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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I recently replaced the transmission on my 85' with a working one from an 89'. Everything is back together and hooked up from what I can see yet it won't start. It cranks over and gave a bang or back fire but no luck. I had my girlfriend ready with the extinguisher in case we had any electrical issue. When I tried starting the car the first time she said she saw a spark around the battery area. I checked all the grounds I could fine and all were in tact. I tried starting again and I could smell fuel but it wouldn't start.


Some background. We had one issue on disassembly. We hit a pry bar off the distributor cap breaking the cap, rotor and one wire. They have since been replaced but the new cap was very tight going on. The make is Beru C&R with NGK wire set. The old wires I took off were also NGK and they fit on the plugs without removing the plugs threaded caps. The new wires would not install with the threaded caps on although the two sets of wires looks the same. I replaced the plugs with NGK coppers and still the same issue. Is it possible we turned the distributor when we hit it?


In addition, a previous owner did the headlight relay wire modification but it was a fire hazard waiting to happen. I removed everything and replaced back to stock for now until I have time to rewire properly. So now the low beams do not work either side but high beam do? Also, I did the transmission reverse switch rewire that BrokeVW listed and I still have no reverse lights.


I was very excited to have the car up and running last night.. many long hours and I'm sure fatigue is getting to me lol.. Any help is appreciated.
 

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Check your timing. Verify that when the crank is at 0 time, the Cam dimple on the rear of the sprocket is even with the Valve cover tin, not the rebar and the diz rotor is in the middle of the stamping on the diz.

With that point as 0 time, then that is the number one plug wire. Then 3-4-2 clockwise:
see:
http://www.cabby-info.com/Files/AdjustingTheTiming.pdf

Low beams have 2 fuses, make sure they are good with a meter or a DVOM measuring 12v to ground both sides of the fuse.


Moved your thread to the more proper forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
We just check timing and its good. Although when we crank the dist cap wiggles a lot.

I'm stumped.
 

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We just check timing and its good. Although when we crank the dist cap wiggles a lot.

I'm stumped.
That means usually the rotor is hitting inside the cap, so one or the other is wrong. OR somehow the distributer shaft got bent but with the cap off you should be able to see it wobble when its cranked if that's the case.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We put another rotor in and it's no longer wobbling. Still not starting however. We just looked again and when we set the cam to 0 the rotor is not at its mark.. It should be at 12 o'clock but it's against 2 o'clock. Do we need to remove the distributor and realign?

We found out we connected the wrong wires for the reverse light. Used the new wires and lights come on for a few seconds then blows the fuse.
 

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If the Crank is at 0, the cam is at 0, then the Dizzy's rotor is in the middle of the hash that is stamped on the side frame of the the Dizzy that is in time.
If your wires follow suit then as in the firing order then it doesn't matter if it is at 2:00 or 12:00, but it usually is between 12, and 1:30.

All you have to do is to loosen the timing belt and spin the intermediate shaft to get the diz to align at the more favorable position.
If your cam is at 0 and your rotor isn't where it is supposed to be, then what is your crank?

Shorting or blowing a fuse is because there is a direct path to ground for 12V+. Check your sockets for corrosion. Take your bulbs out and replace the fuse.
turn the car on and into reverse, if the fuse blows then it isn't the bulb but a wiring short that a DVOM should help you find.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the advice all. A friend and I spent until midnight last night trying everything it will not start. I'm bringing it to the local VW expert on Tuesday to give him a shot on it. I'm simply at the point where it's almost August and our Canadian summers don't last long. I want some driving time in this year. And with several weddings and such coming up I won't have much wrench time to give.


We are going to finish everything else the car needs before Tuesday such as the remaining wiring issues. The headlights turned out to be a bad headlight switch and has been fixed. We will work on the reverse lights tonight and I will check the sockets and bulbs for corrosion.


A BIG thank you to you Brian and everyone else for the help so far on this project.. couldn't have done it alone!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Update!


The car runs and is alive. We played around with the timing and spark plug wires/firing order more and it got it to fire up. However, it's not running well. It now fires up instantly and runs at 900rpm for about 10 seconds and sounds okay.. maybe a little off. After 10 seconds the rpms slowly creep down to about 500rpm then lower and lower, begins to sound like it's not running correctly until it finally stalls and shuts down.


We tried to back it out of the driveway and it is significantly down on power 3/4 gas pedal barely moved it so something isn't right. I think the timing needs to be set professionally but are there any other possible issues? The car ran perfect when we drove it into the garage in April before the swap.
 

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So an update. It was indeed the timing that was out and we had it set by Volkswagen during out safety inspection. Not sure how we managed to get it out so badly with a pry bar but non the less it was the issue.

The lighting issue was resolved. The low beams was due to a bad headlight switch, the previous owner ran a bypass which contributed to the mess of wires. Also, we wired the reverse lights correctly as on BrokeVW, however, it was the 2-pin reverse switch on the transmission that was defective. We replaced both switches and the lights are working as they should.

A few more ongoing issues but I'll make a new thread for it.

Thanks all for the help.
 
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