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Old 04-04-2010, 03:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Odd Project: 1978 VW Rabbit DIESEL

(Pics of car are in my photo album.)

Okay, it's odd..... it originally was suppose to be a simple project I found on Craigslist. It was overheated, blown head gasket, possibly needed a different head. To make things BAD, it is the 1.5L engine.....but I only found that out AFTER taking it home (original engine is 1.5, but was hoping it was a 1.6 swapped in...tranny is a five speed....which wasn't available in that year.)

Here is where it gets WORSE. Inspecting the engine, there is cracks near the center freeze plug. I'm guessing it was from being frozen once in it's history... I doubt that overheating would do that. So I'm looking for another engine now.... Craigslist has some, but they are stripped down to long blocks or short blocks. Which does me no good since only a few parts on the 1.5 will bolt on the 1.6, so I'm told....and read.

So I'm thinking of trying to find an engine (a core or runner) and put into it. I'd love a turbo engine, but....they are hard to find, so I have read. Everything I have read seems to point that a rebuilt engine or rebuilding and engine will cost a bit of $$$ (at least $1500+.... IF I had an engine to rebuild). Rebuilt engines w/no core is about $1600, but you add shipping and a core charge, it's right about $2300.

I have a lead on an Quantum engine, but that is a longitudinal mounted engine vs transverse. Not all the parts will work....so I'd have to find a turbo manifold/intake for a 1.6TD transverse. But, I found a "kit" on Ebay that uses TDI intake, exhaust, turbo and down pipe.... not a bad price.

VW 1.6 Diesel Add Turbocharger Turbo Manifolds Downpipe : eBay Motors (item 390174866115 end time Apr-04-10 12:18:57 PDT)

This 1.6TD engine and then the kit, I'm looking at maybe, maybe $2500. It would be a turbo engine setup, but sort of a "frank-en-turbo". But I could also sell the leftover/unused Quantum parts to try to recoop some of the cost. (For $2500, I could buy a Hypermax Turbo kit for my 7.3L IDI van....but I want the little Rabbit to hop again....)

All of this for a $200 car..... Am I .......

Comments....
__________________
1999 E-350 Cub Wagon, 7.3L Power Stroke, E4OD, 3.55
1990 E-350 Club Wagon, 7.3L IDI, E4OD, 3.54LS x2
1994 Chevy C2500 6.5L TD, 3.42
1983 F-150 2x4, 4.9L, C-6 w/GV-OD, 3.55 Farm pickup
1981 C-8000, 3208 CAT, RT-6510, Rockwell SSHD Tandems (Swap)
1981 VW Rabbit Pickup 1.6L diesel (project)
1978 VW Rabbit 1.5L diesel (project)
1977 K100C, NTC-350, RT-1110, Tandem
1977 Transtar II, NTC-290, RT-9509 Single
1977 Transtar II, Formula 290, RT0-9513, Tandem (project)
1974 C-750, 391CID, Clark 5 speed, Eaton 2 speed
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Kaliburz View Post
(Pics of car are in my photo album.)

Okay, it's odd..... it originally was suppose to be a simple project I found on Craigslist. It was overheated, blown head gasket, possibly needed a different head. To make things BAD, it is the 1.5L engine.....but I only found that out AFTER taking it home (original engine is 1.5, but was hoping it was a 1.6 swapped in...tranny is a five speed....which wasn't available in that year.)

Here is where it gets WORSE. Inspecting the engine, there is cracks near the center freeze plug. I'm guessing it was from being frozen once in it's history... I doubt that overheating would do that. So I'm looking for another engine now.... Craigslist has some, but they are stripped down to long blocks or short blocks. Which does me no good since only a few parts on the 1.5 will bolt on the 1.6, so I'm told....and read.

So I'm thinking of trying to find an engine (a core or runner) and put into it. I'd love a turbo engine, but....they are hard to find, so I have read. Everything I have read seems to point that a rebuilt engine or rebuilding and engine will cost a bit of $$$ (at least $1500+.... IF I had an engine to rebuild). Rebuilt engines w/no core is about $1600, but you add shipping and a core charge, it's right about $2300.

I have a lead on an Quantum engine, but that is a longitudinal mounted engine vs transverse. Not all the parts will work....so I'd have to find a turbo manifold/intake for a 1.6TD transverse. But, I found a "kit" on Ebay that uses TDI intake, exhaust, turbo and down pipe.... not a bad price.

VW 1.6 Diesel Add Turbocharger Turbo Manifolds Downpipe : eBay Motors (item 390174866115 end time Apr-04-10 12:18:57 PDT)

This 1.6TD engine and then the kit, I'm looking at maybe, maybe $2500. It would be a turbo engine setup, but sort of a "frank-en-turbo". But I could also sell the leftover/unused Quantum parts to try to recoop some of the cost. (For $2500, I could buy a Hypermax Turbo kit for my 7.3L IDI van....but I want the little Rabbit to hop again....)

All of this for a $200 car..... Am I .......

Comments....
Don't know if you know about this site or not, but they have several rabbit diesel engines (and cars) for sale. VWvortex Forums: Search

Just be careful putting way too much money into your rabbit, unless you plan on driving it till the wheels fall off.
Once upon a time (1970), in a land far away, a foolish teenager (your's truly) bought a beatup, rusty VW transporter van with a burned up engine for $35. He (I) expeditiously went about rebuilding the engine (twice) to put back in there. When it was all said and done, he (I) had about $200 worth of parts, plus the time and labor, in the rebuilds. Shortly afterwards, the brakes went out, and his parental influence (my mom) overtly persuaded him to take the first $100 that came along when it was listed For Sale. End of fairy tale, and the dash of a teenager's dreams.

Hope this helps.

short_stuff
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Repairs: CPS, Water Separator Valve assembly, rear axle bearings, VSS, batteries, brakes, alternator, serpentine belt (x2), all 4 power lock actuators, water pump, air conditioning lines

2009 VW Tiguan 2.0 l turbo 200 hp gas engine (TDI engine not available for it yet)
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Red face

short_stuff,

Thanks for the warning. Unfortunately, I have already passed the point of no return..... Well, not for this VW.... but I have that tendency you talk of. The 77 IH Transtar II w/ the Formula 290 is another project.... still have to finish that (interior and wiring.... but it runs... ) Bought the thing for $1200, spent $300 on a used 5th wheel and a "bunch" more getting a rear custom HD pentil hitch- it can tow an equipment trailer like those behind dumptrucks, has a 2" square receiver below that AND in between the frame rails behind the semi 5th wheel is a 2 5/16" goose neck ball. Not counting the other fuel tanks I bought and interior from another truck.... I'm sure I have at least $2500-3000 total (purchase price and stuff) and I know I could have found another cab-over for under $4000. (I didn't think the previous owner gutted the interior paneling....either I misunderstood or it was mis-represented - maybe a little of both). Ebay...



I found that VW forum, but I have yet to register. I'm just on one right now, the VWparts.com site.

I am taking a step back and taking a deep breath about this project. Looking at the cracks on the block near the freeze plug, I don't think those cracks are leaking. Any how, I think the head gasket went and that is why there is lots of green baked on the back side of the engine. So, with that said, I'm looking for a 1.5L head (have a lead on one).

Any how, my plan of attack now is to get a used head, check it all out (maybe do the valves) and slap it on. If the crack in the block leaks, I plan to use Water Glass or some of those other "high tech" block sealers to fix it. It if works out, cool, if not..... a learning experience.

I was just comparing pics of the head I found. It was off of a 78 VW diesel (same year). The yard said that the car came in running, but had a bad tranny. Pics match my 'cracked' head. Yard has it listed for $175, but it has the about 96% complete. It is missing the glowplugs, I think, but valves, cam and timing gear are there. Heck, even has the water hose fitting on it....

If I am lucky, I'll hopefully have under $450 in parts. I plan to drive it. Maybe I'll restore it (to a point).... if you looked at the pics, I don't think it's THAT bad.

When I first found it and looked at it, I originally passed on getting it. But I called back, offered less and got it. Something about it ..... attracted me to it.

(Heck, you're talking to someone who actually accepted a free car..... almost free- traded two tires - a 1979 Ford Pinto Station Wagon! Yes, a Pinto.... yes, it runs.... and it is in worse shape then the VW. I was going to buy a $600 mid 80's Chevy Chevette diesel....)
__________________
1999 E-350 Cub Wagon, 7.3L Power Stroke, E4OD, 3.55
1990 E-350 Club Wagon, 7.3L IDI, E4OD, 3.54LS x2
1994 Chevy C2500 6.5L TD, 3.42
1983 F-150 2x4, 4.9L, C-6 w/GV-OD, 3.55 Farm pickup
1981 C-8000, 3208 CAT, RT-6510, Rockwell SSHD Tandems (Swap)
1981 VW Rabbit Pickup 1.6L diesel (project)
1978 VW Rabbit 1.5L diesel (project)
1977 K100C, NTC-350, RT-1110, Tandem
1977 Transtar II, NTC-290, RT-9509 Single
1977 Transtar II, Formula 290, RT0-9513, Tandem (project)
1974 C-750, 391CID, Clark 5 speed, Eaton 2 speed

Last edited by Kaliburz; 04-06-2010 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 04-06-2010, 03:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaliburz View Post
short_stuff,

Thanks for the warning. Unfortunately, I have already passed the point of no return..... Well, not for this VW.... but I have that tendency you talk of. The 77 IH Transtar II w/ the Formula 290 is another project.... still have to finish that (interior and wiring.... but it runs... ) Bought the thing for $1200, spent $300 on a used 5th wheel and a "bunch" more getting a rear custom HD pentil hitch- it can tow an equipment trailer like those behind dumptrucks, has a 2" square receiver below that AND in between the frame rails behind the semi 5th wheel is a 2 5/16" goose neck ball. Not counting the other fuel tanks I bought and interior from another truck.... I'm sure I have at least $2500-3000 total (purchase price and stuff) and I know I could have found another cab-over for under $4000. (I didn't think the previous owner gutted the interior paneling....either I misunderstood or it was mis-represented - maybe a little of both). Ebay...



I found that VW forum, but I have yet to register. I'm just on one right now, the VWparts.com site.

I am taking a step back and taking a deep breath about this project. Looking at the cracks on the block near the freeze plug, I don't think those cracks are leaking. Any how, I think the head gasket went and that is why there is lots of green baked on the back side of the engine. So, with that said, I'm looking for a 1.5L head (have a lead on one).

Any how, my plan of attack now is to get a used head, check it all out (maybe do the valves) and slap it on. If the crack in the block leaks, I plan to use Water Glass or some of those other "high tech" block sealers to fix it. It if works out, cool, if not..... a learning experience.

I was just comparing pics of the head I found. It was off of a 78 VW diesel (same year). The yard said that the car came in running, but had a bad tranny. Pics match my 'cracked' head. Yard has it listed for $175, but it has the about 96% complete. It is missing the glowplugs, I think, but valves, cam and timing gear are there. Heck, even has the water hose fitting on it....

If I am lucky, I'll hopefully have under $450 in parts. I plan to drive it. Maybe I'll restore it (to a point).... if you looked at the pics, I don't think it's THAT bad.

When I first found it and looked at it, I originally passed on getting it. But I called back, offered less and got it. Something about it ..... attracted me to it.

(Heck, you're talking to someone who actually accepted a free car..... almost free- traded two tires - a 1979 Ford Pinto Station Wagon! Yes, a Pinto.... yes, it runs.... and it is in worse shape then the VW. I was going to buy a $600 mid 80's Chevy Chevette diesel....)
What I didn't tell you yesterday is that about a year later (and a year without my own set of wheels), a female friend of mine called me and asked me if I needed a car. By then I had moved 30 miles away, and I was surprised to get the call. I told her yes, as a matter of fact, I had been looking for a car to buy. She told me her dad wanted to get rid of his '56 Buick Special that was parked out on the street. I told her I didn't have much money, and she said he didn't want anything for it, just come and move it. So, I got over there before he changed his mind, aired the tires up, jumped-started the sucker up, and drove it back home. Best (and only) free car I ever got. Wish I still had it. It was every color of rust and old paint that you could imagine. Had a two-speed auto transmission, and no ps or pb.
The speedometer didn't work, and it sucked gas like it was going out of style, even at $.30 cents a gallon. But the radio worked. Everyone knew when I was heading to school. Unfortunately, my younger brother managed to blow the transmission in it about 6 months later, and we sold it for $50 to junk it.

short_stuff
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Y2K F250 CC PSD Auto, Short-bed Lariat, Woodland Green/Gold, ordered 07/10/99, born 09/12/99, delivered 10/08/99, RollX bed cover, Bed mat, Zoodad mod, Viper Remote Start Alarm, Fumoto valve, undercoated, 131k somewhat error-free miles (so far) [never back to dealer for anything] , Edge Evolution (testing 60 HP setting), Pioneer DVD/CD/iPod/XM satellite

Repairs: CPS, Water Separator Valve assembly, rear axle bearings, VSS, batteries, brakes, alternator, serpentine belt (x2), all 4 power lock actuators, water pump, air conditioning lines

2009 VW Tiguan 2.0 l turbo 200 hp gas engine (TDI engine not available for it yet)
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I joke a lot about my Pinto. I say to people the most valuable thing about it is the gas in the tank (and I put a locking gas cap). Also, I say that if I left keys in it overnight, I'm sure it will be right where I left it. No one would want to say they jacked a Pinto I'm sure.

When it was new, it looks like it was a higher end car... has PS, A/C, rear window defrost! Granted, all three items I just stated don't work.... belt is off the AC and PS and the wire to the defrost is off the grid. The main heater barely works (need to pull off the control cover and see if the selector wire came off the lever....) Gas gauge doesn't work, tranny takes a while to kick into reverse now (I think I over filled it a little) and the speedo is reads 10 MPH slower then you are going (ie 40= 50mph) and you have to lift the driver door to get it to latch (aka hinges are worn). It's one "sick" car....but it starts moves fine. It had bad starter and flywheel, so I replaced the starter and had a the guy I got the thing from put in a flywheel. Put a new battery, regulator and alternator. Put some of that engine Restore and some seal conditoner in the engine. Oil leaks have stopped and usage is low.

Originally, I thought it would get better fuel economy then my 91 Sable. But I think it's only getting 18-19MPG (kind of hard to figure it out because of the speedo being off). Sable gets 21-22MPG. I thought about slowly fixing it and putting a turbo on the engine at one point! Crazy....

The worst thing about it is the insurance. The thing is a 2 door..... so you know how 2 doors are insured! And I have MULTIPLE vehicles! Ya think the old thing would be cheaper.....heck, 6 months of just liability is a little less then full coverage on my 1990 E350 ClubWagon!
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1999 E-350 Cub Wagon, 7.3L Power Stroke, E4OD, 3.55
1990 E-350 Club Wagon, 7.3L IDI, E4OD, 3.54LS x2
1994 Chevy C2500 6.5L TD, 3.42
1983 F-150 2x4, 4.9L, C-6 w/GV-OD, 3.55 Farm pickup
1981 C-8000, 3208 CAT, RT-6510, Rockwell SSHD Tandems (Swap)
1981 VW Rabbit Pickup 1.6L diesel (project)
1978 VW Rabbit 1.5L diesel (project)
1977 K100C, NTC-350, RT-1110, Tandem
1977 Transtar II, NTC-290, RT-9509 Single
1977 Transtar II, Formula 290, RT0-9513, Tandem (project)
1974 C-750, 391CID, Clark 5 speed, Eaton 2 speed

Last edited by Kaliburz; 04-07-2010 at 01:39 AM.
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I had a 81 vw diesel rabbit that I rolled around in for 6 months after my silverado was taken out by a drunk driver. The damn thing got over 40mpg. Only did 65mph on flat or downhill but I loved driving that thing. 12 gallons to top off the tank would last me almost a month. The injection pump on those things is crazy $ like 500+ if I remember right. Thats why I got rid of mine.

VW's are a love / hate relationship as well as a labor of love. It could be fun or it could make you want to pull your hair out.
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I had a 81 vw diesel rabbit that I rolled around in for 6 months after my silverado was taken out by a drunk driver. The damn thing got over 40mpg. Only did 65mph on flat or downhill but I loved driving that thing. 12 gallons to top off the tank would last me almost a month. The injection pump on those things is crazy $ like 500+ if I remember right. Thats why I got rid of mine.

VW's are a love / hate relationship as well as a labor of love. It could be fun or it could make you want to pull your hair out.

That's what I hear....
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1999 E-350 Cub Wagon, 7.3L Power Stroke, E4OD, 3.55
1990 E-350 Club Wagon, 7.3L IDI, E4OD, 3.54LS x2
1994 Chevy C2500 6.5L TD, 3.42
1983 F-150 2x4, 4.9L, C-6 w/GV-OD, 3.55 Farm pickup
1981 C-8000, 3208 CAT, RT-6510, Rockwell SSHD Tandems (Swap)
1981 VW Rabbit Pickup 1.6L diesel (project)
1978 VW Rabbit 1.5L diesel (project)
1977 K100C, NTC-350, RT-1110, Tandem
1977 Transtar II, NTC-290, RT-9509 Single
1977 Transtar II, Formula 290, RT0-9513, Tandem (project)
1974 C-750, 391CID, Clark 5 speed, Eaton 2 speed
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I have a 1981 VW Rabbit diesel with the factory extra fuel tank where the spare tire usually sits in the floor of the trunk. Can put 21 gallons of diesel in this baby. Have had this gem for 10+ years. Bought it when I was stationed at Miramar in 1999. Great vehicle! Just had the interior redone. Yes, its a love-hate relationship. I can also verify the fuel injection pump as costing around 500 bones to get rebuilt.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Not to be a Jacka$$ I think you've lost your mind...
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2002 F-250 XLT CC SB\HPX\ITP prepump mod\Harpoon\DI 65psi fuel shim\4" SS turbo back Magnaflow\Fumoto\FTVB\Edge Evolution2\Zoodad\2008 Diff cover\V-10 Transmission cooler
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Perhaps...
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Good luck with it.......
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2002 F-250 XLT CC SB\HPX\ITP prepump mod\Harpoon\DI 65psi fuel shim\4" SS turbo back Magnaflow\Fumoto\FTVB\Edge Evolution2\Zoodad\2008 Diff cover\V-10 Transmission cooler
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