Hello! Log in or Register   |  Help  |  Donate  |  Buy Shirts  See all banner ads | Advertise on TheSamba.com  
TheSamba.com
 
Electrical problem, Thing won't start or jump and no dash lights
Forum Index -> Thing/Type 181 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
dagimp
Samba Member


Joined: July 30, 2008
Posts: 258
Location: Philly
dagimp is offline 

PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 7:55 am    Post subject: Electrical problem, Thing won't start or jump and no dash lights Reply with quote

So I wanted to go for a drive this Memorial Day weekend. Car ran with no issues two weeks ago when I parked it. I went to start Otto and absolutely nothing happened. Evil or Very Mad Turned key and no dash lights turned on, no click from solenoid in back. I tried to Jump it and the exact same thing... nothing. When I tried to remove the battery to use a spare battery, I noticed the positive terminal was warm to hot. Kinda stumped on this one

Anybody have any suggestions on how to diagnose the issue? Battery ground looks good. checked all the fuses and they don't look blown. If it matters, I have an alternator and not a generator on the car. Much appreciated!
_________________
Buck

1973 Orange VW Thing, "Otto".
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
74 Thing
Samba Member


Joined: September 02, 2004
Posts: 3320

74 Thing is offline 

PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 11:12 am    Post subject: Re: Electrical problem, Thing won't start or jump and no dash lights Reply with quote

Positive battery cable is probably grounding through the frame. Remove the cable and check it. The lights get power from the battery at the starter. You are not getting power from the battery to the starter. Remove and check both cables.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
mondshine
Samba Member


Joined: October 27, 2006
Posts: 1892
Location: World's Motor Capital
mondshine is offline 

PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 11:13 am    Post subject: Re: Electrical problem, Thing won't start or jump and no dash lights Reply with quote

Assuming your battery terminal connections are clean and tight, I would look at the connections at the headlight switch and fuse panel. Look for loose or corroded spade connectors.
Although the ignition and starting circuits are not fused, they do "pass through" both the headlight switch and the fuse panel. All of this can be seen by lowering the left side dash panel.

Corroded connections make for high resistance, and high resistance makes for heat.

Just for fun, read up on testing for voltage drop with your VOM. This is a very useful procedure for diagnosing electrical quirks on old cars like ours.

Good luck, Mondshine
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
dagimp
Samba Member


Joined: July 30, 2008
Posts: 258
Location: Philly
dagimp is offline 

PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 11:54 am    Post subject: Re: Electrical problem, Thing won't start or jump and no dash lights Reply with quote

74 Thing wrote:
Positive battery cable is probably grounding through the frame. Remove the cable and check it. The lights get power from the battery at the starter. You are not getting power from the battery to the starter. Remove and check both cables.


Thanks a lot. I'll check the positive battery cable. Certainly is possible. I'm not sure how old a lot of those grommets are but many of them are rotten. That could have caused the cable from the battery to the starter to ground.
_________________
Buck

1973 Orange VW Thing, "Otto".
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
mondshine
Samba Member


Joined: October 27, 2006
Posts: 1892
Location: World's Motor Capital
mondshine is offline 

PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 12:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Electrical problem, Thing won't start or jump and no dash lights Reply with quote

If your battery was in decent shape, and the positive cable was shorted to ground, your car, garage, etc. would have burned. A continuous direct short to ground through a thick cable (like a battery cable) would make quite a space heater Shocked
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
dagimp
Samba Member


Joined: July 30, 2008
Posts: 258
Location: Philly
dagimp is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Electrical problem, Thing won't start or jump and no dash lights Reply with quote

OK so I have resolution on this issue. Turns out it was three separate issues. First, battery was leaking acid and was in pretty bad condition, so I replaced it with a Bosch battery of a similar dimension from Pep Boys. I can't find who actually made the Bosch battery, but it was a good price with a 3 year warranty.

The second and major issue was that SOMEONE (read, probably my three year old kid) unplugged the steering column plug. Once that was plugged in, all the dash lights went on... but it still wouldn't crank.

Third issue was that it was on a dead spot on the starter motor. So I hit that with a hammer and it started up great! I added battery terminal connector covers while I was replacing the battery just to keep things covered. Thanks to all who helped!
_________________
Buck

1973 Orange VW Thing, "Otto".
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Wildthings
Samba Member


Joined: March 13, 2005
Posts: 35320

Wildthings is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Electrical problem, Thing won't start or jump and no dash lights Reply with quote

A hot terminal would be a sign of higher than normal resistance. The inside of the cable ends needs to be cleaned to shiny metal and then before installing you want to smear vasoline on the post and inside the cable end. Slop more on the outside once things are tightened down. If you cables look shoddy then replace the entire cable, maybe going a gauge larger.

If your starter motor isn't engaging you need to find out why. Whatever is wrong with it isn't likely to fix itself and will fail ain't at the worst possible time. Could be a gummed up solenoid, worn or corroded brushes, a failing ignition switch or #50 circuit wiring, or a bad ground somewhere in the starter current path.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Thing/Type 181 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 © 1996-2016, Everett Barnes. All Rights Reserved.
Not affiliated with or sponsored by Volkswagen of America | Forum powered by phpBB