Starter / Solenoid Issue

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vwlover77
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Starter / Solenoid Issue

Post by vwlover77 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:52 am

The starter in my 78 Bus had the classic "hot start" problem (turn the key and nothing when heat-soaked), so I installed a hot-start relay over a year ago and have had no problems - until yesterday.

After a ten-minute drive (from cold), I tried to restart the Bus and got a small click and then nothing. I found the hot-start relay 20A fuse blown. (The fuse is in the circuit from + to the relay to the solenoid.) I replaced the fuse and it immediately blows when I try to engage the starter.

Should I replace the entire starter, or maybe just the solenoid is the issue?

Thanks,
Don

---------------------------
78 Westy
71 Super Beetle Convertible Autostick

"When we let our compassion go, we let go of whatever claim we have to the divine." - Bruce Springsteen

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sgkent
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Re: Starter / Solenoid Issue

Post by sgkent » Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:37 pm

pull the spade lug off the starter solenoid, replace the fuse and try again. if the fuse stops blowing the issue is somewhere in the starter or fuel pump circuit if you have an FI bus. If the fuse still blows the problem is likely one of the wires you put in between the fuse and relay, or relay and starter has either chaffed thru and is shorting out, or the relay itself has shorted out / full of water.

You can also put a new fuse in and pull the relay then try again. If it blows it is between the ignition switch and relay. If not you can eliminate checking wiring between the switch and relay but not the relay itself.
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Amskeptic
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Re: Starter / Solenoid Issue

Post by Amskeptic » Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:41 pm

Same As Above + be alert to the condition of the current hot start relay. It is the weak link, and as SG Kent noted, it can suffer from road splash. You can quickly determine if the starter is OK by shorting #50 to #30 down there with a screwdriver or small adjustable wrench, transmission in neutral please. If it clicks and engages the starter, your hot start relay is the culprit here. If you determine that the hot start relay is good and the starter solenoid has given it up, go for the gear reduction starter.
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .110,350 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,775 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . 73,930 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,478 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 64,428 miles

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wcfvw69
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Re: Starter / Solenoid Issue

Post by wcfvw69 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:41 pm

What condition are you battery cables? How's the ground strap between the trans and frame? Have the cables/wires been cleaned at the starter recently?
1970 Westfalia bus. Stock 1776 dual port type 1 engine. Restored German Solex 34-3. Restored 205Q distributor, restored to factory appearance engine.

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vwlover77
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Re: Starter / Solenoid Issue

Post by vwlover77 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:15 pm

All electrical connections are clean and corrosion-free. I have my relay mounted next to the voltage regulator in the engine compartment. No road splash there!

I reconnected the wire from the ignition key directly to the solenoid as it was originally. The solenoid clicked, but the starter did not run. I don't think it is pulling all the way back as it should, and that's why it blows the fuse.

I used jumper cables to connect directly from the starter motor to the battery and the starter motor ran just fine.

I then removed it all and took apart the solenoid. Does the plunger shaft look a little strange???

Image
Don

---------------------------
78 Westy
71 Super Beetle Convertible Autostick

"When we let our compassion go, we let go of whatever claim we have to the divine." - Bruce Springsteen

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Amskeptic
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Re: Starter / Solenoid Issue

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:31 am

vwlover77 wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:15 pm

I then removed it all and took apart the solenoid. Does the plunger shaft look a little strange???
Yes.
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .110,350 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,775 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . 73,930 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,478 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 64,428 miles

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vwlover77
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Re: Starter / Solenoid Issue

Post by vwlover77 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:09 am

The local auto electrical repair shop had a new solenoid in stock for $22. I installed it and I'm back on the road.
Don

---------------------------
78 Westy
71 Super Beetle Convertible Autostick

"When we let our compassion go, we let go of whatever claim we have to the divine." - Bruce Springsteen

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Amskeptic
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Re: Starter / Solenoid Issue

Post by Amskeptic » Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:47 pm

vwlover77 wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:09 am
The local auto electrical repair shop had a new solenoid in stock for $22. I installed it and I'm back on the road.
Was there a box (brand) and a part number and a price?
Enjoy the road while you can, a winter's a coming.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .110,350 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,775 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . 73,930 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,478 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 64,428 miles

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vwlover77
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Re: Starter / Solenoid Issue

Post by vwlover77 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:55 am

No markings on the solenoid and a plain white box. Chinese I assume. We shall see how long it lasts!

With 80 degree temps it's hard to believe winter is coming......,
Don

---------------------------
78 Westy
71 Super Beetle Convertible Autostick

"When we let our compassion go, we let go of whatever claim we have to the divine." - Bruce Springsteen

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