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Thread: My T-Red Valver Daily - Mk2 ABF

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    Cool My T-Red Valver Daily - Mk2 ABF

    After fighting with the insurance company of what my Mk2 8v was worth, following anal intercourse with a Honda Civic, I've finally found a new car. Was looking for a Corrado, but the search was fruitless. This popped up again (I'd seen it for sale once before) and so two trips to Manchester later and it's mine.

    1989 G-reg 16v GTi. Tornado Red, all the electric toys, air con, FSH at main dealers. Probably paid a bit over the odds, but still had some left over for new bits.

    The requisite pictures (none of my own yet as it was dark by the time I got it back):












    The paintwork looks fantastic. Slightly faded on the roof, but aside from that it looks terrific. One scab under the boot handle/number plate recess, and some really light nicks round the driver door handle. But thankfully the usual culprits seem rust free - filler cap, wiper blank, wing mirrors etc.

    Mechanically good, but needs some niggles sorted. 142K miles but pulls really well. All electrics work, blower etc. Even has air conditioning as fitted extra from 1989, but needs re-gassed. Gears were an issue as it needed a little lift to put it into 1st and not reverse.

    Styling/Chassis - this was the main area for me to work on. Came on 16inch Borbets - I think are 7j at front and 9j at the back. Combined with a shocks and springs lowering and it rubbed very noisely on the back when the car shifted weight or went over a bump, and the fronts rubbed on full lock. No arch work done, and as I did't want to do it, they were getting sold ASAP. Started looking for some fairly OEM but not BBS RA - G60 steels or something classic. Also wanted to lose the badgeless grille and go to either two lamp/dual lamps and black VW. Already debadged round the back bar the VW, but might add a 16v badge on, not sure. Last bit to change is to put it back on small bumpers. Seemingly they're just held on by the small bumper fixings so shouldn't be too traumatic to reverse.

    Interior is very good but has one or two little tears on the back of the bolsters. Toying with putting in the interior from my 8v as it's mint, and the rear bench has headrests. I was also going to be whipping out the headunit, putting my iPod ready Kenwood, and my nice compact Alpine underseat sub.

    So. Been very busy with the car over the last couple of weeks, with the upshoot being me being much happier with the styling and mechanicals getting closer to spot on with every passing weekend.

    First up, the exterior.

    It's gone from this:



    ...to

    this!



    Exterior-wise I've done a few things that get the car looking a lot more OEM and less bad boy. I've added a set of brand new G60 steelies, with 195/50 Continental tyres. Initially really pleased with them, but now wishing I'd done slightly lower profile. But no matter, they look nice enough for now. Also swapped the badgeless grille for a single lamp badged version, with a black VW badge. Had a silver VW to begin with - it matches the rear badge - but like the black better. I've also done a complete light swap - proper smoked rears from my late spec 8v (the originals were standard oranges with a bit of DIY smoking), smoked front bumper indicators, and smoked side repeaters. Really want some clear repeaters as they look too black and not OEM enough for my tastes. Lamps were already clear-ish Hellas so keeping them as they look lovely as they are. Only other plans are to swap the boot plinth for a red one I have on the 8v, but the screws are totally stuck on. Would like it a little lower too, it's somewhere between 40 and 60mm at the moment and slightly lower at the front. Coilovers are a likely addition.

    Here's some more pics as it stands:



    Already mostly de-badged - smoothed not my thing but this looks just right. Although I have had people ask me if it's a Driver






    Mechanically it's been a bit of a rollercoaster to be honest. I bought it knowing it had some issues, but I ended up uncovering a couple I really didn't want to find.

    My first task was to sort the gears out. Although 2,3,4,5, and R were OK, 1st was a real ball ache to get - you had to lift the stick slightly to stop it going into reverse. A bit of intraweb research later, and I decided to replace the ball and socket bits on the gear stick. Some jiggling and wiggling later, and I got the socket out. Hmmm, looked pretty poop to be honest:


    Excuse my freakish looking thumb. That's the old and new socket - it seemed like some heavy handed foobarer had previously taken a rather violent approach to putting the car into reverse and worn through the bottom of the socket making the stick sit lower than it should do. The heat shield under the car had a bare metal groove worn into it. Comically me and a mate managed to put the whole lot back together, refit the heat shield, and then realised we had the gear stick in the wrong way round and so ended up starting all over again. Thankfully the gears are now fixed and uber smooth. Added new linkages and a weighted shift rod for added delightfulness.

    Next up was the slightly growly, rough feeling drive the car gave in lower gears. So I went to town and did the following:

    - New plugs
    - Rotor arm
    - Dizzy cap
    - HT leads

    Doing that lot on my old 8v transformed the car, on this one it ended up breaking down 20mins after I did it in the middle of the countryside, at 10pm. I had all sorts of people stopping to see if I was OK as the angle of the car made it look like I'd hit a tree. Anyway, just before this the car was misfiring and lurching like a bad 'un. A roadside check of the dizzy revealed a concealed cable tie was holding the hall sender on... and it promptly fell off when I touched it. I can only assume the new cap and rotor had disturbed the previous bodge.

    To make matters worse, the AA sent some local numpty who managed to foobar the front bumper when he lowered the car down - thankfully he just pulled the side mount off but now the bumper is sagging on one side - I'd intended to put it back on it's original small bumpers anyway so this just spurred me on:



    Bought a new distributor (well the missus did actually) and put it on:



    And the car wouldn't even turn over. Cue: panic and all sorts of doom-like mutterings from me. Hoping the battery was just flat/crap, gave it an overnight charge and it wouldn't get to 100% - but the car atleast started and ran fine with no misfires. HURRAH! So that weekend took it home to Newcastle for some much needed TLC and more service parts.

    One thing that had been worrying me, was the oil pressure light would occasionally weakly flicker every couple of days. Got the pressure checked, apparently normal so mechanic reckoned it might be a faulty sensor or damaged wiring. Grrr. This is something I still need to sort out - it goes a week without coming on and then might flicker on and off all day... Seems to not flicker when the battery is strongest and after I had the earths cleaned - so hopefully it IS electrical.

    Picked up these on the way from Slimskez8 (Edition 38 member with the red ABF Mk2 and red banded alloys) in Stockton. Top bloke with a lush car, who didn't mind me asking stupid questions about it and not knowing how to use a SatNav properly:



    Now just need to get the valance and front splitter and I'll be back to how the car should look.

    Got back to Newcastle in one piece and did a whole poop load more stuff to try and sort the rough feel to the car at low revs. Added a non-drilled airbox (the one on the car was like Rab C Nesbits vest and had been chopped up horribly), added the cold air intake too:



    New oil filter, air filter, full oil change with 15w/40, and a new battery. Result? A car that feels perfect, a real pleasure to drive. I couldn't get over how nice it was to drive, just a complete transformation. An added bonus is no oil pressure light now either - hmmm.

    Also added underbonnet sound proofing, a battery cover, and a mint scuttle cover from a later 8v to replace the cracked original.



    Neater but needs a good clean sometime next week I reckon. Also sold the Borbet A's so that paid for the G60's and tyres ^_^

    Been driving it loads this week, just out of sheer pleasure in the evening. I just can't over how good it now feels compared to how it began. Just a total joy, smooth as anything power wise, and handles really well. Still a few other mechanical things to address though:

    - New handbrake cable (needs pulling up really far or it rolls!)
    - New clutch cable as the pedal feels slightly too soft to me
    - Needs a stainless exhaust to replace the standard system with a Magnex back box. Might use my 8v Jetex system if I can find a coverter pipe/sleeve.
    - WUR mod and properly timed
    - Air conditioning needs regassed

    Also rewired the headunit. Needed to reattach a compatible connector as a previous owner had done some interesting rewiring to fit a strange shaped connector I couldn't find a converter for.

    Day later (yesterday) I had starting problems again - one AA visit and 2hrs later it's running again with cleaner earths and a new +ive battery clamp

    I don't really want to do much else to the exterior. The bodywork is really straight with just one tiny dent on the rear valance. As I'm more into the mechanicals than the style, my aim is to keep it fairly standard looking but with a few refinements here and there - same with the interior. This is a daily driver cum evening toy, and I want to keep it neat without worrying about it when I'm hammering round the country roads round here. It helps the bodywork is already so good though as I don't need to really worry about that as it's really neat and well look after already. What my plans mainly revolve around are improving the performance and handling - ARBs, coilies, WUR mod, and some engine work/renovation. Been thinking ABF or 9A, but to be honest I love it so much right now I'm not thinking about them too seriously.

    Opinions or comments welcome!
    Last edited by mookie; 10th January 2010 at 14:54.

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    Its a belter, it looks good as it was and as it is.
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    Will look great with the right spec bumpers put back on-good work

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    Thanks! Trying to find front valance in decent nick is proving difficult though...

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    I think it looks great chap, all the effort has certainley paid off, I really like the standard back to basics look.

    If you don't mind me asking , where did you get the under bonnet sound proof from as I could do with some of that for mine ??

    Keep up the good work

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    I loved it with the borbet's but don't think I would want to drive it like that either - bit too chavy... looks great with the G60 steels, get the 16v badges on there though!!!

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    It was already on my previous car, a late 90 spec 8v. You see them coming up on eBay every so often - just make sure it's not too saggy and it comes with all the right fixings.

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    Update time. Done a poop load on the car since the last one - sorted a whole host of niggles and problems and it's getting closer to the way I want it every week. The biggest change is the change back to small bumpers - wasn't too happy to begin with, but after some linseed oil on them I'm well chuffed with how it looks. Slightly scary that I found one of the four cross member bolts was missing so the engine was only supported by one bolt on the drivers side... a slight judder when pulling away seems to have considerably lessened since adding the fourth bolt back again! One bonus is that I had been told by the seller that it was a stainless back box only. Under the car on Saturday to clamp down the heatshield on the downpipe, and the whole system looks stainless - new clamps on each joint and the boxes are all nice and shiney steel. Need to get a torch under there and get some part numbers.

    Bought a front lower valance and 16v splitter, and set to turning it tornado red. After a good degreasing and some primer, looked as neat as I hoped when I got it in blue:



    Used my deluxe, pro paint booth to do the red and the laquer!



    ^^^ Garden fork essential for this part of the process.

    Got the bumpers on this weekend - quite and easy task, the only annoying bit was having to splice the indicators back on the wiring. The next few pics show it needed a really good darkening up and clean bumper wise.





    Here's it post-linseed oil. Looks proper lush so I'm well pleased with them now.


    Looking really grey here!


    **** in the air stance is way more noticeable on small bumpers than bigs. It's quite low at the front so either I need new springs all round or coilovers... Looks more raked than ****-up in person though.

    Rocket launcher tail pipes! Can't decide if they look bad or not - they're quite slim pipes.


    Added maltese cross valve covers on a whim. Quite like them, although relatives and friends don't share my view... Need to get the wheel weights put on the inside - they look horrid where they are.


    Gave it a first good hoovering since buying it - been needing it for about 4-5weeks so looks proper nice now. Rubber dealer mats are my preferred option, but I can't seem to get them clean again. Grrrr.



    Also added this Alpine underseat powered subwoofer into the boot. I really want to keep the car as practical and OEM as possible inside, and so this fits neatly into the boot side space. Used it under the seat of my 8v and although it's not as loud as a proper sub (obviously) it's good enough to give a really nice solid sound.



    Still lots to do, but let me know what you think, opinions on things to do etc.

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    lovely motor mate, well done!
    "It's called Sex Panther by Odeon. It's illegal in nine countries... Yep, it's made with bits of real panther, so you know it's good."

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    Quote Originally Posted by mookie
    Also added this Alpine underseat powered subwoofer into the boot. I really want to keep the car as practical and OEM as possible inside, and so this fits neatly into the boot side space. Used it under the seat of my 8v and although it's not as loud as a proper sub (obviously) it's good enough to give a really nice solid sound.

    How is that little sub working out for you mate?? I've heard a lot of these but I'm hearing mixed messages!

    Gone but not forgotten:: Polo 1.3CL, Polo G40, Golf MkIV 130TDI, Golf MkIV 150TDI, Passat Highline 130TDI, Golf MkV 140TDI and Golf III 1.4

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    It's not going to knock your socks off, but if you want to add a good bass sound to your speakers then it's worth considering. I've used it under the front passenger seat in a previous car, but it needed to be concealed as it doesn't quite fit under a Mk2 seat fully.

    It's not a substitute for a proper sub and amp, but if you want a more tidy interior and keep all your space too - then it's worth considering as it's still really powerful and loud, but nice and small too.

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    Nice work those bumpers looked past saving!

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    They were actually in mint condition in terms of the surface of the plastic - no scuffs or gouges. To be honest I wasn't too confident of how they'd look but they look ace now.

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    Just need to change your bb spec sig now

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    saw you yesterday in Tynemouth, looked sweet! I like the idea of taking it back to standard, good choice. I have an early small bumper 16v myself - will post up some pics at some point.

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    Heh heh it must have been an imposter! I'm down Leeds way at the moment! Although I have seen a very similar small bumper T-red GTi in pics from the GTi meet at that pub in Whitley Bay?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulyb
    Just need to change your bb spec sig now
    Yeah I should really... ;p

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    Just a little update. Nothing drastic has changed, but a few developments.

    - New fuel pump
    - New thermostat (what a nightmare to do when you have PAS and AC...)
    - Passed MOT easily
    - Put twin lamp grille back on (need bulb holders for the inners though - PM me if you have some)
    - Replaced instrument bulbs with red LEDs, going to do the MFA with green.

    Now in the process of planning an ABF next summer - starting to collect bits for it. Seems ages away but cannot wait to get started!

    How it now stands:





    Looks loads brighter in reality - limitations of an N95 8GB camera...

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    Looked loads better before.. Sorry.

    I like the clocks though!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mookie




    looks awesome, so subtle. Thought of maybe spacing the wheels out a tad? just to give it a slightly better stance??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jolfa
    Looked loads better before.. Sorry.

    I like the clocks though!!
    You think? Hmmm. Thing is, from head on with the deep 16v splitter and the one inch ground clearance, with the four lamps it looks awesome imho.

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    looks alot like my driver (in a good way) so i love it!

    i need to space my wheels out as i would like a wider stance, easiest way? and how much am i looking at paying?

    keep up the good work mookie

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    Quote Originally Posted by sam-ski
    looks alot like my driver (in a good way) so i love it!

    i need to space my wheels out as i would like a wider stance, easiest way? and how much am i looking at paying?

    keep up the good work mookie
    I'd like to space them, as I've seen a white Mk2 on steels spaced, and it looked ace. But I need to lower it a bit more first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mookie
    Quote Originally Posted by Jolfa
    Looked loads better before.. Sorry.

    I like the clocks though!!
    You think? Hmmm. Thing is, from head on with the deep 16v splitter and the one inch ground clearance, with the four lamps it looks awesome imho.
    I don't like small bumpers or G60 steelies, they both look bland as hell, even moreso when they're together, car looks proper wimpy compared now. Just my 2p though!

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    Ah right, I thought you meant the grille change

    I'm looking at new wheels tbh - I do like G60's but I know what you mean by them looking bland. Small bumpers however, I don't agree with you on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mookie
    Ah right, I thought you meant the grille change
    I prefer the 4 light

    I've never got my head round G60's, you can get some decent looking alloys for less than they cost

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