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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got a 1981 vw rabbit 4 door, having problems with shifting from 3rd to 4th. 4th gear seems to lose power and go back to 65mph having me shift back into 3rd. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
 

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4th gear on some of these cars is for something crazy like 75mph. Its more like a 5th gear than a 4th. You could always swap out the transmission
 

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3+E was okay for the gas engine, but the poor little Diesel didn't have the power to to hold the high overdrive gear.
If you could find a standard gas 4 speed (77-80 Rabbit/Pickup/Scirocco) or switch to a 5 speed, you would be much better off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys very much appreciated... also is it complicated to change the water pump?
 

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Thanks guys very much appreciated... also is it complicated to change the water pump?
R&R water pump isn't hard at all.
Have to make sure you get the water pump with the right hub. 1981 was a changeover year & you could have an early style or late style.
Early hub was a triangle, later hub was a circle.
 

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I am the owner of a 1981 Rabbit 4 door Diesel (193,827 miles ) it has the 4 speed overdrive trans. A few years back it had a problem staying in 4th(OD). I decided to just replace the trans rather than rebuild it.
Took me a few months to find the correct code trans and along the way I found 2 other 4speed trans but with the wrong code( they are both 4 speed with 4 being non OD). If you want either or both of these ( I can look up the code later) you can have them FREE.
If anyone else needs a 020 trans let me know.
 
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