Front Duckbill and Valance FINALLY installed, tuning resumed, and the sunroof works!

It has been a while of not working on the car and just driving it, which was fine, but it wasn’t actually progressing. So on wednesday I actually put the front valance on the car. Mind you, we had attached the duckbill to the valance over a year ago, I just hadn’t taken the time to put the 5 screws in that hold it up. So I actually did that. Finally. Mind you, I only put in 4 of the screws, since one wasn’t lining up that well and I figured I would do it later.

Since the weather finally got nice, I tracked down a screw (M4, narrow thread) to hold the sunroof crank handle to the car. Much easier than having to manually hold it while I cranked it.

And since my harddrive crashed a few months ago, I hadn’t a proper laptop to tune with. So I finally set one up again to get back to tuning. I updated the firmware in the megasquirt to MSnS-e 29y4 and tweaked a few settings. I primarily tweaked warmup (I was too rich, requiring me to hold the throttle cracked a bit when it was warming up to keep the car alive).

I also pulled a lot of timing out. I honestly have no idea where my ignition table had come from, but it came from SOME VW guy on some forum. I had installed knock-sense and while I am not positive it is calibrated correctly, it blinks alot. My ignition table was as high as 30-31 in places, and according to the mk2 bentley, stock was 24-27 for my (original) engine. So based on that, I pulled the timing more along those lines. I have since put about 30 min of driving/logging on the car and let megalogviewer rebuild my VE table. I have to load that new table in and see how I am doing.

So overall, minor progress. I hope to get the summer tires and wheels on soon, fix a couple leaks, and get it over to Jay’s (Mobile One) to get it once over’d, then to Al’s (Chicago Performance & Tuning) for some dyno time.

Gauges in, noises figured out…

Got to the garage tonight to install the gauges. Since I moved the radio down to the center console, I was planning on using the 3 gauge DIN panel to put the guages up where the radio had been. Thankfully Jason from Mobile One stopped by to hang out… and while I couldn’t bribe him into finishing up the wiring on the guages, he was there to help with random wiring questions. So once I had all the wiring done, we tested them, and sure enough, they all appear to be working perfectly.

My main concern was oil pressure, since I had a few noises at the top of the motor that were worrisome. The oil pressure was ~75psi cold, which is where other people on the vortex had pegged it, so I figure that is good. After a little bit of poking around, Dylan and Jason noticed that the #2 plug was a bit loose. Jason also pointed out that the I have the wrong clutch cable installed. He ALSO tracked down the last noise I had under the hood, which was the side shield for the timing belt. Turns out that I didn’t reinstall one of the brackets that I needed. I didn’t install it because the larger item that bolted to it was no longer there, but turns out that bracket also held the shield in the correct place. When I reinstalled it, I bent it and thus it is touching some of the pulleys and making my bad noises. When jason held the shield out of place, no more noise. Awesome.

So I might hit up the yards this weekend, and also probably autohaus AZ for a couple little things… so next week I should be driving her home again, for the first time in years.

Drove Around The Block

So I fired everything up and drove Cali around the block today. There were a lot of not awesome noises, so I didn’t drive any further. But she felt actually really good!

I haven’t wired all the dash back up, so I didn’t have a lighter, and the tuning laptop has a crappy battery, so I couldn’t drive very far anyway… but I pulled out of the garage and drove around the block. I turned on auto tune, but I don’t think it did much, and it is really hard to drive and look at a laptop at the same time. Especially when you are trying to pay a lot of attention to all the noises a first run car makes. But the car actually pulled smooth and without issue, which is promising.

When I got back to the garage, I put the car on stands and poked around. The noises all seemed to be not related to the motor directly… the water shield was dragging on the driver side rotor. The passenger front fender liner was rubbing on the wheel. The too large rear tires were rubbing. The heat shield on the tunnel is laying on the exhaust. The shield on the timing belt was touching the tensioner. So I fixed a bunch of those, and ran it on the stands, sounded much better.

Since the dash isn’t fully wired and likely won’t be, I ordered up some gauges from egauges.

# Part # Desc Cost Total
1 310-105 2 1/16 250F Engine Temp. – Elec. Vision Black $25.55 $25.55
1 323-088 Temperature Sender: 250F/120C – M10x1 – $16.64 $16.64
1 310-106 2 1/16 300F Engine Temp. – Elec. Vision Black $25.55 $25.55
1 323-423 Temperature Sender: 300F/150C – M10x1 – $24.27 $24.27
1 350-104 2 1/16 80 PSI Engine Press. – Elec. Vision Black $25.75 $25.75
1 360-006 Pressure Sender: 0-80 PSI/5 Bar – M10x1K – 7.0 PSI $25.75 $25.75
1 240-850 T Adapter – VW, male, M10 x 1 $6.65 $6.65
3 600-862-1 Green Diffuser for Types E and C bulbs, each $1.00 $3.00

I long since moved the radio to the lighter/ashtray spot, and I have a 3 gauge DIN panel for where the radio was, where these will all fit nicely. I was thinking it would be need to build up a little idiot light/buzzer system too… eventually.

So I’ll be there wednesday night, and hopefully I will have Dylan with me to help me get the tuning going so it is safe to drive around. I would like to leave the audi at the garage and drive the jetta around some. Obviously I will need to wire the gauges and the lighter back up to really feel comfortable.

But I am stoked. And getting excited.

almost there… (seriously)

So the exhaust is on, the wideband o2 is installed and set, although I do need to recalibrate it. If I get some time to go over there over the weekend, I could actually start tuning I think. We’ll see.

Right now I get a signal from the wideband, but since I didn’t do the free air calibration in clean air, the sensor is all calibrated wrong. But the car has been sitting long enough that the air should be clean enough to calibrate. I still have misc. wires to connect, but that is all gravy (who really needs a tach anyway?).

My oil leak was embarrassingly enough fixed when I noticed that the oil filter was loose (duh). I also retightened all the sensors on the oil flange and the coolant side and I don’t appear to be leaking anywhere. (that I can see).

The new exhaust is much better sounding and quieter (main due to the fact that it is the correct size. the old one had the wrong sized cat on it and thus it was all lined up inccorectly.). This exhaust needs to be tweaked a bit, but nothing that an exhaust shop can’t fix in 20 min. It is also quieter due to the fact that we found the bolt to correctly hold down one of the timing belt covers, so it doesn’t rattle. THAT makes a world of difference.

It still smells rich as crap, but that will soon be fixed. I really hope to have it in decent enough shape for treffen…. we’ll see. I actually turned the insurance back on, so I must be feeling good about it!

Parts update, should be back in business on wednesday…

So Pat at patatron responded once my paypal claim froze his funds. Amazing. He apologized, and asked for my info again to check if he had sent it already. Since my previous emails included all such info, I am confident he never read those.

Sure enough, he hadn’t actually shipped mine, so he ordered one from drop shipped to me. He even paid for express shipping or something. He included a screenshot of the receipt, but it was hardly legible, so I have no real idea. I removed the claim and I should have the sensor tomorrow or tuesday.

So I should have it wired up on wednesday and perhaps log some tuning miles. That would be really nice.

So while the patatron incident ended well, I doubt I would order from him again, nor can I feel confident recommending him to others. I originally bought from protocar, and they were quick to ship, it was perfectly setup, and the wiring harness was nicely made. At one point in time I had lost the wiring diagram, and they were quick to email me a new one.

I will still wander the patatron forums and if/when he gets his shit together, it might be another story, but none the less, he isn’t quite ready for prime time. Oh well, good luck to him.

Parts Delay

So after the last post, I went to Patatron and ordered a wideband O2 sensor, the Innovate Motorsports LC-1. That was a mistake.

I ordered it from him since he has been helpful in the VW community and I figured I would give him the money vs. summit or someone else. Well, I haven’t heard ANYTHING at all from him, but he has my money via paypal. I emailed him last week and again this week, the latter saying I was opening a paypal dispute. No response, so I opened a dispute yesterday. He has 10 days to respond. Either he will ship it or I’ll get the money back, and then I can buy it elsewhere. Summit Racing has it for the same price and ships same day.

So it will be atleast 10 days before I can progress much. Looks like I won’t have it done for the upcoming autox.

Some good news… I did work on it a bit more and I have it idling around 30kpa now, and the fueling seems a bit better, I think I was REALLY rich before, as I redid the fuel table and brought it down dramatically. So I am more on track. I also came into a mk4 cross flow head that I might switch to, since that would be easier to do the ITBs with, since I could pull from the front. We shall see.

Back In Business

Cali Started!

So was at the garage last night, working on the car. I had spoke with John Baas lately, as he had gotten his 16v mk2 running with MSnSe… and he cleared a few things up for me. So when I got to the garage last night, I was trying to get the distributor set. Sure, it was lame to do one person, but I was trying. And it wasn’t working.

A bit later that night Logan from Mobile One was in the shop pulling the motor out of Tony’s old GLI parts car. I cranked it and he was like “that doesn’t sound right. sounds like you have no compression”. So I pulled the valve cover off and Logan took one look at it and said your timing is wrong at the crank. Turns out I was using the wrong timing mark on the cam and didn’t realize it. Grrr.

So we set that right, I cranked, Logan rotated the distributor a bit and it was running. Sure it idles at 2400rpm and the exhaust is laying on the rear beam and making horrible rattling, but it is running. So we are past that hurdle. I actually turned it off and left it alone, as it has been so long since I read that part of the megamanual that I didn’t know what to do next. I need to get that timing light back from Jaime and get that dialed in and start tuning it more. THAT is the part I am excited about.

I’ll getting the timing light on monday, get that dialed in perfectly, then set about tuning it. I also need to clean up the wiring on the O2 and the coolant sensor, and start tuning. I am excited.


So I was asking a few questions on a VAG MS yahoo group, and it turns out a buddy of mine is on there AND he just got his 16v Mk2 Jetta running on MS, so I have a resource. I also got a better explanation of the setting of the distributor that was confusing.

I also need to check the voltage change from the hall sender, some people have installed a resistor in line to ensure that MS was getting a big enough voltage drop to fire the coil. I have bought that resistor and I will check the multimeter to determine if I need it. I AM getting spark, but maybe not great spark. Who knows.

So I am feeling good about tomorrow. We do have a lot of work to do on Dylan’s Rabbit, so I am not sure how much time I will have to spend on Cali, but I am feeling that I have a better support network now. I would love to get the car to run.

2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back…

So… yeah… worked on the car last night… and I am not really any further along than I was…

So back when we were building the motor up, we dropped a nut. We THOUGHT it went behind the lower timing belt cover, but we were never able to find it, so we assumed it hit the ground. (this comes back later in the story.)

So last night, I was retracing steps in an attempt to make sure I had everything correct. One of the steps was to rotate the motor back, so I put my socket on the crank and rotated it back. In my excitement, I forgot to take the socket/rachet off the crank. Then I cranked the car over. Long story short, it backed the crank pulley bolt right off the crank. Awesome. Sure enough, I look in the hole in the lower timing belt cover where the pulley had been, and boom, there is that long lost nut. So on one hand, it was frustrating to have to redo work, it was nice to know that nut wasn’t bouncing around in there.

But overall, the motor is exactly where it was. We retimed it all and everything, but it is still in the same place it was, which is cranking but not turning over. The injectors inject, the spark plugs spark, but I am not starting.

So back to the drawing board. I have the megasquirt and spark extra manual downloaded (obviously) but I am once again going to pour over that and see what I can find. In an attempt to make it easier, I am going through and stripping out ALL the content that does not pertain to a v3.0 board and a distributor setup. This is making it much easier, since all the information is relevant to ME.

In fact, if it works out that I find it is the key to me getting this done, I will likely do it on a private dev server of mine, and pitch it to the community. My thought is you would go to the manual site, choose your board and choose you ignition setup, and boom, you would get a manual relevant to you. Download it, bookmark it, whatever. Boom. Awesome. Not to mention cake to code.

So back to stripping my manual down, then re-reading it all. Double checking all my stuff. Learning more.


so I haven’t been working on the Jetta much…. but I did get an hour or so of wrenching on it last night… the timing is set correctly on the engine (I double checked). And it is still spraying and sparking… so I am still thinking timing.

So after I double checked that all last night, I was frustrated so I changed out of my work clothes and read over the bentley and the MSNS-E stuff… turns out the one page I was reading was ambigious, and I think I know where I screwed up. So I will be doing some more reading and will be trying those new things tomorrow.

It would be nice to get it up and running, especially since the Audi is now fully operational… I would have 2 cars again!

Side notes: we put the front recaros in, they look great. I also put in a different VW steering wheel, which is way better than the old one.

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