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    Thread: 1988 VW cabriolet starting problem

    1. Member
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      06-22-2011 07:59 PM #1
      Ok so this is gonna sound dumb from a certified VW mechanic but im completely new to the MK 1's and cabriolets in general. I just bought this car about a week ago and just had the chance to finally dig into it this afternoon. I knew going into it that it had a starting problem. I have checked the basics, timing, spark, air and fuel and all check out for the most part. Is there anything that im missing, or is this a common thing to find in the older cars? It has sit around for about a year or so, so i know the fuel is a little old and i believe that this is contributing to alot of the problem, I just want to make sure there isnt something that im over looking. It has a bigger battery than what came in it stock. I highly doubt this is causing a starting problem. I just thought i'd mention anything i could think of. Any other tech's out there please help a fella out. Thanks guys

      Pat

    2. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      06-22-2011 08:22 PM #2
      Commit this page to memory and use it often.


      http://www.cabby-info.com/Fuel_System.htm#CIS


      along with the main page.

      http://www.cabby-info.com/

    3. Member tolusina's Avatar
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      06-22-2011 08:29 PM #3
      Fresh fuel.

      Tune with air and fuel filters, Bosch cap, rotor and wires, NGK BP6ET spark plugs.
      I know, you're a dealer guy, dealer parts girl/guy says Bosch W7DSR, (s)he's wrong, it's Bosch W7DTC but those are NLA, use the NGKs, they are perfect.
      While you have the cap off, test the distributor vacuum and centrifugal advances, takes only seconds, repair/replace as needed.
      Check the cam timing, correct if needed.
      Set the ignition timing, strobe or static, make sure the throttle plate is closed plus a hair crack open when at rest, otherwise timing will be off along with evap vent valve and blah blah..

      Replace all the cloth covered vacuum hoses, they all leak, parts has this stuff in stock in bulk.


      Replace the injector seals and holders, clean the injectors,
      http://reflectionsandshadows.com/cis-injector-cleaning/

      Set the duty cycle, er, the freq valve is running isn't it? http://www.cabby-info.com/cis.htm

      Plugged intake or exhaust? Look in the intake, measure exhaust back pressure at the upstream test port.

      There are four fuel system pressures to check, no guessing allowed.
      ---
      Then come back and describe, is this car a no crank, slow crank, cranks won't fire, cranks long time then fires, misfires then clears, never clears, low power, what?
      What would you do with an R.O. complaint describing symptoms as poorly as your post. I'll guess you'd head straight for the service desk asking for a much better description of the symptoms from the customer. Huh!?
      Last edited by tolusina; 06-22-2011 at 08:33 PM.
      vwvortex search is weak. Instead, type search terms site:http://forums.vwvortex.com into the google search box.
      Quote Originally Posted by kamzcab86
      I hate reading: "But I bought this car for $500 and don't want to put another dime into it."
      ____(hey, it's VW AND it's electrical, what's not to fail?) neoBentley+

    4. Member
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      06-22-2011 08:43 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by tolusina View Post
      Fresh fuel.

      Tune with air and fuel filters, Bosch cap, rotor and wires, NGK BP6ET spark plugs.
      I know, you're a dealer guy, dealer parts girl/guy says Bosch W7DSR, (s)he's wrong, it's Bosch W7DTC but those are NLA, use the NGKs, they are perfect.
      While you have the cap off, test the distributor vacuum and centrifugal advances, takes only seconds, repair/replace as needed.
      Check the cam timing, correct if needed.
      Set the ignition timing, strobe or static, make sure the throttle plate is closed plus a hair crack open when at rest, otherwise timing will be off along with evap vent valve and blah blah..

      Replace all the cloth covered vacuum hoses, they all leak, parts has this stuff in stock in bulk.



      thank u for the first part of ur post, but the part at the end wasnt necessary. If your going to harass people on this forum you dont belong here. Try to be an adult next time.


      Replace the injector seals and holders, clean the injectors,
      http://reflectionsandshadows.com/cis-injector-cleaning/

      Set the duty cycle, er, the freq valve is running isn't it? http://www.cabby-info.com/cis.htm

      Plugged intake or exhaust? Look in the intake, measure exhaust back pressure at the upstream test port.

      There are four fuel system pressures to check, no guessing allowed.
      ---
      Then come back and describe, is this car a no crank, slow crank, cranks won't fire, cranks long time then fires, misfires then clears, never clears, low power, what?
      What would you do with an R.O. complaint describing symptoms as poorly as your post. I'll guess you'd head straight for the service desk asking for a much better description of the symptoms from the customer. Huh!?

      thank you for the first part of your post, but the second part was entirely unnecessary. If you are going to harass people on this forum you do not deserve to be apart of it. Try to be an adult next time.

    5. Member briano1234's Avatar
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      06-22-2011 09:08 PM #5
      Ron, wasn't harassing you. He gave you what he thought the issue could be and how to correct it.

      He then stated that you need to do the above, then come back with a more descriptive diagnosis of the condition as it should now exist after the above corrective action is taken.

      You with nine posts need to take a break and get your feelings in check.

      I don't know how many folks or times Ron has answered my and their questions in a concise manner.

      I have lost track of how many Newbies post questions and never mention car type or year, or a half asked question and we have to play 20 questions to get to the focal point of the problem.

      So check your Attitude at the Door. Or We can just ignore you.

      Thank you Ron for your assistance in my quests for answers to some perplexing at the time problems that I have had.


      Lets count on how many others will comment.
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    6. Member kamzcab86's Avatar
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      06-22-2011 09:18 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by dasdub89 View Post
      thank you for the first part of your post, but the second part was entirely unnecessary. If you are going to harass people on this forum you do not deserve to be apart of it. Try to be an adult next time.
      #1 He wasn't harassing you. He was being sarcastic, as many people, including myself, are around here. Seriously, as a tech yourself, would you not ask more detailed questions regarding a starting problem? If someone came to you and said, "My car won't start, what's the problem?" would you seek additional info or just start wasting time and your customer's money in an attempt at diagnosing a problem with several different paths of troubleshooting?

      #2 Ron's been around here since at least 2004, and has his own professional credentials that goes back decades.

      #3 I presume since you proudly proclaim to be a certified VW technician, you already have this is in your hot little hands:



      Now that that's out of the way, first, welcome to the topless world. Second, take a moment to answer Ron's question: "Describe, is this car a no crank, slow crank, cranks won't fire, cranks long time then fires, misfires then clears, never clears, low power, what?" Additionally, is it not starting only when cold, only when hot, temp doesn't matter?

      Providing the answer to ^those questions will help us all better troubleshoot what might be wrong.
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    7. Member cuppie's Avatar
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      06-23-2011 01:36 AM #7
      I'll second all of that.
      And, I'll agree, too, with the comments about the vagueness of the description. I'm a dealership tech, too (BMW) - and, I've been doing that for, oh, better than a decade. And, the complaint on the RO for your car, well, sucks. Bad advisor!
      I'm guessing, though, that this is an easily reproducible problem - but, you're there, we're not.


      Given that it's sat for >1 year, the first things I'd suggest would be draining the tank & disposing of the "fuel", and replacing the fuel filter.


      And, no, a 'bigger battery' won't cause any kind of starting issue (unless the cables are loose, of course. ) But, you already knew that, right?

      Oh, about the W7DTC spark plugs:
      While they might be NLA thru VW, they're not really NLA. Bosch still makes them - can get from Potters (parts4vws.com), AutohausAZ, or GAP. I think Moogie (Mk1Autohaus on eBay) might carry them, too.
      Last edited by cuppie; 06-23-2011 at 01:39 AM.
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    8. Member tolusina's Avatar
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      06-23-2011 03:09 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by cuppie View Post
      .....Oh, about the W7DTC spark plugs:
      While they might be NLA thru VW, they're not really NLA. Bosch still makes them - can get from Potters (parts4vws.com), AutohausAZ, or GAP. I think Moogie (Mk1Autohaus on eBay) might carry them, too.
      It's been probably three years since I've looked, at that time there were a few listings but no one actually had any.
      parts4vws does list them but with an incorrect photo.
      Searching GAP and autohausaz for a '92 Cabriolet doesn't find them at all, at Moogie's, all I could find were wire sets, kits of some sort, I didn't look in any further detail.
      I augured into the http://www.boschautoparts.com site for the same '92, again no joy.
      I did just get lots and lots of google hits on W7DTCs, didn't follow them through.

      I do often come across a recommendation for Bosch W7DSR plugs, I tried one set, found them unworkable and completely un-acceptable.

      The NGK recommendation for these cars is BP6ES, but that's a single electrode plug, a good replacement for Bosch W7DC plugs, but not so good to replace Bosch W7DTC triple electrode plugs.
      In my extensive experience, W7DCs last a bit longer (though they shouldn't really), W7DTCs just work better. I've seen marginal smog test failures pass with a switch to triple electrodes, no other changes, and I've seen it many many times.

      Somewhere, on an NGK cross reference page, I found the W7DTC = BP6ET, both triple electrode plugs. I've been running BP6ET exclusively for about 100k miles now and find no noticeable difference between W7DTC and BP6ET.

      I am one of those that pretty firmly believes in using the O.E. spark plugs that the engineers uses when developing the engine(s) on the dyno. For Euro makes, that usually means Bosch, Asian cars usually come with NGK or Denso.
      Best I can tell though, Bosch has left us Cabby owners in a lurch with no exact replacement plug available anymore, Bosch has forced me to NGK, at least for my Cabby.

      If you can get W7DTCs in your hand, by all means use them. Steer clear of W7DSRs and all that platinum and iridium bull, it's marketing only as far as these cars go.
      vwvortex search is weak. Instead, type search terms site:http://forums.vwvortex.com into the google search box.
      Quote Originally Posted by kamzcab86
      I hate reading: "But I bought this car for $500 and don't want to put another dime into it."
      ____(hey, it's VW AND it's electrical, what's not to fail?) neoBentley+

    9. Member ysots1's Avatar
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      06-23-2011 04:07 AM #9
      I have been a member here since 2001 and I usually only post when i have a problem or i can help someone with a problem, but feel i needed to comment on this. I have learned over the years that since we don't talk face to face that being as detailed as possible is the best way to get resolution. These guys here on the cabriolet forums are top notch and have gotten me out of many jams over the years. Please Just keep in mind that these guys provide FREE help because they share a love for Volkswagen's not because their getting paid to. Bottom line is ask questions all you want just be clear in what you are asking so time is not wasted.

      Thanks Again,
      jay
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      1993 Cabriolet
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    10. Member
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      06-23-2011 10:09 PM #10
      Sorry to all, specifically Ron. The comment caught me the wrong way on a bad day. I apologize. Anyway the car cranks, but does not fire. the distributor is fine, all wires have an active spark, the contact points in the cap are fine as well. The temp makes no difference when attempting to start it. It'll sit there and crank all day, just doesnt turn over. Whats the best way to flush the fuel system without making a huge mess?? I know it'll be a mess regardless, just dont want to have to clean up 5 gallons or more of old fuel. Thanks all for the help and sorry for the earlier comment.

    11. Member cuppie's Avatar
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      06-23-2011 11:07 PM #11
      Assuming that the fuel pumps are operational, I would:
      Go under the car, disconnect the main pump. Remove the inlet hose from there, and route (with additional hose & connector as needed) into a suitable container.
      Remove fuel pump relay, install jumper between 30 and 87 pins (the two large ones.) Turn car on. Let transfer pump empty the tank. Keep an eye on it - you don't want to run the thing dry for more than a couple seconds (can damage transfer pump.)

      I wouldn't worry about flushing the rest of the system -just empty the tank.
      Put everything back together, fill w/ fresh fuel, and replace fuel filter.


      Oh, about the plugs beingt discontinued: I was thinking about a different plug - sorry, all; I was thinking about the F7DTC (used on the PL and 9A (16v) engines), which is still readliy available.
      But! I'm fairly certain that it's identical to the W7DTC, save for the hex (the F plug has a 5/8" hex.)
      If anyone with W7DTC plugs wants to throw out some measurements (notated on a pic would be great), I'll pull a plug from Wilda, and compare mine to yours.
      But, given that the only difference is the W vs F (W=14mm thread; F=14mm thread (5/8" hex), I'd say "interchangeable."
      Reference: http://www.not2fast.com/ignition/bos...lugs_short.gif
      http://www.boschautoparts.com/Techni...onCodes_10.pdf

      The Bosch pdf has some quite exacting specs listed in it - from the looks of things, they're identical but for the hex (5/8" vs 3/4".)
      And, FWIW, I do seem to recall running the F7DTC plugs on my Golf GT (1.8 8v, RD engine.)
      Last edited by cuppie; 06-23-2011 at 11:11 PM.
      - Cup
      '88 Scirocco 16v, 'tastefully' modified.
      Click here for my Cincy pics
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    12. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      06-24-2011 12:28 AM #12
      I ran across some chinese sellers that still offer the W7DTC.

      Whether or not they are genuine is up for debate.

      Found this on ebay.

      http://www.ebay.com/ctg/75988256?_imid=230636063390

      and this

      http://www.ipmart.com/main/product/B...hp?prod=123201

      http://www.asia.ru/en/ProductInfo/887116.html
      Last edited by CajunSpike; 06-24-2011 at 12:37 AM.

    13. Member kamzcab86's Avatar
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      06-24-2011 12:38 AM #13
      Auto parts store clerk: "I wouldn't put Bosch plugs in my lawnmower!!" Truer words never spoken. NGK > Bosch
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    14. Member Chev2dub's Avatar
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      06-24-2011 12:57 AM #14
      Id do what cuppie suggests. CIS seems Elaborate. its a lot less complicated then you think. Once u find if the pumps are working Then Test the pressure. at the fuel distributor it should be around 80+ psi or more i cant remember the exact amount but its pretty high. Then replace the fuel filter. thats a good place to start but certainly bad gas is bad. GL to ya let me know how it ends out

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