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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys thanks in advance for reading this and providing any thoughts.

I am new to the Alfa BB forums. I am fixing up my uncles 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider Volce. It was his pet project and he died a few years ago, and he loved nothing more than his Spider. The car came to me about a month ago, and as a memorial to my Uncle Jim I wanted to get it running again. It had not run for 6 months when I got it. I replaced the battery, a fuse that controlled the fuel pump, the fuel pump, the fuel line to to fuel pump and changed the oil/oil filter. It was running beautifully when I decided to replace the fuel filter. I drove the car out of the garage and I disconnected everything (the battery and what I am guessing is the air pump because it is attached to a filter) according to the cars original manual and found that the housing to the fuel filter had been glued along it's seal. The glue came off in my hand while I was trying to figure out how to get the housing to drop down. I decided to get a new housing before replacing the filter so I put everything back double checking to make sure that I followed the steps as they appeared in the manual in reveres. But when I went to start up the Spider it would not turn on or even turn over. I had the battery checked and it is still good so I am assuming that I have an electrical problem. I assume that I made a mistake when I replaced everything but even after removing and reassembling I cant figure out what it is that I did. I double checked that the battery is facetted tightly, to the positive and negative. Which it is.

I am at a lose as to what I have done and I don't know enough about cars to deduce what the problem is.

Thanks,
Collen
 

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Yes they do turn on and the light inside the cab that says generat and the oil pressure light. I can hear a slight wining noise.
 

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Since the main fuel filter is right next to the starter, there's a good chance that the starter trigger wire was knocked loose. Is there a black wire dandling loose in that area?
 

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Probably the fuel pump whining, if it's not your spouse. Did you knock a wire off the starter? Should be one heavy red one from the battery, a smaller red one connected to the same place as the big red one, a black one connected to the solenoid that goes into the harness to the key, and another black from the solenoid to the cold start solenoid. I would guess that, if any, it would be the black one that goes into the harness.

I see that Jim snuck in while I was typing. There's good advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't see any loose wires. I unplugged the big red wire coming out of the cylinder in the upper left hand corner under the hood (to the right on the passengers side if your sitting in the car) I plugged it back in before trying to start the spider. I have since checked the other end to make sure it is pugged in and have unplugged and plugged back in the end connected to the cylinder which it sounds like is the starter. I don't see any wires coming from there that are loose or unplugged. I attached two pics one is a close up of the cylinder I am referring to the other is a larger view of the area for context.
 

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71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
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That is the coil, underneath that next to the fuel bowl that holds a fuel filter is the starter. there are big wires bolted to the starter solonoid and one smaller wire with a female spade connector that connects to a male spade connector on the solonoid about an inch from where the big wires are bolted onto the solonoid. If you take the air filter housing back off you can see it much better.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I took everything out again to see the starter and fuel filter. I realized that when I put the screw back in the top of the fuel filter back in I accidentally pinched a wire exposing metal to metal. This I assume could have caused a short. I un-pinched the wire but the car still doesn't turn on. The wire was long and yellow and went into a small cylinder to the right of the fuel filter. The cylinder can be seen in the first photo as can the yellow wire. In the second photo it can be seen going back over near the fuel filter.
 

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The yellow wire in your photo is the black wire that Papajam and Intune refer to.
It comes from the ignition switch and goes 2 places:
-Cold Start - that cylinder you show. It is part of the Fuel Injection Pump. You show it clearly in your first photo
-Starter solenoid on the starter. A cylinder on the starter real close to the engine, hard to see. A female electric connection.
So your yellow wire should be spliced to a black wire to the right in your photo, but that is not real important.
What is important is that when you turn the ignition switch power goes, somehow, to that yellow wire, to the Cold Start and also to the starter solenoid.
A way to check the starter, if you feel adventurous, you are going to "hot wire" your car and try to start it. In your photo it looks like the yellow wire is as I describe above.
- car in neutral, parking brake on
- ignition switch is off, for now.
- locate a stud on the starter that has the main power wire, it comes from the battery and has a nut holding the power wire onto the stud. There may be other wires coming from that stud, but will have 1 larger wire from the battery.
- remove the yellow wire from the Cold Start
- touch that yellow wire to that power wire and the car should try to start.
If the engine tries to start, great. It will not start as you have the ignition switch off.
If it tries to start, reattach the yellow wire back to the Cold Start. Try the ignition key switch to see if the car will start. It should, and the this exercise just got the yellow wires properly connected.
If the car will not start you may have an ignition switch problem. We can do a cheap fix for that problem later.
OMG, it is 12:30 am. Good luck, and report back to us.
 

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You've shorted out the starter solenoid circuit. The power for the starter solenoid to energize comes from the large black wire from the ignition switch to the starter solenoid. The Spica Injection Cold Start Solenoid is also connected to that starter solenoid male terminal. So, when you shorted out the CSS wire, you had massive current going through the "start" terminal of the key switch. Power comes off the hot side of the #3 fuse at the fusebox, into the key switch, and out to the starter solenoid and Injection Pump CSS.

That circuit is not fused, so it's my guess that you burned-out the "start" contact inside the key switch.

Now, that said, the wire to the CSS should be black, not yellow, so it sounds like some previous owner changed something. Trace the yellow wire back to its source. If stock, it should go to the starter solenoid. If not, report back where it goes to.

First of all, do you have a wiring diagram? If not get one from Papajam on this site.

I'd recommend first that you un-short the circuit. Then you should check the continuity of the starter key switch. Use a test light to see if the start position of the key switch is still working. My guess is that it is not. You may have to replace the ignition switch.

Having a hard time understanding how you could have not seen that you were pinching the wire when you were tightening the fuel filter bolt. You're extremely lucky you didn't have a big gasoline fire from fuel spraying out the bolt hole with an unfused ignition source right there. Wow.
 

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71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
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Hard to see how it even sealed and didn't spray fuel all over the engine when the ignition was turned on.
as already stated that yellow wire at the cold start solonoid should lead you to two places, one is the starter solonoid. those wires are very easy to knock off. Hopefully that is all that is wrong. While you are in there you might as well put a new Female spade connector on the end of the wire that connects to the starter solonoid to get a good tight fit so it won't come off when you look at it. Don't ask me how I know:)
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I replaced the wire (Kragen was out of black so I got yellow and I will mark it with scotch tape, marking on the scotch tape what it is so that I don't forget it should be a black/- )and touched it to the starter bolt and the engine tried to turn over, but will not start after reattaching the yellow wire. I checked and none of the fuses are blown.

I have two manuals. I took photos of the covers and included them. They both have diagrams but I will ask papajam for one anyway incase it is better. Both books have diagrams that seem hard to decipher.

When I upload the photos to the forum, I think it is changing the orientation of some of them The first one is definitely upside down (as well as the fuse box I believe)and the last has been turned sideways. I am not sure why, they are fine on my computer. Sorry about that.
 

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Before I open my big mouth, some questions to all:

Ignition switch is bad? Probably fried when the "yellow wire" was grounded.
Add a relay and a "remote" starter switch or button?
 

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Test the starter switch as I previously suggested.

Disconnect the yellow wire to the Cold Start Solenoid. It's not essential at this point and will just confuse the troubleshooting process.

Test the Cold Start Solenoid by touching a hot wire (+) to the male terminal on top of the CSS. It should produce an audible "click." If not, it may be that the short damaged the CSS as well.
 

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...and touched it to the starter bolt and the engine tried to turn over
Sounds promising, probably worth giving the battery a good charge and trying this again.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hey Roadtrip,

Were do you suggest I get the hot wore (+) from? The red one attached with a female terminal to the starter?

And just to be sure there is only the one male terminal on top of the CSS were the wire attaches, correct? I just want to make sure I am not missing anything.
 

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Disconnect the yellow wire from the CSS, shown circled.
Get a spare piece of wire that will reach from the CSS and that stud on the starter where the battery wire is.
Do a quick touch to energize the CSS. If it is working you will hear a "click", and maybe see a small spark at the starter.
Report back.
 

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Yes, just use the + batt terminal. Keep in mind also, that when you dead shorted the battery, it might have been damaged as well. You can take it up to a battery shop and they can put a tester on it to determine that.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ignition switch: "start" --> continuity black with yellow and/or brown; end continuity with red and yellow and/or brown. -- assume OK

Starter: short solinoid with yellow wire from cold solinoid --> starter turns

Conclusion: problem between ignition switch and starter-solenoid: most likely cold-start solenoid, or starter relay; less likely wires. Possible: connections.

Thoughts? Any other likely ideas?

Questions: where is starter solenoid? Where does power to cold-start solenoid come from and how where connects to cold-start solenoid?
 

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The starter solenoid is on top of the starter with 4 wires going into it. A black wire should go directly from the starter solenoid to the CSS. Yours is yellow and seems to loop around the fuel filter and looks like it goes to the starter. Again, you should get a wiring diagram from Papajam at the Electrical Forum on this site.

Thinking about it some more, if you tested the starter switch and it seems ok, and if you shorted the starter terminals and the starter turned,you probably burnt the wire that goes from the starter switch to the starter. Try running a jumper wire from the starter switch to the starter. If it turns over, that's the problem.
 
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