Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17
  1. #1

    Beta Starter Relays for Dummies my 82 Zagato is having that infamous starter know, when you turn the key and nothing happens(except the fuel pump humming). I believe it is time for a starter relay maybe but this shade-tree mechanic needs some advice on how to buy one and install it. Can you even get to the starter without major surgery? It does not look easy. Share your wisdom, won't you? MR

  2. #2
    Shant Fabricatorian

    Re: Beta Starter Relays for Dummies

    Yes, I'm told that once you strip the interior replacing the starter motor is quite easy. Rather inconvenient then that this is a known Beta weak spot.

    The good news is that you don't need to do much, yet. I had the same issue not long ago. Next time it happens, get a hammer and tap the end of the solenoid. Worked for me. That'll get a few more starts out of it at least. Eventually you'll need a new one but it doesn't sound like a starter motor failure, I don't think.

  3. #3
    Senior Lancista
    Join Date
    Apr 2003

    Re: Beta Starter Relays for Dummies

    If you know enough about relays it is dead easy to fit one. If you don't have a clue about car electrics then do not attempt this.
    Usually the ignition switch contacts will still be good enough to control a relay so you can use the existing solenoid control wire for the relay. If the ignition switch contacts are completely dead then you would need to fit a push button or similar. On a standard relay the "30" contact should be connected to a permament live using a cable the same thickness as the one that fits onto the spade connector on the starter. A similar cable should be connected from relay "87" to the starter spade. The existing cable going to the spade (or from the push button) goes to relay "85" and relay "86" is connected to ground (cable thickness not important). If you need to use a push button, connect the other connector of that to an ignition circuit - but beware that this will not prevent the starter from being operated when the engine is running.

    There is a diagram on


  4. #4

    Re: Beta Starter Relays for Dummies

    I installed a relay in the sub fuse/relay panel located on the left front inner fender. If you look there you will see a white plastic coated steel plug in place of a relay. It isn't that simple but not much harder to remove the plug, change some wires and install the relay. Cured my intermittant ignition switch starting problems. I'll look and see if I can find the write up on that mod. Drop me a note off list and I'll get it for you.


  5. #5

    Re: Beta Starter Relays for Dummies

    See if this works. May be the easiest way to get the info out to all.

    Instructions for installation of a relay in the starting circuit of the 81 Lancia

    Material & tools:
    1 headlight relay with terminals 30,85,86 & 87 available at most auto parts stores for about $4.00.
    1 push on female spade teminals with locking tab. ( if not available you can cut a 3" section of wire not being used from inside the aux. fuse/relay box as I did.)
    3 push on female spade terminal with or without locking tab.
    6" # 14 AWG wire.
    16 amp fuse
    10mm open end, 13mm socket wrench, #2 & #1 phillips screwdrivers, straight seal pick or very small straight blade screwdriver to push in locking tab on wire terminals. Wire strippers and crimpers.
    The Lancia ignition switch feeds +12vdc from term. #30 to term.#50 while in the start mode. +12vdc leaves the passenger compartment on a red wire yet is a red/black wire on the starter solenoid. The color change occurs in the aux fuse/relay box located under the hood on the left inner fender. There is a small white relay blank pushed into the aux box in place of a relay in the left rear corner that make the connection between these two wires. Please note that the colors of these two wires change once inside the aux box. The red wire changes to green and the red/black wire changes to white. With an addition of two small wires inside the aux box, the relay and 16 amp fuse will be added. After removing the relay blank, I inserted an ammeter in series with the circuit and found that upon starting the car the curcuit pulls about 15 amps for less than one second and then drops condiderably. Remember, this is not the actual starter motor current, just the amount needed to pick the start solenoid and prevent the A/C compressor from engaging when in start mode. In essense, you will be installing a relay to control a relay. You will be moving and adding wires all within the aux box and plugging in a relay and fuse. To get the relay contact numbers, look on the bottom of the relays. #30 is the heavy + load (starter solenoid), 87 is the heavy + feed (from battery), 86 is the ground for the relay control & 85 is the + relay control (from ign. switch). The whole procedure takes about 30 minutes.
    Remove - battery terminal & left radiator support brace. Swing brace clear to acces aux box.
    Remove aux box plastic cover and white relay blank.
    Remove 3, #2 phillips screws hold the aux box to the inner fender and swing aux box up and to the front of the car.
    Remove the 4, #1 phillips screws holding the bottom cover of the aux box.
    Using a seal pick or other sharp metal pointed object, working from the top of the aux box, push in on the the locking tab on the green/red wire located in term. 85 while gently pulling the wire out from under the box. Repeat removal process on the larger green wire in term. 87. Re-bend the locking tab on this wire and push it into term 85 slot until locked. This is the feed from the ignition switch that will now pick the relay. Make a 3" jumper wire from #14 AWG and put a push on terminal with a locking tab on one end and a standard push on terminal on the other. The locking terminal gets pushed into term. 87 and the standard terminal get pushed onto a vacant fuse terminal inside the aux box. Make another 3" jumper with a standard terminals to go from the other side of the fuse to the + feed terminal inside the aux box. This feed terminal will have three male spade connectors with 2 red wires connected and one space should be vacant. Assemble & install box, brace 16 amp fuse and relay. Keep the - battery terminal loose in case of a wiring error.
    NOTE on relay usage. I have many spare relays and do not have a clue what rating they are. I installed a relay marked with a # 107 for testing purposes and it works fine. I intend to find a more suitable relay that is known to be rated for 20 amps for permanent use.

  6. #6

    Re: Beta Starter Relays for Dummies

    Thank you all for the information and, Dan, your instinct to post the process for all was dead on. I too am slowly working my way into fixing my own car and this post combined with the excellent advice I received when I posted a similar question have been awesome.

    Many thanks.


  7. #7

    Re: Beta Starter Relays for Dummies

    Thanks for all of your help Dan. If it wasn't for guys like you that are willing to go the extra mile to help a fellow Lancia owner, there would be less of them on the road. I will attempt to install a relay myself...can't be any tougher than when I replaced the power steering rack! I will let you know how it goes. MR

  8. #8

    Re: Beta Starter Relays for Dummies

    Call me if you have any questions or problems. On second thought, call before you have any problems! I have unlimited long distance so I can call you back. Dan 740 852 9577 ( house attached to SUE'S ZAG's garage ) 817 307 7949 Cell.

    You are very welcome. There are some great people on this forum that have gone out of their way to help me and this is a way of thanking them.

    81 Zagato
    88 SAAB SPG
    88 Fiero Formula
    89 Honda Pacific Coast
    67 Cessna 150G
    and many other fossil fuel wasting toys

  9. #9

    Re: Beta Starter Relays for Dummies

    my thanks as well Dan

    I bought my 82 Zag with a starter button already in place and it has always worked for 3 years but I nevber really looked into how it was wired


  10. #10

    Re: Beta Starter Relays for Dummies

    so will these intructions work for a 76 or 79 beta?

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts