82 Spider won't start - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
 6Likes
  • 1 Post By ghnl
  • 1 Post By mghamms
  • 1 Post By mghamms
  • 2 Post By 65Sprint
  • 1 Post By sgweiner
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-23-2016, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 90
82 Spider won't start

I'm hoping one of the electrical gurus on the BB can help me.

1982 Spider (fuel injected)

Battery is fully charged. When I turn the key one click everything works (light, radio, etc). When I turn it further to start the engine, there is a brief click from the engine bay and then it all dies. Nothing works again unless I disconnect and reconnect the battery, and then I can start over.

I just did a full service (new fan belt, new radiator fluid, change oil, gear oil, muffler, fuel filter) so I was messing around with lots of places on the car, but everything looks like it's all attached. I can push it and it turns. Since the electrics come back when I disconnect and reconnect battery it doesn't appear to be a fuse.

Any tips appreciated (before it snows!!)

Scott

'82 Alfa Spider Veloce + '74 Fiat X1/9 + '10 Mazda RX-8 GT
sgweiner is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-23-2016, 11:55 AM
BB Janitor
Platinum SubscriberSuper Moderator
 
ghnl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Mebane, NC
Posts: 16,115
Garage
My guess is the ignition switch is on its way out. The internal contacts wear/get burned with years of use until they finally no longer allow electrons to pass.

Since the switch is both expensive and difficult to R/R, try a few easier/cheaper things first. The most important is to be sure all electrical connections are 100%. Don't assume - remove, clean & secure all connections in the battery to starter circuit (including the ground cable's connection to the body) and the connections for the ignition switch.

Connect a voltmeter to the battery and see what it reads. With everything off a fully charged battery should show 12.6V. Then see what it reads when you turn the key to 'start'. If there is a significant drop then either the battery has failed or the starter motor is failing.
sgweiner likes this.

- - Eric
don't read this
~ 1984 Spider Veloce ~
- -~ 1981 GTV-6 ~
Mebane, North Carolina


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
ghnl is offline  
post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-23-2016, 12:08 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Ware, Massachusetts
Posts: 80
Bad starter solenoid?
May be sticking closed.
Disconnecting battery opens?
Find the click in the engine bay. all I can think on is the starter.
sgweiner likes this.
mghamms is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-23-2016, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 90
Grrr- another mystery without an answer

After posting, I went back to the garage and tried a few more times - nada. it sounded like the click was from the starter. Then, I turned on the lights, left them on, and cranked and it turned right over. Why in the world that would work beats the heck out of me.

Thanks for the suggestions - if it happens again I'll check those things.

'82 Alfa Spider Veloce + '74 Fiat X1/9 + '10 Mazda RX-8 GT
sgweiner is offline  
post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-23-2016, 12:16 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Ware, Massachusetts
Posts: 80
may be a week battery.
charge it up or replace if old.
lights on gets the battery warmed up.
but i would think you would have to shut em off to start.
anyhow you running.
sgweiner likes this.
mghamms is offline  
post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-23-2016, 06:43 PM
Registered User
 
65Sprint's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Fountain Inn, SC
Posts: 1,078
I suspect you have a ground problem. Check the battery ground first, including the connection to the chasis.
sgweiner and John533i like this.

Rich Hanning
'65 Sprint GT, '78 Spider, '88 Quad
65Sprint is offline  
post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-25-2016, 04:58 PM
Registered User
 
spidryell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Western New York
Posts: 307
I also think it sounds like a ground issue. I would check the braided ground strap under the car. Is it there? Remove it and clean both ends and clean the connection points on the engine and the body before putting it back on.
When you check the main battery ground cable make sure to wiggle the terminal ends to see if one is loose or corroded. Mine was suspect so I replaced my cable. NAPA actually had a cable that was the same gauge and length. Had to find a worker that is willing to look in the back like the old days vs looking in the computer. Part number was 711631. Approx $18
spidryell is offline  
post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 90
Well, 5 months after the last post, I just wanted to conclude with the solution, in case it helps another knucklehead like me. I pushed the car to the side of the house to store it for the winter and just got it our again as we had our first >70 degree day in Boston and the snow has *finally* all melted. I kept focusing on the starter because the accessories would work in the first position but when I clicked to turn it off it would all just die. I installed a starter relay (pretty easy to do - happy to provide tips if anyone is confused by what 30/85/86/87 mean). It still did the same thing.

I went to test the battery as I always have, but putting my voltmeter to the posts of the battery - it read normal/well-charged. Then, by accident, I touched the battery ground cable instead of the post and, sure, enough, the volts dropped to 7. So spidryell was right - it was corrosion (barely even visible) on the main battery ground cable. What happened was that it was enough to power the accessories, but when the starter engaged the whole thing just shut down. A little sandpaper cleanup and now it's all working again.

So the lesson:
- When testing the strength of your battery to diagnose electrical issues, measure at the cable end and not at the battery terminal. Thanks, all.
ghnl likes this.

'82 Alfa Spider Veloce + '74 Fiat X1/9 + '10 Mazda RX-8 GT
sgweiner is offline  
post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-02-2018, 06:22 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Fairfax, VA
Posts: 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgweiner View Post
Well, 5 months after the last post, I just wanted to conclude with the solution, in case it helps another knucklehead like me. I pushed the car to the side of the house to store it for the winter and just got it our again as we had our first >70 degree day in Boston and the snow has *finally* all melted. I kept focusing on the starter because the accessories would work in the first position but when I clicked to turn it off it would all just die. I installed a starter relay (pretty easy to do - happy to provide tips if anyone is confused by what 30/85/86/87 mean). It still did the same thing.

I went to test the battery as I always have, but putting my voltmeter to the posts of the battery - it read normal/well-charged. Then, by accident, I touched the battery ground cable instead of the post and, sure, enough, the volts dropped to 7. So spidryell was right - it was corrosion (barely even visible) on the main battery ground cable. What happened was that it was enough to power the accessories, but when the starter engaged the whole thing just shut down. A little sandpaper cleanup and now it's all working again.

So the lesson:
- When testing the strength of your battery to diagnose electrical issues, measure at the cable end and not at the battery terminal. Thanks, all.
I am having a similar issue- I cleaned up the ground cable inside the trunk space- is there two ground cables?
evilmnky45 is offline  
post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-02-2018, 06:34 AM
BB Janitor
Platinum SubscriberSuper Moderator
 
ghnl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Mebane, NC
Posts: 16,115
Garage
There are two ends to the battery ground cable - the terminal at the battery* and where it is bolted to the body - sort of behind the battery & out of view. There is also a ground strap connecting the bellhousing to a tab in the transmission tunnel (underneath the car). All those connections should be cleaned & secured - don't assume they are good because they look OK.

*if the battery's ground connection has been replaced with a bolt-on clamp, be suspicious of that. They are temporary repairs for a corroded cable clamp.

- - Eric
don't read this
~ 1984 Spider Veloce ~
- -~ 1981 GTV-6 ~
Mebane, North Carolina


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
ghnl is offline  
post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-02-2018, 07:22 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Fairfax, VA
Posts: 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghnl View Post
There are two ends to the battery ground cable - the terminal at the battery* and where it is bolted to the body - sort of behind the battery & out of view. There is also a ground strap connecting the bellhousing to a tab in the transmission tunnel (underneath the car). All those connections should be cleaned & secured - don't assume they are good because they look OK.

*if the battery's ground connection has been replaced with a bolt-on clamp, be suspicious of that. They are temporary repairs for a corroded cable clamp.
Interesting. I would have never thought that. I cleaned the car one and put dielectric on it. Was nasty, but did not fix the starter and electric drain issue. Ill take a look for the ground strap today. on the passenger side?
evilmnky45 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome