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  View original topic: Added trailer wiring, now won't start (solved!)
fishgo Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:49 am

Just installed wiring for a trailer pigtail to my '83 AC, and now the van won't start. Darn.

Wiring location add was in the back left corner of the engine compartment. Wiring looms are in a plastic box. I spliced in the running lights to a flat, four plug connector. Brake, L/R flashers and (not spliced) backup lights are on a square four-plug connector. There is also a three-plug connector that appears to be a common ground splice as all wires are brown. I pulled that one apart and sprayed with cleaner and dialetic grease for corrosion protection. Ground for trailer was originally connected to the top 10mm bolt of the coil mount, since I had to move the coil out of the way to access the junction box.

Wiring works as it should. All light functions for tail lights and now trailer lights work as they should. Van won't start.

So when I go to start the van, first key turn and the van fires right up but then sputters to a stop after 1 second. 2nd key turn and the van sputters but then just turns over. 3rd key turn and it just turns over. Wait 15 minutes and the same thing happens: catch and start immediately and sputter dead, then sputter but turn over, then just turn over but not catch.

I checked the gas and added 2 gallons. I pulled ground plug junction apart, cleaned and put back together. Moved trailer ground from coil to 10mm bolt on back of engine compartment (another ground location, which I cleaned as well). Coil wiring appears to be all connected.

So, what and how should I check next or re-check? The sputter seems like a fuel problem so maybe fuel pump or fuel filter? I wouldn't think it would ground through the plug I worked on, nor was the van operating abnormally just before I started the wiring (no hesitation, always started first time).

Ahwahnee Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:52 am

I agree - sounds exactly like a clogged fuel filter. If you have the white plastic cube it takes only minutes to replace.

I actually like the plastic cube pre-filter - cheap, does it's job and easy to replace.

fishgo Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:17 am

Edit to add: Vacuum hoses look to all be on. I'm trying to determine if any of these wiring plugs or wires affect the AFM or computer? I'm going to disconnect the new trailer pigtail wiring but I didn't think, nor have been able to trace back wiring to anything else in specifically to fuel pump, AFM, computer from this location but I'll double check the Bentley wire diagram. I'm not the most proficient at reading these but didn't see anything else when I looked before.

fishgo Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:25 am

Ahwahnee wrote: I agree - sounds exactly like a clogged fuel filter. If you have the white plastic cube it takes only minutes to replace.

I actually like the plastic cube pre-filter - cheap, does it's job and easy to replace.

I do have a cube filter and will replace it this afternoon. Darn if I know why that would act up all of a sudden, though. Ran without hesitation before I started the wire project yesterday.

Ahwahnee Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:54 am

Mine went from being fine to clogged in a matter of seconds as I was driving up a mountain. Had to roll backwards a few hundred yards until there was a place to pull off the road a bit. Soaked the grass with water under the connection and then replaced the filter and was on my way.

Timing of yours is suspect but coincidences do happen.

Steve M. Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:27 am

Do you hear the fuel pump?
Just wondering if there might have been any possiblity of disturbing the wires for the fuel pump.

MarkWard Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:31 am

Make sure you plugged the wires back on to the coil correctly. The ECU gets an rpm signal from the coil negative terminal. It sounds like it is firing off the cold start valve, not the injectors. That is why you have to wait 15 mins.

fishgo Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:57 am

MarkWard wrote: Make sure you plugged the wires back on to the coil correctly. The ECU gets an rpm signal from the coil negative terminal. It sounds like it is firing off the cold start valve, not the injectors. That is why you have to wait 15 mins.

BINGO!! When I hooked everything back up and found a loose wire near the coil, I put it on the 15 side (+) and not the negative side of the connector.

Van is now running and I'll hook up all the trailer wiring again to test.

Ahwahnee Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:11 am

Great. Now we want to see photos of the trailer you're pulling with the air-cooled Vanagon.

fishgo Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:02 am

Ahwahnee wrote: Great. Now we want to see photos of the trailer you're pulling with the air-cooled Vanagon.

I took pictures and will post in a separate thread.

sphet Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:12 pm

Ahwahnee wrote: Great. Now we want to see photos of the trailer you're pulling with the air-cooled Vanagon.

No kidding! My diesel 1.6 came with a hitch and harness - what was the po pulling!?



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