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80 Caddy, 88 Cabby, 91 Jetta TDI, 15 GSW TDI, 19 Tiguan
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There seemed to be quite a bit of interest in this car in the COVID purchase thread so I figured I'd document my progress (or lack thereof) in a thread.

It's been a habit of mine for years to have my morning coffee in front of the computer and search Craigslist for VW's. Most mornings I don't find anything of note, but I still look because you just never know.

Two Fridays ago I logged on and almost spit out my coffee when the first ad was for a 1987 Jetta "coupe". The car looked clean in pictures and the P-Slots pretty much closed the deal for me. I immediately emailed the seller at 5:30AM and checked my email about every 5 minutes for an hour until finally I got a reply. The car was still available but the couple was heading to Maine for the weekend and wouldn't be back until late Sunday night. It was about a two hour ride from me, so not good news.

I asked if they thought it might be ok to go look at the car without them there, and if satisfied leave a check for half of the asking price of $950. They agreed that was fine and the owner gave me a call to talk for a few minutes. She bought the car new in 1987 and it had 120k miles on it. It "ran when parked" two years ago and had been stored in a garage since. They were selling the garage so sadly she had to part ways with it. We talked a little bit more about it and she said she was surprised there was interest - she had been planning on scrapping it. :facepalm:

So the wife and kiddo and I got in the wagon and headed North. My wife's parents live two towns over and it was Father's Day so we figured we'd make a day of it.







It definitely looked complete but has some issues as expected. The carpet must have gotten wet and someone cut it all out leaving just the sound deadening. The good news was I could easily peel it all back and there was no discernible rust. The interior is covered with light mildew and the sunroof seems to be off track on one side which keeps it from closing tightly - I am assuming that was the cause for the water on the floor.

Seats and interior are all there with no rips - just a little wear on the drivers bolster. Dash has two small cracks but nothing major. The car has been resprayed at some point and I suspect it was rear ended at one point because there is pretty heavy rust on the rear trunk lid and the panel below it.



My buddy and I rented a trailer yesterday and went to pick it up. Thankfully he had the common sense to bring a come a long because I had foolishly thought we could push it up on the trailer - not so much. :laugh: It was a long process to get it on and loaded but we got it done.





The rest of the trip was uneventful and I was able to use my atv to pull it off the trailer when we got home. Now it has taken up garage space from the TDI and I am hoping to get out and do some cleaning this afternoon for a while to better see what I got myself into.



I will keep updating as I go. And probably be asking for some advice and help along the way. :beer:
 

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Technically it's a two-door sedan, not a coupe. But the '87 Wolfy is a cool model -- it's almost identical to the Jetta GLI (8V), minus the rear doors and sport seats.
 

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80 Caddy, 88 Cabby, 91 Jetta TDI, 15 GSW TDI, 19 Tiguan
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Discussion Starter #3
I forgot to mention that after I looked at the car and left the check in it for half. The sellers husband called the next day and we talked about getting the title from him and paying the remaining cash. Apparently he is all over the place and I was headed for Bangor to finally make some sales calls again on Tues/Weds. He was going to be in Maine, then Vermont, then Farmington Maine, then to work in Stratton, ME. :facepalm:

I texted with him Tuesday night and he said he could meet me in Fairfield, ME (about an hour South of Bangor) mid to late afternoon. I was due to be finished with calls around 11AM so I told him I would just come to him in Stratton at his office if that was ok. I'd rather be moving and spend more time driving than sit in Fairfield, ME for four hours. So I ended up meeting him around lunch time at his office. He said he probably should have asked more for the car because he had about a dozen emails a day while the ad was up. Fortunately I was the first.

Here is my route from Tues to back home on Weds. Weather wasn't great and I was ready to be home, so I didn't take any photos of the drive.



I did have my first beer at a restaurant since March though. If you are ever in Bangor, head to Brewer and hit Mason's Brewing. Great food, great beers, and seating on the water.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Technically it's a two-door sedan, not a coupe. But the '87 Wolfy is a cool model -- it's almost identical to the Jetta GLI (8V), minus the rear doors and sport seats.
Yes, that is why "coupe" is in quotes. I used "2 Door" in my title because in doing some research last week it became apparent that people are picky about using the word "coupe" in regards to these. :laugh:
 

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I can still "feel" how my MKII drove when I imagine it - such a great car. Looking forward to seeing your progress with it! You have two red VWs now?! Lol
 

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I did have my first beer at a restaurant since March though. If you are ever in Bangor, head to Brewer and hit Mason's Brewing. Great food, great beers, and seating on the water.
That's awesome, we hit up Mason's almost every time we're driving through or staying near Bangor. Such a great spot. The pizzas are awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Nice!

I had a tornado red '87 GTI 16v for over 9 years and 175,000 miles.
Nice! I have always had 16v's too but the 8v can be almost as much fun and less fussy than the 16v. The cabby has made me appreciate the 8v too.

I can still "feel" how my MKII drove when I imagine it - such a great car. Looking forward to seeing your progress with it! You have two red VWs now?! Lol
There is definitely something special about them. MK2's are what got me hooked. It's been about 5 years since I have owned one and glad to see it in the garage. Yes - Tornado red all the things!!

That's awesome, we hit up Mason's almost every time we're driving through or staying near Bangor. Such a great spot. The pizzas are awesome.
Always a good time. They have the perfect set up right now too with the outdoor tables.

Even with the rust on the back it looks to be in pretty good condition. Nice get!
Thanks. :thumbup:
 

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Congratulations, that's a really nice score!

I can feel your excitement through the process of finding the ad and picking it up. I've owned a handful of Mk2's and felt that so many times!

It seems like Mk2's are really a magnet for being bumped into the back for some reason, so you're probably correct. Otherwise the car looks like a really solid starting point.

Sorry if I missed it, but do you have any specific plans for it? I'm personally an 8v guy, but I think this would be awesome with 2.0L 16v and some "GLI" upgrades as you go through it.

Good luck and keep the updates coming. :beer: :beer:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yep, super in.

I owned this Helios for about 35 hours before receiving an offer 3x what I paid for it and promptly accepting it.
Nice - my friend with the truck said that if I lose interest for any reason he is all in. :laugh:

Congratulations, that's a really nice score!

I can feel your excitement through the process of finding the ad and picking it up. I've owned a handful of Mk2's and felt that so many times!

It seems like Mk2's are really a magnet for being bumped into the back for some reason, so you're probably correct. Otherwise the car looks like a really solid starting point.

Sorry if I missed it, but do you have any specific plans for it? I'm personally an 8v guy, but I think this would be awesome with 2.0L 16v and some "GLI" upgrades as you go through it.

Good luck and keep the updates coming. :beer: :beer:
Yes it is a unique experience every time it seems. Not even sure where to begin really. Going to start by pulling the whole interior and rest of the carpet, clean out mouse bedding, and make a list of needs and wants.

I am going to keep it an 8V and do what I can to restore the bay. My first plan motor wise is to drain all of the fluids including the gas tank and hopefully get it running. Supposedly it ran two years ago when it went into the garage, but who knows.

Hoping to find two centercaps that are missing for the P-Slots and get those restored by a local machine shop. The list is long including the body work. :laugh:
 

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Nice! That looks like an excellent starting point for a project. I haven't messed with K-Jetronic in a long time (and very little back then), so how hard is it likely to be to get running?

I've had both 8V and 16V MkIIs and while I like the 8V I'd be tempted to go 16V if it were mine, as long as you could get the proper transmission with the close-ratio gearing. It's the closest thing to perfect in regards to matched rpm range/gears that I've ever owned. Grab shifter, shove it up and you're in the meat of the power band for the next gear as God intended. :heart:
 

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Nice - my friend with the truck said that if I lose interest for any reason he is all in. :laugh:



Yes it is a unique experience every time it seems. Not even sure where to begin really. Going to start by pulling the whole interior and rest of the carpet, clean out mouse bedding, and make a list of needs and wants.

I am going to keep it an 8V and do what I can to restore the bay. My first plan motor wise is to drain all of the fluids including the gas tank and hopefully get it running. Supposedly it ran two years ago when it went into the garage, but who knows.

Hoping to find two centercaps that are missing for the P-Slots and get those restored by a local machine shop. The list is long including the body work. :laugh:
Sounds like a good plan. :thumbup: :thumbup:

Speaking for myself, I've gotten over my head and lost interest so many times by tearing apart "project" cars farther than necessary. Stay focused and take your time.

Being an '87 means it is CIS-E right, I think Digi II was '88+.

I've been a fan of CIS 8v's for a long time, but I'm just going to say it: Modern gas has wreacked havoc with CIS, and you may find pretty quickly that the system is leaky & clogged... If getting it running and driving is a priority, don't hesitate to rip the CIS out and either go with a Carb setup, or Megasquirt. Each one has it's benefits and drawbacks, but nowadays I just can't justify to people that CIS is worth the effort.
 

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I've been a fan of CIS 8v's for a long time, but I'm just going to say it: Modern gas has wreacked havoc with CIS, and you may find pretty quickly that the system is leaky & clogged... If getting it running and driving is a priority, don't hesitate to rip the CIS out and either go with a Carb setup, or Megasquirt. Each one has it's benefits and drawbacks, but nowadays I just can't justify to people that CIS is worth the effort.
Ugh. I didn't know it was that bad. Since it's been sitting for two years that doesn't help, either. If you go Megasquirt how do you get electronic injectors in it? Is there a simple way/conversion kit?
 

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Holy Tour de New England batman!

I had to laugh about the P Slots......I've sort of forgot about them, but then once you look at the "Ps" you can't unsee them again

Too funny that I had just posted a pic of my old MKII on the that "choose me a route" thread...ah, the memories. Looking forward to progress updates :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Cool project.
Thanks - sorry missed this on my first pass through. :beer:

Nice! That looks like an excellent starting point for a project. I haven't messed with K-Jetronic in a long time (and very little back then), so how hard is it likely to be to get running?

I've had both 8V and 16V MkIIs and while I like the 8V I'd be tempted to go 16V if it were mine, as long as you could get the proper transmission with the close-ratio gearing. It's the closest thing to perfect in regards to matched rpm range/gears that I've ever owned. Grab shifter, shove it up and you're in the meat of the power band for the next gear as God intended. :heart:
I don't know - I really love the 8v for a number of reasons. Driving is more a game of momentum than with a 16v, but with a TT Catback exhaust they sound great and again my experience has not been great with 16v's. Always an option down the road though.

Sounds like a good plan. :thumbup: :thumbup:

Speaking for myself, I've gotten over my head and lost interest so many times by tearing apart "project" cars farther than necessary. Stay focused and take your time.

Being an '87 means it is CIS-E right, I think Digi II was '88+.

I've been a fan of CIS 8v's for a long time, but I'm just going to say it: Modern gas has wreacked havoc with CIS, and you may find pretty quickly that the system is leaky & clogged... If getting it running and driving is a priority, don't hesitate to rip the CIS out and either go with a Carb setup, or Megasquirt. Each one has it's benefits and drawbacks, but nowadays I just can't justify to people that CIS is worth the effort.
I'm taking it slow. There is no rush with this car because I already have 4 other running cars to drive. :laugh: I just spent an hour just kind of fiddling around and cleaning up. My wife came out and said she would go get the little one so I could keep working and I was like "Nah, I don't want it to feel like a chore". An hour is good today.

Gonna show my ignorance here - I have no idea if it is CIS or DIGI. I have heard plenty about both over the years, but no idea what is what or how to tell.

It depends on the production date. Early 1987 models were CIS-E. Late 1987 models switched to Digifant, beginning in May 1987.
I'll look and see what the build date is. :thumbup:

Holy Tour de New England batman!

I had to laugh about the P Slots......I've sort of forgot about them, but then once you look at the "Ps" you can't unsee them again

Too funny that I had just posted a pic of my old MKII on the that "choose me a route" thread...ah, the memories. Looking forward to progress updates :cool:
Not bad for just two states. :laugh: Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Today's progress....

Pretty sure COVID started in this trunk.

Before -



After -



Carpet actually cleaned up pretty well. At least I have a template if I decide to cut a new one.



Under the rain tray. God those are brittle. It broke every time I looked at it.



After -



The motor...



Not a lot of progress, but like I said I want it to stay fun. I am going to work on it as long as I feel like not worry. I don't really expect to have it on the road until 2021.
 
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