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74 beetle ignition starting issues.
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74volks
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:52 am    Post subject: 74 beetle ignition starting issues. Reply with quote

Guys,

Looking for some help. My 1974 standard beetle has been having starting issues for some time. When I turned the key, sometimes it started it, sometimes it did absolutely nothing. We changed the ignition switch and this solved nothing. So I ordered a new lock cylinder. With the new lock cylinder and the new ignition switch, still nothing. FYI, when we let the ignition switch (old or new one) plug into the wiring harness and stick a screw driver into the groove, it starts EVERY time). Also, with the ignition switch plugged into the hanging wiring harness and the new lock cylinder attached to it, the car starts. It is ONLY when we install them into the steering column housing where they belong that nothing works. Any ideas?

Sophie
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Cusser
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:52 am    Post subject: Re: 74 beetle ignition starting issues. Reply with quote

74volks wrote:
when we let the ignition switch (old or new one) plug into the wiring harness and stick a screw driver into the groove, it starts EVERY time). Also, with the ignition switch plugged into the hanging wiring harness and the new lock cylinder attached to it, the car starts. It is ONLY when we install them into the steering column housing where they belong that nothing works. Any ideas? Sophie


Sounds like something inside the column is preventing the lock cylinder part from fully mating with the electrical part.

And I think you've done a good description of good troublelshooting.
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ashman40
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:25 pm    Post subject: Re: 74 beetle ignition starting issues. Reply with quote

There is another possible cause... the new aftermarket switch is badly designed and requires more rotation than the stock spec. For example, the stock switch may close the START contacts with 90deg of key rotation, but the new switch requires 95deg to make full contact. This is why the switch works outside of the steering column but not when installed.

It could also be loose tolerances in the new switch. If the slot in the electric switch is too sloppy the key may provide 90deg of rotation but the electric switch is only seeing 80deg. Not enough to close the internal contacts.
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'75 Beetle 1200LS (RHD Japan model) {junked due to frame rot}
'67 Beetle #2 {2019 project car - Wish me luck!}
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Starbucket
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:49 pm    Post subject: Re: 74 beetle ignition starting issues. Reply with quote

Replace the starter solonoid it has burned spots on it or if you are brave, take it apart and polish the copper contact disc with a rubber stone.
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74volks
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:38 pm    Post subject: Re: 74 beetle ignition starting issues. Reply with quote

That is exactly what it seems like to us as well, that the key is not rotating enough to engage the ignition switch. The strange thing is that the lock cylinder and ignition switch that were replaced have been in there for years and suddenly stopped working, hence the replacement. For now, we installed a push button until we can figure out a more permanent fix.
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vwoldbug
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:32 am    Post subject: Re: 74 beetle ignition starting issues. Reply with quote

Can you check the voltage in and out at back of ignition switch and then terminal 50 at the starter . Also have looked at and cleaned connections at battery and electrical connections lately .
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:10 am    Post subject: Re: 74 beetle ignition starting issues. Reply with quote

A transmission ground strap that is corroded or broken will cause starting problems too.
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74volks
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:54 pm    Post subject: Re: 74 beetle ignition starting issues. Reply with quote

Thanks for the suggestions. We will look into those as soon as we can.
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