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Volkswagen Cabriolet, Brakes, Electrical, Engine, Exhaust, Oil, Steering, Suspension, Transmission, Coupe, Van
#18 of 27 It needs gas to run
Nov 25, 2003 (10:09 pm)
Peter, I just saw your post. After reading all of the advice, you came onto the key thing. You said it ran for 5 seconds and quit. That is about how much fuel was held in the carb bowl. You have now figured out that you have a clog in the fuel system, so you are almost home free. I would be looking for a screen or filter in the system that could be plugged.
You did not mention the outside temperture where you are located. Hopefully, it is above freezing. If your fuel tank is empty or close to it, you can collect a bunch of condensation, which can rust fuel screens or freeze. I believe that there is a fuel screen on the intake to the fuel pump.
When I was learning about bugs, I used a book called "Idiots Guide to VW's" or something to that extent. It was a black and white book, spiral bound manual that was very comprehensive. My ex wife rebuilt her '72 super beetle engine from that book. She was very mechanically inclined, but no VW experience. It ran fine....
If you got spark at the plugs, it will start if there is something flammable in the carb. My guess is the fuel stopage is the main problem. Don't complicate the problem by introducing other varibles like new wires, etc. It should run with any decent fuel.
Nov 27, 2003 (5:19 pm)
I generally use a methodical approach, ruling out the simplest first and moving up.
The engine needs two things, fuel and fire………… and mechanical integrity.
Fortunately these old engines are very straightforward. Move from the plugs on up, wires, distributor cap, rotor, points and condenser and finally coil, isn’t that beautiful, there is no more.
If all checks OK or corrected, you have a spark and does not fire up.
Compression check, like Mr Shiftright said no compression no detonation. (turning the engine very slowly will give lower values don’t be fooled by it)
Things to look for if very low, valves easily determined first. Rings second.
Tank, clean lines, filters, pump, carburetor.
The reason I mention tank is because fuel in a tank for years will make a beautiful goo, I once left a pickup parked for three years, I finally had to take the tank out, drain the rotten fuel, pour a gallon of Aviation paint stripper, gravel and an assortment of bolts and nuts and between two people shake and shake and shake and at the end never cleaned out, the new gas will dissolve that varnish for ever, I had to put a big inline filter with a clear glass bowl and every few hours would clog up, it was very visible in the glass bowl, but it will give you an idea about the problems it can cause to your fuel system.
If you have a spark and compression and does not fire you have either too much gas or none. Easiest to check first is assuming you have none, pour a little on the carburetor or use starting fluid, if it fires up for a few seconds and dies you know you have a fuel problem, a carburetor rebuild is on hand regardless.
With fresh gas on the tank and new filters turn the engine and let it pump some gas into a clear jar to make sure the lines are purged clean.
There are no more gremlins. Welcome back to the simpler times.
#20 of 27 excellent summary, thor8
Nov 27, 2003 (11:40 pm)
that's about it, a non-computerized engine's guide to junkyard wars in a couple paragraphs.
Nov 30, 2003 (1:03 pm)
thanks Thor. I wanted to make sure I rule out all of the easier items before draining and cleaning the tank. I'm now in the process of letting it slowly drain.
Dec 05, 2003 (10:36 am)
Can wake up the most stubborn engine! Just don't use too much.
Dec 12, 2003 (8:59 pm)
..RATBERT,..replace the filter!!..do not eliminate it!!...it was put there for a reason!!...
..and,i always ran one of those in line,clear plastic kind, between the fuel pump and the carb..
itll save ya a carb rebuild in the future...ALSO..the simplest way ta clean a carb on a air cooled is to see if th auto zone's got what they call a carb parts cleaner basket..it looks like a gallon paint can full of carb cleaner..(also,might be just the trick ta clean out the tank!!?!!)..take and put the entire carb in that stuff for a few days,making shure to get it into the bowl-try workin the accelerator pump-till it squirts cleaner..it should save ya the couple HUNDRED the bug shop wants for a -o.e.m-replacement..
..you can check to see if the motor will run by disconnecting the fuel line from the tank at the fuel pump(the line that DOESN'T go to the carb),buy a few feet of fuel line,and drop it down into a gas can of fresh gas..pour about a cap full down the carb,and see if it runs..then decide if th carb needs cleaned..if it runs then,just use the spray carb cleaner..if you use the straw that comes with the cleaner,try spraying some back down the line to clear the clog!!??..might work!!??!
#24 of 27 where,oh where ,can i find microbus parts??
Dec 12, 2003 (9:20 pm)
..my nephew's wife has a new aqusition,..
..a 1970 vw camper..maybe a westfalla..that's been sitting since nixon was in office,or at least regan..and (oh joy!) i've been drafted as the technical advisor!!..before she bought it from her girlfriend,i told her to be prepared to do the work,as my ability to climb around and under a bus anymore was virtually nonexistant since my back injury..
..be forewarned fellow air bus people..be VERRY selective who you let know ANYTHING about old buses..or be prepared to "invest" time and effort !!
...who out there can let me know where to get a front axle for a -70 bus??..i might have some connections near me here in cincinnasti,but,i thought i'd check here too..i'm shure it'll need other stuff too,i guess i just miss the bug shops i dealt with while i was in l.a.. was gettin starters for $50 bucks,,a tow bar for 35,i get back to ohio,and you'think you were workin on some exotic import!!??!..the starter a friend needed had ta be shipped(two weeks),and went for 200 bucks!!?!plus shipping!..oh well!!..tryin ta save a few bucks!!any guud places on th web y'all herd of??
May 19, 2004 (6:01 am)
update. I know it's been a while, but there have been personal reasons.
I think I will eliminate ONE of the 2 fuel filter. One was added in the engine compartment because the one UNDER the tank was not known. I think 1 filter is enough.
The carb has been thoroughly cleaned. It needed it.
I have pulled the fuel tank level transmitter and it looked pretty nasty so I disconnected everything from the tank. This weekend I'll be pulling the tank out and cleaning it. It definitely needs to be done. I would bet that the filter screen is pretty clogged. I have replacement fuel line from the tank to the rigid line that goes under the car and I plan to pressurize the rigid line. That way any bad gas will be pushed out and I know that the line is clear.
I will also be replacing the fuel lines in the engine compartment. Hopefully the fuel pump is still ok. That would be the only variable left if fuel doesn't get to the carb when I'm done.
I'm still looking for a good deal on a type-3. I'd love to find a notchback!
May 20, 2004 (11:03 am)
I realize we all have different tastes, but I have never seen the attraction to those. They have primitive fuel injection systems for one thing and as far as looks...well...I just don't get it!
Jun 24, 2004 (12:17 pm)
I don't know why I like the notch. I don't want to restore one to original - those are kind of ugly to me like that, I think it would look sharp painted in a dark, dark purple with cool wheels and tinted windows.