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    Thread: 1988 VW Cabriolet...any common problems?

    1. 02-26-2005 11:40 AM #1
      My cousin is looking at getting a gorgeous 88 Cabriolet, but she read a review online that mentioned clutch cables problems. Is that a common problem, or are there any others that should be known?

      Thanks

      On a side note, I want her to get this car. She needs a VW in her life (driving an old Subaru now )


      Modified by Evnas at 4:57 PM 2-26-2005


    2. Member kamzcab86's Avatar
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      02-26-2005 12:07 PM #2
      Common problem? I don't think so. If the clutch isn't abused and is well-maintained, it should last many years. Some Cabriolets and Rabbits have gone 200,000 miles without a cable replacement and there's others, like mine, that broke when it reached 45,000 (broke shortly after the car was bought from the original owner). My cable was replaced in 1990 and it's still going strong.

      http://dana.ucc.nau.edu/~kaw5/buying.htm

      If there's any VW she "should" have, it'd be a Cab.... but I'm biased

      Cabby-Info.com -- Your online guide to the VW Cabriolets
      Old Blue's Blog -- The adventures of a 1990 Westfalia
      "Fashion is a waste of money that could be better spent on, say, maintaining your car." ~James May

    3. Member sehaare's Avatar
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      02-26-2005 12:09 PM #3
      Quote, originally posted by kamzcab86 »
      Common problem? I don't think so. If the clutch isn't abused and is well-maintained, it should last many years. Some Cabriolets and Rabbits have gone 200,000 miles without a cable replacement and there's others, like mine, that broke when it reached 45,000 (broke shortly after the car was bought from the original owner). My cable was replaced in 1990 and it's still going strong.

      http://dana.ucc.nau.edu/~kaw5/buying.htm

      If there's any VW she "should" have, it'd be a Cab.... but I'm biased

      And I bet it took about 30 minutes and a $15 part to replace the cable right?

      I wouldn't call that a major problem unless it happen every 5000 miles.

      Enjoy every sandwich - Warren Zevon

    4. Member kamzcab86's Avatar
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      02-26-2005 12:14 PM #4
      Quote, originally posted by sehaare »

      And I bet it took about 30 minutes and a $15 part to replace the cable right?

      I can only assume 'cuz Daddy did the work . I had just turned 16, and it broke just as Dad put it into first gear after backing out of the driveway on his way to replace the cable (it had been making an awful noise) at his shop. That day I drove Mom's Rabbit 'vert to school... which, come to think of it, never had its clutch cable replaced in the 11 years Mom had it

      Cabby-Info.com -- Your online guide to the VW Cabriolets
      Old Blue's Blog -- The adventures of a 1990 Westfalia
      "Fashion is a waste of money that could be better spent on, say, maintaining your car." ~James May

    5. 02-26-2005 12:23 PM #5
      the only real problem you might have is the bulkhead rusting so badly that the point where the cable passes into the car through the bulkhead just refuses to hold the cable.
      Ive only ever seen it on hardtop MK1s in England ( i know you have English weather, lol ) Its a very rare problem though.

      make sure there is no major rust, drivers side footwell should be dry with no signs of rotted carpet, its a favourite water leaking location.

      theres no real terminal problems on the cars otherwise. just check the usual stuff.

      Need your fenders rolled, pulled or shaved? Check me out here...

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...fender-rolling

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      02-26-2005 12:35 PM #6
      Wet knee when it's raining!

    7. 02-26-2005 05:04 PM #7
      Thanks for the info guys. And for your viewing pleasure...heres the car that I want her to get (and it looks like shes may be leaning back toward it)





    8. 02-26-2005 09:23 PM #8
      There is a somewhat common problem with the tube carrier that holds the cable at the firewall end. It often breaks off and you either need to replace the whole pedal mount (PITA!) or have the tube welded. Search here for "sawed cable" or "cable tube" to find my post (with pics) on the subject.
      Look carefully at the cable where it enters the firewall. The cable should arch down, but right at the firewall it should bend so that it goes into the firewall exactly horizontally. If it is entering the firewall in a downward direction this usually means that the tube weld has broken.
      It sounds scary, but if the cable is going into the firewall horizontally I would say buy the car! She'll love it!
      Thomas

    9. 02-26-2005 10:09 PM #9
      I have a 1991 cabby and the tub broke off the pedal assembly twice this year. The weld fatigued. I changed the pedal assembly this weekend and I can honestly say that this is no easy job but I am getting pretty good at it. Yes, I carry a spare cable in the trunk and I can change it in the dark in about 10 minutes. I have heard that some people never have a problem but somehow Cabbys have a reputation for bad clutch cables. I still would have to say BUY THE CAR because Cabbys are not cars, they are mechanical pets. You will love it.

    10. 02-26-2005 10:28 PM #10
      My '88 has 200,000 miles and I just replaced the original cable. The trick is to spin the cable every oil change so it never wears along the same place in it's arc.

    11. 02-27-2005 10:31 PM #11
      If the clutch cable is the only major problem, that's a fantastic car.

      Frankly, you won't be able to avoid more serious problems - honestly. Let's face it - it is an old car - and A1 cars do NOT have qualities of endurance/ease-of-maintenance as beetles do - actually, they are very, very far from that...


    12. 02-28-2005 08:07 PM #12
      I have to agree. Small price to pay for what you get. The guy wanted a feel for Cabbys and what to expect. Now we can all agree on probably 10 items that are typical of Cabbys and disagree on 20 more. I am going to throw this out and then everybody else can stomp on it. The Cabby never was a top end, high endurance automobile. It appeals for others for other reasons. My wife likes it for the vibration and feels safer while enjoying it than while enjoying a motor cycle. I cannot vibrate like a Rabbit so if she drives it back to our house, I feel a sense of accomplishment that she came back to me and did not run off with my car. #2 My wife looks good driving it and all she needs is a pair of sunglasses to feel like she is driving a Mercedes. #3 My wife likes the gas mileage to go to and from the mall to spend the money we save in gas mileage. #4 My wife has me frequently home on the weekends fixing the car so I am available to do all the other things on her "Honey Do" list. #5 I spend so much money on the Cabby that I cannot afford the typical vices of other men. #6 The car gives me something to talk about so I do not appear boring when all the other guys are talking about hunting and fishing. #7 The car gives me practice on mechanical and electrical skills that I would never aquire if I had a common Lamborguine or Massarati. #8 It gives my co workers something to talk about, "Why does a 50 year old "straight" guy drive a 15 year old Cheerleadermobile? #9 With all the typical problems a Cabby has why would anyone in their right mind even consider a Cabby?. #10 My wife enjoys the vibrations...

    13. 02-28-2005 10:21 PM #13
      If she doesn't buy that one, let me know - that's gorgeous (and probably has the right vibrations...).

      Having a 16v, techtonics headers, and a Supersprint in the cabrio makes this 43 year old married male in a "Performance Taupe" cheerleader car feel REALLY good blasing by the Lexii and Mercedes on the way to work.

      (props to PO for doing the heavy lifting on the swap)


    14. 03-03-2005 02:42 PM #14
      Quote, originally posted by bubster007 »
      I have to agree. Small price to pay for what you get. The guy wanted a feel for Cabbys and what to expect. Now we can all agree on probably 10 items that are typical of Cabbys and disagree on 20 more. I am going to throw this out and then everybody else can stomp on it. The Cabby never was a top end, high endurance automobile. It appeals for others for other reasons. My wife likes it for the vibration and feels safer while enjoying it than while enjoying a motor cycle. I cannot vibrate like a Rabbit so if she drives it back to our house, I feel a sense of accomplishment that she came back to me and did not run off with my car. #2 My wife looks good driving it and all she needs is a pair of sunglasses to feel like she is driving a Mercedes. #3 My wife likes the gas mileage to go to and from the mall to spend the money we save in gas mileage. #4 My wife has me frequently home on the weekends fixing the car so I am available to do all the other things on her "Honey Do" list. #5 I spend so much money on the Cabby that I cannot afford the typical vices of other men. #6 The car gives me something to talk about so I do not appear boring when all the other guys are talking about hunting and fishing. #7 The car gives me practice on mechanical and electrical skills that I would never aquire if I had a common Lamborguine or Massarati. #8 It gives my co workers something to talk about, "Why does a 50 year old "straight" guy drive a 15 year old Cheerleadermobile? #9 With all the typical problems a Cabby has why would anyone in their right mind even consider a Cabby?. #10 My wife enjoys the vibrations...


      I had my cabbie when I met my wife. It's now hers (the '84). She made me go get another beater that needs tons of work so I don't have to drive hers, and I have to spend my time working on mine and not constantly wanting to go out and play on hers (which needs very little real work)...heh...I haven't had so much fun working on cars since I was a teenager. I actually like going out and working on my cars now!
      Thomas

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