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Discussion Starter #1
I just picked up a 1995 golf and it will not start. The guy I bought it from said it needs a new ECU. The engine will turn over but there is no spark or fuel(spark plugs are dry). The guy said that it was stalled and then never started again.

The driver side door handle and latch is removed and will trip the alarm(when this happens, engine wont even turn over) but I can plug the latch back in and turn the key and turn the alarm off, or unplug battery, turn the key on, then plug the battery back in, and the alarm will reset and engine will turn over. I have read that the car has an immoboliser and I am wondering if it is cutting the power to the ECU. I have also read that the ignition switch doesnt turn all the way or that there is fualty sensor(crankshaft, or MAF,...etc) and that a short in the wiring will cause problems in totaly different parts of the car.

If anyone can verify that the ECU is broken that would be great, or if you have any suggestions please let me know.

I took out the ECU and took it apart and I didnt see any burnt plastic or blown capacitors. I also called a import shop and he said to check the ECU I need to check for injector pulses? But I dont have a multimeter.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was thinking timing too but there is no spark or fuel pump running so I ruled that out. That said, I think there is no power getting to the engine managment unit.(*thinking to myself* maybe its a short somewhere or ignition switch isnt functioning right) I got the chilton's so I'll be looking this stuff up.

The car only cost $400 and its going to be a good project car :p
 

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Pull the top timing cover and look, dead easy. Defiantly could be the ignition switch, don't pull the ecm until you check everything else. The ignition switch wears out on behind the tumbler and starts causing weird problems. VWVortex.com - new ignition switch install The ecm is powered by the #3 relay, check this. Also check the block grounds they are on the engine block at the front. They are the ground for the ecm. Also check fuse 18. Is there any codes on the ecm when the key is in the run position? http://faculty.ccp.edu/faculty/dreed/Campingart/jettatech/vw_blink.pdf
http://faculty.ccp.edu/faculty/dreed/Campingart/jettatech/vagblink.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks for those links, I will print those out and run the tests.

I tore apart the steering column to get to the ignition switch and tested it and it was fine. so that possibility is out the window...

a bad ground or bad relay sounds like the culprit at this point. (Im having a really hard time believeing the ECU just crapped it pants one day.) so I will check the relays/grounds/and test the pulses with an LED and give you guys an update.

From what i've read, these cars have awful electrical problems...

I will also take a look at the timing belt... but if the timing is off, would'nt that mean that my cam is off so as a consequence my valve stems are bent as hell because the piston would be hitting them? if thats the case then that means I'm doing a rebuild.
 

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I actually bought a 96 GL that wasn't running. After reading numerous things on the intewebs... changing spark plugs/wires, replacing the distributor (whole thing), redoing the timing about 6 times and testing a bunch of sensors... i replaced the ignition coil and it cranked right up. Was a steal for $600 considering what shape it is in and what little work I had to do to get it going... not to mention its sitting at 89.3k original miles. Could very well be something with the ECM... but check everything along the ignition line before you go replacing that.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I actually bought a 96 GL that wasn't running. After reading numerous things on the intewebs... changing spark plugs/wires, replacing the distributor (whole thing), redoing the timing about 6 times and testing a bunch of sensors... i replaced the ignition coil and it cranked right up. Was a steal for $600 considering what shape it is in and what little work I had to do to get it going... not to mention its sitting at 89.3k original miles. Could very well be something with the ECM... but check everything along the ignition line before you go replacing that.
OK. I will check the ignition coil out today. Were your spark plugs wet when you pulled them out(before you canged ignition coil)?
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Update

I've got the #3 relay(109) sitting on my desk(it looks fine from the outside, cant get it open though to look at the internals. Sounds like there should be an electromagnet inside). I might try to apply 12V @ my schools lab and listen for a click. And I got a used ECU from a Jetta(#'s match up, so its a fit) sitting @ a used autoparts place that I will pick up hopefully this week.

School is starting back up this week so I wont be able to work on it until thursday or friday :(

attempted to extract codes via jumping pin 4 & pin 15 of the OBD reader plug-in, but no CEL(check engine light) appeared or flashed... The battery and ECU has been unplug multiple times so I think its memory of any codes are long gone now.

The chilton manual says I can hook an LED to some connectors (a black, tan, and blue one) but they seem to not exist anywhere.

So Ill try this relay and try a new ECU and see where it gets me. AND I decided it is probably a good idea to check the timing belt. Who knows what moron replaced the old one.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
thanks for the vid. I want to post some pics. maybe it would make this thread more interesting for people looking for solutions like myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
YAY! it works!

It runs!! Replaced the ECU with a used one from a junkyard, and it worked!

Got a couple codes too. one was something about the hall sensor and distributor speed, and the other was low power supply to ECU(I'm hoping its just the battery because it is pretty old)

I'll post the codes when I get back home. Thanks for your help!:K:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
the lesson learned here... If you dont see a Check Engine Light when you turn the key(before trying to start)... then your ECU is bad.
 
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