Tuesday, September 17, 2013


My '98 Jetta TDI has something like 25 fuses, there are 22 in the main fuse block ranging from 10a to 30a. A big 50 amp blade fuse which I presume is for the starting circuit, a random 10a hanging out by itself above the relays and an 80a strip fuse for the glow plugs.

One of the old guys (now sadly departed) that used to be on the Okiebenz list always said to "REPLACE THE FUSES" in all caps just like that. He suggested that all sorts of electrical gremlins could be caused by fuses that looked good but were in fact bad or at least marginal. In all honesty I can't remember ever having that happen but with the current electrical issue driving me batty I figure anything is worth a try.

Here lie the remains of the fuse replacing. I didn't replace the big 50a starting fuse or the 80a glowplug fuse since the car starts and runs great, I did replace all of the smaller blade fuses. No change in the condition of anything though.

Honestly I didn't expect any big changes really, this was mostly to appease everybody on the Okiebenz list who kept reminding me to "renew the fuses".

On another note I've got a good big collection of parts coming in. Today I picked up an airfilter and shifter bushing kit. The shifter is a little sloppy, I want to tighten that up some. I also put 2 coats of paint on the water distribution pipe. This is a metal coolant pipe that goes from the overflow bottle to the heater and water pump. Failure at this point (15 years old after all) isn't apparently terribly uncommon and they seem to rust from the outside in because the paint is thin. I figured more paint couldn't hurt. I did (for once) think to mask good to keep the paint where it should be.

Finally I pulled the airfilter, which is more involved than I thought it would be, and found a good NAPA unit that was mostly clean. I'll run with that for now. Interestingly I found the "snow screen" to be present. I was given to understand those were frequently removed due to requiring more upkeep. The snow screen is a cup of metal screen, its very tight weave like on the "forever" coffee filters. Mine was full of mouse nest. It'd be surprising the car could run with that in place if it weren't for an alternate air intake in the airbox, if the snow screen is plugged the alternate opens via a spring loaded flap and pulls warm engine air. Obviously for performance the cold air is better. I cleaned the screen good with a brass brush and reinstalled. Then took some time to clean around the plastic components of the engine bay with Simple Green and then with "Back to Black" tire cleaner/shine. The plastic components like the engine cover and intercooler pipes started to look really good.

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