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Discussion Starter #1
I took my just-home-from-college daughter for a ride last night. An absolutely beautiful evening, BTW.

Here what I discovered when I started the car:

No power to the radio.

Alternator output staying at about 12.1v (dash gauge and digital gauge
agreed).

Fuel gauge came to life for the first time since I bought the car. It
wasn't accurate but the needle was moving.

All other electrical systems worked.

Thanks to this board, I know to check the alternator output and all grounds and contacts related to the alternator. And I will check both the car and in-line fuses for the radio. I guess I will just observe the fuel gauge.

Is there any chance these three issues are related? Or are symptoms of bigger issue?
 

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You need to look at a wiring diagram to see if these items are related on individual circuits. The alternator needs to have a working dash light/gauge to charge; if all these things are on the same fuse circuit they could be related. If you feel comfy doing so, once you have the wiring diagram (check your owner's manual, or papajam has them) drop down the fuse box and see if you have power to the output side of the circuit to the radio, etc. Tracing wires in the dash is not fun, but maybe you can reach up and feel/see what's going on.
12.1 V is not really "output"; that's probably just battery voltage, which soon will be less, often leading to a non-start condition on a Bosch car.
Andrew
Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. I'll look at those things.

I've been through the alternator issue before with a '69 Saab 99 and a '73 Jag E-type. Fixed the Saab but never could figure out the problem with the Jag.
 

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1966-2013
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Dunno about the radio, (might just be a fuse actually or someone neglected to reconnect it after getting into the console, or even deliberately unhooked it after they lost the code and got tired of looking at the error or whatever lights in the display), but the fuel gauge is indicative of a poor or faulty connection somewhere. As you don't mention any other instrumentation acting silly, then I'd hazard its at the sending unit end rather than the monopod end.

I agree with Andrew regarding the voltage likely being just what the battery is putting out.
Any idea when the regulator was last serviced?
The brushes might have gotten to the point of being too short and even though the alternator might want to put out juice but the lack of contact, or barely there contact, through the regulator is stopping output.
Dunno what the actual new brush overall length is, but spec says 5mm off that is the acceptable wear limit. If nothing else, they should protrude out of the regulator housing by at least 1/4" and preferably more.
(new regulators are fairly inexpensive, replacement brushes alone even moreso if you can do your own soldering)
Check the brush springs too 'cause if one or both are weak the brushes won't get good contact pressure.
(they aren't very strong to begin with, so don't expect a fight even with excellent ones. basically you're looking for obviously mushy)

10.3~10.5 is the low end voltage cutoff for the L-jet system.
Around that point or lower and the fuel ECU simply will not turn on.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks.

The radio has worked for the 18 months I've had the car until last night so something came loose or it is the fuse. Or the gods are telling me that I need to get a new radio with Bluetooth so I can use my hand held computer for my tunes.

I have no maintenance records from the previous owners so I don't know about the regulator.

The short brushes are a possibility. That is the problem I had in college with the Saab.

I'll start with the connections and work my way through the system.

I'm not worried about the fuel gauge. I've gotten by without it for 18 months. I'm curious why the needle starting moving around.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I found the problem with the charging system. No big surprise - corroded/dirty battery to chassis ground. I now show 13+v at both the alternator and the battery with the engine idling. The dash gauge and the digital gauge in the cigarette lighter show just over 12v.

No luck with the radio. Checked all the fuses I could find. They were good. I think that I will get a new Bluetooth radio installed.

Another problem - the digital clock is not functioning proper since I reinstalled the battery. It is the style with the reset buttons on the left and the three function buttons on the right with green display.

It lights up when I push the clock button and cycles through date and stopwatch but does not respond to the reset buttons or the stopwatch start button. The clock function displays "- 4:00", the date is "8 1", and the stopwatch shows "80:00".

The clock was working fine before I disconnected the battery.

Anyone have any ideas?

BTW, my owner's manual discusses only the two reset button style so I'm not getting any help there.
 

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Key must be in run position.
Use a pencil to press the hour/month button
Press repeatedly 'til you get the correct hour, then press the stopwatch start button.
The : should start flashing.
Use the minute/day button to set the minute, then the stopwatch start button again.
Once the : is flashing the clock is set and active.

The you can move on to month/day, but IIRC, you have to have that displayed in the window 1st before it'll take month/day adjustments, otherwise it'll just do time.

Regarding the stopwatch, one button starts and stops it while the other resets it (if stopped) or pauses it so you can get a reading (if running) then will pick up again when pressed a second time.


Should that not work, I'll be getting mine set up before too awful much longer and I can write it down as I go.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Tifosi - Thanks for the instructions. I wish I had thought to ask for help on setting the clock when I first got the car. I spent way too much time figuring it out. I eventually did get it set.

But the problem this time is that pressing the resets buttons does not change the display.

And another newbie question: Is it normal for the clock to display for only a few second after the clock (top right green) button is pushed? The manual is silent on this issue.
 

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If the ignition is on, the clock should be visible.
If the ignition is off, the clock can be accessed by pushing the button, but it only stays visible for just a few seconds then goes dark again.

Oh, on that note: the key has to be on to set the clock and use the stopwatch.
I've edited that in above.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I just double checked. Regardless of key position, the clock only displays when the green button is pushed and then for only a few seconds.

I pulled the clock out and it looks like the wiring has been redone. There are four very small gauge yellow wires soldered to the clock which are connected with what looks like original wiring with screw type electrical connectors.
 

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I'll pop mine out in the next day or two and let you know what wire goes where unless someone has the specific diagram for that particular clock.

EDIT:
Someone like me perhaps... *sigh*

Red to terminal #1
Yellow to terminal #2
Black to terminal #3
Pink to terminal #4

(I'll still pop mine out and confirm though just the same)
 

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That be one of the green display 3 button (2 black, 1 green) on the right versions, correct?
Jjust on case someone's tripping through that has one of those red display and/or different button types come wandering through don'tcha'no :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks. I'll take the diagram and photo and look at mine again.
 
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