Recently I was faced with the need to rebuild the engine on my beloved 1982
Rabbit Diesel, which had nearly 300K miles on the original engine. Rather
rebuilding the existing 1.6 liter Diesel, I opted to upgrade to a 1.6 liter
Turbo-Diesel from an A2 Jetta. In my search for a source of such an engine, I
ran across the web site www.vwdieselparts.com belonging to Jack Ewald. I
posted a request for information from others who have dealt with Jack on the
watercooled newsgroup, and received several positive responses (I received NO
negative response). So, based on this, I decided to order a turbo motor from
Jack. I was thoroughly pleased with the work and professionalism of Jack, and
would highly recommend him for anybody needing VW Diesel work done.
He always gave me periodic updates about the progress of my engine build. He
promptly answered questions I had about obstacles I encountered while
installing the engine, as well as answered many questions I had about the
engine swap before I even committed to buying an engine from him. Jack was
also very helpful in locating certain hard-to-find turbo-Diesel specific parts
that I needed for my conversion from a non-turbo motor.
Not only did Jack do an excellent & professional job building the engine, but
he also did a top-notch job in cleaning and painting & detailing all of the
parts that made up my engine. My 20 year old engine compartment looks almost
like that of a new car!
Thanks to Jack's help, my '82 Turbo-Diesel is up and running today. I would
highly recommend him for any Diesel work!
Dr. Peter R. Denz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Click here for pictures
Below Story Written By Mr. James Ingram III About
His Diesel Scirocco
I know it is a long story and it doesn’t begin to cover the tail of woe
I have had with this project but I tried to cover most of the high (or
low) points. I am including a couple of .jpeg images of the car and me.
It all started one afternoon when I was driving past a field near my
house. I noticed a silver blue Scirocco with one wheel off and sitting
near a barn. Over the next few weeks I kept driving by and looking. The
wheels of my brain started to work and thinking to my self “even if it
is complete junk, at least the wheels would dress up my Jetta.” So I
went to see the farmer and before I knew what was happening I was mine.
First things first. I wanted a clear title and so after several months
of detective work and the happy fact that the original owners were still
local. I managed to clear the title in my name.
I began by taking stock of what I had. The original gas motor was trash.
The thermo switch on the radiator had shorted out but the previous
owners just kept on driving it. The motor got so hot it melted the gas
injectors into the head. To make matters worse someone tried to part the
car out and several key (and expensive) engine components were missing.
“Why not replace the offending gas motor with a diesel?” I thought. So
out came the old motor and into the yard rolled a wrecked 81 diesel
The swap was on. I used all the parts from the rabbit including the
cooling system. I had to use the side mounted water tank. I chiseled the
bracket for the tank off the rabbit and bolt it to the Scirocco. Now I
was getting somewhere. I left the engine as is (I had heard it run!) and
retained the original 4 speed transmission. It bolted right up and with
a little effort I was ready to roll. So I thought.
Then the problems began. I knew the fuel tank was empty because I had to
change out the filler neck (the Scirocco had the unlead filler hole).
What I didn't expect was that the minute I pored diesel fuel into that
tank it acted like a solvent and cut all the old lacquered gas out
of the tank. There was so much gunk in the tank that you couldn’t get the fuel
to come out. Finally I had to drain the tank with a small transfer pump
and remove it from the car. I got it as empty and dry as possible and
then I took it to the car wash. I spent a whole $4 washing and rinsing
the tank. Then I poured in a quart of rubbing alcohol, swished it around
and let it sit in the direct sun for several days. When it was done it
was dry and very clean.
Well I got about 1500 mile on the car in this condition until one day
the motor started to tie up. This is the point where Jack and VW Diesel
comes into the picture. I purchased a recondition head and a recondition
block and did what I should have done in the first place. While Jack was
building my motor I had new motor mounts pressed in and cleaned the
engine bay. I went back together with a 5 speed transmission, new clutch
and new transmission seals. With a new motor it runs and drives like a
dream. The car has very little weight compared with my 4 door Jetta and
if you can believe that a diesel can feel peppy then this one does. The
driving feel of this car reminds me of the old MGAs. It handles really
well, has a low throaty sound, has no pick-up off the line and smokes a
little under acceleration.
It has been a long road but what a great car!! “I wonder what a turbo
diesel Scirocco would be like?”
James Ingram III
Would you please add me to your list of references? You can use my E-mail
address and the following phone number: 408/956-3167. I didn't have time to
look at your web page today, but if you have a place on there for
experiences/references, I would be glad to add mine there as well. It's the
least I can do after all of your help.
I got the new engine in the pickup today and fired it up tonight. It
fired up and ran like a champ. You can be very proud of the extremely
neat work that you do. I found the cleanliness of your assembly to be as
good a my motor folks that used to build my sprint car motors.
I brought her up to temp tonight and shut her down to set. Will
re-torque the head in the a.m. and button her up for a little rock and
I will tear the old engine down and get the Head and Pump back on its way
to you ASAP!
Talk with you soon......
Richard W. Proschold
Rick's Night Lighters
Professional Fireworks Displays
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Subject: A Remarkable Engine
Date: Monday, March 30, 1998 6:16 AM
My Incredible VW Story...
I own an '82 rabbit pick-up with a turbo-diesel motor that I scavenged
from an '85 Jetta in a bone yard down in Kansas City 3 or 4 years ago.
The Jetta had about 140,000 miles on it and I was able to locate the
previous owner who told me he had it junked in some kind of insurance deal,
and that the turbo diesel used a lot of oil. At any rate I put it in the truck(it didn't use any oil by the way) and was quite happy with mileage, power, etc.
When I moved to the Cleveland area in September of '96 I towed a boat loaded with junk and estimate the weight of the truck, boat & junk in
the neighborhood of 3500 - 4000 pounds. The truck performed well, passing
semi's and maintaining an average speed of 70 to 75 mph for the entire
trip (@ 35 - 40) mpg! I know you're thinking "right" but now for the
incredible part of this story....
Recently I decided I wanted to get rid of the truck (too small - I'm
6'2") but I wanted to put the engine in another VW. On the Internet I found
an '82 Diesel Vanagon in Philadelphia (428 miles away). After several days
of begging anyone and everyone I could think of who owned a truck, and
being too cheap to have it shipped (500 bucks) I drove to Philly, bought the
Vanagon (580 bucks) and towed it back with the rabbit pick-up!!!
The trip down took 7 hours, the trip back 20 hours. I have oil temp, oil
pressure, and of course water temperature gauges in the rabbit and my eyes were glued to all three the entire way. I don't know if you've ever driven the Pennsylvania turnpike from Philly to Cleveland, but it's not flat! I'd
drive about 20 or 30 miles (sometimes more, sometimes less, and pull
over and let the rabbit cool down, then take off again. I visited every
turnpike plaza from there to here. I monitored the CB the whole way
back and heard dozens of truckers remarking about the strange sight of a
little "Toyota" pulling a VW bus. I passed (and was passed by) several state
troopers who would look me over, but not pull me over.
Now that the Vanagon is parked safely in my driveway, the turbo-diesel
in the rabbit seems none the worse for wear. I plan on intercooling it,
changing the head gasket, timing belt, etc. before putting it in the
Vanagon, but I'm quite amazed at a 68 hp engine that moved close to 6000
pounds at speeds that RARELY fell below 45 mph and often reached 65 mph,
and still averaged 30 mpg for 428 miles! Now that's remarkable!
E- Mail: TVReporter@stratos.net