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1984 Sirocco 8v, 2011 JSW TDI
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I am at my wits end with this machine. I even bought the damn Bentley for this thing. I parked it some years ago with a bad clutch cable. I fixed that and now it doesn't want to idle. It does however start and idle for 1-6 seconds before turning back off. And by turn off, I mean the thing just stops it doesn't sputter out or anything. I have scoured these forums hoping for help, but nothing is working. when I turn the key to accessory the fuel pumps prime and I can turn the key and it starts right up then fails.

i have disassembled the fuel distributor and the lever below and cleaned and lubricated these.
new plugs
plug wire
spark plugs
cap and rotor
cleaned injectors and lines
retimed

From what I can tell it should work, but I cannot tell why it just gives up after a few seconds of running. Might I add, having done all of that the few seconds it is running the motor sounds better than ever.
 

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I’m thinking by your description that it just dies that it’s not fuel related. It should sputter or something losing fuel but loss of signal abruptly to the pumps could cause it to die. Possibly ignition switch/ICU or maybe even the coil but That’d be my least possible of the 3. Shoot some electronic cleaner inside the ignition. Also when it starts and is running, jiggle key and see if it keeps it going any longer. Might be a good idea to examine/clean grounds and the leads on the coil. Make sure all connections are clean and tight.



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I agree about the ignition switch. If you hold it just right, it may continue running. Try not to hang extra keys on it in the future. Just the Scirocco key.

It sounds like it's running off the fuel from the cold start valve but 6 seconds sounds longer than normal.

Is that the first start of the day? Then it gets shorter?

Did you rebuild the fuel distributor with a kit?

If so, did you put everything back exactly as it was? (All adjusted exactly the same and put back in the same positions.)

The plunger should only be cleaned on the inside surface with a cloth and solvent. Using steel wool or sandpaper will ruin it. The part that sticks outside the fuel distributor can be grabbed with a vice grip if needed to pry it loose but the inside part needs to be treated like it's going in a watch.

I don't know about the CIS fuel distributor but on the CIS-E, the adjustment screws need to be the same depth as found. I don't know if they can be correctly adjusted without Bosch test equipment. The directions for my kit said to measure them with a depth gauge and put them all back at the same depth in the same holes.

There are also basic adjustments on the Air Flow Meter once you reinstall the Fuel Distributor.

I always give this advice but here goes. I would not assume anything is correct. I'd start from the beginning checking everything from timing belt and cam timing to basic timing settings to starting at the beginning of the fuel section and checking everything. I see you say it was retimed but does that include the timing of the belt and intermediate pulley or just the ignition timing?

I don't know if the exhaust section is separate in your Bentley but I'd check the Oxygen Sensor if you have one. I don't think that's the problem or if you even have CIS-Lambda but it affects running.
 

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3rding the ignition switch, this is the most common cause of something like this imo.

I've only encountered this one single time, but on this gray 84 I had, it would start and idle for 12 seconds, and immediately shut off. I replaced one part: the distributor. The hall sender in there was dying I guess.
 

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A carburetor has fuel bowls which empty out as the fuel goes down. It will sputter.

With CIS, the fuel has to be at the injectors and be above a certain pressure to spray. If the pressure goes down or there is no fuel at the injectors, they are supposed to shut. They don't just dribble unless they are stuck open (I guess the Cold Start Valve can also stick open and leak).

You pull the injectors out to check the spray pattern. That's in the Bentley. It also has a test to see if they leak.

There is also a check in the Bentley to see if the Cold Start Valve is leaking.
 
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