[Vwdiesel] Runaway 1.5NA Golf

Matt matt_lisa at sprynet.com
Mon Nov 1 22:17:42 EST 2004

Definitely classic runaway problems.  I had this exact problem, though 
my car would restart.  The rings on cylinder 3 were completely broken.  
After putting in new rings and rod bearings, the car fired right up and 
got better mileage than ever.  Compression was probably nil before the 
ring job.

I'm suspecting that you have 2 or more cylinders affected.  If you can 
find a 1.6L to swap in, that would be a better choice, as they are 
built a little tougher than the 1.5L.  You probably don't see as many 
of them where you are though, since this engine didn't hit until 1981 
in most places.

Good luck with the project!


On Nov 1, 2004, at 5:04 AM, Mike Dwyer wrote:

> Hi All,
> This is my first post to the list - from Adelaide Australia.
> I am the proud owner of two 1979 VW Golf GLD - 1.5NA 5 door hatchbacks 
> -
> most of you would know them as Rabbits. These are somewhat rare in Oz 
> as
> back in the late 70s/early 80s VW was having a hard time selling
> anything here due to import duties and exchange rates pricing them out
> of their market segment. In fact VW pulled out of Australia in 1980
> totally and didn't return until the early 90s.
> Consequently we missed out on all the neat A2s. In fact diesels were 
> not
> sold here from 1980 until the release of the new mark 5 Golf this year!
> (Actually about 40 A3 turbo diesels were sold in the late 90s but were
> not popular and were dropped).
> I have completely restored one of my A1s- I am currently waiting for it
> to be returned from the paint shop. I will post pics once I get it 
> back.
> The other I have been using as my daily driver and intended restoring 
> it
> when the other is done - and now to the problem............
> The car has been running very well and starting first pop every time.
> Not burning any oil or using coolant. Ran perfectly on a 750km trip 
> from
> Melbourne to Adelaide - 52MPG (imperial).
> Then yesterday whilst cruising at 100km/h on the highway - the car
> suddenly went to full acceleration (as if I had flattened the
> accelerator to the floor). Backing off the pedal had no effect -
> switching off the ignition key also to no effect.
> Clouds of dense black smoke out exhaust.
> Luckily I managed to avoid other traffic and pull off into the 
> emergency
> lane and stall the engine. Now it turns over but will not start.
> There is also some evidence of oil in the coolant expansion tank. Not
> much, but definitely some...........
> At a guess the head gasket is toast but I'm new at this......looks like
> my first DIY job on a VW Diesel coming up!
> Is the engine likely to have permanent damage anywhere?
> What would be the likely cause of the engine "running away" whilst
> cruising with absolutely no warning?
> Any suggestions gratefully accepted!!
> Regards,
> Mike Dwyer
> 1979 Golf GLD (1.5NA) x2
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> Vwdiesel at vwfans.com
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