nathnn99

This forum has become my greatest resource for making things happen.  I find answers here that even my repair manuals don't cover....

 

Well, I own a '74 Super Beetle and I am having a Starting problem.  Please follow my logic on my problem.  If it is flawed, then please correct me and educate me.  I'm here to learn.

 

When I turn my key over to the run position the oil+generator lights come on so I know my connection is good from the battery.  When I turn the key to the start position, sometimes it starts and sometimes it just sits there.  Sometimes it will even wait up until 5 or so seconds and then start.  When it's not starting it isn't making any noise.  That's why I believe it's not the starter.  When the starter does kick in, it starts up just fine.  I can wiggle or push on the ignition switch, and when it does find the magic spot, (Sometimes that magic spot is hard to find) it does kick off.

 

Because of the above mentioned symptoms, I concluded that something in the electrical part of the ignition switch is loose/bad.  I went to change out my ignition switch this past weekend and ran into a snag.  I did exactly what the Chilton guide said, pulled the steering wheel, dropped the steering column,  pulled the housing, and then it told me to unscrew the retaining bolt + pull out switch.  Well, my housing doesn't have a retaining bolt.  It is solid metal all the way around the ignition assembly.  The switch still wouldn't come out and I tend to strong arm things too much and break them, so I didn't want to pry on it to hard.  Is there any way to get this switch out other than pulling the whole steering wheel apart?  I was trying to not do this since the Chilton guide makes disassembling everything electrical in the column complex, plus easy to mess up while putting it back together.

 

Any help in getting my car running reliably would be appreciated.

So Long and thanks for all the fish!
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MLTigger

The '74 I am buying has a separate starter switch under the dash.  You have to turn the key and then hit the button.  I am wondering if it had the same problem yours is having and the P.O. decided to fix it.

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nathnn99

I read your other post.  It sounds like a good machine.  I'm happy as hell with mine!  (I've only had it for three months now.)  When you described it in the other post  It sounds just like mine.  One of my friends is a VW mechanic (Mainly bugs), and I got the chance to talk to him during lunch.  He told me that bugs are notorious for cracking the electrical part of the ignition switch and this happening.  He said also that one or two wires often come loose in the back.  Chances are whomever owned the Super before you cracked his ignition switch and instead of taking the time or pain in the arse to change it, he bypassed the end of the switch which was cracked.  If you want it to operate normally, then I'm betting you could put the wire back on and put a new switch on.  As soon as I know how to get the switch out I would be happy to tell you how it goes, and if you want you can return yours to stock.  To be honest though, if this is a common problem with a painful fix each time, then the bypass ignition switch may be a more reliable long-term fix.  Best of luck.

So Long and thanks for all the fish!
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kycabledog

Hey there nathnn69,

 

I just replaced my ignition switch on my daughters 73 super. When you tried to take the switch out did you have the key in the on position? After I dissected the entire column I found that the steering lock assy was keeping me from removing the switch. In the on position the steering lock is disabled. I had to remove everything because I did not get an ignition key from the PO.

 

I removed the entire turn signal switch and windshield washer assembly. Then I found a allen head type screw near the left bottom for the metal that goes around the steering wheel. I removed all the connectors at the bottom. There is a clip under the turn signal /windshield wiper assy on the steering shaft, I had to remove this also, then the entire metal housing can come off.

 

After removing the turn signal/washer assy I found two screws that holds part of the ignition in. Look for the two screws just to the left of the ignition switch. Remove these and the ignition switch should come right out if you have the key in and in the on position.

 

Hope this helps!!

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nathnn99

Thanks cabledog,

 

I didn't have the key in at all to try to remove the switch and the steering wheel was locked from when I pulled the bolt to pull off the steering wheel.  That is definitely something I need to check into.  I appreciate the detailed help with this.  thanks!

 

Nathan

So Long and thanks for all the fish!
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MLTigger
nathnn99 wrote:

I read your other post.  It sounds like a good machine.  I'm happy as hell with mine!  (I've only had it for three months now.)  When you described it in the other post  It sounds just like mine.  One of my friends is a VW mechanic (Mainly bugs), and I got the chance to talk to him during lunch.  He told me that bugs are notorious for cracking the electrical part of the ignition switch and this happening.  He said also that one or two wires often come loose in the back.  Chances are whomever owned the Super before you cracked his ignition switch and instead of taking the time or pain in the arse to change it, he bypassed the end of the switch which was cracked.  If you want it to operate normally, then I'm betting you could put the wire back on and put a new switch on.  As soon as I know how to get the switch out I would be happy to tell you how it goes, and if you want you can return yours to stock.  To be honest though, if this is a common problem with a painful fix each time, then the bypass ignition switch may be a more reliable long-term fix.  Best of luck.

 

It makes a good theft deterent too!!!

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68autobug

Hi Guys,

I just read in My Bentley manual on how to remove the ignition switch

it was the same as You said...

but when You pull the key switch up thru the hole,

does the electrical part of the switch stay in the bottom of the hole?

I'm presuming the electrical switch itself is below the key switch !!

 

My ignition switch on My 68 Beetle used to work intermittently until I added a starter relay to the circuit, then only a very small current flows thru the switch... all the current needed to start the engine goes thru the relay [mine is located above My starter motor]

[I placed My Sons next to his battery]

and I've had no problems since...

 

You certainly have to go to a lot of trouble to take the switch out..

which means, it would take a thief a long time to do all that...

plus I can see why starter switches are being used...

 

Lee -- 68AutoBug -- Australia --

 

http://community.webshots.com/user/vw68autobug

 

68AutoBug - helping keep air cooled Volkswagens alive in Australia & around the World -

http://community.webshots.com/user/vw68autobug
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nathnn99

As a matter of fact it did.  The electrical part angles at the end and therefore can not be pulled strait through the tube.  The electrical part comes out the bottom and the key assembly comes out the top.

 

I am still contemplating putting in a starter switch myself.  I had my starter switch (electrical part) replaced and my mechanic said it helped with the problem but did not solve it.  Typically he said that either the electrical switch goes bad (common problem) or the wires fall out of the back and becomes loose.  

 

As for my case, it turns out that the mechanical portion of my switch is going bad.  I am still having the starting problem, so I am ordering the mechanical portion to hopefully fix it.  My mechanic told me that both parts often go bad, but it tends to be the electrical part that usually cracks and is the problem.  If, in my case, the mechanical part doesn't fix it, I am going to have to switch over to a bypass system of some sort.

 

It is a pain in the but taking the switch out.  It did make it harder for a thief, I'll give out that.  MLTigger made a good point also; putting in the bypass switch if placed in an unseen location would make a perfect anti-theft device.  What thief is going to be looking under the dash or on the kick panel somewhere for a switch to push after the key is turned over to run. 

So Long and thanks for all the fish!
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68autobug

 

Yes,

 You can put a push button virtually anywhere...

When i rewired My Sons Girlfriends 69 Beetle a few years ago..

I added a remote starter button...

the ignition still had to be switched on...

then I used a standard large external speaker  socket and plug

I put the socket under the seat..

and the plug with switch could be plugged in and the button attached to the plug pushed...

I don't believe the button was ever used, and never saw it again...

but the relay starter circuit hasn't given any trouble...

starts every time...

 

My sister in Laws car [non vw] will not start until a button on the dash is pressed., after the key is turned on, then the key works...

I don't know if it was a standard fitment or someone's great idea..

 

 

Lee    68AutoBug   Australia

68AutoBug - helping keep air cooled Volkswagens alive in Australia & around the World -

http://community.webshots.com/user/vw68autobug
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