Author Topic: VW Rabbit diesel project  (Read 1102 times)

Diver

  • Global Moderator
  • Prepper Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 392
  • Karma: +77/-0
    • View Profile
VW Rabbit diesel project
« on: October 20, 2016, 03:17:19 am »
I am opening this thread to relate my experiences restoring a 1981 VW Rabbit with diesel engine.

To date I have purchased the car in non-drivable condition, i.e. a complete basket case.  The vehicle has over 250,000 miles, so if restored fully, it should last a long, long time.  The car is sitting at a restoration shop with some parts on order that will basically make the car moveable, e.g. in and out of a bay.  (Ball joint failed.)  Once the car can be moved I will get a diagnosis and move through a rolling restoration from making the car structurally sound and safe, then reliable, then cosmetically restored.  I am starting with a VIN number and a pile of junk.

To be clear, I do not intend to do the work myself.  I will be directing what work gets done, locating parts when necessary, etc.  I have done a restoration before where I did much more of the work, but that vehicle was not intended as a BOV.

I chose this for a BOV project for reasons of cost, ability to obtain fuel in a post disaster world, and EMP risk.

For those who have not been through a car restoration before, these things usually take years, and I am at the beginning of that process.

Prepper Living

  • Administrator
  • Prepper Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 728
  • Karma: +18/-0
    • View Profile
    • Prepper Living
Re: VW Rabbit diesel project
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2016, 08:21:04 am »
Pictures please !!! :)

Diver

  • Global Moderator
  • Prepper Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 392
  • Karma: +77/-0
    • View Profile
Re: VW Rabbit diesel project
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2016, 09:56:53 am »
Pictures please !!! :)

Next time I am at the shop. A 1981 Rabbit basically looks like a box. In this case a very rusty box. :-)

Diver

  • Global Moderator
  • Prepper Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 392
  • Karma: +77/-0
    • View Profile
Re: VW Rabbit diesel project
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2016, 11:38:48 am »
Here is the before picture.  Notice the front end collapsed when the ball joint failed and there is no front bumper.  Nothing has been fixed at this point.  The roof rack is fine.  Everything below that needs restoration.  :-)


Diver

  • Global Moderator
  • Prepper Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 392
  • Karma: +77/-0
    • View Profile
Re: VW Rabbit diesel project
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2017, 03:26:08 am »
Quick update.  Some parts are starting to arrive, and the engine and trans are ready to be sent off for rebuilds.

Diver

  • Global Moderator
  • Prepper Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 392
  • Karma: +77/-0
    • View Profile
Re: VW Rabbit diesel project
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2017, 02:33:30 pm »
This past month was slow dues to the shop owner's brother being injured and then needing heart surgery.  He is now healing well and the shop owner is back to work.  I also had some work done on one of the daily drivers, a 1998 Lincoln.  Cars that are over 10 years old and not old enough to be collectible are really a pain to get parts for.  The manufacturers stop producing parts and the vintage vehicle manufacturers don't start until the vehicle is about 25 years old.  As a result, everything in between is a pain just to locate parts.  Ford products seem to be really bad.  In addition, many parts manufacturers folded during the 2008-2009 period.  All of my daily drivers fall in this 10+ year old, but not vintage car,  category.

With the VW, no work has been done, but we have located an engine rebuild shop that does diesels.  There is a transmission shop next door to the restoration shop.  So far there has been no problem finding parts for the VW, but we are early in the project.

Adventure for Two

Tags: