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Voltsrabbit Donor Chassis

Models

Rabbits '74 - '84
Straight bolt-in.
GTIs '74 - '84
Straight bolt-in.
Rabbit Pickup Trucks
Rear battery rack & box, and charger mount will not work, customer must provide replacements to suit. Rear springs & shocks not needed. All other kit parts bolt-in. Kit price adjusted for parts not needed.
Rabbit Convertibles
Bolt-in using our Convertible/Cabriolet version of the Voltsrabbit Kit. A few parts slightly different. Slightly different price for kit.
Cabriolets through '93
Same as convertibles, as long as it is a Rabbit-based Cabriolet, not a later Golf-based Cabrio model.
Sciroccos
Bolt-in with slight adjustments for clearancing.
Jettas through '84
Bolt-in with slight adjustments for clearancing.
Golfs
No.
New Rabbits
No.

Relevant Features

Gas vs. Diesel
Doesn't matter.
Transmission
Must be manual, but 4-speed or 5-speed doesn't really matter, since you will spend most of your driving in second gear, which is good from 25 mph to 45 mph. Third gear is good to 65 mph.
2-Door vs. 4-Door
Doesn't matter. 4-doors are nice for easier back seat access, but harder to find.
Model Year
Power Brakes
You DEFINITELY want power brakes. You will be adding 800 lbs. to this car, and you want to be able to stop. Most Rabbits came with power brakes. If you find a donor that's otherwise really great but does not have power brakes, you can get a power brake setup from a salvage yard and install it.
Power Steering
You do NOT want power steering. It isn't really necessary, and it gets in the way of the front battery rack--absolutely will not fit. Keep in mind that power steering runs off the car's motor. When you need it most, such as in parallel parking, the electric motor is barely moving, and so the power steering will have no power. Most Rabbits didn't come with it anyway. If you find a donor that's otherwise really great but it has power steering, you can get a manual steering rack from a salvage yard and swap it in.
Air Conditioning
No air conditioning, it won't fit with the conversion kit.
Convertibles & Sunroofs
Convertibles can make very nice conversions. You should be aware of a few things in advance, however. First, they are harder to find and more expensive. Second, they have less usable cargo area, although there is still some. Third, the convertible top needs some care and weather protection. If it deteriorates, it is expensive to fix or replace. As for sunroofs, be advised that sooner or later, they all leak.
General Condition
Unless you have connections with body and/or interior shops, get something that is cosmetically sound and will justify your conversion investment. Faded paint can be buffed up, but dents, rust, upholstery, and so forth can get expensive fast.

Also, you want a chassis that is sound structurally, This means no rust to weaken it. Avoid any car that has been in a collision, even if it has been "straightened". There might be subtle misalignments not apparent to the eye. These can interfere with the fit of components, and affect the car's performance.

If possible, take the car to a professional garage and have it checked over. This will give you information about flaws in places you may not notice, such as brakes or wheel bearings.

Here is a list of common worn-out items on Rabbits. These are not deal-killers. They are bargaining chips you can use to reduce the sale price of the car. Get local estimates for the work, and lower your bid for the car by that amount.

Where To Shop

Classifieds:
Look for the ones that say, "Great body, needs engine work".
Specialty Repair Shops:
Go to local independent garages that specialize in VW, German, or foreign cars. Tell the owner/manager what you are looking for. These shops frequently know of cars with dead engines whose owners don't want to put out the money to fix them. These cars often do not show up in the classifieds.
Specialty Parts Houses:
Go to local independent parts houses that specialize in VW, German, or foreign cars. They may know of customers with cars for sale, or they may have a bulletin board for such things.
Specialty Salvage Yards:
Go to local salvage yards that specialize in VW, German, or foreign cars and tell them what you are looking for. However, DON'T let them "do you the favor" of removing the engine. They will lose dozens of special bolts and small pieces that you will need. Get the car intact, and promise to bring the parts back when YOU strip it. Also, look it over and make sure they haven't already stripped all the good stuff and replaced it with bald tires, etc. Be sure all the little door handles and so forth are still there. It is best if you can get a car before the title has been "salvaged". A car can be revived from salvage status, but it requires more paperwork and inspections with the state motor vehicle department.
Towing Companies:
These sometimes have cars that have been towed and left unclaimed, and the tow company will lien sale them for the accumulated towing and storage fees.

Returns accepted for warranty issues ONLY, for replacement. No cash refunds.
For ordering and warranty information, see the Order Info page.

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