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    Thread: VR6 Slow Build into 1984 GTI

    1. 05-16-2012 03:06 PM #1
      So, this is my first actual post outside of the marketplace, and I'm hoping it's not going to be near my last. I'll attempt to regularly update this thread, and if anyone has any similar issues I've run into or general questions, I'm more than willing to help to the best of my ability.

      Let's get this started!

      When i was originally living in Texas, now living in Florida, I lucked out at the dealership I worked at and purchased a trade in early 1983 MK1 GTI. I liked the car primarily because of my dads opinion of it, as he purchased one new in '83 (white, w/ blue interior), and said it was the most fun car he'd ever owned. Saw this one hit our lot and jumped on the opportunity. 123k miles, silver w/ red interior, looked like a few minor mods (later found out was a lot more) that we gave the owner $500 for. He claimed the reason he disliked it was the lack of power steering and no a/c. I found later that the car had H&R struts and springs, Raceland header, full techtonics exhaust to the muffler, where an HKS Hi-Power muffler was fitted. Front and rear sway bars with upper strut bar, BBS wheels (stock off a BMW I believe?), and rear disc brake setup. The car was awesome, pulled strong, all gears went in smooth. However, the fuse box was an absolute MESS, and that's giving it credit. Every time I shifted, the toe of my shoe tapped a hanging relay among the cluster. But the car was awesome, so I dealt with it's 'issues'. Through a month long fight with sludge in the gas tank slowly destroying everything in the fuel system, I kept working with it only because how fun the car was to drive. Until I drove it home from work and the rain tray was cracked (I had not noticed) and let a little storm in right on top of my fusebox. After attempting to repair it, unsuccessfully, the car was sold to a local GTI MKIV driver that intended to do a 1.8t swap into it. I keep up with him, and his project is slowly progressing, so I'm happy it went to a good home.

      When I moved to Florida, I went on a hunt for a MK1, and finally found one on the vortex for 750 in Georgia. I drove up, snagged it up fast, and flew home before anyone could change the sellers mind. He believed the car was on it's way out, with 187k miles on a broken odometer, but all it needed was a new air filter to get smoothly moving.

      Immediately, I ordered plugs, wires, rotor, distrib. cap, fluids, etc. Got the car running strong, then moved to the things I'd always wanted to do: Raceland Coilovers, Replaced all bushings with prothane bushings, new control arms w/ ball joints, tie rod ends, and tie rod flip kit, all from BFI. As well, from TechtonicsTuning, I snagged up a Magnaflow exhaust and muffler. A fellow vortex member also happened to put some 13x7 front 13x8 rear widened steelies up for sale, and they got ordered up as well, with delivery of my 175/50/13 Dunlop SP Sport 2000's this upcoming tuesday. All through this time, a local European Car Mechanic, who I'm sure is somewhere on the Vortex, Ken, happened to put up a 1997 Passat VR6 for sale, which I picked up. The car was driven back to my shop, where my friends and I tore the car apart, pulled the motor, harness, tranny, ecu, etc, and prepped for the swap I'd always wanted to do.

      Hopefully a Eurowise mount kit will be picked up at SoWo, but I'll have to see what my finances permit me, as I'm a college student slammed w/ ridiculous amounts of HW. But, this thread won't turn, and I swear this, to a part out or for sale thread, as the VR6 WILL be put into my MK1 at some point, and WILL run, and WILL sound beautiful.

      But here is my dilemma.

      My 1.8 must be running in order for me to transport things around for the time (My daily right now is an '05 GSX-R 600), and I just love driving my GTI. A recent problem has come up as of a week and a half ago. First, the starter went out. I purchased a starter from A1PARTSDEPOT in New Jersey and had it shipped. The starter was a reman one, and **** out on me the very same day I installed it (Yes, I changed the washer). After talking with them, they agreed for a full refund once it was shipped back, where I then purchased a new starter from a reputable VW parts store in Michigan. The starter arrived, installed, and worked great. However, after a few days, the car would only crank and no longer turn over. New coil purchased, no start. New fuel pump purchased, no start. Fuel lines checked and cleaned, no start. Checked the fuel tank, clean as a whistle. Took a multimeter to the car, and here's what I've found: power to ignition switch is good, ignition module is good, to coil is good, 10v from coil to distributor, and that's where it stops. Rotor spins, but no spark. Purchased a 'recurved' distributor from a vortex member, machshnell, who was outstanding at getting me the part in no more than three days! However... the distributor looks very different than my stock one. Pictures are below, any ideas? For clarification, the vortex user that sold me the distributor forwarned me that the distributor had never been installed nor tested, but would help me out if it didn't work out. Outstanding seller.)


      Original Texas GTI


      Original Texas GTI engine bay


      New GTI, when purchased


      New GTI when purchased


      New GTI when purchased


      The toys showing up!


      Coils!


      Install!


      New wheels


      Tiny bit of poke


      My baby


      A liiiiittle low


      Headlights for now until I get around to round headlight conversion


      More toys!


      Old starter, new starter


      Old distributor, new distributor (help?)


      Plug to the distributor


      Plug on the new distributor (square, not oval like the old one)


      Wire connection, not sure what it's to, mine didn't have that. As well, the 2nd port for the vaccuum on the back of the dizzy)


      Reference pic of old distributor


      Been sitting for 2 weeks


      The donor


      In the passat


      In progress


      The future


      finally out!

      Tons of credit to my two friends Matt and Kyle, couldn't have gotten nearly this far without them.

      Any ideas on my 1.8 spark issue? Please don't say "just get that VR in there, because I think that every day, but I hate not driving my rabbit.

      More to come!

    2. Member RAB-817's Avatar
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      1979 GLS Mk1
      05-16-2012 06:15 PM #2
      Looks great, love the rims.

      As for the distributer, one looks to the electric and the other looks to be a points setup.
      The points one will be the cleanest one of the two you got, it has a single connection on it.
      Where as the electric one will have a black plug.

      Keep it up
      79 Mk1 4 door
      1.8L Mk3 Engine

    3. 05-16-2012 06:50 PM #3
      forgive my lack of knowledge, what do you mean points setup?
      and the cleanest of the two has two ports for vacuum lines, one thats on the other side that you cannot see

    4. Member RAB-817's Avatar
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      1979 GLS Mk1
      05-16-2012 07:24 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by SamMK1 View Post
      forgive my lack of knowledge, what do you mean points setup?
      and the cleanest of the two has two ports for vacuum lines, one thats on the other side that you cannot see
      Points system is the older style, its all mechanical. Google it for how it works.
      The electronic version is all done by done the hall sensor and what not.

      As for the vacuum ports, one goes to the Carby, and one goes to the line between the manifold and brake booster... not sure where it goes if its a Kjet setup sorry
      79 Mk1 4 door
      1.8L Mk3 Engine

    5. 09-14-2012 01:13 AM #5
      bringing my thread back from the dead!

      As of this morning, the following parts were ordered :

      Eurowise Stage 1+ VR6 MK1 conversion mount kit
      Godspeed Radiator w/ 2x slim fans for 91-95 Corrado
      Raceland Strut bar
      Vented OEM Rotors
      PBR Venter Rotor Brake Pads
      Momentum Motor Parts Tachometer Conversion Box

      As my project proceeds these next few weeks, I'll document the steps I go through and wiring in order to help anyone else interested in a VR swap into a Mk1.

    6. 09-14-2012 09:20 AM #6
      Love how it looks on the steelies.

      raceland coils + a VR seems like a scary combo to me. highway tramboline.
      LE6B

    7. 09-17-2012 03:48 PM #7
      surprisingly, the racelands arent as bouncy as I had expected. Obviously not the most firm ride in the world, but putting that extra 60-70 lbs up front will be interesting. Possibly getting the OSVW delux foundations to work it out a bit. Primary worry is the clearance of the VR oil pan. I prefer not to move in in wheel size (love my 13's) but from what i understand, at my current height and wheels, I'm to expect 1/4 - 3/4 inch ground clearance from the pan, if that. No Bueno D:

    8. Member warmchn's Avatar
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      83 VR Rabbit, 02 WRB Bugeye
      09-17-2012 05:07 PM #8
      i have racelands and a vr6. it handles fine. However, i did add sways w/ full bushings, strut bars, and a k bar. Before that it handled even worse.
      -JP
      83 VR Bunny
      "Oh...U mad?"

    9. 09-18-2012 10:33 PM #9
      warchn, did you experience any snags during your swap? and how is your oil pan clearance? if at all possible, if you could post a pic of the clearance, size wheels/tires, and if youre lowered, id MORE than appreciate it. I really want to keep my 13's, but I have my doubts that the pan will clear, even with the mounts at the fullest height. Possibly considering a swap to a 2 peice oil pan w/ an aluminum siding and steel bottom, i believe its from a mk4?



      heres progress!



      the car!



      mail today!



      parts



      VR6 w/o the head, having it cleaned up and worked



      parts at the shop



      massive parts bin from my donor car, i've started polishing the manifold



      should probably finish the drift car...



      ls1 for the 240sx





      or the stunt bike....



      Lot's of projects at the shop! if anyone can chime in on any possible snags they encountered with their or a friends VR6 swap, I'd love to know of that ahead of time!

      more to come

    10. 10-14-2012 10:57 AM #10
      Progress!




      VR6 Manifold cover, all white, the VW emblem and VR6-DOHC will be red



      Alternator, starter, and oil pan all white



      Eurowise mounts, white



      the mounts



      test fit radiator

      Headwork should be completed this wednesday, more updates from there!

    11. Member tgibson's Avatar
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      79 2 door, 82 4 door
      10-14-2012 02:51 PM #11
      Hot damn

    12. 10-14-2012 04:54 PM #12
      watching this

    13. Junior Member dubsc's Avatar
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      96 PassatTDI, 3 81 caddys, 85 golf, 82 bunny, sold 06 jettaTDI
      10-14-2012 05:25 PM #13
      What axles did you go with?

    14. 10-14-2012 08:45 PM #14
      got the axles from the Eurowise Stage 1+ kit! Quality is ABSOLUTELY there, ill be posting pics of those up later, i cant believe i forgot to post that. current dilemma is acquiring my 10.1 wilwood bbk. My friend put one on his slammed miata and that thing stopped on a dime, and right now I only have my stock front calipers and rear drums, so upgrading the braking would be nice. That and I unfortunately have to let my sweet 13x7 13x8 widened steelies go cause I dont think my VR6 oil pan will clear the ground, and i know the wilwood kit wont clear anything but 15's at minimum.

      anyone have experience with oil pan clearance on vr6 swapped mk1's? lmk!!

    15. Member panzer 2.3's Avatar
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      10-14-2012 08:53 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by SamMK1 View Post
      anyone have experience with oil pan clearance on vr6 swapped mk1's? lmk!!
      Looks like a sweet buildask euro wise to make you a shortened oil pan like they did for nashty's rabbit trust me they sit low here's mine:
      Instagram @vw_bronson

    16. Member TDiPusher19t's Avatar
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      10-14-2012 09:04 PM #16
      Ive got that lw flywheel waiting for you man

    17. 10-14-2012 09:59 PM #17
      panzer is that a stock oil pan or the shortened one?? if that's stock, I can survive with that! but it depends how low you are...I have credit card clearance on all 4 tires with fenders, and stretched tires all around on 13's...but that looks great!

      and whats up TDIpusher19t! once I got that extra flow I'll be all over it. You kno you want to sell me your round headlight fenders

    18. Member TDiPusher19t's Avatar
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      10-14-2012 10:51 PM #18
      90 for the pair?

    19. Member
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      10-14-2012 10:58 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by SamMK1 View Post
      panzer is that a stock oil pan or the shortened one?? if that's stock, I can survive with that! )
      that definitely doesnt look stock

    20. Member panzer 2.3's Avatar
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      10-14-2012 11:07 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by SamMK1 View Post
      panzer is that a stock oil pan or the shortened one?? if that's stock, I can survive with that! but it depends how low you are...I have credit card clearance on all 4 tires with fenders, and stretched tires all around on 13's...but that looks great!

      and whats up TDIpusher19t! once I got that extra flow I'll be all over it. You kno you want to sell me your round headlight fenders
      It's stock. I'm going to have a shortened pan made by euro wise myself. I'm not driving my car that much now so I'm not in a rush. I'm fairly low, but not slammed I have about one finger of gap
      All around on 15's. A shortened pan is a wise investment on a vr'd MKI.
      Instagram @vw_bronson

    21. Member
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      10-15-2012 12:38 PM #21
      that pan in the pic above? it looks shorter. oh well

    22. Member warmchn's Avatar
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      10-17-2012 08:00 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by SamMK1 View Post
      warchn, did you experience any snags during your swap? and how is your oil pan clearance? if at all possible, if you could post a pic of the clearance, size wheels/tires, and if youre lowered, id MORE than appreciate it. I really want to keep my 13's, but I have my doubts that the pan will clear, even with the mounts at the fullest height. Possibly considering a swap to a 2 peice oil pan w/ an aluminum siding and steel bottom, i believe its from a mk4?


      I had 13' ats classic's. 13's are not going to work with this swap. Right now i'm running 15' jetta bugatti's with a 205/50/15.

      Here is the oil pan clearance with the 15's and a k bar


      Here is the car as she sits now and it is lowered


      the best part is it handles amazing compared to the 8v with the skateboard wheels.




      JP
      -JP
      83 VR Bunny
      "Oh...U mad?"

    23. 10-19-2012 01:51 PM #23


      this is my oil pan right now, so long as I can maintain that clearance with a vr pan, ill keep my 13's!

    24. Member warmchn's Avatar
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      10-22-2012 06:04 PM #24
      best of luck. oil pan on the VR is a lot bigger than the 8v(motor sits lower maybe even longer?). also take into consideration the weight difference in the front end. You are adding another 200lbs in the front. your going to be much more bouncer unless u have a stiffer spring or have struts/ coilovers re-valved. Been there done that.


      take pics when you are complete. i'd like to see the clearance.


      JP
      -JP
      83 VR Bunny
      "Oh...U mad?"

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