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Discussion Starter #1
Long time listener, first time caller here. Thanks to the collective wisdom in these pages, I've resurrected my 84 Spider and it's on the road to being on the road. A couple things puzzle me, though.

1. I replaced the FI ECU for water damage and that "burnt" smell. It will start and run, provided I apply an external ground to pin 85 on the main relay. Without an external ground, neither the main relay nor the drive relay energize regardless of the battery voltage, static or cranking. I took the old ECU apart and started tracing out the circuitry from pin 28, which should be providing a ground to aforementioned relays, and pin 28 doesn't seem to be connected to anything. The FI ECU is Bosch 280 000 221, which I've read here is supposed to be the right ECU for an 84 Spider, correct?

2. I've also read that 84 Spiders are supposed to have VVT, and mine doesn't nor does it look like it ever had a VVT. Have I stumbled on to some kind of Frankenspider, or were there 84s without VVT?

Any thoughts are appreciated, thanks.

T-Rob
 

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Welcome. If you've really been lurking then you must know about our unwritten rule about photos. (We likes pictures - you have to post some.)

1) Off hand i don't recall the Bosch number for the ECU. If no one else chimes in with that info I can check it later.

2) Your '84 model would likely have the centrifugal VVT. It is mechanically activated and located within the cam cover. The later models (late '84 or '85 & on) have a solenoid activated VVT. The solenoid is attached to the outside on the right front of the cam cover. Is that what is confusing you?
 

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It is indeed a rarity that pin 28 of the Bosch 221 ECU (correct for 1984 with centrifugal VVT) fails to provide ground for the main and drive relays. But it can happen. Other than sourcing another 221 ECU, the fix is to hard ground the relays.
 

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just throwing something in the equation here......shoot me down if I am talking nonsense (wouldn't be the first time:)): I notice in the first photo above that you have one of those inertia switches (fuel cut offs) on the bulkhead, just left of the intake plenum............could that have anything at all to do with it all........is that some way connected to pin 28 failing to ground.......?
 

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Under the heading of things that make you go hmm...

I took a deep breath and pulled the cover off of my good FI ECU and did some JUDICIOUS (Eric) probing of the circuitry with my multi-meter, and guess what I found? The land (conductive part of a printed circuit) between pin 28 and the transistor it was supposed to be connected to was cut. I bridged the cut with a small blob of solder and now she starts and runs without need of any external jumper to ground. I say cut because: 1. I'm paranoid and 2. It was done way too cleanly to have been accidental. My suspicion is that it had been modified by a PO for one of those Porches or BMWs that have an external hard wire to ground on the main and drive relays. Thanks again to all who offered advice. I've no doubt I will be tapping this well-o-wisdom often before all's said and done.

T-Rob
 
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