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Though yes I am young my main reason I thought that the 164 would have it is because vehicles older than the 164 had clutch start inhibitors, though I have never owned one and never would but as an example the 1986 Mustang had them. I figured that Alfa would have been on the cutting edge of "safety" technology being the luxury brand they are.
So that got me thinking, when were the first clutch start inhibitor switches installed? At least in 1970's GM products, long before the unintended acceleration debacle. I guess US car manufacturers knew their customers well. The first car I encountered that switch in was a 2001Audi.
 

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Following and hope you resolve the starter issue. if you can, verify the exciter wire is properly located on the relay/solenoid (whatever it is called). Mine was loose and caused many anxious "no crank" moments, many hours wasted on cleaning terminals, etc. I have just finished installing my refurbished starter and made sure the spade connector was good and tight and added a piece of heat shrink tubing. It is awkward to get to it from under the car but if you have some dexterity you should be able to get a hand up there and let your fingers do the seeing, feel the connector on the back of the solenoid and make sure it is snug.
 

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1991 Alfa 164
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Discussion Starter #43
Following and hope you resolve the starter issue.
Thanks for the support and the tip, I'm in middle of finals week but after I've finished up my next step is to drag her into the car port and check all wiring including to the starter. If the wire is loose is there an tricks of tightening it down or do you just have to shove a wrench in there and pray?
 

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Likely nothing loose in the main wiring harness, of so, disconnect battery and get a 13mm up there from the bottom to snug up but as for the excitation wire, use a lighted mirror to find it and get your hand up there to push it into place if it looks loose. If from the top, you would have to pull off the heat shield and that's lots of effort.
 

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1991 Alfa 164
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Discussion Starter #45
I had time to get the Alfa up to the car port today and get it up on stands. Nothing looked too bad, the wires to my break and or clutch fluid reservoir are severed for some reason but I think I can splice them back fairly easily. Other than that I found one unplugged wire that I can't identify that goes towards the driver side fog light I'll put a picture below. I checked the cables to the starter. I now understand why it's such a difficult job to replace. I didn't think anything felt loose but there was what looked like an exposed copper wire which I found odd, that I will also put a pic of. The last thing was the belt to the water pump looked very old. Are there any recommendations for where and whom to get that from?
 

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Dayco 5070425 Serpentine Belt for 1991-93 12v V6 Alfa Romeo 164, and 1989-95 Ford Thunderbird and Mercury Cougar 3.8L V6.
FEATURES


Rib Profile: W Profile
Cross Section: K-Section
Rib Depth: Standard
Standards: SAE J1459, SAE J2432
MPN: 5070425
Minimum Operating Temperature: -45
Maximum Operating Temperature: 212
Brand: Dayco
 

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Hard to tell from your pix what that wire going up to starter area is. If it is a small 2.5mm wire it goes to starter solenoid on top of starter then, it is the wire coming from ignition switch via the starter relay. It should not be a bare copper wire.

There are four wires going to starter. One large 35mm from battery two 10mm medium ones from alternator and all those three going to the one large terminal post with 13mm hex head nut on starter solenoid. The fourth small 2.5mm exciter wire has a female slip on terminal on end of it to slide onto male blade terminal on end of solenoid.
 

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I also recommend using a new idler pulley (Dayco as an example} as regular insurance, since the pulley bearings in most pulleys sometimes fail unexpectedly, esp if the serp belt has been tightened to the manual specs, which most think is far too high. The manual value is tough on the idler pulley and water pump bearings, shortening the lifetime.
 

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I think that the un-insulated wire you're looking at is simply the ground tether between the solenoid and the main starter motor body - that is as it should be, flat copper un-insulated braid. Pic attached for reference.

Time to test the starter, now that you have the car on stands. Either with the hammer tap method as Steve suggested previously (this really does work about 90% of the time for a worn starter), or with a multi-meter and a trusted assistant in the drivers seat to operate ignition while you test for voltage.

1626851
 

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1991 Alfa 164
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Discussion Starter #50
I think that the un-insulated wire you're looking at is simply the ground tether between the solenoid and the main starter motor body - that is as it should be, flat copper un-insulated braid. Pic attached for reference.
After looking at that pic it is absolutely the ground. My next course of action is to get the belt, tensioner and a few other small parts replaced and then try to give the starter a wack. Does anyone have spark plug recommendations?
 

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NGK makes very high quality spark plugs. The long life plugs are a good idea especially in engines that can be a fair amount of work to change plugs. Iridium, or now Ruthenium, plugs have a very long service life. In some engines they are good for 100,000 miles (160,000 km) and in most engines they will last 60,000 miles at least with no servicing at all. Another advantage of these plugs is they tend to exhibit a wide effective heat range for any given heat range number. I suspect this is because the very thin centre electrode stays clean more easily. The long service life results from the very low, almost zero, erosion of the centre electrode. The initial gap can be set at the maximum on installation because it won't change during the service life of the plug. In fact, nobody is quite sure just how long these plugs can last. Iridium is an improvement on platinum which in turn worked better than silver or gold plating which were tried before platinum. Gold didn't work as well as silver for the centre electrode. Also, multiple ground plugs were designed to give longer service life as the gap stayed correct for roughly the multiple of the number of grounds. Each ground operated as the effective gap until the erosion of the centre electrode on that side widened that gap, at which point the gap would move to the next least eroded ground. Iridium replaces this effect by preserving the size of the centre electrode.

NGK has a handy product finder on their websites.

The BCP7 EIX Iridium is probably suitable for 12 valve engines.

The BKR6 EIX is the equivalent plug for 24 valve engines. Interesting the 24 valve tolerates a hotter plug. NGK are unique in that lower numbers indicate hotter plugs.

Note that these NGK plug part numbers do not end with the gap number in tenths of a mm. Standard plugs have that number as the last digit or two of the part number. Gaps for iridium plugs and similar thin center electrode plugs are set at the factory by NGK. Not only do you not need to check or set the gap you should never try to adjust that gap.
 

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After looking at that pic it is absolutely the ground. My next course of action is to get the belt, tensioner and a few other small parts replaced and then try to give the starter a wack. Does anyone have spark plug recommendations?
The starter does not need or normally have a ground wire as the starter is grounded to the engine and the engine is grounded to transmission and tranny is grounded to chassis near air cleaner with grounding strap bolted to tranny.
 

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NGK makes very high quality spark plugs. The long life plugs are a good idea especially in engines that can be a fair amount of work to change plugs. Iridium, or now Ruthenium, plugs have a very long service life. In some engines they are good for 100,000 miles (160,000 km) and in most engines they will last 60,000 miles at least with no servicing at all. Another advantage of these plugs is they tend to exhibit a wide effective heat range for any given heat range number. I suspect this is because the very thin centre electrode stays clean more easily. The long service life results from the very low, almost zero, erosion of the centre electrode. The initial gap can be set at the maximum on installation because it won't change during the service life of the plug. In fact, nobody is quite sure just how long these plugs can last. Iridium is an improvement on platinum which in turn worked better than silver or gold plating which were tried before platinum. Gold didn't work as well as silver for the centre electrode. Also, multiple ground plugs were designed to give longer service life as the gap stayed correct for roughly the multiple of the number of grounds. Each ground operated as the effective gap until the erosion of the centre electrode on that side widened that gap, at which point the gap would move to the next least eroded ground. Iridium replaces this effect by preserving the size of the centre electrode.

NGK has a handy product finder on their websites.

The BCP7 EIX Iridium is probably suitable for 12 valve engines.

The BKR6 EIX is the equivalent plug for 24 valve engines. Interesting the 24 valve tolerates a hotter plug. NGK are unique in that lower numbers indicate hotter plugs.

Note that these NGK plug part numbers do not end with the gap number in tenths of a mm. Standard plugs have that number as the last digit or two of the part number. Gaps for iridium plugs and similar thin center electrode plugs are set at the factory by NGK. Not only do you not need to check or set the gap you should never try to adjust that gap.
Wrong unless gap set to 0.025" for the 164 which they are not. So you do have to regap NKG plugs and there website shows how to do it.
 

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NGK info on correct 13/16" socket size plugs for the 164B/L/S 12v V6 engines: Correct NGK Iridium plugs for 164S and 164B/L 3.0L

Do use correct 13/16" hex longer NGK BPR6EIX in 164S (6637) and BPR7EIX (4055) in 164B/L The "P" letter is for 13/16" and the "K" is for 5/8" hex head.
 

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Wrong unless gap set to 0.025" for the 164 which they are not. So you do have to regap NKG plugs and there website shows how to do it.
That's amazing. My SAAB turbo ran 1.1 mm gap (NGK setting) with great results. Much higher combustion chamber pressures. Wonder why the gap is so small for the Alfa engine. Weak high voltage system?
 

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I just throw them in, never fiddling with the gap. Have never had a problem as far as I can tell. The iridium plugs seem to be pretty forgiving.
 

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I just throw them in, never fiddling with the gap. Have never had a problem as far as I can tell. The iridium plugs seem to be pretty forgiving.
That is good to know IF I ever get my 164L down from VB,VA and need to change the plugs. I think I now have the BPR7EIX plugs in it and I regapped them to 0.025".
 

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In fact, as far as I can remember (at our ages, that is questionable, lol), I have been using the 24V version of the iridiums in all the cars, including the Milano. No apparent problems, the cars all start and run well.
 

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Discussion Starter #59
Well with the harbor frieght jackstand recall I can't try smacking the starter while attempting to start it. So until I can get new jack stands I've been doing small things on the car. While poking around I found that the MAF wires had been cut and spliced. It looks like they rearranged the wires. I was wondering why someones would do this and what I should do with it.
1630859
 

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I don't know the harness wire colours but from one side to another they have been known to change colours and stripes. You may have to dig up a wiring diagram to be sure. I can't tell from the images. Are the wires the exact same on either end?
 
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