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Discussion Starter #1
This thread is to document the progress of the restoration/build of my 1985 Biturbo Coupe (5 speed).

8/23/2014:
I just purchased an '85 Biturbo coupe, 5 speed, out in CA as a project car. It's in "decent" condition... prime for restoration. It "should" run with a new battery, says previous owner...
Body and interior condition is very usable. Body is straight, with no dings/dents, but standard rust in right rear fender.
We had a very tough time getting it into the garage. The driveway was too steep for my wife and I to push it up. Sooo... see below. :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgBQtqF9vXQ&list=UU96pIJh1IBx_mFbifhtkGYQ&index=4

8/25/2014:
I hooked my other vehicle up in jump-start formation (minus Biturbo's battery) directly to the cables. I was able to do an electrical test. I'm very pleased! All systems except the starter and HVAC controls (fan) work as intended!
One challenge though... it has an old school Clifford alarm with a keypad installed. I fully believe that it is hindering the starter (and possibly ignition system... still need to test), because I was able to energize the starter from the "white wire" near the battery. It didn't have enough oomph to turn the motor, which I found to be slightly stuck when I turned the crank with a ratchet. Once it broke free (not frozen, just slightly stuck... not worried), it turned freely. I'm going to go ahead and buy a battery after work tomorrow and see if I can get it to crank on it's own.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JguJxe9D0FQ&index=3&list=UU96pIJh1IBx_mFbifhtkGYQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gd_9aV4GZ9A&index=2&list=UU96pIJh1IBx_mFbifhtkGYQ

8/26/2014:
Today I bought a new battery and hooked it up.
Tested the ignition switch... no go. (Clifford alarm interfering.. my theory)
Went to the engine compartment and hot wired it at the battery... IT FIRED!!!
I wasn't even trying to start it. It surprised the poop out of me. I just wanted to test the starter.
I remembered I had pumped the gas yesterday... that's why it fired.
The fuel pump is not running (again... Clifford alarm).
When it was running, I realized... OH CRAP, I hope the ignition switch will shut it off!
Didn't have to worry about it though... it was only running on float bowl fuel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhmbCWwyz1Y&index=1&list=UU96pIJh1IBx_mFbifhtkGYQ


 

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Discussion Starter #2
8/27/2014:
Home with sick daughter... Worked on Biturbo while she napped ;)
I was able to trace the Clifford alarm's wiring, relays, and computer back to the area above the glove box/inside the dash. I've reconnected the factory wires that were cut/intercepted by the alarm. I also removed all blue piggyback splicers and wires... the alarm is officially removed and on the garage floor!
While in there, I found an old Rockford-Fosgate amp, wiring, and pulled them all out as well.
I will do my own stereo wiring when ready for that stage.
I think I'll also remove the stock radio antenna while I'm at it. That's just one more mechanical thing to go bad... I'll put in something more modern later.

I'm debating on whether or not to remove and bypass the inertia-fuel pump switch.
It doesn't feel right. I took it off the mount, pulled and pushed the plunger and something on the inside is rattling around.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
8/28/2014:
Tested the fuel pump... no power with key on.
Hot wired the pump directly... no go.
Removed pump and filter.
Drained the 6 gallons of nasty, stinky, yellow/brown gas from the gas tank and ripped/removed the fuel hoses off.

Tomorrow will be a trip to the dump to dispose of the gas.
Then to the parts store to get a low pressure pump and fuel filter, and new fuel hoses (both sizes). I'll get enough hose for the front too...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It runs and drives!!!

8/30/2014:
I took the old fuel pump and filter to O'Reilly's and picked up a Mr. Gasket fuel pump (which mounts perfectly on stock mounts), with a glass filter and some fuel hose last night. This morning I put it all together, then added 2 gallons of gas, turned on the battery and started it up! It ran great for having a bunch of vacuum lines disconnected! So, I decided to test out the clutch and transmission... It drives too!!!
See video! : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uoAcdgiXV8&list=UU96pIJh1IBx_mFbifhtkGYQ

 

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Discussion Starter #6
8/31/2014:
I traced down the key start issue. I swapped in a relay from the removed alarm system to replace the starter relay. Fixed! It now starts with the key instead of hot wiring.
Starter relay replaced. - YouTube

Noticed yesterday that the seller did not give us door keys.
May have to swap to another set of locks. Arg!
 

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Great thread following your restoration! :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks! This is a blast!

9/1/2014:
Bought some vacuum lines to replace broken ones with. I was going to replace ALL lines... but... I need more hose.

Fixed vacuum advance on distributor and a couple others.
Then I ran the car for about 10 minutes to get it to operating temperature.
Once it hit about 100* C, the radiator fans kicked on!

I grabbed the throttle and revved it a couple times. MUCH more responsive and snappy with proper vacuum advance :)

I drove it to the bottom of the cul de sac and back. Gave it WOT on the way back... Oh wow.
I've sooo missed the Biturbo.

I'm anxious to do a compression test.
But, I'm very hesitant to do much more without the title in my name. I was going to get that done before doing anything but decided I'd spend a minimal amount of time and money to get it running first. I'll need to drive it to DMV to have the VIN inspected first. Once that's done, I'm home free.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
9/2/2014:
The car is now on our insurance. :)
Now I can get a movement permit from DMV.
Then need to drive it to their inspection station to get VIN inspected in the next few days.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
9/3/2014:
After about an hour waiting at DMV, I now have a Temporary Movement Permit, good for 30 days!
:autofahrer:

Hoping to have it titled/registered on Saturday... we'll see!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
9/3/2014:
Slight setback tonight. Dad and I attempted to take the Biturbo to get gas. Halfway there (1/2 mile) it started losing power and died. Started up and died again after 100 ft. Ended up pushing the rest of the way. Added 10 gallons of gas. Still no start.
A crowd gathered around asking about the car. Was cool, but embarrassing at the same time. Two guys, Neil and Skyler, gave us a ride home. My wife and I took my truck and tow-strapped the car back to the house.

So, it's not ready for prime time yet...

Things to check:
Fuel pressure, spark plugs, compression...

Arg...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks! :)

9/6/2014:
Spent most of the morning replacing the fuel hoses in the engine compartment. I added an inline fuel pressure gauge to the Biturbo fuel pressure regulator's input and one on the output line. I wanted to see what was going on...
Sure enough... it was getting 6 psi on both sides.

So I added an adjustable (dial-type) fuel pressure regulator to the fuel pump outlet hose in the rear. I set it to 3 psi. Then I adjusted the Biturbo's regulator to 2.1 psi.

When I put it all back together, I took it for a drive around my neighborhood (25mph). Everything seemed fine... until I took it onto a 35mph street. Once I got to the stop sign at an intersection, it died.

Cranked and cranked...
Finally, as I held the pedal to the floor, it fired and sputtered... so I floored it and popped the clutch... spinning the tires through the intersection. I knew I needed to keep the RPMs up in order to get home (just around the corner).

Pulled in and all you can smell is RICH RICH exhaust.
I'm thinking it needs a carb rebuild now. If so, I may... (may)... consider my idea of swapping the stock carb with a Weber 40IDF. It's much easier to tune (for me... I was a Porsche/VW guy previously). I'll have to do some major research on this first. Otherwise, I'll just buy the OEM rebuild kit for $35 on Ebay.

Oh... in doing some research, I found that it IS possible and an advantage to remove all the emission control junk! I found some diagrams on Maserati Biturbo Zentrum that show exactly what needs to be removed and what needs to go where. Since in NV I don't need to smog it, I'm definitely going this route (I'm going with the "Classic Car" registration).

So, It's derivable again... but not far.
Also, some positive notes:
- Turbo boost gauge works!
- Turbos WORK! I got them to touch yellow!
- Cooling system works! Stayed at about 100 C

Time to order parts!
More to come...
JIM
 

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Discussion Starter #14
9/8/2014:
I ordered some parts from Auto-Italia:
-Carb rebuild kit
-Plenum gasket
-Gas cap
Should arrive this week!

Today I pulled the spark plugs and did a compression test.
I got 100 as lowest and 115 as highest.
One head having all 100 (+/- 3) and the other head having all 115.
I'm not sure if these are good numbers or not... I assume they are as turbo cars usually have lower compression ratios to allow for boost.
(Anybody know if the numbers are good?)

When I put the plugs back in, I cleaned them with a fine wire wheel first. They were caked with soot... wayyyy to rich.

So, I have a theory as to why my car has dying/restarting issues.
When you turn the ignition switch to the on position, it usually takes a few turns of the key to activate the dash lights, which in turn activate the ignition power. This issue, I think, is causing the car to shut down while driving. While trying to restart, the cranking sounds "dull"... not crisp... if that makes any sense.
Today I took it around the neighborhood. When I got home I turned it off, then tried to restart. Nothing... just cranking (dull sound). Then I powered off and tried one more time. This time the dash lights flashed as I went to "start" position... Cranked "crisply" and it fired with no hesitation.

So, If I can trace it back to the ignition switch or fuses or relays, I'll be happy.
I did buy a carb rebuild kit... which I know it needs too. It's running a little rough.

I just need it to drive a 14 mile round trip! Need to do the DMV VIN inspection.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ahh yes.. I just read up on someone else's troubles with similar symptoms as mine. Had to do with fuse box.

Looks like I'll be playing with my soldering gun soon.
:ninja2:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ok, if I'm suspecting an issue with power to the coil intermittently shutting off... couldn't I run a jumper from the battery to the coil temporarily (to get the car to DMV and back)?
 

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I sent mine away to a guy named Ron in Texas, he is known to properly repair and upgrade these fuseboxes. I should have mine back in about a week.
 
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