Awesome deal and awesome story. I think you'll have more fun with that car than mine.
Well some of you saw that I was working deals with Matt to pick up his 92 Passat Syncro Wagon with a 1.8t swap. We ended up trading cars and I had to give up a little cash on my end, but one of the big issues was the car was the engine management. So this is the story of my new daily/winter machine/soccer mom wagon
Specs when I got it:
AEB 1.8t, Unitronics BT chip (crap!)-Now on MS2 v3 with all the goodies!
T3/T4 50 trim stage III wheel with the 360 deg. thrust bearing upgrade. .48 A/R on the turbine side
TiAL 40mm wastegate-14.7psi spring
Chinese knockoff Tial blow off
CTS Turbo semi-equal length turbo manifold
Custom 3" DP (nice), to shoddy 3" straight section to shoddy bmw rear exhaust-sounds pretty sweet though!
BBM Fuel rail
Walbro 255H in-line fuel pump in the bay
Early on it its life, the wagon received a 1.8t swap and was driven for a bit with the stock setup from a passat (AEB engine). The next owner nutted up and put a real turbo on it, but used some cheap ebay manifold and some shady welding and some even shadier wiring (honestly though, not sure who of the early builders was responsible for the wiring...). The car was then traded to Vedran aka Valvecovergasket who had the car for a year or so, and without any time, drove it as is until Matt aka Rollercoasterracer bought the car and had it shipped to alaska! Matt also due to lack of time etc had a shop up in AK fix one of the shoddy exhaust pieces (down pipe and wastegate pipe iirc), but again was fixed in a not so awsome manor. Without much for good options in AK, he held off until he was back in WA to have a proper DP and such fabbed up by a local shop (which slips my head at the moment). Matt decided he wanted to not put so many miles on such a rare car, and such gave me a shout about my mk2 that I have been daily driving for the past 4 years. We struck a deal and this is where I come in
So at this point, the car had been taken into Fine Tuning to diagnose a overly rich running condition. After finding out the ECU was likely bad and needing replacement, and finding out that Unitronics wanted $300 to diagnose the ecu, Matt contacted Vedran about getting the car on some proper management to solve its issues. Matt, being the super kind fellow he is, allowed me to strike a deal without that done, and do the work myself. Vedran an I hatched a plan to knock the swap out in a weekend, Matt was good with it, so it was game on. I enlisted the help of another PNW fab master/squirt guru to create what I like to call, The Dream Team.
Jake came over friday night, and we headed to Bellingham early in the AM, hitting veds shop about 11am. Matt came through about noon to work out the final details and get some money, and we set to work about 1 in the afternoon. This is about 20min into it...
Stock harness out
This is when we discovered that whoever built the car origionally used a method that we have now named "the f*ck it and tuck it" method. Which basically entails do a really horrid job, then stash everything so you can't see it...
More wires coming out..
Most of the stock crap wiring had been pulled at this point
Ved, the mad scientist building my frankenstein MS2 ecu. There is almost the limit of stuff going on in this ecu Stock coil on plug, running wasted spark, boost control, pwm idle control, wideband control, on top of the standard ms2 v3 features we have all come to know and love!
Jake (TURBOCADDY of JRM Fabrication) and ved working through a little wiring while I enjoy a beverage and a few minutes off my feet, shortly after this, the car started on the megasquirt. This was about 12am saturday (well technically sunday morning)
More of the wires that got removed, most of these had no purpose, or were added in such a manor that a fire was immenent...Jake spent most of saturday sorted this mess out while I built the new squirt harness. Jake is the man, I can't thank him enough for tackling this headache!
Jake swapped valve cover gaskets for me while I prepped and finalized the new megasquirt harness for install sunday morning
Ved hooking up the exciter wire that had fallen off
This is where I stopped snapping cell phone pics, the car had run, but poorly the night before, and we all assumed it was due to not have anything set in the ecu. Well we found that was not the case, and spent a few hours troubleshooting. The end result was that we had used the wrong diagram (which was confusing at best) and had 2 wires on the crank trigger backwards. Once that was fixed, the car roared to life!! It was about 6pm on sunday by that point, we took a break and grabbed some pizza and had a short breather.
We also found, just before taking off for a tune, that one of the coil drivers was over heating and causing it to shut down. Thus, the car only ran on 3 cylinders...back in the shop! A little cooling was hatched, and off we went, 45min tuning cruise and the car was running very well.
Jake and I packed up, cleaned up, hugged it out with ved and made the 160mi trip back to my house. The Passat drove flawlessly (less the driver shutting us down once), and if the gas guage is accurate, is seeing around 30mpg when I am not romping on it in boost I hope you enjoyed the tail of my weekend as much as I enjoyed typing it out and re-living the ride...
I cannot thank Jake or Vedran enough, they both dedicated long hours to helping me get this thing up and running in less than 2 days. There is no way I could have tackled this job alone and got it done this quickly. I hope the beer and pizza was enough guys!
Ved has a real camera and took much better pics, im sure he will upload them when he can
Last edited by -RalleyTuned-; 07-16-2012 at 12:34 AM.
my pics from the weekend...
just as we were getting started and the car first hit the lift
brendon gettin busy on the new harness
old OBD2 harness finally cut out of the car
routin some MS wiring...
MS harness with some new connectors plugged in to test stuff....
the new ecu... (we're gonna heatsink that floating driver really soon). 4 of em is apparently too much to keep the temp in there in check
new MS harness done up all pretty...
all fired up!
the new harness isntalled and everything back together...
crappy night time shot of the car.
my back still hurts from the weekend, but ill be damned if it didnt run 100x smoother under boost than it ever did with the chip setup on.
we did a real quick tune on it and the AFRs still look better than what it was running during my year of ownership.
really glad i got to finally see this thing get MS'd as i had always wanted to do that while i owned it but never had the time since it was my daily...
heres to a good productive weekend
Pics turned out great ved!! Now I have proof I actually did something instead of sit and take cell phone pics, update facebook and drink pbr...
Awesome man, can't wait to see this progress! Hearing what you have planned, I think it's going to turn into an awesome car. Glad it could go to someone that is willing to put forth the effort to bring it to the condition it should have been during the original build. Let alone running and driving (in the snow)! haha Had this been 3yrs+ down the road, I would have kept it, but I just can't justify it right now
Side note... I'm going to need that devil duckie back haha
FS: 1998 F150 SuperCab 4x4 4.6L V8
WTT/FS: 17x7 Team Dynamic Racing ProRace 1 wheels
(search my name)
Fun weekend for sure with Ved and Brendon
This was a cool car to start with that just got a lot better with the megasquirt. We did stuff for sure on the Frankenstein passat.
Thanks for all the kind words!!
This is pretty much what i'll be going for. Mild lift over stock and some fender clearancing to fit some nice healty meats...
Last edited by -RalleyTuned-; 10-18-2011 at 01:52 PM.
For the grill, if you ever consider cutting one out check out this thread:
I found that the other week, it has some cool ideas for B3 nose masks. I like the look of cutting it out for a grill, and I'm sure air flow would improve too.
If i did anything it would be this, no question
The paint on the hood and grill is absolute sh*t. So it will need to get handled at some point. Also when it was driven in AK it got a pretty good rock sanding on the front end
Awesome project! Props to a very good looking wiring harness. I have come to appreciate stuff like that now
I knew I recognized this car... it was parked behind mine at Leavenworth this year. Love the stealth-mode FMIC.
Got an ABA throttle body last night so I can sort the idle now, 1500 rpm was getting old fast! Ved should see the ecu today and get my coil driver working happy again, then its back for some more tuning and getting her set to take on winter in the nw!!