snakesnoot
Thought I fixed the issue when I put a new condenser and coil in my 1974 super. Engine decides when it is gonna start and if it will keep running. When it will not start I have no spark from coil (which is new.) The engine in this beetle is an AE code. From a 1971-1972. (makes it interesting to try and figure out wiring.) It also has a generator instead of an alternator. Under the back seat is the voltage regulator and another relay. Does anyone know what that other relay is?  What does that voltage regulator do and can I test it? Could it be the points? (They look fine without a mark on them.) Anyone have any ideas how to test further. I am still getting 12 volts to the coil even when it will not start or run. When it does decide to start it is almost as if someone turns off the key and it shuts down. I am sure it could be a short somewhere but I have no idea where to look. Previous owner did not drive for some time and wires appear to have been damaged at some spots by little furry animals.  Thanks for any feedback.


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MY72BUG
I have a ' 72 and have dealt with the dead engine deal on previous occasions.  A frequent culprit is the starter switch itself.  There is a little wishbone shaped piece in there which sends power to the coil and to the starter.  This contact becomes worn and sometimes sends power to the coil and sometimes doesn't .   With mine I just had to jiggle the key in the ignition in the running position and it would run and not, run and not.  If you always have power at the coil, the next place to check is at the points.  Is the rotor consistently picking up power and sending it to the plugs?  When you still have power at the coil have you tested for spark at the plugs?  Stick a screwdriver into the plug boot and hold the shaft of the screwdriver near a good ground.  You should see spark there.  Be sure that your problem is electrical and not intermittent fuel supply with a hung up carb float.  Can't help you with the voltage regulator - this is still a mystery to me but I do know that problems with them are relatively rare.  Keep us posted with the results of the above tests. 
I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.
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snakesnoot

Thanks for the info I will try more trouble shooting asap. Are you referring to the ignition switch? Can I bypass the ignition switch and provide power to coil directly to see if that fixes the problem? I guess if it stops running and I still have power TO the coil and no power OUT of the coil (center wire) the issue would not be the points, correct? They would not have anything to do with the coil not producing a spark would they?  Probably a stupid question (I guess it could be anything at this point.) The main problem is that I am not getting power out of the coil. This is why I purchased a new coil and condensor (still had original coil that said VW.) To no avail. I cant wait to try the jiggle the key test.

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MY72BUG
Yes; I am referring to the ignition switch.  It is a small ( about the size of a quarter) device in behind the ignition key cylinder.  Yes you can put power directly to the coil by bypassing the ignition switch.  The colloquial term for this is " hotwiring " as in this is how you stole a car back in the day!  If you have power to the coil and no high voltage power from the coil the points are innocent bystanders in this affair.  Total failure of a coil is pretty rare - they usually die a slow death putting out feeble spark instead of that hyper bright blue blast.  More and more I am sensing a bum ignition switch.
I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.
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snakesnoot
I was trying to troubleshoot today. very frusterating. I was getting erratic voltage readings INTO the coil. But then when i had OK readings I would get no spark. Very weird. After looking at the electrical schematic It seems as if the voltage regulator is only involved in the charging of the battery. I will try to hotwire tomorrow. I hope I get some sort of result either way. Thanks for the info.

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olspeed
Just a note here. the charging system has nothing to do with the ignition system and they are two different circuits. If you were to remove the charging system completely the engine would still run with a 12v source (battery...etc) The charging system is there to replenish the power being drained off from your power source.
As far as the problem you are having I think mybug72 is on the right track. Try and put 12v directly to the coil (wire from battery, or battery charger) and try to spin it over and see what happens! If little furry ones have been in there you might have an open circuit in there from the key to the coil.
Olspeed
66 Ghia 76 std Beetle
It's not a car it's a VolksWagon
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snakesnoot
tried the hotwire and it did nothing. I am going to try the points next. I did not see why they could be the problem but it is the only thing left to check. According to the haynes book they tell the coil when to fire into the cap. I did not think they would cause this problem but I guess I have to try.

Hot wire to the NEW coil+ NEW condensor= no spark out of center coil wire.  What else could it be. Must be points right?

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MY72BUG
The points are sounding like a guilty party after all.  They should be insulated so that the power is not going to ground there.  With my new distributor I discovered, by nearly having a fire in my engine compartment, that the wire leading into the distributor had grounded against the body of the distributor and it was only just touching very slightly.  Also - you do have the correct terminals hooked up on the coil ? 
I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.
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snakesnoot
The coil wires are indeed hooked up properly. I am planning on getting a new set of points and giving it a try. I just fear the adjustment. I had an old 75 MGB when I was a kid and that car needed constant points adjustments. I will keep you posted. Thanks again.

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snakesnoot
Apparent success!   With new points in and gapped it started right up and stayed running. As soon as I get my hands on a timing light I can get the timing adjusted and hopefully it will run much smoother.

thanks

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MY72BUG
I wouldn't be too quick with the timing light.  There is a static method for setting timing which just uses a 12 volt test light.  It is too detailed to go into here but any of the Beetle books will walk you through it.  The John Muir book tells it best.  If you don't have one, let me know and I will paraphrase it for you.   Dan  MY72BUG in Goderich, Ont.  P.S.  congrats on the fix.  We all learned something
I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.
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snakesnoot
I looked here http://www.vw-resource.com/tune-up.html#various

I found some instructions that seem doable. I will give it a shot. Thanks for the heads up.

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