[Vwdiesel] 81' rabbit tem guage (was freeze plug removal

Stephen Landeau ibldrc at earthlink.net
Sun Aug 7 14:08:28 EDT 2005

Hello, all.
 Thanks for the help with the freeze plug. For future reference (when someone else needs to get at it), I was able to remove the drivers side freeze plug by removing the right axle, punching  a hole in the upper area of the plug, and then prying it out with a 12" prybar ($3 at Harbor Freight). Getting it back in was literally a 30 second job once I figured out what tools to use.... an aircraft rivet gun (I believe an autobody air hammer with the right end tool would also work) with a cheap 1" socket that fits into the freeze plug, a couple zaps on the trigger and it slid right in! There was no need to remove any exhaust parts, but if you can't get an air hammer, you might need to if you have to tap the new plug in by hand.
 Now for my next question... 
on my first ride down the freeway after replacing the plug, I overheated just a bit (barely into the red, and a slight overflow once stopped). Since there were no leaks, my only guess is that I didn't get enough antifreeze back in (no problems since). A fellow diesel owner was with me, and we started talking about the temp gauge. Mine has always run right at the last white line before the red, but he said his car runs right in the middle of his temp gauge (85 golf,same engine). I checked the temp of the water, and it was at about 200F when the thermostat opened. My Bentley says this is pretty close to normal, and the fan cycled normally. So, is my car working normally when my gauge shows at the temp gauge so high, or should the gauge be showing somewhere in the middle (like most cars do)? If it should be lower, what are your thoughts as to what's broke? Pump, radiator, and hoses are all OEM new.
81' Rabbit 
Orange, CA

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