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    Thread: Bought an 89 Fox for $500. It's got gremlins. Help?

    1. 08-01-2012 02:56 PM #1
      89 Fox, 1.8L, 4 speed manual. More or less all stock.

      I bought this car for a friend of mine who needed a hand up. He's a bit more mechanically inclined than myself, so bear with me.

      When I bought it, I drove across town, probably 20 miles. It ran well enough on the interstate, but once I got off and stopped at a traffic light, it sputtered out and refused to start again. It would start and run at about 300 RPM, very very rough, before it would just sputter out. The seller said the fuel pump is on its last leg, and included a new one. So we replaced the fuel filter and fuel pump and encountered the same problem. It'll run okay when it's cold, but as soon as it warmed up, it would stall out at idle. It will not start when warm.

      Also, when you get it up to speed and let off the gas (Say I'm doing 25 in 2nd gear, and I let off the gas and push the clutch in) the motor will stall out. It'll go from ~3000 RPM to nil instead of idling. Pretty much any time you rev the engine and let off the gas, it will stall or just barely recover.

      Another problem is while accelerating, when I shift into second, it will sputter for about 15 seconds. It'll maintain speed, but not accelerate. Once it is done sputtering, it'll pony up and accelerate normally. This is remedied if you reeeeally baby the throttle.

      Last night, we replaced the spark plugs and rotor and it seems to be running a bit better. It will hold idle a bit better, but will still stall when the motor has been revved. It will also begrudgingly start while it's warm, it just takes a bit of finesse.

      So if you've had any similar problems, how did you fix them? Any pros have an idea how to remedy these problems?

      I know I'm a noob and this is my first post and I shoulda searched and yada yada. I know, but my friend has been stalling for 2 weeks. I ask him if he's found out what's the matter every day. He hasn't made much progress and he refuses to post up for fear of being called a noob and laughed off the forum. I would really, really appreciate some advice.
      Last edited by jmanpc; 08-01-2012 at 02:58 PM.

    2. Member
      Join Date
      Apr 16th, 2006
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      90 fox, 85 gli
      08-01-2012 04:20 PM #2
      Sounds like a lean condition. It's getting enough enrichment when cold.

      Fix those vacuum leaks.

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?3070507
      I really suck at smog.

    3. Member voxwagen88's Avatar
      Join Date
      Dec 8th, 2001
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      North Vancouver
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      1,726
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      1988 Fox Wagon ...................... 1990 Fox Wagon
      08-01-2012 10:49 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by jmanpc View Post
      and he refuses to post up for fear of being called a noob and laughed off the forum.
      It is pretty rare that folks receive that sort of welcome in this corner of the vortex...
      We like to think we like to help each other keep these VW rarities running.

      You should really get a copy of the Bently Manual for the Fox.
      It helps a lot with diagnosis of symptoms afflicting aging Foxes.

      Here is the CIS-e Troubleshooting guide from the book...





      Hope that helps.
      And welcome to the Forum.

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