VW Camper Family

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Today, after driving my son Riley home in my bus, I killed the engine by letting my foot off the clutch. This normally doesnt happen to me, but today it was just one of those things. Anyway, the drive to his house was fine. As I was leaving I noticed that the bus felt odd. I was getting hardly any power. The engine seemed to be sputtering. I figured I was out of gas, so I nursed the Pig to the gas station, about a half mile away. It was sluggish the whole way, I'm still thinking that I am just about to run completely out of gas. So I put $20 in the tank. Which gives me about 5 gallons of gas.


After getting the gas, I was still experiencing this odd sluggishness. It felt like I was driving with the brakes on or something. I kept checking the E-brake thinking maybe it was on. I drove it like this to the grocery store, went inside for about twenty to thirty minutes, and came out and started it again. It started right up, and the sluggishness was gone upon take off. It drove smooth all the way home. Like nothing had ever happened. 


SO my question is... (my questions may sound stupider than most, as I am still a rookie at this)


1. Could killing the engine by letting off the clutch while it was running cause me any issues? 


2. Could the possibility that I was out of gas almost completely, have anything to do with the sluggishness. 


3. Was I just hallucinating the entire time?





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I have reread your original post again and now believe that your sluggish issue was due to you running the bus out of gas (or just about out).  A couple of responses above state tank debris being the possible culprit (probably correct).  Run the tank that low and the debris collects at the tank drain and inhibits the gas from flowing.
That is really exactly what it felt like. One thing is obvious, I need to get the gas gauge fixed!  I think I saw a blog post from Ludwig about removing and cleaning the gas tank in a bus! I'll probably refer to that this winter!  I'm also not leaving town Wednesday until I have the names and addresses of every VW shop along the way. Just in case! Plus I'll have my John Muir book, and my Ipod filled with all these great forum threads of what to look for and how to check it.  I think I can travel with a clear mind now. :)

As the owner of a fuelie, you're gonna have to learn it inside and out, eventually. Promise me that, at your darkest moments of despair when the damn thing just. won't. work. right, that you'll never (ever!) consider scrapping the fuel injection for aftermarket carbs (ugh) or, god help you, a single centermount carburetor.


Oh, and you should buy the Bentley manual for buses, the green one. The Idiot book is nice for the illustrations and all, but just doesn't cut it as a service manual anymore. 

Thanks Mitch. I hereby solemnly swear that I will not scrap my fuel injection. HA HA! 


I'm not sure if you've worked your problem out yet, but I've heard of similar symptoms before.  A friend of mine has a 72 Bus with dual webers.  He rebuilt the engine and had the trans done at the same time the engine was out.  He installed everything and started driving it.  After around a month of cruising about, he started noticing an odd problem that sounds exactly like yours.  When first driving the bus, it worked fine, but after warming up a bit, he'd lose power and if he let off the clutch (even out of gear) it would die.


He'd been told by the place that built his trans that it was likely the needle bearing in the crank or the throw out bearing (I forget which...some bearing in there) so he replaced it and found he still had the same issue.  He now thinks it's the transmission.  That the input shaft is somehow not disconnecting from the internal gearing the way it should, and the trans guy he used agrees.  But at this point he's too lazy to pull the engine again and just keeps using his other (aircooled) car.


I'd be curious to hear if you've resolved it.

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