Progress… and a possible end in sight?

We made more progress… the steering rack and tie rods are on the subframe now. I need to center everything, but it is getting there. So the subframe is nearly done. I need to put on the motor mounts and that is it for that. Then we can put the engine in. I need to set the timing belt and accessory belts, get the intake and exhaust manifolds on, and then the motor can go in the car. Then set up all the cooling stuff, hoses, etc. Then get the timing and distributor set, wire it all up, set the ECU up with a starting map, and fire it up and start tuning. Tune it while I drive it over to Al’s to get it aligned. Then I should be ready to autox it. I may see about getting it on the dyno at Al’s to tune it, depending on how ready it is when I get there. I would like to have a few hundred miles on it before I hit the autox.

The possible light at the end of the tunnel is my wife and son are going out of town for the week leading into the saturday autox, so I can spend a number of the nights at the garage, and I may take off the friday before the autox to get over to Al’s. We’ll see, but I would LOVE to get it running. It would so rule.

I ordered a few more parts today that I am finding I need. I don’t have everything lined up yet, but I am getting there.

How are the plans progressing?

In this post I mentioned the plans I had then… and I figured now would be a good time to check in and see how those are going…

Missing Linkz
I think I am buying the set off dylan’s car
ITBs off a GSXR
purchased… will eventually be installed
need to buy. THIS could be something someone could get me for my birthday, but it is kinda expensive for a gift at ~$300… I am likely going to buy the MegaSquirt I v3.0 ECU Assembled and the MegaSquirt v2.2/3.0 12′ Wiring Harness.
Some stock spark with knock (CIS with Knock, Digi2?)
I am thinking I will start with a 4 window distributor (not sure off what model) and add an EDIS system down the road. I want to get used to tuning it one step at a time. So… I need to talk to some people to get that worked out, but that is not going to be a big deal.
replace the rear shocks
I may just get regualr KYBs for $40 each or whatever to keep it working. Then maybe get something later that is better
perhaps get the bilstiens rebuilt
Dylan is pushing for this. I say yes, but that will wait until I have fewer other things going on.
finish the 2.0 ABA bottom
finish the 8v counterflow head
essentially done. Need to assemble it, but that is not a big deal
miata rims
gone. will need to find other rims. Although I bet there is a set dylan has that I could borrow just to keep the car rolling until I figure out what rims I want…
badgeless quad round grill
still want but haven’t got. Cheapest place I have found so far is here at $71 on sale (FK Badgeless Grill – Black, MK II Golf/Jetta – Quad round). I may have to pick that one up.
upper grill spoiler
got it
GLI rear trunk lip (maybe)
have the lip, not sure I want to install it. Will be decided if/when I paint.
mk2 golf/gti roof spoiler with brake light (if I can figure out the install)
got the lip, not sure how to install it. Will likely happen if/when I paint.

So overall, I am not too far from those initial goals. score.

What else do I need to address…

So over the weekend, my parents had mentioned that they wanted to get me something to help with the project for my birthday, which isn’t too far off. So I started thinking about what things were still outstanding.

In this post I mentioned a couple things that were still open ended…
front seats
Done, as the recaros have come in, so that is taken care of…
steering wheel
still outstanding… not sure what I am going to do there… I would like a smaller, round steering wheel, horn button in the middle, likely 3 spokes. I have found one on ebay that I like and is ending very soon… we shall see…
I will be stepping up to 10.3’s from the mk3 jetta/golf. I would like 11.1’s, but it would limit rim choices and would cost more, and I am not sure I need them. I will be swapping to disc brakes in the rear as well. So I will need calipers all around, brake lines, 22mm master, and rotors. I don’t like to mess around with brakes.
Taking the one off kieran’s coupe. Not sure what it is, but it doesn’t have a beer can on it, so I can’t complain!
hmmmm…. the issue here is large. I would like to paint the car. Before I paint the car however, I am going to get the body issues fixed up. SO it seems that the next step for this one is to start collecting body parts to make this happen. Like a set of big doors. And fenders. and a hood. So… still up in the air here, I defiantly want to get the car running well first. And even then, we have given serious thought to painting it ourselves. Time will tell on this one…

Mental Notes…

I will need parts. That is the problem with projects like this, it is way to easy to get lost in a barrage of $50-$100 parts that you will need. They are everywhere. Here and there, things I need. So I am going to start listing them in the hopes that I can find decent deals on them as well as have them all there such that when the motor comes and I start getting things ready to reinstall, I don’t sit there kicking myself that I missed 1 radiator hose or something like that. I also would like a rough running total going so I can determine what paths to take in terms of junkyard parts vs. new cooler versions of things… So lets begin…

cooling system

  • Radiator-Dylan suggests the larger diesel unit, which seems like a good idea to me, as I like extra cooling. 675mm core can be had for $75.
  • Hoses-I will likely replace all the coolant hoses, as it would be dumb to reuse the ones I have. Lets say $100 to be on the safe side
  • Round Mk3 Expansion tank, $12
  • Water Pump, complete with housing, $50
  • Misc clips, o rings, thermostat, etc, say $40

That doesn’t include the fans, but I am not sure what I am going to do there. I am pretty sure I can use the output of the MegaSquirt to control the fans, so I will likely end up with 2 electric fans. IIRC, the passat has 2 electric fans that drop in. On the other hand, I would prefer 2 SPAL electric fans in there, but that will likely be more $$, so we shall see…. I need the running total to determine if what path to take on this kinda thing, SPAL vs. Junkyard Passat.

Power Steering

  • Rack… Dylan said rebuilt racks can be had for $120, lets say $170
  • Power Steering Pump … Not sure if this is a part I can pull in the yard or I need to get new… I am leaning towards yard part… New ones are like $150-$200.
  • Lines … new obviously… Say $75-$100.
  • Reservoir, new is $20. I will go new just for appearance and the ability to see thru the bottle to check the level
  • Tie Rods … new are $20/side… so $40. Done.

The car HAD AC, but it was pulled. I don’t want it back. However, I would like to switch to a non-AC setup in the inside. So I have to research that some. If we are pulling the dashboard (we are) I am replacing the heater box ($35) cause why not, it is cheap and a potential leak fixed. so…

  • heater core, $35
  • hoses to/from core, $10
  • dash control unit… Mine is the AC one, I want the NON-AC one… I think it is a junkyard thing there. find a car without AC and take all its dash related stuff. Blendbox, Control Unit, Etc. Should be under $100

I am sure I will need things, although I am not sure exactly what until the motor gets here. I was going to go head studs, but it is too much cash. Frugal is the game plan here now…

  • Head bolts, ~$1 each, say I buy… 10, $11 (carry the change)
  • Motor Mounts… I am not sure what I am doing there, solid front? Poly rear? haven’t figured that out yet, Say $200 for all of them?
  • Oil pan, use the one off the old motor
  • Alternator? Find a MK3 one… hopefully cheap at the yard
  • Too many other thing I know I will need that I am not sure of yet… so this list will grow

Interior is good for now, I need a rear seat, but whatever.

Got a rear beam for the rear discs.

Could use some strut bars and what not, but I am going to wait and see how the motor fits first.

That is all for now, just some notes to keep things noted…

BTW, All the above adds up to just under $1,000. Told you it would be a barrage.

Mental note…

I need some lower spoiler on the front… duckbill, GTI, whatever. Haven’t decided. But sticking with small bumpers requires something there I think.

I have been thinking about CRX rims…

Dylan and I always comment on these rims… and we saw a set this evening and I was looking into them… anyone know of any pics of them on a jetta? They are kinda small at 14×5, and I am certainly not going to try to find a play to widen them (HA!)… but they are cool and with some spacers, some polishing, and some custom color matched paint, they could be pretty dope for a show set…

Change of plans… Engine Related…

So the plan was …

I had a 2.0 ABA block out of a 95 Golf. Engine blocks were on sale at the junkyard in Indiana, and this block was pulled from a red automatic car with unknown mileage. It is dirty but appears to be ok. So I was planning on stripping the block, sending it out to be machined, bores cleaned, etc, likely to the tune of $200-$300. Then I was going to rebuild the short block myself. This would have entailed a rebuild kit, and the cheapest rebuild kit I could find was $550 with pistons. So say with shipping and tax, we are looking at nearly $900 (high end) for the bottom end. And that is just parts, not the installation and build up, that I WOULD have to do myself. While that would be a great learning experience, it would take alot of time, which is something I don’t have a lot of right now.

So I was poking around and found an ill running 96 Jetta 2.0 that was for sale for $400. Sure the car has a pile of problems, but the thought was we could pull the motor/wiring and install it in Cali and it would be in need of some work, but it would be easier, and in the interest of time, quicker.

In all of this thinking, I called up my mechanic, Al at Chicago Performance and Tuning, and asked him his thoughts on the topic. He knows how to rebuild a motor, and he has a rough idea of what I can (and can’t) do mechanically. So we chatted about it and he point out that I can buy a new short block, with new VW parts, professionally assembled, etc. This would cost me $800 roughly, say $900 with shipping. So for roughly the same amount of money, I get a professionally build bottom end with new parts, and I don’t have to measure clearances to stupid numbers with tools I don’t have.

So… I get that block, I pull out the 8v counter flow head I already have on top of that, add megasquirt for the ECU and wiring harness… and boom. Done.

So… block…$900 shipped. Megasquirt with wiring harness shipped…$350 … I am sure that I will need some random parts. I have the oil pan, waterpump, and alternator from the old engine. I may be swapping the distributor with another VW guy for a nice 4 window distributor. I am sure there are other things that I haven’t thought of, but I will. A few gasket kits, etc, I should be ok.

So with that, I would have a virtually new motor. And it would be about $1,500 for a brand new, essentially zero mile engine (the head has some miles on it). And it should be decently fast.

I am excited… now I need to get some money together for it…

New Inspiration

Now that the holidays are over… I am hoping to have some time to get the motor done… we shall see.. I need to get on it…

but meanwhile, I found a video, the source of which I need to learn more about… that is my current audible inspiration…

it is 13.4mb, but worth a listen… check it out


Time to update the exterior…

Wheels and tires… I have wheels that I bought off of my Miata friend Sameer… they are the 7 spoke, 10.3 lbs. Cheap and with tires. They look like this:

They MAY need spacers too look better, but they are SO light. They will make for good track tires eventually. I keep seeing rims I WANT, but I won’t likely buy for a while…

I upgraded from the aeros to euro quad rounds (again, from Dylan). I wired them up via relays to the battery and put in new bulbs. MAN do they light up the road MUCH MUCH better now. I can actually SEE stuff. SO nice. I will eventually get a quad round badgeless grill. Rebecca also bought me a quad round upper eyebrow that I will put in eventually, probably after I get some paint on there.

Chris got me new front bumper, which was a very nice visual improvement on the car. I also got a GLI rear spoiler in black that I may repaint and install as well as a later GTI rear hatch spoiler with an integrated brake light. I would like to figure out a way to install that on the edge of the roof and use the brakelight. We shall see.

I also installed a roof mounted antenna, or fuba. I took the time and ran it through the A pillar as well. It works, although I should reseal it, I don’t think it is tight enough.

That is all the exterior work I have done so far. I would LIKE to eventually paint the car, although I am not sure what color I would do, and I would certainly like to clean up the dings and surface rust spots. We’ll see though, I am not sure I want to spend much money on it though. Perhaps this winter I will sand down the bad places and clean them up… perhaps I will do a coat of flat black or something. heehee.


SOOO since I started this a bit after I got the car, here is time to update…

I have installed new door cards, Trophy Cards IIRC. They came from Dylan and are in pretty good shape. Small doors rule. All the door vapor barriers were gone, so I had to make new ones. I used a bunch materials, but rumor is that rubber cement works the best. I have yet to try it, but it seems to make sense.

Since the headliner was sagging, I pulled the whole thing down and recovered it. I had visions of ultra-suede/alcantara, but I decided it wasn’t worth the money/time. I ended up with standard black headliner material from the fabric store. The headliner itself was in a couple pieces, but I duct taped it all up and used popsicle sticks to reinforce it. It looks fine. (enough).

From one of the junkyards (the hub) I got a whole bunch of interior panels in black. The A/B/C pillars, the rear parcel shelf in black, visors, oh shit handles, etc. Most of those are in the car….

I ordered black carpet from AAA Auto or something like that, although it remains in the box, as it still occasionly leaks water in big rains, so I need to address the first. I also bought some big deep rubber winter floor mats to protect the pan.

I installed a new head unit where the ashtray was, as well as new speakers and 6x9s in speaker boxes in the rear parcel shelf. They are all cheap components, I think I have like $175 in it all, and it was all new. It sounds good enough for what I use the car for.

I would like to install more interior lights. I need new front seats and a new back seat, preferably black or with black trim. I bought a black dash, but it was kinda damaged in shipping, and I think I have a lead on a better one via Dylan and company.

The plan is to fix the leaks, install the dash (perhaps a mk3 cluster? I need to do more research on that one). Put some gauges in the factory radio spot (I bought a 3 gauge panel already), I am thinking Volt, Oil Pressure, perhaps A/F or oil temp or coolant temp. Once the dash and carpet are in, get the seats in and a couple little things (interior lights, etc) and the interior will be done.

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