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Volkswagen Rabbit, Jetta, Scirocco, Convertible: 1975-1984 (A1) '84 Rabbit Convertible Wiring Issues


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Last Post: Jul 27, 2012 9:38 PM Last Post By: tcovenant2000
LR_84_Rabbit

Posts: 7
Registered: 07/14/10
'84 Rabbit Convertible Wiring Issues
Posted: Jul 14, 2010 10:05 PM
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I've been working on sorting out the maze of connections that a previous owner wired throughout my '84 rabbit and have hit a bit of a roadblock, so any help would be fantastic.

DSC00463

Here is a picture of my fuse box, there is a tan wire currently unplugged that once ran to the relay input it is touching (peg 87 on the relay numbered 18). It was just jammed into there underneath the relay when I got it. I started prying around down there because my horn does not work, or erratically goes off when it does, and my oil pressure light and buzzer frequently turn on and do not shut off. When I unplugged this wire (by accident) the car would no longer start. I expected it to just be a lazy version of what should have been connected to the rear of the fuse panel, but when I looked closer, the tan wire is actually spliced into a red/yellow wire (red with yellow stripe) that seems to run into the cluster where my #19 relay is (I think it should be the Intermittent wiper one).

DSC00464

When the wire is plugged in, the car starts, but I either have the horn/oil pressure issue, or the fuel filter does not stop buzzing after the car is completely shut off. When the wire is unplugged, the lights come on, but there is no turnover whatsoever. I'm not a wiring or vw genius, so any help in determining what exactly this wire is would be great. Thanks.
tcovenant2000

Posts: 1,751
Registered: 12/09/03
Re: '84 Rabbit Convertible Wiring Issues
Posted: Jul 16, 2010 1:50 PM   in response to: LR_84_Rabbit in response to: LR_84_Rabbit
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Do you have a full sized spare or an emergency spare (donut)? This may sound irrelevant, but it's not. There were a number of changes made to these cars mid-year, including wiring changes. It's helpful to know which we're dealing with.
Is it auto or manual?
The fuel filter never buzzes. It's located near the hinge on the driver's side fender well. There is a valve on the fuel distributor that buzzes. I assume that's what you're referring to?
I am not home so don't have any diagrams until tonight or tomorrow. I'll try to help more then. In the meantime, answers to the above will help!

Thomas
LR_84_Rabbit

Posts: 7
Registered: 07/14/10
Re: '84 Rabbit Convertible Wiring Issues
Posted: Jul 17, 2010 12:50 AM   in response to: tcovenant2000 in response to: tcovenant2000
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It is a manual car with I believe only a donut, but I will double check tomorrow, as well as there is a sticker on the side of my door frame that says exactly which month it was made I think; will check up on that too. And yes, I'm referring to the valve on the fuel filter that does not shut off. To add a little more information, today I jumped the tan wire (unplugged from it's original relay attachment), and the car started, but with it's typical problems. Secondly, I removed the tan wire from the splice and jumped the red/yellow directly through the gap in the shielding; the car not only started fine, but ran without any problems at all. Hope this helps, thanks for the assistance.
tcovenant2000

Posts: 1,751
Registered: 12/09/03
Re: '84 Rabbit Convertible Wiring Issues
Posted: Jul 17, 2010 10:38 AM   in response to: LR_84_Rabbit in response to: LR_84_Rabbit
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The red/yellow is almost certainly the wire that goes from the ignition to the starter motor. Not sure what the tan is. Alarm?
How does it work when the tan is disconnected and the red/yellow is hooked as you described in your last post? Horn work? Oil buzzer off?
Also, when dealing with wiring it's critical to properly identify things. That wire isn't tan, it's tan with a blue stripe. That will help. The pics are excellent, BTW.
I'll try to get more help when I'm home later today.

Thomas
LR_84_Rabbit

Posts: 7
Registered: 07/14/10
Re: '84 Rabbit Convertible Wiring Issues
Posted: Jul 17, 2010 1:26 PM   in response to: tcovenant2000 in response to: tcovenant2000
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I think the tan/blue wire was simply extra wire that was used for a jump, that's why I wasn't so specific I couldn't find anything in my Bentley that matches it that should be around there and it really doesn't work anything that didn't work when it was disconnected. When the red/yellow was jumped alone everything seemed to work perfectly. I took it for a decent drive and had no issues whatsoever. Glad the pics were helpful and thanks again.

ps. the tag says it was manufactured in november of 1983.
Tori's Dad

Posts: 107
Registered: 06/06/06
Re: '84 Rabbit Convertible Wiring Issues
Posted: Jul 17, 2010 2:43 PM   in response to: LR_84_Rabbit in response to: LR_84_Rabbit
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Is there any corrosion on the back of the relay & fuse block where the wire harness plugs in? I just spent a few day's troubleshooting a wiring problem and it turned out to be lots of corrosion in the relay & fuse Block. I took it apart and took pictures as I removed each piece so I could get it back together. It now purrrrrrrrrr's like a kitten. Starts better too. That was on an 85 so not sure if the wiring is the same as your's.
Andy
tcovenant2000

Posts: 1,751
Registered: 12/09/03
Re: '84 Rabbit Convertible Wiring Issues
Posted: Jul 18, 2010 11:17 AM   in response to: Tori's Dad in response to: Tori's Dad
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Nov '83 should be the 84.5 'vert, but don't quote me. The spare will tell the tale. If it's the donut then wiring will be identical to the '85.
I think the tan may have been used as a jumper, as you've said. Heck, if the thing runs great without it then leave it. My son's Jetta has a couple or three wires hanging under the hood and fusebox. Who knows what they are?

Thomas
LR_84_Rabbit

Posts: 7
Registered: 07/14/10
Re: '84 Rabbit Convertible Wiring Issues
Posted: Jul 18, 2010 2:53 PM   in response to: tcovenant2000 in response to: tcovenant2000
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It's got a donut. There is no apparent corrosion on the box, but I think that the fuel pump relay has some damage to it and that's why the jumper comes through. The only issue with leaving it as is, is that the fuel pump never shuts off itself, I have to manually disconnect the jumper cable under the hood every time I shut the car off.
tcovenant2000

Posts: 1,751
Registered: 12/09/03
Re: '84 Rabbit Convertible Wiring Issues
Posted: Jul 19, 2010 6:51 PM   in response to: LR_84_Rabbit in response to: LR_84_Rabbit
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Hmmm...get another fuel pump relay. They're not that expensive. That's the best fix.
Or put a cut-off switch in line...easier than disconnecting the negative.

Thomas
Tori's Dad

Posts: 107
Registered: 06/06/06
Re: '84 Rabbit Convertible Wiring Issues
Posted: Jul 22, 2010 8:19 PM   in response to: LR_84_Rabbit in response to: LR_84_Rabbit
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Do you have 2 red heavy gauge wires with white plugs and 1 heavy gauge wire with black plug going into the back of the fuse/relay block? The 2 with the white plugs go back to back on the bottom right and the 1 with the black plut goes in the top right of the back of the block. If the white & black plugs are back to back, the pump will run all the time.
Andy
tcovenant2000

Posts: 1,751
Registered: 12/09/03
Re: '84 Rabbit Convertible Wiring Issues
Posted: Jul 23, 2010 10:27 PM   in response to: Tori's Dad in response to: Tori's Dad
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Wow...That sort of corrosion is usually from one of two sources. One is leaking windshield. The other is a leak on the antenna...the water follows the wire and drips down on the fuse panel. When the car is nice and dry under the fuse box, spray tons of water on the windshield, careful not to spray the antenna base. Then check for water on the carpet. That will tell you if the windshield is leaking.

Thomas
Tori's Dad

Posts: 107
Registered: 06/06/06
Re: '84 Rabbit Convertible Wiring Issues
Posted: Jul 24, 2010 11:42 AM   in response to: tcovenant2000 in response to: tcovenant2000
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In this case it's driver "Never washing Car" or looking after it. If the drain's are plugged the water must go somewhere. I did take block apart and clean all the brass and found a weak point where #5 fuse plugs in. This made for an hit or miss contact for the fuel pump fuse. All is fine now and car just purrrrs.
Original post said the pre owner had jumpered the wire. I just thought that there could be some issues with that block as it does happen and is hard to spot unless one pulls the block out and unplugs the wiring harness. The person who jumpered the relay may have switched the heavy wires and now the poster is trying to figure whats has been done.
Andy
LR_84_Rabbit

Posts: 7
Registered: 07/14/10
Re: '84 Rabbit Convertible Wiring Issues
Posted: Jul 26, 2010 10:24 PM   in response to: Tori's Dad in response to: Tori's Dad
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There doesn't seem to be much corrosion on any of the fuse wires, but I suspect that still might be the issue. If part of the relay insert is corroded or blown out, it would make sense why it was jumpered and why there are so many other issues if it's internally interfering with the other circuits. I've been trying to get ahold of a spare fuse box to sort this out for sure, but that in itself is proving a problem, they're much harder to find than I expected.
MDeath

Posts: 101
Registered: 06/17/05
Re: '84 Rabbit Convertible Wiring Issues
Posted: Jul 27, 2010 10:10 AM   in response to: LR_84_Rabbit in response to: LR_84_Rabbit
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LR_84_Rabbit

Posts: 7
Registered: 07/14/10
Re: '84 Rabbit Convertible Wiring Issues
Posted: Aug 3, 2010 3:12 PM   in response to: MDeath in response to: MDeath
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Thanks a ton for the help, it didn't even occur to me that they might make universal replacements nowadays. Already got it in the mail and hope to install today.
tcovenant2000

Posts: 1,751
Registered: 12/09/03
Re: '84 Rabbit Convertible Wiring Issues
Posted: Aug 4, 2010 10:53 PM   in response to: LR_84_Rabbit in response to: LR_84_Rabbit
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Just to go back to Tori's Dad's post for a second.

Under the hood, above the firewall is a rain tray. It's designed to catch rain from the hood and windshield. As Tori's Dad noted, it has drains. One on each side, about midway between the center and each inside fender well. There's supposed to be a piece of plastic that covers it to keep leaves, bugs, squirrels, etc out. But that's cheap, 1980's plastic and few cars have any left. Leaves and gunk will build up in the drains and, (in a truly bizarre feat of unintended engineering) it will overflow right down inside the pass compartment onto the fuse box. You'll want to protect your hard-earned wiring and new fuse box by ensuring those drains are clear. Just look under the rain tray and you'll see them. They are rubber funnels. Stick a finger up inside. If you feel anything other than air and rubber then they need cleaning.
I had several large trees, a baby 'possum and a squirrel in mine...heh...not really, but seemed like it! Oh, and all that sand that was missing from that florida beach a few years back? Yeah. It was there, too!

Thomas
LR_84_Rabbit

Posts: 7
Registered: 07/14/10
Re: '84 Rabbit Convertible Wiring Issues
Posted: Aug 22, 2010 6:49 PM   in response to: tcovenant2000 in response to: tcovenant2000
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Haha, thanks for the heads up. The raintray in my car to begin with was broken to pieces so I picked a new one up in a junkyard, but didn't think about cleaning out the drains. Will do ASAP.
1984nightmare

Posts: 1
Registered: 07/27/12
Re: '84 Rabbit Convertible Wiring Issues
Posted: Jul 27, 2012 12:43 PM   in response to: Tori's Dad in response to: Tori's Dad
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Hello. I am working on a 1984 Rabbit Convertible 1.8L. The fuse box brass is all white and blue/green corrosion. I am hoping to find pictures of a 1983-1993 fuse box rebuild/cleaning. My understanding is that the fuse boxes were all pretty much the same. If not...something close should be beneficial. Thank you.
tcovenant2000

Posts: 1,751
Registered: 12/09/03
Re: '84 Rabbit Convertible Wiring Issues
Posted: Jul 27, 2012 9:38 PM   in response to: 1984nightmare in response to: 1984nightmare
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The '84 'vert had a mid year change. Does your fusebox have cylindrical fuses with a metal strip down the center or does it have the rectangular, plastic fuses?
If it's the cylindrical ones, you need to look for something no later than an '83 diagram as these were switched to the newer style mid-1984. If you have the rectangular, plastic fuses then you need an '84 to '93 'vertible diagram.

Haynes manual has great diagrams and is cheaper than Bentley by a lot. But Bentley has better diagrams and I've never met anyone who bought a Bentley and regretted it.

Thomas

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