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white_averson
white_averson New Reader
2/6/21 3:10 p.m.

In reply to 84FSP :

Hmmm, I have a seal that I purchased a while ago. I know I did some research then but I'm not positive it's the right one. It doesn't look like mk1autohaus has any available. I'll probably try install the one I have and if it's wrong I guess it will be a little easier to do the next one.

white_averson
white_averson New Reader
2/8/21 10:24 a.m.

Well, it probably won't come as a surprise to those that have done this and seen any of my work so far but I screwed up...

I wanted to get the windshield seal replaced as that would mean I could get to the projects I'm really looking forward to (I actually want to do some wiring right now). So I found the seal I purchased over a year ago. It says Made in Brazil so definitely not OEM. The quality of it was questionable.

I went to work removing the glass. Used a utility knife to cut the seal against the edge of the glass.

No idea why these pictures are upside down. Pulled the cut seal out of the way.

And pushed the windshield out carefully.

Came out very easily. I did notice at least one spot were the seal didn't seam to fit tight before I had even cut it.

The metal flange was actually perfect. One little patch of surface rust but a quick scrub with some Simple Green cleaned it up. I also removed the sawtooth clip thing whether or not it was a good idea.

With the windshield out, I removed the old seal and put the new one on the glass.

Lots of soapy water and a rope had me ready to put it back in,

Windshield in place.

Moment of truth.

I was considering trying to do it by myself but that probably would have been just as dumb. I asked my brother to help because just about everyone recommends somebody pushing from the outside. We moved along the bottom and got to the corner. I was working to get the rope around and he gave a solid push... pop!

That made me feel a little sick. Its completely my fault. I should have been more clear on how hard to push not just to push. Frustrating though. I thought I was just about done with the cab. I'm a walking, talking example of learning the lesson the hard way. I ended up just pulling the seal in the rest of the way.

It doesn't appear to fit very well, especially at the corners.

For now I'm going to leave and see if it leaks or not. The crack will bother me if I don't do something about it though. If I had bought the truck with a cracked windshield that didn't leak I would probably just leave it but the fact that I broke it makes it far more bothersome. I'll keep my eye out for a parts car with an undamaged windshield. Still not sure where to get a good gasket. I did come across a small company (Vintage Rubber) that makes seals in the US and has good reviews. I might try theirs if I decide to get a new windshield.

With that I'm going to move on to something else. I have lots of wiring to do. I want to get the radiator fan working. The fuel gauge and odometer haven't worked since I had the truck. I also want to relay the headlights so they are a bit brighter and I can switch to projectors at some point. The rear window also leaks and it looks like someone cut the seal for that (?). I have a seal for that, too.

On a random, more positive note, my wandering on Facebook Marketplace resulted in spending more money and a I picked up a Momo steering wheel hub.

So I'm trying to decide how much money I want to spend on a steering wheel I don't need.

Anyway, thanks for reading another of my misadventures. I'm sure there are many more to come.

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
2/8/21 10:57 a.m.

Don't feel too bad about breaking the windshield.  I did lots of research before putting one in my TR6 and found many horror stories about breaking them and leaks afterwards.  I eventually found a local guy that supplied a new windshield with install for $180.  Worth the cost as windshields at the typical British parts places were more than that without the install.

From watching the install on the TR6, the trick seems to be take your time and know where/how to apply pressure to the outside.  The helper kept it in position and applied pressure, but never pushed or shoved.  It's one of those things you get better at the more you do it, according to him.

bonylad
bonylad Reader
2/8/21 11:15 a.m.

My advice on the dash. While it's out. Strip and fill it. Then flock it. It's goin to bother you and so much easier to do while it's out. 
 

 

white_averson
white_averson New Reader
2/8/21 11:16 a.m.

In reply to JoeTR6 :

Thanks for the encouragement. It was really just poor communication on my part. I was very careful removing it and putting it place. I just got excited about getting it done and didn't think to let my brother know that some care was required.

white_averson
white_averson New Reader
2/8/21 11:29 a.m.

In reply to bonylad :

I have considered it and its still an option. The only issue being that I stripped the old foam so I would need to try add foam again to achieve the original shape. Flocking would probably result in a better dash than my DIY vinyl cover. If I come across a cheap dash, which seems unlikely but a cracked dash might be, I might buy it and try flock it. Only think better than one DIY dash is two, right?

V6Buicks
V6Buicks New Reader
2/8/21 11:35 a.m.

I'm glad this is getting saved.  Nice work.

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
2/8/21 3:16 p.m.

GTi stuff hooks right up (grill, wheels etc.)

84FSP
84FSP UltraDork
2/9/21 8:26 p.m.
white_averson said:

Well, it probably won't come as a surprise to those that have done this and seen any of my work so far but I screwed up...

I wanted to get the windshield seal replaced as that would mean I could get to the projects I'm really looking forward to (I actually want to do some wiring right now). So I found the seal I purchased over a year ago. It says Made in Brazil so definitely not OEM. The quality of it was questionable.

I went to work removing the glass. Used a utility knife to cut the seal against the edge of the glass.

No idea why these pictures are upside down. Pulled the cut seal out of the way.

And pushed the windshield out carefully.

Came out very easily. I did notice at least one spot were the seal didn't seam to fit tight before I had even cut it.

The metal flange was actually perfect. One little patch of surface rust but a quick scrub with some Simple Green cleaned it up. I also removed the sawtooth clip thing whether or not it was a good idea.

With the windshield out, I removed the old seal and put the new one on the glass.

Lots of soapy water and a rope had me ready to put it back in,

Windshield in place.

Moment of truth.

I was considering trying to do it by myself but that probably would have been just as dumb. I asked my brother to help because just about everyone recommends somebody pushing from the outside. We moved along the bottom and got to the corner. I was working to get the rope around and he gave a solid push... pop!

That made me feel a little sick. Its completely my fault. I should have been more clear on how hard to push not just to push. Frustrating though. I thought I was just about done with the cab. I'm a walking, talking example of learning the lesson the hard way. I ended up just pulling the seal in the rest of the way.

It doesn't appear to fit very well, especially at the corners.

For now I'm going to leave and see if it leaks or not. The crack will bother me if I don't do something about it though. If I had bought the truck with a cracked windshield that didn't leak I would probably just leave it but the fact that I broke it makes it far more bothersome. I'll keep my eye out for a parts car with an undamaged windshield. Still not sure where to get a good gasket. I did come across a small company (Vintage Rubber) that makes seals in the US and has good reviews. I might try theirs if I decide to get a new windshield.

With that I'm going to move on to something else. I have lots of wiring to do. I want to get the radiator fan working. The fuel gauge and odometer haven't worked since I had the truck. I also want to relay the headlights so they are a bit brighter and I can switch to projectors at some point. The rear window also leaks and it looks like someone cut the seal for that (?). I have a seal for that, too.

On a random, more positive note, my wandering on Facebook Marketplace resulted in spending more money and a I picked up a Momo steering wheel hub.

So I'm trying to decide how much money I want to spend on a steering wheel I don't need.

Anyway, thanks for reading another of my misadventures. I'm sure there are many more to come.

Ugh, sorry sir.  Measure the glass before you look at next steps.  Overall good work.  I was super cheesed when I popped mine due to wrong seal.

noddaz
noddaz UltraDork
2/11/21 5:17 p.m.

Don't feel bad about the glass.  It's a learning process.  And now a story.  Years ago the rear glass broke in my 86 GTi.  I hit the local pull it yard looking for a replacement and found a car that had a rust free hatch!  While pulling the hatch off by myself I lost my balance, the hatch slipped and bashed one of the corners real good.  surprise  I then cut the glass out of the hatch I ruined and went to check out.  Things happen.  Maybe we learn.

 

 

jgrewe
jgrewe Reader
2/11/21 7:35 p.m.

I remember from my Rabbit days that the main reason they ate fuse boxes was from water coming in on the antenna cable. The grommet gets hard, water comes in from the side, and the low spot in the system is over top of the fuse box.

I also recall these had some mythical final drive ratio only available in the diesel for a couple years. Guys used to search high and low for one of those boxes.

white_averson
white_averson New Reader
3/9/21 8:09 a.m.

Well, I'm still working on this. I had really hoped to have something finished before I updated the thread but electrical stuff was kicking my butt and know I'm have the first difficulties with getting the truck running that I've ever had. This might be a long post just because I ended up all over the place on things I was working on.

The goal was to get the instrument cluster working, the radiator fan working, and possibly relay the headlights. I started with the odometer. Pretty simple, the gear gets brittle and breaks, normally when someone presses the trip button while the truck is moving.

I didn't take any useful pictures of the old gear or the new gear installed but the shaft the gear is supposed to be on is above my thumb. Fairly simple. Just pressing the gear on without breaking any other pieces of brittle plastic.

Next, I attempted to get the fuel gauge to work. The fuel gauge hasn't worked since I bought the truck and the water temp gauge is intermittent. Typically, this results from a bad voltage stabilizer.

The back of the instrument cluster with the mylar circuits.

The three pin voltage stabilizer. I already had replaced it and it seems to be working properly. It has ground, power, and outputs 10V.

I'm realizing now that I don't have any pictures of my attempted solution but basically I back fed the gauges. I connected a wire directly from the 10V output to the gauges, a wire from power to the power input on the voltage stabilizer, and a wire directly from ground to the voltage stabilizer.

Finally, I want to get the radiator fan working. After taking way too much time I found out that it was just the relay. As far as I can tell the Bosche relays for these are no longer made. I just bought a generic four pin relay with the same ratings.

You can see in the second picture how much corrosion is on the old relay. The water that got on the fuse box is likely going to continue to haunt me. After replacing the relay, the fan turns on when the thermoswitch is bypassed. So... success?

I wanted to see if the thermoswitch was working and check the odometer so I figured I would take the truck to end of the road and back. It wouldn't start. Turning over slow. There seems to be a parasitic draw to the battery. I tried jump it. Still not starting. More out of frustration than having a good reason, I decided I would check the glow plugs. I haven't looked at them yet. Tried to loosen the nut holding the bus bar to the first plug... and broke the stud off the plug. You may be catching on now. I break things. A lot.

As you can see, I ended up breaking the stud off all but one of them. So, that resulted in my purchasing new glow plugs. I had also been considering a reasonably well documented upgrade to the glow plug wiring. I figured now was the time to give it a try.

The new glow plugs.

Removing and installing these things is a pain. You can see the screwdriver I'm using to push the plug into the hole and the ratcheting wrench that I can get about 1/8 of a turn at a time with.

You can kind of see the new plugs installed.

Next was the wiring. The original circuit has all the glow plugs on one wire with one 60 amp fuse. The upgrade is to run the glow plug signal to a lawn mower starter solenoid that then sends battery power to a fuse box. Each glow plug then has its own wire with a 20 amp fuse. In the picture above, you can see where the 60 amp fuse should be but both the signal wire and the wire to the plugs were just on the same screw.

Conveniently, my fuse box fit the same exact holes as the old in line fuse.

For the wires from the fuse box to the glow plugs, I cut the ring terminals so that the wires can be removed from the plugs without removing the nut holding the wire to the plug.

Once again, hard to see but the wires installed on the glow plugs.

The fuse box and starter solenoid wired.

The glow plug wiring as it sits in the engine bay now.

So, with that done, I also installed new battery cables which is frequently recommended for Mk1 Rabbits. Then I tried start the truck again. It turns over much faster now. Whether that's the new battery cables or the glow plugs, I'm not sure. It still won't start. There's power to the glow plugs. The starter solenoid is kind of loud. It still won't start. Turns over long enough that I'm worried about the start. I popped the fuel lines loose from the injectors and turned it over... no fuel. Well, that's something. I replaced the fuel filter, which I should have done a long time ago. The old filter had quite a bit of water in it which was concerning. Turned the engine over several times and eventually fuel came out of the lines. Connected the fuel lines. Tried start the truck again. It kicked once and soot came out of the exhaust and still wouldn't start. Disconnected the fuel lines and turned it over. No fuel again. This is frustrating. Sometimes I can see bubbles in the fuel line going into the injection pump and it appears there is fuel there. That leaves two options. The stop solenoid has power but I haven't checked if it operates. That could be the problem. Or the injection pump could need a rebuild... That would be rough. Its not impossible that debris in the fuel tank has clogged the in-tank filter or the main fuel line but that seems unlikely because there is fuel at the pump. I'll check the stop solenoid first. Then probably the in-tank filter. I can check the fuel sender while I'm at it. After that, a pump rebuild might be needed.

So that's where I'm at. I did manage to find another dash for $20.

I think I might take bonylad's suggestion and try flocking this one although its almost too nice to change compared to the minimal experiance I've had with Rabbit dashes.

white_averson
white_averson New Reader
4/5/21 11:17 a.m.

Okay, I'm bad about updating this. I'm still working on the truck any evening I have free time. When it wouldn't start I had a few days of anxiety at the amount of work I had to do on it. Never mind the other silly projects that I always seem to start at the worst times. I finally stepped back, realized I'm trying to do and think about to many things at once, and focused on one project at a time. I'm slowly coming to terms with the reality that the hundreds of things I want to learn how to do can't happen in a lifetime. If I focus on learning the skills required for the project I'm working on I'm more likely to actually know how to do a few of those things I want to learn.

So, on that note, I took some time to get a few other projects done and then got back to the truck. Having stepped away, I quickly realized there was a significant amount of air in the fuel line. I used a hand pump to prime the injection pump and it started up just like it always has. I live on a dirt road and it is rutted and muddy after the snow melt and rain so I just drove some laps in the driveway. Everything seems to be working well. There's a clunk in the back from something rotating. I haven't figured that out yet. Then, I popped the hood to look things over while it was running. That's when I noticed fuel dripping from the injection pump. Nice. That explains why it loses prime when it sits. Closer inspection revealed that it was coming from the cold start lever on the back of the pump.

Great. So there's a new project on the to do list. A professional reseal seems to run about $250. The Giles performance rebuilds that are popular among the VW diesel crowd are around $1000. I'm cheap. A Bosch reseal kit is about $12 and I'm foolish enough to think I can do it myself. After a couple days of research I ordered the reseal kit and my first time actually opening an engine up began.

 

Timing cover removed.

Valve cover off. I'm holding the windage tray which is the random black object at the top of the picture. Valve train looks good. I'm also pretty sure this engine isn't an '83 like I was told. VW switched from solid lifters to hydraulic lifters in '86. This has hydraulic lifters. It is possible that the head was swapped at some point.

Timing belt off. Pictures of timing marks to remind myself. I did buy the VW timing tool to hold the cam in place also.

Valve cover is crusty. I'll clean it up and paint it. I bought the rubber valve cover gasket conversion kit only to find that it already had one. There appeared to be some slow leaks anyway so a new one won't hurt. I always feel bad removing silly original stuff like this sticker.

Removed the pulley from the injection pump. That was a pain. This is where I'm into territory I've never covered and where there is very little information to go off of. I really hope I don't royally screw something up.

The injection pump free of the truck. Yikes.

Tried clean it up a little.

The cold start lever on the backside of the pump. This is facing the engine in the truck so there's no way to get to it without taking the pump out. The bottom cover is the source of my leak.

I started with the easy cover on the front. The cover with the new o ring.

Then I moved on to the top cover. Pictures of the throttle lever springs to remind me how this thing goes back together.

And the position of the lever itself.

Lever removed.

Opened up. More yikes. Now, this is where I make more questionable decisions. The cage with the springs is the governor assembly. Another popular mod with those that mod old VW diesels is to shim the governor springs. Supposedly, by redline, the governor cuts fuel by up to 80%. Shimming the springs allows the pump to continue to supply more fuel in the higher RPM range.

Throttle lever assembly out of the pump.

Governor springs removed.

Springs out of the cage. The big spring is the main spring and controls high rpm fueling. The next shorter spring controls mid range fueling. The last small spring on the right is the idle spring. I just want to shim the main spring. Some people just replace it with a solid spacer but typically 3 to 5 mm in washers is used to shim it.

All the parts and enough washers to shim the spring about 4mm.

Everything back together with the washers. I then installed and sealed the cover and throttle lever. A little concerned on the how well the throttle lever sealed as there wasn't an o ring in the kit that exactly matched the old one. Having to take that all apart again would suck. Those throttle springs are absolute misery to reconnect.

Next was the distributor o ring on the front of the pump. This is one of the places that I could really screw this up. The parts on the distributor end can just fall out if disassembled. The trick that others have used is to slowly undo the screws holding the distributor to the pump. The internal springs push the distributor up. Once the o ring is visible it can be cut out.

Then the new o ring is stretched over the distributor and one screw at a time is removed to allow the o ring to slide into place.

That's where I'm at currently. I still need to replace the o ring on the cold start lever which was the problem in the first place. Of course that was the screw that I stripped and cannot get out. I'm hoping an extractor will do the trick but I've never had any luck with them. Then I get to put everything back together and find out if I really screwed anything up.

Maybe because I like making my own mistakes or just don't want to be told I'm wrong, I prefer to post after I've done something. In this case I'm in the middle of it so here's an opportunity for me to take some advice or just to be told that this is a terrible idea.

chandler
chandler UltimaDork
4/5/21 1:25 p.m.

I did mine twice, because I didn't do a good enough job the first time. It would wash the pass side fender when driving on the interstate and still get 52mpg

white_averson
white_averson New Reader
4/5/21 2:19 p.m.

In reply to chandler :

Awesome Caddy!

I really hope I don't have to do it again but it wouldn't surprise me. My odometer should be fixed now and I'm very curious what kind of fuel mileage I'm getting.

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