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83 GTi - finally starting to rebuild!

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Hi All,

Thought I'd share my project with you, it's been a long time in the making!
The car in question is an '83 GTi which I have owned since about 1992. I ran it for a few years until bits went wrong and I decided to take it off the road, and not put it back on again until it was all sorted.

That was about 17 years ago.

I did absolutely nothing on it for about 6 years, then had flurry of activity and stripped it down and replaced some suspension bit's and pieces. Then put it back on axle stands and covered it up again.
A couple of years ago I had to move it from my folks garage, and it ended up, via a friends garage, in my very tiny garage. That's when I started on the body work. My intention was to do as much as I could (which was mainly filling in dents as it was in very good nick) and then just give it to someone to paint - money is always an issue!
After two years of very slow progress I figured I'd done as much as I could and set about finding someone that would paint it for me. In the end it was done through a friend of a friend for a sensible sum of money. He re-did most of my work as it wasn't up to his standard. I think his quote was "I don't know what you do for a living, but your probably very good at it. I'm very good at what I do." A very subtle dig if ever I heard one"

I now have the car back - and it looks lovely - really really happy with it. I can't recommend Darren enough, so if you are based around Leeds/Bradford he's worth taking to - http://www.kapsuzuki4x4.co.uk/

So after 17 years I'm starting to put it back together - due to restricted garage space my first priority is to get the watertight so I can move it outside so I have space for engine building and all the other little jobs!
I've resprayed the window guides, cleaned all the rubbers up and got the glass in both sides. I've got the tailgate sticker to go on, then I can get rear and front screen in.

My plan is to have it finished before April next year - gotta be realistic!

Before:

IMG_20130704_180535

After (my Daughter approves!)

IMG_20130725_183521

More to follow - although don't expect daily updates!

Cheers!

My rebuild thread I will try and keep up to date: here

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Looking good buddy. Good luck with the project. Hope all goes to plan for you mate :)

Smudger

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Looks good mate, look forward to the updates!!

Andy :cool:

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It's been a long time since I started this thread, with not a lot of updates, and I definitely didn't make April 2014!! That said, things have been moving on.
Car got painted, glass refitted, rear hatch decal fitted - then we moved house so it was all stop for a while.

Last year my time was mainly spent going from this:
IMG_20180111_190310.jpg

to this:

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Finishing with this:
IMG_20180819_193833.jpg


This year I've managed to get my Mk3 servo fitted, along with a T5 master cylinder, run the front brake lines and part of the rear, fitted the Audi carriers and calipers, 16v discs, eventually getting the right pads!
Engine had some machining done last year (it's not the original, that ate itself and couldn't be salvaged), it's got oversize pistons (std. oversize) and been fully balanced.
Painted up with new core plugs:
IMG_20190401_205159.jpg

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managed to get the crank in last night.

IMG_20190401_215605.jpg

Pistons next when my ring pliers and ring compressor arrive (lost the last ones).

I'll try and keep this thread up to date (when progress is being made!). I should add that I'm not going to the level of detail that some of the other excellent builds are going to, as I'd never get it finished. I also think if I made it too perfect, I'd never want to drive it!

Thanks for reading!

 

My rebuild thread I will try and keep up to date: here

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Great to see another Mars Red project.  I'll keep watching this thread for updates as they come, good work so far.

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Relatively productive weekend! In between family life managed to swap the pistons to the reground con-rods, get the rings on them, and get them in the block.
Before:
IMG_20190406_223942.jpg
After:
IMG_20190406_225950.jpg

Much later:
IMG_20190407_193549.jpg

Much much later:
IMG_20190407_215340.jpg

Next thing I need to do is get the block back off the stand so I can fit the clutch-end crank seal, so I can get the sump fitted, then it's on to getting the head on.

J

My rebuild thread I will try and keep up to date: here

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Bit more progress this week - managed to get the block off the stand and fit the clutch-end seal on (bloody heavy with the crank and pistons in).
New water-pump fitted, intermediate shaft in, crank sprocket on, and last night, got the head back on! Starting to look like an engine now.
Need to get the engine mount bush pressed in and then I can get the timing belt stuff sorted out.

IMG_20190411_224153.jpg

IMG_20190411_224212.jpg

IMG_20190411_224420.jpg

 

My rebuild thread I will try and keep up to date: here

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Slow progress recently - seem to spend ages on little bits that are only incremental additions to the whole!
Sorry about some of the pics being dark - it's because I only have time to work on it at night!

Inlet manifold cleaned up, all new hose clips, fitted.
Before:
IMG_20190413_210737.jpg

IMG_20190413_210714.jpg

After and fitted:
IMG_20190521_205708.jpg

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Also cleaned up the exhaust manifold (citric acid is wonderful stuff). Had to replace a snapped stud in the manifold, that was a PITA, just glad I have a pillar drill. I only painted it because I didn't want it going all rusty again too quickly.
Cleaned up the dizzy, got that on - I'm still trying to source some new spring clips as the current ones are a bit worse for wear. New water pump as well.
IMG_20190521_205724.jpg

Got my brake lines plumbed in to the MC, including the new colour coded residual pressure valves.

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Cleaned up the timing belt cover, couldn't find the one that was on my engine (which wasn't in bad nick) so had to use the one that was on my donor engine. It had been brush painted - thickly - so that took some doing. Just need to spray it up and then fit it. At which point I think I'll get the engine in the car (with a support beam) and turn my attention to gearbox and driveshafts.
Slow and steady!

 

My rebuild thread I will try and keep up to date: here

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could have spent a bit more time
on the inlet manifold  :lol:  looking
good mate

Do not know a lot but willing to help if possible

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nicci21paul said

could have spent a bit more time
on the inlet manifold  :lol:  looking
good mate

The problem is - I wouldn't know where to stop, make one thing really nice, and then something else doesn't look as good, and before you know I'm in to the same territory as some of the other chaps on here with their super clean and tidy builds! Don;t get me wrong, they look excellent, but I have neither the time, patience, or money. I kind of like the idea of it looking used but clean if you know what I mean! I looked at getting it soda blasted but that would be £40 that I can spend on parts, plus I'm trying to as much as I can myself.

My rebuild thread I will try and keep up to date: here

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Can't beleive it's over 6 months since I updated this. I'm starting to accept that I only have time to work on the car in winter. Seems mygood lady has other jobs for me in summer!
Anyway…
Tidied up some broken wiring in the engine bay, fitted the correct plug for my m/c reservoir fluid level sender and put a connector in so that the standard plug can be reverted if it ever needs to go back to stock.
fitted all the vac and some of the coolant hoses to the block, all nice stainless jubilee clips.
Discovered on torqueing up the coolant flange on the side of the head that the threads had been stripped. Further investigation revealed that the studs had been effectively glued in. On removal I had a hole like this.

IMG_20200204_214639.jpg

Borrowed a helicoil kit and did both holes, quite happy with how that turned out.

IMG_20200204_221818.jpg

Flange refitted and all good.

Then got round to taking the engine off the stand so I could fit the clutch and flywheel.Centred by eye, and when measured was spot on. In may haste I did get halfway through fitting the clutch before I realised I'd forgotten to put the gearbox backing plate on. Doh! Still, it could have been worse.

IMG_20200215_152341.jpg

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Got the engine (without gearbox) in the car. Milestone event - there hasn't been an engine in here for 20 years!! Had a few beers to celebrate and admire my handiwork.

IMG_20200219_235025.jpg

Turned my attention to the gearbox. The one I'm using was aquired as a spare many many years ago as I want to do a full refurb on the original one in the future. It was pretty filthy - this is after a first pass with degreaser.

WhatsApp Image 2020-02-19 at 23.55.25.jpeg

I wasn't trying to get it spotless, just get the muck off.
Replaced the drive flange seals with my nifty homemade removal tool.

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Removed the old push rod seal and bush (shout out to BrokeVW for the tip on removing the bush)

IMG_20200225_214442.jpg

Then attacked the output shaft seal, again, top tip from BrokeVW, although I had to lever hard against my removal tool to get that seal out. No way that would have pulled out.

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New one went in a treat.

I just need to replace the clutch release arm seal, and then I can get the release bearing back in, and fit a new endcap and it will be ready to go in.

Seems to be progressing now - at least it looks that way when I'm actually putting stuff back into the car instead of just cleaning/fixing bits off the car!

My rebuild thread I will try and keep up to date: here

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Good progress J, it's starting to come together nicely.

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Good work on the gearbox, your home made flange removal tool looks as crude as mine but it works so all good.

Very helpful website brokeVW on everything gearbox related.

Some fresh fully synthetic gearbox oil and it will be like new.  :thumbs:  

1988 Mk1 Golf GTi Cabriolet 1.8cc DX, K-jet. Daily drive. 300,000 miles and counting
1978 Mk1 Scirocco GLS 1.6cc FR, Webber carb. Weekend toy.

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Thanks chaps!

Mark - any recommendation on gearbox oil?

My rebuild thread I will try and keep up to date: here

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paceman said

Thanks chaps!

Mark - any recommendation on gearbox oil?

I've been using this stuff in both my cars for approximately 6 years (recently had a gearbox oil change as I do every 5 years/50,000 miles)

2 bottles is plenty as I find my gearboxes take about 1 and 1/2 L before it pours out the filler hole, then I jack up the passenger side a little to add in a little more.

TRIPLE QX EP 75w90 Transmission Fluid Fully Syn 1 Litre | Euro Car Parts



1988 Mk1 Golf GTi Cabriolet 1.8cc DX, K-jet. Daily drive. 300,000 miles and counting
1978 Mk1 Scirocco GLS 1.6cc FR, Webber carb. Weekend toy.

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paceman said

Thanks chaps!

Mark - any recommendation on gearbox oil?



I read a lot of good reviews about Redline MTL so have put that in mine. I'm sure any decent gear oil as Mark says would be fine.

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Well, like plenty of others, lockdown has given me a bit of extra time to crack on with the car.


Got the gearbox fitted - that was a fun job for one man. I had the engine in situ on a support beam, so figured I could use the hoist to lift the gearbox up to meet it. Didn't work.
Realised I would need to drop the g-box side of the engine down to give me the clearance. So box off crane, engine on, remove the support beam, lower engine to angle and sit it on some blocks. Box back on crane for attempt number 2. Got a lot closer, but then figured the rear mount bracket on the box would have to come off. Then I couldn't get the box to the right angle - they aren't evenly balanced are they!. So, put some blocks under the 5th gear end and kind of pivoted it on them. Much grunting and puffing later, bingo, output shaft engaged, bolts through and tightened up.
Then moved onto the gbox side mount - couldn't get that to line up at all, the whole thing was tipping to far back, managed to get it to the right level, but then it was still too high. Took me ages to work out why, then stubbed my foot on one of the blocks I'd previously put under the 5th end. Took that out and it was all good from there. Rear mount fitting was straightforward. Managed to not chip the paint too badly, but the new green release bearing cover plate has seen better days. Need to get some paint to touch that up as it looks really tatty! Does any one have the paint code for that ;).
Gave myself a pat on the back and went to bed!

IMG_20200402_232207.jpg

Fitted my rebuilt starter motor, and got the front mount in, so it's not going anywhere now!

Painted up my driveshafts, greased up the CV joints and fitted it all up. Had a minor issue with the inner joints, they wouldn't move. Much head scratching later I recalled that they can be re-assembled incorrectly, so, had to take them off, take all the nice new grease out, and reassemble them correctly. :banghead: IMG_20200420_174948.jpg

Forgot how much of a PITA fitting driveshafts is, still, got them in and correctly torqued up. During fitting I put the gearbox selector arm on so I could stick it in gear, at this point I discovered that a couple of my brake lines weren't in the right place as they were catching. A bit of gentle bending sorted that out.

Bought a gear linkage repair kit and swapped out the bushes in the various arms - I could have done that before I put the engine and box back in, but I didn't. Still have the gear lever assembly to do and then I can get all the linkages connected and correctly set up. That's another awkward job I'm not looking forward to. I'm going to try and make something to clamp the lever in place when I connect up the splined end.

 Went to clean up my 5th injector last night as it was a bit scabby, got a bit carried away ended up making it very shiney. I'll stick some lacquer over it so it does't go scabby again.

IMG_20200504_215828.jpg

Started trying to put wires where they roughly belong (from memory, and by how far they reach). Will need to cross ref with the Haynes to make sure I get the right ones in the right place. I'll replace any bad bits as I go - mainly spade connectors, as most of it seems solid. I've already replaced some connectors.

Still got the oil cooler bracket to paint up and fit with a new cooler on it's way from Classic VW. Radiator cowling is being subjected to a citric acid bath a bit at a time as I don't have a tub big enough to get the whole thing in. Coming up well so that should be good to paint soon, then I can fit the rad and the fan in.

It's coming along, still slowly, but it's starting to feel like real progress!

IMG_20200502_182052.jpg

Don't know what's going on with the colour in that picture - looks bloomin' pink!

Last edit: by paceman


My rebuild thread I will try and keep up to date: here

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Good progress then, I found it took ages to get all the cables and wires in the right order and going over or under coolant or air hoses when refitted my engine back in, I did take loads of pictures to help get things in the right order and cable tied in place, shout if you aren't sure and I'm sure we can help.  :thumbs:

1988 Mk1 Golf GTi Cabriolet 1.8cc DX, K-jet. Daily drive. 300,000 miles and counting
1978 Mk1 Scirocco GLS 1.6cc FR, Webber carb. Weekend toy.

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Yeah, I didn't take any pictures…. I was convinced it would be a quick turnaround project, it wasn't and my memory isn't what it was. I made some good progress last night, getting things connected up - probably not routed right, but I can come back to that once I know where everything goes. I will likely to be asking for some help with the wires I can't find a place for!


My rebuild thread I will try and keep up to date: here

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Really coming together now, I like your honesty with the build, because we all make mistakes along the way during these sort of restos, but the help on the forum gets you through.

Hopefully you get her running soon.
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