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Old July 21st, 2019, 06:24   #46
VChristian
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In the diesel Rabbit category, I had a 84, 79, 78, 77 and yes a 76. I know they didn't make them in 76, but they did. At least that is how it was titled and registered. The 77 was an improvement, and the fuel filtering was better on the 79. The biggest problem back then was the fuel, especially in winter. By 79 I had my own fuel tank, and lots of my fuel problems went away. The higher sulfur content fuel seemed to wax more, and the slightest amount of water would make a real mess out of a filter.

However, the cars all ran and ran, until they rusted out.

Fuel economy? It was before the days of ODB-II fuel monitors, but I remember a guy at work with a Honda CVCC challenging me to a fuel economy competition. But he wanted an adjustment for the higher BTU content of diesel. I accepted, and the workplace wagers got quite high. Using test data of others I had determined that 40 mph was about the best compromise between power plant and aerodynamics. So on the Saturday of the competition I kept it between 50 and 40, with the speed limit back then being no higher than 55. The fuel people figured I did over 80 mpg.

Nice car, and my first one cost just under $5300.
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Old July 21st, 2019, 06:34   #47
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Originally Posted by VChristian View Post
In the diesel Rabbit category, I had a 84, 79, 78, 77 and yes a 76. I know they didn't make them in 76, but they did. At least that is how it was titled and registered. The 77 was an improvement, and the fuel filtering was better on the 79. The biggest problem back then was the fuel, especially in winter. By 79 I had my own fuel tank, and lots of my fuel problems went away. The higher sulfur content fuel seemed to wax more, and the slightest amount of water would make a real mess out of a filter.

However, the cars all ran and ran, until they rusted out.

Fuel economy? It was before the days of ODB-II fuel monitors, but I remember a guy at work with a Honda CVCC challenging me to a fuel economy competition. But he wanted an adjustment for the higher BTU content of diesel. I accepted, and the workplace wagers got quite high. Using test data of others I had determined that 40 mph was about the best compromise between power plant and aerodynamics. So on the Saturday of the competition I kept it between 50 and 40, with the speed limit back then being no higher than 55. The fuel people figured I did over 80 mpg.

Nice car, and my first one cost just under $5300.
I bought an '85 Rabbit in early 90s for $600. It must have sat a while on mom & pop dealer lot. When I 1st drove it, it put out a ton of white smoke, but after a few miles, it went away and it ran great.
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Old July 22nd, 2019, 14:03   #48
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Originally Posted by VChristian View Post
In the diesel Rabbit category, I had a 84, 79, 78, 77 and yes a 76. I know they didn't make them in 76, but they did. At least that is how it was titled and registered. The 77 was an improvement, and the fuel filtering was better on the 79. The biggest problem back then was the fuel, especially in winter. By 79 I had my own fuel tank, and lots of my fuel problems went away. The higher sulfur content fuel seemed to wax more, and the slightest amount of water would make a real mess out of a filter.

However, the cars all ran and ran, until they rusted out.

Fuel economy? It was before the days of ODB-II fuel monitors, but I remember a guy at work with a Honda CVCC challenging me to a fuel economy competition. But he wanted an adjustment for the higher BTU content of diesel. I accepted, and the workplace wagers got quite high. Using test data of others I had determined that 40 mph was about the best compromise between power plant and aerodynamics. So on the Saturday of the competition I kept it between 50 and 40, with the speed limit back then being no higher than 55. The fuel people figured I did over 80 mpg.

Nice car, and my first one cost just under $5300.
My dad, working at the university had a coworker grad student with a Beetle,
who was bragging on his gas mileage in his beetle, so they started adding 2-3 gallons a week to his tank, then they stopped and started siphoning when gas prices went sky high. My dad had an 79 rabbit with a 5 speed, (we made many trips across Kansas, and dad knew he could count on 50 MPG or better on the highway.)
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Old July 22nd, 2019, 14:58   #49
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Yes, the 79 with a 5 speed was a great car back then. However, with a 5 speed, it is not really capable of highway use today where 80+ is common. Aside from screaming at even 70 to 75, the governor topped out at 83 mph in 5th gear.

The 15 Jetta will run at those speeds comfortably, with more power, and the latest leg on a trip, which was about 450 miles, came in at 57.5 mpg. I would have not expected that out of a heavier car, with a bigger engine, and everything else.
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Old July 23rd, 2019, 09:47   #50
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Originally Posted by VChristian View Post
Yes, the 79 with a 5 speed was a great car back then. However, with a 5 speed, it is not really capable of highway use today where 80+ is common. Aside from screaming at even 70 to 75, the governor topped out at 83 mph in 5th gear.

The 15 Jetta will run at those speeds comfortably, with more power, and the latest leg on a trip, which was about 450 miles, came in at 57.5 mpg. I would have not expected that out of a heavier car, with a bigger engine, and everything else.
you are correct on the old rabbits and their speeds, however my mom got a ticket for 70 MPH in a 55(to top my uncle's 68 in a 55 in the same car, 82 rabbit 4-speed). They would run. best mod for the old diesels I have seen is to put GTI 5-speed in with the taller 5th gear.
With gearing and software update my '03 Jetta(.681 final, and Rocket chip stage2) I got over 140 and she was still pulling, I let off and coasted the hill at 90 MPH, for my ticket, in a 70MPH speed zone. (and still got 56 MPG going to Colorado, and 55 coming back, 680 miles on 3/4 of a tank of fuel)
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Old July 23rd, 2019, 12:48   #51
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I had an 80 with a 4 speed and factory air. One summer the Washington State Patrol pulled me over claiming I was some extraordinary amount of the limit, which I believe was 55 or 60 on that road. I pointed out what I was driving, saying it was a diesel with the A/C blaring, and I had 3 additional passengers in the car. He decided not to cite me. Probably figured I was telling the truth that the car probably couldn't go that fast unless it was downhill.
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Old July 26th, 2019, 12:44   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VChristian View Post
Yes, the 79 with a 5 speed was a great car back then. However, with a 5 speed, it is not really capable of highway use today where 80+ is common. Aside from screaming at even 70 to 75, the governor topped out at 83 mph in 5th gear.

The 15 Jetta will run at those speeds comfortably, with more power, and the latest leg on a trip, which was about 450 miles, came in at 57.5 mpg. I would have not expected that out of a heavier car, with a bigger engine, and everything else.
They weren't that fast but didn't mind running 100+ kph all day long. 20 years ago I had a mk2 Golf 1.6NA 5 speed and did a 870km trip in 10,5 hours. No stops for food or fuel but I did check the oil level once

Haven't matched that average speed on that trip until last year with my Skoda. More traffic and wildlife on the roads kill the average speed! Stopping for a burger slows one down too
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