First things first.. I am new to VW Dashers! So please forgive anything I say below that is in error! Know that every statement I make is more of a question than a statement!!
A LITTLE BACKGROUND
I have known about the early VW rabbit diesels excellent 45+ mpg for years! I love it when so 'greenie' starts talking about what great gas mileage his hybrid gets and isn't modern technology wonderful.. At which point I point out that VW was getting 45+ mpg back in the early 80s without all the whiz-bang high tech stuff.. They always get a very surprised look on their face!
THE REASON I AM HERE TODAY
I decided to get an old early 80s VW diesel to offset my monthly gas bill.. What with the world today who knows.. We may be paying $5/gal this summer. So I figured I better get on it ASAP! During my Rabbit research I came across the Dasher.. I remember these cars and how roomy they were! I'm 6'4" so I need the leg room, that and I have a big dog so I could make use of the station wagon option.
Option 1) Find a manual shift Dasher diesel for sale that needs no work and is ready to go. If that is the case than my story ends here and no need to read further.. But I am leaning towards option 2
Option 2) Find a manual shift Dasher that may or may not run by has a clean body and interior. At this moment I am leaning towards option two because I really want to get my hands dirty again.
MY PLAN (OPTION 2)
I use to love working on cars when I was younger and I am comfortable working on cars with tech that is pre 1985ish. In that prior to that, I could open the hood of a car and not only identify everything under the hood but have a good idea of how it works. But cars after 1985.. Not so much.. Just to many ECM stuff for my liking. I would probably still opt by a long block, but do the installation myself.
ENGINE SWAP OPTIONS ?
Correct me if I am wrong, but most early 80s Dashers came with the 1.5L diesel.. And correct me if I am wrong the but the turbo option didn't even come out until around 1895ish? With that said.. What would it take to pull out the 1.5L diesel and replace it with a 1.6L turbo diesel, or even a 1.9L turbo diesel? My biggest concern would be the associated ECM stuff, if any. Based on what I have found out thus far (which is limited) there is not ECM stuff to worried about, and not big electric harness stuff to worry about. But.. I really don't know! This is the main reason I am here today to get your experience feedback on that.. Any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated!! Also, any electrical associated with the turbo? I think the answer is no?
TRANSMISSION SWAP OPTIONS ?
I did notice that the engine in the Dasher is NOT transverse mounted, which tells me that none of the Rabbit or other VW transmission would work in a Dasher. With that said, are there any online company that rebuild Dasher transmissions? Note I really want a manual shift, not an automatic, and I would really like a 5 speed if they ever made one? As you all well know the parts for Rabbits are plentiful, lots of after market stuff and plenty of online trany places to choose from. So this Dasher transmission stuff does seem to be the one thing that may be hard to find, if needed a few years from now.
RECOMMENDED ENGINE RE BUILDERS (LONG BLOCK)
I found a few online places.. ATKVege that I bought an ISUZE engine from years ago, that went pretty well. But I also found this company called GEX that appears to be dedicated to VW engines, i.e.
To do transmissions too.. Nice web site, very well laid out, but, when I called and ask them about doing an engine swap, i.e. a 1.5L for a 1.6L turbo.. The guy on the phone seemed kind of clueless.. So any feedback you have on this place would be great, and any advice you have on any other motor and trany re builders would be welcomed too!!
Anyway, thanks in advance!!