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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Note
My initial year's progress was captured in another thread. If you care to read from the beginning, check out this thread then come back and pick up here.
http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?6886062-My-MK2-2013-year-in-review

Well, another year is almost in the books so it's time for me to look back and reflect a bit on what I accomplished since the last update. I'll try to make this thread the last one going forward and just put future updates in here.

My overall theme for the spring was to focus on the interior and perform an audio installation. My goals were to cut down on noise as much as possible to give myself a good base to install a modest audio system. Overall, I'm pleased with how things turned out.

And I managed to sprinkle in a little more fun along the way.

12/05/13
OK, so just going by the date I'm cheating a little bit. However, this happened after my last "year in review" so it goes in. I had been keeping an eye out for a decent set of 5.25" components on eBay and managed to pick these up for pretty cheap.



12/15/13
One of the things that always let the car down the most was the wheels. The BBS RAs that were on there were pretty beat up, crubbed, taco'd, etc. And the tires were nearly as bald as me. So when I came across a set of RS on Craigslist, I jumped at the opportunity. Did I mention they were in Detroit and I'm east of Cleveland? No problem, a quick trip in the wagon and they were mine:



Of course the tires were the wrong size and dry rotted, but I knew that going in. I was buying these just for the wheels. That didn't stop me from heading to the storage locker and mocking things up!



1/08/14
More audio parts acquired. I wanted to use some Elemental Designs stuff in this one because I had liked them back when they were around (still have one of their subs in my daily). So I grabbed a Nine.4 to run the components, again for cheap off eBay. Of course since I had the amp and the components I had to do a quick test on the kitchen table:



2/9
I still needed to figure out what to do for a sub. I had decided to stick with Alpine gear for the speakers just to keep it consistent so I was hunting for a sub when I came across a sub/amp combo on Craigslist. So I solved that piece of the puzzle.

2/21
Wiring order arrived. This would actually turn out to be the 2nd most expensive part of the install, behind the head unit itself. Anyway, got 4 gauge for the main battery-> hatch run, some distribution blocks, then 8 gauge from the distribution blocks to the amps. Nice braided speaker wire, decent RCAs, and a bunch of connectors as well. And stickers, of course.



Around this time I was also working on mounting the components. I bought a set of pre-cut MDF rings off eBay (because I'm not a woodworker and I don't own a router) and set about trimming them to fit.

Mockup:


Trimmed and epoxied:


Expanding foam to fill any voids:


3/31

Car was out of storage! And I celebrated by mounting the new wheels and tires.

Before


After


4/15
I installed new ball joints then it was alignment time. She got to spend the night at the dealer with some good company.



Late April
Now that i had most of the audio gear collected, it was time to start mocking things up. My idea all along was to build a sealed spare tire sub enclosure witha fiberglass bottom and MDF sides/top, along with a false floor covering it and hiding the rest of the gear.

As far as gear goes, I used the following:
Front drivers - Alpine SPR-13S components
Front power - ED Nine.4 amplifier
Sub - 12" Alpine "Type R"
Sub power - MRP-M500 mono amp
Head unit - Pioneer DEH-80PRS

Before I had decided on a head unit I was going to use the Alpine crossovers in a passive setup with the Nine.4 bridged. But once I settled on the Pioneer DEH-80PRS head unit I realized that I had the makings of an active setup at my disposal. So I decided to skip the crossovers and run the components active. I've never messed around with anything quite like that before but I'm glad I did.

My overall mission was to have a good sounding install that could get loud when I wanted to, but above all else I didn't want to do anything that couldn't be easily reversed in the future. No cutting of metal, etc. And it had to look as stealthy as possible using stock mounting locations. Therefore I was limited to 5.25" drivers for the front. Oh... and no rear fill. Personal preference but I just don't like rear speakers.

I started off mocking things up just to make sure it all fit. A previous owner has installed some sound deadening in the hatch area. As you'll see later on, this was just the start.



Then, the real tear down began. Bye bye, interior.



Why, hello there, pretty floor boards.



Time to quiet those doors down.



At some point in the past someone had removed all the OEM sound deadening and carpeting. Probably because the vapor barriers were roached. Time to make the interior just a touch more plush and a lot more quiet.



In addition to using FatMat on every surface I could get my hands on, I filled the voids as much as possible with foam in order to further reduce cabin noise.



More deadening, more foam, more work.



For the speaker leads I decided to get a little fancy and use wire pants. I think it turned out nice and dresses things up just a bit.



Starting to resemble a car again.





With the front mostly done it was time to turn my attention to the sub. Building the frame for the enclosure.



Remembered that I had also picked up some other old school goodess over the winter. I scored an old set of Momo pedal covers and installed them.



The frame of the sub enclosure was mostly done. I made it so that the front edge of it was contoured to the profile of the spare tire well while the left side and back rested on the floor of the hatch.


I did my best to keeps things tidy in the wiring department.



Finally the time I had been dreading had come. Time for fiberglass. I had never worked with it before so go easy on the critiques. I was just a *little* worried about fibers getting into the interior.



Kind of hard to see, but in keeping with my goal of not cutting everything I had to work around the post that the spare tire was secured onto. I turned this into an advantage by building the floor of the enclosure around it and using it as a hold down of sorts. So the enclosure is removable in the future if I need to.



Killed some brain cells with the resin. That is some nasty stuff.



I think I killed too many brain cells because it seems that I forgot to snap pictures from this point until it was finished. But the end result was just what I was going for... stealthy.



Once I had it all buttoned up from the audio and sound deadener installation I went for a drive. Wow. First off, the change of going from no sound deadening to lots of it was a great change. Yes, I added weight. But the difference in enjoyment was well worth it. The exhaust is still a little loud at times, but it really helped give the car a more solid feel and less of the "tin can" resonance that it had before. And the audio system works really well. Imaging is good (to my ears), bass is punchy without being muddy. I'm really happy with how it turned out, especially considering the budget constraints.

Continued in next post...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
June

After the audio stuff was out of the way I didn't really tackle many projects for the rest of the year. Which is just the way I wanted it. Lots of days spent driving the car to/from work and sneaking out at lunch for drives. I stopped in the park across the street to take a few pictures.







For some reason a previous owner had removed the pop-up sunroof wind deflector from my car, but I managed to find one at a local yard. It was kind of faded but nothing that a quick blast from the trusty Dupli-Color Trim Paint rattle can wouldn't fix.



Around this time I also got sick of the dry rotted window scrapers so I picked up an aftermarket set off eBay (seller ID "tonyboy1977"). I actually wrote up a mini review of this HERE.

Not quite OEM.


But better than what I started with.




After.




Oh, and I scored some proper MK3 rubber floor mats. They're in fantastic shape with the exception of the driver's side logo being discolored.



August
I attended the annual Volksfest show east of Columbus, OH. But before that I snuck in one little project. I had picked up a used USRT shift linkage off a member here. So I figured I'd install it before the drive down there. Well... I did, but no pictures of the install because I forgot.

This was what he sent me, though:




And while installing it I decided to make my own temporary copy of the shift linkage alignment tool. I printed the template then cut it from cardboard. Good enough for the one time use.



And here's the GTI on the morning of the show, all cleaned up and ready for the road.



Oh, and after the show I finally got sick of not having a door lock pull on the passenger side and I decided to get to the bottom of it. Turns out that I was missing the little plastic connector that goes here.



The good news is that it was still available at the dealer (Part # 357837084, costs $2.92. Cheaper than driving to a yard!) so after a few days I got it in and had a functioning door lock pull on the passenger side.

I then decided to take things to the next level. When I got the car it had two keys - one for the passenger door and one for everything else. I got the itch to have 1 key that worked for everything. I got a new OEM key cut (as well as a cheap spare) at the local dealer and I was going to get the lock cylinder re-keyed to match. Then I came across THIS thread that showed a DIY. That's the really proper way to do it, but I ran across a more down and dirty (and cheap/easy) method HERE. I realize that this isn't the 100% correct way in that it makes the lock slightly less secure, but let's be honest - if someone wants to break in they're going to do it. This is just for my convenience.

Old key in the lock:


New key before modifying the tumblers:


New key after some quick Dremel action


And the One Key To Rule Them All:



September

At some point I picked up a MK4 battery distribution block from the yard and finally decided to put it to use. At the same time, I had been meaning to relay the headlights since the light output was always pretty bad.

Battery before:


And after:


I picked up some H4 headlight sockets from Amazon and used them to build a relay harness that was plug and play. (Again keeping with the theme of not hacking any existing wiring)






And that was about it for the year. I drove her when the weather was nice and then around mid-October I moved her into her spot at the storage facility.

The focus for next spring is going to be a continued effort to refine the interior, perhaps adding some other audio options (Sirius), and then beginning the long process of saving for paint/body work. Also looking to continue working to get the engine bay tidied up and further degreased.
 

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Nice audio setup Brett! Didya contact Robert to see if he still had my old spare tire well sub enclosure?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
2015 year in review

Wow. It's 2016 already? Time for another instalment.

I'm trying something a little different for this year's update. First, a quick overview of the year, followed by more details.

TL;DR;

  • ENGINE - Voltage regulator
  • ENGINE - Oil flush/change
  • ENGINE - Plug wires
  • ENGINE - Detailing, including fuel distributor cover, rain tray replacement, timing belt cover, and a few other small details.
  • EXHAUST - Downpipe-to-cat leak fix
  • EXHAUST - Complete "redo" from the cat back including new resonator, mid muffler, and Jetex rear muffler
  • ELECTRICAL - Installed Sirius tuner
  • ELECTRICAL - Installed headlight relay harness & new bulbs
  • ELECTRICAL - Installed 3 blink turn signal relay
  • INTERIOR - Replaced door cards
  • INTERIOR - Replaced rear speaker trays
  • EXTERIOR - Replaced front flares

The full story:

3/17/15
Got her out of storage and got a few little things done.

  • Started off by installing a new HUCO Voltage Regulator which brought my idling alternator output from just a hair over 14v to 14.4 or so.
  • Replaced headlights with Silverstar ultra 9003/H4 bulbs
  • Flushed/Changed oil using Liqui Moly 2037 Pro-Line Engine Flush, and Liqui Moly (3721) Cera Tec Friction Modifier.
  • Took her to a local muffler shop and had them fix up a small leak in the header->cat connection that I could never get sealed properly. The flange on the header was bent a little from the looks of it so I said F it and had them weld it up. Thankfully I had already replaced the shift box parts last year so crossing fingers I won't need to remove it any time soon. The upside is no more leaks and it sounds much better now.

4/11/15
Installed Headlight relays.

This, combined with the new bulbs from earlier made a nice difference in the light output.
No pictures of this being installed, but the picture of the kit itself was prettier anyway:


4/21/15
Did a few clean up things in the engine bay:
  • Rain tray
  • Upper timing belt cover
  • Fuel distributor cover

Before (can see the new headlight relays from previous update on top of the radiator @ right of picture):


After:


4/24/15
I finally got around to installing my "new" door cards that I got over the winter. I had been putting it off because they were in pristine condition but they didn't have the speaker cut-outs in them. I was putting it off, but I finally grew a set and broke out the Dremel cut off wheel.

Old VS New (AKA Ebony and Ivory):


No turning back:


Totally worth it in the end:


More photos HERE.

5/22/15
I installed the docking station and my Sirius tuner. I already had a nice audio setup going, this just gave me more choices.



7/24/15
I installed a 3 blink turn switch thanks to info I found by posting HERE. Pretty easy installation.

I was driving myself a little batty at first trying to reconcile the instructions provided, the Bentley current flow diagram, and the diagram in this thread. In the end, I pulled off the "clamshell" around the column and tapped in there. I used the LINK provided earlier to the Samba to figure out the right wires to use.

White/Green piggybacks onto black/white/green, switch terminal #49A
White piggybacks onto black/white, terminal #49L
Green piggybacks onto black/green, terminal #49R
Black/white is switched power, which I piggybacked from the rear defroster wire -- the power requirement is minimal, and my rear defrost doesn't work anyway. The brown wire is ground; where it's grounded is irrelevant, but it should be a good, solid ground.
I did basically this, with the exception of switched power. I had an existing switched power wire for another accessory (Sirius radio) so I tapped into that.

The wires you need to tap (BK/W/G, BK/W, BK/G):


And a slightly wider view after I tapped into them (note the blue power taps):


I used double sided tape to mount the relay to the side of the bracket that holds the existing relay/fuse box.

When all was said and done, here's how it worked:


The same day, I also replaced my front flares. The car had the original G60 flares on it, but they'd seen better days. Here's a comparison. "New" on top (actually, lightly used courtesy of a fellow Vortexer. Thanks, peruski!) and mine on the bottom. There was a pretty big crack as you can see.



With the old flares off, you can see the fender cut outs that came on the 91-92 16V models to accommodate the bigger flares.


And the end result.



8/08/15
I drove it ~6 hours total to Columbus and back for the Volksfest show. It ran flawlessly with the exception of the random coolant light flash (no problems that I can tell, just a glitch in the matrix). Enjoyed the AC and the stereo. On the way I turned 214000 miles. Oh, and picked up a pretty nice set of rain gutter rubber for when/if I ever repaint it.

At the show:


And I made it home in time for sushi.


9/24/15
I admitted to myself that I'm comfortable with my old man status and decided to quiet down the exhaust.
Before - Raceland header, Magnaflow cat, small resonator, Borla muffler.
After - Same header and cat. I had a local muffler shop fab up a custom system using a center resonator into a mid muffler, then to a 2nd hand Jetex rear box.

It's so much easier on the ears now. Still has a little growl when I get on it but very composed sound. And bonus... Looks better as well.
Before:


After:




10/15/15
I failed emissions. Then I realized I didn't care because as of 1/1/16 she will be 25 years old as far as Ohio is concerned and exempt from emissions testing.

But at least I got to see it on the rollers.



10/20/15
Replaced the plug wires with Neuspeed wires.

Before:


After:


And then, into storage she went.




And I began the parts hoarding again. This year's plans include something up front, something out back, and something in the middle.

For now I just have to wait until spring...
 

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Nice update Brett, car is looking good! I'm looking into picking up a '93 SLC thats local to me as a project/toy. Much easier to work on them when you don't have to depend on them for daily transportation...
 

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Brett, man it seems like a great update! What a year.

Anyways, I was interested in doing the window scrapers, was that a weekend job or was it pretty straight forward? Mine are leaking and leaving a little more water in my doors than I'd like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Brett, man it seems like a great update! What a year.
The funny thing is that going into this year's write up I was thinking that I didn't do much this year besides driving it. Guess I had some selective memory.

Anyways, I was interested in doing the window scrapers, was that a weekend job or was it pretty straight forward? Mine are leaking and leaving a little more water in my doors than I'd like.
Not sure if you saw my mini review of the scrapers here:
http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthre...outer-window-scrapers&p=85750412#post85750412

In short - they're not that hard to install. You just yank off the old ones and the new ones press into place. The hardest part is the trimming needed on the new scrapers. Since they're not molded into an "L" shape, you have to trim them a bit so they'll make the turn at the back of the window. But they're much better than the dry rotted ones that were on there!

A couple years in and they're still soft and pliable. I might be different than others, though, because this car is almost always garaged and rarely has to sit in the elements. Maybe if they were out in the sun more I'd have issues.

-Brett.
 

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The funny thing is that going into this year's write up I was thinking that I didn't do much this year besides driving it. Guess I had some selective memory.
From the looks of it, you made some great forward thinking progress. Lots of all around good things, and besides, driving it is half the accomplishment!

Not sure if you saw my mini review of the scrapers here:
http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthre...outer-window-scrapers&p=85750412#post85750412

In short - they're not that hard to install. You just yank off the old ones and the new ones press into place. The hardest part is the trimming needed on the new scrapers. Since they're not molded into an "L" shape, you have to trim them a bit so they'll make the turn at the back of the window. But they're much better than the dry rotted ones that were on there!

A couple years in and they're still soft and pliable. I might be different than others, though, because this car is almost always garaged and rarely has to sit in the elements. Maybe if they were out in the sun more I'd have issues.

-Brett.
Thats really good news! Seems really affordable, I might look into it myself.

Nice write up by the way :thumbup:

Thanks
Cayden
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Nice update Brett, car is looking good! I'm looking into picking up a '93 SLC thats local to me as a project/toy. Much easier to work on them when you don't have to depend on them for daily transportation...
Thanks, Doc! It sure is much better the 2nd time around. Especially knowing that if something breaks you have backup.

-Brett.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Here's my 2016 version of the Year In Review. Not a ton of huge changes this year, but some refinements in areas that I wanted to improve upon. The biggest change would have to be the conversion from manual to power windows. It really does make things easier to not have to reach across the car to crank down the passenger window. Plus, it cleans up the interior a bit to not have the window cranks there.

So here's the short version of how the year went:

  • ENGINE - Installed a starter relay to fix a "hot start" problem I'd been having.
  • INTERIOR - Swapped the dash for an uncracked version
  • INTERIOR - Converted from manual to power windows and mirrors
  • EXTERIOR - Installed NOS fifft taillights
  • EXTERIOR - Installed NOS Mattig grille

Read on for the full story:

04/07/2016
Installed some NOS smoked fifft tail lights.

The lights:


Prep work:



Before and after.


04/19/2016
I painted and installed the Mattig "Rallye Look" grille I had picked up from Amazon.co.uk over the winter. Looks like I might have gotten their last one since it now says "Currently Unavailable".

Before:


During


After. Note, this was me being indecisive about putting a "red stripe" around the new grill. I decided to leave it unpainted and add the stripe later using pinstriping. It's a decision I grew to regret, since the pinstriping doesn't stick to this material very well and ended up peeling off. It can be seen in later pictures to follow.


07/07/2016
Installed a starter relay and got rid of the windshield washer bottle while I was in there. I got the info on it from THIS POST.



08/03 through 08/11/2016
Dash Swap time! This was the biggest effort of the year for me. I had picked up an uncracked red stripe dash over the winter from a fellow Vortexer, driving ~5 hours each way to pick it up. I had also amassed the parts needed to switch from manual to power windows and mirrors, including the factory wiring harness from the fuse box onward.

I fount it helpful to mark the location of the 10MM bolts in the rain tray with some tape to make it easier to locate them.


Ladies and gentlemen - the point of no return.


I also took this opportunity to remove an ancient aftermarket alarm. I never used it and I figured it was just one more potential point of failure.


While I removed a bit of wiring from the old alarm, I more than made up for it by installing the entire factory power window/mirror harness that I had picked up from a member here.


As much as possible I also removed the OEM sound deadening (AKA the old-car-smell trapping material) and replaced it with FatMat.


I wrapped the new harness and other wires in cloth tape where appropriate to try and cut down on rubbing/noise.


Well, what do you know. It fits!



All buttoned up and back to being driveable.






08/13/2016
I drove down to Columbus again to attend the Volksfest show and cath up with an old friend. (And his new RHD MK1 Scirocco) I managed to bring home the wood. First time I've ever taken home any sort of award from a show, so that felt nice.











09/04/2016
I drove to a local show called Dubs In Geneva (on the Lake)





10/14/2015
It was time to put her in storage once again. But first, I decided to try out a new-to-me camera lens I had picked up and we set off for a little photoshoot. Or, as a friend remarked, she "got her school pictures taken".

The full set is HERE.








11/05/2016
Drove to Chicago to pick up Velma's new stable-mate.



And that's about it for 2016!
 

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Looks great Brett. That dash swap was a lot of work!
 
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