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1983 VW Rabbit Diesel IDI
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I cant quite afford a Bentley, I'm a college student in a garage with this 1983 Rabbit IDI. I am trying to figure out how to time this engine in order to make it run and I cant for the life of me find any info online. Can someone please help?

I set the cams up properly, making sure the slot lined up and the cam lobes closest to the gear are facing out, and the mark on the flywheel is on 0 and it still makes contact with the valves! Maybe I'm off by a degree or?
 

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Finger on the Transmission is at 0 on the flywheel.
The number one Cam lobes (nearest to the fender passenger side) are pointing up.
You have to loosen the cam gear bolt and rotate the cam left or right to get the cam lobes straight up and the lock will go in and then you lock the cam gear via the slot on the back and tighten the bolt for the cam gear to the proper torque.
The Ip is pinned so that it is in time as well.
Once you have that set then you rotate the tensioner to tighten the belt so that you have 1/2 twist to the belt mid way between the IP and the cam.

Taking the glow plugs out eases your turning of the engine over by hand and only after rotating the engine about 4 times then making sure there are no valve jams and the marks are all in alignment can you say it is in time.

If when you are moving the crank and do it slowly, there shouldn't be any point were you bind the pistons to the valves if that happens then you probably have to do the piston cam dance to get the thing in proper alignment. that is you move the pistons till they bind, then back off, rotate the cam...until you get the marks to align.

One tooth off and you can have valve strike.
 

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1983 VW Rabbit Diesel IDI
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Finger on the Transmission is at 0 on the flywheel.
The number one Cam lobes (nearest to the fender passenger side) are pointing up.
You have to loosen the cam gear bolt and rotate the cam left or right to get the cam lobes straight up and the lock will go in and then you lock the cam gear via the slot on the back and tighten the bolt for the cam gear to the proper torque.
The Ip is pinned so that it is in time as well.
Once you have that set then you rotate the tensioner to tighten the belt so that you have 1/2 twist to the belt mid way between the IP and the cam.

Taking the glow plugs out eases your turning of the engine over by hand and only after rotating the engine about 4 times then making sure there are no valve jams and the marks are all in alignment can you say it is in time.

If when you are moving the crank and do it slowly, there shouldn't be any point were you bind the pistons to the valves if that happens then you probably have to do the piston cam dance to get the thing in proper alignment. that is you move the pistons till they bind, then back off, rotate the cam...until you get the marks to align.

One tooth off and you can have valve strike.
The flywheel appears to be wrong as the P/O put in a 5 speed so more than likely when they did a clutch they messed up the flywheel position. I found on the front crank sprocket a small raised dot that i assume is also TDC?
 

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The only way to be 100 percent sure is to pull an injector and use a wire and watch it move all the way up, then it should be at TDC. There isn't any issue that I know of from converting a 4sp to a 5sp transmission on the timing. I did that back in 92, and I never had an issue with the timing marks on the flywheel to the finger on the housing. You may have a kit that doesn't have the (O) stamp on it, but the 6degreeBTC diamond cut, and you can't use that as it is 6 degrees off.

45386


I think there is a write up on dieselnet about this as well, this is a photo from cabby-info.
There is a measurement that you can make to find 0 but off the top of my head I can't remember.
 

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Hello, I cant quite afford a Bentley, I'm a college student in a garage with this 1983 Rabbit IDI. I am trying to figure out how to time this engine in order to make it run and I cant for the life of me find any info online. Can someone please help?

I set the cams up properly, making sure the slot lined up and the cam lobes closest to the gear are facing out, and the mark on the flywheel is on 0 and it still makes contact with the valves! Maybe I'm off by a degree or?
Try downloading the manual for your vehicle from sites like manualslib.com or just do a goggle search for free manuals, there are many to choose from. The downloadable info is the same as in the book and best of all they're free!
 
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