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Discussion Starter #1
I guess this can't really be considered a build thread as I got the car 90% the way it sits. But I will update on everything I do to it. I picked up this GTI during the summer of 2010. At the time I actually really hated VW's with a passion even though I had quite a few friends who were into them. That all changed when a coworker of mine drove in to work on day with a newly acquired VW. It was a combination of everything I hated in cars at the time, it was slammed, had stretched tires, FWD, a VW, even had a stupid beer tap shift knob. But the sound that thing emitted was captivating. eventually he let me borrow it to get some lunch one day and somehow I kind of fell in love with it. after about a month or so I heard him saying that he was thinking about selling it. After thinking about it for awhile I ended up making a deal with him and ended up purchasing the car from him.

When I first got the car it didn't have the bumper on it, almost nothing on the dash worked, didnt have headlights, and only had one seat. First things first, I helped my coworker put the bumper on before I received the car from him.



First photo I took of it. and here's what it looked like when I took possession.





The seat that it had in it was a passenger side seat on the drivers side. It also had the separate lap and shoulder belts, so I couldn't exactly use the shoulder belt. I drove it like that for exactly one day. I scored a set of front seats for free from a buddy of mine. They were out of an '85 Jetta. I didn't exactly like them, but at least they were a matching pair and could utilize the seat belts. You can also see the PBR shift knob the previous owner installed. I wasn't a huge fan of it, but I didn't have anything to swap it out for. surprisingly I found it comfortable to drive with though.



A little excessive on the poke and stretch for my taste but I learned to like it. As you can tell, no headlights or fog lights.



The flares werent looking too great so I investigated a little further...



not a pretty sight. :facepalm: I spent hours scrapping the hot glue off the fender lips and had some success using beutel tape to reattach the flares.

And here's what lied beneath the hood. 12v VR6, 02J transmission. ECU had a TT chip, TT catback exhaust, K&N air filter, ported throttle body, GM coilpacks. polished intake, polished valve cover, polished belt tensioner.




to be continued...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Here's the the details on the car when I got it:


'92 Volkswagen GTI 115,400mi
'93 12v 2.8 VR6 from passat 40k mi
O2J EGF 5 speed from '02 GTI
FK highsport coilovers
Euro tail lights
Mk3 rear beam (12mm wider per side)
93 Passat radiator crossmember and front engine mount
mk3 full front subframe, A-arms, power steering rack, tie rods, 5x100 hubs (17mm wider per side)
G60 front fender flares
G60 strut mounts
Corvette salad shooters (16x8.5 +32)
3/4" (20mm) adapters
10 mm spacers in rear
GM 6 cylinder coilpack conversion
Techtonics Tuning chip
Techtonics Tuning exhaust
G60 front strut bushings
Poly rear strut bushings*
Corrado master cylinder
-Zimmerman 12" front, 11" front and rear drilled brake rotors
-mk3 calipers with ceramic brake pads
-mk3 silver faced vr6 dash cluster
-R32 poly subframe bushings, sway bar bushings ,control arm bushings and power steering rack bushings
-5 lug swapped
-mono front wiper
-"lay flat" rear wiper
GLI front door cards
Eurosport rear strut tower brace
Mirror polished and shaved intake manifold
PBR tap handle shift knob
Quiafe LSD
Steel braided brake lines
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I was able to get everything on the dash working, however the tach wouldn't read correctly. At idle it would read below zero. However, if I gently bumped the needle up with my finger it would jump to the correct idle range of ~800rpm.

After a couple weeks I noticed that the engine seemed to have a lot of movement with throttle input and the car had severe wheel hop so I decided to check things out. It turned out that one of the starter bolts was missing and one of the bolts attaching the front motor mount bracket to the block was loose and the captured nut on the bracket had broken off. The old mount was shot so I went ahead and made my own mount out of hockey pucks. It ended up also raising my engine about 3/4" which gave me some more precious ground clearance to my oil pan.

 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I was sick of only having high beams so I picked up a pair of stock 7" rounds to bolt in there. Unfortunately the headlight harness was hacked to **** so I couldn't even run low beams yet, I'd have to redo the entire headlight harness.





By this time I wanted to meet some other VW enthusiests in the area. I found a local gtg at a Buffalo Wild Wings. This started to become a regular once a week meet but the original organizer had other commitments and was unable to keep hosting. So I stepped up and continued to advertise and post info. Eventually the location changed to a parking structure at another Buffalo Wild Wings. This meet really started picking up and regularly had over 30 cars show up every week.




 

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Discussion Starter #7
Im surprised those strut caps dont hit the hood, whats up with that...:screwy:
You know I thought that looked wrong too. A couple of years ago I looked into it. I thought the mounts were upside down or shot or something. I ordered new G60 mounts and they ended up the same, thinking they may have been upside down i tried installing them the other way and they wouldn't even fit. From what I remember, I was told that that is normal if you use a G60 strut mount with that particular strut cap. I stopped worrying about it, but now that you say something it's got me wondering again...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I was sick of those ugly seats so after looking around for a bit I found a decent pair of Recaro LS' and installed them. I also picked up a stock shift knob from an Audi 4000S

 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I was sick of not actually having headlights. So I went ahead and ordered crystal smoked 7" round E-codes, bumper lights and fog lights.







I spent hours tracing wires and redoing the headlight, turn signal, and headlight harness. It looked like the previous owner had actually cut everything off and tucked it away so I didn't even know what wires went where. I rewired the bumper lights to be for turn signal only and used the city lights I the rounds and running lights. I think it looks cleaner that way. I also installed 6k HID's with Casper shields and wired up a relay harness.











It has a decent cut off for being a reflector housing but I'd still like to do a projector retrofit in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Next up I looked into why I didn't have power steering. The previous owner appeared to simply remove the PS reservoir and return line and didn't even bother to loop the rack. So I got some new return line, found a MK2 reservoir and mount and bled the system. Everything worked so I was happy. Power steering makes parking lots much less of a chore.

While I was under the car I noticed that I had an exhaust leak at the muffler inlet. It appeared that the clamp had been over tightened. I ended up deleting the muffler and added duel slash cut tips. This is just about the only engine that still sounds good when straight piped and not too raspy.

I had some new tires installed on the rear wheels. 205/40/16 Falken 512, they stretched much better than the Raptor Rikens that were on there previously. also added some camber bolts up front and did an alignment and ended up running -1.5* camber. I also removed the 10mm spacers from the rear and lowered the rear down about .5". Now the wheels sit much better and don't rub really as much in the front and rear.



 

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I never knew this car started out so hacked up. It looks like you're making some awesome progress on it though, keep up the good work on this :beer:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
One day I was driving along and all of a sudden it felt like the engine dropped a cylinder, so I pulled over to check it out. It turned out that one of my coil packs had gone bad. I replaced the coil pack with an OE AC Delco unit from GM. Another week went by then I burnt out another. So I decided to really look into it. It turned out that the wires going from the ICM to the coil packs were occasionally grounding out on the metal bracket that the coipack were mounted to. I decided to take to whole thing apart and rewire it. I also added a rubber sheet between the bracket and the coil packs and surrounded the spade connectors that plugged in the coils with silicone. Problem solved.

I've been starting to get tired of the salad shooters. It seems like a lot of people have jumped onto that bandwagon. I had another set of wheels laying around that also had a 5x120.65 so they'd work with the adapters I currently have. They are Gotti replicas 16x7 +10. I test fitted them one night. I think they look good but I'm still on the fence about the fitment. I was hoping I could tuck the wheels a little more.



 

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Discussion Starter #16
I was able to go on the Port Townsend Cruise 2011. That was really fun. Hopefully I can make it to this years. I drove nearly 500 miles in one day. I got some pretty good pictures of my car during that weekend. I don't know the photographers or else I'd give credit.










 

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Discussion Starter #17
And here comes the sad part.


On the evening of Friday March 11th, 2011 I decided to take my car for a few runs down the drag strip. I work as a Tech Inspector at Portland International Raceway so it was just a matter of getting off a little early and taking it down the strip. I had plans to dyno the car the following morning so I wanted to be able to compare my hp readings to my time slips. Well during my third pass I noticed the engine sounding a little funny while I was in 4th gear around the 1000' mark. I didn't think much of it as it may have been my exhaust leak worsening, seat rattling, etc. Until I was on the return road, I noticed a slight rattling sound above 2k RPM. At this point I wasn't sure if I was just paranoid and hearing things or if there was actually something wrong. Once I was in the pits, I popped the hood and listened while feathering the throttle and my heart sank. I could hear a definite rattle from my intake/head.

Luckily my friend Phil was also racing at the track and I managed to catch him before he left. He agreed to follow me home in case the car wouldn't make it. So I babied it out of there and onto the freeway and made it about 10 or 12 miles until something really let go. The car felt like it lost 50% of it's power and the engine was making a very loud and sickening rattle. I tried putting it in neutral and coasting down a very long hill on hwy 26w and the engine shut off as soon as I hit the clutch so i pulled over to the shoulder. Phil was on his bike so he went to his house and picked up his truck and enclosed trailer and we ended up trailering the GTI back to my shop.

At the time I didn't think it was a rod but rather a wrist pin or something in the top end. It has a very loud rattling/knocking sound like something in the valve train could be hitting the valve cover. And before everyone starts jumping on me for driving with a hurt engine, I knew exactly how much more damage I could/would be doing. These engines are pretty cheap. Before I even left PIR I knew that I'd be either putting in a new engine or completely rebuilding this one.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I got around to pulling the engine. A much different experience than pulling a small block, I must say. After a few hours I managed to finally get the thing out.





After finally figuring out how your supposed to mount these dang engines on a stand I drained the oil and removed the oil pan.



Silver oil, not a good sign. Knowing that this was obviously a bottom end problem I proceeded to remove the intake, valve cover, cams and finally got the head off.



I don't like how uneven the valve discoloration is from cylinder to cylinder, not to mention my plugs ranged from oil soaked to white/glazed.

I moved on to removing to pistons and rods. BTW a friend gave me a tip on piston/rod removal since I was working by myself. The easiest way to remove the internals is obviously with the engine upside down so you have easy access to the rod caps. Take two headbolts and screw them into the block by hand so that they are on opposite sides of the cylinder of choice that you're working on. Then stretch a couple rubber bands between the rod bolts so that they sit flush against the block and directly cover the cylinder. Then after removing the rod cap you can use a long wooden dowl and place it one the underside of the piston, you then gently hammer the piston out while the rubber band catches the piston preventing it from dropping to the ground.







And finally, what everyones been waiting for, carnage pics...









Strangely only one rod bearing looked that, all others seemed to have semi normal wear, although they all had a whitish discoloration to them. I've heard that is bad but can anyone explain what it means? Altogether I was pleased at the minimal amount of damage. I was expecting to have actual pieces of metal fall out when I pulled the oil pan.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
After I tore it down I searched for a new engine. After a couple weeks I sourced on from a member on here on Vortex, Sturmgewehr-86 . Once I got it home I pulled the pan and checked the rods. One of the rods had play so I pulled the cap and low and behold, this one had a spun rod bearing too. I was beyond pissed as I had specifically asked him if there were any issues at all, i even asked if it was going to have a rod knock. He assured me it was cherry. I wasn't looking to do a rebuild, I just wanted something to drop in.

After that I became pretty discouraged and didn't touch the car or engine for quite awhile. Over a year passed before I even made progress, in fact. During its down time I picked up a 1991 Chevy Camaro Z28. So all my time and money started going towards that project and my GTI was put on the back burner indefinitely.

Well fast forward to November. After a few of my friends starting bugging me about how long my GTI had been down I got motivated started searching for a usable short block. i finally found one with a good crank and took all my engine parts to my work so I can start the rebuild.







The head cleaned up nicely.



I cleaned up the block. Then I put in the new crank bearings and installed the crank with some ARP main studs.



Pistons all cleaned up.



I re ringed the pistons, installed new Kings Racing rod bearings and clamped the caps down with some ARP rod bolts.



Then I put the head on. I used a mk4 head gasket and new stock head bolts. I put the cams back in set the timing and installed new timing chains and guides.



I decided to repaint the valve cover and intake manifold.



Bolted on the valve cover and brought the engine back over to my shop at home.



I pushed the GTI inside and prepped it for the install.



I had a crack on the transmission around one of the mounting flanges for the Trans mount. I finally found a shop in my area that was willing to weld cast aluminum. Once Portland Speed Industries was with it I installed a new flywheel, clutch and pressure plate then bolted the tranny up.



Working by myself I finally managed to drop the engine and tranny in the bay. Easier said than done by yourself, it's a tight fit.



I had a friend come over and help me route the harness and wire up the engine. I originally wanted to tuck the harness but decided against it. I wanted to make sure the engine ran fine first in case I needed to trace problems. Then we put the coolant hoses on, hooked up the shifter cables and other miscellaneous things. It was just about ready to fire so we filled the oil and coolant and sorted out the ignition wires.

 

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Discussion Starter #20
Then I was ready to fire it up for the first time. Now before anyone jumps on me about starting the engine right up, I'll have you know that I did prime the engine twice before this video for 15 seconds each.

http://youtu.be/6enOIJLHcAs

The video ends early but I shut it down soon after because fans didn't turn on and started getting hot. I believe that either the connector wasn't in all the way or there's a break in the wiring. This is how the car sits today. I'm going to hook up the axles, put the front end back on and take it for a break in test drive then triple check everything to make sure it's running good and doesn't have any leaks.
 
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