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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Alfa Gurus,
This might seem like a silly question, but what is the best way to start my SPICA alfa spider on a cold day?
I found this in excerpt in the handbook. Today, it was pretty cold here in NJ and pressing the clutch down did make it start up much better.
Why is that? Also, should i give it a few pumps of gas first or let the fuel pump run for a minute before I actually turn it on?

1663906
 

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1973 Spider 2L
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Pressing the clutch in would make it turn over a little faster because it doesnt have to spin the transmission as well as the motor. In the cold I'd make sure your spica is set to cold or freezing. Pull the choke and crank. A little gas as you crank could help but giving it gas before cranking wouldnt help I think as the spica only delivers gas when the spica is spinning.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Pressing the clutch in would make it turn over a little faster because it doesnt have to spin the transmission as well as the motor. In the cold I'd make sure your spica is set to cold or freezing. Pull the choke and crank. A little gas as you crank could help but giving it gas before cranking wouldnt help I think as the spica only delivers gas when the spica is spinning.
Mine has a hand throttle and it does not seem to do anything at all when I use it. I don't even think its connected to anything right now.
However, I did find this old thread which seems to explain what I actually have:
1663910
 

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1984 GTV6, 1973 Berlina, 1987 Milano
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I drive my SPICA Berlina in cold weather down to about freezing.

I just start it as normally and let it warm up for a minute or two before moving off.

I also don't think moving the lever on top helps with cold starts. I believe that only adds enrichment at high RPM.

Mine doesn't need extra throttle to start. But does need a blip after starting to engage the alternator and shut off the warning light.

The fuel pump should prime the system within a second and shut off the low pressure light almost instantly. If your low pressure light doesn't work it's worth fixing. If it comes on while driving this is usually a sign the rear filter is clogged.

If it really struggles to start you might need to adjust the cold start solenoid a bit to richen it up while starting.

But given how old these cars are and how much character they have you should experiment a bit and see what works best for yours.

Pumping the gas will do nothing unless it's cranking as the SPICA unit only supplies fuel while the engine is turning.

Ian
 

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On all-aluminum engines, I generally recommend not asking much of them until the water and oil temps equalize. Older Alfas often had both water and oil temp gauges to guide this. Later ones without oil temp, I recommend at least five minutes, and maybe ten, before using high power.
 

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No need to pump, it doesn’t do anything. If you car starts fairly well at regular temps it should do the same in cooler temps, thats the thermostatic actuators job. Some cars the TA has been replaced with a sure start. Definitely clutch in, really, clutch should be in every start, cold or hot. It is acceptable to hold the throttle pedal down about a quarter of the way while starting a spica car, as per your attachment in post one. Definitely make sure your low fuel pressure light is working correctly.
I agree with warming up the engine before really laying into it. My key measure of when the car is ready to play is when hot idle oil pressure has dropped off to its normal low hot point. On a cool day with only urban driving that has taken close to half an hour. It’s the point I use anyway before I really bag on it.
 

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Funny someone should post this. I’ve been driving my Spider to work the last few weeks and was wondering what the proper sub-freezing start procedure was.

Mines a little finicky to start in cold weather, but I also haven’t adjusted the cold start solenoid either, and have a failing TA that needs replaced, But I can confirm slowly pressing in the gas peddle while cranking seems to help it catch.

After that, I just give it some hand throttle so it sits at 1500 rpm or so, go back in where it’s warm for 5 minutes, and by the time I come back, the temp gauge is usually around 140 and oil pressure has come down to the normal idle range.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I love this forum and appreciate when folks chime in with their knowledge. Very much appreciated.

So my next question is,how do you adjust the cold start solenoid? Anybody have a picture of it in the engine bay area so I can get a visual of it.
 
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