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Discussion Starter #1
Went to pick up a sandwich for lunch and when I came out the ignition key would not turn to the Start position. It goes the the ON position, dash lights up and steering wheel unlocks but won't got past that. I was able to walk two miles home and now I'm experimenting with Red trying to figure out how to hot jump the starter.

I'm looking for connector G151 or the Starter Motor Inhibitor relay I10. If I can get 12 volts to the wire going to the starter solenoid I should be able to get it going and bring it home. Either that or pull the entire ignition switch out of Red and take it over there.
 

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You shouldn't need to get to the relay, I think. Just get a remote starter switch: one clip goes on the solenoid, the other on the big +12 bolt on the starter. That should bypass everything else and directly crank the starter.

Make sure you're in neutral before cranking! And don't have any metal rings or watches or crap on your hands when you're futzing around at the starter.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That would be swell Tom except I don't think you are considering where the starter on a 164 is mounted. It's pretty much impossible to get to in that manner as far as I can tell.
 

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Geez that's a pretty bad place to be stranded-- Certainly worse than being stranded at the beer store......:)
 

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Since key turns on you can probably just jumper from red wire to black starter wire or its mating purple wire at ignition switch wiring connector under dash next to switch to engage starter. Just don't clip red to black or purple just touch jumper to one of them.

Later on you could even temporaily install a starter button wired from red wire to either brown wire or pink wire to black or purple one so button would only work with key in on position until you had time to replsce ignition switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
As handy as I am with electrical circuits and such after staring at the "Starting and Charging" wire diagram on page 766 for half an hour I'm still at a loss as to what actually closes that Starter Motor Inhibitor Relay. I thought that if I could just get 12 volts onto pin 1 of connector G151 that would do it but I had no luck experimenting with Red. I was guessing that G151 was the big plug behind the false firewall, maybe I'm wrong.

Anyway, time was running out, it was going to be dark soon and I didn't want to leave Blackie in that parking lot all night so I opted to just pull the ignition switch out of Red and take it over there. That in itself was a bit of a hassle because I had to pull the instrument pod in order to get a drill on the "tamper-proof" screw. Luckily I have all that prior experience of pulling the instrument pod out of Blackie so I knew where all the secret screws were.

So Blackie is safe and sound back in the garage. This same sort of thing happened to my Land Rover about a year or so ago but luckily in that case it happened in the driveway. I was able to disassemble the switch and repair it so hopefully I can do the same here and not end up having to have two sets of keys.
 

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I'm pretty sure a locksmith can re-key the replacement lock to match your existing key. I know the slightly more theft resistant SAAB locks can be re-keyed to match an existing key. You get this fine before installing the replacement lock.

Of course, probably its the ignition switch that has failed. Dunno about Alfa but on the SAAB the ignition switch is screwed onto the end of the ignition lock and it is usually what fails.

Finally, it is good practice not to hang anything off the ignition key. Italian ignition locks are notorious for premature failure resulting from inertia loading caused by other keys etc hanging off the ignition key. Years ago our local dealer filed out the hole in every ignition key he supplied...new car or used.
 

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Anyway, time was running out, it was going to be dark soon and I didn't want to leave Blackie in that parking lot all night so I opted to just pull the ignition switch out of Red and take it over there.
This is where I call AAA for a flatbed so that I can tackle the job in my own time and space.....free rescue for five miles...or upgrade the membership for 100 miles or three hundred miles forget which at a minimal extra yearly charge.

AAA has shipped my Alfa's many a time.....BMW too just as many times....

Ta,

Neville.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
This is where I call AAA for a flatbed so that I can tackle the job in my own time and space.....
That's certainly a sensible approach if you are paying for the service but we all have different philosophies in that regard. I look at the economy of it and despite owning several Alfas and a British Land Rover I have only spent about $300 on tows over the past 25 years so Triple A always seemed like paying in advance for a tow I may not need in a "use it or lose it" deal. I know there are other benefits and I'm not knocking them, it's just how I've looked at it.

The other aspect in this particular case is that I happen to have a second identical vehicle from which to "borrow" a part. All of the work was done at home removing the switch from Red since all I had to do was plug the connectors in on Blackie to drive it home from the deli. I also discretely avoided the indignity of having my Alfa picked up at a public shopping center and delivered to my home on a flatbed truck :whistling:

As for push starting, I thought about that too but it would have required a couple of extra hands and pulling the instrument pod from Red was one of those jobs I had on the back burner anyway as I have a couple of light bulbs to replace.

I also played around with Red's switch on the bench with an ohmmeter and learned that the red wire connects to the blue and brown wires when ON and to the black wire when in the START position. There also is a start lockout, as with every other Alfa I've owned, that will not allow you to go to the START position once released unless you go all the way back to OFF again so I'm thinking that may be at least part of the issue with my faulty switch. I'm going to pull it out this weekend and see if I can fix it. If not a secret hidden START button as Steve suggested could do the job, at least temporarily. You'd still need the key to unlock the wheel and put power on.
 

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I'd be nice to have some pictures of the various connections in the key switch circuit so we all know where they are and the easiest ones to get to in a pinch.

Is the starter solenoid relay behind the instrument cluster? That'd be one fairly easy place to short power to the starter.
 

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Alfa 164 ignition switch wiring colors, etc...

I'd be nice to have some pictures of the various connections in the key switch circuit so we all know where they are and the easiest ones to get to in a pinch.

Is the starter solenoid relay behind the instrument cluster? That'd be one fairly easy place to short power to the starter.
Picture this:

Ignition switch wiring colors goes to Chassis wiring colors; function of
red to red 12v power
blue to pink for lights and cluster
brown to brown for fuel injection/ignition
black to purple I10 for starter relay via anti-theft N45 located in trunk.

I10 starter relay is located to right of igntion switch under dash and top rear red stripe relay with diode (same a motoronic ECU fuel injection relay).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It's pretty tight up in there and the wires we are talking about are like 10 ga or so, meaning pretty stiff and difficult to work with. I think the sensible approach would be to, as Steve mentioned earlier, install at your convenience a set of terminals at the false firewall to facilitate the use of a remote start switch which could be used for various other reasons aside from this.

Now that in itself might not be so easy because even from underneath in the garage with a cold beer on the bench I'm not sure if it's possible to get up there and access the connections on the starter. But once done it would serve multiple uses and would have gotten me out of this jam in a snap.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I was able to repair my ignition switch however I could not figure out where this little part went. It's function apparently is the START lockout which prevents you from going to the START position after having already been there without first going back to the OFF position. As far as I know the Alfas are the only cars I've owned that have that safety feature so now it works like all my other vehicles. The other difference however is that the steering wheel lock engages when you go to the OFF position whereas it used to not engage until the key was removed. Another safety feature that I think might be unique to Alfa. I seem to recall reading about ignition switch problems where the owner could not remove the key, probably related to this same little part.

Other than that, despite all of the tumblers falling out and having to meticulously replace them with some tweezers along with some trial and error, the switch works very smoothly now with no binding. So this little part is probably best left out in my case as I'm just about positive it was the cause of my problem.

 

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That little piece is what broke on our Milano. Took the switch apart and removed it, as it was jammed in not allowing the key to turn. Now it works as you said, like most other cars.
 

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The Alfa is the only car I know of that only finishes locking the steering column as you remove the key. Other makes also fit a starter inhibitor device to prevent damage to the starter if the driver forgets or doesn't realize the engine is running. VWAG products have this feature if memory serves.

Push button start switches eliminate this issue.
 

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Just like the very old days. I remember when some cars/trunks had a starter button under the dash that you pushed on with your foot after you turned the ignition on with the key.
 

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I owned a Vauxhall, circa 1960, which occasionally allowed you to remove the ignition key while the engine was still running. Thereafter, you could stop and start the engine without the key, just by twisting the lock. To llock it again you had to insert the key, switch on and ioff and then remove the key when the engine was off. Handy if you were repairing the car and had to move the car a few times. A bit hair raising if you were working on the engine meantimes, I like to have the engine locked off before I stick my head in there!
 

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Old USA GM cars, such as Chevies in the 40's and 50's, used to be that way as well. Don't know the whole history of that setup.
 
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