When my coworkers husband passed away she had his diesel pickup parked behind her garage uncovered. No one in the family took the time to figure out how to drive stick, so there it sits. I have offered to purchase and restore this legacy. However, I need some advice first.
It's been at least 10+ years since it last ran. My guess is that it was not in any way prepared and put into "long term storage." I am not a mechanic but I play one in the garage from time to time and I have read a few online articles and it seems as though after I trailer it back to my garage I will need to minimally:
1) Drain and replace ALL fluids
2) Check/replace lines/wiring that is corroded.
3) Replace battery
5) Check all nooks and crannies for dead bunnies.
I am in need of your advice if this is worth it and what to look for if I should just walk away.
My goal is to restore this truck so that I can use it as my commuter for my 50+ mile round trip to work.
Thanks for your any information and resources (links, books, etc...) you may have to help me make a good decision!
I personally am not a diesel guy, i would love to get one, but i have to finish my rabbit convertible first! As you already stated at a minimum, change all fluids, check all the lines and such, change the battery, and the grounds are definitely a good thing to check and replace. I went through the same situation with my car and thats what i did first (aside from changing the grounds) and i had it sitting and idling in about a day.
Unfortunately, as i said i am not really a diesel guy and have no real knowledge of what to look for motor wise on this pickup, heck im still learning about my convertible haha.
but i would recommend getting a Bentley Manual for the diesel rabbits and caddy (rabbit pickup). This is probably one of the most important things you can buy haha. between this forum and that manual i fixed just about everything with relative ease.
Also, germanautoparts.com and mk1autohaus on ebay are two great places to get parts.
germanautoparts.com has a good amount of proper parts for the mk1 rabbits, jettas, and rabbit pickups, not the crappy parts that you have to worry about not fitting right.
mk1autohaus has TONS of stuff, a lot of it is new old stock. they will have most of the little, miscellaneous, hard to find parts you might need, especially seals for doors and windows. this is by far one of the best places to find them. some of it is expensive, but its all new and you wont find some of the stuff in better condition.
I wish i could help you more man, but im sure in a few minutes youll have a lot more info on what to look for on this sweet pickup!
I would start with Changing the timing Belt and tensioner for new. The diesel is an interference engine and a belt that hasn't rotated in 10 years is going to be an issue from the start.
I would change all 4 rubber brake lines, and the rear wheel cylinders.
I would also change the Master Cylinder.
Draining all the fluids is a good thing, but I would also replace the t-stat and flush and black flush the entire cooling system system.
Replace the Fuel Filter.
Drain the Diesel out of the tank, and inspect it via the sender hole. The Caddy's tanks are a little easier to drop.
But one glow plug prior to start and replace the number 4 glow plug.
Replace the Ground cable from the Battery to the Frame and the frame to the Engine/tranny.
Seals that haven't moved in a while may be dry rotted, so be warned of the cars ability to shat fluids at a given moment.
I know what I have just written is a massive list, or daunting at first look, but trust me...
After you get the engine running, then you can worry about replacing the struts, and stuff....
Owing a car like this is a battle at first, but it can be won, and victory is yours as you are smiling at a running engine and tooling
down the road.
What do Divorces, Great Coffee and Cars all have in common?
They all Start with good GROUNDS.
Replace all of them that you can, 99 percent of flakiness will disappear.
92, 93 Cabriolet.... 89, and 90 are Deceased.