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5/23/10 <3
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, Bill and I did a crazy thing and purchased a Rabbit pickup over the weekend. Its a project car, but we got a great starting point! A friend of ours has had it for awhile with some big plans - ABA 2.0 swap, Manilla green paint, the list goes on. So he had pretty much all the parts needed to get it fixed up. Plus, the engine bay has already been painted. Our friend's daughter just got her first car and so he's lost the space for the truck. We couldn't resist so we saw it Friday, picked it up Sunday and now its home in our garage.

We have some serious work ahead of us, but we're beyond excited. Bill's been toying with getting one of these trucks for awhile but prices for them have just been going up and up. This was too good of a deal to pass up, even with the work involved. Its basically a kit car at this point...its a shell but we have all the parts to put it back together.

First things first, it will need to have a drivers floor pan welded in, as it has holes in it. But that's not uncommon and we have a welder at home. Then we'll be getting the body in order and then painting it, keeping the Manilla green color that's in the bay already. The bed will be bedlined of course, as it will be used to haul things once its all done. Our friend had the ABA all fixed up and ready to to in, so we'll be using that for the power plant. We figure it will be made into a really nice wheelbarrow in the end...still use it to haul, but still looking nice and a fun toy to ride around in. We have a set of Corrado Sebring wheels (15" 4x100) that we'll fix up and throw on it. Need to figure out bumpers. We'll be buying a sliding rear window for it.

Without further ado, here is Mister Truck! (Mr. T for short :D:cool:)

Here it is on the trailer on its way home!


I love the tailgates on these trucks


We had a friend with a truck and trailer who helped us move this guy home. Truck sizes have definitely changed since 1982!


And here is our VW stable now: 1984 Jetta TD on the left of the garage, the truck on the right, my 20th in the driveway and Bill's '01 TDI on the side. We may have a problem...


That's all I have for now. We're pretty much booked for the next 2 weeks so there won't be much movement on this for a little bit. But hoping to get going on it once September hits. Definitely will be keeping this updated!
 

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5/23/10 <3
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Discussion Starter #3
Oh we love our diesels, and ideally that's what we'd put in it (either a nice 1.6TD like our Jetta has, or a TDI swap) but since we got the ABA and all the bits and pieces needed to put it in the truck, we'll be using that. Its a very common swap and seems to be a pretty fun motor for a mk1.
 

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Man, you guys are gluttons for punishment! I thought those two Mark IV Volkswagens would keep you busy; just by themselves! :) Is there something about the early water cooled Volkswagens that is seductive and irresistible? I find the simplicity and look of the Mark I, II Jett's, rabbits and trucks.... to have something of a magnetic, seductive quality to them! There is something about those round headlights and understated, simple lines that is very pleasing. There is something about them; that gets under your skin! :) a 1.8t or VR6 swap would be cool and a blast to drive! :)
It sounds like you are keeping it simple and just want a utility vehicle to add to the stable?

Ps: there is a early Golf GTI; up the street from me, that is just hibernating, that keeps calling me! :)


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5/23/10 <3
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Discussion Starter #6
Haha yeah. We realize we're nuts and definitely gluttons for punishment. But we just love the mk1s. Not really sure what it is, but we definitely have a soft spot for them. Sort of like the NB in a way...just something about them, ya know? This truck actually came with square headlights but a round core support was part of the sale so those will be going on.

The guy who we got this from actually has a 1.8T swapped Rabbit. I've never driven it myself but I've ridden in it and its got some pep to say the least. That Rabbit is actually in this month's Performance VW!

Not going fancy for this guy, but definitely want to not be a full on beater. But yeah, keeping it simple and still using to haul. Since we bought our house, we've of course been doing home improvement projects. We've made use of my FIL's syncro Vanagon to get wood and go to the dump, etc. But its not always available to borrow. So we've wanted to get something ourselves we could use for hauling...thought about an older Ranger or S10, or even just getting a new Tacoma. But the Rabbit pickup was always a thought in our minds, just to keep it in the VW family of course :)
 

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5/23/10 <3
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Discussion Starter #7
Also, I ran across this site awhile back; they carry many parts for the early water cooled stuff and your new caddy as well:

VW Classic Parts


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We've been buying stuff from them since we got our Jetta, back when that was all just an eBay site! Its definitely a nicer setup now that he's got an actual website. Probably will be buying a few things from him very soon for this.
 

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The only problem I see is that you need a bigger garage :goodjob: Looks like the tail gate is in pretty good shape, I hear those are hard to find these days.
 

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5/23/10 <3
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Discussion Starter #10
The only problem I see is that you need a bigger garage :goodjob:
More covered parking is something we've been planning. The gravel on the side of the garage was something we added last year (used to have some big trees next to the garage). The great thing is that there is a shed behind the garage with patio pavers in front. We'll probably end up putting a car port up there. And we can fit 2 cars easy on the gravel part. Lots of space for cars. :cool: And luckily our neighbors are all pretty cool about our car hobby. But we also are nice and its not like we ever have cars on blocks outside or anything. Sooooo glad we don't have an HOA :lol:
 

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5/23/10 <3
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Discussion Starter #11
ImageUploadedByAG Free1439479693.649060.jpg

Bill brought home the engine yesterday! It was quite an endeavor from what I'm told (I'm out of town so I didn't get to see this all happen). He borrowed the pickup from our mechanic, put their hoist in the bed, along with a tire. Used the hoist to get the engine off of the stand at our friend's house and then put it on the tire for transport. Then used our hoist at home to get the engine from the truck to our engine stand in the garage. Whew!

He also picked up a spare set of doors and AC stuff that was being stored at our mechanics' shop (those guys really are awesome). The only thing that is left over there is the windshield, which we're going to let them keep storing until we want to install it (more chance of breaking it if we move it, ya know?). We're beyond lucky to have such a great set of mechanics and a great VW community around here. Counting down the days until we can start working on it...

He did go through and scrape off the last bit of stuff off of the floor pans to get a better look at the rust. Lots of surface rust on the passenger side but no structural issues luckily. The only thing he really noticed is the rust on the drivers side actually is under a small bit of the seat rails and those are also decently rusty. So we need to figure out a solution for that...get some other seat rails he can weld on or find a pan out of another car with seat rails. Replacement pans don't come with the rails unforunately. We also discussed just getting some sheet metal and patching the holes. We'll treat everything with POR15 before painting/covering it up.

One last thing that I remember from us talking the last few days is he found a source for the rubber "carpet" for the truck for a good price (think full floor monster mats!). Since its going to still be a work horse, that may be what we end up doing rather than carpet. Easier to clean for sure. And no worries of staining, etc.

Sorry for the stream of conciousness. I'm out of town at a conference so I figured I'd post some stuff to pass the time :lol:


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5/23/10 <3
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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)


Started the parts ordering process last week and have gotten everything we ordered, including the new drivers side floor pan! Its for a Rabbit, which is why its so long, but the front part is the same so it can easily be cut down to be welded in. We also found out that you can get the seat rails new! So we're trying to find a good source on those and get those ordered so the welding can start.

Also ordered more stuff for the AC, rear gas adjustable shocks, drum brake kit, wheel bearings, and more that I can't even remember. On the hunt for a mk3 AC compressor for mock-up purposes. We've heard that the mk3 compressor will require notching the core support for it to fit (and the ABA is a mk3 motor) so we want to get something hooked up to the motor to check it out and see how much we have to notch or if we can figure out another solution.

Also ordered some Monstaliner for the truck bed, along with Chassis Saver (a POR-15 type product to stop the rust) so we can very soon start the body work. First is the floor pan. Then we'll have to grind down the rust and then paint over with the Chassis Saver in the cab and the bed.

Lastly we got all the parts cataloged. We got so many parts with this truck and there were duplicates of several. Plus, we have our own mk1 parts stash for our mk1 Jetta! So we went through box by box and put the parts in a spreadsheet before putting all the parts under the house with the other car parts. So now we know what we have already and can buy more things as needed. Plus, got a few things we may be able to use on our Jetta in the future!

The weather is supposed to be nice this weekend so maybe we'll start really working on the truck a bit. I'll definitely keep this thread updated! Still need to get a shot of the engine bay that's all painted, but for motivation for ourselves, this is what a Caddy with Manilla Green paint looks like:


The bay in our truck is already painted that color and we love it so we're keeping it for the rest. Excited for the real work to start and the finished product sometime next year!

Timeline at this point is to work on body work first...hopefully no longer than a month to get the floor pan in and rust corrected. Then paint. Still not sure if we'll paint it ourselves or not. We have a nice big garage so we can plastic a section off and we have garage doors on either side we can open for ventilation. We have a spray gun and Bill has wanted to try his hand at body work/paint for awhile. But we also have a neighbor who owns a body shop. So we'll see what he thinks he can do for paint and maybe work with him to get it finished.
Winter will be spent working on getting the engine swap sorted - we have a few wiring harnesses so Bill will be spending some time getting that all figured out for sure.
Maybe it will be done for the new SoWo show? We were hoping to have the Jetta all finished up by then this year, but that's taken a back seat. Plus, we're doing work on the truck we've wanted to do on the Jetta so its a nice test run for things so hopefully we can get that car finished up next year finally (doesn't need much but a lot of little things...and a new paint job as well).

That's it for now!
 

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Looks like your making some great progress! I'm amazed that you can get the seat rails new! :eek:
 

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5/23/10 <3
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Discussion Starter #17
I need to get some pictures hosted and post some. We've been swamped lately, but have made some progress.

Bill got all of the so-called "gorilla snot" off of the floor pans in the truck (its a really thick, nasty adhesive that still is super sticky even after 33 years. Impressive and gross all at once). Then he got the floor wire-wheeled and found a few other small rust holes. But other than the one against the seat rail, those can be just patched.

Let's see...we got the rear window taken out and got the bed cleaned up and ready to be wire-wheeled. I'll be working on the bed while he works on the cab :)

Also, got some aircraft stripper to start getting the wheels we have ready for paint. The trick is getting daylight with decent temperature and no rain so I can do that outside. And weather hasn't been cooperating too much...

We picked up a set of Recaro seats for it too. They were pretty dirty, but nothing that couldn't be saved. I got them all cleaned up and they are ready to go. Super happy with them. They should be pretty comfy.

We have a neighbor who owns a body shop and he's got some spare paint for us so Bill can practice painting some spare body panels and figure out if its something he really wants to tackle. Again, weather is playing a part there, but we got a new heater for the garage which should make it a bit more toasty out there all winter.

I have been wanting to update this. Life has just been plain crazy lately. Plus, our house got broken into last week and so we've been spending all of our spare time dealing with that and fortifying the house a bit more. Ugh. Luckily, they didn't touch anything of real value (monetarily at least) and the garage was unscathed. *whew*
 

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5/23/10 <3
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Discussion Starter #19
I need to get some photos and update! Didn't get much done over the winter but we've been pushing through the last couple of months. We're about ready for paint! Hubby's actually on the phone right now with several friends getting quotes for the work :)
 

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5/23/10 <3
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Discussion Starter #20
Alright, time for a proper update.

We didn't get much work done over the winter like we wanted to do. Life happened (weddings to go to, work, house was broken into, holidays...the list goes on). But we have been putting in some serious time in the last 6 months.

The drivers floor was definitely rusty.


Cut the floors out (and decided it was the Flintstone car!)


But, we had a new Rabbit pan that my husband welded in!
Good as new!


Its getting a Cabriolet dash put in, so he welded in the proper brackets for that.


His big project was getting the AC to fit. Since its getting a mk3 motor, things don't all fit right in the mk1 bay. The AC compressor hit the core support and side of the bay, plus there were issues with the belt and pulleys for the serpentine setup. So he did a lot to get all that to work but its all set! And he even made a custom fan shroud to help with fitment as well.


We ended up buying a new core support to weld on, which was one of the last big hurdles lately. But its on and starting to look more like a truck again!


Here is the bay with things in place roughly at least.


Started stripping down the doors so they can be ready for paint:

Still need to finish getting the window glass out and the seals off. But not much left on those.

Last big thing was getting the bed prepped. Hubs got it all ground down to get rid of a good bit of the surface rust.


This past weekend, we got it all cleaned, degreased, and painted with Chassis Saver (basically POR-15; a rust encapsulating paint) so the rest of the rust we couldn't really tend to won't spread.


Its really cool to see the bed all black. Of course, shiny black paint is showing a lot of the dings and dents in the bed, but its going to be continued to be used so no need to really fix all that. And its going to be bedlined in the end, so that should hide a lot of it.
Its hard to see in the picture, but hubs also added in some metal rods on the sides of the bed frame for tie down supports. Pretty nifty!


The next big step is getting it painted. And we're in talks with someone to get that done. Hoping soon we can send it off...its pretty much ready for it! Seeing it with the all black bed really gave us motivation to get this thing going. Its slow going, but the plan is to have it on the road by the end of the year. Fingers crossed!
 
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