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Shade-tree mechanics: ideas needed
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Tom A    Posted 04-01-2002 at 08:00:51       [Reply]  [Send Email]
OK, it's country related because we all like old cars, right? Got a problem with a 73 VW bug that's got me pulling my hair out. My youngest son's car.

4 cylinder, carburated, traditional ignition (real points), air cooled.

There is a very noticable hesitation when you step on the gas at low RPMs. It does not happen all the time, perhaps 1/3 of the time...may go for an hour and never do it, and then will do it repeatedly for awhile, then stop again. Feels like either momentary loss of fuel or possibly electrical, I can't tell anymore.

At roughly the same time this started, the electronic tach started acting funny (it's tied to the coil), so we disconnected it.

Adjusted the valves. Installed new points, plugs, plug wires, coil, distributor; carb has been rebuilt by an expert. Fuel filter has been replaced and is staying clean. Exhaust manifold was decarboned (almost plugged). Still doesn't help. It idles fine, and runs fine at speed, but almost stalls when shifting or adding gas from a low speed.

Ideas??? I am out, and so is my 25-year experienced VW mechanic (I gave up; now so has he.)


Loren    Posted 04-05-2002 at 16:43:50       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Tom, have you put a timing light on it and tried to duplictae the problem? The light should flash very even and not erratic at all while the engines running. If that checks good I'd bet big time it's the accelerator pump in the carb. Take the filter off and with the engine dead watch down the throat with a flashlight while you open the throttle. A good solid stream of fuel should squirt into the throat. Any bubbling or inconsistancy here also is a problem. If the light shows a problem change between the plug wires and the coil wire, no problem on the coil wire means bad cap or rotor probably. Also, does it do it more cold or hot?

Nathan(GA)    Posted 04-01-2002 at 19:41:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
Like others have mentioned, check the accelerator pump and ball in the carb. It gives that extra fuel needed. The check ball and diaphram come to mind.

You can check for a vacuum leak by spraying starting fluid around the system while running. The idle should change some if there's a leak.

Ludwig    Posted 04-02-2002 at 09:25:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
I agree with Redneck, but I use carb cleaner, it
doesn't burn so you get the opposite effect...

Redneck    Posted 04-02-2002 at 03:37:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
I would try WD 40 instead.Either will find a spark too.

Used to build rails and figured out one thing....that I didn't want a VW engine on an airplane.

Danny in CO    Posted 04-01-2002 at 13:49:25       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I don't really know much about VWs, but have worked on old cars a lot. A hesitation when accelerating can be caused my a bad carborator pump (not fuel pump). It is the little plunger thing inside the carb. I also had a Chevy Vega that had a bad hesitation. It was caused by a carb jet that was too small.

Gennerally these problems are all the time, not intermittent.

Jason Yager    Posted 05-21-2002 at 19:46:51       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have a 2wd, extended cab, 1/2 ton GMC. I would like to put a suspension lift on my truck or raise the front end to level it out with the rear end. I already have a 3in body lift and spring spacers in the front coils but it just is not enough. Being a poor college student i just cant afford a full suspension lift on my truck. If you have any ideas on raising the front end of my truck or the whole truck, let me know. Thanks

buck    Posted 04-01-2002 at 11:42:57       [Reply]  [No Email]

of all the Bugs bugs this was one of the worst and hardest to cure. Commonly refered to as second gear bog. There are many many ares that may cause this problem. The major being in the distributer and if your are still using the original with retard and and advance I would suggest that you totally plug the retard side and set the advance at a total of 30 deg.while desregarding the idle timing but making sure that the advance is working freely. Another area is vacuum which may be at the manifold to head area, the manifold boots at the end runners(this is a very common leak area but may be hard to detect.) at the carb. base or the throttle ptate. the small dime size cover in the middle of the rear of the carb is apotential problem area. In the carb area itself check the electric fuel shutoff as it may not be working correctly. On the right of the carb the stationary secondary jet may be fouled and need to be changed to an adjustable jet. The spray tube could be loose or not properly positioned.The small check ball in the accelerator pump may not be working right and since your problem is not constant I would have a good look at this area.Most times this problem is not an electrical problem other that the fuel shutoff but since you mentioned the elec. tach. the seatbelt interlock control box located behind he fuse panel could be a culpret especially if you have had any intermittent starting problems

Tom A -- more info    Posted 04-01-2002 at 11:36:06       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Brand new distributor installed last week...replaced the original VW spec vacuum & centrifigal advance with a 'performance' 009 centrifigal-only advance. No change at all--hestitated before and after the same.

The fuel filter is clear plastic, so it's possible to see bubbles or result of blockage but there's been none apparent (at least not while I'm watching).

Fuel pump appears to be putting out an adequate flow, and there's been no problem at high speeds when the flow is highest.

Please, keep thinking and suggesting! This is a toughie.

AL    Posted 06-10-2002 at 10:23:47       [Reply]  [Send Email]

I was just setting up my 1974 bus after
getting a longblock installed. According to the
manual timing is at 10 degrees after had no power and couldnt take any throttle. I called the engine rebuilders and they said if
it has a 009 distributor...try 14 degrees before tdc,this worked better...but not good. Then I experimented and tried about 30 degrees before it runs like it should(at least around
the neighborhood(up to 30 mph). I still have to
Id my distributor. Anyway,it cured a major hesistation for me.

buck    Posted 04-01-2002 at 12:33:34       [Reply]  [No Email]

while the 009 is an excellent dist. it is not ideal for this situation. Considering that it is aperformance dist. it does not start to function untill approximately 1200 to 1500 rpm. at this point I would check the advance to make sure that it is operating with approximately 20 degrees within the dist.NOTE have run into many of the new dist. that will not provide a full range of advance. anyway the goal is to obtain a total o 30 degrees. Once you have verified this then efforts can be directed to other areas

Larry    Posted 04-01-2002 at 09:07:42       [Reply]  [Send Email]

Check distibutor for shaft play,make sure vacume advance is working,and make sure the fly weights are working free in the distributor. Keep us posted on how you make out.

Ludwig    Posted 04-01-2002 at 08:47:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
fuel pump works good?

Dennis    Posted 04-01-2002 at 08:26:36       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Possibly something in the gas tank is blocking the line or maybe a small vacume leak.

DJ    Posted 04-01-2002 at 08:11:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
Maybe an additive to the gasoline is needed?

Dunno just guessing.

Salmoneye    Posted 04-01-2002 at 08:09:27       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Two things come to mind.
Worn/wobbly distributor shaft that stays 'true' when you are under load, but vibrates at the time of letting the gas off...

Or, a pinhole in the gas line. It sucks gas at a steady pace till you let off to shift when the RPMS drop and then you get a small airbubble for a second...

Just a couple thoughts...

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