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.

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.


Literally… I drove the car, but just around the garage to get it out from where it was parked for working to where it can be driven out the door. I need to review some of the tuning things, and do a bit of autotuning on the road with it.

I went over last night for a bit to make some progress. I reset all the calibration on the wideband, and that was noticeable, it appears to be accurate now. I taped up those wires and got them out of the way. Then I double checked the ECU to make sure the wideband was all configured right there, it was.

With all that, I pulled it from the parking spot into the middle of the garage. Dope. I need to check some stuff and perhaps get megatune working on the macbook in parallels, then it is off for some on the street tuning. Once that is ok and I am confident I didn’t screw everything up, I am going to head over to Al’s to get some tuning on the dyno for the weird parts of the VE table.

Bob took a small video of the car moving with his camera phone. It is what it is. But it rules at the same time.

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!

Moving Along…

Last night we swapped the 2 inch exhaust for a the 2.5 inch off the red parts car and installed the wideband O2, although it is not yet wired up. The exhaust needs some tweaking, but I think 20 min at an exhaust shop will resolve that without issue. I also swapped the rear suspension from the red parts car. Off went the leaking KYBs/Nuepseed Sportline on went the Bilsteins/Neuspeed Race (I think they are the race ones). The gold rims are on the back, and they look good. The ride height is quite nice. I need to order up some tires too… 195/50/15 I think is where I am going…

We are getting there.

You might have noticed a large gap in progress…. well, sorry. that is how it goes. Other obligations got in the way. The fact of the matter is I don’t NEED this car, in fact, I don’t need either of my cars really since I rarely drive. That isn’t going to stop me from finishing it, but it does make it a much lower priority. I would like to have it ready for treffen and/or the last audi club autox.

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.

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