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Engine STOPPED going 60 mph!
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cheri
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 1:13 pm    Post subject: Engine STOPPED going 60 mph! Reply with quote

Hello, again. I meant to comment on a thread about actually driving (like hundreds or even thousands of miles, especially at first) in these vans we all love, rather than ask for help again, but...

This morning we were driving at about 60 on a county highway and the van stopped. The engine, which was running fine, and I noticed the speedometer and the gas gage and all that went off as well. Everything electric?

I started it up again, and it shut back off right away. This happened 10 or 15 times. Then it started back up. We were only a few miles from home, so we turned around and made it back.

It did just rain, and the van was out in it.

So any advice or comments are welcome. If there's something we can look for, or need to be careful of.

And just to weigh in on the maintenance issue with these vans. We've been in it for about 2 years now. Sometimes something will come up (the new tires were a huge unexpected expense last fall) and you wonder why you're driving a van that is 22 years old. We even have talked about selling it. But you know, we just love Van Everett. The van even seems to have a presence. I can tell by the way the guy who owns Winston talks, he knows exactly what I mean. Anyway, we need something bigger that can fit us and the 2 dogs, but I don't see how I could ever part with Van Everett.

So here's hoping this latest thing was just something got wet!

Thanks for a response and have a great weekend.

Cheri
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redtail
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the same thing happen earlier this summer and it turned out to be the fuel pump relay. A few good smacks and it's been working fine since then.

Cheers!
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cheri
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tachometer, not speedometer, Bill just pointed out to me.
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dbcdad
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the same thing happen when it was rainning last November. I was comming back from Death Valley Area after a 400 mile trip. It stalled three times on the freeway and then it ran fine. Never have figured it out.

Have Fun, David C
1987 gl syncro with the Westfalia cabinets added
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RCB
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an air cooled Westy and prior to me replacing everything imaginable in the engine compartment I was able to cure that particular issue with a new temp sensor. You can get it at most parts houses, the part number for my vehicle is 0280130012.

I have a 1982 air-cooled 4 speed California Westy
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Beetsport Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the fuel gauge and the tach quits at the same time its most likely not the fuel pump relay. They are on different circuits.

I would lean more towards an ignition switch. Something common to tach/gauges/running etc..
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carterzest
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Engine STOPPED going 60 mph! Reply with quote

cheri wrote:


So any advice or comments are welcome. If there's something we can look for, or need to be careful of.
Cheri


My 1980 had similar issue and it ended up being the [email protected]" diameter off the top of the engine. When it gets hot it expands and can come loose, when it cools it is just fine. Especially happens when warm and usually at full speed. Make sure to push it down on the fitting all the way...sorry, but I do not recall what it is called but if your van is running and you take the hose off, it will immediately die.....

If not that simple, I would pursue the other routes already mentioned....#1 clean and inspect all your grounds.

good luck, and, don't sell Van Everett! He is just testing your patience! Laughing

side note: I have purchased 3 $500.00 Westfalia's over the years that did not run and on all three, that hose was not fully connected.....There were other issues also, but, amazing to think something so simple..................
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Last edited by carterzest on Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Alan Brase
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beetsport wrote:
If the fuel gauge and the tach quits at the same time its most likely not the fuel pump relay. They are on different circuits.

I would lean more towards an ignition switch. Something common to tach/gauges/running etc..

I'd also check the big red wire that goes to the starter. Not the battery cable, but the smaller one. They are known to break off from corrosion. It has happened to me with 3 different Vanagons.
Al
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meyervw
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine did this the other day. I found the ignition switch was at fault. I barely bumped my key and the entire thing went deat. I moved the key less than 1mm and it was up and going again. If the entire van goes down I would look into the ignition switch. In fact go out and start it up and play with the key to see if it goes down.
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Alan Brase
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

meyervw wrote:
Mine did this the other day. I found the ignition switch was at fault. I barely bumped my key and the entire thing went deat. I moved the key less than 1mm and it was up and going again. If the entire van goes down I would look into the ignition switch. In fact go out and start it up and play with the key to see if it goes down.

Good idea!
Al
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Projects: 67 sunroof bug, 67 Porsche 912 Targa, 70 Westy
Dec 1955 Single Cab pickup WANT 15" BUS RIMS dated 8/55, thru 12/55
To New owners: 1969 doublecab, 1971 Dormobile
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83 1.6TD Vanagon, 87 Wolfie Westy daily driver, swap meet home
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OilNBolts
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheri, this does sound like the ignition switch. It is a fairly common failure item, and semi-easy to replace. If your van is 22 years old, I take it to be a 1986?

http://www.benplace.com/dash.htm

http://www.carboncow.com/vanagon/
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devesvws
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

one odd place to look at is at the alt, the wires on one of mine going to the alt was only hanging by a strand or two. wiggle them a little and see if it cuts out. Wink
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cheri
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much for all the great suggestions and comments. Bill is going to look take a look at it today, check the connections and wires.

Yes, it's an 86 with relatively low mileage, mostly original.

Again, thanks all of you who responded. We appreciate it.

Cheri
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VanagOnly
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be mindful that big heavy keyrings can eventually cause the ignition swith to go bad.Good luck.
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the engine died and you noticed the tach drop simultaneously, but any other electrical consumers remained on, then you should investigate the wiring harness connection at the distributor. If every electrical consumer died at the same time as the engine, then you're looking at a wholesale electrical failure.

Ignition switch is a strong contender; doing the wiggle test on the key is a great suggestion.

Your mention of it having just rained makes me think you might also suspect some trouble at the fuse panel. Leakage at the bottom edge of the windshield is fairly common, especially in rust-belt cars, and the water can dribble right down onto the fuse panel. So undo the two large #3 Phillips screws below the panel, the ones that hold the panel hanger bracket to the body, and lower the panel down and twist it around so you can see the backside. Examine the spade connections on the back, focusing on the area labelled "P", which is where all power from the battery feeds into the panel.

When I bought my van, a desert dweller its whole life, the main "P" input connector was badly burnt, which caused a myriad of odd electrical behaviors when the system was loaded, like with fans, wipers, etc. running. All that power has to feed thru that single connector. If there is a problem there it will be fairly obvious; the connector will be visibly browned, and you can see that the plastic around the male tab on the panel itself will be slightly melted. The heat causes the female connector to expand and not make firm contact with the tab, which causes more resistance, more heat, more expansion, and a runaway problem resulting in failure. Crimping on a new female connector, and cleaning up the male tab, will renew good conductivity here if the damage is not too severe. The best way to prevent it getting hot again after cleaning up the connection is to install headlight relays, as the lights are the largest load that gets routed thru the panel and adding relays switches the load thru an independent circuit outside the panel. It also removes that same load from your headlight switch, which will eventually fail from overloading as it was completely inadequate for the full headlight amperage.

Other places that have been suggested are also possibly the cause, and should be carefully checked out: the main starter positive pole connection, alternator positive pole, and the positive pole within the wiring box on the left-front wall of the engine bay.
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cheri
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again for all the thoughtful information and suggestions.

There was a hose that had come off, seemed to me to be the one that was suggested. Bill reattached it, and everything seems just fine. I drove to market today and back without any problems.

I do appreciate the tip about the heavy keys. What is it with guys and keys?

It's pretty amazing to me the way people have helped us out and shared advice and knowledge.
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