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Discussion Starter #1
1981 Rabbit, 1.7L CIS

Fuel is definitely getting to the 'fuel distributor' because I had a leak in the cold start valve fuel line and fuel was abundant. That is, I'm confident everything before the fuel distributor is pressurized. However, the car was not starting (this is after a full engine rebuild) so I pulled a fuel injector to check spray pattern and it was non-existent. Also note that the car will "run" is I spray some starting fluid into the intake manifold - so I think the missing piece is simply the fuel.

I really am afraid to tinker with the fuel distributor so I'm asking here first. Thoughts?
 

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There was an inlet screen that originally was installed, and if it hasn't been removed and cleaned it can stop fuel.
If the Plunger or air plate is sticky, then it may not be able to meter fuel.

www.cabby-info.com has a tutorial link on cleaning it.
 

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Plunger looked ok but I cleaned it, as well as where it contacts the air plate as in the tutorial.

I bypassed the fuel pump relay and manually lifted the air plate just to get fuel flowing as much as possible. I think this was the key. Fuel started coming out of the injectors. I think when I was originally turning over the engine it was not lifting the air plate enough to fill all the lines in a reasonable time frame. I also didn't tighten down all the band clamps that would have ensured vacuum on the air plate. So now with lines full of fuel and everything installed tightly, the car fired up.

Only took me three years from when I pulled it out of the car! Thank you.
 

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Ahh YEAH. This is why I like these VW diesel forums. When you have thought about everything you know that can be or go wrong and come up empty on solutions someone shines the light on something you may have overlooked. Glad you are up and running. Now tune it and go cat go!
 
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