94 Spider will not start - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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94 Spider will not start

Hi - we are stuck - We have a 94 Spider CE, driving up from Seattle to Vancouver car was driving great, then we stopped at a rest stop and now the car will not start. There is no power when turning the ignition, the red dash lights don’t come on. We are stuck - Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Is there a way to hotwire? Thanks

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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 03:09 PM
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Is it a manual transmission? Can you push start it?


1993 Spider Veloce
2016 4c Coupe

1992 Spider Veloce (sold)
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, its a manual; I tried to jump-start but no success as the key does not turn on the power - I have no indicator lights and also there is no power to the windows
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 03:58 PM
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Fuses? Battery power? Maybe something disconnected during travel?
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 05:02 PM
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Do they S4's have an inertia switch?
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 05:21 PM
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My guess is the ignition switch has failed. The internal contacts become unable to pass electrons when they get old. The contacts are designed to be 'self cleaning' - they wipe against each other every time the switch is used. Try this - cycle the key on/off/on/off/on/off - with a little luck the contacts will get clean enough to work again (for a while).

Do check all the fuses first. I think numbers 6-8 (counting left to right) are the switched circuits. Pull the fuse out, check it closely and if it looks intact put it back in - or just replace it if you have some new ones. The act of R/R'ing the fuse can clean off its contacts in the fuse box.

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


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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, much appreciated your suggestions...I checked the fuses, all seem to be ok, tried inserting the key numerous time. The dashboard indicator lights flickered on and then went off. Is it difficult to replace the ignition switch?
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 06:07 PM
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Before you start on the ignition switch, make sure your battery terminals are nice and tight.

Tom

1963 Giulia Spider (1750 engine)
1974 GTV
1991 Spider
Former: 1987 Milano Gold
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 06:07 PM
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The newer the Spider the more stuff is in the way. I assume your '94's knee bolsters will have to be removed (I don't have details about that). Then there is a 'tamper resistant' bolt that secures the switch in the column. This is a bolt with a break-away head that leaves what looks like a carriage bolt. You'd need to cut a slot into the head then use a screw driver to remove it. See: https://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spi...placement.html

For a roadside repair, I'd suggest bypassing the ignition switch. You may need to remove the knee bolster for this (no knee bolster in our '84 Spider). Find the wires from the ignition switch on the right side of the column. Jump red (12V+ power in) to brown (12V+ power out) to energize the ignition system and switched circuits (connect terminals 1 & 3 on the car's wire harness - not the ignition switch). Temporarily apply power to the black wire (#2) to send power to the starter motor (then disconnect it once the engine starts). Remember to turn the key to unlock the steering wheel!
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- - Eric
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~ 1984 Spider Veloce ~
- -~ 1981 GTV-6 ~
Mebane, North Carolina


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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much, I'll give it a try.
Really appreciate you taking the time
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 07:33 PM
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When you tried to jump start, did you clamp onto the battery terminals or the posts? I urge you to first remove the battery cables, then try jumping directly to the battery POSTS, clamping the jumper cables onto both the post and cables. Look down to where the ground cable bolts to the body structure below the trunk floor, make certain that main ground connection is not corroded or rusty.

Don't tear into the ignition switch yet.

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Last edited by alfaloco; 08-21-2019 at 05:25 AM. Reason: clarify jump start
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 07:40 PM
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The S4 Bosch Motronic Spiders must have around 11.8 volts or more to start and run well. You may indeed have a deteriorating ignition switch, but first let's make certain you are getting adequate voltage to the cranking system and fuses.

Is the alternator drive belt loose or missing?

Another point to check is the big red power cable from the alternator, on the terminal block on the driver side front fender. It has to make good contact where it clamps to the cable feeding the fuses.

Make sure the engine ground strap has not worked loose. It's below near the transmission/clutch housing.

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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 12:17 AM
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Drop down the fusebox and turn it around to get at the 7 colored connector blocks behind the 14 fuses.
I would carefully check those connections, especially the main reds.
Look for a pulled out wire, maybe even a fried wire.
(does the horn work, for instance?)

Below is a snippet from Jim's s4 diagram showing fusebox connections/Ign switch wiring, I'd be checking the red, gray, black and brown connector blocks.
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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 #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 02:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stewartyvr View Post
Hi - we are stuck - We have a 94 Spider CE, driving up from Seattle to Vancouver car was driving great, then we stopped at a rest stop and now the car will not start. There is no power when turning the ignition, the red dash lights don’t come on. We are stuck - Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Is there a way to hotwire? Thanks
I sold my S4 wiring/shop manual so working from my 164 wiring memory this morning.

Have you been able to get it going? If not I hope you can locate the wire(s) connector to ignition switch so you can verify you have 12v in red wire from battery. On the Alfa 164 the red wire is power, the brown wire is fuel injection and green-black wire goes to coil and, pink wire for dash lights. The purple wire is to starter relay. If Spiderserie4's wiring diagram correct and since you have no dash lights or starter function I would surmise the switch is dead at red wire if the red wire has 12v power from battery.

Your problem maybe nothing more than corroded battery cables at the battery or black cable at body ground point. Pull cables and clean posts and chassis ground first.


If still no joy but you now have 12v at red wire to ignition switch you are gonna have to jump red to brown and pink or whatever color goes to dash circuits to see if lights and etc... come on. To power starter once you have power to car again it maybe easier to momentarily flash jump at power terminal on engine bay firewall on passenger side if S4 spider like early series. Smallest wire terminal should be wire from ignition switch in start to starter solenoid. Flash Jumper it temporarily from big power cable and see if starter spins the engine.

Good luck road warrior!

Ciao, Alfisto Steve
Virginia Beach, VA
AROC 164 Tech Advisor

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Last edited by Alfisto Steve; 08-21-2019 at 02:14 AM.
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 02:32 AM
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On the S4, the black wire from IGN switch goes straight to starter solenoid spade....not thru the connector block (G56) on inner fender.
S4 has no starter relay...though I'd certainly recommend fitting one, takes 1/2 hour at most and one day will save your IGN. switch.
Most of us have fitted one

Here is the S4 factory wiring schematic page concerning starting
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File Type: pdf s4 electrical diagram 12.pdf (115.1 KB, 28 views)

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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