83 Vanagon: Hard Start and Dying Battery

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83AC
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83 Vanagon: Hard Start and Dying Battery

Post by 83AC » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:48 am

Alright - 83 Westy camper edition with fuses to camp components pulled. I do have aux battery on an isolator and currently aux is not installed.

Issue: when the van sits overnight, the next morning it will take two to three turns of the ignition with a fully charged battery to get the engine to turn over. The first turn I usually just hear a click and the fuel pump, same thing usually on the second. Usually with a full battery by the third I get a slow turnover. Once she starts it goes well. Turning on and off throughout the day, even after a few hours, is no issue - starts right up.

With a voltmeter on the battery, at idle and driving after battery is fully charged, we have 14+ volts. When battery is closer to 12.5V at starting, the voltage when running is closer to 13.7 with high output lights and radio on. If I turn on fan blower it drops to closer to 13.5.

When battery sits connected overnight I am measuring about a .06V drop. A full 24+ hours sitting yields about a .2V drop.

I’ve been over all the grounds and cleaned them and added dialectic grease to them (May go over again to double check).

Question: where do I turn next? My thought is that the starter/solenoid may be the culprit. Ways to test this? Ways to correct a faulty starter/solenoid without replacing? Appreciate some guidance because this has been driving me nuts for quite some time. Issue was present PRIOR to aux battery setup installation and did not change at that point.

Thanks, folks-
Anderson
Say what you mean; do what you say.
1983 AC Vanagon camper - Penny Lane

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zabo
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Re: 83 Vanagon: Hard Start and Dying Battery

Post by zabo » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:39 am

I agree sounds like the starter.
But 1st check and clean the ground strap on the transmission and the negative strap from the battery to the body.

you can test the starter by jumping the two terminals with a screw driver. Make sure bus is in neutral.

when you swap it out make sure to replace the starter bushing.
I just did this and used a tap threaded into the bushing then pulled it out.
Block the hole to the bellhousing when installing the new bushing- you dont want to drop it down there.
60 beetle
78 bus

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Amskeptic
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Re: 83 Vanagon: Hard Start and Dying Battery

Post by Amskeptic » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:54 pm

83AC wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:48 am

My thought is that the starter/solenoid may be the culprit.
Ways to correct a faulty starter/solenoid without replacing?
Anderson

Hello Anderson,
You can obtain a solenoid and replace only it, but i guarantee you that the brushes and bearings in your starter are likely far through their expected service life.

Bite the bullet, and get a reduction gear starter from GoWesty with their different solenoid set-up. Then you don't have to worry about the "hard start syndrome" for the rest of your days.
Colin
2019 Annual Funding Drive!
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BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,145 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,812 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 94,655 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 76,560 miles

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satchmo
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Re: 83 Vanagon: Hard Start and Dying Battery

Post by satchmo » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:28 pm

But wait! How about checking/cleaning the posts/terminals on the starter? And the checking the starter wire for corrosion?

I'd do that first before throwing non-stock parts at the problem.

Satchmo

PS: I'm starting to sound like Colin...
By three methods we may learn wisdom:
First, by reflection, which is noblest;
second, by immitation, which is easiest;
and third, by experience, which is bitterest. -Confucius

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asiab3
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Re: 83 Vanagon: Hard Start and Dying Battery

Post by asiab3 » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:53 pm

satchmo wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:28 pm
But wait! How about checking/cleaning the posts/terminals on the starter? And the checking the starter wire for corrosion?

I'd do that first before throwing non-stock parts at the problem.
I suggested that on Facebook and promptly had my suggestion shot down by someone with a vendetta against diagnosing. :shaking2:

Robbie
1969 bus, "Buddy."
116k miles with me.
295k miles on Earth.

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Amskeptic
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Re: 83 Vanagon: Hard Start and Dying Battery

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:39 pm

asiab3 wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:53 pm
satchmo wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:28 pm
But wait! How about checking/cleaning the posts/terminals on the starter? And the checking the starter wire for corrosion?

I'd do that first before throwing non-stock parts at the problem.
I suggested that on Facebook and promptly had my suggestion shot down by someone with a vendetta against diagnosing. :shaking2:

Robbie

Wasn't that fun? And we had an answer waiting that still holds water in the glaring light of the Public Common.
Hey (person). I'll let out a little secret here. EVEN THOUGH I agree with your assessment, there is NO WAY I am not going to make these VW owners take the long road through enhancing the electrical system first. Because (person), ha HA, when they are done, THEY will have an enhanced electrical system and YOU won't, Ha HA HAa. Vanagons especially want good grounds. Hey (person), speaking of "HA HAA", it is 71* here in Pensacola with my enhanced electrical system. How's the weather up there?
2019 Annual Funding Drive!
**********************************
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=13755

BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,145 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,812 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 94,655 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 76,560 miles

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