way home, about 50 miles, his car stumbled a bit and a little while later it just quit
    running. There was gas in the fuel pump and after 10-15 minutes of sitting he was able to
    restart and make it home. At first blush it sounds like a vapor lock situation but not knowing
    Strombergs well I didn't feel that I should just tell him that's what it was. I was also thinking
    it could be gunk in the fuel tank/lines but there was fuel in the pump.

    Has anyone had an issue like this and what did you do to correct it.

    I did notice that once I got the idle down to around 900 rpm it idled nicely but
    when after driving for around 20 minutes it was up ti 1500 rpm. This wasn't his
    first incident with this car as it happened before and he had to get towed.

    This car has sat around and not driven in many years and he would like to start driving
    it more.

    Any suggestions or advice is greatly appreciated!

  2. Gordon Holsinger

    Gordon Holsinger Diamond Level Sponsor

    I had an Alpine that was doing that a few years ago. Traced it to a couple of things first was the paint inside of the tanks was coming off and blocking the fuel. Second was an air leak in one of the carb diaphragms then I discovered that the Small paint flakes were clogging the float needles. It seems the modern ethanol gas eats the paint in the tanks and definitely eats the rubber parts. I would suggest o/h the carbs, and pull the tanks and have them recoated and blow out the fuel line and install a fuel filter!
  3. sunalp

    sunalp Platinum Level Sponsor

    Thanks Gordon,
    I was already thinking the tanks and possibly the carb diaphragms as well. The only question about the tanks
    is if they are blocking the fuel flow shouldn't there be no fuel in the pump?
    Thanks again!
  4. Alpine 1789

    Alpine 1789 SAOCA President Platinum Level Sponsor

    I had a similar problem with my car and it was intermittent. I don't know why, as you would think a clog is a clog, but that is what happened. Given that it only takes a few minutes to blow out the line and clean the crossover pipe outlet, I would say it is worth a try. The full repair is a lot more work, but this will at least eliminate one part of the equation.
  5. Ashfried

    Ashfried Silver Level Sponsor

    Paint from the tanks! I had the same problem. It would get past my fuel filter, lodge on the carb jets, then clear and start again.
  6. sunalp

    sunalp Platinum Level Sponsor

    OK, we'll look at that. I don't have the car right now but it's coming back the end of this month. I was thinking it could
    be a combination of things, but that's a great place to start!
    Thanks everyone, I really appreciate it!
  7. v13311

    v13311 Silver Level Sponsor

    I spliced in a cheap plastic see-through fuel filter just in front of my fuel pump. I had the same symptoms as you. After installation you could see the paint flakes gathering in the filter. After installation, no more problems. WIX 30002 or its equivalent (Fram, Carquest, etc.)
  8. sunalp

    sunalp Platinum Level Sponsor

    That's a great idea! Maybe try that one first.

  9. Gordon Holsinger

    Gordon Holsinger Diamond Level Sponsor

    It is the small particles that get by the internal fuel pump filter. Put an inline fuel before the pump.
  10. sunalp

    sunalp Platinum Level Sponsor

    Thanks Gordon!
  11. Barry

    Barry Platinum Level Sponsor

    Like all carbs, Strombergs need fuel to work to work properly. A filter can keep some crud out of the pump or carb(s), but it does not address the root cause which is flakes of "coating" coming off the inside of the tanks. One of the collection points on Tigers and later Series Alpines is where the small diameter fuel line "tee's in" to the crossover pipe. Blowing out the connection from the engine side will temporarily allow fuel flow, but the problem will come back. The only "cure" is too get rid of the flaking problem in the wing tanks (or get rid of the wing tanks and do something else).
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
  12. RootesRooter

    RootesRooter Platinum Level Sponsor

    When you wrote that there was "gas in the fuel pump," did you mean while it was stopped and wouldn't restart; and if so: was the fuel all the way to the top, covering the filter screen, or just around the base? If it was all the way to the top I don't think it was flakes clogging the fuel line, at least not on that occasion. I'd remove and separate the carbs, remove the float needle jets and see what might be blocking them.

    If, on the other hand, your customer didn't look at the fuel pump until he got it running and back home, then flakes in the line are indeed a likely cause.

    The rise in idle rpms after driving around doesn't jibe with a clogged line. Just the opposite. If the car hasn't been driven in a long time (more than a decade?), those needle jets could be gummed up, allowing 'way too much fuel, and need replacement.
  13. sunalp

    sunalp Platinum Level Sponsor

    Thanks Barry & Rootes! When he was stuck on the side of the road he called me. I asked if there was fuel in the pump.
    After I told him where it was, he told me there was fuel there in the glass bowl and that the filter screen looked clean.
    As far as how full He really didn't say, but we'll see.

    I've since told him that the carbs need a good going through and that the tanks will need to be cleaned and coated
    to prevent this from happening again.

    Thanks again, I really appreciate the input!
  14. venice532

    venice532 Silver Level Sponsor

    Hi Steve, you might check to make sure the gas cap vent isn't plugged up.

    If air isn't being allowed to enter the tanks to displace the gas that is being used at some point negative pressure builds up and the gas stops flowing.

    Years ago my alpine would start to sputter and stall at the oddest times and I eventually traced the problem back to a stopped up cap vent.
  15. sunalp

    sunalp Platinum Level Sponsor

    Hi Bob,
    You know I hadn't thought about that and this car did something I never heard on an Alpine. When
    I opened the cap there was actually a suction sound letting air in. Never heard that before and chalked it
    up to this car being a nice low milage car. Could be that the cap is creating a vacuum!

    Thanks for that!

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