[Vwdiesel] 1985 1.6TD Jetta recently acquired

MLightner mikel at buncombe.main.nc.us
Tue Nov 28 20:19:31 EST 2006

dear all, sorry if this is a bit long winded but please bear with me.

I've been going over the archives and finding very helpful guidance and 
information from the many contributors who post on this list, my thanks 
to you all for sharing, this list is a great resource for anyone with a 
diesel vehicle, be it a VW or not.

First, a little background on the car and new owner thereof.

I had been looking to buy a VW diesel vehicle for several years off and 
on, but, up until recently I never had the money at the same time that I 
had found a fixer-upper - I've owned 7 volkswagens previous to the Jetta 
and, being a do-it-yourself kinda guy, I've always done most of the 
repairs to them and all the maintenance.

The story on the car, a short summary:

 It has 190k miles, it had been parked for a few years in the previous 
owner's driveway.  I'm told that the engine was rebuilt for a cost of 
about $1,300 , but the owner didn't keep any of the receipts or know for 
sure what all had been replaced, other than rings and bearings. It 
supposedly developed a slight exhaust leak after about 2,000 miles that 
the rebuilder 'couldn't hear' and so wouldn't fix. The PO said that he 
had the rebuild done because it had started smoking and sooting up the 
rear of the vehicle. It  has great tires, body is in fair condition, no 
rust, asking price was $600. How could I resist?

When I got it home and found that there were only 3 nuts left loosely 
holding the manifold to the head, I began to have doubts about anything 
the PO had told me  - Slight exhaust leak , righhtt.

Anyway, I pulled the glow plugs and squirted some oil into each cylinder 
and let it soak for a couple days, then changed the crankcase oil and 
cranked the engine over  till I was sure oil was getting everywhere. I 
replaced the glow plugs, then disassembled as needed to put new locking 
nuts and gaskets on the exhaust manifold. Upon reassembly, and once I 
finally got the IP primed it started up without too much trouble, and  
it sounds OK to me (but what the bleep do I know?).  So  far I've only 
driven it just a bit on a steep road near my place and it seems to have 
plenty of power, and it starts right up at 30 degrees F (the coldest 
it's been so far);  I have a few concerns that prevent me from having 
the confidence  to make it my daily driver at this point, so I was 
hoping someone here might be able to give me a few answers.

1).  I found a half container of Valvoline 10W-30 oil in the trunk, it's 
a non-diesel rated  oil;
if this is what the PO was running in the engine for its first 2,000  
miles, is there any thing that could or should be done to correct any 
problems that may have caused? ( I changed the filter and put in some 
Shell Rotella 15W-40)

2).  Since I don't know whether the head was ever re-torqued, would it 
be wise to do so before I start putting any miles on it?  Could I 
possibly cause any problems by doing so?

3).  Judging from the reading I've been doing, the timing belt seems to 
be properly tensioned, and
doesn't seem to be showing any overt signs of impending failure, is it 
possible that the belt could
have 'plenty of life left in it', assuming that it was replaced during 
the rebuild?  I guess there's no way to tell for sure, but thought I'd 
ask in case there actually is a way.

If you got this far, thanks for listening, and thanks in advance for any 
insights / advice any of you may have to offer.

Mike, in NC

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