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Deal or no deal? Update: Bought it!
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ALIKA T3
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Update: Bought it! Reply with quote

Good job, not effing around with this one, straight to fixing it right Cool
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bnzelener
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Update: Bought it! Reply with quote

Ahwahnee wrote:
Well done - glad to hear you're already enjoying it.

Presumably you know there is a plastic shroud that slides & snaps on covering those harnesses and directing those heater vents?


Yep! That was off so I could install some cup holders when I took this pic Smile

Anyone have any recommendations for the body dents? I’m thinking about grinding out the rust and having someone rhino line the bottom of the van, but I am curious if there’s a good way to handle the dents on the sliding door and the panel behind it.
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bnzelener
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:16 am    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Update: Bought it! Reply with quote

Hey all, I had my first major break down in the van. Is it okay to post for diagnostic help here? Or should I start a new thread?

Some friends and I went to Moab (~400mi) for a last-minute weekend trip to ride the Whole Enchilada bike trail two weeks ago. We made it to Moab and rode the most epic trail of our lives! It was a blast:

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


Once we got back to the van it had been sitting in the sun for 6 or 7 hours. I had also driven somewhat recklessly on gravel/dusty roads the night before. Nonetheless she started right up and I drove over to a gas station to fill up. After filling with 91, my 2.1L stalled twice as I was exiting the gas station parking lot. I thought maybe it was due to the AC running and cut the AC off.

We were able to make it a mile or two down a main road with another stall or two. Then as it was stalling a last time I pulled into a residential neighborhood and over to a curb. The van would not start, and has not started since. She cranks happily, but does not start. I used two AAA memberships and three separate tows to get the van back to Fort Collins.

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


Here's what I've tried so far:


    - Pulled spark plug and it seems like we're getting good spark: https://photos.app.goo.gl/nStCFK76DVoiVPzp7
    - Pulled one of the fuel hoses coming through the firewall off the three-way doodad that sits on top of the engine. When cranking fuel pours out of this doodad so I *think* I'm getting fuel
    - checked all fuses -- all good
    - found several unplugged wires around the engine bay. Plugging all of them in made no difference.
    - one of the red wires going to the alternator had frayed and was shorting out on an air intake. I cut this wire and alligator clipped it -- will replace properly, but sadly this did not fix the issue. My friend suggested this may have fried something upstream?


I ordered an ECU on eBay to test and have as a spare. I'm using this as the opportunity to learn the mechanics of fixing my van, as it appears I can count on this happening in the future. Can anyone point me in the direction of what to test next?

Thanks!
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:31 am    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Update: Bought it! Reply with quote

since you mentioned the ALT wire and it's failure I'll go this route 1st. it must be changed/fixed/UPDATED.

does it try to start.. ie when turning the key does it crank/turn over as it should or is it slow and languished?

it is common failure for the alternator wire to the +power post in the black box. that then goes to the +post on the starter.
there are some threads in here on this failure and some vendors have solutions you can buy if you dont' want to DIY the electrical.

I run a NEW HEAVY wire routed from ALT to Starter post and a MEDIUM wire from starter to power post in black box.

this is just one of the possibilities i've chosen to spit ball at the moment.


one other is just because you have fuel, doesn't mean you have ample supply (restrictions in tank or filter) or pressure (failed pressure regulator or diminished supply from tank)
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:32 am    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Update: Bought it! Reply with quote

A more reliable fuel test is to remove injectors and (hopefully) watch them spray fuel as you crank.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:46 am    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Update: Bought it! Reply with quote

bnzelener wrote:

... I had also driven somewhat recklessly on gravel/dusty roads the night before.

She cranks happily, but does not start.

- checked all fuses -- all good
- found several unplugged wires around the engine bay. Plugging all of them in made no difference.
- one of the red wires going to the alternator had frayed and was shorting out on an air intake. I cut this wire and alligator clipped it -- will replace properly, but sadly this did not fix the issue. My friend suggested this may have fried something upstream?



Disconnect battery(ies.)

edit:

I'm looking at the Bentley manual P 97.104 wiring diagram(s). end edit.

The smaller diamater red wire from alternator goes to the black junction box at driver side of engine bay and connects to a nut/stud called P1 : a constant (B+) positive junction. Inspect wires to/from P1. A wire from P1 runs to a 2 pin connector at relay in black box, engine bay supplying positive to ECU and fuel pump via their respective relays.

Since you had a wire fall of the alternator, check to see if a (white?) wire has come loose from the power steering pressure switch. One of the wires to PS switch is also a B+ positive and comes from a major positive junction G1 in Digifant harness. That issue has been discussed here. It's possible someone installed an aftermarket fuse on that circuit.

Neil.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:44 am    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Update: Bought it! Reply with quote

His linked video shows the power steering switch wires in proper place.

He also said be found unplugged wires and plugged them in.
It would be nice to know exactly what wires those were. Maybe they were unplugged for a reason.

Since he is getting spark as he shows in his video, the power post in the wiring box has power.

Mark

"- Pulled spark plug and it seems like we're getting good spark: https://photos.app.goo.gl/nStCFK76DVoiVPzp7 "
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:55 am    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Update: Bought it! Reply with quote

Passed through Moab myself nearly 2 weeks ago en route home from Wyoming. Very Happy

Wow... lots of work done since your new toy was bought! Surprised

Vanagon Nut wrote:
The smaller diamater red wire from alternator goes to the black junction box at driver side of engine bay and connects to a nut/stud called P1


Pic for reference (albeit with the added fuse):

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

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:56 am    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Update: Bought it! Reply with quote

Ahwahnee wrote:
A more reliable fuel test is to remove injectors and (hopefully) watch them spray fuel as you crank.


Definitely on a good track, this. It'll be good to know that all the injectors fire at the same time. Any one of them can be used to take a look, so the easiest one gets my vote. The absolutely worst design I know of is that the injectors and some other stuff back there does not have a fuse. For instance, one thread here discusses how shorting the wires going to the power steering pump completely fried a huge ton of the wire loom, and the injectors wires are included in this un-fused stuff. I had the bad fortune to catch my O2 sensor wire in an exhaust clamp, and it fried all that harness too.. Needless to say, it was no fun. First off, look to see that your power steering wires are wrapped up, with no possibility of shorting. Next, follow this thread, and pay attention to creating a fuse in the black box!

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0
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bnzelener
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Update: Bought it! Reply with quote

Thanks all -- I'll start working through these things this evening.

For more context, I took some pictures and recorded a couple of videos:

- The unplugged wires were (A) one of two brown wires to the power steering pump and (B) the wire harness that plugs into the bottom of this box. No idea what it does. Pics below.

- Here's a video with some coverage on that alternator wire: https://photos.app.goo.gl/qM8wqjKJawqBB7KZ7

- Here's a video of me trying to start the van so you can hear the engine cranking: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Xx8Eq1N15zTADhJ18

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


(B)
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Update: Bought it! Reply with quote

crazyvwvanman wrote:
His linked video shows the power steering switch wires in proper place.

He also said be found unplugged wires and plugged them in.
It would be nice to know exactly what wires those were. Maybe they were unplugged for a reason.

Since he is getting spark as he shows in his video, the power post in the wiring box has power.

Mark

"- Pulled spark plug and it seems like we're getting good spark: https://photos.app.goo.gl/nStCFK76DVoiVPzp7 "


bnzelener wrote:
For more context, I took some pictures and recorded a couple of videos:


bnzelener: thanks for the pics. I'm on a limited data plan so have not watched the video.

Since you did some 'reckless' dirt road driving, I wondered if road vibrations might've knocked a wire loose from PS switch. But along with Marks comment, it seems some people disconnect that switch on purpose. (wrong or right)

Mark: thank's for clarifying re: spark. I see now. If I'm not misunderstanding, the ECU is involved in controlling spark. I was mostly concerned if any wires had gotten damaged by a possible short from positive to ground. That said.....

The alternator smaller gauge red wire in question is a load wire only? IF so, even if it inadvertently connected to ground, it wouldn't short out thus damage anything like relays or ECU. Also, it appears to supply positive to the G1 junction I mentioned.

I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong. Wink

Neil.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Update: Bought it! Reply with quote

That damaged red wire looks like the power wire to the engine wiring box post, used by the fuel injection, ECU, fuel pump.

Mark
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Update: Bought it! Reply with quote

bnzelener wrote:
...(B) the wire harness that plugs into the bottom of this box. No idea what it does.

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


Looks like a vacuum servo for a cruise control.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:32 am    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Update: Bought it! Reply with quote

A quick old fashioned way to rule out spark is to tip a little gas down its throat post filter: if spark and timing are good it will fire for you and you'll know to focus on any fuel delivery issues.

Good luck!
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:20 am    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Update: Bought it! Reply with quote

bnzelener wrote:
...After filling with 91, my 2.1L stalled twice as I was exiting the gas station parking lot...

Am I the only one suspicious of bad gas? Not hard to drain a quart out of the tank & look for fluid separation...

<shrug>

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Update: Bought it! Reply with quote

dhaavers wrote:
bnzelener wrote:
...After filling with 91, my 2.1L stalled twice as I was exiting the gas station parking lot...

Am I the only one suspicious of bad gas? Not hard to drain a quart out of the tank & look for fluid separation...

<shrug>

- Dave


Not unless you are in Ulan Bator

See you in the woods, Dave.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Update: Bought it! Reply with quote

Indeed...(???)

PS/FYI: Yes, I'll be up north this weekend (boat however, not van...)

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Cool

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Update: Bought it! Reply with quote

I had the same issue a few years ago on my 86 after a fill up at the local Murphy station. Within a few hundred feet the van, which before performed without issue, died several times on the way home, and would not stay running the next day. One of the first things I learned about diagnosing issues is to look at the last thing you did first. So, the last thing I did was fill it up, so I drained the gas(3 5 gallon cans) and put a new fuel filter on and 5 gallons of new gas(not from Murphy) and off I went, for about 100 miles. The, it started dying again. A new filter fixed it, and the old filter was hard to blow through in the direction the fuel was going. Blew that filter the other way, got no discernable water/rust/ whatever, so it setthat filter aside to open up later and investigate. This happened a few more times until I had the time to drop the tank and drain it completely. Doing that solved the problem.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Update: Bought it! Reply with quote

I just tried to spray starter fluid into the airbox and directly into the engine to test whether the issue is fuel vs. electrical.

The engine did not start, pop, or sputter at all: https://photos.app.goo.gl/dBFEou8yBRG7wUz4A

Sounds electrical to me - but let me know if I'm not doing this correctly.

B
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Update: Bought it! Reply with quote

And it appears I'm getting plenty of fuel at the fuel rail... https://photos.app.goo.gl/NebxkjY831mka52p9
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