Sunday, August 17, 2008

Quick fix for stupid failure

The day before yesterday my beloved camper didn't start. The starter didn't work, all the lights on the console went black. When I opened the engine bay cover and asked my wife Ania to start the engine, I saw some sparks on cable that goes from the battery to the starter. Since it was late and raining, we left the bus where it stood (luckily it was next to my parents-in-law) and took a cab home.

Yesterday I went there to fix the failure with my father-in-law. I am very glad he never refused to help me with my camper. He knows a bit about cars and engines, so I can almost always count on his help and knowledge. Of course my main expert and idol when it comes to cars is Tomek, who was mentioned here many times. :)

Our first idea was: cable between the battery and the starter is broken. My father-in-law tried to pull it from the connector on the battery and saw that it's loosened there. So we disconnected the connector and dissasemblied it. I didn't like the look of it.

From Volkswagen Tr...

All the surfaces that were supposed to provide good contact between those connectors were covered with patina. So I took sandpaper and metal brush and cleaned all the surfaces. The main cable (on the photo below it's the one I hold) was also covered with solder to provide better electric connection.

Once everything was clean, we bolted the connector back, covered it with vaseline (to stop water and patina) and attached it to the battery.

The starter runs like never before!


ktimorio said...

Good job Krzysztof! ;)

After all those year these old cables in our Volkswagens are full of tons of patina... hehe!
Some of the guys who owned my bus before rearrange a lo of cables in the car. I found big "cable-salads" at some places inside. So I removed many useless cables and reordered them. I hope that you dont find such things inside of your campers... ;)

I also read your holiday posts... I'm glad to see that your campers is again ready for action - finally... ;)


Krzysztof Lis said...

Hi Kai,

I'm so glad to hear from you! :) I have the same case as you do -- a lot of weird cables running back and forth, all over the camper. ;) It's got it's third engine: first the aircooled 1.6 litre gasoline boxer, then the 1.6 litre diesel and now the 1.6 litre supercharged diesel. I guess someone will eventually have to put all those cables in some order. ;)

ktimorio said...

Wow, it was a gasoline engine before!? I heard that you have to change a lot of things (electricity too) if you want to change the engine from an gasoline to the diesel engine. Even if it was an aircooled one, they had to add the complete cooling system.

However, that makes all those old cars unique - theirs histories... ;)

Mine was a transporter before. Someone cut holes for the windows into the car and put camping roof and camping stuff inside. I'm also having the third engine (minimum) inside now. But it has always been a 1,6 diesel without turbo. The turbo charger is just one more part that can break... ;)

Greetings, Kai

Krzysztof Lis said...

I guess most of the campers were all-metal when they left the factory. Since there was no version with four side windows (only with two or six), they had to cut the left window and cut another in the sliding door or simply replace the door.