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    Thread: Wedding Present - 1980 Rabbit Truck

    1. Member Stromaluski's Avatar
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      12-23-2014 10:33 AM #1
      So a good 4 or 5 years ago, I was driving around back roads just looking for old cars in people's yards/garages/driveways/etc. Came across a house with a few early watercooled vws (rabbit truck and a mk2 jetta). Stopped and talked to the dude and the diesel rabbit truck I could see in his driveway was not for sale. But he did mention that he had a gas truck in the woods beside his house that wasn't easily visible from the road. He and I went and took a look at it and this is what was in the woods.



      Talked to him for a while and he said "Yeah, I'd sell it. Let me get around to cleaning it out and finding the title and whatnot and I'll let you know." I stopped by a few times over the next few years and always heard the same thing from him. Ended up moving to a house less than a mile from him during that time, too, so now I was driving by it every day.

      Also got engaged during those few years, too. A month or so before the wedding, my (soon to be) wife told me that she had written the gentleman a letter asking about the truck so she could get it for me as a wedding present and that he had never responded.

      Come our wedding day, she gives me a wedding present (we agreed no wedding presents, but that's ok) and it's the title to this truck. Apparently he actually did reply about a week after she told me and if she hadn't written him a (handwritten) letter, the truck would still be sitting there. He got the truck from his friend's daughter after his friend died years back, so he had no intention of selling it. He drove it into the woods back in '02ish after the clutch went out.

      Few weeks later, we pulled it out of the woods using his diesel truck and we put it on a trailer and took it the mile to my house.



      First thing to do was wash it...



      Then get it on some wheels with tires that hold air and get rid of that ugly damn camper shell.




      Which just happened to fit in the back of a friend's Chevy truck with less than inches to spare all the way around.



      Took a good look at what exactly I had and started dis-assembly.













      Found a pen. Upstate SC changed from 803 area code to 864 area code around '95ish.


      Doors have been cut for speakers



      Started getting the engine compartment ready to pull the motor/transmission


      New wheels for the truck



      Tank is out



      That's about where I am so far. Taking the tank to a radiator shop later today for them to clean it out. I pulled off both feed and return lines and both ports on the tank were clogged with varnish...
      -Andrew

      1980 Rabbit Truck Resurrection

      Quote Originally Posted by A&F View Post
      Modifying cars and car projects should always be viewed as throwing money away.

    2. Member
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      12-23-2014 12:46 PM #2
      Heck yea! That is one rusty beast, but one heck of a wedding gift! Rust should be gifted more often.

    3. Member Stromaluski's Avatar
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      12-23-2014 02:05 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by imagolfer View Post
      Heck yea! That is one rusty beast, but one heck of a wedding gift! Rust should be gifted more often.
      Despite how bad it looks, it's not really all that rusty. The front valence and the passenger fender are junk, but the rest is relatively solid. I'll have to do a little patch work (at some point) behind the passenger fender, but strut towers are solid, floors are solid, bed is solid, etc.
      -Andrew

      1980 Rabbit Truck Resurrection

      Quote Originally Posted by A&F View Post
      Modifying cars and car projects should always be viewed as throwing money away.

    4. Member Blu_Hare's Avatar
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      12-23-2014 07:25 PM #4
      Jealous of your '67! Nice little pickup, you have a good wife. Mine is getting me a Caddy Christmas present this year, well technically next year since we're getting it in January

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      12-27-2014 08:13 PM #5
      What an absolute beauty. Reminds me of my 80 rabbit. in for this build.

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      12-28-2014 11:20 AM #6
      Love the look of the patina on the sides with the blue color. Great work by mother nature there. Hope you keep it if the rest of the rust isn't so bad.

    7. Member Blade3562's Avatar
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      12-28-2014 12:58 PM #7
      If rock it even with the rust on the front! I hope you didn't just pitch that topper lots of people look for those for hauling or camping still.

      This should be an interesting built. Love the truck!

    8. Member Stromaluski's Avatar
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      12-28-2014 11:08 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by GTrabbIt View Post
      Jealous of your '67! Nice little pickup, you have a good wife. Mine is getting me a Caddy Christmas present this year, well technically next year since we're getting it in January
      Thanks!

      Quote Originally Posted by ghostmanberlin View Post
      Love the look of the patina on the sides with the blue color. Great work by mother nature there. Hope you keep it if the rest of the rust isn't so bad.
      Planning on leaving as much as I can for now. Down the road, I'll probably end up repainting it, but that's not anytime in the near future.

      Quote Originally Posted by Blade3562 View Post
      If rock it even with the rust on the front! I hope you didn't just pitch that topper lots of people look for those for hauling or camping still.
      Gave it to a friend with a rabbit truck. He's not sure yet if he'll use it, but we'll find out.
      -Andrew

      1980 Rabbit Truck Resurrection

      Quote Originally Posted by A&F View Post
      Modifying cars and car projects should always be viewed as throwing money away.

    9. Member Stromaluski's Avatar
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      12-28-2014 11:12 PM #9
      Dropped the tank off at the radiator shop last week. So far, it's all cleaned, and leaks fixed. They are working on lining it right now. I'm going to call them tomorrow and see if there was any possibility of them doing the filler neck, as well... We'll see.

      It was raining all day today, so figured I'd do something I could work on inside. So I took apart the cluster to try to fix the clock and anything else I could immediately see wouldn't work, as well as clean everything. I also tried gluing the circuit thingy back together. It didn't turn out great, but turned out better than it was.


      All back together. We'll see what works/doesn't once the truck is running again.
      -Andrew

      1980 Rabbit Truck Resurrection

      Quote Originally Posted by A&F View Post
      Modifying cars and car projects should always be viewed as throwing money away.

    10. Senior Member Iroczgirl's Avatar
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      12-29-2014 01:15 PM #10
      Congrats on the wedding and the gift! Looks like the truck is in good hands...I never like to see things rot away in people's yards, no matter how great the sentimental value.
      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.
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    11. Member 206vw's Avatar
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      12-29-2014 01:58 PM #11
      What are your plans for it?

    12. Member Stromaluski's Avatar
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      12-29-2014 03:14 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Iroczgirl View Post
      Congrats on the wedding and the gift! Looks like the truck is in good hands...
      Thanks!

      Quote Originally Posted by 206vw View Post
      What are your plans for it?
      Mostly just clean everything (interior is nasty...) and get it driving again for right now. I'm bad about buying project cars and then selling them after a few years and never actually getting them back on the road. This one, my plan is to do about the minimum required to get it driving again, then just go from there to make sure that it doesn't turn into another project that I never finish.
      -Andrew

      1980 Rabbit Truck Resurrection

      Quote Originally Posted by A&F View Post
      Modifying cars and car projects should always be viewed as throwing money away.

    13. Member pre 93 only's Avatar
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      01-01-2015 03:14 PM #13
      I like the topper much more than the towing mirrors. I could see dropping an ABA in there and driving across country living out of the back.
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    14. Member Stromaluski's Avatar
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      01-01-2015 08:55 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by pre 93 only View Post
      I like the topper much more than the towing mirrors. I could see dropping an ABA in there and driving across country living out of the back.
      Topper is already gone. The more I look at it, the less I'm sure I'll be keeping the towing mirrors... We'll see, though.

      Got the carpet and padding out. What the hell kinda glue did they use??? Not really sure how to go about getting that crap out... At least the floors are solid. Except for the one hole where the driver side ebrake cable guide got ripped out of the floor. Hopefully that won't be too hard to fix.


      After that, I got the back end back on the ground (still waiting on the gas tank) and got the front end up in the air and started pulling apart the front end.


      In the interest of getting it back on the road quicker, I think I'm going to just leave the motor in place and pull only the transmission to change the clutch. Also realized that it'll probably be cheaper to just get another filler neck/gas cap than to try to have mine fixed. Bought one of the 3 that are on eBay. Hopefully there's no issues with that. We'll see. It's just about time to finally start using some of the parts in the giant box of new parts that I have in the garage.
      -Andrew

      1980 Rabbit Truck Resurrection

      Quote Originally Posted by A&F View Post
      Modifying cars and car projects should always be viewed as throwing money away.

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      01-01-2015 09:06 PM #15
      Love this. What are you going to do with the buildup along the truck? Leave it? Clean it off?

    16. Member Stromaluski's Avatar
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      01-01-2015 09:16 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by floridabmx View Post
      Love this. What are you going to do with the buildup along the truck? Leave it? Clean it off?
      I'm just going to leave it for now. While a lot of it probably would come off, there's a good bit that wouldn't come off; and I don't think it would look nearly as good if it was cleaned up.
      -Andrew

      1980 Rabbit Truck Resurrection

      Quote Originally Posted by A&F View Post
      Modifying cars and car projects should always be viewed as throwing money away.

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      01-01-2015 10:35 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Stromaluski View Post
      I'm just going to leave it for now. While a lot of it probably would come off, there's a good bit that wouldn't come off; and I don't think it would look nearly as good if it was cleaned up.
      You can take CLR cleaner and wipe that all off. I used a scotch brite pad on my car but I'm sure it scratches and not sure if you care or not. I didn't.

    18. Member Stromaluski's Avatar
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      01-02-2015 07:52 AM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by floridabmx View Post
      You can take CLR cleaner and wipe that all off. I used a scotch brite pad on my car but I'm sure it scratches and not sure if you care or not. I didn't.
      While a good bit of it would wipe off, there's still a lot that wouldn't; and I think that if I wiped off what will come off, it would just look like any other truck with rusty rockers and roof. I'm going to leave it for now.
      -Andrew

      1980 Rabbit Truck Resurrection

      Quote Originally Posted by A&F View Post
      Modifying cars and car projects should always be viewed as throwing money away.

    19. Member airbornejet's Avatar
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      01-02-2015 10:33 PM #19
      much respect for saving her, keep up the good work.

    20. Member lilrabbitGTi95's Avatar
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      01-03-2015 10:38 AM #20
      Following this!


    21. 01-04-2015 11:58 AM #21
      I love the patina!!

      You have an awesome wife!
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    22. Member Stromaluski's Avatar
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      01-04-2015 08:04 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by 35i 2000 View Post
      You have an awesome wife!
      I do.
      -Andrew

      1980 Rabbit Truck Resurrection

      Quote Originally Posted by A&F View Post
      Modifying cars and car projects should always be viewed as throwing money away.

    23. Member Stromaluski's Avatar
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      01-06-2015 01:32 PM #23
      Little update. Worked on it for a couple hours yesterday. Only thing left to pull from the passenger side is the control arm and the tie rod off the rack. 5 of the 6 bolts holding the passenger axle in place were loose... Started pulling apart the driver side. Also started pulling the A/C compressor off the motor. That looks like it's going to be a bear to do.

      Picked up my tank from the radiator shop. I still have to paint it, but the inside looks a LOT better.

      -Andrew

      1980 Rabbit Truck Resurrection

      Quote Originally Posted by A&F View Post
      Modifying cars and car projects should always be viewed as throwing money away.

    24. Member Stromaluski's Avatar
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      01-11-2015 08:15 PM #24
      Small update. Got the control arms and calipers off of both sides. Going to stop by this week and have the front bushings swapped out. I'd rather just pay somebody a few bucks to swap them out rather than doing it myself.

      -Andrew

      1980 Rabbit Truck Resurrection

      Quote Originally Posted by A&F View Post
      Modifying cars and car projects should always be viewed as throwing money away.

    25. Junior Member klug1's Avatar
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      01-11-2015 09:55 PM #25
      Looking good! Just went through cleaning out my tank too- ended up using concentrated purple power and a few good rinses, I got lucky with no rust in mine (but I did have a lot of gunk in it)

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