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    VWVortex


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    Thread: 89 fox starts... sometimes...

    1. 08-22-2012 06:29 PM #1
      My fox starts sometimes. I've repaced ignition coil, ignition rotor, distributor cap, plugs, wires, and can smell fuel when trying to turn it over. Does anyone have any ideas? I greatly appreciate any help you guys can provide.

    2. Member
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      08-22-2012 08:51 PM #2
      What happens when it doesn't start? Does it just turn turn turn? Does it start then die?
      Does it turn over at all? Need more info, then we shall see......

    3. 08-22-2012 09:18 PM #3
      It continuously turns, and will fire once or twice. I am getting spark to the plugs forgot to put that in the first part.

    4. 08-22-2012 09:20 PM #4
      Oh and when it starts it runs great.

    5. Member
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      08-22-2012 09:47 PM #5
      Here are 2 things that happened to me lately on 2 different cis cars......

      1) replaced the worn cooper plugs on one car with platinum plugs, ran fine for a while.
      then it started not starting cold. Turned out the platinum plugs were getting wet with the cold start fuel enrichment, so it was basically flooding/ banged in a set of new coopers, starts every time now.

      2) on my own car, an 88 Fox, it would start half of the time, but sometimes not. I could smell fuel, but apparently it was not enough fuel for it to start.
      In this case it was the in tank fuel pump that was dying. I replaced that, and no more trouble/

      In your case, I'm getting the sense that it is somehow a fuel issue.

      Oh and do you have a Bentlys yet? Great read lotsa help in there!

    6. Member kerensky's Avatar
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      08-22-2012 11:40 PM #6
      Sounds like low compression. Do a compression test. If you come up under 75 PSI, time for a rebuild.

      When my sedan finally quit running, compression was 25 PSI in two cylinders.

    7. 08-23-2012 10:32 PM #7
      I actually have 2 bentleys, and have been amazing for everything but this. The in tank fuel pump and tank it self were replaced when I got the car 2 years ago, I have new coper plug less than a year old and I don't think it's a compression issue because when it starts it runs great. I will try a compression test sometime in the next couple weeks and give you guys an update.

    8. Member kerensky's Avatar
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      08-24-2012 12:49 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by verlix View Post
      ...and I don't think it's a compression issue because when it starts it runs great. I will try a compression test sometime in the next couple weeks and give you guys an update.
      Trust me. My sedan ran well, too. Well, towards the end, it was down on power enough that I had trouble going up hills into a headwind - wouldn't maintain 70mph without downshifting. But aside from taking forever to start it ran surprisingly well. Until we had a snowstorm over Christmas and she sat in the driveway buried in snow for 5 days. Never started again. I took her to my mechanic, and he called me later and says "So, you're telling me this thing was *running*?!?!" Compression was 50 PSI in two cylinders and 25 PSI in the other two.

      I mean, I hope that in your case it is something simple - just saying that this sounds very familiar. Common failure mode for these 8V motors when they get north of 250K miles.

    9. 08-24-2012 01:10 PM #9
      Well if that is the case that just gives me a reason to pick up the 89 scirocco I've had my eye on.

    10. Member kerensky's Avatar
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      08-25-2012 02:11 AM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by verlix View Post
      Well if that is the case that just gives me a reason to pick up the 89 scirocco I've had my eye on.
      Enh, you can get a decent 8V real cheap - not like you have to spend thousands for a new engine. And hey, I *could* be wrong, just saying to check it.

      Of course, nothing wrong with Sciroccos either. Their forum here is the only other place I like to hang out, nice bunch of folks that don't turn their noses up at our lil' beasties like the MkIV forums do.

    11. 08-25-2012 10:26 PM #11
      I wouldn't get rid of my fox if I got the scirocco It would just become a play toy lol.

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      08-26-2012 01:21 PM #12
      If it's hard to get it to start but it runs great when it does start, the first thing I'd check is if the cold start valve is spraying fuel when you're cranking. Remove it from the intake manifold, and point it into a bottle; crank it for a couple of seconds and see if it sprayed any fuel.

      If it doesn't spray fuel, remove the electrical plug from it and try putting 12v directly to it to see if it's the valve itself. If it does work then, the chance is you have a bad thermo time switch, or wiring (plug at the starter missing, perhaps).

      Good luck

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