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doublecanister
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:00 pm    Post subject: heat! Reply with quote

Hey Yall,

I finally got to re-test my heater and fuel pump today, would you believe
I got it working in like 5min!?!

Thanks Man130!!
I used his test:
ran a test lead from my other cars battery straight to the THINGS fuel pump for the heater,(one lead to + other to - on batt side, pump just picked a side, not supposed to be polarized) and I even happened to have some spare spade connectors so they'd stay on the fuel pump during testing) at first touch or so on the battery just got a spark, then I heard it click and it was a notible click too. so, I kept touching the battery and every time it clicked, so the pumps working now.

I loosened the fuel hose to the heater and put a plastic bottle on it (to catch gas) and had to work the pump I'd guess about 200 times to get fuel to squirt out.
(I had clicked the pump over 50 to 100 times when I actually started counting and went 50+ more to get the pump and hose primed).

The heater runs fine, if I push in the thermostat it stops firing and fan runs till the temp drops and fires up again.

The only thing it isnt doing is running on the timer. I turned the green knob to the 12:00 position, its supposed to work its way counter clockwise to off but it doesnt seem to.

I let it run for about 20 min, adjusting the temp pull knob some during the test, only smoke I got was at the exhaust joint where the heater and exhaust pipe are joined, seems its got foil tape wrap and it was cooking the glue causing it to smoke.

So it seems that the alternate power source to test the fuel pump was the way to go, my prior tests,(with the THING providing the power via the pumps wires) it never worked, WHICH made me think the points inside the heater that's supposed to work the pump were faulty.
I'm not sure why the pumps power leads didnt work for a test, unless using the alternate battery in the mustang gave it more amps or volts and that helped worked the pump loose. not sure here.


Now the main question is, does it sound like my timer is bad? since it wont work itself backwards to off it appears that way. works fine manually,
Actually when I cut the heater off, green knob all counter clockwise, the heater runs untill cooldown and shuts off, just the 'timer' seems bad right now.

Thanks to Man130 and all the rest of you guys for educating me on these heaters, I think I got lucky this time, unsure how long she'l run.

Any suggestions on replacing the timer?
Like where to get one and a ballpark on price?
OR
are they fixable too?

Thanks all!

T.
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Captain Spalding
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:42 pm    Post subject: Re: heat! Reply with quote

doublecanister wrote:

Any suggestions on replacing the timer?
Like where to get one and a ballpark on price?
OR
are they fixable too?

Here's a photo of the inside of the heater switch. If you open yours up you may be able to figure out why it's not ticking down. Maybe a clean and lube of the clockwork will do the trick.

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

(I can't remember where I got this photo. I owe credit to somebody. . .)
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doublecanister
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 6:35 am    Post subject: the heater timer switch Reply with quote

Hey Captain!

Thanks for the photo, I'll try that route and see if I get lucky again.

I'm very happy the heater started working but be-fuddled that the previous tests sent me on a goose chase.

I'm really wondering if the alt power source test for the fuel pump
did the trick (as un-sticking it) vs being hooked up normally and rapping the pump.
Per Man130's discussions, I never got a pulse 12v at the fuel pumps power leads, as he stated it's so fast it may not register,
which, led me to think bad points...

I was "this Close' to yanking the heater out yesterday before I tried this alt power source test for the pump.
Heads up yall who are still troubleshooting yours, I may have just got lucky but it's worth a shot.

And Thanks Captain for the pic, I'll take a peek at the timer and go from there.

T.
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doublecanister
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 9:11 am    Post subject: the switch Reply with quote

well, I pulled the switch,

there is the problem, the white plastic parts were rattling around in the box seperated from the timer gears, the gears seem ok, just in need of lubrication.

But the plastic parts seem damaged one is split in half, so that appears to be why the timer wont work.

Any suggestions?
If i could get replacement plastics I think I could fix this one.
Prob just have to get a new switch?

I'll attempt to superglue, but I think the split piece is missing a 'finger' part that would connect with the 2nd plastic part and turn off the timer...

I'd need a more detailed photo or drawing..I'll dig around, unknown if the 181 parts manual shows this switch in pieces.

well, we've found the problem at least.

Rats! dern plastic parts.......
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man130
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

T.-I don't think it was the alternate 12 volt source as much as just a direct 12 volt line ,which you can hold for a second at a time,which is probably alot longer then the points give it .I've been told the pumps freeze up pretty easily,but also that they are very durable and become unfrozen just as easily. But anyone with a non-working heater ,I would start with checking the fuel pump first.
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man130
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd ask everyone that has heat , do they use the timer or do they just turn it on and off. Seems like its a option that you really might not use that often.And just wait till you find a good deal or can find parts to fix yours. Just a thought.
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drewinator
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:22 am    Post subject: another piece of the puzzle Reply with quote

This posting is great. However i've been over and over it and it seems to be missing a little more info that i need.

I have cleaned all points, replaced both capasitors on both sides of the points. Using test lights i get the correct pulsing times and the gaps have been set to the correct gap. The fuel pump piece was covered great and works great. The piece i am having problem with is spark. My coil is good as i have taken it off and tested it using a dizzy and i get good spark however when i put it back on the BN4 i don't get spark. What is next in line that i should be looking at. could a defective Safety Switch cause you to not get spark? I thought the saftey switch would shut fuel off but not spark?

Any thoughts?
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Captain Spalding
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:32 pm    Post subject: Re: another piece of the puzzle Reply with quote

drewinator wrote:
What is next in line that i should be looking at. could a defective Safety Switch cause you to not get spark? I thought the saftey switch would shut fuel off but not spark?

Check for voltage at terminal B of the relay (two black wires coming off of it) when the heater is switched on.

Handy BN4 wiring diagram HERE.
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xavi_242
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:49 pm    Post subject: Re: another piece of the puzzle Reply with quote

Captain Spalding wrote:
drewinator wrote:
What is next in line that i should be looking at. could a defective Safety Switch cause you to not get spark? I thought the saftey switch would shut fuel off but not spark?

Check for voltage at terminal B of the relay (two black wires coming off of it) when the heater is switched on.

Handy BN4 wiring diagram HERE.


maybe the flame detector switch misadjusted. Sometimes the fan blows and there is no combustion. Then you screw in the screw at this swithc and then ignition comes...

Follow the troubleshooting in this manual:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/manuals/bn4tro...manual.pdf

hope it helps,
xavi
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drewinator
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok here is a update FIRE IN THE HOLE!!!

Here was my problem. I had purchased 2 of the mentioned radio shack 272-1018 capasitors. This capasitor will work on the side that is used to pulse the pump but is WAY to large of a capasitor to provide a spark on the sparking side. I spoke with my father who has a Masters in electronics (also happens to be a master tech for VW back in the day) he said that using that capsitor on the sparking side was basically like a short and it would never really have enough time to charge up. He dug through some boxes and pulled out a capasitor that is .47uF (also considerably smaller than the one i had purchased at radio shack. So I went home and sodered the smaller capacitor into place and wow did i get spark!!! yippy!
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mondshine
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if this will be useful to BN4 people, but when my Super Beetle's BN2 sits idle for several days, it does not always start on the first try because the fuel drains back into the tank.
Rather than open the trunk to reset, I installed this inexpensive solenoid to reset from inside the car.
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My Thing is a '74, no gas heater.
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///Mink
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wasn't sure where to add these pics, so I'll put them here since I spent most of my debugging time in this thread. I troubleshot mine to the point that i knew I needed to clean my points, but for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to get to them in the first place. There were lots of references to "just pull the caps off and bam, there are your points". So I figured these might help someone else.

To get to the points, the fan motor has to come out. So pull the heater out of the car and get it on the bench.

1. Remove the 4 screws along the seam in the outer case

2. Pry open the case enough so that you can get to the clamp holding the fan assembly in:

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


3. Using a 10mm wrench, socket, whatever, remove the bolt and the clamp.

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


4. Disconnect the 4 fan wires (brown/black/green/white) and feed them through the outer case while pulling out the fan assembly.

The fan assembly is out!

5. Remove the small rear fan - it's held on with an allen screw. You will probably have to clean some gunk out of it to see it.

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


6. Remove the big orange fan - thread a 4mm screw into the brass fitting to push the fan off the motor shaft. A Bug taillight screw works great for this.

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


7. Remove the clip holding the motor into the housing:

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


8. Remove the screw holding the brown ground wire to the motor housing.

9. Give it a tap and the motor assembly will come out of the housing:

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



Now you can follow the procedures in the rest of this thread to clean and adjust the points and/or replace the capacitors.

I hope this will help someone in the future.
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Worknclassbug
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mink. That's the info I've been looking around for the past couple of days. Nobody had a start to finish procedure on getting to the points/fan assy. I was under the impression that it could be done without removing the entire heater from the car. I'm not getting any fuel pressure and when I test light the fuel pump leads like the maual says I just get a steady light when it should be blinking up to 3 times a second. The fan runs though. Thanks again.
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rjonas
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well after several days of schooling myself from heater manuals, threads and info...I dived into rebuilding the BN-4 heater on my '73 Thing. Completely took it apart and cleaned out the mud dobber nests then cleaned & gapped the points, checked glow plug, spark plug gapped, fixed hole in exhaust pipe, got all the wiring done and tested the fuel metering pump. All was good and before I hooked up the fuel..ran to test the safety switch, it kicked out at 130 seconds...did this a couple times to double check.

Got the fire extinguisher ready...hooked up the fuel...turned the timer knob...whir...whir..whoooom...it's RUNNING! Then 45 seconds later it all quits dead. No run on for cool down, nothing. Safety switch tripped? Nope. Fuse blown? Nope. Tried it again...nothing. After about 15 minutes of scratching my head I tried it again...whir, whir...whoooom...it's running again...WTF? Then after 45 seconds it quits again. Dead. I left it alone with the timer still ticking then after about 10 minutes...whir, whir...whooom...it's running. What the hell?

Studying the manuals...I'm thinking the flame switch is hooked up wrong? Nope. Adjusted wrong? Nope. So it must be the thermostat but why would it just quit...fan and flame? Shouldn't there be fan run on for cool down when the thermostat kicks it off? It's got the squareish temp control box on top of the duct hooked to a cable. The spiral metal strip looks to be intact...hit it with my heat shrink gun...yup, it spins the little plastic cam up top. Push n pull the cable...all that moves is the cable and the arm from the cam post...I would have thought this would move the cam too? What is this cable suppose to be moving?

Any other ideas from the been there done that crowd?
Thanks.
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///Mink
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rjonas wrote:


Any other ideas from the been there done that crowd?
Thanks.


I just went through this with mine - the cable should rotate the entire bimetal spring assembly. If you take the thermostat out of the duct you can see where it should rotate (basically just below the square box). Note that there are two points of rotation - the small shaft with the cam rotates, and the entire spring assembly rotates via the cable. Like mine was, yours is probaby frozen.

Here's the bad news: the thermostat only cuts off the fuel pump as it cycles - the fan will continue running. So normal operation is for the thermostat to cycle the fuel pump on and off while the fan continues to run.

So while it sounds like your thermostat is indeed frozen, your shut down problem is probably elsewhere.
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rjonas
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mink!

Yes, the assembly was froze up...took awhile to get it apart and in doing so I bent the spiral bi-metal strip...bent it back...yup, I cracked it on one side of the little hole...so I'll be looking for one of those soon.

Started the heater until it stopped again...got my trusty test light...huh, no power on the common terminal on the flame switch...a few minutes later the heater started again...now there is power at the common. Removed the flame switch (that was a bear, should have took the whole heater out first). Bench tested the flame switch...continunity between common and N.O. hit it with a propane torch until I heard the "click" lost continunity then checked the N.C. side...nothing. So, the switch is bad. Thankfully I have a spare BN-4 complete so I robbed it's flame switch...bench tested...fought it back in the heater....WHAM! I've got heat in the Thing Twisted Evil

210-Deg at the dash and 225-deg at the floor outlets when the t-stat kicks. Oh yes.....I'm diggin it.
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Worknclassbug
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a little more info that may help somebody. My fuel pump was not working. I removed the entire heater and connected it to a 30 amp variable DC power supply that I have in my workshop. I did what has worked for a lot of you guys. I connected it directly to my power supply and pulsed it for what seemed like a million times. I reversed polarity and still nothing. I pecked on it with a hammer and got nothing. I finally decided to remove the nipples that are on either end of it so that I could possibly see something inside it. I discovered that the nipple on the 'out' end of the pump houses a check valve and when I looked into the pump I could then see the piston. It looked clean inside so I figured it was stuck. I then tapped it on my vise with the 'out' end down. I didn't hit it very hard. I then could see that the piston had moved just a little. I connected it to the power supply and then it clicked! I soaked it in oil and reconnected it to the heater and it pumps. It seems to be working fine now. I'll try to post a couple of pics and I'm uploading a couple of vids to youtube.
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Worknclassbug
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just uploaded the pics to my Flickr account since I'm not sure how to post pics on this forum.

The pump sitting on the vise with the check valve end down:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5228504393/in/photostream/

View of the top of the piston looking inside the pump where the check valve screws in:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5228504269/in/photostream/

The check valve nipple:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5228504217/in/photostream/

Movie of the pump doing it's thing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muK1CLpLGn8

Movie of the pump pumping with the check valve off:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lVCp-A8BMQ
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No all I need is a new exhaust pipe for the heater. It was corroded at the fender well and the extension that goes inside the fender well is gone.
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Alexios
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

I am having trouble getting my heater to work.

I hooked up the pump directly to a battery and it clicked right away. I removed the fuel line from the heater and clicked the pump like a million times but no fuel come out of the end. I removed the line at the pump and tried again. The pump clicks but no fuel comes out. Any suggestions as to why no fuel is coming out of the pump?

Alex
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