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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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Lightweight starter issues

Been having problems with a lightweight starter from ebspares, should have sent it back the 1st time I had it stuck in ON position 3 years ago (bump on a solenoid with a piece of wood "fixed" it). Since then it's been working for next 1200 miles or so and then it quit. Shorting the terminals on a solenoid made it turn, so I installed a new solenoid and tested it in situ. It worked:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/202327548465
Today after installing carbs I tried to start the car and starter won't turn!
Tried it 3 times, nothing, not even a click. Went back in there checking the connection on a black wire from the ignition key and noticed that the solenoid is hot. I disconnected the battery right away... Any thoughts on what I might be doing wrong???

Zaza

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Swapped starters... same thing: both starters work on the bench, but won't turn on the engine even with spark plugs out. Don't hear a click.
This is what I've tested so far:
- 12V power from the ignition switch
- battery (4 years old) at the terminals and at the solenoid 12.7V and when I turn the key to the "starter" position nothing changes on the voltimeter
- turned the engine by hand
How do I test the battery for low amps?

Zaza

Current Alfas:

2018 Stelvio Ti Sport
1987 Milano Verde
1970 Euro-spec GTV 1750

Refreshing 1750 GTV
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Last edited by Nakagtv; 08-24-2019 at 02:01 PM.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 02:48 PM
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How do I test the battery for low amps?
You take it to a place that sells batteries and ask them to load test it. But I'm betting it will test OK; it's hard to believe that your battery could measure 12.7V with the key on, but not deliver enough amps to at least make the solenoid "click".

How are the connectors at the battery? The "+" terminal and ground strap?

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Went back in there checking the connection on a black wire from the ignition key and noticed that the solenoid is hot.
That one still has me puzzled. But after the hot solenoid issue, that starter worked OK on the bench?

I assume this is happening on your 1970 Euro-spec GTV 1750, and that this car does NOT have Spica (and as such, no cold start solenoid). Right?

Jay Mackro
San Juan Capistrano, CA

'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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You take it to a place that sells batteries and ask them to load test it. But it's hard to believe that your battery could measure 12.7V with the key on, but not deliver enough amps to at least make the solenoid "click". I'd look at the heavy gauge wiring between the battery and the starter.
I tested the battery at the starter terminal (where the heavy gauge wire, + from the battery connects) and it's 12.7v. I'll bring the battery to the store for a load test, I can't think of anything else. Thanks for chiming in!

Zaza

Current Alfas:

2018 Stelvio Ti Sport
1987 Milano Verde
1970 Euro-spec GTV 1750

Refreshing 1750 GTV
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Alfajay View Post

How are the connectors at the battery? The "+" terminal and ground strap?



That one still has me puzzled. But after the hot solenoid issue, that starter worked OK on the bench?

I assume this is happening on your 1970 Euro-spec GTV 1750, and that this car does NOT have Spica (and as such, no cold start solenoid). Right?
-All electrical connections on the car have been cleaned and are in good condition.
-I had solenoid reversed/incorrectly mounted and two 8mm terminals on a solenoid incorrectly wired. Corrected that right away and the starter is working now, it's on a bench. The old starter is on the car and won't click
- Yes it's a non-spica car with webers from factory.

Zaza

Current Alfas:

2018 Stelvio Ti Sport
1987 Milano Verde
1970 Euro-spec GTV 1750

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Last edited by Nakagtv; 08-24-2019 at 03:11 PM.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 03:28 PM
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I tested the battery at the starter terminal (where the heavy gauge wire, + from the battery connects) and it's 12.7v.
12.7v with the key "off" or 12.7v with the key in the "start" position?

And what voltage does the smaller wire to the solenoid (e.g., the one from the ignition switch) measure with the key in the "start" position?

Jay Mackro
San Juan Capistrano, CA

'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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I tested the battery at the starter terminal (where the heavy gauge wire, + from the battery connects) and it's 12.7v.
12.7v with the key "off" or 12.7v with the key in the "start" position?

And what voltage does the smaller wire to the solenoid (e.g., the one from the ignition switch) measure with the key in the "start" position?
Haven't measured voltage on the black wire from the ignition switch, had light bulb connected and it flashed bright in "start" position. I'll measure it tonight when I get back to garage.
Voltage measured at the battery terminals stayed at 12.7v with key off or start positions. I'll measure it at the solenoid, just to be sure the main battery wire is good.

Zaza

Current Alfas:

2018 Stelvio Ti Sport
1987 Milano Verde
1970 Euro-spec GTV 1750

Refreshing 1750 GTV
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 04:14 PM
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Haven't measured voltage on the black wire from the ignition switch, had light bulb connected and it flashed bright in "start" position. I'll measure it tonight when I get back to garage.
Well, "bright" is a voltage measurement. It indicates 12.7v or close to it.

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Voltage measured at the battery terminals stayed at 12.7v with key off or start positions. I'll measure it at the solenoid, just to be sure the main battery wire is good.
If your battery was defective, but everything else OK, the battery voltage would drop pretty low with the key in the "start" position.

Where do the fusebox and ignition switch pick up power on a 1970 Euro-spec GTV 1750? From the battery "+" terminal (via a smaller wire attached to the heavy lead)? From the alternator? From the large gauge lug on the solenoid?

Do your headlights and other electrical components work OK?

Jay Mackro
San Juan Capistrano, CA

'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Secondary wire on the + battery clamp feeds the fuse box, from the fuse box to ignition switch and from switch straight to solenoid (without a relay).
I even cleaned internal and external contacts on the back of the ignition switch (a round blastic piece with all the connections). Did it a year ago.

Zaza

Current Alfas:

2018 Stelvio Ti Sport
1987 Milano Verde
1970 Euro-spec GTV 1750

Refreshing 1750 GTV
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Hotwired the starter: instead of black wire from the ignition, I used battery "+" directly and starter works. Then I measured voltage on black wire from the ignition, its 12.45volts. Plug it back, turn the key to "start" and nothing happens. OK. Measured black ignition wire again, its 12.45v. Hotwired starter again and it's working. Hmmm.... contact in the plastic mechanism on the ignition lock, has to be that. Wiring is in a good shape on the car, clean grounds, contacts etc. Everything else works...

Zaza

Current Alfas:

2018 Stelvio Ti Sport
1987 Milano Verde
1970 Euro-spec GTV 1750

Refreshing 1750 GTV
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 05:29 AM
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Bad ignition switch. The solenoid needs a lot of current and a high resistance contact in the ignition switch is limiting it. If you want to double check it then measure the voltage on the solenoid terminal when you turn the switch and it will probably be only a few volts.

You may be able to extend the life of the ignition switch by installing a relay.

Ed Prytherch
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76 Suzuki GT500
2011 Jaguar XKR

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them. - P.J. O'Rourke
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 07:01 AM
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Bad ignition switch. The solenoid needs a lot of current and a high resistance contact in the ignition switch is limiting it.
It sure sounds like a bad ignition switch. The fact that hotwiring the solenoid makes it work suggests that it isn't getting sufficient power through the switch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alfaparticle
If you want to double check it then measure the voltage on the solenoid terminal when you turn the switch and it will probably be only a few volts.
However, Nakagtv has already done a crude measurement of the voltage at the solenoid with the switch in the "start" position. His post #7 reports:

had light bulb connected and it flashed bright in "start" position.

Actually measuring the voltage would be less ambiguous, but "flashed bright" doesn't sound like "a few volts".

Jay Mackro
San Juan Capistrano, CA

'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfaparticle View Post
Bad ignition switch. The solenoid needs a lot of current and a high resistance contact in the ignition switch is limiting it.
It sure sounds like a bad ignition switch. The fact that hotwiring the solenoid makes it work suggests that it isn't getting sufficient power through the switch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alfaparticle
If you want to double check it then measure the voltage on the solenoid terminal when you turn the switch and it will probably be only a few volts.
However, Nakagtv has already done a crude measurement of the voltage at the solenoid with the switch in the "start" position. His post #7 reports:

had light bulb connected and it flashed bright in "start" position.

Actually measuring the voltage would be less ambiguous, but "flashed bright" doesn't sound like "a few volts".
Jay, I had to be more clear about the measurement the black wire: it was off the solenoid when I measured, did not have a helper to switch the lock while I would hold a probe at the solenoid. Should get some "aligator" probes...

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Zaza

Current Alfas:

2018 Stelvio Ti Sport
1987 Milano Verde
1970 Euro-spec GTV 1750

Refreshing 1750 GTV
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 01:44 PM
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Actually measuring the voltage would be less ambiguous, but "flashed bright" doesn't sound like "a few volts".
True but the test lamp draws much less current than the solenoid and there will therefore be much less volt drop in the high resistance switch contact. Or look at another way, you have a potential divider with the switch resistance in series with either the very low resistance solenoid or the higher resistance lamp. Vout = Vin *Rload/(Rswitch + Rload) Where Rload is either the lamp or the solenoid.
The resistance of a relay will be similar to or higher than the lamp and should work fine.

Ed Prytherch
79 Spider
76 Suzuki GT500
2011 Jaguar XKR

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them. - P.J. O'Rourke
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 02:08 PM
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True but the test lamp draws much less current than the solenoid and there will therefore be much less volt drop in the high resistance switch contact.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nakagtv
I had to be more clear about the measurement the black wire: it was off the solenoid when I measured
I never imagined you'd test it that way. Sure, in that case, Ed's right: the light would glow brightly, even if the ignition switch's contacts offer resistance.

Thanks for clarifying how you performed the test; the ignition switch certainly seems like the culprit. Ed's suggestion to put a relay in the circuit would be a simpler fix than replacing the ignition switch.

Jay Mackro
San Juan Capistrano, CA

'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L

Last edited by Alfajay; 08-25-2019 at 02:14 PM.
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