VW Vortex - Volkswagen Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The itch returns!
2 years back my 1980 Rabbit pickup and I made an epic coast to coast ride from Washington to NC. The tiny cap served as my microhome for the trip, and it was a great adventure.

Spring is in the air and I've been thinking about building a slightly more livable camper cap for my truck. After a lot of ideas, I think I'd like to make a similar version of the famous "Caddy Shack" from 4 crawler.
87650


My plan is to recreate this nifty design adding some personal upgrades such as a 100 watt solar panel and a pair of fan powered roof vents.
Inside? I'd like to add a raised bed, and a cooking setup all of this will of course be removable so my little daily driver can go back to regular truck duty when I return.
The trip? I'd like to leave NC, and head up to Montana for a bit before hitting Eugene, OR. after a day or two back down to Nevada and across I-80 to home. It's a huge trip, but I'd love to make it happen.

So, anyone else made a mega trip like this in a micro camper bolted to a 41 year truck? Let's hear about it!
87654
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here are a few pictures of my current truck.
87932


This first one is when i picked it up. That's the current cap it has.

87933


Here it is now. Original 1.6L replaced with a rebuilt and upgraded 1.8L (G grind cam and port job) The original GC 4 speed is now a later 5 speed with tall overdrive. New 14 inch 185 tires, bed liner, stock "L" seats out of an 1980 model. Nearly everything new or rebuilt. And as you can see, in decent shape.

87934


Doing some work on the engine as I got ready to drop it out. I have a YouTube channel as well.


87935



Found this surprise when I pulled the valve cover on the original 1.6L..... Cam cap delete?

I can't believe I ever walked away from Rabbits. It's clearly in my blood!
 

·
Premium Member
Bunch of Crappy VWs
Joined
·
4,228 Posts
Found this surprise when I pulled the valve cover on the original 1.6L..... Cam cap delete?
Heads that are missing that cam cap are hydraulic lifter heads. If that cap is there, solid lifter head.
 

·
Registered
Eight diesels of which five are MK1 VWs
Joined
·
1,684 Posts
I looked over his post about living in his truck and was super bummed to see that the photos are no longer there.
It still seems like he lived the life he is wanting and loves MK1's!
The 300,000+ mile TDI Caddy is still going strong. Fast is currently participating in the Norcal Rabbit Ranch VW artist in residence program.

88097


You should stop by when you're in the neighborhood. Lots of free camping and no one who visits the ranch in an MK1 leaves without a free VW parts gift!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Heads that are missing that cam cap are hydraulic lifter heads. If that cap is there, solid lifter head.
I didn't know you could slap a hydro head on a EJ 1.6L Wonder what led them to end up doing that... The engine was in good shape, and had been apart not many miles before I got it, but it lacked power big time. Slow even by 1.6L standards. I never pulled the cam or the lifters so I guess I just assumed that that it was stock stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The 300,000+ mile TDI Caddy is still going strong. Fast is currently participating in the Norcal Rabbit Ranch VW artist in residence program.

View attachment 88097

You should stop by when you're in the neighborhood. Lots of free camping and no one who visits the ranch in an MK1 leaves without a free VW parts gift!
I'd love to! I'm as old school a VW MK1 mechanic as they come. I started back in October of 1990 and other than a 3 year break in 2014-18 I've owned at least one ever since.
Where exactly is this cool camp? Mind if I crash there for a night or two while I plot my next course? I'd love to shoot a video or two of this neat looking place as well if you are up for it.
 

·
Registered
Eight diesels of which five are MK1 VWs
Joined
·
1,684 Posts
I'd love to! I'm as old school a VW MK1 mechanic as they come. I started back in October of 1990 and other than a 3 year break in 2014-18 I've owned at least one ever since.
Where exactly is this cool camp? Mind if I crash there for a night or two while I plot my next course? I'd love to shoot a video or two of this neat looking place as well if you are up for it.
Absolutely!

I remember the 'Rusty Rabbit'. I went water cooled diesel from aircooled in 2005. I used to visit your site when I was just a noob with dial-up internet.
 

·
Registered
78rabbit1.5LGP & 82rabbitpickup1.6DGC
Joined
·
11,561 Posts
any stamps on the cylinder head?
german ones had a fancy stamp between cylinder 3 & 4 with date,month,year
or the 373X code on the left

im curious also as it appears to be a 1.8L head, coolant outlet between 3 &4 instead of 1&2 as the 1.5,1.6,1.7L were




what time of year are you planning a trip?
curious because any time in summer through the desert would be really bad
at earliest i would consider august or latest april... anytime between that would just be suffering!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Trip updates.

The truck has been in the garage these last two weeks as I worked to fix a few issues. I replaced all 4 wheel bearings, fixed a mysterious gas smell that only happened with the window opened a crack and while in motion, and finally dialed in the ignition timing on the rebuilt motor.
I also re-adjusted the valves as one of them settled a bit and was tapping. Now the motor is quiet! The truck is 100% OK for a good 6 to 8K run this summer, but I fear my time is running out to build the micro camper cap I wanted to have for this adventure.
My options are to reinstall the cap It had on it when I took my first trip. No air flow and I can't sit up in it, so it was a bit uncomfortable.
Option two is to skip the cap, install a tool box and camp out of a tent, or cheap hotels as I go. This option is doable, but the cost of the trip goes up a bunch.

Option three is to try and cut every corner as I slap together a high top camper out of scrap. I really don't want to have to do this as I want to make a really nice camper car for it when I have the time.

Option 4 is to hope that I find a high top camper close by before I leave. There was one about 3 hours from here, but the guy wanted it to go with the truck he was selling. The truck was trash and I just didn't want to tow it home.

I'll keep everyone informed as the day draws near.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top