Well, after I towed home the green Jetta a while back, I looked it over and decided that it has so many things wrong with it, that it would be cheaper and faster to get my other Jetta going instead. The blue Jetta is an ’89 diesel, with only about 135k miles on it, half the mileage that the green Jetta has. I got it for $300 off of Craigslist about a year ago, because it had a cracked head. The previous owner had installed new injectors, but he overtorqued them and cracked one of the injector wells. It also has some damage to the front fenders. For $300 though, it has all new shocks and almost new tires on nice factory VW spoked alloys. The interior is pretty clean, although not as plush as the green Jetta, which is a Carat, with the sunroof, power window and premium seats and upholstery. I’ve been wanting another diesel VW for a long time. Many years ago I had a couple of diesel VW Rabbits, and they were great cars that were very cheap to drive. So I was initially really excited when I dragged this one home.

I think I can get this one going for about $700-800 and a few days of work, and it should get mileage in the high 40s to low 50s if my previous diesel VWs are any example. And I will be able to burn biodiesel in it. I have been using that in my Cummins powered Dodge truck off and on for the last year. It runs great and smells nice, too!

The cracked injector well:

cracked injector well

I looked for a new head for this car for a awhile, after I was told that the crack could not be welded. Turns out that the model of diesel engine I have here was not a very common one, and finding another head was not easy. I finally found a brand new one on eBay, located in Vancouver, WA and miraculously, I won, even though I was away from the computer when it closed. I got run all the way up to my maximum bid, too. After picking up my prize, I headed over to Halsey Auto Parts in Portland and got the requisite gaskets and so forth. It took me a half a day to clear out a stall in my shop and get the car rolled in there. Today, I dove in.

Here it is, with the valve cover, timing cover and air filter removed:

day 1

day 1

After a while and a little struggle with stuck fasteners, I got the head off and cleaned up the block:

day 1

Then it was on to cleaning up the broken head, removing manifolds and other parts that will go on the new head. By the time I got done with that, I was starting to get a new shopping list together. Several of the fasteners that held the manifolds on did not survive removal, and the glow plugs spun in the head when I tried to pull them. I also got my first good look at the extent of the crack in the head. The guy actually over tightened TWO of the injectors, and the crack traveled all the way through the water jacket and through two injector wells. What a mess!

day 1

I would have just kept going and put the new head on today; I need this car to be running soon, but the messed up fasteners and glowplugs necessitate another trip to Halsey before I go on. Can’t do that until Monday or Tuesday, so tomorrow will be a desk day, catching up on all the office stuff I have been neglecting for the last couple of days.

Here’s the end of day 1:

end of day 1

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