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Crank, no start
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Russpauly
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 3:29 pm    Post subject: Crank, no start Reply with quote

Just want to first thank the community here for all the help and advice this place offers. I enjoy coming here and perusing throughout the day.

The trouble maker:
1988 2.1 with Digifant.

The Issue:
Went snowboarding, had a good time at the mountain. Made it up, was a bit under power at the end of the trip but made it and chalked it up more to the freeway and the incline than anything else. Loaded the van up, hit the gas station on the way out and filled up (was half a tank at fill up), made it a half mile down the mountain I gave it some gas, but nothing. Stayed at 3k rpms and then stalled, died and wouldn't restart. Successfully made it to the side and had a nice long tow back to San Diego (thank you AAA 138 miles).

A couple notes since being back:
When cranking over, you do get a strong gas smell and it tries, really tries but doesn't make it.
Battery just replaced 2 weeks ago
Pulled injectors and found one was leaking - Not knowing the condition I took the 4 in for cleaning.
SparkPlugs were all wet with gas - Plug 4 was black and sooty.
If you disconnect the injectors the van fires and then dies once there's no more gas
Tested Fuel Pressure today and tested at 38 PSI w/ vacuum line on
TempII sensor tested within spec and got the same reading from the bentley ECU check.
Ignition Coil tested in spec per bentley
Tried new plugs, no go.
Timed correctly per Tencent's method
Sparkplug wire resistance tested in spec
Cleaned all grounds in the bay, behind the fuse panel (new trees installed), and Transmission.

ECU plug to single injectors are reading infinite resistance --- Would this cause the injectors to just fire constantly and flood the engine? Honestly, I am thinking that this is the issue, but not sure the direction I should take.

This morning I went to go and start it, like previously it wanted to start and run, and out of the tail pipe there is a slow moving white smoke coming out and smells gassy. There's soot there when before there wasn't.
I feel like since you can unplug the injectors and it will run until it dies this tells me more about the things that are working and leads me to that the engine is getting flooded.

So where do I go from here, and why would this happen seemingly randomly? Confused

Quick Edit:
This morning I went to go and start it, like previously it wanted to start and run, and out of the tail pipe there is a slow moving white smoke coming out and smells gassy. There's soot there when before there wasn't. Have a photo of this too
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1988 Wolfsburg Edition - TinTop
2.1L Watercooled
The Space man Van


Last edited by Russpauly on Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Abscate Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 3:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Crank, no start Reply with quote

Give it a sniff of ether as a diagnostic to sort a fuel delivery problem from a spark problem, then report back.
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DanHoug
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Crank, no start Reply with quote

go back to the basics... spark, fuel, compression. pull a plug wire off and put a spare plug on the lead to examine spark quality. the Vanagon system produces a very robust blue/white spark with a distinct snap. if you have a wimpy red or yellow spark you have problems.

then, pull an injector pair and crank the engine briefly. you should see nice mist of gas pulse out. fire precautions of course, like ground coil lead.
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Merian
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Crank, no start Reply with quote

filled up (was half a tank at fill up), made it a half mile down the mountain Arrow bad fuel
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Russpauly
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Crank, no start Reply with quote

Merian wrote:
filled up (was half a tank at fill up), made it a half mile down the mountain Arrow bad fuel


I thought this as well, but why would the van fire up if the injectors are unplugged?

If I was to pump the gas out, how and where do you empty a full tank? Laughing
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crazyvwvanman
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Crank, no start Reply with quote

A common failure mode of the ECU causes the injectors to stay on too long or spray constantly.

Try another ECU as a quick test.

Where in SD are you?

Mark
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Crank, no start Reply with quote

Russpauly wrote:
Merian wrote:
filled up (was half a tank at fill up), made it a half mile down the mountain Arrow bad fuel


I thought this as well, but why would the van fire up if the injectors are unplugged?

If I was to pump the gas out, how and where do you empty a full tank? Laughing


before pumping it out add about 4 bottles of 99% isopropyl alcohol to the tank, rock the van back and forth a bunch, and then energise the fuel pump for about 5 minutes at the black relay box on the coil side of the engine.
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'87 Westy, ratty but drive anywhere.
'89 Westy, gorgeous but hasn't been gone thru to drive anywhere.
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Russpauly
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Crank, no start Reply with quote

crazyvwvanman wrote:
A common failure mode of the ECU causes the injectors to stay on too long or spray constantly.

Try another ECU as a quick test.

Where in SD are you?

Mark


In Kensington on Meade Ave, just east of the 15.
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Russpauly
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Crank, no start Reply with quote

DanHoug wrote:
Russpauly wrote:
Merian wrote:
filled up (was half a tank at fill up), made it a half mile down the mountain Arrow bad fuel


I thought this as well, but why would the van fire up if the injectors are unplugged?

If I was to pump the gas out, how and where do you empty a full tank? Laughing


before pumping it out add about 4 bottles of 99% isopropyl alcohol to the tank, rock the van back and forth a bunch, and then energise the fuel pump for about 5 minutes at the black relay box on the coil side of the engine.


I will give this a shot tomorrow and report back.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Crank, no start Reply with quote

Pull the injectors out leaving them hooked up and do a spray test.
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Russpauly
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 2:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Crank, no start Reply with quote

Injectors tested and were good. Markwagen here in SD lent me an ECU to try that out on and it fired up.

Sounds rough, but that might have to do with the ISOHEET I put in as I wasn't able to find any high enough Isopropyl. Also backfiring/popping on decel...Not sure if that's gas related or what.

So now onto the next step which is making sure it's running right again, getting a new ECU and then going from there.
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DanHoug
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 4:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Crank, no start Reply with quote

ISOHeet *is* the 99% isopropyl so you're good there.

popping on decel can becaused by a lean condition. per Mikuni, the carb people, "The mixture becomes too lean to burn reliably in the combustion chamber. It gets sent into the exhaust system unburned and collects there. When the odd firing of the lean mixture does occur, it is sent, still burning, into the exhaust system where it sometimes ignites the raw mixture that has collected ---- the exhaust then pops or backfires."

i'm suspecting, armchair mechanic'ing here, there are blobs of water setting in the injector screens of each injector that is causing havoc with things. might even have the fuel lines to the injectors filled with gassy water from a slug of wet gas. solution? with a heavy concentration of isopropyl in the tank, just run it, it'll be ugly, until the water is mixed with the alcohol and pushed out.

could be ECU issues too but it would've run right from the start unless the new plugs are fouled. might be worth taking them out once more, spraying them with carb cleaner and heating them with a propane torch.
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He who knows he knows, doesn't know. But he who knows he doesn't know, knows.

'87 Westy, ratty but drive anywhere.
'89 Westy, gorgeous but hasn't been gone thru to drive anywhere.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Crank, no start Reply with quote

Russpauly wrote:
Injectors tested and were good. Markwagen here in SD lent me an ECU to try that out on and it fired up.

Sounds rough, but that might have to do with the ISOHEET I put in as I wasn't able to find any high enough Isopropyl. Also backfiring/popping on decel...Not sure if that's gas related or what.

So now onto the next step which is making sure it's running right again, getting a new ECU and then going from there.


On decel it shouldn't be getting any gas to cause a pop. Assuming the Throttle Position Switch is working and properly adjusted the fuel is cut off on decel.

On the injector test I was interested in seeing if the injectors were pulsing or just spraying continuously. A continuous spray would indicate a problem with the ECU.
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