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Thread: 1989 Jetta

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    Junior Member megeneration is on a distinguished road megeneration's Avatar
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    Default 1989 Jetta

    Hello! I have a 1989 4 door Jetta, base model, 1.8L 5 speed manual. When I first bought her, she would start right up, but idle kinda rough. I bought it anyway ($500), took it home, and gave it a tune up (new cap, rotor, plugs, plug wires, air filter, fuel filter and an oil change), rough idle did not change much. Drove it that way for a tank of gas, and noticed my mileage was very sub-par (about 11 or so miles to the gallon). I pulled my dipstick and smelled gas. Researched that online and came up with a burnt out Digifant. Replaced that ($100 later), and still had that issue. Ended up being a stuck open thermostat, which I replaced, as well as changing the oil again. She was running good, and my mileage increased by about double. The other day, I went out to fire her up, and she started, then died, and would not start again. I thought maybe the timing belt had gone, but I pulled the top cover, and everything seemed fine, and the belt seemed to be in decent condition. I finally got her to fire after about 30 seconds or so of cranking, but if I did not hold the throttle at about half, it would die. She also sounded as though she was running under water, which previous experience has been the catalytic converter. So, I removed that from the equation, but with the same results. The Bently will be here today, so I'm kind of just fishing for opinions at this point. It sounds starved for fuel, so I will go that route, although I can hear the pump prime when I turn on the key. Also, I have read that the coils on these are prone to failure, although I verified spark by having my wife watch a spark plug ground to the valve cover. Thanks for any and all help/suggestions, and I apologize for the book size post.

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    Junior Member megeneration is on a distinguished road megeneration's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    Okay... I'm fairly stumped over this! I replaced the timing belt this last weekend, and triple checked the timing marks. Cranked her over, and still nothing... so, I went after her again last night. Pulled plug #1, cleaned it (fluffy carbon, but not in excess), hooked up my compression tester, cranked her over and got a reading of 140lbs. Replaced plug and wire, pulled number two, cleaned it, then thought I'd try to jostle the car around a bit and see if I could hear gasoline sloshing in the tank, since my gauge says I have 1/2 tank. Removed the cap and bounced the car up and down, but couldn't really hear anything, so I connected my compression tester and cranked her over... and she started right up. Even with cylinder #2 dead! Ran pretty good, at first, but drove her to work today and she was missing, running rough, and wanting to stall at idle... I really don't get what's going on here. I will consult the Bentley some more... Any suggestions on where to look are appreciated. I'm thinking maybe the pickup screen is plugged?

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    Junior Member megeneration is on a distinguished road megeneration's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    I'm also not sure if this may be a contributing factor or not, but the car fluctuates RPM's, although not drastically. Sometimes when I shift, it will stay at whatever RPM I was at when I engaged the clutch, and then slowly drop, almost stall, then bounce back up to around 800, or so... I have done a quick visual inspection of vacuum lines, but can't see anything that jumps out as an obvious issue.

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    Junior Member megeneration is on a distinguished road megeneration's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    Okay, so, I fixed a loose wire on the MAF and disconnected the Idle Air Stabilizer valve, and she purrs like a kitten at idle... are there any negatives to just leaving that sucker unplugged? I've read on other forums about how some guys will just pull the valve and plug the hoses... Also, she still has a rough acceleration, so I guess a throttle body cleaning is now in order... I think I'm getting somewhere now, though!

  7. #5
    Junior Member megeneration is on a distinguished road megeneration's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    I cleaned up the throats and butterflies on the throttle body and changed the oil today... turns out I'm still not getting anywhere with this cars issues. She'll idle smooth for about 30-40 seconds, then try to stall out. I'll give her some gas, and it'll jump around all rough, then it sounds like she clears her throat, and will idle all smooth again- for about 30-40 seconds, then the process starts all over again. What am I missing here? I've either tested or replaced almost everything on this car. I'm back to thinking it's fuel related again. I'm going to go pull the fuel pump in a minute. I also just filled up (first time with premium), and did the math, and I'm still only getting about 13 - 14 MPG. What could be causing it to run so rich? Had to change the oil again, because she gets to a certain point that the oil loses enough viscosity due to the mixing in of gasoline, that my warning light and buzzer go off... Oh, I also ohmed out the fuel injectors, and the Bentley says, if there's nothing wrong, it should be between 3.5 and 5 ohms... I got a reading of about 4.3, so I don't think I have an injector issue, unless the o-rings are bad... anyone have any thoughts? Anyone?

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    Junior Member megeneration is on a distinguished road megeneration's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    I took a video for reference....

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/Wlw3RQzBv0Q

    Now that I've watched it again, it almost sounds like something builds up pressure and it starts to bog down. Then, after I rev the rpms for a few, you can hear a "whooosh", like a pressure release, and then it idles good again, until it builds up pressure again...

  9. #7
    Junior Member megeneration is on a distinguished road megeneration's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    Today, I cleaned the MAF sensor, ohmed it out, and it's within specs. Started her up and did a vacuum leak test and came up with nothing. Yesterday, I finished my compression testing and came up with 140lbs #1, 120lbs#2, 110lbs#3, 120lbs#4, cold. I have a blue temp. sensor on order, and it will be here Tuesday. I'll update then.

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    Junior Member megeneration is on a distinguished road megeneration's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    She seems to run really good now that I replaced the temp sensor, but does not want to idle whatsoever. As soon as I take my foot off of the gas, the RPMs nosedive and she stalls right out. I'm going to plug the IAC valve back in and try that again. I'm thinking I may need to pull that and give 'er a thorough cleaning... I'm also thinking I need to test my oxygen sensor... more later...

  11. #9
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    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    With all the time and effort you have put in troubleshooting this, please keep posting. i'm interested if there is a solution
    ....

  12. #10
    Junior Member megeneration is on a distinguished road megeneration's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    Hi, nervensage! I will keep posting as I eliminate possible problems. I kind of view this as an online "blog" of sorts as to my dilemma. Hopefully, when/if I get this fixed, it will help others who may have the same issues. I have cleaned the IAC valve and put it back together, with no positive results. I also have a new coil on order, that should be here tomorrow. I have spark, but it is yellowish-orange... I will update when I install!

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    Junior Member megeneration is on a distinguished road megeneration's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    After much screwing around, I finally got a new coil and replaced the old one (there is some merit to the words "buy your parts from a reputable source"...). She still doesn't want to idle much, especially when cold, but all in all, she is running better. I'm thinking of replacing the oxygen sensor, the knock sensor (on the knock sensor, the jacketing has crumbled off of the wire, due to age, and I'm left with a bare wire), the fuel filter once more (just for grins), and my drivers side CV axle, and then drive her as much as possible...

  14. #12
    Junior Member megeneration is on a distinguished road megeneration's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    So, question for you guys... how do I know which CV axle to buy? I see on the ECS Tuning web site that there are two different sizes for my year of car. Do I need to remove the axle to verify size before I can order? Thanks for any replies...

  15. #13
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    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    it should have to do with what motor and trans code you have
    Hidden Content Originally Posted by Gargamelmk2 Hidden Content
    Its very windy....accidentally pissed on it.....I have no regrets

  16. #14
    Junior Member megeneration is on a distinguished road megeneration's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    Thanks for the reply/info, skimmer!

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    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    have you checked fuel pressure regulator and fuel filters. there are 2 fuel pumps.

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  18. #16
    Junior Member megeneration is on a distinguished road megeneration's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    Hi, Randy! Thanks for the reply. I was thinking of replacing the in tank pump/filter. I have suspected the regulator could be a culprit... I will consult my Bently when I get home. I tried to bring it with me to work, but couldn't get it to fit in the bike saddle bags!

  19. #17
    Junior Member eryx is on a distinguished road eryx's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    This is a great thread, Hey Randy or megeneration you talked about 2 fuel pumps. Where are they located and how can you test them?

  20. #18

    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    one pump under car in front of the passengers rear tire and one in tank you can get to from a panel in trunk. way to test is to disconnect the exhaust end of pump and watch it spray. what problems are having?

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    Junior Member eryx is on a distinguished road eryx's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    Quote Originally Posted by randy.l.johnston View Post
    one pump under car in front of the passengers rear tire and one in tank you can get to from a panel in trunk. way to test is to disconnect the exhaust end of pump and watch it spray. what problems are having?
    I am not getting any fuel to the injector pump. I took off the intake line to the injector pump from the fuel filter and than took out the line from the tank to test flow and nothing. My jetta is a 92 diesel I replace the fuel sending unit in the tank, though it was just a something to read the fuel level though, not a pump. I will check out the one under the drivers side, Thanks for the help

  22. #20

    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    check fuel pump fuse ?

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  23. #21
    Junior Member eryx is on a distinguished road eryx's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    Yes sir first thing I checked, also the relay both good.

  24. #22
    Junior Member eryx is on a distinguished road eryx's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    I was just thinking about that video that you posted. Have you thought about turning up the idle up? On my injector pump there is a screw that the throttle cable sits against. Here is a post on another forum that has pictures.

    http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...uel-consuption

  25. #23

    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    If you remove the air hose going to the fuel pressure regulator and you smell fuel or its squirting fuel then that would explain the fuel smell in oil. regulator is an easy replacement two Phillips screws.

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  26. #24

    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    Quote Originally Posted by eryx View Post
    I am not getting any fuel to the injector pump. I took off the intake line to the injector pump from the fuel filter and than took out the line from the tank to test flow and nothing. My jetta is a 92 diesel I replace the fuel sending unit in the tank, though it was just a something to read the fuel level though, not a pump. I will check out the one under the drivers side, Thanks for the help
    are any of your fuel pumps getting any power ?

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  27. #25
    Junior Member megeneration is on a distinguished road megeneration's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    I wanted to replace the fuel pressure regulator before I replaced any pump, because (and if you watch the video, it kind of verifies it) it seems to run okay for a minute, and then, it's like it gets starved for fuel, but from what I've found, they're pretty danged spendy! I haven't turned up the idle at all, because when it is idling good, it is around 800 RPM, which, I think, is what the Bently recommends. I drove it to work last week, just to get things moving and charge the battery, and, something I thought was odd, when it's "hot", it seems to want to idle just fine. Hmmm... I was also able to locate my transmission ID#, and verified that I needed a 100mm axle hub, so thank you for that, Skimmer! I have one on order from ECS, and it should be here this week sometime. I'll keep posting, maybe sporadically, until I get this sucker running right! Oh, one other thing that is an improvement, I pulled a spark plug, and it's a nice tan, as opposed to the black, fluffy carbon I had before... so I am getting places... slowly!

  28. #26
    Junior Member megeneration is on a distinguished road megeneration's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    I replaced the fuel pressure regulator, and it runs MUCH more smoothly than before. She'll idle after a quick warm up, and everything. Several questions remain, as we are still not at 100%: Why would it be, that if I am above about 2k RPM, if I put in the clutch, it'll stall... she does that at any RPM. If I put in the clutch, the RPM's drop way down, and then recover. Also, I got my new axle, and it comes with a pack of grease. The only place I can see to put anything is on the transmission end of the axle, and do I need to "press" it in? I'm also kicking around the idea of putting the original ECU back in, since there didn't appear to be anything wrong with it. The one I replaced it with, is an eBay purchase out of a '88 or '90 Golf, 1.8L 8 valve, so I thought it'd be compatible, but now I wonder, as everything seemed to tank when I changed ECU's. Thanks again, everyone!

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    Junior Member megeneration is on a distinguished road megeneration's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    Quick update, as I am feeling a little distraught... I was fairly excited to get the CV axle changed out, everything was working out perfect... Got the old axle out, greased up the new one in the vise, placed my new gasket, took it over to the car, went to put the little washer-things on, with a couple of newly cleaned bolts... and the holes don't line up! They're all off by just a hair (and by hair, I mean 1/16"-3/32")... I sat, dejected, in the driveway and checked each one, but, alas... I think I needed to get the 90mm hub, not the 100. That's the only answer I can come up with, even though it doesn't make sense, cause I checked my tranny code against the list... Guess I'll be getting ahold of ECS and seeing what their return policy is... Thank goodness it's still 5 months until it's too cold to ride the motorcycle!

  30. #28
    Junior Member megeneration is on a distinguished road megeneration's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    I'll post some pictures tomorrow of the difference. It's not at the hub, it's at the transmission end...

  31. #29
    Junior Member megeneration is on a distinguished road megeneration's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1989 Jetta

    Okay! Apologies to anyone following this thread! I could not log in after the whole security breech, but got a new password today! Lots of news here; first, it did end up being the 90mm axle flange. I replaced it, and it's working just fine. Also, the whole issue with my idle ended up being the Air Flow Meter (not a MAF, as pointed out in another thread, but an AFM). Changed that out, she purrs like a kitten. I've been driving all over the place! I also figured out what's up with my mileage. I noticed one day that my odometer just quit working, and turns out it will do that every so often, for about 20-30 miles, and then start working again. That explains my poor mileage, I thought. So, to test my theory, I drove from my house, in Central Washington State, to my inlaws over by Seattle, about 200 miles, then, did the math when I topped off the tank. Turns out, I used 6.4 gallons of fuel in 200 miles, or, about 31 miles to the gallon. So, that's where I'm at now... pretty happy! It still bucks and misses slightly when attempting to hold the throttle steady at about 2k RPM, so I have an oxygen sensor on order, that should be here in a few days, and I'm hoping that will totally clear it up. Either way, I now have a fairly reliable car for the winter now. Thanks to everyone who helped out and/or threw in opinions and advice while I tried to figure this out. And, hopefully, this thread will be able to help someone else in the future.

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