VW Vortex - Volkswagen Forum banner

1 - 20 of 98 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,469 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve owned many standard Rabbits and many Rabbit GTIs. Most of the GTIs were 84s... black with blue interiors. A few had red interiors. I think I had a couple Royal Red GTIs.... long story short, I sold my last one at least a decade ago.

I wasn’t looking for one, but one appeared in these classifieds. Not a great ad, no pics, and it seemed the op never replied to people. The ad died and maybe a year later, it resurfaced, with a lower price. It was local to me, so I reached out. We spoke briefly on the phone and arranged a meet. Seller called me telling me he broke down, on the way to meet me.... the inner cv came undone front the drive flange. I waited around, while his friend picked him up with a flatbed, and we arranged a new meeting area.

This was the first gray GTI I’ve ever seen....

87399


87400


I originally thought it was primer, but the seller told me the PO and her dad painted the car... unsure with what. In some areas, the original Diamond Metallic Silver could be seen peeking though, as was the rust and factory primer, on the roof. They also sprayed what I believed to be white Flex Seal in the cowl area, to stop a water leak.

Looking inside made the exterior more palatable. While the seat bottoms were torn, the interior was pretty much intact. Definitely not perfect, but workable. The majority of the parts that make a Rabbit a GTI, were still on the car.

There was also a TT 2” exhaust, (slightly butchered), newer Raceland Ultimo coil overs, Kamei hatch spoiler, new 11” brake adapters, Eurosport stress bars, and likely more that I don’t remember... I planned on pulling and selling most of this stuff. Seller included a bunch of new parts, we agreed on a price and I had the car towed home. This was 12/15/18.

87401


A lot of time was spent getting the car reliable, added a remote starter, cleaning the car up and fixing other people’s “fixes”.

87402


87403


87407


87410

87411


87412


This was a factory AC car, but the system was deleted. I grabbed the AC brackets and pulleys from a Cabby in a JY. This may have been the impetus which started my plating nightmare.... I lost A LOT of time, on this.


So, I’ve been driving the car for a few months, having fun, but the JH isn’t cutting it. I’m wanting to go back to a built motor, so I start searching the classifieds. I find a JH/ABA combo in MD. Seller has very little knowledge about the motor, being that it came in a S2 he bought. He said he got it started for a few minutes, then shut it down.... ran very rough. He was installing a 2.0 16v. Seller mentioned he believes the car was originally built by a Vortex moderator. I start doing some research on my own and reach out to Paul.

[email protected] said:
Hi Todd- thanks for the note and yes, I built that motor in 2002 at NGP during the course of building that car. It is an OBD1 bottom end, JH head and we freshened the bottom end with seals and gaskets, new oil pump and a few other things.

The head went to Jess Miller Machine and I spent about a grand on head work, and it has a pretty steep cam and HD lifters. I did the Techtonics distributor kit, better exhaust manifold and gasket matched the exhaust ports, and it has an Audi intake manifold and later model throttle body. The motor ran very well, and I sold that car in late 2003 before I moved out here.


I cannot speak to the current condition of everything, as the car hit some hard times from about 2005 until Scott bought it in 2015 or so. There should be a ton of good parts on it. I have pictures of it being built in 2002 that are on my PC if you want them!

Keep me informed of how things are going with it, and the build that you do.”

I searched Paul’s build thread and read the mods he did. Lightened flywheel, balanced engine internals, Autotech 286° cam, Euro GTI exhaust manifold and TT dp, etc. The pics he sent showed the engine disassembled, etc.. I lost those pics and should reach out for them, again.

Contacted the seller and arranged a pick up date. This was 4/14/19.

87418


This thing had at least 6-7 quarts of oil in it....

10 pic limit.

-Todd
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
650 Posts
Great share. Started reading your 97 AHU into 81 LX thread too.

Thanks to you and everyone else keeping up the forum format. I don't use facebook since it's such a crappy experience, and I think most of the activity has migrated to that. Threads like these are helpful to those looking to absorb information, see the problem areas, find new solutions etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,469 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
After getting the engine on the stand, I pulled the oil pan, then the valve cover. I was overtaken with joy....

87718

87719


87720


The pan and head were filled with broken plastic, which I hypothesized were the remains of a cam baffle. Odd thing was, there was an intact cam baffle, when I pulled the valve cover. Anywho, the pieces made their way under the lifter buckets, where they caused the damage to 4 of 8 buckets. Under the buckets didn’t look any better.

87721


I may have purchased scrap metal. Pulled the head, then started a light disassembly, to assess the damage.

87727

87728


87729

87730

87731


Remember how Paul had mentioned, the car hot some hard times? Here’s what you do if you don’t have a correct o-ring....

87733


After all of that, the cylinder walls looked great. I felt no discernible play in the lower rotating assembly. The lifter bores had no visible damage. I decided to move ahead with the plastic clean out. A lot of gas, clip brushes, brake clean and time...

Seemed like it was a lot of plastic for just a cam baffle. There was no lower clip-on baffle. so it either got eaten, or it wasn’t installed.

-Todd
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,469 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Somewhere in time, the block was repainted in certain areas... they also painted the cap, and ignition leads...

87742


Took a peek at the cam baffle that came out of the head. You can see the sweeping from the cam lobes. You can also see the cracks appearing on this baffle. So this tells me some jackass knew this happened, and their solution was to install another cam baffle, and do nothing else...

Personally, I’ve never seen or heard of this happening. I recall Collin from TT telling me Schrick cams typically increased duration and not lift. I guess Autotech/ Hör Technology increases lift. I mentioned this cam to Collin, and he recalls testing it years ago and said it was a great cam.

87743

87744


Decided to start on the head. Ports were soaked with oily soot... reminded me of a diesel. Tossed the head in the parts washer and scrubbed.

87745


87746


87748


Once I got it as clean as I could, I checked the guide wear. Came out satisfied, so I lapped the valves. Sealed it up, and it got a shower in the blast cabinet.

87751


87753


Painted and into the cook box, it went.

87756


While this was going on, I purchased rear seat material from a couple people. I wanted to get the torn seat bottom fixed... I’m still driving this car. Did them both to have them match. I like clean interiors.

87760


It’s 05/09/19

-Todd
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
650 Posts
Hello cook box. Cam gears in there for thermal mass? Would you say that it's worth the effort?

I see flush cut valve guides in there, looks like that head can breath nicely
 

·
Registered
Eight diesels of which five are MK1 VWs
Joined
·
1,684 Posts
Really enjoying this. Also reading through the 97 AHU (1Z) into 81 LX thread. Thanks for sharing the bad along with the good. Makes for a more interesting story that way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,704 Posts
That engine sure is a mess. There was plastic at the oil pickup too. Usually, that did not break because it was soaked in oil. In this case, there may not have been a lot of oil in that engine. Certainly not a lot of oil services.

I've never seen buckets broken before. Could of been a really large lift cam and maybe some valve float.

I've seen bead blasted heads. I've also seen beads ruining lifters because they were not all removed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,469 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Glad to see people are looking. I appreciate the replies!

Hello cook box. Cam gears in there for thermal mass? Would you say that it's worth the effort?

I see flush cut valve guides in there, looks like that head can breath nicely
The gears will definitely hood heat, but is it worth it? Unsure... it definitely can’t hurt. I may have had them nearby and just tossed them in. The head holds a decent amount of heat. I usually cook for an hour minimum. This is the 2nd version of the cook box, although I reccently came up with another for plating. It really helps in the winter. In the summer, I’ll hang parts in a spare car, parked in the sun.

I‘ve had shops do the guides this way and another that blended the guides. Never had an issue with this way, so I can only assume less protruding guide is better.

That engine sure is a mess. There was plastic at the oil pickup too. Usually, that did not break because it was soaked in oil. In this case, there may not have been a lot of oil in that engine. Certainly not a lot of oil services.

I've never seen buckets broken before. Could of been a really large lift cam and maybe some valve float.

I've seen bead blasted heads. I've also seen beads ruining lifters because they were not all removed.
The engine was definitely overfilled.... I estimate 6-7 quarts came out. Take a look at the block pics and you’ll see the wrong dipstick.

The broken plastic made its way under the buckets‘ lower edges. The cam pushed the bucket down, and the plastic was in the way. The plastic also made its way into the dual valve springs... I’m surprised nothing else broke, if the springs weren’t able to fully compress.

I found this piece in the pile, and it’s not a part of the cam baffle’s mold.

87915


I can only assume it’s part of the missing clip on baffle.

-Todd
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,469 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Took a break from the engine, for a sec. Moved onto the front seats.

87950


87949


OG seats had torn bolster foam. Went to attic stock, pulled good foam and reinforced areas where the metal frames would typically break through.

87952


87953


Cut open perfectly good seat backs...

87990


87991


87992


I’m noticing I like to document the process, but I don’t get pics of the end product… I also don’t have pics of the interior, from when I bought the car.

-Todd
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,469 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Back to the block. Needless to say, it was crusty.

87994


87995


Used a needle scaler to get to this.

87996


87997


Then I acid etched it, which probably was a waste of time....

87998


... since I ended up blasting it.

87999


88000


88001


88002


88003


Rustoleum satin black, from a pour can. Added hardener and shot through a Harbor Freight purple gun. It went under a large box, with the heater from the cook box.

-Todd
 

·
Registered
78rabbit1.5LGP & 82rabbitpickup1.6DGC
Joined
·
11,561 Posts
from my past experience in junkyard dives...

the plastic baffles will be the first to go in an overheating engine
the top baffle melting
the lower oil pickup baffle
both just get destroyed in the engine

not good either way....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
650 Posts
The gears will definitely hood heat, but is it worth it? Unsure... it definitely can’t hurt. I may have had them nearby and just tossed them in. The head holds a decent amount of heat. I usually cook for an hour minimum. This is the 2nd version of the cook box, although I reccently came up with another for plating. It really helps in the winter. In the summer, I’ll hang parts in a spare car, parked in the sun.
I wasn't clear but I was curious about the benefit of the cook box (not the gears - those are a good idea). Sounds like the box helps in the winter. I've had to make similar devices with a space heater to keep up progress during Michigan winters.

Have you considered using electrolysis for rust removal on any ferrous parts? I tried that method on the front knuckles, brake caliper brackets, and headlight buckets. I ended up having to do some final wire wheeling, but I would say that for some parts it was less of a mess and less work. You might recall that I have that rusty 3A engine sitting around. I was considering hitting that with electrolysis for a couple of days before dropping it off at the machine shop.
 
1 - 20 of 98 Posts
Top