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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

My 87 Spider has been giving me some trouble lately starting and keeping started. I determined that it is the ignition switch. I have looked at the wiring diagrams, but none are close to as helpful as Papajam's. Does anyone know the colors of the wires I'm looking for near the connector? I have a bundle with 3 or 4 connectors and because the wires close to the actual switch are wrapped with electrical tape, I am having trouble tracing the wires to the connector.Does anyone know what color the ignition switch wires are, and if I need to bypass the switch which parts of the connector do I need to jump? A private message is fine, I understand it is not a good idea to explain how this works on the board.

Thanks,
Andy
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Is terminal connector #2 a separate plastic connector? I have a blueish wire with a single pronged connector that I can not find the other end too that is hanging loose. Also do you know if the connector pictured is black or white or whatever color the Alfa factory worker felt like that day? The diagram does help, I will probably be able to find the right connector in daylight.

Thanks,
Andy
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks for the help. I am wondering why the car is starting without the #2 plug connected. Maybe my loose wire is something else. It sounds horrible, but if I put the key to the electrical on position and jiggle the wire bundle that the ignition wires run through then wait for the instrument panel to give a sign it has power, the fuel pump makes the bzzzt sound, I turn the key, the engine finally cranks, and I am able to start the car. I let go of the bundle and the car dies, and the instrument panel looses power. I will see what I can do in the daylight.

At least the car waited until it was back in the garage to start this stuff again. Another plus is that my 84 is again roadworthy thanks to ghnl and his fusebox removal advice.

If the connector has failed what can I do to keep it held together? It is right above the brake pedal and has been kicked a lot.

Thanks so much for all the help,
Andy
 

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Our '84 Spider is as Tifosi describes. #2 is a seperate connector. If you look way over to the right side of the sketch Tifosi attached in his reply, you can see the short wire harness that is part of the ignition switch assembly and the two connectors that then plug into the dash harness. Also note that there is one slot in the larger connector that is unused.

I don't recall the color of the wire in connector #2, either. But I'm sure it shows up in Papajam's excellent wire diagem.

And, yes you can use an ohm meter to test functionality of the ignition switch. It may not tell you if the internal contacts are iffy, though. The ohm meter merely tells you if the contacts can pass a few electrons. It won't really tell you if that is ALL it will pass.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Diagram for the 84 shows it as black. Has me wondering what the blue wire hanging under there is, but it makes more since that the car starts when the other connector is moved around. Looking at the diagram the only thing I can think it may be is the windshield washer fluid connector, and because that is the only other electrical part of the car that does not work besides the power antenna, I believe that may be it. I can't wait until Papajam finishes the diagram for the 87, looking at all the diagrams in the shop manual makes me really appreciated it even more.

Thanks everyone,
Andy
 

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If the connector has gotten to the point where it won't stay together well, you can:

1) get into the female side of the electrical contact with a small screwdriver and bend the middle inwards a bit, which will make the connection tighter once plugged together.

2) plug the connectors together and run small zip tie lengthwise over both halves and lock them together that way.

c) using a small flat tip jewlers screwdriver, and again working on the female of the electrical connectors one at a time, slip the screwdriver down into the little square notch you see when looking in the face of the plastic connector and give it a bit of a wiggle while gently tugging the wire for the connector you're on.

If you hit it right, the connector will release from the plastic plug out through the back where you can nip it off and replace it with brand new, or give the old one a gentle squeeze with pliers to tighten it up. (if you replace, solder, don't trust a crimp to last)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks to everyone's help I was able to locate the correct connector this morning. It was a little hard to get open but I found that this was because it was melted. I also found that the wires had been cut and simply taped together right above the connector. Here are some pictures of what I found. Does anyone know what could have caused this, and what I should do to fix it?

Thanks,
Andy
 

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It looks to me like you had a bad contact that was arcing. A bad contact will cause high resistance, and resistance converts electrical energy to heat.

Does anyone know where those black plastic connectors can be acquired? My new switch came without one, so I improvised with some epoxy putty. I would like to have the right connector, though.

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That makes sense. So if I just hook everything back up and make sure all the contacts are good it should be safe? I also have no idea where you get the connector, especially the female end.

Thanks,
Andy
 

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There's a way to disassemble the old plugs for reuse without destroying them, though in Andys case, I'm thinking he's SOL with that melted one.

The second picture from the top, showing the melted end?

See the little rectanular-ish holes at the inside edges of the spot where the metal connector is?

Slip a small flat tip jewelers screwdriver down in there and wiggle it a bit while pulling on the wire on the back side. There's a little tab on the metal connector proper that you'll be trying to lever back enough to release said connector from the plastic housing.

For the male ends, just look down in at the sides of the blades and on one side you'll see a tiny tab sticking out. Depress it and the blade will slip out the back of the plastic connector.
 

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If it were my druthers, I think I'd try to find OEM, if only so that any new switch or bit of harness wouldn't have to be converted to that style connector.

I mean you're not changing the switch yet, correct?

Do you want to mess around with stuff like that when/if you do replace it, or do you just want to plug it in and go?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So far I am hoping I won't have to replace the ignition switch. I would like to find OEM so if anyone knows of where to buy the connector, please chime in. I'm kind of thinking that using a different connector would be a last resort. The other half of the connector (ignition switch side) appears to be in ok condition. For now I'm thinking about pulling the wires necessary out of the connector and patch them together so that the car can run, that way I have time to look for that OEM connector. Is that safe for the car? I'd hate to have a fire.

Thanks,
Andy
 

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If the connections are clean, secure and well insulated, it should be about as safe as what the factory plugs would offer, yes.

Hang on a sec
*trots off*





*trots back in*

****, I though for sure I had one of those connectors out on the shelf.

I'll look again tomorrow, but chances are if it isn't where I looked then it isn't around at all.
 

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is this what you need?
if yes PM me.
 

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