A/b: Mk2 GTI 16v

Welcome to AUTObiography, our newest Feature at VWvortex that gives our readers a chance to get their rides featured on our site. Readers can submit several photos and fill out our questionaire below. We have the tedious task of selecting which of your witty responses and photos get published. Every Wednesday we’ll feature a different reader ride, so tune in each week.

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Next up, and winner of this week’s NGP Racing $50.00 gift certificate is VWvortex member Shawn O

Q: How long have you owned this car?

A: I have owned this since 1995. When purchased in ’95 it was a completely stock 8v GTI.

Q: Is there anything unique about the history of this car?

A: This was actually the 1st VW I ever owned and the 1st car I have ever “worked on.” I like the car so much I learned to work on it slowly over time. As I did that I yearned to do other things to the car, and as I did I learned about that aspect of the car and figured out for myself what needed be done.

Q: What was your objective with this car?

A: To build something that I’m proud to drive and is a reflection of my personal taste, rather than a mere regurgitation of current trends.

Q: What tuning style would you describe this car as?

A: I hate these labels, but I guess OEMplus with a bit if Euro thrown in would describe it for the most part.

Q: Who helped you build this car?

A: 100% of the work on the car was done by me with the exception of the body work (skills that take years to perfect should be left to a professional).

Q: What makes your car special?

A: That all the work was done by me. Not all in one big project, but little by little over time, as ideas came about and extra money was available to do things properly. I’d rather not do something to the car at all if it can’t be done 100%.

Q: What is your favorite part/feature/function?

A: My favorite thing on the car currently is something that I did just this past winter – the 16v swap. After years of tuning the 8v motor, I finally figured out that no REAL power can be made from it and still keep it streetable. The motor’s economy and longevity suffer, and that goes against what the 8v engine was designed for in the first place! As it sits now, the car looks almost like it came from the factory as a 16v, which is sort of a shame considering all the work I put into it. I do feel a sense of pride when someone looks under the engine and thinks that, though – it shows my attention to detail and that my work is up to factory quality.

Q: Who or what inspired the direction of modifications on this car?

A: Everyone takes inspiration from other people’s cars in magazines, at shows, etc, but there’s nothing in particular that inspired me.

Q: What don’t you like about this car?

A: This used to be my daily driver, but after I had it painted and such, I’m somewhat scared to drive it and get a nick, chip, or scratch. Anyone that’s spent thousands getting their car painted will know what I mean.

Q: What would you change if you could?

A: I want to install a few Euro pieces to the car – Chromolux windows, Edition One Recaro interior, stock Golf CL taillights and amber front blinkers. Now that I’ve installed the 16v, I want to upgrade to bigger cams and run Weber DCOEs – that will be next winter’s project.

Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with the outcome of this project?

A: Right now, I’d say an “8.” No project is ever a 10 or ever finished…

Q: What would you do to the car if money were no object?

A: I’d take the whole car down to bare metal, respray it, clean up the engine bay a bit, install a syncro drivetrain along with an european ABF motor and injection, or possibly throttle bodies. EVERY nut, bolt, washer, axle, bracket, etc. would be bought new at the dealer and installed. It’d be almost like a timewarp looking at the car – like it has just been bought in 1992. Brand new – but better. I remember this car when it was sold new in 1992 and I also remember drooling over this very color car at the local dealership showroom.

Q: Who has been your biggest critic of this project?

A: Myself – I’m too much of a perfectionist. Good and bad.

Q: What do your family and friends say about this car?

A: “What are you working on NOW ?” or, “What was wrong with the old ?” or “You’re an idiot.”

Q: What is your favorite place to drive this car?

A: Anywhere, but behind a gravel truck.

Q: What is your ideal day with this car?

A: In the garage tinkering with this or that…

Q: Who gets to drive this car?

A: It’s my car – who else needs to drive it ?

Q: If your car had a motto, what would it be?

A: Stupid questions need not be answered.

Q: If you had to name your car, what would you name it?

A: “The Green Bitch.”

Q: What was your previous project?

A: 1991 Jetta GLI 16v – current daily driver.

Q: What is your next project?

A: Next ? This one will never be finished…

Q: What one word best describes your car?

A: Obsession.

Owner Information:

Name- Shawn Oen

Address- New Hope, MN

E-mail- shawn_oen@hotmail.com

Occupation- Mechanical Engineer

Club Affiliations- None

Vehicle Information:

Year- 1992

Make- VW

Model- Golf GTI 8v

Mileage- 130,000 on current unibody

Original Color- Montana Green Metallic (LB6Z)

Current Color- Montana Green Metallic (LB6Z)

Engine- 1.8L 8v with Digifant Injection

Engine Modifications- Motronic 2.0 16v swap; Techtonics Tuning adjustable cam gear and Euro intake came; mildly ported 1.8 head. European 50mm intake manifold; modified throttle body with 8v smaller butterfly and supports thinned out and runners mildly ported; K&N panel filter in modified lower airbox (removed preheat system); GIAC Motronic cam chip; SCI Performance plug wires; non A/C conversion using all factory parts (no half-assed, wrong brackets, pulleys, or hoses); Passat thin dual fan set-up; low temp thermostat fan switch; Optima Red Top battery, upgraded ground, starter, and alternator wiring; everything in the engine has either been powdercoated or polished during the 16v swap; all new gaskets used throughout, along with 100% of bolts replaced with stainless hardware or NEW factory bolts

Exhaust Modifications- Techtonics Tuning 2.25” stainless exhaust with no resonators and a single Borla muffler at the rear; Techtonics Tuning “race” downpipe to eliminate cat port matched to gasket; ceramic-coated stock exhaust manifold port matched to gaskets

Transmission Modifications- Rare AWY code tranny from 91 Diesel Jetta (same gears as the stock 8v GTI tranny but with a 3.94 ring gear, resulting in better acceleration); 100mm drive flanges retrofitted to tranny; 0.71 5th gear for highway driving; Redline synthetic tranny fluid; Autotech short shifter and weighted shift rod

Suspension Modifications- FK Silverline coilovers; Autotech front and rear upper stress bars; Autotech 25mm front and 28mm rear hollow sway bars; Autotech front lower chassis brace; poly rear shock tower bushings; VR6 front strut bearings

Brake Modifications- Front brakes have been upgraded to 10.1”; rears have been upgraded from drums to factory rear disks; ATE Power Disk rotors all around along with Mintex Red Box Pads; Autotech stainless steel brake lines; 22mm master cylinder pumping ATE Super Blue synthetic brake fluid

Wheels and Tires- Factory VW 15” BBS RM wheels with Image Wheels UK outer lips resulting in an overall width of 8.5”; chrome BBS wheel bolts; 195/45-15 Yokohama AVS Intermediate tires (I’ve been running the wheels in this configuration for almost 3 years now – long before all the “group buys”)

Exterior/Body Modifications- FULL unibody swap in 2002 using a California car; car was again stripped in 2003 for a full respray in factory color. During this process virtually 100% of the exterior plastic/rubber trim and seals were replaced; rear wiper, squirter, and US spec sidemarkers removed; OE European big bumpers (lighter rebars); G60 front and rear fender flares; Happich pop-out side windows; ’85 Golf CL rear glass (no 3rd brake light or rear spoiler holes); early chromed Porsche 924 metal door handles; custom factory look dual wipers – arms modified to sit flush at the bottom of the windshield using combination of Mk2 and Mk1 Scirocco wiper arms; Audi 200 Fuba antenna (with silver ring); Hella H4 all glass/metal headlights w/citylights; genuine Hella dual round front grill with Kamei upper grill spoiler; MHW clear front bumper lights with amber removed and wired up to function to European specs (only as blinkers); factory Hella DE foglights with Mk3 projectors; MHW clear/red taillights with amber removed and rear fog activated; factory European “Golf GTI” front and rear badges; manual tilt-and-slide sunroof from Mk2 Scirocco

Interior Modifications- Front big bolster power Recaro seats from a 16V GLI Jetta; matching split folding rear seat and door panels from a factory 16V GTI; 300mm Momo Team leather steering wheel; Momo aluminum foot pedals; OE Votex center console and power window switch panel; VDO Night Design gauges mounted on OE radio delete panel in dash; radio relocated to Votex console; power window and power mirror conversion from 16V GLI Jetta; cruise control conversion for 16V Passat (vacuum accuator mounted under dash and attached to gas pedal instead of in engine and attached to throttle body); factory MFA retrofitted from 16V GTI; 160mph speedo from Mk2 Scirocco 16v; European underdash trays, including deeper non a/c passenger side tray; factory non a/c conversion (non a/c heater box and cable operated HVAC controls); OE Mk1 “golf ball” shift knob; OE “pleather” shift boot and e-brake covers; rear view mirror removed from windscreen and relocated to roof (European spec); passenger visor from 16V Jetta with lighted vanity mirror; OE tinted domelight with delay; early Mk2 front seat belts retrofitted including all side impact brackets removed and door panel trays swapped; rear seat belts completely removed using 1989 16V GTI black c-pillar trim (no seat belt mounting holes) and rear side carpet (no cut outs for belt retractors); early ’86 GTI 8v rear speaker pods fitted (no seat belt holes and pods hold larger 5” speakers); black spring-loaded sunroof crank from Quantum Syncro wagon; Mk3 Golf black floor mats; all wiring in car was done to factory specifications using factory harnesses and down to the pin level (no splicing, or half-assed, electrical fire-waiting-to-happen action here)

Audio/Video/I.C.E.- Nothing special – Blaupunkt Houston head unit and Blaupunkt speakers in factory locations

Thanks/Props- Steve, Jasin, Arron, Ben, Chad, and SCI Performance

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