Last updated: December 1, 2019

Project Ultimate 83 GTI
Videos # 50 - 99 (July 2014 - Sept 2015)

 

The timeline story of the whole project in videos from beginning to end

 

Part 50 (Final paint has now been wet sanded/polished. It took a full month part time to go thru the process of 1500/2000/3000 grit wet sanding of all surfaces and panels, then 3M PerfectIt rubbing compound and then polishing compound using a variable speed Makita orbital polisher. But it is done and the results are A1. I have a some 'craters' in the clear on some of the surfaces that I have filled with additional clear with a tiny paint brush and will finish sanding them out later this week and then I will start to assemble the car) - July 6, 2014

 

Part 51 (After I pushed the completed chassis out of the garage and into the bright summer sunshine 1 week ago I could see that I had some quite noticeable fine sanding scratches showing thru the basecoat on the roof line edges and I also noticed on the passenger rear quarter panel that the basecoat was not perfectly consistent - a bit of a halo was showing above the fender where I had gone over the area one last time and left a slightly dry edge to the silver basecoat up above that point. So I took a cold shower, swore a few times, and then decided to wet sand the roof, sides and back of the car and re-spray it. And for good measure I sanded down the driver door as the clearcoat was quite thin after all of my sanding and I wanted to have it perfect. BTW, bright silver is considered one of the toughest colors to work with and I have now learned that you need to finish the primer stage with at least 1000 grit, not 600 grit.

All of this re-painting effort got me to thinking how much my paint compressor setup sucks. I have a very small garage and simply can't fit in a 60 gallon 5hp compressor so I have beem trying to make do with a 15 gallon 1.5hp compressor. On smaller panels with my Eastwood HVLP guns I can get by OK, but on bigger jobs like the roof and sides/rear chassis I run down my compressor and have to pause to let it catch up which risks paint drying and losing my wet edges. I also had some problems with moisture in the line, some dirt in the paint, and not enough pressure to the gun so I changed my whole setup: I put a plywood box around my compressor housing with a fan to do a better job of keeping it cool while making less noise pollution; I ran new lines and fittings with less restrictions; I soldered up a 25' copper air cooler/drier; I bought a 30 gallon tank to give me more air reserve; and finally I bought a professional air filter/drier system. And I tested it out this week (still waiting on the 30 gallon tank though) and my guns have all of the air pressure they need, plus the air is totally clean and dry now. Yes!!! With the 30 gallon tank coming, I'll now have 3x total air supply before running low even though my compressor will may need to catch up occasionally.

My rear seats are done now and they look 100% OEM new. Wow. My front seats are 80% done but we ran out of the vinyl that I had dyed Midnight Blue so I had to produce more of it this weekend so we can now get the front seats completed. I managed to get all new plastic parts for the seats too and dye them the correct color so I am really excited about seeing the final results in the next short while.

I am also working on the brake system: I have a combination of SAE double flare and metric bubble flare fittings because of the Wilwood proportioning valve so I have been practicing my flaring technique which is now pretty solid so I will start to bend and flare/assemble the whole brake system soon. I also need to make up a custom bracket to mount the proportioning valve immediately below the master cylinder.

I am also 90% done the design of the fuel system and have almost all of the components in hand. I am in the process of epoxy coating the fuel tank so that I can mount it and start to run the lines, pump, filters, etc.) - July 20, 2014

 

Part 52 (The front seats are now complete. Sweet indeed! I am also about 30% finished repainting the chassis) - August 5, 2014

 

Part 53 (With the final painting complete I can now get on with planning and executing the fuel and brake system installation. With the fuel tank temporarily mounted I was able to fabricate a stainless bracket to mount the fuel filters and pump between the rear axle and spare tire well. I also mounted the brake booster and new aluminum 22mm master cylinder with a stainless bracket holding the Wilwood proportioning valve. Now that I have ordered the Davies Craig electric water pump and digital controller it was time to prepare the OEM water pump by cutting off the impeller, aux water return ports (which will be tapped and plugged), and smoothing the interior for its new function as a passive entry way into the block from the outlet of the EWP) - August 17, 2014

 

Part 54 (I have now setup and started using my Caswell Zinc-Cadnium plating system so I now have a nice looking steering rack again after re-plating the h/w and epoxy painting the housing (but before the installation of the new Quaife close ratio gear set which I am picking up in the UK on Sept 16th).

It was a tight sqeeze but I managed to route the fuel tank breathers together such that I can now install a rollover valve in the fuel filler neck area of the wheel well. I got the pump and filters final-mounted and the hoses routed as well. The Techtonics SS 2.25" exhaust system installation has also started but I was very frustrated with a few things that are only partially resolved at this moment: a serious interference fit with the driver side tank strap which required that I fabricate a bracket to allow the removal of the strap, plus I can't get the resonator to sit in the middle of the tunnel without an interference fit with the front hanger on the side of the tunnel (I think I will end up cutting and rewelding some pipe to solve this). The bottom line is that all of the really hard problems with the fuel system are now behind me and the exhaust system issues are on the way to being solved. I will need to mount the engine and exhaust racing header before making any final decisions on the exhaust system though) - September 1, 2014

 

Part 55 (Rough positioning of the Techtonics stainless custom 1-3/4" headers and 2-1/4" exhaust system plumbing (note, we are keeping the pipe size at 2-1/4" because this is the size that TT says has proven to produce the most power in normally aspirated cars: 2-1/2" is only suitable for turbo engines, plus a comparison of the old (OEM) and new (Borgeson) steering U joint assemblies, and the new lower steering column bearing and bearing support bracket) - September 8, 2014

After testing out the Borgeson u-joints I found that they did not have enough range of motion for the vw mk1 application. I am now sourcing mk3 u joints (one end has the 11/16" diameter 40 spine u joint so I hope to use them) - October 31, 2014

 

Part 56 (After a lot of machining and fiddling around I managed to complete the custom front cylinder head coolant outlet flange that is required to clear the ITBs and associated linkage, nitrous and vacuum lines, etc.

After speaking with Techtonics about the exhaust system clearance issues I cut off all of the tunnel flanges and bolts, filled, sanded, primed and painted it all so now there will be nothing hitting the pipes. I also sourced a really nice and small Vibrant stainless resonator that will be welded onto the back of the flex coupling: this way I will havee 2 resonators plus a muffler so that I can make 'quiet power' which is my goal.

The shifter housing has also been cleaned iup and epoxy painted and I have zinc/cad plated all of the hood and hatch brackets, hinges and mounting h/w - plus I now have the ability to chromate as a final step so these parts, plus the steering rack brackets, and many more items are all looking nice (I will post photos and a video of these items and the plating process I am using later on).

I completed the rear axle Delrin bushing/bearing setup/installation with the brass and stainless steel sleaves to take up all excess 'slack' in the system but realized, after speaking with Lella Motorsport who make the bushing,s that I went over-board. I have decided to remove the stainless sleaves I made that are only 0.2mm thick and placed between the 12mm bolt and the Delrin steel bearing insert surfaces so allow for a bit more movement so that the axle will pivot around the 12mm bolt without the potential for binding.

Finally, I have been running the 3/16" (4.75mm) brake lines all over the car this week but I ended up making some crappy looking flares with the manual flaring tool that I had sourced so I have now ordered a MasterCool hydraulic flaring tool to allow me to make OEM quality flares every time. There is nothing more annoying than spending 1/2 an hour making the perfect brake line and then messing it up with a poor flare end - I do not want crappy looking flares and really don't want leaks in my brake lines either) - September 14, 2014

 

Part 57 (I have been busy using my Caswell Zinc/Copy Cad plating system to rescue all kinds of brackets and bolts since I have not been able to complete my brake lines until the MasterCool flaring tool arrives (ETA tomorrow). I plated the metal objects that were OEM plated and stopped there but for those parts that were originally painted black I first stripped them down, acid etched, plated and chromated them to provide an extra measure of protection before painting) - September 23, 2014

 

Part 58 (This has been a big week with lots of progress. I completed plating/painting of the headlight housings, the various motor mounts and shift linkages, and the heat shielding applied to the underside of the chassis. My brake line flaring problems were solved with my new Mastercool hydraulic flaring tool and my brake lines are now complete (and wrapped in plastic to protect them from chassis rubbing). I also got the Quaife quick ratio steering rack installed, complete with a new bushing to provide zero play in the system) - September 28, 2014

 

Part 59 (The rear end is complete and torqued to spec, the steering rack and shifter linkage is now mounted in the front and now I am getting ready to flip the chassis upright for the last time ... and the 020 2Y German Transaxle of America transmission with Quaife LSD is sitting here, waiting for the custom clutch/pressure plate which Josh says will ship to me later this week ...) - October 6, 2014

 

Part 60 (I got the steering wheel back from Custom Craft today: they re-wrapped the wheel with 1mm of foam and then soft leather. I am very pleased with the end result: a very nice feel to it, not too soft, not too firm, just the right diameter, with the stitching where my fingers want to engage it. I will treat the leather to match the soft gloss of the vinyl center section) - October 8, 2014

 

Part 61 (With the help of my wife I moved the engine, stand and hoist from my office to my garage last weekend so the GTI is now happily sitting next to the motor and trans. Josh is shipping the clutch tomorrow so I will have everything in hand to install the engine/trans this weekend! I will lift the chassis up using my come-alongs one last time, roll the engine/trans together under it, lower the chassis one last time onto jack stands, use the hoist to lift the engine/trans into place, bolt it up, and then mount the front suspension, brakes, steering, etc. mount the wheels, and then roll the car out of the garage so that I can dis-assemble the lifting frame to make room for the rest of the final assembly. In another week things should start to get pretty exciting.

I also finished machining the new cam hall sensor housing and it is all perfect except for the fact that the hall sensor itself seems to be dead for some reason (a new unit, go figure). So I have ordered another sensor and when I get it later this week hopefully I will be able to test it out and then mount it on the cam/engine ...

There have been so many other small things that I got done over the past week: removing and re-installing a lot of engine accessories, putting the gaskets in place, applying sealant, threat locker, washers, etc into place and torquing things up so that I now am close to being ready to install the engine with all of the accessories already 'final' mounted this weekend)
- October 21, 2014

 

Part 62 (Major Project Milestone: Today was the big day - getting the clutch setup done, and then assembling the engine and transaxle, rolling it under the chassis and then hoisting it into place. Everything went well except for the fact that I had to remove the rear engine/trans mount to get the side mounts to line up first which is a lesson learned, and I also discovered to my dread that I will have to mandrel bend the intake runners another 20 degrees or so to clear the hood) - October 25, 2014

 

Part 63 (With the engine/trans installed everything else is coming together quickly now. I got the front suspension, front and rear brakes, CV/axles, test fitted, and sorted out missing h/w and such. I also worked on the exhaust system, starting to weld up a header support bracket and otherwise test fitting everything, and fiddled a lot with the steering system, realizing that the Borgeson u joints will not work so I am in the middle of attempting to fit some mk3 parts into place over the next week or so. If all goes well I should have all of the major mechanical systems completed by mid-Nov. I also got the fuel system lines final installed,which required the fabrication of some stainless brackets, and more -6AN SS lines/fittings. I am still waiting on a few hose ends but otherwise the fuel system is basically complete now. I am building a structural support brace for the race header that connects the lower end of the header back to the base of engine block to keep the stress levels on the flanges to a minimum. I am also in the middle of planning on how to bend my intake runners using some structural epoxy molding equipment and some low melting point metal to act as a 'mandrel' internal tube support when I put the bending forces on the tubes - this process will take most of the month to sort out as I don't want to screw it up and will have to practice a bit ...) - November 2, 2014

 

Part 64 (The completed structural support brace for the race header was electrocleaned and the header itself was ported and polished and has now been sent out for internal ceramic thermal barrier coating. After accidentally throwing out the old rear drum brake mounting h/w I had to source the hard to find M16x1.0 axle nuts and retaining washers again (from Jim Ellis VW), plus I sourced nicer/stronger class 12.9 mounting bolts so the rear disks are now complete. I will put on the wheels and measure clearance to the fenders, measure camber and toe, and then order custom axle/wheel spacers from Lella AutoSport to get the desired offset, camber and toe settings) - November 11, 2014

 

Part 65 (When I upgraded to the larger 22mm master cylinder (to provide the additional volume of stroke required for the rear disk brakes) I needed to pair it with a later model brake servo/vacuum unit - the problem is that the later model servo has a different rod end. The original 83 GTI servo rod end is longer and has a fixed clevis. It is nicer to have an adjustable clevis so I am going to cut off the original clevis, thread it M10x1.5 and use a coupling M10 nut to mount it to the later model servo.

I completed the exhaust system this week. The V-band clamping system I have used allows me to quickly swap the cat converter in/out in favour of a high performance resonator that will keep noise levels down to where I want them (a total of 3 'straight-thru' resonators make up the entire system). I polished all of the components, and finally the 2.5" tip now sticks out the back end and says 'we mean business' ) - November 23, 2014

 

Part 66 (I finished the design of the custom aluminum radiator, drew up the drawings and specs, and sent it off to Ron Davis Custom Radiators in AZ. It will be 11"x30"x2", tucked under the front cross member, with ORB o-ring type bungs that mate to ORB-to-AN fittings and then the lines (-20 for the water pump inlet, -16 and -12 for the cylinder head outlets, -10 for the heater core return, -6 for the expansion tank, plus a temperature sensor bung for the electric water pump) and I will be using 2 SPAL 10" medium performance fans with a puller shroud. I have mounting tabs on the top and ears on the sides of the bottom corners - it should work out nicely and provide lots and lots of cooling. I also have a Mocal inline oil-to-water heat exchanger with -20 water fittings and -8 oil fittings - I could not use the factory setup due to conflicts with the ITBs and this system is higher performance and also included a 200 degree F oil thermostat.

I did get the 1989 cab servo modded to accept the 83 GTI servo clevis by cutting off the GTI clevis end, turning it down on the lathe to 10mm diameter and then threading it. With the coupling nut I can now vary the length of the shaft to get the ideal pedal position. I also worked on assembling the clutch/brake/accel pedal assembly and decided that some nice 0.2mm thick 16mm ID 24mm OD stainless shims would remove the factory slop in the pedal assembly, removing the ability for the pedals to shift side to side. The plastic bushings were fine. I also sourced a brake pedal return spring from an 89 cab, complete with a nice plastic/rubber donut sleeve that slips over the 83 GTI pedal shaft and drilled a few holes for a bolt that allows me to adjust the spring tension to suit my tastes - there was no return spring in my car when I took it apart but the manual shows one and I feel that it is probably a smart idea to have one installed - and I do like the idea of being able to adjust the brake pedal spring ...

I have also been noodling away on solving my problem of the ITB intake runners being too high. This problem was caused by not remembering that the ABA block is a lot taller than the earlier mk1 and mk2 blocks. In fact my second injector fuel rail is close to hitting the hood as well! Anyway, I sourced high strength molding epoxy and built a cardboard mold in the shape of the runner OD to allow me to create upper and lower molds of the runners, which are 45mm ID, 48mm OD. I then mounted the epoxy molds onto steel plates and use threaded rods to allow me to apply bending pressure to increase the bend another 10 degrees or so - but after all that work it failed so I have ordered 48mm T304 tubing mandrel bent at 30 degrees from the UK and new inlet/outlet collars from AT Power that I will glue on after cutting to the right length.

I have also been farting around with the shifter linkage. I sourced adjustable end-link components but realized that the vertical shift lever in the engine bay was mounted in a way that hit the other shifter bracket beside it and the only way to solve that problem was to rebuild the clamp on the bottom (where it was hitting) 90 degrees rotated - so I took it apart, ground and reshaped it, and re-plated it so ... tonight I got the shifter linkage installed and all dialed in using the Techtonics shifter kit plus the 4crawler adjustable steel end links which allowed me to get the 1-2 gate positioned exactly where I wanted it (just to the right of the reverse lockout). I will get the brake system/pedal assembly done this weekend ...) - December 9, 2014

 

Part 67 (I should have all of the new intake runner components by Jan 1 so in the mean time I have been getting a lot of other things done:

I realized that once I have installed the brake servo I will no longer have access to the drivers side of of the steering rack so I took off the steering rack boots one last time, carefully centered the rack and then adjusted the tie-rods to the factory spec, and double checked that I had equal lock-to-lock distance with the steering wheel, etc. - good thing I check again as I was off by about 5mm on the tie-rod positions.

With the 16x24mm shims in hand I was able to shim out the pedal cluster and get it rock solid. With the 1/2x20 jam nuts I was able to use the brake pedal switch to align the brake pedal with the clutch pedal (which has fixed stops and therefore acts at the reference position). Once the servo was installed with the pedal cluster I used my new brake clevis adjustment coupling nut to maximum advantage and got the clevis to the exact position to not move the brake pedal out of alignment with the clutch pedal - awesome.

I then put in all of the final hardware and torqued down the servo, master cylinder and prop valve, and connected all of the brake lines. Since I had never completed the hard lines to the rear disks I fabricated those, and got the rear brake system completed as well. I will pick up my Castrol SRF Racing brake fluid this week and will then flush the lines and get the brake system completed next weekend ...

I also got shims for the accelerator pedal so that it was rock solid as well, and then measured and cut the new AT Power accelerator cable, and grafted on all of the required OEM parts to make the connection thru the firewall to the pedal (I ditched the foam grommet in the center of the accel pedal in favor of a hole in the top of the pedal with the accelerator cable running directly to it for a more positive feel/responsiveness.

Finally, I got the clutch cable installed. Boy that racing clutch is pretty stout feeling. Manageable, I think. I estimate that it is 30% stiffer than the brake pedal feels without brake fluid in the lines pressing on the servo diaphragm.

So the pedals and the shifter all work now. Pretty cool to be able to press all of the pedals and play with the shifter, moving into all of the gear positions. Vroom, vroom ...
- December 15, 2014

 

Part 68 (I received my shipment from Any-Exhaust-Part of the UK for the 48mm T304 intake tubes today and so I could not resist cutting them up immediately and test fitting them to the throttle bodies. Success! I now have the right angle and length to avoid hitting the hood, leaving enough room for the radiator/shroud/fans and the proper geometry for an efficient cold air intake box. I will still have to wait for AT Power to ship me the new collars as it is a real bitch to unglue the ones on the existing intake runners (and then I have to machine the collar IDs about 1mm to fit the new tubes once they arrive)) - December 17, 2014

 

Part 69 (While I patiently wait for the new custom radiator and intake runner collars I have started to rebuild the heater box with a new heater core, blower, foam pads and seals - again, I must wait for the parts to arrive before being able to re-assemble it so I am going to have to find other things to do for the next week) - January 8, 2015

 

Part 70 (I wire brushed, acid etched and plated the metal h/w for the heater/blower box, and dove into the door assembly/finishing tasks, starting with the reconditioning of the window channel guides which were rotted out on the bottoms and required TIG braising in new metal, filling, sanding and painting, and also got the design for the 2 way component speaker system that will be installed in the doors sorted out (a high end Hertz HSK 165 system with a 6.5" woofer and 1" tweeter - I will also use hertz coax speakers in the stock front/rear locations, plus a Hertz Sub box in the rear that I can remove along with the sub amp when I want less weight for racing, etc). I also got the metal side plates for the front spoiler stripped, acid etched and primed, plus got the mirror bases acid etched and the whole assemblies partially cleaned up prior to painting) - January 12, 2015

 

Part 71 (I bit the bullet and upgraded from the Holley HP EFI system to the full Holley Dominator EFI system with its endless # of inputs and outputs. In the end I needed to control more things like 2 PWM fan outputs, a PWM water pump output, and more sensor monitoring (e.g. a second water temperature sensor in the radiator allows me to monitor the difference between the rad and block temperatures and adjust pump flow rates and/or put a restrictor plate into the system to avoid 'block shock'). I am also going to use the Racepak UDX LCD console which communicates with the Holley EFI ECU via can-bus.

I got the prep and painting of the front window channels, front spoiler side plates, and mirrors completed this weekend. It all turned out very well but I think I will wet sand and polish the black epoxy paint parts as those parts ended up being a bit too shiny for me - I want a semi-gloss look and when you wet sand and polish black epoxy it comes out pretty much exactly semi-gloss (soft gloss).

With the new ITB intake runner collars now in my hands I was able to get the intake system completed: I previously sourced new 48mm stainless tubing that was pre-bent at a 30 degree angle, cut them to the right length, ordered new collars, machined them to match the tubing exactly, made up the back plate for the air intake box, glued the collars onto the runners, assembled quickly, aligned, and will let sit overnight to cure. Now I can start to fabricate the rest of the air intake box. No more interference with the hood!) - January 18, 2015

 

Part 72 (I made satisfying progress this week on the fabrication of the intake vacuum plenum, related sensor mounting, and all of the machining and tapping of the various connectors, including the nitrous solenoid. I was missing a 1/16 NPT tap in my tool chest and there was no supplier open today with the part I needed so I have ordered it from Amazon and will finish the tapping of the 4 ITB vacuum lines later this coming week. I also made an important decision to make the air box out of clear Lexan and put 2 of 2.75"x2.6"x12" K&N air filter elements (they provide 50 sq. inches of pleated filter element per unit) between the top of my custom radiator and the cross member, creating a Lexan funnel into the filters in front of the radiator, and then having a straight shot into the air box, rather than trying to create a long indirect 3 or 4" tube to pull in cold air from under the car (I am really excited about this new idea and think it will work out perfectly)) - January 24, 2015

 

Part 73 (Over the past few days I managed to work on the cooling system after receiving some of the key parts - unfortunately, the Davies Craig electric water pump -20AN fittings weren't properly machined so I will not be able to finish this until new fittings are sourced. I also had another delay with the completion of the custom radiator - in fact we are starting over with a 1" narrower radiator core so that the side tanks are a full 2" wide to allow for the proper mounting of the -20 ORB fitting and other fittings. The new core will be in the hands of the fabricator Tuesday and with any luck I will have the completed rad in my hands in another week ... I also got the 1/16"NPT tap for the ITB vacuum lines so made more progress on the intake system, plus I got the K&N air filters, the speedo electronic speed sensor for the 020 trans, and a few other items. Finally, I ordered all of the components for the nitrous 'push' system which I will cover in a future video: it consists of a 4500psi air tank, a high pressure solenoid controlled by an adjustable pressure switch, and a normal nitrous tank: the pressure switch is set to 950psi and opens when-ever the nitrous pressure drops, allowing high pressure air to 'push' into the nitrous tank and keep a consistent pressure at all times, regardless of nitrous level or temperature. This is a much more involved system than a bottle warmer and obviously reacts instantly to keep the pressure constant as the nitrous is flowing ... stay tuned for more info) - February 1, 2015

 

Part 74 (After zinc plating the h/w and cleaning out the heater box, I reassembled the unit with a new heater core, new fan/motor, and new gaskets/seals and tested it out. I also finished drilling the intake air box backing plate for the purge solenoid and mounting h/w, wet sanded all of the aluminum parts up to 2000 grit to prep for anodizing. Best news yet is that my custom radiator shipped out to me Fedex on Friday so I should have it Wed latest and can then complete the cooling system and intake system which are all interrelated. I also received the replacement -20AN fittings from Davis Craig by overnight Fedex (they paid the shipping - 2 thumbs up!) from Australia, no less) - February 8, 2015

 

Part 75 (Fedex delivered my shiny new custom radiator from http://www.bsandbradiator.com/ today. A quick test fit confirmed a proper fit under the hood and so I was able to order all of the remaining hose end fittings and start to plan out the fabrication of some stainless brackets to support the water pump and coolant-to-oil intercooler. Tomorrow I will pick up a lot of goodies including the remaining air box components, nitrous system components, etc.) - February 11, 2015

 

 

Part 76 (I got the Hella 20A solid state relays from Summit Racing and connected them to a signal generator, a battery and the radiator fans and tested out the variable speed control that will be managed by the Holley Dominator ECU - it all worked nicely with 30-40Hz being a good frequency choice, and 20% being a reliable starting point for low speed use - anything more than 80% duty cycle made the fans run close to 100% speed so the range is 20-80% that I will program for. I also realized that I needed to rebuild the wiper motor internals before re-mounting the wiper assembly. I was going to also mount the heater box but it will block my ability to put sound dampening material on the firewall so that will have to come first and I need warmer temperatures in the garage for that - otherwise the material won't adhere fully and won't conform easily to the uneven metal surfaces so I'll do it in a month or so.

I am about to head off on a 2 week trip so won't get much done between now and March 1st ...) - February 15, 2015

 

Part 77 (After a number weeks of business travel I managed to make some GTI project progress this weekend, first installing the re-built wiper motor assembly with new rubber grommets, and then test fitting some new coolant hose-ends in preparation for this week's task of putting together the remainder of the air intake system, fuel system and coolant system. I also got a chance to run some more air flow testing on the low profile SPAL radiator fans (yes, they flow a lot of air when mounted to the rad, more than enough). I also brought back my new Lexan Margard windows from the UK last week. AWC Motorsports Plastics in Bristol made them and they are perfect with nicely beveled edges (unlike the rough cut Lexan windows that LWS Design in the UK made for me in 2013 - that were made from the wrong material and for a mk2). And I finally sourced all of the fittings required to create a 'push' compressed air nitrous system (4500psi carbon air bottle with a 2900psi output regulator, a 3000psi solenoid, a 550-1250psi adjustable nitrous pressure switch, and the tricky NTP to BSPP adapter required to connect the air quick-disconnect fitting)) - March 8, 2015

 

Part 78 (This last week I got the custom radiator mounted properly, sorted out more of the coolant fittings, discovered a major interference issue with the -16 upper hose running into the vacuum plenum, built a number of Lexan air boxes (a few fails and then a successful one), and ended the weekend feeling pretty happy that things were coming together as (almost) planned. I also got my nitrous bottles filled and played around with the system a bit more: I will be doing PWM calibration testing on it this coming week) - March 15, 2015

 

Part 79 (Over the weekend I setup the nitrous system properly on the bench with the custom high pressure air 'push system' and ran a series of linearity tests while pulse width modulating the trick new Quadranoid solenoid (from NOS Wizards in the UK). I consumed 20lbs of nitrous doing all of the tests and learned a lot about the optimum settings for that solenoid. I don't want to run a lot of nitrous in my car as it could hurt my beautiful engine with its ultra precise tolerances (nitrous rapidly increases the combustion temperatures and in turn causes the pistons to expand, etc.). I only want a range of 15-60hp under computer control, not 100hp+.

When I initially installed the 20hp jets, instead of seeing 20/40/60/80hp at 25/50/75/100% duty cycle, I got a range of 80-110hp using a frequency of 35Hz. It turned out that while the Quadranoid is rated to 50Hz, it needs to have the plunger adjusted (a unique NOS Wizards feature) to a minimum height so the range of motion is dramatically reduced, and then it can be accurately controlled at high frequencies. With the seat height at the stock full open setting the plunger just floats when modulated at anything more than 15-20Hz and that is too low of a frequency for my application (intake valves open and close 60 times a second at 8000rpm). While 35Hz, which is the limit for my Holley Dominator ECU, is below the rate of intake valve opening at max rpm, I am feeding the modulated nitrous into a small chamber in the base of the Quadranoid, and then thru the distribution block/jets and then thru tubing to the intake runners: by the time the PWM controlled nitrous comes out the end of the tubes it is almost flowing smoothy - it has a slight pulsing to it but not a ton.

I found that even with the seat height set fairly low the Quadranoid still flowed a ton of nitrous so I switched to the 15hp jets and set the seat height even lower - almost off. And then I got the #s I was looking for: 15/30/45/60hp at 25/50/75/100% duty cycle. One thing I am really interested in is seeing if the 15hp setting will actually produce more like 25hp due to the cooling effect that nitrous has on the intake charge. Nitrous provides additional O2 but it also cools as it vaporizes so even really small amounts of nitrous can add significant power. I am not interested just in peak hp, I want to use the nitrous at the mid-range to tame the 288 degree cams and add back in some of the mid-range torque that is lost due to excessive cam duration ...) - March 24, 2015

 

Part 80 (After realizing that the new custom radiator had a nasty interference fit between the upper -16 hose and the intake system vacuum plenum log I got busy and ordered up another -16 ORB bung, cut a hole at the bottom of the tank (too bad, it would have been better to have the hot coolant enter at the top) and got my buddy Danny Beaudry of Pro Gas Engineering to weld it in (I am not up to par on tricky aluminum TIG welding like this when it involves a combination of thick and thin materials plus when it has to be leak proof). I then mounted the radiator coolant recovery tank on the side of the fender and started to make up the coolant hoses (a job I will finish in the next week) ...) - March 24, 2015

 

Part 81 (I got all of the cooland hoses complete, plus the remaining fuel system hoses, and the bracket fabricated to mount the coolant-oil intercooler - it turns out that there is no need to make up another electric water pump supporting bracket as the -20AN coupler to the radiator plus the -20AN short hose connection to the coolant-oil intercooler supports the EWP extremely well. I had trouble making up the -4AN vacuum lines that run between the vacuum plenum and each throttle body but I ended up ordering a Kool Tools stainless braided line funnel tool and cutting shears that should make the task of threading the cut hose into the hose ends for these really small -4AN hoses less of a torture session, complete with blood all over everything ...) - April 4, 2015

Part 82 (I got the plastic nitrous injector lines cut, heated/shaped and installed, plus a number of other intake system plumbing jobs like finishing the assembly of the -4AN hose ends for the vacuum lines, plus sorted out a new approach to my oil-to-coolant intercooler mounting which was to machine a block of aluminum to allow the lower oil fitting to stick out sideways rather than straight down (designed but not yet machined), and the big job for the week was the installation of the GTMAT 110 sound damping material on the interior of the chassis (to reduce panel vibration from the engine and exhaust areas)) - April 12, 2015

 

Part 83 (After Joey on YouTube suggested I try a banjo type hose end fitting for the oil line that connects to the bottom of the oil-to-coolant intercooler, I got to thinking that a banjo type fitting wouldn't likely flow as well as another similar idea: machining a block of aluminum to allow a right-angle mounting of the -8AN fitting off the side of the housing. I got to work today in my machine shop and now it is all together and the oil line is now slightly above the bottom lip of the chassis so I no longer risk hitting a critical oil line on a block of concrete or road hazard) - April 13, 2015

 

Part 84 (The oil-to-coolant intercooler mounted up nicely with its new painted bracket, plus the oil lines were done and routed cleanly without rubbing against any painted surfaces (I did cutoff an unused bracket extension from the side of the starter motor to provide more clearance). With this job complete I have finished making all of the Stainless AN lines so I removed all of them from the engine and washed and blow-dried the lines so I can now install them permanently later this week when I will also install the heater core and air box inside the passenger compartment) - April 20, 2015

 

Part 85 (After fighting with the old heater valve cable for about 2 hours (trying to lubricate it so that it would slide smoothly and open/close the heater valve) I gave up and found a replacement Gemo p/n 161819837 on ebay that looks like it will work fine in my mk1 application. I then fitted up the remaining cables that were in perfect working condition and mounted the heater/HVAC box in the chassis with its new gaskets. I was then able to hook up and complete the coolant system lines in the engine bay and pressure test the complete system to 15psi - success! I was also able to install many of the engine sensors and started to design a mounting bracket for the Holley Dominator ECU and ignition coils that will be placed in the rain tray on the passenger side (it is all weather proof but won't really see any water where it will be placed)) - April 25, 2015

 

 

Part 86 (I am starting to lay out the wiring harnesses and plan my connectors (a combination of metripack and weatherpack connectors). I had to cut away all of the electrical tape on the main ECU wiring harness as Holley had placed the fuel pump & injector relay and fuse in a crappy location for my project, same with the main power fuse.

I semi-finished my ECU/ignition system mounting system/plate, ordered and wired up the custom Magnecore KV85 silicon ignition wires and fabricated a wiring loom to hold the wires to the back of the cylinder head. I am pretty happy with how they look.

I sorted out the remaining engine sensors and tested/modified them to suit my project. The cam and crank sensors have given me the most challenges. I had to basically build a custom cam sensor earlier on in the project, and for the crank sensor I adapted a late model Bosch hall effect sensor that didn't quite fit the VW ABA block so I had to grind away at it a lot and also solder up a custom connector that would not hit the block but in the end I was rewarded with a high quality digital output to the ECU. For the cam sensor I got it setup properly to trigger at 180 degrees before Cyl #1 TDC which is what the ECU wants to see. Just prior to firing up the engine for the 1st time I will test all of the ignition timing with the injector harness disconnected.

Here is a list of the main engine sensors (email me if you need the p/ns for the mating connectors):

Bosch KS-R knock sensor, p/n 0 261 231 047 (analog peizo output, ECU set to monitor at 7.2kHz)

Bosch Hall-Effect Speed Sensor HA-P, p/n 0 232 103 037 (requires 1k pullup output resistor)

BBHME2000 Hall- Effect Cam Sensor (requires 1k pullup output resistor)

I sourced some very sticky Hoosier A7 tires in 205/50-15 size (the A7s run 'out of the box' at lower temperatures than the A6s which need quite a bit of heat to work properly. Since I will be drag racing and auto slaloming my GTI the A7s are a better choice for me). THe A7s are mounted on Enkei racing rims (rims weigh 9.9lbs and the total wheel/tire combination weighs 27.3lbs vs 33.5lbs for the VW snowflakes and 185/60-14 tires). The total tire width of the A7s is almost 2" greater than the 185/60-14s and they barely fit with only 1/8" inside clearance to the shocks/springs/struts front/rear. I will use these tires at the track and to test the ultimate performance envelope of the GTI when it is completed. My suspension is a race setup with Bilstein race struts and shocks (p/n V36-0059 & B46-0657-H1) and H&R race springs (400lbs/in front and 285lbs/in rear) and it will be setup with only a moderate ride height drop in comparison to stock as I like 3/4" gaps to the wheel wells - and this will also allow me to fit these wide A7 tires without rubbing too much.

What a heart breaker: After searching endlessly on the internet I finally located NOS VW front windshield glass at VW Parts Place Inc in Michigan ('genuine VW glass' is what they list on their web site) but they would not ship it to me on the west coast - in store pickup only. So I ended up paying them $400 in shipping to get it loaded onto a pallet in a huge box and trucked it out. Buggers! It is Chinese glass and it has a non-stock tint bar across the top which would definitely identify my GTI as a non-stock car (besides the fact that I would hate staring out the window at that tint stripe all day). When I called them they said 'What is the problem? The glass will work fine'. They are a small business and I was the one who pushed them to hard to ship it to me so I will take responsibility for this mistake. So I have now taken the additional step of ordering 3/16" Lexan Margard and will cut it to the same shape and will tint it like all of the other Lexan Margard windows with the super trick 3M CR90 Crystalline film which will give the windows a very OEM look. Who knows if the Margard will stand up to wipers on the surface - I'll have to be very careful not to drive the car in bad weather. I'll keep the chinese glass just in case) - May 12, 2015

 

Part 87 (I managed to get the intake system 'final assembled' and get all of the fluids into the engine/trans: the coolant, and I tested the system with electrical water pump; the transmission fluid; the engine break-in oil, and I made up an oil pump drive tool to prime and test the system (using a VW p/n 027115027 oil pump drive gear from a 16V ABA motor, machining off the gears, and then TIG welding on a 1/4" socket); and finally the fuel in the tank and testing of the fuel system. And yes, there were lots of false starts, dripping fluids, and some new injector o-rings are now on order) - May 19, 2015

 

Part 88 (The past 10 days have involved a lot of electrical parts sourcing and planning as I have come to the realization that it is simply not practical to just wire up the engine ECU and fire up the engine without planning and executing the foundational electrical system before hand. Something as simple as routing a wire thru the firewall requires that the location of the wiring harness be pre-determined and also that any gaskets already be in place (and the gaskets are sometimes hard to source). I also made the tough call to bail on using part of the stock wiring harness and instead will completely rewire the GTI end to end so I have made up a nice flip-down wiring panel under the glove compartment that will hold all of the distribution panels/fuses, and relays. I also determined that a 20AH Lithium Pros Battery would be my power source (Lithium batteries have a very flat discharge curve and can be deep discharged making a 20AH capacity battery equal to a 30AH lead-acid battery and it weighs 7.5lbs vs 30lbs) so I ordered one. I plan on running 1/0 flexible welding wire from the trunk to the wiring panel, passing thru a remote/wireless controlled 150amp disconnect switch and a 200amp current shunt (to allow the ECU to monitor the charge/discharge rate of the battery), then controlling the switched +12V via a traditional 150amp continous duty solenoid which will then feed all of the fuse panels and relays. All mechanical switches will be replaced by ECU/Digital display touch panel controlled virtual switches, including things like the emergency flashers, various lights, seat heats (continously variable heat control by computer) etc. Even the old turn signals and driving lights will be controlled via the virtual switches by feeding the dash/stalk switch outputs to the ECU inputs and then the ECU outputs will drive the 50% duty cycle relay controlled turn signal outputs, etc. - all using the Holley Digital Dash unit (by using the Dominator ECU I have tons of assignable I/O pins so I might as well take advantage of the same technologies used in software controlled cars like the Tesla). I also sourced a Kicker IQ1000.5 1200W RMS amp for the audio system which is all software programmable and streamed to by bluetooth) - May 28, 2015

 

Part 89 (Major score today! I was wandering around the local automotive parts store looking for some electrical supplies and out of the corner of my eye I spotted what looked like a VW mk1 US spec light bulb holder on the rack of GM connectors. On closer examination I located what looked like all of the major bulb holders for my Rabbit GTI and took them home to verify that indeed these were the correct replacement parts. This makes total sense as the US VW engineers would have had to meet US DOT lighting requirements so why not dive into the local Detroit parts bins and borrow a few things? Here are the part #s:

Front turn signal bulb holders: GM 88860442
Rear side turn signal bulb holders: GM6298892
Rear 2 circuit bulb holders (2 required): GM 12003758
Rear 3 circuit bulb holders (6 required): GM 12003759

All of the bulbs for these holders can be sourced in LED format which is what I have done, with an eye on keeping the same level of brightness as the original bulbs (you have to be careful as most LED replacement bulbs are lower brightness) - June 2, 2015

 

Part 90 (I got all of the fuse blocks, regular and micro relay blocks arranged on the panel that will mount under the glove box and will drill holes and start to mount everything this weekend. I also got the LED lights mounted in the housings with the new GM bulb holders and tested out their brightness (they modestly exceed the brightness of the OEM bulbs but require a dimmer 47 ohm resistor for the dual brightness settings to match the stock look). There are also a few minor clearancing issues with the LED bulbs that require a bit of work with a dremel to allow them to fit in a few of the holders. Here's the info on the bulbs I used which were ordered from LEDlight.com:

Product ID: 25454
Product Name: S25 27 SMD 5730 10-30V AC-DC
Attributes: Color - Warm White 3000K Base Type - 1156 Single Circuit
Price: $8.61

Product ID: 25454
Product Name: S25 27 SMD 5730 10-30V AC-DC
Attributes: Color - Warm White 3000K Base Type - 1157 Dual Circuit
Price: $8.17

Product ID: 45689
Product Name: T10 Wedge 5 Ultra Bright SMD LED Bulb 1.5W W5W 12 VDC T3 1/4
Attributes: T10 Color - Super White
Price: $3.58

- June 5, 2015

 

Part 91 (I was tired of smelling raw gas in the garage and did some research on what racers do to safely and properly vent their gas tanks without the loss of fuel vapour and the answer turned out to be a trick invention from a UK company that makes a bi-directional fuel tank vent valve that releases pressure inwardly at 0.05psi (for when the fuel pump is sucking and needs air intake) and outwardly at 0.7psi for when the temperature of the fuel tank as warmed up substantially and excess pressure needs to be released. This keeps the tank vent closed in normal use and nicely eliminates the smell of fuel vapour in the garage. I did also find that the fuel level sender gasket wasn't sealing perfectly so I added some silicon sealant to it and that solved that problem. Finally, I added thin -6AN aircraft crush washers to all of the engine compartment -6AN fuel fittings to ensure that they were absolutely sealed - the problem of sealing AN fuel fittings seems to come from combining fittings from different manufacturers - just a precautionary measure.

I put a ton of time into wiring the ECU harness and installing it into the chassis. I think it will take another 2 weeks to complete all of the chassis/engine/ECU wiring and then it will be time to finally fire up the engine) - June 15, 2015

 

Part 92 (The fuse/relay panel was finished and installed in the car - now the wiring looms need to be terminated and attached to the relays and fuse blocks. I sourced original AM/FM cassette decks for the car as well: A Blaupunkt Denver SQL26 which looks very close to the OEM cassette deck (does anyone have a hi res photo of the original one?), and a mint condition Concord HPL-130/dBx AM/FM cassette deck (this is the model I installed in my GTI in 1983). I also got more wiring done on the chassis) - June 29, 2015

 

Part 93 (As part of my engine ECU wiring I had to run the low voltage and high voltage wires next to each other for a short distance so I did a careful job of shielding them fully.

I had been fighting the computer and sensors for the past several days but finally have it running now. Boy, it starts with authority and has a serious exhaust note to it (not really loud at all at idle but when the throttle opens it gets serious in a hurry). With the 288 race cams it will idle roughly at 900rpm but prefers to be closer to 1050rpm for smooth idle. I was expected worse ... seems that the ITBs saved the day.

I had fabricated a hall effect sensor for the crank position 60-2 wheel from a late model mercedes but it turned out to not like the tooth width/depth and would give the computer erratic timing info at anything past 200-300 cranking rpm. I had to go back to the ABA inductive sensor (analog output) that the Holley dominator ECU accepted. Once that was out of the way I got correct timing for the ignition/firing of all plugs, and all other sensors were operational. But then it would fire and immediately die after transitioning from the cranking parameters to the running parameters. Turns out that Holley means zero fuel enrichment when programmed for 100% - I had it set to 'zero' and that means 'kill the fuel injectors'. Go figure. Anyway, I have lots of programming left to do as the AFR learning is limited to modifying the parameters a fixed % beyond the base tables, not learning all of the fuel tables from scratch. My tables aren't close enough yet to allow the engine to run beyond 2000 rpm without leaning out so I will be at it again tomorrow sorting out the tables. It starts nicely now, builds lots of oil pressure, the cooling system programming all seems to work nicely (the electric water pump speeds up and slows down as required, the cooling fans speed up and slow down as well, etc - all really trick/nice to see). 

Boy a new engine smells a lot when it first heats up!

I used the brakes and put the trans into 2nd gear and got up to about 40-50% throttle on it up to a little under 5,000rpm to help quickly seat the piston rings and auto-learn the base fuel tables. All went well and now I am going to take a much needed break from the project for a few weeks and go on a family holiday and will then head into the fall with the idea of completing the car and getting it licensed and on the road ...) - July 22, 2015

 

Part 94 (Tragedy has (almost) struck the ultimate GTI project. Cylinder #2 high mount 30lbs/hr injector failed (this never happens) in the ‘on’ position, filling the engine with fuel when I was doing ECU fuel table learning under load. Potentially serious issue as fuel is not compressible and could result in bent internals. Freak failure. Never seen or heard of this happening before. Not an electrical issue. Simply an injector that decided to die and let the fuel pour out of it. I took the intake system apart, cleaned up and got the fuel completely out, etc.

Did a compression test: 180psi on all 4 cylinders on a cold engine. This is actually a great result given the 288 solid lifter cam with its large valve overlap specs. Will have a new injector tomorrow. Will change the oil and should be back in the game this weekend) - August 6, 2015

 

Part 95 (After sourcing a new injector, cleaning up the mess from dumping so much fuel into the engine, lubricating the cylinders with Sea-foam cleaner/lube, cleaning and re-installing the O2 sensor and Denso spark plugs, and bolting everything back together there were no more fuel leaks or sticking injector issues.

I put more time into re-scaling the fuel and ignition tables, expanding the area from 70-102kPa MAP where the engine operates with the 288 race cams, tuning the idle IAC parameters, and also tuning the timing around idle and low-rpm part throttle, enabling idle stabilization via timing variation, programming in the acceleration enrichment tables, and otherwise leaning out the fuel table parameters to compensate for the low volumetric efficiency below 5000rpm, and after all of that the engine starts nicely, settles into idle smoothly, and has a very crisp throttle response, which is to be expected of an ITB setup.

Now that this is all done and a lot of the basic A/F ratio fuel table tuning has been done/learning completed, I won't fire the engine again until the wheels are on the ground and the rest of the interior and wiring is basically completed. It has 180psi cold compression on all 4 cylinders and is broken-in enough for me not to worry about idling it.

Now a few comments on the design decisions re. cam selection and other related engine components: We put these cams in at the last minute after previously deciding to build a set of race-ready heads and intake system with mild cams (a combination that pretty much achieves the best of both worlds) and then Josh (the engine builder) and I mused about first seeing what the potential of this engine was with the 288 cams, and then, if it was too much for the street we would swap in 276 or milder cams later on. I will likely also swap in softer sport H&R springs and have Bilstein re-valve the race struts for the same reason: first to demonstrate the full performance envelope of the project car and then bring it down to earth a bit with some de-tuning.

There is a birdie whispering in my ear saying that the 288 cams might actually be streetable simply because the ITBs allow for fairly smooth idle even with very low vacuum and the car is so light relative to the power output (likely 1800lbs and 250hp w/o nitrous) so the lack of low end torque may not be an issue - and it may help soften the throttle response at low rpms that otherwise might be over-the-top with the ITBs. I also have the option of having the nitrous come on below the torque peak at 2500-5000rpm to compensate and then shut off. We have used this trick with big turbo setups to spin up the turbos and cut lag by 70% or more and then shut off the nitrous. The ITBs are a related issue as the throttle response of this setup at low rpm is tremendous and I can only imagine how crisp and aggressive it will feel above 5500rpm when the cams are in their sweet spot. I like a crisp throttle but the problem I have with this engine is that the ITBs are huge (45mm but shaftless so equivalent to 48mm units) so essentially one throttle body can supply all of the engine air needs on its own and when those 4 blades all open together only a few % there is a dramatic increase in air flow. It reminds me of how my old 83 GTI felt when I swapped in a Weber 'Big Throat' TB - it got tiring after a while with the overly sensitive throttle - and that was with a 100hp/2100lbs car. I can only imagine how much more sensitive this project car's throttle response will be and how tiring it may be to have to be so careful with my right foot all of the time. We'll see soon enough ... fingers crossed.

Something else I was worried about was how the exhaust note would sound. I have used multiple race-type resonators stacked end-to-end in street/track cars in the past with great success (quiet yet no loss of top end power - actually building mid-range torque over less muffled exhaust systems) so I used 3 straight-thru resonators on this project car. I will have to get one of my studio big diaphragm mics out and record the sounds for everyone to hear properly. The exhaust is quite mellow with a deep bass but not a lot of high end - which is what I expected to hear. When the throttle is opened up it is quite aggressive sounding but not like the usual rice-rockets on the road these days. I think it will be perfect but I need to get the car out of the garage to hear it properly) - August 9, 2015

 

Part 96 (I took the glass windscreen and traced the shape onto paper and then transferred it to a 3/16" (6mm) MR10/Marguard Lexan sheet, then cut it out with a jig saw, profiled the edges with a palm sander, and then sent all 8 windows to the auto glass shop for the application of the 3M CR90 Crystalline film (90% visible light transmission, 50% heat rejection). Note: applying film to Lexan is generally not advisable as Lexan absorbs moisture and therefore can re-release moisture when high levels of heat/sunlight hit it, lifting the film (bubbling). And it is also hard to apply the film as the water required to help position the film sucks into the lexan causing it to grab/set pre-maturely. I found an installer that is very good and is willing to give it a try: we hope that the MR10/Margaurd coating on the Lexan will act as a barrier and will make the film application easier plus will reduce the potential for bubbling. I will also be careful to not get the lexan windows wet and then subject them to strong heat/sunlight ...

Once I get the windows back I can install the front windscreen and then mount the dash permanently (after re-coloring) so I can then complete the dash wiring, etc. I started the process of re-coloring the interior plastic parts by attacking the center console over the last 3 days: the console that came with my car was crudely hacked up by the previous owner so I found another console and set about filling and sanding out the imperfections. I started with a good cleaning, then application of 3M plastic filler, then 220/320/400/600 grit dry sanding, then 600/1000/1500 grit wet sanding. I am ready to re-color it tomorrow. I also ordered the correct BA7 and BA9 instrumentation LED bulbs for the gauges) - August 16, 2015

 

Part 97 (I gathered up all of my various interior components to compare colors and decided that my initial decision to match the back of the seat vinyl color with the Parasol Varibond re-coloring solution was the best option: it is a bit less 'blue' and a bit more 'grey' than some of the plastic console and door card components but it matches the seat fabric perfectly, plus the carpet and I think it is overall a more pleasing color than the 'in your face' blue of some of the other parts (VW wasn't very fussy about matching colors back in the day - it seems that every component had a slightly different color balance to it and so I have to make a judgement call). I have done 2 coats of painting/sanding of the center console and it is starting to come together - one more process of sanding/painting should do it and then I will start to get a production run going for all of the other interior components including the new deck lid carpet which is currently black.

I am also starting to work up a 'for show only' dummy VW GTI dash gauge cluster to place in front of my Holley Digital Dash when the car is parked or being shown - the idea is to have a thin panel that can be placed in front of the digital dash or removed at will ..). - August 18, 2015

 

Part 98 (I have been prepping the plastic interior parts for re-coloring, plus planning out the addition of 2 more air vents and the design of the new digital instrument cluster. I will not re-color everything until I receive the SEM plastic repair supplies I ordered which will give me the opportunity to re-texture surfaces that I have filled and sanded. I will have to re-setup my sterile painting environment in my garage to avoid dust contamination) - August 24, 2015

 

Part 99 (With my 288 race cams the idle manifold vacuum is only 30kPa/8" which is far less than the minimum required amount to operate the brake servo, so I have sourced a GM electric vac pump, an adjustable vac switch (so I can adjust the amount of vac 'assist' I want) and a check valve plus I TIG welded up a Tee connector that mounts into the servo unit and provides connections to the other components. I will weld a bracket to the underside of the front strut tower brace to support the unit.

The 3M window film jobber said 'no way' after attempting to apply the CR90 film to the MR10 Lexan windows (grabs too fast) so I mounted the front window without film and found that it curves to shape nicely and looks fantastic (optic quality is superb). I was a bit concerned that 6mm (3/16") Lexan would not conform to the window frame shape as it is fairly stiff. I am using 4mm for the other windows.

I received my plastic repair kit items from SEM that includes a 2 part plastic filler, a 2 part plastic glazing compound, a flexible sandable high build primer, and a texture coating and went to work refinishing the center console and back seat side panels which needed sanding and re-texturing. Once that work was complete and I was happy with the results I also prepared a few other interior parts and sprayed the final color coats all at once (yes I am really happy with the results). I am now ready to tackle the bigger task of re-coloring the front door cards and dash.

I also ordered a Boyo VTM43TCA auto dimming rear view mirror that has a number of advanced features: an integrated backup camera monitor; a wireless grill mounted temperature sensor and a compass, plus hidden touch screen programming features. It is 2" wider and a bit taller than the OEM mirror so I will have to reshape the visors when I re-cover them along with the installation of the new headliner. For safety reasons I like backup cameras - both to protect the car from hidden objects and to avoid driving into things in my garage that are often on the floor.

Finally, I am designing a panel of switches and potentiometers to be hidden inside the ash tray: ignition 'on' switch, start switch, engine kill switch, nitrous enable switch, nitrous purge switch, A/C on switch, A/C temperature pot, and 2 seat heater pots. All of the mini rocker switches have different color LEDs embedded in them so it should look nice and trick when the ash tray is flipped open) - September 10, 2015

 

 

Index of Project web pages:

Project Overview, Goals & Specs

The Ultimate 83 GTI is now For Sale

Project Car Initial Condition
Chassis Development
Bodywork & Paint
Suspension, Steering & Braking Systems
Engine, Oiling, Cooling, Transmission & Exhaust Systems

Electrical, A/C & Fuel Systems
Interior
Performance Validation
Final Street Trim Conversion

VW Vortex thread on this project

Videos # 001 - 049 (Feb 2013 - May 2014)
Videos # 050 - 099 (Jul 2014 - Sept 2015)
Videos # 100 - 149 (Sept 2015 - May 2017)
Videos # 150 - 181 (May 2017 - Dec 2019)

My original 1983 Rabbit GTI (owned 1983-1987)

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