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Discussion Starter #1
Hello to each and every proud Alfa Owner.
I have recently changed the automatic transmission on my spider. I now have a 5 speed manual.
Following the change it started a few times. now it doesn't seem to be starting at all. That is no ignition click at all.
Is there a starter inhibitor relay that may cause the problem??
I have 2 ECUs and tried them both with no diff.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Emanuele
 

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The switch that told you the car was in park or neutral ... Where did it go?
Do you have the ground strap connected from the body to the transmission?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi
I do have the ground connected.
The "switch" that told the gear position, was feeding into the speedometer connection, except there were 4 wires and on the new speedometer connection there are only 3.
I have tried to check that line. Because the speedometer doesn't work either.
However the car has started a few times since the change. What makes it go on and off?? Thats the question.
Thanks
Emanuele
 

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Im guessing that you checked battery connections and battery charge to make sure you were hot enough to turn the starter. Was there a brake switch on the 93 that was a safety on the automatics?
They make a starter remote switch that you hook to the starter to turn the engine over. It will bi-pass the ignition switch start mode, but will not bi-pass the run mode. I would be used to test the starter itself eliminating a faulty starter. It sounds like an electrical switch problem either in your modification/conversion, or in your actual ignition switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have checked the starter and it works fine.
The battery is fully charged and the voltage delivered are at maximum.
I purchased a new ignition switch and it came with the proper 3 wires, additionally there is a secondary black wire of thinner gauge.
The original ignition switch has as secondary, 2 red-black striped wires.
However when I installed the new switch it made no difference.
And, most of you know what pain is to get to the ignition switch.
The starter has responded to both switches in the same manner.
I have put the original switch back.
One other diagnosis is the starter inhibitor relay that clicks when the starter is activated. But it doesn't complete the circuit.
I think I will spend sometime on this relay before anything else.
Hopefully I will find the problem and inform you guys of the results.
When it runs its a dream how well it goes.
Thanks
Emanuele
 

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Hi Emanuele.
I must say that is quite a big conversion (auto to manual shift).......not sure it has been documented before on BB (??)

Must have been a whole lot of work!: I can imagine a bellhousing change, somehow a complete pedal change, clutch lines and master/slave cylinders, centre console, are the ECUs even the same(?), speedometer pulse sender different (and likely speedo different with it)....
...interesting...

Did you document exactly what you did?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Don
I have not documented it fully. I do have the full information and recollection of the work.
The bell housing fits,
The drive shafts gets replaced.
The ECU is the same for the 1993.
The pedals assembly has to change.
The counsel changes.
The clutch system is added.
The speedometer sending unit needs to be added.
The automatic transmission cooling system removed.
There may be a few other changes, not significant though.
Right now I am looking for the old counsel. It has a connection to tell the shifter position for the starter to go. When I find the counsel and resolve the connection. I will be more inclined to think it is completed.
Thanks to Stan for lighting up the idea.
Will be in touch.
Emanuele
 

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Interesting conversion!

There is no "switch" from the gearbox to the speedometer.

There is a pulse generator attached to the gearbox of the automatic car that sends a signal to the speedometer. It has just two wires, +ve and signal, as the generator grounds via its casing through the gearbox.
For the manual gearbox you need the separate pulse generator which has three wires; pulse, ground and +ve. EDIT. Your last post beat me to it - you know about the new pulse generator.

As Dom says, the speedometer will need to be changed too.

There are two relays on the inside of the front fender, passenger side near the intake plenum, which affect the starting. One operates when the auto box is in Park or neutral to allow starting, and is "fed" by the switch that Stan mentions . I cant recall what drives the other relay but you should have a look at both and maybe just bypass them as you don't need them now.

Its strange that it did start and now doesn't, though.


EDIT 2. I have just found my wiring diagram. One of the relays is a "starter motor inhibitor relay" and the other is a "selected gear signal relay".

The starter inhibitor has a 2.5mm red wire coming from the ignition switch and going to terminal 30, and a black 2.5mm wire going from terminal 87 to the starter motor solenoid.
If you just connect these two wires you will bypass the two relays and have the starter solenoid directly triggered by the ignition switch like the manual cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the info.
I bypassed the starter inhibitor relay. Now it turns the starter. Its not firing though. Perhaps I should bypass the second relay or the selected gear relay and let you know.
Thanks for all the help
Emanuele
 

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Check system voltage. The L-jet computers require ~ 10.5V to power up. Don't rely on a dash gauge (if your car has one) as these may not accurately measure system voltage while cranking. Connect a voltmeter to the battery and see what it reads. With everything off a fully charged battery should read 12.6V. During cranking our Spider reads about 11.4-11.8V. It can sound like it is cranking over OK when system voltage is below the L-jet threshold. If low charge the battery or try a jump start.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks to all for the help.
Looks like success has been accomplished.
I bypassed the starter inhibitor relay. Turned but not starting
I replaced the fuel pump relay
Now its running.
This sight was the best help I have experienced.
If any help is needed on changing their transmissions, I will be glad to assist.
If anyone is looking for a good used automatic transmission, torque converter, drive shaft. They are available at reasonable price. The transmission has 60K on it.
Thanks again
Emanuele
 

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One thing to consider is that the Automatic I beleive has a different rearend giving it a bit
higher ratio or longer legs The speedometer will not be easy to calibrate I would use a
GPS device with a speedometer feature to varify my speed. The rearend should make your car have a bit more top end and a little less low end pull ... I've always wished for a 6th gear on the highway.. you may be coming close.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi Stan
Yes I do believe the same will occur with regards to the top end speed.
It used to rev. very high lets say at 65 MPH the rpm were about 4,000.
Once I am all done, I will double check the speedometer with my gps and verify.
I am very pleased with the accomplishments of today and overall.
My only other experience with alfas was the 1969 Berlina 1750. I really loved that one.
I hope I will enjoy this as much.
 

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It used to rev. very high lets say at 65 MPH the rpm were about 4,000.
likely your rev counter and/or speedo is inaccurate!

according to the gear-speed calculator I use:

the ZF3HP-22 auto box in top gear (1.00 ratio) with the auto rear end (3.58) on standard 195/60 15 phonedials should show 80.48 mph @ 4000 rpm
(or 20.12 mph per 1000 rpm in top/3rd)

with the alfa 5-speed trans now fitted, but retaining the original rear end of 3.58 that came on the automatics
4000 rpm will now be 101.88 mph in 5th (0.79)
(or 25.47 mph per 1000 rpm in top/5th)
 

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That will be quite a nice relaxed cruiser at those revs; 75mph = 3000.

As mentioned above, the acceleration will be adversely affected but maybe that's a reasonable trade off for comfortable cruising?

Emanuele, I'm glad you got it going.
I would be interested to see some pictures of the installation.
I thought that the transmission tunnel would be a different shape and might have caused problems but it seems like it hasn't been an issue for you?

Did you have to move the gearbox bush support bracket or are the two gearboxes the same length?

I have no intention of converting my automatic but it would always be an option if the box goes badly wrong. I have a spare manual gearbox and all the other bits needed.
 

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that's very good work you guys did getting this car going. knowing those relays and how to deal with them and getting him (her ? ) pointed in the right direction quickly made a potentially mind bending problem quite simple...

well done all and a good job on the conversion as well .
 

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Discussion Starter #18
All together was not a bad job.
1 The 2 transmissions are of equal length.
2 The hole in the tunnel was pre-cut and covered sealed. All I did knock off the cover.
3 The support bracket was perfect fit.
4 The drive shaft end was with 4 bolts on the automatic and the manual has 3 bolts. The person that sold me the entire kit shipped the drive shaft as well.
5 The pedal assembly came with the deal.
6 The clutch assembly was also included, I did install a new clutch and pressure plate as well as a new bearing.
7 The counsel was included and fitted with some bit of problem. At the end everything works and that's all that matters.
8 I just replaced the speedometer and hopefully that works to.
9 Other items worth mentioning is the knock-down cable removed. The transmission cooling lines. The speedometer sending unit or pulse generator added. I am sure there are other little changes of minor importance that I am not listing.
I have had a all lot of fun and totally enjoyed the experience.
 

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Wow! Great job!
But I have to ask... is the condition of your car immaculate and/or is there tremendous sentimental value in your car, that it wouldn't have been easier to sell your automatic and just buy a manual car! Granted your labour is free, but it still takes time, and how much time did it take? I'm not criticising you. I'm just trying to understand the motivation behind this undertaking.

Again, great job! And I will emphasize that I'm not trying to be a smart a$$.
 
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