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Re: [T3] 73 Fasty FI Question

On 8 Mar 2004 at 21:12, Brodie Nelson\ wrote:

> I have a question about a possible 73 Fuel Injected Fast Back that I am
> considering purchasing.  The car is currently in non-starting condition.
> The owner said that when it ran, he experienced signifigant power loss (in
> acceleration) and decided to replace the fuel filter.  After noticing
> signifigant rust in the filter he decided to replace the (rusty) fuel tank.
> He replaced the fuel tank and has been unable to start the car since.  He
> believes that it might be injector trouble and has swapped a couple
> injectors with used ones without any change.  It has spark, I believe it
> might be fuel pump.  I have other VW's and have experience working on air
> cooled. Is it worth my time to purchase this vehicle for $500?  Should I
> switch to a carb. instead of FI?  Is FI in the Fasty as unreliable as
> mechanics say it is?

The FI will be EXACTLY as reliable as the mechanic working on it. This 
mechanic's attitude betrays the fact that he would NOT be someone that you'd 
want to try to fix it. The main problem with the FI is that so few people 
understand it. This is the VERY FIRST mass produced electronic FI system, and 
it bears almost no resemblence to anything that followed it. You will have to 
learn about it here and fix it yourself. If you're willing to do this, however, 
you'll find that the repairs are generally fairly cheap.  

In general, the FI is extremely reliable as long as it is not abused. In your 
case, I'd be willing to bet that there was water in the gas tank and that the 
electric fuel pump, which is mounted under the gas tank, is rusted solid. 
That's a fairly expensive part, but certainly a lot less expensive than a set 
of carbs. That's easy to check: You should be able to hear it "whirrr" for 
about 1 second every time you turn the key ON.

Switching to carbs is always a long and difficult road, much longer, more 
difficult, and more expensive than the person who sells you the carbs will tell 
you. Carbs are not a simple bolt-on solution. VW had a few thousand engineers, 
many of whom probably worked on carburation. It's unlikely that their work 
could be duplicated in a day by a few people working on a single car.  

Here's my advice: If you like working on cars and are willing to take on a 
challenge, buy the car for $200-300 and plan to take your time getting it 
running. It will need to have the overflow hose to the gas tank fixed, because 
this is where the water came in. Then it will probably need a good used fuel 
pump and, possibly, injectors. Injectors should be new Bosch units, but just 
install a good used pump. A pump should cost less than $100. Injectors are 
about $65 each. Don't replace ANYTHING (except fuel hoses) unless you have 
proven that it's bad.  

When you need parts or advice, ask on this list first. Don't bother that 
mechanic about this. He may be useful on other things, but be CAREFUL.

If you really want a car that you can spend an afternoon and $50 fixing and 
then drive it away carefree for the next year, this is probably not the car for 
you.The ones that come onto the market these days have generally been ignored 
for a few years and have accumulated quite a few problems which will have to be 
fixed before they will run properly. This car probably also needs as much money 
put into the brakes as into the FI. Look the car over carefully for rust. Look 
especially under the back seat and inside the rear of the front wheel wells and 
the front of the rear wheel wells.  

These are great little cars and you will find this list populated with people 
who love them dearly. They will give you great service, but only at the cost of 
having to learn about them and service them as necessary. 

Good luck, and let us know what you decide.

Jim Adney
Madison, WI 53711-3054

List info at http://www.vwtype3.org/list | mailto:gregm@vwtype3.org

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