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    Thread: Hello everyone. New project. Got my wife an 85 cabby for Xmas.

    1. Member
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      12-25-2011 07:05 PM #1
      New here for the most part. I have experience with BMW, Datsun and Nissan but not really any VW..

      My wife is a VW nut. She has an 05 Golf and a 93 Eurovan that's slammed but needs a new trans. Maybe down the road I will do a manual swap but for now this... It's an 85 Cabriolet.

      I picked it up with a blown motor and since it was a surprise for her, had a friend re-build and install an 8 valve 1.8L from an 83 GTI. Also had the brakes and basic mechanicals checked out. New clutch, flywheel, oil pump, water pump, belts, hoses, main & rod bearings, rings etc. Head was checked, valves lapped etc.

      Overall it's in good shape and is complete. Nice dash, good headliner and pad. Plenty of little issues but I just wanted a fairly rust free and straight shell as I plan to do a total build similar to my recently sold Datsun 510. I am really glad she is going to let me paint it an off white or light beige color. And it will probably get a drop and new carpet, top, door panels, etc etc etc.

      I hope you all don't mind me picking your brain as I know plenty about BMW and RWD Datsun/Nissans but nothing about VW and FWD











      And here are some photos of my 510. It was a 72 with a Rebello L20 bored and stroked to 2.3, stage III isky cam, twin Mikuni 44's, 2.5" exhaust, Nissan comp headers, Troy Ermish coilovers, Datsun 2000 roadster mid/close ratio 5 speed, 280 struts and brakes etc etc.











      And finally my most recent build. My 92 E34 525 with a 98 528 M52 engine, M3 cams, Garret GT3076R turbo, 6 piston wilwoods, M5 seats, Euro everything, Acura TSX retrofit etc etc. 342 RWHP and 325 ft lbs of torque at 12.5 psi











      Last edited by RVAE34; 01-27-2012 at 09:30 PM.

    2. Member s2kvondeutschland's Avatar
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      12-25-2011 07:19 PM #2
      I come from a Datsun/BMW background as well. First car was an '84 200SX with ca18det, now I've got a 280ZX Turbo and a BMW 750i.

      Wait until you see how cheap and easy everything is, you'll love it!!!

      That's a good looking car as well.
      "Zed's dead, baby, Zed's dead."

      RooflessVW

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      12-25-2011 07:26 PM #3
      That is encouraging as the BMW will drain the wallet!!

      I think I will just go ahead and dismantle it so I can strip and paint it. Then do dynamat in the interior, clean and paint all the suspension components while doing all new rubber and bushings as well as any and all new exterior rubber/seals I can find.

      I am most concerned with removing all the fuel stuff as the digifant (sp?) injection looks a bit crazy and delicate. As well as removing the top. Hopefully it's just straight forward. I feel so helpless being that I could dismantle and re-build both the BMW and Datsun while sleeping but no clue on this car. All a matter of time I suppose.

      Is it easy just to drop the engine/trans with the subframe from below or from the top?

      I also need to get some bushings etc for the trans as it's difficult to discern gears especially reverse/1st. And it seems to pop out of reverse easily. I read that a guy in MD makes all the proper spherical bushings to fix the problems.

    4. Member briano1234's Avatar
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      12-25-2011 08:11 PM #4
      That is because the 83 is CIS and not Digifant. Digifant was 90-93
      Grounds, Grounds, Grounds Replace them things.
      Divorces, Great Coffee, and Electrics, all start with GOOD Grounds.

      Where are my grounds ?
      I am a Commodian. I tell really Crappy jokes.

    5. Member
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      12-25-2011 08:15 PM #5
      My apologies.. I forgot my friend told me it was CIS not the other. As I said I am still learning. Looking at it again just now, it actually looks like a breeze to drop everything. I only just now got a really good look at everything b/c it was in storage while I waited to give it to her.

    6. 12-25-2011 08:16 PM #6
      that 525 is BEAUTIFUL......... and shes a lucky lady haha, nice 510 as well, you hvae good taste sir

    7. Member
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      12-25-2011 08:46 PM #7
      Thanks! It's been a long journey. It will be gracing the pages of a very popular magazine soon

    8. Member s2kvondeutschland's Avatar
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      12-26-2011 05:25 AM #8
      That is encouraging as the BMW will drain the wallet!!

      You're telling me! Maintenance parts on the V12 kick my ass; $700 for plugs, wires, and both dizzy caps and rotors... and I had to replace the drive shaft... and the blower fan... and it just keeps going. And that's just maintenance...

      I am most concerned with removing all the fuel stuff as the digifant (sp?) injection looks a bit crazy and delicate. As well as removing the top. Hopefully it's just straight forward. I feel so helpless being that I could dismantle and re-build both the BMW and Datsun while sleeping but no clue on this car. All a matter of time I suppose.

      CIS is a pretty simple system, just makes sure there's no vac leaks. All you need to tune it is some patience and a Bently.

      Is it easy just to drop the engine/trans with the subframe from below or from the top?

      I always drop mine out of the bottom, and there's no subframe to unbolt on the mk1 cars. I think the record for removal of the engine and tranny is somewhere in the 45-minute range.

      I also need to get some bushings etc for the trans as it's difficult to discern gears especially reverse/1st. And it seems to pop out of reverse easily. I read that a guy in MD makes all the proper spherical bushings to fix the problems.

      DIY's are out there for shifter adjustments, make sure you have a cassette tape and case handy. I got my shifter rebuild kit Here.

      Just about everything you could ever want to know are on Cabby-Info.com.
      "Zed's dead, baby, Zed's dead."

      RooflessVW

    9. Member
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      12-26-2011 07:55 AM #9
      I found a guy on eBay who seems to sell a lot of MK1 exterior rubber. Seems most of it is OEM. Is there another good source? I want to replace all of the outside rubber. Also going to be looking for the door trim and rocker trim soon.

      I have noticed the car keeps popping out of reverse making a grinding noise when it does so. Holding the shifter in place doesn't seem to help either. Hoping it's not the trans but if so, I have a MK2 5 speed in my shed that should work from an old roomates car.
      Last edited by RVAE34; 12-26-2011 at 09:54 AM.

    10. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      12-26-2011 02:16 PM #10
      Moogie on ebay is a very good source. I've bought much from him.

      http://www.cabby-info.com is your bible of cabby info.
      It has a vendor list that people have used with good results.

    11. Member
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      12-26-2011 04:00 PM #11
      Excellent thanks!

      Not wasting any time. Pulled all the glass, trim, felt etc from the doors. Also removed all the stick one moulding and the fender flares. Hoping to have it ready to start stripping the sheet metal within the next two weeks. I want to try and have it all finished by summer if my bonus is big enough.

      So far I love how straight forward everything is. Let's just hope it's the same when going back together




    12. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      12-26-2011 04:26 PM #12
      You just found out one of the main attractions of this car.
      Yes they are old
      Yes they can be finicky.

      But..

      Parts are generally inexpensive and construction is simplistic.

      Very easy to work on.

    13. Member
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      12-26-2011 09:18 PM #13
      Blown away that I am stuck on the mirrors...

      I found this link

      http://www.vwforum.com/forums/f12/si...removal-30858/

      but it doesn't seem to help. My mirrors won't budge and I am afraid to force and break them. I would imagine, they would pivot like my BMW so you can fold them in when you park etc. I see from inside the door that there are in fact two screws holding it in which are only accessible from the outside.

      I checked the FAQ, did a search here and on google.

    14. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      12-26-2011 09:49 PM #14
      The screws are under the mirror. You rotate it to the front to get the rear screw out....then rotate it to the rear to get the front screw out. Also have to remove the remote mirror control from the door panel to totally get it out, if you have remote mirror controls on the door interior. The mirror control is held by a big sheet metal screw, under the door panel.

      If the mirror won't move, soak the center pivot with penetrating fluid, see if that loosens it up.

      Umm...then again, those mirrors don't look like any I know about. May just be the year of the car.

      Can you post a close up of the mirrors?
      Last edited by CajunSpike; 12-26-2011 at 09:53 PM.

    15. Member
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      12-26-2011 09:54 PM #15
      That must be what it is. Will hit it with PB blaster and see if that works. One is already cracked so not sure how I will get a good hold on it if it's really that frozen. I already have everything on the inside removed.

    16. Member waterwagon's Avatar
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      12-26-2011 11:36 PM #16
      I love my wife and bought her a Cabriolet like you did but didn't sell my 510 to do so.

      If I ever had the chance to own that 510( one of my dream cars ) ,they would have to pry the keys out of my cold, dead hands.

      Nice Cabriolet by the way. Welcome to the club.

    17. Semi-n00b
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      12-27-2011 12:10 AM #17
      love the pics of the 85 cabriolet! mind if i ask how much you paid for it?

      hope she liked it!

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      12-27-2011 06:13 AM #18
      you sir, have great taste in automobiles. I hope to see many updated posts on this cabby build.

    19. Member twinair's Avatar
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      12-27-2011 07:38 AM #19
      If you can handle a cross-generational motor swap (boosted no less!!) in a BMW this car will be no challenge to you. Your work is impeccable. Please keep us posted on the progress of your MK1.

    20. Member
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      12-27-2011 07:59 AM #20
      Wow! Thanks for the kind words everyone. I sold the 510 over a year ago. Just didn't drive it and I got twice what I had in it and in my book, when you can double your money on a car, sell it!

      The 510 was great but I really don't miss it.

      Currently looking for a DD for myself. The unicorn... 1995 Yellow Volvo T5-R wagon.

      BTW, still can't get the mirror off Might have to take a hack saw to the center pivot point.

    21. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      12-27-2011 10:48 AM #21
      post a close up of those mirrors, in case they aren't stock.

    22. Member
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      12-27-2011 12:17 PM #22
      Will post close up shots this eve.

      I am having the hardest time finding all the exterior window trim and rubber. I see vintage rubber sells "oem" style rubber but doesn't look like includes stainless trim and I want to replace all that stuff. Didn't find any other sources on cabby-info.com either...

    23. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      12-27-2011 01:23 PM #23
      I bought a full set of exterior window scrapers on ebay recently. Price was less than vintagerubber.com.



      http://www.ebay.com/itm/VW-Cabriolet...item53e74c279f

    24. Member
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      12-27-2011 01:33 PM #24
      How was the fit and finish?

    25. Member
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      12-27-2011 04:57 PM #25
      Was finally able to get the mirrors to pivot. The driver side had cracked plastic but I was able to get a pipe wrench on it to give me leverage. Passenger side just required PB blaster to sit overnight and some good ole manhandling.

      I have found some DIY's to removing the top from the frame but I am wondering if it's easier to remove the whole assembly with the top still on it so I can paint the car. I plan on replacing the top anyway so I want to do whichever makes more sense. Looks like only about 6 bolts hold the frame to the car but I am concerned if I remove it while the top is down, it might become unsprung etc. Any pointers would be much appreciated.

    26. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      12-27-2011 05:13 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by RVAE34 View Post
      How was the fit and finish?
      I bought the outside window scrapers for all 4 windows. Looks good and went on real easy.

      You have to remove the old scrapers. They consist of a metal backing plate with the rubber stuck/glued to it. Don't bend the part on removal.

      Remove the rubber from the backing, glue/tape on the new rubber to the backing, reinstall.


      Top removal:
      6 bolts in the pivot area.
      The rear cable.
      Both rear nylon straps, one on each side, held on by two metal screws each.
      The rear window laydown pivots...held on by two 10mm bolts on each side.
      The plastic covers behind the rear windows.
      The screws that go thru the material behind those same plastic covers.
      The gas assist rods...either by removing their bottom pivot points or just taking off the clips so they can be separated from the top frame.

      Myself, I just loosened the rear cable and tucked the top into the body.
      Also removed the plastic parts behind the rear window.
      Last edited by CajunSpike; 12-27-2011 at 05:21 PM.

    27. Member
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      12-27-2011 05:40 PM #27
      I basically want to get the car down to a shell with a dash and rear wheels.

      Check out the piston that came out of the motor that was in it when I got it. The guy said it "started to overheat" so he shut it off promptly and it just needed a HG :lol: None of that motor was salvageable. I am amazed at how straight and rust free this car is though. Remarkable for a 26 year old East Coast car!





      For any who might be interested, here are links to my 510 and my 525 builds.

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/1404980...7600346688189/

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/1404980...7605008919930/

      Here is my silvia from 03

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/1404980...7627822337985/

      And my dad and I recently did one of his 240z's (except paint and body work) He has 4 total

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/1404980...7603350695459/

      And a link to the VW build

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/1404980...7628579614667/

    28. 12-27-2011 06:49 PM #28
      Great start! Looking forward to your progress

    29. Member
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      12-27-2011 08:12 PM #29
      This is the color she decided on


    30. Junior Member
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      12-27-2011 08:52 PM #30
      love this color. have a name and paint code for this?

    31. Member
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      12-27-2011 09:48 PM #31
      Not yet. Going to go up to Auto Paint Supply and look through the color books. She said she might also consider this color with just a hint of green too. Kind of a seafoam.

    32. Member
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      12-27-2011 11:12 PM #32
      fantastic start and great foundation to start with. i wish the body on my 85 was that clean.

    33. Member vwtdiwagon's Avatar
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      12-28-2011 02:01 AM #33
      Nice project! I'm sure your wife will love the car and I cant wait to see it when your done.
      Here are 2 of my favorite blues:
      Maimi Blue L51C

      Helios Blue Metallic LA5Y


      Your 510 was really clean too!
      Last edited by vwtdiwagon; 12-28-2011 at 02:04 AM.

    34. Member
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      12-28-2011 10:50 AM #34
      Can you put little moon hub cap covers on these Corrado wheels? Would look great if the wheels were off white w chrome covers on that super light blue car..

    35. Member
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      12-28-2011 01:27 PM #35









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