Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wilson sputters again...

It's official, the hesitation and lunging has returned to this old 78 VW Bus. While driving back from the Chain O’ Lakes State Park on Monday, the bus started hesitating as I drove through the gears. It was an all too familiar feeling. As usual, everything was running perfecting up to this point and then all of a sudden...

...the bus began to rock back and forth as the original 1978, 2.0L FI engine hesitated for a moment, and then repeatedly lunged forward. It happened at about 20mph in 2nd, 35mph in 3rd, and about 55mph in 4th. It occurred after about 75-90 minutes of driving and only lasted about 60 seconds. The problem disappeared as quickly as it came. I first wrote about this problem about a year ago on (IAC) . Until recently, I thought we solved the problem with the recent work on my fuel system. Here are a few of the things fixed in June:
  • replaced fuel pump
  • replaced fuel lines
  • replaced fuel filter
  • replaced double relay
  • checked fuel tank
  • cleaned fuel injectors
  • checked timing and dwell
The bus ran fine for the next 7 weeks and 1,000 miles. Since then, I've experienced the "hesitation" on three occasions. Each time it was after 45-90 minutes of driving, so the engine was good and warm. It lasted less than 60 seconds, and then it was back to normal. I've said this before, but I need to read the old replies on IAC to reivew the other possible causes.

I'll post an update as soon as I know my next steps...

Odometer: 144466


  1. Did you ever find out what the problem was? I have a 1977 Westy 2.0L F.I. and have a similar issue. Except after about 90 minutes of driving, it lurches, hesitates and dies. If I mess around with the connections to the coil, I can get it to start up, but the problem will occur about 5 minutes down the road. This keeps up until I can limp it home. I have tightened up some very loose spade connections on the coil and will order a new coil to have on hand. I have also been told it could be a bad temp 2 sensor.

  2. No I haven't figured it out yet, but it's still happening. I just got it out of storage recently and it happened again after driving about 25 miles. It didn't buck, but it lost power and eventually died. After about a 10 minute break, the bus started right up and we drove the 25 miles home without another problem. I plan to take another look at it soon.

  3. Sometimes people put some lead in the tank for engine lubrication since the fuel is unleaded nowadays. You have to be careful because everything that goes in the tank can clog the fuel supply. In my case it was a piece of plastic that comes from the inside of the cap of the lead bottle. Sometimes when you open a bottle this plastics sticks on the bottle instead of the inside of the cap. This happened to the previous owner of the bus and he did not noticed and poured lead and plastic in the tank. Sporadically this piece of plastic cuts of the fuel supply. He went to great lengths to find the cause and eventually sold the bus. When I bought the bus I had to replace the sender unit of the fuel gage meaning I had to take out the tank and that is when I found the piece of plastic in the tank. The problem never reoccurred again.


Talk to Wilson...