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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I didn't know what else to call this... But I basically want to keep a log of my attempt to keep this car running. Boils down to a progressive resto-mod build, as the car nears 100K miles and I need to start replacing everything*

*a few things...

My style is typically OEM+ so I may use a few aftermarket parts or a few OEM parts, but I want the car to retain a "could have been from the factory" look, while still being somewhat unique.

History

I fell in love with the lines of the TT since the concept debuted while I was in college. I would sit in class and draw the shape over and over as doodles in my notebook. I was in my 2nd job out of college when the New Beetle debuted. I had a 1966 Beetle and was pretty excited about the upcoming New Beetle. I had a deposit on the MY2000 1.8T New Beetle and finally got mine in late 1999. I hadn't really thought of the TT any more, so it was just kind of "out of sight, out of mind."

A few years later I had an A6 in for service and wandered over to the used car portion of the VW/Audi dealership. I was already itching for a GTi, and I came across 2 similar TTs priced about the same as a new GTi. The light came on, and "why not a TT?" became "Which TT?"

I bought this car as an Audi CPO in 2004. It was off a 3 year lease (corporate rental from Michigan that somehow made its way to San Diego after being turned in.) I paid around $25k for it with 25,000 miles as an Audi CPO vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Short Honeymoon

I wouldn't say the Honeymoon period was "short" - perhaps it was more, "delayed."

See, the car showed issues the minute it was delivered to me at the dealership. The lot attendant pulled the car up to the front of the dealership. I had stopped in after work to do the dealership, and the salesman followed me home to drop off the car I was driving so that I could come back to drive the TT home.

The salesguy and I are standing there as the TT pulls up into a circular spot with lights on it. The car stops and the driver's side headlight doesn't. It's now hanging by a couple wires off the front of the car. WTF?!

"We'll fix it, must have been a loose screw. Let's add it to the Due Bill."

I notice that the wheels are pointed straight forward as I walk around to the driver's side of the car and get into the driver's seat. Strange, the steering wheel is turned around 60 degrees to the left - but the wheels were pointed straight ahead?

"Let's add it to the Due Bill."

I get out and walk around the car. I notice 3 of the tires all have big bubbles on them. They need to be replaced.
"Let's add it to the Due Bill."

Now I'm kind of put off. Let's pop the hood. Strange, some of the plastic engine covers are missing and a few of the ones left are broken. The clips holding the headlights are all broken (no wonder if fell off).
"Let's add it to the Due Bill."

The airbag light is on.
"Let's add it to the Due Bill."

The Fuel Gauage is dead.
"Let's add it to the Due Bill."

There's overspray on the headlights and all over the plastic grills? I think it's been repainted.
"That's a normal part of re-conditioning on used cars."

All in all, we wound up with a dozen items on the Due Bill before I left. I drove the car home and then brought it back first thing in the morning so that they could give me a loaner car. This was better foreshadowing than some of the best novels - as this process would come to be repeated often over the next 6 months.

My theory is that someone test drove this car (or a lot attendant?) and must have slid into a curb. The headlight braces/clips were all broken, the engine plastics were missing or broken, the alignment was terribly off, the tires were practically all blistered, and the airbag yaw controller was fried,

I've know the GM of this dealership since he was a salesman, and I'm hoping that played some part in his willingness to make me happy. He replaced anything I complained about and did everything he could to make this car work right - either under warranty or as a "dealer courtesy service."

After this initial period of frustration, I had a year long streak of un-events. Then the gauge cluster went dead again :( Dealer replaced it under warranty! and I was back on the road.

Then my career shifted from an Office with a door and window - to airplanes, hotels, and rentals. I hardly touched the car for the next few years. In fact, the tires rotted from sitting and going low.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The Road to Recovery
About a year ago, I landed a project in the Bay Area. I found that I preferred driving instead of flying due to the convenience -- no airport security, freedom to drive around after work hours, could bring along things like razors and toothpaste that are banned from my carry-ons. Extra pairs of shoes, several laptops and equipment.. To top it off, I get reimbursed for mileage at the gov't rate: $.55/mile.

What a great opportunity to use the TT! It's small enough to be convenient in the Bay Area, but big enough to be comfortable on the long highway jaunt. Fun in the mountain passes, with twisty roads and steep inclines. Yay!

Up to this point, the only modification on the car is a set of Zimmerman cross-drilled rotors and Mintex pads.

Since the tires were rotting off, the first thing I did was take it to the shop to have new tires put on, and get the brakes and struts checked out.

Then I drove it. For a year. :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Karma

After 1 year of driving, I'm loving the car again. But at the same time, I'm getting that itch for a new car again. The last new car I bought was a Truck. I want a new toy, and while the TT is great - some of the newer cars are really enticing. The Boxster has improved and I love the newer interiors. I could almost see myself driving a Nissan/Infiniti (2 door), and yet the long commute has me hankering for a big 2 door coupe (CLS, 650, etc..) I have a trip to Vietnam coming up in January, and I figure "why not try to sell the car before the end of the year. Then come home after the trip and take up the hunt to figure out what's next.

I had seen a few reviews of selling a car to CarMax on this site, so I called them up and made an appointment to have my car appraised. I was really hoping for something close to $10k, especially since they had a FWD, 180HP red coupe with 145,000 miles on it for $13k). My car with 88K miles, 225HP, Quattro - same year (2001) should easily be worth at least that much?!

Well the appraisal comes back and they offer $4000. It's an insult for sure, but they explained themselves well. At the end of 2011, the car is now 11 years old, and they have a 10 year policy. So they really did not want my car.

That was fine I figured, I don't need the money, so I'll just take it home and think about it some more. On the way home I stopped by a Starbucks to make a donation to the evil empire while poisoning myself with one of their concoctions.

The sun was just about to set as I finished up and headed back to the highway. I'm about an hour from home (90 miles). I'm faced with a cork-screw onramp and I push the car a little bit - as if I were flirting with her, trying to re-kindle that flame. 1st gear, smooth - strong - quickly leads to second: wanting, thrusting. This feels good and I can feel the grin growing - "this car isn't so bad really. I still love it!" We slip into third at the end of the ramp and we're poised on the edge of ecstasy.

I push my left foot down on the clutch in anticipation of a spectacular corner exit onto the 65mph highway. My right hand pulls at the lever - and I find something I've never felt before. It's soft, squishy, and doesn't feel right.

Then SNAP! The shifter goes limp and falls into 4th. As I let off the clutch I realize the car is still in third, so throw it back into neutral and stay on the entry/exit lane. I roll to a stop at the light and find I can't get out of third. The shifter is totally unresponsive, but the clutch works fine. I use 3rd to get the car to the nearest parking lot and call AAA.

Resto-Mod Repair 1
So now my next repair is to fix the shift linkages. I'm thinking of going with an HPA short-shift kit and the 42DD bushings. The problem seems that my car, as a 2001, doesn't have the parts with the C clips to hold the bushings in place. So this week I am going to be researching this parts to see what I need - and if it's possible to do all the work without getting under the car. If it's just the short shifter and the end-links of the cables, then no problems.

My concern is that I somehow have to replace the entire cable, which requires going through firewall - and possibly going under the car? I know a lot here have done similar upgrades anyway - can anyone tell me which parts will work on my car? (what do I need to convert my car to the c-clip system on newer - ~2002~ models?)
 

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I doubt you broke the cable. To replace the linkage to the post and clipl style rather than ball ends, you'd just need cable ends, and the two pieces on top of the trans that the cables attach to. That said, it's possible you broke a shift fork (common in the 02M's if the linkage isn't aligned over time). Open the hood, take the air box out, and inspect the linkage on top of the trans. If you can still move it all by hand (but probably not into 3rd or 4th, they share the same shift fork) and nothing is broken there, the trans will need to come out. Replacing the fork is easy, finding a fork is the hard part. I found one on ebay when mine broke luckily for $40.

This is usually how the forks break.

http://media.photobucket.com/image/recent/zyiro/random/download.jpg

Nice story telling, and good luck. :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys - I expected more tl: dr and "you have an I problem." :D

I'm still not home to see clearly what's going on, but the early diagnosis was that the rubber bushing rotted and disentigrated, leaving the cables unconnected to the shifter. I'm really hoping it's not the fork, as dropping the tranny sounds like a pain in the a$$ - emphasis on the $$?

I've seen a few other solutions for the shift kit, such as "dieselgeek" - and an HPA kit mentioned elsewhere in this forum. I can't wait to get home this week to finally take a look and see what's going on. Whether it's the fork or just the bushing, I'll still be doing the shift kit + bushings (converting to c-clip ends as well.)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Here is one of the pieces you'd need to change the cable style.
This is why I think I just need to replace the links - this part that goes next to the shifter inside the tunnel, doesn't have a cable attached to it. The little rubber gromet is in pieces all around the inside of the tunnel - and this piece is sitting limp in the car.
 

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Thanks guys - I expected more tl: dr and "you have an I problem." :D

I'm still not home to see clearly what's going on, but the early diagnosis was that the rubber bushing rotted and disentigrated, leaving the cables unconnected to the shifter. I'm really hoping it's not the fork, as dropping the tranny sounds like a pain in the a$$ - emphasis on the $$?

I've seen a few other solutions for the shift kit, such as "dieselgeek" - and an HPA kit mentioned elsewhere in this forum. I can't wait to get home this week to finally take a look and see what's going on. Whether it's the fork or just the bushing, I'll still be doing the shift kit + bushings (converting to c-clip ends as well.)

The later c-clip style require you to switch to the later selector end on the transmission. This can be found on any 02M transmission. I have an 02M I am taking it off of to upgrade mine at some point. Then you can run the later selector ends on the cables.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The later c-clip style require you to switch to the later selector end on the transmission. This can be found on any 02M transmission. I have an 02M I am taking it off of to upgrade mine at some point. Then you can run the later selector ends on the cables.
Would this then require me to remove the trans to replace the selector?
That sounds like a dump in my salad :p
 

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I've seen a few other solutions for the shift kit, such as "dieselgeek"
great shift kit "deiselgeek" very crisp and more durable imo. and while ur on the transmission:rolleyes: u might want to check on the clutch slave master and flush brake&clutch oil too.:thumbup:

Best of luck
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Finally home this week and I started tearing down the car to see what clues I can find.

Unfortunately, I'm starting to think there is something wrong with my 3rd gear shift fork. From what I can see, the shifter will run through all the gears without the clutch, but it does hit every position (so there's no missing linkage). I verified by removing the airbox and shfiting through the positions at the tranny then looking into the car to see that the shifter changed position.

So now it seems the issue is inside the transmission after all. I was really hoping this wasn't the case. After reading a few threads about the 02M, it looks like I had some typical signs-
occasional difficulty getting into 3rd gear / grinding - even with clutch fully depressed - and only on 3rd gear.

At this point I'm really bummed. Chiefly because I don't want two project cars. The TT has (oddly enough) been my reliable DD while I work on building up my Miata. I can't help but think how much I could do to the Miata with the money I'll have to sink into the TT.

That said, the TT was an affordable "dream car" for me when I bought it 8 years ago. I still love the way it looks and do the whole "look back" every time I park (even as a bone stock example.)

I figured starting small with a shift kit and some odds and ends that would upgrade as they reached their end of life (which at 80K miles, seems to be quite a few things) would be a fun way to continue enjoying the experience.

With a little help, I can probably get most of this done at home - like dropping the transmission and taking it to someone for a re-build -or tackling it myself in the garage - so sure, it doesn't have to be super expensive. But in the meantime, I'm stuck driving the truck to work and I'm getting that much further behind on the Miata... Not to mention the itch I've been having for a new car lately.

It's funny that just before new year, I was considering selling the TT and using some of those funds to finish off the Miata. Tonight, I'm looking at the Miata and thinking I can sell it to fix the TT. Haha - weird situation this has become.

At this point, the decision is coming to this:

1. Extensive repair - upgrade and fix everything. While I've got the tranny out, take the engine out. Go nuts.

2. Basic repair - just get it running again ASAP.

I have a feeling that if I choose #2, it will easier to say "we've had our fun for 8 years, it's time to move on." And if I choose #1, I will probably never sell this car - and you will see me drive into financial ruin through the course of this thread :p

Here's to possibilities :beer:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That said, it's possible you broke a shift fork (common in the 02M's if the linkage isn't aligned over time). Open the hood, take the air box out, and inspect the linkage on top of the trans. If you can still move it all by hand (but probably not into 3rd or 4th, they share the same shift fork) and nothing is broken there, the trans will need to come out. Replacing the fork is easy, finding a fork is the hard part. I found one on ebay when mine broke luckily for $40.
In my car, I can move the selector by hand through all seven gears. But it doesn't change the fact the car is in 3rd gear. The clutch works - as that is how I push the car around (someone has to sit in the car and depress the clutch).

My last hope was that the shift lever was disconnected, but my test today proved that it has all motion (side to side and front to back).

So what's left? I think the fork is stuck on 3rd and moving the selector does nothing because it's snapped off the rod. Will have to drop trans to confirm?
 

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In my car, I can move the selector by hand through all seven gears. But it doesn't change the fact the car is in 3rd gear. The clutch works - as that is how I push the car around (someone has to sit in the car and depress the clutch).

My last hope was that the shift lever was disconnected, but my test today proved that it has all motion (side to side and front to back).

So what's left? I think the fork is stuck on 3rd and moving the selector does nothing because it's snapped off the rod. Will have to drop trans to confirm?
Yes yes and yes. Sounds like a broken fork.
 
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