IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by Amskeptic » Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:17 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

71whitewesty wrote:Sure looking forward to the 2016 visit.

Fair warning though, that electrical problem is still there. Once the winter weather was behind us I started driving Bus 2 so I could put some miles on it and make sure it's ready to go. Well I put about 3 K on it, mostly shorter trips but a few 100 mile trips. It runs great but starts weak.
Until I drove home from the Woodburn Vw. It started sputtering real bad about 40 miles from home. I checked points and let it cool a bit, it was in the high 90's, started it up and made it home but had the same issue. It won't start now. I think the condenser is fried but I haven't messed with it yet.

I won't go into detail on this post because I'm camped out down by a river on the southern oregon coast at the moment in Bus 2 but it reminds me of last years troubles, exactly. It's not in the motor because this is a different motor and the problem is the same. I think it's somewhere between the ignition switch and the wires to the solenoid.

Bus 2 with the HFM motor is still running fantastic with almost 15k on it since your visit.
Whilst you camp, establish all parameters to this problem. "Runs great but starts weak" needs a full courtroom style detailed exposition.
"Started sputtering real bad" are we talking hesitation or backfires? Inspect carefully the breaker points to see if they have a burnt contact surface and pitting perchance.
ColinCampingAtGrandRapids - (concrete rapids)
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 80,070 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by 71whitewesty » Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:50 am

Just back from an epic 1300 miles of a coastal and back roads trip to Pistol River, OR. I do this trip annually but took a lot of extra back roads on this one.

One correction to my earlier post is that it's Bus 1 that has the electrical issue and not Bus 2. Bus 2 is dialed and I'm probably taking it on our annual family road trip and leaving next Thursday. We are either going to Bryce Canyon or if it's not too hot we'll go to Yosemite.

More detail on the issue with Bus 1.

As mentioned, I've put about 3000 miles on it this spring, mainly around town but also a few 100 mile trips. It seems to run just great in general. (choke sticks a bit but other wise runs great). However when you turn the key I usually get a couple of just "clicks" before it generally engages after the second or third try. It also takes longer to start. It will turn over several times before it fires up, generally. Sometimes it starts right away. Mornings it will generally start right away, run a bit cold and then once warmed up, runs great. Every time I start it though it sounds like I have a weak battery. Battery hasn't died yet but it just sounds weak when turning it over.

When I started having problems, they were the exact same ones I had a year ago and had to get towed home. I think the condenser blew out on the first one and I bet it's blown again now. I haven't gone out to look at it much since I just got home but that's my guess.
While driving back from the Woodburn VW show (100 or so miles each way) it started to hiccup a bit and then I had to pull over quickly because I could not longer hold speed. To me it acted like my points has closed up. It would backfire anytime I let off the gas. I pulled over and adjusted the points and thought I had it fixed and jumped back on the freeway. I could get up to speed but if I floored it I could feel the bucking and so I just kept the gas peddle steady and crossed my fingers and I make it another 30 miles or so, almost home, but couldn't make it up the last hill. It just sputtered and then died. I let it cool a bit and checked the points, they seemed fine. I got it started again and was less then a mile from home, I took a different way to avoid most of the hill and made it home. It died in the driveway and it hasn't started since. I will probably go out and replace the condenser and see if it will start this evening.

So the problem isn't in the engine at all. I have a new engine in there now and the engine that was in there when the problem started is now in Bus 2 and has no issues. It's not the starter, solenoid, generator or the battery, I have replaced them all with good working units. I have replaced all cables, ground straps ,etc. None of this has made any difference. I think it may be in the ignition switch its self. I have replaced the switch once when small piece broke off, I can't think of what else it could be. To me it acts like a bad ground. It must be partially grounded because I was able to put some miles on it before this happened. I don't think it's fuel related because of the weak starting issue. Fuel has a new filter, lines etc and I've put a lot of miles on Bus 1 and never had any crap coming out of the tank.

This all started after a 1200 mile winter road trip where we drove through some pretty wet snow and then it all froze solid for a few days. Hasn't been the same since. I'm sure its real simple once I figure this out but so far it's stumped me for a year now! Bus 1 has about 6k on the long block and 3k on the heads. I'd like to put some more miles on Bus 1 again.

I only have a few days before we leave again so I may not dig into it much but I'll get into it a bit. I also have a very wobbly generator pulley. This is another issue that needs sorted out but the electrical issue is the one that is most pressing.

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Jun 16, 2016 6:02 am

71whitewesty wrote:Just back from an epic 1300 miles
electrical issue is the one that is most pressing.
I think a condensed version of this might go to Troubleshooting forum where we all can speculate together in that tight focused way that Itinerant Air-Cooled is noted for.

To ascertain a fuel vs ignition issue, I have been known to throw a little capful of gasoline into the carb throat. if it starts easily, fuel related. If same as before, keep checking ignition. The coil, also, sometimes misbehaves when warm and improves once cooled down. Have you tried a carefully controlled coil replacement experiment?
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 80,070 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by 71whitewesty » Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:48 am

I have replaced the coil. It was hot that day but there were no hills and nothing really seemed overheated.
I will try the cap of gas however it doesn't explain the weak, low battery like starting issue. I think that's where the problem is. Why does the battery seem like it's weak?
I just cleaned up a new to me 205Q distributor that I will put in there and see if it will start. If it does then I'm sure the condenser is blown. If it's blown I need to find out what is causing it.

Ps. My wobbly generator pulls is fixed. I bought a brand new "German" one from the swap and the outside half of the pulley is off center! So I replaced it with an old spare.

Feel free to move this to wherever is best.

On the one week count down until our two week family trip. Zion, Bryce Canyon or Yosemite, depending on the weather. :sunny:

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:06 am

71whitewesty wrote:I have replaced the coil. It was hot that day but there were no hills and nothing really seemed overheated.
I will try the cap of gas however it doesn't explain the weak, low battery like starting issue. I think that's where the problem is. Why does the battery seem like it's weak?
I just cleaned up a new to me 205Q distributor that I will put in there and see if it will start. If it does then I'm sure the condenser is blown. If it's blown I need to find out what is causing it.

Ps. My wobbly generator pulls is fixed. I bought a brand new "German" one from the swap and the outside half of the pulley is off center! So I replaced it with an old spare.

Feel free to move this to wherever is best.

On the one week count down until our two week family trip. Zion, Bryce Canyon or Yosemite, depending on the weather. :sunny:
Yes, a slow starter needs to be analyzed.
*weak battery,
*high resistance in cables,
*high resistance in starter itself,
*ground issues

If it is resistance in cables/starter, you will have a battery that shows full charge (12.7) shortly after cranking event
If it is a weak battery, it will show a drop that does not recover after a starting event.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 80,070 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by 71whitewesty » Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:29 am

This is the 3rd known good battery I've put in and they all act the same, weak.
I replaced and thoroughly cleaned all cables and connections, new positive and neg cables and trans strap. New regulator.
(All old parts are still good)
I've replaced the starter with a known good one and cleaned the starter to bell housing contact area for a good ground.

My lights are bright and stereo has been disconnected for good measure.

I think I will hot wire it and bypass the ignition switch and see what that does. :scratch:

Ps. No rush on this, Bus 2 is more than up to the task for the family road trip.

Update:

Condenser was melted at the terminal end. The black plastic melted around the terminal where it goes through the distributor body.
Switched distributors and it started. Weak battery syndrome though.
Switch condensers and put my regular distributor in and it starts and run. Weak battery syndrome and a couple "clicks" when turning the key, turned over third try. Condenser didn't get hot right away but I only let it run for a minute or two.

So something is making the condenser terminal hot when it runs.

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by wcfvw69 » Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:31 pm

I was going to suggest you put a jumper wire on the starter to go around the starter switch. If the starter suddenly starts spinning correctly than the ignition switch is suspect/bad. You could also jump the existing battery in the bus to see if it spins quicker and to rule out the battery. . I also like to put a dab of grease on the starter bushing in the trans housing as well when I installed the starter.

IDK what it is about "new" batteries these days. The all seem to be lousy. I bought a new one at Autozone for a vehicle. It lasted 3 months before I took it back w/a dead cell. My GF's daughters battery just lasted 6 months before it failed.

Let us know what you find.
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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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by Amskeptic » Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:04 pm

71whitewesty wrote:This is the 3rd known good battery I've put in and they all act the same, weak.
Condenser was melted at the terminal end.
something is making the condenser terminal hot when it runs.
Polarity all correct? Positive battery cable leads to starter from the + terminal? Negative cable grounds at diagonal brace to the right of the engine hatch, shiny metal where it attaches? This very very very basic question is for the readership as well.

Your report of parts and inspections leave me at the end of my internet diagnostics. It would be most fascinating to diagnose in person.

The very last question I can ask is how much friction is in the engine itself. Have someone shut off the idling cold engine. Does it just halt, or does it go through a couple of revolutions and kick back a little on a unsurmounted compression stroke? Same with hot engine. Is it freer or less free than cold engine?
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 80,070 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by 71whitewesty » Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:18 am

Polarity is correct for sure.
Engine is not any tighter than my HFM one. Also remember that my HFM engine was in Bus 1 and had the exact same symptoms but now it's in Bus 2 and all is fine. Even if the engine was tight it doesn't explain the melting condenser issue.

I have yet to bypass the ignition switch. Its next on my list but not sure I'll get to it before we leave on our trip...but I might.

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:10 pm

71whitewesty wrote:Polarity is correct for sure.
Engine is not any tighter than my HFM one. Also remember that my HFM engine was in Bus 1 and had the exact same symptoms but now it's in Bus 2 and all is fine. Even if the engine was tight it doesn't explain the melting condenser issue.

I have yet to bypass the ignition switch. Its next on my list but not sure I'll get to it before we leave on our trip...but I might.

Freely turning engine, everything is perfect, good battery/starter/cables, yet lousy starting speed.

I think the problem is simple, devilishly hidden, and cureable.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 80,070 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by 71whitewesty » Tue Jul 05, 2016 3:11 pm

Just throwing this in here....

Just finished another trip in Bus 2.
2854 miles in 12 days to Zion, Bryce Canyon and Escalante mainly. Took some long, desolate roads. One time there was no gas stations for 224 miles, I rolled in on empty.
I'll have to post some pictures. Bus ran flawless. It had to because there was no place good to breakdown and I had the family with me.
Changing the oil and adjusting valves now and she's ready for another trip. This HFM engine will have 20k on it by the time you get here.
It was leaking a bit of oil from one valve cover because I decided to get cheap and reuse the gaskets. Fixing that now too.

Trip was absolutely incredible. Pictures, I know, I know.....

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by Jivermo » Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:04 pm

Nice to read this report. Glad to hear it ran well.

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by wcfvw69 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:58 pm

71whitewesty wrote:Just throwing this in here....

Just finished another trip in Bus 2.
2854 miles in 12 days to Zion, Bryce Canyon and Escalante mainly. Took some long, desolate roads. One time there was no gas stations for 224 miles, I rolled in on empty.
I'll have to post some pictures. Bus ran flawless. It had to because there was no place good to breakdown and I had the family with me.
Changing the oil and adjusting valves now and she's ready for another trip. This HFM engine will have 20k on it by the time you get here.
It was leaking a bit of oil from one valve cover because I decided to get cheap and reuse the gaskets. Fixing that now too.

Trip was absolutely incredible. Pictures, I know, I know.....
Pictures would of made this post SSSOOO much better..

Just sayin.. :drunken:
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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