And after all that effort she still refuses to Start

Started by The Keszthely Kid, 14 August 2022, 09:31

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The Keszthely Kid

My 1973 Karmann Ghia Coupe has been a beacon of reliability until June when she developed starting problems. Refusing to start as if she was in gear was the issue. A few 'jiggles' of the gear-stick and she would eventually start right up. However even this began to fail as a quick fix.
Looking at other comments on vwar.org it would appear the gear-stick sensor was failing so a new one was ordered from the USA along with a NOS Gear-stick gaiter from Germany. Yesterday I fitted the new sensor, (the old one had worked loose from the wire), and after setting up as per Bentley's VW manual she still refuses to start >:(
Is there anything I can check that I may have overlooked?
Could there be another fault somewhere in the system?

All help and moral support would be very much appreciated :)
Many Thanks
Rick
Semi-Automatic Karmann Ghia's need love too.
Especially the '72 to '74 Fatties

Raymond73

Did you check the neutral safety switch on the transmission nose? If it is has gone bad, or is not activated when in neutral, the starter won't turn over the engine.

How about the shift rod coupling bushing under the back seat? If you have a lot of slop, your shifter stop plate adjustment may not be correct and it may not be activating the neutral safety switch.   
'70 AS, 30 PICT-3

bhartwell59

When you say "the gear-stick sensor" do you mean the electrical contact points (brass plug/head with the blue wire that goes toward the engine) that reside right beneath the stick?
1974 zambezi green Ghia vert

The Keszthely Kid

Afternoon All,

 There is some good news, Thank you for all the suggestions. Yesterday I jacked my '73 KG coupe upon axle stands and had a good 'fondle' of the gear-box switch for the possible solution. I cannot see the switch but with fingers I could deftly grope around it. The wires are shrouded and after I gently squeezed the shrouded wires I attempted to start her up.
And indeed she eventually fired right up after the carb' bowl had fill with fuel after a 2 month hiatus. A brief test run up and down my drive and all appeared well.
So the gear-box switch or wiring is suspect. Can I remove it without removing the whole gearbox? A friend of a friend has a workshop with a car hoist so I wonder if I could give some serious attention to the problem with the car safely raised above my head.
This afternoon I reversed her out of the garage and cleaned up the interior and give her a good wash. After leathering her off a trip to the supermarket bottle bank a couple of miles away was in order. Loaded up with empties I got in, turned the key and .. Nothing! A quick ' Get out and get under' and I could just reach the switch with my long arm underneath and my fingers just touching the wiring :P . And behold she started with ease.
All comments and suggestions are welcome and to clarify to my VWAR colleague bhartwell59, That is indeed what I meant, electrical contact point. 
Semi-Automatic Karmann Ghia's need love too.
Especially the '72 to '74 Fatties

Raymond73

Glad to hear that it's at least partially working. Some progress is better than none at all.

You should be able to remove the safety switch without removing the engine and transmission. It's definitely a tight fit on a Beetle, so I can only imagine it's more difficult in a Ghia. It's interesting that you are able to get it started by squeezing the wires on the switch. I am wondering if the spade connectors are simply loose on the terminals or if you have some mild corrosion.
'70 AS, 30 PICT-3

sb001

^^ My guess as well- loose connection down there somewhere.
Be careful when attempting to remove- they apparently are fairly easy to wrench in half!