Category Archives: 1981 Rabbit Pickup Diesel

Scirocco 16v Lower ‘K bar’

kbar2A popular upgrade for the MK1 VW chassis is the lower ‘K Bar’ found on the 16v Sciroccos.  The forward-most control arm mounts are abandoned waaaaay forward of any body structure and flex quite a bit under heavy cornering.

This upgrade is an easy install:

  • 2 forward control arm bolts through the front holes
  • drill 2 holes where the upper bar mounts lie on the chassis webbing
  • bolt the bar to those holes.

The difference is dramatic, and it’s a great OEM upgrade.

Found this on the web; it shows the install well.


Rabbit Pickup Tailgate Mod

More of a fix than a mod…

If your rod clip breaks off in your tailgate, you can’t open your tailgate to fix it.  When I first got my pickup, this was the case.

If you drill a few holes, you can manually activate the latch with a screwdriver.

You can see that I was a little off… 100 mm or so would have been better.  You can go to the hardware store and get a nice little rubber/ plastic cap to cover the hole if that’s your thing.

That photo was from the day I received the truck… hence the layer of grime.  That usually doesn’t fly.

Rabbit Pickup / Caddy taligate latch fix

IMG_0433This is the clip that can be used to fix your tailgate latch when it finally crumbles to dust.  Napa #735-2637; it is less than $5.  Grab 2.

I find it’s easiest to install if you lie on the floor with the tailgate in the open position above you.  Remove the latches from the side with the 3x10mm bolts, just to be sure the rod is attached.  I then ‘jam’ the latch open by sticking a screwdriver in between the wedge and the bracket.  Re-install the latch while aiming the rod at the handle.  Once you can see the rod in the handle hole, hook it up with your new clip and pull out your screwdriver jammed in the latch.

What’s that?  You can’t get your lid open because the clip broke?  I’ll try and get some pics tomorrow of the ’emergency release’ holes I drilled in my lid.

VW Rabbit pickup specific quarter flares/ mud guards

Targeted product.

Of the subset of people who choose a used car from a new one, is a subset of people that choose to drive a 30 year-old Volkswagens.  Of that group there lives another subset, those who choose to drive a Rabbit pickup / Caddy.  Of that group, there is a group of people that want to restore the original vinyl-sticker quarter flare offered on the pickup and not upgrade it to the pedestrian, plastic Rabbit version.

To those 2 people… well do I have a treat for you!  Hurray! RPU vinyl quarter flares!   My truck had 1 good one when I got it, so I carefully peeled it off and stuck it to my desk.  I photographed and measured it and created a great file.

Get excited! Both of you!

These are made from Oracal 751; which goes on super-smooth and looks great, but is thinner than the OG sticker.  I have tried some thicker, calendered vinyl, but it doesn’t conform as well, and I’d be nervous of it shrinking in a few years.  I did look for thicker stuff like you’d get for rock guard on a modern car, but it all comes in clear.  If you know of some thicker, satin black stuff, let me know!