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New Yokohama Advan Apex tires, an eBay downpipe, and front axles (both had cracked inner boots) are on the way. I went with a $99 eBay downpipe because a well known local said he has put three of them on three different TT225's. I guess we'll see how that works out, lol. My experience with cheap parts is that they almost always fit like ****.
I have a $90 Ebay downpipe and cat-delete pipe that I put on about 6 months ago. It rubs against the heatshield under the car, and the hanger rod needed to be bent a little. Next time I drop the subframe I'm going to use a hammer to bang a depression in the downpipe where it rubs. And I might wrap it with exhaust pipe wrap. For $90 I'm very happy with it!
Are you deleting your cats also? A 3" cat-delete pipe along with your downpipe is a significant power increase.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Good to know. I'll probably heat wrap mine before putting it in. The eBay images show it having what appears to be a cat. I'm not expecting much out of it and if it triggers a CEL like I think it will, I'll likely pull that pipe off and punch it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
October 25 - November 3, 2021

Got more and more adventurous with driving the car around the neighborhood, so I ventured out onto the main streets. Needed to be careful though, as the car isn't registered - I just threw my old Audi S5 plate on the car for now. Anything over 50-55 mph and I can feel an unbalance, but the tires were a cheap brand and they were 10 years old, so I was really hoping they were the issue - either way, because of this, I kept to the city streets and < 55 mph. Swung by an Ace Hardware and picked up some Upholstery Twist Pins; now the headliner doesn't sag down onto my head.



Still trying to figure out how to do things in this car - it's not setup QUITE the same as my old MK4 GTI, but I have figured out a couple things. The windshield washer fluid warning is always on. I filled the jug to the brim and the warning went away, but it came right back on about 5 minutes later (pretty sure it all leaked out -_-). I figured out how to lower the seats, haha... I thought it was a pumping action like my VW's have been, so I couldn't get it to work, but a little bit of experimentation and I figured it out. I went with the cheaper driver's side fuel pump assembly (the venturi one... with the fuel level on it) even though it was for a different year range and I absolutely KNEW what the difference was going to be (fuel level sensor resistance)... so my tank essentially always reads full. Thinking back, I'm not sure it was worth saving the $100 or so... but at the same time, I didn't know what other issues the car had, so I was trying to budget the car back together. Maybe some day down the line I'll order the correct one and swap it out.

Soon after turning on the HVAC system, all the blend door foam started shooting out of the vents. I should have expected that. Shouldn't be too hard of a fix. I have a CEL for (IIRC) "vacuum pump: implausible signal". I'll have to read it again to be sure. I imagine that's either the SAI pump that's removed or it's the vacuum pump in the passenger fender well that I totally forgot to remove. I'll address that soon, when I swap out the front axles and the downpipe.

Drove the car to work on Monday and afterwards took it to Discount Tire for some new tires.







Four Yokohama Advan Apex tires in the stock size. I knew going in that one of the wheels had a bend in it... but I was expecting them to tell me that 3 out of 4 wheels were bent... pretty badly too. I totally should have expected that though, haha. So... I'm eyeballing wheels, unfortunately. I tried finding some stock VW/Audi wheels locally, but wasn't having a ton of luck. Might spring for some Konig Lockouts or go to my trusted favorites: RPF1's. But the car has taken over daily driver duties and I'm really enjoying it. I just moved houses, so hopefully I can get the house and garage setup soon/quickly so that I can start polishing this thing up even more. As much as I love the turbine sounds that come with a busted flexpipe, I really want to get that new downpipe on the car. I also have some BFI Stg1 Dogbone mounts to throw in, the stereo, and some replacement door lock micro switches. The car also really needs a new driver's side door card; the passenger side isn't bad, but it needs some work. When I have them off for the microswitches, I need to figure out a good temporary solution for the loose fabric.

Things to do soon:
  • Install eBay Downpipe (it is catless, so I'll have to figure something out for the CEL)
  • Install new front axles
  • Check/Adjust alignment
  • Bleed brakes and clutch
  • Remove Vacuum Pump from passenger-front wheel well
  • Remove/repair/bridge sensor for windshield washer fluid reservoir
  • Install door lock microswitches
  • New wheels
  • GET REGISTERED and INSPECTED
 
  • Like
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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
November 5-6, 2021

I felt inspired after work, so I got to work unbolting and cutting the old downpipe out of the car. I made the first cut right before the catalytic convertors and then had to cut it again through the broken flex pipe. The flex pipe had definitely previously been replaced, as the one on there wasn't stock. I tried a couple different methods for getting the new downpipe behind the engine, but ultimately it came down to me removing the dog bone, unbolting the prop shaft, and sliding up through there. I absolutely could not for the life of me get the downstream O2 sensor out of the downpipe. I soaked it in PB Blaster, almost broke an O2 sensor socket on it, and started to round off the edges while using a 22 mm combination wrench. No big deal, in all reality. The downpipe has a fake catalytic convertor section, so it's not like I wasn't going to get a code. The downpipe is thin walled and cheap mild steel, so it reverberates a bit like a tin can when the car is running, but I imagine a catback will drown that out. 😂





When I took my dog bone apart, the long shaft that all the rubber slides over was actually bent (not sure how that happens). Luckily, I kept the dog bone from the MK4 Jetta that I tore apart for the 1.8t swap in my MK2 GTI. Once I found the Jetta's dog bone, I tried to unbend the shaft on the TT mount, but ended up just snapping it (again, not sure how it got bent in the first place - cast aluminum is very much a brittle fracture material). SO, I took the core piece of the MK4 mount, tossed the BFI mounts on it with the bolt-on parts of the TT mount (the middle section was slightly different than the MK4 one), and then squeezed it all together while my GF twisted the bolt.

Took the car for a drive afterwards and it was 1000x's better. Quiet to drive with the windows up, less likely to die of carbon monoxide poisoning in the process, and I can definitely tell that the engine isn't torquing itself all about while driving.

Got back to my garage and decided to try my hand at cleaning up all the leftover chunks of adhesive from the OE Audi logo on the hatch. Soaked it in Goo Gone Gel for a good 5 minutes and then used a new razor blade to scrape it all off. Did my best to use gentle pressure and to maintain as low of an angle between razor and body as possible. I mean, the overall paint appearance on the car is terrible, so I wasn't overly concerned with screwing it up, but I wanted to try NOT to screw it up any more. Keeping the Goo Gone in steady supply and only using a down to up motion with the razor, it did a good job. I could feel even the smallest amounts of adhesive residue resisting the razor and once it was all gone, the razor would glide effortlessly over the paint. Once I had gotten it to a point that I was satisfied with, I cleaned it up and gave it a look. Didn't notice any scratching or damage to the paint from the razor, so seems like it did a good job. The paint is definitely stained/faded/damaged from where the emblem was, but I'm not worried about that. The car needs a good wash and then probably a little bit of polishing compound, but I'm fairly happy with how it turned out - not as terrible looking as having the chunks of adhesive still there. I would likely use this method on a more valuable car in the future, if necessary.





I still need to order up a headlight/taillight restoration kit so that I can remove the UV damage to the headlights and remove the tint from the tails. I've considered just getting new ones, but part of the purpose of this car is to try "fixes" to see how well they work, etc... without worrying about "damaging" a part.

Things to do soon:
  • Install eBay Downpipe
  • Install BFI Stg1 Dog Bone mounts
  • Install new front axles
  • Check/Adjust alignment
  • Bleed brakes and clutch
  • Remove Vacuum Pump from passenger-front wheel well
  • Remove/repair/bridge sensor for windshield washer fluid reservoir
  • Install door lock microswitches
  • New wheels
  • GET REGISTERED and INSPECTED
 
  • Like
Reactions: DBVeeDB

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
November 14, 2021

Started the day by getting my MK2 GTI racecar up my driveway (too steep to push) with the TT. 😂



I still need to order up a headlight/taillight restoration kit so that I can remove the UV damage to the headlights and remove the tint from the tails. I've considered just getting new ones, but part of the purpose of this car is to try "fixes" to see how well they work, etc... without worrying about "damaging" a part.
I set out to clean up the headlights and taillights in one go, but the kit only included enough sandpaper for the headlights. I'm going to see if I can get my hands on the correct grits of sandpaper this week so that I can do the taillights. Loved the results though. I wish I had known a little bit better how the "sealer/clear coat" wipe worked, as I think I over-wiped the headlights a bit and the wipe started getting frothy. Also a good idea to remove and reapply the painters tape around the lights before doing the wipe. Noted for next time though. Happy with the results otherwise.










Taillights will be next. Also need to pull the center and lower grilles out and paint them black. I might just try to find a quality replacement for the main grille, but I might still try my hand at fixing it up.

The front bumper needs to come of at some point, as well, so that I can sand off the 3M protective vinyl that's along the lower section. It's super old and there's no hope of it coming off nicely anymore. I wonder if a heat gun and plastic scraper would be best or maybe to go after it with dry ice like you do with the insulation/sound deadening on floorboards and such.

Also noticed that my driver's side window no longer does auto-down/up. Not a big deal, but something I'll have to keep in mind. I'm 99% sure I'm going to have to get a new door card anyway, so hopefully the issue is with the switch and it'll go away once a new door card goes on.

Things to do soonish:
  • Bleed brakes and clutch
  • Clean, Sand, Polish taillights
  • Paint front grilles black
  • Install door lock microswitches
  • Install new front axles
  • Check/Adjust alignment
  • Remove Vacuum Pump from passenger-front wheel well
  • Remove/repair/bridge sensor for windshield washer fluid reservoir
  • New wheels
  • GET REGISTERED and INSPECTED
  • Find/obtain new door cards (need Driver's side, at a minimum)
 
  • Like
Reactions: tt92103

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
November 15, 2021

Bought a OE radio from someone parting out a TT and it arrived yesterday. For some things, I just enjoy the simplicity of OE form, fitment, and function.





Also, I finally did what I should have done when they arrived... I inspected the axles that I had ordered. They are the axle nut type, and I'm pretty sure this car is axle bolt-type. So I'll need to return them and pick up the right kind. The website stipulated between the types by whether they had 17" wheels or 18" wheels. I probably should have investigated the car's option card beforehand, but just assumed based on what was on the car.

Also changed the cabin filter... it needed it.





Things to do soonish:
  • Bleed brakes and clutch
  • Clean, Sand, Polish taillights
  • Paint front grilles black
  • Install door lock microswitches
  • Install new front axles
  • Check/Adjust alignment
  • Remove Vacuum Pump from passenger-front wheel well
  • Remove/repair/bridge sensor for windshield washer fluid reservoir
  • New wheels
  • GET REGISTERED and INSPECTED
  • Find/obtain new door cards (need Driver's side, at a minimum)
 
  • Like
Reactions: 8382

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Took the TT out for a spin on Wednesday (24 Nov) and was going through the process of re-teaching my girlfriend to drive stick. She was doing well, but she seemed to be nervously strong-arming the shifter a bit, so I had her pull over to show her how little effort was really required to shift this car. I demonstrated delicately rowing through the gears (and everything felt fine) and then she copied. Started the car back up... I saw her shake the knob in neutral before letting the clutch out... and then the car stalled. Well that's odd. She tried putting the car in first, but said she couldn't tell if it was in gear or not. I reached over and felt a limp shifter. The connections under the hood look good, so I'm pretty sure the front-to-back shift cable let go in the shifter box. I was able to manually move the selector on the transmission to third gear and then limp the car home. Took the knob and boot off, but haven't pulled the whole shifter box out yet to be sure, but I went ahead and ordered a DieselGeek shifter bushing kit for it. Fingers crossed that'll solve the issue. I might throw it up on jack stands today and start pulling everything apart to get the shifter box out of the car. I had a whole list of things that I wanted to accomplish over the last five days that I had off of work, but I didn't do a single car related thing in that time, lol. Just the way it goes sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
December 2, 2021

Started tearing apart the interior of the car to get to the shift box.



I was able to confirm that the front to back shifter cable bushing fell apart. The interior is all torn down now and I've been debating on whether or not to do the DieselGeek in-car method or not. Either drilling the hole in the shift box or dropping the prop shaft to pull the box out will be my next step tonight. Will need to pick up a hole saw drill bit on my way home today. I was eyeballing the prop shaft while looking at the shift box last night; the bushing under the shift box is looked decrepit, so I'm sure the JXB Driveshaft Center Support Bearing Carrier Upgrade is in my future.

While the car is up on jack stands, I went ahead and marked a couple other tasks off my to-do list. I pulled both front fender liners out of the car. On the driver's side, I was checking the windshield washer fluid reservoir. I filled it up soon after I got the car running and it apparently all leaked out on my way home, so I gave it a solid look with the liner out, but couldn't see a hole or any leaks. Filled it up 3/4 of the way full with plain water and haven't seen a leak out of it yet. We'll see how it holds up once the car is driving around again. Seems weird to have an intermittent leak from something like that, but I'm wondering if I just overfilled it the first time and that's what created the leak.

On the passenger side, I was going in to remove the vacuum pump. Someone has obviously been in here before though, as the lines heading into the engine bay were looped. I went ahead and removed the unit. If you look carefully, you can see my torn CAB... it's on the list of things to do, lol.



Replaced this rare (custom, lol) double worm clamp that was used to clamp the TIP to the MAF with a good T-bolt clamp. And then I flushed and bled the brakes. The old fluid was a dark green color Is that an OE VW/Audi fluid color? I've never seen green brake fluid on the shelf before, but the MK4 that I tore apart for the 1.8t swap in my GTI had a similar colored fluid. I was under the impression that "colored" brake fluid was illegal, and that was why ATE Super Blue got banned. ANYWAY, used my vacuum pump to pull all the old fluid out of the reservoir, refilled with Motul RBF600, and then used vacuum on each caliper to bleed the system. Finished with the clutch.



The plan is to finish the shifter tonight and get the car back on the road tonight; I've missed driving it this week, lol. I have the door cards pulled off right now to repair the microswitches, just need to make sure I take the time to actually do that.

How does a car like this end up at copart? Does it end up with a branded title?
Apparently, Copart allows consignment sales. So this car was at a small independent dealer since like 2015 or 2016 (according to the title) and they just offloaded it to Copart. Clean title.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
December 4, 2021

On Friday night, I picked up a Lenox hole saw (Made in the USA), but ended up spending a couple hours out cruising the city in my Viper. Ran into a 991.2 GT3RS... that was a fun exchange. 😂 So I got back to work on the TT Saturday afternoon. Started with a hole on the side of the shifter base.



That is needed to put a circlip on the new bushing once the shifter cable it back on the shift lever. Let me tell you... it's still a tight fit to get a circlip tool in there and actually get the thing ON the bushing and seated properly. But I managed. Then put the "First Gear Getter" bushing on, as well as the side-to-side cable bushing. I set the shifter up with the alignment tool and headed to the transmission... but I could not find the lock pin on my transmission. So I referenced the DieselGeek video on alignment of an 02M then looked back at my transmission - not setup quite the same. Where the angled alignment pin was in their video, I appear to have a hard metal pin (non-moveable). I'll do some more internet searching for it later, as I'm sure the early models were different. The shifter feels good though and I didn't mess with the cable ends, so the alignment shouldn't be off. Oh well... I moved on to reassembling the interior.







Went back under the hood and removed the components to install the "Super Slider". Gave the inside a thorough brushing to clean out any potential contaminants that might hinder smooth operation, gave the pin a dab or two of Liqui-Moly heavy duty grease, and reassembled.







The alignment pin is supposed to be where that stud is... the one that's around the 1 o'clock position relative to the black breather cap at the bottom of the picture.

Next, I went ahead and removed both door latch assemblies to replace the microswitches.



BUT, unfortunately, the rubber coating on the latch was decimated on my driver's side one... so even with a new microswitch installed, it wouldn't have triggered the switch. And the passenger side wasn't too far behind it, so I decided to just throw them back in the car and try to get my hands on some quality used ones... or just order new ones... or just deal with it. 😂

Finally, I removed the factory 65mm exhaust coupler between the downpipe and cat-back because it was leaking and I was tired of the stupid U-bolts. I had a 63.5mm coupler lying around from the Techtonic Tuning system that's on my MK2, so I slipped that on the car, threw the wheels back on, torqued them, and then took the car out for an evening drive. Feels great, I had missed it. Midway through the drive though, the Low Windshield Washer Fluid warning popped back up though, so I'm guessing I'll need to replace some rubber gaskets or something. It also looks like the cheap 3-bolt turbo gasket that the downpipe came with is blowing apart, as well, sigh... so I'll need to replace that. That makes me worried that the flange might be warped, allowing it to blow apart, so I'm not sure that throwing an OE metal gasket in with help anything. We'll see. The car is back to DD duty though and that's all that matters! I have the itch to get a tune on the car though... OE boost levels aren't any fun when both of my other cars are similar weights, but around the 450 whp mark. 😂
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Driving back home from filling the tank yesterday and I started to smell an electrical short/fire. I couldn't figure out what it was and I was in stop and go traffic on a two-lane interstate that's under construction with the shoulders blocked off my jersey barriers (so no where to pull over). I turned off the stereo (just in case) and started getting slightly worried. Then I noticed in the reflection of the car in front of me that I had 4 lights illuminated on the front end... looked at the headlight switch and sure enough, the fog light icon was illuminated green and the switch was NOT pulled out. I should note that previous to this, I could not get the fog lights to work, even after changing the bulbs. So I knew something had shorted out. Made it home fine, parked the car and pulled the switch out. It's fading... but the car reeks of that burnt smell now.

 

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Driving back home from filling the tank yesterday and I started to smell an electrical short/fire. I couldn't figure out what it was and I was in stop and go traffic on a two-lane interstate that's under construction with the shoulders blocked off my jersey barriers (so no where to pull over). I turned off the stereo (just in case) and started getting slightly worried. Then I noticed in the reflection of the car in front of me that I had 4 lights illuminated on the front end... looked at the headlight switch and sure enough, the fog light icon was illuminated green and the switch was NOT pulled out. I should note that previous to this, I could not get the fog lights to work, even after changing the bulbs. So I knew something had shorted out. Made it home fine, parked the car and pulled the switch out. It's fading... but the car reeks of that burnt smell now.

Oof good thing that little electrical fire didn't go any further
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
It's doing well. No rubbing. Sounds like the turbo gasket that came with it has already blown out though, so I do wonder if either the nuts loosened or if the flange is warped enough for it to destroy the gasket. I'll get a new OE gasket with my next round of parts being ordered - whenever that is.
 

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That's good to hear, i thought all of the Ebay downpipes didn't fit good. Mine was rubbing against the heatshield so over the weekend i dropped my subframe, removed the downpipe, heated up the rubbing area with a MAP torch, hammered an indention into it with a mallet, and then wrapped it with exhaust wrap. Haven't put it back on yet...
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 · (Edited)
January 15, 2022

It's been a while! I've just been DDing the car lately, but I did pull it into the garage over the weekend to get a couple things changed.

I haven't been working on my GTI track car lately (I should be though), so I decided to pull the 034 DV off of it and put it on the TT. Only complaint was the difference in vacuum nipple size vs the OE unit. I might just have to upgrade that line completely, but it's on there pretty good now.



I put it up on jack stands next and installed a handful of parts.



The brakes in this car have been rather weak; I really have to stand on them to get the thing to slow down aggressively. I figured it was just crappy pads, plus I love Hawk pads. These were a quick swap in and the caliper pins definitely needed lubed up anyway. The new pads are definitely better, but the brake feel is still mushy, which leads me to believe that my OE brake lines are probably ballooning under load. So I'll throw some SS lines on it sooner or later.

Installed a rear O2 sensor to get rid of the CEL's related to not having one. AutoZone parts will suffice for that sensor. But the main reason for getting under the car was to replace the leaking turbo outlet gasket with an OE unit.





The next item on the agenda is to replace the front axles. They're bad. I'm surprised the passenger side is holding itself together as well as it is, but that may just be because I don't take this thing on the highway much and am always driving relatively short distances.



Once those are replaced, I need to start looking at refreshing a lot of the suspension bushings. I have my own shop press, so it shouldn't be a problem to replace most of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
April 9, 2022

It's been a while! I've just been DD'ing the car lately, but I did put some work into it a week ago to get a couple things changed.

I took the car out to run some errands on April 2nd and during the drive back... the car just died while cruising down the road. Sudden and decisively, the engine just shut off. Tried starting it back up about 20 times - nothing. Not even a stumble. I got it towed home and then went out to it about 30 minutes later to run some diagnostics. Tried starting it, just to see... and it started right up... but died about 30 seconds later. Perplexing. I thought that may I had run out of fuel... but that didn't seem to be the case. Did some googling and came to the determination that it must have been the Crankshaft Position Sensor. Picked up a BOSCH sensor from the local Auto Zone and waited until the 9th to put it in.





The sensor itself was in a tight spot, but it wasn't too terrible to remove. The plug, on the other hand, was a PITA. One of the PCV lines prevented it from being removed from the bracket... and I didn't want to risk breaking some fragile plastic/rubber line, so I just removed the bracket. The main bolt for it was a huge PITA to remove though; just did not want to unthread very easily. Probably took a solid 20-30 minutes just to remove the bracket.

Once that was done though, I decided to go ahead and change those axles that I've been putting off for so long. Most of the bolts, including the hub bolt, were surprisingly easy to remove - the whole ordeal went rather smoothly. Getting the ball joints back into the A-arms was the hardest part.





I also painted the lower aluminum grilles that one of the PO's had installed. They're black now and the car looks much better. Oh, I also bought a new driver's side "knee panel" with headlight switch from a car that was parting out, so I have a relatively complete interior again. I'm still keeping my eyes peeled for a set of black door cards in good condition. There was a pair for sale recently, but I didn't want to spend $500 for them.



All my cars are slated for a car wash later this week (Texas springs suck; we get lots of dirty west Texas rain storms... plus all the pollen your body can(not) handle). 😂

The next three big things that I'd like to do for the car are different wheels (3 of the current 4 are bent), something other than stock exhaust, and then sand down the flaking clear and wrap the car. This might be a lot more difficult to accomplish, since the car has decade(s) old vinyl on the lower front bumper and on the hood and roof. I have a feeling that those are going to be a PITA to remove.

The next small thing though will be to replace all the suspension bushings, ball joints, and steering arms. I'll likely start taking this thing to autocross events real soon.

Until then, I'll just keep on driving it to work. I do keep having reoccurring dreams of abandoning my MK2 GTI 1.8t racecar and putting the TT in its place. But I do have a special place in my heart for my GTI.
 
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