VW Vortex - Volkswagen Forum banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
2007 Porsche Boxster S, 2019 VW Tiguan SEL
Joined
·
7,684 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wheel Automotive parking light Tire Car Automotive side marker light

My Dad is turning 70 in June, and I decided to attempt a surprise 'mini-restoration' on his 2002 Volkswagen Cabrio GLX.

A little bit of history, we've had Cabriolets in our family for as long as I can remember. My Dad used to take me to soccer practice as a kid in the 80s in a triple-white Cabriolet. My Mom had a brand new MK3.5 Cabrio, Dark Blue with a Blue top that she had for years. Fast-forward to when I started buying some older VW's in my 20s and I had 2 Cabriolet's myself. Needless to say they hold a place in my heart, and probably the reason I'm driving a Boxster right now :)

I helped my Dad pick up this 2002 GLX around 10 years ago. It was in pretty solid shape when we bought it, but it's been a bit neglected to say the least, and outside of oil changes and some new tires, it hasn't really had any maintenance to speak of.

As it sits now, the Cabrio is my parents 2nd car, and is just used for around-town drives. Unfortunately due to the lack of maintenance, the car is teetering on the trash it/fix it fence. It needs a TON of work to get it back on the road and driving properly. My Dad keeps talking about wanting to fix it, but he doesn't really have the time or means to do it himself right now. After making a few jokes about leaving the keys in it and hoping someone steals it, I figured I needed to take action and fix it myself! :)

My Mom's health has been really rough lately, in the past 2 years she has had a major stroke, and is now dealing with stage 4 cancer. It's taken a really big toll on my Dad as he is doing everything for her, and I know getting the car back on the road will be a big emotional boost for him.

A quick run-down of what I know it needs off the top of my head:

  • Full Suspension with all new bushings (Original OEM installed, totally shot)
  • Exhaust / Downpipe - Has a killer exhaust leak/rattle
  • Transmission Flush/Filter (Automatic is shifting really hard, still on original fluid)
  • Tune-Up and Oil Change
  • Axles (CV Joints are toast)
  • Front Brakes / Flush
  • Convertible Top closes extremely slowly and back window is starting to unglue
  • Desperately Needed Detailing / Wheel Refinishing

I've spent around $1000 buying as many cheap parts as I can find. I realize these aren't OEM quality, but when replacing 20 year old worn originals, it has to be an upgrade. Given the value of the car is pretty low, I'm not going to be spending big bucks on VW branded parts.

Here's a list of everything I've purchased so far:

  • Cat Back Exhaust
  • Coilovers
  • Full Suspension Refresh Kit (Bushings, Control Arms, etc)
  • Tie Rods
  • Axles
  • Front Disc Brakes/Pad
  • Tune-Up Kit
  • Transmission Flush Kit (Filter/Fluid)

I have about a month to get the whole project completed. I got the car home (told him the Porsche is broken and I need to borrow for a while) and started yesterday on taking the front suspension apart and made some good progress. All of the bushings, etc are totally worn, and I found the source of the brutal grinding noise under acceleration. Drivers side CV joint was completely demolished?!

Anyway here are some photos. The interior/exterior are actually in pretty decent shape and I think will clean up really well once I get around to detailing everything.

Plant Automotive tail & brake light Car Vehicle registration plate Vehicle

Tire Wheel Car Automotive side marker light Vehicle

Automotive parking light Wheel Car Tire Land vehicle


Car Vehicle Motor vehicle Gear shift Automotive design

Automotive parking light Vehicle registration plate Vehicle Grille Car

Smile Glasses Property Sky Cloud
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2007 Porsche Boxster S, 2019 VW Tiguan SEL
Joined
·
7,684 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That's great to see. I always wished I could find an old Studebaker for dad, as he bought a new '48 after he got out of the Navy in WWII, but by the time I could afford one they were all gone. :(

I'm sorry your mother is going through it, but you have your priorities straight. Nothing is more important than family and friends. ❤
Thank you! I always dreamed of buying my dad an E-Type Jaguar, but those are so far out of my price range that the Cabrio will have to do for now! :p

Agreed that family is everything. We moved from Cali to be closer to my parents during this difficult time. (y)
 

·
Registered
2007 Porsche Boxster S, 2019 VW Tiguan SEL
Joined
·
7,684 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you guys! I appreciate the kind comments. I know it will be worth the effort and I'm excited to see the look on his face when completed. I plan on doing a full paint correction with ceramic coating and will be getting the front rim repainted. Should be back to 'newish' when I'm finished!

Couple of things that I'm having issues with, maybe some VW experts can chime in:

  • The top closes REALLY slowly. I've read that hydraulic fluid can leak/evaporate over time, and that the tank can be topped up. I think its in the trunk area. Any input?
  • Rear window on the convertible top is coming loose. It looks like it was glued in from the factory, but with the top installed, I'm not sure how on earth to get any kind of clamping pressure on it to attempt to re-glue.

Any help would be appreciated!
 

·
Registered
2007 Porsche Boxster S, 2019 VW Tiguan SEL
Joined
·
7,684 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Great restoration project, but I have only one concern.

Why coilovers? Just put red KYB and stock height springs.
The red ones are active and give great comfort on regular roads, while stiffness in quick turns.

What I am getting at - why to destroy a classic car with low ride height?
I'm on a budget, what you're recommending costs substantially more than what I paid for the coilovers.

I don't plan on slamming the car and will have them maxed out to try and keep a similar ride height to stock. Certainly not going for any kind of dropped look.
 

·
Registered
2007 Porsche Boxster S, 2019 VW Tiguan SEL
Joined
·
7,684 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·

·
Registered
2007 Porsche Boxster S, 2019 VW Tiguan SEL
Joined
·
7,684 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·
In for updates! It's awesome to see what you're doing here and I'm sure the end result will be amazing!

PS sorry to hear about your mom, hopefully your parents can really enjoy the car once you're done with it.
Thanks man! I'll be getting back in the garage this afternoon to hopefully complete the passenger side upgrades. Still waiting for a few parts to come in.

I really hope they get out there cruising in the car again. It's such a mess right now, that my Dad won't take my Mom out in fear of it breaking down.
 

·
Registered
2007 Porsche Boxster S, 2019 VW Tiguan SEL
Joined
·
7,684 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Rawk:

Nice! Sorry about your folks! It's tough to see your parents get older and/or sick. Both my folks died since 2016. Took care of my mom for 3 years.

I never worry about price if it's something "special" and this is! Get that car back to it's prime and give it to your folks. They'll never forget it! My mom gave me the deposit to get my Jetta and I've completely restored/tuned it since then. It also got hit by a motorcycle and the kid got killed.(drunk) So saving it was REALLY important for me. Glad I did.

ECS Tuning and German Auto Parts have everything for older VWs. Older VWs are the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sorry about your parents, it's been a really difficult period and I have tons of empathy for anyone who's gone through a similar thing. :love: (y)

VW's have been a big part of my family for years. At one point around 2000 I had a new MK4 GTI VR6, my Dad had a Jetta VR6 and my mom a MK3.5 Cabrio.
 

·
Registered
2007 Porsche Boxster S, 2019 VW Tiguan SEL
Joined
·
7,684 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
In for updates, love seeing an old car getting a refresh.

I'll plug the kit that I've used on several cars, including my Mk4, to polish out the headlights. 3M Ultra (PN 39195), $17 on Amazon.





Nice man! Looks so much better with the headlights cleaned up. I'm saving the detailing for last but can't wait to get these headlights polished. They are literally yellow and I'n not going for the French'd look haha
 

·
Registered
2007 Porsche Boxster S, 2019 VW Tiguan SEL
Joined
·
7,684 Posts
Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Great thread.

Have you used this kit to replaace the front wheel bearings? Is it any good?

View attachment 184425
Yes, I've used this on my MK2 before to do the front bearings. You can do it while the knuckle is still on the car and you don't need an overhead press.

I had it out as I thought the Cabrio would need wheel bearings, but thankfully they seem okay. The tie rod ends on the other hand have about 1" of play on either end! :)
 

·
Registered
2007 Porsche Boxster S, 2019 VW Tiguan SEL
Joined
·
7,684 Posts
Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Made quite a bit more progress on the front end yesterday. Took apart the whole drivers side suspension. I have the new control arms in and just waiting on a few more parts to show up. My wife has been documenting everything to put together a little photo album for my Dad at the end.

Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Motor vehicle


Car Land vehicle Vehicle Automotive lighting Automotive tire


I drained the automatic transmission fluid. Looks about what I expected, burnt brown after 125k miles. Hoping the new fluid and filter will fix the rough shifting issues it's having.

Automotive tire Carnivore Dog breed Bumper Fawn


Started work on the engine as well. I have a full tune-up kit with new plugs, wires, air filter, coil, etc.

Motor vehicle Hood Vehicle Car Automotive exterior


Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Bumper Automotive tire Automotive design


Tire Wheel Motor vehicle Automotive tire Vehicle
 

·
Registered
2007 Porsche Boxster S, 2019 VW Tiguan SEL
Joined
·
7,684 Posts
Discussion Starter · #42 ·
x2 awesome stuff

in for more updates
😲 $900 for a set of four lipped P slots or teardrops... Damn... I wish I had a car to put those on that's amazing
But what about those Teddy Bears?!

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Product Mammal




Thanks for all the kind words guys. I appreciate the support! I've put in about 25 hours already this week over 3 days and have tackled quite a lot of the work.

I'm stuck in a few places right now:

  • Both balljoints are seized - Going to pick up some rental tools from Advanced in hopes of getting them free. If not I'll be going the sawzall route I think.
  • There is not enough clearance to remove the drivers side axle. Either I'm missing something or this is a very poor design. It hits the automatic transmission and the motor mount when trying to move. Only thing I can think of is to disconnect the motor mounts and move the engine an inch forward or so. Any ideas?
  • Checked the Fluid Level on the Hydraulic Top pump and it has enough fluid. I was hoping it would be low and explain why the top is moving so slowly. I'm starting to think one of the hydraulic rams is defective or on it's way out. If anyone has info I'd appreciate it!

Transmission pan is cleaned out and the new filter installed. Just need to put in the new fluid.

I have to say I'm pretty freaking impressed with these Maxpeedingrod Coilovers. They are stout and seem pretty well built. For the $150 shipped I paid for the entire kit, I think it's going to be a really solid upgrade. The stock suspension was in really bad shape and you could bounce the car several inches with very little effort.

I got the rear suspension installed today as well as the passenger side front axle. Still waiting on a few more parts to arrive, but happy with the progress so far.

Metalworking hand tool Tool Hand tool Line Wood


Automotive tire Coil spring Gas Auto part Suspension


Motor vehicle Auto part Gas Wood Bumper


Helmet Kitchen utensil Natural material Wood Gas


Automotive tire Locking hubs Vehicle brake Wheel Automotive design
 

·
Registered
2007 Porsche Boxster S, 2019 VW Tiguan SEL
Joined
·
7,684 Posts
Discussion Starter · #44 ·
I hope that the fluid/filter change works on your automatic. The auto gearbox in Mk3s are hot garbage. You may want to siphon some of the old hydraulic fluid from the top reservoir and make sure it isn't contaminated with water, I don't know if its hygroscopic over time.
I'm really hoping the fluid/filter flush works. Date on the transmission filter was 2/2001, so it's definitely the original filter and fluid. It was working fairly well but would have a really hard shift now and then.

Good call on the hydraulic fluid. I bought some new Pentosin as I thought it would need a top up, but I think I'll syphon the old stuff out and try this new fluid. If that doesn't fix it, it's got to be one of the hydraulic rams instead.
 

·
Registered
2007 Porsche Boxster S, 2019 VW Tiguan SEL
Joined
·
7,684 Posts
Discussion Starter · #52 ·
I made some more good progress today on the Cabrio. Managed to finally remove the 2 stubbornly-stuck ball joints. One needed to be sawzall'd and the other came loose after 10 minutes of banging with a pickle fork. Thankfully Advance Auto is right around the corner and they have free rental tools.

I did an oil/filter change and filled up the transmission with fresh fluid. Finished up the engine tune-up with new plugs, wires (blue for +5hp), air filter, ignition coil and distributor cap. I still need to do the fuel filter in the rear and the exhaust.

Some good news on the Hydraulic pump. I noticed the fluid level was quite a bit above max, and I'm pretty positive it's never been touched. I think the fluid has taken on water over the years as recommended above. I drained the fluid, put in some new Pentosin and the top is now working about 2x as fast. I don't think it's quite to stock speed yet, but it's a big improvement and overall it sounds like it's got more oomph.

Put on the new rotors and brake pads, and put on fresh seals and grease on the caliper carriers. Also finished up the passenger side suspension, tie-rods, etc. Pretty much done on that side with everything mechanical.

Drivers side I'm still stuck with the axle not coming free. It's disconnected, but there's nowhere near enough room to remove it from the car. Seems like a pretty major design flaw, but maybe I'm missing something?


Auto part Household hardware Metal Nickel Titanium


Automotive tire Automotive lighting Rim Gas Vehicle brake


Automotive tire Motor vehicle Vehicle brake Automotive exterior Wheel
Automotive tire Road surface Asphalt Rim Motor vehicle


Motor vehicle Automotive tire Tire Product Wheel


Tire Automotive tire Tread Motor vehicle Wheel


Cylinder Gas Machine Nut Auto part


Saw Wood Gas Nozzle Nut

Car Vehicle Motor vehicle Hood Automotive design


Automotive tire Vehicle brake Locking hubs Gas Auto part
 

·
Registered
2007 Porsche Boxster S, 2019 VW Tiguan SEL
Joined
·
7,684 Posts
Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Lastly - Anyone from TCL have some MK3 parts laying around? Looking for a Headlight switch with fog lights and the Automatic Shifter trim piece. I have a new shifter handle on the way from eBay!


Car Light Motor vehicle Automotive design Gear shift


Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive exterior Bumper Automotive design


Car Vehicle Gear shift Motor vehicle Automotive design
 

·
Registered
2007 Porsche Boxster S, 2019 VW Tiguan SEL
Joined
·
7,684 Posts
Discussion Starter · #58 ·
I hope you have better luck with your Maxpeedingrods than my experience with them on my Outback. They rode so hard that it rattled my teeth out. I had to swap them for some BC Racing coilovers to make the car bearable.
Did you have the Outback dumped? I read a few review specific fo the MK2/MK3 VW and most were pretty positive. Hopefully it won't be too brutally harsh..


Mk3.5 Cabrios have blue/red lighting, right?

I think you’re going to need a specific Cabrio switch since regular Mk3 stuff is green.
Yes you're totally right. I completely forgot about that! It needs to specifically be the MK3.5 part.
 

·
Registered
2007 Porsche Boxster S, 2019 VW Tiguan SEL
Joined
·
7,684 Posts
Discussion Starter · #64 ·
Without looking at it in 3D it's tough to guess, but I tend to think it must be an issue of either the subframe or as Karl says, dropping or raising the transaxle a bit to clear whatever it's hitting. Neither makes the job fun, but isn't the end of the world, either.

A good penetrant is your friend. And "good penetrant" never means "WD40". Ever.
I'm just trying to take the path of least resistance. From my guess I think disconnecting the motor mounts would be the easiest solution. I'll get a photo tomorrow and maybe one of you guys will have a solid idea!

Do you have the axle removed from the spindle?
Yes it's out of the spindle and all the bolts are out, there just isn't enough physical room to actually take the axle out of the car. It hits on the back of the engine and the subframe. Will definitely get a photo as I'm probably not describing it as clearly as possible.
 

·
Registered
2007 Porsche Boxster S, 2019 VW Tiguan SEL
Joined
·
7,684 Posts
Discussion Starter · #65 ·
I think I would sawzall the axle shaft, but then you might have the same issue putting a new one in.
I think your best bet would be to loosen the motor/transmission mounts to see if you can get that little bit of room.
The sawzall might work, but I still think clearance would be difficult. It's the transmission end of the axle that's causing the problems. And as you noted, I'd still have to find a way to get the new one in!

I think if I loosen the 2 motor mounts I should be able to move the engine the couple inches I need. The front mount is pretty easy to get to, the transmission one not so much, but I'll figure it out.
 

·
Registered
2007 Porsche Boxster S, 2019 VW Tiguan SEL
Joined
·
7,684 Posts
Discussion Starter · #68 ·
Can't you just take out the entire front strut assembly to remove the CV axle? Unbolting from the top of the strut and disconnecting the the tie rod and ball joint and pull everything out with the hub?
Unfortunately not, I had the entire suspension removed, and still not possible with the engine in place.

First, just want to say how awesome it is that you are tackling this project. I'm sure your parents will really enjoy it when you are all finished up.

As far as the axle goes, heres the instructions from VW. Figured I'd help with the cause since I have access to ProDemand. Let me know if there are any issues with the PDF.

Also, the instructions reference a support bridge, but you should be able to get away with a jack and a 2x4 instead since you are doing this on jack stands.
'

Thanks so much, Corey. This is a big help! Looks like I was right and they recommend disconnecting the motor mounts and moving the engine.

Finally got some not-so-great photos, as it will help explain the situation a lot better than my bad attempts.

New Axle - Transmission end has these tabs that make it difficult to remove.

Automotive lighting Water Gas Serveware Audio equipment


Gas Nickel Machine Metal Engineering


Clearance (or lack of...). Left is the engine/tranny, right is the subframe/transmission mount.


Automotive fuel system Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive design Gas


Automotive tire Automotive fuel system Motor vehicle Automotive design Gas


Auto part Gas Terrestrial plant Metal Pipe


Hoping to get back in the garage this weekend to continue the work!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2007 Porsche Boxster S, 2019 VW Tiguan SEL
Joined
·
7,684 Posts
Discussion Starter · #70 ·
Success on removing the drivers-side axle. I had to unbolt the front & transmission mounts, and push the engine a couple inches forward. Nothing too difficult but the transmission mount is not the easiest thing to get access to! Managed to get it from the top using a bunch of 1/2" extensions. Drives side is done with the suspension, etc.

Next job will be the exhaust and fuel filter. Looking forward to being done with all the mechanical work and starting on the detailing/paint correction.

Also thinking I'm going to order a Timing Belt/Water Pump kit. I honestly don't think either have ever been changed before and at 125k miles, they are long overdue.

I ordered a new euro plate frame, antenna and dipstick as all are pretty past their prime!

Automotive tire Automotive exhaust Rim Gas Motor vehicle

Automotive tire Locking hubs Vehicle brake Wheel Motor vehicle
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top