Frustrated (maybe in over my head) and the car doesn't start

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Frustrated (maybe in over my head) and the car doesn't start

Post by Jim Baker on Sat Apr 30, 2011 4:57 pm

Hi,

After making the mistake of taking the engine out of my 76 fuel injected bug over 10 years ago, I finally decided it was time to get it running again. Since the car sat so long outside all the labels on the many wires have come off. I had new exhaust valves put in, replaced the cylinders and pistons, put it all back together again and into the car. Most of the wiring had plugs which were fairly easy to match to the correct socket, but there was one wire which I wasn't certain where it goes coming out of back of the car. Plus I wasn't certain if I got the wires correct on the coil.

I tried to start the car and nothing happened. The starter made no sound or turned over. Back when this car was running, just before it started you could hear the fuel pump kick in, which it is not doing right now. The headlights, horn, radio, flashers, gen and oil warning lights all come on and work. I checked the starter/solenoid wires and they are connected, although there is only two, one attached to the bolt on the solenoid which goes directly to the positive terminal on the battery and the other is a spade slide on connector which feeds into a hole that goes under the rear driverside seat and goes into a cluster which appears to go to the front of the car. I am at a loss. Any suggestions? Or does anyone know someone who might be able to fix this cheaply.

Jim
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Re: Frustrated (maybe in over my head) and the car doesn't start

Post by bumblebuggy on Sun May 01, 2011 6:47 am

Sounds like something simple is messed up. I'd start with the fuses and making sure the coil is connected properly. Could be your solenoid is crapping out. Try tapping the starter with a hammer. Sometimes that'll make it kick in.
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Re: Frustrated (maybe in over my head) and the car doesn't start

Post by Jim Baker on Sun May 01, 2011 4:43 pm

Thank you, Yeah I checked all the fuses under the dash, not sure I have the correct wires in the correct places on the coil. I did tap the solenoid, didn't even hear a click. Would incorrect wires on the coil keep the starter from not starting? I appreciate your comments.

Jim
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Re: Frustrated (maybe in over my head) and the car doesn't start

Post by buggin70 on Sun May 01, 2011 5:23 pm

have someone bang on the starter while u try to start it

i had a bad starter and thats the only way my car would start for a while
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Re: Frustrated (maybe in over my head) and the car doesn't start

Post by fluxcap on Sun May 01, 2011 6:22 pm

Jim Baker wrote: Would incorrect wires on the coil keep the starter from not starting?
Jim

I don't think so. The starter is kind of on it's own circuit. I don't know much about the 70's wiring (a lot more electrical items than on the 60's models) but the starter wiring is usually pretty basic. You said you have the big wire from the battery to the big post on the starter. You also have a smaller wire that connects to a terminal on the starter. This wire should be going back to the ignition switch. I'd pull that small wire off the starter and put a test light on it. Have somebody turn the key to crank it, and see if your test light lights up. If it lights up, I'd suspect the starter or solenoid. If it doesn't light up, you are not getting power from the ignition switch.

You can also try the old screwdriver trick and jump power from the big terminal to the little terminal, this will simulate starting (BE SURE TO HAVE THE CAR IN NEUTRAL OR THE REAR WHEELS OFF THE GROUND).

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Re: Frustrated (maybe in over my head) and the car doesn't start

Post by Jim Baker on Sun May 01, 2011 7:27 pm

Thank you, good suggestion about test light. Since the big wire goes directly to the positive side of the battery, does this mean the smaller wire is a negative wire or is it another positive wire and the whole assembly is grounded by the car? Thanks again. I get this thing running I would love to start showing up at some of the meets. Car is not in great shape, but still an enjoyable driver.
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Re: Frustrated (maybe in over my head) and the car doesn't start

Post by fluxcap on Sun May 01, 2011 8:14 pm

The whole assembly is grounded by mounting it to the transmission.
The small wire is another positive wire. The fat 12v wire from the battery is connected to the solenoid but the circuit between the solenoid and starter is normally open. When you turn the key, a small 12v signal is sent to the solenoid which then closes the circuit between the solenoid and the starter and the large 12v supply from the battery then flows to the starter and lets it crank. It works like this because the starter requires a LOT of current flow.

We'd like to have you back out, been a long time since we've seen you.

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Re: Frustrated (maybe in over my head) and the car doesn't start

Post by Jim Baker on Mon May 02, 2011 6:29 pm

Thanks for your help! My previous job kept me from coming out on Saturdays, plus the teal bug is my son's and he didn't want to drive the SUV so it was a little difficult to meet with you guys. The couple of times that I did, it was GREAT. Hopefully soon I'll get this convertible running again. My fear is, once I get the starter working, I may find difficulties with the injection system, at which point I'll have to swap out to a carb system.

Hope to see you soon!
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Re: Frustrated (maybe in over my head) and the car doesn't start

Post by vw57drvr on Wed May 04, 2011 4:48 pm

Also, if you turn the ignition switch to the start positition, and the starter is hung, your lights on the dash will dim due to the draw of the starter. If your warning lights dont dim at all, you arent getting power to the starter.
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