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    Thread: Build Log | MM3's MkIV (54k nope)

    1. Member mm3's Avatar
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      04-08-2012 01:25 AM #1
      I'll maintain this thread with my daily updates of what's going on with my project, with lots of pictures to keep y'all entertained. Here's a little rundown of the car...

      A longtime-friend of mine is pretty much my go-to guy for all things cars. I can probably say with good confidence that he's the one who turned me into a motoring enthusiast. I always had a thing for Volkswagens and Nissans, and said-friend had a MkIV GTI since new, he drove it off the dealer lot.


      Over the years, I suppose he grew tired of the car, as eventually it went under a tarp for a year or more. He loved the car, but you grow tired even of the things you love I suppose. He had it modded quite a bit over a the years, including a Jetta front-end swap, a few performance tunes here and there, and some boo-boos as well (couple dings and dents here and there, minor electricals, you know, the usual VW stuff), just as anyone would go through after a decade's worth of owning a vehicle.


      Fast forward a few years, he got to the point where he decided "it's time". Time to sell it and move onto something else. Something "grown up and Rear Wheel Drive" were his words. I had already expressed interest in purchasing the car should he ever sell it, and I was the first one he offered to sell it to.

      Of course, I wanted it. I told him to consider it sold. I have no use for a second car and I was already paying out the ass for insurance on the wagon. But I didn't care. That car was going to be mine. Two months later, I formed a plan to fly up to New Hampshire, pick it up, nab a friend back home in NYC, and drive it back down to Texas. So, that's what I did. The second weekend of March, we (my girlfriend and I) flew up to Manchester, stayed the night, and drove down to New York the next morning. Did some family business, saw a few friends, got a fresh set of tires, and dropped the girl off. Picked up a buddy from Long Island, and we were off the following morning. Come Sunday night, I was back in Texas with my new toy. And, here we are about a month later.


      She needed work. A/C Clutch has been burnt since last summer (no real need for it in New Hampshire, but definitely needed in the Houston Heat), downpipe from the turbo was missing a bolt (exhaust leak), a few body panels unpainted, and a few very minor things. But overall, excellent shape. The paint needed some work after sitting and getting scuffed up a bit over time, but a weekend with the buffing wheel and some quality compound & polish, and she's a beaut. A few scrapes, dings and dents here and there, but nothing too bad by any means.


      Fast forward a few weeks, I got the exhaust leak fixed, got the windows tinted (25% up front, 5% everywhere else) got it inspected for Texas, and now working on getting Texas plates sometime this week. Getting the A/C fixed asap, then everything's pretty much going on hold after that until we move into our new place in August which has an air conditioned garage. It's only the beginning of April and it's already way too hot for my taste (boy did I come to the wrong place...).


      Once the A/C Clutch is replaced, I'll be getting an alignment and giving her a mild tuneup. New hoses, new plugs, and another oil change. The power steering leaks until about half-way, but I think that'll get fixed when I replace all the hoses. Then I can work on the cosmetics and get the panels painted and aligned, as well as get rid of the decals on the back and get some of my own from ihatestickers. The rear washer blade got torn off years ago in a car wash, and the spray nozzle has been retrofitted to shoot about 5 feet behind the car . I might completely shave it or I might put the wiper back, dunno really at this point. I don't really have any additional performance mods planned for it than it's already got, except for maybe lowering it a few inches within the next 5-6 months or so, after we've moved into our new place of course. I like the OEM+ look. The headlights can use some love, I think I'm going to paint the housing black to match the rest of the car.


      I'll be updating this thread with mostly pictures really for the most part for the next few weeks/months, and a few odds & ends here and there -- until I can get down and dirty and do some real work on her.


      And don't worry, the wagon isn't being neglected. She's still the daily driver and is in great running condition. I don't think I'll ever part with it, I'll drive it into the ground. She needs new shocks, struts, and rear brakes soon; I'll probably do that work before I do major work on the GTI, honestly. Eventually going to slam the wagon, you know, Slow n Low, bro . But that comes way later, probably after a 5-speed swap.


      Anyway, here's some pictures as she sits at the moment. If anyone's got suggestions, tips, or advice regarding the car, please don't hesitate to post here. I'm not only new to MkIVs but to Volkswagens in general.









































      Threw a few of the wagon in there too... hey, why not
      Last edited by mm3; 01-22-2013 at 02:26 PM.

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      04-08-2012 03:05 AM #2
      JTI
      Headlights

    3. Member mm3's Avatar
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      04-08-2012 01:30 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by vsmatikov View Post
      JTI
      Headlights
      Yeah, I think they'll look much better with the housings painted black.

    4. Member jolf43's Avatar
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      04-08-2012 01:37 PM #4
      i love jetta front ends, but you should have bought coils before a jetta front end
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      04-08-2012 01:47 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by jolf43 View Post
      i love jetta front ends, but you should have bought coils before a jetta front end
      if you would have read the thread, it was the previous owner (friend) who but the jetta front end on he then later goes on to say that he maybe will lower it
      Quote Originally Posted by Deathader View Post
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    6. Member jolf43's Avatar
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      04-08-2012 01:53 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by sharpie-fine View Post
      if you would have read the thread, it was the previous owner (friend) who but the jetta front end on he then later goes on to say that he maybe will lower it
      TLDR
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    7. Member mm3's Avatar
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      04-08-2012 02:50 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by jolf43 View Post
      i love jetta front ends, but you should have bought coils before a jetta front end
      See below.

      Quote Originally Posted by sharpie-fine View Post
      if you would have read the thread, it was the previous owner (friend) who but the jetta front end on he then later goes on to say that he maybe will lower it



      Lowering it will probably be the first mod I do to it, after getting her back to 100% functionality.

      Quote Originally Posted by jolf43 View Post
      TLDR

    8. Member jolf43's Avatar
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      04-08-2012 02:52 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by mm3 View Post


      as is most people on this forum dont read. pics say all
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      04-08-2012 02:53 PM #9
      Dark pictures are dark.
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    10. Member mm3's Avatar
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      04-08-2012 08:04 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by C1tothe4B View Post
      Dark pictures are dark.
      Okay. Have some daylight ones.


      (And yes, the wagon is begging to be lowered)










































      One of these days I'll take off that lonely mudflap on the GTI .

    11. Member CEL is On's Avatar
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      04-08-2012 08:06 PM #11
      Lots of pics of the escort...
      2004 .:R32 | VR Alliance #123 | BFC Retrofits | Auto Elite |

    12. Member mm3's Avatar
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      04-08-2012 08:07 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by CEL is On View Post
      Lots of pics of the escort...
      Meh, why not?

    13. Member jolf43's Avatar
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      04-08-2012 08:08 PM #13
      sooooooooo many pics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      -Dan
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      04-08-2012 08:12 PM #14
      I'd rock the escort

    15. Member mm3's Avatar
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      04-08-2012 09:24 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by jolf43 View Post
      sooooooooo many pics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


      Quote Originally Posted by Dfwvws View Post
      I'd rock the escort



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      04-08-2012 09:54 PM #17
      That escort is hot
      #FlossFilthy
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    17. Member mm3's Avatar
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      04-08-2012 10:07 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by mozcar78 View Post
      macro vision


      Quote Originally Posted by Zach! View Post
      That escort is hot


    18. Member mm3's Avatar
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      04-11-2012 03:23 PM #19
      Got the new Monsoon amp from ebay, and it was the wrong one sending back for a refund....

      Got the bumper hanger for the passenger front as well, going to be installing that this weekend. AC going to be fixed next week, then I'll be joey-modding the headlights, taking off the silly lone-mudflap, then hopefully painting the front fenders, hood, and bumper before the month is over.


      Anyone got a notchless grille for sale?

    19. Member mm3's Avatar
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      01-22-2013 02:11 PM #20
      Hi there.

      So I found this thread. And the car's changed quite a bit since this thread was made, nearly 9 months ago! And unfortunately, that Escort wagon is no longer owned by me, as I had to sell it before moving back to NYC back in November.


      I'll try to go in chronological order as best I can.


      Here are some pictures after her first wash with the then-new Texas plates. Almost immediately after purchasing the car, and before I even got her properly plated in Texas, I had the window tints done. The car's AC clutch hadn't been replaced yet and the heat was killing me. So, I got 25% tints up front and 5% tints in the back, professionally done by Executive Tints in Houston. They also absorb 27% of heat with some metal flakes or something. Cool stuff.











      Now the mechanics. First and foremost, shortly after creating this thread, I discovered that the timing belt was about to snap.





      So the car sat for nearly two and a half months before I was able to afford a timing belt job. It was in the middle of the summer in Houston, so doing a timing belt job myself just wasn't going to happen. $460 and 75 days later, she was back on the road with a new belt and tensioner.


      Power steering leak got pretty bad, sprayed all over the place and dripped all over my garage along with the slow oil leak coming from the oil pan gasket.


      Right after this, I got fed up with having no front grille and since I had no luck finding a reasonably-priced OEM jetta grille, I caved and got an aftermarket plastic one for $30.





      Took it to my trusted mechanic (previous owner, again, a good friend of mine, replaced the rack many times and had many shops and dealers try to diagnose and fix the problem, which is still a mystery to this day), and they had it mended... or so I thought. It definitely helped, as it didn't leak out nearly as fast as before, but it still leaked. I went through half a bottle of fluid per week, but now I go through half a bottle of fluid per month, sometimes longer. One of these days I'll get in there and replace every joint and hose, probably a pinhole somewhere, who knows. The oil pan and gasket is going to be replaced this spring.





      Bad girl! We do that outside!


      Anyway, so I drove the car as-is for a few months before I had any money to do anything. Kept the oil changed and whatnot to keep her drivable. While in this lul of financial plenty, I decided I could do something on the cheap to make the car look better. I took apart the ugly headlights and painted the interior trim black. It definitely helped.


      Before:



      After:









      Then I was hooked. Not too long after doing the headlights, I went ahead and went on a hunt for matching-colored body panels. When the previous owner did the JTI swap, he swapped with a BMP Jetta. The only remaining piece from that swap was the driver's side fender, and the hood. The front bumper and passenger fender were unpainted after an old lady side-swiped him on the highway.


      So, I stalked Craigslist. Eventually, somewhere in the projects of Houston, a wrecked black Jetta was parted and some dude had the parts scattered in his yard. For $100, I came home with a matching hood (that was in 6/10 condition) and matching passenger fender (5/10 condition). I then found a matching driver's side fender for $60, which was in 8/10 condition. After hours and hours of buffing and fine-grit sanding, I got the paint to nice enough condition to put on the car.











      I sold the BMP notch-filled hood and BMP driver's fender to Zach! to use on his OEM GLI build, but unfortunately, FedEx destroyed the hood en route, and Greyhound destroyed the fender en route. FedEx said to get f*cked, and I'm unsure how Zach made out with Greyhound's claim.


      Then, I found a rear wiper blade for pretty cheap, and made it functional again, making the rear finally look complete.





      Then I got a sticker!





      Then I replaced the dead license plate lights with festoon LEDs:





      Unable to find a matching front bumper, I put external visual fixes on the back burner and turned my focus towards the engine. It was gross.


      I decided to kill two birds with one stone (for both visual and performance) and got a set of BKR7E plugs, and a set of red 2.0T FSI coilpacks to replace the stock (albeit recalled and replaced) ones. I gained a crap-ton of low end power, and the amount of pickup when on the throttle was night and day. And, the idle became perfect. Took some playing with the plug gaps to get them perfect, but once I did (0.038"), it ran like a dream.








      Boy, that engine bay is DIRTY! Brb, degreasing and cleaning. Oh, and painting the valve cover black. Oh, and the manifold too!











      That's much better.


      Deciding I wanted a change of scenery, I dipped my wheels black. Pretty pleased with them, and totally reversible. After I dipped the wheels, I gave the car a full spa treatment by buffing the whole car, and giving it two coats of Turtle Wax.








      Then I discovered Torque!





      Drove it around..





      Then I grew tired of the nastyness that was coming out of my exhaust. It sounded horrible. The resonator was rotted out, and there were leaks between it and the muffler. So, I ripped everything out between the cat and muffler, and installed 2.5" (vs the stock 2.25") stainless steel pipes, with a cutout pipe right before the muffler. Then I bolted this on. Straight pipe sounds so nice...





      Now exhaust flows through both the straight pipe and the stock muffler. This way, when it's inspection time, I can just unbolt the exit pipe (shown above), and bolt on the solid metal blocking plate, so that all the flow goes through the muffler, making it nice and quiet.


      Then, I got new plates because the old ones were ugly.














      Then I moved back home to New York!








      Once I got here, I immediately began searching the local junkyards and Craigslist for my last missing piece - the front bumper. MkIVs are a LOT more popular up here, I see them everywhere. Whereas in Texas, it was a rare sight to see another MkIV Jetta, Golf, whatever.


      Bingo! I found one that matches, and was in decent shape! The GLI lip from the old bumper will be going on in the Spring after I get it painted. For now, though, she is completely done.

















      Come Spring, I have some plans for the motor. I want to find a K04 to put in, to replace the stock K03 Sport. Then I'd like to install an upgraded Manifold, and maybe even find a worked AEB head to throw on top. The previous owner had already installed Techtonics cams and a Force 007 DV, as well as a GIAC X+ Tune. The 02J transmission and clutch are nice and strong, the transmission will sometimes grind into 3rd gear. I bought the car at 132k, and I'm about to hit 143k. Once the clutch needs to be replaced I will most likely swap in an 02M, upgraded clutch, and lightweight flywheel. After that, I'm not sure. I'll probably be satisfied once it's all done, I'm hoping to see something north of 300 horses come end of summer.
      '87 Volvo 740 w/ LS Swap | '87 Crown Vic | '99 Explorer Sport | '86 Crown Vic (non-running)


    20. Member mm3's Avatar
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      01-22-2013 02:13 PM #21
      The only two pics I have of the car from right before I owned it...




      '87 Volvo 740 w/ LS Swap | '87 Crown Vic | '99 Explorer Sport | '86 Crown Vic (non-running)


    21. Member Dave, Bro's Avatar
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      01-22-2013 03:20 PM #22
      Looks good. Where in nh did you pick it up?
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      Sucks having a 6 speed, but not really.

    22. Member mm3's Avatar
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      01-22-2013 03:37 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave, Bro View Post
      Looks good. Where in nh did you pick it up?
      Flew into Manchester, buddy/previous owner picked me up to where the car was stored at the time, in northern Massachusetts.
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      01-22-2013 04:02 PM #24
      Those headlights were so...

    24. Member mm3's Avatar
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      01-22-2013 04:10 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by . EH View Post
      Those headlights were so...
      Yes. They were quite...
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      01-22-2013 04:43 PM #26
      Thank god I don't have 54k internet.
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      Doctor Meat is doing a housecall right now

    26. Member mm3's Avatar
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      01-22-2013 04:46 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Meat Does Housecalls View Post
      Thank god I don't have 54k internet.
      *hugs his 75/35 connection*
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      01-22-2013 07:19 PM #28
      Car looks good!

      Just a heads up, now that you're in NY you may possibly get some attention from state troopers about your tint. My Golf came from California with tinted windows, not even as dark as yours on the front, and I got a warning when I got pulled over on I-90. Apparently NYS law says 70% min. light transmittance.

      (I haven't taken off the tint though.)

    28. Member mm3's Avatar
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      01-22-2013 07:25 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by Tinilk View Post
      Car looks good!

      Just a heads up, now that you're in NY you may possibly get some attention from state troopers about your tint. My Golf came from California with tinted windows, not even as dark as yours on the front, and I got a warning when I got pulled over on I-90. Apparently NYS law says 70% min. light transmittance.

      (I haven't taken off the tint though.)
      Yeah, NY tint laws suck. They can't do anything about it though as long as I keep my Texas plates
      '87 Volvo 740 w/ LS Swap | '87 Crown Vic | '99 Explorer Sport | '86 Crown Vic (non-running)


    29. Member mm3's Avatar
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      01-28-2013 08:55 PM #30
      Considering going back to Halogen headlights so that I can take off those headlights and get black Hella Ecodes (they look amazing).

      I'm going back and forth, trying to decide what to do. I love all the benefits of having HIDs so I'm not sure if it's worth having ugly housings.


      '87 Volvo 740 w/ LS Swap | '87 Crown Vic | '99 Explorer Sport | '86 Crown Vic (non-running)


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