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'82 DEEZL Caddy

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  • '82 DEEZL Caddy

    So awhile back, fellow MIVEr Brad (klodkrawler) bought this '82 diesel Caddy off CL thinking it would be a fun extra commuter/parts hauler. On his way home from purchasing it, the timing belt tensioner failed, tossed the belt, and it chewed on all the valves. Meanwhile Brad's actual race cars demanded attention, and after running out of time and a failed attempt to put this back together, he needed it gone. We struck a deal, I brought a dolly,we pushed it on and I got it out of Brad's hair by dragging it to my buddy Brian's (killjchu) house to help sort out the mechanicals.

    Basics:
    '82 Rabbit Truck Diesel
    5-speed
    Raceland coils in front
    Axle flip in the back



    Technically it didn't come with any wheels, so first thing I did was bolted on some 16x6 Porsche 7-slots I had re-aquired that I actually used to own a decade ago, along with adapters, and a nice set of 175-50-16 Yokohoma S-drives. It didn't run, but it at least looked cool in the garage.



    After that, Brian and I set into figuring out how to put humpty back together again. A new head had been sorted from another old MIVEr Rich Brennick. Brad had also aquired all new gaskets/belts/tensioner, etc. to put it back together again. Shiny parts:



    so purty:



    This was actually a mk2 turbo diesel head, which has a different second oil galley, and it's apparently a common mod to just tap and plug the unnecessary return where's there's not a receiving port on the block on a non-turbo mk1 engine. So the machine shop that refreshed this head did that long ago, and it had been sitting that way on Rich's shelf prior to our aquisition.



    So, attempt one after putting this all together...



    and it wouldn't roll over by hand. it kept hitting a valve. something was not right. Durrr. verified TDC timing mark on flywheel, timing marks line up. can't roll it over. So, we took it back apart again. After over thinking it, and rechecking all kinds of things, verified the cam was right... rolled over engine without the head... ruled out all kinds of things, we went back to basics. We had falsely assumed TDC and not actually verified TDC by piston position. Turns out, and some point in the truck's history, the flywheel was put on in the wrong orientation, so the timing marks no longer lined up. Once we figured this out, Brian re-marked the flywheel, and bolted it all back together again. This time, it made smoke. Hooray!



    Awhile later, I showed up to take it home, and we just had a few more things to do, so we wanted to fill it up with coolant first, as it had been fired just briefly dry, and almost immediately, all the coolant began pouring out of the motor. Fail again. So, we took it all apart again to find out why.

    It turns out, that mk2 diesel head with that oil galley port that was plugged... well there's a coolant port that runs "up" from the block, and into the general area where that plug now resides. Since the plug wasn't flush with the block, it basically formed an upside down bathtub type shape and nicely funneled all the coolant that flowed up the coolant jacket, up into that head recess, and redirected and shot it right back out down the front of the block.

    You can see that this coolant hole in the head gasket was flowing into that head void in this pic:



    I searched various alternate head gaskets hoping to find one with that hole plugged for an easy way to seal it, but in the end there was no such option. Basically we just needed the hole plugged, so we ended up just filling both the block side and the head side with RTV, sandwiching it back together to plug it closed, and letting it sit awhile to set up nicely. I wasn't afraid of the RTV "falling into the motor" because the block side coolant port is like a funnel shape with a small hole at the bottom, and this seemed far easier than machining/welding or drilling/tapping the block. Put everything back together again, and filled it up again.. .and this time no leaks! Hooray. I took it on it's maiden voyage around the block.



    So now the truck physically runs and drives. There's a lot of terribly done mods done by prior owners that need to be undone. Some people just shouldn't work on vehicles. For some unknown reason, I'm guessing the original fuel tank was bad, and new replacements are not available, so somebody decided to "mount" an old air tank in the bed as a makeshift fuel tank. They did so by placing it in the worst possible location, right in front of the tailgate, and cutting a big hole in the bed floor. For max scene points, the exhaust was also re-rerouted up through where the fuel filler neck used to be, with a side exit through the bedside.



    Additionally, they hacked the piss out of the wiring and made their own "harness" to make it run. These things only need like 3 wires to fire, so 12V to the injection pump to let fuel flow, 12V to the glow plugs prior to firing, and 12V to the starter. They bypassed all of the original wiring, and just put toggle switches in the dash. It's done very poorly, and with no grommet. Sketchy.



    To make matters worse, the entire fuse block is no longer in the loop, and NOTHING else works. No lights. No blinkers. Nada. Oh, and the cluster is gone. ...and they hacked all the wiring should somebody want to reinstall a cluster.



    So that's where I'm at with it now. It fires and runs. The A/C delete home made bracket for the alternator is built crooked and the belt doesn't fit well, so I'll look at options to improve that as well.

    Next 2 projects are:
    1) Mounting an old cheap fuel cell under the bed in place of the current tank, and plumbing it in.
    2) Rewiring the circuits using a replacement fuse block so I actually have lights and what not, and hopefully putting a cluster with a new pigtail back in as well. I'm not sure if this will just get wired race car style, or if I'll try to reintegrate the factory keyed ignition switch like it's supposed to be.

    I hope to get it to where I can put some real miles on it. It was a way bigger PITA than I originally intended, and it's still proving to be so going forwards, but it puts a smile on my face. Driving a double digit horsepower mk1 diesel recalibrates the driving experience of my 1-series BMW

    Last edited by xflowgolf; 05-03-2017, 11:24 PM.
    -Nick V-
    Current: '88 Golf GL 2.0 16V / '82 Caddy Diesel
    Favorite Past Dubs: '92 Corrado VR6, '99.5 APR Stg.3 A4, '91 GTI 8V, '81 Rabbit Truck,

  • #2
    Woohoo! Nick like I was telling you, I have a early rabbit whole wiring harness, fuse block & Cyclops cluster if you need it 😉
    --paul--
    MKV R32, 78' Suns Out Guns Out, 81' Caddy,
    2012 Tiguan SEL 4Motion, Failure--Rollin on 20's

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    • #3
      Thanks for the update Nick. This thing looks like quite the up hill battle. So glad to see you setting it strait.
      Ben Zeeuw
      1981 Rabbit Racer
      1998 Audi Avant Grocery Getter
      www.germanautoltd.com

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      • #4
        Jesus what a nightmare. I'm still caddy jelly tho

        Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
        Joe
        91 Jetta 16v
        78 Transporter
        www.germanautoltd.com
        I have a fender roller. Contact me if you'd like to rent it.

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        • #5
          badass!
          90 Audi Coupe Quattro 20vt
          08 VW Touareg - VR6
          14 Audi A7 - TDI
          17 Audi allroad

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          • #6
            I like it..side exhaust it kinda neat, but WTH on the fuel tank.
            '93steVoR6 : '92SLd : '90g6d : '58 gypsi : '59scab : '60dlx
            >> VAG-COM & Tow Dolly For Rent <<
            Parting Out: MK3s, Passats & Corrados

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            • #7
              Sweet! I don't think I was aware you had another one.
              Bad decisions make excellent stories.

              Brian

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              • #8
                Lol this is great

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                • #9
                  I want it!

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                  • #10
                    This is awesome. Good work so far Nick.
                    Dameon-
                    11 Jetta SE
                    82 rabbit GTI

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                    • #11
                      that is awesome. I want it.

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                      • #12
                        The forum died after the last temporary resurrection so I didn't get a chance to update this. I changed out the fuel tank setup and partially improved a few wiring issues to get the headlights/taillights working and alternator charging. I drove it to Motorstadt, and to Euro Hangar, and after some fun over the summer it was going to need more time than I wanted to put into it to take it to the next level.

                        It made it into the PVW show coverage from Euro Hangar so I was geeked on that.


                        I had other projects that needed attention in front of it, so I sourced some other wheels for it, and sold it as a runner. It's since changed hands again and now it's back in the MIVE family on the east side of the state. Hopefully a new project thread pops up with the current owner, because I've seen a few pics of progress and it's looking good!
                        -Nick V-
                        Current: '88 Golf GL 2.0 16V / '82 Caddy Diesel
                        Favorite Past Dubs: '92 Corrado VR6, '99.5 APR Stg.3 A4, '91 GTI 8V, '81 Rabbit Truck,

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                        • #13
                          I?m just going to keep this post alive! It?s back on the road with a proper exhuast amongst other improvements. Still undoing PO damage, but I love it. I think it?s name is pigpen.
                          Bad decisions make excellent stories.

                          Brian

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                          • #14
                            Nice! Saw it on IG I wondered if it was the same truck. Good job keeping it alive.
                            Ben Zeeuw
                            1981 Rabbit Racer
                            1998 Audi Avant Grocery Getter
                            www.germanautoltd.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have a mk1 cabby harness (gasoline obv) but it might have the fan wiring you need

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