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mikesbikester
mikesbikester New Reader
6/14/22 9:49 a.m.

Hi all, I'm hoping this is the good place to share the story of my car. I've read and referenced the GRM forums for some time but otherwise new here. This may be sort of boring at first, with some real crappy camera phone pics so appologies in advance, image quality will be improving. Anyway, the car is a 2004 VW Jetta, 5 speed, 2.0, whatever. Original purpose was beating around Southern and Central NH while commuting for school and work. Purchased at around 135k miles in fall 2012 if memory serves me correctly. Quickly managed to find some OEM roof racks to haul bicycles around.

944 is my dads, I did a head gasket and timing belt on it in summer 2011 and wheeled it around a fair amount. He still has it, built a 3.0 964 short block years ago for it, it's on a stand still. Anyway, I whipped up this crappy fairing that destroyed the paint on the roof.  Also scared up some snows from a TT ($250!), and went to a couple winter TSD events with the NER guys in 2013/2014. Changed out the foggy headlights at some point too.

Found some W8 passat wheels for like $140 sometime in 2013. Got some adapters on there and those boat anchors had the car looking halfway okay. Some time in the summer of 2013 I did a timing belt, water pump, brakes, regular maintenance stuff.

One day we had a mean misfire come about, limped the car home and changed plugs, wires, ignition coil, had broken the flex pipe so I tossed in a used downpipe and a catback. Ran pretty good, continued to drive around all over. Didnt worry much about the misfire issue. In January 2015, replaced the radiator, that time of year its getting kind of cold in NH to be wrenching on the daily. headlights appear to be getting foggy again.

Misfire issue came back at the beginning February 2015 on a trip to VT, we were staying with some friends, my girlfriend at the time, now wife had a grad school interview at UVM. We made it up there, during the interview I pulled the plugs, and the one that was acting up came out with a helicoil attached. So I walked to the parts store and picked up some plugs, and a spark plug insert kit, kept rolling.

At the end of February 2015 the clutch went (due to some foolery in the snow) and at the beginning of March 2015 my friend Nolan helped me by car dollying it over to his place (with his Mom's Honda Element FTW) and snow blowing out a spot in his yard for me to change the clutch. I installed the ECS single mass flywheel/ clutch kit, my friend Alex helped me with the swap in Nolans icy yard. I remember it being very cold the night we swapped it, and we came back the next weekend or something when it was warmer to finish assembling everything. Alex owned a red 99.5 TDI Jetta at the time, seen in this pic after the clutch job. Those dudes really helped me out big time. For reference the clutch replacement happened around 225k miles, did a fair bit of driving during those 2012-2015 years.

in the spring of 2015 sometime, probably May, I installed some solowerks coilovers. Finally some pictures in the daylight! Most of the wrenching happened at night, during the day if it wasnt school it was work which sometimes left the time that youre supposed to sleep for doing car work. 

Thats where I'll leave off for now, June 2015. More adventure to come, sorry its a slow start to the story here.

Mike

mikesbikester
mikesbikester New Reader
6/14/22 12:10 p.m.

Realized the pictures aren't working. Will get it sorted later today 

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/14/22 5:15 p.m.

Sweet. I am a huge VAG guy. Current VW badges are a 1985 Westy and a 2012 Golf R. I have a couple other VAG badges about too.

I look forward to the pics and the story.

Looks like you are not here anymore but I am Seacoast NH.

mikesbikester
mikesbikester New Reader
6/14/22 8:05 p.m.

In reply to preach (dudeist priest) :

Awesome! Those are some great cars to have, Westy is too cool. I had a mk6 for a few years, really enjoyed that platform. Hopefully the story doesnt disappoint, it's not super exciting, but hopefully we can get into some decent tangents. How do you like the seacoast? I went to UNH some and spent a fair bit of time in Dover, Newmarket, Hampton, Portsmouth areas. Still have lots of friends and family around there so it's fun to go back and visit.

10001110101
10001110101 Reader
6/14/22 8:27 p.m.

Hi, I'm Joel and I'm also a Volkswagen addict. Current ones are a 2014 Golf TDI and a 2008 Passat wagon. The MK4 generation is my second favorite platform. 

mikesbikester
mikesbikester New Reader
6/14/22 9:41 p.m.

At the beginning of July 2015 the misfire issue came back, you'd think I'd have sorted this thing out by now but I'm still learning. I set out to swap the head on the car. I bought a head from an AEG motor, it was pulled at 20k, everything looked to be in great shape. Swapped everything at my friend Mitches place. I guess the coilover install was at his place as well. Anyway, heres the new head all assembled. I got new injectors and O2 sensors, plugs, wires, while we're in there type of stuff.

We swapped the head on, for some reason I had purchased a MLS fel pro head gasket and bolts from autozone. The motor cranked over, fast, wouldnt fire, no compression. So we pushed it out of the garage and did some garage burnouts with Mitches miata. 

I

It seemed that every time a tire popped he'd run out in the yard and find another, the red you see in the picture is the rear brake rotor. I think we changed 4 or 5 tires doing garage burnouts before the radiator let go. It was a good distraction from my car being a humungous piece of junk.

After some pondering, working, help from friends, an OEM headgasket, another OEM headgasket and a new torque wrench, and using the original head with the damn spark plug insert in it the car was running again on July 26, 2015. Unfortunately I managed to wipe out the cam position sensor by accidentally bending one of the tabs on the trigger wheel sometime in the process of doing the head gasket 3 times. What a mess, and what a great learning experience. Since the cam position sensor was trashed, the car wouldnt rev over 3000 rpm or so. Additionally, I was moving to Ohio with my fiancee for her to go to grad school. So we left the car at Mitches, then flew back to get it. My friends Dan and Mitch, who had helped with this whole cyl head fiasco, hung out and helped change out the sensor and straighten up the trigger wheel. Quick fix at that point since we were pretty familiar with the timing belt job. Here it is in Hampton, mid August 2015 before the trek to OH.

The drive to Ohio went great, no issues, managed to get an overnight stop at my grandparents a little outside of State College to break up the drive. Heres a picture of the car, 800 ish miles later after we made the trip.

Another silly picture from around town. I was pretty pleased with how well it was working.

October 2015, I upgraded brakes to whatever the powerstop sport pads were at the time, and some fresh rotors. Also did the TT control arm bushing thing. Decided I'd try my hand at doing a string alignment, since I never aligned it after the coilover install. Got it to go straight but with way too much toe out. Here was my janky first string setup, it was properly terrible and took forever and a day but I learned a lot, and got way better at stringing the car with practice.

The NH boys stopped by in the middle of October 2015 and we rolled down to the dragon for a long weekend. Got to camp, hang out with the homies, drive a bunch of beautiful roads, and see a new part of the country. You'll see Mitch managed to get a new radiator into the miata.

I have a ton of pictures from that trip, but you get the point. Solid weekend chilling with the homies. There will be more dragon trips. Lets get back to VW things. 

After getting back, and feeling pretty inspired by riding around in the miata, I opted to remove the AC junk that didnt work. That seemed pretty reasonable.

Then decided to remove all this interior junk that you don't need, this proved to be much less reasonable.

And by mid November, I had scooped up some 16" 5x112 steel wheels to run for the winter. Easier to not have to take off the adapters. I think I gave away the 16" audi TT snow setup at some point. Anyway, the plan was to restore the W8 boat anchor wheels as a low cost winter project.

We'll get into that whole wheel refinish next. Reflecting on this, a lot of car work happened in 2015 for this thing it's fun to write it down. It makes sense that the car needed a lot after doing around 100K miles in 3 years or so. It would continue to need work, as my daily commute in OH was 100 miles round trip. This is all big time archive material for me, so apologies in advance for when I end up down a rabbit hole about a trip or something.

mikesbikester
mikesbikester New Reader
6/14/22 9:46 p.m.
10001110101 said:

Hi, I'm Joel and I'm also a Volkswagen addict. Current ones are a 2014 Golf TDI and a 2008 Passat wagon. The MK4 generation is my second favorite platform. 

Hi Joel! Those are both cool cars, love that generation of Passat wagon. I'm a huge sucker for VW wagons, though the only thing close to a wagon that we have currently is my Wife's Tiguan. Sort of a tall wagon in its own way. 

Which is your first favorite platform?

10001110101
10001110101 Reader
6/15/22 9:02 a.m.
mikesbikester said:
10001110101 said:

Hi, I'm Joel and I'm also a Volkswagen addict. Current ones are a 2014 Golf TDI and a 2008 Passat wagon. The MK4 generation is my second favorite platform. 

Hi Joel! Those are both cool cars, love that generation of Passat wagon. I'm a huge sucker for VW wagons, though the only thing close to a wagon that we have currently is my Wife's Tiguan. Sort of a tall wagon in its own way. 

Which is your first favorite platform?

Gotta be the Mk3. I've had 2 of them, both 98 Jettas. Rust is an issue though. Currently trying to find a clean Mk4 since my daughter will be taking over the 6 when she gets her license next March.

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/15/22 5:31 p.m.
mikesbikester said:

In reply to preach (dudeist priest) :

Awesome! Those are some great cars to have, Westy is too cool. I had a mk6 for a few years, really enjoyed that platform. Hopefully the story doesnt disappoint, it's not super exciting, but hopefully we can get into some decent tangents. How do you like the seacoast? I went to UNH some and spent a fair bit of time in Dover, Newmarket, Hampton, Portsmouth areas. Still have lots of friends and family around there so it's fun to go back and visit.

Came up here from PA to go to UNH. Still in the area.

Planning on retiring about 30 mins from the Dragon in TN. I've been 3x, 2x in my Cayman S and once in a Dodge Charger. Want to guess what's more fun to drive the ToD?

I have pretty much forgot exactly how many VW Auto Group cars I have owned but it has to be approaching 40. a '65 21 window deluxe bus, a single wiper mk2 Scirocco with a 16v GLI motor in it, my 914 1.8, and my Cayman S are the biggest highlights. My TTs were cool and should get mention, Mk1 1.8t and a mk1 3.2 DSG.

I will be on this thread like VW electronics failing. 

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/15/22 5:33 p.m.

In reply to 10001110101 :

You, sir, have a terrific forum name. AND like VWs!

Turbine
Turbine GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/15/22 5:43 p.m.

Sweet! More VW's! I love mk4's, but I've never actually owned one. 
 

I'm a big VW/Audi guy too. Currently have a '12 Passat TDI and a 91 Audi 200 20v in the garage. 

mikesbikester
mikesbikester New Reader
6/15/22 8:51 p.m.
10001110101 said:
mikesbikester said:
10001110101 said:

Hi, I'm Joel and I'm also a Volkswagen addict. Current ones are a 2014 Golf TDI and a 2008 Passat wagon. The MK4 generation is my second favorite platform. 

Hi Joel! Those are both cool cars, love that generation of Passat wagon. I'm a huge sucker for VW wagons, though the only thing close to a wagon that we have currently is my Wife's Tiguan. Sort of a tall wagon in its own way. 

Which is your first favorite platform?

Gotta be the Mk3. I've had 2 of them, both 98 Jettas. Rust is an issue though. Currently trying to find a clean Mk4 since my daughter will be taking over the 6 when she gets her license next March.

Ah yes, mk3's are pretty cool. I love the resurgence of the mk3 crowd lately. Dudes area really bringing them out of hiding to the shows, many very nicely done. Love to see it! A nice clean mk4 will be sweet. I've been on vacation in VA and keep seeing clean mk4 TDI's running around down here, it's amazing. Also, mk6 TDI will make a great first car I'd think. I really enjoyed my mk6 GTI when I had it. It felt like a safe, well mannered modern car without some of the new modern...er...features.

mikesbikester
mikesbikester New Reader
6/15/22 9:11 p.m.
preach (dudeist priest) said:
mikesbikester said:

In reply to preach (dudeist priest) :

Awesome! Those are some great cars to have, Westy is too cool. I had a mk6 for a few years, really enjoyed that platform. Hopefully the story doesnt disappoint, it's not super exciting, but hopefully we can get into some decent tangents. How do you like the seacoast? I went to UNH some and spent a fair bit of time in Dover, Newmarket, Hampton, Portsmouth areas. Still have lots of friends and family around there so it's fun to go back and visit.

Came up here from PA to go to UNH. Still in the area.

Planning on retiring about 30 mins from the Dragon in TN. I've been 3x, 2x in my Cayman S and once in a Dodge Charger. Want to guess what's more fun to drive the ToD?

I have pretty much forgot exactly how many VW Auto Group cars I have owned but it has to be approaching 40. a '65 21 window deluxe bus, a single wiper mk2 Scirocco with a 16v GLI motor in it, my 914 1.8, and my Cayman S are the biggest highlights. My TTs were cool and should get mention, Mk1 1.8t and a mk1 3.2 DSG.

I will be on this thread like VW electronics failing. 

Great! Where abouts in PA did you move from? 

You're thinking Maryville area for retirement or elsewhere? I'm going to guess the Caymann is decent fun down there! When we were in Ohio, we lived in Athens which is very much the Southeast part of the state. So I could hammer down there in about 6.5-7 hours, a decent number of weekend trips happened. Also there is a ton of good driving throughout Appalachia. I was heavy on the street driving for years, much less so now but still love touring around. I should start going to track day, autox, etc. The mk4 is currently in the "I didnt read the rules" SCCA class, with a NA motor it's not competitive.

You've had a rad collection of VW's for sure! 1.8 and 3.2 mk1's would be a handful. Those all sound like fun cars to own. I'm bad at getting rid of stuff, and short on space so the collection is small. Currently only have the 2019 Tiguan, the grey Jetta, a black 2004 Jetta 2.0 that has an interior, and a big bumper mk2 Jetta, 1.6TD swapped. Black mk4 will be gone in July, we'll get to that at some point in here. It's been a good car but I should never have bought it. 

Electronics failing, you're on track to solve my misfire issue for sure

mikesbikester
mikesbikester New Reader
6/15/22 9:15 p.m.
Turbine said:

Sweet! More VW's! I love mk4's, but I've never actually owned one. 
 

I'm a big VW/Audi guy too. Currently have a '12 Passat TDI and a 91 Audi 200 20v in the garage. 

Woah an Audi 200 20v, thats way cool! Mk4's are ok, TT coupes are a great mk4 if you decide to get one. Or maybe a TDI wagon, depends on your lifestyle. Heck yeah VW junk!

mikesbikester
mikesbikester New Reader
6/15/22 11:06 p.m.

December/January 2016 I was getting the garage together, working on storage, built a work bench, I'll spare you the pictures. The garage space in the condo was 15x20 a pretty good size to do a little car work.

Early February 2016, added some lights, that was cool.

Mid February 2016, made a janky bracket and mounted a kirkey, that was not wise.

Early March 2016, split those W8 wheels and started refinishing. Rounded out a couple of the Ti bolts while disassembling them. I ordered a snap on M8 triple square which had much better bite and managed to get all the bolts out. Happened to find some replacement bolts on ebay to save the project.

to give an idea of the corrosion, it was that typical mid 2000's alu wheel clear coat thing. here are some pics, little curbage too.

March 11, 2016, 250K miles. 

Chemical stripped and scraped the clear and paint off of the wheels

Cleaned up the curb rash, polished the lips all shiny like

Etching primer, rusto metallic, UV resistant clear, chased the treads, reassembled with red loctite, and we were in business by mid April 2016. Came out decent for a cheap rattle can job, and provided good entertainment. Big thanks to my friend Russ for helping polish, drinking beer, and keeping me company during this project.

 

Wrapped only the finest federal SS595's around them things and we were street driving again! First weekend in May 2016, made it over to autocross with the Buckeye Miata club. They run on a go cart track in Circleville OH. Definitely a good group of people, laid back inclusive bunch, and a very fun place to drive. Big thanks to McHugh for sharing the photo, I don't think we ever met but if you come across this, I appreciate it!

A week later, second weekend in May, 2016 we went to a friends family's vacation home in Deep Creek MD. On the way back, the big bad misfire issue came back with a vengeance. 255k miles, I got to take my first flat bed ride with this Jetta. Huge thanks to my friend Chelsea for the AAA hookup, and for hanging with me on the side of the highway, then riding in the single cab flatbed back to OH from WV. The wheels sure looked pretty good, despite the car being colossally broken.

Got it home, shoved it into the garage, yarded the head off and found this scene

Well it was about that time that it dawned on me that I should check the wiring! Brilliant. Sure enough, that cyl's fuel injector wiring was bad. Insulation had broken down and it was apparently getting a short to ground that had enough resistance to not throw an injector short to ground code? It was very strange. Anyway, out came the engine, on the floor jack, cause you know, why buy a hoist? (I did eventually purchase a hoist a few years later)

Back then we had this car, and my fiancee's first car, a 2008 Versa. So I was now commuting in the Versa 100 miles round trip, and she was riding her bike to school, this was not great for any of us. So within a couple weeks I cleaned up the engine bay a little, then picked up a 120K mile AEG engine in Marion OH. I wouldn't say a completely assembled mk4 2.0 engine fits well in the trunk of a Versa, but it does sort of fit. I just remembered that the steel wheels I purchased in the fall of 2015 were actually 15's that I got from the same guy in Marion. Think his name is Matt, he had some cool VW projects going on. Irrelevant info, sorry.

Back on track here. $10 in fuel injector connectors, re-terminated the ends of the injector wiring on the new engine harness just in case it was going to get any ideas from the old one. Got the clutch and flywheel swapped over, bolted the trans on, 034 motorsports "track density" motor mounts came in, plus the usual maintenance stuff. Plugs wires, timing belt, water pump, and I was ready to put the engine back in the car. My Dad happened to be coming out to visit the 4th weekend in May anyway, so he helped me get everything bolted back together. Went to start it up and it wouldn't fire. We poked around for a few minutes, it was late and we'd been at it all day. One of us had forgotten to plug in the crank position sensor. Fired right up, running great.

I guess that's the good thing about 8V VW engines, they like to run for the most part. This engine is still in the car today, June 2022. The car has 370k+ miles, so 120+370-255=235k or so miles on the engine. You can see some bumper/fender damage from an off road excursion during the TSD days, maybe you noticed in some previous pictures as well.

From here I would spend the rest of 2016, and the start of 2017 messing around with a W123 that I shouldn't have purchased. Learned a lot about project scope on that one, scrapped it. But kept in touch with the guy who sold me the W123, James. He's also a huge VW nerd, he's into about anything with wheels.

That's all I've got for tonight. Feel like we're approaching some better quality pictures soon here.

mikesbikester
mikesbikester New Reader
6/16/22 9:23 p.m.

In September 2016, we went up to Michigan for  labor day weekend. We camped near an inland lake, I think by Tawas City. The car got an ignition tune up in the campground because of a bad ignition coil. with plugs, wires and coil replaced, we gave it a shakedown by touring along the East coast of the State up to the bridge. It was a solid day of exploring.

For an upcoming 2016 Thanksgiving dragon trip, I did do a couple mk4 projects. My Dad permanently loaned me his old TIG when he came to visit in May 2016, so I fabbed up a much better drivers seat bracket. I also made a passenger seat bracket and put in another kirkey. Inspired by some VW race car builds I whipped up a shifter lift kit to get the shifter up next to the wheel. This was a great modification.

Made a couple of light bars for the upcoming trip as well, one went on Alex's TDI. Theres the old W123 in the background. 

This was peak form for a 2.0 mk4 street car in my opinion. Plenty of light, suspension setup was ok (I forgot to mention that sometime in 2014 it got a H&R 28mm rear bar), tires were ok, brakes were ok, just generally it all worked together it was very well behaved on the street. I think I had swapped over to 256mm vented rear brakes by this point as well. We had a great thanksgiving trip. No one got hurt, a small off with the miata that was not ideal and it went back on the trailer. We piled into the grey car for a lot of laps. Met a dude named Morgan from Chicago down there, who is a maniac on two wheels. He ended up staying with us one night and doing a bunch of driving in my car. Great fun all around, we successfully shredded off the whole set of tires through the weekend. 

Here are some pictures taken during a quick and dirty repair of a hole in the miata radiator.

Shortly after, we were rolling. Shortly after that, the miata went on an unexpected off road excursion.

got a ton of pictures and video from this trip, all poor quality and blurry. Heres one of Alex wheeling his TDI.

Here is another shot from early fall in 2016. More tomorrow. 

de80q
de80q Reader
6/17/22 4:03 a.m.

I wish I was anywhere near as confident in my Audi 80q as you are with your mk4!  After having modified pretty much everything(some things more than once) I still find it hard to go more than an hour from home.  I did however take it from York PA to New Milford CT to have my 3" exhaust fabed with no issue.  

 

Keep posting, I'll be watching to see the fun.

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/17/22 4:43 p.m.

In reply to mikesbikester :

I was born in Pittsburgh and lived in State College until 12 then back to the 'burgh until 22 then off to UNH.

We are looking at the Tellico Plains area for retirement.

Taking my Golf R to VA this August and hope to hit the Blue Ridge Hwy or some other roads down that way. Maybe sneak the Dragon in again.

Love this build, I would be in heaven if I had 3pc rims on my Cayman, heck or the R. 

mikesbikester
mikesbikester New Reader
6/17/22 7:05 p.m.
de80q said:

I wish I was anywhere near as confident in my Audi 80q as you are with your mk4!  After having modified pretty much everything(some things more than once) I still find it hard to go more than an hour from home.  I did however take it from York PA to New Milford CT to have my 3" exhaust fabed with no issue.  

 

Keep posting, I'll be watching to see the fun.

I started reading through your Audi build thread a little, it looks like a fun car! Cool to see you're running MS. I'll have to read more. My mk4 is mostly stock with bolt on parts. Low power and it likes to run, so I don't tend to worry much about road trips in it. My mk2 is much more nerve wracking to road trip in, just being an older car so I definitely can associate with why you wouldn't want to drive the Audi all over.

mikesbikester
mikesbikester New Reader
6/17/22 7:26 p.m.
preach (dudeist priest) said:

In reply to mikesbikester :

I was born in Pittsburgh and lived in State College until 12 then back to the 'burgh until 22 then off to UNH.

We are looking at the Tellico Plains area for retirement.

Taking my Golf R to VA this August and hope to hit the Blue Ridge Hwy or some other roads down that way. Maybe sneak the Dragon in again.

Love this build, I would be in heaven if I had 3pc rims on my Cayman, heck or the R. 

Very cool! Tellico plains is a nice area, rad that it's just at the end of the skyway and there are some beautiful lakes nearby. Are you getting to retire soon?

Where about in VA are you headed? We stayed in Charlottesville recently and did some of Skyline drive for some hiking access. I really want to do a tour in the mk2 to hit all of Skyline and BRP, it's hard to set aside the time though. There's a ton of good driving in VA, WV, KY, etc. I guess I feel like the dragon itself has become too crowded and too much of a scene for me these days, but that is certainly personal preference and I'm not saying that with the intent to discourage anyone from getting down there and experiencing that road. There are so many great roads in the mountains to explore.

Thanks for the positive feedback on the build thread here! I'm excited to get into the updates phase, it's hard to remember everything. Those W8 wheels were 2 piece, no 3 piece stuff yet for me either.

mikesbikester
mikesbikester New Reader
6/17/22 8:17 p.m.

Back into the archives, Jan 2017, ball joint and tie rod ends were worn out, refreshed that, another string alignment. I also scooped up these 16" snows which was pretty sweet.

February 2017, the W123 was gone and I started building a Locost (sold as a rolling chassis in 2021), that build thread can be found here if youre interested. https://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=19008 There arent many pictures of it assembled on the build thread, so here is the last picture of it before I sold it.

The stock seats went back in the mk4 (much better or commuting 100 miles round trip), kirkeys into the locost for mockup. I'm missing a fair number of pictures here so bear with me with some writing. In June of 2017, the mk4 went on an overnight trip from OH to York, ME for our wedding. It then hauled us on our honeymoon, we spent a couple days at kingdom trails , a day in Toronto, a few days in Tobermory, then back to OH via Niagra falls. 

September 2017, another dragon trip

then an early November 2017 trip driving down South, where the car got its second flat bed ride, and I dragged it home, on a car dolly behind a u haul. Not much in the way of pictures from that, so we'll be fast forwarding to the repairs.

mikesbikester
mikesbikester New Reader
6/17/22 9:36 p.m.

I had a great ford ranger at the time ( the only car I should have kept) and I commuted with that for a while, and carpooled with a friend who was doing the same commute. So over a couple months, I got the mk4 back together with a new hood, fender, grill, both front airbags, airbag igniters, door, axle, control arm, ball joint, tie rod, and tie rod end, and some used GTI struts with cut springs. It still wasn't right, the subframe was damaged and needed to be replaced but that got it rolling. I ordered a subframe on ebay, and set out to section 1" out of it to raise the rack and control arm mounts. At the time I sort of thought of this to be like the poor mans TT knuckle swap, and it worked pretty well! Anyway, pics of the subframe build. first I beadblasted it at my buddy Joey's shop.

modified rear mounts, reinforced with round tube. you can see the locost frame in the background moved out of the way.

Chopped down the front mounts and the crush sleeves that are inside the front mounts, welded back together. Reinforced the front control arm mounts with more round tube. while I was in there I preemptively welded in nuts to replace the captive nuts for the front control arm mounts. Those are a pain to replace when one spins on you while trying to get a control arm out.

capped off tube ends, finished welding

Drew up some solid subframe bushings and had Joey make them

we were having some weldments painted at work, so I had the painter spray it, "whatever color youre painting everything else" came out looking pretty nice

I realized the sectioned subframe would raise the dogbone mount, and it might not interface right with the trans. I still think a stock style dogbone may work, but haven't confirmed this, just went right for making one.

Subframe installed. At what point did I get 1.8/VR6 spindles and 312mm front brakes? who knows, but they're here in this pic.

fabbed up the dogbone to fit

And on the ground, it's no TT knuckle, but a decent improvement in regards to the control arm angle at given ride height. I wish I had taken a before picture, but oh well. Driving impressions were that the subframe substantially stiffened up the front end, I felt it really helped with braking feedback as well, this may be due to the solid rear subframe mounts, not entirely sure.

That brings us to the end of January 2018. in Feb 2018 I designed and made a couple intake manifold flanges, just for the fun of it, here is what they came out look like.

Picked up (6) 16" 5x112 steels and met my friend Zach, he's a huge VW nerd too. We worked together on a few projects and traded parts a fair amount.

I was still considering what to do suspension wise. The strut mounts were worn out so I addressed that first, and I came to the conclusion that I could make a better strut mount using a uniball, for around the same price as a stock strut mount. I'm not sure that I'd do this again, I think I'd just bang in Subaru strut mounts like the rally dudes but here is what I came up with.

 

Install requires a 4" hole saw, this kind of drill is not intended to make 4" holes in steel, not recommended.

well this sort of worked, but resulted in the wackest steeze, monster trucking the front all crazy like. Now we really gotta get the suspension figured out.

The strut mounts did work as intended, providing a more positive mount for the top of the strut in order to eliminate the strut tops shaking under braking conditions at various speeds. Thats' all for tonight, next time we'll talk about making all kinds of junk that didn't work in March 2018. Thanks for following along!

Mike

10001110101
10001110101 Reader
6/17/22 10:24 p.m.

A lot of common threads, in this thread. We are headed to Tellico in a couple weeks to visit family. Taking the Explorer unfortunately. One day I'll get one of the Volkswagens down there. Keep on keeping on, I'm enjoying watching the work you've put into this car. 

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/18/22 7:20 a.m.

Strut mounts are next level! Seriously nice fab work in that last post brother!

Hoping to retire in 2030 @ 60yo. Ton of family in Chattanooga so it will be nice to be close. We plan on buying down there asap when prices drop then vacation there until I sign my papers.

Agree with your thoughts on the ToD. I only run it mid week when it is in Mexico and no one is around really.

I don't like to talk about the other less known roads in the area, I mean, really they are boring and pretty straight. I don't know why anyone would want to explore down there when the Dragon and Skyway are there. Heh.

I also agree that anyone reading this should run the Dragon. Even at 30 it is beautiful. If you are a little rambunctious on the first turn it backs itself up with 317 more.

mikesbikester
mikesbikester New Reader
6/18/22 11:00 p.m.
10001110101 said:

A lot of common threads, in this thread. We are headed to Tellico in a couple weeks to visit family. Taking the Explorer unfortunately. One day I'll get one of the Volkswagens down there. Keep on keeping on, I'm enjoying watching the work you've put into this car. 

Thats awesome, even with an Explorer it's worth rolling through the skyway at least. Beautiful roads down there. Glad you're enjoying the thread! Hope you have a fun and safe road trip!

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