1986 Spider Quad - No Spark - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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Old 11-04-2011, 12:08 PM
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1986 Spider Quad - No Spark

Know there are a lot of threads on this....went through them and the L-Jet Diagnosis page. Here are the results:

1. Air leaks - none
2. Grounds - cleaned and dielectric applied
3. New ignition coil
4. Batter voltage during cranking 11.7 V
5. Fuses - all good
6. Fuel pump - new
7. Fuel pump / drive relays - new
8. AFM - ohm check ok
9. Flywheel sensors - ohm check ok
10. CTS - ohm check ok
11. TTS - ohm check ok
12. Cap/rotor - new
13. Plugs/plug wires new

Still no spark on ignition. Car has started easily the past few weeks and this is a new issue. Temperature in NC has dropped a little, but not chilly.

Know going beyond this point on the L-Jet is more for quality of engine running. Cannot figure out why no spark other than either Main ECU or FI ECU.

Thoughts are very welcome.
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1972 Montreal - in process!
1991 164B - sold 8/2013
1989 Milano Verde - sold 11/2012
1986 Spider Quad - sold 1/2012
1991 164L - sold 11/2011
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:35 PM
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Unfortunately there is no test for the computers themselves. Once you make sure all the inputs are 100% the only thing left is a faulty computer.

Where are you located? Swapping in a known good computer sounds like the next step.
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~ 1984 Spider Veloce ~
- -~ 1981 GTV-6 ~
Mebane, North Carolina

L-jetronic Spider diagnosis (1982-1989)
L-jetronic V-6 diagnosis
OK injectors - fuel injector cleaning
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:37 PM
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In Charlotte....do I need to replace both FI and main ECUs?
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John (JP) Perry

1972 Montreal - in process!
1991 164B - sold 8/2013
1989 Milano Verde - sold 11/2012
1986 Spider Quad - sold 1/2012
1991 164L - sold 11/2011
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:42 PM
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No spark

The two ECUs operate independently, if one is bad only that one needs to be replaced.

You said the fuses are good. Did you check them electrically or visually?


When you turn the key to ON, do you get 12v at:
  • the fused side of fuse 7
  • the (+) terminal of the coil
  • the fused side of fuse 8
  • ignition ECU connector terminal 10, green/black wire to/from Drive relay terminal 15, via connector G121
  • ignition ECU connector terminal 4, violet wire from igniton switch terminal 50, via connector G121

Two black ground wires, originally located on engine near injector 4 go to ignition ECU terminals 1 and 19. Is there continuity?

When the engine cranks, does the (-) side of the coil change voltage?

I've read not to probe the terminals of the ECU directly as damage will occur. I can neither confirm or refute this claim, but to be safe check voltages and continuity through the harness only while disconnected from the ECU.
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:21 PM
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Good feedback 86spider. Did a visual and pulled out and reinserted. All contact points were clean.

Will run your check in the am and report back.

Thanks, JP
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1972 Montreal - in process!
1991 164B - sold 8/2013
1989 Milano Verde - sold 11/2012
1986 Spider Quad - sold 1/2012
1991 164L - sold 11/2011
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:08 AM
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Tested this AM.....

When you turn the key to ON, do you get 12v at:

the fused side of fuse 7 - zero volts

the (+) terminal of the coil - - zero volts


the fused side of fuse 8 - zero volts

ignition ECU connector terminal 10, green/black wire to/from Drive relay terminal 15, via connector G121 - zero volts

ignition ECU connector terminal 4, violet wire from igniton switch terminal 50, via connector G121 - zero volts


Two black ground wires, originally located on engine near injector 4 go to ignition ECU terminals 1 and 19. Is there continuity? - Yes

When the engine cranks, does the (-) side of the coil change voltage? - No

Assume this means fried ECU?
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1972 Montreal - in process!
1991 164B - sold 8/2013
1989 Milano Verde - sold 11/2012
1986 Spider Quad - sold 1/2012
1991 164L - sold 11/2011
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfajp View Post
Tested this AM.....

When you turn the key to ON, do you get 12v at:

the fused side of fuse 7 - zero volts
this means fuse 7 is bad or you are not getting 12v to the unfused side of fuse 7 which gets power from the on position of the ignition switch. bad switch or bad wiring


Quote:
Originally Posted by alfajp View Post
the (+) terminal of the coil - - zero volts
this 12v comes from the hot side of fuse 7. no power getting here from ignition switch. bad switch or bad wire


Quote:
Originally Posted by alfajp View Post
the fused side of fuse 8 - zero volts
this means fuse 8 is bad or you are not getting 12v to the unfused side of fuse 8 which gets power from the on position of the ignition switch. bad switch or bad wiring


Quote:
Originally Posted by alfajp View Post
ignition ECU connector terminal 10, green/black wire to/from Drive relay terminal 15, via connector G121 - zero volts
this 12v comes from the hot side of fuse 8. no power getting here from ignition switch. bad switch or bad wire


Quote:
Originally Posted by alfajp View Post
ignition ECU connector terminal 4, violet wire from igniton switch terminal 50, via connector G121 - zero volts
this 12v comes from the hot side of fuse 8. no power getting here from ignition switch. bad switch or bad wire


Quote:
Originally Posted by alfajp View Post
Two black ground wires, originally located on engine near injector 4 go to ignition ECU terminals 1 and 19. Is there continuity? - Yes
Good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alfajp View Post
When the engine cranks, does the (-) side of the coil change voltage? - No
This is because the 12v to the (+) side of the coil is missing. The ignition ecu will pull the (-) side of the coil to ground to make spark.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alfajp View Post
Assume this means fried ECU?
Not yet. There seems to be a theme developing here. You need to get 12v from ignition switch to fuse block connecting the unfused sides of fuses 6, 7, & 8 together. This is a brown wire.

You could try jumping 12v at the fuse block. Fuses 1-5 are tied together on the hot side and are connected to 12v all the time. If you jump 12v from the hot side of fuse 5 to the hot side of fuse 6 or 7 or 8 the ignition circuitry should get power.

Repeat measurements, or turn key to start, see what happens.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:26 AM
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There is a power supply problem.

Check for voltage at the input (unfused) side of fuses 1 thru 5. Is there battery voltage? If not, disconnect the battery and clean the connections at the junction block (on left inner fender) and at the starter. If there is voltage at the fusebox, check for voltage on the red wire at the ignition switch. If no voltage, repair wiring between fusebox and ignition switch. If there is voltage, replace the ignition switch.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:32 AM
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Will do and keep posted.....great insight and did not think the ignition switch (which now seems obvious).
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1972 Montreal - in process!
1991 164B - sold 8/2013
1989 Milano Verde - sold 11/2012
1986 Spider Quad - sold 1/2012
1991 164L - sold 11/2011
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:03 AM
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Gentlemen,

Thanks for the great feedback.....I did the tests above and no voltage indicating bad switch. All the wiring tests out with continuity.

Will be getting a new switch. Thanks again, JP
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John (JP) Perry

1972 Montreal - in process!
1991 164B - sold 8/2013
1989 Milano Verde - sold 11/2012
1986 Spider Quad - sold 1/2012
1991 164L - sold 11/2011
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Old 11-06-2011, 06:17 AM
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Wow, now this is the fastest and most complete electrical diagnosis of all time via a forum!!

From the fist post to the last, Amazing. Excellent work to all :-)
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:26 PM
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Polished Grounds Again

When you turn the key to ON, do you get 12v at:
the fused side of fuse 7 Yes
the (+) terminal of the coil Yes
the fused side of fuse 8 Yes
ignition ECU connector terminal 10, green/black wire to/from Drive relay terminal 15, via connector G121
ignition ECU connector terminal 4, violet wire from igniton switch terminal 50, via connector G121 Yes if-------
if you count the holes in the connector from back to front, whether or not it has a metal connector inside. I'm pretty lost on this tests. I feel that if I strip apart the big sealed connector to the computers just to see the wire colors, when this thing ran fine a couple of months ago, I'd be setting myself up for scrapping it.

I do not have 12V at terminal #4, if that's how i'm supposed to count it.



Two black ground wires, originally located on engine near injector 4 go to ignition ECU terminals 1 and 19. Is there continuity?
Took the grounds off, and the neg side of the coil, repolished the polish, and applied dielectric grease.
Ignition ECU terminal#4 to ground, no voltage.

When the engine cranks, does the (-) side of the coil change voltage?
Checked again. Voltage drop from pos 12.4V to 10.2V.

Help guys. This is a low mileage unmolested Spider that I knew I was doomed when I brought it home. I've spent much more time trying to keep it running than driving and enjoying it.
The only difference between when I garaged it in July and when I tried to start it in late August is a mouse nest under the rear package shelf.
It ran splendidly when I parked it.
It would not fire Thursday night.
It fired up and idled and ran fine Friday night, when I was sure that I could drive it to the Italian Car Fest where I was entered, despite getting home the night before with nine broken ribs (blatent sympathy ploy.) Never fired again.

Back after 3 days in the ER and still driving the 41 Cadillac to Cars & Coffee and then the parts store hometown fest the same day.
Might be easier to do FlatHead Fest than Italian Car Fest.

Help! It almost has to be something simple?
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Old 12-03-2011, 03:22 AM
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While I do not have a picture handy.....cleaning the negative side of the coil, as you mentioned is a good idea. There are two ground wires, attached to the body, right there that may need to be cleaned. May have to remove the coolant reservoir bottle and the coil itself to see them.

86spider is referring to the grounds that are connected on the back of the engine, passenger side, near the connection point for #4 injector. Look for a cluster of a few black wires. That all needs to be cleaned and placed back.


Pulling of the ignition ECU connector to test voltage/continuity is not going to damage the ECU. Be sure to only check voltage/continuity at the connector, not the ECU.
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John (JP) Perry

1972 Montreal - in process!
1991 164B - sold 8/2013
1989 Milano Verde - sold 11/2012
1986 Spider Quad - sold 1/2012
1991 164L - sold 11/2011
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:04 AM
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I had re-polished both grounds before this last round of testing.
I replaced the coil and the rotor, just to appease the parts god with an affordable offering.
I still don't understand the COIL SIGNAL - START SIGNAL diagram as it relates to the relays and the sequence that must succeed in order to energize the coil. I don't seem to be building spark in the coil to fire the plugs.
I have never located an inertia switch on this car. Supposed to be near the washer bottle and the flywheel sensor connections, but nothing there.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:47 AM
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The coil should be 'energized' by simply switching on the ignition. The ignition ECU then controls coil output (spark energy) based on the inputs it gets from the flywheel sensors (position & speed). The distributor then switches which spark plug gets the coil output.

The 'start' signal & relays are involved in power to the fuel pumps. When the key is turned to 'start' there should be 12V supplied to the fuel pumps. When the engine starts & the key is released back to the 'on' position, the drive relay takes over supplying 12V to the fuel pumps as long as it gets the expected tachymetric signal from the coil. Thus, if the engine is not running (i.e. stalls) the fuel pumps are not powered on (or - the fuel pumps will not remain powered on if the drive relay is faulty or the tachymetric signal is missing...).
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don't read this
~ 1984 Spider Veloce ~
- -~ 1981 GTV-6 ~
Mebane, North Carolina

L-jetronic Spider diagnosis (1982-1989)
L-jetronic V-6 diagnosis
OK injectors - fuel injector cleaning
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