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    Thread: The Rabbit TDI Project Part 1: Introduction

    1. 04-01-2003 03:52 PM #1
      The Rabbit TDI Project
      Part 1: Introduction

      For about 10 years I've been looking for a Rabbit pickup. Last year, I found one about 3 hours drive away from home.
      About 2 miles away from where I was supposed to meet the guy, the transmission in my GLI died: stuck in third.

      So I bought the truck and drove it home.

      1982 Rabbit pickup, 1.6L IDI diesel, 5speed.
      Top speed: 120 kph, depending on wind direction
      ~80kph on some of the local hills...

      The body of the truck was great, but the engine was lacking. I have a JH/ABA hybrid engine in the GLI, so I'm used to
      having torque and power, I knew the engine had to go.

      3 months previous, my parents purchased a 2002 GOlf TDI with a slush box. Hmmm....

      Started lurking in the forums at TDIclub.com, and was quite intruigued by the performance potential of the TDIs.

      Maybe I should leave the truck as a diesel...

      Last summer I went to a whack of VW enthusiast gatherings (read: VW shows) Met Cam from CWS Tuning in Regina ( www.cwstuning.com), said he had a TDI engine from a 2002 Jetta, low miles (~2200 kms). Hmmmm....

      For those that don't know, Cam has a fantastic 1.8T Rabbit.

      So I bought the engine and picked it up on Labour Day weekend, 2002.
      Poetic justic, the old truck bringing home it's new engine.

      Months and tears and scraped nuckles and an empty wallet and a maxed out borrowing account later,
      and it's running under it's own forced induction diesel power.

      Mmmmmmm, forced induction diesel power.....

      Stay tuned...


      Out with the old,

      click the dead pics for links.

      Part 1: Introduction
      Part 2: Installing the Engine
      Part 3: Transmission
      Part 4: Wiring 1
      Part 5: Speedometer and Cluster
      Part 6: ImmobilizerIII
      Part 7: Drive By Wire
      Part 8: Intercooler
      Part 9: Intake and Exhaust
      part 10: MFA and Cruise Control
      Part 11: The Dash
      Part 12: The Little Things
      Part 13: The End (for now)
      Part 14: 6spd transmission and brake upgrades
      One Year Later
      Dyno results
      Who Needs a VR6
      TDI Rabbit
      Last edited by MrDave; 11-07-2019 at 06:16 PM. Reason: VWVortex lost formatting

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    3. Member adamrules's Avatar
      Join Date
      Dec 26th, 2000
      04-01-2003 07:42 PM #2
      cool. [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

    4. Member 88JETTEXTREME's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jan 1st, 2000
      Littleton, CO
      1997,VW,GTI, VR6 1991 Audi 200 20vT
      04-01-2003 08:26 PM #3
      I want to do this so badly into an A2 Golf or Jetta it would be the ultimate daily driver. So how does it run? Are you happy is there more pix? Dave
      1997 GTI VR6
      1991 200 20VT

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    6. 04-02-2003 05:43 PM #4
      More pics coming later.
      Runs good, still working out the bugs and gremlins.
      If you're wanting to do an A2, see what this guy has done:
      Project TRQMNSTR

      [Modified by MrDave, 10:45 PM 4-2-2003]

    7. Junior Member
      Join Date
      Mar 25th, 2003
      04-04-2003 10:44 PM #5
      i dunno which I want more... your sweet Caddy or your sweet Bobcat.

    8. 04-04-2003 11:24 PM #6

      Besides the truck, the first picture also shows a riding lawnmower and some saddle trees...


    9. Member
      Join Date
      Jan 4th, 2002
      northern nj
      81 rabbit
      04-05-2003 12:47 AM #7
      i recently saw some pics of someone taking a tdi out of a new beetle and putting it into an a2 . dont remember where i saw it though.

      whoops! nevermind, that site you linked has those pics.

      [Modified by ArpyArpad, 12:49 AM 4-5-2003]

    10. 05-24-2004 09:15 PM #8
      Thats a bad A2 link...do you have the correct one?

    11. 05-25-2004 11:46 AM #9
      Websites come and go.
      That website has been idle for well over a year, and I've heard
      that the project has been idle for some time as well.
      Here are some links to a different cars:

    12. 07-03-2004 10:10 AM #10
      Resurection....of an older thread....but this one cannot die.
      In fact, I saved each page as its own PDF so I can keep it for my files.
      Mr. Dave, expect e-mails one of these days as I would love to do this to my Caddy too!!!!

    13. Senior Member urogolf's Avatar
      Join Date
      Dec 10th, 2000
      Somerset, MA
      13 Plug In Prius, 15 Venza
      03-31-2005 08:20 AM #11
      any updates to this?

    14. 03-31-2005 10:11 AM #12
      Follow the links in the first post.
      Beyond that, daily driven, turned over 82,000 kms on the conversion this morning.

    15. Member SlientG60's Avatar
      Join Date
      Dec 5th, 2002
      04-01-2005 12:39 AM #13
      I'm hoping to score a TDI anytime soon.

    16. 09-08-2005 05:02 PM #14
      Is it possible to do this project with a Rabbit gasoline pickup? I am thinking of picking up a totaled 2002 tdi golf.

    17. 09-08-2005 06:49 PM #15

      Wow, back from the dead.
      Simple answer: yes.
      Remove the fuel pump at the back and figure out your fuel plumbing, everything else is pretty much the same.
      Project update: daily driven, recently changed the timing belt, currently at 106,000 kms on the swap, running 55mpg (Imp) on my current tank of fuel.

    18. 09-09-2005 08:44 AM #16
      Thank you. I am on the hunt for a rabbit.

    19. Member punkvideo81's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jul 12th, 2005
      New Paltz, NY
      81 Rabbit p/u 1.6 td
      10-10-2005 12:25 AM #17
      Hey MrDave,
      Been interested in doing a TDI Rabbit ever since readng your posts. I found this deal for $2000. Do you think it sounds good?
      1996 Passat sedan. It was a wreck I picked up to use the engine and electronics for customer conversion, but he found a newer engine he decided to use instead. The car has 120K documneted miles, has been sitting two years since the accident. Five-speed. It was hit on the left front, unfortunately breaking the intercooler, but I have a spare in usable condition I can give you. The only other broken part is the starter. I did swap out a starter from another TDI long enough to verify the engine ran well and sounded in good. I've already removed the front bumper structure, radiator and support, so pulling it shouldn't be too difficult at all. There are still quite a few parts you can sell from the car to recoup some of the money too.

    20. 10-10-2005 06:49 PM #18
      Lol, I read this and was like "WTF, another one?!"

    21. Member B166eR - VW's Avatar
      Join Date
      Dec 11th, 2003
      KC Moe
      04 DBP R32, 03 TDI Wagon, 84 GLI 16VV
      05-01-2010 02:56 PM #19
      Sorry, had to bump.. Is this baby still on the road?

    22. 05-01-2010 09:44 PM #20

      Just about ready for it's 250,000km service. (that's 250k since the TDI went in. About 450k on the shell)

    23. Member B166eR - VW's Avatar
      Join Date
      Dec 11th, 2003
      KC Moe
      04 DBP R32, 03 TDI Wagon, 84 GLI 16VV
      05-01-2010 10:28 PM #21
      amazing. I would love the same for this A1 Jetta Coupe I have.

    24. 05-09-2010 07:54 PM #22
      If anyone has these pages cached or if you have pdf's can you send them to [email protected]
      We are about to undergo a TDI swap into our auto-x car.:p


    25. 05-10-2010 12:05 AM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by diive4sho View Post
      If anyone has these pages cached or if you have pdf's can you send them to [email protected]
      We are about to undergo a TDI swap into our auto-x car.:p


      Try the internet archives:


    26. Member MKIGTITDI's Avatar
      Join Date
      Aug 25th, 2007
      Roseburg Oregon
      2015 Jetta TDI 1977 VW Scirocco soon to have a tdi!
      05-28-2010 04:46 PM #24
      How long did it take for you to complete the entire swap into your caddy? Im looking at doing this myself and im planning on a couple of months with daily work on it.

    27. Member puebla's Avatar
      Join Date
      Sep 9th, 2003
      10-04-2010 01:59 AM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by B166eR - VW View Post
      amazing. I would love the same for this A1 Jetta Coupe I have.
      Great thread, in for later.

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