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    Thread: Got fuel and air but no spark

    1. Member TheChanMan's Avatar
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      '04 GTi 1.8T, '90 G60
      04-11-2013 03:00 PM #1
      Guys, I am in need of some assistance. I've just acquired a '90 G60 with a rebuilt motor. Problem is it has no spark. The coil, distributor, rotor, cap, wires and plugs have been replaced. I have power from the battery and the number 15 fuse is good.

      I can't figure out which relay is the ignition coil relay.

      Besides that, everything seems to be fine. Anyone have suggestions?

    2. 04-11-2013 03:31 PM #2
      Digifant dead?

    3. Member TheChanMan's Avatar
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      '04 GTi 1.8T, '90 G60
      04-11-2013 03:56 PM #3
      Don't believe so. I have everything else as far as power goes. Is there a way to test? I'm new to this game.

    4. Member mateok's Avatar
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      90 G60 (since new) 93+VR 13 GTI
      04-11-2013 07:10 PM #4
      What exactly is happening when you turn the key? Does it crank and crank, or nothing happens?There's a few things that control the spark.

      Verify the ECU ground wire is secured to the (-) battery terminal. The other ground wire attached to it is for the radiator fan (also important).

      Next, verify you have 12V going to the ignition coil. Do that by removing the black wire going to terminal 15 of the coil. That goes to circuit 15 so, you'll need to turn the ignition to the "on" position before checking.

      Those are simple spade connectors that like to work themselves loose. I have mine taped to the coil to prevent that from happening.

      I'm unaware of a coil relay. Replacing the digifant control unit (ECU) relay is never a bad idea. I have a spare in the glovebox, less I have to walk home.
      The ignition switch is also a usual suspect. I don't want to send you in a million directions at once so, check power to the coil first.

    5. Member TheChanMan's Avatar
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      '04 GTi 1.8T, '90 G60
      04-11-2013 09:25 PM #5
      I will check this for sure. Thanks for the help.

      The motor will turn over, its just not getting spark from the ignition system at all. I have checked everything before the electrical but was unsure which direction to head first.

    6. Member mateok's Avatar
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      90 G60 (since new) 93+VR 13 GTI
      04-12-2013 06:26 AM #6
      If you have power to the coil, check the trigger function next.

    7. Member TheChanMan's Avatar
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      '04 GTi 1.8T, '90 G60
      04-12-2013 10:32 PM #7
      I have had time to check the relay and it seems to be ok. The hall sender unit only gives me a range from 2.25 to 3.36 volts. I'm starting to believe the digifant is dead. I'm still working to get the other tests done, just very minimal time to check today. Gotta say I am rather enjoying the puzzle game this car has given me so far.

    8. Member mateok's Avatar
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      90 G60 (since new) 93+VR 13 GTI
      04-13-2013 07:51 AM #8
      Those hall sender voltage numbers are troubling. Are you getting a test light flicker between 1 and 15 on the coil while cranking?

    9. Member TheChanMan's Avatar
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      '04 GTi 1.8T, '90 G60
      04-16-2013 10:22 AM #9
      Negative on the flicker. Finally found my test light.

    10. Member TheChanMan's Avatar
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      '04 GTi 1.8T, '90 G60
      04-18-2013 05:59 PM #10
      ok, so now I have replaced the relay and the digifant. I am getting constant power on the 1 and 15 terminals (test light staying on with key on). Now I am also getting 0 on the hall sender unit. I can't find any disconnection on the system. also there is still no spark from the ignition coil (which is new) to the distributor (using the arc method) I have been studying the Bentley and i cannot figure out which way to go next. Any thoughts?

    11. Member mateok's Avatar
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      90 G60 (since new) 93+VR 13 GTI
      04-19-2013 11:30 AM #11
      Well, the engine cannot operate without a Hall signal. The Hall sender is used to initiate the spark.
      I'm a little confused, you checked voltage across the two outside pins (power & ground) of the Hall harness with the ignition "on" and got 2.25 - 3.36 volts.
      If I understand, you've now installed another Digifant ECU and are getting 0 volts? You must have a minimum of 10V for the ECU to be functional.
      If you connect the test light between the center terminal (R/BK) and power (G/W), it should flicker when you attempt to start.

      Check conductivity for your Hall sender Wires. R/BK goes to pin 8 in the ECU connector and G/W to 18. Verify the ground (it's bundled with the other sensor wires attached to the side coolant flange) is good.
      The engine will never start without at least ten volts from the ECU to the Hall sender harness connector.

    12. Member TheChanMan's Avatar
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      '04 GTi 1.8T, '90 G60
      05-11-2013 09:10 PM #12
      haven't had much time to work on the C, but I have changed the ignition switch due to it failing. I still don't have voltage through the hall sender and oddly get constant power at the coil when turning on the ignition. I have swapped back to the old digi and get the same results. Either I have 2 bad digi's or something has been wired backwards.

      I am beginning to think an engine pull might be in order. After close examination I have found several dry rotted hosed and LOTS of cracked wiring. Also coming across a few loosely placed important nuts and bolts. I figured the best way to solution the problem is a rebuild so I can check all torque specs. So a build thread my be in my near future. Wish me luck guys and thanks for the knowledge.

    13. Member mateok's Avatar
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      90 G60 (since new) 93+VR 13 GTI
      05-12-2013 01:08 PM #13
      It wouldn't be a shocker if you had two bad ECU's. VW stopped selling new one's almost five years ago. Most out there now have been torn open, chipped, torn back open, re- chipped, de-chipped, etc. How many of us still use 25 year old computers?

      No signal from the Hall Sender is usually the death nail for an ECU. You still have to check the entire circuit, however.

      Use a multimeter set to conductivity. The G/W wire goes to pin 18 of the ECU. The R/BK to pin 8, and BR/W to pin 6 & coolant flange ground point (if it hasn't been moved).

    14. 05-31-2013 02:25 PM #14
      Hey there,

      I have same problem. In my case car was out of order due painting. After 5 months I've mounted engine back and there is no spark at all. Till last day dof use there was no problems with spark at all. I have checked coil, hall sender chceked wiring and grounds. Everything seems to be fine. Ground in ECU is on the pins: 1, 2, 12, 18. I have more than 10V between 1 & 3 pins in hall sender. Resistance of coil is also good.

      One thing is strange:


      I have noticed i have only one wire going to the coil. In bentley I can see two. Where should go the other one?

    15. 05-31-2013 04:00 PM #15
      I have replaced Digifant unit from working car with no effect. Still no spark. Unit with same numbers, so reason is somewhere else....

    16. Member mateok's Avatar
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      90 G60 (since new) 93+VR 13 GTI
      06-01-2013 06:05 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by xxMAXIMxx View Post
      I have noticed i have only one wire going to the coil. In bentley I can see two. Where should go the other one?
      I hope you're not looking for the other wire, there isn't one. It's always best to verify with the wiring diagram and physically check the existing wires on the car before believing a drawing. The Bentley is riddled with small inaccuracies like the one you found.

    17. 06-01-2013 09:08 AM #17
      Allright, got it.

      Anyway, still there is no spark... I have replaced ecu relay also. I have no more ideas...

      You have written something about ignition switch before. Anything more about it because I don't know how to check it.

    18. Member TheChanMan's Avatar
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      06-02-2013 10:38 AM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by xxMAXIMxx View Post
      Allright, got it.

      Anyway, still there is no spark... I have replaced ecu relay also. I have no more ideas...

      You have written something about ignition switch before. Anything more about it because I don't know how to check it.
      Ironically my ignition switch went out completely during my trouble shooting and I have replaced it. It did not solve my issue. I believe that I may have a short from the previous owner not wiring things correctly. I am finding way to many breaks and connectors becoming hot. Although my problems may be completely different from yours, I am eager to see what results you come across.

    19. Member mateok's Avatar
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      06-03-2013 11:34 AM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by xxMAXIMxx View Post
      Allright, got it.

      Anyway, still there is no spark... I have replaced ecu relay also. I have no more ideas...

      You have written something about ignition switch before. Anything more about it because I don't know how to check it.
      You're saying the car ran fine before you took it apart for paint? Now that you've reassembled it, you have a no start condition?

      That scenario is almost always caused by operator error. In other words, you've missed, overlooked or damaged something putting it back together. I get paid to do this and still manage to make mistakes. It's human nature to err, no big deal.

      Start with the very basics and systematically move through the repair groups. How have you determined you're not getting spark, in line tester?

      I'm not following you with the ECU grounds 1, 2, 12, and 18. Pin 1 goes to circuit 50 (the polar opposite of a ground). Pin 2 is the signal wire for the oxygen sensor (not a ground). Pin 12 is the ground for the injectors (correct). Pin 18 is a signal wire for the Hall Sender (not a ground). Pins: 5, 6, 7, and 12 are the grounds for the ECU.

      I also don't get how your Hall Sender and coil can check out and you're not getting spark. If that's the case, your plug wires or distributor cap is faulty.
      Last edited by mateok; 06-03-2013 at 11:53 AM.

    20. 06-03-2013 01:40 PM #20
      I also don't get how your Hall Sender and coil can check out and you're not getting spark. If that's the case, your plug wires or distributor cap is faulty.
      Well, I have checked resistances of coil with bentley, also replaced it once. I did replace hall sender and ECU too. ECU that I had for a while is 100% efficient, because it ran other car few minutes later.

      I did one more thing. I have connected manually ground to middle pin in the hall sender plug. Spark apeared and it means wiring is fine too. I have to check the ECU ground once more paying attention what pins am I touching - as you written.

      Anyway I'm near deadline now. Biggest VW meeting in Poland happiens this weekend and my car is still dead...

    21. 06-06-2013 01:25 AM #21
      Problem solved.

      I was missing one ground connenction, the one which is going with lambda probe cables.

    22. Member TheChanMan's Avatar
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      '04 GTi 1.8T, '90 G60
      06-06-2013 12:43 PM #22
      Nice

    23. Member mateok's Avatar
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      90 G60 (since new) 93+VR 13 GTI
      06-06-2013 01:23 PM #23
      Nice work
      It's usually something small that was overlooked.

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      06-07-2013 02:37 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by xxMAXIMxx View Post
      Problem solved.

      I was missing one ground connenction, the one which is going with lambda probe cables.
      Is that the ground at the Lambda probe plug at the rear engine mount?

    25. 06-08-2013 03:13 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by DigiMatrix View Post
      Is that the ground at the Lambda probe plug at the rear engine mount?
      Yes, this one.

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