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Thread: Trouble Starting a 1982 Westfalia 2L

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    British Columbia, Canada
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    7

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    I had this cranking issue with my 83.5 a couple of weeks ago and checked connections to starter which were falling apart. Replaced the wires and it has been starting perfectly since. They are a pain to check but it could be a "simple" fix for your problem.
    Currently 1983.5 auto 1.9L water cooled Westie. Previously 1977 stn Westie.

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  3. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by photowest View Post
    I had this cranking issue with my 83.5 a couple of weeks ago and checked connections to starter which were falling apart. Replaced the wires and it has been starting perfectly since. They are a pain to check but it could be a "simple" fix for your problem.
    thanks, i will see about checking them. although i'm doubtful this is the problem as the engine cranks for ages. It just has trouble igniting the fuel.

  4. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Snohomish, WA
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    112

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    Maybe we should take a step back and look at what is going on. If your van starts and runs fine when hot then most of the components should be OK since they are used then also. Air flow meter, coil, starter cables, plugs, wires, cap, rotor and ECU should all be OK. Logically, the issue appears to be only when cold. An internal combustion engine needs a richer air fuel ratio when cold to start and run properly. This can either be achieved by adding extra fuel or restricting the air. VW took the step of adding more fuel. To do this they have temp sensors to tell the ECU when the engine is cold so that it can add fuel as needed.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but from what you've said the engine runs fine when hot. That leads me to the temp sensors. Your trick of disconnecting the fuel pump stops fuel from being delivered to the injectors. That means at some point during your cranking the air fuel ratio will be correct because the fuel is effectively cut off by your disconnecting the fuel pump. When the engine starts it then starts generating heat. At that point you plug in the fuel pump which then starts to supply fuel again. Since the engine keeps running it would suggest the ECU is capable of 'managing' the air fuel ratio with the engine at that temp.

    This all leads me to the temp sensors. There is a thermo time switch which may be your issue. Below 50 degrees F it is 'closed' (to ground) and above 68 degrees F it is 'open'. When it is 'closed' it allows the cold start valve to operate and add more fuel. When it is 'open' the circuit to the cold start valve is disrupted causing the valve to stop 'adding' fuel. This appears to fit the description you've supplied. I would suggest you find the thermo time switch and disconnect it which will give the same effect as it being warm.

    If the bus start and runs OK then you may have an issue with the cold start system. It may not be the thermo time switch itself but it is possible. You may need a multi-meter to do further fault tracing but if the temp sensors are cheap enough it might do better to replace them (once you've got that far).

    All of this will be dependent on your ambient temperature; so keep that in mind.

    Let's know how you get on.

    http://www.vaglinks.com/Docs/VW/Misc...hop_Manual.pdf this may help you understand some more about your system.

  5. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    39

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    Sounds like a good idea.

  6. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    14

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    The vehicle seems to have more trouble starting when warm.
    Some times when i haven't driven it in while I get lucky and it starts up straight away. But almost never when it is warm.

    Usually when the vehicle starts It runs good.
    However, recently It has been stalling when the Revs drop down (when i come to a stop sign or pull into a gas station).

    So you think that what is causing the vehicle to become flooded (assuming that is whats happening) is the cold start valve is pumping too much fuel into the engine when it's not needed. (The mechanic in Santa Cruz replaced this cold start valve assuming it was the cause of the problem, although he thought it was not getting enough fuel. He was wrong. At the time i did not know the trick with unplugging the fuel pump) he then adjusted the valves, which seemed to help marginally (may have just been a coincidence).

    Thanks a lot for your help!! i can't wait to get to the bottom of this issue. It is really putting stress on an otherwise relaxing vacation.

    Quote Originally Posted by scotsborn View Post
    Maybe we should take a step back and look at what is going on. If your van starts and runs fine when hot then most of the components should be OK since they are used then also. Air flow meter, coil, starter cables, plugs, wires, cap, rotor and ECU should all be OK. Logically, the issue appears to be only when cold. An internal combustion engine needs a richer air fuel ratio when cold to start and run properly. This can either be achieved by adding extra fuel or restricting the air. VW took the step of adding more fuel. To do this they have temp sensors to tell the ECU when the engine is cold so that it can add fuel as needed.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but from what you've said the engine runs fine when hot. That leads me to the temp sensors. Your trick of disconnecting the fuel pump stops fuel from being delivered to the injectors. That means at some point during your cranking the air fuel ratio will be correct because the fuel is effectively cut off by your disconnecting the fuel pump. When the engine starts it then starts generating heat. At that point you plug in the fuel pump which then starts to supply fuel again. Since the engine keeps running it would suggest the ECU is capable of 'managing' the air fuel ratio with the engine at that temp.

    This all leads me to the temp sensors. There is a thermo time switch which may be your issue. Below 50 degrees F it is 'closed' (to ground) and above 68 degrees F it is 'open'. When it is 'closed' it allows the cold start valve to operate and add more fuel. When it is 'open' the circuit to the cold start valve is disrupted causing the valve to stop 'adding' fuel. This appears to fit the description you've supplied. I would suggest you find the thermo time switch and disconnect it which will give the same effect as it being warm.

    If the bus start and runs OK then you may have an issue with the cold start system. It may not be the thermo time switch itself but it is possible. You may need a multi-meter to do further fault tracing but if the temp sensors are cheap enough it might do better to replace them (once you've got that far).

    All of this will be dependent on your ambient temperature; so keep that in mind.

    Let's know how you get on.

    http://www.vaglinks.com/Docs/VW/Misc...hop_Manual.pdf this may help you understand some more about your system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dropbear View Post
    Once The Van is running it is fine. I have driven it all the way from San Diego to Canada.

    The van sometimes starts normally. Usually when It hasn't been driven in a while (when It's Cold)

    Other times It will just crank the engine, over and over. But will have trouble igniting.

    We figured out a trick to get it to start when this occurs. one person climbs under the van and unplugs the fuel pump while the other person turns the ignition key. Once the fuel ignites, the person under the car quickly plugs the fuel pump back in. And the car continues to run. This method has not failed yet.

    Before we figured out this trick we would sit and crank the van, some times as long as an hour! trying to get it to start.

    What could be causing this?

    edit: to add to symptoms the van also stalls some times when the Revs drop down.

  7. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Snohomish, WA
    Posts
    112

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    I don't think it is the valve itself but more like the sensor that tells it when to come on and off (the thermo time switch). Have you tried unplugging it? How does she start / run?

    When you use the word 'warm', what kind of temps are you talking about? I think the thermo time switch is active up to 50 or 60 degrees so if you're in that ballpark then that still may be the issue. It appears (from your description) that the cold start valve is capable of supplying plenty of fuel so the valve, hoses etc. appear to be working fine. Now we need to get to the bottom of why it is activating when it is not needed.

    Disconnect and let us know.

  8. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    14

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    Quote Originally Posted by scotsborn View Post
    I don't think it is the valve itself but more like the sensor that tells it when to come on and off (the thermo time switch). Have you tried unplugging it? How does she start / run?

    When you use the word 'warm', what kind of temps are you talking about? I think the thermo time switch is active up to 50 or 60 degrees so if you're in that ballpark then that still may be the issue. It appears (from your description) that the cold start valve is capable of supplying plenty of fuel so the valve, hoses etc. appear to be working fine. Now we need to get to the bottom of why it is activating when it is not needed.

    Disconnect and let us know.
    will do. i get back to my van on Saturday night. been away from her for the last week. how do i go about unpluging it? just find somewhere the cables at the back of the valve can be disconnected? simple as that?

  9. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Snohomish, WA
    Posts
    112

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    Plug should be on the sensor and there is a metal band that you push in and the connector will come off. Looks like it has a black plastic housing with two wires.

  10. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Posts
    4

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    My 1980 2L has a broken connection to the cold start valve. I have determined that the thermal time switch/cold start valve assembly was malfunctioning and preventing the engine from starting when cold. However, I believe that it was due to the broken wires inside the snap on fitting that connects the cable from the harness to the cold start valve itself. The cold start valve reads 4 ohms which is per specs. Until I get the wiring back together I cannot test the thermal time switch however. When I removed the connector all the 3 wires came out. They are all 18 ga white. Two of them are grounded and one reads 32 ohms resistance. Which two of these three wires are connected together?

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