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Questions on purchasing first VW Rabbit

1117 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  sgnimj96
Hey there my name is Dom and I am currently on the hunt for a smog exempt diesel rabbit for a project my dad and I will be working on. My dad has a lot of experience with VW's, MK2 golf was his first car, mom owned a 69 Beetle and an MKIV Jetta and he currently owns a self-restored 67 Beetle. Basically my question(s) is what is there to look for when buying a used MK1 Rabbit? The end goal is to have a "sleeper rabbit", ideally swapped with another VW drivetrain. I am currently looking at an 82 Rabbit LS, ~253k miles, aftermarket Konig wheels, LED headlights, paint looks 6/10 interior 7/10, no major ripping in door cards, seats, etc. Seller is asking $2500.

1 - 3 of 3 Posts has a good what to look for in buying a rabbit...Just ignore the stuff about the top :) after all it is a convertible site.

Diesels need to start the first time after 7-10 seconds max, there shouldn't be too much excessive smoke, and no air bubbles in the clear line.
253K is 100K less than on mine when I sold it after 20 years.

Are you buying it for the diesel title to avoid emissions? then going to convert it to a gasser, or is it that you are doing a 1.8tdi swap?
or turboing it. as I would pay very close attention to the lower frame so get under it with a flashlight to inspect the suspension and body for rust or holes in the floorboards.

Check the undercarraige as making it a sleeper you will want to be adding sway bars, and strut stiffeners, and a solid frame is totally required.
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mk2's have a subframe, mk1 is kinda weak in that area.

Parts are more available for mk2's...

Either way, as Briano says look under it well to see the rust situation. Sometimes water leaks go under the carpet unnoticed (for years) and create huge holes in the body.
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