I have a 1969 convertible.  Occassionally when I turn the key to start it dash lights come on but I get no response from the engine compartment at all.  I rock the car back and forth a bit and then when I turn the key it fires up.  Some times it takes a bit of rocking though.  Today it gave me the problem again and after rocking it I turned the key and had the starter engage and then it disengaged but still spun until my wife let off the key.  It did then start up after another try.

Could this be a complete starter issue or could it be multiple thing?
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MY72BUG

sarpd63  Hi and welcome to the world of VW.  A good place to start is to take a look at the electrical connections on your starter motor.  Are they clean and tight?  Check that the starter is bolted securely to the engine/tranny assembly.  If the unit is not properly grounded it may fail to operate.  Use an electrical tester to check that every activation of the ignition key is sending power to the starter.  Ignition switch problems in old VW's are fairly common.  The wiring between the starter switch and the starter should be traced to be sure that there are no bad connections along the way.  When the starter does activate, is it  a healthy steady crank or weak and intermittent?  Let me know.  Dan ( MY72 BUG) in Goderich 

I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.
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When the starter does crank it is very strong.  No lack of power when it cranks.  I have checked all connections and everythign seems good.  A little dirty but good.  I cleaned all connections with an electrical cleaner also.

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MY72BUG
This is starting to sound like a bad connection inside the starter at the starter solenoid.  The solenoid "throws" the starter drive gear into the teeth of the flywheel and away you go.  If this internal connection is corroded you may get exactly your condition.  Remove the starter and open her up.  Clean up all of the internal connections and get some white grease onto the drive and all of the bushings.  Still be suspicious of the ignition switch especially when you turn the key and are met with sounds of silence.  Inside the ignitions switch ( you can take it apart ) there is a little " Y " shaped device which sends power to the coil and starter simultaneously.  With mine, I had to bend the one contact just enough to restore power to the coil.  Mine would crank forever but wouldn't fire up.  Yours could be the opposite problem.  Do not discount the possibility that the starter and ignition switch are both messing with you.  Either way, the solution should make itself known when you take apart the starter and / or by-pass the starter switch by putting power directly to the starter motor.  Dan ( MY72BUG) in Goderich
I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.
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