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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm joining the ranks....

A couple months ago I got a serious bug up my *ss and decided I had to find a rabbit. I have been watching the local forums and Craigslist for a while now and haven't been able to find anything that really caught my attention. Last week I emailed someone from Craigslist that had an ad up for a 1984 Rabbit part-out. After talking with him for a while I had found out that it was a 1984 Rabbit GTI from Texas that needed some work... A few messages later a deal was made and I went to get a truck and trailer. Last Sunday after a Christmas GTG I drove to his house and found my new dread and happiness.



The car has 209k miles but hardly any major rust... Of course the rear apron and spare tire well are the worst areas but easily fixed. The car also came with a "built" head and two extra transmissions.







I don't know much about these engines but If my research thus far has been correct I believe this is a 1.7L head, Will that work for my car? Is it worth my time to worry about? The engine in the car has a bad distributor and vacuum issues that I hope to completely take care of while I go along.

My goal is to have a safe and reliable vehicle for the 2,000 mile trip to sowo and back.


Here is the engine bay as it was when I unloaded the car from the trailer



First interior pictures






Extra parts that were in the back





Starting to look into why there is no brake pressure. Rear brake lines were rusted badly.



Starting to pull the motor





Motor out... End the first night with Dread and Happiness






Night two was a quick night. I finally go to the garage after running errands and picking up the engine stand. tonight involved separating the trans, getting the engine onto the stand, teardown and cleanup. Ended when the heater ran out of propane. Will have to pickup more tomorrow after work before I start the GFs heatercore








And just some overall pics of the shop and car






Night all

My humble apologies about the cell pics... nice camera is not in the budget at the moment.
 

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That is quite the project! But it will be worth it in the end.

The moroso valve cover is a nice find!

Not sure about the extra head, if it would gain you anything over the 1.8 gti head. Old school dial-in-cam adjustable gear is also a nice find.

Whats the custom light switch mounted in the heat duct?
 

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:wave:

I have a couple interior pieces for ya' if you want them. I got some navy blue door handles/surrounds that are in great shape and some A-Pillar trim pieces also navy blue. I'll happily donate them to the cause!

Let me know, I'll be watching this one. :popcorn::beer:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
:wave:

I have a couple interior pieces for ya' if you want them. I got some navy blue door handles/surrounds that are in great shape and some A-Pillar trim pieces also navy blue. I'll happily donate them to the cause!

Let me know, I'll be watching this one. :popcorn::beer:
Thanks Alex! Yeah for sure Ill have to make a trip up to your place and visit :beer:
 

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78rabbit1.5LGP & 82rabbitpickup1.6DGC
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the engine is an 84 gti JH with a proper JH head (373H), the coolant port tells us that (between cylinder 3&4)
the oil dipstick suggests a 1.8L because none of the 1.5/1.6/1.7 had the long oil dipstick

the other head 373B is a 1.7L and indicated by the coolant port (cyl 1&2). 1.5 & 1.6L had the same coolant port but would have 1.6 stamped on it

that 373B head is a NON-AC head because the coolant flange is not a 90*degree but instead the normal 45*
but to fix that you just swap on a proper AC coolant flange

the camshafts may be upgraded
here are some links you can measure and verify:
http://www.techtonicstuning.com/cams.html
http://www.autotech.com/category/camshafts.html
on the exhaust camshaft measure the minimum distance vs the longest distance (the lobe) and subtract




car looks nice enough
so get to work!
 

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Nice find.
Yours is a lot better off in the rust department than my son's 83. His needs full floors, rockers, and pich welds before getting to the fun stuff.
Keep up the progress, Sowo is coming up fast, but is still far enough to see this completable for the trip.
I'll look forward to trying to spot you there.
:popcorn:
 

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78rabbit1.5LGP & 82rabbitpickup1.6DGC
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its just a G-grind cam, these are eurospec gti camshafts
which adds a little pep to the 1.7L AND 1.8L
both of these stock camshafts were sub-grade poor compared to the 1.5/1.6L camshafts

the 1.8L head (373H) would have bigger valves than the 1.7L (373B)

check the camshaft on the head on the block of the 1.8L
if youre going to reuse that block and head combo you should check the camshaft and use the G-grind if it is better
also use that adjustable cam gear on the head/block combo you choose
fine tuning your timing can be beneficial and saves time with the adjustable cam


the 1.7L head is probally just a spare
also interesting that it has some plugs in the CIS injector ports
someone was probally going to carb that head
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Today... Scratch that... The last 11.5 hours went by very fast... When I got off work I stopped by a friends house to pickup my finished shift boot for the bimmer


After that I swung by harbor freight for some new wire wheels...

Then I cleaned the garage and changed the heater core on the GFs Jetta...


When that was done it was about 130am... I helped my roommate assemble his new toolbox and the spent a little time cleaning up the 1.8 block




Tomorrow I have a Christmas to attend so idk if I will have any updates...

Till next time and once again thanks for the support guys!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Spent the day in the garage.. However I wasn't able to spend any of it working on the gti... I got the ceiling wrapped in plastic to attempt to hold heat in the garage better. I also started pulling the garage apart to remodel. Adding lots of plugins and lights, insulation and drywall.. Really hoping to seal the garage up a lot better.... I'm going through about 50$ a week in propane :mad: Hopefully I can give you guys a better update later this week but for the moment all my time and money will be spent fixing the garage...

cheers:beer:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Got the studs drilled last night and a lot of the wire ran last night for outlets and lighting in the garage... 8 new outlet boxes and 6 new 4ft florescent light fixtures... and the 220 for my new 60gal air compressor of course :D

Tonight I want to finish wiring start insulating, if I have time I want to pickup some drywall and start getting the walls closed up and my workbench made...

cheers guys :beer:
 
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