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[T3] UPDATE: Smoke, Loss of Power...

Zippy Update:

It seems that zippy was really flooding (with something)?  I finally got
portions of the Bentley's book photocopied and I started diagnosing the
problem with the FI system (since I just did the tune up, I'm assuming
that the ignition system is ok, for now).

While I was testing out the idle speed settings, the problem started
reappeared.  This time, however, after shutting off the engine, I was
not able to restart it immediately.  I noticed that there was white
smoke AND gas (or some sort of fluid) coming out of the tailpipe as if
the engine was completely flooded.

After waiting for ten minutes or so, zippy was able start up again
without problem, but zippy was unable to start immediately after the

So far I've tuned her up, checked the pressure sensor, adjusted the
valves etc.  I'm not losing any oil (or if so, too little to be
noticed), but it really seems odd that fluid would be coming out of the
exhaust pipe given how hot the exhaust is.  

Given this and the helpful feedback from y'all, I figured the problem
might be ignition related.  I rechecked all the points, wires,
distributor and cap and they seem ok, but I did notice that the
generator reads 12.65 volts at 1000 rpm idle, but gets as high as 14.1V.
Is that normal?  My alternator vehicles generate a more constant 14
volts at any engine speed.

Jim had mentioned the fuel overflow hose and water contamination as a
possibility as well.  Mine was broken and leaking gas when turning
right.  Unfortunately, I replaced this part about a month ago (4 tanks
of gas or so ago), but the problem still seems to be occurring.  If the
problem were fuel contamination, would I need to drain the tank or would
the problem generally clear up over time as the water-contaminated fuel
gets used?

Any ideas or next steps?

-----Original Message-----
From: jadney@vwtype3.org [mailto:jadney@vwtype3.org] 
Sent: Thursday, May 30, 2002 12:26 PM
To: type3@vwtype3.org
Subject: Re: [T3] Smoke, Loss of Power...

On 27 May 2002, at 22:37, Wade Shen wrote:

> When it happened this afternoon, I pulled over and shut off the
> engine. I saw gas fumes coming out of the tailpipe.  When I started 
> zippy again, white smoke came out.  I waited a couple of minutes, 
> started zippy for a third time, and he ran fine for the rest of the 
> day.  Anybody experience intermittent problems like this?

Start by checking your fuel overflow hose. If it is damaged you may 
have a gas tank that is half full of water from driving in the rain.
can be pretty intermittent depending on how much time the water 
has had to settle to the bottome of the tank.

While smoke often means unburned gas, which can be an injector 
stuck open, or just a cylinder not firing (ignition problem of some 
kind.) You have to narrow it down first. 

Blue/black smoke is usually oil, which can be normal if it happens 
only briefly after sitting overnight.

Troubleshooting by smoke color can be a problem in itself because 
your perception of the color may not be the same as someone 
else's, and the color impression is often different if you are sitting
the middle of the cloud than if you are viewing it from a distance.

Jim Adney
Madison, WI USA

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