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.

Time passes.. .update

so it sure has been a long time since I updated this blog.

I have been driving the car around a bunch since the last post, in that I would call it my daily driver, although I don’t drive much more than 10 miles/day. The tuning is not perfect, but it is ok. In the cold, I have to hold the pedal a bit to keep it from stalling, and my serpentine belt is loose so it is annoying in the rain too. I am thinking at lunch I might go grab the correct size one and fix that.

I had some really bad noises that turned out to be rusting heat shields on the downpipe, so that was an easy fix. The exhaust is not hung correctly, but it is ok for most things. It I load up the rear, the pipe will touch the body which is annoying, but not a big deal.

Really I need to get some time in on the tuning. Unforetunately, I suffered a hard drive crash on the laptop, so I have to reset everything up in megatune. Not a problem, but takes time I haven’t had lately.

The suspension isn’t perfect in that my front strut bearings appear to cause the springs to bind when turning sharply, which is annoying. It still leaks a bit of oil and coolant, but I have new gaskets that I hope will fix those issues.

I won’t have it ready to autox in the next couple weeks, as I don’t feel safe with the current tuning, but it is driveable in the city. Mind you, my version of driveable is different than others. I wouldn’t put my wife in the car and teach her to drive stick in it. But that will change.

Other changes… I ended up putting steelies and blizzaks on for the winter, thanks dylan. I also put a helios interior, which we found at one of the yards. It is nice, as that was the interior I originally wanted.

There are still a couple other problems… there is still a tiny leak or two on the doors from the plastic liners… ummm… stuff like that. Needless to say, the tuning is more important.

update…

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.

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
Megasquirt
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
done
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…
brakes
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.
exhaust
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!
paint
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…

Recaros

I finally got some pics of the Trophy Recaros…

As you can see they are in great shape. Note that they are reversed, the one on the left is the driver side seat, but overall the bolsters are in great shape and while there is a burn or two and need a little cleaning, you can’t beat the price! Thanks Nate!

Recaros…

So my old roommate Nate called me up the other week and said he was at a junk yard and there was a GLI with the Recaro interior, did I want it? Of course! So he pulled them out and brought them into town for me, dropped them off tonight…

For $75 I got a set of VERY nice Trophy Recaros. Sure there are 2 minor cigarette burns in the cushions, but the bolsters are in pretty good shape and the stitching is intact nearly everywhere…

I need to grab some pics of them. But I was very happy. Combined with my Trophy door cards, all I need is a back seat and I have a complete interior. I am stoked.

Update:Interior

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.

Still to be figured out…

Stuff I know I need to replace/do, but not sure what the plan is…
front seats
steering wheel
brakes
exhaust
paint

Plans…

The current plans:
Missing Linkz
ITBs off a GSXR
Megasquirt
Some stock spark with knock (CIS with Knock, Digi2?)
replace the rear shocks
perhaps get the bilstiens rebuilt
finish the 2.0 ABA bottom
finish the 8v counterflow head
miata rims
badgeless quad round grill
upper grill spoiler
GLI rear trunk lip (maybe)
mk2 golf/gti roof spoiler with brake light (if I can figure out the install)

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