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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all..

Pretty close to pulling the trigger on a 1990 Spider Graduate. I've been attracted to the potential of the Bosch Motronic system... it seems that it's quite reliable and I think I've read that it produces 10 horsepower over the L-Jet system. Can anyone verify either of these claims?

I'm more than familiar with Spiders, having owned two '86 Graduates, but the S3.5s are new to me. Anything in particular I should know about those cars?

I've located what looks like a fairly clean and original '90 Grad with around 92,000 miles on it. It has the tan interior, which is new to me. Carpet is turning orange like most of them and I understand that the single-piece carpets are next to impossible to find. Too bad.

Thanks for any suggestions.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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The 1990 is a cool car and if you want S3 styling I think that's the best way to go. The Motronic with its higher compression and better exhaust is worth about 10HP, yes. Motronic is also chippable for a few more HP. Also has the electric fans which are a plus.

On the downside you need premium fuel, and with the '90 sometimes it's not clear which service manual you should be reading for which part of the car.

Owning both, I don't think the Motronic is significantly more reliable than the L-Jet but it is easier to diagnose with the check engine codes. Motronic definitely has better starting and cold idle characteristics because of the active air control.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for the response. I didn't even think about the electric fan... do the Motronic cars cool better? I never had issues with the L-Jet cars in heat... but I never had them in a hot climate.
 

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IIRC and IINM, the 1990 Spider has an advantage over the Series 4 Spiders of less weight and an advantage over the previous Series 3 Spiders of more power.

As far as the shop manuals go, if you get the Car Disc, you will get a shop manual for the previous years' Series 3 Spiders, a manual specifically for the 1990 Spider, and a manual for the Series 4 Spiders. At least that is what I have on my Car Disc, along with all of the ancillary manuals and other information.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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thanks for the response. I didn't even think about the electric fan... do the Motronic cars cool better? I never had issues with the L-Jet cars in heat... but I never had them in a hot climate.
I don't think it makes much of a difference in cooling - it's not like the S3s overheat. But it's quieter and (theoretically, at least) draws less engine power to have the electric fans. Also electric fans won't bang into the shroud and shatter if your engine mounts sag.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
IIRC and IINM, the 1990 Spider has an advantage over the Series 4 Spiders of less weight and an advantage over the previous Series 3 Spiders of more power.

As far as the shop manuals go, if you get the Car Disc, you will get a shop manual for the previous years' Series 3 Spiders, a manual specifically for the 1990 Spider, and a manual for the Series 4 Spiders. At least that is what I have on my Car Disc, along with all of the ancillary manuals and other information.
Good advice. I've got the factory service manual for L-Jet cars. Good to know that CarDisc is that more comprehensive.

I don't think it makes much of a difference in cooling - it's not like the S3s overheat. But it's quieter and (theoretically, at least) draws less engine power to have the electric fans. Also electric fans won't bang into the shroud and shatter if your engine mounts sag.
Ah, interesting. Thanks.
 

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my 90 grad has 140k on it and no actual running issues.

the key is to drive the piss out of it. get it on the freeway at least once a week to get good and hot.

One bummer with the 90 is the cooling system. its motronic, but the frame is still not built for it. so you end up with a totally obscured drain-plug for the radiator (no hole in frame shroud like S4).

Its also takes a few months of research to know specifically the part numbers you need (and hey why not make it all original Bosch parts while your at it) because you cant trust most company's parts compatibility listings.

pretty much, if its electronic, its a 90, if its mechanical (brakes, body, suspension) it an 89

The graduate , imo, is the best model to own. its lighter. (power windows on a sports car??? wuh?) and more timeless.
 

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My Father-in-Law gave me his 1990 Graduate. I have recently restored the interior. I found a tan/saddle molded carpet set from Re-Originals (got the second to last one according to them). IAP has black ones.

Mine has the Motronic system in it.

Check out this link on the interior project.
http://alfabb.com/bb/forums/showthread.php?t=44522
 
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