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#1 Beefcake4000

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Posted 02 April 2020 - 10:13 PM

I've recently joined the Mk4 community, rather than high-jack every other thread going, I'll keep this trucking as i make changes to mine.  I bought a 1999 Mr T plate 5 door 1.8 Gti Turbo, advertised locally on eBay, it appears to be a genuine 3 owner car, 130k miles with a folder an inch thick with every expense incurred since new, from light bulbs to cambelts.  I bought it for numerous reasons; its a pretty car, you're either a VW person or not (I'm not a fanboi and whilst every journalist would tell you a Focus 'rides better' its just not the same experience), its unmolested and its the right colour.  Here she is:

 

Golf%20GTi-T_zpsj8itekat.jpg

 

At the moment I'm undecided if shiny paint syndrome has kicked in and blurred my ability to sniff out a reasonable car, the body work is very... very good, the wheels (on this side) are in good shape, less so on the other side but easily fixed.

 

The good;

 

Bodywork appears to be in good shape, no rust

Good history

Recaro interior in good shape

Unmolested

No mayonaise on the oil filler cap

She can still lift her skirt

 

The bad;

 

Theres a stutter before the turbo spools up when you put your foot down

She rides like a bag on bones, suspect the shocks are all shot with age and at least one ball joint on the near side needs replacing (despite the fresh MOT)

The 'walnut' trim gave up pretending a long time ago

Several parts of the interior trim are flaking

As with all 'new' second hand cars, i'm initially cautious that the previous owner was selling a time bomb.

 

I'd like to make it an original classic but i'm also not into (or able to) throw good money after bad, I'll drive her for a bit and see if anything obvious crops up before spending any bucks on her.  A service, new cam belt and bits will have to do before new shocks or other temptations get sponsored.  I've got several years of spannering all manner of motorbikes (pre-children), I'm fortunate enough to have a driveway and reasonable garage, a reasonably potent air compressor and a Haynes manual.... what could possibly go wrong?  If all else fails I have an Andy (1st reserve) and a Tim if the spannering gets beyond my limited expertise.  Watch this space.... though chances are there will be far better threads to follow, I'm aiming for slow and underwhelming, you have been warned.




#2 frst

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 12:31 PM

Looks nice! Just done similar, red 51 plate 20vt GTi. I have a Dave instead of a Tim or Andy, who did all the filters, cambelt, water pump and tensioner and fitted a set of lowering springs and dampers and new top mounts. Liking it rather than loving it atm, due to missing my MR2 Roadster (had to change due to family reasons...)

#3 Beefcake4000

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 10:10 PM

Had my first chance to get the car off the ground and crawl around underneath it.... yeah, the whole zero rust thing took a kick square to the plums, Off side sill has a hole that should be an MOT failure just by the jacking point behind the front wheel, though on the whole the under side does look pretty good still.  That's partly aided by a Landrover scale oil leak, I'm hoping its just the rocker cover gasket and nothing more sinister, more on this later.

 

So the car had a massive flat spot between 2 and 3k revs, softly softly you could just about navigate the stutter and make progress (3K+ it pulls fine), some initial web browsing suggested MAF or spark issues.  I planned to do a service anyway so new plugs, new oil and filter and a can of MAF/carb cleaner for good measure.  Ran the car static for 10 minutes to get the oil nice and fluid then got my first new toy out; a brand new jack.... A Sealey Premier 3T with Rocket Lift, who wouldn't want one?!  My previous lifter was a Halfords branded 2T which left a lot to be desired, the wheels were so small they actually left drag marks in the driveway the last time I raised the back end of my wife's Polo not to mention it loses pressure almost as quickly as you can pump into it. Suffice to say the new trollet jack is night and day compared to the old unit.

 

Part of the attraction of an older car was to be able to do some wrenching myself with limited experience, I've undertaken most work on a motorcycle but never been so keen on cars.  Thankfully the oil change was undramatic, the best kind of oil change. Drained the oil and replaced the sump plug with a Gold Plug, magnetic sump plug just incase the internals are on their ways out.  My car has AC so the plumbing doesn't make for the easiest of oil filter removals and the potential to cross thread the new filter is pretty high if you are in a hurry.  Thankfully all was good and minimal oil deposits on the driveway.

 

Took the MAF sensor out and gave it thorough dowsing in high flash point goodness, also took the inlet hose off the throttle body and gave that a good hosing as well.  Took the time to pack an old towel in the space between the throttle body and the alternator to save myself the expense of a new alternator.  Then set about replacing the spark plugs, i'd bought a set of NGK Iridium plugs, I've always used them on bikes so why not?  Removed the first coil pack to find the lower end of the coil pack thick with oil, like 40-50 mm deep in the stuff, cleaned as much of the oil out as i could before removing the plug (which was dry) and the same happened on the other 3 cylinders so assuming its the rocker cover gasket thats failed.

 

Put the car back together, refilled with 5w-30 fully synthetic oil (Smith and Allan, again used on bikes for years, really good oil for penauts) fired up and ran perfectly, took it for a blast and the flat spot was gone.  My gut feel is the oil filled coil packs were the root cause, but then changing the plugs and cleaning the MAF and throttle body may have had an impact as well.

 

Next item to tackle will probably be the cambelt.

 

 

Looks nice! Just done similar, red 51 plate 20vt GTi. I have a Dave instead of a Tim or Andy, who did all the filters, cambelt, water pump and tensioner and fitted a set of lowering springs and dampers and new top mounts. Liking it rather than loving it atm, due to missing my MR2 Roadster (had to change due to family reasons...)

 

Yeah I feel the like not love thing, taking the flat spot out has made the car far more driveable and I'm hopeful that I haven't bought a money pit, but time will tell.  I'm probably in the cautious/potential buyers remorse stage at the moment.



#4 northpole

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 01:04 PM

mwah just give it a big service, an engine flush, replace all filters, fluids and spark plugs ( make sure they are pre-gapped) and check the state of all the vacuum pipes if they look cracked...replace them with silicone vacuum pipes (5 meter will be more than enough to do the complete car and have spare left, cost under a tenner of ebay)...  that should help getting rid of the flat spots if it is mechanical /fuel  or spark plug related... but it could be that the flat spots are there because the car has been driven in a certain way...  long story short after a big service with an engine flush you should be able to get rid of the flat spots, worst case it needs a remap.  

 

the mechanical bit actually points to a dirty oil pickup in the sump and is the reason why i said do an engine flush..  and if you do so get a flushing oil not the gritty stuff that can block the oil channels of the engine, oil pickup mesh filter or  the turbo's oil feed and return pipe 



#5 Beefcake4000

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 11:44 AM

Quick update, found the source of the oil leak; N/S steering rack gaiter is flapping in the wind, seals long gone and very obviously leaking oil.  Also spotted the bushes in the lower control arms are both (on both sides) cracked and actually torn which makes me think the knock whilst driving is the LCA hitting the subframe, though no witness marks found on a very quick inspection.  Oh and another rotten patch in the NS sill at jacking point by the rear wheel.

 

That now equates to 5 MOT failures (that have been found), 4 of them severe indicating that the MOT tester was taking a bung and the seller of the car was/is an R Sole.  Reported the station to VOSA, people might have mixed views on this but to my mind an MOT is a standard (which is why i bought the car)  as it had a 12 month MOT certificate, deliberately misleading someone for gain is also known as fraud.  Only issue I have now in terms of recourse is the lock down, so i'll have to see how time limits get effected.

 

The saving grace is that stock parts are cheap, really cheap!  Plus now i get a base line of knowing when bits where fitted for my own reference, rather than anticipating bits to wear out at some point.  New steering rack, track rods, lower control arms with bushes and lower ball joints, anti roll bar bushes and drop links.  That will at least allow me to use the car and then make changes/improvements as deemed necessary.

 

I considered going down the root of replacing everything with Audi TT parts (quicker rack etc) but i prefer to start a fresh and then look at slowly amassing parts to do a conversion later, if at all.



#6 adam-

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 11:54 AM

Aye, I would have mentioned this at the time but didn't want to put a downer on the car.  Engine wise it's okay, but the ECU is dated and tuning is very difficult now.  Few places have proper equipment to do it.

 

I've flipped a few cars recently and having a ramp means I can inspect it before it goes for an MOT.  Also all of the cars I punt I explicitly say that I'm selling them and to be thorough.  It's a shame people have the other mentality.  It forms a bond with the tester because as you say, there are grasses out there who will dob the station in (and rightly so!).

 

I'm breaking a 4mo and have the full subframe sitting.  Wishbones, (either new or dropped springs, it did sit lower), dogbone, rack, 312mm brakes, etc, although it's in Glasgow.  If you want it, come and get it. :)  Give me a holler for other bits!


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#7 Beefcake4000

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 12:22 PM

I know it happens, my father was an MOT tester for years and my first job was 'Saturday boy' in the garage he worked in, I actually don't have a problem with testers passing or over looking something that they know the owner of the car is going to fix, which as you say is a bond of trust built up between owner and tester.  But this has been shamelessly MOT'd for a cash sum, I doubt the tester even looked at it beyond the chassis and reg number for the paperwork.

 

Thanks for the offer but Glasgow is a bit of a trek, i'm on the South Coast!  Parts seem to be readily available and I'm intending to keep the car stock, dare i even say future classic... maybe in a whisper.  Sounds laughable now but then i didn't ever imagine the MK1 Fiesta XR2 i had about 20 years ago would become 'desireable' with a corresponding ticket price.

 

I bought the car as a keeper/daily driver, so far its proven relatively easy to work on, most things are bolted together rather than clipped in place so servicing is simplified.  I'll keep it for the foreseeable, unless the bills start getting ridiculous.



#8 northpole

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 12:57 PM

as long as you cut out the rusty bits you found and replace them (read weld in new metal) and paint it the way it should you should be fine... and let me give you a tip here go audi TT quick-rack  now saves you from spending that money again... also while you are at it upgrade the front hubs to the Audi TT (LCR) hubs... it'll make for a much better steering car, and it gives you the option of getting bigger brakes up front rather easily... 

 

About the bushes either go LCR or  polybushes (especially if you're not swapping the oem suspension) it'll make you feel the road better and therefor give a more confident overall feel to the car. 







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