O/T--diesel VW Rabbit?

Discussion in '1982-Present GM Diesel' started by jarheadk5, Oct 13, 2001.

  1. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

    Mar 6, 2000
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    My dad's a big diesel fan and he's trying to convert me; he's searching for a diesel VW Rabbit for me to commute back&forth to work in (45mi. one-way). Anyone have any tips on things to look for, things to avoid, etc. if he should find one for me?

    I like the idea of getting to work on a gallon of diesel, as opposed to 4-5 gallons of gas...

    September 11, 2001--"A date which will live in infamy"
  2. DieselDan

    DieselDan 1/2 ton status

    Jan 27, 2001
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    Here's a couple:

    All Rabbits leak (rain) water right at the front firewall, usually on the fusebox. Earlier Rabbits (<'81)had circuit board fuse box as opposed to printed ciruits. If you see elelctrical gremlins on the old style the fuse boxe is bad, on a later style the relays can actually fill with rain water (not as common).

    All VW parts are cheap, thanks to German engineering and commonallity of parts (something the DOD forgot). Make sure and check the aftermarket before you run to the dealer.

    Rabbits have very little suspension travel. Golfs are much better riding. Either one only has about 48 BHP. Turbo Jettas were alittle better. (The TDI they make now are a whole different league, they romp!)

    Timing belts MUST be changed at every 60-80K. Catistrofic engine damage will result if this fails at speed (although I've never seen it happen). It's not real difficult to change for a novice mech.

    Headgaskets can blow at about 150K to never. Oil will migrate to the cooling system (resevior tank) when it does. The big problem when it goes is that it usually has overheated and warped the (aluminum) head. This will require machine work or head replacment to correct the problem, eitherwise it will keep blowing head gaskets fast. I'ld shy away from VW if there is evidence of a blown hd gskt and the owner isn't "up-front" with this info. Last I knew ARP made studs to replace the TTY head bolts, which reportedly had much better clamping force. I would definately give them a try (before you loose a gskt).

    Bosch fuel injection pumps last forever, or at least far longer than any VW I had ever seen. (Standyne should do so good!)

    By the way I used to work for a VW dealership back in the '80s. And my "old-man" has owned seven VWs (all diesels!) including his current TDI Passat. Each one had at least 180,000 miles when it left the family.

    Real trucks don't have spark plugs!

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