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    Thread: "Inherited" an unmolested 87 Scirocco 16v

    1. Moderator silverspeedbuggy's Avatar
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      11-25-2011 05:30 PM #1
      I just brought home my dad's 87 16v. I'm going to attempt to get it up and running this winter.

      7/21/2013 EDIT: New photos on page 5 of the running car.

      9/10/13 EDIT: Added more info on the car’s history:
      This car played a pretty substantial role in my family. Back in early 1992 I was a senior in high school. Sitting in our driveway were some fine examples of 80’s era GM metal. Having 4 children between the ages of 2 and 18, my dad had two Olds Cutlass Ciera station wagons, and a 1980 Pontiac Sunbird that his mother handed down to us. These cars were all in various states of disrepair and it felt like one of them was always in the shop. I’m not sure if dad was going through a midlife crisis, or the crushing realization that he was a dad again at age 46, but he spotted a bright red Scirocco 16V at a local used car lot and INSTANTLY fell in love. Now if you knew my dad, he may very well be the most practical buyer ever and never buys on heart or spontaneously. He saw this car on Friday, went back and looked at it on Saturday, then on Sunday, and left work early to test drive it on Monday. Unfortunately, the car had sold. I have never seen my dad heartbroken before. He moped for days.

      Two weeks later, my brother and I spotted an identical red Scirocco 16V at the local VW dealer. It actually had less miles and tinted windows. My dad test drove it within a day or two. I actually remember folding myself into the backseat for the test drive. At one point, my dad turned to my mom in the passenger seat and said “Guess how fast we’re going?” He was cruising at 75MPH in a 55 zone. The car was rock solid. I was amazed: all our GMs shook/shimmied at anything more than 50 and I had never seen my dad speed before. Having 4 kids, one starting college in fall, my dad just couldn’t justify buying it, but the salesman really tried. We drove home in a relatively quiet car, saddened that a bright red sports car wouldn’t be sitting in our driveway. As we were walking in the door, the phone was ringing; the dealer really wanted to make a sale. My dad lowballed and they took his offer and deposit over the phone. I think he paid $3800 for the car, but my memory may be hazy. My brother and I were shocked! This was my dad’s first German car (except for a minor stint with a 74 Super Beetle in the late 80s that had MANY problems), and he LOVED it.

      Not only was this our first German car, it was the first manual car in our house that I could remember. While I understood how a clutched transmission worked, I had ZERO experience with one. The 74 Super Beetle had been an auto stick, so even that car didn’t have a third pedal. Being a senior in high school I had visions of driving this bright red car to school and to movies and, well, everywhere. Nevermind it was my dad’s car; I thought for sure it would be mine to use any time. I nagged and nagged him to teach me stick. Finally, we took a short drive to a giant open parking lot, I got behind the wheel certain that I’d master this immediately. After 10 minutes of stalling and bucking and swearing and sweating, dad got too nervous and my first lesson ended in failure. A week later, another 10 minute lesson ended in failure. As did one last lesson a few days later. A fourth lesson never happened. I’m not sure why we never tried again, but I didn’t learn stick until a year or two later, but I was already out of the house and living on my own, so dad’s car wasn’t even available to me. Silverspeedbuggy as an 18 year old HATED that he couldn’t drive this car. Silverspeedbuggy as an almost 40 year old is GRATEFUL that his dad didn’t get him proficient at manual transmission driving. I’m convinced my brother or I would have dented/wrecked/totaled this car.

      Within 6 months of ownership, dad traded all our cars in on VWs. In addition to this Scirocco, he picked me up a 1984 Quantum GL5 sedan to commute to college in, and then he found a 1987 Quantum wagon (the big headlight model, but not a Synchro) for my mom. Later he’d also have a MK III Jetta (his first brand-new car since 1979), an Audi A4 2.8 5 speed, and mom also had a Golf Cabrio, and New Beetle convertible. Unfortunately he’s gone back to American cars and is currently in a Mercury Milan. Mom doesn’t drive anymore, and my little brother, the 2 year old in the story above, is now driving her 2003 New Beetle convertible (he hates it BTW, but it’s a ‘free’ car).

      In the mid 90’s dad drove his Scirocco daily. Later in the 90’s the ‘Rocco became a weekend/fun car only. Dad would tool around in the car around town on short drives. Being driven daily in Cleveland; the liberal use of salt on our roads had taken its toll on the car, so he had it repainted once. After a short drive one day, the car overheated. Dad parked it in the garage, and with the exception of moving it once or twice, it sat in the garage. Then, when dad wanted to park their ‘real’ cars in the garage, so the ‘Rocco moved to the driveway. It sat there for at least 3 years. Probably 4. Maybe even 5.

      So that leads us to this thread. This story picks up with the pictures below. Mom and dad were preparing to downsize to a ranch home, and my childhood home was about to be put on the market. Dad knew he had to sell/get rid of the only sports car he’d ever owned, and so he passed it off to me. As of writing this edit of my original post, the car is now 100% mechanically sound and I’ve been driving it most of the summer of 2013. The weather here in Cleveland has not been cooperative as our normally hot and somewhat humid summer has actually been cold and rainy. We had 16 straight days of rain in July. Many days temps never got above 55. It’s now early September and we’re finally having summer weather (low 90s today!) so I’m trying to get as many drives in as I can before the snow flies. I’ve never really worked on a car before, and I surprised myself on how much work I took on with this car. My dad is really impressed, and told me how proud he is with the work I’ve done.

      So below is the most recent ‘story’ on the car. Enjoy the ride if you read all the posts. I know I did.


      Major info:
      Dad bought it used in 1992, he was only the second owner
      Drove it mostly on nice days
      It saw a few winters while he had it
      Has been repainted once (decent job too)
      Sat for 3 years outside on the driveway
      144,000-ish miles (odo spins freely)
      NOT running, needs
      - coolant work (overheats, tow driver smelled coolant on drive)
      - brakes including BLOWN brake line (made a mess of his flatbed)
      - gas siphoned and fresh fuel added
      - oil change
      - spark plugs (might as well)
      - two engine mounts
      - new struts
      - new tires
      - a few rust spots

      My plans:
      - Keep it bone stock
      - Fix the above
      - Get it running by the spring
      - Eventually have rust addressed and a respray
      - Get teardrops refinished

      On to the pics!

      As it sat on dad's driveway yesterday:



      Rust:



      Sunroof seal is shot:



      Getting towed:


      Brakes were locked up, but freed when winched onto the truck. Notice the brake fluid under the rear passenger tire; brake line blew when I mashed it.



      Parked in my driveway, time to really assess the car:


      More rust:


      Hood is shot:


      Not bad for 144,000 miles:


      Both strut towers are good:


      Something was living in it;


      Found the shift knob for mom and dad's old 74 Super Beetle!


      Some wear on the bolster:


      No rust:


      Some rust on the hatch:


      Must be some rust on the bottom edge of the doors under the bodykit molding; the strip on the door is peeling up:


      Cleaned up the interior:



      Gave it the first bath it's had in 3 years:


      Noticed this tube (for the airbox?) under the battery is cracked:


      At some point I may need to have this fender replaced. I guess my now-deceased grandfather backed into the car. It's tough to really see the problem though:


      Overall I am VERY excited to get this car running again. Dad bought it my senior year of high school and I had visions of driving all over the place in it. After three failed stick shift lessons (lasting 10 minutes each), dad's nerves were shot. I think he also realized if me or my brother didn't know how to drive stick then we couldn't mess up his car. I'm betting it wouldn't be sitting in my driveway right now if he had suceeded in teaching us how to manipulate a clutch. The 18 year old me hated that I didn't know how to drive it. The 37 year old me is incredibly glad I didn't know how to drive it.
      Last edited by silverspeedbuggy; 09-10-2013 at 11:58 AM.

    2. Member Eistreiber's Avatar
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      11-25-2011 06:59 PM #2
      well... I hope you've learned to drive a clutch by now.

      You bastard. You lucky, lucky bastard...

      Looks decent, certainly has potential. Keep us posted.


      "By Endurance We Conquer" - Family motto of Sir Ernest Shackleton

    3. Moderator silverspeedbuggy's Avatar
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      11-27-2011 04:08 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by Eistreiber View Post
      well... I hope you've learned to drive a clutch by now.

      You bastard. You lucky, lucky bastard...

      Looks decent, certainly has potential. Keep us posted.


      Ha! Been driving stick exclusively since 1998. Test drove an A3 DSG once and didn't care for it. A clutched transmission is the only way to go.

    4. Moderator silverspeedbuggy's Avatar
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      11-27-2011 04:15 PM #4
      Latest update:
      Dad mentioned yesterday that he wonders if the car has a cracked block. The last time he drove it the car boiled over with no warning. That's when he parked it intending to get it looked at a later date. That was 3+ years ago. The tow truck driver mentioned catching a whiff of coolant from the car. When I checked the oil it was light amber in color but was considerably higher than the max level on the dipstick. Now I don't know much about all this, but if the block is cracked couldn't the coolant get into the oil (and then raise the level of oil)? A buddy explained how to pull a plug and use an air compressor to check.

      Obviously this has me very concerned, but my dad is not very good at diagnosing car repairs.

    5. Moderator silverspeedbuggy's Avatar
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      11-27-2011 06:04 PM #5
      Hmmmm...there's ZERO coolant in the overflow tank.

    6. Senior Member Chris16vRocco's Avatar
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      11-27-2011 06:35 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by silverspeedbuggy View Post
      Hmmmm...there's ZERO coolant in the overflow tank.
      That explains the overheating, but as long as the oil is still oily and not a milky substance, I wouldn't worry too much about cracked blocks yet. A blown head gasket is much more likely than a cracked block, but start with the simple things first.

      Fill the cooling system with water and start it up, check for leaks everywhere (whilst keeping an eye on the temp and not letting it overheat, of course). 16v engines are notorious for getting air pockets trapped in the cooling system and overheating as a result, so disconnect the upper radiator hose and fill the engine with water from there, then reconnect and fill the rest of the way up at the reservoir.

      If you're getting a smell of coolant inside the car, it's likely that the heater core is leaking. If white smoke is coming out of the exhaust, that means that it's burning coolant, which is likely to be a blown head gasket.
      Deal with it.
      80 Scirocco|87 Scirocco 16v|74 Manta A|74 Land Cruiser|84 230CE|91 164L
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    7. Senior Member Iroczgirl's Avatar
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      11-27-2011 07:22 PM #7
      Still, all in all, a great start.

      That hood is totally salvageable. Mine is worse.
      Lots of VW stuff|Rare Scirocco parts!
      The family: '55 Ford 351C, '70 TR6 262Olds, '80 Rabbit AAZ, '84 C30 350, '88 Scirocco 9A, '97 Hardbody KA24E, '01 TJ 150AMC.

    8. Moderator silverspeedbuggy's Avatar
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      11-27-2011 08:30 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by Iroczgirl View Post
      Still, all in all, a great start.

      That hood is totally salvageable. Mine is worse.
      You think? Did you see the rubber piece that is pushed up into the hood support structure? It's like that on both sides.

    9. Member 83mk2scirocco's Avatar
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      11-27-2011 08:34 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Iroczgirl View Post
      Still, all in all, a great start.

      That hood is totally salvageable. Mine is worse.
      All in all it looks clean,This makes look back on what I got rid off.
      0 rust.

      It had the mono wiper hood too...Man that pic makes me sad.
      I totaly dig the shift knob.

      Hope there is not too much hidden surprises.

    10. Member vwdaun's Avatar
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      11-27-2011 09:28 PM #10
      Welcome to the Scirocco forum, and congrats on the acquisition!

      I would second the blown head gasket theory. The blocks are incredibly robust on these cars, though it's not impossible to crack one.

      I would also recommend (since I didn't see it on your "to do" list) that you change the timing belt / tensioner and passenger side motor mount. If the belt breaks.... well, using coolant isn't going to be your only concern.

      And hey, for a goal, get ready for a 4-hour roadtrip to "Cincy" the first weekend of June. (Do a search....)

    11. Moderator silverspeedbuggy's Avatar
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      11-28-2011 08:25 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by vwdaun View Post
      Welcome to the Scirocco forum, and congrats on the acquisition!

      I would second the blown head gasket theory. The blocks are incredibly robust on these cars, though it's not impossible to crack one.

      I would also recommend (since I didn't see it on your "to do" list) that you change the timing belt / tensioner and passenger side motor mount. If the belt breaks.... well, using coolant isn't going to be your only concern.

      And hey, for a goal, get ready for a 4-hour roadtrip to "Cincy" the first weekend of June. (Do a search....)
      Thanks for the welcome! Saw the pics from Cincy 2011; looks like I have a goal to get the car up and running by!

      There are two motor mounts that are shot; they're definitely on the list. The belts look to be in really good shape, but I'd rather be safe and get them swapped out with new ones. I really can't believe it's a cracked block since my dad babied the car. When it overheated he shut it off almost immediately.

    12. Member Teighlor O''s Avatar
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      11-28-2011 12:02 PM #12
      Hey man, im in Cleveland as well.. Nice car, good luck with it!

    13. Moderator silverspeedbuggy's Avatar
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      11-28-2011 07:30 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by Teighlor O' View Post
      Hey man, im in Cleveland as well.. Nice car, good luck with it!
      Hey

    14. Moderator silverspeedbuggy's Avatar
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      11-28-2011 07:35 PM #14
      I sooooo badly want to fire up the car but don't think I should.

      Some random questions:
      - Car has half a tank of 3 year old gas. Siphon out old gas or top off with fresh 93 octane and some fuel injector cleaner?
      - I removed the fuel cap and there was a phenomenal HIIIISSSSS as the fumes/air escaped. Is this to be expected (taking into account 3 year old fuel and sitting outside in -10 to 100 degree weather)?

      I'm definitely going to change oil before firing up the engine. I also topped off the coolant tank and will watch for leaks.

    15. Senior Member Chris16vRocco's Avatar
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      11-28-2011 07:51 PM #15
      I'd siphon it out, personally. Take note of what the fuel coming out looks like. If it has a lot of crud/rust in it you need to get that all cleaned out so it doesn't ruin the pumps. The pumps may/may not even run after sitting that long. Might as well see if they work first, but be prepared to buy replacements. Change the fuel filter right away too.

      That hissing sound when loosening the cap is normal, just caused by the pressure in the tank from temperature changes.
      Deal with it.
      80 Scirocco|87 Scirocco 16v|74 Manta A|74 Land Cruiser|84 230CE|91 164L
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    16. Member crazyaboutrocs's Avatar
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      11-28-2011 08:13 PM #16
      Well the hiss is normal for some of us, but for the rest whose vents work properly, then it isn't.

    17. Moderator silverspeedbuggy's Avatar
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      11-28-2011 08:16 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris16vRocco View Post
      I'd siphon it out, personally. Take note of what the fuel coming out looks like. If it has a lot of crud/rust in it you need to get that all cleaned out so it doesn't ruin the pumps. The pumps may/may not even run after sitting that long. Might as well see if they work first, but be prepared to buy replacements. Change the fuel filter right away too.

      That hissing sound when loosening the cap is normal, just caused by the pressure in the tank from temperature changes.
      Thanks, that's what I needed to hear. I have a tendency to get a little too excited to start a project and rush into it then screw it up. I don't want to create any more problems with this car than it already has.

    18. Moderator silverspeedbuggy's Avatar
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      11-28-2011 08:23 PM #18
      Some additional observations after spending a few more days poking around the car:
      - I'm amazed how complete dad kept it. The ONLY thing he changed was the radio; there's a later model VW "Premium" radio in it (with tape deck AND "CD in" jack). Unfortunately the radio reception is poor and there's a short in the volume control knob.
      - All manuals including the Warranty manual are with the car
      - Wheel centercap removal wrench is in the glovebox

      Some additional issues found:
      - Power mirrors and driver's door window work
      - Power passenger window doesn't work using the driver's door switch. Not sure if it works using the passenger switch
      - Sunroof slides back, but does not tilt/vent. There's also an additional sunroof hand crank lever in the glovebox. Gotta ask dad about it.

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      11-28-2011 08:50 PM #19

    20. Member Teighlor O''s Avatar
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      11-28-2011 08:51 PM #20
      Yep siphon that crappy gas out and put new fresh stuff in, also add some Marvel Mystery Oil to the fuel(add however much it says to on the bottle) to clean out whatevers in there. Hell i think id even add a little bit to the cylinders before starting it as well, sure couldnt hurt. Go over to Euclid Foreign Auto at 185th and St. Clair and get a fuel filter, im sure yers is full of crap, be sure to get the copper washers(4 of them) for the fuel filter. Also get a Mann or Bosch oil filter while yer there, please dont buy a crappy Fram oil filter at McAutoparts.

    21. Moderator silverspeedbuggy's Avatar
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      11-28-2011 09:02 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by Teighlor O' View Post
      Yep siphon that crappy gas out and put new fresh stuff in, also add some Marvel Mystery Oil to the fuel(add however much it says to on the bottle) to clean out whatevers in there. Hell i think id even add a little bit to the cylinders before starting it as well, sure couldnt hurt. Go over to Euclid Foreign Auto at 185th and St. Clair and get a fuel filter, im sure yers is full of crap, be sure to get the copper washers(4 of them) for the fuel filter. Also get a Mann or Bosch oil filter while yer there, please dont buy a crappy Fram oil filter at McAutoparts.
      Holy crap; I forgot about Euclid Foreign! I used to get parts for my Quantum sedan from them back in the mid 90's. I'm really close to them, I'll give em a call tomorrow to get the parts.

      Thanks man!

    22. Member Teighlor O''s Avatar
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      11-28-2011 09:06 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by silverspeedbuggy View Post
      Holy crap; I forgot about Euclid Foreign! I used to get parts for my Quantum sedan from them back in the mid 90's. I'm really close to them, I'll give em a call tomorrow to get the parts.

      Thanks man!
      Yer welcome. Dont take it personal if Dan(the older guy with the glasses) seems like kinda an ass to you. Hes like that to evryone the first few times ya go in there, but he will eventually warm up. He got hit on his bicycle a couple years ago, and i think it did some damage to his melon, so hes a little out of it and crabby sometimes. I always call/ order from them before ordering from German auto online or somwhere else..

    23. Moderator silverspeedbuggy's Avatar
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      11-28-2011 09:17 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by Teighlor O' View Post
      Yer welcome. Dont take it personal if Dan(the older guy with the glasses) seems like kinda an ass to you. Hes like that to evryone the first few times ya go in there, but he will eventually warm up. He got hit on his bicycle a couple years ago, and i think it did some damage to his melon, so hes a little out of it and crabby sometimes. I always call/ order from them before ordering from German auto online or somwhere else..
      Dan = Moe on the Simpsons. Got it.

    24. Moderator silverspeedbuggy's Avatar
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      11-30-2011 03:20 PM #24
      What gives with the fuel tank? Tank is 13ish gallons, right? Guage says it is a little over half full. That should be 8.5 gallons or so, correct? I've filled up a 5 gallon gas can so there should be less than a quarter tank. Guage says it's between 1/2 and 1/4 tank now.

    25. Moderator silverspeedbuggy's Avatar
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      11-30-2011 03:23 PM #25
      I should add:
      - My siphoning set up works, but is a pain in the ass. ($3 pump fuel siphon from Home Depot + rubber tubing from HD to reach the fuel in the tank)
      - I really don't want to buy another $13 5-gallon gas can.

    26. Member Teighlor O''s Avatar
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      11-30-2011 03:24 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by silverspeedbuggy View Post
      What gives with the fuel tank? Tank is 13ish gallons, right? Guage says it is a little over half full. That should be 8.5 gallons or so, correct? I've filled up a 5 gallon gas can so there should be less than a quarter tank. Guage says it's between 1/2 and 1/4 tank now.

      Man thats the LEAST of yer "worries" right now, haha... My gauge is retarded sometimes too. Maybe the fuel tank sending unit is dody in these. Hell im just glad it "kinda" works. My little 75 Ford Courier pick up has NO working fuel gauge!

      Get anything else done yet?

    27. Moderator silverspeedbuggy's Avatar
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      11-30-2011 03:30 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by Teighlor O' View Post
      Man thats the LEAST of yer "worries" right now, haha... My gauge is retarded sometimes too. Maybe the fuel tank sending unit is dody in these. Hell im just glad it "kinda" works. My little 75 Ford Courier pick up has NO working fuel gauge!

      Get anything else done yet?
      Not yet; I've had some family things this week so it's been slow going. I want to get the gas out today, do the fuel filter tomorrow (maybe tonight if possible). Trying to get the house decorated for Christmas too and the lights up. Coffee is my friend.

    28. Moderator silverspeedbuggy's Avatar
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      11-30-2011 03:42 PM #28
      No fuel filter till tomorrow; Euclid Foreign had to order it. I ordered an oil filter as well. I'd love to get the oil changed on Saturday.

    29. Member Teighlor O''s Avatar
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      11-30-2011 04:05 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by silverspeedbuggy View Post
      No fuel filter till tomorrow; Euclid Foreign had to order it. I ordered an oil filter as well. I'd love to get the oil changed on Saturday.

      Dude MAKE SURE you get the 4 copper washers with the fuel filter. there are two 14's and two 15's. Dan will prolly just give you ONE of those copper washers with the plastic inner ring on it, but ask for the other ones. Get a new copper washer for yer oil pan bolt too.

    30. Moderator silverspeedbuggy's Avatar
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      11-30-2011 04:10 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by Teighlor O' View Post
      Dude MAKE SURE you get the 4 copper washers with the fuel filter. there are two 14's and two 15's. Dan will prolly just give you ONE of those copper washers with the plastic inner ring on it, but ask for the other ones. Get a new copper washer for yer oil pan bolt too.
      Will do. He said something about "I've got those sizes here so I won't have to order them" but I'll double check.

    31. Moderator silverspeedbuggy's Avatar
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      11-30-2011 06:51 PM #31
      Most of the gas has been siphoned out. The gas gauge is showing 'in the red' but not empty. I reek. Better stay away from open flames. Good thing I don't smoke.

    32. Senior Member Chris16vRocco's Avatar
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      11-30-2011 08:17 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by silverspeedbuggy View Post
      What gives with the fuel tank? Tank is 13ish gallons, right? Guage says it is a little over half full. That should be 8.5 gallons or so, correct? I've filled up a 5 gallon gas can so there should be less than a quarter tank. Guage says it's between 1/2 and 1/4 tank now.
      I take it you're not a mathematician.…

      Half of 13 gallons is 6.5 gallons, so if your tank has 5 gallons in it the gauge should read just below 1/2.
      Deal with it.
      80 Scirocco|87 Scirocco 16v|74 Manta A|74 Land Cruiser|84 230CE|91 164L
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    33. Moderator silverspeedbuggy's Avatar
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      11-30-2011 09:07 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris16vRocco View Post
      I take it you're not a mathematician.…

      Half of 13 gallons is 6.5 gallons, so if your tank has 5 gallons in it the gauge should read just below 1/2.
      Ha! Total right brained art guy.

      However, gauge was a little over half but I've filled up two 5 gallon cans. Gauge must be off. Just like my math.

    34. Member Teighlor O''s Avatar
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      12-01-2011 02:05 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by silverspeedbuggy View Post
      Ha! Total right brained art guy.

      However, gauge was a little over half but I've filled up two 5 gallon cans. Gauge must be off. Just like my math.
      Were you parked on a hill? haha

    35. Moderator silverspeedbuggy's Avatar
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      12-01-2011 03:21 PM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by Teighlor O' View Post
      Were you parked on a hill? haha
      For the three years it was outside, it actually was (front driver's side downhill). But it's all flat and level at home in the garage.

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