85 alfa spider Crazy ignition switch - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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Thumbs down 85 alfa spider Crazy ignition switch

Hello alfa owners need some help with a situation regarding the 85 spider s3 key switch? Recently I would get a delay in the car starting once the key switch was fully turned, so I had to dig into this. I also experienced a key switch that would keep the car running when turned off, and then finally, the switch turned to the first position and the car would want to start. I choose at that time to rebuild the starter which went very well, with a new brush plate and a couple of bushings some internal cleaning and reinstall. However I don't believe I captured the problem because I still have the same symptoms. I got another switch from Larry's place installed the switch and I have the same symptoms. The cars runs great I don't have a problems with it running its the switch or starter but what? I read that these cars do not have a starter relay so I'm back to the switch but how could I have the same problem with a different switch? There's only 3 wires on the starter one is black which goes to the prong on the right side of it and the 2 heavy gauge wires that are connected to the terminal post. All wires are in good looking shape. What am I missing here? where should I be looking? Please if anyone has info or been down this road it would help get the Alfa back on the highway. Thank you http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/imag...o_face_sad.png
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 09:23 AM
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Make sure that your starter is well grounded. Inspect and clean the grounding strap from the bell housing to the body.

So with the new switch do you still have the run-on issue or just the starter delay? The latter is very common and I could see that following from one switch to another. Adding a starter relay will help that as well as making sure that ground is solid. If you still have the run-on though I would guess you have more going on.

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Chris

1990 Spider Veloce

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 11:27 AM
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Black would be earth/ground... I think... it may simply be loose... a good cleaning and some wd40 at the contact points and you'll probably be ok...

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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the other switch I got from larry does the same thing as soon as you turn the switch on it wants to start. I'll check the ground strap again. thank you
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 04:27 PM
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Black would normally be a ground connection but I think there is a black wire in the ignition switch circuit that is not a ground.

Send BB member Papajam a PM and request a copy of his color-coded wire diagrams for your model Alfa. Include your email address and he will send some files that make sorting out Alfa wiring a lot easier.

- - Eric
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~ 1984 Spider Veloce ~
- -~ 1981 GTV-6 ~
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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ok I've checked the ground strap it's pretty good. theres 3 wires to a simple starter 1 small blk one that goes to a fixed connecter on the started then that leaves the 2 large wires. Red and Black the size of a sharpie marker they went back on to the lower lug of the solenoid when I did a starter rebuild. The strap from the solenoid to the starter is confirmed good and tight. For 2 yrs this car worked great now I need a relay it seems so strange. Do you know why the large plastic connecter for the key switch located next to the steering column has 3 wires red, brown and green but green goes to nothing. I tried to put it to ground and that got me nowhere. do you have any other ideas for me to check. The symptoms are weird one turn of the key and its ready to start. Thanks
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 05:36 PM
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Some of the extra wires may be for a small light to illuminate the switch.

Just to clarify, when you turn the key from 'off' to position 1 the starter is energized?

First see the sketch of the starter motor. The large black cable is the main positive supply from the battery. It should be attached to connection labeled #2 in the sketch. The small black wire should be the solenoid trigger. It should be attached to the connection labeled #3. Medium size red is the power supply to & from the battery supply cable to the junction box on the left inner fender. The alternator sends power to the junction box. From there it goes back to the main battery cable to keep the battery charged. It also goes to the fuse box.

Next see the sketch of the ignition switch. There should be a red, brown & black wire (note the extra wires for the light are not shown). Red is power in. Brown is power out - turning the key to the first position (ignition on) connects terminals #1 & #3. Turning the key further (start) also sends power to terminal #2 - the black wire to the starter solenoid. When the engine starts and you release the key it returns to ignition on so the engine will remain running. Note that the Alfa switch only allows one attempt at starting. If the engine does not start you have to turn the key all the way back to 'off' then try again.

The reason so many Alfas need a relay added to the system is because the internal contacts of the switch are not up the task after many years of use. Adding a relay means the internal contacts only have to pass a miniscule amount of electrons - letting the relay carry the full load and send full power to the solenoid.

Note: when you are checking, cleaning, moving any of the these connections I suggest you disconnect the battery (remove the ground - negative - cable). This avoids dramatic displays of arcing, sparks, melted wires, etc...
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- - Eric
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~ 1984 Spider Veloce ~
- -~ 1981 GTV-6 ~
Mebane, North Carolina


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you ghnl

alright the 3 wires that are directly located at the starter I thought were hooked up like this: small blk to a connector on the starter, then the red and black I hooked up on one post which is the lower lug on the sol. I'm asking myself why did I hook up a red and a black large wire to the same lug marked #2 on your diagram? Is that where I went wrong. Number 1 in your diagram, I don't have anything their is that a bolt the holds the starter to the bell housing? was I supposed to feed the bolt through the large red wire connector before I secured the starter to the bell housing???? the more I think about this ghnl the more I think I did something crazy wrong. Can you clarify what I did please.

Key switch is not a problem as the connectors were self explanatory.
would it be possible for me to call you when I'm not bothering you?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nakhai1 View Post
small blk to a connector on the starter,
Sounds right. IIRC, it is a 1/4" spade connector.

Quote:
then the red and black I hooked up on one post which is the lower lug on the sol. I'm asking myself why did I hook up a red and a black large wire to the same lug marked #2 on your diagram? Is that where I went wrong.
Could be. There should be a stud for the black positive cable & red power supply wire (connected together to the same stud). There is also a stud that sends power from the solenoid (basically a large electromagnetic switch) to the starter motor. You do not connect the battery cable/red wire there!

Quote:
Number 1 in your diagram, I don't have anything their is that a bolt the holds the starter to the bell housing? was I supposed to feed the bolt through the large red wire connector before I secured the starter to the bell housing???? the more I think about this ghnl the more I think I did something crazy wrong. Can you clarify what I did please.
Sorry, I did not explain fully - the sketch was done to explain how to test a starter while it is out of the car. When it is installed then it is grounded (12V negative) through the case - where is it is bolted to the engine. So, when installed you don't to need connect anything to the #1 area.

Quote:
would it be possible for me to call you when I'm not bothering you?
No bother! I have some errands to run tomorrow. I'm not sure when I'll be home. If we can't figure it out here we'll try a phone call.

P.S. post some pictures of your connections at the ignition switch & starter motor. That might help figure out what is happening.
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- - Eric
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~ 1984 Spider Veloce ~
- -~ 1981 GTV-6 ~
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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take a look please tell me if it's connected correctly. I thought this is how I remover. I did go back and think when I did this job and I removed the starter then I had to wait 10 days in order to get all the parts delivered which I may have forgotten the proper order. In the pics for the starter I have both large red and blk on the same post which is the top post the bottom post had a ground strap only from the sol.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 01:18 AM
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starter wiring looks correct to me.

huge black and thick red, together, on the longer threaded post (top post)
braided copper cable coming out of starter motor, on the shorter threaded post.
spade connector on the inboard spade terminal (might be marked "S")

the other spade terminal (might be marked "R") empty.

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 #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 01:56 AM
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A lot of focus on the starter, which makes sense. I pulled out the dash the other week and removed all instruments so I could have the dash and colsole painted. I had weird things going on with the ignition also - Id switch to auxiliary and it was random when it would activate. Once I put everything back together it seems spot on again. Im wondering if this was something to do with the earths I had disconnected for this period of time? Perhaps check the earths bolting off to the L/H bottom side of the dash and make sure that there arent too many blown lights. I might be barking up the wrong tree here but it just seems interesting that your symptoms are similar to what I had.
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