NOLA Speed and Style

Author Topic: '79 Rabbit L TDI  (Read 17634 times)

October 04, 2008, 01:00:33 am

drrtybyl

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'79 Rabbit L TDI
« on: October 04, 2008, 01:00:33 am »
I've just picked up a trashed [budget] '79 Rabbit diesel L (1.5L) and have been digging through the forum for info, but haven't found any definitive solutions to the problem I have.  I'm new to VWs and the diesel engine, but have plenty of experience with gas vehicles new and old and am ready to dive in to get this car running smoothly again.  

The last owner decided to change the timing belt, at which point he says the car began to smoke at idle.  The engine starts up with relative ease, but runs a bit rough and emits lots of white, diesel-smelling smoke, which, after 30 seconds or so, turns into a much smaller quantity of black smoke that persists (I'm guessing the timing is somehow retarded?).  There is also a small amount of white smoke that puffs out from under the hood right after startup.  I noticed air bubbles in the fuel filter-to-pump line, which I thought might be causing the problem.  Here's my checklist to try and remedy this issue:
1) Pull timing cover and confirm timing following Bentley; time injection pump using Vince's guide
2) Replace fuel filter & tank to filter lines if filter replacement doesn't get rid of the bubbles (injector lines look new)
3) Pull the sucker for a rebuild and new head gasket

Am I missing anything here?  The car is a complete basket case and needs a lot of work, but for the moment I just want to get it running consistently.  I'm ready to do an engine teardown if it comes to that.  Any help is appreciated.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2009, 12:03:10 am by drrtybyl »


'79 Rabbit Diesel L
'94 Chevy 2500 6.5TD
'96 BMW 318ti

Reply #1October 04, 2008, 10:27:35 am

burn_your_money

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'79 Rabbit: Another 1.5TD
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2008, 10:27:35 am »
Sounds like you are on the right track. Make sure you have diesel in the tank regarding the air in the lines. I thought I had a huge leak but I had just run out of fuel. Stupid gauge was lying to me.

There is also an intank screen/filter on some mk1s in the gas tank. Have a look in the access cover under the back seat.

It definitly sounds like a timing issue.

You should also verify that the glowplugs are working
Tyler

Reply #2October 12, 2008, 12:16:04 am

drrtybyl

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'79 Rabbit: Another 1.5TD
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2008, 12:16:04 am »
Followed the steps to make sure the timing belt was on properly this afternoon (it wasn't beforehand).  Still getting a lot of white smoke at startup/idle but not while moving, and the engine runs smoother -- no more air in the fuel line.  Going to check the glow plugs and fuel screw tomorrow -- the previous owner played around with the idle fuel after changing the timing belt, and I'm thinking this might be the cause of all of the unburned fuel in the exhaust..
'79 Rabbit Diesel L
'94 Chevy 2500 6.5TD
'96 BMW 318ti

Reply #3October 17, 2008, 03:05:31 pm

drrtybyl

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'79 Rabbit: Another 1.5TD
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2008, 03:05:31 pm »
After spending hours accessing and removing the IP bolts (someone installed them on the wrong side of the bracket) I was able to modify the timing..  Still getting smoke, but far less -- and now it's black.  Also noticed fuel leaking from injector #4 around its threading :shock:  Pulled the line and confirmed that fuel was/is getting to the injector.  I'm thinking this is probably causing the unburned fuel smoke.  Going to try: 1) cleaning and reinstalling the injector 2) replacing it 3) compression test cylinder 4.
'79 Rabbit Diesel L
'94 Chevy 2500 6.5TD
'96 BMW 318ti

Reply #4October 17, 2008, 03:09:07 pm

zukgod1

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'79 Rabbit: Another 1.5TD
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2008, 03:09:07 pm »
New heat shield HIGHLY recommended if you remove the injector and be sure to torque it when you are reinstalling, The head can crack around the injector boss.  :shock:
dan

99 Golf TDI (now CNG powered) , 82 TD Caddy

Reply #5October 17, 2008, 05:57:32 pm

drrtybyl

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'79 Rabbit: Another 1.5TD
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2008, 05:57:32 pm »
Quote from: "zukgod1"
New heat shield HIGHLY recommended if you remove the injector and be sure to torque it when you are reinstalling, The head can crack around the injector boss.  :shock:


Where's the best/cheapest place to get new heat shields?  thanks
'79 Rabbit Diesel L
'94 Chevy 2500 6.5TD
'96 BMW 318ti

Reply #6November 03, 2008, 07:21:36 pm

drrtybyl

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'79 Rabbit: Another 1.5TD
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2008, 07:21:36 pm »
The previous owner decided to slice off the exhaust, so I threw a muffler on it.  The car doesn't sound like a train any more, but it's still smoking like one.


I've played with the timing and fuel screw endlessly and was able to get it running without smoke with slightly retarded timing/lean idle fuel -- only trouble was that without light pressure on the gas pedal, the engine died.


Next course of action is to swap the injectors with new heat shields, then test compression..  I don't think it's the glow plugs because when it does start up billowing, the black/grey smoking continues even once the engine has warmed up.  I'm starting to think this engine may need a head gasket/rebuild..  :?

maybe the smoke means it wants a turbo  :D
'79 Rabbit Diesel L
'94 Chevy 2500 6.5TD
'96 BMW 318ti

Reply #7February 06, 2009, 10:07:28 pm

drrtybyl

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'79 Rabbit: Another 1.5TD
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2009, 10:07:28 pm »
Some progress..
Body stripped:


Etching Primer:



Vac pump rebuilt..

ARP stud part number 204-4203 is correct for the 11mm bolts..


Culprit for low compression in cylinder 4 (very slight edge on wall + tons of carbon/gasket buildup):



Tons of carbon on #4




Lots of parts on the way. Hoping to have the block pulled and the remaining body recesses filled this weekend.  Zero rust-through!
'79 Rabbit Diesel L
'94 Chevy 2500 6.5TD
'96 BMW 318ti

Reply #8February 07, 2009, 03:01:47 pm

burn_your_money

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'79 Rabbit: Another 1.5TD
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2009, 03:01:47 pm »
Looking good. Definitely get the injectors tested while you are at it.
Tyler

Reply #9February 20, 2009, 04:53:40 pm

drrtybyl

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A Startling Discovery
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2009, 04:53:40 pm »



So I've had the block up on a stand for a couple of days now and finally scraped all of the crap off of it, pulled the oil pan, and made an upsetting discovery.  A crack is running all the way through the block for about 5 inches around #4..  :cry:

What are the merits of plugging in some JB weld or similar?
This may not be a 1.5TD project for much longer..
'79 Rabbit Diesel L
'94 Chevy 2500 6.5TD
'96 BMW 318ti

Reply #10February 20, 2009, 05:56:12 pm

zukgod1

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'79 Rabbit: Another 1.5TD
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2009, 05:56:12 pm »
here is your solution right here.

Seen this done a few Cummins engines with great success.

http://www.locknstitch.com/
dan

99 Golf TDI (now CNG powered) , 82 TD Caddy

Reply #11February 21, 2009, 10:54:17 am

drrtybyl

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'79 Rabbit: Another 1.5TD
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2009, 10:54:17 am »
Thanks -- I saw that posted in another thread (along with the tale of successful JBwelding), still waiting on stitch kit pricing.  I've got a lead on a 1.6TD on the cheap: going to see if that pans out.  If the lock n stitch kit ends up being expensive I may just JBWeld it.  5 years with no leaks sounds pretty good, heh.
'79 Rabbit Diesel L
'94 Chevy 2500 6.5TD
'96 BMW 318ti

Reply #12February 26, 2009, 10:21:08 pm

Jolly1977

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'79 Rabbit: Another 1.5TD
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2009, 10:21:08 pm »
I doubt they're compatible but, I have a 1.6L block that I just removed and stripped from a car if your interested.

Reply #13February 27, 2009, 12:02:19 am

drrtybyl

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'79 Rabbit: Another 1.5TD
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2009, 12:02:19 am »
Thanks for the offer.  I actually picked up a 1.6 TD block this weekend.  After dunking it and doing a thorough cleaning I decided to go ahead and repair the 1.5 block.  The crack area is held together by the pan and is supported by a tranny bolt, so I'm thinking it won't see enough stress to open up again.  The 1.6 block needs boring and re-planing, and isn't compatible with my 11mm studs.

I'm going to install the oil squirters from the 1.6 block, cut some notches in my pistons and re-ring them before putting everything back together.  All components appear to be in pretty good shape after exhaustive cleaning.




'79 Rabbit Diesel L
'94 Chevy 2500 6.5TD
'96 BMW 318ti

Reply #14February 27, 2009, 01:05:24 pm

blkboostedtruck

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'79 Rabbit: Another 1.5TD
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2009, 01:05:24 pm »
Quote from: "zukgod1"
here is your solution right here.

Seen this done a few Cummins engines with great success.

http://www.locknstitch.com/


Dan i read what that company said about welding cast iron with nickel rod!
and i disagree with them! i have welded with nickel rod and is machinable !
my shinney black truck has a welded cast iron with nickel rod and i machined it ,milled it drilled it taped it with no problem!! there is a even better rod to weld cast with i've heard and soon i will learn what that is the next time a cast job come up at this little shop i been working at he will show me! supposed to work better then nickel rod! and nickel rod welds nice on cast! but with cast there is always different qualities and this new process i learn it will not matter what the quality is
Duane!
injector rebuilds call  414-840-1395 for faster service not on line much!
'66 variant 1500S
'81 2dr n/a 1.6 diesel rabbit 8"lift 260K R.I.P.
'81 caddy gas 1.8 turbo/stroker W/N.O.S.
'81 caddy 1.9 turbo diesel
'82 caddy gas 1.8 G60
 3 jettas '82' '04 '14TDI
+1 rabbit,03 HD sc.eag. duece,46,&5

 

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