I am calling on my fellow VW enthusiasts for some much needed advice and direction. At 430,000 KMs my car is in need of a rebuild. After I bought it, (FOR 50 BUCKS!) it sat for 3 years before I started it, and started with a jump.
It ran rough at first, (I now know it would have been better to put a fuel filter in) and has been fairly reliable, aside from battery drain. I have already corrected some electrical, like the battery to starter, battery to body ground, (this wire had 2 ground points on it originally, I just did one to the frame here) and removed other bad wiring.
I found a blue and white wire in the fuse box completely melted back.
I am guessing it was for the 12v cigarette lighter which is not hooked up.
There are a few other wires melted together there, but just the casings.
I can address the electrical by replacing wire by wire.
The other issues I have had were the long warm up period. After starting, the engine would idle very low, with the red light in the dash indicating battery, and there was 8 to 10 volts available. It seemed to keep going, though, the first couple of minutes without touching the gas pedal.
After pushing the accelerator, often past 2500 RPM, the voltage would go up to 12v, the battery light would turn off, but would drop the idle down to 500-600 if you took your foot off the gas. The idle would slowly improve if it kept running. If you tried to drive cold, there was no power and it would stall.
After 5 minutes, it would be warmed up enough to drive. By the time it was warm, the voltage was mostly steady as it was driven. It would run reliably, although it had bouncy acceleration in mid pedal. It always starts hot, and could drive right away. Not so much after 40 minutes.
When i was shifting and other times, the bar gauge was all over the place, between 1 and 3.5!
Whew!! What does it all mean?
Recently, after driving for a year, I replaced the fuel filter. That day, I kept stalling at every stop sign, but I guessed it was from really low fuel. The fuel was DIRTY!
After, it ran pretty good, better than usual. More power. I put my last 20 in the tank, and noticed the fuel pump got very loud, then quiet, then loud, then quiet. I parked the car, and it died. I can hear the pump priming when I turn the key, as usual, but I turn all the way to start, and the starter motor is trying, but no start. My car has died.
So I am in rebuild mode.
Engine as it sits now, in the Convertible:
A better view of the head; It is stamped 26103373H. (With a 52 above it). JH European head.
Solid lifter, 40 intake 33 exhaust. 8mm valve stems. Made in Germany.
This is the other side of the engine bay, with battery and air flow sensor.
Here is a pic of a mystery plug in the back behind the air sensor box, it has 3 wires leading to a female 5 slot plug. No idea where this plugs in. It has been there like that since I bought the car in 2007.
I have a brand new fuel pump, fuel injectors, seals, fuel distributor rebuild kit, (to ensure proper operation of the fuel distributor plunger).
I bought a brand new Bosch distributor, just showed up! (Old one was worn out, at about 60%)
Here is another view, has hall sender with rectangular 3 plug. Date stamp on this part is 1984, and the bottom of the shaft says 2322. The only other option was to buy a distributor with a knock sensor, and I would have had to get a computer for it and wiring harness.
Brand new Bosch ignition coil, plugs, wires, oil and fuel filter. I will likely buy a new oil pump and did buy a new warm up regulator. What else is a wearing part likely to cause me grief?????? I want a reliable car.
I am also installing a big bore throttle body, and likely stage 1 or 3 intake manifold. Tri-y headers with cat, and aluminized exhaust, new throttle cable. As for the existing TB, this is what sits in the car.
There is a tutorial but it uses a different throttle body in the photos. http://www.vintagewatercooleds.com/tech/Techtips/ATStechnotes/throttlebody/throttlebody.htm
There is another link to a page with more info on what I generally hope to accomplish.
The one I bought has a throttle position sensor apparently, (oops) with 3 wires out the bottom of the unit. It has been pointed out by some experts the Big Bore TB in the pics will only work with an automatic, the Convertible has a manual 5 speed 020.
Here's a photo if anyone know exactly what it is. VW and Audi stamped on it, and DVG Made in W Germany on it.
There is a side panel stamped
Date stamp is 1989
Could anyone identify which vacuum ports are these two (#2 and #3) and I guess #1 is the mix screw. There is also another vacuum port on the other side, not visible in this photo, But can clearly be seen here.
The two visible vacuum ports here go right through to the inside wall of the TB, the side towards the intake manifold. Advice greatly appreciated.
So I am in the market for a Fox? or Cabriolet? Intake manifold 88-89.
Okay, transmission of power;
I found a heavy duty Sachs clutch kit, it has 20% increased clamping force.
Pressure plate, clutch disc, throwout bearing, push rod, bushing and seal, clutch cable and all new bolts, and the release arm just in case. Elring mainshaft seal; Crankshaft seal is silicone. (I will get a new flywheel if needed).
My front windshield is cracked, and the "chrome trim" is junk. I will clean corrosion and fix it.
It is leaking slightly into the car when it rains. There is a small rusty patch by the driver wiper.
I am cheap, so I will find a used glass in great shape off some old junkpile.
1975-1982 All models (Rabbit, Pickup, Jetta, Rabbit Convertible)
1980-1989 Rabbit Convertible/Cabriolet
Some time in mid-late 1989 was the changeover for the Cabriolet.
2-door and 4-door models are all the same within the groups (i.e. a 1990 Cabriolet windshield will work on a 1984 Rabbit LS 4-door).
The windshield frames are all the same, so conceivably, you can swap between the two. I've gone both ways on this (put a glue-in in a rubber-style seal windshield, and put a rubber-seal into a glue-style). Each conversion has it's caveats, but it can be done. What can NOT be done, is use a glue-in windshield with a rubber seal on it. You have to glue it in place.
While everything is apart and accessible, what else do I address?
Any advice for how to make it a success?
The car itself is in great shape, and the parts were all very cheap, but good German stuff. Clearout sales abound if you are willing to spend the time to find them. For me, the last 6 months a couple of hours a day looking through the back pages of the internet. Oh, the Bentley manual is on the way too.
I just traded work for a 1983 GTI, all the serial numbers of the cis system match, and it has a 1.8 block, with 026103373f head. This engine sits with 248,000 kms, (a lot less than the 430,000 kms on the convertible engine.) I am in the process of rebuilding this GTI engine, it will be going in a hot bath next couple of days. New crankshaft, rods, pistons will be ordered soon, after verifying the block and head are in good shape. Bearings, seals and gaskets will also be new. No problem.
I will likely bore to 81.5 if necessary, and want to rebuild the head. G grind would be awesome! Scientific Rabbit or Autotech? Who to go with? Both heads I have are German. Autotech has Zylinderkopf...Port, no polish! And I do have a spare head...
Special thanks to Ze Germans for making great castings.