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Technical => Technical => Topic started by: K-Lime on January 16, 2007, 04:13:07 PM

Title: Starting problem
Post by: K-Lime on January 16, 2007, 04:13:07 PM
I just joined - an autostick newbie!

I just got a 1973 Ghia yesterday.  Drove it home over 200 miles just fine.... started for a few friends last night.... started it this morning and could not shift into reverse.  I tried putting it in low then up to reverse but that did not work either (the previous owner advised me on that one).  I shut it off after a few minutes of trying reverse.  Now it will not start at all!  The dash lights come on, but the engine doesn't even try to turn over.  I really wanted to drive it to work, but alas.  Maybe tomorrow?

Can anyone help me out please?!?!?!?

Thanks in advance!
Title: Starting problem
Post by: bookwus on January 16, 2007, 06:01:40 PM
Hiya K,

Welcome to the group!

Do know that the AutoSticks were all equipped with a nuetral safety switch.  This prevents the car from being started while in gear.  The symptoms you describe certainly sound like a nuetral switch simply doing its job.  Are you sure that you had the shifter lever in nuetral/park when you attempted to start it?

As to the difficulty in shifting..............that problem can be a little more complex.  However, the AutoStick transmission is a very hardy beast.  It seldom needs attention inside the case.  That means that most shifting problems can be remediated by attending to the maintenance that the PO probably never did.

Here's a good place to start looking at the shifting problems you described.  Under the back seat you will find an oval shaped cover plate atop the central tunnel.  Remove that cover plate.  You will be looking at the shift coupler (a device that looks a little like a cage).  It connects the shift rod (coming from the front of the car it is connected to the shift lever) to the "hockey stick"(so called because of its shape - it is the shaft that leads into the transaxle).  Now move the shift lever as you might in actual shifting.  The shift coupler should transfer every move (backward, forward, laterally) EXACTLY to the hockey stick.  If it does not, it needs to be replaced.  Very easy to locate this part at any VW oriented FLAPS - local or online.

There are (a bunch of) other possibilities, but the shift coupler would be the first place to look.  If it looks good and tight, zap on back this way and we can go to Plan B.
Title: Starting problem
Post by: K-Lime on January 16, 2007, 06:41:28 PM
Thanks for the quick reply!

I'm definately in neutral when trying to start... I tried all angles of neutral to no avail!  The PO said he had a similar "no turn over" problem about a year ago and gave some wires / fuses to check... I hope that's all it is.

I'v been reading a lot of posts on here about the Autostick upkeep.  I will be checking vacuum lines over the next few days and will also take out my backseat and check the shift coupler.

Thanks for all the great advice!
Title: Starting problem
Post by: 68AutoBug on January 16, 2007, 07:02:39 PM
Have you checked the fuse in the engine bay...??

or the ignition switch may be playing up..
its probably the original switch... and most are starting to fail....
Mine won't start every few days for a few minutes, and then it does start..
I keep going thu the gears, in case it was neutral switch...
but Its probably the ignition starting switch contacts...

I have mounted a relay located above the starter motor, so that only a very small amount of current actually goes thru the starter  ignition switch... all the current goes thru the relay...
but the switches contacts are probably burnt....
so I'll have to pull it out one day...
not sure if the contacts in the switch can be cleaned...
probably a sealed unit...

I have seen many beetles with push buttons in or under the dash...
because the key switch stopped working....

Lee Noonan - 68AutoBug - Australia -

Title: Starting problem
Post by: K-Lime on January 18, 2007, 01:30:12 PM
The no starting ended up being a red w/blach stripe wire... I think from starter terminal?

Well, now that I can start it, I'm on to my next task of getting reverse back!  I've pulled up the back seat and looked at the shift coupler.  It moves as I move the shifter, but what should it be doing when I'm going for reverse?  I'm just not sure what to look for as I've never seen a wholly functional one.

Thanks again!
Title: Check that circuit front to back..
Post by: volkenstein on January 18, 2007, 07:15:45 PM
          If you haven't done so already check every connection on that circuit front to back. Lee and myself (and plenty of others) have what is generally known as a "hard start" relay (see Lee's post above) in the circuit.

Post by: johnr on January 18, 2007, 07:19:38 PM
Title: Vacuum servo...
Post by: K-Lime on January 19, 2007, 01:10:35 PM
As far as the vacuum servo goes, would it also cause a "flooded" feel from a stand still to acceleration?  This happens about a minute into driving.  From a standstill, when I give it some gas, the car feels like its getting too much gas and I have to let off and then go again on the gas to get it to go.  It only does this in gear... not in neutral where is revs just fine.  It doesn't seem like a carb adjustment due to this...

Also, I'm having a hard time finding a diaphragm or servo repair kist online... searched for about an hour last night!

Thanks again for all the help... I'd be lost without you guys!
Title: Starting problem
Post by: Cobey on January 19, 2007, 02:40:50 PM
Does it do that all the time, or only for the first few minutes of driving?  Mine does this, for the first 5-10 minutes of driving.  After that, it's all good.
Title: Starting problem
Post by: K-Lime on January 19, 2007, 02:58:31 PM
Oddly enough, it only did it for about 5 minutes, then drove perfectly!
Title: Starting problem
Post by: Cobey on January 19, 2007, 04:07:45 PM
Okay, so you're not totally pooched.  I drive mine 300 miles a week even with this little "feature".  Originally I too thought it was the carb, but, haven't figured it out yet.
Title: clutches
Post by: johnr on January 19, 2007, 07:35:23 PM
For a servo kit try www.evwparts.com.  You could try adjusting the control valve,  that thing on the left side of the eng comp with the 2 wires connected to the front.  There is a screw on top, towards the rear, Turn it in all the way, then 2 turns out.  Start from there and see if your clutch connects quicker.  If it's still slow,  turn it ccw (out) 1/2 turn at a time and see if it improves.  Good luck!
Title: Starting problem
Post by: 68AutoBug on January 20, 2007, 04:50:24 PM
Does sound a bit like the accelerator pump is playing up??
My original carburetor had a blocked accelerator pump circuit...
and the engine idled perfectly....
and I could get the engine to rev , out of gear...
but once in gear I could never get it out of the carport....
so another carburetor was used....
there are a couple of ball bearing valves in the accelerator pump circuit which can get blacked /stuck/ especially with old gas....
the accelerator pump also has a diaphram which can leak....
plus the accelerator pump is adjustable.....
they are adjusted so they pump in More gas usually...
so Yours may have that problem..

Lee - 68AutoBig -

Title: I got reverse back!
Post by: K-Lime on February 07, 2007, 02:07:07 PM
It ends up my shifting coupler needed adjusting.  It moved fine, it just wasn't rotating enough to get to Reverse.  I turned the square head bolt on the top in the hopes of loosening the coupler to reset it... with just a few turns, the coupler rotated enough to work properly again and nothings loose.

Only odd thing now is I can only get it into reverse from 1st gear (uphill / load gear).  If I try from neutral, it just grinds.

Thanks again for everyone's help!
Title: Starting problem
Post by: inzgary on February 22, 2007, 12:51:11 AM
it may not be the shifting coupler that is giving you this problem i had a similar problem - the shifter point was all messed up to the point where the only gear i could get it into was 1st. but it started i couldnt get it into reverse, it would just grind, but it went into reverse from low, but then low went. if you want to check if this is the problem have the car off with the key on and move your shifter into gears that you kno work, as you do that youll hear the system trying to engage/disengage the clutch - youll know what im talking about when you hear it. now try putting it in reverse-if your not hearing that sound theres your problem. the shift point falls out of place or gets worn out and needs to be replaced. my uncle fixed my shift point for me so i cant tell you how to but im sure someone else here knows. if you need a new shift point i am also looking for one and ill let you know what i find. as for the shifting coupler it is non ajustable so you shouldnt try and loosen it. it may have made a difference but itll end up causing you problems down the road. once theres too much free play with the shifter it needs to be replaced. try www.evwparts.com -just know there is a difference between standard and semi - i found out the hard way.
Title: Starting problem
Post by: K-Lime on March 15, 2007, 01:40:04 PM
So I've replaced the ignition switch (electrical portion) and now the starter.  Still having the same problem, except now, the car does not start at all!  I bridged the posts from the solenoid to the ignition wire and it started right up... Can I just splice into the wire that comes directly out of the ignition switch and run that back to the starter???

Title: Easier to do bypass the neutral safety switch.
Post by: volkenstein on March 18, 2007, 09:33:35 PM
          Have a look further down the page. There's a topic which starts "Disable VW neutral etc". You can easily bypass the NS switch and it goes from your Ign to starter anyway, just takes a break at the NS switch.

Check the connections first as they may have fallen off somewhere.