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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I bought the GTI in 2007 with 21,000 miles on it.

This is the earliest photo I can find (February 2008)



June 2009


September 2009 - December 2009










January 2010


June 2010 (Wuste in Vegas -- Resulting in 2nd Place for People's Choice)




September 2010 (Some award--don't remember)


October 2010


January - March 2011
















August 2011 (I planned to start the project at this time, but it was put on the back burner as I had recently been promoted at the job. I had so many excuses lined up as to why I hadn't yet started the project.)


January 2012 (.:R parts waiting to be installed. I had recently registered the GTI as non-op hoping that it would motivate me to start the project. It didn't work.)


December 2013 (Haven't touched the car in two and a half years.)


May 2014 (I finally got my garage set up to where I felt I needed it to be in order to start the project.)


June 2014 (I've decided to move across the country to take a job in Miami, FL. I'm at a crossroad here--I need to make a decision. Complete this project or sell everything. I decided to dig in and if I fail, I sell.)


Pulled all wiring forward




All obstructions removed. Ready to start removing my floorpan.


No turning back




This rail pictured here is different than an R32's rail. It will need to be cut and the R32 rail will need to be welded in its place. It's the only part of this process that I'm not thrilled about.


I'm hoping to prep the donor floor pan and the surrounding edges of the GTI throughout this week. By next Sunday, I'd like to have the donor floor welded in place and hopefully seam sealed with some fresh undercoating. Wish me luck!


-------- 7/2/14, three hours into the work update. I'm taking the seams down to bare metal and cleaning everything up for being welded. I'm also removing the rust that has accumulated over the past three years (not much). I need to purchase weld-through primer, brushable seam sealer, rubberized undercoating, and single-stage paint.







-------- 7/9/14 & 7/10/14 --- I got the R32 frame rails in. I feel that I'm extremely close to getting the floor in place. I just need some muscle. If I can't get it done tomorrow, I'll definitely have some support on Saturday.








-------- 7/12/14 ---- I can't believe it's been two weeks already! I decided to start getting the floorpan installed. It's really pretty tough to do since it's such a tight fit.

I didn't have any help at this point and I made a few phone calls thinking it would help. No one could make the trip on such short notice but said they could come tomorrow. I knew that other people have done this swap without help so I decided to push through.




This is where it is now. It has about 4" to go. I pump the jack 1 time then make my rounds to release pressure at each binding point. It's exhausting. I'm going to be analyzing the difference between the hatch area for a GTI and an R32 to see if I'm going to have to remove any of the bracing on the backside.








-------- 7/13/14 ----- Great day. A buddy drove up from San Diego and gave me a helping hand. We had to drop the floor out again and make some adjustments to the back section of the GTI. He welded up 70% of the project. I'm back on my own tomorrow and I should be able to get the rest welded up and I'll go through with a grinding wheel and clean some of it up before priming it. We're getting close! My move date is less than a month away.

The buddy, Chris, putting in work.


I sat them outside in the sun, so I took the opportunity to condition them.


Just have to weld up those arches and a few other small areas. The major structural parts are welded solid.


Look how much higher the R32 floor line is.



This is a major structural area. The welds haven't been cleaned up yet but the penetration is deep and they're solid.


The rearmost section. So much seam filler and undercoating to come!


--------- 7/19/14 ---------- Started priming and sealing. I'll definitely finish with the sealing tomorrow and then it's time to install the rear suspension and differential.










--------- 7/20/14 ------- Sealed it up. I cleaned everything really well, sealed all seams/welds, and then sprayed rubberized coating over the entire area.











------- 7/22/14 ------ I finished with the sealing today. I then moved several things around in the garage so I could access the rearend and the motor. I started prepping the rearend to get installed. This included installing adjustable control arms and my ECS Tuning rear Big Brake Kit. I'm having some issues with it now as the e-Brake cabling doesn't quite reach properly and the brake lines had to be hand-bent a bit to get them to reach. I was going to depend on the parking brake to stop the car when I back it inside of the garage since I won't have the brake lines hooked up. I'll just take it slowly now.

This is how I moved the rear end around by myself when I didn't have a helping hand.




------ 7/23/14 ----- Someone should come organize my garage for me. That's the part of this project I dislike the most--putting tools away each day (it doesn't happen). Anyway, I've got the rearend installed now. I stopped by the dealership to order some parts--a gasket for the Haldex controller, two bolts for the Haldex controller, and 4 repair wires for the Haldex controller.

All fitted with the gear.




----------- 7/25/14 ------------- I finished the floor transplant. Looking at the photos from that day, it doesn't seem that I was overly productive.






------------- 7/26/14 -------- I started working toward removing the GTI body harness in preparation for the installation of the R32 wiring harness.




-------------- 7/27/14 ---------- Continuing to remove the body harness


Cross member finally out. It took me almost forever to find one bolt that holds it in. Ended up being accessible from within the rain tray. Go figure.


Carpet out. Getting close.


--------- 7/29/14 --------- This was the longest day I had put in yet. I started around 1:00pm on 7/29 and worked until 10:30am on 7/30/14. In that time, I completely removed the GTI harness and installed the R32 harness.














5:00am and I'm trying to figure out how to route the wiring around/throughout the crossmember. I had a 1-hour delay trying to use the R32's Climatronic harness which was different than the GTI's Climatronic harness. Actually, a longer delay if you take into account that the Climatronic harness never should have been removed.


8:30am and the wiring is pretty much all in place. One thing that was left to do at that point was repair the ABS sensor at the front left wheel. It was damaged when the donor car was wrecked. I also had to create a harness for the Recaro Sport Toplines, install the resistors in the stock seat/airbag plugs. Oh, the Jetta Vents harness, too.


------------------8/1/14---------- In Miami for a presentation.


---------- 8/3/14 ----------- My buddy Rigo and Alex come over to do work with the engine transplant. We took two days with the transplant because of a lot of preventative maintenance and the fact that when I pulled the .:R engine from the donor, I removed more than was necessary. The valve cover gasket was leaking into where the spark plugs are, so we replaced all of those gaskets. We installed the Gruven aluminum pulleys. Replaced the throwout bearing. Replaced the transfer case output flange seal (that goes points to the rear diff). Replaced the water pipe, thermostat, housing, etc. Spark plugs... some other stuff too, I'm sure.

I definitely slowed down on the photo taking at this point. For some reason the only photo I have from 8/3/14 is of the interior. We did pull the 2.8 out and started prepping the 3.2 for installation.


-------------- 8/4/14 ------------- More prepping of the 3.2 for installation.








Rigo, troubleshooting an issue in which the engine won't start unless fed starting fluid. We originally believed that it was a faulty fuel-sending unit.


Frustrated because we didn't get it started and he is sleep deprived and already eating into his sleep schedule. Alex, on the right, verifying grounds and looking for anything out of the ordinary.


--------------- 8/5/14 ----------
No photos.
Swapped the R32 Fuel-Sending Unit with the GTI Unit. The engine started. I disassembled a portion of the R32 unit and put fresh fuel in it. I reinstalled it at the engine started.

--------------- 8/6/14 ----------
Spent a lot of time on VAGCOM trying to adapt the ECU. I repeatedly got an error for KEY, NOT OK. I'm not well-versed with VAGCOM, so I had a lot of studying to do while trying to troubleshoot this error, which has absolutely zero documentation online. Demotivated, I called it quits for the day.

--------------- 8/7/14 ----------
Decided to remove the ignition switch and install the R32 switch so I can use the R32 key. I was thinking that I needed a 'virgin' key, which I had. In preparation for removing the ignition switch, I realized that the ignition coil was not plugged in, so the immobilizer was unable to verify the key. So that's what KEY, NOT OK means!

I plugged the ignition switch in and the performed the adaptation of the ECM per Ross-Tech's instructions. The ECM now shows my GTI's VIN. SUCCESS!

Now the engine doesn't start. It doesn't appear to be an immobilizer issue as there aren't any fault codes that point to that. We're incredibly frustrated at this point and we find that there is sufficient fuel pressure, the spark plugs are firing, so we turn to the injectors. We determine that the injectors aren't working. We don't believe it to be a clog or anything because none of the injectors are working. Rigo had the bright idea to just try the 2.8L ECM. Turns out that it worked. The engine starts with the GTI's ECM.

I think it was this day, but it may have been another. I created mounting brackets for the driveshaft using one of the R32's stock control arms. I don't have any photos of them, but they were L-brackets with a nutsert installed. It seems very solid. As I couldn't pinpoint exactly how high or low to weld the brackets in, I decided to err on the side of too high so that I can just add washers to drop the driveshaft lower. We'll see if it's necessary or if it's okay where it is now.

--------------- 8/8/14 ---------
We continue to button up the car. Changed the Haldex fluid, filter, and installed the controller. Changed the rear diff fluid. Changed the transmission fluid. Added coolant. Bled the brakes and clutch. Installed the exhaust. Everything is great and all four wheels are spinning. I worked on the car from noon on 8/8/14 until 9:30am on 8/9/14. I managed to reinstall most of the interior. With Rigo, Alex, and me working our asses off, that Friday was the most productive day of this project.

--------------- 8/9/14 ---------
Family was in town, so I was able to put in only two hours. I worked toward installing the battery in the hatch area.

--------------- 8/10/14 --------
Family in town still. Finished installation of battery. Excuse the mess in the photos. I didn't have time to clean up.


You can see in the lower right of this photo where I passed the positive cable through. It enters the battery box from below. I wrapped the cable in corrugated loom and friction tape prior to pulling it through the hole. The battery box was installed using four M8 nutserts. The ground cable goes to a bolt that is double studded (up & down) in the spare tire tub. The downward stud is attached to the rear differential using a grounding strap. The upward stud is attached to the battery using a 2 gauge wire. I'm confident that it will result in a sufficient ground.


I might move the terminal so that it makes direct contact to the body of the car. I haven't decided yet.


Very few things to finish now. One of them is fabricating an exhaust hanger to support the middle section of the exhaust.








A video of the Haldex in action.
 

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Good luck on everything!!! It's looking good so far! The gti was gorgeous btw she'll come out even better this time :beer: :popcorn:
 

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Sweet!

Thanks for actually taking the time and cutting all the spot welds, instead of cutting it with a plasma and then filling in the 1/2" wide gaps with scraps of galvanized junk that was laying on the floor like some people do!
 

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:popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::popcorn:
 

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Sweet!

Thanks for actually taking the time and cutting all the spot welds, instead of cutting it with a plasma and then filling in the 1/2" wide gaps with scraps of galvanized junk that was laying on the floor like some people do!
I second the abovementioned statement to the fullest!!
Cars are assembled in a particular way and in this case all these floor pans and quarter panel sections have indeed a factory joining point.
A word of advice after spot welding and flush welding apply a special sealer that is weatherproof and high temp. resistant.
Once it's welded and sealed then you can proceed with priming and painting.
Would be great if you could have gotten the areas that were cut and welded galvanized dipped for corrosion protection, but yeah, a proper weld and proper seal should last another 10 years for sure.
What techniques will you uses to ensure proper alignment of the floor pan to the chassis/ body of the car (Laser alignment or any other effective methods?)
Following this thread very closely.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Sweet!

Thanks for actually taking the time and cutting all the spot welds, instead of cutting it with a plasma and then filling in the 1/2" wide gaps with scraps of galvanized junk that was laying on the floor like some people do!
You're welcome.... I've researched all the floorpan swaps I could find. I didn't see any one use the method you described.


I second the abovementioned statement to the fullest!!
Cars are assembled in a particular way and in this case all these floor pans and quarter panel sections have indeed a factory joining point.
A word of advice after spot welding and flush welding apply a special sealer that is weatherproof and high temp. resistant.
Once it's welded and sealed then you can proceed with priming and painting.
Would be great if you could have gotten the areas that were cut and welded galvanized dipped for corrosion protection, but yeah, a proper weld and proper seal should last another 10 years for sure.
What techniques will you uses to ensure proper alignment of the floor pan to the chassis/ body of the car (Laser alignment or any other effective methods?)
Following this thread very closely.
I'll be using weld through primer everywhere that can't be reached after being put in place. I'll also be using seam sealer and undercoating where appropriate. The method for alignment is as simple as just installing the floor in place. Both floors are from a MK4. I'll pretty much just use reference points to put the donor floor in place. I don't foresee alignment being an issue.
 
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