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Re: [T3] Wierd electrical problem

On 23 Jun 2002, at 19:15, Daniel Baum wrote:

> Anyway, the first time I tried to start the engine, the switch went on OK,
> the GEN and OIL lights lit up, but when I tried to turn the starter, a fuse
> blew. I changed the fuse, and all was well, all day yesterday. I wouldn't have
> given it any more thought, but then it happened again today. The fuse blew the
> first time I started the engine, but everything was fine after I changed it, and
> still is as far as I know.  the charging system seems to be working; I can
> measure 14.15V across the battery at medium RPM. Everything seems OK, except
> perhaps voltage across the battery is a little higher at idle than I remember it
> being before - about 14V.

So at this point you've changed the fuse twice and each time that seemed to 
fix it? Can you tell use which fuse it is and what it seems to supply? If you 
take this fuse out, does the starter still work?

There should be NO fuse in the starter line. I don't know what VW expected 
to protect that line, but they didn't provide a fuse for that. If you have rewired 
this so that there is now a fuse there, you may need to just install a bigger 
fuse. The starter draws a LOT of current for a brief moment, then it drops to 
just a lot of current.

> The only time I have seen anything similar is when I installed a new
> generator and had to polarise it before it would work. Could this be the
> problem? I can't see anything that could be shorting, and I didn't change
> anything other than what I mentioned above.

Polarizing only affects the charging, which is not happening when you're 
trying to start the engine. If you read ~14V at the battery and the ground is 
negative, then there's nothing wrong with your polarization; don't be tempted 
to re-do this "just in case." This more often leads to damage than to 
improvements, because it's so easy to do it wrong.

Jim Adney, jadney@vwtype3.org
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

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