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Old 08-06-2019, 06:11 PM
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Intermittent engine problem

granted not really a hot rod but i need help with ideas on a very annoying problem im having with a volkswagen trike,
i know there are vw forums but i wanted a more across the board gearhead look at this problem,

Ive been putzing with this junk over 40 years but this has me baffled and being intermitten makes it harder to trouble shoot,

the engine is a basic 1600, single one barrel pict 34 3 carb, the distributor is both vac and cen advanced, electronic modual replaces points, dual exhaust, electronic fuel pump with press reg

I have done all the basics, like i would on the vette, carb is rebuilt and adjusted correctly, timing is right, valves, adjusted, no vacuum leaks,

it ran sweet for years like this then out of the blue started running rough, crappy like it wanted to die, poor idle etc, it would stumble and buck,

running it a while would sometimes clear the issue then it returns, sometimes its running so badly it would die yet restart runs sweet again for a spell, other times it might not get sweet again until after several restarts, very hit or miss unpredictable.

i rebuilt the carb and it ran sweet then started the issue again tried a different coil same thing.
the coils bench test good.

the last time i messed with it it had the issue cleared on its own after an hour came back died restarted and runs sweet, i can not make it have the issue to help pin down cause

so im open to possibilities and heres a couple questions,

has anyone ever had a coil do this or the electronic points replacement module?

I keep flipping if i think its fuel or fire or both.

many thanks
cheers
b

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Old 08-06-2019, 08:43 PM
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This sounds a lot like the points replacement module is getting flaky. This is a pretty common thing with the effect of driving you crazy as unless you can monitor it with a scope while it's happening as you will see it, otherwise not.


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Old 08-06-2019, 09:14 PM
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Thanks Bogie, so you believe those modules can play this type of intermittent drive you nuts games?

ive only had them just completely die.
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:18 PM
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I have had the same experience as well, Sometimes die hot, sometimes cold, sometimes not start hot or cold it didn't matter. Spit sputter and die and start right back up and run perfect until next day. Rinse and repeat. Ignition module.
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:52 PM
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Alright, im sold, just wanted colabaration, ill go in that direction that the module is bad and post an update after testing,
thanks all.
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:15 AM
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I had an electronic point replacement module on an older BMW motorcycle that would do that. Turned out the gremlin was some corrosion where the module was mounted interfering with the ground. Might be worth your time to remove, clean and re-install the module.
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:31 AM
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I will check that corroded possibility but i hit up the company accuspark who made the unit who replied sounds like the module is dying and they suggest replacing every 3 years, and would be happy to sell me another one
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Old 08-08-2019, 04:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the13bats View Post
I will check that corroded possibility but i hit up the company accuspark who made the unit who replied sounds like the module is dying and they suggest replacing every 3 years, and would be happy to sell me another one
Planned obsolence, a wonderful business model.......
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Old 08-08-2019, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the13bats View Post
I will check that corroded possibility but i hit up the company accuspark who made the unit who replied sounds like the module is dying and they suggest replacing every 3 years, and would be happy to sell me another one

A new one every 3 years? That is insane for an electronic module. I'd look for a different brand replacement for sure!
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Old 08-08-2019, 04:42 PM
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i hit the company just to confirm they can go intermittent like mine,
i did find the reply a bit short, and i would expected a part like this to have a bit longer life in my case less that 800 miles which i pointed out and the companies second reply sealed it for me with them, when they said the part will go bad from just sitting, and most parts on a car should be replaced yearly, really gave me the feel they know they have a sub rate low quailty item and have their generic excuses ready to shoot back.

reminds me of the now defunct vette brake products out of tampa, i rebuild a chassis using their poly bushings about half crack and fall apart within a year and the chassis wasnt being used just sitting in storage, i contact them thinking defective parts no big deal and the owners goes off on me what do i expect bushing are a wear item and sitting is wearing, but of course he has new ready to ship, full price,
they soon went out of business.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:01 PM
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This issue is still there, i thought swapping out the electronic module for points fixed it but no, baffling, i dont know what im missing.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:07 AM
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Have you checked over the wiring? Things like a chaffed wire rubbing on a frame , or a wore out ignition switch can cause some intermittent issues. All the grounds good?


I don't know what your set up is but most custom bikes I've worked on the electrical is usually a little less then professional although usually fairly straightforward. When you get into solid mounted engines and vibration non-soldered butt connectors and crap like that can be your worst nighmare.

Last edited by Hipster_G; 08-13-2019 at 03:13 AM.
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:01 AM
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Hipster, i dont like being one of those guys who goes on forums pounding their chests about what they know, you replied in my coil thread i tend to post threads like a green newbie to get fresh opinions on issues as i feel i can always learn something new like with coil tech, i did order a new one just to have a known new one but new doesnt 100% mean good.

ive have been putzing with this stuff on a hobby level over 40 years, ( vettes, customs, kit cars, buggies, trikes etc ) but years back a shop would call me in on weird wiring problems, ive seen some wild stuff.

This issue is baffing, as far as wiring im very OCD about it, when i got the trike the second ive owned the wiring was a horrid mess,

that was about 5 years ago i rewired it from scratch it worked fine but then about 6 weeks ago i 90% rewired it again the ocd came knocking,

This problem was there before and after this last rewiring, i have the electric fuel pump and coil on large gauge wires on designated circuits,

The intermittent part has made it hard to troubleshoot right when i think i got it, back it comes,

next session im going to check again in some vacuum leak i might have missed, i know when it gets solved it will be a big palm to the forehead, doh, moment for me.
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:09 PM
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Use an ohm meter on the low scale and check across ALL connections, especially the grounds. Make sure the engine is well grounded. Intermittent grounds are the source of many gremlins. Don't know what system you're using but if it has a capacitor any where in it test it using and analog ohm meter. Good luck.
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