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Discussion Starter #1
Adding to my Giulia 1300TI's olfactory woes (a carburetor leak whose cause has yet to be figured out), I was just starting out on a drive this evening when I saw the strangest thing -- a long, slender finger of smoke twisting its way out of the ignition/steering column area like an evil genie. In a 50-year old car, what is the most likely cause of this? And more to the point, is the most sensible solution getting the entire car's wiring redone? I use the passive voice here because I don't think I'm physically or psychologically capable of that task. And... what's the going rate for that kind of job? Has anyone done it recently?

Awaiting your thoughts with trepidation.

AA
 

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Do a careful inspection of the wiring under the steering column using a flashlight and look for anything that shows signs of burning. It could be that something has shorted to ground.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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If the turn signal spring breaks it can easily short to something.
 

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And more to the point, is the most sensible solution getting the entire car's wiring redone?
I can't diagnose what's wrong with your Alfa just from your description. But I can advise that "getting the entire car's wiring redone" is NOT the answer. Focus your energy on finding the specific fault that is causing that smoke.

The problem is probably something like what Gubi suggests (loose turn signal cancelling spring), which would never be caught by replacing the wiring.

Question: Have any fuses blown?
 

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I had the same 'smoke getting out of the wire' at the lighting stalk after an extended drive with the headlights on. Was just the contacts at the stalk. Hardest part of the fix was getting the original steering wheel off to replace the stalk assembly. Also, make sure to carefully inspect the new stalk. First replacement had riveted connections that were loose.
Poor quality part.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the feedback. I'll start with the headlight and turn signal stalks...and check for blown fuses. Although both my lights and turn signals are working....

Much obliged!
AA
 

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On mine, no fuse blew, contacts in collum jus overheated. Look for discoloration on contacts ant wire joints.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
How exactly does one remove the hard plastic shield that surrounds the steering column? I can't seem to find anything about it in the shop manual.

Many thanks!
AA
 

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There are several long screws that hold the two halves together. They go in from the underside.
 

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How exactly does one remove the hard plastic shield that surrounds the steering column? I can't seem to find anything about it in the shop manual.
The upper and lower halves of the shroud are held together by four allen bolts, accessible from underneath. Crawl under the column, look up, and you'll see them.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you, Jay. I saw those holes, and the little silver thingies up inside them, but they didn't look like ordinary screws or bolts to me. Do you know offhand if they're phillips, or hex bolts?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hmm. Took the plastic shield off today and found...exactly nothing. No sign of melted or burned insulation, and the directional signal spring fully intact. Ran the car with the lights and blinkers on for 10 minutes, and absolutely zippo happened. Could a bug have crawled in there and combusted?
 

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Ran the car with the lights and blinkers on for 10 minutes, and absolutely zippo happened. Could a bug have crawled in there and combusted?
Unlikely you were smelling roasted bug.

My advice would be to leave the shroud off for awhile and wait for it to happen again. Or perhaps repeat the "run the car with the lights and blinkers on for 10 minutes" test, while wiggling the headlight stalk and the wires going into the switch.
 
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