[T3] ECU's was Two Tests
topnotch at nycap.rr.com
Fri Sep 20 17:53:01 PDT 2019
In all the years ive been driving them, I DID have ONE brain that died on
its own, it was the fuel pump driving transistor that opened up a leg on it,
and it died suddenly on the way out of work. Could probably have fixed it
but I just used another brain at the time.
topnotch at nycap.rr.com
71 Squareback "Hothe"
65 Notchback "El Baja Rojo"
93 RX7 "Redstur"
95 Chrysler Cirrus Lxi "Cirfogsalot"
"hanging out at the tail end of the bell
curve, and loving every minute of it!"
From: type3-vwtype3.org [mailto:type3-vwtype3.org-bounces at lists.vwtype3.org]
On Behalf Of Jim Adney
Sent: Friday, September 20, 2019 4:38 PM
To: type3 at vwtype3.org
Subject: Re: [T3] ECU's was Two Tests
On 20 Sep 2019 at 17:02, bobsnotch at aol.com wrote:
> I always thought you kept telling us that IF the FI worked, it's not an
> problem. However, we've learned over the years, the the #19 ground circuit
> can die in them. So is this another possible place that they can go kaput?
I was able to repair one ECU where one lead of the transistor that ran #19
and rusted away. That came from Alabama, and it looked like high humidity,
and a poor choice of transistor spacer got to it.
What I've always tried to say was that the ECUs have been extremely
reliable. OTOH, I've probably been too forceful on this at times. I have
personally never encountered a bad one on a car I was working on, but I
have several which are bad, that came from other people. The problem with
those is that I don't have any way to know if they died on their own or died
due to some sort of accidental abuse by the owner or a previous mechanic,
or even if they were actually bad at all before someone tore into them.
I'm sure there are a number of ways one could kill an ECU, but that's
different from one dying on its own.
I always keep in mind Daniel's experience: He accidentally miswired his FI
trigger point connector, and then started noticing that his engine wasn't
running right. He got a number of loaner B brains, some of which worked
and some didn't (with his car) Even though he'd been assured that they were
all good. He and Jessican traveled across the US and back in that car,
finally stopping here in Wisconsin, so we put this system on my Bosch
When we got to the point of testing the trigger points, I was turning the
while Daniel watched the tester. There was a long pause from the rear of the
car, but finally Daniel said, "They both move, but they move differently."
we switched places.
I don't recall what the meter showed, but it was something I'd never seen
before and it wasn't right. I think the next thing I did was get a piece of
to take the place of the trigger points, and that didn't test right either.
then that we pulled back the rubber boot and looked at the numbers on the
wires and compared them with the wiring diagram. We realized that Daniel
had mixed up wire 21 and 12, which is really easy to do when the numbers
are upside down.
After correcting the wiring, the tester registered right, the engine ran
AND: Now ALL the B brains Daniel had borrowed worked perfectly!
I don't know why some worked before and some didn't. Perhaps a revised
trigger circuit, but most likely just slightly different tolerances.
So, the moral to the story is: "Even brains which seem bad, may be perfectly
And that's why I remain reluctant to blame the ECUs. The same goes for the
pressure sensors. People tend to jump on both of them when they get
confused, just because they're a black box that they don't understand.
The problems are almost always elsewhere. Not always, but almost always.
Jim Adney, jadney at vwtype3.org
Madison, Wisconsin, USA
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