My Biturbo Spyder isn't feeling very well.
Can you help? Please!

Any owner having a problem with their Maserati can send me details and I will publish these, together with any subsequent advice I receive, on this page.

Just drop me a line


Even if I don't succeed in helping you with your problems; and I do try, it would help other Maserati owners a great deal if you could let me know how you managed to solve your problems. THANK YOU!


Scott in the USA writes:


"Hello Enrico,

I own a 89 Maserati Spyder 2.8-litre Biturbo motor.

My ignition ECU is bad. There seems to be no replacement on no one can work on these.

My mechanic wants to bypass and put a conventional ignition system in.

Do you know of any one that can service this unit?

My mechanic had people that do ECU repair but they cannot get the specs from Marelli.

Any help would be appreciated.




Horacio in the USA writes:


"Hello Enrico,

Would you be kind enough to post this question in your website?

The speedometer needle/odometer works erratically, on and offs. My 1989 Zagato Spyder 18V 2.8-litre has only 16K miles on it. Does the car have a speedometer cable or is the gauge electronic?

I need instructions on how to fix it.

Thank you so very much for your help Enrico.

Kindest regards,



Reply from Enrico:-


"Hi Horacio,

Come stai?

The speedometer is electronic and the sensor/sender mounted in the gearbox. I trust

I have attached a page from the parts manual which shows the location of the sensor/sender (no 26). The part number is 313620106.

Hope this helps,


Phil in the UK writes:



This is Phil from the UK

I have some small issues with my 1990 Spyder.

1) The Speedo bounces up and down. I have replaced the sender - no good. I have cleaned up all the connections - no good. I have removed the Speedo and when I replaced it will work for a short while only before bouncing again. Also after a flat battery (lights left on) it worked for one day! Any ideas??

2) My oil light flickers every now and again even though I have max oil pressure. Any Ideas??

3) My battery light comes on every now and again but I never have any issues with low battery power (output 14 amps tested with a meter).

2 and 3 do not happen at the same time.

Can you with help with any ideas,

Many thanks,



Reply from Andy:-



1. Speedo - probably means that the unit itself is faulty. Choices are a new one (I think around 300) or repair through an instrument specialist (Takes longer but a fraction of the price).

2. Oil light - flickering is either the beginnings of a duff sender unit (behind oil filter and a joy to get to) or poor connection to the sender.

3. Battery light - Could also be poor connection at back of alternator or voltage regulator on the way out. Have seen this before and although alternator checked out OK, a new one was the only thing that really sorted it.




Hazem in South Africa writes:


"Hi there,

My Spyder SE 1990 acceleration is very bad. The turbos seem to work to its full revs but it take time to gain momentum.

My mechanic have checked every single possible reason but he could not find anything. He thinks the fuel system needs to be reprogrammed but we could not find anyone with the necessary equipment in South Africa.

One thing to be noted is that when we apply permanent pressure on the fuel hose by a clip it solves part of the acceleration problem. We checked the fuel pump but it is working in good order.

Please help.




Reply from Andy:-


"Not quite sure what you mean by 'applying pressure to the fuel hose' and could do with more information but..... I would not expect that the fuel ECU needs re-programming. These units do not 'lose their settings' etc and a large number of new ECUs get bought for these cars in error when the problem is always somewhere else - and usually a whole lot cheaper!!

If you think you have a fuel pressure problem then you should check the fuel pressure - there is a fuel pressure regulator in the air box which is factory set and should never need to be tampered with. Check by plumbing in a pressure gauge and you should expect a fairly constant 35psi. Obviously, the volume of fuel goes up as the engine gets faster but the pressure should be maintained. If this is OK, think about the fuel mixture, have you checked the CO level? If you are running too lean then the knock sensor will keep the level of boost down for instance. Check also the connections to the air and water temp sensors for the injection etc.

You should be able to overcome this problem without recourse to specialised equipment or re-programming. If you are still stuck, let me have more info.




Rich in the USA writes:



Winter is approaching fast and I want to order a new top for my 1989 2.8-litre Spyder Zagato.

Do you have anyone that you can recommend? I'm going to stay with the German cloth.



David in the UK writes:



I gave up the search for a Merak after falling for very pretty silver/blue 1988 Zagato Spyder - you probably know it. Anyway thanks for your offer of help. Can I ask one more favour? Any idea where I can get some 205 x 55 14's? It seems Michelin no longer make them and I can't track any down through the specialists.

I am told there are still some out there.




Reply from Ed:-


"I just went through a similar search here in the US as I needed to replace the Michelin 205/60-14's on my 1987 Spyder. I found that size in a tire made by Falken and also one made by Kuhmo.

Hope this helps,

Ed in Florida."


Alexander in Holland writes:


"Dear Sir,

A few month's ago I bought my second Maserati Spyder.

According to my papers the car and the garage in Holland it was delivered in 1995, so it must be one of the last Maserati Spyders.

It is a 2.0-litre 24-valve Biturbo Spyder with de chassis nr: ZAM333B00NB****** but if I look on your site and check this number it seems that it is a 1992 car.

Can you explain it to me please?

I hope you can give me some revealing information.

With many regards,



Reply from Enrico:-


"Hi Alexander,

The information set out in my 'Cracking the VIN code' holds good for most Biturbos, but, there have been one or two anomalies that have 'cropped up' from time to time!

It would be far better if you contact Maserati direct. Go to the official Maserati site at and click on INTERNATIONAL. By giving your personal details and the details of your Maserati you may enter the Maserati Owner's section. There you will frind a contact image and through this you may send an e-mail to the Maserati factory and they will give you all the information you require.




Reply from Andy:-


"Hi Alexander,

This seems entirely normal. As an NB number, it must be a 1992. Just hung around at Maserati/in dealers showrooms for a long time like many did around that period.




Phil in the UK writes:



This is Phil from the UK again.

The other day I got in to my Spider and quickly noticed that it was misfiring when I accelerated.

I went to this site and read the comments from around the world and found that the problem could possibly be two things !!

1) Faulty earth connection to the body of the car OR 2) The rotor inside the distributor requires replacing. (even though I did not think it needed to be replaced I orded one anyway !!!!)

It turned out to be the rotor was causing the problem all along and the Spider is up and running again all for GB 35.00

Many thanks again for setting up this helpful site.



Phil in the UK wrote:



Can you help ??

I own a 1990 Maserati spyder and I am getting a strong petrol smell from the petrol filler cap.

The cap is aluminium with no seal. There is no vent to outside as it goes back into the top of the tank. The tank does not leak.

I installed a temporary gasket into the cap but the pressure build up forced it way out and I heard it hissing out past the cap this time.

Q. Is the tank pressurized or vented ???

Kind regards,



Reply from Andy Heywood:-


"There should be a rubber seal inside the cap. Also the tank should have a breather system on it which you should check out. The seal is available at minimal cost.

Hope this helps.

All the best,



Scott in the US wrote:


"Thank you for your web site... it is so helpful!

I am looking at buying a 1987 maserati spyder that is not fuel injected........the car has new turbos but when you press the gas it barely moves until the turbos thrust..........can you tell me what the problem might be?

Is it the valves?

The car has 50,000 miles on it but the valves do not make noise.




Reply from Andy Heywood:-


"From what you say, I am assuming that when the turbos do kick in, the car goes well? In which case, you only have a problem off boost. The valves may be a problem, although abnormal with such low mileage. It may be that they are not noisy because they are never shut which means you have no compression and when the turbo boost cuts in, it overcomes this. It is quite easy to check the valve clearances on that model and will at least rule out that possiblility.

Otherwise, it is difficult to give any further advice without any other information. Are you sure that it is not normal however, as carburettor Biturbos are notoriously sluggish off boost???"

Hope this helps.

All the best,



Graham in Guernsey wrote:


"I own a 1989 2.8-litre spyder. My problem is that under hard acceleration, at about 3750 - 4250rpm, the engine backfires/ stutters/ stammers and loses power. The engine will however rev freely when stationary. Any ideas please?"

If you can advise Graham please let me know!


Reply from Andy Heywood:-


Rotor arm is the most likely case. Check for burning or pitting on the contacts or track marks in the plastic. If in doubt, change it. Also look carefully at the body ground for the battery. This is located near to the battery, just follow the negative cable and you will find it. Any slight corrosion here means a voltage drop that can affect the ECU (as this is earthed to the body, not the engine). Usually, just cleaning the connection and maybe re-crimping is enough. In severe cases, a new cable should be fitted and is available.


Graham's reply:


Thanks for the advice. I have ordered a new rotor arm from Meridian which I should receive on Monday.
Later next week I will be fitting it while I do a basic service and I will also be checking the earthing situation.
I will write to you again to let you know how I got on.
Thanks again


Dear Enrico,
Thanks to your help, my Spyder is now running great. I really really appreciate your help. The only unfortunate thing is, while I was working on the car today I checked and cleaned the body earth and changed the rotor arm. So unfortunately I don't know which one cured it. However it is cured and is again scaring the sh.. out of me at every available opportunity, fantastic!!!.
Thanks again,


Paul in Australia wrote:


"I have owned a 1993 Maserati 2.8-litre Biturbo Spyder for 12 months. During this time I have experienced extreme difficulty in FIRING UP THE ENGINE DURING CRANKING.
Example:- engine will crank for up to approx 30 to 60 seconds without firing. I have taken the car to a Maserati dealer and have had their top mechanics thoroughly inspect the car - made every adjustment possible and fitted a new igniter, we have since changed the computer, I have checked voltage drop to coils and starter motor, none of which has been successful. However we have established we have no spark during cranking but spark suddenly appears for no reason and engine fires. Once car is running there are no further ignition problems, however, when car is stopped and then restarted, (hot or cold, the same problem occurs - most embarrassing when attempting to start such a beautiful car.
My previous car was a 1989 425 and I never experienced any problems with this vehicle. Engine fired within 2 or 3 seconds of cranking.
The mechanics at the Maserati dealer have shrugged their shoulders - and advised me that they have no idea what is wrong with the car and that they cannot rectify the problem, which as you can understand does not help me in the least.
PLEASE CAN ANYONE ASSIST/ADVISE? Any input would be much appreciated.
If you can advise Paul please let me know!


Reply from Andy Heywood:-


The problem that your man describes could be one of the following ;
1. If the vacuum pipes in the engine bay have been previously messed around with, it is possible to reconnect them in the wrong place. The vacuum system on the car is quite complicated and not only is necessary for the ignition computer but also the heating and ventilation system. If pipes have been crossed then it could be that the vacuum pump for the heating system is sending weird signals to the ECU and changing the ignition timing. We have seen this problem and the symptoms were exactly the same so worth checking.
2. Check again that the voltage drop between the engine and the body is minimal as the earth cable is notorious for causing excessive drop. The engine may still have a good earth but the ECUs (which are earthed to the body) may not. This can also cause these symptoms. However, it is usually accompanied by a running problem : stuttering under acceleration especially when loaded up with the Air conditioning.
3. Although he does not say, if he tries to start the car and nothing happens, what happens when he tries again? Some cars seem to be incapable of starting on the first attempt no matter how many times they are cranked over yet go immediately on the second attempt. If this is the case, then it may be worth changing the three relays on the right hand front suspension turret which govern fuel injection and ignition.
4. Some cars also develop a fault in the fusebox which could cause this problem. However, this is usually accompanied by a failure of the dashboard instruments noticeable at the same time.
Hope this helps.
All the best,


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