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Electrical questions on my Thing
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vdubthing
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:23 pm    Post subject: Electrical questions on my Thing Reply with quote

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After upgrading the alternator, distributor, carburetor and just about everything else...we are reinstalling our engine finally. The mechanical stuff I understand, but the electrical part is a little perplexing.

The alternator is fine. The distributor, cap and wires all matched up to all of the diagrams I found on-line and that all looks good. The green wire to the tab on the alternator I traced back to where someone spliced it from a blue wire, so that is correct.

The problem I have is the coil. Thing wiring diagrams show that the black wire is the "hot" wire, but when I run the test light, I am getting that it is the negative wire. The green/red wire is the actual hot wire. This may be a very dumb question, but when the ignition is on and both wires are off of the coil, the test lamp is on. When I hook them up to the coil, the light goes off. I turn the engine over and the light is still off. I pulled a plug and checked for a spark and there is no spark. Could it be that a brand new coil is bad? They seem very durable and I was very careful not to hook it up until I knew which wire was which.

Just looking for some final advice to get this thing running. And yes, I have a volt meter on order. I was trying to go the cheap light route...
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YDBD
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Electrical questions on my Thing Reply with quote

Wire color does not always match the diagrams, especially in old VWs.

The coil has a 15 and 1 to label the connections.

The 15 wire should go to your key ignition. This one will be hot when the key is on. Disconnect a wire from the coil, clamp the test light alligator clip, turn ignition key until the lights light up. Go back and touch the test light tip to the engine case (ground) if it lights that is your power wire and connect to 15.

The 1 wire goes to the distributor, it will be hot every time the points close in the distributor. Their should only be one wire to this side unless you have a tachometer, then there would be two.

If both are hot, rotate your engine a few degrees and the 1 should go off.

Cheap light is the best, voltmeter not necessary!
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EDragnDean
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:11 am    Post subject: Re: Electrical questions on my Thing Reply with quote

Electronic distributor.
Red wire is hot off the distributor, you should also not be letting the key sit "on" as you can burn out the distributor in the process.
Some pointless distributors also require a different coil.
Check the directions and specific on the petronix version you have.

You may wish to change your fuel pump for a alternator style, as most likely that one can't be removed without pulling the alternator.
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Bashr52
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:47 am    Post subject: Re: Electrical questions on my Thing Reply with quote

Good luck with that distributor and carb combo. I'll be curious to see how it runs. Those distributors are usually nothing more than a cheap knockoff 009 with a point replacement setup installed. 009's and PICT carb's usually yield a fairly large flat spot just off idle.
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tasb Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:07 am    Post subject: Re: Electrical questions on my Thing Reply with quote

The 009 and the 30 PICT series carburetors can usually be tuned out if there's a flat spot. It's the 34 PICT 3 that is challenging.
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74 Thing
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:16 am    Post subject: Re: Electrical questions on my Thing Reply with quote

Looking at your photo it looks like you have 4 wires attached to the coil.

2 for the distributor-the red goes to the pos and the black or green to the neg on the coil.

Then as suggested above go turn the key on and go back and check both wires coming from your cars wiring harness (when disconnected from the coil). Whichever lights up your test light that should be attached to the pos side of the coil.

There should be another wire that you need to make that attaches from the pos side of the coil to the elec choke on the carb (I am not sure if that carb has an elec cut off valve like the 34 pict 3 but if it does you need to add that to the pos side of the coil as well or just splice it in to the choke wire.

I am not sure what that other wire you have there is for-maybe back up lights.


Last edited by 74 Thing on Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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vdubthing
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Electrical questions on my Thing Reply with quote

Bashr52 wrote:
Good luck with that distributor and carb combo. I'll be curious to see how it runs. Those distributors are usually nothing more than a cheap knockoff 009 with a point replacement setup installed. 009's and PICT carb's usually yield a fairly large flat spot just off idle.


I'm hoping they play well together since the carb is a 30 Pict 3 and the guy that sold it to me swears by the combo.
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vdubthing
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Electrical questions on my Thing Reply with quote

EDragnDean wrote:
Electronic distributor.
Red wire is hot off the distributor, you should also not be letting the key sit "on" as you can burn out the distributor in the process.
Some pointless distributors also require a different coil.
Check the directions and specific on the petronix version you have.

You may wish to change your fuel pump for a alternator style, as most likely that one can't be removed without pulling the alternator.


Good catch!! I just bought one and will replace if it's not too much of a hassle.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Electrical questions on my Thing Reply with quote

The wire to your fuel cutoff and choke heater needs to be hooked to the #15(+) terminal on the coil, the same as the power lead from the ignition switch.

In your picture, which is the #15 terminal and which is the #1 terminal?
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mondshine
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Electrical questions on my Thing Reply with quote

Just one more thing to add.
I would leave both wires from the distributor ignition module disconnected until you are absolutely sure of the rest of your connections.
Reverse polarity or voltage spikes can fry that module faster than you can say shit.
Good luck, Mondshine
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vdubthing
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Electrical questions on my Thing Reply with quote

OK, so I fixed everything that was recommended, but still no spark. I bought a volt meter to check the positive wire. It's reading 5.75 volts when the key is turned on. The wire to the alternator is at 12v. So, battery is good. I've searched for another positive wire when the ignition switch is on with no luck. Any thoughts?
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mondshine
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Electrical questions on my Thing Reply with quote

If you are checking voltage at the black Terminal 15 wire at the coil (which originates at the ignition switch) and only see 5.75 volts, you need to read up on diagnosing "voltage drop". You need to test this wire while it is disconnected from the coil. If you see a different reading with the wire disconnected, your problem is at the coil or beyond.
You can test the black Terminal 15 wire at the ignition switch as well, to determine if battery voltage is present at the plug on the ignition switch (with the ignition switched on). Here's a photo of the ignition switch plug.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Ignore the fuse in this photo, but you can see the black Terminal 15 wire at the plug. Stick your red volt meter probe into the wire side of the connector, and the black probe to ground.
By the way, in stock form, the ignition circuit is un-fused. A short circuit can easily damage the black Terminal 15 wire. This is very common. In fact, if you look carefully at the photo of my ignition switch plug, you can see some evidence of heat distortion on the plastic plug; meaning sometime in its long life, the ignition circuit was overloaded. So check your ignition circuit carefully.

Good luck, Mondshine
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vdubthing
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Electrical questions on my Thing Reply with quote

mondshine wrote:
If you are checking voltage at the black Terminal 15 wire at the coil (which originates at the ignition switch) and only see 5.75 volts, you need to read up on diagnosing "voltage drop". You need to test this wire while it is disconnected from the coil. If you see a different reading with the wire disconnected, your problem is at the coil or beyond.
You can test the black Terminal 15 wire at the ignition switch as well, to determine if battery voltage is present at the plug on the ignition switch (with the ignition switched on). Here's a photo of the ignition switch plug.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Ignore the fuse in this photo, but you can see the black Terminal 15 wire at the plug. Stick your red volt meter probe into the wire side of the connector, and the black probe to ground.
By the way, in stock form, the ignition circuit is un-fused. A short circuit can easily damage the black Terminal 15 wire. This is very common. In fact, if you look carefully at the photo of my ignition switch plug, you can see some evidence of heat distortion on the plastic plug; meaning sometime in its long life, the ignition circuit was overloaded. So check your ignition circuit carefully.

Good luck, Mondshine


Fixed! I indeed had a short at the ignition switch. Probably happened when we sandblasted the car...
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