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    Thread: My 84 Wabbit build...(New to the forum)

    1. Member Damian Grihalva's Avatar
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      05-19-2008 06:38 PM #1
      Hey folks. The name is Damian.
      I just picked up a 1984 GTI for $600 and started searching, found this site so I thought I'd share. I've been into VWs and Porsches for a while (after high school, before marriage), but have taken a slight break and got into custom 4x4 building. Picked up this wabbit after deciding I wanted something more gas-friendly than my rigs.
      Timing worked out perfect, I had left a message on this guys windshield a few years back, and he called asking if I was interested about a month ago.
      This GTI is a mixed blessing/curse. Now I've got a nice rig that gets decent mileage that I actually like driving, but the down-side is that now I've got a ton of things I want to do to it.
      Oh well. I'm going going to lie. You guys use some acronyms that I don't know ~ but I'll do my best to follow along. I'll document my build-up of the GTI here for historical sake I'm more than happy to hear what ya'll have to say, suggestions you can give, or leads on parts, but I'll be honest ~ I should be considered a NEWBIE so if you say one of those 'VW' slang I'm likely to give you a look.
      Be patient. I'll update this as often as I can, with as much info as I can ~ hoping some of you guys can give me some insight on things.
      Anyway, that is all.
      D
      1984 Mk1 GTI ~ Originally bought in 2008, then sold in 2010, and bought back in 2013
      1980 Mk1 Scirocco ~ Project w/ my son
      1982 Mk1 Jetta ~ Killed by texting driver

    2. Member Damian Grihalva's Avatar
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      05-19-2008 06:58 PM #2
      Oh, maybe I should post pictures of the rig.
      When I picked it up is was in sorry shape. The wifey didn't like the thought of a beater in front of the house ~ already got a few of those. So I had to promise to wax it and try to get it loking good.
      After 2 coats of 'cleaner/fine cut' wax the oxidized orange turned back to red. Then with a single coat of standard polishing wax, it started looking pretty decent. I think another 2 coats of wax are needed at least. Then I'll work on the sun-faded, now wax filled (child labor, its cheap, but messy), trim peices.



      More updates soon.
      D
      1984 Mk1 GTI ~ Originally bought in 2008, then sold in 2010, and bought back in 2013
      1980 Mk1 Scirocco ~ Project w/ my son
      1982 Mk1 Jetta ~ Killed by texting driver

    3. 05-19-2008 09:54 PM #3
      Arguably the biggest tires I've ever seen on a Rabbit. Congratulations, you've come to the right place.

    4. Member salvaterra's Avatar
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      05-19-2008 10:07 PM #4
      from another red mk1 GTI owner, welcome [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
      don't worry about the acronyms. i've been here for a while now, and still don't get half of them
      and post more pics of the beast!

    5. Member Damian Grihalva's Avatar
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      '84 GTI, aba/jh combo with TT goodies
      05-20-2008 11:39 AM #5

      Quote, originally posted by BeezelDub »
      Arguably the biggest tires I've ever seen on a Rabbit. Congratulations, you've come to the right place.

      Hheheheh ~ your telling me, my speedo reads 20% slower than what I'm actually doing! I was dissapointed that it didn't have the snowflake wheels on it, but whad'ya'gonna'do.


      Quote, originally posted by salvaterra »
      from another red mk1 GTI owner, welcome [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
      don't worry about the acronyms. i've been here for a while now, and still don't get half of them
      and post more pics of the beast!


      Thanks guys. Around here there isn't very many Mk1 GTIs driving around. Couldn't find a single one on craigs list, but this one fell in the lap so I figured hey.
      As for pictures. More coming. It took some cleaning ~ I just about waisted a full bottle of 409 and a roll of papertowels on the interior ~ but its cleaned up a bit. I'll get a few of that.
      Should have took some pictures of it camping this weekend, I loaded it with 3 boys, myself, and all our camping gear Once we hit the dirt roads (rallye style) we hit the bumpstops a few times, but hey ~ It was fun.
      More pics coming soon.
      1984 Mk1 GTI ~ Originally bought in 2008, then sold in 2010, and bought back in 2013
      1980 Mk1 Scirocco ~ Project w/ my son
      1982 Mk1 Jetta ~ Killed by texting driver

    6. Member a1freaKs's Avatar
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      05-20-2008 11:41 AM #6
      Slam it, on 13's, call it a day

    7. Member Damian Grihalva's Avatar
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      '84 GTI, aba/jh combo with TT goodies
      05-20-2008 11:51 AM #7
      Speaking of future mods. My immediate plan is to put a full tune on this rig. I called ND (New Dimensions) and have an order in the works for:
      O2 Sensor
      Cap w/ Rotor
      8mm Plug Wires
      Plugs
      Injector Seals
      Oil Filter(s)
      Clutch Cable
      Rear Wheel Bearings (already installed fronts)
      Cooler Fan Switch
      Cooler Thermostat
      K&N Air Filter
      I've already flushed the motor ~ will be doing that again. I also ran some concentrated injector cleaner through it as well (About 2 tank fulls worth)
      Is there anything else I should be concerned about immediately.
      The motor runs hot. It stays about middle through the temp gauge ~ which is normal for new cars, but I remember my last GTIs running on the lower 1/4 of the gauge.
      What really concerns me is the oil-temp gauge. It runs at least 100* C on the gauge ~ not sure if that's normal but I suspect not. While camping and cruising uo/down the highway it topped at 120C and stayed about 110C. That seems way high and I'm not sure if the hotter engine operating temp is causing that or something else. Needless to say, I've got another can of engine flush, SeaFoam in the current oil (only been in there for about 200 miles) ~ and at the temps the motors pushing (assuming the gauges are correct) It probably won't last long (oil). After a couple more changes w/ flushing ~ I'm going to run Synthetic to protect against higher temps. But I'm hoping that the new t-stat and cooler fan switch will bring temps down to decent.
      1984 Mk1 GTI ~ Originally bought in 2008, then sold in 2010, and bought back in 2013
      1980 Mk1 Scirocco ~ Project w/ my son
      1982 Mk1 Jetta ~ Killed by texting driver

    8. Member Damian Grihalva's Avatar
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      '84 GTI, aba/jh combo with TT goodies
      05-20-2008 12:09 PM #8
      Quote, originally posted by a1freaKs »
      Slam it, on 13's, call it a day

      What is it with 13s? I'm assuming your talking about 13" rims. I may like Mk1's but I'm not quite that
      Actually I'm looking more along the lines of 16x7s w/ some 205/40R16 rubber on them. The stuff that came on it, will stay for winter.
      As for suspension, and considering the weather here in Colorado, I'm looking at some H&R OEM Sport Springs. I hear they give about 1/2" drop max. Combine those with some Bilstien HD shocks and poly bushings all around and presto. I'm seen a few cars around that had larger rims/tires that kept ground clearance but the bigger rims filled the wells enough to give it a better over-all stance/look/
      Of course, eventually, I'll get some 28mm swaybars and a strut tie bar or two, but that's the least of my concerns right now.
      The goal is to get some decent handling, but keep the height for snow conditions ~ which can get deep some days.
      1984 Mk1 GTI ~ Originally bought in 2008, then sold in 2010, and bought back in 2013
      1980 Mk1 Scirocco ~ Project w/ my son
      1982 Mk1 Jetta ~ Killed by texting driver

    9. Member Damian Grihalva's Avatar
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      '84 GTI, aba/jh combo with TT goodies
      05-20-2008 12:16 PM #9
      Speaking of which, I'm looking for some body add-ons. I'd like to run a mild side-skirt, rear valance. Nothing too crazy, but something that will compliment the stock front air dam and set it off a little. Just keeping my eyes open, if anyone has/knows of anything, please let me know.


      Modified by Damian Grihalva at 9:42 AM 5-20-2008
      1984 Mk1 GTI ~ Originally bought in 2008, then sold in 2010, and bought back in 2013
      1980 Mk1 Scirocco ~ Project w/ my son
      1982 Mk1 Jetta ~ Killed by texting driver

    10. Member salvaterra's Avatar
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      05-20-2008 12:19 PM #10
      you're off to a good start on the maintenance.
      i'd recommend not going bigger than 15's with more rubber over the 16's. especially if you're concerned with the roads in CO. 16's can look too big (my opinion) and are probably heavier [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
      your suspension choice sounds great for your application, but full poly bushings may get rough (again, considering your raods). make a few searches here for "poly" and see what others have said. good luck

    11. Member Damian Grihalva's Avatar
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      05-20-2008 12:52 PM #11
      Quote, originally posted by salvaterra »
      you're off to a good start on the maintenance.

      Ya, I figure what's the point if the thing isn't running up to snuff. I mean, how many decent looking rabbits are there that can't be driven?
      Quote »
      i'd recommend not going bigger than 15's with more rubber over the 16's. especially if you're concerned with the roads in CO. 16's can look too big (my opinion) and are probably heavier [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

      I hear ya there. I've considered that and going with a 205/50R15 but its one of those things I don't want to buy a smaller rim and wish I went bigger ~ or in that case, buy a larger rim and wish I went smaller.
      I guess I should search for some pictures. Is there any good 'lets see your cars' post where everyone posts pictures of their ride?
      Quote »
      your suspension choice sounds great for your application, but full poly bushings may get rough (again, considering your raods). make a few searches here for "poly" and see what others have said. good luck

      Will do. Poly is a standard in the 4x4 world. And considering the rigs I build ride pretty decent even with ~ I'm not too concerned, but you do bring up a valid point. I'll search 'poly' and see what people are saying.
      Thanks for the input.
      1984 Mk1 GTI ~ Originally bought in 2008, then sold in 2010, and bought back in 2013
      1980 Mk1 Scirocco ~ Project w/ my son
      1982 Mk1 Jetta ~ Killed by texting driver

    12. Member salvaterra's Avatar
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      05-20-2008 01:01 PM #12
      Quote, originally posted by Damian Grihalva »
      I guess I should search for some pictures. Is there any good 'lets see your cars' post where everyone posts pictures of their ride?

      try this:
      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2863033

    13. Member MattRabbit's Avatar
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      05-20-2008 01:06 PM #13
      Quote, originally posted by a1freaKs »
      Slam it, on 13's, call it a day

      ummm... no. I think the plans that he has for the wheels/suspension are a bit more usable and realistic looking for the real world.
      2001 Golf TDI, 1981 Rabbit Diesel
      http://matt_lisa.home.sprynet.com/

    14. Member Damian Grihalva's Avatar
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      '84 GTI, aba/jh combo with TT goodies
      05-20-2008 01:47 PM #14
      Good thread! Thanks. any ideas on some rim/tire threads that'll actually show pictures? I check faq and didn't get a good idea of the difference between 15 and 16s.
      As for rim size. there's a sang in the motorcycle arena that goes: "Its not what you ride, its THAT you ride." I won't knock anyone running 13's and slammed, after looking at a few in that thread they can look really nice. Its just not my style.
      1984 Mk1 GTI ~ Originally bought in 2008, then sold in 2010, and bought back in 2013
      1980 Mk1 Scirocco ~ Project w/ my son
      1982 Mk1 Jetta ~ Killed by texting driver

    15. Member salvaterra's Avatar
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      05-20-2008 01:55 PM #15
      Quote, originally posted by Damian Grihalva »
      I check faq and didn't get a good idea of the difference between 15 and 16s.

      that might be because not too many people are running 16's on mk1s. there are a few that pull it off nicely, but....
      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2187938

    16. Member Damian Grihalva's Avatar
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      '84 GTI, aba/jh combo with TT goodies
      05-20-2008 02:39 PM #16
      Man, youre awesome. Thanks for the help.
      1984 Mk1 GTI ~ Originally bought in 2008, then sold in 2010, and bought back in 2013
      1980 Mk1 Scirocco ~ Project w/ my son
      1982 Mk1 Jetta ~ Killed by texting driver

    17. Member simon_C's Avatar
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      05-20-2008 03:16 PM #17
      here try this thread:
      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1127465
      (keep in mind, that thread started in 2003, so styles were much different. i suggest starting at the end and working backwards)
      just remember, youre driving a piece of german engineering, not Japanese, so you need to take a whole new approach to modifying your car.


      Modified by simon_C at 3:21 PM 5-20-2008
      How does a rotary work? This one's easy: the magic triangle spins in the peanut and then apex seals come out.
      BUY MY SUPER BEETLE!

    18. Member Damian Grihalva's Avatar
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      05-20-2008 03:37 PM #18
      Thanks!
      Oh ~ and where did you get the idea I have Japanese stuff?
      1984 Mk1 GTI ~ Originally bought in 2008, then sold in 2010, and bought back in 2013
      1980 Mk1 Scirocco ~ Project w/ my son
      1982 Mk1 Jetta ~ Killed by texting driver

    19. Member Damian Grihalva's Avatar
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      '84 GTI, aba/jh combo with TT goodies
      05-22-2008 12:37 PM #19
      Well, lets put a little update on things so far. The interior was/is pretty rough, for example, here's the front seat.

      Comfy wires!

      Not just that, but the flip-forward 'flipper' had broken off. Since the pass side doesnt' flip either, getting the boys in the back is a little difficult.

      I searched and although I found some decent replacements on this and other boards, nobody wanted to ship anything that big So I got this.

      I went with Corbeau's Baja RS seat. Its the reclining version of the Baja Ultras I've used on some of my rockcrawlers. They are extremely comfortable and with the flip-forward, makes it possible for people to get in the back seats.

      The seats were cheaper than buying used Recaros/Siroccos/GTI seats (I'm a dealer ). The big thing is that they have the style I want. I'm going to be re-tinting the windows a very light gray and didn't want some really flashy seats in my GTI ~ attracks Dano and promotes theft you know. I just wanted a decent comfy non-aggressive/flashy seat that'd do the dirty in style...and flipped forward of course.
      Back seat was fine. VERY fine shape.

      As is the front passenger seat. I'll be replacing that one with another RS soon, but didn't need to.

      Misc interior shot. Each time I look at the dash I want to have my water-jet guy cut a new plate for some Autometer gauges. I'd keep 3 1/8" Speedo and Tach, but instead of those LEDs in the middle, I'd run 2 1/16" Temp and Fuel Guages.

      My big item is the carpet. I think the PO had a cup holder glued to the center consule and whenever he turned, it spilled whatever drink he had all over. The consule came clean with before-mentioned SOAKINGs of 409. Now I have a crappy shift boot and destroyed carpet.

      Does anyone have any leads on where to get a new shift boot and carpet kit? I could do black or red carpet.
      Thanks folks. I'll update more as I do it. I've noticed that you guys don't believe in documenting your buildups much ~ well, you take pictures, but nothing in fine detail ~ so I'm going to try and take some serious detailed pictures to document what I do and exactly how I do it.
      EDIT: The board didn't keep a post I'd posted about what I know now is a 'clipper kit'. I posted something to the effect of, anyone know what bumpers are on this rabbit:




      Modified by Damian Grihalva at 11:58 AM 5-27-2008

    20. Member salvaterra's Avatar
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      05-22-2008 01:13 PM #20
      that's a clipper kit from a convertible...

    21. Member B4S's Avatar
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      05-22-2008 01:19 PM #21
      Quote, originally posted by Damian Grihalva »
      Speaking of future mods. My immediate plan is to put a full tune on this rig. I called ND (New Dimensions) and have an order in the works for:
      O2 Sensor
      Cap w/ Rotor
      8mm Plug Wires
      Plugs
      Injector Seals
      Oil Filter(s)
      Clutch Cable
      Rear Wheel Bearings (already installed fronts)
      Cooler Fan Switch
      Cooler Thermostat
      K&N Air Filter
      I've already flushed the motor ~ will be doing that again. I also ran some concentrated injector cleaner through it as well (About 2 tank fulls worth)
      Is there anything else I should be concerned about immediately.
      The motor runs hot. It stays about middle through the temp gauge ~ which is normal for new cars, but I remember my last GTIs running on the lower 1/4 of the gauge.
      What really concerns me is the oil-temp gauge. It runs at least 100* C on the gauge ~ not sure if that's normal but I suspect not. While camping and cruising uo/down the highway it topped at 120C and stayed about 110C. That seems way high and I'm not sure if the hotter engine operating temp is causing that or something else. Needless to say, I've got another can of engine flush, SeaFoam in the current oil (only been in there for about 200 miles) ~ and at the temps the motors pushing (assuming the gauges are correct) It probably won't last long (oil). After a couple more changes w/ flushing ~ I'm going to run Synthetic to protect against higher temps. But I'm hoping that the new t-stat and cooler fan switch will bring temps down to decent.

      To be honest, the oil temps seem fine to me. I remember a 16v I had used to run 110*C in warm temps, under cruise conditions. I wouldn't worry, but keep an eye on it.
      1987 GTI 16v, no build thread.

    22. Member Jettaboy1884's Avatar
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      05-22-2008 01:20 PM #22
      Hey, welcome to the world of VW's [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
      So, I saw your post earlier about wanting to go with some lower body work, and I'm glad you posted up that last picture.
      What you're looking at is called a "clipper kit" which are the stock bumpers, sideskirts, and fender flares that come on later model Cabriolets. (I believe they are found on '89 thru '92 Cabriolets)
      I believe the Cabriolet stuff should bolt right up to your GTI. You would probably want to search the classifieds for a clipper kit, and try to get one that has all the mounting clips and screws.
      Good luck, your car is looking very nice so-far!
      As a side note: You mention your wife doesn't want a beater parked out front... So, pick up some Kiwi black leather shoe dye, (or the polish works fine also) and use it on your textured plastic arches and mouldings to make them look like new. [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
      I Like to Buy Bins of Loose LEGO's - PM Me if you have some you don't want.

      For Sale / Trade: - VW Mk1 & Mk2, 8v Engine and Misc. trim parts:

    23. Member Damian Grihalva's Avatar
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      '84 GTI, aba/jh combo with TT goodies
      05-22-2008 01:55 PM #23
      Quote, originally posted by Jettaboy1884 »
      Hey, welcome to the world of VW's [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
      Hey thanks!
      Quote »
      What you're looking at is called a "clipper kit" which are the stock bumpers, sideskirts, and fender flares that come on later model Cabriolets. (I believe they are found on '89 thru '92 Cabriolets)
      I believe the Cabriolet stuff should bolt right up to your GTI. You would probably want to search the classifieds for a clipper kit, and try to get one that has all the mounting clips and screws.

      Very nice. Thanks for the tip.
      Quote »
      As a side note: You mention your wife doesn't want a beater parked out front... So, pick up some Kiwi black leather shoe dye, (or the polish works fine also) and use it on your textured plastic arches and mouldings to make them look like new. [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

      OH YOU ARE A LIFE SAVER! My wife even ok'd me painting the trim, but since I have shoe polish in the front closet, I'll go that route!
      1984 Mk1 GTI ~ Originally bought in 2008, then sold in 2010, and bought back in 2013
      1980 Mk1 Scirocco ~ Project w/ my son
      1982 Mk1 Jetta ~ Killed by texting driver

    24. Member B4S's Avatar
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      05-22-2008 02:22 PM #24
      Ah, be careful...you want shoe DYE, not polish. It works better .
      I'm liking that seat, reminds me of the stock highbacks on the lower-spec models.
      1987 GTI 16v, no build thread.

    25. Member Damian Grihalva's Avatar
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      05-22-2008 02:34 PM #25
      AH! I'll keep that in mind. I may have to stop by at Walmart.
      1984 Mk1 GTI ~ Originally bought in 2008, then sold in 2010, and bought back in 2013
      1980 Mk1 Scirocco ~ Project w/ my son
      1982 Mk1 Jetta ~ Killed by texting driver

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