Here we go again. 1980 Vanagon, stock, California - Parasites

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cegammel
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Here we go again. 1980 Vanagon, stock, California - Parasites

Post by cegammel » Fri May 12, 2017 4:55 pm

I'm back in the market for help. Skip to the questions at the bottom when you get bored...

Van has 12,100 miles on a rebuilt engine. Since installing the engine (my first experience with this vehicle, or any VW, for that matter), I've had a slow start scenario: Turn key, WOM-WOM-WOM-WOM; turn key off. Turn key, WOM, WOM, WOM, WOM, cough; turn key off. Turn key, WOMVROOM. Engine fires up. It consistently takes three key turns on warm mornings, 3 times that below 50* ambient. Once the engine is warm, it fires up like a brand new car. Also since installing the engine, I've had a parasitic draw of about 60 mA. I assumed that was mostly the fancy radio I stuck in. Radio pulls 30mA. So, to combat the problem of an even more sluggish start after a week of not running the van, I installed a float charger under the sink; I figured that it was a good idea for camping anyway.

Ok, fast-forward 3 years. The starting was getting slower; the battery indicator lights were staying yellow, even with the float charger hooked up in the garage. So, I installed a Bosch hot start relay. The starter was spinning faster, but still the same 3 or more key turn protocol. Everything worked ok for about 3 weeks, but with a constant parasitic draw. So, I start digging around: leave radio unhooked. Determine that draw is occuring in the red wire off the positive terminal of the battery, and before the fuse box. Radio is on this line. Something else must be as well... So, I can't figure out where my additional 30mA pull is coming from.

Then today: Van starts as per its normal. Drive to work. Park all day. Try to start. I get one WOM-WOM-WOM-Cough. Then, nothing. I checked the inline fuse on the Bosch relay first; it is blown. Disconnect the relay, plug the ignition wire back into the starter; Van starts up and runs fine.

So...Sorry for the long drawn out account...

What would blow that fuse? Where do I start looking?
What am I missing in my parasitic draw hunt?
Are these things logically connected? They don't look to be in the wiring diagram...

Also, my VDO CHT gauge has stopped being even remotely accurate, but it is consistently 100 degrees lower than it was before the malfunction. So consistent, but wrong (confirmed with a IR thermometer). Ideas for repair are appreciated...

Thanks for the help!

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Re: Here we go again. 1980 Vanagon, stock, California - Parasites

Post by cegammel » Fri May 12, 2017 4:57 pm

I forgot my alternator woes: Last weekend, alternator shows 13.65 volts at the battery. Mid week, alternator shows 13.1 volts. I replaced the regulator with a spare used unit. Back to 13.65 volts. This may be sleuthingly pertinent...

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Re: Here we go again. 1980 Vanagon, stock, California - Parasites

Post by Amskeptic » Fri May 12, 2017 6:39 pm

cegammel wrote:
Fri May 12, 2017 4:57 pm
I forgot my alternator woes: Last weekend, alternator shows 13.65 volts at the battery. Mid week, alternator shows 13.1 volts. I replaced the regulator with a spare used unit. Back to 13.65 volts. This may be sleuthingly pertinent...


Disconnect alternator B+ wire and voltage regulator plug. Check for parasite.
Yes? Keep looking elsewhere.
No? Alternator issue. See below.

Plug in voltage regulator. Check for parasite now.
Yes? An excitor diode is likely blown.
No? See below

Reconnect B+ wire. Check for parasite now.
Yes? Main diode is likely blown

Do a full charge on battery before suspecting anything else as far as weird starting behavior.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .110,350 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,775 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . 72,350 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,478 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 64,425 miles

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Re: Here we go again. 1980 Vanagon, stock, California - Parasites

Post by cegammel » Sat May 20, 2017 7:47 am

Alternator checks oit. Battery is charging now, so I'll be back at in a few hours. Any ideas on the blown fuse?

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Re: Here we go again. 1980 Vanagon, stock, California - Parasites

Post by Amskeptic » Sun May 21, 2017 6:51 am

cegammel wrote:
Sat May 20, 2017 7:47 am
Alternator checks oit. Battery is charging now, so I'll be back at in a few hours. Any ideas on the blown fuse?
What does "alternator checks out" mean? No change in parasitic draw with B+ and the plug removed?
Fuse can blow if starter is an amperage eater as it consumes vast quantities of electrons yet barely seems to spin the engine over.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .110,350 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,775 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . 72,350 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,478 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 64,425 miles

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Re: Here we go again. 1980 Vanagon, stock, California - Parasites

Post by cegammel » Sun May 21, 2017 4:49 pm

Right-o. Alternator indicates no parastic draw for B+, D+, or voltage regulator. The starter is realtively new, though O'reilley store brand junk. Interestingly, I took my old Bosch starter in to the local rebuild guy. He says there's nothing wrong with it...but it damned sure won't spin my engine.

For anyone who previously assumed me a DA, I have now removed all doubt.

Charged the battery all day yesterday, it was showing 12.87 volts. Get home today, unplug the camper package fuse, and voila! There's my extra 30 mA draw. So, radio at 30, plus the camper stuff at 30 = dead battery in 4 or 5 days. After I unhook the camper fuse, I hit the key for the first time since Tuesday. VROOM. Van roars immediately to life. Then dies. I try again: VROOM. Dead.

Guess who left the air cleaner assembly lying on top of the engine and the alternator B+ wires unhooked...

Everything plugged back up, van roars to life, runs like a champ.

I still have some issues somewhere. I do wonder if that off brand starter is just no good, and coupled with a 4 year old battery is just not up to the job. I guess that would also explain my blown fuse and slow ignition.

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Re: Here we go again. 1980 Vanagon, stock, California - Parasites

Post by Amskeptic » Sun May 21, 2017 7:58 pm

cegammel wrote:
Sun May 21, 2017 4:49 pm

For anyone who previously assumed me a DA, I have now removed all doubt.

Guess who left the air cleaner assembly lying on top of the engine and the alternator B+ wires unhooked...


Welcome to the august DA fraternity.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .110,350 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,775 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . 72,350 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,478 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 64,425 miles

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Re: Here we go again. 1980 Vanagon, stock, California - Parasites

Post by cegammel » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:18 pm

Unhooking the radio and replacing the Bosch German with Mexican Solenoid NAPA starter with a new Bosch German with Godonlyknowswhose Solenoid seem to have done the trick...for now.

In other news, took the bug for a run. Stopped for gas. Had a flat. Clutch cable snapped. Wife had to pull me home. She was angry. I ordered the new cable. Tried to install it. Removing the old one was terrible. The Bowden tube was just abysmal, so ordered a new one. New one is more than half an inch shorter than the old one. The 2281mm clutch cable measured in at 2289mm...That combination means no-can-adjust clutch...so, I have now ordered a 2268mm clutch cable.
This dang car has an 11/73 build date. Apparently, VW just threw whatever was lying around in and called it good. I have come across several issues with parts that changed from the 73 to 74 models...including the clutch cable...and muffler.

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Re: Here we go again. 1980 Vanagon, stock, California - Parasites

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:58 am

cegammel wrote:
Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:18 pm
Unhooking the radio and replacing the Bosch German with Mexican Solenoid NAPA starter with a new Bosch German with Godonlyknowswhose Solenoid seem to have done the trick...for now.

In other news, took the bug for a run. Stopped for gas. Had a flat. Clutch cable snapped. Wife had to pull me home. She was angry. I ordered the new cable. Tried to install it. Removing the old one was terrible. The Bowden tube was just abysmal, so ordered a new one. New one is more than half an inch shorter than the old one. The 2281mm clutch cable measured in at 2289mm...That combination means no-can-adjust clutch...so, I have now ordered a 2268mm clutch cable.
This dang car has an 11/73 build date. Apparently, VW just threw whatever was lying around in and called it good. I have come across several issues with parts that changed from the 73 to 74 models...including the clutch cable...and muffler.

The California emissions requirements also threw the inventory askance. California bugs had that dual heater riser set-up in 1974. Sorry about your continuing sagas. Are these clutch cables properly listed on the vendors' websites?
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .110,350 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,775 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . 72,350 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,478 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 64,425 miles

cegammel
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Re: Here we go again. 1980 Vanagon, stock, California - Parasites

Post by cegammel » Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:42 pm

Yep. They were very specific about the change, which officially occurred in April of 74. I am disappointed in the short Bowden tube. That seems like an easy thing to get right. Mine was from Poland...I don't remember the brand.

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Re: Here we go again. 1980 Vanagon, stock, California - Parasites

Post by cegammel » Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:05 pm

Vanagon Alternator question:
I purchased a new knock-off alternator for my Vanagon. The old one is putting out 13.6 volts, and the idiot lights are on until I rev the engine, so it's about time, I guess.

Anywho, the new alternator shaft is significantly shorter than the shaft on the old unit... so short that I am unable to put all the 'stuff' required on the new alternator. Annoyingly, it also did not come with a new Woodruff key...

From perusing the Bentley pictures, there was a change for the 82 model year (which my engine is from...) to a 90 amp alternator. The 82 also alternator seems to have a shorter shaft and different pulley set up. So, here's my issue: I have the pulley set up from the 82 picture in Bentley, but it seems I have the stator shaft from the pre-82 alternator...So, how do I rectify this thing?

Can I pull the shaft from the old alternator, install it in the new one and have improved performance? My new one is not the 90 amp, by the way. It tested at 66 amps at 3000 rpms, 77 at 6000. Can I put a 90 amp on this van? Would that help with my dead battery issue?

Thanks for all your help! These vehicles would be far more troublesome without your assistance!

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Re: Here we go again. 1980 Vanagon, stock, California - Parasites

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:16 pm

cegammel wrote:
Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:05 pm
Vanagon Alternator question:
I purchased a new knock-off alternator for my Vanagon. The old one is putting out 13.6 volts, and the idiot lights are on until I rev the engine, so it's about time, I guess.

Anywho, the new alternator shaft is significantly shorter than the shaft on the old unit... so short that I am unable to put all the 'stuff' required on the new alternator. Annoyingly, it also did not come with a new Woodruff key...

From perusing the Bentley pictures, there was a change for the 82 model year (which my engine is from...) to a 90 amp alternator. The 82 also alternator seems to have a shorter shaft and different pulley set up. So, here's my issue: I have the pulley set up from the 82 picture in Bentley, but it seems I have the stator shaft from the pre-82 alternator...So, how do I rectify this thing?

Can I pull the shaft from the old alternator, install it in the new one and have improved performance? My new one is not the 90 amp, by the way. It tested at 66 amps at 3000 rpms, 77 at 6000. Can I put a 90 amp on this van? Would that help with my dead battery issue?

Thanks for all your help! These vehicles would be far more troublesome without your assistance!
Do you need the longer shaft to run the heater squirrel cage? Talk to your alternator supplier. If it is wrong, it is wrong. I would have your original rebuilt by a good local electrical shop who has talked with you face to face.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .110,350 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,775 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . 72,350 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,478 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 64,425 miles

cegammel
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Re: Here we go again. 1980 Vanagon, stock, California - Parasites

Post by cegammel » Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:27 am

I took the old one in to be rebuilt, but the local guy says it is in perfect shape...and it may be. With my headlights on, it doesn't put out enough juice to turn the camper battery indicator green...but i haven't checked the actual voltage with the lights on.

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Re: Here we go again. 1980 Vanagon, stock, California - Parasites

Post by SlowLane » Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:41 am

cegammel wrote:
Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:05 pm
Vanagon Alternator question:
From perusing the Bentley pictures, there was a change for the 82 model year (which my engine is from...) to a 90 amp alternator. The 82 also alternator seems to have a shorter shaft and different pulley set up.
Would you be willing to share the page number in Bentley where you saw this 90 A alternator? I remember back when I was researching alternator "upgrades" that I couldn't find any reference to such a beast.

The aircooled Vanagon alternator has a comparatively small body diameter. Later, higher-current, Bosch alternators all had a larger diameter body that just wouldn't fit in the space available.

In my searching, I did come across this custom-built high-current jobbie, but $270 was a bit rich for my tastes, given that I wasn't driving any more than the stock load.

I also found a diagram of a factory second alternator mounting at one of the ETKA sites. Was probably spec'd for ambulances and other service vehicles. Would make for an interesting conversation piece when lifting the hatch...
'81 Canadian Westfalia (2.0L, manual), now Californiated

"Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom."
- Terry Pratchett

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Re: Here we go again. 1980 Vanagon, stock, California - Parasites

Post by cegammel » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:47 pm

27.17...Looks to be a totally different mounting setup, but the pulley looks like mine. 27.16 has the 45 and 65 amp models, and the pulley pictured is a one piece...

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