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Thread: 90 jetta wont start without starting fluid

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    Default 90 jetta wont start without starting fluid

    Hi Everyone. I have a 90 jetta diesel with 115k on her and I now have a problem with it now needing a shot of starting fluid to start it. I just replaced the alternator and starter on her. The feul filter is good. I got into my Haynes manual and it said to crack the feul union to the #1 CYCLINDER and crank it to see if its getting fuel. I did that and it is. Then the manual said to check the start/stop silinoid on carberater. I did and its working. Any advice? I did replace the tubing that runs from cyclinder to cyclinder that suppose to return the unused fuel back. Thanks Dennis

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    Digifook. CafeRacer is on a distinguished road CafeRacer's Avatar
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    Default Re: 90 jetta wont start without starting fluid

    Its been a while since I've worked on a diesel but the first place I would attack is the glow plug system. Most people assume that because the little light on the dash is on that the plugs are but that's not the case. I would also check that the advance is working.

    I would start with this page. Its probably one of the better ones explaining how to troubleshoot the system.

    http://www.4crawler.com/Diesel/Cheap...lowPlugs.shtml

    There are a few cool ways to modify or build you own relay harness so the plugs get more heat and evenly but unless you live where it gets really cold, not really needed.

  4. #3

    Default Re: 90 jetta wont start without starting fluid

    I would like to say Thank you to the Caferacer for replying to my thread. At first I thought it couldnt be the glow plugs cause it runs with a shot of starting fluid. I thought it was a feul related problem,but I was wrong. I put a 12 volt tester on the glow plugs and found out I wasnt getting juice. I cleaned the wires at the firewall and what a difference. She fired right up. THANKS AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Default Re: 90 jetta wont start without starting fluid

    With old VW idi diesels its always a simple issue. I would further check the plugs themselves, the relay and definatly check / replace the fuse on the firewall. I would recomend upgrading to fast glow plugs if you can find them, and if you have the ability too install a block heater / oil pan heater set up.

    Glad to help, that's what's cool about jettajunkie!

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    Default Re: 90 jetta wont start without starting fluid

    Good to know as I just bought a 1990 diesel (doesn't run and haven't even gotten to work on it yet!). I've never worked with them so learning all their quirks is a huge plus. Thanks!
    1990 Jetta diesel, we've got a long road ahead of us...

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    Default Re: 90 jetta wont start without starting fluid

    Quote Originally Posted by heroesforghosts View Post
    Good to know as I just bought a 1990 diesel (doesn't run and haven't even gotten to work on it yet!). I've never worked with them so learning all their quirks is a huge plus. Thanks!
    make sure you have a strong battery or at least a charger rated for starting cars. Run a fuel line directly into a jerry can of new diesel. The old stuff may be full of water or moss. Yes, moss grows in diesel! crack the injector lines and crank it for a few seconds untill fuel comes out. Tighten them up. Yank the plugs out the back. Clean them up, clean the contacts and the bar that connects them. Clean the relay contacts and check the fuse against the fire wall. If all of that is good give it a shot. Glow it a few times to help your attempt. You can disconect the intake pipe from the manifold if it has a gasser style air filter box. Disconecting this lets you spray ether or starting fluid into it.

    Ive seen a 1.6 that sat for 6 years start on the 5th crank, and then some of them just wont go unless you really kick them hard enough. If it has a block heater plug it in for a few hours. You want to get all the odds in your favor.

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    Default Re: 90 jetta wont start without starting fluid

    It was running well a few months ago, they just took part of the injector pump apart to replace the o-ring and then it wouldn't run. They didn't want to put a new injection pump in it so I bought it. I put in a new Optima battery and hooked up jumper cables. Checked pump timing, it was perfect at .090mm. I cracked the injectors to bleed air out and she did start after a couple shots of ether. However, it has lots of white-grey smoke and won't idle, I have to keep my foot on the pedal. I got it to operating temperature and no improvement. After I shut it off, there is air coming back up from the inlet of the injection pump.

    I got my rebuild kit in the mail and the pump off the car, so I am going to attempt to rebuild the pump. I've got some house remodeling to finish first, then I will tackle this thing. Wish me luck! Even if I have to buy a new pump, I will have a sub-$1000 diesel Jetta, so either way I'm happy!
    1990 Jetta diesel, we've got a long road ahead of us...

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    Default Re: 90 jetta wont start without starting fluid

    Well it starts so you know its worth fixing! Consider replacing the return fuel lines. And watch for tiny air bubbles in the return line to the tank also. That engine has a manual timing advance on the dash to the left of the steering wheel. Give it a yank and start it, see if it will idle on its on with that pulled out. White/grey smoke is un burnt fuel. Common when the engine isn't up to temp yet or from having a faulty injection spray.

    I would see if the exhaust color and idle situation changes after you warm it up to temp. It should be fairly hard to see the exhaust once its up to temp unless its really cold out side. The only time you should be able to see alot of exhaust with that engine is when you really step on the accelerator and blow coal on the car behind you.

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    Default Re: 90 jetta wont start without starting fluid

    Also something else to keep in mind as I have had this problem in the past is water in the fuel. I had the same problem as it would only start with starting fluid or to be plugged in to a block heater. Turns out I had water in my fuel.

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    Default Re: 90 jetta wont start without starting fluid

    Thats why I said run your fuel intake into the pump from a jerry Can of fresh diesel.

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