$19,500 $17,500 (Final Sale Price)
Key Truck Features
- Model Year: 1980
- Odometer: 66,800
- Engine: 1.9L TDI ALH
- Transmission: 5 speed
- Color: Mojave Beige
- City/Area: Temecula
- State/Region: California
- Contact Name: SOLD!
- Phone: SOLD!
- Email: SOLD!
More Details & Pictures
1980 VW Rabbit Pickup LX Diesel – 66,800 miles with approximately 90,000 on ALH engine
I purchased this truck about two years ago from one of my customers. I grew up around VW’s and have restored several over the years, and owned a caddy when I was in college, and wanted to find another one to restore. This truck has always been in the southwest, no rust, and the undercarriage is in excellent condition. The only body damage was a small crease just behind the driver’s side rear wheel. However, it did have some surface rust since it had been sitting outside for many years, but nothing horrible.
The truck was completely stripped of all trim, bumpers, windows, door windows, vent windows, etc. The original 1.5l diesel engine and transmission was pulled, and all engine compartment items removed. I had the truck blasted by a local, well established, body man who knows how to clean the cars without the body panel warping that can come if you don’t do it right. The only body panel that was replaced was the hood as it had too much surface rust to be repaired, but I do have the original hood still.
The truck was then painted with PPG paint, two stage, back to the original Mojave Beige throughout. The bed of the truck was in excellent condition with no damage. The bed was finished with a rhino liner type material, but was color coded to the same Mojave beige, and looks awesome.
The original 48hp diesel was not going to be enough HP for me. Having had several TDi’s, I wanted that type of smooth power for this truck. I purchased a 2003 TDI Beetle as a donor car and removed the engine and 5spd transmission, along with the wiring harnesses, ECM, gas pedal, complete shifting assembly and cables, and other required items for the swap. After a great deal of research, I found S-P Automotive had a great swap package and all the accompanying items needed to do the swap. I’m not associated with S-P at all, but all of their products have been of great quality and have fit without any modifications directly into the truck.
For the TDI motor, I removed the EGR equipment and installed a new PD150 intake manifold. This manifold was on the German MK1’s and provides a much better flow. As well, I had the timing belt, tensioner, water pump replaced since I didn’t know if it had been done and wanted to make sure it was all taken care of. Of course, all fluids for the engine and transmission, as well as oil and fuel filter were replaced. I also added an external fuel pump and an inline filter at the tank to make sure there was plenty of pressure. The ECM was reprogrammed to work with the truck but was also updated and power was boosted up to a level that did not require additional engine work.
The swap installation into the truck was painless. Swap engine mounts and bushings bolted up, and I dropped the engine in, by myself, in about 30 minutes. To assist with the TDI engine, I installed an aluminum combo radiator/intercooler and all the required intercooler tubing, as well as a new intake pipe, MAF sensor, and K&N filter.
The wiring incorporates the new ECM wiring to control the engine, and the original truck wiring for the lights, ignition, and gauges. The ECM work also added the required wiring to use with the stock gauges on the truck, as well as adding option wiring for a tach, cruise control, etc. Also, the ECM comes with the wiring and new plug for the donor gas pedal to be incorporated into the truck. This swaps the mechanical gas pedal for the original motor to the drive-by-wire pedal out of the donor car. Another bracket to mount is available from S-P.
The exhaust was set up with a stainless down tube that adapts the new ALH engine, but is shaped to incorporate into the MK1 body. Attached to it is a 2.5″ complete exhaust system with a magnaflow muffler. Looks like a little bit larger stock exhaust, but it’s not at all the same!
The front end was completely rebuilt and has all new components. New steering rack bushings, new tie rod’s, new control arms with new bushings, and new hub’s with all new seals. A set of Solowerks coilovers were attached to the hubs, and then I upgraded to vented discs, new calipers, new brake pads, new lines and a new master cylinder.
The rear end had the same treatment as the front. I installed drop plates to allow for a lower stance matched to the front end. All new brakes including drums, bearings, brake shoes, brake cylinders, spring kits, brake lines. I also installed a new set of air shocks.
Other exterior items include both front and rear bumpers being powder coated black, new front grille, new hella turn signal lenses in the front bumper, all trim removed except for the lower rocker panel trim, painted black. New front windshield seal, as well as new seal for the rear window. New wiper arms and wiper blades.
Original GTI Snowflake wheels were completely redone, polished and painted, interior side of the wheels were painted, new black lug caps, center caps, with everything looking better than new.
The electrical system was completely gone through. A new fuse panel was installed as the MK1’s have an issue with corrosion. All gauges work, all lights work, door switches work for the dome light, the clock in the dash works, signals, high beams, etc. All fuses were replaced. The only two items that were updated was I installed two additional switches into extra spots in the dash. One is an original MK1 fog light switch which controls the reverse lights for the truck. Due to one of the swap brackets, the reverse switch on the transmission is not accessible so I needed to add a switch for the reverse lights. The other MK1 switch I added was to control the additional fuel pump. This is now a defrost switch. Both switches are OEM and are in the original switch locations in the dash.
The entire interior has been switched from the original brown interior to black. The black dash is immaculate with no cracks and no damage. All dash trim is immaculate, and the radio is working with the dash speaker. I bought the interior of a complete car, so the door panels have been replaced as well with new arm rests. The wiper lever, turn signal indicator and steering column cover were purchased to match the dash, and an original GTI steering wheel topped off the black interior. I also wanted a better seating solution, so I found a set of Scirocco sport seats and installed them into the truck. Scirocco seats have been completely redone, new carpet, and brand new headliner installed.
To top off the interior/exterior, both doors received a set of Cabriolet vent window frames with the bolt through glass, new vent window seals, new door seals, new door window scrapers, and door trim. I also installed new door latches, door jamb pins, new door handles, and new door mirrors.
I have pictures throughout the process and would be happy to share if you like. The truck is on a clean California title, delivery is possible for an additional cost and payment up front.
Sorry for the long winded review, but a lot has been done to this truck to revive and upgrade. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Last Updated on October 1, 2020 by TruckAds