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27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all. I dunno if people still do these. I used to be active on the Fox board (as germanpettingzoo) and this was common. I'm doing this a little for anyone who cares but mostly for myself because I want to document this process. So...

A Long Winded Tale

Tl;dr version - I bought a car in 2016, parked it in 2020, now it's sad and I'm trying to bring it back to life.

This ridiculous adventure starts in 2011 when I started working professionally as a driver, which put me behind the wheel of a LOT of different cars. This experience brought me to develop a list of three reasonable cars I'd like to someday own:

1. 2004.5 Jetta TDI, Platinum Grey, GLS trim, manual, BEW.
2. Pre-facelift ('07-'11) Volvo C30, any colour but silver, R-design, manual, T5.
3. '02 Subaru WRX, obviously blue, bug eye, manual.

Imagine my delight finding the first car on my list in 2016 for $2300. It checked every one of the boxes. I was single and finally in a car I could rely on, and so I went on a lot of big trips in that car. One such trip I met the woman who would later be my wife.

While we were dating, with her living in New York and me in Ottawa, I did a hell of a lot of driving. Over the course of two years I put about 100k kms on it. Safe to say that without this car, my relationship might not exist.

Over the four years that I daily'd it, I only have had two failures. First was the turbo inlet hose to the EGR. The little nubs on the collar wore out and it popped off while driving. I repaired it with some plumbing parts and it was fine. That repair still holds it together today.
The second was where the fuel sometimes leaks out the side of the engine - it eventually ruined the coolant hose and I had a pretty sketchy drive home from NY. But it made it. I replaced the hose with a slightly longer one that avoids that area altogether. That repair holds today.

This car has never really let me down - yeah it had issues but it never left me stranded. And it brought me to my wife! I do love this car, so before you ask "why are you even doing this, the car isn't worth anything" - that's why.

In 2019 I had returned to college and started having some concerns. The timing belt was ageing, there were a few other bits and bobs, and I needed it to just work. I was faced with a number of not small jobs and a very limited budget. But then the second car on my list came up at a local dealer for a smokin price and so in March of 2020 I parked the Jetta.

Since then I've started it a couple times, I drove it around the block once, but it has largely just sat outside my brother's house getting worse and worse. I finished school, got a job, and now I can afford to fix it, so that's what I'm doing.

I am not a mechanic. I have done some work here and there on cars but nothing supremely difficult. My brother and a close friend are both mechanics and that is pretty helpful, but as the one driving this project (hopefully literally!) I am kind of just doing my best. Be kind.


The Bad

The main bad thing is that this has sat for almost 3 years and aside from everything I'm about to identify, who knows wtf is wrong. But my brother and I did a walk-around and in no particular order:
-brakes are a nightmare (not sure yet about calipers)
-handbrake cable is seized
-shift linkage is all fubar. Can't put it in reverse. Reverse is first, first is third, etc. Also lost side to side movement in the shifter.
-spring in the back is broken
-alternator is seized
-windshield is cracked pretty badly
-power steering fluid all pissed out somewhere, hoping it's just a bad line
-CEL for an issue it had before. Don't remember the code or even a vague description, I just remember we spliced in a section of wire into a yellow wire related to the turbo and it went away. It came back.
-general chaos with bodywork
-very bad rockers
-tires are trash
-fabric came off the ceiling a while ago while I was driving so now it's a horrible yellow foam. Clearly not the biggest problem but it still hurts
-missing a side marker light
-battery cables & terminals and iirc negative to the starter are corroded
-the half tank of untreated 3 year old diesel
-necessarily also the fuel filter will be gonked
-right side ball joint is wobbly
-and finally, the stuff that was bad before I parked it; timing belt, water pump, input shaft bearing on the tranny (repair for which included a new clutch because you're in there anyway), and potentially a new radiator.

The Stuff That Never Worked
-passenger side heated seat (I don't sit there so not a big deal tbh)

The Good
-starter replaced last year
-......I like the car a lot.

Today I start work on it. Part of the challenge is it's an hour and a half from home but if I can keep motivated I would like to get this back on the road and doing what it does best. I'll get some pics together later.

Just a random winter - I liked the lighting.
Wheel Car Automotive parking light Automotive side marker light Tire

That time I had a bit of rail pop up in the sunroof and had the glass out for a few hours.
Automotive parking light Car Vehicle registration plate Vehicle Automotive side-view mirror

Waiting for my brother at a Steve Vai concert.
Automotive parking light Automotive side marker light Car Vehicle Grille

I knew I would be parking it soon and there was a lot of rust. To temporarily keep it at bay I did this really awesome thing. I only had the colour "Watermelon". It's a look.
Automotive tail & brake light Car Plant Vehicle Automotive lighting

Next two are way out of order but this was ny car literally driving off into the sunset 3 years ago, right before it was parked where it is now.
Automotive parking light Tire Sky Car Vehicle

And this is it the day after I got it. My fee instagram friends sure got tired of me quick.
Automotive parking light Sky Vehicle registration plate Car Cloud

27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well, it seems you can put images in here directly now. I guess you don't need that third-party hosting anymore. Goodbye photobucket, hello car pictures! This is the current state of things:
Tire Wheel Car Automotive side marker light Land vehicle

Now that I know this will be easy to add pictures to I will definitely have to get on it sooner. This past Saturday I went out for another day of work in the sun and gravel. First got the new alternator back in and connected, routed new belt, and finally attached the vacuum ball thing correctly (that's the technical name for it). For 6 years I dangled it off the fuel line with a zip tie.
Gas Motor vehicle Auto part Engineering Metal

I'd hoped to get the e-brake cable and rear suspension done but ran out of time on the cable. Oh well. I wasn't jazzed about jacking the car up from the torsion beam so I spent some time faffing about with lining it up with a subframe bolt and getting some wood under both the jack and stand so I could transition from one to the other. I'm spoiled by hoist access so I admit to some new territory here.

Once that got done I spent a lot of time hitting the wheels with a 4lb hammer to unstick the bastards, then started getting all of the bits out.

Left side spring I didn't actually know was broken, but it was in two place right at the bottom.
Blue Azure Wood Art Road surface

The right side I knew was broken because it was pretty obvious.
Road surface Wood Asphalt Art Font

Struts were pretty chewy.
Road surface Asphalt Font Art Sidewalk

Bump stops looked how you'd expect.
Tire Automotive tire Wood Bumper Cylinder

I spent another long time trying to get them free of the mounts. I had ordered new bolts, bump stops, and mounts only to realize I hadn't got the dust covers, which means I needed these old ones. After a sit and a beer I put it top first on a jack stand and took some blacksmithy swings with the 4lb again until it came off. Lotta work for a plastic tube.

All done.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Vehicle brake Tread Bumper

I'm headed up again in a few days to swear at it some more. I want to get the front of the car up, pull the shifter cables and see if I'm replacing them or what. Also need to give the front subframe bolts a twist to see what I'm up against. Based on cost and effort, I am inclined to replace the steering rack rather than fight with just doing the left/right lines. But if it looks like the subframe ain't coming out, then I need a rethink.

That's all for now though.

27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just noticed it seems I'm missing an interim post in here!

The first day of work (day after my first post) went something like:

I grabbed this canopy for camping but it turns out to be a brilliant sun shade.
Automotive parking light Wheel Automotive side marker light Car Vehicle

I popped my new little turbo elbow hose thing in.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Synthetic rubber Tread Tire

This was a significant upgrade from my previous solution:
Tire Automotive tire Tread Wheel Motor vehicle

That above situation actually held on a long time. Easy to reproduce on the roadside and mighty affordable. I got very lucky with the new one - came off a scrap car and looked pretty new.

And then I stopped taking pictures.

In replacing the alternator I'd decided to leave the crap AC compressor in but when I gave the pulley a twist, it was pretty crunchy. I had one in the trunk from 3 years before that I'd never put in, and it sounded a lot better. So I put that in.
Then as I was getting the last bolt of the alternator - SNAP. Over torqued and the bolt gave out. My fault entirely. With a torch, a hammer and an insane amount of luck, the bolt end was freed. Spent the next hour or so scouring the town for replacements but nobody carries metric bolts I guess.

Discovered my fuel tank is full of algae so I need to pump that all out and do a shock treatment. I'm not surprised, just not looking forward to it.

Also replaced the right side ball joint.

Big part of the day was assessing the gear situation. The linkage was a little chewy but some grease fixed it right up. Now it can shift into all of the gears but the side-to-side is like having a shift box full of pea soup, and neutral is more like "vague area of not being in gear probably". It seems like the cable is at fault but I can't know for sure until I take a peak.

Anyway, I left that day with an alternator in the front seat and a general sense of progress and disappointment. That moved me into the post before this one. And now the story has that important middle bit. And this time I'll remember to hit post.

3,014 Posts
Welcome... yup, we love our project posts. Good opportunity to learn from your experiences. What I love is that I have something to look back on for my projects to remember what the heck I did.

Good list of cars...

I never had a 'wish list' (plan?) of cars that I wanted to get... exception might be a Jeep CJ-something to drive the back roads to go hiking.

From you list, and I understand you are very specific...

Had the 2004 VW Jetta 1.8T (never had a want for diesel car... though, have the truck for towing)
Still have the 2015 Volvo S60 R-Design (awesome car!)
Not that it was a bug eye, but had a 2009 Subaru WRX (favorite winter car ever) that I sold for my current 2021 Subaru STI Limited

Pictures help to engage. :)


27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Heya Steve! Thanks for the welcome!

From the years of driving everyone else's cars and seeing what combinations of model and trim level worked and what went wrong (and what cool stuff offsets the uncool stuff) it was pretty informative! Add to that, one of the cars my boss owned was an 03 TDI that never worked for anybody except me. The story goes, someone put gas in it and then it was never the same. I never had problems. I got the wheels (which are on my car now) when it got scrapped.

Seems like we have some strong overlap in car appreciation! The jeeps are an interesting breed. I don't think I'd want to live with one, but I'd rented one and hit a light trail a couple months back and it was super fun. For the cost of the rental over purchasing and maintaining one, this was money well spent.
Tire Wheel Cloud Automotive parking light Sky

And just to give the Volvo some love...
Tire Wheel Sky Car Land vehicle

...since you mention pictures. I'm glad to see we can upload them directly now instead of popping in links from a hosting service.

Anyway, thanks again and hope you enjoy the ride!

27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Had a day today. I'm trying not to be too disappointed but I drive an hour and a half each way to go work on my car, so I try to squeeze as much out of it as I can. When the day goes like this it's hard to feel like it was valuable. Anyway.

First thing I had to do was... Look at my Volvo! Last week I was trying to impress the wife with my tire-spinning clutch-popping start, and afterward I noticed the car had a new exhaust sound. It kept getting bette-... Uh... Worse. Since it was a car day I took a peek:
Tire Vehicle Car Wheel Automotive tire

Right before the muffler, kinda between back seat and trunk area. It actually sounds really goox (it's a 5 cyl engine) but also an hour and a half on the highway wears thin pretty fast. But, this isn't VolvoVortex. Let's look at the ol' girl.

Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Plant

This tent thing is honestly incredible. It makes such a big difference if you have to work outside, and for 70 CDN dollars it's worth it.

My plan today was:
-pick up new steering rack (done!)
-replace e brake cables
-new rotors and pads all around, general brake service
-pull old diesel and put in new with some biocide

I started by getting the brake cable detached from the inside, since the car was at ground level. I'd done this once before but kind of forgot the process. Everything I looked at said "remove the ashtray" but I ain't got one of them. Instead, the cupholder pops out and you're supposed to remove the plastic bit with the tracks that allow it to move back and forth. I should have taken a picture because this seems to be lost knowledge. All the parts are in the back seat still so maybe I'll grab later if anyone cares.

Anyway. My other interior task was to suck out the diesel. I bought a 12 dollar battery operated suction thing specifically for moving fuel. Truly incredible. This is what I got:
Plant Cooler Gas Tints and shades Electric blue

It's supposed to be that color, right? :D

I got in with clean rags and wiped the inside of the tank the best I could. The pump didn't get all the diesel so I soaked up what I could with paper towels, then got the rest with my rags. I wrung it all out and added it to the less full of the two jugs. It was black by the time I was done. But the tank is nice! (This pic is from before I was finished)

Fluid Liquid Automotive lighting Cup Gas

I used a product called Clear Diesel as a cleaner along with a clean rag to get as much schmoo as I could. Then I measured out and poured in the amount it said on the bottle (adjusted for tiny tank) and eventually added some diesel to it. Now I'm just letting it sit and stew.

At the same time, I put in a new sacrificial filter. I picked up a few of these guys because they aren't going to last long with all the garbage going through.
Motor vehicle Gas Auto part Electric blue Metal

Then I came to the brakes. And. Well. I had to take a trip into town to pick up my new rack, as well as order new subframe bolts for when I put that in. By the time I got back it was lunch and then it was getting close to the end of my available working time. I resigned myself to only doing the front brakes and then doing the rears along with the e-brake cable next time.

Instead, I maybe got one brake done but probably all I did was remove the old one. Confession time - I have only ever serviced drum brakes!
This was a bit new, but I've seen it done a bunch and did my homework. I was mainly having trouble getting the caliper lined up to get the slider pins in. The top one eventually threaded in but the bottom one, I can't tell. Electric ratchet stops like it's all snugged up but then when I get in with the torque wrench it just spins and spins. It's like it's either not catching the threads or the caliper is boned. It's probably the more expensive one of those options.

I messed around with it for a while but eventually gave up. I'm going to have to come back to it again later.

To try to cheer myself up, I thought maybe I can start the car. The one thing that I've held onto with this thing is that it has never not started. I ran the fuel pump a few times (this isn't an option on the ALH engine and one of the reasons I prefer the BEW) until I couldn't hear it passing air through the lines, which is surprisingly loud, and when I tried to start... Nothing. Clicked and then everything shut off. I figured that killed the battery so tried to jump it from the Volvo but even the power of Sweden couldn't do it.

Never really seen that behavior either - every possible light flicked on and off repeatedly and it clicked really rapidly but there was no cranking or anything. Another thing to look at. Later.

Hoping for a better work day next time.

27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good news, everyone! (Futurama meme here)

With considerable messing around (I actually want to use a word that starts with F and rhymes with duck) I got my brakes done today. I had to start by re-examining the front caliper from before. The slider pin goes through the caliper and threads into the knuckle, and the threads on the knuckle are pretty well trashed. There's a couple good spots but it looks like at some point it had been threaded in a little sideways. I don't think that was me, on account of having not done brakes myself before on this car. But maybe last week I accidentally cross threaded it?

I'm sure some people will disagree with my choice here but looking at just the sheer amount of work to replace that knuckle... I opted for some locktite and a best-effort at getting it seated nicely. It seems to hold pretty well and the other pin is fine. As long as nothing starts to wobble or get saucy under braking I think it'll be something I address next brake service.

Anyway, I was pretty focused on getting that done so I didn't take any pictures of the process. Here is the other side with the wear sensor. Note the crusty AF steering line visible in the back. We'll be seeing him again before the summer is out.
Automotive tire Wood Grass Plant Gas

I was fairly unimpressed that the brand new rotors out of the box have some surface rust. I suspect these have been on a shelf for a long time. It's not the end of the world but I still like my new products to be... New.
Automotive tire Rim Gas Audio equipment Automotive wheel system

Moving on. Front all done up, had some lunch, back outside to work on the rears. I didn't mention the temperature was 32 Celsius today, with humidity making it feel like 39. Great day for being out. I wanted to get pictures of a before and after on the same side but failed. So. Pretend they're the same side and let me tell a story. Out with the old:
Automotive tire Vehicle brake Wheel Rim Motor vehicle

...in with the new:
Automotive tire Vehicle brake Locking hubs Rim Motor vehicle

The fronts have never in my ownership of the car had the rotor set screws. Heads came off at some point. What a right pain that is. If our cars had studs it would be fine but trying to line up the brake disc, wheel, and hub to thread the wheel bolts in SUCKS. It's doable but I don't care for it. Anyway at least the rears have em. I suspect because when I got the car I had to get new bearings done on all four wheels (over the course of about the first year, one at a time as money allowed). I paid a man to do those so I don't know how it looked prior.

And all that had me thinking, you know, this car has been sitting a while. Things are dubious on here. I wonder how my wheel bearings are doing. So while working in the brakes I've been checking.
And to my surprise finishing the third brake everything was dandy!

Tire Automotive tire Wheel Motor vehicle Tread

Things were less okay on the fourth. Honestly, I'm not surprised but in also not mad, because this could have gone so much worse. The name of this ribby ABS part escapes me but it was obviously fubar. Really chewy all around. Even after cutting it out, the hub was still crunchy in one spot. Almost get a full turn in but it has a "flat" spot.

Finished the brake service, also spent a lot of time cleaning bolts. They all have so much schmoo in the threads and for the ones I'm reusing I just can't abide that. Will definitely need to do the bearing next. Since it's a hub/bearing in one, it shouldn't be too bad. Not sure if I should be replacing the stub axle or not but I'll probably just see when I get there.

Something I would really like some feedback on for anyone reading this who might have relevant experience - the caliper on the left and right side in the back are different. Not significantly, just in the e-brake cable. On the left side the cable end is sort of just a cylinder, and the cable rests in a little fork just before the lever. On the right side, the cable has a ball end and goes through more of an eyelet - so I'm not able to just slide the cable out. I had to cut it to be able to move the caliper enough to get the bottom bolt out of the caliper bracket. It's mostly fine I just don't see a way that this is a readily serviceable part. I might grind out the side of the eyelet to make it more like the left side, but I'm just curious if anyone has experienced this and what you might have done to replace the cable.

Other good news today - car starts just fine! :)
I had my brother take a look. Not sure if just the ground connector to the battery is iffy but that's all it was - not a solid enough connection. Apparently it can be very sensitive and I didn't torque it on hard enough. So, a quick test of that theory and the car started immediately, and that was really gratifying.

Anyway that's all for me today. Time to lie down and have a sore back.

1,039 Posts
surface rust on brakes doesn’t make them not new.
but I feel you on the ABS tone ring. mine use to make a ticking noise while driving and it was insanely annoying.

keep up the resto.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

7,923 Posts
It has been a while since I did a parking brake cable replacement. I don't call having to cut anything to remove the old cable in my MKIV. I disconnected the cable from inside the car and pulled really hard under the car to get enough slack to free the end from the caliper. It was rusted from salty water getting in under the bellow boot. Maybe some silicone paste under the boot might help the new cable live longer. My tone rings were rusty too. I was getting ABS errors on the rear left from time to time.

27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Back at it again today. I'm spending the night at my brother's so I can keep at it tomorrow. Today was a bit of a "one step forward one step back" kinda situation.

Got off to a decent start - was able to drive the car from the end of the driveway all the way to the middle of the driveway. ROADTRIP!
Tire Wheel Car Sky Vehicle

So this was my step back - I decided to start looking at the shifter situation. I know the linkage moves around fine, but the cables don't. It was suggested to me in the manual transmission forum to do the bushings and adjust the cables. In trying to adjust the cables I learned two things;
1 - the 'home' position of the linkage where you can lock it with the little plastic pin, doesn't seem to let me turn the pin to the locking position. I'm unsure why that might be. You can kinda see the pin here - aside from a fair bit of rust on everything, the linkage seems fine and all moves really smoothly.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Automotive fuel system Rim

2 - the side to side cable is definitely seized. With the cables detached from the linkage I can move the up/down one freely and hear it knocking the shifter around in the car. I can't move the side-to-side cable without the help of a very large pair of pliers. This is where the step backward comes in.

I yanked the cable back with the pliers hoping maybe getting it moving might help. Went in the car, wiggled the shifter, then repeated a few times. When I came back again, I noticed half of the connector from the cable to the linkage was missing on the good cable. Looks like one of the times I wiggled the shifter, the cable must have bounced in the way of the counterweight and that snapped it. You could taste the 45 dollars burning away. So I have one bad cable with a good connector, and one good cable with a broken connector. Big yikes.

Also this happened:

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Engineering Gas

I put the 5mm pin in and it wasn't going very smoothly so I was gently wiggling the shifter to try to give it the clearance it needed and then... Yeah. So it was off to a good start, but at least from here it was all steps forward!

I moved onto the wheel bearing from a couple weeks back. Since I've had this all apart down to the hub it was pretty easy to get started. I've mentioned before, my brother is a mechanic, so whenever I come up I give him a list of tools I need and he brings them from work. Feels like I've got no business using some of these but it sure is nice using good tools. Makes everything go a lot faster.
Crankset Automotive tire Wood Bicycle part Rim

It all came apart shockingly easy. As far as the spindle/stub axle, I was flip flopping between removing it and then tapping the inner race off, or trying to cut it and split with a chisel. Ended up going for option B, based on just how chewy the bolts were. I'm pretty certain they'd have rounded off immediately.

Automotive tire Vehicle brake Motor vehicle Gas Engineering

I did catch the back edge with the grinder a little but it's pretty minimal. For my first go at this, I think it went really well. If you're patient I think this is probably the easiest way to do this - the off-brand Dremel does all the work, you just have to watch it.

I was certain I had taken a picture before getting the brakes back on but it seems I didn't. So uh. Here's a wheel. It wouldn't be there without a hub.
Wheel Tire Automotive tire Synthetic rubber Tread

The last thing I did was free the e-brake cable. Before I had mentioned it was different on this side. After digging around more it looks like this side is OEM and the other side is an aftermarket caliper. The lever on the other side has an open fork that the cable just flops into but this side is a closed circular thing as it should be. The cable end was pretty stuck on there but with a little more confidence than before I gave it a couple twists and it came free.
Gas Wood Plumbing Auto part Pipe

So that's it for today. We had a heat warning all day, also had to make a trip into town for cutting discs and to order parts, so it was a short day. Now need to decide if I should buy the 300 dollar shifter cable that everyone is selling or buy the 90 dollar one from rock auto. I worry about both options for different reasons. In either case, I want to take the shiftbox and cables out tomorrow - we'll see from there how I feel.

Other items on tomorrow's agenda:
  • Replace ebrake cables (this has been on my list every week since I started this)
  • Shifter cables out
  • Shiftbox out
  • Give the subframe bolts a look, since I need to get in there eventually and I'll have the front up
  • Maybe maybe finally new brake fluid which has also been on my list since I started working on them 4 weeks ago
Lets see how much of that I actually get crossed off.

Wheel Tire Automotive parking light Car Land vehicle

7,923 Posts
Gotta love rust. We use a lot of road salt up here. I used to use whatever parts from RockAuto.com to keep my trusty rusty MKIV going. Come to think of it, I still have replacement parts in the basement.

27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Day 2 of my weekend of good times - not too many pictures for this one but good progress was made. It was 41 degrees today (106 for the Americans in the audience) so I wasn't expecting anything significant, and I feel like that's what I achieved. But I'm good with it.

First was to get under the car and look at the exhaust. I knew the shifter cables were coming out and that also meant the exhaust had to come down. But uhh...

Automotive tire Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Hood Automotive design

That's not coming out. I switched over to working on the e-brake cables. Old ones came out easy, new ones went back in easy too. I didn't hook them into the levers on the calipers because it was a little more finagling than I was willing to do with the wheels on, so I earmarked that for later.

It was hot, so I switched to something easy and chill to cool down. When I ordered my wheel bearing, I threw these in too because it's flat rate shipping.

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle

The old ones were all stiff so just a little quality of life thing.

Got back under the car and cut out a section of exhaust to have access to the shifter box. It went generally okay but a cutting disc tried to kill me. Brand new and couldn't even get through the old pipe, but finished it off with a sawzall. Don't wanna take the credit here - my brother did the sawzalling. I wasn't super confident that I could cut through it without catching the blade and shaking the poor thing to bits.

No pictures here of the exhaust. Or dropping the shifter box down, and pulled the cables out. Cable for the left/right movement is definitely shot.

This is the side that's normally in the engine bay - looks like it cracked and let in moisture. This is where it's sticking so it makes sense to me. Currently either looking at ordering a new one or maybe finding a shiftbox and cables at a scrapyard - starting to get in to Ship of Theseus territory here with replacing parts though.
Hand Finger Paint Nail Engineering

While the car was up, also got a look at the subframe bolts. The two lower ones came loose easy enough. The two toward the front... It looks like the right side will be okay, the left side... Ehhhh. We'll see. But at least it looks like the steering rack should be doable.

Finished up the day getting the e-brake cables hooked in and cleaning up. That's always a big time suck. Heading back next weekend too. Maybe will do steering rack?

Since a few of y'all are fans of rust, you'll love my rockers :)

Wood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Tire

Golf Mk IV, NA 1.4 LPG, 6-speed manual
200 Posts
Since a few of y'all are fans of rust, you'll love my rockers
This is game over for this car. IMHO there is no point fixing the rest of it, just replacing rockers is going to cost you a fortune. A water got inside of rocker panels (I suspect because of the clogged fender that has never been cleaned from dirt).

Take out seats, unclip plastic trims, lift the carpet and check the floor condition - you might see the rust already went through the body. Also, laying flat on the ground, lift the L-shaped seals at the bottom edge of the door. What do you see?

3,014 Posts
Paint is cheap and labor is free. If this was my project, while I had something apart for something else, I would grind the rust off and paint it... for example, the bolts, brake dust shield, etc. when replacing the wheel bearing.

Have the rear beam off for bushings.... sandblast and paint the beam. And replace the exhaust heat shield... that is toast.
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