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Discussion Starter #1
A few months ago I purchased 1974 Alfa Romeo Spider 2000. I redid the fuel system, install new Coil, wires, and Vick's pointless distributor to get the car running after sitting for 16 years. I took the car for a small test drive, degreased the engine and drove the car into the garage. It sat for a week or so and now it will not fire.

The Green/Black wire on the coil does not have power when the key is on or engine is being cranked. What are the appropriate steps in finding out what when wrong? I checked all the fuses in the panel below the dash and all are good.

Does anyone have color PDF of a wiring chart they could email me?
 

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The coil runs off of the #6 fuse. Is the fuse aluminum, or brass/copper? If it's aluminum, find a good set of brass/copper fuses such as the ones made by Flosser. Big with the VW crowd. Aluminum fuses can cause big problems.

If it's not a fuse problem, check to see that you have voltage on the input size of fuse #6.

Chuck
 

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Welcome to the AlfaBB.

Even though you said you checked the fuses, I suggest you replace them if they are of unknown vintage. The bullet type fuses used in our cars can somehow look OK but fail to allow electrons to pass. The fuses with an aluminum strip are the worst - I prefer the ones with a brass strip. Clean the contacts in the fuse box (a toothbrush size wire brush works well) and, if needed, bend them so that they make a very snug connection when the fuse is inserted.

Another possibility is a failing ignition switch. The internal contacts are designed to be self cleaning - each time you use the switch they are supposed to wipe against each other to clean off any corrosion/arcing. Sometimes cycling the key on/off/on/off a few times will help clean off the contacts.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I checked both sides of the fuse block with a light tester and had a light on both sides?

Does anyone have a picture of the wires on the backside of the switch? Which wire on the switch would send power to the green/black wire?
 

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On an S2 spider the green black wire comes from the upstream side of F6 and the power does not go through the fuse. It comes straight from the ignition switch on the brown wire.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sounds like I may have a switch problem or a wiring issue on the back of the switch. I did notice a loose black wire hanging under the dash that would be about the right length to go to the switch. There is already one black wire on the switch. Does anyone have picture of the back of the switch or know the number of wires on the switch?
 

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On the ignition switch the big red wire is incoming power. The thick black wire is to the starter solenoid. The brown wire goes to F6. The green wire goes the coil and is energized when the starter is engaged. The thin black wire and the red/black wire are for the key reminder buzzer.

There are 3 wires on the incoming side of F6. They are the brown wire from the ignition switch, the green/black which goes to the ballast resistor on the coil and a thin brown wire which goes to the fuel pump fuse F11. F6 itself powers the SPICA fuel cut off solenoid, the backup light switch and the instruments.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I an to thank everyone for their help! I cleaned the fuse block with a wire brush and now have power to the Green/Black wire at the coil.

HOWEVER, still no fire. Here is what I have tried.

*Before this problem I had install a new bosch blue coil and Vicks electronic ignition distributor.
1. Light tested and found power on positive and negative side of the coil.
2. Swapped coil with one from my Sunbeam Alpine just to see if new coil was bad.
3. Ordered new Distributor from Vicks thinking the new one was maybe defective.
4. Set engine to TDC, Rotor button points to #1 cylinder
5. Checked firing order. #1 plug wire is right above rotor button pointing to #1. Order on cap is 1,3,4,2 going clockwise
6. I made new red and black wires that go from the coil to the distributor.
7. Installed new coil wires

WHAT I'm I MISSING? I don't understand why the system is not working.

A side note... I am not getting fuel in the cylinders. The fuel pump is running and I have 19 PSI just past the front filter. It is a spIca system. I am focused on getting the car to fire first but just wanted to mention it in case some strange way its related.

Any help would be appreciated because I am pulling my hair out.
 

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Remove one of your plugs and the wire from the distributor and plug the wire directly into the coil. Now spin the engine and see if the plug has sparks. If yes then you have a cap/rotor/HT wire/timing problem. If no sparks then you have a problem on the 12V side of the coil.
Did you verify that #1 cylinder was at TDC on the compression stroke and not 180 degrees out?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I plugged #1 plug wire directly into coil and spun the engine. There was no spark. I check and has power from the green/black wire to the coil and both sides of the coil are hot with a light tester.

Do you think it could be an engine ground issue?
 

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The voltage at the + side of the coil should be steady 12V. The voltage at the - side should jump around as the engine turns. If not you have a distributor problem. The ground to the engine must be OK if the starter works.
I have no information on the Vick distributor but most electronic distributors have the red wire connected to coil + and black to coil -. The only other wire on coil - is the tachometer signal wire and you can disconnect that for testing.
Has the green wire at the coil been disconnected from everything?
 

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You said you were not getting any fuel. Check your Spica drive belt. When you are working with the distributor if you drop anything such as the nut or washer that clamps it, it will land on that belt and snap it the first time you crank it over, they don’t stretch. Ask me how I know.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I checked the spIca belt and it is turning and does not appear to have issues.

I thought the ignition system was an independent system on these cars. Meaning there are no other sensors to safety switches to turn off and on the system.

Here is how I believe the system works. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

When ignition switch is turned on it sends current to the - side of the coil to power the coil. The coil then sends power to the distributor by way of the coil wire to the distributor cap, and then onto the rotor button. From there it sends power to the spark plugs by way of the spark plug wires. It seems pretty easy.

I just cannot figure out how I can have power from the green/black wire from the switch to power the coil and yet the system does not work.

I took the #1 Plug wire off and stuck it in the coil and got no spark. I swapped the coil from my Sunbeam Alpine and still got the same result. This thing is driving me crazy. Is there an ignition box or other relay somewhere?

I originally bought the all new equipment to try and avoid issues like this.
 

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have you checked that the rotor is turning?

74 will have a starter relay (probably the infamous seatbelt interlock thing too), but I believe if the relay is bad, it won't even crank (?)
 

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You should not be supplying power to the -ve side of the coil.
 

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In order for the coil to send the high voltage to the spark plug the current through it needs to be interrupted at the proper time. Originally on a '74 this would have been accomplished by the breaker points. Since you have installed a pointless electronic distributor that may be the problem but I'm not familiar with "Vicks" distributors so can't help you there. Do you still have the old Marelli? Maybe try that.
 

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Fuel cutoff switch on the fire wall also kills the ignition. Gray circular device 1" round about 3" long, bypass that?
 

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Have you checked that the rotor.is spinning? Take the cap off and crank the engine to make sure it is. Maybe it is not seated in the slot, hopefully not broken.
Just a thought.

P.S. Make sure rotor is good. Not sure about the Vicks dizzy, but high voltage ignition can melt resistor rotors. Ask me how I know.
 

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You’ve checked on Alfaparticle’s latest post (#19) ....questioning your earlier statement (post #13) that you had a power supply wire going to the negative post on the coil, and that you should not? I assume that’s not just a typing error on your part.

I think maybe he is suggesting you’ve got ignition supply going to the wrong post. I realise you’ve checked 12 v supply exists, but you didn’t say where it was going, until then.

Another side effect of connecting wires to the negative terminal is that if one of those wires goes to earth, the car probably won’t go. This is where/how some old school “secret” anti-theft security devices were installed....simply shorting the coil to ground. I know this coz once I ‘helpfully’ reattached an unconnected black wire from neg coil terminal to ground on a mate’s MGB, thinking it was an unconnected earth. Took us 3 hours to figure out how silly that was.
 

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We are kinda' stabbing in the dark here fellas. If I read this thread right it was running then it wasn't and he didn't do anything in between. I don't know what kind of distributor he has so nothing to offer here that would be anything other than a guess.
 
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