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IDI Engine / Re: Booster full of brake fluid
« Last post by Rabbit79 on Today at 10:36:14 am »
After I exorcised the brake demons from mine they were floating around searching for their next victim and apparently you were the closest. hehe
IDI Engine / Re: Booster full of brake fluid
« Last post by ORCoaster on February 23, 2024, 09:42:05 pm »
I am reading this and the old posts thinking.  While I was out tooling about the town I noticed a lack of brakes and the MC doesn't seem to hold when I push down and hold the pedal.  It slowly sinks to the floor.  So, maybe a bad seal in the MC. 

Odd that my brakes act up as you update us that yours are finally fine.  There must be some yin-yang thing going out there that some number of VWs must have bad brakes all the time to keep the planets in line or something. 
IDI Engine / Re: 1.6IDI Not Fully Rotating/Not Starting
« Last post by fatmobile on February 23, 2024, 07:10:43 pm »
 I think it's a good sign that it stops.
 When I broke a timing belt it just kept going around.
 Timing cover off first. Check the belt.
 Turn the engine to TDC and look through the timing hole in the trany. Compare it to the marks on the injection pump sprocket.

 Upgraded rubber valve cover gasket available. Comes from a MK3 gasser like a '94 2.0.
The valve cover studs need to be changed too.
IDI Engine / Re: Booster full of brake fluid
« Last post by Rabbit79 on February 23, 2024, 02:23:46 pm »
So I know this is quite an old post, but it did end up being quite a saga that dragged on for a long time (mostly due to my own laziness I should interject at this point) and I thought I would show some resolution. I got the brake line situation fixed in a rather surprising fashion. I happened to be chatting with the head mechanic at, of all places, the local Ford dealership (he is a friend of mine), and the subject of my brake line came up, and he said we've got some brake line with metric ends, maybe we can make it work. So I took my old brake line to him and we measured it and it turned out be the exact same length, diameter, and have the same fittings on the ends as my VW line did. Perfect match. He loaned me his bending tools and I got that replaced quite easily. I never thought it would turn out that easy.
The booster side of the story turned out a little different. After I got everything put back together things were fine for a while and then all of sudden my vacuum pump started eating diaphragms. I never really did figure out what was causing this and if it was related in any way to the booster, but after a few years of rebuilding pumps every 3 months I got tired of that and put one of the new vane style pumps in. After this things switched to where I was getting vacuum assist only intermittently and then after a while to no vacuum assist at all. Being my somewhat lazy self I decided to just deal with it and went for like 5 years without any assist on the brakes. Here this past summer I finally decided to fix it and after checking around discovered that you can't get a new booster for a pre-80 Rabbit. Apparently they changed the way it hooks to the brake pedal in 1980 and post 80 boosters (which you can still get new by the way) won't work on a 79 or earlier version. I probably could have fabricated something if I'd had to but what I ended up doing was sending it in to Parts Place and they sent it to their rebuilder. Cost was about 275 dollars. Now.... Did getting all that brake fluid in there cause the booster to fail? I can't say on that because I had no contact with the rebuilder, so I don't know what they found when they went in there. I also have to take into account that it was 40 years old by the time it failed, so it could have been just natural wear and tear, but it did happen just not very long after it got filled full of brake fluid. It's unfortunate that I don't have a concrete conclusion on that but that's how it goes sometimes.  Anyway, it's been in and working fine for about 6 months now (yes I did actually wait for awhile to make sure everything held up before posting).
Saga complete.
IDI Engine / Re: 1.6IDI Not Fully Rotating/Not Starting
« Last post by Mohatanous on February 22, 2024, 11:56:45 pm »
I'm mechanically inclined and have done a decent amount of work on gas motors, but not diesel's. If it's worth it to tear into it, I definitely will. I have the Bentley manual on the way! I appreciate the feedback and knowledge, and will be back with my findings when I tear into it. Thank you!
IDI Engine / Re: 1.6IDI Not Fully Rotating/Not Starting
« Last post by ORCoaster on February 22, 2024, 11:44:37 pm »
Say you time it up and the engine turns over by hand ok.  But it won't start or it smokes like a bad cigar once it gets running. 

You might try a compression check on it before you even get to the START PHASE.  I say that because it would let you know if you have a cylinder with a valve problem.  Diesel engines need a different compression tester than you find at Autozone or ORielys for rent.  The good limit on a diesel cylinder would be around the 400 psi mark.  Gas engines are much lower.  They fire with spark plugs and diesel fire without, because of the higher PSI in the cylinder.  But you may already know that.

So say you do a check and one cylinder comes up in the upper 370-80 range.  Not good and suspect to me.  Time to pull the head.  Not a hard job but tools are needed that you may not have.  Older engines use torque to yield head bolts that would need to be replaced to get them to go back together.  A new head gasket is required, as well as coolant since you don't have any idea if it is good or not.  This is just for starters. 

You might figure in a new timing belt and tensioner as those might be worn out and you will have them off.  A Bentley Manual will pay back dividends here doing this type of heavy-duty work.  To repair the head you will need new valves, easily found on Rock Auto or maybe Parts Place.  A new head is harder to find and probably would need a machine shop visit to make it right.  You will be pulling hoses off the engine and those if badly weathered, rat-chewed, or otherwise brittle will need to be replaced. 

Getting a different engine is a crap shoot as well. You could buy one and unless the seller rebuilt it you will be looking at most of the same work but the engine will be out of the car.  Big deal, it is still money to be spent and then what do you do with the other engine?  How do you get it out? 

I ran a diesel Rabbit on Veg oil for about a year and finally just quit doing it as the price for diesel dropped back down to a reasonable level.  With diesel up to that high level again it might be worth it to you to find a seller of processed WVO and get your system to work properly.  They can be a pain to maintain, and poor installation only equals poor performance.  I had mine dialed in pretty nicely and still gave up using it as diesel prices dropped. 

I pulled all that stuff and it is in my shed now.  I sold the rabbit without it and I likely won't put it on the pickup I now own.  I would not gain any savings from doing so and only lose time working on it when I should be doing bodywork instead. 

I have done several head/gasket rebuilds on the VWs I have owned but I am mechanically inclined and know what I am doing with the 1.6 engine.  It may be better if you are not to shop around for a good diesel mechanic and get a price from them.  Labor is super expensive these days for anything from burgers to buildings so I hope you got the car cheaply. 

IDI Engine / Re: 1.6IDI Not Fully Rotating/Not Starting
« Last post by Mohatanous on February 22, 2024, 11:04:13 pm »
Thank you for the information! I had a feeling it wasn't a great sign and that a catastrophic timing issue may be the culprit. If it is a worst case scenario, what would the rebuild process look like, and would it even be worth it or should I look for a new engine? I appreciate the guidance!
IDI Engine / Re: Sharing my 1.6td project
« Last post by ORCoaster on February 22, 2024, 10:37:37 pm »
on the tach, if you can find the same cluster you have but with a tachometer for a gas engine then you can run a Dakota digital converter.

But Why?  and that isn't stock, so I don't like to do that.  I prefer the long way around and convert the tach to use the alt wire which makes it difficult to do.  That is just me. 
IDI Engine / Re: 1.6IDI Not Fully Rotating/Not Starting
« Last post by ORCoaster on February 22, 2024, 10:10:02 pm »

Get it checked for timing, that means you need to pull the valve cover and align the cams if you can.  Lobes of the first or last cylinder, #s 1 and 4 should be in the horizontal position.  The IP plug should be able to get in the timing hole.  I use a 3/4 inch carriage bolt for that pin.  The plastic plug on the end of the engine needs to come off so you can see the timing mark for TDC. 

Watch some U Tube videos, and GET A BENTLEY MANUAL, it will be used well in the future.  But if this engine has jumped time and you hammered that valve with the piston it will be toast.  It may already be that.  IF not the clearance between the valve stem and the cam follower will be off.  Measure that if you can. 

Don't want to alarm you but you are wading in potential doo doo here.  So many times I have read or heard of valves kissing the piston because of a poor timing belt job and it just shouldn't happen.  If the timing is off you will need to loosen the cam nut and get the pulley to spin freely.  Tapping it with a punch from the back to the front is normally the best way to do that.  The shaft is beveled with no keyway to keep it in place. 

IF the pulley isn't free when you go to put the belt on if replacing it you can't line it up right and will fight forever trying to do so.  Moving the pulley with the IP solid and the crank at TDC is what makes it all go smoothly.  Then when tightening the belt with the tensioner you will see it move slightly as well. 

Best of luck,  Not a good beginner story but you can keep out of trouble by making sure it rotates freely by hand four times around.  You were mechanic-smart trying to see if it would roll over by hand instead of hitting the starter. 
IDI Engine / 1.6IDI Not Fully Rotating/Not Starting
« Last post by Mohatanous on February 22, 2024, 09:21:05 pm »
Hello all!

I am new to the VW Diesel world and just picked up a 1983 Rabbit. The individual I got if from said that it had been running about a year ago but tried to crank it and it wouldn't start. Upon having it looked at they saw that the air filter had been chewed on by mice and didn't even try to start it afterward in fear of damaging things. I bought it and got it home and before cranking it I put a socket on the crank pulley to make sure the motor would rotate freely before trying to start it. It makes it nearly one whole rotation then stops and will not budge. It does this in both directions and stops in the same spot. I am not familiar with these engines yet, and am curious as to what I may be getting myself into and what the best course of action may be. Any advice would be great!

The person before me had been running it on vegetable oil at one point, and then apparently a fuel valve had went bad resulting in diesel pumping back into the vegetable oil tank, so I believe that's why they originally parked it. It seems to me that perhaps somebody tried to start it with ether or something and it skipped time, causing catastrophe. I'm not sure though, so i am asking the professionals. Thank you in advance!
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