1981 Rabbit Convertible... it has arrived!

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mobycat
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:16 pm
What year is your cabby?: 1981
Do you own a Cabriolet?: Yes

1981 Rabbit Convertible... it has arrived!

Post by mobycat » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:31 pm

Picked it up from the carrier about 5 miles from home. Drove home fine. Did notice some additional stuff on it that I'll have to look into (nothing major, I hope). Also I noticed another thing - It's not actually Cosmos Silver. It is Diamond Silver Metallic. I'm ok with that. When the time comes for body work/repaint, I may stick with Diamond Silver or I may go to Cosmos Silver.

The melted grille - apparently 2 owners ago, it was parked in the garage of a welding shop and someone set something near it that was clearly too hot to be sitting next to the car.

So here we go with quite a few pictures (some showing some obvious things to work on). Didn't get a picture with the boot on, as it was getting dark.

In the driveway, top up:
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Top down:
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Interior:
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Engine bay:
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Headliner with top down:
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Rust spots/other items to replace:
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Still has these:
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And lastly... I have no idea what this is. Was sitting behind the grill in the engine bay (splash guard of some sort?):
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1981 Diamond Silver Rabbit Convertible - to be restored to bone stock (or as close as possible).

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Briano1234
Whats that smell?
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Re: 1981 Rabbit Convertible... it has arrived!

Post by Briano1234 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:11 am

The loose part is a radiator card helps direct air over the radiator by sealing off the radiator from the engine compartment.
The rusty bits are available as replacement parts. hope there isn't much else under the car.
The glued on wings can be replaced by the bolt one ones.
Tops doesn't look like it is long for the world (is it cracked at the top of the window?

I have always hated the way they bolted that Radiator at the bottom and clipped it at the top...the newer styles use a pin mount on the bottom, and hard fast angle iron at the ends. (less flex and less prone to ripping the side tanks loose.)

Nice find.
Briano

Yes as matter of fact, I have the Luck o'the Irish...everything I touch turns to fertilizer of the bovine variety.
You can lead a user to a link, but you can't make him Click.... :screwy:

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Briano1234
Whats that smell?
Posts: 4045
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 5:45 am
What year is your cabby?: 1992
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Re: 1981 Rabbit Convertible... it has arrived!

Post by Briano1234 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:11 am

I would have to look but I may have the center grille, and the lower radiator or duct cover. I moved so not all my parts are where I can find them.
Briano

Yes as matter of fact, I have the Luck o'the Irish...everything I touch turns to fertilizer of the bovine variety.
You can lead a user to a link, but you can't make him Click.... :screwy:

mobycat
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:16 pm
What year is your cabby?: 1981
Do you own a Cabriolet?: Yes

Re: 1981 Rabbit Convertible... it has arrived!

Post by mobycat » Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:50 am

The top - the top layer is about 4 years old. That spot at the top of the window is concerning. It's not torn, but the fabric pops out from under the rubber seal when it's folded down. The middle layer and the headliner willl definitely need to be looked at and eventually replaced. The frame itself... not sure. It does take a litle bit of effort to put it up/down. If I'm lucky, maybe just a little bit of lubricant will fix that (if it's even recommended). Since I'm in Vegas, I'm not super concerned about the materials at the moment. So little rain (and the car will likely never go out in the rain) I figure that's a "down-the-road" item.

I've noticed a lot of the rubber seals around the windows (against the body) are going to need replacing. 37 years old and I'm surprised they are not MORE dry-rotted than they are.

The speedo wavers a bit at speed. I did notice a little bit of wavering while driving - so I'll have my mechanic look at the fuel filter and pump just to make sure they are good.

Struts will definitely need replacing. Bouncing the front end up and down clearly shows way too much softness. They very well could be original.

As far as the interior goes - the carpet looks good. The seats - at first I was thinking just the material would be replaced, but after driving it home, I can tell the cushions are dead. Also, whoever put the aftermarket radio in cracked the dash surround. Not a priority, but eventually will try to replace that.

After the car has been sitting in my garage overnight, I've seen absolutely zero fluid on the floor - so I don't think there are any leaks to be concerned about. (I know... just 8 hours probably isn't enough to be definitive on that).

The wiper fluid not spraying... I can't believe I didn't notice this before, but the hose isn't connected to the nozzle on the hood. But I'm guessing the wiper motor has to be replaced anyway - the wipers themselves move VERY slowly. (Will have the mechanic look at the electrics, too, to make sure there isn't a unknown major issue to deal with.)

When I pulled into the garage and shut it off, the fan did keep running, so I'm happy about that.

On a funny note... after having my Golf R for two years, it sure took a bit of getting used to non-power steering and brakes. :)
1981 Diamond Silver Rabbit Convertible - to be restored to bone stock (or as close as possible).

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Briano1234
Whats that smell?
Posts: 4045
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 5:45 am
What year is your cabby?: 1992
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Re: 1981 Rabbit Convertible... it has arrived!

Post by Briano1234 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:17 pm

www.cabby-info.com has a how to on slow wipers, I have where you need to oil the frame, and yes it needs to be oiled at the pivot points.
Briano

Yes as matter of fact, I have the Luck o'the Irish...everything I touch turns to fertilizer of the bovine variety.
You can lead a user to a link, but you can't make him Click.... :screwy:

mobycat
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:16 pm
What year is your cabby?: 1981
Do you own a Cabriolet?: Yes

Re: 1981 Rabbit Convertible... it has arrived!

Post by mobycat » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:45 pm

Got the car up on the lift. Was hoping there wasn't any serious surprises. A lot of rubber underneath clearly needs to replaced (not pictured, the boots on the steering linkage are complete toast). The CV boots look to be relatively good. No cracks there, but feel like they may be at the very beginning of hardening. The rust on the control arms looks to be surface only. Structural integrity remains.

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Biggest concern under there would be the bracket that is cracked in half (something I'm not sure if I'll be able to do myself):

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1981 Diamond Silver Rabbit Convertible - to be restored to bone stock (or as close as possible).

User avatar
Briano1234
Whats that smell?
Posts: 4045
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 5:45 am
What year is your cabby?: 1992
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Location: Duluth, Ga
Contact:

Re: 1981 Rabbit Convertible... it has arrived!

Post by Briano1234 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:07 pm

That is the exhaust bracket... tain't nothing that a good welder can't fix.

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Briano

Yes as matter of fact, I have the Luck o'the Irish...everything I touch turns to fertilizer of the bovine variety.
You can lead a user to a link, but you can't make him Click.... :screwy:

mobycat
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:16 pm
What year is your cabby?: 1981
Do you own a Cabriolet?: Yes

Re: 1981 Rabbit Convertible... it has arrived!

Post by mobycat » Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:50 pm

Is that part #11 on that diagram?
1981 Diamond Silver Rabbit Convertible - to be restored to bone stock (or as close as possible).

User avatar
Briano1234
Whats that smell?
Posts: 4045
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 5:45 am
What year is your cabby?: 1992
Do you own a Cabriolet?: No
Location: Duluth, Ga
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Re: 1981 Rabbit Convertible... it has arrived!

Post by Briano1234 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:49 pm

Yep it hardens the exhaust to prevent it from breaking at the manifold connection, and allows the engine to flex on torque after the connection to the accordion pipe.
Briano

Yes as matter of fact, I have the Luck o'the Irish...everything I touch turns to fertilizer of the bovine variety.
You can lead a user to a link, but you can't make him Click.... :screwy:

mobycat
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:16 pm
What year is your cabby?: 1981
Do you own a Cabriolet?: Yes

Re: 1981 Rabbit Convertible... it has arrived!

Post by mobycat » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:01 am

I've got a friend who does welding. I'll talk to him and see if he's willing to look at it and fix it.

Replaced the dome light and tried fixing the horn. But it's still not up to snuff. Very weak sound - but at least I'm getting a sound from both horns now. Ordered the set from mk1autohaus. Replaced one of them at the moment. If I replace both, I get nothing. I hope I didn't get a dead one from them.
1981 Diamond Silver Rabbit Convertible - to be restored to bone stock (or as close as possible).

User avatar
Briano1234
Whats that smell?
Posts: 4045
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 5:45 am
What year is your cabby?: 1992
Do you own a Cabriolet?: No
Location: Duluth, Ga
Contact:

Re: 1981 Rabbit Convertible... it has arrived!

Post by Briano1234 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:53 am

The horn has a full time power on it. They switch the ground via the horn relay.
Take the horns off and apply Battery and ground to them from the battery, if they don't both honk loudly, bad horn.
If they honk loudly then you have a issue between the horn button on the console the relay, and back out front.
Or your 12V lead from the Battery is iffy.

One of the weak points of the car is the grounds, if your Ground cables are still OEM then think about replacing them with a single piece one from a vendor or use 2 off the shelf cables from a parts store of your choosing.

Flaky grounds are the bane of these guys.

As a TEST you can take a battery jumper cable from the Negative Post of the battery and attach it to a good ground point on the frame, if the horns sound brighter..:)

Here is the typical Horn Circuit.
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Enjoy.
Briano

Yes as matter of fact, I have the Luck o'the Irish...everything I touch turns to fertilizer of the bovine variety.
You can lead a user to a link, but you can't make him Click.... :screwy:

mobycat
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:16 pm
What year is your cabby?: 1981
Do you own a Cabriolet?: Yes

Re: 1981 Rabbit Convertible... it has arrived!

Post by mobycat » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:19 am

Thanks for the tip. I was going to try the "direct from battery" test, but at the moment don't have the spare wire to connect. Trip to Home Depot after work for today. (And yeah... with the key not in the ignition, the horn does nothing - not even a "click."
1981 Diamond Silver Rabbit Convertible - to be restored to bone stock (or as close as possible).

mobycat
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:16 pm
What year is your cabby?: 1981
Do you own a Cabriolet?: Yes

Re: 1981 Rabbit Convertible... it has arrived!

Post by mobycat » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:28 pm

Yep... direct connect works perfectly fine on all the horns (well, except the physically broken one I tossed out). Guess this weekend will be spent working on the wiring.

On a related note - does anyone know if the rubber pieces that protect the connect at the horn are obtainable? I searched through mk1autohaus and VW's heritage parts and can't find them. (Or if there is something similar that might work - the two auto parts stores I went to had nothing even remotely close.

(I guess I should start a different thread since I'm kinda past the "introduction" phase.
1981 Diamond Silver Rabbit Convertible - to be restored to bone stock (or as close as possible).

User avatar
Briano1234
Whats that smell?
Posts: 4045
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 5:45 am
What year is your cabby?: 1992
Do you own a Cabriolet?: No
Location: Duluth, Ga
Contact:

Re: 1981 Rabbit Convertible... it has arrived!

Post by Briano1234 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:55 pm

Rubber boot 211906101
https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-vol ... 211906101/

Insulated spad connectors are a whole lot cheaper. :)
Briano

Yes as matter of fact, I have the Luck o'the Irish...everything I touch turns to fertilizer of the bovine variety.
You can lead a user to a link, but you can't make him Click.... :screwy:

User avatar
Briano1234
Whats that smell?
Posts: 4045
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 5:45 am
What year is your cabby?: 1992
Do you own a Cabriolet?: No
Location: Duluth, Ga
Contact:

Re: 1981 Rabbit Convertible... it has arrived!

Post by Briano1234 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:05 pm

Check the fuse, then pull the horn relay and use a ground jumper from the 87 pin on the relay to ground, and your horns should honk, if not then it is the wires going to the horn from the relay. It they do then check the ground on the steering rack mount, to the steering gear box (under the car)
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Then behind the steering wheel there is the turn signal wiper finger that can get bent and broken.
Little Brass wiper at the bottom is the steering wheel button ground to the horn relay.
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Briano

Yes as matter of fact, I have the Luck o'the Irish...everything I touch turns to fertilizer of the bovine variety.
You can lead a user to a link, but you can't make him Click.... :screwy:

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