Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

82 Rabbit Diesel, 4 cylinder

How hard is it to adjust the valves on a 1982 Rabbit diesel, 4 cylinder, with overhead cam?

Unless you have a shim assortment, special shim pliers, and cam follower depressor tool it will be impossible.

If you have all of that then it’s not that hard at all once you do a few of them.

Any particular problem related to the engine or just wanting to perform a regular valve lash check?

Let me back up one moment. You can adjust the valves without those tools but this will require measuring the lash as it sits on every valve and notating it.
The camshaft will have to be removed.
An air blowgun will have to be used to blow the shims out of the followers.
Each shim will have to be measured, notated, and compared to the lash measurement on that particular valve. Once you sort all of that out you will have to visit the VW dealer and buy the needed shims.

(If the shims have been correctly installed in the past the thickness markings will be visible on one side of the shim. Installed with the marks face up means the cam lobes will rub off the markings. Face down and they should still be readable.)

If you don’t have access to the tools I would advise that you just have this one rather than go through the above procedure.

Thanks so much. The car was up for sale after a valve job that the owner never finished. Now I know why, and I dont have days to try to get it running. ( basket job)

Where is it? If it’s just in need of a proper lashing I’ll have it purring in an hour. Whats the rest of the basket?

Getting 55 MPG or higher might be reason enough to get it going, assuming the price is right.

Location Nor. AZ. Needs the fuel tank cleaned as someone stole the gas cap,and has been open to the elements. asking 350$ Dont know what else is wrong with it. Ben sitting a while. clame new fuel pump.

I would be very antsy about this vehicle. If the engine lower end is fine and the car is straight it could turn out to be a good deal once up and running.
There are a few sticky points though.

  1. Would the valve job only cure all compression problems?
  2. Reinstalling the head/cam, etc. means timing the injection pump. This requires (again) a small set of special tools to set that timing.

Just based on what you have related I would not even consider giving 350 for it without knowing a lot of details behind the diagnosis and repairs as this is a deal that can go south very quickly.

Thank you very much for your comments. I greatly appreciate your knowledge.