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RE: [T3] drove the fastback, finally!!! JUMBO POST

I didn't really want to go to work this morning.  As it turns out, neither
did my fastback.

Here we go...  Jumped in the car, tuned out the sewing machine noise as
being normal due to no real sound damping.  I made it about 6 of the 10
miles, and it stalled for2rent reason at a stop light.  Got it
restarted with some difficulty and took the "least traffic" fork of the
road.  About another mile up the road, it began running like total crap -
sputtering a bit like it was missing, little backfire pops on a pretty
consistent basis.  The timing was set correctly before I decided to drive
it - I could reach in through the window and start it.  I appropriately
freaked out and parked it immediately.  Not having tools (oh, stupid, stupid
boy!) or time this morning, I regretfully decided to abandon ship after
wiggling some wires and disconnecting the cold start injector (in case it
was stuck).  I noticed that when I checked the connection to the cylinder
head temp sender, the car was able to restart.  I had some problems earlier
in the driveway (weeks ago) when the car wouldn't start and it helped when I
cleaned that connection really well.  Suspect #1?

When it started running really badly, I noticed that the gas pedal wasn't
giving the desired results.  I mean, when I stepped on the gas, the engine
didn't seem to want to accelerate, and then ultimately, run at all.  Kind of
like when you run out of gas - it just kind of wanted to fade out and die.
No dramatic effects, just died out slowly.  I checked the fuel pressure on
the day I was playing with my fuel injection tester - it WAS 30 PSI.  I plan
on rechecking it this weekend to see if pump or regulator are on their way
out.  Suspect #2?

<Jim>As long as the cooling air is being sucked in through the rubber
>bellows at the rear and coming from the proper intake louvers there
>should be no problem.</Jim>

I thought that was the case.  When it died, that's one of the first things I
checked for was overheating.  The engine did not feel even as hot as my
super beetle engine gets on the way to work.  I used that check to rule out
timing as an issue - combined with the fact that I had previously set it.

<Jim>Few people realize that their engines put out more power in heat than
>in mechanical HP; yes, they are less than 50% e_.</Jim>

Oh yeah, I believe that now.  I was sweating even before the engine started
freaking out.

<Jim>If this is a new engine, </Jim>

Nyet.  This engine is the one from my '71 Squareback, using the '73
fastback's throttle position switch and manifold pressure sensor.  Until
now, the car was believing everything was cool.  Which brings me to another
suspect, what about the wiring on the car itself?  My electronics training
makes me hesitate on this one, but I really don't know the car as well as I
know the engine.

On the way home from work, a friend helped me rescue the car.  We got it to
start, but it still didn't sound too happy.  When it was still pretty cold,
it didn't have stunning performance, but at least it ran.  I let it idle for
a few minutes and took more time for problem diagnosis.  I noticed that
while removing injector connections with the engine running, #2 and #4
didn't have nearly as much effect as removing #1 and #3.  Bentley says
they're paired #1 and #4; and #2 and #3.  Doesn't match the problem, but
that's what I saw.  I'll check the wires to make sure I don't have a set of
injector plugs crossed.  Also, I thought the injector points might not be
working properly.  A combination of the two might cause this situation.  I
could touch the exhausts right at the head on #2 and #4 while it was
running.  Later after about 5 miles of very nervous driving back towards
home, they were much warmer (hot) but I still suspect that they are not
firing properly.  The car got tired of running after about that distance so
we towed it the last 1/4 mile or so.  We didn't tow it the entire distance
due to traffic.  Now it's at my friend's house and his dad may look at it
tomorrow, although I really kind of dread that - he's a long time type I
fanatic and I don't know how much he can do, good or bad.

<Jim>Why is that deck gone?</Jim>

The DPO didn't seem to be alarmed by a trunk full of water from cracked
window seals and a missing trunk seal.

Sorry about the huge post, maybe I'll be the first one tonfted out by
Greg's new filter.  I thought it would be of good general interest for those
with FI or thinking about it.  Even with having to push the car by hand
twice, it was still more fun than the best drive in the super beetle!

Jake Kooser

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