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Van attempts start w/ ignition ON--switch is good
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:14 am    Post subject: Re: Van attempts start w/ ignition ON--switch is good Reply with quote

Leapfrogging from another thread... ( https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8548420#8548420 )

After eliminating any obvious relay issues in that (^) thread, search led me here with same symptoms as OP.
Got to this point and the "always-on" starter issue went away with the following:

crazyvwvanman wrote:
...In the engine compartment at the relay box there is a 2 pin connector plugged into the front edge of the box. Should be a red and a red/black wire. Pull that connector away from the relay box and try the key again...

Now starter runs as normal (only with key in "start" position, off in "run" position)...YAY!

Of course, with the 2-pin connector unplugged, the fuel pump does not run at all, so I need the next
diagnostic step to get the fuel pump back on line but keep the starter from behaving badly yet again... Rolling Eyes

I'll be perusing Bentley wiring diagrams & hanging around the van all day, so feel free to chime in... Pray

Happy Labor Day, all y'all! Wink

- Dave
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:20 am    Post subject: Re: Van attempts start w/ ignition ON--switch is good Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:
That relay under the seat..... that's the relay for house power isn't it?
Nothing to do with starting the Van.

Except that Mark knows about an unusual "no-start" condition involving auto trans, cruise control,
the stock fridge relay AND an aftermarket hard-start relay... He's an amazing man, that one... Cool

- Dave
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:36 am    Post subject: Re: Van attempts start w/ ignition ON--switch is good Reply with quote

Progress!!! ...(???)

At the 2-pin connector to the relay box I've now reconnected the red wire but left unconnected the red/black,
and...I now have fuel pump and NORMAL STARTER & IGNITION SWITCH OPERATION... Huzzah! Cool

Q: Any reason I can't -or- shouldn't just leave it as is & run it this way long term?

FWIW: This also seems to have eliminated my "always-on" (!)BRAKE dash light, but I'm still wondering
how & why all this is related...??? I know...I'm a pest and a curious sort but I try to learn a little something
every day...and these vans definitely give all of us all something to think about!

Wink

I look forward to any ensuing discussion. SAMBA! Time for lunch...

- Dave
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:16 am    Post subject: Re: Van attempts start w/ ignition ON--switch is good Reply with quote

You should try unplugging the ICU, idle control unit. That may be the source of the problem. It may be flooded inside, or failed. If unplugging it fixes the starter issue, open the case and have a look.

Mark
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:38 am    Post subject: Re: Van attempts start w/ ignition ON--switch is good Reply with quote

^^^ Try this now (with red/black disconnected @ relay box) -or- try after reconnecting red/black @ relay box???

- Dave
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:41 am    Post subject: Re: Van attempts start w/ ignition ON--switch is good Reply with quote

Connect the relay box 2 pin harness normally.

Mark
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Van attempts start w/ ignition ON--switch is good Reply with quote

Will do!
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Van attempts start w/ ignition ON--switch is good Reply with quote

Well, here we go...

In the process of getting to & cleaning the ICU, came across this new feature:

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


So, I guess I'll spend some time cleaning this up & get back to you... Rolling Eyes

- Dave
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Van attempts start w/ ignition ON--switch is good Reply with quote

Seems to be the PS idle boost circuit...one wire crispy for about 12", the other
is fully toasted nearly the whole length, from switch to within 12" of the ICU...

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


So, seems like I'll be wrangling a new PS idle harness tonight... <shrug>

- Dave
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Van attempts start w/ ignition ON--switch is good Reply with quote

That kind of damage to the Digifant harness is commonly from the power steering switch wiring. Look closely at those 2 wires at the switch and where they enter the harness bundle. Look at the full length of the harness cover for evidence of melting inside.

This is why I wouldn't stop looking just because you found that unhooking the red/black at the relay box "fixed" the starter misbehavior. That misbehavior could be only a symptom of a more serious issue that could have burned down the whole van.

There IS NO FUSE for the power wires in the fuel injection system and that includes the power steering switch wiring. The power steering wires and wire ends are vulnerable where they plug into the switch and many vans have suffered a melted harness when the wire or wire end shorted out to metal.

Mark
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Van attempts start w/ ignition ON--switch is good Reply with quote

Indeed.

As I dug into that harness I found at least half-a-dozen wires burned, but PS wiring is obviously
the cause. Too much work for just tonight, so I'll have to piece it together as I can this week... Crying or Very sad

As always, I'll keep you posted...thanks again, Mark!

- Dave
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Van attempts start w/ ignition ON--switch is good Reply with quote

Great find Dave!!

One more thing to put on my "worry about" list! Laughing Rolling Eyes

Dave
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Van attempts start w/ ignition ON--switch is good Reply with quote

Yeah..."GREAT" find, indeed... Rolling Eyes Wink

FWIW, I bet most van owners could prevent this issue with a quick look at the PS pressure switch connectors.

From the factory they are bare crimps, uninsulated, subject to all manner of dirt/dust, moisture/corrosion,
vibration & all the heat of the engine bay. Mine were obviously in poor shape & turns out the connector on
the mostly (nearly completely) burnt wire was hanging on by just a few strands of copper... Embarassed

I assume my repair is simply a matter of cutting out the burnt sections & reconnecting the loose ends with
similar gauge wire...any pro tips/pointers here? Any words of advice always appreciated. I figure insulated
spade connectors will provide better protection & longer service when I get back to finishing at the switch.
I'll be using weatherproof (adhesive/heat shrink) butt connectors for all splice joints.

Don't worry, Dave - just get in there & replace (more of) your suspect connectors... Wink

- Dave
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Van attempts start w/ ignition ON--switch is good Reply with quote

Related issue & prevention: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=647443

Guess I'll also do some fuse/holder shopping.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:45 am    Post subject: Re: Van attempts start w/ ignition ON--switch is good Reply with quote

Great find!

I'll be adding a fuse and insulated Power Steering terminals to my system before the melted wires happen.

Dave
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:17 am    Post subject: Re: Van attempts start w/ ignition ON--switch is good Reply with quote

Sure, NOW they tell me... (note highlighting):

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


I'm pretty sure this needs to be added to the list of "What to do to keep your van from burning"... Evil or Very Mad

- Dave
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:09 am    Post subject: Re: Van attempts start w/ ignition ON--switch is good Reply with quote

I pored through the Bentley wiring diagrams today.

Be aware that you cannot make a blanket statement about the wires that applies to all 2.1 units.

I inadvertently searched the early 86 diagram only to find out that there are significant differences from early to later 86 units and some mixing even!

Anyway, I sorted it out. The main unfused power to the Distributor box (as Bentley calls it) is terminal O-21 this is a thread rod with a nut + connection inside the Distributor Box.

There are wires on the back side as well as wires in the box.

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


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




The smaller of the red wires on O-21 feeds the injection and fuel pump relay box above the ignition coil. I've lifted it out with my finger...... I will cut this wire and install an inline fuse, 7.5 amp is suggested.
This is a 1.5 ga wire fed by a 2.5 ga wire.
The 1.5 runs to both the fuel pump relay and the fuel injection relay.
I do wonder about fuse size?
The 7.5 amp seems small to me for the fuel pump AND the injection system.

Is there logic in protecting the fuel pump with a larger fuse?
(A 1.5 ga wire handles a maximun of 15 amps in runs under 10 feet)

If so, should a smaller fuse be added before the injection relay?
The injection wiring varies in size from 1.5 down to 0.5 ga.
(A 0.5 ga wire handles a maximum of less than 10 amps on a 10 foot run, hence probably the 7.5 amp recommendation)

The Power Steering wires are 0.5 ga.

(As a side note: I've yet to figure out the blue wires with the yellow connector)

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


I remembered seeing an inline fuse in that box. Sure enough! A 5 amp fuse is there. Turns out it feeds the Crankcase Vent Heater. (Something not found on the early 86 wiring diagram, it took some head scratching)

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


As a "Bonus Find", I found corroded ground wires in my T7a/ connector!!
These ground wires are for the Coolant Level and Temperature gauges.

You people with odd temperature gauge action? Just maybe you should check your T7a/ connector for corrosion.

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


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


I'll add this T7a/ corrosion to the forums ground location list.


***********
Anyway, any fuse size thoughts??



Dave
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:52 am    Post subject: Re: Van attempts start w/ ignition ON--switch is good Reply with quote

blue wires w/yellow connector are the alternator light (energizer) wires.

image stolen from google image search
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/f8/3f/8f/f83f8f2f9d739656d55b19ff33aebc21.jpg

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



*NOTE also to note that the Alternator wire from the Alternator to the post in 83.5-85 vans is woefully under rated and should be upgraded. I've serviced more than a few vans with that harness melted from the Alt loads.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Van attempts start w/ ignition ON--switch is good Reply with quote

Thanks Dan! ^^^^


I also ordered a selection of littlefuse Led fuses.
They glow when they blow.

A great feature for us aging visually impaired folk!

I'll put one in this distributor box for the fuel pump and I'll upgrade the existing 5 amp fuse too.

If I do a separate injection system fuse in the relay box, one there too.

I will also clearly label the box exteriors about the fuse/s found inside as well as labeling the fuse holders themselves.

This should help those that follow me owning my Van from cussing out their PO!!!!

Any excuse to use the P-Touch! Laughing
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Van attempts start w/ ignition ON--switch is good Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:
...littlefuse Led fuses... glow when they blow...


Link, plz?

- Dave
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