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1991 Alfa 164
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First off hi:) I'm new to the forum, but I recently bought a not running Alfa 164 for very cheap and am trying to get it running. It was sitting for a year or two but the previous the owner had done all of the internal timing work. I put a new battery in and gave it a try but the car wouldn't crank and after attempting the key cylinder would lock and I'd have to remove the key before it would let me try again. I have a feeling it might be due to the alarm system as when I put the battery in the alarm went off for a few seconds and then stopped. I do have the key fob but it isn't working. Should I replace the battery and try to disable the alarm or is there a way to over ride it? Also the clutch kicks to the floor, I'm thinking it may be the slave cylinder and that that could be effecting my no crank condition. Any pointers in the right direction would be greatly appreciated. Also I have a video that the forum page won't let me attach but would be happy to send it if could help diagnosis.
Thanks,
Grant
 

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First off hi:) I'm new to the forum, but I recently bought a not running Alfa 164 for very cheap and am trying to get it running. It was sitting for a year or two but the previous the owner had done all of the internal timing work. I put a new battery in and gave it a try but the car wouldn't crank and after attempting the key cylinder would lock and I'd have to remove the key before it would let me try again. I have a feeling it might be due to the alarm system as when I put the battery in the alarm went off for a few seconds and then stopped. I do have the key fob but it isn't working. Should I replace the battery and try to disable the alarm or is there a way to over ride it? Also the clutch kicks to the floor, I'm thinking it may be the slave cylinder and that that could be effecting my no crank condition. Any pointers in the right direction would be greatly appreciated. Also I have a video that the forum page won't let me attach but would be happy to send it if could help diagnosis.
Thanks,
Grant
Do not try to start/crank engine before manually checking cam timing.

First off I wouldn't rely on statement "the PO did internal timing", I would verify using the timing template and verify using a socket wrench on front crank pulley and turning engine crank shaft clockwise manually with sparkplugs out that when crank pulley at top dead center mark both cams are timed correctly.

It is normal for you to have to turn key off each time then back on to try to turn key to start position. You should not have to remove key just turn it off then back on to get it to go to start position again.

Clutch pedal/slave system has nothing to do with starting or preventing the engine starter from working.
 

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1991 Alfa 164
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Discussion Starter #3
Do not try to start/crank engine before manually checking cam timing.

First off I wouldn't rely on statement "the PO did internal timing", I would verify using the timing template and verify using a socket wrench on front crank pulley and turning engine crank shaft clockwise manually with sparkplugs out that when crank pulley at top dead center mark both cams are timed correctly.

It is normal for you to have to turn key off each time then back on to try to turn key to start position. You should not have to remove key just turn it off then back on to get it to go to start position again.

Clutch pedal/slave system has nothing to do with starting or preventing the engine starter from working.
The PO was a certified mechanic which is the only reason I was at all trusting of him however I will confirm timing. Other than that is there any way to verify it's not the alarm system?
 

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If your key fob came with a small key, about 1" long, you can turn off the alarm system with it. Start by removing the trunk floor carpet piece, then the passenger side trunk carpet liner. The alarm switch is on the right side near the middle of the carpet liner. Many cars have a flap cut in the liner to access the alarm key switch.

Mark
 

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1991 Alfa 164
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Discussion Starter #6
If your key fob came with a small key, about 1" long, you can turn off the alarm system with it. Start by removing the trunk floor carpet piece, then the passenger side trunk carpet liner. The alarm switch is on the right side near the middle of the carpet liner. Many cars have a flap cut in the liner to access the alarm key switch.

Mark
Thanks for the tip I do have the small key, I'll have to give that a look.
 

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The power doorlocks are operated by the alarm system. It also has a separate battery I believe so it can sound even of the service battery is flat or the cables cut. Maybe you just need a new alarm battery. Do your power door locks work?
 

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The power doorlocks are operated by the alarm system. It also has a separate battery I believe so it can sound even of the service battery is flat or the cables cut. Maybe you just need a new alarm battery. Do your power door locks work?
You can still use the key remote to lock and unlock doors but it will not disenable the starter.function if you do my G241a connector bypass method to enable starter function.
 

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I turned off the alarm in my 164s years ago and just left the little key in the alarm. Can't be bothered with that flakey system.
 

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If you have confirmed timing (for safety) and alarm not the issue, could be the wiring at the starter. I had the same issue. Dove me nuts and as a last "before removing starter" check, I slid my hand up to the starter area from below (tight) and found that the exciter (or excitation?) wire was loose. I added a new spade to the wire, attached and it has not been a problem since. Best of luck.
 

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1991 Alfa 164
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Discussion Starter #13
The power doorlocks are operated by the alarm system. It also has a separate battery I believe so it can sound even of the service battery is flat or the cables cut. Maybe you just need a new alarm battery. Do your power door locks work?
I've yet to see as my fob is dead and the driver door doesn't have a card or handle currently. Do you know where the alarm battery is located?
 

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1991 Alfa 164
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Discussion Starter #14
If you have confirmed timing (for safety) and alarm not the issue, could be the wiring at the starter. I had the same issue. Dove me nuts and as a last "before removing starter" check, I slid my hand up to the starter area from below (tight) and found that the exciter (or excitation?) wire was loose. I added a new spade to the wire, attached and it has not been a problem since. Best of luck.
I confirmed timing but have yet to try the alarm system, it has been a busy week but it is my next step. Thanks for the added tip if the alarm doesn't work I'll have to give it a shot.
 

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No alarm battery. Alarm runs off ca battery. Also, check the wiring harness to the alarm. Mine had some ratty connections that I had to rebuild. I don't use the alarm (but turning it on deactivates starter/activates immobilizer...whichever it is). Drivers door does not have a handle? Is the wiring intact in the door? Is there a drive's door motor?
 

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For a while, days, months, or years, your choice, just turn the alarm system off to eliminate any problematic effects from it. Just pull an appropriate fuse if worried about someone stealing the car.
 

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I've yet to see as my fob is dead and the driver door doesn't have a card or handle currently. Do you know where the alarm battery is located?
Sorry, mixed up with my SAAB which did have a backup internal battery apparently.

Alarm control unit responds to the fob and connects the fob to the power locks so they can be activated remotely.

Alarm control unit is in the left side trunk area near the battery. If that connection gets loose weird stuff can happen. The siren is on the right side of the trunk and is deactivated using the special tiny alarm key. That bypasses the alarm control unit so the power locks no longer respond to the remote fob. The key in the lock still operates the power locks.
 

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The fobs for the 164s were fairly useless, the 91S not working half the time, and the LS fob needed to be held right up close to the car in order to work, just wasn't worth it, the key being absolutely fine, and sure.
 

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The alarm does have a back-up battery. It is internal within the siren, a couple of small cells soldered to the board. Battery back-up provides for the wailing of the siren if main car battery gets depleted. Very few if any of these internal batteries are likely still working after all these years. But I've never heard of a no start issue related to age-related degraded batteries within the siren.

As other have indicated, siren with small key is lower right in trunk behind carpet. Alarm control box / fob signal receiver is located left side trunk behind carpet in front of battery at rear of wheel arch. With new battery in fob, activate close to antenna at LR of car for best chance of signal reaching control box. Make sure siren is turned on with small key. I had to solder on new micro switch on Alfa fob once to revive function.

As far as the no crank, I'd start by checking to see if you have proper +12v at starter when ignition key turned to start position. That should start to lead you in the right direction, in identifying whether your starter itself is good or not.
 

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Have you checked the engine oil level?

The 164 has a low oil level kill switch that will disable the starter when oil gets to the 'low' indicator on the oil dipstick. I guess the kill switch could go bad, like all the other switches but I haven't heard of that happening before.

I'd like to do Steve's modification so that the remote door locks will work again, with or without the alarm system.

Mark
 
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