View Full Version : 22 years 192k miles

14-10-2005, 07:39 AM
Hello all,

Bought 1981 VW diesel pickup with 48,000 miles in fall of 1983.


Shortly after purchase I heard a metalic bang/rattle/crashing sound coming from the bell housing. Opened it up and found broken metal parts from the disk hub ( springs, washers, rivets, etc ) flying around being struck by the flywheel. Replaced the disk and drove 12,000 miles until it happened again. Relaced the disk again. 12,000 miles later..... again. This process repeated 4 or 5 times until I bought a NEW OEM DIESEL disk. Problem solved. Drove over 50,000 miles on that disk until it had to be replaced due to slippage. It was oil soaked from a leak on the oil pressure sender. I have never worn out a disk. Lesson learned.... Do not buy the cheapest clutch disk you can find.

---master cylinder---

During the first year of ownership, the piston was binding in the bore. Step on the brake and the piston would jam causing brake pressure to remain after letting foot off brake. Fix.... honed cylinder.... trouble free for the last 21 years.

---head gasket---

Engine would overheat, then all the coolant would overflow. Blown head gasket replaced around 1989. No problems since. a VW dealership charged $ 89.00 to replace the gasket. I told them "You got the job!"

---CV boots---

Replaced several times. Spray with silicon spray to extend interval.

---Steering rack---

During head gasket overheats, overflow coolant ran down into the steering rack ( the boot does not fit on mine ) and washed out all the grease. After more than 15 years driving with loose steering (getting worse all the time) finally broke down and replaced the very worn rack and tie rod assemblies. Used a simple laser level to align the front end with the rear wheels. Zero toe. Drives great.

---Vaccum pump---

The diaphram is good for about 70,000 miles. I replaced the valves on the last go around but when I took them apart I found the offending problem was a small piece of something jammed in one of the valves. Brakes are good again.

--- Brakes ---

On my 3rd set of front pads. 2nd set of rear shoes. Shoes not worn but one soaked due to a leaky slave. Emergency cables rusted and inop. Replaced cables after not having an Ebrake for more than 10 years. Easy job if you have the rear shoes off.

--- Wheel Bearings ---

Both fronts changed. Left front made it to 160,000. Right front made 170,000. Rears inspected and repacked at 192,000.

--- suspension---

3rd set of front struts (Sears lifetime) free after the 1st set. Rear sag corrected with coil helper springs placed between the axel and the frame.

--- timming belt ---

Every 50,000 miles or so.

--- fuel tank ---

Inside the tank is a fuel screen sitting in a plastic cup with a rubber bottom. The screen will eventually become plugged and the engine will die as if it runs out of fuel. On mine the rubber cup bottom tore and was plugging the inlet tube. I had to cut the tank open to solve this problem and make repairs. Get rid of the rubber bottom. Throw away the screen. All is well now. I also added an electric fuel pump between the engine compartment fuel filter and the injector pump.

--- lamp sockets ---

OEM tail light ( front turn ) sockets will give you problems as the wire inside the socket will eventually lose its electrical connection. Go to Shucks with your tail light in hand. One of the Ford aftermarket sockets will fit and last longer.

I operated the vehicle for 5 years in Desert conditions ( up to 120 deg F ). I have also operated it in arctic climate for 3 years. Started it and ran it after being cold soaked for a week at -40 deg F several times. To start in -40 deg weather I used a block heater, dipstick heater, lower hose heater, winterized diesel, and a 200 milliamp trickle battery charger. I also had a 1500 watt 120 vac thermostatically controlled space heater mounted under the glove box on the passenger side to keep the cab around 60 deg f ( 100 deg warmer than the outside air temp ) My car had no snow on it after 1 week at 40 below zero; it looked funny to see one car with no snow on it. Started right up.

Looking forward to the next 22 years. I am also thinking about trying the greasecar conversion kit.

14-10-2005, 07:47 AM
Thats a nice biography :)

14-10-2005, 11:15 AM
:thumbs_up A true caddy owner :thumbs_up

Just needs a conclusion now :D Bits you love and hate (or wud change) about the vw caddy 8D

Nice one 8D

15-10-2005, 03:33 AM
asaaviatior- Welcome to the forum!
Sounds like your pickup is just getting broken in. :D Sounds like you've got some serious years of vw'n under your belt and have seen all the quirks. :p I'll have to try some silicone spray on my cv boots though I've been much luckier with the cv's on my pickup than the ones on my Gti. Don't despair over the turn signal sockets- usually some nearly invisible corrosion on the ground contact (where it contacts the bulb) inside the socket- A quick touch with the dremel usually cleans it right up. At least that's been my experience.

Glad to see another diesel dude, I'm sure you'll be able to answer some q's around here.

Again, welcome! :)