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[T3] Compression?

I just joined this list after buying a '69 Squareback with only 53,000
miles!  Lots of little things and a few important things need to be fixed
(Thanks to whoever put the info on clock repairs!).

The car's in a VW shop on Long Island (I know I should be doing my own work,
but I've got to get up to speed with all of this.  Besides, I live in
Manhattan, so it's not like I can disassemble the engine on Columbus
Avenue!).  I'm still waiting to hear what the mechanic has to say about the
things I brought it in for, but he has said one thing that I thought was a
bit strange.  I wonder if readers of this post would comment.

Like I said, the car's a '69 SB, all stock with the fuel-injected 1600
engine.  It's a bitch to start, but I can usually get it going within a
half-dozen tries, sometimes less, but sometimes it can take 5 minutes or so
of repeated crankings.  I assumed this is due to the fuel-injection system.
Usually if I turn the key to the "on" position, then "off," then "on," and
repeat this four or five times, she'll start.  My understanding was that
this process adds gas and eliminates excess air in the cylinders.  The
mechanic, however, said the fact that it's so hard to start sounds like "low
compression" to him, not the FI.  By turning the key on and off, I'm helping
to add air to the cylinders therefore building compression.  I admit that
I'm a bit worried about the compression.  I can forget about moving from a
dead stop on a steep uphill grade when stopped at a red light.  It just
ain't gonna happen.  But why immediately jump to the idea of a compression
problem when the FI system seems like an obvious culprit?  And doesn't he
have it wrong about turning the key off and on?

Thanks again and look forw™p moining the group.

John Kaminski

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