possible bad ignition switch

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mentalQtip
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possible bad ignition switch

Post by mentalQtip » Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:34 pm

1977 fuel injection bus

I've been struggling with this beast for a long time. I now can't even get it to turn over. Sometimes, not often, it does turn over, then it doesn't for a long time. I've checked power at the wire to the solenoid with a test light and five times it was dead, and once it lit. I'm judging that I have a bad switch. I've heard that switches are a bear to replace. Any thoughts, please?

Joseph

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Re: possible bad ignition switch

Post by cegammel » Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:48 pm

If it's like the vanagon, then it isn't hard at all, just time consuming. I had a similar issue, replaced my switch, starter, and then finally cleaned all my grounds. The combination has left my van very reliable.

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Re: possible bad ignition switch

Post by mentalQtip » Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:58 pm

Does it involve removing the whole steering column? And I have read that there is a snap ring that is problematic.

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Re: possible bad ignition switch

Post by tristessa » Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:16 pm

Get a new switch and test with that before you go tearing the column apart -- you can reach under the column and unplug the harness from the switch, then plug in another switch and see if that helps. CAREFULLY turn the new switch with a screwdriver...
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Re: possible bad ignition switch

Post by mentalQtip » Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:58 pm

Why a screwdriver? A new switch would have a key, wouldn't it?

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Re: possible bad ignition switch

Post by cegammel » Thu Jun 25, 2015 4:25 am

The part replaced lies under the key tumbler...I am not sure how it works, but no new keys are required. The Vanagon does not require removal of the column, just the steering wheel, switches, and steering lock mechanism. The buses maybe very different....

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Re: possible bad ignition switch

Post by tristessa » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:56 am

The SWITCH is the electrical part, the LOCK is what needs a key. If we're testing with a different SWITCH plugged in, you need something to turn it with, hence the screwdriver.
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Re: possible bad ignition switch

Post by mentalQtip » Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:41 pm

Ok. New switch added. Screwdriver carefully inserted and twisted. Idiot lights come on and ....... No crank. When I turn to start position the idiot lights go completely out, instead of just dimming. But no crank.
Beginning to suggest a wiring short?

Joseph

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Re: possible bad ignition switch

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:48 pm

mentalQtip wrote:Ok. New switch added. Screwdriver carefully inserted and twisted. Idiot lights come on and ....... No crank. When I turn to start position the idiot lights go completely out, instead of just dimming. But no crank.
Beginning to suggest a wiring short?

Joseph
A starter current draw that sucks the lights off the idiot lights is a potentially serious issue, OR just a loose battery cable . . .
Test the starter at the starter and see if the motor turns properly (bridge the big posts), if it is slow and growly and sparky, the starter motor may have an issue.
Then see if the starter engages and turns the engine by bridging the push-on terminal (red/black wire) with the battery cable post on the solenoid.
If the starter does not turn or sparks excessively, do not melt the new ignition switch. Find out what is going on with the starter.
Colin :cyclopsani:
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 91 414 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
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Re: possible bad ignition switch

Post by mentalQtip » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:35 pm

Battery cables tight. Starter spins. Bridge push on to battery cable post and engine turns briskly. Go back to new switch and........ bright idiot lights that go out when turning to start.

Gee. Whats left?

Joseph

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Re: possible bad ignition switch

Post by mentalQtip » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:37 pm

Actually I did see more sparks than I expected but the engine did turn quickly/briskly.

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Re: possible bad ignition switch

Post by cegammel » Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:34 am

Did you / can you check continuity between the spade at the starter and the switch? In my case, the starter was at fault, even though it passed the spin test. Also....make sure the spade is on the correct post...

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Re: possible bad ignition switch

Post by mentalQtip » Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:21 am

There is a single spade by itself on one side of the solenoid and on the other side(top) there are two spades joined together. I am vague on which is what.

Joseph

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Re: possible bad ignition switch

Post by tristessa » Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:23 pm

And which of those do you have the wire connected to?
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Re: possible bad ignition switch

Post by mentalQtip » Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:59 pm

I now have both attached to the upper spades that are connected. Still no joy.

Joseph

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