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1978 Spider
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Discussion Starter #1
trying to get this car sorted out...I have the wiring schematics for the car but am finding some stuff not on the diagrams...if anyone knows what these are...

Unknown relay...first picture there is a relay front left, next to the oil separator can. I don't find this relay on the schematic. It is not the cold start relay. All the wires lead nowhere/disconnected except one large red one that goes into the harness along the radiator and likely connects to the "hot post" on the driver's fender. two of the wires go to a connector plug about a foot away but there is nothing around that it would obviously plug into.

Fuseable Link???...second picture, black cylinder under a bracket, next to the "hot post"...this is the battery wire from the alternator. Is there a fuseable link inside? Don't wanna tamper with it before knowing if it's a fuse holder or fuseable link. Or is it simply an un-fused connector? It's not on my schematics. If this is a fuse/link, what size/amperage should it be?

Yellow wire on the coil....third picture. same post that is connected to the distributor. Yellow wire goes into the fire wall. This wire is not shown on my schematics. Is this an add-on or perhaps a "work around" for something?

unused connector...4th picture...connector with green and black wires...green wire goes to cold start relay...black wire goes to both coil and distributor...I find a vacuum valve on the schematics that this possibly connects to. Vacuum valve is missing on the car. What is it for and where should that vacuum hose go to?

Last picture is the best....black wire is coming out of what I believe is the steering gear box. Again, nothing on my schematics and no earthly clue why the steering box would have any electrical parts. This wire is hanging loose. no clue when it goes and I have not tried to pull it out/disconnect it from the steering box...
 

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1978 Spider
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Discussion Starter #2
I now have 2 different 78 Spider schematics...

one shows a single "ignition advance relay" but no "cold start relay". On that one the cold start solenoid is connected between the starter solenoid ignition advance relay.

the other schematic shows both advance and cold start relays. On that one the cold start solenoid is between both relays.

neither schematic matches how the car is wired. Is the OEM distributor a vacuum advance unit? Mine is mechanical unless I'm not seeing a hidden vacuum line. I think Marenelli? Not Bosch? That might explain a missing vacuum switch and why the ignition advance relay has been bypassed/disconnected?
 

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Wire from steering box is from the horn button. It goes to the horn relay.
 

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1978 Spider
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Discussion Starter #4
interesting. I guess it goes along the shalt? horn relay is missing BTW...PO tried rigging air horns up in the trunk and the steering wheel button is bypassed to a push button on the center console.
 

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If the relay in pic 1 has 3 pins then it could be the horn relay.
 

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Alfa had a degree of ambiguity regarding model years. Mine was built in, I think, August 76, but placarded as meeting 77 emission standards, and titled as a 77.

I have found that the schematic most closely matches 1976, but not perfectly.

in the late 70’s at least two different distributors were used, all centrifugal advance. One had a coil using a resistor that was circumvented for starting. The other had a relay working with two different point sets in the distributor to RETARD the timing during some operational condition.

The typical wiring for the cold start solenoid (mounted on the Spica pump) was direct to the starter solenoid ignition switch starter-activation connector. I don’t think there was a cold-start relay, although some of us have considered such things to reduce the current load and wear on the ignition switch. I’m considering a temp-sensor to lock out the cold start solenoid for hot starts.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If the relay in pic 1 has 3 pins then it could be the horn relay.
Picture 1 relay has 4 pins/wires.
I believe this to be the "Ignition Advance Relay" My schematics show this relay actuating a vacuum switch of some type.
2 wires dead end in an unused plug about a foot away.

Interestingly one of the blue wires goes into the firewall and passenger footwell. I found it connected to a strange aftermarket module of some type. And the yellow mystery coil wire in Picture 3 also goes to this same module. Not sure if this is some part of an alarm system or what. I apologize for not taking a picture of that module. It's mostly disconnected anyway.

The horn relay is on the other side but mine is missing since the PO tried putting air horns in the trunk???

.
 

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1978 Spider
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Discussion Starter #8
I have a schematic titled "1978 Alfa Romeo Spide Schematic" yes, they left the "R" off of spider??? nothing to indicate publisher. This clearly shows a cold start relay between the solenoid and starter. It also shows a direct connection to the ignition advance relay. But also appears to show the cold start solenoid has a single terminal? Mine solenoid has 2 terminals.

I have a 1978 Spider schematic with "papajam copywrite" hope I spelled that right. This one has no cold start relay.

I have a third schematic from "Terence Yorks" for an unknown year spider (it came along with everything else when I bought the car. This was a former BB member car). This schematic shows no relays for cold start or ignition advance.

OK pictures are coming of schematics...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
1978 spider schematic but no publisher name. shows both relays. I have 2 relays on my car. they are both connected to some wires but not completely connected...somethin was removed or re-routed??? actual car wiring flow "sort of" matches the diagram. My cold start relay has 4, not 3 wires. But one is grounded.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The 1978 Spider "papajam" schematic that also came with my car. clearly no cold start relay. but as with the previous schematic...a vacuum switch is operated by the ignition advance relay. And I can find no such switch. Well I don't really know where it "should be" so I've just looked all around for it. Perhaps it operates a vacuum door on the air cleaner (warm air intake for start up) but there is nothing on my car...probably long removed if there was one. Do these cars even have that? Or was there possible a vacuum advance distributor on some cars?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Terence Yorks schematic...unknown year Spider but shows a front mounted battery so obviously an earlier year spider...no relays at all shown.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
best picture I currently have of the CSS. two wires going to it. the schematics seem to indicate a single connection point. I had assumed it was two separate terminals but now I suspect they are connected. I will have to check when I get home. I now feel really stupid as I type this for not already looking closer when under the hood.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
After drawing out the entire birds nest of wires and comparing it to the different schematics...some clarity...

My car is currently wired the same as the 1978 "Papajam" schematic which one shows one, not two relays on the passenger side. The "extra relay" (pictured) by the oil separator can does nothing. It only had one terminal connected to the hot fender post on the driver side fender. all the other wires went to nothing. But the long blue wire went into the passenger side and appears to have at one time gone to a strange device (pictured) that is wired to the coil thru the yellow wire (pictured). I have no clue what this devise was for but it is obviously not used right now, nor is that old relay.

Strange that the relay looks vintage and looks like it belongs on the car originally. Whatever it's original purpose I have no clue. Perhaps this was the original "ignition advance relay" since what is now servings as the ignition advance relay is a newer type relay.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
What I had thought was the "cold start relay" is in fact the "ignition advance relay" it is a newer style relay. The connector for the vacuum switch is still unused as the switch is missing. What would this switch have been for?
 

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