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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone,

A few forum members and my self have started the grueling process of building a rally car for the upcoming Staged and RallyX season,MK1 Rabbit LS. The car was 800$ and came from a forum member. It runs fine except something is wrong with the shifting. Body is straight and no rust. A perfect candidate. And before anybody says it, no we could not find a pre built rally car in Idaho. I will be updating this page as the build goes on. If you have any suggestions or ideas please feel free to post.

Heres what to expect:

2L 16v Engine Rebuild and Swap, 1.7L in it now......
9A 020 LSD Tranny
Mega Squirt
Cage (either bought pre bent or built by a 4x4 shop)
Suspension (not sure what to go with yet, bilstein hd? Ideas are welcome!)
Wheel Bearings, control arms, k-bar
Stock dash painted with custom cluster
Random swaps might/will include radiator from a Rocco, oil cooler, FTL Drive from salvaged
raptor, wheels and tires, single rounds :D
New exhaust, probably 2 inch.
United Grey paint job with Swedish colors on B Pillar (for my pops)

Heres the start, his name is El Rabbito:

No Dash. Really simple wiring btw. Almost nothing besides stereo wires and some hazards. Which btw, in this. are also the relays for the blinkers sooo.

Bryce working on the exhaust that will last us until the swap. This thing had no muffler and just dumped mid. It filled the car with exhaust and had to be dealt with.

A very clean 1.7L. Until you open the air filter and noticed you were sucking up oil....

The 16v we found in the trunk of a Passat. We tore it open and it looked great. What a find! More pictures of this during the rebuild to come.

As great as this front looks with Westys and chicken wire for a grill its gotta go.
 

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Saw this on special stage. I like this.

I don't know how much stuff we have left from our rally rabbit, but you might try contacting my brother through our website demonrally.com to see if you can pick up any spare rabbit parts.

Good luck with the build. Keep asking lots of questions!
 

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some advice from a rally car builder.

1: go MK2 Diesel rad, not Rocco.
2: If you're serious about this, invest in some Bilstein Rally shocks, not just the HD. the last thing you want is to cut a rally in half because you blew up a shock.
3: the cage in a MK1 is EXTREMELY important in a rally car. you will need to tie into the front shock mounts, full gussets on the windshield/roof and MOST importantly, brace the piss out of the control arm mounts. they can tear very easily. also reinforce the rear beam mounts.
4: Find a 4K code trans
5: if you can swing it, find an ITB or carb set-up. this paired with a lightweight flywheel will give you tons of response.
6: Bigger brakes. Rally tires are 15", get the biggest ones you can find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
some advice from a rally car builder.

1: go MK2 Diesel rad, not Rocco.
2: If you're serious about this, invest in some Bilstein Rally shocks, not just the HD. the last thing you want is to cut a rally in half because you blew up a shock.
3: the cage in a MK1 is EXTREMELY important in a rally car. you will need to tie into the front shock mounts, full gussets on the windshield/roof and MOST importantly, brace the piss out of the control arm mounts. they can tear very easily. also reinforce the rear beam mounts.
4: Find a 4K code trans
5: if you can swing it, find an ITB or carb set-up. this paired with a lightweight flywheel will give you tons of response.
6: Bigger brakes. Rally tires are 15", get the biggest ones you can find.

Thanks man. Will try to find the rad in the junk yard. Suspension has been a debate right now. Billstein HDs with mk2 springs revalved or pure Bilstein Rally shocks for the mk1. The cage will be done by a 4x4 shop here in Boise but I will make sure to pass on your 2 cents to those guys. What do you suggest for reinforcing control arm mounts and rear beam mounts?

Why the 4k tranny?

As for ITB that will wait till next year or this year if we can get a good deal but we still have the rebuild on the 16v coming up with mega squirt so I'm sure that will take a bunch of time, and money.

This little car is going to have a bit of power behind him. A little car with a 16v engine is going to throw this car around on the dirt.

As for tires and wheels, BryceJoseph found some in the yard.

 

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I have a huge amount of suggestions for you if you want them, you are building almost exactly the car that I helped campaign in the nw. If you want it ill gladly type something out when I'm not on my phone. Also Tom, aka demonrally on here, was the cars owner and builder and probably has a fair bit of parts left, including the transmission you will need.
 

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Hey, looks like you have a big project on your hands, hope you have a bunch of cash on hand to support it, as they say racing ain't cheap, how fa$t do you want to go?

My biggest suggestion for you is to go volunteer if you haven't already, you'll learn a lot!

some advice from a rally car builder.

1: go MK2 Diesel rad, not Rocco.
2: If you're serious about this, invest in some Bilstein Rally shocks, not just the HD. the last thing you want is to cut a rally in half because you blew up a shock.
3: the cage in a MK1 is EXTREMELY important in a rally car. you will need to tie into the front shock mounts, full gussets on the windshield/roof and MOST importantly, brace the piss out of the control arm mounts. they can tear very easily. also reinforce the rear beam mounts.
4: Find a 4K code trans
5: if you can swing it, find an ITB or carb set-up. this paired with a lightweight flywheel will give you tons of response.
6: Bigger brakes. Rally tires are 15", get the biggest ones you can find.
You can use the stock 8v radiator, we never hand any issues when we were running a 16V with overheating until we went turbo.
The Bilstein rally shocks are ok, AFAIK they are just re-valved HD's, but a big limitation in the rabbit is travel, I have at least 4" more travel in the golf than I did in the rabbit. We run JVAB coilovers, they are custom made and I can't recommend them enough for the budget ralliest.
Rabbits are bendy, you'll need to reinforce (in order of importance) the front strut towers (plate them on the top at minimum), the a-arms (the curved side is where they bend, we used tubing stitched onto the a-arm, others use plates), and the rear beam (they bend easily when you hit things, triangulate or carry a spare for overnight service).
4K is the best stock 020 for gearing, we went crazy and picked up a vwms unit....unbelievably awesome for stage rally...4k with a 4.20 and good diff and you'll be ok with a mild motor.
No need to go ITB or carbs right off the bat, run the stock stuff it is reliable!
We ran rocco 10.1 stuff and 14" rally tires, no need to go any bigger unless you have money to burn
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey guys thanks for all the ideas and help. Everything is being taken in and talked about with number crunching haha. Rebuild of the engine starts next week then the drop with tranny on presidents weekend ( pending on if we found a shell with a cage that works. If not were still planning on running this guy). Thanks for recommending John at JVAB. Awesome guy with loads of info. We painted the engine but... The brightness may blind some people so I'll post a big update during the engine rebuild.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update:

The VW god has shined down on us and given us a car with a cage already built in. So as of now the gold here shell will be used as a restore project and 1.8 swap or a 1.7L rebuild. Ill post the new shell as soon as we get it. Till then I will just be gathering parts and having the engine up and built and hopefully have megasquirt ready to be put in.

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hope everyone had a great a holiday season!

Over ours we rebuilt and put together most of the 16v engine. The color scheme is swedish flag. We might repaint because this could blind someone.: GIANT PHOTOS AHEAD FROM IPHONE.






We will attach the transmission as soon as the clutch kit gets in. Also, I decided to go with custom suspension from K3. Robert at ZeroLift is building them and we should have them buy March. Roughly $1200 bucks for rally tuned K3s. It was honestly a coin toss with them and JVAB. I'll just have to get some other parts from JVAB to show my appreciation.

Cage is still being built in Washington so we will see that mid-march. Megasquirt should be here soon.

We are still looking for parts, so if you trying to sell we might need it. If you happen to have a 16v ignition distributor please let me know. Also a 16v middle exit downpipe. SFI sanctioned seat (1), SFI (2) 5point harness, in car communication (we might just use motorcycle), used go pro, and/or quick release steering.
 
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