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1984 Vanagon hard starting when warm
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type2tom
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 8:31 am    Post subject: 1984 Vanagon hard starting when warm Reply with quote

The van starts fine first thing in the morning. Successive starts get more and more difficult--as though there's no spark. Anyone able to help me diagnose this problem?

Recent tune had no effect.
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stormforge
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This could be a lot of different things...

When the problem occurs do a quick diagnosis: fuel or spark? Don't guess and swap out stuff -- do some testing and locate the problem.

Read some other threads or web sites on how to test fuel and spark. Once you narrow it down to a fuel problem or an ignition problem you'll have a much better idea of what to look at next.

My favorite trick: Carry a can of starting ether. When the engine won't start, spray some in the air intake. If it then starts and runs briefly you have a fuel delivery problem (test your fuel pressure and injectors). If the spray of ether doesn't do anything then test the spark (wait for vapors to disperse first!). If you don't get a spark then the first things to test next are the coil and the distributor.

Cheers,
-Bill
'89 Syncro
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type2tom
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Bill. I'll try the ether.

If only the problem was consistent: some days everything is fine, some days it's not. I think it's not likely a too little fuel problem--I can smell the gas from flooding after cranking it for a while.
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Captain Pike
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

temp sender #2 has failed. It's tellig your ECU it's cold and spraying too much fuel.Search digijet woes
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walnutplanter
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the same problem, and I have a 1984 Westfalia (water cooled). I thought it might be the vanagon syndrome and made the repair, but that didn't work. I replaced fuel lines, fuel filter, fuel pump, fuel pressure regulator and fuel injectors. In retrospect, I think it may have been a combination of the injectors and fuel pressure regulator. I used after market injectors (not Bosch) for cost reasons. It purrs like a kitten now. Since then (3000 mile), I have had no problems. Good luck
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Keith Kiernicki
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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just had the same problem. Mine was fixed with the coolant temp sensor. When cold started right up then when warm it would take for ever to start. Basically it thought it was cold and it was running really rich. It was $12.00. First thing I would try (wish I did).
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Keith Kiernicki
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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just had the same problem. Mine was fixed with the coolant temp sensor. When cold started right up then when warm it would take for ever to start. Basically it thought it was cold and it was running really rich. It was $12.00. First thing I would try (wish I did).
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type2tom
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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I ordered a temp sensor from Ken at Van-Again. But, in the meantime, I disconnected the idle air stabilizer (unplug the connectors from the box, and connect them to each other). I had this suggested to me once-upon-a-time. Today no problems starting at all. Tomorrow I'll hook up the idle air stabilizer again and see what happens.
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alnvilma
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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Twice with 84s I had that issue. Both times it was the fuel pump relay. It would work when cooled but stuck when warmed up. Cheap preventative maintenance.
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type2tom
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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The new temp sensor has not made a difference. Un-pluging the idle stabilizer has worked--though this doesn't seem to make sense.
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom, you don't have an "idle air stabiliser" on your '84, you have a Digital Idle Stabiliser (DIS). The DIS works within the ignition system. And yes, it does make sense. The DIS passes thru the Hall (rpm) signal from the distributor to your ignition control unit (transistor pack), and the DIS reads the rpms from the signal and phases the signal forward if the rpms drop below the programmed idle speed, effectively advancing the spark timing a bit to keep the idle speed within range. But that means that the ignition signal passes thru the DIS, and if it isn't passed thru faithfully then spark can be interrupted. Electrical parts usually begin to show their progression to failure when they get hotter, while full function can return when they cool down; this is your early warning. When you bypass the DIS by connecting the two round plugs together, you are putting the rpm signal directly to the transistor pack, effectively eliminating any problems that the DIS may be causing.

So, you can run as long as you wish with the DIS bypassed, it is not necessary to have at all, but you'll need to tune the engine to compensate so you have a stable idle. Normally just raising the idle speed at the throttle body air screw suffices. Or get a new one, luckily they're not expensive.
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Hmmm, provincial much?:
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MTwesty
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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also have an '84, and have had simular issues. I'll be driving for a bit, engine all warm, then come to a stop and see the rpm's drop below 900 then the engine dies. When I would try to restart it wouldn't fire, it would crank and crank and crank. If I let it sit for 10-15 min I can get it started again, then all is well. This has happened 4 times over the last couple years. I would love to solve this problem....

Thankfully my wife has never been with me when this has happened.. : )

Bob
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type2tom
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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Tencentlife! I see, I see. Pisses me off though--why can't they make car parts that last more than 26 years? The plastic tabs on the DIS broke too! How cheap is that? Wink

I'll look into a replacement.
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

type2tom wrote:
Thanks, Tencentlife! I see, I see. Pisses me off though--why can't they make car parts that last more than 26 years? The plastic tabs on the DIS broke too! How cheap is that? Wink

I'll look into a replacement.


I share your pain.

Really.
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Please don't PM here, I will not reply.

Hmmm, provincial much?:
Quote:
"I wouldn't go much on whats written on the samba, they love a "theory" and rarely ask any Europeans what is actually correct."
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MTwesty
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So tonight I'm driving van in 3rd gear and it starts to bog down on me, I try to accelarate and it's not wanting to, just feels boggy. Come to the stop light and she dies...... friendly passerbye pulls me off the street to a parking lot. I let it sit for 20 minutes, trying to start it off and on, again cranks over and over and over.... finally I let it crank for 30-50 seconds and I get it to fire, I give it gas and it is all boggy again..... I try to get it to rev up to 4000 rpm but it's bouncing and not wanting to stay steady. Finally it kicks in and I can rev up and down. I make the dash to my house and as I'm slowing down to pull in the driveway she stalls agian. Try to start it and crank..... crank.. crank...

So is this a fuel relay sensor?? Is it not sending the proper signals? HELP!! many thanks....

Bob
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