[Vwdiesel] Big Problems with engine (I think)

LBaird119 at aol.com LBaird119 at aol.com
Wed Jan 14 19:56:00 PST 2009

In a message dated 1/14/2009 2:33:22 PM Pacific Standard Time, 
stillwalking2002 at yahoo.com writes:

> For those who don't remember, my 80 diesel VW rabbit P/U went belly up this 
> fall.  It will fire and run for a few seconds and then die.  Things are 
> thawing out in the garage and I am ready to get my hands greasy. 

  If one of those/these engines starts, runs a few seconds then dies, 
you want to check the basics.  Like my Daddy told me when I was 
single digit years old "You need 3 things for an engine to run, air, fuel 
and spark."  On a diesel substitute compression for spark.  The rest 
is simply proper timing.
  If it runs then you have timing and compression.  That leaves air 
and fuel.  Check your air filter and any possible cause of a plugged 
exhaust.  Not common but it could happen.  I've seen a dirty air filter
cause a Rabbit to be sold for no starting.
  Check for air bubbles in the clear line between the filter and the 
pump.  You may need to hold a bright light behind the hose to see 
through the staining from years of diesel going through it.  
  If that checks then check that the return hose isn't plugged.  If 
that's good then check the intake hose isn't plugged, but most of 
the time if it is then you'll suck air bubbles SOMEWHERE and they'll 
show in the clear line.
  Make sure power to the shut off solenoid doesn't sputter for some 
reason and make it die.

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