72 beetle

I have a 72 Beetle, a great one, very fun, the only problem is that it doesn’t start. i have checked everything! The starter turns and turns, but I hear no spark catching gas. I checked the plugs, checked the carborator, checked the fuel pump, checked the timing, replaced the coil, condenser, wires, and even the battery. The ground wire is good and the connection is tight. Everything works but the darn thing won’t start! Any help would be LOVED!!!

How about plug wires. They did not last very long in my old 1970. Have you checked for spark? Remove one plug, put the wire back on it and hold the threads tight against the engine while someone turns the key to activate the starter. You should get a bright blue spark. You will also get a really good shock if you are not using a well insulated tool to hold that plug.

After trying to start it a few times do you get a gasoline smell from the exhaust? Who check the carburetor and what did they check if for?

If you don’t have one, get a copy of “How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive” Great book. Plan on reading the whole thing some evening. Very entertaining.

This problem is going to be a simple one to solve. There is nothing complicated about these cars.

Since it sounds like the engine lacks spark based on what you’ve related, the first step is turn the key ON and with a test light or VOM check for power at the positive terminal of the ignition coil.
If there is no power odds are the problem is the electrical part of the ignition switch or the in-line fuse in the plastic connector near the generator. You DID check the fuse I hope.

I have new wires, and the book, it is very helpful!I cleaned the carb and put in all new gaskets etc… a rebuild kit. but it doesn’t catch

I have checked and have power at the coil, I also have checked the in line fuse… still looking to solve this puzzle :frowning:

Did you put the rotor back in the distributor? I’m not being sarcastic. When I put new plugs and points in the first car I ever owned, it wouldn’t start. I checked everything–point gap, voltage to the coil, etc. I could flick the points open and closed and get a healthy spark at the coil wire. As I was staring at things, my dad came along and picked up the rotor off the front fender. “Does this part have anything to do with your problem?” he asked.

LOL that is great :slight_smile: But unfortunately the rotor is there. I was thinking of changing to electronic ignition anyway though.

Do you have power at the coil while the engine is being cranked over? If not, the ignition switch could be faulty, and that’s not a rare thing to happen either.

A few more questions.
Did this problem suddenly surface or did it come on gradually?
Any rough running or lack of power previously?

With the air cleaner removed, open the choke flap, look down inside the carburetor with a flashlight, and note if you see any gasoline being sprayed from the brass discharge tube when you move the throttle by hand.
If there is no gasoline being sprayed out the Jesus ball in the carburetor body could be clogged or stuck. (Jesus ball so-named because if you lose it Lord help you as the old saying goes.)

I will definitely check that!
The problem was all of the sudden, just stopped working.
Luckily gas is being sprayed too :slight_smile:

Well, it is always the little things that get me. I overhauled a LawnBoy mower–new rings, new needle and seat in the carburetor, and new magneto points. When I pulled the cord, it wouldn’t start. Checked for spark–it was good. Poured gas directly into the carburetor and the engine would run for a couple of seconds and stop. I pulled the fuel hose off the carburetor–no fuel. I forgot that I had drained the gasoline out of the tank. Refilled the tank and it ran perfectly.

Put the test light on the number 1 terminal of the coil (green wire goes to distributor) of course ground the test light, crank the engine, the test light should flash. You dont say “replaced points” or perhaps I missed it. Points would be the first thing I would have done.

You can buy an inline tester to put between the spark plug and the wire at Harbor Freight for less than $5. That will tell you if you have spark.
Does this car have a ballast resistor ? They are cheap and easy to replace. Put a voltmeter on the side terminal of the distributor with two wires on it. You should get 6 volts with the key on in the run position and 12 volts with the engine cranking.

The VWs do not use an external resistor. It’s inside the ignition coil and this is why a VW specific coil should be used when changing one out.

Making sure the points are actually opening is a good suggestion also. They’ve been known to close up over time when the dist. cam is dry.
Compression, gas, and spark; it oughta be doing something.

1st thing to do is see if it is fuel or spark trouble.
Spray good starting fluid while cranking if it starts you know it is not getting fuel.
Since you have a timing light use it on EACH wire while cranking.

Has your car a choke?

Make sure those wires in in the right order.