1981 VW Rabbit - Rabbit16v

Discussion in 'Car Journals/Projects' started by rabbit20v, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. rabbit20v

    rabbit20v BRIDGE!


    So as many of you know the engine bit the bullet last summer.
    Dropping an exhaust valve at 8k does some amazing things inside the cylinder.

    On the I-990 where the carnage took place

    Towed to NoGame's house with Euromut's MKV

    Pulled the head off to find this


    The engine was a 2035cc
    11.5.1 compression
    SCCH stage 3 cylinder head with TT 268/276 cams
    and plenty of other goodies.
    To say the least most of it is scrap.
  2. lorge1989

    lorge1989 Posting- God

    Man I love this car.

    What are the plans for it, engine wise.
  3. KurtCav

    KurtCav Posting- God

    an iconic ditb car.

    can't wait to see her running again.
  4. rabbit20v

    rabbit20v BRIDGE!

    I was pretty bummed about the engine and didn't touch the car for awhile.

    Lucky for me, Adam and I had a stk 2.0 16v in old 91 GTI.


    So I dropped that out.
    It was getting late in the season and I knew I had to get the Rabbit home to my house.
    So I basically threw it into the Rabbit.
    In my hast to get the engine running, I forgot to swap the exhaust manifold from the mk2 to the mk1 style.
    The engine was in, everything bolted up ready to go, just waiting to hook up the downpipe to it.
    Wouldn't you know it didn't line up right.

    Now I had to try to get some old copper nuts off of old rusted studs.
    Needless to say, I broke half the studs getting the manifold off.
    I tried to get some of the studs out while it was in the car, but it wasnt' budging.
    Screw it. I slapped the manifold on with what remaining studs there was and drove it home.
    Parked it in my garage and let it sit through the winter.

    Over the winter I thought of different things I could do.
    I was all over the place.
    All the plans started with just leaving this engine alone, so I could drive the car through the summer and then build something else on the side.
    The something else went from carb'd ABA to carb'd 16v to 1.8T back to ABA 16v.

    Fast forward to a couple weeks ago when the weather started to warm up. I ventured out the garage and pulled the engine out again.
    It was much easier now to get the broken studs out.
    As I started to look the engine over, I noticed how new everything looked on it.
    We had taken out of a 91 Passat that came in on trade.
    Someone had gone through the engine, top and bottom.
  5. rabbit20v

    rabbit20v BRIDGE!

    Yesterday we got the block clean up and ready for a coat of paint.






    The engine wasn't that dirty at all.
    Barely any flaking on the cast iron which was surprising.
    I'm actually kinda excited to get this painted up and back in.
    I need to drive a quick car again.
  6. lorge1989

    lorge1989 Posting- God

    Looking great. And that car probably does rip with that thing in it.
  7. t3h JAM

    t3h JAM Minglor's Lover

    good to hear she'll be alive again!!!

    i'll never forget the sparkplug you showed me at jj's house that one day.... crazy
  8. rabbit20v

    rabbit20v BRIDGE!

    you mean this one?

  9. sasquatch

    sasquatch Posting- God

    Glad to see the rabbit is making a come back

    Plans on another high hp n/a build, or boost or just stockish and enjoy it?
  10. rabbit20v

    rabbit20v BRIDGE!

    Until I get bored :doh:
  11. sasquatch

    sasquatch Posting- God

    Sounds like a good plan to me :)
  12. 96gtivr6

    96gtivr6 Posting- God

    wow, at the beauty of the car and also at that carnage. Holy crap.
  13. rabbit20v

    rabbit20v BRIDGE!

    A little more history with photos.

    My Aunt gave me the car, I just had to drive to Philly to get it.
    This was back in March of '02

    I bought the engine and a crap load of goodies from Sprunch
    This is how I got it.

    Got the block punched out and cleaned up.

    All put together for the first time and ready to go in. We'll call this 16v 1.0

    At this time it was very mild, although I thought it'd be the fastest thing around.
    Autotech 2035cc stroker kit with a completely rebuilt fresh 16v. Everything was new.
    I think the only thing used was the block itself. LOL

    The engine stayed like like this for many years, with minor changes.

    Cams were swapped out for a set of Autotechs, which where then changed out the next year for the TT 268/276.

    After getting somewhere near 40mpg on the last trip to waterfest I went on, something went wrong.
    The engine had run way too lean for way too long.
    Long story short, did a leak down test on the cylinders.
    Cylinder 2 was leaking quite a bit.

    Ooooops, I broke it.

    The engine ran quite good though. Still quite quick.
    I was able to beat up on Vettes even with the bad piston.
  14. jaywonch

    jaywonch Everything Wrong w/DitB

    Oh memory lane...
  15. rabbit20v

    rabbit20v BRIDGE!

    With all this in mind, I decided it was time to get serious with the engine.
    I was ditching CIS and going standalone.
    And why stop there, send the cylinder head out to get fully done, and get some bigger pistons.
    Throw some ITB's in there too, why not.

    16v V2.0

    mmmmmm compression


    God, I loved those ITB's
    but I took on more than I could chew.
    I couldn't tune the engine for the life of me.
    When learning how to tune with standalone, don't build an all out engine.

    Ended up selling the ITB's and going back to stock manifold setup as pictured
    16v V2.1

    But that manifold felt like it was choking the head of air.
    So I sourced an ABF euro intake manifold, which was much larger.
    Of course that wasn't just an easy bolt in swap.

    And that'll will bring you back to the start of the thread with engine going bang.
  16. rabbit20v

    rabbit20v BRIDGE!

    you're not joking. I just spent all night looking through the thousands of pictures I have of this car.
    I wish I could post them all, but I'm too lazy
  17. rabbit20v

    rabbit20v BRIDGE!

    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
  18. Bad Bunny

    Bad Bunny Well-Known Member

    This makes me so happy. It's like the perfect bedtime story. Thanks for sharing Steve!
  19. RocketSLC

    RocketSLC Moderator

    Nice build Steve! Keep up the good work. Cant wait to see this around.
  20. jettatrek01

    jettatrek01 my fast is very snky!

    do you by chance still have those autotech cams?

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