Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I wanted a clean, sparse engine bay and the battery tray was rusty so I removed it during restoration. Moved battery to trunk and ran a 1 gauge wire, (same size as my Alfetta). But now it cranks very slow and sometimes not even enough to turn over.
I then temporarily placed the battery in the original position with the original short pos.wire and it cranks fine. (with short ground and all). I then used the long wire with the battery sitting in the engine bay and it again cranks slow.
Possible solutions? Move battery back to engine bay? Not my first choice. Does and 2L starter fit a 1600 and would that make a difference? An even thicker cable?
Engine ground strap cleaned, sanded and secure.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,542 Posts
JE,

Should work. You are going directly to the starter, right? Could the battery be weak? Could the starter be marginal?

I don't recall the gauge but I use welding cable when I move the battery to the rear. Done it to three Alfas and never had an issue.

BTW, didn't I sell you a set of Duetto doors years ago? Your brother picked them up from my office. If so, I'd love to see pictures of your car - looks like they went to a good home!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,874 Posts
Try 00 welding cable. Might try to run copper return line (- wire) all the way to the starter, too.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,065 Posts
I wonder if the ends of the long cable are not making good connections to the wire? Some corrosion or loose crimps could explain the problem.

Try a voltage drop test. Set your voltmeter to the 0-20 scale. Put one probe on the cable end and the other on the cable itself (pierce the insulation near the end of the cable). Have your trusted assistant crank the engine. The voltmeter should read nearly zero. If it reads more than a few tenths of a volt (a really bad connection could read significant voltage) then the connection between the cable's strands and the cable end is highly suspect. Test both ends.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the quick replies.

gprocket - the battery is new and I had the starter tested and was good and yes connected directly to the starter. yes you did sell me the doors. Car sat for a few years before I got around to really working on it. I'll post some pics in a day or two.

AlfaVeloce - Maybe bigger will be better! When you say return line, do you mean a ground?

ghnl - the cable is new with new crimped ends.

I'll post progress.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,874 Posts
...
AlfaVeloce - Maybe bigger will be better! When you say return line, do you mean a ground?
...
Yes
exactly

You could even run it bare and bond it to chassis along the way from battery to starter. If you do, seal the bonds well to prevent galvanic corrosion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Wow, that engine bay is pretty! I used ? gauge, maybe 00 (about as thick as a cigarillo) welding cable from the trunk-mounted small Odyssey battery to the starter in my race car, and it has no problem cranking a highly compressed race engine.

More pics of this Duetto, please!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
820 Posts
I wanted a clean, sparse engine bay and the battery tray was rusty so I removed it during restoration. Moved battery to trunk and ran a 1 gauge wire, (same size as my Alfetta). But now it cranks very slow and sometimes not even enough to turn over.
I then temporarily placed the battery in the original position with the original short pos.wire and it cranks fine. (with short ground and all). I then used the long wire with the battery sitting in the engine bay and it again cranks slow.
Possible solutions? Move battery back to engine bay? Not my first choice. Does and 2L starter fit a 1600 and would that make a difference? An even thicker cable?
Engine ground strap cleaned, sanded and secure.

others have mentioned welding cable and that is the correct thing to do as well as the size. welding cable is fine wire ... lots of them... and since the primary path is on the surface of the wire , the more strands , the more area etc... as for the crimps, this type of wire needs special tooling and ends to do properly and the place to get the ends is at an electrical supply house as opposed to automotive... and if you don't have one of the proper hammer crimpers or monster manual crimpers for this cable ( they have handles like bolt cutters and special dies ) then have your local welding shop do them for you... this is not being anal, ... it has to do with the basic technique to get big cable connections like this to function properly. and those that have suggested running a separate ground cable back to the engine, gbox somewhere are correct as well. on paper , a chassis ground is a chassis ground but the fact is that that path utilizes every square inch of the body and acts like a VERY long wire . when it works its obviously fine but when any part of it develops a hi resistance at one of the jumpers , then that weakens the whole circuit. running a large negative wire directly from the battery to the engine or gearbox is a simple and easy way to eliminate a million variables.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,303 Posts
No. 1 wire sounds like it's too small; certainly the OEM short front cable is much larger!

As to starters - yes, any alfa starter will fit as long as the bendix drive has the right number of teeth. Later starters are much larger than the 1600s. The biggest ones came with three-bolt mounting but will fit without that third bolt - mine's been fine for a few decades! later ones also had a support for the forward end of the starter - this helps prevent the heavy and torquey starter from breaking off the aluminum bell housing, and is good for any alfa starter.

Be sure to check the ground connection from the engine to the body too. It's a 20 mm wide braided flat copper strap that connects the bell housing to the body; this is often a problem for these cars if its bolts come loose or get corroded.

Robert
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
60sRacer - the short front cable is No. 1 (or some metric equivalent). My Alfetta also has the same size but the cable on my GTV-6 is huge. I think I have a 2L starter that I might use. The braided ground wire has been sandblasted and motor and frame contacts sanded.

As promised, here are a few photos from the restoration process. Literally every part has been disassembled, cleaned, painted and rebuilt. It goes to the upholster after the new year for the new top. (I think I'm an above average mechanic but I want the top perfect so it goes)

Library Slideshow by jeboniface | Photobucket
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,634 Posts
Does and 2L starter fit a 1600 and would that make a difference?
No.

While the two bolts on the 1600 bellhousing would line up with two of the three holes on the 2L starter, that doesn't mean it would "fit". The # of teeth on both the pinion and the ring gear are different between the 1600 and the 2L, so those gears would quickly become a pile of metal shards if you installed an incompatible starter.

And no, it wouldn't help your situation even if it did fit. A 2L starter has more hp, so it draws more current. Your problem is that your cables aren't delivering enough current. Substituting a larger load will aggrevate, not solve that problem.

ghnl said:
I wonder if the ends of the long cable are not making good connections to the wire? Some corrosion or loose crimps could explain the problem. Try a voltage drop test.
I like that advice. Alfas do work with trunk-mounted batteries; it is possible.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,243 Posts
My Super came to me with a nice battery set up. An Odyssy secured above the rear axle, slightly to the right of center.

This includes two short wires to a kill switch mounted on the floor just to the right of the tunnel and in front of the seat, With the carpet it can't be seen, but can be reached from the driver's seat.:shifty:

Plenty of juice for starting the 2 L.

:cool2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
The cables are brand new, as are the terminals. All contacts with the chassis have been cleaned and secured and the battery is new. I'm beginning to question the starter "rebuild" that I had done.

Appriciate all the input.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,634 Posts
I'm beginning to question the starter "rebuild" that I had done.
I then temporarily placed the battery in the original position with the original short pos.wire and it cranks fine.
I don't have a better suggestion, but...if the starter is bad, then why did it crank fine with shorter cables?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
I almost forgot that I also had a slow cranking starter from a poor rebuild. Not hard to pull one apart for inspection.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
820 Posts
I don't have a better suggestion, but...if the starter is bad, then why did it crank fine with shorter cables?

exactly. the whole " bad rebuild" thing is a red herring. this is a low voltage issue for one reason or another most probably inadequate cable capacity or inadequate grounding because of the new bat location that puts the entire body shell between where the bat ground is and where the starter is.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,065 Posts
A simple test would be be to temporarily use a set of long jumper cables. If they are not long enough to reach all the way to the trunk, the battery would not even have to be in the car.

First connect the battery to the car using the jumper cables. If it cranks OK then the battery & starter are good. Then connect your new cables. If it then does not crank well the cables are the problem.

Remember that the electrons have to make a complete circuit. Both the + connection from battery to the starter and the - connection from the battery to the body must have good (clean & tight) connections. Any one fault will cause the problem you're having.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,542 Posts
exactly. the whole " bad rebuild" thing is a red herring. this is a low voltage issue for one reason or another most probably inadequate cable capacity or inadequate grounding because of the new bat location that puts the entire body shell between where the bat ground is and where the starter is.
Not an expert but I would think that a "bad" rebuild could result in a starter that is on the edge and needs every bit of voltage to operate. The longer, higher resistance cable might be below the threshold. I've had about 25% of my rebuilt starters fail so it's certainly not out of the question.

I would further say that you can rule out the ground since it does work with the shorter cable.

Finally, and in the "for what's worth" category, I submit my SNO version of mounting the battery in the trunk:

I bring the cable up along the passenger side firewall into a 60 AMP fuse buss that I sourced from a late 90s SAAB 900. The black wire is the welding cable from the battery and the red wire is going to the starter. Obviously this is not fused but everything else is. The primary advantage here is that I'm able to pull the fuse and cut power to everything (except the starter). Obviously if I disconnect the battery I accomplish the same thing except that this way I still have 12VDC in case I need it. S2 Spiders with trunk mounted batteries have a terminal on the driver's side inner fender near the front but without a fuse and in my opinion rather afterthought-ish...

IMAG1266.jpg
(Cover removed for clarity)
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top