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Serious difficulty starting....Little Miss Sunshine syndrome??

Discussion in 'Bay Tech Clinic' started by Chidori, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. Chidori

    Chidori Active Member

    Messages:
    923
    Location:
    Fitzroy, VIC
    As is always the way, you get one problem sorted and another rears it's head. Just as I've almost fixed my steering issues it seems I now have a problem with starting the engine!

    I've always had to pump the accelerator quite a bit when turning the ignition key to get it going. Sometimes it would splutter a little, (until the petrol got pumped through?), but once it was up and running all was good.

    Yesterday, I took the van out for a spin to Croydon and back to the city. When I got back, I stopped at the local supermarket. When leaving the supermarket, I wasn't able to start the van. It was making all the right noises like it was about to start, but just didn't kick in.
    I even tried pumping on the accelerator but I couldn't hear this making any difference this time.
    After about 4 attempts, i realised I was on a hill, so I thought i'd try a rolling start - only because I'd seen this in little miss sunshine!
    1st try kind of almost started, but I on the second attempt it did start and got me home.

    Given that it started when it was rolling, does anybody have any ideas what might have caused this?
    I'm heading away next week for a little getaway and didn't want to be stuck somewhere with a non starting engine.

    I haven't tried it again today - but will try tonight - just want to avoid that happ

    Thanks all.
     
  2. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,638
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Back end down on Hill?

    do you smell fuel or see black smoke when it starts.
    Check oil isnt thin or over fill.

    A possibility is carbs allowing fuel to siphon thru from tank and you are trying to start a flooded engine.

    the oil thing is , its possible for this fuel to pass rings and get into sump. If you ever detect this situation [high oil level and diluted with fuel][more than a few mm] and the oil level is seriously high,DONT attempt to start it. You may destroy engine . CHANGE oil and filter first

    IF this is the issue ,changing float level needle and seats should fix the prob. Also avoid the hills,
    .

    If same problem[leaking fuel thru siphon] occurs after doing needle /sets, install a fuel lock off as done in other threads here.

    Further check when its hard to start at home and on level is pull the plugs and see if they are wet with fuel. may be an indicator but this couls also occur if you have been trying for a while and pumping the throttle.

    Start with a single depression of throttle and maybe 1/2 throttle.

    If its flooded depress throttle fully and hold there while attempting to start. this should give more air to clear the fuel.

    Have a can of aerostart on hand for emergency. Lift each of the horns that deliver air to the carbs and give a puff into each and replace. Immediatly attempt start. Lots of black smoke after this would suggest flooded engine.

    If you have recently replaced points. Check the gap and timing. They can wear and close to give similar symptom and poor idle.
    Check spark.

    Any discussion/checks on steering at revolks?

    cheers
    col
     
  3. leithbro

    leithbro Member

    Messages:
    575
    Location:
    Cairns
    Pretty good info there. The only thing I can add is (for whatever reason) I had similar issues at one stage when I had my 34 pict 3 carb. 2 things I can remember are that the fuel cutoff solonoid had been clipped off at some point, and replacing it made the carb run bettter and easier to start (must create a void where the tip is missing?).

    The OTHER THING though, it may be time to check the brass fuel fitting going into your carb. This was the cause for similar issues for me, and obviously is a big reason for Kombi fire time... The fitting had come loose and was sucking air/leaking fuel. Gave it a light pull and slid right out.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
  4. Trav&Ren

    Trav&Ren Member

    Messages:
    422
    Location:
    Melbourne
    This is a bit of an issue in itself. The VW suggested way to start a cold engine is to quickly push the pedal to the floor and release. This allows the chokes to close and engages the fast idle cam. Once its running even you can give the throttle a blip and the revs will settle down.
    If the engine is hot slowly depress the pedal to the floor and hold it there whilst you start. Most of the time I skip this and just do nothing when its warmed up already.

    The only time I have trouble starting is if I have left the Kombi out of the garage and I'm trying to start on a cold morning but like most Kombis at some stage a lot of the cold start components of the engine have been disabled or removed. All I can do is start it and keep it revving until its warmed up, as mine is an auto its a bit hard to keep the revs up if I take off too soon and have to negotiate the several roundabouts and intersections before I can get on the open road to work.

    Trav
     
  5. Trav&Ren

    Trav&Ren Member

    Messages:
    422
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Just another thought.
    Spluttering is too much fuel (rich).
    Popping is too little fuel (lean)

    Does it sound like its drowning or like its dry when it 'splutters'.
     
  6. Chidori

    Chidori Active Member

    Messages:
    923
    Location:
    Fitzroy, VIC
    Thanks for all the info guys.
    When I bought the Kombi, I read that the bloke that was selling it made a note on here that he had the carbies 'rebuilt'. But when I took it to the mechanic he said that the carbies were almost hanging off and hadn't been installed properly.
    I've found that each time it's at the mechanics they are often having to adjust the balance (rich/lean) or the choke adjusted. So, I'm not sure what was done to the carbies initally. The mechanic adjusted them only a couple of months ago and said that they are at a good balance for not stalling on cold mornings, yet not using up heaps of fuel either.

    I wouldn't say it sounded like it was drowning... it's just like it's struggling to get going and pushing on the throttle seems to get the rev's up and help it past that initial struggle.

    It was the back end that was up the hill on this occasion, so luckily I was able to roll forward.
    The van had been running fine all day. Got me to croydon and back to fitzroy without and issue. I was actually on the freeway driving and thinking, "Wow! This is running nicely and the steering is reasonably good - this is probably the most I've enjoyed driving the Kombi!"
    Then 30 mins later, I was stuck at the supermarket. :(

    It was making all the right ignition sounds, it just wasn't 'catching' and starting up. It sounded to be 'just' short of starting.

    There is a possibility of too much oil. It's probably due for an oil change, so I might do that this week.

    I didn't notice any smoke, but I admittedly didn't look out for it.
    I'll give it another go tonight and I'll get the phone out to record the sounds, which might help the diagnosis.
    Thanks heaps everyone.
     
  7. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,638
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    The original 'rebuild' was probably just a rekit of sorts which may have been an attempt to fix underlying probs.

    Have a chat to Andrew[1500king] or CBB re a proper set of original rebuilt carbs.
    The fact that your mech is adjusting to give you the best he can suggests that theres significant issues with the state of the carbs.

    sorry , another cost but it will be money well spent .

    If its a bit warmer in melb ask your mech to back off the choke a fair bit.

    Your prob from the other day could be that the choke may have come on a bit even tho the engine was warm.
    Alternately , start when warm without touching throttle

    col
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
  8. 1500king

    1500king Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,698
    Location:
    Adelaide, SA
    You shouldn't need to touch the chokes...they are "AUTOMATIC" IN THAT THEY SHUT THE CHOKE PLATES WHEN COLD AND OPEN THEM WHEN WARM....EVEN AT AMBIENT TEMPERATURES.... the bi-metal springs on the chokes adjust to ambient temps. I find with mine that the chokes are very nearly completely open at 30 deg + anyway, so fast idling is negligible to off at those times as the fast idle cam is calibrated with the choke and the throttle plate. There are several things that will mess up the warm-up cycle...worn throttle shafts, worn linkage bushes-especially from the throttle lever to fast idle cam, sloppy choke shaft(they wear themselves loose), buggered/loose or stuffed-with choke heaters. The other thing that most mechanics do is use the throttle stops as the idle adjustment on each carb.... THEY ARE THROTTLE STOPS, there to just hold the throttle plates off the wall of the throttle body. Idle adjustment is by the bypass screw on top of the left carb only. If that bypass screw is closed all the way and the motor is still idling fast, throttle shafts are worn. When I do my carbs, a carb kit represents about 5% of what goes into them. The rest is fixing all the worn parts and correcting them back to the spec and motor they were designed for. There are close to 100 versions of the 32-34PDSIT carbs for the Type 4/bus motor alone...spread across 1700/1800/2L, 411 type 4's, type 127 industrial engines, auto/manual, high altitude spec, low emission spec, high comp/low comp spec, etc,etc... all different versions but all look the same on the outside. There is only one way to tell what each of them were for(stampings under the carb).

    If you still have an operating central idle circuit solenoid on the back of the left carb(the fat solenoid)...check it. When tired, they can give trouble and get weak when hot and may not be opening when you turn the ignition on. This will result in a mixture that may be too lean to fire on cranking. Your individual idle circuits on each carb are about 60% of the idle mixture and the central idle circuit is the rest(has its own fuel jet and cold start circuit).

    Welcome to the Can of Worms!! Haha!:lol:
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012

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