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VVWC :: View topic - Everything is pointing to the points… I think.
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Everything is pointing to the points… I think.

 
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gotVWbug
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:55 am    Post subject: Everything is pointing to the points… I think. Reply with quote

Hello, I am in the middle of this mystery but after reading several pages on here last night I am thinking that the next try is the points, or rather will upgrade to electronic ignition.
This car had sat for 15 years prior to us picking it up a couple months back. Since we have done the clutch, brakes, some bushings and mounts, flushed the fuel tank, replaced fuel lines, fuel pump and distributor.
The later in this list have been done since it died just outside of Ladysmith coming from Nanaimo as it was running grrreat! It was losing power coming up the hill, I down shifted but was still losing speed so pulled over and shut it down thinking it was out of fuel as the gauge wasn't working at the time. Well it hasn't started since. It seemed very hot in the engine compartment but may be normal as I am not familiar with air-cooled just yet.
This happened about a week before the annual cruise and it was around 20 degrees outside when this took place.
Any further input would be awesome and much appreciated.
Also am a bit confused as I read the ads for modules/ complete distributors whether to stick with the vacuum advance or to convert also to mechanical.
The car, incase it doesn't show from profile is a 1979 Super Beetle with 1600cc fuel injection.
Thank-you in advance.
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Clay
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are probably a lot of checks that can/should be done before assuming it's points. First, have you checked for spark?

The car has an electric fuel pump, make sure it's still pumping. There are several checks that can confirm whether you have a bad dual relay (car won't start or run if the relay is bad). The procedure is detailed in the Bentley shop manual.

Although you didn't mention it, did you give it a good oil change when you were doing the fuel lines? Made sure your valves were properly adjusted with a stone cold engine?

I would run through the diagnostics before randomly replacing components which might be working fine. And I would be inclined to stay with the stock distributor on that engine.

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gotVWbug
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While speaking with a tech at CIP I was advised that the Pertronix with vac advance (advised to stay with to make FI happy) is a great drop in unit for this application/ distributor. Still hoping that this is the final link to be up and running. Confused
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gotVWbug
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Clay,
I just seen your reply. I did the oil change when I had the engine out for the clutch/ etc, just prior to the breakdown that is ongoing. I replaced the fuel lines at the back when had it out and all the front fuel lines since the break down when had the fuel tank out.
I tested the relay in the back window compartment prior to replacing the fuel pump and it seemed to be operating correctly.
I was testing for spark yesterday and thats when I thought it was the coil as I had power at terminal 15 on the coil but no spark. Well with new coil that is still the case.
Valves I have not done. Is that something that could cause a sudden shut down like described?

I appreciate your knowledge share.
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gotVWbug
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of the valves, I have had the EMPI valve adjustment tool 13mm wrench on my 'wish list' for a bit now knowing that the valves on these engines are something to stay on top of.
Does anyone have experience with this tool? Gimmick or great for this job?

Thanks again.
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Clay
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd call it a gimmick. Flathead screwdriver, 13mm wrench and feeler gauges are all you need, and it's not a difficult job.

You definitely want to adjust those rockers - while they might not be the problem, poorly adjusted valves can result in critical failures quickly. As the engine is new to you, the current and the next adjustment may be revealing to you regarding the condition of valve seats, etc.

I don't have personal experience with the Pertronix, but seems like a good drop in. Before doing that though, you may want to replace points and condenser to see if that fixes the issue. If it does, then put the points and condenser into your road emergency kit and make the switch.

If the new points/condenser aren't the solution then the Pertronix won't be the fix either.

In the meantime, you might want to check your oil for metal particles.

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rustybug61
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a similar experience with loss of power and excess heat. Turned out that it over heated and cracked both heads
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haywirebutton
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gotVWbug wrote:
Thanks Clay,
I just seen your reply. I did the oil change when I had the engine out for the clutch/ etc, just prior to the breakdown that is ongoing. I replaced the fuel lines at the back when had it out and all the front fuel lines since the break down when had the fuel tank out.
I tested the relay in the back window compartment prior to replacing the fuel pump and it seemed to be operating correctly.
I was testing for spark yesterday and thats when I thought it was the coil as I had power at terminal 15 on the coil but no spark. Well with new coil that is still the case.
Valves I have not done. Is that something that could cause a sudden shut down like described?

I appreciate your knowledge share.
with the key on,cap off,points closed just hold the hi tension coil wire close to a ground and open the points if you have spark it aint the coil....now crank it with the coil wire still out and see if you have a steady spark to ground....points and timing are fairly critical on these gems...HOPEFULLY that's all it is...check your fuel pressure next
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gotVWbug
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank-you all for the ideas on what to look for and get this beast rolling again. I'll be keeping everything I have crossed that nothing is cracked. Yikes! Sounds like a temp gauge with warning beep that I read about will be the next investment once its running again. Will keep ay's posted. Cheers!
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gotVWbug
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, this just keeps getting stranger. A week ago it was turning over but not starting. Now I return to the car with parts to get'er done and it won't turn over. :/
Fully charged battery. I can here a click from the back of the car when turning the ignition on, then again when fully turming the jey but engine is not turning over at all. I can however turn it by hand so it is not seized.
On a positive not I found that the inline fuse off the coil looked like a plastic fuse. Then upon closer inspection the metal apeared to be melted off of it and stuck slightly into each end of the fuse housing. Replacing that still no spark. But then also replaced the points and condenser and testing the way specified Haywirebutton, we have spark!

Now, a starter or it may be somethiing else?

Clay, I have yet to check for metal in oil or done the valves as I have to find my feeler guages.
Rustybug61, I am still crossing everything that its not the heads.
Thanks you all for help thus far.
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Clay
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The inline fuse should be the lead to your backup lights. Your description of the fuse sounds like there may be a shorting problem there. The wire should run through the front engine tin (front of the car is the front of the engine!) breast plate on the passenger side, and down to a switch near the nose cone of your transaxle.

You can test the solenoid/starter by jacking the car up, using axle stands of course, and shorting the starter terminals with a screwdriver. One terminal will cause the bendix to shoot the drive gear out (you'll hear/feel a thunk thunk kinda noise) and the other will cause the starter to spin. If either one fails, then you'll want to replace the starter.

Check your terminals to make sure they're clean and have good contact.

If replacing the points and condensor gave you spark, you may very well have reached the root of your power issues. Fingers crossed!!

(but you still need to do those valves)

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