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[h=2]hello guys i am new to this form and i am in need of some help. i have tried posting in other posts and creating my own fourm and i have had no luck..... so i am sorry if this violates this form....... i have a 1981 vw rabbit diesel manual. heres the full story. everything was working great. then one morning my dome lights did not come on when i opened the door. so after a few days of driving (put on 70 miles a day) i had some spare time so i decided to check the fuse. the 15amp fuse for the dome lights was poped. so i said hmmm i wonder why that happened but o well i will replace it..... tried replacing the fuse and it kept sparking as i was trying to replace it. (i had the door open obviously) so i decided before i arced anything that i would unhook the battery. so i unhooked the positive terminal, replaced the fuse. re connected the battery and boom the dome lights started to work.. closed the hood. went to start the car. all indicator lights come on glow plug light times out and the car does not crank. further testing i found that the signal wire to the starter was not getting power to it when the key is in the cranking position. so just to verify everything i took a jumper wire from the battery to the signal terminal on the starter and the car cranked..... hmmm so i go to the fuse box. all of the fuses are good. i changed what i think is the starter relay with the horn relay.. still no start. turn the key to the on position and i hear the relay click. turn to the start position i again here it click but no power to the signal wire... my question is where does that black / red signal wire go to or get its power from? i traced it back to a bigger rectangle connector in the dash and if i apply 12v to that the car will again crank so i know my wiring to the starter is good... it appears that after the black rectangle connector the red/ black wire goes to the ignition switch... but i am not sure if it goes to other places or not. anyone have any ideas on what could be going on or how to test it?? any wiring diagrams that can be sent to me?.. i do not have a book on the car and i am having trouble finding the diagram online.


all grounds at the battery are good. connections are good. fuse box is in excellent shape with no corrosion or loose pins. everything looks great there...
one other note---i do not know if this is normal or not but i tried a few differnt things----i left the headlights on an then tried to crank the car. and the headlights completley go out when trying to crank.
battery tests good and i have great voltage!

thanks in advance guys![/h]
 

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Super Moderator
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Discussion Starter #2
hello guys i am new to this form and i am in need of some help. i have tried posting in other posts and creating my own fourm and i have had no luck..... so i am sorry if this violates this form....... i have a 1981 vw rabbit diesel manual. heres the full story. everything was working great. then one morning my dome lights did not come on when i opened the door. so after a few days of driving (put on 70 miles a day) i had some spare time so i decided to check the fuse. the 15amp fuse for the dome lights was poped. so i said hmmm i wonder why that happened but o well i will replace it..... tried replacing the fuse and it kept sparking as i was trying to replace it. (i had the door open obviously) so i decided before i arced anything that i would unhook the battery. so i unhooked the positive terminal, replaced the fuse. re connected the battery and boom the dome lights started to work.. closed the hood. went to start the car. all indicator lights come on glow plug light times out and the car does not crank. further testing i found that the signal wire to the starter was not getting power to it when the key is in the cranking position. so just to verify everything i took a jumper wire from the battery to the signal terminal on the starter and the car cranked..... hmmm so i go to the fuse box. all of the fuses are good. i changed what i think is the starter relay with the horn relay.. still no start. turn the key to the on position and i hear the relay click. turn to the start position i again here it click but no power to the signal wire... my question is where does that black / red signal wire go to or get its power from? i traced it back to a bigger rectangle connector in the dash and if i apply 12v to that the car will again crank so i know my wiring to the starter is good... it appears that after the black rectangle connector the red/ black wire goes to the ignition switch... but i am not sure if it goes to other places or not. anyone have any ideas on what could be going on or how to test it?? any wiring diagrams that can be sent to me?.. i do not have a book on the car and i am having trouble finding the diagram online.


all grounds at the battery are good. connections are good. fuse box is in excellent shape with no corrosion or loose pins. everything looks great there...one other note---i do not know if this is normal or not but i tried a few differnt things----i left the headlights on an then tried to crank the car. and the headlights completley go out when trying to crank.
battery tests good and i have great voltage!

thanks in advance guys!



1. I deleted your post on anothers thread, big no-no in post clutter.
2. No one even me, likes to read a block of text Paragraph your posts in to separate thought, or issues, WHY?..... as no one usually posts a reply.
3. Being a Moderated poster in the beginning, your posts have to be approved, to which I have done.

So here is your post as it should be.


Hello guys i am new to this form and i am in need of some help.

I have tried posting in other posts and creating my own forum ( should be Thread for opening the topic, and reply's are posts) and I have had no luck..... so i am sorry if this violates this form.......

I have a 1981 vw rabbit diesel manual. Here's the full story.

Everything was working great. then one morning my dome lights did not come on when i opened the door.
After a few days of driving (put on 70 miles a day) I had some spare time so I decided to check the fuse, the 15amp fuse for the dome lights was popped. So i said hmmm i wonder why that happened but o'well I will replace it..... tried replacing the fuse and it kept sparking as i was trying to replace it. (i had the door open obviously) so i decided before i arced anything that i would unhook the battery.

I unhooked (we call it disconnected) the positive terminal (should of done the ground), replaced the fuse re-connected the battery and boom the dome lights started to work.. Closed the hood.

Went to start the car all indicator lights come on glow plug light times out and the car does not crank.

Further testing I found that the signal wire to the starter was not getting power to it when the key is in the cranking position.

So just to verify everything I took a jumper wire from the battery to the signal terminal on the starter and the car cranked..... hmmm so i go to the fuse box all of the fuses are good.

I changed what I think is the starter relay with the horn relay.. still no start.

Turn the key to the on position and I hear the relay click. Turn to the start position I again here it click but no power to the signal wire...
My question is where does that black / red signal wire go to or get its power from? I traced it back to a bigger rectangle connector in the dash and if i apply 12v to that the car will again crank so I know my wiring to the starter is good...
It appears that after the black rectangle connector the red/black wire goes to the ignition switch... but i am not sure if it goes to other places or not.

Anyone have any ideas on what could be going on or how to test it?? any wiring diagrams that can be sent to me?.. i do not have a book on the car and i am having trouble finding the diagram online.


All grounds at the battery are good. Connections are good. Fuse box is in excellent shape with no corrosion or loose pins. Everything looks great there...

One other note---i do not know if this is normal or not but i tried a few different things----I left the headlights on an then tried to crank the car the headlights completely go out when trying to crank.

Battery tests good and I have great voltage!

Thanks in advance guys!
 

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Super Moderator
Joined
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10,552 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Welcome to Rabbithood, Buy a manual you will need it. You didn't mention if yours was a Square Headlighted or Euro version big differences in which manual that you need.

Bentley is best
Haynes is good better schematics for you, but you have to buy the one for diesels.

Here is a link to Chris's web page to download the Westy diagrams.
http://chris.chemidl.in/vw-wiring-diagram-pdf-1982-1983-1984/

From your diagnosis here are the facts as I see them.

1. Until you have verified that you have 0 voltage drop on your Battery Grounds or Positive Cable, they are suspect. If they are still original then you need to replace them out of hand with either the proper one from a Dealer or vwheritage.com werk34.de or try Ben at mk1autohaus.com. You can use 2 off the shelf cables from the parts store of your choosing as one from Battery to frame and then Frame to engine/tranny.

2. You only get one try at starting your car from the ignition switch in the start mode, you have to cycle it from off, to on each time you need to engage the starter, as that is NORMAL.

3. Headlights will turn off when you cycle the ignition switch from run to start as that is the X circuit that is being disabled, (Load Reduction Relay) to take high-loads off the battery during start, the Parking lights will stay on as well as the brake lights just not the headlights, radio, Defroster, Heater Blower, A/C if equipped.

You jumpered the starter and it works.
You tested the battery and it has good voltage, but you don't say what voltage.
You have power from the Fuse Panel or continuous wire from the fuse panel to the starter....
Changing the horn relay out won't do a thing.

Your issue is one of these.

Blown Fusible link to the starter from the battery.
Bad Ignition switch.
Bad Ground.

1.Verify that you have 12V one the big honking lead on the starter to the Battery. Yes good, No blown fusible link.
2. Verify that one the Solenoid link that you have 12V+ when you turn the ignition key from run to start...Yes good, no, bad ignition switch or wire break between the ignition switch pin 50 and ther solenoid or a plane bad switch.

To test the Validity of your Grounds Place a pair of battery jumper cables from the Negative post to a Frame Point and from the negative side of the Battery to the engine/tranny lifting eye is good. If it starts, then replace your grounds if it doesn't then try this.

Take your Battery Jumpers from the Positive post to the Big post on your Starter (not the solenoid wire) the Big honking one from the battery. If you turn the ignition key and it starts, then you have a bad fusible link to the starter.

As you said you can jumper the starter solenoid wire to the battery and the starter spins, my monies are on a bad ignition switch Or broken wire from the switch to the fuse panel.
 
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