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'78 No Start ???
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UtahGOgear
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:48 am    Post subject: '78 No Start ??? Reply with quote

Just fixed some odds and ends on a '78 motor and put it back into the bus and now when I go to start it the starter tries to engage but the motor won't turn over? At first I thought it's stuck but I can turn it by hand (well not by hand, by shoving a pry bar between the bolts that hold the fan on and turning it) but I'm lost on why it's not turning over?

I've tried starting it by jumping the starter terminals underneath with a screw driver- no luck. It would make one click noise and that's it.

It's FI, new battery... what am I missing?
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Wasted youth
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:53 am    Post subject: Re: '78 No Start ??? Reply with quote

Transmission ground strap good?
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:56 am    Post subject: Re: '78 No Start ??? Reply with quote

Use the alternator bolt and belt to turn it. Fan is fragile and spins at a high speed should it fail.

Is all that you get any time you turn the key a click? Charge the battery and check all your grounds. If that doesn't get it have someone turn the key while you tap the solenoid on the side with a small hammer or wrench to unstick it. If the solenoid sticks it needs to be re-greased.
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Godspeed to all who undertake a journey in a VW Bus.

*You can do it right the first time, or do it over, the choice is yours. It is a free country. As to brakes, steering, tires, axles etc. - you may only get one chance at doing those right.

* VW Buses and VW cars share many of the same systems but if you haven't owned a bus and maintained it for awhile, you really don't know how different it is.

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UtahGOgear
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:48 pm    Post subject: Re: '78 No Start ??? Reply with quote

Trans ground strap looks fine- I can't use the alternator bolt and belt to turn it over though... I had to take the fan off and put the bolts back in to use them as a place to put a crow bar and turn it over. There's no way it would turn by hand... I actually noticed it got way harder to turn over after I tightened the bolts that are just beyond the fan it's self. I can no longer get the center bolt (to the crank shaft I'm pretty sure?) off because it's gotten stuck on there real good somehow- even my impact isn't making it budge!

Do I have a problem with the motor it's self?? I'm wondering if it's just too hard to turn over for the starter. It's not seized... but man I'm wondering if something went terribly wrong or if I tightened the wrong bolt on the crank shaft! Shoot....

All I get is the sound of the starter trying to kick in, I think that's the only click I'm hearing now. It's like it turns to engage and then just gets stopped dead and when I turn the key back (well in this case jumping the ignition switch) it clicks again like it just tries to engage but can't.

What do you guys think, have I really screwed up after tightening those bolts right behind the fan?
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:06 pm    Post subject: Re: '78 No Start ??? Reply with quote

Take the spark plugs out and report back how it turns by hand then.

You need to sort out engine from starter trouble first.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:21 am    Post subject: Re: '78 No Start ??? Reply with quote

If you can't turn the engine over by hand using a wrench on the alternator pulley, something is definitely wrong. I would suspect that's the real reason why it won't turn over with the starter. Something is tight/binding.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:49 am    Post subject: Re: '78 No Start ??? Reply with quote

How about a list of the odds and ends you worked on.

With the fan in place I just grab the rim of the fan and turn it with my hands. Been doing it that way for 30 years and have yet to hurt a thing. Easy enough to turn if you have the hand and arm strength. Remember the tranny needs to be in neutral and in most cases the ignition off no matter how you manually turn the engine over, you don't want to eat a bar or wrench, or get your fingers smashed in the belt.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:11 pm    Post subject: Re: '78 No Start ??? Reply with quote

Quote:
Just fixed some odds and ends on a '78 motor and put it back into the bus

time to talk about this^^^^^

is it in gear?
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Godspeed to all who undertake a journey in a VW Bus.

*You can do it right the first time, or do it over, the choice is yours. It is a free country. As to brakes, steering, tires, axles etc. - you may only get one chance at doing those right.

* VW Buses and VW cars share many of the same systems but if you haven't owned a bus and maintained it for awhile, you really don't know how different it is.

1971 (sold)
1977
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UtahGOgear
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:49 pm    Post subject: Re: '78 No Start ??? Reply with quote

I just got the fan back on and turned that by hand and it seems to now turn over just fine. What did I do wrong? Well... one of those dumb things you kick yourself for missing...

those "odds and ends" that I tried to fix on this were mostly just gaskets that had been torn apart. I also had to just re-assemble the entire thing as the guy I got it from had pulled it completely and stripped off all the FI, oil cooler, tin, etc parts. It's almost all the way back together and in again minus some wires I need to hook up and an exhaust I plan to fabricate.

The dumb thing I think I did was when I put on the first half of the fan housing I went to put on those 4 nuts that hold it on by where the fan goes. The thing is- a few of them came out with the entire stem so I had to put it back in like it was a bolt instead of just the nut. One of them stuck out too far (suppose I put it on backward) and I didn't really realize it, but I think it was jamming the fan and making it so it wouldn't turn.

HOW STUPID!

On the other hand, my starter still isn't really working. The click seems to be the gear popping out from the starter motor (these do that- right??) and then it goes back in again. I don't think that the motor is good though, unless I have some wires mixed up around there that would cause the gear to emerge but not the motor to engage.

I also wired straight to the starter because I noticed my + wire running form the battery to the wire had been cut in a few different places and just pushed back together and wrapped with electrical tape... so I pulled a nicer one from another bus that I'll use instead.

Still- what's up with this starter motor?! Perhaps I just need to replace it with a known good one? I guess that can't hurt, can it?
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:01 pm    Post subject: Re: '78 No Start ??? Reply with quote

looks can be deceiving-I'd grab the old multi-splice cable & reinstall it & check.
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UtahGOgear
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:17 pm    Post subject: Re: '78 No Start ??? Reply with quote

It does the same thing with the other cable as well as jumping it as well as the new one.

one thing to note is that I'm using the ignition switch to jump the 2 wires together as a means of turning it over. Is there something else that needs to happen other than that connection to make the starter motor turn and not just push the gear out?
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:15 pm    Post subject: Re: '78 No Start ??? Reply with quote

I am guessing that if you read the voltage between the big 12v lug on the starter and the engine block when you try to turn the engine over, you will find the voltage drops very low.
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Tcash
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:56 am    Post subject: Re: '78 No Start ??? Reply with quote

Disable the ignition to prevent the engine from starting. Then put a voltmeter across the battery posts while cranking it with the key or an external remote starter button. Crank for 15 seconds (no longer); the battery voltage should remain 9.6 volts or above.

Measure battery voltage. Now measure the voltage on the starter stud where the battery cable connects. They should be within 1/10th of a volt of each other.
If not you have a bad connection or the battery cable is bad.
Do the same test with the Negative battery cable.

Tcash wrote:
To link to copy and paste
Code:
[url=https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7466741#7466741]Jump Starter[/url]


Battery voltage should be around 12.6 volts fully charged.
Clean battery and all wire connections.

Jumping Starter
E-brake on
Wheels chocked
Shifter in neutral

Jump starter.

Thanks to JerryMCarter1
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Starter cranks, problem is in ignition circuit.
Starter does not crank, problem is in starter or starter circuit.

Good Luck


Jump the two starter lugs (shown in green)
Starter does not spin: starter motor is bad.
Starter spins: Solenoid is bad or Shift lever is sticking.
thnx to sgkent
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SGKent wrote:
To link to this thread
Code:
[url=http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=581254&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=]How to fix a sticky starter FAQ[/url]


How many threads exist here where the starter has failed? We often see several a day. This post is to help those of you who are struggling to fix yours.

The problems with bad starters in VW buses in my experience fall into 3 categories (A) bad or low battery (B) bad ignition switch (C) sticky solenoid.

I've posted this photo many times trying to help but it doesn't appear to be enough. The starter in the photo is one I rebuilt. :

starter test with basic tools:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


So let's explore. The battery provides 12V +/- to the starter. To test use a volt meter when the key is turned to start to be sure the voltage is good or take the battery in to be tested with one of these. You can get them fairly cheap used or I believe HF has them too.

photo from popularmechanics

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


12V + is provided on the plus side by the heavy cable running from the battery to the starter. Those go bad too internally sometimes from battery acid or arcing. The ground side goes into the bus frame and then from the frame to the engine through the ground strap on the nose of the trans. Those straps get corrosion where they attach and that can cause a clutch cable to stretch and break as it becomes the replacement ground strap as far as the electrons are concerned. Since it wasn't built to handle heavy electricity it gets hot and stretches.

Here is a wiring schematic. You'll see the battery cable attach to the solenoid then run forward. The other red wire coming back to pin 50 is from the ignition switch.

starter wiring:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


When the key is turned it provides power to the solenoid which causes it to pull in. When it does so it pulls the starter teeth into the flywheel and also pushes a copper bar into the studs the wires attach to, completeing the circuit for the electricity to the starter motor to which it is attached. Here is a photo from online (bmwmotorcycletech) of a similar solenoid taken apart. You can see the copper bar and studs. Notice that it is peened on and not designed to be further disassembled. Some older ones had a nut here but the later ones are peened on permanently.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


This is what a NOS one and/or replacement look like

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


This is what they look like when they have been used for awhile. Even with protection, dirt and dust get inside where the plunger rides. Heat from the exhaust and engine also cook the grease inside causing the plunger to stick and gall. Moisture causes rust. I've drawn an arrow where they need to be cleaned - all the way around and inside - but you can't get inside although a cleaner like WD-40 or electronic tuner cleaner can.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Here is a picture of one that failed and came apart - from Samba gallery. NOTE: some solenoids are designed to fall apart this way. The ring at the end tells me this may not be the correct solenoid for a Bosch starter. Further investigation would be warranted in this case. :

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



How to fix:

Remove the battery cables. Use this opportunity to clean them.

Remove the starter. Mark where the wires go or take a picture

Remove the two screws on the end holding the solenoid on. If you have a new solenoid use it. If not clean the old solenoid.

drawing from Autozone online:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


To clean, run WD 40 or electronic tuner cleaner into the area where the plunger goes into the well / plunger tube. Wash out and wipe down as much of the dirt as you can. WARNING: WHEN YOU SPRAY THE PLUNGER HOLD IT DOWNWARDS SO THE CLEANER FLUID RUNS OUT AND SO YOU DON'T FILL THE CAP WITH A FLAMMABLE CLEANER.

If you want to be brave, unsolder the cap and clean the copper bar, if not just leave alone as this area is not normally the problem until the solenoid is worn out and the bar eaten away which if so you need a new solenoid. If you pull the cap off use white cloth tape to seal it again. IF YOU PULL THE CAP OFF OR THE STARTER APART any further, be sure to mark the parts so you can put them back in the same position. I use an electric carbide tipped engraving gun to mark everything I take apart so I can clock the parts the same as they were.

Use white lithium grease spray on the plunger and work it a few times by hand to get grease into it.

Reassemble. Figure you'll do it again in 2 to 4 years depending upon how much you drive the bus and how much dirt gets into it.

NOTE: IF YOU HAVE AN AUTOMATIC transmission, be sure the neutral switch in the shifter is good or it can cause intermittent starting issues. NAPA has a replacement. Ask for ECH NS6827 - be sure to compare it to your old one.
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UtahGOgear
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:20 pm    Post subject: Re: '78 No Start ??? Reply with quote

Thanks Tcash, that was a lot of info!

I've tried a lot of things like directly running power from another car to the starter and trying to jump it with a screwdriver... didn't work. The gear pops out on the starter, but it doesn't spin.

I got the ignition going and same thing- it just pops the gear in and then out when I turn the key.

I was wondering if this relay is normal? Mine is pretty toast so maybe this is the issue? These pics are pretty bad... but the relay looking thing is bolted to the frame right by the starter. The wires running off of it go to the starter solenoid. Is this normal?



Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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UtahGOgear
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:35 pm    Post subject: Re: '78 No Start ??? Reply with quote

I just checked under my other '78 and it doesn't have this thing at all... granted the starter is pulled so maybe they pulled it if it had it, but it looks like all the wires from the starter solenoid went other places, not into some relay looking thing as pictured above... am I missing what this is?

Also, every attempt to turn it over is followed by a tick by the engine bay area driver side... like a switch or something is being turned on/off.

Any ideas appreciated!! Just recovered from a few trips to the ER and I'm well enough to work on this thing again, would love to get it to turn over
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:35 pm    Post subject: Re: '78 No Start ??? Reply with quote

Tear that dreck out and wire it per stock. Thatís a poor workmanship implementation of a bad idea.

When you jumped it with power from the second car, where did you attach the grounds?
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:51 pm    Post subject: Re: '78 No Start ??? Reply with quote

I put the ground clamp on the neg. wire cable leading off the battery... probably not the greatest though- it's pretty dirty!

What do you think that is even?? A relay of sorts?
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:46 pm    Post subject: Re: '78 No Start ??? Reply with quote

The box is a starter relay.

Disconnect the battery.
Charge the battery.
Clean the connections on that.
Clean the connections on your battery.
Clean the connections on the starter.
Clean the ground strap connections on the transmission to the frame.
Make sure the starter bolts are tight.

Now that you have a charged battery and all the connections are clean. Try to start it with the key.

No luck, jump it at the starter.
Jump Starter

Still does not crank. Remove and replace starter.

Good luck
Tcash
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UtahGOgear
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:13 pm    Post subject: Re: '78 No Start ??? Reply with quote

I took the relay off to clean the connections but it was way too rusty to even get the bolts off, so I wired it as it was.

Something to note: when the ignition is on I hear that clicking noise, almost like a turn signal clicking sound but just once. Well, I went around the engine bay trying to trace some wires down and noticed that every time I touch (even slightly) the plug that connects to something just above the double relay it makes this switch sound that I hear when I turn the ignition on. Is there something to that? Surly it can't be normal... it's like if I wiggle every wire that intercepts it it does nothing but when I touch this plug that's plugged in it makes all kinds of random clicking sounds. I must have a wire wrong?? I can't jump the starter ether with a screwdriver... I've got to be missing something with the starter circuit... right??

Two weeks trying to get this thing to start- still no luck...
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:50 pm    Post subject: Re: '78 No Start ??? Reply with quote

did we establish that the engine spins normally by hand now after the fan issue??
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Godspeed to all who undertake a journey in a VW Bus.

*You can do it right the first time, or do it over, the choice is yours. It is a free country. As to brakes, steering, tires, axles etc. - you may only get one chance at doing those right.

* VW Buses and VW cars share many of the same systems but if you haven't owned a bus and maintained it for awhile, you really don't know how different it is.

1971 (sold)
1977
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