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  #16  
Old 12-11-2007, 05:29 PM
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I had an '82 diesel rabbit, loved it to bits, but my memory is a little fuzzy since it was 10yrs ago. I don't think those originally came w/ a 5sp but don't quote me on that. I'm just worried someone might've put in one of those GTI gearboxes from that era where a 5 cent piece broke and 5th gear literally drops and bores a hole into the case. Had it happen on my '84 GTI and the only real fix is to locate an earlier Scirocco 5sp with longer gearing...actually improved the car in my opinion.

Anyway, the only problems my '82 had was a leaky rear hatch seal, the typical VW stuck sunroof syndrome, and the heat cables to the cabin busted so I rigged up my own heating lever hookup. I never got worse than 40mpg and I drag raced EVERYONE at EVERY stoplight. Without anyone realizing it of course.

But, now that i'm older and hopefully wiser, I can't but help to realize that just about any $2000 Honda/Ford subcompact is better for what you intend to do. I just acquired a $1500 '94 Civic, it has the dual airbags and i assume some sort of side protection in the doors. I seem to remember that VW didn't have any bars in the doors until '85. But again, fuzzy memory, I'm not sure.

I think what I'm getting at is that the time of year you're most likely to have a fender-bender is during our winters, and a 25yr old VW is probably the worst bumpercar i can think of. But, I just sold my '99 E300D safety-tank for this rusty tin-box Honda, so I'm a hypocrite. But hey, something for you to think over...
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  #17  
Old 12-11-2007, 06:33 PM
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oh yeah- i did countless 700 mile trips with her

i gave her to my sis. she was in ny. the fuel attendent put gas in her- they told her it was junk- she left it there- heartbroken
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  #18  
Old 12-11-2007, 07:14 PM
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The 380's is currently driven by my Girlfriend - she's also car shopping right now.

I don'tb really like that car all to much. Not to fond of the w126 chassis after everything I've done with it. - It'll endup being sold for a huge loss.



"1983 volkswagon 1.6 diesel rabbit. 5 spd, Rebuilt engine, new head and head gasket, newer tires and clutch. New brakes ands shocks, NO RUST, CA car. 45 MPG." - as the ad says.
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  #19  
Old 12-11-2007, 10:54 PM
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They are great cars for what they are. Cheap and easy to maintain. I used to do a timing belt in 45 minutes on my '89 Jetta. You can beat the crap out of them and they don't complain.

You will get a giggle out of the dash vibrating about 1/2inch up and down at idle when cold. Smooths out to tolerable once the revs come up. New motor mounts make a huge difference in NVH. The 20+year old rubber is hard as concrete by now.

$2K is quite spendy for that ride unless it is PRISTINE! Maybe $1500 in average condition with minimal rust. Watch out for windshield rust. Look VERY closely at the lower corners. They catch water and crap and bubble up to show you where the problem is. The lucky thing is the drivers side leaks right onto the fuse box! What fun!

RT
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  #20  
Old 12-11-2007, 11:36 PM
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I'm looking at it tomarrow.


It does not have a headliner, and needs a waterpump installed (he has the pump)


It's been garaged for the past four years. he drove it from cali. back 10 years ago - and it cost him less than $70 in gas!
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  #21  
Old 12-12-2007, 01:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monomer View Post
I'm looking at it tomarrow.


It does not have a headliner, and needs a waterpump installed (he has the pump)


It's been garaged for the past four years. he drove it from cali. back 10 years ago - and it cost him less than $70 in gas!
With that info I agree that $2k is too much. A few years back I bought a Volvo 240 wagon of similar vintage with about 250k on it (busted odo) for $1000. It had a headliner and functioning water pump...and our family Volvo mechanic said it was in top shape for its age. The only major thing that didn't work was overdrive, and the shop said it was probably just a solenoid. It was to be my car until the MB came along. Sold it for the same as I got it.

That car almost sounds like the (gas) Rabbit my neighbor has. Let's just say that it's pretty bare-bones...even for a Rabbit. No seats other than the driver's, no exterior door handles, surface rust everywhere, numerous electrical "fixes", and an engine that was rebuilt over the course of about three months in a parking lot.
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  #22  
Old 12-12-2007, 01:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monomer View Post
The 380's is currently driven by my Girlfriend - she's also car shopping right now.

I don'tb really like that car all to much. Not to fond of the w126 chassis after everything I've done with it. - It'll endup being sold for a huge loss.



"1983 volkswagon 1.6 diesel rabbit. 5 spd, Rebuilt engine, new head and head gasket, newer tires and clutch. New brakes ands shocks, NO RUST, CA car. 45 MPG." - as the ad says.
The W126 requires loving care to operate well, but when you give it what it requires for a while, it will reward you with a nice ride and will be super reliable. This year all I replaced on my car that I *had* to replace (due to mechanical failure) was an old iffy aftermarket alternator. Took 2 hours to replace. Other than that, just a few small things, valve adjustment....etc... and I have driven it 18k this year with no issues. The gasser ones probably need a little more care in the engine dept...more complicated.

Between now and new years I will probably cover another 1,500 miles or so, and I expect 0 issues with it.....other than coming closer to the oil change. Once you've replaced just about everything on the car....you can kick back and enjoy it for a long while. Unless you're Hatterasguy.

To own a gasser 126 you've really gotta love the car and be willing to keep it alive. I'm not ready to sail that ship yet.... Perhaps someday...and it will be a 500/560 not a smaller one.
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  #23  
Old 12-12-2007, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawoSD View Post

To own a gasser 126 you've really gotta love the car and be willing to keep it alive. I'm not ready to sail that ship yet.... Perhaps someday...and it will be a 500/560 not a smaller one.
I brought the car back from the dead.



I'm no longer interested in v8's of that era. Maybe a 6.9, but even then I'd go with megasquirt and get rid of the bosch injection system.
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  #24  
Old 12-12-2007, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
It does not have a headliner, and needs a waterpump installed (he has the pump)
Headliner? what's that?

As for the water pump- let HIM do it. Otherwise you will be forced to do your first timing belt change at the same time. I usually replace the wp every other timing belt change just to skip this issue.

You can't change the water pump without removing the timing belt on these (one of those little design problem- but then there's not much real estate on a 1.6 engine).

Personally, the Wabbit has its place and I am glad to have it ( I have a 70 mile a day commute over back roads) , but for the short commute you are talking about , it is hardly worth the pain.
Rick
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  #25  
Old 12-12-2007, 02:16 PM
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I wouldn't wish one on of these on an enemy. The seats on the Jetta are killing my back.

For $2k you can get a 190E or a decent little car if you want. I have seen some pretty clean W123's in that price range to.
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  #26  
Old 12-12-2007, 02:32 PM
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I bought NEW a 1980 VW Dasher Diesel wagon. I drove the doors off of it for 19 years. I went everywhere and anywhere in it. I wore out the enimic 1.5 ltr and installed a new 1.6 ltr diesel engine. It ALWAYS needed a 5th gear for the highway. They never came with a 5spd like the Rabbit. Since the engine wasn't mounted transverse like a Rabbit, I couldn't use a Rabbit 5 spd. I searched for about 6 years and finally came up with a '84 Audi 4000S diesel 5 spd that I installed with small modifications to the center hump. MAN... That made that car perfect! I could run 44mpg at 70mph. I sold it when I bought my first Dodge/Cummins truck. With fuel the way it is now, I wish I had it back!
There was a fix for the injection pumps. They would install a bronze bushing in the pump for the mian pump shaft. I put over 200,000 miles on that car and it NEVER made me walk because it crapped out on the road.
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  #27  
Old 12-12-2007, 02:33 PM
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ya, if you want the car, offer him 850, or 1200 if all the issues get addressed first.
no F%^&$#&ng way it's worth 2K in that shape. give him your offer with cash in your pocket, and give him your phone # as he refuses, and you walk away.
if somebody wants it for that much let them have it. go find a nice MB for similar prices.
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  #28  
Old 12-12-2007, 10:18 PM
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Went to look at it today.


Hardly any rust (ok, around here, you get rust; it's unavoidable.) Engine ran perfect, clutch was strong, Interior was ok. New Tires, shocks, IP.


I'm talking to Roy about getting my headgasket done. The problem being is; I don't know if it's just a headgasket.


This guy knows what he has, a nearly rust free 25 year old diesel Vdub. I dont think I could talk him down much.
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  #29  
Old 12-12-2007, 11:29 PM
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It was a great car...I bought one new in 1981 and drove the wheels off it for 13 years.

Head gasket replacement is pretty common- overheat or not. I had a Callaway Turbo kit installed on mine and really did it all up!...(I haven't changed much in 26 years!) It was a really durable, economical daily flogger.

Fuel mileage for me averaged 38 to 40 city and 47 to 50 hwy (with the 4 spd) From 1981 to 1984 the final drive ratios for both the 4 and 5 spds were the same, but the 4 speed had wider spaced ratios and it took longer getting up to speed...the 5 was the better choice overall.

If it really is as nice and solid as you say, it MAY not be a terrible deal...I have seen some UNBELIEVABLE prices on E-Bay for these things...a couple weeks ago I saw one in decent shape, just a little rust, and 150k miles go for $4k!!! Thats 50% of the price when it was new!!
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  #30  
Old 12-12-2007, 11:57 PM
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If you do decide to buy it, the first thing you should buy is the shop manual from Bentley publishing. In the last two years I completely overyhauled the engine in mine. I recently put new seals in the IP. Parts are available and reasonabley priced. You do need a few special tools to work on them. The one thing that helps with head gasket longevity on the early 1.6L motors ('81 and newer I think) is to replace the 11mm head bolts with studs made out of 7/16 grade 8 bolts. The later ones had 12mm head bolts and held up quite well. Like rs899 said, get the seller to change the coolant pump as you'll need a special tool the lock the IP while installing the timing belt.
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