I am having problems starting my 1972 VW Bus, It started before the winter time. I took out the spark plugs, (out of the engine, but still attached to wire's) and grounded them to the engine block, I tried starting it to see if there was a spark between the spark plugs, and there wasnt. So i now know the problem is the enitial spark, I checked the distributer, the caps look fine and there is no condensation anywhere to be found. Can anyone give me advise for what to buy, or test to see where the problem is? Thank you
2. hold end of plug wire about 1/8" from the block & have someone crank the motor. Get a spark? Yes, you're ok. No? Then:
3. Check/replace the cap & rotor. If they're ok, check/replace the points & condenser. Point gap is .016", or use a matchbook cover.
4. Still no spark? Coil's likely shot. Use the right unit for a VW, it must have an internal resistor. If not, you'll fry your points.
You can replace all these parts, plus the plugs & wires for under $50. Stick with basic plugs, like Bosch Super. Platinums are a waste of money in a VW motor.
Just out of curiosity, do you have the Type I or Type IV motor in that beast?
Power to the ignition coil!
You can put a screwdriver in the sparkplug ends of your HT leads and put the steel part of the screwdriver a few mm away from a good earth then turn the engine and look for a spark!
This tests your leads! (don't touch them while you do it you'll get a shock)
It could be your condenser too!
Points and condenser cost a few quid to buy!
To be honest you could buy a new ignition coil/HT leads /Points/condenser/Rotor arm/Dizzy cap and spark plugs from Partco for about £50!
Points are the hardest to fit and they are simple with a Haynes manual!
That would be a good place to start!
If you have no spark, then take off the distributor cap, and inspect the 4 towers. Are they clean or do they have a build up on the towers. You can scratch that off with your fingernail. The buildup does not allow the spark thru. Also on the end of the rotor. Is it clean or does it have a build up too. Clean it with sandpaper a bit. Pull the rotor off. You may have a metal plate covering the points and condenser... take that off.
Now turn the ignition to the On position(idiot lights are on) Go back to distributor with a piece of wood like a tongue depressor or popsicle stick.. open and close the points. They must close - you may have to rotate the engine using a wrench on the big nut so that you can be sure the points are touching. Then open them with the stick. Is there a tiny spark?
If so, condenser good. Now have someone crank the engine while you observe the points. Is there sparks? No sparks - the points are not opening or not closing..in other words out of adjustment. You need to set the gap. So turn off the ignition key and set the gap which is the Thickness of a matchbook cover .016". Make sure the screw is tight when you are finished or the points will slide closed under the spring pressure.
After that, turn on the ignition key and spread the points and hold the coil wire 1/4" from the block. A blue spark should jump with a cracking sound.
You are good to reassemble. Look inside the rotor and see that it fits on the distributor shaft one way with the notches matching and the cap fits on one way with the notch matching.
>>>If you did not get any spark from the coil wire and you did from the points then the coil may have died. If all the little wires are hooked up to the coil, then most likely it did die. If you have another coil sitting around you can use that...doesn't matter if it came out of a chev or ford.it is a coil...it will work.
So try that out first and let me know if you still have a problem.
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