View Full Version : fuel problems

06-05-2002, 04:13 AM
I have an '83 GTI that I am getting finished up. I took it out for a test drive and discovered some odd problems. The engine runs great and pulls hard up to 3500-4000 rpm and then it starts to run strange. The best description would be similar to hitting the rev limiter (on a car that has one), no misfire, just a gentle roughness or buzz. I can somewhat coax it to go to 5000 by little pumps on the throttle . The other problem that I belive is related is I can only turn left . When I turn right the engine dies instantly, if I stop turning, the engine refires on its own and if I hold the turn until it dies all the way it will start up just fine when the car isn't turning right anymore.The tank was 3/4 full. The inside of the tank and the strainer are very clean. I have a new fuel pump and filter. Doesn't make sense to me but I am sure someone here has had a similar problem- Thanks, Chris

06-05-2002, 11:16 AM
similar problems i've heard of usually point to engine breathing, not fuel. If you have a cat, is it blocked? air filter clean? flow plate unrestricted?

Other than that, the usual Bentley troubleshooting procedures might help you, with respect to fuel and timing.


83 Rabbit GTI - future ITB

06-06-2002, 07:52 AM

What you describe sounds like a fuel shortage problem, actually I have heard of your problem several times and it has always been related to the in tank pre-pump failing. Does your car have a pre-pump? I think they started using them in 1984 so I'm not sure if a 1983 would have one. Be sure your air sensor has free movement - check and/or remove the metal screen on top of the fuel distributor venturi to insure it doesn't restrict air sensor movement. good luck

06-06-2002, 08:10 AM
Ahh...The "infamous" right turn stalling...we had that problem often when we ran bunnies.

Make sure the fuel tank vent is not blocked.
The RR wheel will kick up dirt and plug it in the RR wheel well near the fuel filler neck.

Bill Sulouff - Bildon Motorsport (http://www.bildon.com)
Volkswagen Racing Equipment

06-10-2002, 02:52 AM
Ok- I messed around with this all weekend and am back where I started- It won't rev over 4000 and won't turn right. There is no in tank pump but it does have an accumulator that has a slight "wetness" of gas on the out side. I had been guessing that the accumulator was just a pressure reserve for starting, does it actually provide a buffering effect when the car is running? (I have to plead ignorance on this one) Could this be the fuel pump not putting out enough pressure to fight a right hand turn? I wouldn't think so but...I guess next step is to get some fittings that will adapt a guage to the fuel system so I can see what is going on.Any ideas?? I am ready to call Ms.Cleos psycic hotline! Thanks for the help so far- I just want to go drive my car!!!

06-10-2002, 07:19 AM
Take the fuel filler cap off and try it again.

Also, check the warmup regulator. (not related to turning, but I've had this cause problems that "coincidentally" only appeared in right hand turns.

Bill Sulouff - Bildon Motorsport (http://www.bildon.com)
Volkswagen Racing Equipment

Mark LaBarre
06-10-2002, 10:09 AM
Does it die only when turning and moving or will it die when sitting still and turning the wheel? I had a fuel intake hose (from the tank to the pump) kink on right handers, from the fuel pump shifting slightly.


06-23-2002, 05:13 AM
Arghhhh!!!- I am about ready to give up! I fixed the engine not going over 4000rpm with a distributor rebuild. It runs great straight and turning left (be good for NASCAR), but as soon as I turn right it feels like the ignition gets shut off. I have...run a hot wire to the coil (same problem), jacked the car up on the right about 4 feet (runs fine),cranked the wheel hard right at an idle (runs fine) relocated the fuel pick up with a flexible weighted ss hose that keeps it right in the bottom.Ran multiple grounds to every thing. Spent 6 hrs. checking all the wires I can. Shaken, bounced, jostled,wiggled,(haven't started kicking yet...soon) all the parts of everything I can get at. At this point I am getting pretty aggravated. It dies and restarts so quickly I am guessing it isn't the fuel system? ANY IDEAS would be a great help. (At least I can try something different) Thanks- Chris
ps- Tim- I lost all my email addresses, if you see this- send me an email- [email protected]

06-24-2002, 09:16 PM
Replace the ignition module and dont let
the new one get wet

06-25-2002, 11:15 PM
Had this problem during the 1st rebuild. Found the wiring harness had a few problems. Replaced the enitre harness and have not had a problem since.

06-26-2002, 03:07 AM
Check your fuel pump ground. Start the car and bring to normal operating temp. At this point perform a wiggle test on the wiring harnes. Choose a starting point and wiggle wires. Your movements should be one to two inches, if the motor cuts out your problem is in the harness. Basic automotive start with ignition, fuel and last electronics. Road test the car with a timing light, if the light goes out when you are driving problem in ignition system. Check coil output should be 25-35Kv at coil wire. Spray water or glass cleaner on ignition wires see if engine runs rough. Fuel psi. test road test with fuel gauge and check for psi. drop.

Gary Semerdjian
#98 Corrado ITS

07-07-2002, 08:13 PM
Thanks For All The Help-I finally found the problem. It was the pickup tube where it meets the tank. I looked at it a few times and it looked fine, I finally put a screwdriver in a wiggled it, to my surprise it wasn't connected. Whatever VW used to hold it together had completely disolved (I imagine a piece of hose?)Now in the process of running a new pickup. Thanks, Chris

07-08-2002, 09:00 AM
Isn't it funny how these things always turn out to be the simplest things!! a fuel pick up and distributor, boy...

07-08-2002, 06:21 PM

Was the pick-up tube inside the tank? If so how did you get at it?

ITC #0

10-06-2008, 09:31 PM
Years later...I have a similar problem-all right turns. Left and straight it is a champ! Definately needs new tank-the little rubber baffle is disintegrating-but it happens with full tank...any ideas?

Lael Cleland
10-06-2008, 11:30 PM
UM my cure is an in the tank pump from a cabbie or a scirocco. they used them in 85 and up. ya might need a new fuel pump relay(more draw) bla bla maybe heavier wire/switch...
thats my .02

10-07-2008, 07:42 AM
My car had an identical problem.

Replaced my gas tank with one from Autozone and presto - life is good again. The autozone tank I picked up has an all metal baffle so it's not going to rot away like the old OEM one did.

I can go down to less than 1/4 tank before it will bog in hard right handers with race tires. Not totally ideal but for $142 out the door and 2 hours work it's acceptable to me.

This was my original thread:

I just didn't want to spend big money on a fuel cell.

10-07-2008, 12:29 PM
Chris, you can solve this problem with a replacing the tank. New the 83 GTI had this problem. You can install part number 533-201-511 A. You will need to install a prepump, but this can be external. I used a facet diaghram pump. You can reduce the tank outlet down with a diesel tank hose 171-201-543 B. It reduces from 11mm down to 7mm. The 533 number is listed as a fuel filter, but is actually a resevoir. You will plumb your pre pump, the main pump and the FI return into it. The last fitting is a return to the tank. There is another discussion of this part somewhere here. I could not find it. Regards