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#2455724 - 12/07/11 11:45 AM Re: 1981 volkswagen rabbit pickup [Re: finalyzd]
cchase Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 3963
Loc: New England
If I am to believe wikipedia, it does say a 1.6 diesel w/ turbo was sold in Canada "and abroad" sometime between 1980 and 1984.

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#2455759 - 12/07/11 12:15 PM Re: 1981 volkswagen rabbit pickup [Re: cchase]
91344George Offline


Registered: 11/23/11
Posts: 1082
Loc: CA
I would not be surprised if during the life of the vehicle someone transplanted that turbo engine into his truck.

But maybe not, the owner stated he doesn't know much about VW pick up diesels anyhow.

When reasonably maintained these little vehicles will soldier on just about forever, contrary to the popular myths about VW many of their cars are as durable and reliable as anything from Asia.

Ask me I've owned quite a few.

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#2455794 - 12/07/11 01:00 PM Re: 1981 volkswagen rabbit pickup [Re: finalyzd]
ronbo Offline


Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 491
Loc: western ny, usa
+1 on nice find and some general info on vehicle here http://mpgomatic.com/45_MPG_Pickup_Truck.html


Edited by ronbo (12/07/11 01:01 PM)

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#2455826 - 12/07/11 01:41 PM Re: 1981 volkswagen rabbit pickup [Re: finalyzd]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 22989
Loc: ME
Sometimes with glow plugs you can either feel their bases to see if they're warm, or you can ohm resistance between the pins, or the single pin and ground. A mercedes glow plug is about an ohm, for a 12 watt load. Of course it depends on if you're wired in series or parallel etc. If you're a daring sort you can try just a touch of ether (starting fluid) but don't get carried away. (This is where people reply DON'T DO THIS so I'll premptively mention it. wink )

Also if it's a stick shift you can try roll starting it, just point it down a steep hill in 3rd or 4th, the amazing engine speed and compression will start it even without working glow plugs.

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#2455839 - 12/07/11 01:53 PM Re: 1981 volkswagen rabbit pickup [Re: finalyzd]
Quattro Pete Offline


Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 23618
Loc: Illinoistan
A little OT, but it's a shame there are no such small diesel-powered trucks available in the US anymore. VW recently launched their Amarok pickup, but it's not really what I'd call small. Plus it's so darn expensive, VW isn't even planning to bring it to the US, probably because it just wouldn't sell at that price.
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#2455841 - 12/07/11 01:55 PM Re: 1981 volkswagen rabbit pickup [Re: finalyzd]
AuthorEditor Offline


Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 1405
Loc: New York
Another thing to do on any vehicle that has been sitting that long is to make sure the air cleaner is clear of mouse nests, etc. If you can get clean fuel to the injectors, the engine is turning over, and the engine is getting air chances are it will start. Make sure the exhaust pipe is pointed away from your house and anything else you value as a diesel that hasn't been run in awhile will often spew black smoke and nasty black goop out the exhaust when it first cranks up.

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#2455894 - 12/07/11 02:47 PM Re: 1981 volkswagen rabbit pickup [Re: finalyzd]
mechtech2 Offline


Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 19479
Loc: Chicago Area
NOT recommended by the book, but try a shot or two of starting fluid to get things going. If the fuel supply
is good, she'll keep running

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#2455962 - 12/07/11 03:51 PM Re: 1981 volkswagen rabbit pickup [Re: finalyzd]
scurvy Offline


Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 2243
Loc: Chicago IL USA
I'm gonna go on record here to say DO NOT USE STARTING FLUID IN A DIESEL.

Wanna see what happens if you've got one good glowplug that gets a whiff of ether? Be my guest. But please don't ruin a cool old Caddy diesel with it.

If it won't start, remember you only need three things to start a diesel: compression, fuel & injection timing. Each of those should be fairly simple to check. Check the cold start handle on the side of the pump to see if it moves freely.
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#2456211 - 12/07/11 07:48 PM Re: 1981 volkswagen rabbit pickup [Re: scurvy]
440Magnum Online   content


Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 5778
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: scurvy
I'm gonna go on record here to say DO NOT USE STARTING FLUID IN A DIESEL.

Wanna see what happens if you've got one good glowplug that gets a whiff of ether? Be my guest.


Starting fluid is hard on ANY engine, but its not going to blow up if it hits a working glow-plug. If it did, all the stubborn glow-plug tractor engines that hundreds of farmers have used starting fluid on would have turned to shrapnel years ago.
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#2456316 - 12/07/11 08:57 PM Re: 1981 volkswagen rabbit pickup [Re: finalyzd]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 6960
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Originally Posted By: finalyzd
So I recently received this truck for free and would like to bring it back to life. Its a turbo diesel..


Cool little trucks, but I thought these were all NA diesels?

Joel
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#2457193 - 12/08/11 04:27 PM Re: 1981 volkswagen rabbit pickup [Re: finalyzd]
mechtech2 Offline


Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 19479
Loc: Chicago Area
I DID say NOT recommended by the book, but starting fluid a common thing to do with recalcitrant diesels.
Of course, don't go nuts with it.

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#2457439 - 12/08/11 08:07 PM Re: 1981 volkswagen rabbit pickup [Re: scurvy]
Tegger Offline


Registered: 03/20/06
Posts: 1312
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: scurvy
I'm gonna go on record here to say DO NOT USE STARTING FLUID IN A DIESEL.

Wanna see what happens if you've got one good glowplug that gets a whiff of ether?

Right around 1981, I worked next to a place that had a fleet of highway tractors, and I got to watch them try and start those beasts every morning: one guy would spray ether into the intake stack, while another guy would crank the engine. It took some time, but eventually the engines would come to shaky, clattery, smoky life. There was a reason why those rigs didn't get shut down until the shift was over. Diesel technology is much better, these days...
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#2457751 - 12/09/11 09:12 AM Re: 1981 volkswagen rabbit pickup [Re: finalyzd]
AuthorEditor Offline


Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 1405
Loc: New York
I used to own a Rabbit diesel and despite its reputation mine never failed to start on its own, even in below-zero weather. Run the glow plugs for a minute or so and it would fire right up. I don't recall ever using starting fluid. Cheapest car I ever owned. Bought it for $200 with a broken odometer that read north of 150,000 miles, drove it for two years commuting 120 miles per day getting 50+ mpg, then sold it back to the guy I bought it from for the same price $200. No maintenance other than an occasional oil change at a cheapy lube.

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#2457764 - 12/09/11 09:37 AM Re: 1981 volkswagen rabbit pickup [Re: finalyzd]
scurvy Offline


Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 2243
Loc: Chicago IL USA
If you're going to use some sort of starting fluid (still NOT RECOMMENDED!) either try WD40 or hold a gasoline-soaked rag over the intake. Both can help a recalcitrant older diesel start in cold weather and have detonations that are orders of magnitude less harsh than ether. Many folks that have used starting fluid now have 'ether babies' that won't start any other way.

Or better yet, aim a heat gun into the intake - no chemicals necessary!

Making sure the glow plug bus bar is getting voltage and the resistance of each GP would be an excellent place to start. FWIW, when my wife's diesel Beetle burned out a glow plug it was painfully obvious which one was bad when I put the Fluke on them... 0.7 ohms, 0.9 ohms, 27 megaohms, 0.8 ohms. One of those things is not like the other! Use a dab of nickel-based anti seize when re-installing them so you'll always be able to get them back out.

TDIClub might be a good place to start if you want more advice for getting an old Caddy running.
_________________________
You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

2006 VW Golf TDI - Frankenblend 5w40ish, HU726/2x, EaBP90
2012 Mazda 5 - M1 0W20, PL10241

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#2458144 - 12/09/11 04:42 PM Re: 1981 volkswagen rabbit pickup [Re: scurvy]
440Magnum Online   content


Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 5778
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: scurvy

Or better yet, aim a heat gun into the intake - no chemicals necessary!


+1
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'66 Dodge Polara & '69 Dodge Coronet R/T both 440/727
'08 Ram 1500 4.7/545RFE
'12 Challenger SRT8 392/6-speed
'99 Cherokee 4.0, '11 Grand Cherokee 3.6

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