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Discussion Starter #1
Hello guys and gals,

I was going through a build thread on another forum and saving some of the pictures when I realized I never made a build thread on here and it would probably be more appreciated, maybe.

I'll break this "intro" into three posts.

First, how I got her.

After owning Hondas for a couple years and deciding they weren't for me, I was loosely in the market for a new car. I had mostly set on a MK3, but I hadn't found one that I was "sold" on. One day I ran into a friend and fellow Volkswagen enthusiast and he asked me when I was going to get back into a VW. As a joke, I told him that I would when he sold me his GTI. He threw out a price I couldn't say no too and a couple weeks later it was mine.



She was dirty and hadn't been driven much. As I picked her up, she had the following already done:

  • Techtonics Chip
  • Techtonics Cam
  • Techtonics Exhaust
  • Neuspeed Soft Sports
  • Neuspeed Front Strut Bar
  • Euro Sport Rear Strut Bar
  • ABA Serpentine Belt
  • Power Steering and A/C Deleted
  • "Euro" Headlights in a Quad Round Badge-less Grill
  • Fog Lights


The first place we went was a car wash to spray her down and try to get as much grime off as I could.



Second post coming as soon as I get my daughter to bed...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok, now that the little one is in bed, let's get on to when I actually finally got my hands on it.

The first thing that had to go were the wheels. The previous owner wanted them back, and I generally don't like wheels that big, so that was the top of the list. I also realized that the trim was in bad shape and she needed a good wax and clay bar.

The clay bar and wax were easy...finding wheels was a little harder. Fortunately, a friend of mine had a couple extra sets of stock B13 SER wheels sitting around that he was willing to donate to me for a while.

In the middle of cleaning it up, clay and waxing, and re-spraying all of the trim.



After putting on the SER wheels.



Once I gave the previous owner his wheels back, he gave me some "extras" he had decided to throw in with the car.




The ABT A3's he had been using as winter wheels and then had them powder coated. For some reason, they coated the whole wheel instead of just the faces and barrels. The 16v is complete and had been through the machine shop to be hot-tanked and checked out before being stored. It came with a few extras, just needs to be assembled.

Sometime mid winter I took this picture, this is how she sat for the winter.



Next post, where we sit now...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Towards the end of February, I was on my way to a local meet and it was running a little weird. I couldn't quite sort it out, so I decided to get on the freeway and run it through the gears.

Second gear ran up to about 6300RPMs and then just kind of cut out. The chip should run up to 7000RPM, so it was unexpected. It wasn't a revlimiter kind of cut, just a straight cut out. I shifted to third and the car wouldn't go past 5000RPM. Not because it was cutting out, it just wouldn't go any farther. I pulled off at the next exit and about a block off of it the oil sensor started flashing and there was a loud buzz. I went into the next parking lot and shut it off.

When I looked in the engine bay, I saw what I expected to see...coolant all over the bay and a new black spot on the motor. I let it cool off and it started right up and drove home without problems. I knew that at least some damage had been done...so I decided to just tear it apart and replace the head gasket. Once it was apart, I was able to take a good look at the head and block and they checked out, so was the gasket. The only thing i can think happened is the head lifted a little bit.

Anyways, since it was apart, I decided I would do some maintenance stuff on and tie up some loose ends. A quick stroll through German Auto Parts and I was all set. I also decided to do away with the serpentine belt setup. In my opinion, the serpentine belt is ugly and worthless when all you have is an alternator. It's also more expensive to replace than a v-belt could ever be.

I also got a wild hair up my ass and ordered coil overs, a grill, and new tail lights from veedubmachine.

After too many hours of work trying to remove the serpentine belt setup and find the correct parts to replace it, this is how she currently looks.




As of right now, it just needs the coolant lines reconnected, filled with fluid, and timed and it should be running. I was in a rush to put it together to make a local group drive that ended up being canceled because of the weather. I'm tempted to do some more odds and ends before I put it all the way back together.

Since it's already been asked between these posts, these are my plans for it as of right now:

  • Re-finish and fit the ABT's
  • Put on a timing belt cover
  • Clean the oil messes out of the engine bay
  • Powdercoat some of the brackets and pulleys


Ultimately, my overall goal is to just make it low and slow. I have the 16v, but I don't currently have any intention of putting it together. I like the 8v, and I like the idea of cleaning it and the bay up. I also plan on going to mega squirt.

I'm sure I missed things, and I'm sure this will be one of the slower builds, but it should be fun. I have a lot of things in my head I want to try to pull off as time and money allows.

Thanks for reading and following along if you do.

-Ian
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My daughter decided to go hang out with my mom for a little bit, so I took the time to work on my wheels for a few minutes.

I've been looking at ways to remove powder coat from just the lips, and I haven't found many options. I decided the most promise was in an abrasive rotary wheel of some sort. Not a wire wheel, but something similar.

After some poking around, I ended up buying a couple of these from harbor freight.



3m makes a similar product that I had read a few reviews on, so I figured it was worth a shot.

I went home, threw one on the drill, and grabbed a wheel.

Before:


After:


The drill I'm using is an older drill, which I set to a lower setting. It takes a few passes, but doesn't appear to be eating into the wheel past the powder coat. It also seems like it will be relatively easy to get into the spokes. I plan on hand polishing them anyways, so the marks aren't a huge concern.

I should have a timing cover next week. Once I get that I'll put it all back together and hopefully go for a spin around the block.
 

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After too many days of looking at it sit in the garage, I set out to have it running Friday night. A friend of mine offered to come over an help out, so I took full advantage of it.

Three hours of chasing harnesses, filling fluids, tightening impossible to reach bolts, and reading the Bentley over and over again...and then this happens.


:banghead:

Fortunately, it was still making enough contact to get the car to start, which it did. Aside from a valve tick I'm not sure was there before, it ran better than I remember it running. Not really sure where to look to sort out the valve tick, or if it's really something to be concerned about, but I'm just stoked it started and ran.

In the meantime, the means and opportunity presented itself for me to pick up a new daily driver.


Not only does this take a lot of stress of of my life in general, but it also affords me the luxury of not "needing" the GTI. This means that I can go forward with bigger modifications without worrying about how I'm going to get to work the next day.

With any luck the next update will have "out of the garage" pictures.
 

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Corrected the front suspension and lowered it some. Ran it for a while only to find out the alternator is toast.

Oh well.

We got to go for a drive and hit a car wash.



She's going to have to sit like this for a while until my girlfriend's Subaru is running again. I'd rather have a mad car than a mad girlfriend.
 

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I have the rest of the week off so I spent the morning working on the car.

I fixed the alternator problem. When I picked up the alternator I got two from a friend just in case one of them didn't work. As an oversight on my part I didn't notice the one I put on wasn't a mk2 alternator. I'm not sure what it was off of, but it didn't have a post for the exciter. Since the setup I removed was kind of wonky, I didn't give it a second thought. Luckily, the second alternator was the right one. On the first start, it wouldn't charge. I gave it a hard blip of the throttle, it threw who knows how many years of dust in my face, and then started charging the battery. I drove it around for a bit and it doesn't seem to be having any problems now.

Since that was handled...I started working on other things that have been on the to do list.

First thing I did was test fit the ABT's again. I've been concerned they won't fit because of how low the car is. I've also been worried about clearing the shock/spring housing.



I think they'll fit fine with tires and everything. Definitely going to need a spacer to clear the shock. It's about a 1mm gap and I'm not super comfortable with that. Now if I could just get them stripped and re-powder coated I could rock those mother-fetchers.

I've had the grill sitting around for a while. About a month ago I finally ordered a new trim piece from BFI and painted it using some of the cheap "touch up" paint from Vato Zone. It's not a perfect match, but it will do for now. I also took the bumper and front flares off to re-black them, so that's why the bumper looks weird in the picture.



I started giving it a good clay bar and then it got too hot. Probably finish it in the morning.
 

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Keep the updates coming. Looking good so far.
 

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good start :thumbup:
 

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Borrowed a fender roller from a friend. It's now drivable at this height. Decided to wait to put the flares and trim back on until I was done waxing it and knew if rolling was going to be enough.

ProTip: If you took the wheels off, double check the lug bolts before you go for a drive. I almost lost a wheel today...

 

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I walk past this spot almost everyday on my way to work. Today, I finally stopped and took a picture.



Probably going to start thinking about winter plans. Registration expired today and I could use the insurance savings.

Maybe it's time to start seriously considering MegaSquirt and a manual steering rack.
 

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Drove to an "import" show about 50 miles away. Turned out to only be able 12 cars in total and only 5 or 6 were imports. Needed to get the miles in before I tried to go on a big drive with the local VW club next week.

On the way home I caught an oil light/buzzer and a pretty nasty valve tick. Not sure what happened yet, but I had to have it towed home.

Going to give it a couple days before I go work on it. I figure it's best to look at it when I'm not still mad as hell it left me and my family stranded on the side of the freeway.

From poking around on here, I'm guessing that the oil I used was too low of viscosity and it broke down after an extended time at high RPMs/heat. I'm hoping that there isn't permanent damage, but I had to drive about half a mile with the buzzer on, so I'm not too optimistic.
 
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