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Thread: Look Out, Jay Leno

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    Obi Wan
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    Look Out, Jay Leno

    I made my son an offer for his Alfa he couldn't refuse. (He bought one of those 3-wheel motorcycle thingies). My "collection" now consists of two - the 1971 TR6 and the 1992 Alfa Spider. I'm only 284 cars behind Jay Leno but I'm working on it - except for the $$$. One potential (I hope) problem with the Alfa. It not only has a hood latch cable like the Triumph but cables for the gas filler door and the trunk. However - unlike the TR6, there is no commercially available alternate cables (which probably should have been used in a left hand drive car anyway-I have one and so should every TR6 owner- in fact I never use the stock cable any more), so owners have had to fabricate systems such as nylon fishing line poking out of the hood or cables coming through the fender well. You can get at the gas filler cable by taking off the side panel but the trunk one is apparently tougher. Seems someone should make a cheap kit like the TR kit.

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    Yoda HealeyRick's Avatar
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    Re: Look Out, Jay Leno

    As Mr. McGuire said to Ben in "The Graduate" - "Solenoids" - Do some Google searching. lots on replacing the cables with electric solenoids.
    Rick

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Look Out, Jay Leno

    Can you use the solenoids as a backup? The battery on this car is in the trunk. I keep it disconnected - with the lid open ajar- because it runs down and goes dead after 2 or 3 weeks.

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    Yoda HealeyRick's Avatar
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    Re: Look Out, Jay Leno

    Since the solenoids are electrically activated, they would be inoperable when your battery died. However, if you have a cigarette lighter in the car, you could use one of those battery jump packs that plug into the lighter to repower everything and restart the car as well.
    Rick

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    Great Pumpkin DrEntropy's Avatar
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    Re: Look Out, Jay Leno

    I've owned Alfas since 1975, three GTV's and this Spider now. Never had a trunk or hood cable issue with any of 'em. About once a year I put Marvel Mystery oil on the exposed spiral sheath of the Brit cars. The Italian ones are covered, so a bit of Marvel force-fed at the working end repeatedly and compressed air to push lube into the "tube" 'till there's evidence it made it to the actuating handle. Bit messy but it works.
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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Look Out, Jay Leno

    I hearya Doc. My middle name is WD40. I spray everything movable, including door hinges. Prevents that sag when they wear.

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    Yoda waltesefalcon's Avatar
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    Re: Look Out, Jay Leno

    I have always preferred Marvel Mystery Oil.
    Cheers,
    Walter
    52 International L110
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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Look Out, Jay Leno

    I still have a can of that stuff about 1/4 full - from about 1970. Love the smell. I put some in a squirt can but rarely use. Sometimes old is better.

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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Look Out, Jay Leno

    I know I will rightly be accused of being an electronics Luddite, but I trust the cables more than the solenoids. I also like the Alfa, congratulations.
    Tom
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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Look Out, Jay Leno

    Thanks, Tom. It's interesting to compare two cars designed in the same era, but the Alfa was refined through the years so its much more modern than the TR6. From Webers to Spica fuel injection to Bosch F.I.That's good - and bad. Alfa-three cables - hood, trunk and gas filler lid. TR6 - only one - but that one has so many kinks and bends that the "emergency" system is IMO, a necessity. I can hardly open the hood using the stock cable so I use the alternate every time. As far as the solenoids are concerned, I'm thinking redundant cables are better. Some owners actually drill a hole behind the license plate to rig an emergency cable and drill a hole through the left front fender with a rubber grommet for the alternate. If anything, I'll go with that.

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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Look Out, Jay Leno

    Hard to find any difference between a new Honda Accord and a Bentley Mulsanne today, IMO, except that the Bentley probably has more drink holders. Of course I don't have either one.
    Tom
    1960 TR3A TS73117 (under endless restoration, owned since 1964)
    1959 TR3A TS58023 (in case I never finish the one above)
    1969 Triumph Herald 13/60 (a whim)
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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Look Out, Jay Leno

    Took the Alfa out this cold afternoon. Had a little trouble latching the top since it was not up all summer but the gearbox was fine right out of the garage with just the usual Alfa chirp going into first gear from time to time. One problem. No heat. Temperature lever moves up and down and seems to be connected and blower motor is strong but what comes out is ambient air. Although the amount of heat wasn't great, I never had this problem on the TR6 with the heater valve on the block but I can't see where this lever goes to. Either the hot water is not getting to the heater, the water is not hot enough or the level is too low. Any ideas?

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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Look Out, Jay Leno

    Low coolant will result in reduced heat. It's sometimes easier to follow the hoses rather than the cable to the heater valve. If that's not working, one side will be hot and the other cold when the lever on the dash calls for heat.
    I don't have that problem with my '69 Herald. The heater was an option back then and it never had that option.
    Tom
    1960 TR3A TS73117 (under endless restoration, owned since 1964)
    1959 TR3A TS58023 (in case I never finish the one above)
    1969 Triumph Herald 13/60 (a whim)
    1970 Lotus Elan Plus 2 /0023/N
    1992 BMW325IC (fun to drive)

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Look Out, Jay Leno

    Possible solution. I found and downloaded a manual for a 1991 Spider - almost the same as a '92. The round knob I was turning was the Air Conditioner knob - not the heater. This car has a/c and son told me the a/c was not working & that explains the ambient air. A 3-position switch operates the blower. I did flip on that switch but nothing happened I think because the a/c was operating. Moral - when all else fails - read the manual. Today is a nor'easter blowing & car stays dry in the garage but tomorrow, I will test the system the right way.

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Look Out, Jay Leno

    Two-speed blower works fine but still no heat. Added some coolant but still no heat. Small hose into firewall for the heater was hot. Both levers seem to be operating normally so I'm stumped.

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    Great Pumpkin JPSmit's Avatar
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    Re: Look Out, Jay Leno

    when I did up Ms Triss, the heater matrix was pretty clogged. I had the rad re-done in a shop but, was able to clean out the matrix with CLR.
    John-Peter Smit
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    Yoda waltesefalcon's Avatar
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    Re: Look Out, Jay Leno

    Check to see if the valve to the heater core is actually opening, if it is then I'd say its either a faulty valve or a clogged core.
    Cheers,
    Walter
    52 International L110
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    Great Pumpkin DrEntropy's Avatar
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    Re: Look Out, Jay Leno

    The car spent too much time in south Florida! I'm goin' with Walt's guess. The valve & matrix are buried up under the dash, a real PITA to get to.
    '64 MGB, '67 Lotus Elan S-3 DHC,'69 Lotus Elan +2
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    Yoda HealeyRick's Avatar
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    Re: Look Out, Jay Leno

    Quote Originally Posted by DrEntropy View Post
    The car spent too much time in south Florida! I'm goin' with Walt's guess. The valve & matrix are buried up under the dash, a real PITA to get to.
    Funny, I bought a car in Bradenton during January and proceeded to drive it back to Massachusetts. Everything was fine until I got as far north as North Carolina and noticed it was a little cool inside. Turned on the heat, but no. It was a long, cold ride back home, especially when it started to snow and I had no defrosters. You should have seen the stuff that came out of the heater core.
    Rick

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Look Out, Jay Leno

    Doesn't sound good. I put in more antifreeze mixture today and warmed it up. Nothing. Not only no heat but the 3 in-dash facial ducts do not seem to be passing any air either. The 2 defroster ducts are fine - plenty of (cold) air. Although the 2 levers seem to be working, something is rotten down below in the heater box as noted. I asked son about the heater. You guessed it. He never used it. Didn't use the a/c either. It looks like another visit to the shop since my days of laying on my back under the dash are officially over. BTW - this car has no radiator drain either. You have to pull off the lower radiator hose. A messy job. How much more would it have cost to put in a draincock? Classic cars. Fun when they work - a Royal PITA when they don't.

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