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Kitebus 77 FI gremlins
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gatorjos
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:50 pm    Post subject: Kitebus 77 FI gremlins Reply with quote

Just wanted to start a thread about working through my FI and it's compound issues.

I made a new FI harness last week after apparent loose connections internal to wires and connectors that were (I thought) causing intermittent issues and left us stranded on the road two weekends ago. After installing said new wire harness the bus ran great on three or four short trips in town. No hesitation, very good power.

Yesterday after 30 miles of freeway with no issues. the bus cut out at a stoplight and was hard to re-start. It did start back up and I drove 30 miles on the freeway and in traffic back until I reached my destination. Going slowly (foot off gas), the motor cut out once more. I coasted in a parking lot and started right back up, and recorded the nice and warm engine (it's cold here in SF)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XC9aVc4uXck

Today I checked over the engine a bit and found TS II loose -- aha! maybe that is all it was.

I checked over all the impedances listed on p 40 of the A.F.C. troubleshooting manual and everything checked out. Only one a little out of range was between pin 6 and 27 on the AFM (2.84k instead of 2.8k max)

It started and idled ok after tightening TS II, and that's all I can say right now. We are planning a longer trip this weekend, so hopefully no tow home this time.

If the issue comes back, I will check fuel rail pressure and do the fuel pressure leak down test described nicely in other posts.

I'll report back! Happy to hear what folks think about the rough idle in the video above... Thanks!

Also, many thanks for the awesome FI harness how-to post by canadianveedub et al.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=570114
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1977 Westfalia Weekender Berlin "The Kitebus" aka " Colonel Mustard"

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1972 Ghia cabriolet (full body-off restoration -- stolen after five years of ownership)
2004 Passat 1.8T (manual)

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Tram Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Kitebus 77 FI gremlins Reply with quote

When you say it "cut out" and then it was "hard to restart" give us a little more info:

"Cut out" as though someone turned off the ignition, or as though it was running out of gas?

"Hard to restart" as in it cranked at the usual speed but would not catch, or as in it cranked slowly as if the battery was low, starter was dragging, etc.?

Although people who own fuel injected cars find it impossible to not go straight to the FI system as soon as there is any problem... allow me to remind you that VW troubleshooting protocol in these circumstances is ignition system and THEN fuel system... and fuel system ONLY once the ignition system is checked out and verified as not being the culprit.

Good that you caught the loose TSII, but don't be surprised if that wasn't the issue.
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gatorjos
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Kitebus 77 FI gremlins Reply with quote

Hard to restart as in cranking at normal speed with no catching at all regardless of pedal position. battery , transmission groundstrap, battery and starter cabling are all in very good shape. (my cranking speed went up significantly after a new ground strap to the tranny recently!)

The cutting out only happens at idle. When idling correctly as at times in the video the idle is set plenty high.

I checked timing and points a couple hundred miles ago and car was running very well after new FI harness (no hesitation at all). So I don't *think* it's ignition. I can check again though. I have a pertronix that I have waited to install while I sort through these issues, so might pop that in now if it runs consistently.
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1977 Westfalia Weekender Berlin "The Kitebus" aka " Colonel Mustard"

Previous romances:
1972 Ghia cabriolet (full body-off restoration -- stolen after five years of ownership)
2004 Passat 1.8T (manual)

http://21stcenturyhobo.com
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Randy in Maine
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Kitebus 77 FI gremlins Reply with quote

I would be carrying my dwell meter AND my fuel pressure gauge with me just hoping it would not start.

It would be nice to know if the problem is also possible the ignition switch or the double relay.

Do you know how good the condensor is attached? How about the little woven wire ground strap in the distributor?

Make sure you own a "remote starter" switch if you are by yourself.
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gatorjos
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:27 am    Post subject: Re: Kitebus 77 FI gremlins Reply with quote

Tram, thanks for the suggestion to go ignition first. I had a Pertronix I wanted to swap in sitting on my bench for a couple months now. I also cleaned the distributor a bit (didn't disassemble it) and lubed and worked the vacuum advance plate, since had some debris on it and was sticking a bit. After that and refreshing the crimp on the positive supply to the coil that looked particularly haggard, it has been pure joy and smooth running at least on 6 miles or so around town.

Ground strap inside the distributor looked ok. The point and condensor that was in there were pretty new (less than 2000 miles), but the points were quite pitted. Yes, I will continue to carry set of points and condensor as well.

I've been in this spot a few times now with the bus where it appears to run well, but then not, so I am cautiously optimistic.

Question: as preventative maintenance does it make sense to swap in a new FI pressure regulator? Mine looks old (at least 7 yrs, 50k miles) and they are only $40. They seem at the very least a good spare to carry for the Mexico trips.
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1977 Westfalia Weekender Berlin "The Kitebus" aka " Colonel Mustard"

Previous romances:
1972 Ghia cabriolet (full body-off restoration -- stolen after five years of ownership)
2004 Passat 1.8T (manual)

http://21stcenturyhobo.com
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Tram Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Kitebus 77 FI gremlins Reply with quote

gatorjos wrote:
Tram, thanks for the suggestion to go ignition first. I had a Pertronix I wanted to swap in sitting on my bench for a couple months now. I also cleaned the distributor a bit (didn't disassemble it) and lubed and worked the vacuum advance plate, since had some debris on it and was sticking a bit. After that and refreshing the crimp on the positive supply to the coil that looked particularly haggard, it has been pure joy and smooth running at least on 6 miles or so around town.

Ground strap inside the distributor looked ok. The point and condensor that was in there were pretty new (less than 2000 miles), but the points were quite pitted. Yes, I will continue to carry set of points and condensor as well.

I've been in this spot a few times now with the bus where it appears to run well, but then not, so I am cautiously optimistic.

Question: as preventative maintenance does it make sense to swap in a new FI pressure regulator? Mine looks old (at least 7 yrs, 50k miles) and they are only $40. They seem at the very least a good spare to carry for the Mexico trips.


Hopefully you got it. Pitted points indicate a bad condenser, which can cause all sorts of running problems that mimic fuel system issues. New condensers are notorious for failure.

Don't thank me for the suggestion- thank VW. It also isn't really a suggestion- it was a requirement. Wink

To drive home exactly how pertinent this is... if this winds up fixing it, just imagine how bat shit crazy you'd drive yourself trying to fix this "injection problem" by bypassing the ignition system because you "know it's OK". You could have gone so far as to yank the FI and convert to carbs, only to still have the same problem.

Let that sink in. Surprised
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vwfye wrote:
Oh the joy of custom things...


If water is the only drink for a wise man, there are serious upsides to being stupid.


RIPRW

"I'm very fond of long walks, especially when taken by those who annoy me."- Fred Allen
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