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Author Topic: My two diesels  (Read 10584 times)

March 21, 2012, 04:30:30 pm

MattRabbit

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My two diesels
« on: March 21, 2012, 04:30:30 pm »
Hello all,

I still have my same two cars.  Between the two of them, they have over a half million miles.  Quite a bit of driving, I'd say!

My first car was a 1981 Volkswagen Rabbit Diesel.  My parents purchased it new in May of 1981 with 32 miles on it.  When I turned 17, I bought the car from my dad for $800 (long story).  It had 180K-ish miles in it.  I drove it all through college.  I kept the car running for the most part, but it sure broke a lot.  At 240K, one of the rings broke.  I did a 'fake' rebuild and kept it on the road for around $250.  After driving it for 5 years, I sold it back to my father and bought another car.  After 3 more years, he told me he was going to junk it, so I took it back.  I've had it since 1999 this round.  I haven't worked on it for the last couple of years, but I still have it.

Things I've done: 

replaced the rings and rod bearings
new struts/springs
new brakes
new cooling system
new head gasket (had to do it a second time - a learning experience)
all new seals on the engine
new front end (wheel bearings/bushings/etc)
one new control arm
re-seal of the injection pump
new wheels
new headliner
cleaned the hell out of that thing (eew!)

It still needs a lot more.  I just don't have the time/money to work on it currently.  Hopefully someday I can get back to it and finish restoring it.

some pics:

This is when my dad brought it to me right when he was going to junk it.  It's fairly straight, and it's a CO car.  No rust to speak of!

After cleaning it up some

The interior needs some TLC for sure

After redoing all the seals and head gasket for the 2nd time

new headliner

new suspension and wheels

All in all, I've gotten a good start on it.  The interior and body need some work.  Especially paint and this:



Someone thought I went at a stop sign.  I hadn't.  I never got it fixed, as I was a poor kid and used the insurance money elsewhere.  Hopefully I can get this repaired and the car painted at some point.


'81 Rabbit Diesel
'01 Golf TDI
http://matt_lisa.home.sprynet.com/

Reply #1March 21, 2012, 04:33:42 pm

MattRabbit

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Re: My two diesels
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2012, 04:33:42 pm »
Diesel number two is my Golf TDI.  It's a 2001 GLS with sunroof, alloys, and heated seats.  I've put 249K miles on it.  It's tornado red, and it's my daily.  I love that car.  I can't justify replacing it, even if I did have the money right now.  I purchased it new 11 years ago.  It has been really good to me.



I don't have quite the story with it.  I bought it and drove it.  It's been all over the country.  And it still looks good.  It's lasting a lot better than the Rabbit did, though I'm sure I'm taking better care of it this go round. 
'81 Rabbit Diesel
'01 Golf TDI
http://matt_lisa.home.sprynet.com/

Reply #2April 19, 2012, 10:36:17 am

MattRabbit

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Re: My two diesels
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2012, 10:36:17 am »
Last October, I rented a truck and emptied a storage unit in Colorado and brought the Rabbit with me to Florida.  I figured I'd post some pictures of the journey :)


Backed out of the storage unit.  I was sure happy to see it!


Tossed in a new battery, and BANG!  Started right up!


On the trailer


Dragging it home!


In it's new cave...

Hopefully I can scrape some funds together to spend on the Rabbit over the course of the next couple of years.  We came out of the move and recession in a pretty bad spot financially, but at least I still have the car!!
'81 Rabbit Diesel
'01 Golf TDI
http://matt_lisa.home.sprynet.com/

Reply #3April 19, 2012, 11:27:22 am

rs899

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Re: My two diesels
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2012, 11:27:22 am »
Your Rabbit will feel much friskier here in FL than in CO, until you flip the A/C on.  Wait- you don't have A/C.

HAHA- neither do I....anymore
'91 Jetta 1.6 NA, '82 Caddy 1.6NA, '81 Cabriolet,  4 Mercedes OM616/617s , 2 Triumphs and a Citroen DS19 in a pear tree.

Reply #4April 19, 2012, 11:49:14 pm

ORCoaster

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    Restoring a Caddy as time and weather allows
Re: My two diesels
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2012, 11:49:14 pm »
Crank open the roof and open the vent windows.  Go fast and you have all the A/C you need.  Just drink plenty of water.  Need an air cushion too.

Reply #5April 23, 2012, 11:11:06 am

MattRabbit

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Re: My two diesels
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2012, 11:11:06 am »
It's not the humidity I'm worried about down here, it's the Rain!!!  In the summertime, you get these downpours that are like buckets of water pouring down on you.  During those, you kinda have to have the roof and windows shut...  Then the humidity comes to kill you! 

Nah, this'll be a winter car.  I'd like to daily it once I get some bodywork done to it.  It sure is a neat car!
'81 Rabbit Diesel
'01 Golf TDI
http://matt_lisa.home.sprynet.com/

Reply #6January 15, 2015, 04:45:55 pm

MattRabbit

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Re: My two diesels
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2015, 04:45:55 pm »
I finally got plates and insurance for the Rabbit.  It needs a bit of work to bring it back to top running shape, but it sure loves the low altitude! 

The Golf turned over 312K miles the other day.  :)

'81 Rabbit Diesel
'01 Golf TDI
http://matt_lisa.home.sprynet.com/

Reply #7January 16, 2015, 01:47:02 pm

Dopie

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Re: My two diesels
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2015, 01:47:02 pm »
nice rides!

nice miles 8)

Reply #8January 16, 2015, 09:56:06 pm

ORCoaster

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Re: My two diesels
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2015, 09:56:06 pm »
Have you painted the snowflake wheels?  Or do you wax them to get them so shiny?  I need to redo mine to look that good. 

Reply #9February 05, 2015, 03:10:01 pm

MattRabbit

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Re: My two diesels
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2015, 03:10:01 pm »
I actually was able to purchase them in that condition.  They're very very minty, and I think they look good on the car!
'81 Rabbit Diesel
'01 Golf TDI
http://matt_lisa.home.sprynet.com/

Reply #10February 10, 2015, 10:18:49 pm

flying_oliver

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Re: My two diesels
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2015, 10:18:49 pm »
Beautiful cars. Glad you were able to keep the rabbit so long! I hope it stays around another 30 years  ;)

Reply #11September 26, 2023, 02:27:28 pm

MattRabbit

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Re: My two diesels
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2023, 02:27:28 pm »
An update:

The red mk4 has been sold as of 2/2019.  I had put 393K miles on it, and while it still ran perfect it was starting to show its age.  The interior was starting to degrade/etc.  That, and they had amazing deals on mk7 Golf TDIs.  Sooooo...

Yeah, I have a mk7 Golf TDI SE 6-speed manual.



I bought it with 43K miles on it and it now has 107K.  So far, it's needed 2 batteries in 5 years.  Otherwise, it's been flawless.  I upgraded the stereo from the MIB1 to MIB2 with 8" glass screen, and otherwise I've just driven it. 

I'm sure you noticed the Beetle in the background... My wife got a 2014 Beetle TDI 6-speed 5 years ago as well.  It had 19K miles on it and now has 45K.  It's a creampuff and runs and drives perfect.  It's needed nothing (uhh, one battery).



I still have the Rabbit and am currently chasing a fuel delivery issue with it.  It is getting restored as we speak, though I have to have it running to be able to move it around easily.  The Injection pump has been rebuilt, but it's still not drawing fuel.  I may need to pull it and have that looked at.  We'll see how things go. 

So yeah, we're a 3 diesel family now.  No gas cars here, nor any automatics.  Cool stuff.
'81 Rabbit Diesel
'01 Golf TDI
http://matt_lisa.home.sprynet.com/

Reply #12September 27, 2023, 09:26:29 am

Dennis Froelich

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Re: My two diesels
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2023, 09:26:29 am »
Nice rides sir! They look great!!
79 Golf GTD
96 Golf GTD(TDI)

Reply #13October 01, 2023, 03:05:48 pm

MattRabbit

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Re: My two diesels
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2023, 03:05:48 pm »
Nice rides sir! They look great!!

Thanks!  I apprecaite it!
'81 Rabbit Diesel
'01 Golf TDI
http://matt_lisa.home.sprynet.com/

 

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