1980 Volkswagen Rabbit Review
Gave It Away — Through no fault of its own, the front was backed into, bent steel front engine mount enough for timing belt to run slightly off-center. Lost belt, bent valves, took apart, new valves, re-sized pistons (100,000 miles) . Took to road, up to 55, lots of smoke, started acceleration running on its own and had to apply brakes to slow it down. Probably pulling oil from breather. Loaned car to guy with instruction not to over 55, he did but belt came off and bent valves. I towed it 20 miles home and gave it to some neighbor kids.
Pros: Excellent Mileage from the diesel. Cargo capacity remarkable....carried a 50" Sony rear projection TV in it plus luggage and video equipment (1981) Drove 1000+ miles down Baja and across Mexico for less than $5 U.S. (1981)
Cons: Small electrical problems but big problem with starter solenoids... $65 "back then" and I went through several. Finally carried a screwdriver and just opened hood and shorted to start. Alternator vibrated until mount was reamed out...required installing a sleeve due to huge price of motorolla replacement.
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