[Vwdiesel] Was-It's peak oil, duh.-now- milage comparison

B & R Decker bdecker001 at centurytel.net
Sun Mar 16 23:48:24 PDT 2008

Hi Tony;
	I have driven more miles in Rabbits and Rabbit pickups than most. I
have been from Washington state to the east coast many times in both gas
Rabbits and diesel Rabbits. In 2001 I drove a 1980 gas Rabbit pickup from
Commerce Georgia to Chehalis Washington in two and a half days and you don't
do that without violating a few speed limits. This year in my 1981 diesel
Dasher 5 spd station wagon I have been to Texas, Canada and California
twice. Both my Rabbit gassers and diesels have the same long legged FF
transmissions. I would say that you should probably use 30 mpg for gas and
45 for diesel. If you drive each at 60 mpg on the freeway you should get 50+
on diesel and about 35 on gas. If you drive at 70 mph then the gas should
get 30 + and the diesel about 42. The more conservatively you drive the
greater the mileage advantage of the 1.5 or 1.6 diesel. I believe that on
average if a person was going to drive either 2 to 3 hundred thousand miles
that the gas Rabbit would cost less in matanance than the diesel. Yes you
have to buy some plugs and points that the diesel doesn't but the gasser is
less prone to blow head gaskets. Rabbit gas fuel injection is about as
simple as it gets. It is pure mechanical with no electrical components. At
the present time if you need an engine replacement for your Rabbit and it is
gas, 1800 cc engines are cheap used. Diesel replacement engines are
expensive either used or rebuilt. At the present time around here you would
need to factor in that diesel fuel is considerably more than gasoline. Right
now I am driving a 1981 Rabbit pickup with an 1800 cc gas engine that puts
out well over 100+ horsepower. I built it using a 9 to 1 compression block
from a 100 dollar 89 VW Fox parts car. The big valve head and big throttle
body is from an Audi 80 that has the injectors in the intake manifold. They
were given to me. The exhaust is an early Rabbit 4 into 2 manifold with a TT
long down pipe and a 2.25 inch pipe and a 14 inch turbo muffler. I have a
German 270 cam and an adjustable cam sprocket. I'm running an FF tranny with
185-65-15 tires. This Rabbit pickup will take my friends 91 Passat 16 valve.
It is super fun to drive and with the tall FF tranny I don't usually use 5th
gear till I'm on the freeway or other high speed road. Fourth gear gives
3000 rpm at 60 mph. 3000 rpm in fourth gear equates to 79 mph. This said I
drive my 1.6 Dasher diesel station wagon that has a 5 spd tranny from a 1.6
diesel Quantum whenever I need to go on a trip. It gets 48 to 50 mpg on most
trips. I also run errands in my 1980 1.5 Rabbit diesel 4 door. My wife
drives a 1989 Fox Station Wagon gasser at the present time.
	My conclusion is that a gas Rabbit is much more fun and is cheap and
easy to hop up. Diesel Rabbits get enough better mileage that I use them on
my longer travels. If you drive conservatively you probably need a Diesel
and if you drive with verve the gasser probably is better.

Brian Decker
Boisfort Rabbit Rescue  

-----Original Message-----
From: vwdiesel-bounces at vwfans.com [mailto:vwdiesel-bounces at vwfans.com] On
Behalf Of Tony and Lillie
Sent: Sunday, March 16, 2008 9:33 PM
To: Greg Johnson; vwdiesel at vwfans.com
Subject: [Vwdiesel] Was-It's peak oil, duh.-now- milage comparison

So, this brings up a good point, as well as a question for me. Does anyone 
have real-world milage figures or experiences for an A1 gasser with a 
5-speed? I'm curious if I actually get 1/3 better milage than a gas VW from 
that era. I was thinking of also making a comparison of maintenance, as the 
diesels seem to require less. However, when they do require it, it's more 

And, that's only for the older ones. From what I see at the shop, the TDI's 
are higher maintenance and seem to have higher instances of problems than 
their gas counterparts. But, I haven't actually logged all the data that it 
would take to ensure this is accurate.

Tony Hoffman

More information about the Vwdiesel mailing list