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1.8 EX Engine with Pierburg Carb - what should I expect?


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I’m getting closer to having the car on the road, so am starting to think about the engine…. It’s a Mk1 Golf with a EX Engine and the Pierburg 2E2 Carb.

I’m looking for advice on how it should start and run…..

I’ve had it running many times now although and in general it has stared at about 1800 – 2000 RPM then settled back over a few minutes to decent idle at about 800 -900 RPM. I had no worries about this but…. The last time I started it, it went straight to 2300 and seemed to stay there and show no signs of easing off to what I would call a “normal” tickover.

I’ve seen that there’s info all over this site and the web in general about 2E2 carb adjustments but I’m reluctant to start fiddling without knowing what I should expect in terms of fast idle and idle speeds - and for how long.

Will the (currently very warm) ambient temperature have any effect?

Other pertinent info is: -
  • The water flow through the auto choke and manifold seems OK (I cleared the passageways and did a rad flush) before fitting.
  • The engine is from a Scirroco and I am assured was running well prior to removal. It’s been standing with me about 8 months but has run well whenever I’ve started it.
  • I did try to start if a few days ago and it wouldn’t go. I put more petrol in (the tank was empty and flushed before putting the first gallon in) and it caught immediately – but exhibited what I’ve described above. I have wondered if some jet is now blocked.
  • Yes, there is an inline fuel filter.
As ever - any advice gratefully received!



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the pooburg is known for playing up, my experience similar to yours reving it nuts off from cold until warm

google waxstats and pull down units

also check all wires and pipes are sound and intact

most of late 1980s and 1990s weber carb profits were from VW owners giving up trying to get their factory carb to work

Last edit: by Early-1800

1983 Mars Red 1.8 Golf GTI
1987 Alpine White 1.8 Clipper Cabriolet

The trouble with doing nothing is that you never know when you are finished.


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Yup! "Revving the nuts off" Is exactly how I would describe it.

Any idea how long should it remain on fast tickover though??


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Mine always settled down in a very short period of time and never reved that high, until a month ago that is when it started reving it's nuts off too.
At that point the search for parts for pierburgs started and pretty soon ended when I realized I couldn't by waxstats, thermotime switches were 50 or more, and basically it wasn't going to be an easy fix.
At that point I did what everyone always suggests and put a Weber 32/34 on it. Problem solved and this mornings test drive showed a much improved car.


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The Pierburg carb is a much better carb than a Webber but the Pierburg is a complex bit of kit and finding someone who can fix one is very hard as most garages are now only good with cars that have a OBD port and a computer to tell them what's wrong….

The Webber carb is simple with a manual choke and only 2 adjustment, idle speed and mixture. It has fixed jets which must match your engine so if you have a 1.8 engine get the Webber to fit a 1.8. I think it's a 32/34 DMTL.

The Webber carb can suffer from fuel starvation if it sends to much fuel back to the tank but it seems some suffer from this problem and some don't….

I switched to a Webber as my car was a daily drive and the only car I had when my carb went wrong, a couple of hours work swooping the carb and I was back on the road again.

Some prices and info here.

Welcome to Webcon UK Ltd | Webcon UK Ltd

1988 Mk1 Golf GTi Cabriolet 1.8cc DX, K-jet. Daily drive. 317,000 miles and counting
1978 Mk1 Scirocco GLS 1.6cc FR, Webber carb. Weekend toy.


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Thanks for the various responses.

So it would seem that mine was doing the right thing at the start?

As suggested I'll check all the connections as a start point.

I'll post any findings - or start shopping for a Weber!

Thanks - Peter S


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Check the earth lead that goes to the rocket cover is in good condition.
Check that all the leads that plug into the carb are soundly home and see if you get a voltage across them on startup.
I would suggest the cheapest thing you can do is first of all replace the vacuum hoses.  There are a lot of them on the back of the Pierburgs.  Take one off, cut a new one to size and put it back on until you have done all of them.


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Hi All,

I started it today and all was well.

The only thing |I can think that I changed/checked was the electrical connections. All the vacuum pipes are new so….

Once again - my thanks to all jo have responded!



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Pierburg either works or does not.
By the time you get two parts to fix it costs almost same as weber converted but you still have an old worn out carb.
All the weber kits I did ran well out the box. Was Like a new vw. If vw had common sense they would have been fitted in the first place.
 Pierburg =
It was all over complicated Emmisions nonsense.


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Well….. the car is now tucked away until the spring, I've got it through the MOT and done about 100 trouble-free miles.

I had to change the fuel tank in the end as it just kept on sucking up c**p from the tank.

I suspect this might have been the cause of my carb woes. After repeated cleaning operations the engine seems to be running well and the initial fast idle settles down quite quickly. I'm taking it from this that the famous wax stats are doing what they should.

I also changed the accelerator pump diaphragm - which seemed a good idea rather than have fuel dripping onto the manifolds!!

I'm now inclined to leave well alone.

Thanks again for the responses!




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So……….. The spring has sprung (although it's a chilly wind!) and a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of liberating my car from the garage in time for a May 1 tax disc.

I've done a lot of work on it over winter - although I hesitate to use the word "finished".

Today I started the car. I've had it running several times over the winter in order to keep things moving. No problems at all. today however…..

Ticked over for a few seconds then stopped - wouldn't start again without full throttle and even then only ran for a few seconds. Suspecting flooding I removed the (standard) plastic air filter housing with the idea of being able to see if anything odd was happening.

Certainly was! Huge amount of petrol completely overwhelming the engine.

Carb Flood 150424.jpg

You can probably see the fuel lying around in the pic. I had fuel welling up from the little gauze filter (1) The second stage venturi (2) was filling up rapidly and there seemed to be a constant stream coming from the pipe (3) over the first stage venturi.

My immediate thoughts are a stuck open needle valve on the fuel inlet leading to almost a "pressurisation" of the float chamber. That I guess would fit in with a long period of inactivity over the winter??

I can't see that the return fuel line would be blocked - all replaced by me up to and including a new fuel tank! I will check though!

So, I thought I'd ask here first. Has anybody any experience of anything like this??


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Well, that was a bit of excitement!! I reckon I was close to an engine fire!

Today's investigation revealed the float chamber needle valve stuck fast in the open position. I had theorised that that was the likely cause - but I've never seen a valve stuck open so firmly!

Spent some time today however and found the fault when I got the top off the carb. On re-starting she ran well.

I wonder if this has been an erratic fault that has caused some of the poor running? Time will tell!

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