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    Thread: 1984 Rabbit GTI: 25th Birthday Resto Project

    1. 02-25-2009 07:25 PM #1
      Part 2: Exterior

      Backstory: Bought the car June 2006 in BC. Drove it to Edmonton where I used if for the summer then drove it across canada to Newfoundland.

      Cross-Canada GTI documeneted here: http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2671279

      __________________________________________________ ________________

      My 1984 VW Rabbit GTI turned 25 this month, February 2009.

      While the car is in ok shape I wanted to take the time to bring it to its original beauty.

      __________________________________________________ ________________

      The Car September 2008:

      __________________________________________________ ________________

      I want to take the time to learn the car and do the work mostly myself. Starting easy with the interior and moving on to the engine later.

      Got the warrenty book and I was interested in some of the cars history:

      560 - Steel sunroof with wind deflector
      573 - Air conditioning
      963 - Engine Pre-Heater
      968 - Front and rear floor mats

      So Im assuming it was built in Feb. 1984. Then I guess it was initially inspected at the dealer soon after it arrived around May 14th, 1984. Then it was sold on the 31st. The car looks like most of the maintenance was taken care of at the dealer, although there are some intervals not stamped, up until 1990 which is where the stamps end, exactly 5 years and 10 months after the first one.

      __________________________________________________ ________________


      Part 1: Interior Removal

      Day 0:
      Didn't take pics before I started so I will use some interior shots from a few summers ago.

      Day 1/2: February 24/25

      Started with the seats:

      Then got to removing the rear suff:

      Only spot of rust so far.

      There was some major leaking from somewhere coupled with an antifreeze spill. The spare tire well had about 2" of ice and the carpets are pretty well soaked:

      Trying to get most of it up with the shop vac:

      Door cards came off:

      Headliner was already out, going to re do that with some similar blue material;

      Moved on to the dash, just got to take the cluster out:

      Now for the worst part, the carpet. Heat gun and patience help:

      Got a whole lot of parts and not a lot of free space in the garage so the roof will do. Green tape makes keeping hardware together easy:

      As it sits now:

      __________________________________________________ ________________


      Day 3: February 26

      Getting back at the carpet:

      Should be fun to clean this mess:

      Carpet is out, the snow and time of day makes this pic look funny lol:

      Lots of crap coming out:

      Now trying to get this coating off the floor:

      Getting there:

      How I left it today:

      Now onto these floors we have been talking about:

      They are bent up pretty serious and Im not liking it. Maybe I will try a hammer and wood and see how good I can get it, but based on how that support is bent up they prolly wont be as strong as replacing them. But they are rust free.


      __________________________________________________ ________________


      Day 4: March 2

      Not much going on today, I did get the cluster out though, it was a bit of a pain reaching the speedo cable.

      Then started at the coating on the floor again.

      Rear passenger side done:

      Lots of glue in the top corners of the front pans but some heat does the trick.

      Drivers side before:

      During:

      After:

      Passenger:

      Tunnel ahead of the shifter:

      Done:

      Rear:

      Starting:

      And the headliner cardboard that will eventually be covered in some factory looking blue material.

      __________________________________________________ ________________

      Day 5: March 04

      Not a whole lot going on today. But I did spend some time in the back of the car taking up the coating on the floor.

      Started where I left off:

      What I do is take the heat gun and heat a section for a while, paying attention to the edges. Once I got it pretty warm I use a homemade metal scraping tool and start at the edge and start scraping while keeping the heat gun on the section just ahead of the scraper. On this flat, easy-to-get-to panel its not too bad of a job. I generally focus on a small area at a time, between two of the long indented sections as those sections come up nice and easy.

      Getting further, you can see the indents where i stop:

      And the section is all done:

      I think Im going to try and get an exact copy of this sticker and put it back in the same location, to make everything as original as possible.

      __________________________________________________ ________________


      Day 6: March 5

      Today is just more of the same.

      One other small spot of rust:

      On to the coating in the spare tire well:

      This isnt fun but buts coming up:

      Guess I will have to glue these back down somehow:

      That looks cleaner:

      Now gotta take this off:

      With a bit of heat it came off easily:

      Going back to the front now:

      and drivers side:

      Uncomfortable place to work:

      But that looks better:

      Drivers side done:

      Now just got these two spots left to do:

      And magically they are done:

      And how I left it.

      Front:

      Rear:

      Full:

      And a box full of crap:

      __________________________________________________ ________________

      Day 7 March 09

      Another slow day today. I took a quick shot at the glue but it was such a pain I gave up really easily.

      First I took the time to weigh the crap that came out of the car:

      25 lbs! And thats not everything that came out:

      Taking out some wiring:

      Took the tape off these holes and started cleaning off the glue:

      Thats it for today.

      __________________________________________________ ________________

      Day 8: Mar 11

      Trying to get some glue up, man this job sucks:

      Removing dash:

      Removed the top door trim pieces:


      __________________________________________________ ________________


      Brief summary of plans are:
      -remove interior
      -repair anything I need to
      -Front sections of floor are damaged so I may replace them (pics to come)
      -Clean and paint with black POR-15
      -Locate and replace all missing blue interior pieces (good luck)
      -Clean and paint any parts needing it

      Thanks for looking.


      Modified by JettaGL95 at 8:47 PM 9-10-2009


    2. Member tuned vws rule's Avatar
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      02-25-2009 07:30 PM #2
      Sweet! Nice car. Lots of parts there reminding me of what I need to find to finish up my GTI project.
      1982 Rabbit GTI
      1990 Toyota Pickup 4x4
      2001 Audi A4

    3. 02-25-2009 07:39 PM #3
      Quote, originally posted by tuned vws rule »
      Sweet! Nice car. Lots of parts there reminding me of what I need to find to finish up my GTI project.

      Yeah finding the blue interior pieces is going to be the hardest part of this whole project I think. My list so far:

      Random parts:

      Heater Controls
      Stock clock for center console
      OEM period correct Radio
      Clips to attach passenger side interior door handle

      Blue GTI parts:

      Rear parcel shelf
      Window crank
      Passenger side vent
      Shift boot
      Golf ball style knob
      Drivers side seat belt reciever
      Cover for passenget side belt reciever
      Cover for seat hinge with the seat back adjuster
      Seat back adjuster knob cover
      Drivers side seat back (or passenger)
      Passenger side floor mat

      Luckily My interior is mostly complete and Im not in desperate for anything on the list but I do want this car to be as close to the way it was when it was sold 25 years ago and I can get it.


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      02-25-2009 11:55 PM #4
      Nice looking car. I'd have several moving blankets on top of it, before putting things on it..... I'm also space limited.

      -Todd


    5. 02-26-2009 01:38 AM #5
      meh the paint isnt perfect. Body work and paint is going to be a part of this long restoration so Im not worried about it.

    6. Member newfoundgti's Avatar
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      02-26-2009 08:19 AM #6
      Looks good Chris. I'll take a look at your list of blue interior parts and see what I have in extras that can help with the refurbish.

      That rust hole is coming from the bracket that holds your gas filler tube or expansion hoses in the passenger rear wheel well. Dirt builds up in there around the tube/hoses and bracket and causes it to rust to the inside.

      Do you still have the cardboard template for the headliner? If you do I need to borrow it so I can make one for the 84 GTI to attach the new headliner material. Go to the Fabricville in MT. Pearl for new headliner material. That's where I got mine. Awesome stuff to work with and near perfect match to OEM. You know it has to be good stuff if Lutz looks at it and says "Wow makes me wish I didn't have a Cabrio just so I could have a headliner like that"!

      Keep it going and watch the back! You only have until May to get it all put back together for autox season!

      newfoundgti


    7. 02-26-2009 10:38 AM #7
      Hey Scott, finally got a start on it. Your project really inspired me to get a move on and make my car as perfect and as OEM as I can.

      Good to know about that rush patch, It looked kind of strange. Luckily the reat of the interior so far looks perfect. The arches on the other hand, not so much. Im thinking when the glass comes out I may have some rot to deal with too. But Im not too worried about that with a good welder in the family.

      I do still have the headliner cardboard and its in decent shape too luckily. Ill drop it out sometime, no problem. I will check that place out when its time to do the headliner. Doing the pillars looks like its going to be the worst part. I was thinking of finding a nice blue/red plaid fabric to somewhat match the colors of the seats but I dont want it to be too busy, and have decided with the exception of the suspension I want everything to look and be as OEM as I can get it. Appreciate any help on missing parts.

      The back is really slowing things down but I can only get the car so far before I start needing money for parts lol. But hopefully I can get the interior all done in a fairly timely manner. The engine and engine bay is going to take some time and I have no idea where money for paint is coming from lol.

      p.s. know where I can get some sections of floor? Ill have some pics of what I want to replace later.


    8. 02-26-2009 10:48 AM #8
      That rust spot above the shock tower is a warning sign. These cars rust hard in that area. The rust proofing holds water by the fuel filler pipe and causes real nightmares to repair. I know because i had to replace the entire shock tower in my last Rabbit. You have to clean all that undercoat and rustout and weld in some new metal. It's one of Vw's less than stellar ideas.

    9. 02-26-2009 10:54 AM #9
      Yeah the whole interior is being stripped down and any rust repaired with new metal. Everything around that spot looks sound.

      Speaking of which, getting all that coating off the floor, like is on the towers here? Any tips on that. I know on the drivers section its starting to break and come up and I can see cracks in it in the rear section.

      Heat and scraper maybe?





      Modified by JettaGL95 at 11:55 AM 2-26-2009


    10. 02-26-2009 10:56 AM #10

      Quote, originally posted by JettaGL95 »

      Only spot of rust so far, kind of odd, all the metal around it is strong. About the size of a nickel:


      Looking good so far!

      Have a look at the last page of my build, I'm in the middle of dealing with that same rust spot (on a much rustier '77)... The previous poster is bang on in explaining the cause; mud and dirt trapped by the filler neck and/or expansion tank.

      Quote Originally Posted by Muffler Bearing View Post
      Oh god, those wheels! Kill them with fire!
      EZ Sniper - great eBay sniping site, free trial too. Works great!
      My Rust Repair / Rabbit Rotisserie build thread

    11. 02-26-2009 10:57 AM #11
      Thanks I will do that. Once I clean this up and weld in new metal is there anything else I should do to the other side to prevent this? Or is it just a deign flaw I need to live with?

    12. Member 96BlKjEt's Avatar
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      02-26-2009 11:05 AM #12
      just gonna throw something out there, and see if anyone catches it....why not place the front bumper back on the car, that thing is hella clean, IMHO with a front bumper would look 100xs better
      Wanna split a bagel?

    13. 02-26-2009 11:18 AM #13
      Quote, originally posted by 96BlKjEt »
      just gonna throw something out there, and see if anyone catches it....why not place the front bumper back on the car, that thing is hella clean, IMHO with a front bumper would look 100xs better

      The front bumper needs some work, but yeah it will have a front bumper. I was going to customize it but I think Ill just straighen it, tuck it to the car and repaint it. Car is nice for sure but not clean enough. Its a 25 year old, 250,000 km car that has been driven. Pics make it look great but it needs work. I have the time, the space, and the tools to make this car as near perfect OEM as I can (just need more money and skills lol) so why not?


    14. Member newfoundgti's Avatar
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      02-26-2009 11:57 AM #14
      Torch/heat gun and scrapper is going to be your friend in removing all that stuff Chris. Just do it in a well ventilated garage! Once you get at that bad spot be sure to get into the rear wheel well and clean everything up in there. Take the lines and fuel filler neck out and remove the undercoating and treat the area in Por15 (or similar product) and you will be fine for many years to come - assuming you won't be using the car in the winter anymore.

      You can probably expect some issues under the glass seals on the rear quarter windows and maybe front glass but if you have access to a good welder there's no worries - same goes for your fender lips. If they are real bad you can get replacement sections, same goes for the floor but I can't seeing you needing entire pans or lips so just some good metal and skills and you should be fine. I'd recommend replacing your glue in windshield with a rubber mount like I did. 90 Canadian Cabrio windshield is what you need to ask for and get a seal from Concept 1 or some place like that.

      The piller sections of your headliner are the easiest. The biggest thing to remember is have plenty of material when you make them so the access can be cut after it goes under the hatch seal, door seals, etc. 3M spray adhesive works best - I can give you a hand with that stuff when you get it all back together and closer to my garage.

      newfoundgti


    15. 02-26-2009 03:34 PM #15
      Good tips Scott. I got the carpet out today and started with some removal of that coating crap. Should be a fun process. I also took a look at where at that dirt collects up by the fuel filler neck and wow, i got some pics of what came out of there.

      Im expecting some issues under the glass, i can see rust around the windsheild for sure. I have been reading different views lately on the type of glass and which is best to prevent rust but I think I will go with the rubber mount one. As for the floors, they are solid, not a hole or anything even close to a hole to find. The damage looks like it bottomed out really really bad or something, Im not even sure but I wiill have pics of that in the update as well. Just want replacement pans to get it all straight again.


    16. Banned Digital K.'s Avatar
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      02-26-2009 03:41 PM #16
      cool, I'll be watching this

    17. 02-26-2009 03:46 PM #17
      pretty cool pretty cool, cant wait to see it finished. when is your target finish date?

    18. 02-26-2009 03:58 PM #18
      To be honest, I have no idea. This is my first time doing anything like this and I plan on going through everything. The interior completion will depend on finding parts of course but as shown I have just about everything.
      The rest is going to take a while as budget is currently $0 lol. Its going to take a while to gather parts and get some money for it. I dont expect paint to happen this year for sure.

    19. Member newfoundgti's Avatar
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      02-26-2009 04:53 PM #19
      Chris if you don't have any floor pan rust and just dent damage depending upon where it's located you may get them out with a BFH and a block of solid wood. I had a small dent in my floor pan right under the passenger front floor pan where your feet would rest and I knocked it out pretty easily.

      Get yourself a good drill and start buying some 3M paint stripper wheels to remove paint and a good wire wheel for a grinder to remove the factory undercoating on the inner fender.

      newfoundgti


    20. 02-26-2009 07:00 PM #20
      Quote, originally posted by newfoundgti »
      Chris if you don't have any floor pan rust and just dent damage depending upon where it's located you may get them out with a BFH and a block of solid wood. I had a small dent in my floor pan right under the passenger front floor pan where your feet would rest and I knocked it out pretty easily.

      Get yourself a good drill and start buying some 3M paint stripper wheels to remove paint and a good wire wheel for a grinder to remove the factory undercoating on the inner fender.

      newfoundgti

      I dont have any rust but they are really bent up. Ill post pics in a few mins. I got a good drill, got wire brushes and a good grinder. Just need some stripper wheels. Prolly going to strip the bottom of that coating too and just use some POR-15. Lots of work ahead of me.


    21. 02-26-2009 08:07 PM #21
      updated with Day 3 in original post. Im going to keep all my pics and stuff together in the oringial post and Ill just reply when I do an update. Might not be the best way but I like it all together in one post.

      But on another note, going along with the bent floors in the original post, check this out:

      Its almost like it was cut

      On both sides




      Modified by JettaGL95 at 9:24 PM 2-26-2009


    22. Member newfoundgti's Avatar
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      02-26-2009 09:17 PM #22
      I think they are supposed to be like that Chris. Those rockers and floor supports have taken a beating though! I would try to save them if they are rust free. It might take some pulling and hammering put there's nothing like OEM rust free stuff.

      The fender lips are easily repaired as are those rear apron sections.

      Brand new long tail Hellas can be bought for less than $100 and a nice minty fresh new set would be worth the coin if you are going to do a full resto.

      Too bad your car wasn't a little closer I'd give you a hand with it - maybe I should just get to work on some of my stuff. But then again I can't till the snow melts. Come on rain!

      newfoundgti


    23. Member papa_vw's Avatar
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      02-26-2009 09:40 PM #23
      This looks like this will be a nice project. It would great to see this car restored as close to original as possible.

      I don't see very many old Rabbits around anymore but it seems like when I do, they're so modified. Not like how I remember them back in the late 70's and early 80's.


    24. 02-26-2009 10:16 PM #24
      Quote, originally posted by newfoundgti »
      I think they are supposed to be like that Chris. Those rockers and floor supports have taken a beating though! I would try to save them if they are rust free. It might take some pulling and hammering put there's nothing like OEM rust free stuff.

      The fender lips are easily repaired as are those rear apron sections.

      Brand new long tail Hellas can be bought for less than $100 and a nice minty fresh new set would be worth the coin if you are going to do a full resto.

      Too bad your car wasn't a little closer I'd give you a hand with it - maybe I should just get to work on some of my stuff. But then again I can't till the snow melts. Come on rain!

      newfoundgti


      Yeah I was trying to figure out if they are supposed to be like that or not. Took a look at another project thread and the floors looked a lil diff but didnt have a cut like that. Kinda strange. Hopefully I can get them back in shape. The small bad spots look easily repairable so Im not worried about any of that. Just need money lol.
      Yeah be nice to have a lil help with it, the ol back cant handle much at a time, but Im in no rush. I think a new set of tails might be called for. Ill prolly get the paint off mine until then.

      P.s. you should be at your car lol, what do you have left to do? Any closer on deciding on wheels?


    25. 02-26-2009 10:17 PM #25
      Quote, originally posted by papa_vw »
      This looks like this will be a nice project. It would great to see this car restored as close to original as possible.

      I don't see very many old Rabbits around anymore but it seems like when I do, they're so modified. Not like how I remember them back in the late 70's and early 80's.

      Thanks man, it will be lower, wheels spaced out a lil, and the bumpers tucked. Other then that I want it as Original, clean, and new as possible. Tall order on a 25 year old, 250,000 km car but Im up to the challenge.


    26. Member newfoundgti's Avatar
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      02-27-2009 07:32 AM #26
      Nothing left to do on the 83 GTI as per say. I haven't decided on the wheels but leaning towards getting the snowflakes refinished . I'm also thinking about a new stainless exhaust and donating what's on there now to the 84 GTI because I can't take another season of autox with the straight pipe that's on that now. I really want to concentrate on getting some mileage on the 83 this season as it only covered a total of 650 kms last season. Lutz wants to wet sand the entire car so that might be happening in the spring as well but nothing major.

      My plan is to get the 84 in the garage the first week of April when the snow goes and fix the electrical gremlins, give it some much needed TLC and see where it goes from there!

      newfoundgti


    27. Member newfoundgti's Avatar
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      02-27-2009 08:14 AM #27
      Mine had those gaps in the seat supports as well Chris.

      The was the worse section on my rear apron.

      newfoundgti


    28. 02-27-2009 05:43 PM #28
      are all gti's that light? I have an 81 diesel ls...and it is just shy of 1900lbs.

      Cool Looking project. Good to see the rust isn't too bad...but definitely check under the window seals....my hatch was pretty bad.


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      02-27-2009 07:28 PM #29
      Quote, originally posted by e30kawi »
      are all gti's that light? I have an 81 diesel ls...and it is just shy of 1900lbs.

      Cool Looking project. Good to see the rust isn't too bad...but definitely check under the window seals....my hatch was pretty bad.

      KG

    30. 02-27-2009 07:32 PM #30
      Quote, originally posted by optiks »
      KG

      That is kinda what i was thinking but that would make it like 2400+ lbs. That seems too heavy to me.


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      02-27-2009 08:24 PM #31
      Quote, originally posted by wiki »

      The difference between gross weight and curb weight is the total passenger and cargo weight capacity of the vehicle. For example, a pickup truck with a curb weight of 4500 pounds might have a cargo capacity of 2000 pounds, meaning it can have a gross weight of 6500 pounds when fully loaded.


    32. 02-28-2009 11:32 AM #32
      you probably alredy know this... if your looking to re-use that carpet, while its outa the car would be an excellent time to shampoo!!!

    33. 02-28-2009 12:43 PM #33
      yeah I will be giving it a real good cleaning. just got to get some crap off the back of it. Do you guys normally leave the glue on the back of the carpet, or try to get it all off like on the floors?

      Prolly wont get at the car again till tuesday when Ill continue to clean the crap off the floors. Yay fun.


    34. Member LubsDaDubs's Avatar
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      02-28-2009 01:00 PM #34
      Hey Chris

      Good to see you are keeping the Gti, i will keep an eye out up here for the missing bits you need. if you need any info feel free to ask
      I am still considering parting out my 84 gti(red interior)eeeew.

      Later Bil

      Its hard to make a comeback if you've never left

      Bad Pennies......We turn up everywhere!!!

    35. 02-28-2009 03:30 PM #35
      Yeah Bil, Im glad I didn't sell it, would still be kicking myself if i did.
      If you come across any blue interior bits let me know, it would be a great help.
      Today I found out there is a chance I can find some NEW fenders still in boxes that have been kept in someones attic. Got my fingers crossed on that. Then I can cut up the fronts for use on the rear.

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