91 Spider Voltage regulator/Alternator issues - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-27-2018, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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91 Spider Voltage regulator/Alternator issues

My 91 spider was becoming more difficult to get the charging system to kick on, I was having to rev it higher and longer before the needle would kick over to charging. A couple weeks ago instead of the needle jumping over to the positive side it dropped all the way down to the left, dead... I mad an educated guess an ordered a voltage regulator and replaced it today. The good news is that it started charging right away and seems to be running fine. However even though the needle is in the positive and the battery is being charged as it now starts or restarts without a jump, the lights don't appear to be as bright as they should be. Could it be the Alternator is going bad or did I not do something regarding the regulator? Ive done some wrenching over the years and haven't found anything I cant handle as of yet, (Thanks Internet) but I don't have an electrical tester where I'm currently living but I'm sure I can pick up a cheap one at Lowes or something but where should I begin testing and what am I looking for.
Also, an unrelated issue, my throttle doesn't seen to open up as far as it used to, the car seems slower or less umph! Anybody else have this issue? I have a 91 base spider with 58k, ive had for 8 years and about 30k. Thanks for any help..
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-27-2018, 08:50 PM
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2nd first, the bushing holding the pivot in the throttle linkage at the horizontal rod parallel the starter, is worn out, the throttle doesn't fully open. Other causes include TPS, motor mounts, fuel, etc.

Electrical preemptive, disassemble and reassemble the battery cables at battery , ground & starter; while apart you can recheck the alternator connections and main ground under car, then headlamp grounds; have you tried charging the battery?

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-28-2018, 07:27 AM
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when you replaced the voltage regulator, were the brushes very unevenly worn down, or ok looking?

yes, first off get yourself a digital meter. There are some basic tools you just cannot do without as an alfa owner!

then follow rogerspeed's advise and remove both battery posts and clean, especially the ground cable screwed to the trunk floor.

Next I would clean the connections on the main electrical junction with the thick red wires going to it, under the hood on the left inner fender: undo clean replace. The green wire is the alt. wire, the big reds are starter wires.

with your newly aquired digital multimeter ()
test the battery voltage (your dash guage is not accurate enough for this): put the voltmeter set to 20V range on the battery....a good healthy battery should be 12.6V
now start the engine, get someone to hold the revs at say about 1200 and again test the volts across the battery.....if all is good with alt charging, you should get about 13.8 - 14.4 volt.

with throttle: press the gas pedal to the floor, now check the throttle control flap under the hood....can you still move it some with your fingers?

PS you will get a lot more views over in the spider section if you move this there...

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.

Last edited by spiderserie4; 02-28-2018 at 07:30 AM.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Voltage regulator & Throttle slopp!

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Originally Posted by spiderserie4 View Post
when you replaced the voltage regulator, were the brushes very unevenly worn down, or ok looking?

yes, first off get yourself a digital meter. There are some basic tools you just cannot do without as an alfa owner!

then follow rogerspeed's advise and remove both battery posts and clean, especially the ground cable screwed to the trunk floor.

Next I would clean the connections on the main electrical junction with the thick red wires going to it, under the hood on the left inner fender: undo clean replace. The green wire is the alt. wire, the big reds are starter wires.

with your newly aquired digital multimeter ()
test the battery voltage (your dash guage is not accurate enough for this): put the voltmeter set to 20V range on the battery....a good healthy battery should be 12.6V
now start the engine, get someone to hold the revs at say about 1200 and again test the volts across the battery.....if all is good with alt charging, you should get about 13.8 - 14.4 volt.

with throttle: press the gas pedal to the floor, now check the throttle control flap under the hood....can you still move it some with your fingers?

PS you will get a lot more views over in the spider section if you move this there...
First off, thank you for your help, greatly appreciated. In response to your question, the brushes on the regulator were not worn evenly, one side was considerably lower than the other. The cables and the connections appear ok, I had actually replaced a great deal of the wiring when I got this Spider 8 years ago, they were melted under the hood. The battery is new as are the connectors. What does it mean when the brushes are worn unevenly? Regarding the throttle, it appears to be a lot of play at the linkage where the long rod connects, I can push the pedal almost halfway before it moves the throttle. One would think that replacing the ends on the throttle rods would tighten this up but it seems to have a considerable amount of lateral movement at the "L" shape part of the linkage under the plenum, any suggestions? Thanks again for your help.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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BTW - I'm off to get a Multi-meter, thanks again.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Stromberg View Post
First off, thank you for your help, greatly appreciated. In response to your question, the brushes on the regulator were not worn evenly, one side was considerably lower than the other.
Maybe somebody broke one when inserting the regulator? If you just try to jam it in there you can break them. You need to sort of angle it in and then compress the brushes against the part they rub against.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 04:57 AM
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my experience of uneven brushes, is the commutator might be worn.
Put your finger in there and try to feel for roughness or one of the slip rings having worn deeper.
If it has your new regulator will also wear away unevenly.

this is not our type of ALT, but it shows real bad slip rings..
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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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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-21-2018, 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Terry Stromberg View Post
Regarding the throttle, it appears to be a lot of play at the linkage where the long rod connects, I can push the pedal almost halfway before it moves the throttle. One would think that replacing the ends on the throttle rods would tighten this up but it seems to have a considerable amount of lateral movement at the "L" shape part of the linkage under the plenum, any suggestions? Thanks again for your help.
by this do you mean the bell crank (bolted to the plenum)? If so unclip the ball ends from this and then feel if it wobbles about a lot.

If replacing all the ball ends does not take up the play (with pedal going almost half way to floor before throttle actuates, sounds like it won't in your case!) then the arm coming off the main throttle rod mechanism bolted along the bulkhead would be my first suspicion: this has a bush (edit: circled in red) and is rarely if ever replaced, because it is not easy to replace! (needs pressing out) so the whole rod mechanism needs removing (also not easy with engine in, but do-able)

useful stuff here on that bush (including a fix using washers, that might help)
https://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spi...e-linkage.html

having said all that, the long lateral rod from that bush (edit: underlined in red) to bell crank is adjustable, this could improve things.....maybe some PO was messing with the car and put it back wrong....happens
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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.

Last edited by spiderserie4; 07-17-2018 at 01:37 AM. Reason: corrections
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2018, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Just wanted to take a minute to thank you. I was able to get most of the play out of the throttle, now on to other issues. Thanks again..

T
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