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I just purchased an 84 spider with 44k. Cosmetically and mechanically it is great with the exception of needing a top. The car never had a radio and I would like to introduce tunes but the faceplate seems too small to accept the tin surround the holds most aftermarket receivers and I dont want to cut the dash. If others have had this problem, do you just buy a holder that mounts under the glovebox or are there reasonable cd players that will fit the dash? My horn also doesnt work and when I tried 2 relays from autozone with the same pin configurations it honked constantly and I can't see how any of the three horn buttons are stuck. Should I assume the relay is at fault and if so, where do you ever find a replacement. Ditto for the little black clock. Love the car and want to get everything going
 

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1966-2013
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There's several threads about stereo installed throughout this section covering all sorts of variations on the theme AFA in dash/factory location stuff.

As to the horn, you've possibly got a short in the signal wire.

Look under the hood, under the brake master cylinder at the steering box.

There'll be one single wire coming straight out of it and going over to a bendable clip that holds it to the body or frame.

Loosen the clip and free the wire so it has slack, then get in and pull the centercap off the steering wheel. (three little tabs hold it on and it'll just pop straight off)

There you'll find the other end of that wire and a bullet style push together connector. (you may have to pull the wire back up the column a bit, hence loosening it under the hood first)

Disconnect it, then try your relay again.

If the horn doesn't sound, then the problem is in the wheel proper or the wire got moved enough to relocate a possible short.

If it does sound, then you prolly got a short in the wire that goes through the column at some point.

Pull it down out of the column, make sure it's in good shape, then try the relay again.

If it doesn't sound, then the problem is the wire in the column. (in turn, you should be able to short the connector on the end to the body or chassis and the horn should sound for as long as you hold it there)

If it does sound, then keep chasing that wire all the way forward to the horns looking for pinches/cuts/shorts.
 

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Welcome to the BB! 84's are the best!

I once had the horn blow everytime I let out the clutch to start off in 1st gear! It made no sense until I got under the hood and had my beautiful assistant (aka wife) let out the clutch with the car in gear. Turns out the horn wire exits the base of the steering column at the steering box - near the exhaust manifold. The wire was too close to the manifold, some insulation got melted off and when the engine rocked slightly as I began to let out the clutch the melted part of the horn wire shorted (grounded itself) against the manifold!

Yes, the radio opening is too small to accept a standard 'DIN' box. The PO (Previous Owner) had already trimmed the opening slightly larger to fit a standard radio so it was a moot point in our case. My suggestion is to take apart the center console and make a new trim piece that matches the original's outline and gauge locations but with the radio opening sized to fit a standard DIN box. (Then you can save the original if you should ever want to put it back in.) IIRC, the piece I'm suggesting you'd make is just a flat piece of steel painted black - it shouldn't be hard to make. I'd probably use a piece of aluminum sheet - easier to cut & shape. Then spray paint it semi-flat black, re-install the gauges and install the radio of your choice.

The sketches below are from the Alfa Owner's Manual & Shop Manual. The top sketch shows the dash on our model year Spiders - 'dual pod' tach/speedo, the lower 'exploded' sketch is the later Spider's 'monopod' dash. Item #12 in the lower sketch is the flat piece I'm trying to describe. It appears it changed for the monopod Spiders.
 

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Congratulations on your purchase, and welcome to the BB!

A 1984 that has never had a radio installed still has the set-up that will allow you to install a type of radio that was available in that period. In other words the fixed type that was fitted from inside (behind) the dash, and only required two small circular openings for the control shafts to go through. Of course, a modern radio requires a rectangular opening. Just be aware that in order to fit a modern radio, you will have to cut through the black metal plate and the dash itself. Yes, the dash to which the black metal plate is attached has the same shape as the plate. I believe that there are actually three layers that you have to go through. Once you go this route, you can't really go back. One alternative is to purchase an old style radio that has been fitted internally with modern components. If you search the internet you will find that there are several outfits that specialize in this, specifically to help preserve the dashes of classic cars. (Or you can do what I did - I have two dashes for my '84! :D)

Best regards,
 

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I believe that there are actually three layers that you have to go through.
Yes, 3 + the vinyl skin and a wee bit of foam.

However, if one pulls the 3 gauges out of there, the satin black painted metal facia panel comes right off with a bit of picking around. (if there's no radio it's likely to have a sticky back down low to help hold it on, otherwise it'll just come right out)

As ghnl suggests, a replacement plate can be made so there's something to sacrifice instead of the factory part if it's not all screwed up to begin with, which can be returned at some future date should the decision be made to revert back.

I had to make one myself when covering up a PO stereo install butcher job, (looked like a dull chisel and vice grip assault from the look of the 'hole') but went with two more gauges instead of another stereo. (I've got an amp under the cargo panel and a whip with hookup for an ipod/discman/walkman/personal stereo, so there's no need for anything in the dash, or even visible for that matter)
 

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Oh, that relay for the horn?

It's Bosch p# 0332019150 in the event you ever need to supply that info for a Bosch or substitute brand component.

The same relay is used for power windows, fog lights and IIRC, the AC stuff under the hood on the right fender (if you have AC) and the main relay under the cargo shelf.
 

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my spider

Thank you fellows very much----now i just have to figure out which route to go with the radio and i will look for the probable shorted horn wire. Thanks for the bosch # too. If I can master these things the only problem remaining is where i can find the little black clock -----greaser
 

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Oh, they pop up here in the for sale subsection, ebay, and you might even find one at APE (Alfa Parts Exchange) among other places.

You may want to contact boardmember 'papajam' first though to see if you can get one of his excellent harness diagrams and mabe chase about a bit to see if mabe yours is just non-functional right now due to being disconnected, mis-wired, or a barfed fuse.

Oh, those bullet fuses you got? Yeah.... you're gonna want to clean the fusebox contacts and replace the fuses whether they appear good or not as they have a nasty habit of looking like they'll work, but don't. (commonly available item at most all autoparts stores. Go for the copper ones if you've got the option between copper or lead)

In any event, you'll likely want/need a diagram at some point during ownership anyway.
 

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my alfa

It was just as Tifoso said----I pulled the cap off the steering wheel and the blue wire was hanging loose where it had pulled off its connector which runs down the column---rejoined them and it was fixed. Thanks again. Anybody seen one of those little black clocks? Gary
 

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I considered one of these radio's for my '82. Just couldn't justify the cost.

Secretaudio

I decided to do the butcher the dash option instead. One thing that I found out is that at freeway speeds the noise is too loud to hear the tunes. I solved that problem by installing one of my aviation intercoms. Works great.
 

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My Spider radio

Regarding the radio installation, after much thought I have decided to place it in a black housing that cost $20 which will reside under the glove box. It will be high enough to not interfer with a passenger and because the car is small, it can be easily fed cds from the driver's seat and a remote for the rest. My next problem was the in-glass antenna has seperated from its button on the cable end down next to the bottom of the windshield where there is no way it can be soldered so I ran around to every parts store, hobby shop, electric motor rebuilders,etc., in the countryside looking for conductive glue, all to no avail. Finally found an auto glass installer who said ,"just bring it down in the morning so we can warm the interior up and I have the stuff that will fix it right up." Alot better than sawing a hole in the fender or something like that. Now I am going to take the alfa speaker covers off the kick panels to see what kind of hole is under the carpet (4 or 5/14") and the depth to accept the magnets. For behind the seats I have seen a great big twin speaker cabinet with junk speakers at Walmart for $20 which will easily adapt to quality speakers and I will have sufficient tunes to overcome my deafness. Thanks to you guys I can now contact the outside world via the horn. Sorry about the length of this. Greaser
 

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You'll find those kickpanel holes to be 5 1/4" and around 3" deep. (I've got Memphis Audio 2-way speakers in mine. Link to a recent post listing the specific set I used if it helps)

On that box you're going to put in:

Have you considered how you're going to secure it?

If you're thinking of attaching it to the glovebox proper, you'll be dissapointed to know that it's cardboard (literally) and has very little strength for that sort of thing.

There's not a whole lot else in that area to actually anchor to, truth be told, though I'm pretty sure someone has accomplished it at some point.
 

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If you install a modern unit with good power, and nice speakers, you will be able to hear your tunes clearly, even with the top down. I installed a top-of-the-line Alpine system ~ 15 years and it works beautifully. Any modern unit is at least as good for a fraction of the cost...

Best regards,
 

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my 84 spider

I found a Memphis Audio supplier in town so that wont be a problem. I see what you mean about the flimsy glovebox, but there is a firm metal channel underneath and I will have tofashion some strapping to support the back. Moving ahead and hope to have the new top on by Christmas although I am afraid I will have to leave it up. Many thanks. Greaser
 

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my 84 alfa

Well, I got the radio antenna button re-attached by an auto glass installer which was a tricky proposition. You must first glue the button back on the winshield and then coat the connection with conductive glue. I have the front and rear speakers installed and the head unit goes in tomorrow. I have the new tan canvas top and in goes on next week. does anyone know where I might find a good chrome headlight ring? I have seen new stainless steel one somewhere for about $60 but I would just as soon not go that route. Thanks. Greaser
 

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does anyone know where I might find a good chrome headlight ring?
Watch the eBay auctions or call Alfa Parts Exchange (they don't update their web page but if you call a real, live, knowledgeable human will answer.
 

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my 84 spider

Thanks ghnl. I called APE and they have a clock for sure and will know about the headlight ring next week. It is all coming together. Thanks again. Greaser
 
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