VW Rabbit Diesel

VW Rabbit Diesel questions and answers

Q: I have a 1983 VW Rabbit Diesel pickup truck that I want to sell. Where do I go for a price quote?
I can't find a site that goes that far back in calander years. They all seem to have preset year ranges.

A: If you go to www.edmunds.com you can get used car prices for cars pre-1990. Here is that link, just find the link on the page for "Vehicles manufactured pre-1990". http://www.edmunds.com/tmv/used/volkswagen/index.html# You should go to VWvortex.com. There you can find specific forums for both information and classifieds. I've seen the Caddy's go for anywhere from 100 - 2500 bucks in stock pristine condition. My friend owns a Caddy, he bought it about 4 years ago and paid 1800 bucks for it, but it had the early rabbit style front end conversion and a new motor. Price also will depend on where you live.

Q: How do I put my Crankshaft and Camshaft in time on a 1982 VW Rabbit Diesel?


A: There are marks on the cam gear and crank gear that will align with the marks on the cylinder head and the block. Get them in line, put on the belt, turn the engine by hand for a couple of revolutions to make sure there is no problems with the valves/pistons.

Q: how do you set the timing on a 1.6l vw rabbit diesel engine?
i own a 1981 rabbit 1.6l diesel engine and the timing belt fell apart while i was driving the car and the car has skipped timing and will not run i understand there is a special proceedure / any help would be great!!!

A: You might try googling, or run down to the local library for a repair manual.

Q: VW diesel Rabbit? Are they good?
For my next car, i'm thinking of something that would get good fuel mileage. The Rabbit diesel gets like 54 or something...but i know diesels, at least in trucks, are normally very slow revving and hard to start in the cold. Are the VW diesels that way? Is the acceleration good? Can you just start it up in the morning and go w/ no warmup? of course, i meant the new rabbit...

A: Unequivocally YES, buy one. VW diesel engines have more torque than equivalent gas engines and the pickup is excellent. It will beat the gas rabbit off the line any day. VW solved the glow plug problems over a decade ago. Now you just turn the key and crank like a gas engine. I recently started a new diesel vw at 25 F degrees below zero, and only had to wait 5 seconds for the glow plug light to go out. As with all engines, I would highly recommend you wait a few minutes to let the engine idle when you initiate a cold start. That allows the oil to coat all parts before being stressed by driving. Its better in the long run, BUT if you must, you can go right away without worry. Hope this helps.

Q: I have a stock 1981 VW rabbit diesel, and I want to run bio-diesel, do I have to change anything?


A: As others have suggested, you'll need to change the fuel filter after running bio-diesel. I would recommend doing so after the first tank. You'll also have to check the quality of your fuel lines. Bio-diesel tends to eat through the old fuel lines. I've read any car before 1990 or 1993, not sure which is correct. A final consideration would be the injection pump. When was the last time the it was resealed or rebuilt. The old rubber seals in the pump may begin to leak with the use of bio-diesel.

Q: Would it be wise or worth it to put a VW Rabbit Diesel motor in a Ford Aspire or Escort?


A: Why on earth would you want to do that? People asking for advice on powertrain swaps from the SAME manufacturer, I usually tell them, they're asking for trouble, let alone the powertrain switching you asking.

Q: Can timing be advanced for more power vw rabbit diesel 1.6L?
new timing belt installed and lost some top speed

A: If you've lost power after the new timing belt was installed, then the injection pump timing must be off or the valve timing is off. You have to line up the marks on pump, cam and crank exactly correctly, for each tooth your cam timing is off means that you have about a 16 degrees of cam/valve timing off either retarded or advanced. In addition, you have stick the dial indicator into the pump (remove the access plug ) a rotate the pump till you get the correct movement on the dial indicator. I cannot recommend that you advance the pump timing more than a couple degrees maximum; if you advance it too much you'll get misfire in the cylinder that you won't be able to hear unless its extremely over advanced... and the end result will be piston damage... Hopefully, they've also replaced the tensioner roller at the same time; not replacing it when the belt is off is a foolish way to try and save money. The roller/tensioner will wear out before the next timing belt replacement.... so, you'd end up replacing the timing belt long before its normally due. Hope this helps, a car nut.

Q: I just received a 84 VW Rabbit Diesel. It won't start. Car has been sitting for a few years.?
The car has been sitting for a few years. I replaced the battery. It turns over fine. I gave it a shot of starting fluid, but no luck. Where should I start troubleshooting? Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

A: check your glow plugs

Q: will vw rabbit diesel with a 5 speed trans fit in a rabbit diesel with 4 speed trans? i wont to change motor t


A: yes... http://www.vwdieselparts.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6646&highlight=transmission Good luck...

Q: VW rabbit diesel wiring??
is there anyone out there that knows where i can locate a wiring diagram for the 1980 VW rabbit i bought mine with a few electrical problems and i am having a hard time finding wiring diagrams for this car so if anyone has a link or knows where i can find the diagram that would help alot.

A: http://www.amazon.com/Rabbit-Diesel-1977-Haynes-Manuals/dp/0856969931/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1200848914&sr=8-5 pick this manual up for $3.80 used... I just checked mine, and it has wiring diagrams... Good luck...

Q: 84 VW Diesel Rabbit not idling good, have been adjusting w/no luck...?
This rabbit had a remanufactured pump put on about 2 years ago...a few days it started acting up...if U rev up the rpms, it then takes a while to lower rpms on its own...travels down the hwy and roads just fine, just idling is a puzzle to me...it has 191k miles on engine...the injectors have about 20k miles on them...

A: Nice to see that people are running older VW diesels. These can be one of the most reliable vehicles on the road. Period. These engines are so remarkable yet so simple. My fist suggestion is you check the throttle-linkage. The cable could have too much drag and taking a little while for the return spring on the injection pump to return to curb idle. If that's not he case, it is an internal injection pump problem. If it is and your car is in decent shape, I strongly suggest you rebuild it (you can even do it yourself if you're mechanically inclined...it's VERY simple to rebulild. All you need is a manual which can be fould in major auto-stores or even online). Unless your car is falling apart from rust, it is wise to run this car into the ground. It WILL last many more years. Might I suggest you buy outboard 2-stroke oil and mix a little bit (about 250-500ml) into EACH fillup at the pumps. This will significantly increase the lubrication qualities of the fuel and will significantly increase the life of your injection pump and fuel injectors. Good luck to you and diesels forever...

Q: Will increasing the size of my exhaust on VW Rabbit Pick-up Diesel help performance and economy?
1.6 litre diesel normally aspirated engine, can I add a turbo as well?

A: It would or could have an effect on those. The ported exhaust is xx diameter, straight pipe out of that it would be louder, might be faster , but faster=more gas. The 1914 Mode; T got 24.8 MPG, we haven't really done much better than that in 100 years, so go for it and have fun.

Q: The '78 diesel VW Rabbit got almost 50 MPG. WTF happened?
I knew people that claimed they got almost 60 MPG out of them. So; my question is, with THIRTY years of R&D between then and now, why can't they get even CLOSE to what they had then? Materials research, powerplant engineering, electronics, they have all improved, but the bottom line is still crap? Automotive engineers are especially encouraged to answer!

A: Cars today are heavier than cars from the 1970s because of all the safety features that are now standard. Things like crumple zones, collision cages, airbags, etc. The 1978 VW Rabbit diesel had a curb weight of 2145lbs. (the VW Golf was sold in North America as the "Rabbit" if I remember right). The 2006 Volkswagen Golf Diesel had a curb weight of 2910lbs. That's almost 800 lbs of extra weight, so fuel economy is going to suffer somewhat.

Q: Your 1979 VW Diesel Rabbit suddenly accelerates by itself. Why?


A: could be your injectors or pump or if oil or somthing like that gets in your intake it will fire off that

Q: 1980 vw rabbit... diesel...?
pulled into a park space, pushed in the clutch and the motor went thru the roof(revved itself up super high i did not touch the gas pedal at all) so i quickly turned off the ignition, came back after the car the next day and started it up from being cold and first thing it did when it started was rev itself up like i had had the gas pedal mashed on the floor???? i did the same thing again turned off the ignition but this time the motor kept running super high, at this point not wanting to blow my bunny up i put it in gear and dumped the clutch and killed it. what causes diesels to do this, i think its the injector pump.

A: I would say that the throttle cable is likely the case; however, I do recall years ago that VW had trouble with the throttle racing on the diesel motors. (I once owned a 1979 VW diesel Rabbit, I bought new at the Oakland VW dealership, now long gone...). The problem was that the PCV system would sometimes pipe in oil into the intake system of the air intake, thus causing the system to take in a large amount of fuel/oil mixture. I don't have the service circular anymore, but there was a modification to install a new PCV breather hose with a restrictor into the air intake at the top of the intake manifold behind the air cleaner assembly. Because thbulletinin is so old, I don't think its on line. What you will have to do is to have the dealership call VW directly to check for any open recalls and obtain the service circulabulletinin number that way. If your vehicle falls under the service circulabulletinin and is a recall item, it should be completed for you at no charge. I hope this helps, a car nut.