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    Thread: 83 vw rabbit 1.8l spark on first crank only, help!!!

    1. Member vdubsir's Avatar
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      12-14-2009 05:26 PM #1
      Just got the car, its been sitting for about 5 years.
      when you try to start it it will fire on the first crank then die. Checked the spark and its def an ignition problem. it will only spark on the first crank on all the cylinders. I replace the coil, nothing. I replaced the ignition control mod, nothing. I replaced the ignition switch, nothing. cap and rotor are new, new coil wire, I dont know what else it could be, is there a hall sender under the distributor on these guys? could that be the problem? Im pulling my hair out here!
      please help if you can
      95 GTI Daily, 01 A4 Avant, 87 Cabby Sold, 83 Rabbit GTI Sold, 84 Rabbit TD Sold, 93 Audi URS4 Sold, everything is for sale...

    2. Member vdubsir's Avatar
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      12-14-2009 05:27 PM #2
      is there a relay or something that has to do with the ignition?
      95 GTI Daily, 01 A4 Avant, 87 Cabby Sold, 83 Rabbit GTI Sold, 84 Rabbit TD Sold, 93 Audi URS4 Sold, everything is for sale...

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      12-14-2009 11:06 PM #3
      The distributor does have a Hall Sender which is replaceable. You would probably be better off finding a used distributor with the same PN as the one in the car and seeing if that helps.

      I don't recall any relays that would effect your issue but sometimes the fuse and relay panels in the Rabbits would get wet from water coming in along the radio antenna wire or from a leak around the windshield and that would cause strange electrical problems.

      I used to get to Raymond on occasion as a company I worked for had a plant there. FR


    4. Member vdubsir's Avatar
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      12-14-2009 11:09 PM #4
      thanks i'm gonna look into the hall sender/ distributor next
      raymond maine?
      what type of plant?

      95 GTI Daily, 01 A4 Avant, 87 Cabby Sold, 83 Rabbit GTI Sold, 84 Rabbit TD Sold, 93 Audi URS4 Sold, everything is for sale...

    5. 12-14-2009 11:11 PM #5
      Here's a good link to some info about checking ignition system components including the hall sensor.

      http://www.oneilcastro.com/A2B....html

      Hope that helps


    6. Member vdubsir's Avatar
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      12-14-2009 11:17 PM #6
      thanks! that should help, i'll get to testing it tomo...
      95 GTI Daily, 01 A4 Avant, 87 Cabby Sold, 83 Rabbit GTI Sold, 84 Rabbit TD Sold, 93 Audi URS4 Sold, everything is for sale...

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      12-15-2009 01:13 AM #7
      The in company in Raymond ME was Dielectric -- made communications towers and antennas. You will need a multimeter and a 12V DC suitable LED Test light to do the tests. FR

    8. 12-15-2009 03:19 AM #8
      I had a Ground wire break for the hall sensor on my83 gti. The car would sputter and barely ran. I went crazy until a master tech I know helped me out!

    9. Member vdubsir's Avatar
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      12-15-2009 11:01 PM #9
      i read that the knock sensor could produce the problem I've described, has anyone heard of this? does the 83 even have a knock sensor and if so does anyone know where it is???
      95 GTI Daily, 01 A4 Avant, 87 Cabby Sold, 83 Rabbit GTI Sold, 84 Rabbit TD Sold, 93 Audi URS4 Sold, everything is for sale...

    10. Member vdubsir's Avatar
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      12-17-2009 09:07 PM #10
      so obv no knock sensor, no computer... duh...
      i checked the hall sender, but did not have a LED test light, the test light I used between the coil studs (when cranked) had a slight flicker but did NOT pulse like I had expected... and now it seems as if I've lost spark all together... I have another coil I can steal out of a running car to check to see if it is the hall.
      95 GTI Daily, 01 A4 Avant, 87 Cabby Sold, 83 Rabbit GTI Sold, 84 Rabbit TD Sold, 93 Audi URS4 Sold, everything is for sale...

    11. Member HagbardCeline's Avatar
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      12-19-2009 08:55 PM #11
      Quote, originally posted by RABIDRABBIT1983 »
      I had a Ground wire break for the hall sensor on my83 gti. The car would sputter and barely ran. I went crazy until a master tech I know helped me out!

      This, but it was one of the small black leads ont he coil itself, below the sleeve of the spade connctor it was all green and hanging by a thread, making intermittent contact, causing the very same issues you describe.

      Check all connections in the ignition system for this condidton, and try shooting all of them with some DeOxIt spray or the equivalent contact cleaner from Radio Slack.


    12. Member Brycejoseph's Avatar
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      12-19-2009 09:03 PM #12
      My Scirocco did this when I first was starting it. It turned out to be the tac wire going to the tachometer.

      good luck!

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    13. Member vdubsir's Avatar
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      12-20-2009 07:43 PM #13
      where was that tach wire coming from? or does anyone have a wiring schematic for this beast? I put in a used distributor and same issue... There has to be a wire f'd up somewhere!
      95 GTI Daily, 01 A4 Avant, 87 Cabby Sold, 83 Rabbit GTI Sold, 84 Rabbit TD Sold, 93 Audi URS4 Sold, everything is for sale...

    14. Member HagbardCeline's Avatar
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      12-21-2009 10:49 PM #14
      http://www.vagcat.com/epc/cat/vw/GO/1983/7/57/

      Check this page, you will have to find the diagram that applies to your particular engine code and fuel injection system, but it should be there somewhere. If you look on the left hand column, there are other groups of diagrams available as well, been VERY helpful for me so far.

      Hope it helps! Good luck


    15. Member vdubsir's Avatar
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      12-21-2009 10:50 PM #15
      So got it figured out... somewhat... if I unplug the tach wire coming from the coil I now have continuous spark. However I have to jump the fuel pump relay now to make the fuel pump come on. fuel pump relay issue? I'll see if I can get a new one tomorrow. now it seems as if its a fuel issue (idles but rough and when you give it gas it dies out) Unless you manually open the secondary butterfly. I'm gonna see if I can hook up a fuel pressure gauge and rule that out. checked the spray pattern on all the injectors and they look good, flooded my engine in the process, I'll have to wait until tomorrow to continue, Its not fully running but atleast I made it somewhere today!
      95 GTI Daily, 01 A4 Avant, 87 Cabby Sold, 83 Rabbit GTI Sold, 84 Rabbit TD Sold, 93 Audi URS4 Sold, everything is for sale...

    16. Member HagbardCeline's Avatar
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      12-21-2009 11:04 PM #16
      Quote, originally posted by vdubsir »
      So got it figured out... somewhat... if I unplug the tach wire coming from the coil I now have continuous spark. However I have to jump the fuel pump relay now to make the fuel pump come on. fuel pump relay issue? I'll see if I can get a new one tomorrow. now it seems as if its a fuel issue (idles but rough and when you give it gas it dies out) Unless you manually open the secondary butterfly. I'm gonna see if I can hook up a fuel pressure gauge and rule that out. checked the spray pattern on all the injectors and they look good, flooded my engine in the process, I'll have to wait until tomorrow to continue, Its not fully running but atleast I made it somewhere today!

      One thing I did to my Jetta after it sat for 4+ years was to fully drain the fuel tank via the line after the primary fuel filter, save it for the lawnmower or some jerk that wakes you up at 3am cuz he ran out of gas.

      Also, check again for loose or corroded connections, make sure you look inside the little plastic connctors at where the wire makes contact with the actual spade connector, like I said, one of my coil's negative leads had one wire that was hanging on enough to not break or fall off, but only making intermittent contact, especially when shaken.

      Of course, it would provide spark every first crank, then get shifted out of place and we would crank and crank and crank, no spark, no run.

      Buy some DeOxIt http://www.radioshack.com/prod...04746 and spray that **** into every connection you can find LOL. I bet all you will hear is frothing and sizzling coming from your green, gunked up wires Plus in the process of shooting each individual one, you'll probably find the culprit, plus some more potential issues and nip them in the bud.


    17. Member vdubsir's Avatar
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      12-21-2009 11:09 PM #17
      yeah been there done that! re-did the connectors on the coil, grounds etc. looking at the wiring diagram for the ignition the wire I unhooked goes to the ground side of the fuel pump relay/the tach. I just need to crawl up under the dash and start pulling wires I guess. thanks for the help!
      95 GTI Daily, 01 A4 Avant, 87 Cabby Sold, 83 Rabbit GTI Sold, 84 Rabbit TD Sold, 93 Audi URS4 Sold, everything is for sale...

    18. Member HagbardCeline's Avatar
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      12-21-2009 11:19 PM #18
      Quote, originally posted by vdubsir »
      yeah been there done that! re-did the connectors on the coil, grounds etc. looking at the wiring diagram for the ignition the wire I unhooked goes to the ground side of the fuel pump relay/the tach. I just need to crawl up under the dash and start pulling wires I guess. thanks for the help!

      My pleasure, glad you were able to find a potential fix, good luck with the dash fishing.


    19. Member cwcabrio's Avatar
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      12-22-2009 02:04 AM #19
      Agree. Probably bad fuel pump relay, since it needs the tach signal from the coil to operate.
      Write us what happen with the new relay installed.
      Good luck.

    20. 06-16-2013 12:35 AM #20
      sorry to reopen this post but my 83 gti is having the same issue with the tach wire plugged into the coil it has spark for the first revolution then nothing, unplugging it it has spark all the time but then I loose the fuel pump and dist

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      06-16-2013 05:27 PM #21
      Read the post above. The fuel pump relay will shut down the car if it doesn't have a tach signal. Its a safety feature. That can sometimes cause issues. The shutdown happens in a few seconds which would fit the one spark symptom you are experiencing. Jumper the fuel pump relay for test purposes. FR

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