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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 02-09-2019, 06:05 PM
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It's all falling into place now. If I have this right there is a relay in the start circuit that needs a nearly fully charged battery to operate. So it's on the battery maintainer hovering at about 13.5 volts, that is taken off and it starts to go down from there. If it's a new battery in good condition, it won't go under 12.6 volts. Anyway it gets cranked for 5 seconds, the battery voltage goes down to (just a guess) 12.2 volts, then this finicky relay doesn't have the power to energize itself. So this other relay takes care of the finicky one. Now I learned possibly this first important information about VW's.

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Old 02-10-2019, 04:21 AM
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Hi Tony.... This is all new to me because I have worked on cars since 1968, and I do understand and appreciate everyone's thoughts/ideas because all of them are valid and a possibility. That being said, I tend to agree with your last post about this voltage drop in combination with perhaps a weakened starter solenoid that will not engage because of this. It just makes sense. Replacing the wiring is down on my list quite a ways simply because this has not been an issue for over 20 years and I did the wiring. Since this is a heavily customized car, there was no wiring harness used. Each circuit was designed, with appropriate gauge wiring, and at the time, I used plastic coated spade connectors for longevity. There is a possibility that one of these has failed, which I will check... I also will check all three grounding blocks first simply because these are the easiest interventions. I did replace the long run positive lead and installed a new battery as well (my first two interventions) with no help. I also understand some comments about the fuel bowl on a car in storage..... but over the years, I have run into many cars that have to be manually primed to start after being in storage and once done, there is not an issue.... again, after taking the car out of storage for the last 20 years, I have not had an issue.... I am going to take one more leap of faith that I simply have not had the time to do in the last three years, and that would be to prime the carb, start the engine with the charged battery, drive it for a couple of miles, and the park it and shut it down.... then, I betcha the car starts normally again.... In other words, it is lack of driving and storage that causes the fuel to evaporate over time from the carb which is "normal" and I do not lose fuel in the bowl unless the car is not used for weeks at a time, which is common for this car. I also contemplated carrying a spare fully charged battery but temper that with the idea of simply rolling the car to start it.... simple enough.... So I will start with the grounds and connections.... and the momentary switch in the console..... but I think that is a pretty remote chance at being the problem.... Since reading all this, and then going to The Samba and JBUGS this sounds like it is just a common problem with older VW solenoids.... which, as they age, require a more intense voltage ......The fact that JBUGS sells these secondary units to add to the starting sequence does confirm what several others have said.... Enough.... I think everybody is on the same page here and time will tell... One thing about this car, is that most people have never seen one and the reason I bought it in pieces basically and restored it over four years..... There was nobody that could "tell you how to do it." All the mechanical and body work was done by fabrication and experimentation..... For that reason, it was a blast to restore.... learned a lot then, and apparently, I am still learning a lot.... Thanks again...
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Old 02-10-2019, 05:45 AM
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I would just get that hard start relay kit like in that link. I don't think I covered this but I now believe the battery is good, it's just not "perfect" anymore. The very slight difference in voltage is making the relay in question act up.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:37 AM
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I tend to agree.... but then I read an article on another VW site (google search) where the VW mechanic discussed the second solenoid whether it be a store bought unit from a VW company or a Ford solenoid as recommended by so many. Eventually, in the last paragraph of the article he stated that this problem and fix was directed back when VW starting systems were 6 volt... and that with the 12 volt systems, it would be a fix, maybe but that it was his experience that most, if not all, the situations like I am experiencing was a result of a bad ground, switch, or connection.... and it should not be necessary to add another relay to fix a 12 volt system..... and I think that is how I am going to proceed.... connections, grounds, switches, and then a new relay if all else fails.....
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:13 AM
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What you are describing sounds to me like something getting hot, when cold it will pass the current to close the starter solenoid and as it heats it will still pass enough current to keep it shut. Once you try to crank it again it will not pass sufficient current to close the solenoid. The first thing I would look at is the push button switch. Many momentary switches have lower current ratings and can build up corrosion on the contacts over time.

Good luck!
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:35 AM
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Do you own a volt/ohm meter? If not get one, they're cheap now and it will let you do a voltage drop or loss test rather easily. Then you can pinpoint where the problems are. Until then you're just guessing and having to take apart everything and see if that connection is it or not.
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by professor229 View Post
So I hit the starter button again, and get "nothing"..... and have to hook up a battery charger again to turn the starter which I shouldn't need to do....
I didn't read all the responses above, so this may have been suggested. What I'd do is measure the voltage at the starter solenoid when the starter button is depressed. Could be you're right on the ragged edge between having just enough voltage there to engage the starter one time, but then not a second time (after battery voltage drops a little). I'm not sure how much voltage it takes to energize the solenoid, but maybe something around 11 volts won't do it. If the voltage is low, then measure back from the solenoid until you find a voltage close to battery voltage. In fact you might want to start with the battery side of the starter switch. And again, measure with the switch depressed. All the wires and connectors along the way, from battery to switch to solenoid, are potential places for voltage drops.

BTW, if the battery negative post is tied to the engine block, having a Fiberglas body shouldn't even come into play.
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 55_327 View Post
I didn't read all the responses above, so this may have been suggested. What I'd do is measure the voltage at the starter solenoid when the starter button is depressed. Could be you're right on the ragged edge between having just enough voltage there to engage the starter one time, but then not a second time (after battery voltage drops a little). I'm not sure how much voltage it takes to energize the solenoid, but maybe something around 11 volts won't do it. If the voltage is low, then measure back from the solenoid until you find a voltage close to battery voltage. In fact you might want to start with the battery side of the starter switch. And again, measure with the switch depressed. All the wires and connectors along the way, from battery to switch to solenoid, are potential places for voltage drops.

BTW, if the battery negative post is tied to the engine block, having a Fiberglas body shouldn't even come into play.
Measure the voltage at the big post on the starter and then measure the voltage on the "s" terminal on the starter soloniod when cranking. Both should be the same. If not you have a bad connection in the crank circuit.
I mentioned earlier to in stall a bypass momentary switch. This will accomplish two things. A way of bypassing your possible defective crank circuit and prevent you from getting stranded with a no start.
If you can't crank or start your car and it cranks with the bypass switch then you'll know it's start circuit that's go a defective part.

Last edited by CQNRQY; 02-14-2019 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 02-15-2019, 12:31 PM
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Electrical

I used a push button to start on my pickup I used several they would go bad contacts pitted. Put in a relay and switched that never had a problem after that. They say those push buttons are for starters but they do not hold up, too much current and they pit I would have to take the wire off the switch and short them together to start.
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Old 02-15-2019, 01:07 PM
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Momentary Switch

This was not even a real starter switch, as seen in NASCAR..... this was a radio shack special but it has worked fine over 20 years plus.... This is just going to take some time to figure out... there are so many things that can go wrong between the battery up front, and the starter solenoid in the back (VW).... Last summer, I did replace the long battery cable with a new and decent one... the old one had a splice in it, and I thought that was probably the weak link that failed... it wasn't.... then the battery was tested and it failed, so it got a new battery as well.... and there is a chance it is a bad battery... had three consecutive Walmart batteries go bad in my street rod, but this is an Exide... but still a possibility.... I also need to take the time to clean all grounds and check the spade connections too.... I did buy new connections with built in shrink wrap on them.... It has two fuse boxes as well and all those connections should be checked..... and then the momentary starter switch and toggle for the coil, is located in a fabricated overhead console..... Like I said... it will take time to do this.... Thanks for your thoughts....
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Old 02-15-2019, 04:18 PM
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You make trouble shooting way harder than it needs to be.


Take something to hold the starter button in. Could be a broom handle cut to length and wedged from the seat to the button.


Go to the back and see where you have power or where you don't.
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Old 02-16-2019, 06:13 AM
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I have to agree with you ,,,
Glad you said it.
Electrical issues can be difficult but this should be easy to diagnose
A couple of very easy tests should pinpoint where the problem is.
A friend (broom handle) to push the button at test light or volt meter ( to trace the cuircut )
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 02-16-2019, 08:03 AM
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Also, quite often a simple test light is better than a meter diagnosing car electrical problems. I used to get a lot of calls from an old school mechanic friend trying to diagnose modern car electronics. His son took electronics but couldn't find a job, so he's working for Dad. I think his electronics knowledge was exactly what they needed in that shop.


Also what so many don't do is "divide and conquer. Tracing an electrical fault through 6 circuits starting at one end is a waste of time. You already know it's bad at the end, so next is half way through. Good or bad, you know which half to look at next. Unless of course all the test points are close and easy to check.
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