[Vwdiesel] Matt's tach venting time...

Matt matt_lisa at sprynet.com
Sun Feb 15 12:48:59 PST 2009

This was a message I sent to the list on Thursday, though it didn't go  
through since it was down.  I've talked to Loren a bit about my  
problem, but I figured more brains on the problem couldn't hurt.


Hey everyone.  So I got my diesel Rabbit tach all set up and working  
using Roger Brown's optical pickup wheel design.  It was beautiful.  A  
working rev counter in that old car.  Talk about neat.

So I buttoned it all up and took it for a spin.  It was working  
perfectly, when all of a sudden, the tach went dead.  I wondered what  
the hell was going on, so I started to drive home.  On the way home,  
the car started to buck and kick.  Soon, it would barely run.  I  
hobbled home, and killed the car.  Smoke started pouring out the  
tailpipe.  Now I'm really nervous.

I pushed the car in the garage and took stock of the situation.  The  
front bolt on the timing belt cover had come undone.  Because of that,  
the cover tipped against the injection pump pulley wheel, taking the  
tach optical sensor clean off.  That explains why the tach died.   
There was oil all over the outside of the valve cover.  I hate those  
stupid cork valve cover gaskets.

I'm hoping the sensor didn't go flying down into the lower belt  
cover.  Looks like I get to pull it apart and have a looksee.  I'm  
still not sure why the car was trying to die.  that doesn't make much  

I had the power for the tach converter hooked to the stop solenoid.  I  
figured the car was bucking because it was coming loose or something,  
but when I popped the hood, all was tight.

It's times like these, I just wanna sell the car and make it someone  
else's problem.  I'll probably just let it sit for awhile, and then  
have a look.  What really makes me nervous, is the smoke smelled like  
coolant.  I've only got 4K miles on this head gasket.  I was at around  
4K rpm when the tach stopped working.  With my luck, it blew something  
big time.

So, anyway, there's my situation.  My Rabbit is currently in the  
garage, cooling off.  After I cool off, I'll start pulling it apart  
and try to find out what the hell happened.  I'll keep everyone  

A really bummed and pissed off Matt


I tried restarting the car the following day, and it would fire and  
die over and over.  It spewed lots of black smoke when it tried.  So  
far I've checked the timing which seemed off, so I'm in the middle of  
trying to get that adjusted (thought it's being more of a pain than  
normal.)  Any other ideas?

More information about the Vwdiesel mailing list