[Vwdiesel] Rabbit droppings # 97 --- ( the 1.5 L block )

H.Hagar h_hagar at prcn.org
Thu Jul 15 14:06:29 EDT 2004

Val Christian and I had some discussions about engine blocks. Very interesting to me
as I have a 1980 deluxe Rabbit block  --that broke while mechanic tightened headbolt
on a headgasket change.

Val has been a VW diesel guy since they first became available in America. He lives on the east coast --so having frost damage is likely -- sooner or later.

The issue was how to find a possible crack in casting and how to repair it.

To me that means learn all you can about the type of casting used. -----And learn I did.

Make no mistake --the VW block is NOT cast iron like your Pot Belly stove. The block
is made of some very special cast iron.   Very dense and incredibly strong.

Val asked me -- can it be soldered ? ---answer YES----   welded ?  yes ---it is all yes
from here on.------

Understand we are dealing with leaks only ---not structural.

So to answer some of his questions --I took a big hammer and a sharp chisel to the
block.   The first thing that came to my mind was ---boy oh boy is this malleable or what ?
It behaved more like steel than cast iron.   I beat the living daylight out of that block.
But never broke the block --so I could measure the thickness of wall as intended.
So I gave up.   Hell I never even was able to knock off a corner so I could see the grain size.

I walked away from that block --- totally impressed.

I may have to adjust my opinion about cast iron ?. (what about you?)

This ties in with seating of rings and life of cylinder bores. ----- glazed cylinders anyone ?.

James Hansen is our metal man --- but do we have someone who worked in a foundry ?

Hell I am going to try it   ---CALLING GERMANY   VW foundry --if you know let us know.

We have a Norwegian here in town --who knows about Volvo blocks ------after listening to him
I was ready to go out and buy a VOLVO ----  in his days the road from foundry to assembly
line was a long one. ----through the manure pile -- no shit.


PS:  Think I will go down there to that block , and have another go. (today).

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