Looking at Vee-Dubs

by admin on November 30, 2008

I got to go look at 3 diesel VW Golfs yesterday.

The first two were a package deal: 2 cars and three engines. All or nothing.

The engines looked pretty good, but both cars were projects and needed plenty of work. Lots of rust, lots of other little things to do on the cars.

I love the idea of having a spare diesel engine to play with. Would be great to make a Bio-Diesel Electric Car Generator trailer with.

After thinking about it a bit, it’s too much work. Too many parts, and more of a project than I need right now.

I would just like to get on the road without using any more petroleum.

The other Golf I looked at wasn’t bad. It’s still an older one (1985) but the body looks suprisingly good for its age.

It’s a two-door, which means slightly less room inside, but it’s a hatchback, so I think it is big enough for me to carry all the gear I need for work.

The engine compartment was relatively clean. Supposedly, the engine was rebuilt 20K miles ago. Engine sounded very good. LOUD, but good. I don’t know much about diesel, but it sounded exactly like every dump truck and big rig I have ever heard.

The interior fabric on the seats is in perfect condition, but the headliner and rear-view mirror are both missing, the radio doesn’t work, and it took a few minutes of fiddling to get the front seat to adjust to where I could reach the pedals properly.

This car appears to have been designed by somebody with really long arms, and short legs. I have to lean forward to reach first, third, and fifth gears.

The car also has a towing hitch ball. It’s connected to a real frame mount, not just a crummy home-job of welding something on. Being able to tow a light trailer adds to the appeal of this vehicle a bit. I won’t be able to tow like I can with a truck, but my motorcycle on a trailer should be no problem.

Since this is a smaller car, with a diesel engine, I expect to be able to hit 50 mpg with it. Perhaps after making a few modifications to it, and we get nice weather again.

Originally, a friend of mine was to go with to inspect the diesels with me. He called in sick, so I was off to the unknown world of diesel-mobiles all by my lonesome.

I talked to him on the phone today. He took a look at the Craigslist ad, and mentioned that with what it said in the ad, and what I told him, it sounded like a good deal.

I also asked about what is actually needed to convert from Diesel to Bio-Diesel. His answer was that about the only thing that really needs to be done is to replace the rubber fuel lines, have a spare fuel filter, and introduce the bio-diesel slowly.

Bio-diesel will degrade rubber fuel lines, and it will clean out all the old gunk in the fuel tank.

Converting to a vegetable oil system is much more involved, but I can drive the car on petro-diesel to start, then introduce Bio-Diesel, and if I want to, I could eventually convert to straight vegetable oil.

Could this be the vehicle that gets me completely off Petroleum? Perhaps.
I still have to think about it a bit more and see about haggling over the price. There are a couple other people I want to talk to first as well.

Stay tuned for more of my continuing Fossil-Fuel Free Adventures.


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