1991 Spider radio intermittant - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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1991 Spider radio intermittant

I just acquired my Spider over the weekend and shaking off the cobwebs. My question is with the radio. When I turn the key to Accessory, all lights and radio turn on, power antenna extends. Sometimes, I lose power to the radio when I start the engine and the antenna retracts. When that happens, I'm unable to reacquire power to the radio unless I restart the engine. Could this be a dirty contact or does this smell like an ignition switch issue? Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 04:44 PM
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If it's only the radio having issues I doubt it can be the ignition switch.

The wiring to the radio is a little funky. If you look at the wiring diagram, the radio is supposed to be powered via a relay in the fusebox. However, in nearly every S4 Spider I've seen this isn't the case: the radio pulls power from a spliced-in wire that runs from the back of the radio to a +12 switched wire in the center console (cig lighter, I think).

If you pull the radio from the dash and see a weird red or pink wire with a plastic inline holder for a glass fuse, that's what you're looking at. You can also tell if this is your situation if you pull the "radio fuse" from the fusebox and note that several of the female metal terminals that should be there are missing My guess on this is that they had a wiring harness manufacturing issue that they never fixed.

That retrofit radio power line might be where I start for odd power issues.


1963 Giulia Spider (1750 engine)
1974 GTV
1991 Spider
Former: 1987 Milano Gold
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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I pulled the radio and sure enough found the pink wire with inline fuse. What have people been doing as a runaround to make the radio work more reliably? Have people been running a line from the fuse box directly to the radio?

Last edited by Mike Hebert; 11-04-2015 at 07:11 PM.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-11-2015, 03:58 AM
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you think that's odd....my radio antenne on my S4 will sometimes retract when I put on a blinker......retracts just a bit, then, the next time I use the blinker it "may" retract a bit more! It is intermittant and doesn't happen everytime I use the blinker!
Wiring at radio, fusebox and ariel in the trunk all removed, cleaned and back on tight.
(Blinker and radio on same fuse)

I just live with it now and put it down to an alfa quirk.

Dom - Alfa Spider 1990 S4 - formerly: Alfa 101 Sprint, 2600 Sprint, Montreal - family classics: Jensen Interceptor II, '58 Hooper RR Silver Cloud I, Shadow II, '60 Corvette.
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