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Buggeee's Topless Bunny
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Buggeee
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 6:10 pm    Post subject: Buggeee's Topless Bunny Reply with quote

Well I may have waited decades to do it, but I finally brought home a topless bunny just like I'd dreamt about as a teenager....

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There she sits as found, having been fully enjoyed for 165,000 miles but dismissed and set aside outdoors to sit for about eight years with some frustratingly incurable malady.

Unable to negotiate as the price was "firm", I overpaid at $975. Shuddering, she labored her perfectly clean shock towers onto the rescue trailer under her own power and quit with a cough as soon as on board.

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Having arrived home she fired right up and sputtered off the trailer.

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Buggeee
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 6:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's Topless Bunny Reply with quote

This rabbit goes by "Cabriolet" because 1992 was a mature year for the breed. I figured we'd get to know each other with a thorough bubble and buff. She cleaned up nicely.


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Then it was time to drop that top and go for an introuductary spin. With two cylinders firing, some occasional back firing, and all three gears automatically clicking into place on time, she was taking it slow and I was a little nervous but smiling like a kid in the evening sun.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's Topless Bunny Reply with quote

Congrats! Cool
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 6:57 am    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's Topless Bunny Reply with quote

The paint cleaned up super nice!
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 7:05 am    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's Topless Bunny Reply with quote

Looks like a good deal. Keep us updated on the progress.

Do as you wish, but the car is almost 30 years old and I would replace most of the brake system with new/rebuilt parts. Calipers, hoses, master cylinder, cylinders, etc. It does not matter if it goes if you cannot stop.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2021 5:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's Topless Bunny Reply with quote

I do like that blackinterior..
and I need to learn how to buff paint sometime..

congrats.. they are a nice and 'unique' classic ride..
still has that organic feel from the road... even with PS and Automatic.

plus parts and project cars are getting expensive... so at $975 it really wasn't much over if any.. I have a non-runner cabriolet here and wouldn't let it go for that little.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2021 7:48 am    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's Topless Bunny Reply with quote

The power steering system has just the right amount of assist and has less lock to lock too.

The automatic, although reliable, sucks and takes away from the car. I know, I have one.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2021 5:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's Topless Bunny Reply with quote

Nice job so far on that triple-black Carat... top-of-the-line model back in '92 and the only Cabriolet in the world to receive that interior. Cool
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Buggeee
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2021 7:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's Topless Bunny Reply with quote

Thank you for chiming in everyone! It's good to share the hobby and share information and advice. That's good info about this model you have shared. The interior is sweet, and kind of seems like leather upholstery on the seats.

Also the body kit is awesome, it has bumper covers and ground effects, which gives it a very cool look, and I like the raindrop mag wheels - very eighties.

Fun fact, I've read the cabriolet has the big-valve head like the GTI.

If I was going to auto cross it, I'd be more interested in a manual transmission. As basically a free project car that might find a permanent spot in the herd as a fun run-a-bout, automatic is just fine. (In terms of overpaying, that was kind of toung in cheek).

Before it sees any regular duty, it will get soft brake lines and a fluid flush, along with an eyeball on the brake components. Make it stop befor you make it go... I subscribe to it and am just keeping it on the local unoccupied country road as I sort some of the engine stuff to see if its worthy of a full dive in (spoiler alert, it is).

So I pulled the plugs and found cylinders 2 and 3 black and gooey, while 1 and 4 were a healthy toasty brown. Looked up the firing order, swapped the 2 and 3 wires, and BAM! It sprung right to vigorous life. I've shared the polishing pics with the prior owner, but will keep this discovery to my self out of respect for his mental health. Eight years, this car sat, due to mixing up a couple of spark plug wires. It must have drove them all batty.

I ran seafoam in the crank case for a half hour and changed the oil and filter. I poured seafoam, de-icer (water remover) and octane booster into the tank and filled it with premium gas. Letting it run for another half our or so and it settled into a nice steady purr as the is additives cleared the varnish and gunk from the injectors.

With all the garbage burned through, fresh plugs were in order. Pulled the old ones and all 4 were a nice roasty brown.

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The new ones got gapped and thread lubricant applied to help get an accurate torque reading. I hit the threaded holes with a quick blast of carb cleaner to clear the threads, and torqued them in to 15 ft pounds. Plugs are much easier on a rabbit compared to a Bug!!!

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Fresh cap, rotor and wires were in order, as well as the obligatory K&N air filter.


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Took her for a spin and she pulled eagerly, cruised steadily, running like the German machine she knows she is. Very Happy

The idle is unpredictable, in that it's high, or normal, or very high, or a little high, or normal. This is a classic idle air control valve symptom in a fuel injected car, so I've ordered one in.
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Buggeee
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2021 4:37 am    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's Topless Bunny Reply with quote

WTF, this has gotta go....

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Thank you EBay!

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Buggeee
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2021 5:34 am    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's Topless Bunny Reply with quote

Well, it seems the earlier comment from our ranks about going through the brake system (which is due to the fact that rubber deteriorates even while a car is sitting), applies equally to the cooling system on these water-cooled servants.

Idling the car while chasing down vaccum leaks, and replacing little cloth braided hoses throughout the engine bay, let me witness a crack, and utter failure, of what I now know to be called a coolant hose flange.

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So, while the air-cooled Beetle may have less convenient spark plug access, it never sprays green piss all over my shop.

I'm assuming that it was a stuck thermostat, but honestly can't say I remember hearing the electric fan running at the moment of failure.

Anyway, a thermostat, plastic fittings and rubber hoses are on their way in trucks that will excite the dogs in a few days. Then I can restart the car and cycle the fan to see if the sensors and relays or whatnot are functioning.

In the meantime, she's being rolled outside to make room for other meditations while we wait for parts.. She has a place in the barn for the winter but for a few days she'll be just fine under a spare Beetle car cover. For those that didn't know they were curious, like myself, it turns out that a Beetle car cover fits a Rabbit pretty decently.

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All said, my experiences with this little car so far reflect the charmed nature of some VWs. This one has started when needed, run only long enough to accomplish the task at hand, and suffered catastrophic failure in the safety of the driveway. Some Beetles have been like that, and I have loved them for it. Timing is everything. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2021 7:07 am    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's Topless Bunny Reply with quote

Do not forget about the plastic coolant housings located at the back of the head as well as the one between #3-4 cylinders. The thermostat housing would be wise to replace also. There is a fitting between the heater hoses that you should replaced. If you go to the hardware store, a pex pipe slice works really well. Made of brass and has the perfect diameter to splice the hose. I believe VW used plastic in your model.

Do as you wish, but if you do not replace most/if not all of the coolant components, you will be chasing coolant leaks for a while. Do it once saves you a lot of time and money. It also gives you the confidence that you will get home.

If I did not mention it, stay away from Meyle and URO parts. They rarely last long especially the plastic/electrical ones.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2021 10:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's Topless Bunny Reply with quote

Butcher wrote:
Do not forget about the plastic coolant housings located at the back of the head as well as the one between #3-4 cylinders. The thermostat housing would be wise to replace also. There is a fitting between the heater hoses that you should replaced. If you go to the hardware store, a pex pipe slice works really well. Made of brass and has the perfect diameter to splice the hose. I believe VW used plastic in your model.

Do as you wish, but if you do not replace most/if not all of the coolant components, you will be chasing coolant leaks for a while. Do it once saves you a lot of time and money. It also gives you the confidence that you will get home.

If I did not mention it, stay away from Meyle and URO parts. They rarely last long especially the plastic/electrical ones.


I do appreciate the tips. I have ordered a couple more tid bits to round out the update as long as the system is apart. The PEX splice is a handy hack as that piece is not readily popping up in the search.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2021 8:43 am    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's Topless Bunny Reply with quote

https://www.pexsuperstore.com/product/1-2-pex-coupling-splice-crimp-brass-fittings/

I'm not certain if it's 1/2" but you have two heater hoses that attached to the two heater core hoses. One hose attaches to the heater valve and the other one is attaches to a splice [similar to the one above]. The newer VW's used a plastic fitting and the older ones were steel.

Like all materials, they eventually fail. Plastic or steel, they both last a certain amount of time and then expire. Most, if not all the plastic pieces under the hood have last 30+ years so they are past their expiration date. When one fails, it's best to replace all of them.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2021 10:30 am    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's Topless Bunny Reply with quote

I don't know how much Digifant II info is out there, but the diagnostics are virtually the same as found in the Vanagon 2.1 WBX, which uses Digifant I. That automatic portion of the transaxle is also the same as found in a Vanagon.

I've long wanted a Cabby kitted out exactly like yours
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Buggeee
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2021 5:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's Topless Bunny Reply with quote

Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
I don't know how much Digifant II info is out there, but the diagnostics are virtually the same as found in the Vanagon 2.1 WBX, which uses Digifant I. That automatic portion of the transaxle is also the same as found in a Vanagon.

I've long wanted a Cabby kitted out exactly like yours


Ya I just stumbled on it in Craigslist whilst hunting a Camery for one of my kids. Needless to say I snatched it up (out of the same neighborhood I might add, it was a very convenient day).

The fuel injection reminds me alot of what I had on an aircooled Vanagon and I'm feeling right at home.

I've been plodding through replacing all of the cooling hoses, fittings, switches and relays and am making steady progress. As far as fuel system I've got the in-tank pump replaced and the high pressure one is next. Replacing a few ground straps and cleaning the others. Check, check, check. Housekeeping. Fixing many frayed wires, replacing loose connectors. You know the drill. Deferred maintenance, spit, tape and bailing wire was everywhere. I hope to post an update once I get her purring again but for now it's a lot of one-on-one intimacy getting to know each other.

Thank you for checking in Z Very Happy
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