Today wasn't such a great day

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Post by 71Ghia on Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:39 pm

Hey all, I needed to share my pain with someone and figured you were the best people for it. Tonight, after leaving work, I headed to Midtown to pick up a buddy who is in town from the UK for a week, we were heading to the Braves game (only the cheap seats, but promised my mate a night of laughs, home runs (maybe, maybe not) burger and beers). The KG had felt a little grumpy after leaving work - sitting in traffic, it wasn't really happy just idling, flow of gas felt a bit sticky and she kept threatening to conk out (I believe that is a technical term) - but I persevered and rocked up to Midtown to pick my mate Chris up. From there, we headed in the direction of Turner Field for the game, traffic was shite and the KG - while in the middle lane - finally stalled and we had to push it out of the main traffic flow and onto a side road. We gave it a minute to chill - the engine wasn't hot at all but I didn't want to flood the engine - and then hay presto, it started again and sounded much happier. So Chris and I looked at one another - as the KG sat there idling happily - and said 'Let's do it, let's go see the Braves' and so off we went again. And then it happened again, second time around of pushing onto another street (out of the traffic heading to Turner Field) where the police with their whistles had a go at me for blocking the street (come on, its really not that big of a car). After waiting a while again, I tried again to get the engine started and while it would turnover, there was nothing to get it rolling. So I called a tow company a friend recommended - they were there in 30 minutes and managed to not scrap the bumper or exhausts as they hauled her up onto the flatbed (even if they were mighty pricey) and brought us home. The guy with the flatbed even managed to get her started when we got home - I had tried and failed. Crying or Very sad But we only kept the engine on long enough to roll her into the garage at the apartment and then turn off the engine, lock the doors and head out for a beer and dinner (much owed to poor Chris by this point).

So, my question is what's up with my little motor, some thoughts from me ...
- the KG hasn't had a decent long run (i.e. not just city commute drives that last 15 minutes and are stop start with traffic lights) since we headed up to Flowery Branch, is she in need of a decent run?
- this weekend, I filled up the tank with premium gas (before I'd put in middle grade but figured its so little to fill up that I might as well go the extra mile), is the KG really not liking the gas?
- and added to the gas, this weekend, I put in a CD2 lead replacement - something the previous owner had recommended I use - and an octane booster - figuring anything to help her run smooth would be a good thing - she's not running smoothly, is this combination just a no no? Did I stuff up here?
- and apart from that, I've been thinking about something that Roy (with the jade/turquoise KG) said to me at Flowery Branch - that I should check whether a fuel filter was put in and whether thats all garmed up (another technical term).
- and lastly, since I got her, I haven't changed the oil or check the sparkplugs

So chaps, any thoughts. Am feeling a tad miserable about my little KG as know she's not happy but don't know where to start. confused
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Post by DiggerD on Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:04 pm

First I would look for an in-line fuel filter and see if its getting clogged there. If that checks out ok, I would look at the ignition system, coil, points (if not changed to electronic ign) etc.

And change that oil, you don't know where its been!! Shocked
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Post by Damn-it Don on Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:10 pm

I'd check that fuel filter, and the lines under the tank too. I've had problems associated with the lines getting kinks in them, and gas could get through but not enough to go more than a few miles. Then park, wait (for the tube through the body to fill again) and it would start up and run fine...for a few more miles. This could also be caused by sediment (gunk) settling in the tank- especially if the fuel was getting low (some stuff might be floating in there, get sucked down by the pump suction, and float away when the pump and motor cuts off), clogs in the filters- sometimes people put an inline (clear plastic) one under the tank, and there hopefully is another installed before the fuel pump. I've heard there is also one inside the top of the fuel pump itself. While your at it, check the fuel pump too. If the motor is not hot, and just dying out, it really sounds like a fuel problem.
Maybe someone else might know more about all those additives you got mixed in there.


...and change that oil- I'm changing mine tomorrow!!
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Post by meinvw on Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:54 am

Check the fuel first when hot. Might not be as hot as you think but if your line is run near any heat source can cause it to vapor lock. Use a clear filter before and after the pump. That way you can see trash and or vapor lock. Trash is obvious, vapor lock there will be no fuel in the post pump filter. You can also stick your finger down the carb and feel the accel pump and see if gas is comming out when actuated.
Next check would be the coil, when it dies feel it, usually they will get pretty hot if failing, also carry a multi meter to test it. One more thing is to turn the switch on and pull the wire from the fuel shut off switch and touch it back a few times and make sure its working.
And lastly had a ghia that did the same as yours is doing, was the metal fuel line run thru the body was clogged. When it shuts down pull the inlet line to the pump and see if fuel dumps out. Use a cup to catch it and if it does pour freely pour it into the carb and see if it starts then. If you have fuel, and it starts then the carb has trash in it, no fuel, have fun cleanning the lines out!! If thats the case post it up or pm me for some tricks on cleanning the lines.
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Post by Hobug on Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:26 pm

Unless your engine has high compression, it most likely doesn't need all that octane. Higher octane actually make the gas harder to burn, so unless you experience spark knock, you really don't gain anything by increasing the octane.
I know this goes against what we all thought growing up, (those that are as old as I am) but there are several threads on the Samba about it and when I put the type 4 in my Thing, Jake Raby told me to run the lowest octane gas that it seemed happy with.
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Post by bumblebuggy on Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:18 pm

I'm guessing the fuel pump is giving up. Pull the fuel line to the carb and have a friend crank the KG. Make sure there is a steady flow of fuel from the pump. If not, disconnect the line coming from the tank and plug it with a screwdriver and pull the screw off the top of the pump. The cover should come off and expose a diaphram (little plastic filter). Make sure that isn't gummed up. If it's dirty or rusty clean it up and you should be good to go fo a while. You will need to add a filter somewhere before the pump to make sure it doesn't clog up again. If it's clean, you'll need a new fuel pump.
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Post by Carl on Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:05 pm

Does it have points? If so it could be the condencer.
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Post by 71Ghia on Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:35 pm

Hey all,

Firstly thank you so much for all the help and suggestions.

I checked the fuel filter when I got in from work tonight - its a tad grubby to say the least so have a new filter in hand and will change that first.

Secondly - because its true, we don't know where that oil has been - I've got a new oil filter mounting gasket and I'll change the oil.

And then while we're at it, will check the fuel lines. So that's my plans for the weekend tied up!

I'll keep you posted on how we go after that. Am disappointed as was planning to join you guys for Thursday meet up but until we have these bits done, she's not going anywhere. Hope all had a good time anyway.

Cheers,
Joanna
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Post by aircooledaddicts on Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:49 pm

Sorry to hear that you are having so much trouble. I think everybody got you covered on what to look at to get it going again Smile If you need any help just let us know.
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Post by vwovalchild on Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:56 pm

not that this would have anything to do with the problem your having but the lead additive is probably not needed. In the original engines the valve seat were soft and needed the lead in the fuel to aid in them not getting beat up when the valves are slamming shut. If the engine has ever been rebuilt and the heads been replaced they will have been replaced with hardened ones. The industry did this many many years ago. People used to do this in the late 70's when we did away with leaded fuel.
I do agree with many of the others. Fuel filter or fuel pump may be coil or your ignition. Just do the process of elimination is the best practice.
Good luck and let us know what you find out.
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Post by 71Ghia on Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:30 am

Update on the KG ...

Fuel filter changed (it was decidedly grubby). Happy car. Lesson learnt - $3 filter vs $83 flatbed truck hire, I know what I'll choose next time. Next job, replace the oil and sparkplugs. Very happy she's running again.

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Post by Damn-it Don on Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:55 am

Three Cheers!
cheers cheers cheers
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Post by DiggerD on Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:15 pm

Good to hear you are up and running again!!

Maybe we will see yall on Thursday?
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Post by 71Ghia on Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:20 pm

Now my folks have arrived today from London for a week so will miss you guys this week but next Thursday is already in the diary and am looking forward to it!
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