Reluctant to start spider - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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Reluctant to start spider

I'm a little stuck with my RED '82 Spider (fuel injected). It has a symptom where it will usually start right up when it's cold. However, if it's a little warm it just doesn't want to start.

The starter spins but it won't catch. Occasionally, just as I am letting go of the ignition key (from the start position to where it normally is when the car is running) it will catch and start. Sometimes, though, it just won't go at all - if I let it rest a little while or keep the starter going for 30 seconds or so (which is so bad for it) it will usually then start up.

Recent work done since this symptom started: replaced the in-tank fuel pump and all trunk hose lines; replaced main fuel filter; replaced spark plugs; checked all sensors as per the L-jet diagnostic and everything checks out (although I didn't test the AAV but I changed that just about 1000 miles ago - I thought it might be the crankshaft sensors but they both read 800); new battery.

I am totally stumped. Any ideas/suggestions from the brilliant hive?

'82 Alfa Spider Veloce + '74 Fiat X1/9 + '10 Mazda RX-8 GT
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 11:52 AM
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Try cleaning the ground connections - especially the battery ground cable (both ends) and the grounds on the block next to the #4 fuel injector. Also clean the positive connections at the terminal block next to the air filter. Sounds like you have voltage drop that sometimes keeps the ignition ECU from getting enough voltage.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 12:38 PM
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One clue is that you say it sometimes will catch just as you release the key from start to on. At that point the starter has stopped drawing its large numbers of electrons but the crankshaft is still turning. With just a little luck it is ready to start and the additional electrons that were freed up allow it to happen. Connect a voltmeter to the battery and see what it reads (a dash gauge does not usually give proper readings while cranking). With everything off a fully charged battery should show 12.6V. (12.3V is 50% charged) Next see what it reads during cranking. It must remain above 10.5V for the computers to power up. As an example, our '84 Spider (same L-jet system as your '82) will show 11.6-11.8V during cranking.

Check all the connections in the battery to starter circuit (especially the grounds as stated above). You may also need to have the battery load tested. Even a 'new' battery can go bad.
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Last edited by ghnl; 06-04-2017 at 12:41 PM.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you

This is the kind of advice I was looking for - I have been trying to make sense of why it would start just as I was letting the key go. It's the same symptom now with 2 batteries (one brand new) so I don't think that's the issue. I'll clean some grounds. Fingers crossed...

'82 Alfa Spider Veloce + '74 Fiat X1/9 + '10 Mazda RX-8 GT
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