1.9DG turning over, won’t start - losing the will to keep her on the road...

Big lumps of metals and spanners. Including servicing and fluids.

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Samanthington
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1.9DG turning over, won’t start - losing the will to keep her on the road...

Post by Samanthington »

Is anyone here in the Bromley area!?

After a catalogue of silly errors from some not-so-trustworthy chaps who left me £2k poorer, without my van for over a year and gave it back (for the third time) with a flashing red light still, I thought I’d got to the bottom of the last issue: after a good run and warmup the coolant had stopped being drawn back into the header tank on cool down - cue another forum delve, a toot test on the dalek cap and hunting down a new Blau cap that was in stock...!

Cap arrived yesterday, my 9yr old was soooo excited to fit it this morning and go for a spin, hoping the problems could finally be over (ok, so was I), and she just wouldn’t start.

Never had a problem starting before, recently a dream in comparison to the past, but then this morning she turns over as usual but just won’t fire.

Feeling pretty deflated I delved back into the forum... Checked the spark plugs, 2 were super sooty so I’ve replaced them. Still nothing.

Battery is now on charge to try the spark test (it started running down with all the cranking today) but I haven’t done any of this before and I’m almost at my wits end!!

With a partner who couldn’t give a monkey’s a^#* about any of it I guess I’m just after a chat with someone local who knows the DG engine and can tell me what to try next...

Is there anyone out there!!!?
1988 1.9DG water cooled panel van

TONYT25T25
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Re: 1.9DG turning over, won’t start - losing the will to keep her on the road...

Post by TONYT25T25 »

How long has it remained idle for, fuel maybe taking its time to get through.  Do you use cold start procedure ie foot down on accelerator pedal then release then start engine.  If battery was a bit low a good charge may give it enough of a kick to start her.  Added a bit more is there proof of fuel delivery the over cranking may have flooded the engine, any smell of fuel??  The filter may need checking/changing worse case is fuel pump.
1984 Campervan 1.9DG Petrol WBX

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Samanthington
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Re: 1.9DG turning over, won’t start - losing the will to keep her on the road...

Post by Samanthington »

Thanks Tony.

Sat for 2 days since last start.
Yep, always use cold start procedure.
Strong fuel smell this morning, thought I’d just completely flooded it so left it a while. No use.
Battery was tip top when I first started this morning, at least appeared to be and cranked many many times more throughout the day until it started dying. (Fingers crossed a good charge will be enough!)
The fuel filter is the little bottle beneath the body of the van, right? If so, that was replaced recently and looking super clear.
1988 1.9DG water cooled panel van

TONYT25T25
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Re: 1.9DG turning over, won’t start - losing the will to keep her on the road...

Post by TONYT25T25 »

Hello yes the little bottle, hopefully whoever renewed it positioned it correctly ie flow of fuel arrow towards engine although it should still work it just may make it harder to bleed it if reqd so would not worry about it att.  Check if there is fuel visible in the filter if the filter is transparent type of course.  Bit more of an E D I T, have you checked the pipes from the carburettor to the air filter sometimes these perish and mess up the system check for any cracks, disconnections etc.  Again presuming it has carbs only going by my model.
1984 Campervan 1.9DG Petrol WBX

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Re: 1.9DG turning over, won’t start - losing the will to keep her on the road...

Post by jrt »

Take the top off the carb and put an egg up full of petrol down it then try and start it. If it fires up you will know it’s a fuel problem. I had similar out of the blue the other month and changed the pump pushrod( should be 100mm long) and greased under the pump to fix it. Take off the fuel line leaving the pump and put it in a bottle, get someone to turn it over and see if any fuel is getting pumped through. Also check for any splits in the fuel lines going to the pump.
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Re: 1.9DG turning over, won’t start - losing the will to keep her on the road...

Post by lefty67 »

Did you get your van back with the red light flashing and was the overflow tank behind the flap full after your drive?
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Re: 1.9DG turning over, won’t start - losing the will to keep her on the road...

Post by Samanthington »

@Tony...yep, full of fuel and all clear. Can’t see an arrow on it so I too hope they put it on the right way round!
Carb is new (ugh, sorry about this next bit...it was on advice from the not-so-trustworthy chaps...) it’s had a Weber upgrade so I *^%** hope the pipes aren’t perished!

@David...I was just reading another thread about the push rod - will check it all out in the morning, thanks.

@lefty...it’s such a long story, but no the flashing light wasn’t on when I picked it up...but it was the second time I went out in it after picking it up. - E D I T - Knew it was coolant level as it was a mile down the road so not yet warm. The gauge was way up and engine very hot when I pulled in where I could about a mile further on - but the rad was stone cold. Figured it was an air lock, so bled it, loads of air, good top up, drove 80 miles no trubs - then the light came on again just as I reversed onto the drive.
At the time, the overflow was normal so we bled it again and topped up. All good again, 2 weeks later set off on return trip home - another 80mile trip. But, after stopping at services 20 miles in, we set off again to the light starting flashing not 100 yards down the road, thankfully not yet on the motorway. Realised the overflow was really full - figured the dalek cap after a forum hunt. Bled and topped up (very very minimal bubbling this time, not really enough to mention) but the top up obvs got us the 60miles home.
Exact same thing happened the next day when I went to check (not drive this time) - this time the overflow suuuuper full.
I was so looking forward to fitting that new cap!!

It originally went in for a coolant leak, buzzer of doom and perished fuel lines and has had new fuel pipes, new gaskets, a new o/s head, new stat, new water pump, new fan switch, couple of new switches/senders. The gauge now sits at just past 3/4 and I’m hoping an 80deg stat will solve that, but I noticed one of the bolts has started to round off (and they used some mucky grey gunk to seal the housing that’s squeezed out everywhere...) so I’m wary of trying to replace it just yet!

(...hope you’re still with me and haven’t nodded off after all that :oops: :D )
1988 1.9DG water cooled panel van

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Re: 1.9DG turning over, won’t start - losing the will to keep her on the road...

Post by lefty67 »

I had similar issues with my engine, albeit an aaz.
Could possibly be a head gasket or head problem, as it reads like the cooling system is pressurising.
If you get it started try and get a compression test or a leak down test (dont know how effective these are on a dg)
Hopefully it wont be this but it can be sorted if you get someone who knows what they're doing.
1.9td AAZ

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Re: 1.9DG turning over, won’t start - losing the will to keep her on the road...

Post by Samanthington »

Thanks Lefty, it’s exactly what I paid £2k to fix! Really wish I could warn people not to go to this guy. (If anyone is looking for a specialist near Tonbridge and finds this thread, PM me!)

- E D I T - Almost has a sniff test done a couple of weeks ago but the guy (friend of the family - works for Vauxhall) didn’t know anything about VWs and said he couldn’t do it as the hot coolant would obvs overflow when taking the header tank cap off. So close to a definitive answer!)

Managed to get her started this morning with the help of Mr RAC - it was just super flooded (cue a chat with 9yr old who likes to pretend he’s driving it........😣😖😫)

But....Mr RAC has adjusted the carb, said he didn’t know enough about it and take it to someone for tuning...ideally a banger racer...! It needed tuning up anyway but now it’s even worse - took her for a run, about 8miles. All good, but 5 miles in started running super lumpy in 3rd and 4th gear, had to limp home slowly in 2nd.

Wherever I find to take her, I just hope I can get her there. (And somewhere down the line a Pierburg is going back on!)
1988 1.9DG water cooled panel van

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300CE
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Re: 1.9DG turning over, won’t start - losing the will to keep her on the road...

Post by 300CE »

How far away are you from Keston as the VW Engine Company have just moved there from Catford:

https://www.thevwenginecompany.com/

I’ve not used them but they seem to have good reviews and do servicing etc as well as rebuilding so maybe able to pinpoint the problem.

What I would say is, check the header tank - wait until it’s cooled right down (maybe leave it a day) undo the header cap and if you get a whooshing sound & the coolant starts to come up and overflow, it could well be over pressurising which could mean fire ring failure which could then mean a rebuild.

Fingers crossed it’s not this. Also, there shouldn’t be anything wrong with a Weber as there’s a few of us running them without a problem and they run beautifully when set up right (it could well be that previous company and RAC man don’t know too much about them).

I can recommend a chap to set the carb up (Aaron at HT Racing at Brands Hatch) as I’ve had mine set up on a rolling road with him:

http://www.dyno-solutions.co.uk/ht-racing/4534805386
'86 DG, Weber Carb

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Re: 1.9DG turning over, won’t start - losing the will to keep her on the road...

Post by oilrag »

Super  :run
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Re: 1.9DG turning over, won’t start - losing the will to keep her on the road...

Post by Samanthington »

Thank you so much :) (And thanks for the vote of confidence with the carb 👍)

I looked at VWEngineCo’s website and swanky new workshop video a week ago but didn’t check where they were as I was praying I wouldn’t need to fork out for a shiny new engine. Keston is 10mins away from me...it’s all adding up that they are the guys I need...!

The whoosh is exactly what I get. And the replacement cap hasn’t worked to draw it back in so yep, def a pressure issue.

I read Tencentlife’s excellent post about fire rings a couple of weeks ago and had a nagging suspicion that would be the issue. I hoped to high wotsits that wouldn’t be it as these other guys had the engine out 3 times, but suspected it could be with the luck I’ve had so far!

I’m off to call the actual professionals...thanks 300CE 👍
Last edited by Samanthington on 25 Jul 2020, 12:57, edited 1 time in total.
1988 1.9DG water cooled panel van

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Re: 1.9DG turning over, won’t start - losing the will to keep her on the road...

Post by Samanthington »

@oilrag Yup, great hey!
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Mr Bean
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Re: 1.9DG turning over, won’t start - losing the will to keep her on the road...

Post by Mr Bean »

It seems only yesterday that this thread started - and surprisingly indeed it was  :shock:. Such progress :)
Bet you don't feel so isolated now
:ok
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Re: 1.9DG turning over, won’t start - losing the will to keep her on the road...

Post by Mr Bean »

It seems only yesterday that this thread started - and surprisingly indeed it was  :shock:. Such progress :)
Bet you don't feel so isolated now
:ok
Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech.
Practice makes better
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