Car does not turn on - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Car does not turn on

I've been trying to figure out why my 74 spider does not turn on. The battery has a good charge. I cleaned the contacts for the starter and the ignition coil. The starter does not turn the engine and I am able to push start it. There is a clicking sound coming from near the ignition coil. It is a small metal box but I'm not sure what it is or if it is affecting the car in any way. I attached a picture of the clicking box.
Thanks in advance!!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 07:25 PM
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I don't know the specifics of the 74's wiring but that looks like and old, crusty relay. Have you tried cleaning the connections? (keep track of where each wire connects) If no joy after cleaning replace the relay. A modern relay will likely be in a plastic cube but the terminal designations are likely unchanged.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 07:26 PM
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First thing I would check would be the battery ground cable and engine to chassis ground cable. The grounds have to be clean, shiny and tight. Check your voltage between the battery positive post and the chassis ground, where the ground strap attaches. It should read the same as post-to-post. Check up front also at the engine ground and the cable leading down to the starter. Again, it should be very close to what the battery reads.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 05:24 AM
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The car does not crank when you turn the key, but runs after push start with the key in the run position. Correct?
This may be classic Alfa ignition switch failure and has happened to me several times over my years of Alfa ownership. The crank contacts fail but the run contacts continue to function. If you are handy, do what I did with my autocross Spider; buy a push button at your local auto parts store, and wire this into the starter cranking circuit. My '76 Spider has been this way for years.

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Originally Posted by arachnidmagnet View Post
I've been trying to figure out why my 74 spider does not turn on. The battery has a good charge. I cleaned the contacts for the starter and the ignition coil. The starter does not turn the engine and I am able to push start it. There is a clicking sound coming from near the ignition coil. It is a small metal box but I'm not sure what it is or if it is affecting the car in any way. I attached a picture of the clicking box.
Thanks in advance!!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 07:41 AM
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Start by using a remote starter switch to verify the starter functions. If that's okay it very likely might be the ignition key.

One other more complicated potential issue may be (if I recall correctly) that the '74 originally came with a seatbelt lockout: the starter would not engage unless the seatbelt were buckled for occupied seats. These were supposed to be disabled a long time ago, but it's possible the remnants of the system may be causing problems. That relay that's clicking may be part of the lockout system.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 02:01 PM
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Starter could just be stuck. Get a hammer and I use a 2ft 3/4 copper pipe and give the starter a wack while someone is trying to start it. If it works you need a rebuild.
If the starter clicks, it's a sure bet!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfasrule View Post
Starter could just be stuck. Get a hammer and I use a 2ft 3/4 copper pipe and give the starter a wack while someone is trying to start it. If it works you need a rebuild.
If the starter clicks, it's a sure bet!
Been there done that, but once he gets it push started the starter should become disengaged and 'unstick' itself... at least briefly... my guess here would be the old relay / cut out switch...

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