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Does an 89 Vanagon have an Ignition Coil ballast resistor?
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Pastelweis
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:44 am    Post subject: Does an 89 Vanagon have an Ignition Coil ballast resistor? Reply with quote

Hi there fellow Sambans,

I am having electrical issues with my Vanagon (what’s new eh?). It started out with the engine sudden and randomly dying when driving at around everywhere from 20 to 80 mph, sometimes re-igniting after a couple of tries sometimes not igniting at all and had to be towed.

I took it to a mechanic and he replaced the distributor, sparks and spark plug wires for an arm and a leg. But the problem persisted.

Then I had a bad break in where they completely destroyed the ignition by cracking the aluminum casing open. This has since then been replaced.

After finding this video;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95PkgSavOCo

I briefly thought I had solved it by bypassing the tachometer wire (the double green ones) leading to the ignition coil, since it fired up immediatly stone cold after trying it, boy was I happy, but turned out to be short lived as it died again and wouldn’t re-ignite after just a short drive.

Now for my actual question (realizing my problem could be a bunch of things from a bad ground to the ECU being shot), I want to try out replacing the ignition coil next, as that may be the issue? I am looking at a cheap no-name third party one at a local car parts chain here, and it says;

“High performance Ignition Coil, If the car is already equipped with a resistor, it must be replaced with the supplied ballast resistor.”

Link to part in question; https://www.biltema.se/en-se/car---mc/car-spares/i...2000017985

So, is a 89 Vanagon GL Westfalia equipped with a resistor, and if yes, how do I bypass it? Bonus thanks if one can point to where I can find it and as always, very greatful for any helpful answers ...
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djkeev
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:53 am    Post subject: Re: Does an 89 Vanagon have an Ignition Coil ballast resistor? Reply with quote

Word of advice?

Don't go buying a cheap no name coil.
What you'll end up with is a cheap no name coil that may or, more likely, may not work properly.

Dave
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Pastelweis
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:24 am    Post subject: Re: Does an 89 Vanagon have an Ignition Coil ballast resistor? Reply with quote

You are probably right, thank you for steering me straight. The thing is I’ve read here that Bosch (expensive) parts aren’t what they used to be, so figured I temporarily get a cheap one to ”trouble shoot” but as they (and I) normally say buying cheap is expensive ... At least I’ll have replaced an expendable part, even if my problem will persist. Probably due anyway ...
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:31 am    Post subject: Re: Does an 89 Vanagon have an Ignition Coil ballast resistor? Reply with quote

If you have a North American '89 Vanagon, it came with a 5-pin diode relay for the Digifant system. If you're having starting and cutting-out issues, refer to this: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=9167841#9167841 .

You'll also want to download the Pro-Training Manual, if you haven't already: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=725680 .
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:54 am    Post subject: Re: Does an 89 Vanagon have an Ignition Coil ballast resistor? Reply with quote

Looks like OP may be in Stockholm.
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bobbyblack Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:57 am    Post subject: Re: Does an 89 Vanagon have an Ignition Coil ballast resistor? Reply with quote

Replace the ignition switch (behind/under the key tumbler on the steering column). Get two when you order, keep the second one for doing it again when the newly replaced one fails after a few years. (or is bad out of the box). They are wear items. Keep keys from hanging from the key in the ignition key tumbler. One key on the ring is best advice regardless of make or model of any vehicle.

But, it sounds more like your Hall wire or unit in the distributor than a coil.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:32 am    Post subject: Re: Does an 89 Vanagon have an Ignition Coil ballast resistor? Reply with quote

You would want a coil that has an internal resistor, or would need to ADD an external one.

Ignition coils will typically either not fire up a cold engine because of the low voltage getting to the coil during cranking, or begin to create a misfire as the coil gets hot.

The relays and ignition switch can cause random cutting out, as can the wiring for the Hall Sender.

Do you have Digifant or Digijet?
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