During the 2015 summer I was searching for a mk2 golf model, the earlier the better. I had found an ad for a 1985 golf with a diesel engine in it. This immediately caught my eye. i rushed out to the backwoods of Camano Island to see it. It has this rare tan yellow color covered in dirt and grime reflecting its neglect over the years Regardless of the 4+ previous owners, broken door handles, stained seats and an old diesel engine that hadn't ran in years, I couldn't help but buy it. I saw the car for what a gem it was back in '85 and the gem it had potential to be.
The car curently has a 1.6L Diesel engine from a 1990 Jetta. According to the previous owner "all it needs is a head gasket to run" I'm not sure how much I believe that statement. When I try to start the car, all the lights come on, the glowplug light goes out, I crank and the car seems to crank at about the right speed, It fires up then puts out and smoke billows from the engine bay. Definitely the head gasket is causing the smoke, but what is causing the no start problem? possibly incorrect timing, a bad fuel pump, clogged injectors, faulty glowplugs? maybe even something so simple as a solenoid stop sensor or something. There are so many possibilities I'm not sure where to start.
I am posting this thread is in hopes that veteran vw-ers will come to my aid in restoring this beaut'. This is my first vw, but what could be a more perfect car to build on and gain experience.
I have a few options here,
I can restore and rebuild the engine and interior and try to stay as true to the original car as possible.
I can also find another donor car (85-91) such as a jetta or golf with a turbo-ed diesel and take from it what would better replace neglected interior parts in my golf.
OR I could do a TDI build using a mk4 engine. Again, I am skeptical about this because I am unsure if I have enough skill to do the swap.
GOAL NUMBER 1: GET THE F***ER TO START
Any comments posted would be greatly appreciated.
Here are some photos of the car including some issues I'm not entirely sure how to solve
Trying to start her up: