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1978 Alfa Spider, 15,XXX miles
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok - joined a couple of weeks ago after buying my 78 Spider. Weather here in VA has been poor so haven’t had much time to play with the car. But here’s my first technical question, and some background...

When I first drove the car, I noticed the upper left dash light was illuminated. Oil pressure, temp, brakes all seemed fine so I thought perhaps an electrical glitch. Ordered an owner‘s manual off the internet and learned this light was associated with the choke. Went to the garage to fool with the choke knob, and the cable came right out of the console. I‘ve ordered a few repair manuals, but before they get here, can anyone tell me how difficult it is to repkace the choke cable?

Thanks!

DRW
 

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I had the exact same thing happen to me--I'm guessing this is a common problem. I'm still not sure what that exhaust temp light is supposed to indicate, it seemed to come on with choke out and then went away with it pushed in, but I'm not even sure my cable is attached. So strange. Anyway, following for an answer!
 

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It's not a choke on a Spica car, it's a hand throttle. Connects to the throttle linkage near the brake booster.
The "choke" as such on a Spica car is the thermostatic actuator, rich when cold, lean when hot. If the car is hard starting you probably need to check how the Spica system is set up.

Andrew
 

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It's not a choke on a Spica car, it's a hand throttle.
You know, it does say "throttle", but I've never seen such a thing. I really need to read the manual :( ty for the correction

edit: ok, I did read the manual, and they barely mention it--glazing over it like it's a perfectly normal thing to have--instead just indicating where it is. Is this some manner of old-school cruise control? I'm definitely missing something. I'm sorry for the ignorance.

edit 2: perused the forums and it makes sense that it's for warming up the car after a cold start. Someone joked about using it as cruise control, but I'm glad that's not the intended purpose 😅

Spica hand throttle here you can see the bracket this cable connects to, which is what I'll be looking for as well. It appears it's not uncommon for these to be disconnected.
 

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Yes, "Italian cruise control" they used to call it.
A well set up Spica car will fast idle from the outset. So it always seemed a weird redundancy to me unless you want a fast idle to break in a new cam or something.
Andrew
 

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1978 Alfa Spider, 15,XXX miles
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, I’m even more confused than I was initially... my car starts fine from cold (even now in VA when it’s 25 degrees F). I merely want to restore to original condition and put things back together accordingly. I suppose I could just stuff the cable back in the hole and pretend everything is good to go...

I read variously that this is a choke cable, a hand throttle cable, etc. And that it’s a Shankle Sure-Start. Was also told my car had Shankle bumpers. Who is this guy? Presuming he is still alive, I’d like to buy him a beer...

DRW
 
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