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#728338 - 11/28/05 04:52 AM Re: 1984 VW Rabbit Diesel Oil?
JR Offline

Registered: 08/08/04
Posts: 1312
Loc: Michigan born but my heart bel...
bmwtechguy I see you stated that MC FL-1A would be an ok filter. I know they had a 3/4-16 thread, and are the same size as the filter for this engine right down to a tee except for the by-pass valve psi setting. I have about two dozen Super Tech ST43's that are the same as the MC FL-300 filters. I was wondering if I was just running a good old 15W-40 dino hdeo and planning to dump at 3K would these shorter half quart filters be up to the challenge.

#728339 - 11/28/05 07:13 AM Re: 1984 VW Rabbit Diesel Oil?
bmwtechguy Offline

Registered: 06/15/04
Posts: 2592
Loc: South Carolina
IMHO I believe you would be fine with these filters that you have left, using your described intervals. I've never really payed too much attention to the exact bypass valve psi settings from one filter to another and have never had any problems. I'm sure that it is worth considering for some applications. As far as a value priced HDEO, you may want to consider the Castrol Tection Extra which is available right now through end of Dec. at Advance Auto Parts for 3 gallons for $15. In addition to that, 2 rebates per household of $6 each knocks it down to $3 a gallon for what seems like a really stout oil- holds viscosity well, etc. I am using it in all my old stuff and farm engines and is working well. Check the rebates/sales threads on BITOG for the link to BP/ Castrol rebate PDF. Even without the rebate, you cannot beat it.

If you plan to start and drive that car when it gets really cold, especially on dino HDEO 15W-40, I hope you have some way of warming the block or park in a garage, etc. Otherwise, I would seriously think about Synthetic Rotella 5W-40 especially during the coldest part of MI winter for at least a 5K mile OCI. You trying to use up those ST filters that you got for a buck a piece when they went on clearance?

#728340 - 11/29/05 04:31 AM Re: 1984 VW Rabbit Diesel Oil?
JR Offline

Registered: 08/08/04
Posts: 1312
Loc: Michigan born but my heart bel...
thanks for the tip on the castrol

#728341 - 12/01/05 09:11 PM Re: 1984 VW Rabbit Diesel Oil?
McKittrick Offline

Registered: 06/01/05
Posts: 191
Loc: Central Texas USA
I use Mann filters bought from for about $5 (free shipping with over $50 purchase), very good solid filter with the correct bypass setting. 86 Jetta continues to deliver over 46 mpg. Good stout little cars.

#728342 - 12/06/05 05:28 PM Re: 1984 VW Rabbit Diesel Oil?
elfperformance Offline

Registered: 12/05/05
Posts: 28
Loc: Paragould, Arkansas
Here is what I would recommend.


Synthetic technology multigrade oil developed to cover the most stingent requirements of both gas and diesel engine. Particularly suited to Turbo charged, multi valved, direct injection, 8 cylinder. Can be used in most severe operating conditions and all seasons.

ACEA: A3/B3/B4
VOLKSWAGON/ AUDI: 502.00/505.00
MERCEDES-BENZ: 229.1 229.3
BMW Long Life
General Motors: GM-LL-B-025

Good Luck! - Hardy

#728343 - 01/13/06 01:32 AM Re: 1984 VW Rabbit Diesel Oil?
Mat_31 Offline

Registered: 01/09/06
Posts: 7
Loc: Berlin
Just a normal 15w40 or 10w40 for winter.

#728344 - 02/06/06 12:01 AM Re: 1984 VW Rabbit Diesel Oil?
Brons2 Offline

Registered: 09/16/03
Posts: 3042
Loc: Austin, Texas
What about Esso XD-3 0w40 for Michigan winters? It's diesel rated and super cheap over the border in Canada, so I hear.

#728345 - 02/06/06 12:14 AM Re: 1984 VW Rabbit Diesel Oil?
JR Offline

Registered: 08/08/04
Posts: 1312
Loc: Michigan born but my heart bel...
Mat_31 all I have used so far is a 15W-40. I have seen several mornings that were close to zero degrees F and even a few below the zero mark. It has fired every morning and started right up. So I know that it can and will start and run just fine with a 15W-40. But it feels better having something thinner in it. You know it just gives ya that warm feeling that your doing all you can to protect your precious little baby.
Brons2 thank you for that suggestion. I never give a thought to going over the border for a good syn. Thank you.

#728346 - 03/10/06 03:12 AM Re: 1984 VW Rabbit Diesel Oil?
jamesn Offline

Registered: 03/27/05
Posts: 323
Loc: iowa
great find on the VW diesel. i was bidding on a vw diesel caddy (pickup) with 140k miles. i had 1300 to spend on it at the time and thought it was mine. i was quite wrong. it went for over 2200. i should have called the bank and got that sucker. maybe next time. my family had a 1980 rabbit diesel. my dad did about 140 miles a day to work and back. we sold it in 86 with 230k miles on it. great car.

#728347 - 03/10/06 06:44 PM Re: 1984 VW Rabbit Diesel Oil?
John K Offline

Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 950
Loc: Loveland, Ohio
I had 2 81 Rabbit diesels, and thought I'd drive them forever but my daughter totaled both of them! Surprisingly I found the seats very comfortable for my bad back and could tolerate long trips in them.
As far as oil filters go, I don't remember the brands, but these engines develop pretty high oil pressure. I used to get oil pressure light when I drove thru puddles, so put a 0-100 psi gauge on it, and when the engine was cold it would go well past 100! Oil light coming on was case of water splashing up on the op sender. Knew some guys that blew gaskets out of their oil filters.
Hated the 4 speed tranny, wished I had the 5. Big gap between 3-4.

#728348 - 03/12/06 07:25 AM Re: 1984 VW Rabbit Diesel Oil?
JR Offline

Registered: 08/08/04
Posts: 1312
Loc: Michigan born but my heart bel...
Jamesn and John K I was wondering if you could tell me what brand(s) and weight of oils you used and what was your oil change intervals where.

#728349 - 03/13/06 06:13 PM Re: 1984 VW Rabbit Diesel Oil?
John K Offline

Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 950
Loc: Loveland, Ohio
Well, that was a long time ago....I think I bought whatever was on sale, usually Pennzoil or Castrol, and might even have used Fram filters back then! Don't remember what kind of filters that some had trouble with blowing the gasket out, but used to make sure the filter was on really tight!
One of the cars I bought new, the other when it had 115,000 miles on it. The used one had the filter on so tight I went back and asked the guy I bought it from how he put it on, seems he machined an aluminum socket wrench at work to make sure he had it tight enough!
When I put the mechanical pressure gauge on it I had visions of black oil spraying all over me and the interior when it went past 100. Warm I think the pressure would drop to 60 or so? Usually changed oil around 3000 miles.
I used to keep some kerosene on hand for winter weather and would add a gallon or two when the temperature got below 15 or so. I think winterized diesel fuel already has it mixed in, but I was warned about some places didn't sell winterized fuel, the K would lower the mileage and doesn't have the lubrication qualities of #2 but it never failed to start, even below zero.

#728350 - 03/13/06 06:16 PM Re: 1984 VW Rabbit Diesel Oil?
John K Offline

Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 950
Loc: Loveland, Ohio
Don't remember what weight oil I used, whatever the manual called for, I assume back then it was 10W-30? Could have been 10W-40 too. I checked my records, I usually save everything, but I think I finally threw that stuff away....

#728351 - 03/21/06 09:52 AM Re: 1984 VW Rabbit Diesel Oil?
jamesn Offline

Registered: 03/27/05
Posts: 323
Loc: iowa
i dont remember what filter we used, knowing my dad he bought a few cases of the VW filters. we had the local co-op change the oil avery 3-4k or so. we used 10-40 chevron delo diesel oil in it. it got to where it burned about a quart a week the way we drove it. the only way to get anywhere in that thing was to full throttle it ande shift about as fast as you could through the first 3-4 gears. garbage trucks and kids on bicycles would pass you. lousy car to pick up chicks in. but cheap to run.

#728352 - 03/22/06 08:31 AM Re: 1984 VW Rabbit Diesel Oil?
Volvohead Offline

Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 3550
Loc: SE Pa
I owned one of these, a 1980 model. It liked a 40 weight best, especially in the summer, but did just fine on a 30 as well. One machinist who worked on them preferred them over MB diesels and recommended a straight 40, but you'd have cold cranking issues if it were really cold. In the winter, I'd run regular 10w-30 Pennzoil without any problems. The battery took up quite a bit of the tiny engine compartment if I recall.

I think it did 0-60 mph eventually (with the AC on it was a real struggle at times). But with a few tweaks it was actually a fun little car in the twisties. And 60 mpg was quite a benefit.

The bigger question is whether it was a Westmoreland Rabbit or one from the Fatherland. The former needed a lot more work to run well.

The problem I've always had with post-beetle VWs is that they are just wonderful cars until they break the first time. That seems to set off a chain reaction and you're always fixing something thereafter.

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