[Vwdiesel] Glow plug indicator system design?

Val Christian val at swamps.roc.ny.us
Tue Dec 21 10:58:15 EST 2004

On one car I used a hall effect transducer, tie-wrapped to the glowplug 
relay output, driving a NE555, which flashed a LED showing me how much
current was being drawn.  200 msec was full glow.  A once second flash was
sure sign of hard starting when it gets cold.

On a different car, I used a foglight switch, hardwired to a gutted glow plug
relay, to turn on the heaters.

As I look into chinese diesels, I find that some have an aftermarket
propane heater, that looks like a couple of low velocity Bernzomatic
torches, connected to a disposable propane bottle.  A bottle is good
for hundreds of starts, because you just spark up the flame, while the
engine is cranking.  It's all over real fast.  Gee, disable the ignitor,
and you have a propane boost system.  Grin.


> Has anyone thought of designing an active glow plug indicator system 
> which can actually detect the presence of sufficient current or voltage drop 
> through each plug? I'm thinking of a system which could monitor each plug 
> independently with an LED for each. If necessary, the plug could be 
> powered from a separate relay circuit using a manual switch, but I'd prefer 
> the option to use the stock relay, and just have feedback for each plug.
> My knowledge of electronics is rusty at best, but there must be someone 
> on the list up to the task? I'd love to see a little row of LEDs in one of the 
> spare dash switch blanks monitoring the plugs, and the option for a 
> manual switch if desired...
> Santa... ? ;-)--
> Shawn Wright
> I.T. Manager
> Shawnigan Lake School
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> Vwdiesel at vwfans.com
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