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Discussion Starter #1
I’m looking for advice on alternative wiring for my cold start solenoid. I had been having intermittent starting problems where I would turn on the ignition and hear the hum of the fuel pump but when I turned the key the starter would not turn over. I never knew when this would happen. I was pretty sure the starter was OK because I replaced it…perhaps unnecessarily. In any event I read somewhere on one of these boards that the CSS was draining current (or whatever) from the starter motor. So I removed the wire for the CSS and the problem is gone or at least that problem. The new problem is now its getting colder and harder to start without the help of the CSS so I’m looking for an alternative to having the wire (black) from the starter go to the CSS. As I said I remember an alternative solution mentioned but I cannot find it. Thanks, Dave.
 

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People have changed the source for current to the CSS from the low amperage terminal that energizes the starter solenoid, to the high current, switched output from the solenoid. That terminal is an 8mm (?) lug with a narrow hex nut - a short, braided lead that goes into the starter motor attaches there.

The reason for re-writing the CSS as described above is not to address intermitent starter operation; rather it is to fix a problem where the starter doesn't shut off when the key is returned to the "run" position.
 

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It sounds like your ignition switch is failing. I have had this occur on 3 different Alfas. In all cases, the RUN function worked fine, but the START function failed. In 2 of the instances, I just wired a push button into the circuit. My '76 Spider has been running with this work-around for over a year. I turn the key to RUN, hear the fuel pump, push the button to START, and everything works.

I’m looking for advice on alternative wiring for my cold start solenoid. I had been having intermittent starting problems where I would turn on the ignition and hear the hum of the fuel pump but when I turned the key the starter would not turn over. I never knew when this would happen. I was pretty sure the starter was OK because I replaced it…perhaps unnecessarily. In any event I read somewhere on one of these boards that the CSS was draining current (or whatever) from the starter motor. So I removed the wire for the CSS and the problem is gone or at least that problem. The new problem is now its getting colder and harder to start without the help of the CSS so I’m looking for an alternative to having the wire (black) from the starter go to the CSS. As I said I remember an alternative solution mentioned but I cannot find it. Thanks, Dave.
 

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Rewire your CSS wire directly to the positive post to the starter itself instead of the terminal on the starter solenoid. Refer to the thread below, specifically post #3 for a picture of how to do it. This will stop that weird feedback loop that can keep the starter solenoid energized even it the key switch is taken out of "start." Cheap, easy, fast.

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spider-1966-up/5420-old-click-no-crank-problem-again.html

It could be that the terminals in the key switch itself are burned and bad. The OEM wiring with the CSS wired to the key switch and starter solenoid put a very high load on those small terminals. It could also be that the solenoid is going bad. In the plastic end cap of the solenoid, there is a small copper contact bar attached to the solenoid shaft that contacts two contacts, one from the battery and the to the starter motor itself. After so long, those contacts can corrode and burn. They are relatively simple to clean by taking the end cap off. DO NOT try and remove the nut that holds the copper contact bar to the shaft. The nut is staked on there and you will break the solenoid shaft and ruin the solenoid. Just do the best cleaning job you can do in-situ.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Perfect….this is what I was looking for and the picture helps. I will let you know how it works out.
Thanks!
Dave
 

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It could be that the terminals in the key switch itself are burned and bad. The OEM wiring with the CSS wired to the key switch and starter solenoid put a very high load on those small terminals. It could also be that the solenoid is going bad.
I like those two theories, and have edited my earlier post #2 accordingly.

If it is either of the two problems that Roadtrip suggests, simply re-wiring the CSS the way people do to solve starter run-on won't be a great solution.

- If it is a burned and bad ignition switch, the switch may last a little longer handling just the lower current of the solenoid alone, but will eventually become intermittent again.

- If the solenoid is going bad, well, it will keep going bad. However, if the car has started consistently with the CSS disconnected, that suggests you probably have the "burned and bad ignition switch" scenario.
 

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One thing I didn't see mentioned above is a good Ground to the plenum.. Plenum is basicallly mounted in rubber and the ground strap is usually on the bottom of the plenum and many times broken or left off. Run a good ground from the intake to the plenum.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
When I have the air box off I will check this...but frankly I don't know were it is or what I'm looking for. Is it near the starter motor or farther forward near the CSS?
Thanks
Dave
71 Spider
 
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