My 41 year olf Golf (rabbit) is back on the road.

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My 41 year olf Golf (rabbit) is back on the road.

Postby 4v6 » Sat Dec 04, 2021 10:05 am

Wow been a few years since I passed this way!
Kinda went outa the scene and havent really posted on any websites to be honest, so heres a little look at a long term project thats sat waiting for years for me to do something to it.

After a hiatus of a tad over a quarter of a century, the little mk1 is now back on the streets.

Its sat largely outside for most of that time as the garage has been otherwise occupied by the quattro which isnt far from rolling in anger either and has resisted efforts by various scrapyards and members of the public from getting hold of it either whole or in bits.

Anyways, the car was bought or rather saved from the scrapyard, literally being snatched up as it was about to go through the gates, so I can thank my dad for that.
Some work had already been done years previously but it needed much more work and although it was on on the road up until around 1996 as we had run it round its sat around having stuff done sporadically to either upgrade or repair/refurb, but it never seemed to quite get there, and so its sat in the cold, the wet and the summer heat year in year out ever since.

Until about 5 months ago when I got a bee in my bonnet and freed the seized brakes and gave it a cursory wash.
Times been fairly good to it despite the harsh outside weather under the cover and I found some external rust and two holes it didnt have years before, one of which I pulled the side window out for and weld repaired the area.
The undersides got a few scabs and underseal missing here and there but largely its in grand fettle.
With a new exhaust ordered up, I had to fabricate a new downpipe, address the wiring issues, tidy up the interior and try and remember everything that needed doing so ive worked my way through the issues one by one until theyre largely rectified.

I insured it prior to getting it recomissioned and since its 41 years old, its tax exempt, falling under "historic" status, which is hopefully where the quattro will be in just over a year and a half.

Being as its sat for so long Id forgotten most everything that needed doing and its been a bit of a chore at times, from making a new heatshield to protect the underside gear cables and to get the exhaust to even fit right.
The fact that it fired with fresh fuel after just a few cranks came as a surprise, but it ran very poorly and Ive had to fault find a series of issues that defied my multimeter and had me scratching yet more hair out .
Most of that came from wiring faults and stuff id gotten wrong years ago and thanks to a dodgy wiring diagram ( hey Im not infallible and I know it) such as having no ground connection for either the throttle switches, coolant sensor or CO% adjuster and air temp sensor....doh!
In fairness to myself the wiring diagram I was following was bass ackwards and didnt show the grounds so I might get an easier ride because of that!
Even after fixing *everything* it still didnt run right and was absolutely stinking rich, and then it clicked.
The ecu goes automatically rich to protect the engine in the event of a fault.
Clearing the codes made it run almost perfectly.

Anyways this is a golf that has a secret.
Its a golf whose engine is from a passat, whose cam is from a supercharged g60 along with the management system(digfant1) and all the gubbins to make it work from the fabrication department at chez Tony/4v6.
But its not supercharged, its turbocharged with a turbo thats brand new but so old Turbo Technics can only guess at its spec, they gave me some clues however which has helped enormously.

Anyhow, It finally ran up and down the drive under its own steam in over 25 years and took its first trip up and down the road to the island.
Acceleration with just 5-6psi boost for testing is "interesting" to say the least and it just heads off like its been run into by a high speed truck when you get it to come on boost at about 2400rpm.
This is an old 8 valve motor by the way, not a modern conversion so im expecting something to go wrong sooner or later!
No wheelspin and no dramas like torque steer either which is a blessed relief, the only really annoying thing is how stiffly damped it is.
My fault again, we fitted it with a jamex sports kit many years ago to give it a sporty ride but age hasnt helped me adapt to it as well as Id have liked so stock dampers will have to be refitted soon to make it a bit more refined feeling.
Otherwise its a bit harsh and noisy( no sound deadening fitted yet) and needs new carpeting- its got none! just to make it a nicer place to be.
Otherwise it drives nice and straight and smooth.
Brakes up front are 285mm but typically the pedals mushy cos of the brake box arrangement, however it stops fine.
Oh and the paints going to have to all come off, its got more faults than decent paint on it.

From 2006.


As part of the recommissioning I set about getting the cambelt changed today.
Although its done only about 10 hours I wasnt very trusting of its age so I spent a morning taking stuff off to change it.
The old belt was a Kent cams competion item but Im buggered if I can see any difference between it and a stock Gates belt.
Seems to be in great condition considering how long its sat there but Id have not been content to just leave it.
Part of the job has involved setting the cam up to the new timing spec supplied with the cam.
It was never done preiously, just set at the stock timing marks as at that time I didnt have the dial gauge necessary, so with a solid stop to find true tdc I did the checks.
Turns out the stock timing mark on the lower pulley is as close as you could get to TDC as it is. so its unnecessary to make any new marks.
The cam sprockets adjustable but had no marks so I copied an original when it was fitted.
Full lift after TDC is quoted as needing to be 114 degrees, my checks showed it was actually 110, so pretty close but no ceegar.
After a bit of monkeying left and right with the cam sprocket and engine set at 114 degrees I found the full lift point and locked it off.
A couple of crank rotations and theres nothing amiss, so i got it back together after repainting the cam had gone horrible and flaky.

With the cam cover repainted Ive fitted the last few remaining parts and given it a quick test run up, sounds all ok apart from the cam gear touching on the guard slightly so Ill have a look at that today.

Current engine bay pic.


As you can see its a little dirty, untidy, and a little unfinished at this stage.
Many of the pipes and cables will be rerouted/reworked to slot it all in a little better until its right and Im happy with it.
Until then its still going to be run around!

And because itd be rude not to, I got the quattro out the garage and put them side by side.

Funny how the golf looks massive compared to the audi tho.


Took the car out for a brief run on sunday morning with no traffic on the roads.

Initial observations were that it started and idled so much better than previously, and it ran so smoothly, even with a lack of interior furnishings it was still a nice place to be.
The jetex exhaust that was such a pin in the arse to fit is nice and quiet but has a nice burble to it, its hardly even loud when the louder pedals jabbed, easily able to hold a conversation inside without really raising your voice.
But i digress, I got about 3 or 4 miles and noticed some running problems and a lack of power, so headed back home, symptoms suggested limp mode had activated, and so it was shown to be.
After connecting up an LED and provoking the ecu to flash the blink codes, I had 5 faults logged.

I believe Ive lost a ground somewhere as it affected the idle switch, ( full throttle wasnt used) air, coolant and map sensors, plus two faults on the o2 sensor.
Its possible the o2 sensors shot as its not a genuine VW item and had been off the car for many many years, so Ill have a look at new one if the signals shonky.

The other issues are all related by grounding as theyre all connected to ground at one point.
I couldnt do it for the past few days as other stuff means I have to wait to get at it
Actually managed to get an hour or so in this afternoon and have a look see at whats wrong.

Things to note, Unable to clear fault codes seemed to suggest hard faults, but after testing wiring etc nothing found.
Ran the engine up for a couple of minutes the other day and as soon as it started it was missing one cylinder.
Spark plug lead on number 4 wasnt pushed fully down. Doh!.
Anyhow, started it again today and it ran fine.
Thought Id got the issue sorted but it suddenly started missing and running very rich again, black tailpipe and poor throttle etc.
Seems that its most likely the o2 sensor ( was a new one!.....20 years ago....) but its sat in the box for all that time.
If you pull the o2 connector off it runs better as its switched over as the temps come up and then ecus getting data from a sensor which is a tad borked .
The sensors coming up as ballsed in the fault codes as well.
Anyway, new sensor on order and that *should* fix it.Again.
The other faults should clear when the engines at full temp and I clear them.

I expected issues to be honest, after all that time sitting Id have been amazed if it just ran A1 with no problems.
So another delay unfortunately.

Sensor turned up yesterday and after a bit of fiddling it was fitted.
Ran the engine up for a while and all seemed fine.
Ive taken it for a run this morning, just local when it was quiet and the problems gone so yup o2 sensor had died. Weird really.
But anyway, it pulls very nicely indeed, thanks to the quaife diff it stays dead straight under power, none of that nasty lefty righty off into a hedge stuff going on.
So next up change the darn engine oil and filter man!

And two new wipers while youre at it Smithers.
Softer dampers are the next order of the day as my arse is going to go numb with the stiffness of those Jamex ones.
Must also investigate installing a boost control valve to keep the wastegate closed until the boost level hits the prescribed 0.7bar.
Reason for that is at the moment its getting boost as soon as the turbo makes it and itll tend to creep open and bleed off pressure.
Thats ok for testing porpoises but it translates into less grunt through the gears.
I want the wastegate to pop open when the boost hits the programmed limits, as itll translate into a more brutal shove in the butt you see.

Overall grin factor 4/5, very pleased and is more than adequate for a wee bit of fun.

Ill post more up once i get some in car video and go through my pictures.
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Joined: Apr 29, 2013

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