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Discussion Starter #1
I would have one with you but covid.... it would have to be virtual.

Posting this again in a new section in case someone may have a solution or tip:
"Getting nervous again....after last weeks "no start-tow", I thought I had narrowed it down to a dirty connector but again, this morning, I heard 3 "clicks....or clunks" and on the 4th attempt, the starter kicked it. The sound wasn't like that of a relay click but a slightly more metallic sound. Not very loud but discernible. I am wondering if the new solenoid is acting up.
"
So, it will be a busy non-Alfa weekend as I have to replace the Y pipe and converter in my DD Santa Fe. As for the Alfa, I may have time to sit in the driver's seat and recall the fun of driving.....depressing.
I have not installed the firewall but still, would rather not pull the starter again unless it is an absolute must. So, With a seemingly full battery, I try to start and get a "click" or slight "clunk" from the font and am wondering if it is a physical issue...solenoid problem (it is new) or whether this is in fact a symptom of an electrical issue. I would think that if electrical, there would be no sound from the bay except perhaps the relay. I am a bit lost and don't feel confident driving anywhere until this is definitely solved. Any advice would be appreciated.

And to racap: tried jumping the ignition switch with button. Checked for 12v at pin 1 and had nothing THEN car started...and subsequent attempts started right away or clicked and then started. Cheers.
 

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Hi, the click/clunk am guessing is the solenoid operating so mechanically that part sounds fine. Sounds like case of not enough juice getting to the starter. Possible options I can think of are loose power cable to solenoid. Dodgy contacts in solenoid or in starter (ie brushes sticking/worn). Is it a new starter too? When you try and start and get the clunk does the voltmeter drop by much? If only a little then again indicates issue of juice not getting to (through) the starter. If drops a lot then something possibly jamming or not quite enough juice getting through to turn the engine.
As does sometimes start straight away, sadly most likely to be something sticking (brushes or solenoid contact issue) but could still be 12v power cable not properly connected. That would be my first port of call in terms of physical checks - to see if any of the connections feel loose.
Good luck.
 

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I vote for the starter since you only changed the solenoid. I suspect starter brushes and commutator worn.
 

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Two thing: Always - ALWAYS, before installing a starter, clamp it in a vise or hold it fast on a flat surface and operate it several times. A few short bursts, a few 10 second bursts. Do it again, just to be sure. There are few things worse than installing a defective starter. Did that once many years ago.
Several years ago a fellow in a 164 drove in with a problem. He said that sometimes it would crank over fine, sometimes it would just click, but if you kept trying, it would eventually start. Also, while driving, sometimes it would "hiccup" for a micro second. As always with new customers, I would ask who worked on it last. He said that he just spent a boatload of money having the auto-transmission rebuilt at a transmission shop. BINGO! They did not secure the main ground cable to the engine. It was just making incidental contact. Crazy that it even worked at all.
 

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Any advice would be appreciated...

If your car has a manual transmission, always park on a hill so that you can roll start it! Remember to turn key to the 'on' position, place transmission in first or second gear -if rolling forward (or reverse if you have to roll start it backwards down a hill -not really recommended unless you have a lot of experience) clutch in, brake off and let the clutch out once you get rolling about 3-5 mph.

Pulling the starter or power steering rack on a 164 can be a real PITA. I took ChazzyD's advice and pulled the engine and transmission when the Throw Out Bearing went bad.
I had my 'working' starter rebuilt about two years ago, as a preventative measure. I already had the engine and transmission out and was really paranoid about whether the starter would work once the engine was back where it belonged. Alfissimo had the power steering nicely rebuilt. Also changed were the clutch, PP, TOB, water pump, timing belt, various bushings and gaskets, all hoses, all belts, ignition components. The valves were adjusted and CV joints were re-greased...

I'll drink a virtual beer in your honor, too.
Mark
 

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Faulty engine or battery grounding can give you mixed signals.. sometimes just because the day might be more humid than the last time you turned the key. The flow of electrirons can be very fickle. It's no different than a balky flashlight that won't illuminate without rapping it on an open palm to get it to light. I would clean the battey ground to chassis connection including wire brushing the threads on the fixing bolt first. and use some di-electric grease to keep it that way. Then I would do the same with the engine ground strap attachment point to the chassis under the car. It is usually the first place a mechanic looks to understand slow starters or intermittent switching or electrical connections.
 

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I wrote this awhile back "a how to" for someone having a problem with the starter. I thought there might be some interest here to others that were not following that thread. This procedure will check for any bad connections in the start wiring.

If you have an electric fuel pump you may want to remove the fuse for the pump before doing these tests.

All these tests are done with a fully charged battery.

1. Put the volt meter across the battery and try to start the car. (It doesn't matter which meter lead goes to which poll on the battery or any other test point we will be checking. We're going to ignore the - or + shown on the meter. )
(I'm assuming that you are using a digital meter.)
The meter will show how much the battery is maintaining it's voltage during starting. It should not be less then 10 V. A battery's ability to maintain voltage here is the capacity of the battery not the voltage (charge) of the battery at rest. Capacity has to do with the total surface area (of the plates) of the battery. The CCA (number) rating is a good indicator. CCA is noted on the battery label. Batteries with the same size (H,W,D) can and do have different CCA numbers. CCA is cold cranking amps. The amount it can put out when under load. (As most with most things, size counts here.)

2. Now put the volt meter between the battery ground (-) terminal and any bolt or something on the engine. (near the battery is OK. ) Run the starter. Note the voltage on the meter. A good reading would be below 0.4 volts. Anything higher will indicate a bad/week ground between the battery and the motor. Remember any voltage here means less voltage for the starter motor. If a problem is indicated you need to add another ground to the system or fix the one that is installed. The OEM ground cable (between the car body and the starter) is located on the starter visible under the car. If the ground cable is missing or really bad you will be drawing current through something else like the tach cable or somewhere else. Not good, this can really cause big problems down the road. A good cleaning of this cable and the area it is bolted to, might fix the problem.

3. Now we're going to check the +12V (red) cable. This one goes from the + terminal on the battery directly to the starter. (the big cable.) This takes a little work. First disconnect the battery ground (-) cable at the battery (Very important !!!) At the starter loosen the nut on the big cable and add an other wire (3-4 ft long) to it. We're going to bring a wire from the starter up where it's easy to attach to the volt meter later. Now reattach the ground cable to the battery. We're going to measure the voltage across the +12 v cable while the starter is running. Attach the meter to this new wire and the +terminal on the battery. Check voltage while starter is running. A reading of 0.8 is what I have on my car and the starter runs fine. Depending on the voltage reading you may have to install a bigger wire.

4. Now we're going to check the voltage across the starter. Put the volt meter from the wire (the 3-4 ft one) you installed on the starter and any good point on the engine. Run the starter. This will show just how many volts are actually showing up at the starter.

Write down all these numbers and report back (if there is a problem,) and lets see if we can figure this out.

NB: Don't forget to secure ( you may need it later.) that wire we added to the starter. If this wire touches any thing you will get a really good spark. :censored:

BTW: Be aware that some batteries are mislabeled as to CCA in the stores. I always take a tester with me anytime I go to buy a battery. Below is the one I have used for years. (no stock in the company) Notice that there is two leads going to each alagater clip. This is to insure there is a good contact with the battery being tested. There are many testers using this technology with only one wire attaching the aligater clip. Don't buy these. They are not reliable.

Amazon.com: Midtronics PBT200 Battery Tester w Charging System Test: Automotive
Buy Midtronics PBT200 Battery Tester w Charging System Test: Battery Testers - Amazon.com ✓ FREE DELIVERY possible on eligible purchases
www.amazon.com
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all of the replies. Today, the exhaust on the Santa Fe. Tomorrow (hopefully,) I check the Alfa. Starter and solenoid were checked a dozen or so times prior to installation, n
my the starter repair guy and by myself. No issues showed up or they would have been dealt with. The solenoid and brush kit-assembly wee brand new so maybe a ground...maybe the commuter has just started to go. I'll let yo uknow what happens. Have a good day.
 

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If the kit was fine off the car then maybe is a power feed issue or the ground from the battery to the body or the body to the engine? Hope you get it sorted without too much hassle. Don't envy you. When my starter went I actually considered scrapping my car - that's how much I didn't look forward to doing the job.
 

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We need a dictionary explaining certain words used on the east side of the Atlantic for those
who live on the west side of the Atlantic.

kit =
Bloody awful =
boot =
bonnet =
motacah =
tyre =
banger =
petrol =
indicators =
sleeping policeman =
lorry =
hooter =
wing =
lay-by =
Tailback =

:D

NB: There will be awards given for the most correct in the most timely manner.
 

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Funny.

kit = the stuff related to the thingy in question
Bloody awful = national governments
boot = the thing UK Prime Minister should get
bonnet = a type of hyat worn by ladies in the 19th century
motacah = something our Alfas are not when the engine doesn't run
tyre = someone who ties ties.
banger = a s*x maniac
petrol = not recommended on cereals
indicators = fingers, two, in a V, palm towards finger owner = 'and the same to you sir', in road rage.
sleeping policeman = too many doughnuts today
lorry = a drunk Larry trying to get a date
hooter = what Larry has been staring at
wing = a parking sensor on older cars
lay-by = 'me', Larry's hopeless chat up line
Tailback = Larry's last view as she leaves

Did I really just write all this rubbish? Guess so.
Rubbish = the above :D
 

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Richard: That was great. :love:
But seeing as how you are/were the only person to send an entree so far in my contest
(if you can call it that) I am unable to, at this time, award the big prize.
I think it only fair that more of our, trusted/noteworthy/wordy/road worn/hungry for the prize,
members not let this go by without another challenge.

What say all.......
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Well, finally had a few Alfa minutes and figured I would try to narrow down the intermittent "click but no start" issue.
First crank......nothing. After a few attempts, caught and started.
Shut off and then nothing.
Went underneath and followed the exciter wire to the solenoid, checking for looseness. Had my son crank while I tried to tug the connector (fuel relay out). he said the first attempt had nothing and then caught. After that, I could not replicate the issue.
Cleaned off the grounds: at the water reservoir, the 3 points near the wipers. cleaned off contacts #1 at both large connectors and.....nothing, not even a click. That told me the #1 was acting up.
Cleaned the #1 female connector at the top group and tightened the contact a bit and fired up first attempt.
After wam up, shut it off and again...nothing.
Cleaned up connector #1 again and fired up.

the "no click-no crank" tells me the connector was the issue but the "click-no crank" tells me it may be the starter itself.

as I have also found an exhaust leak at the front down pipe, may be the motivation to yank it again and bring it in for testing (again) or just replace the thing outright.

When it does catch, it spins up much more quickly than before the rebuild so cleaning was definitely a benefit but I wonder if the commuter (shaft) contacts are starting to groove, creating too much friction for the brushes. But then again, I may be totally misunderstanding how this works.

If I don't start getting more enjoyment out of this soon, may have to let it go to someone else.
 

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Have you locate the transmission grounding strap on the tranny itself as well as the other end that goes to sidewall near air cleaner and coolant tank. Seems like you said the ground point near that location but not at the tranny. May be grounded to a tranny differential cover bolt on AT model.
 

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When my starter went the brushes had worn down and the commutator was being 'eaten'. I took it to a specialist for a complete rebuilt. Wasn't cheap but cheaper than a brand new genuine unit and given how horrible a job it is, I never wanted to have to go there again - though one day I suppose I will.
If you have an exhaust leak, maybe take it as the right time to go back to the drawing board and start again. Painful learning curve but will be great when sorted.
BTW, I too had exhaust leak issues after changing mine. The nuts on the rear manifold are hard to get a tool on and was never sure exactly how tight to do the nuts back up - spanner only on some so no chance for a torque wrench even if knew the correct settings. What helped were some stainless aerotight split nuts - the split provides a gripping load on the threats so they effectively 'lock' in place. And unlike copper flashed 'locking' nuts, they do so without potential thread wear and can be reused as if brand new, time and time again. Have them on my entire exhaust system now.
Good luck with it all.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks to you for advice. Will check tranny end of grounding strap. I hesitated with posi-lock nuts as I was unsure they would come off without difficulty if needing removal, The leak is at the bottom of the manifold, front pipe. I used a Walker gasket and it may have been off a bit. Leak is small but bothersome. May have to hunt down copper gaskets.
Yes, starter removal was horrible but 2nd time around, easier as I know where everything is and have a spare gasket set. Its just the darn time. Have a good weekend.
 

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Have a good weekend too and sure second time round will be a lot easier. Those stainless nuts come off fine by the way. If issue with downpipe joint, worth making sure nut is clamping thread not shaft - sometimes the studs protrude a bit more than should. If they do, just add an extra washer or two before the nut.
Let us know how it goes. Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The downpipe and pipe between it and converter have a protrusion and recess. I can't recall which has which. Sort of a male-female thing. If the gasket isn't sitting properly on one, it can interfere with the mating of the surfaces and eventually leak however tight the nuts are done up. I had to drill out both studs and use nut-bolt setup. Secure enough but I think the walker gasket, being a softer material with metal ring, did not hold up when things were moved around for final tightening. Rain most of this week so not much under-carriage exploration happening.
 

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If this is the 24v the OEM gasket at that joint is a really thin steel one. Don't envy you having to drill out those studs - nut and bolt setup should work fine.
Raining here too - so much for sorting the final waterpump bolt...
 
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