[Vwdiesel] hill climbing

Roger Brown r.c.brown at ieee.org
Wed Aug 10 11:23:01 EDT 2005

Mark LaPlante wrote:
> I don't find myself idling to the point of the cycling the cooling fan 
> very often, though this morning I did and I am pretty sure I'm not 
> getting more than "a tad above" that level when climbing the hill on 
> 90-95 degree days. At this point, I am not too concerned about the 
> temperature. I'll still check out the air filter soon. It's been close 
> to 2 years but well under 10K miles since it's been changed.
> I may have been waiting too long to shift to 3rd. I'll experiment over 
> the next few days and see how it goes.
> I noticed yesterday on a different road to the top (twistier with a stop 
> sign right at the bottom of the hill, so slower speeds) that in 2nd I 
> could accelerate up to where the 2 dots are on the speedometer (43 mph), 
> but when I then shifted to 3rd, I couldn't maintain that speed and 
> slowly fell back to around 35 mph where I felt like it needed 2nd again. 
> Do y'all think it is best to just keep it roaring along at high rpm in 
> 2nd and forget about trying 3rd?

That is where I find a tach is a big help.  Lets you see the engine RPMs and you can learn where and when to shift:
That said, if the next gear won't hold speed, then there is not much you can do.  Upping max load fueling can help, timing set 
up to the top of the performance range can help, cold air intake can help:
Engine will tend to get hot with extended full throttle, high RPM operation.  I used to drive mine with the temp gauge on long 
climbs, run the needle up to about 2 marks below red then back off the throttle to keep the temp from rising any more.

> I've also noticed the Rabbit doesn't have much engine braking at all 
> (unlike my 1.8T GTI). I remember a discussion of this phenomenon a while 
> back (something to do with manifold pressure and throttle body 
> restriction in gas engines, I think).
> Has anyone upgraded brakes while still keeping the 13" steel wheels?

Yes, you can go for the 9.4" vented front rotors and a good brake pad:

Another option is larger rear drums from the pickup (Caddy) or rear discs.


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