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Yellow 1981 4-Door Rabbit L FI Gasoline 1.7L
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, it was recommended to me I make a thread to contain all of my questions and maintain a sort of community surrounding.

My hatchback is a yellow gasoline FI 1981 Rabbit L with ~131k miles. It is not a completely project car as you'll see with the photos and is actually my daily driver for school, work, etc. It is easily drivable but just needs a lot of small things done.

I'll send more photos than what I have now soon but I need to clean it up as I was working inside it and leaves blow out of the vents anytime I turn them on. Lol

I don't have almost any experience with working on cars but I know I enjoy it a lot so far. I learned everything I know starting in March and it all came from youtube. I have the Bentley manual, just got a 225pc tool set, Allen wrenches, and more random tools and vise grips.

My main goal is to get the car running smoothly consistently and then to have it looking nice. As you'll see, it has hail damage and it is just super dusty on the inside and gets worse as I take things like the dash apart and leaves spray out of the vents.

I have a ton of small problems but, as a starter, does anyone know what these are called or where I can get them?
58639

This was used to hold the black plastic onto the steering wheel for the horn and steering wheel cover.
58642


If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask or say them.
 

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78rabbit1.5LGP & 82rabbitpickup1.6DGC
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I have a ton of small problems but, as a starter, does anyone know what these are called or where I can get them? View attachment 58639
This was used to hold the black plastic onto the steering wheel for the horn and steering wheel cover.
View attachment 58642

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask or say them.


i ended up making my own out of rubber. they are cheap to replace, easy to source, and less likely to wear out or break.
but... with a little searching you can find some replacements (maybe)
these days i would assume someone has a 3d printed version or model online...
just be aware there are 2 kinds: early single edge, late double edge.

i checked all my photos, doesnt seem i ever took photos of my hand made ones
but basically some of these:

with some washers and bolts
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the tips and the link.
And yeah, I was a little bummed about the tach in the dash too. But it came in handy when I was tuning the idle at least.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Does anyone have any recommendations for removing and replacing the starter? (manual transmission) I already know about the motor mount and it is a pretty basic job as far as I understand. But, I went to take it off and the allen bolts would not budge. I was just using the basic L allen wrenches though. I put penetrating fluid, I am going to give it another go, then I guess I will have to go and get an allen socket set if I can't get it.
 

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An allen socket set is a good investment in any case. You'll find lots of allen bolts in the VW - mostly 6mm. As for the starter itself, @Butcher had recommended that I get the Bosch SR0407X, which fits the 1.6 Diesel and is considered a good upgrade. However, I couldn't tell you if it will fit the gas engines.
 

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Does anyone have any recommendations for removing and replacing the starter? (manual transmission) I already know about the motor mount and it is a pretty basic job as far as I understand. But, I went to take it off and the allen bolts would not budge. I was just using the basic L allen wrenches though. I put penetrating fluid, I am going to give it another go, then I guess I will have to go and get an allen socket set if I can't get it.
A torx bit on a breaker bar will help with those bolts. Also, know that these are very long bolts. The threads that need to be penetrated with fluid are on the far side of the transmission. One is threaded into the engine block and the other is threaded into a captured nut on the coolant hardline. That's where the penetrating fluid needs to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Al
A torx bit on a breaker bar will help with those bolts. Also, know that these are very long bolts. The threads that need to be penetrated with fluid are on the far side of the transmission. One is threaded into the engine block and the other is threaded into a captured nut on the coolant hardline. That's where the penetrating fluid needs to go.
Is there an advantage or disadvantage between torx bits and allen sockets?
 

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Al


Is there an advantage or disadvantage between torx bits and allen sockets?
Well, torx is what I have. Honestly, I should get a set of true Allen sockets myself for tighter clearances when torquing. Maybe I wouldn't strip so many socket head bolts. 😅

By the way..

How do you know that you need a new starter or why are you removing it? IME, more often than not, it's not the starter, but one of many usual suspect battery cable, ground, or even ignition circuit wiring connections.
 
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Allen is the preferred method and the right amount of torque to keep the bolt from backing out. I would use some type of lubrication on the threads to prevent future issues. It's not an issue were I live, rarely does anything seize around here.

Torx can work in a bind. 5mm/T30, 6mm/T40, etc. The trick with allen bolts is not to strip them. Once you do, you are screwed. Valve lapping compound on the tip helps grip the head. Pounding the socket into the head. Cleaning out the head before you install the socket. Applying torque while hitting the head of the breaker bar [usually takes two people].
Do not use loctite products and if you have a woody for that product, use a low tension type. I do not see the advantage of any allen bolt except for maybe the head size. There are plenty of options now.

Most of all, there is no reason to go ape when tightening the bolt. Once the items that you are bolting up meet, applying more force will not get those objects closer. The additional torque is applied to lock the threads and to prevent them from backing out.

Hammering a 12pt [XZN/Triple square] can work if it rounds out too much. Again, once the head is rounded the options to get it out are much much less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, torx is what I have. Honestly, I should get a set of true Allen sockets myself for tighter clearances when torquing. Maybe I wouldn't strip so many socket head bolts. 😅

By the way..

How do you know that you need a new starter or why are you removing it? IME, more often than not, it's not the starter, but one of many usual suspect battery cable, ground, or even ignition circuit wiring connections.
Lol, whatever gets the job done.

I'm completely open to learning even the simplest stuff so don't worry about telling me the obvious. But, I believe it is the starter because I can have more than adequate battery charge and the starter will turn either very slowly or just start clicking. It seems to drain the battery excessively and isn't turning fast enough to start the engine even then. The battery cables are clean and the wiring has been in good shape according to the wires that I have tested.
 

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Have you tried cleaning the terminals on the starter and wire brushing your ground cable to chassis connection?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Have you tried cleaning the terminals on the starter and wire brushing your ground cable to chassis connection?
I have tried cleaning the connections but did not think about the ground cable. I can't check right now and I have trouble understanding the wiring diagrams, but in what general area would the ground cable for the starter be?
 

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I have tried cleaning the connections but did not think about the ground cable. I can't check right now and I have trouble understanding the wiring diagrams, but in what general area would the ground cable for the starter be?
Negative battery cable should connect engine/transmission, battery, chassis. In any order, but thick black to all three. The starter gets ground through the bolts and transmission contact. Find all of these connections and clean them.

Starter has two large terminals. These are the important ones for you. They are both hot and are connected by the solenoid when it engages. Take the nuts and wires off both and clean, dielectric grease (if you have it), and reinstall.

If you haven't bought, or can still return, the starter, then try cleaning the connections on all of the big red and black wires first.
 
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