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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All.

I'm new to this forum and to GTI ownership. I picked up a gem of a GTI. 125k miles with almost no rust (only one bit below the rear driver side window).

Car is original as far as I can tell. But the paint is terrible so it's in the process of getting stripped for body work and paint.

During that process I've been cleaning up some mechanicals. Started the usual tune up but found a distributor leak so replaced that with OEM. And then a gnarly valve cover gasket leak. Currently replacing that. Next will be belts and timing belt and water pump. Along with new wires and plugs.

I've also got the mizzinglinkz shift linkage setup that I'm going to install. The stock stuff is super worn out. But I think that will be the only nonstock think I'm gonna do to the car.

I'm excited to play with this thing and read more of the posts in the community!

Let me know if people have questions and thoughts about what I should replace. I'll keep posting updates as I go.

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just finished the valve cover gasket, plugs, and wires. Also replaced a bunch of the vacuum hoses. Cleaned out the isv. Adjusted the dizzy timing and replaced the oring on the throttle screw (don't remember the name...) Also had to play with the throttle switches and the bar that hits the one on top of the intake. The plastic bits that cause the interference with the switch had fallen off.

But she runs so much better now! Not bogging down or bouncing on idle. Only thing to troubleshoot about the running is every once in a while the starter doesn't engage and just makes a nasty grinding noise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Also today I replaced the shi(f)t linkage with a missinglinkz setup and it's so much nicer! Install wasn't too bad but definitely needed some adjustment. First test drive to get groceries and I couldn't find 1st gear.

And none of the photos are in order...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The to do list in no particular order:

Exterior:
Strip and fill for paint - roof and hood will be down to metal. The rest will be down to primer
Get the car painted - gonna go with the stock color or as close to it as possible (LE5N dark blue metallic)
Refurb all exterior plastics
Install new sunroof seal
Replace wheels with era correct - any thoughts/recommendations?

Interior:
Replace/fix headliner
Fix odometer - one of the broken gears
Replace all the foam in the heater core and vents
New stereo head unit
New amp and new sub for factory system - current eclipse system doesn't work
Replace speakers as necessary
Repair split in dash

Engine:
Clean engine bay
Chase down leaks once it's clean
Replace belts on alternator and power steering pump

Drive train/suspension:
New shocks and springs all around - the one on the car seem ok but they're very old and I suspect wil be shot soon enough
Ripped drive axel boot on driver side, replace both sides
 

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I'm for sure gonna be following this thread, seems like you've got your priorities in order for this build! What direction of wheels are you thinking of? for a stock look, OEM+ rims look great for the mk2's, like g60 steelies, and even base model wheels etc. they even look great with stock height too. This car has huge potential, also looks like its got some goodies on it like that cassette holder! For refurbing all the trim a super simple way is to use boiled linseed oil on the trims, if you'd like I can send you a before and after of my car with it
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm for sure gonna be following this thread, seems like you've got your priorities in order for this build! What direction of wheels are you thinking of? for a stock look, OEM+ rims look great for the mk2's, like g60 steelies, and even base model wheels etc. they even look great with stock height too. This car has huge potential, also looks like its got some goodies on it like that cassette holder! For refurbing all the trim a super simple way is to use boiled linseed oil on the trims, if you'd like I can send you a before and after of my car with it
I picked up some forever black for the trim but I'd love to see what linseed oil looks like.

I have a set of OEM teardrop wheels that I might go with. I had a set of borbets that were too far gone for me to afford to fix them. See photos

I do like the steel g60 rims.
 

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That is correct, early 16v GTI's were built in US.
Great start to making the GTI road worthy.

I highly recommend you replace all of the engine vacuum hoses with the silicone type instead of the braided cloth type. I replaced my hoses with the braided cloth type only to find out the hose began to crack at the ends after 6 months. I installed CRP-11731259996 hose on my car and have not experienced any cracks or vacuum leaks in over a year. Great stuff!

On the subject of vacuum leaks, inspect the fuel injector o-rings for damage. While the engine is idle, spray carb cleaner where the injects meet the intake manifold and pay attention to any changes to the idle. While the injectors are removed from the manifold I would inspect the spray pattern per bentley manual specs. See this article for great tips on checking idle on 16v CIS-E vehicles: Fixing CIS-E Idle Problems (Page 1)

Engine grounds should be inspected and cleaned up in the engine bay. There are two grounds next to the fuse box inside the car.

Engine mounts (3x) should be replaced, if not already done so. Check your external fuel pump for any leaks under the car (black box in front of rear passenger wheel).

What's the condition of the steering rack and inner tie rod boots?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It's a 1VW car so US built. @accRazor thanks for all the info! I went with braided type hoses. It I have any problems I'll follow your recommendation.

I'll definitely add the fuel injector check to the list. The car doesn't really like to start up and idle warm. It can get a little ropey. But still drives okay. Gonna be playing with that for a bit I think.

As far as I can tell, the steering rack seems good. Not much noise or whining from the PS pump and pretty smooth action stop to stop. I didn't notice if the tie rod boots were damaged but I spent a bunch of time down there working on the shift linkage and I didn't notice anything. Is that a common issue? I haven't seen it come up on any of the forums I've read yet.

Weather has been crappy and work busy so I haven't had a chance to work on the car much. Mostly looking for a quality painter in Tijuana if anybody has any good recommendations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well finally an update! Car got painted! Now working though all the little touch ups and getting the fender flares back on.

Just colored them all with forever black and replaced the sun roof seal.

Also replaced my ps and alternator belt. They decided to start squeaking on my drive back from the body shop.

Here's the first pick of it back at home!
Wheel Tire Car Land vehicle Vehicle
 
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