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#3453200 - 08/12/14 08:31 AM 80 VW Rabbit Diesel
Trigger Offline


Registered: 04/16/08
Posts: 21
Loc: Northern California
I just inherited a 80 VW Rabbit pick-up that is a Diesel. The truck had been sitting in a field for about 7 years. I brought it home on a trailer and hooked a battery to it and it fired up on the first try. I live in Northern California and we have the low sulfur fuel out here. My question is, do I need to or should I run some kind of additive in the fuel? I have read that the low sulfur blend can be hard on the older engines, especially the injector pumps themselves. If I should run an additive, what would you guys suggest? Thanks.

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#3453211 - 08/12/14 08:42 AM Re: 80 VW Rabbit Diesel [Re: Trigger]
Dufus2 Offline


Registered: 12/12/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Virginia
Definitely run a diesel additive like Diesel Kleen and a biocide to kill the stuff growing in the tank. I also add MMO and a little 2-stroke oil for added lubrication.

Mix the MMO at 4-oz for 10 gallons and a comparable amount of any two-cycle oil, no need to over do it.

You might have some fuel problems for a while if the car has been sitting. Algae will clog your fuel filters until you get it cleaned out, took several months in my Benz after it sat for eight years.
_________________________
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#3453213 - 08/12/14 08:42 AM Re: 80 VW Rabbit Diesel [Re: Trigger]
R80RS Offline


Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 620
Loc: Wisconsin USA
A study done by the Southwest Research Laboratory several years ago listed several additives that provide lubricity to ULSD. According to the study, 2% Soy based biodiesel provided the best additional lubricity, followed by some commercially available additives.

I personally add TC-W3 2-cycle oil (at 1/2 oz per gallon) and either Power Service Diesel Fuel Supplement or Amsoil Diesel Injector Clean.

http://www.natbiogroup.com/docs/education/lubricity%20additive%20study%20results.pdf
_________________________
2004 F150 186k mi. Amsoil XL 5w-20, Fram Ultra
2004 Freestar 234k mi. M1 HM 5w-20, Napa Platinum
2003 VW Jetta TDI, 151k mi. Rotella T6 5w-40, Mahle

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#3453218 - 08/12/14 08:44 AM Re: 80 VW Rabbit Diesel [Re: Trigger]
chrisri Offline


Registered: 06/01/14
Posts: 323
Loc: Fiume,Croatia,EU
No need really. Here we have a lot of old diesels, they work fine with low sulphur diesel.But with car sitting this long you can expect some issues with gaskets. Make sure you change fuel filter. Also OCI is limited on this cars because of fuel dilution of oil.


Edited by chrisri (08/12/14 08:45 AM)
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99 FIAT Punto Sporting 16v (Mobil Super 3000x1 5w40)
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#3453220 - 08/12/14 08:46 AM Re: 80 VW Rabbit Diesel [Re: Trigger]
javacontour Offline


Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 7625
Loc: Illinois
And stock up on window regulators for that car. I had an '81 and got pretty good at changing the regulator smile

The engine is gutless, but bulletproof. Acceleration is measured with a calendar. Leaking windows, window regulators and electrical gremlins are the primary downsides of the car.
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#3453225 - 08/12/14 08:51 AM Re: 80 VW Rabbit Diesel [Re: Trigger]
yvon_la Offline


Registered: 05/20/14
Posts: 740
Loc: quebec canada
Originally Posted By: Trigger
I just inherited a 80 VW Rabbit pick-up that is a Diesel. The truck had been sitting in a field for about 7 years. I brought it home on a trailer and hooked a battery to it and it fired up on the first try. I live in Northern California and we have the low sulfur fuel out here. My question is, do I need to or should I run some kind of additive in the fuel? I have read that the low sulfur blend can be hard on the older engines, especially the injector pumps themselves. If I should run an additive, what would you guys suggest? Thanks.
nha ,no need to do much .you all need a jerry can tho.always fuel in 0% biodiesel station .you go to a (whatever % biodiesel and calculate about 1 to 2% bio per fuel tank .yep this mean if you baught a 20% biodiesel gallon you divide the gallon by 20 or 10 you can go up to 2 % bio.and no you cant run ulsd 0% bio all the time .it would break something .but at 1 or 2% biodiesel?you all be tired of the thing before it break .assuming the 7years kept the various seal moist
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#3453278 - 08/12/14 09:48 AM Re: 80 VW Rabbit Diesel [Re: Trigger]
Bandito440 Offline


Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 1627
Loc: Northern NY
Use B2 or B5 blends if you have that available, and Opti-Lube XPD if you don't.
_________________________
'13 Forester 2.5X 5MT - NAPA 0w-20 & Wix 57830
'97 R1100GS - RL 20w-50, KN-163, Shockproof Heavy

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#3453290 - 08/12/14 10:02 AM Re: 80 VW Rabbit Diesel [Re: Trigger]
scurvy Offline


Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 2274
Loc: Chicago IL USA
Plan on sending the pump & injectors out to DFIS in Portland OR to be rebuilt. The evidence of seal shrinkage when going from high-aromatic LSD to low-aromatic ULSD is overwhelming and well documented. I would suggest you run a low blend of biodiesel (B20 or less) to help keep the seals pliable as long as you can get away with it, but nothing will save them in the long run aside from replacement with viton.

Actually, I would plan on doing a full timing belt on it ASAP - 7 years without being run likely makes for some awfully brittle spots in the belt. And don't buy prothe parts!
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You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

06 VW Golf TDI - M1/Delvac 1300 7.5w40ish, HU726/2x, EaBP90
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#3453295 - 08/12/14 10:10 AM Re: 80 VW Rabbit Diesel [Re: Trigger]
ctrcbob Offline


Registered: 01/01/06
Posts: 502
Loc: Mount Dora FL, Penfield NY, R...
Congratulations. FWIW, that truck is worth A LOT OF MONEY..

About twenty years ago, I took a job delivering parts for a local VW dealer. Used their old at the time Rabbit Diesel Pick-Up. Got around 44mpg day in and day out. A couple of the tech's had their own personal trucks. They and others were always looking for them and when found, the selling price was high. Price today has to be out of sight. In the six months I was there, the only thing that went wrong with it was the diesel pump stopped working. Rather than installing a new pump, the service dept removed the broken pump and sent it to a shop in town to have the pump rebuilt. (Cheaper that way). It was still running great last time I saw it.
_________________________
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Mount Dora FL, (It Could Be Worse)-
Penfield NY, (Nice Suburb)-
Roswell NM (Alien Central)-

2013 Avalon Limited
2011 Lincoln MKZ

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#3453332 - 08/12/14 10:47 AM Re: 80 VW Rabbit Diesel [Re: scurvy]
2010_FX4 Online   content


Registered: 09/26/10
Posts: 3101
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: scurvy
Actually, I would plan on doing a full timing belt on it ASAP - 7 years without being run likely makes for some awfully brittle spots in the belt. And don't buy prothe parts!

+1 I had an 81 model and the belt skipped a tooth causing a valve to hit one of the pistons. Fixed it myself at a moderate cost, but you should not chance it.

PS...I managed 55MPG in it, so it will be a miser.
_________________________
2010 F-150 FX4......M1 0W-20 SN EP + FU......(Last OC @ 136.7K)
2014 Explorer LTD....KENDALL GT-1 0W-20 SN + MC....(Last OC @ 15.0K)

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#3453343 - 08/12/14 10:56 AM Re: 80 VW Rabbit Diesel [Re: Trigger]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 13520
Loc: Upstate NY
I had a 1980 VW Rabbit diesel. Nice car.

If a vehicle has a mechanical injector pump then adding some lubricant to the diesel fuel will ensure that the fuel has good lubricity.

I use Walmart TCW-3 oil at 1 oz/gallon.

There is an industry test for this called HFRR. In that test MMO made the diesel fuel worse (better using nothing than MMO). TCW-3 oil was a good one that is cost effective. If you Google HFRR you should find a few tests out there.
_________________________
2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0 - PP & M1
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 w/Cummins - Rotella T6 & M1
Amsoil ATF in both vehicles & Magnefine filter.

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#3453384 - 08/12/14 11:37 AM Re: 80 VW Rabbit Diesel [Re: Trigger]
Rat407 Offline


Registered: 12/13/02
Posts: 759
Loc: North Carolina
Those VW diesel pickups go for some top dollar amounts on Ebay.

I would change out all the fluids and filters, as well as the timing belt. If you plan on keeping it a water pump change out wouldn't hurt, that way it is out of the way and while you are doing all the other maintenance just makes sense. Also stick with a VW thermostat. Don't bother with anything other brand.

Over heating is a major head gasket killer in these. It is easy to change out but as long as you keep an eye on the coolant temp and don't let it get hot you will be fine.

My little 91 Jetta TD is a great economy ride and if you take care of them they will last a long time.

A good place for parts is http://www.autohausaz.com/

I just run some AMSOIL Diesel Injector Clean in mine to keep things running smooth. I fill up about once a month and get 700 miles to a tank which works out to be 50mpg.

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#3453392 - 08/12/14 11:44 AM Re: 80 VW Rabbit Diesel [Re: Trigger]
yvon_la Offline


Registered: 05/20/14
Posts: 740
Loc: quebec canada
Back then they had thermostat issue because of all the junk was in the coolant .now with long duration no silicate phosphate and other accronim I can recall .you won't have issue and if you mix it yourself make sure to use distilled water (avail at Walmart)
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Truck driver
Nissan versa note s 2014
Mechanicly inclined

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#3453455 - 08/12/14 12:31 PM Re: 80 VW Rabbit Diesel [Re: Trigger]
abycat Offline


Registered: 12/06/10
Posts: 1247
Loc: grande prairie AB
awesome! The injector pumps are very easy to turn up. Get lots more power out of it. Just make sure it doesn't run away. a hair before that and you should get some good power.
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1994 f-150 4x4
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#3453464 - 08/12/14 12:38 PM Re: 80 VW Rabbit Diesel [Re: Trigger]
NHGUY Offline


Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3371
Loc: USA
How do you like the chest to steering wheel clearance? Back in the day,VWs were criticized for their lack of cab space as opposed to the similar (but shorter bed) Dodge Rampage.Whereas the VW favored cargo above all else,the Dodge went for cabin comfort.

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