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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, Recently got a VW beetle from 63 which was working fine until the other week. Tried turning ignition on but car wouldn’t start. Tried a few times and then it just wouldn’t even turn over.
the lights and windscreen wipers work still if ignition is on.
Have replaced the 6V battery on the off chance it was a battery issue. Same thing. (Car has enough fuel in it ).
I’m really new to classic cars; could someone please offer some advice as to why it wont turn on.
thank you.
 

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67 Bug. 2275cc, 10.1:1, 48IDA,Eagle2242Cam,2300Lb clutch, 3.85 diff. Lowered,roll bar, 5pt, swaybars
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If you turn on the headlights and try the starter switch, do the lights dim? Are the battery terminals and connectors clean? If they are not clean, some current can be drawn from the battery, enough to light the headlights, but not enough to spin the starter. Also check the black wire (negative) connection from the battery to the chassis connection.

Could have a bad ignition switch. Might try putting the car in neutral and quickly jumpering the big red wire on the back of the ignition switch to the #50 terminal on the ignition switch. When the wire attached to the #50 terminal is powered by the 6V, the starter solenoid should engage and cause the starter to turn. If jumpering the connections does not cause the starter to turn the problem may be down at the starter itself.

When working around the starter, under the right side of the car, you need to make sure the emergency brake is set, wheels are blocked and car is in neutral. If lifting the car to get under, make sure the right rear tire is off the ground.

If you look at the back of the starter there is a smaller round cylinder on top. This will have a big wire coming from the battery which is always powered. Connect a test light or voltmeter positive to this terminal and hook the other wire to a metal part of the starter to see if there is battery power on the cable. There will be a push on connector ("faston") which is where the starter wire from the ignition switch attaches. Connect a jumper wire to the push on connector and quickly touch the terminal for the battery connection. The solenoid should make a loud click sound and the starter should turn. Nothing happens, the solenoid may be bad. If the solenoid makes a click sound but the starter does not turn either the solenoid or the starter motor may be bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you turn on the headlights and try the starter switch, do the lights dim? Are the battery terminals and connectors clean? If they are not clean, some current can be drawn from the battery, enough to light the headlights, but not enough to spin the starter. Also check the black wire (negative) connection from the battery to the chassis connection.

Could have a bad ignition switch. Might try putting the car in neutral and quickly jumpering the big red wire on the back of the ignition switch to the #50 terminal on the ignition switch. When the wire attached to the #50 terminal is powered by the 6V, the starter solenoid should engage and cause the starter to turn. If jumpering the connections does not cause the starter to turn the problem may be down at the starter itself.

When working around the starter, under the right side of the car, you need to make sure the emergency brake is set, wheels are blocked and car is in neutral. If lifting the car to get under, make sure the right rear tire is off the ground.

If you look at the back of the starter there is a smaller round cylinder on top. This will have a big wire coming from the battery which is always powered. Connect a test light or voltmeter positive to this terminal and hook the other wire to a metal part of the starter to see if there is battery power on the cable. There will be a push on connector ("faston") which is where the starter wire from the ignition switch attaches. Connect a jumper wire to the push on connector and quickly touch the terminal for the battery connection. The solenoid should make a loud click sound and the starter should turn. Nothing happens, the solenoid may be bad. If the solenoid makes a click sound but the starter does not turn either the solenoid or the starter motor may be bad.
Thank you for the reply ! Will try this!
 

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If you turn on the headlights and try the starter switch, do the lights dim? Are the battery terminals and connectors clean? If they are not clean, some current can be drawn from the battery, enough to light the headlights, but not enough to spin the starter. Also check the black wire (negative) connection from the battery to the chassis connection.

Could have a bad ignition switch. Might try putting the car in neutral and quickly jumpering the big red wire on the back of the ignition switch to the #50 terminal on the ignition switch. When the wire attached to the #50 terminal is powered by the 6V, the starter solenoid should engage and cause the starter to turn. If jumpering the connections does not cause the starter to turn the problem may be down at the starter itself.

When working around the starter, under the right side of the car, you need to make sure the emergency brake is set, wheels are blocked and car is in neutral. If lifting the car to get under, make sure the right rear tire is off the ground.

If you look at the back of the starter there is a smaller round cylinder on top. This will have a big wire coming from the battery which is always powered. Connect a test light or voltmeter positive to this terminal and hook the other wire to a metal part of the starter to see if there is battery power on the cable. There will be a push on connector ("faston") which is where the starter wire from the ignition switch attaches. Connect a jumper wire to the push on connector and quickly touch the terminal for the battery connection. The solenoid should make a loud click sound and the starter should turn. Nothing happens, the solenoid may be bad. If the solenoid makes a click sound but the starter does not turn either the solenoid or the starter motor may be bad.
Tony, I learned so much just reading your procedure!!!!!!!!
 

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Tony is amazing. I was going to say check starter connections but was waiting to see if Tony replied. He always gives detailed advice. I save a lot mine. his replies for when I get back to mine.
 
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