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Discussion Starter #1
I just sent this to a a very Alfa knowledgeable friend:

When I bought my '75 Alfetta GT in '78 with 13K miles on it, I began having starter problems. It had the (believe this is correct) 3/4 HP starter which was chewing up sections of the ring gear like crazy. I was unaware of the special center starter bolt until many years later. Then when it was hot, it wouldn't start - as in, not make a sound, even a click. I'd sit there from anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour and 10 minutes, and it would start right up. I've worked on cars all my life, but was - okay still am - pretty green when it came to diagnosing and then fixing 'odd' problems. I replaced the starter with the then later 1.5HP starter. Did the same thing as far as not starting when hot and continued chewing up the ring gear.

I was having Dave Vegher work on my car though he was about 35 miles from me. He was no help on either the chewed up ring gear - I believe he told me his wife's Alfa did the same thing and wasn't sure why - and no help on the not starting when hot situation. And he was by far the So.Cal. Alfa expert at that time.

Not until '85, when I was picking up a rebuilt voltage regulator for my Riley from a fellow in LA did my starter situation get resolved. It was a hot day and as usual the Alfetta wouldn't start. The guy specialized in British cars. I asked him if he had any idea as to what was going on. He had fun with me. "Bet you've replaced the starter; the coil; the battery; the spark plugs; the ignition switch." The only thing I hadn't replaced was the ignition switch. $35 and about 30 minutes later I had a 'perfect' starting car. Yes, of course, a Bosch relay solved the problem. I think what happened is that my car was one of the earlier ones to get hardening of the arteries and this guy simply had the know-how to resolve it.

In '90 when rebuilding the Alfetta's engine (my first Alfa engine) I also had the ring gear replaced. I'm trying to think when this happened, but the starter began breaking the nose of the starters (yes, plural) off. I knew about the center bolt situation by then (I have the three starter bolts slightly tight but rotate them from side to side so as to try to get it centered - meaning, I'd much prefer Alfa hadn't gone through the b***s*** center shoulder bolt and smaller diameter end bolts. A friend who was helping me try to resolve the nose cone breaking off happened to be talking to Larry Jr. at APE about it. Larry's reply was, if you find out what is causing it, let me know. He apparently had seven or eight starters with broken nose cones.

I'm trying to think exactly how this came about but I was tiptoeing around with a welded up starter, which was working, and for some reason installed a smaller 3/4HP starter. It has been fine ever since.

Are you somewhat seeing why I don't exactly have a love affair with Alfa starters? Though actually I've not had any problems - until now - with starters for the Spiders I've restored.

Why is there not somewhere in black and white a list of all of the ring gears, their number of teeth, year and model of what cars the ring gears were installed on - along with a list of part numbers of starters that fit each particular ring gear? Along these same lines there should be a list of which solenoids (part numbers) go on which starter, as well as which pinion unit goes on which starter. It would also be very helpful if there was also a list as to what pinion units would fit different starters so that if a particular starter wasn't available, a 'different' starter could be used by switching the pinion units - though the latter is probably asking way too much.

*******

As mentioned, the '77 Spider's non-working starter's Bosch part number - 0 001 311 110 - is identical to the part number of a starter I removed from a '79 Alfetta GT. The Alfetta's ring gear having 125 teeth; the '77 Spider's ring gear having 131 (I think since I counted the teeth on a '79 Spider's flywheel).

I just unearthed the starter for a '79 Spider engine and it's Bosch part number is 0 001 311 107. Visually the only difference is that for some reason, Alfetta's use a different rear mount than Spider's use. Both have nine teeth on the pinion. The pinion's width is within .07 mm of each other's.

I'll be installing the 79's starter on the '77 Spider, going on the assumption they have the same number of teeth on the ring gear.

The last thing I need is a nose cone breaking off or chewed up teeth on the ring gear - and there aren't any sound differences to warn you ahead of time. Obviously when a nose cone breaks off, you are immediately aware of it.

Information for these questions shouldn't be such a deep dark secret. I'm not in the position of experimenting - especially since I know first hand the consequences of what can happen to starters and ring gears.

Biba
 

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I think the busted happens when you get a slow start and the motor kicks backwards.
when I busted my old one it was very clear it kicked backwards and my starter had the busted nosecone afterwards.


I have posted this before.
====================
I think the years work like this for the new type starter (light gear reduced)
1972-1974 and 1990-on use 0 001 108 011<- very hard to find
1975-1989 use 0 001 108 024 <- the one every local place will give you if you ask for 1986-on but only good for 1975-1989
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There are 4 starters and 2 ring gears.
All the books that everyone has at the local auto places had bad info in them.

for my 72 I needed the smaller big starter that does not have the extra brace to the motor mount.

There was one of the newer cars that also had the same ring. but I could not find that starter any where 0 001 108 0011 (the small gear reduced starter that would fit)
the next starter was the bigger one that had the extra brace and most of the spider use that one the gear reduced starter number for that one is easy to get 0 001 108 024
I took a 0 001 108 024 and had a new pinion gear put on with a extra tooth.
I know some say you can use any starter. but that is not the case for me.
when my starter went bad the first time like 15 years ago I went to the local place where they gave me the wrong starter. the larger one that needed the brace after about 5 starts the teeth were striped off the starter gear. I tried to get my old one back but it had been shipped out. They only had the wrong one (the books they all use has the wrong info) so I ended up getting a used one from APE and the one last for a long time.
Then when I redid the motor I had a back kick the cracked the nose of the starter. So I tried to get a new one and went for the new type of starter. I know what year to ask for but they also had the wrong info even for the newer cars and only showed the 0 001 108 024 for all years. I did the research and found a starter place that knew the right numbers but did not have any. so I know the number I needed was 0 001 108 011 but as I could not find one anywhere for a sane amount of cash I just got a 0 001 108 024 and changed the gear on it. and it now works great. it spins the motor very very fast. in fact when I had a pump problem I used the starter to move the car and it even moves the car fast(hit the starter while in gear) and that was up a steep driveway. the old type starter turned very slow and needed like a 1000CCA battery. the new type works on any battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
slyalfa, I was beginning to feel I was the only one who was trying to decipher the (screwed up) starter situation.

Your timing is great in that I just installed (what a pain) that starter from a '79 Spider which whirred like crazy on the bench. I also checked out the brushes and they look almost new.

The engine is very stiff after the rebuild but I ran it for awhile with teh plugs out. First the starter is beyond noisy. I don't know if it is just the nature of this particular starter, or the pinion's teeth aren't meshing correctly on the ring gear. But even with the plugs out it would really spin the engine, then bog down. Right now I'm not sure if I have a starter problem or an engine problem. If I knew the starter was correct for this engine (you make no mention of a 0 001 311 107 starter) then I'd have to delve into the engine situation. Obviously I'd prefer it to be a starter problem.

One thing I noticed was that the 107's pinion was receded compared to one from an Alfetta on the left (see photo). I have no idea what this means except they're obviously different pinion 'units'.

Does anyone have the secret decipher ring for Bosch starter motor part numbers?

Biba
 

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I think I have posted the numbers for the old large starters some where. I will see if I can find them.
what I did was paint the gear then run it and I could see that the gear was just running on the tips with the 1975-1989 starters on my 72. so I changed the gear out for a bigger one.
I think on the normal starters they all use a 9 tooth gears. but the mounting holes are drilled in different places depending on the ring gear used. so check you mesh with paint or lipstick.
 

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I found some more info

.7Kw starter 000 121 1987

Note: Permanent Magnet Gear Reduction; 1.4 Kw was used before the Series 4 Motronic (1975-1989 can use 0 001 108 024 )
: it looks like they switched in 1986


Roadtrip's post
"Alfa engines 1972-1974, used a .7 hp Bosch starter with 9 pinion teeth. The ring gear on the flywheel had 130 teeth.

In 1975-1990, Alfa changed the starter to a 1.1 hp Bosch unit and the ring gear was changed to 131 teeth as well as a slightly larger (+1 cm) diameter.

In 1991, with the advent of the Series 4 Motronic injected cars, the flywheel was changed back to 130 teeth and is the same size as the 1972-1974 model cars. Further, a new gear reduction starter motor was introduced."
Note: 1972-1974 and 1990-on use 0 001 108 011<- very hard to find
: so the changed back to 130 teeth was in 1990 as far as I can tell.
 

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if you have a 72-74 ring 130 tooth it might be a explanation to your problems if you used a starter for a 131 ring.
again check the mesh with paint or lipstick. if it is just riding on the tips you have the smaller 130 tooth ring with a starter for larger 131 tooth ring.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I would imagine this '77 Spider has a 131 tooth ring gear. I'd sure be interested in knowing what the starter number is for: "In 1975-1990, Alfa changed the starter to a 1.1 hp Bosch unit and the ring gear was changed to 131 teeth as well as a slightly larger (+1 cm) diameter."

Any idea?

Biba
 

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FWIW, there isn't a 75-90 starter, at least for spiders anyway.

The one that got handed off to me as such when my starter went all wompyjawed a few years back was distinctly different in that it had a larger body than what I pulled out. (mine was little, the replacement was the bigger one both in length and diameter that requires the support arm bracket. Ironically the little one supposedly has a higher torque output)

IIRC, it has the same # of teeth on the pinion, bolted in, took the shoulder bolt just fine, but would make every effort possible to grind itself on the ring gear every time it was engaged.

Like it fit, and would turn the engine, but the gears weren't getting a decent mesh for nobody and made huge ugly noises.

I ended up returning it after a couple days of tinkering the shim and alignment to see if mabe it was my fault and getting my old one back (thank god they hadn't sent it off as a core yet) which I then carried out to a local Bosch repair shop we've got here where it got an excellent rebuild done on it for an exeptionally decent price.

I 'think' the cut off for the big body starter to the little body was when L-jet came along, or very shoprtly thereafter. Certainly from 86 on though.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
"FWIW, there isn't a 75-90 starter, at least for spiders anyway." Just as I expected! They were delivered without starters and the buyers either had to push start their Spider or get one out of a junk yard.

Or...there was a list of starters installed in various Spiders, Alfa made only one copy, and it was shredded when they left America.

I find it so interesting that there is tons of information about Alfas - though certainly not from Alfa themselves - but starter information from what I'll call the middle years of the Series 2 Spiders is completly lacking.

Funny, but my latest Spider parts book which was printed in '72 lists both an Alfa and a Bosch number for the starter. Apparently Alfa also printed only one Spider parts book which covered 77's and it too was shredded before their leaving.

Biba
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Darren, I'm sorry I didn't thank your for replying, so I'll belatedly thank you - and I do mean it.

This is not aimed at you in the least: However, if I ran across a post which asked what the Bosch part number was for a '72 or '69 Spider, or a '75 Alfetta I'd immediately look it up and give it to them. I have parts book for those years of cars. In the case of both Spider parts books, I have both the 'Euro' and US part's books. They're no help for a '77 Spider.

Certainly you, as have others given me as much information as you/they can. All it takes is someone with a parts book which covers '77 US Spiders to open it up and send me the part number or numbers for the starter/starters used. It's really that simple.

My frustration is lack of help from those who have the specific information, but won't bother to help out.

I'm about to try yet another starter I have and that I just went through to see if it 'might' work. If I had a specific number that goes for '77 Spiders I'd either call up one of the Alfa dealers or a rebuilder and see if they had that specific starter, and if so for them to ship it to me. It would be a done deal and I could move on.

I'm certainly not denying the frustration part of the title for this post - and again, not remotely aimed at you or anyone else that has replied to date. My obvious fictitiousness was aimed at those who simply haven't bothered to key in 10 numbers, not you - not that anyone is obligated to reply to any post.

Biba
 

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My obvious fictitiousness was aimed at those who simply haven't bothered to key in 10 numbers,...
Not as easy as it sounds. When Alfa switched to microfiche around 1973, the parts listings no longer carry the manufacturers part number, only the Alfa part number.
 

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Biba

I think I finally deciphered my original mirror reading. The starter on my 77 alfa engine drivetrain in the garage is a 1.001.211.987 this almost fits slyalfa's m/n format. I originally posted it backwards--so much for me being paid to interpret da vinci's log books early on sunday morn. I think that’s two sources of starter m/n’s for a 77 but doesn’t address the pinion.

sorry for any mis-info
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Tifosi, thanks. I fully understand your (in turn) frustration with my original reply to you.

Jim, since my Alfetta parts book is dated 1974, did Alfa quit producing parts books after that? I remember going to Alfa dealers later in teh 70's and they would start pulling out microfiche, "Nope, it's not on that one, let's try this one." There is lots and lots to be said for hard copies. Thanks for your comment regarding this.

Frank, thanks for once again going to the trouble. I've made a note of that number. It might well be what 'should' be on this engine.

As it turns out...the starter which I consider to be an Alfetta one (0 001 311 110), works perfectly. No unusual sounds, spins the fresh engine really well, and once I do a bit more sorting out of the fuel section, I should have a running engine. I even have a great spark on #1 when I put my Harbor Freight test light on the spark plug and then the #1 ignition wire on it.

I've been working on this car for 13 months - and the client in NC would really like to start driving it. Hopefully this explains a bit of my admittedly rather agressive need to at least be able to turn the engine over using a starter.

Biba
 

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After going through 6+ starters on my '74 GTV and '69 Spyder over the years I got a bit frustrated. I did some research and found a really good solution from Performatek. Andy offers new gear reduction starters that are smaller, lighter, more powerful and a direct bolt on. They aren't on his site so you need to give him a call. This one is working really well for me. It is not original - it's Japanese so should be reliable for a long time.

Here's a quote regarding the gear reduction starter that I got from Andy: "Hi Pat, yes i do (have gear redution starters for Alfas). i can supply in 130 or 131 tooth. $299.95 + freight. they are small, ~9 pounds, gear reduction, plenty powerful and use less amps than oem style.
direct bolt up."

Here are some pics that Andy supplied:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Shoulder bolt: Yeah, but, why didn't Alfa simply make all three of the holes the same size with bolts that fit - as opposed to the two top and lower sloppy fit ones? I don't accept the excuse to make up for machining differences. If the center hole is off then how would sloppy tolarances on the other two bolts make up for it? I Always put all three bolts in, have the center shoulder bolt fairly snug, just so I can move the starter back and forth, then do my very best to split the differences of 'extra' space in the upper/lower bolts. Assuming it is a 'correct' starter, it always works fine. It would save time and hassle to not have to use special bolts and then go through the centering routine by feel/eyeball. And no, I don't take it as a cute Alfa eccentricity.

Yes, very cool starter. I'm curious though should anyone know, but the starter on my TS (uninstalled) engine is very small, is supposed to work really well, but there are no apparent step down gears in it. Assuming it is 'really good' what makes it so?

If I get it right, the fact that an Alfetta flywheel has 125 teeth the Spiders 131 and these mid 70's through 80's flywheels are the same diameter (I've not verified that) the same nine tooth starter will work for both of them.

However, since the 130 tooth flywheel is 1 cm / 3/8" smaller (?) it has to have its own starter - with what I assume use a larger in diameter pinion gear - though it is still nine tooth?

If that is the case, why aren't there just two part numbers for Bosch starters instead of a kazzilion (+/-)? Okay, maybe by 1990 they might have wanted to go to a more modern design - thus different part number - but still fits earlier 130 flywheels?

If this is incorrect, please correct me. If this is correct, why the myriad Bosch starter types/models/numbers for Alfas? Even then they most likely could have used the same starter for both, just used a different pinion 'unit' for each. The (stock) HP did not change much at all between 1970 to 1995 for the Nords.

Again I thank everyone for their input, but I'd really like to know if this is the case.

Biba
Yeah, still a bit frustrated.
 
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