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Trustworthy vw repair
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Look at my Thing
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:20 pm    Post subject: Trustworthy vw repair Reply with quote

I am new to air-cooled and I just made a trade for a very nice THING that's been sitting in a climate controlled garage for 15 years I drove it onto the trailer and around my yard but it was very hard to keep running and so I changed the oil the plugs the wires the cap the rotor deleted the points with a petronix I adjusted the valves and the distributor was loose and moved and so I've had issues trying to set the timing because it has a mechanical advance no vacuum I cleaned out the carb and put in a new fuel filter but now it will barley stay running if it even starts at all. I have spent every minute of my time after work on it for a solid week now and I am getting to a point that it is about to defeat me. I need someone that knows these engines to help me I need a shop or someone I can trust I am in Bastrop TEXAS if anyone knows anyone it would be awesome
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74 Thing
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:39 am    Post subject: Re: Trustworthy vw repair Reply with quote

Post a photo of the engine compartment.

It is ignition related you need to look at the ignition components you just replaced, make sure they are installed properly, and set your timing correctly.
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doublecanister
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:31 am    Post subject: Re: Trustworthy vw repair Reply with quote

Yeah I saw another post you mentioned chatting with the Captain about this...
but...

Just to mention one other thing it could be is the carb.
Could be the wires out of firing order and a handful of other things.

But if it's the original carb, [pict 34 or a pict 30/31 like many ended up with]
the left side of the carb has a solenoid that when super gummed up can keep it from idling as well. It can be removed and cleaned.
It's supposed to help keep them from dieseling on shutdown
ie: running with the key off

Mine [upon purchase in 2008] was gummed up and stuck. Wouldn't idle very well, would shut down on a hard stop.
After cleaning and a few carb re-adjusts was back on the road.

But, I do agree on the revert back to points, the pertronix units while doing what they do very well can be a bit of a muck on trouble shooting other issues.
it seems to work better if when on points all things are working THEN migrate to the pertronix.

You may hear a thousand reasons why to stay on points and with these cars and doing static timing and such, points do seem to work better.

But the pertronix units when working do a very nice job.

Depending on which pertronix unit you purchased,
They HAVE to have a full 12v or you will kill it.
Leaving the key on will kill it, I know the original pertronix is susceptible to this, the "ignitor 2" was supposed to have a safety feature built
in but I killed one of those on a 66 Mustang leaving the key on doing some electrical troubleshooting that and I found it only had 3.5v instead of the full 12v.

The ignitor 3 has more power than the 2 and comes with a adjustable
rev limiter built in I believe.

Get yourself some VW manuals too but stick with it and post some photos, they help us help you!

Good luck with it and patience grasshopper! Very Happy

T
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Look at my Thing
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:54 am    Post subject: Re: Trustworthy vw repair Reply with quote

Guys thank you so much i hate to feel defeated by such a simple machine. I can give you guys a complete run down of what i know and what i have figured out so far. I got this car on a trade with a guy his dad owned the car since it was new and passed away it has been in a garage for 15 plus years is what i was told. The last inspection sticker was from 2001 the guy said he did not know anything about the car but he did know that it ran. So we fired it up on a fresh gallon of gas poured into the tank and i drove it onto the trailer. I got it home and it did not want to start so i pulled the fuel line and the fuel was very dark I then changed the fuel filter and it fired up again i drove it around the front yard for 10 mins and it shut off and would not start for maybe 10 mins then it fired up and i drove it into the garage. The whole time it was running it did not want to accept the fuel too well it would stumble and shudder. I decided i needed to check it all out i started with new NGK Plugs and wires a new cap and rotor i set the valves which were way out of adjustment and then i added the petronix and thats when i noticed the distributor was loose and so i tried to set the timing and now it runs on 2 cylinders or seems like it. This distributor does not have a vacuum advance and so i do not know how to set the timing with out the engine running better but i do not know where to start. Do i buy a new distributor or just points and the same goes for the carburetor do i buy a new one or just clean the one i have it is a solex 34pic 3 is what it says on the body. If i need a new carb what do i buy what brand what cfm i am new to all this and i just want to drive the car. I am sorry about the grammar or how long this was i just need a starting point
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Look at my Thing
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:55 am    Post subject: Re: Trustworthy vw repair Reply with quote

I will post a picture tonight when i get home.
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Captain Spalding
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Trustworthy vw repair Reply with quote

15 years is a long time for gas to sit. Before you go replacing distributors and carbs and such, just give what you've got a little TLC.

Clean up the carb.

Just adding a gallon of fresh fuel to a tank of nasty 15 year old gas isn't going to help much. If it were me I'd empty the tank and start fresh. There are products out there to clean the tank. There are tricks for cleaning the metal fuel line as well. Many report success after running an old clutch cable into the fuel line line and spinning it with a cordless drill and/or flushing with carb cleaner. After you've done that see how it runs.

You can time the distributor using the static timing method, which only requires a simple test light.

If you can't to the point where you can run a couple of tanks of gas through it, then you can decide if you want to fully rebuild your carb, or have it rebuilt.

In a car that hasn't run for years I'd be very wary of the brakes. Test them carefully. Replace the brake fluid. It is common for the rubber fuel lines going to the wheels to swell internally - the result being that when you take your foot off the pedal the brake shoes stay engaged. You can't tell by looking. I'd replace them.

I know this list is growing, but remember you have 15 years of deferred maintenance to account for. Once you have your car on the road and start getting admiring looks and comments from other drivers you will forget all about the couple of weekends you spent to get things sorted out. Very Happy
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Look at my Thing
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Trustworthy vw repair Reply with quote

Yes I totally agree about the rubber part in the brake system and all the other moving parts and I totally expected to have to replace and repair stuff I just do not know anyone that owns a air-cooled engine or that knows anything about them so I joined this and I WILL get it running
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AMAC1680
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:10 am    Post subject: Re: Trustworthy vw repair Reply with quote

Look at my Thing wrote:
Yes I totally agree about the rubber part in the brake system and all the other moving parts and I totally expected to have to replace and repair stuff I just do not know anyone that owns a air-cooled engine or that knows anything about them so I joined this and I WILL get it running


I know this shows about an hour from you but it may be worth the trip to meet a few other air kooled junkies.

http://www.motortexas.com/events/detail.aspx?event-id=112

Best of luck.

AMAC
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Look at my Thing
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:53 am    Post subject: Re: Trustworthy vw repair Reply with quote

yeah thats a great idea thank you guys from all your input and i will try and keep you posted on the progress.
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CraigInPA
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:57 am    Post subject: Re: Trustworthy vw repair Reply with quote

By putting fresh gas into the tank, you dissolved the old gas, which had turned to varnish. Of course it ran for a few minutes, but after sitting, the gas in the tank is now completely contaminated.

The best advice would be to:
1. Completely drain the tank
2. Clean the tank with a commercial gas tank cleaning product
3. Unhook the fuel line in the engine compartment and at the tank. Using compressed air, blow out the line from the tank back to the engine.
4. Replace the fuel filter
5. Replace the fuel strainer in the fuel pump
6. Clean out the carb
7. Reassemble everything
8. Put in fresh gas
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doublecanister
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:44 am    Post subject: Re: Trustworthy vw repair Reply with quote

I agree, I believe the fresh gas to the unknown condition gas tank sent crud thru the carb and fuel pump.

You could setup a gas can, long fuel line feed to the fuel pump and bypass the tank if you wanted to see if you can get the engine running again.
I've done this with a 5gal gas can in the back seat, long hose to the fuel pump, tucked the hose thru the engine bay vents.

Obviously you don't want to drive the THING this way,
we don't need no spilt gas or fire!!! Shocked

But, it would help you get fuel to the engine to diagnose the carb/timing, meanwhile you could work on cleaning out the fuel tank and metal hose, using a floor Jack up front with gravity should cause fuel flow to the rear of the THING for cleaning out the lines.
You may need to pull the carb and clean the crud out of it too.
Mine (in the carb where the float was) had a 1/4 inch of rust dust
the engine started bucking under load, would only idle, happened on a day trip in the mountains of all places! Evil or Very Mad

Ended up, my Thing had a "non ethanol approved" tank sealer applied some time in it's life, once I got it (and it was running on stale gas) now on ethanol gas, it started dissolving, turned the fuel purple in the fuel filter and proceeded to run rust pellets thru the pump and the carb.

I had to pull the carb twice and clean the rust pellets out, then after pulling the fuel sender and lookin in the tank with a flashlight, I noticed a big rust ball buggar around the tanks internal screen.
So I ended up replacing my tank and the tank screen and eventually replaced my carburetor. It as working ok but it wasn't the correct carb for the Thing.(when I got it I had a pict 30/31 carb instead of the pict 34).

Since, I've run about every tank either a dose of Seafoam or Marvel Mystery oil and 89 or 93 oct gas. That old pict 30/31 carb when I swapped it out was clean as a whistle inside too, plus the Marvel helps with the ethanol plus it's upper cyl lube.

Good luck with it, and if you do the "gas tank/long hose thing" PLEASE be safe!
T
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74 Thing
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Trustworthy vw repair Reply with quote

Do like what was suggested above as a start:

1. Clean the fuel system out and replace the rubber lines and clean the carb
2. Go through the brake system replace the hoses and the fluid and maybe the wheel cylinders if they leak
3. Go through the electrical and clean the battery terminals, check that it is charged and charging properly and clean the fuse box terminals
4. Change oil and do the valve adjustment
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guppysoup
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Trustworthy vw repair Reply with quote

Just like getting old, working on 45 year old air cooled vw vehicles aint for pu$$ies. Im thankfull my first car was an aircooled vw 46 years ago. Patience grasshopper. It only gets worse/better depending on your attitude.
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Look at my Thing
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Trustworthy vw repair Reply with quote

I pulled the tank and it had about 7 gallons of red colored fuel that smelled like stale water. The tank has rust in should I try and clean it with acid or something or should I just replace it ? And should I replace the fuel line that goes to the engine or just try to clean it out? It looks like it would suck to change. I see there are quite a few places that sell tanks but the best prices I've found are jbugs and the Thing shop is there anything 8 need to stay away from do I just clean out my tank what are your thoughts.?
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KAmes
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Trustworthy vw repair Reply with quote

I went with replacing the tank on mine. If you don't mind the cost, it saves a lot of labor and you know it's clean for sure. It was worth it to me, but it's your call. Just clean out the line to the engine, spray some carb cleaner in it and blow it through with compressed air. Repeat 'till you feel satisfied it's good. I don't know if there are good or bad tanks, I bought mine from Mid America Motorworks and it was fine. Thing Shop seems to always have quality stuff.
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74 Thing
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Trustworthy vw repair Reply with quote

For the hard fuel line that runs through the tunnel spray some carb cleaner in it and get a small cable like the accelerator cable and cut it and run it through the line with a drill running it in reverse. Then more carb cleaner and on the other end have a length of hose into an empty bottle. Compressed air will blow out all of the crap.

Good luck and take your time.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:29 am    Post subject: Re: Trustworthy vw repair Reply with quote

If you snake out the main fuel line, I STRONGLY suggest adding a fuel filter between it and the engine. There will debris working loose for a while.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:12 am    Post subject: Re: Trustworthy vw repair Reply with quote

If your gas tank contents smell like "stale water", you've likely got a lot of water in the fuel. While you can clean the tank and seal it (to prevent the rust which has formed from contaminating the gas), it's generally a LOT easier to just replace the tank. Tanks aren't expensive, and quite readily available.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:40 am    Post subject: Re: Trustworthy vw repair Reply with quote

You need to set your timing at 30BTDC @3500+ rpms. The book timing will not work with your mechanical advance distributor.

Even after cleaning the tank, I would still add both Fuel Injection cleaner and upper cylinder wall lube to the fresh gas in the tank.
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Look at my Thing
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:16 am    Post subject: Re: Trustworthy vw repair Reply with quote

Should i buy a pulley with degrees marks on it? I see the v notched in the back side of the stock one and the dimple just ahead of that but nothing else and if i should what is the best one to go with and is it hard to swap out?
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