Hello! Log in or Register   |  Help  |  Donate  |  Buy Shirts New!  See all banner ads | Advertise on TheSamba.com  
TheSamba.com
 
Ignition switch cautionary tale; hotwiring a diesel westy
Forum Index -> Vanagon Share: Facebook Twitter
Reply to topic
Print View
Quick sort: Show newest posts on top | Show oldest posts on top View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
jkallo
Samba Member


Joined: July 26, 2016
Posts: 208
Location: Chicago
jkallo is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:33 am    Post subject: Ignition switch cautionary tale; hotwiring a diesel westy Reply with quote

Posting this mostly because a thread here saved my bacon this weekend, but there was one piece of info I couldn't find easily. Also, there is a moral that everyone (including me) pretty much knows, but it bears repeating.

So, this was to be the last camping weekend of the year with cold weather inbound and weekends getting busy. It ended up being even colder that predicted: upper 20s. My diesel van's cold start lever not hooked up, but I'd not had too much trouble getting it going down into the 30s. We got up Sunday morning and packed up to drive to the pace we intended to hike

I turned the van over 3-4 times and unlike previous cold mornings, it didn't even try to catch. Before the battery was zapped, I decided to get into the engine compartment and engage the cold start lever by screwdriver. Grr. I sat back down in the driver's seat and turned the key. Nothing happened.

This seemed very odd to me as the battery had shown no signs of being drained. But I dug out my little cassette sized jumper pack and tried to jump it. Nothing. Now, I was really confused and a little annoyed. My co-pilot says the dreaded word: "AAA." So I put a trickle charger on the battery and sat down to think. Out of the depth of my subconscious bubbles a pearl from some random Samba post I'd read at some point: if it suddenly randomly refuses to turn over, it's probably the ignition switch. Riiiiight! And that would be perfect because I have a spare one of those, because I am a prepared Vanagon owner.

So to be sure, though, I figured there must be a way to test for a bad switch. A minute of googling and I had GoWesty's great article on diagnosing a no-crank. Voila, testing for a bad switch was simple. You pull the column cover, and disconnect the ignition pigtail from the back of the ignition switch. Then you jump from the big red battery wire across to the big red/black starter wire. If it turns over, the switch is bad. I made a jumper from a binder clip I dug out of the kitchen drawer, and touched the ends to the proper terminals. It happily turned over. The family cheered.

So it was the switch! All I had to do was swap out my new one and we’d be on our way.

Fast forward 20 minutes. The contents of the van were now splayed all over the campsite. The switch was nowhere to be found, and I was sitting in the drivers seat cursing while googling “how to hotwire a Vanagon.”

I found a thread here which described the process, but I wasn’t sure how my glowplug circuit fit into things. I gave it a shot: I already knew how to fire the starter, but I’d learned that jumping from the battery terminal to the one with the black wires effectively turns on the ignition. Looking at the the Bentley, I thought it would fire the glowplugs as well. Fingers crossed. So one jumper in to turn on the ignition, wait for the glow plug light to go out, tap the other jumper to the starter terminal. It started on the first crank.

So if you’re reading this broken down somewhere trying to hotwire your diesel: yes the glowplugs will fire when you jump the ignition circuit.

And the moral that everyone knows: carry a spare ignition switch IN THE VAN. Sitting on the shelf in the garage next to the van (where mine ended up being) is not helpful.
_________________
I'm Joe
The bus is Gus, the 1982 Westy Diesel 1.6na
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
bluebus86
Banned


Joined: September 02, 2010
Posts: 11075

bluebus86 is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:38 am    Post subject: Re: Ignition switch cautionary tale; hotwiring a diesel westy Reply with quote

jkallo wrote:
Posting this mostly because a thread here saved my bacon this weekend, but there was one piece of info I couldn't find easily. Also, there is a moral that everyone (including me) pretty much knows, but it bears repeating.

So, this was to be the last camping weekend of the year with cold weather inbound and weekends getting busy. It ended up being even colder that predicted: upper 20s. My diesel van's cold start lever not hooked up, but I'd not had too much trouble getting it going down into the 30s. We got up Sunday morning and packed up to drive to the pace we intended to hike

I turned the van over 3-4 times and unlike previous cold mornings, it didn't even try to catch. Before the battery was zapped, I decided to get into the engine compartment and engage the cold start lever by screwdriver. Grr. I sat back down in the driver's seat and turned the key. Nothing happened.

This seemed very odd to me as the battery had shown no signs of being drained. But I dug out my little cassette sized jumper pack and tried to jump it. Nothing. Now, I was really confused and a little annoyed. My co-pilot says the dreaded word: "AAA." So I put a trickle charger on the battery and sat down to think. Out of the depth of my subconscious bubbles a pearl from some random Samba post I'd read at some point: if it suddenly randomly refuses to turn over, it's probably the ignition switch. Riiiiight! And that would be perfect because I have a spare one of those, because I am a prepared Vanagon owner.

So to be sure, though, I figured there must be a way to test for a bad switch. A minute of googling and I had GoWesty's great article on diagnosing a no-crank. Voila, testing for a bad switch was simple. You pull the column cover, and disconnect the ignition pigtail from the back of the ignition switch. Then you jump from the big red battery wire across to the big red/black starter wire. If it turns over, the switch is bad. I made a jumper from a binder clip I dug out of the kitchen drawer, and touched the ends to the proper terminals. It happily turned over. The family cheered.

So it was the switch! All I had to do was swap out my new one and we’d be on our way.

Fast forward 20 minutes. The contents of the van were now splayed all over the campsite. The switch was nowhere to be found, and I was sitting in the drivers seat cursing while googling “how to hotwire a Vanagon.”

I found a thread here which described the process, but I wasn’t sure how my glowplug circuit fit into things. I gave it a shot: I already knew how to fire the starter, but I’d learned that jumping from the battery terminal to the one with the black wires effectively turns on the ignition. Looking at the the Bentley, I thought it would fire the glowplugs as well. Fingers crossed. So one jumper in to turn on the ignition, wait for the glow plug light to go out, tap the other jumper to the starter terminal. It started on the first crank.

So if you’re reading this broken down somewhere trying to hotwire your diesel: yes the glowplugs will fire when you jump the ignition circuit.

And the moral that everyone knows: carry a spare ignition switch IN THE VAN. Sitting on the shelf in the garage next to the van (where mine ended up being) is not helpful.


you may also find tbat adding relay to the switch functions will drastically increase switch life. I added a starter relay, and coil relay.(gasoline version)


good luck
_________________
Help Prevent VW Engine Fires, see this link.....Engine safety wire information

Stop introducing dirt into your oil when adjusting valves ... https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=683022
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
jkallo
Samba Member


Joined: July 26, 2016
Posts: 208
Location: Chicago
jkallo is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:48 am    Post subject: Re: Ignition switch cautionary tale; hotwiring a diesel westy Reply with quote

bluebus86 wrote:

you may also find tbat adding relay to the switch functions will drastically increase switch life. I added a starter relay, and coil relay.(gasoline version)


good luck


Good point -- I've heard this. And actually I am sitting here looking at parts and I notice that my actual ignition lock is a Beck Arnley thing that appears to get horrible reviews. I always thought it felt kinda flimsy to be stock. Several times recently the "key is still in the ignition" buzzer would go off even with the keys out. I wonder if the tumbler itself might be at fault.
_________________
I'm Joe
The bus is Gus, the 1982 Westy Diesel 1.6na
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
bluebus86
Banned


Joined: September 02, 2010
Posts: 11075

bluebus86 is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:52 am    Post subject: Re: Ignition switch cautionary tale; hotwiring a diesel westy Reply with quote

jkallo wrote:
bluebus86 wrote:

you may also find tbat adding relay to the switch functions will drastically increase switch life. I added a starter relay, and coil relay.(gasoline version)


good luck


Good point -- I've heard this. And actually I am sitting here looking at parts and I notice that my actual ignition lock is a Beck Arnley thing that appears to get horrible reviews. I always thought it felt kinda flimsy to be stock. Several times recently the "key is still in the ignition" buzzer would go off even with the keys out. I wonder if the tumbler itself might be at fault.


i dont have any diesel experience, what does the cold start lever do? I know diesels had glow plugs that would need to preheat a while in cold conditions, but what is the lever you need to move do?
_________________
Help Prevent VW Engine Fires, see this link.....Engine safety wire information

Stop introducing dirt into your oil when adjusting valves ... https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=683022
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
jkallo
Samba Member


Joined: July 26, 2016
Posts: 208
Location: Chicago
jkallo is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:00 am    Post subject: Re: Ignition switch cautionary tale; hotwiring a diesel westy Reply with quote

bluebus86 wrote:

i dont have any diesel experience, what does the cold start lever do? I know diesels had glow plugs that would need to preheat a while in cold conditions, but what is the lever you need to move do?


It advances the injection timing somewhat to make it easier to start. It's just a little lever that is actuated from the driver's seat by a cable -- just like with a cold start choke or something. Someone before me disconnected the cable. I'd just hook it back up, but I'm missing a little sleeve on the lever, and replacing that means basically having to remove the injection pump which is a pretty big task. So I have just been avoiding having to use it.
_________________
I'm Joe
The bus is Gus, the 1982 Westy Diesel 1.6na
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
bluebus86
Banned


Joined: September 02, 2010
Posts: 11075

bluebus86 is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:26 am    Post subject: Re: Ignition switch cautionary tale; hotwiring a diesel westy Reply with quote

jkallo wrote:
bluebus86 wrote:

i dont have any diesel experience, what does the cold start lever do? I know diesels had glow plugs that would need to preheat a while in cold conditions, but what is the lever you need to move do?


It advances the injection timing somewhat to make it easier to start. It's just a little lever that is actuated from the driver's seat by a cable -- just like with a cold start choke or something. Someone before me disconnected the cable. I'd just hook it back up, but I'm missing a little sleeve on the lever, and replacing that means basically having to remove the injection pump which is a pretty big task. So I have just been avoiding having to use it.


thanks!
_________________
Help Prevent VW Engine Fires, see this link.....Engine safety wire information

Stop introducing dirt into your oil when adjusting valves ... https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=683022
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Gnarlodious Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: September 28, 2013
Posts: 2065
Location: Adobe Jungle USA
Gnarlodious is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:32 am    Post subject: Re: Ignition switch cautionary tale; hotwiring a diesel westy Reply with quote

I have never had a switch prob, but I recently added a theft deterrent to my diesel and discovered an interesting fact. There are two circuits, one to crank the engine and another to engage the glow plugs/fuel solenoid, the latter I am discussing here. This wire on my ’83 is really two parallel black wires coming down from the steering column switch ‘run’ position. Don’t ask me why there are two wires, but one is a #16 the other #18. The diagram shows this circuit as #16 gauge coming off of array#56 through crossover #13 and reappears at the far left of the schematic at the solenoid-glow plug circuit:
http://gnarlodious.com/Vanagon/Wiring_Diagram.png

What really happens though is that the wire goes to the far right side of the fuse holder and is joined at a connector that is unrelated to any fuses. One wire heads back to the engine. The other I simply put an interrupt in there using ¼ (.25) tabs one male and one female so they snap in serially. Super easy way to add a theft deterrent to your diesel, and no cutting or splicing the stock wiring is needed. The interrupt can easily be bypassed with basic tools, but you need to drop the fuse holder and flip it over to access the spade connectors.

One bit of confusing obstacle to theft and a warning is that the interrupter resets between cranks. I put a self shutoff type switch in there, meaning it always resets to OFF, making it impossible to walk away and forget to disable your antitheft. Thus, it needs a human finger to switch it back on (I used a capacitive touch switch). The keyed switch makes it a little tricky because it needs to be in the OFF position to recrank the engine. This means if you crank, but forgot to click on the interrupter, the engine will spin but without fire. To turn ON the antitheft, you must turn the key to the OFF position, then ON, then activate the interrupter, then crank. I seriously doubt that any thief would figure this out under pressure, as starting the engine is now a three-step process requiring the exact sequence, in addition to finding my secret touch point.

This entire mod cost less than $5, and I am so much more confident my van won’t get stolen. Money well spent.

I guess I should post this in the antitheft discussion.
_________________
Vanagon ’83 diesel AAZ w/Giles injection, 5spd 4.57R&P+TBD.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Vanagon All times are Mountain Standard Time/Pacific Daylight Savings Time
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

About | Help! | Advertise | Donate | Premium Membership | Privacy/Terms of Use | Contact Us | Site Map
Copyright © 1996-2020, Everett Barnes. All Rights Reserved.
Not affiliated with or sponsored by Volkswagen of America | Forum powered by phpBB