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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone:

I thought I would share what seems to be a resolution for a balky starter on my 1988 Spider Veloce. The starter on the car is relatively new, wiring good, but sometimes I could turn the key and count to 5 before the starter would engage. This was twice or three-times as long a wait if the cooling fan had kicked-on on a hot day, or if the headlights were on in the evening.

Anyway, my mechanic suggested that this is a bit of an innate design flaw for that model, that too much current flows through too long a circuit (right?), and suggested that we add a relay to step up the current (if I understand the details correctly). Sure enough, for this very inexpensive fix, the car cranks immediately upon returning the key, in all instances. I now have the confidence that I will not get stuck somewhere for lack of starting...or have to push-start a car with a rubber-ended drive shaft.

Anyway, I hope that this fix will help someone else later! Now I am ready for the long tour to LA for the Best of France and Italy Show the first weekend in November!

Best

Andy
 

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I did the same thing on my 1984 haven't had problem since I did it myself there should be a topic on this in the Alfa bulletin board that's how i got the instructions.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Great, Archangel! It's good to have a "long-term" report like yours. I hunted for this topic elsewhere but could not find it, so apologies to the list if this is redundant!
 

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It's a common-ish issue as all of these cars get older. It has to do with wear and corrosion in the ignition switch as well as every connection between the started and switch too.
 

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I also got instructions on how to upgrade my headlights with relays. I went the IAP route they have a nice kit that I use and now I can run Halogens
 

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I'd be extremely grateful if anyone had a diagram of how to add a relay to the starting system on a S4 Spider (or if earlier version is helpful that's fine). Anyone have a write up?

My problem is that my car will always start if the battery is fully charged, or the car is jumped. When the car has sat a few days or a week (even with battery cut off) I just don't have that fresh voltage in the old or brand new battery.

Short of that I'll put a battery tender on it. And the problem is intermittent but is definitely related to how long the car has sat.

I certainly feel a relay couldn't hurt. Replacing the starter and ignition switch even myself is $400 in parts and seems like overkill for a $2000 car. While all grounds are clean and secure it's likely there's also just some corrosion here or there too I'm dealing with.

Thanks for any replies to links or basic instructions.
 

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I'd be extremely grateful if anyone had a diagram of how to add a relay to the starting system on a S4 Spider (or if earlier version is helpful that's fine). Anyone have a write up?
below is one thread.

30A (or 40A) 4 pin relay: 85,86,87 & 30 pins
Fuse is 20A (flat fuse holder)
live feed wire to pin #30 should be thicker gauge.

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spider-1966-up/260793-s4-starter-relay-dummies.html

and some more discussions here on wire gauge etc
http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spider-1966-up/186400-starter-relay-question.html
 

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The relay is definitely a good idea but the S4 does suffer from current drain when left standing so its worth addressing that too. If I am leaving mine for more than a week I hook up the battery tender. I have one that plugs into a small socket that you leave permanently wired to the battery so its simple to connect - you dont have to pull the battery out each time to get to the terminals.

I am one of those people who charge the battery with it still connected but there is a school of thought (Dom will comment, I'm sure!) that says you should disconnect the battery before charging. You will have to make up your own mind about that :confused:
 

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Another option is fit a battery isolation switch- that kills all drain and provides extra security feature - there are too many things left live on the spider when the ignition is "off" so I'm not surprised the battery draining is a common fault with them.
+1 on the relays - I've got them on the headlights and starter and its nice to hear the click rather than think of all those amps sparking across some well worn terminals.......
 

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Thanks guys for the answers and threads and thoughts. Will likely be tackling this in January and will report the results.
 
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