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[T3] Winter Adventure - revised

Go ahead, say, "I told you so."

I'm the one with the Ebay Fastback in Phoenix that hired a local firm
(with race cars on their web site) to make my Fastback run.  I will not
mention their name, but you may contact me offline if you are in the
Tempe/Scottsdale area.

"They" never got the fastback to run.  When the dust settled, their
initial $450 estimate was a $1,281 bill.  They could not get any fuel
injector pulses.  They wanted another $200 to change the trigger points
(without even testing them!) (trigger points $130 + labor + +tax)

On Jan 5, I talked with "Them" on the phone and was VERY uncomfortable 
with their "problems" with my car.  

"They" wanted $300 to remove the FI and install carbs (I would supply).
 I would not agree to that until I had checked the FI myself.  I
specifically told their technician that I did not want to install carbs
if the only thing that was wrong was a blown fuse.

I floated a question to vwtype3.org about converting to carbs.  Keith
Parks of the Type3.org sent his FI diagnostic document.  What an
awesome group that Type3.org is.  Anyhow, the schematic in the Clymers
manual was all I needed.  (and the confidence from Keith's document.)

I flew out from Detroit on Jan 7.  I met with "Them" on Saturday the
8th and found they were seriously lacking diagnostic skills.  Their
efforts had been half hearted.  They fixated on fuel pressure and were
blind to most everything else.

Despite a significant financial outlay to handle the logistics, I got
the car away from them that day.  Anyhow, I towed the car to Detroit.

It took me 23 minutes (yes, less than 1/2 hour) to make it run.  No
technical documentation was required.  The fuse to the main power relay
was blown.  The ECU and fuel pump relay were not getting power. 
masked the symptom by wiring the fuel pump directly to the fuse box.)

To add insult to injury, there was a spare fuse in the glove box.

The fuse was the only component I changed.  I tested the trigger points
in the car with a volt-ohm meter.  I made sure all connectors were
attached.  ("They" left two of my injectors disconnected.)  It fired
right up, firing on all four.

I finally started to audit their invoice.  They charged 2 hours to
install a battery.  They charged $98 for a tuneup they simply could not
have done.  They charged 3 hours to wire the fuel pump around the blown
fuse.  The hours they charged for the balance were two to three times
as many as I takes me for the same work.

Before my trip, on December 31, I bought another 1970 Fastback in
Kentucky that also had not run for 4 years.  It took me 6 hours to do
everything (remove and flush tank, overhaul FI fuel pump's pop-off
valve, replace fuel lines, flush balance of fuel system, ..., and have
it running.)  These fuel injection systems are really COOL!

I was expecting to find honesty, ethics, and skill at the Tempe firm. 
I stuck out on all three.

In fairness, they had some "pretty" cars in their shop.  At the risk of
offending someone, I have never had much regard for firms that
specialize in racing.  Granted, there is much skill required for the
top contenders.  The skills required for stripping a car and adding
more fuel, more RPM, more spark, ..., are fairly specialized/limited.

(Ultimately, the Fastback was not roadworthy to be driven cross country
for a winter adventure.  No heat, no brakes, no door seals, no horn, no

Again, thank you for your help on staying with the FI.

I hope to eventually meet you at some Type-3 Invasion.


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

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