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Of course my first post is an electrical issue. I have no turn signals or headlights on my 86 Spider. If I pull on the "flash" direction of the headlight switch I get high beam headlights and tail lights on but no other position works. The turn signals do not work at all including the hazards. I changed all fuses and tried a new flasher relay. Any suggestions? I am thinking of buying a new switch altogether but I wanted an opinion before I spend the $300! Thanks to everyone and I promise to share anything I come across in the forum. This is my fist Alfa (had it for one week!).
 

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Welcome to the BB. We do have some rules here. Like the posting of photos (you have to). Of your Spider even...

Check the connectors in the back of the fuse box. Are there any other electrical items that don't work?

The combination switch is expensive. (new >$300) If you're careful it can be removed and taken apart for cleaning. Oxidized contacts can be made to work good as new. Click here: Combination Switch Clean & Lube. I didn't take the head light switch section apart as that requires drilling out some small rivets (and that part is working OK). Perhaps some squirts of contact cleaner followed by di-electric grease will restore its function?
 

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If I pull on the "flash" direction of the headlight switch I get high beam headlights and tail lights on but no other position works
Because it's happened in the past, it warrants asking: You do know how the headlight switch works, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both!

The new Alfa owner doesn't know how to use the headlight switch....shocker! Thank you Tifosi for the help and ghnl for the technical advice. Any suggestions for the blinkers? Both stalk and hazard do nothing.....just a relay?
 

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Any suggestions for the blinkers? Both stalk and hazard do nothing.....just a relay?
OK, so if I understand things correctly, you figured out the headlights (turn the stalk), so now they work OK. But the turn signals work with neither the stalk nor the 4-way flasher. Right?

While the stalk switch can be tempremental, it is usually the headlight function that fails, due to the high amperage that the contacts must carry. And, if your stalk switch did fail, it wouldn't impact the 4-way flasher. So, I'm guessing that either all four of your exterior bulbs are blown (unlikely), or the circuit just isn't getting power, probably due to a blown fuse.

Are you sure sure that the fuse is OK? Have you tested it with a bulb or a meter? Those fuses can look OK, but not be conducting.

When you first try the TS stalk, or 4-way switch, do any of the bulbs do anything? Sometimes when one bulb is blown, there isn't be enough current draw to get the flasher to flash. But, the good bulb should glow.

I would hold off on buying a new column-mounted switch until you have debugged it some more. In addition to its $300 cost, installing the column switch is a bit of a job - be a shame to do all that and have nothing change!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok, so here is what is going on. Headlights are working correctly except for LH low beam. Changed fuse, cleaned connectors and swapped sealed bulb with RH, nothing changes. High beam works perfect and all parking lights just no LH low beam. Incidentally in the bottom of the connector on the back of the fuse box there is an empty space at fuse 11. Supposed to be a wire there? I also have a crimp connector with two black/white wires floating around not connected, not sure where that is supposed to be. I feel that may be the blinker lights but not sure. Sorry to put so many issues in one reply but not sure if they are related.
 

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Contact BB member Papajam (aka Jim). Send him a PM and ask for a copy of the wire diagrams he makes for your model Alfa. Include your email address and he'll send a color coded wire diagram that'll make chasing Alfa electrons much easier.
 

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A quick perusal of my copy of Jim's wire diagram for the '86 Spider shows a gray/black wire leaving fuse 11 and going to the LH low beam head light. (perhaps that's the one you're seeing as black/white?)

There is a white/black (2 wires likely crimped together) from fuse box connector 'E' with one wire going to the turn signal relay, the other going to a multiple connector then on to the hazard flasher.
 

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Right next to 'D'...

.

OK, I don't specifically know. When you turn the fuse box around there are numerous connectors there. I don't know if A-E are the top row or bottom row. Maybe a middle row...

Well that didn't help much did it?
 

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FWIW, 'D' and 'E' are straight 2 terminal strips, while 'A' is a straight 4 terminal strip. 'B' and 'C' are straight 3 terminal strips.

This is from an older post showing the back of a 82~85 box
(the one directly above A isn't present on the 86-up boxes as its for a fusebox light that isn't used on later models)
Picture doesn't show any lettering, nor can I find it out in the garage to hold and look at.
 

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86 spider steering column info

Hi all
Well, this is the first time I've needed help on the Spider forum.

We're having trouble with the headlight switch on the steering column. We suspect corroded contacts - can someone point me to a post on how to get the top steering column cover off? We've got the screws out, and the bottom cover off, but need a hint about how to remove the top cover (without breaking something).

The switch works, but sporadically.

Is there a headlight relay? If so, where is it?

Thanks!
Veronica Mangan in Athena, Oregon
 

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Originally there are no headlight relays. It is a Good Idea to add them as it will reduce the electrical load on the headlight switch contacts. A PO (Previous Owner) may have added headlight relays but there is no specific location to put them.

To remove the upper column cover you may need to either loosen & lift up the instrument pod or loosen & lower the steering column. In our '84 I can gently lift up on the dual pods and maneuver the cover off without actually unbolting anything else. But I don't know if the monopod leaves you less room...

Oh, and don't forget to post some photos. We likes photos. They could even be of your Spider.
 

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Headlight relay

Daniel Stern Lighting makes a wonderful (basically dropin) headlight relay kit for the Alfas. Well worth the investment.

Dean
 

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"To remove the upper column cover you may need to either loosen & lift up the instrument pod or loosen & lower the steering column. In our '84 I can gently lift up on the dual pods and maneuver the cover off without actually unbolting anything else. But I don't know if the monopod leaves you less room...

Oh, and don't forget to post some photos. We likes photos. They could even be of your Spider. "
__________________
Thanks! Will try to get some photos posted. We are backs to the wall here - the 164 is up in the air for some body work, and we're just getting little Spidey (license plate is "8 legs") put back together so it's driveable. But that's just the car work.

My husband asks: How the ___ do you lower the steering column and/or loosen the instrument pod. Can you point me to a thread on the forum that supplants the manual?

Does anyone have contact info for Daniel Stern Lighting? I will check on line and see if I can find them.

Is there a thread out there with nice instructions about swapping out the headlight switch on the steering column? Or performing diagnostics - since we all know how expensive a new switch is.

Thanks so much for the help - you guys are great. When my girlfriends ask when I'm going to get on Facebook, I tell them - who needs it when I've got the Alfabb?!

Veronica M.
 

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lowering the steering column

Veronica,
You must own all the Alfas in Athena, Oregon.

I can't say for certain but generally the column is held to the bottom of the dash by a couple of security bolts.

These bolts are double headed. When fully tightened the drive head will shear off leaving a smooth button head holding the column in place.

If someone has been there before they may have been replaced with regular bolts or had a slot cut into the button head. If not then cut a slot and loosen the bolts. This should allow you to drop the column away from the dash.

I may be remembering a different car, which occaisionally happens.

To loosen the instrument pod. Again, I don't remember for certain but on my 86 (monopod) you must gently pry apart the front bezel to the instrument pod. There are some delicate plastic loops and tabs. It is sort of like opening an Ipod. Then you will see the screws holding the cluster to the pod. Perhaps just getting the bezel off would provide enough space.

I would go for the bolts from underneath.

see post #2 in this thread: http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spider-1966-up/2902-how-fix-your-slow-reading-speedometer-tachometer-91-94-spiders.html


Daniel Stern Lighting Consultancy and Supply

Wayne
 

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My husband asks: How the ___ do you lower the steering column and/or loosen the instrument pod. Can you point me to a thread on the forum that supplants the manual?
Other than the FAQ thread, you'd need to use the search function to find useful info.

Is there a thread out there with nice instructions about swapping out the headlight switch on the steering column?
Here's a link to a thread about the combination switch. Since the headlight portion was (and still is) working OK I did not go inside that part. IIRC, there are some small rivets that would need to be removed to get inside the headlight part. If/when I need to do that I will try to replace the rivets with small screws.

One other extremely useful thing to do is send BB member PapaJam a request for his wire diagrams for your model Alfa. Include your email address and prepare to be amazed. They will make chasing Alfa electrons much easier. I took a copy on flash drive to an office supply store and had them print out a color copy on 11"X 17" paper then plastic laminate it.
 

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Kudos

"To remove the upper column cover you may need to either loosen & lift up the instrument pod or loosen & lower the steering column. In our '84 I can gently lift up on the dual pods and maneuver the cover off without actually unbolting anything else. But I don't know if the monopod leaves you less room...

Oh, and don't forget to post some photos. We likes photos. They could even be of your Spider. "
__________________
Thanks! Will try to get some photos posted. We are backs to the wall here - the 164 is up in the air for some body work, and we're just getting little Spidey (license plate is "8 legs") put back together so it's driveable. But that's just the car work.

My husband asks: How the ___ do you lower the steering column and/or loosen the instrument pod. Can you point me to a thread on the forum that supplants the manual?

Does anyone have contact info for Daniel Stern Lighting? I will check on line and see if I can find them.

Is there a thread out there with nice instructions about swapping out the headlight switch on the steering column? Or performing diagnostics - since we all know how expensive a new switch is.

Thanks so much for the help - you guys are great. When my girlfriends ask when I'm going to get on Facebook, I tell them - who needs it when I've got the Alfabb?!

Veronica M.
Nice plate!!!!:) Any pics???
 
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