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Golf GTI, Why You No Start?

And then it stranded us.

In the previous post, the Golf showed its sense of humour and forgot it had a Left-Hand side of the car electrics.

First off, I get up, have a shit shower and shave. After breakfast I went out to the Golf, disconnected battery and started a timer for 30 mins. Faffed around during this time, cleaned some pine needles off the car and cleared a blocked drain in the engine bay (bloody pine trees). Eventually the timer buzzed in my pocket. When the enjoyment of this buzzing wore off I reconnected the battery, and did some further testing.

The car has suddenly remembered it has a LH side, and all electrics are now working. HURRAH! As I suspected the indicators are now flashing again when the car is locked and unlocked, and all the doors, windows and mirrors do what they should.

In my excitement I decided to take the car to Ptown for some hardcore shopping. Drives there mint, showed some cars who was boss on the passing lanes over haywards, awesome. I park up at Repco, return some shit I didn’t need, and move the car to the mitre10 carpark for some further shopping.

Now, before I continue, let’s look back at yesterday. I took the car to work, no LH side of car and all. At lunchtime I decided I wanted to go out and get some feed. Jump in the golf, turn the key and the bastard doesn’t start. Just cranks over and over and over, no signs of it trying to fire. Oh bugger this. I jump out, in the rain, pop the hood and do some generic “trust me, I’m a mechanic” poking and prodding under the hood. Jump back in, and she fires up first turn of the engine (like usual).

Did some reading online, a couple of reports of vapor lock in the fuel system causing hard starts when warm. thought it was a bit odd because the car had been sitting for 5 hours, so hardly warm, but accepted it. The car started and drove home after work fine.

Now, back to this afternoon. I finish buying my awesome stuff (ie: nothing) from mitre10, and go to start the car. It does it again, just cranks over and over. FML. Jump out, be a mechanic again, still won’t start. Figure if it’s heat related, doing more shopping and leaving the car there would A: do me some good, I need a walk B: let the car cool down and it might start, if it feels like it.

Shopped for a bit, came back to the car, still won’t start. By this time it’s been a couple of hours, I’m pretty pissed off and the better half is getting a bit worried. I reassure her by once again showing I’m a mechanic under the hood. Still doesn’t start, she is losing confidence in my mechanical (and magical) abilities.

It’s getting cold and dark, so I call defeat and ring roadside rescue. They checked a low car suitable flatbed was available and booked it. Unfortunately, it was on a job, probably pulling little Johnny out of a ditch, so would be a while off. In the meantime I decided to do some more digging.

Obviously, it was fuel or spark that was missing. I always have my OBD2 bluetooth scanner in the car, because it’s fun watching things on my phone screen whilst driving. I did a quick check, if the fuel pump wasn’t working, the fuel rail pressure would be poo. Sure enough, when I checked the fuel pressure in the rail it shot up as soon as the engine was cranked. Fuel ruled out, the low-pressure pump is feeding the high-pressure pump and the pressure was quickly increased to almost 1000psi.

So, its spark then. Its coil on plug, so it would be pretty unexpected for all 4 coils to fail in one go. Wait, what about the Japanese ignition booster boxes? Turned the ignition on, and popped the hood. sure enough, the lights on the boxes were not lit. Wiggled and jiggled the wiring going to the boxes, and the light came on. Turned the key and the car fired into life. Bastard.

Drove around the block a bit, and the car was running fine. Decided to YOLO it, so rang roadside rescue and told them to cancel the truck as I was going to limp the car home (and not pay the $80 towing fee).

Got home ok, no issues at all. DSG is even operating a little better with the battery reset, and it’s learning my driving style. Rev matching on downshift is a bit better than it was.

So all in all, the car is now in the garage, didn’t need a tow, and I’ll be ripping all the useless dodgy Japanese electronic boxes out from under the hood.

Didn’t need this in the end, but made me feel like a mad hardparker driving home with it in

And these are the POS I’ll be pulling out

As well as my box of Raizins

Ripped out some bits.

A few days later, I thought I should probably get the stricken Golf out of the garage so the Fit can get out of the cold. Poor thing.

So this is where I started. removed the engine cover (getting really good at that now), and took a good geez at what was before me. The two boxes and the clump of wiring.

I started by physically removing the boxes from their mounts and removing all the dozens of zipties holding the wiring in.

Disconnected the (un-fused) mains connection, and ground

When I weeded out the wiring for the Alpha CI box, I wasn’t left with a lot. In fact, only two wires were heading into the loom. Two of the wires were intercepting the main power feed for a bank of coils.

Now, I did intend to solder the wires back together when I started, but it’s a bit of a poo to reach, the wires are now short with not much slack (due to them being cut), and the lovely Japanese installer has installed bullet terminals on them. I decided it was just easier to reuse the bullet terminals, so I plugged them together and wrapped the loom in insulation tape.

So after fixing that mess I had a look into the Raizin box. After some careful investigation I noted that the Pivot system comprises of the box with a power and ground, and a completely separate grounding kit. Left the grounding kit in place (after a quick tidy up of the wiring to the battery), and removed the box and its wiring.

This is all the crap I was left with

The battery cover and fuse lid now fit correctly, much cleaner.

The car now starts and operates reliably, and seems to have no less power or anything. I’d say those boxes did a whole lot of nothing, except cause intermittent starting issues.


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