random stall/no start?

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random stall/no start?

Post by vwgirl on Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:11 pm

So my bus has been down for about a year due to a leaky tank. My husband and I replaced the tank last week and I drove it all week with very little trouble. By very little I mean that I drove it about 10 miles and then it randomly stalled on me and wouldn't start. I had a friend help me push the bus out of the roadway and I was going to try to see what the problem was, but it started just fine after we pushed it out of the way. I put another 75 miles on it and thought all was good that it was just a bad filter.

So last night I was driving from Chattanooga to Atlanta which is about a 100 mile drive, I made it about 25 miles and the bus lost power on the interstate. I immediately pulled over and shut everything down. I thought about what had happened before and thought perhaps it would start again. Sure enough it did.

So I get another 5 miles down the road and the same thing happens, only this time it wouldn't start back up. I ended up having it towed home as there was no way i could work on it where it was.

The bus is a stock 78 federal emission westy with all stock FI components less the EGR. Perhaps coincidence, but all three times this happened it was dark out so the lights were on if that makes a difference.

Today I changed the filter yet again and also added a clear filter coming out of the tank. We cut open the square stock filter afterward and found that there was really not much as far as debris inside it. I have pictures... but you'd get way more dirt off my parking brake handle than was in that filter. The new clear filter under the tank is showing me some clear gas. I have only driven it around the neighborhood since installing it, but since the old filter was as clean as it was I don't expect it to pick up much.

Also, when I was waiting for a tow last night I tried to start the bus probably a dozen times with no luck. AFTER replacing the filter today I tried about 6 times and it wouldn't start. Since it wouldn't start I rechecked that I had fuel pressure at the check point on the rail, rechecked my point gap and then went to check spark... when I had my husband start it for me to check the spark it started up on three cylinders.

Coincidence? Is something else really wrong here? Any ideas? I do not think that as little debris that was in the filter would cause it to stop up, unless there is something I am missing that is clogged.

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Re: random stall/no start?

Post by goatfarmer67 on Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:45 pm

i am not familiar with your vehicle at all,so this may not help any,but i worked on a old rabbit convertible for a friend of mine that suffered from the same symptoms.it was also a F/I car. it turned out to be the fuel pressure regulator.good luck

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Re: random stall/no start?

Post by vwgirl on Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:22 pm

is there a way to test the fuel pressure regulator? I replaced it 4 years ago when I went through the fuel system, just because it had been sitting for 10 years... I'd like to test everything if possible before throwing parts at it

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Re: random stall/no start?

Post by goatfarmer67 on Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:45 am

as far as i know,about the only thing you can do is a vacuum test on the vacuum side of the FPR.if you have one of those handy dandy little vacuum hand pumps.alternately,you can replace the vacuum hose with a piece of clear hose temporarily and see if is pulling fuel out the wrong side of the FPR.if you can get it to run for a few minutes.maybe someone else knows more about it and will chime in.
i have bought a FPR at advanced before for a BMW,and it went bad in about 7 mos.so, it can happen.good luck!

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Re: random stall/no start?

Post by vwgirl on Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:32 am

goatfarmer67 wrote:as far as i know,about the only thing you can do is a vacuum test on the vacuum side of the FPR.if you have one of those handy dandy little vacuum hand pumps.alternately,you can replace the vacuum hose with a piece of clear hose temporarily and see if is pulling fuel out the wrong side of the FPR.if you can get it to run for a few minutes.maybe someone else knows more about it and will chime in.
i have bought a FPR at advanced before for a BMW,and it went bad in about 7 mos.so, it can happen.good luck!

it runs most of the time... may be another 100 miles before it does this again

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Re: random stall/no start?

Post by 59suicide on Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:30 am

maybe you have some debris floating around in your fuel tank, and after a while it makes it way to the fuel line area and slows or even stops the flow of fuel, then when you shut the engine down whatever it is floats away and makes it way back round the fuel tank and does it again. Just a thought... this happened to me in my 4runner i had a while back... there was a snickers wrapper in the tank scratch
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Re: random stall/no start?

Post by vwgirl on Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:34 am

59suicide wrote:maybe you have some debris floating around in your fuel tank, and after a while it makes it way to the fuel line area and slows or even stops the flow of fuel, then when you shut the engine down whatever it is floats away and makes it way back round the fuel tank and does it again. Just a thought... this happened to me in my 4runner i had a while back... there was a snickers wrapper in the tank scratch

We ensured that there were no snicker wrappers or anything similar to such when we installed the tank... and my gas cap locks and I have the only key Smile

It is possible that there is some rust in the tank... though very little if any cause we cleaned it out and it wasn't very rusty to begin with...

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Re: random stall/no start?

Post by goatfarmer67 on Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:16 am

another thought,sometimes coil issues can cause that type of problem.
if you have a pic of your FPR so i can see what it looks like,i have a couple of spare ones.if i have one like yours you can have it.

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Re: random stall/no start?

Post by ASBug on Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:29 am

Ha Ha Ha - This is what happens when you take forever to reply.... just got beat to it....

VWGirl,
Have you thought of the Coil.
If it is old, sometimes the heat will cause them to loose conductivity as they expand. Then when they have cooled, they work again.
Just a thought. Also, did you ever get that tow hitch installed on your yellow type 3?
Thanks,
KC Very Happy
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Re: random stall/no start?

Post by vwgirl on Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:32 am

ASBug wrote:Ha Ha Ha - This is what happens when you take forever to reply.... just got beat to it....

VWGirl,
Have you thought of the Coil.
If it is old, sometimes the heat will cause them to loose conductivity as they expand. Then when they have cooled, they work again.
Just a thought. Also, did you ever get that tow hitch installed on your yellow type 3?
Thanks,
KC Very Happy


haven't tested the coil yet... really unsure of its age... or the spare coil in the bus... but it's not heat related whatever the issue is because it can happen when cold or hot.

and no, the hitch is still in my basement Crying or Very sad

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Re: random stall/no start?

Post by 59suicide on Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:04 pm

Do you have points or and electronic ignition?
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Re: random stall/no start?

Post by vwgirl on Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:44 am

59suicide wrote:Do you have points or and electronic ignition?

points...

I drove it 20 more miles yesterday with no issues... gas is still crystal clear

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Re: random stall/no start?

Post by bumblebuggy on Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:34 am

I'm thinking it sounds like the coil as well. Sometimes, when they get hot, they quit working.
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Re: random stall/no start?

Post by vwgirl on Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:36 am

bumblebuggy wrote:I'm thinking it sounds like the coil as well. Sometimes, when they get hot, they quit working.

doesn't matter if it's hot or cold and the coil tests out in spec...

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Re: random stall/no start?

Post by 69panel on Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:04 pm

vwgirl, could be trash in the injector or a bad injector. There is a place in Cumming that tests and cleans injectors. At this moment I can not remember the name or phone number but if you decide to get them tested and cleaned I'll chase it down for you. I believe he charges $45.00 for four injectors if you bring them to him.
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Re: random stall/no start?

Post by vwgirl on Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:11 pm

That sounds like a pretty good deal... i'd like his info if you can find it...

I really don't see how junk in the injector would cause this though... I mean it would have to cut out all of the injectors at once to cause this problem... I've personally run this bus on two cylinders (the first time i cranked it after it sat 10 years) so I know it can run on two!

got another 40 trouble free miles on it today! in the rain with the lights on... so...

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Re: random stall/no start?

Post by 69panel on Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:16 am

Fuel Injector Connection
770-888-1662

I looked and they raised their price to $66.95 for four injectors. Since you are local and they don't have to receive or ship through the mail or UPS it may be less. Call them they are very friendly.
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Re: random stall/no start?

Post by vwgirl on Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:10 pm

So after driving it around town all week it was still doing fine... We set out to go camping and got about a mile from the house and it died again... I checked my clear filter... still clear as can be... My husband was with me this time and it was daylight and go figure one of the few times this week it wasn't raining. I had enough momentum to get me past a lane of traffic and up a hill in to the firehouse parking lot... luckily in a spot that wasn't in the way. We checked for spark at the coil after ruling the fuel out... go figure, the coil i had tested as good was now giving no spark. So I swapped out the coil with the spare in the bus and we were on the road again.

When we got where we were going I told everyone what happened... so they of course wanted to check the coil out too... tested one side bad. Tested my other spare, good... tested the bad one again, and it was now good again too! crazy coil...

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Re: random stall/no start?

Post by goatfarmer67 on Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:05 pm

coils are funny that way Smile

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Re: random stall/no start?

Post by Bugman114 on Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:30 pm

yeah. some coils go out like that when they get hot. gotta love it Cool
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