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    Thread: Building the Ultimate 1983 Rabbit GTI (vw mk1)?

    1. 10-13-2013 10:50 AM #101
      Quote Originally Posted by GianniB View Post
      This guy has both sides just across the border and down the road from you:

      http://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/cto/4120430939.html

      I've bought a few things from him, he's ok and not a flake.

      Cheers, John
      I too bought the doors from him, nice guy, not a flake. I purchased the instrument cluster too, but had to rebuild it since it was not working. Not blaming him, just the age of the vehicle.

    2. 10-14-2013 08:55 PM #102
      Well, I finished the drivers side lower sills and flipped the car around and started working on the passenger side sills. After 4-6 hours of work they are almost straight now and getting close to the finishing putty stage. I have a full week of travel in front of me starting Wednesday so won't get this finished for another 2 weeks though.

      New photo here: http://derekspratt.com/HTML/Automoti...ork_Paint.html

      I spent part of this long weekend getting my upper back worked on to relax my traps and it really helped my hands a lot. I think that the nerves running from my arms to my spine were being pinched somewhere in my shoulders. This is a great relief to me as I was starting to worry that I had really messed my hands up. I was able to put 4 hours of solid bodywork time in today without much fuss. Yippie.

      So far no success sourcing new fenders so I am starting to think about banging the damaged one back into shape. The more I look at it the less stressed I am about the bends in it. They are pretty significant bends but I think I can get the fender straightened out if I build a wooden jig and use some high density foam to support it while banging it out ...

    3. 10-16-2013 03:15 PM #103
      Well, I am on the plane in a few hours and managed to get my banged up passenger fender pretty close to factory shape with a hammer, blocks of supporting foam and some wood. So I am OK now with some body filler on it and some careful block sanding …

      And I got 2 passes of finishing putty on the passenger side sills as well this morning so they are almost ready for some paint when I get back on Monday.

    4. 10-23-2013 02:55 PM #104
      I managed to get a few more passes of finishing putty and sanding in and then a coat of epoxy on the passenger sill over the past 48 hours. It always feels good to get some primer on over the filler to allow you to see how close the surface is to being perfect - no matter how hard I try to see how level I am with incident lighting I always seem to miss something. After getting the epoxy on last night I could immediately see a few low spots and the odd imperfection so I lightly block sanded this AM to highlight the areas, and then got one pass of putty/sanding/putty done before I had to leave again for the airport. It is looking good - I will have the 2K high build primer on Saturday and then will continue onto the rear of the car. Starting to feel that I have mastery over this autobody/filler/sanding/painting process now. And my hands are getting healthier as well so I am pretty happy. I'll post a photo Sat ...

    5. 10-29-2013 10:50 PM #105
      After a few more passes of putty I sprayed on some high build primer and found that pretty much everything was straight and clean except for a small area at the back of the door edge that I had over sanded along the crease, hence the additional putty in that spot. I have also managed to get 4 passes of filler and putty on the rear passenger lower corner where I had braised in a new panel ...

      New photos posted at: http://derekspratt.com/HTML/Automoti...ork_Paint.html

      New video at: http://derekspratt.com/HTML/Automoti..._2_Videos.html

    6. Member Blade3562's Avatar
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      10-30-2013 12:29 PM #106
      This build is just awesome! So much awesome. Really makes me excited fir a full resto project.

    7. Junior Member JAG71's Avatar
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      Past: 80 Rabbit, 03 Passat, 04 GTI Present: 08 R32
      10-30-2013 07:14 PM #107
      FYI there's a passenger side fender currently listed in the classified section.

    8. 11-09-2013 02:15 AM #108
      Thank you for the tip on the fender for sale. I am going to keep the one I have banged back into shape. I won't get to it for painting for at least a few more weeks but I'll know how good my metal bashing has been once I get to the paint prep stage in early Dec ...

    9. 11-09-2013 02:16 AM #109
      I have made good progress on the welded area in and around the fuel filler cap, the rear passenger fender lip, smoothing out and correcting a curvature issue around the side signal light, finishing the lower rear passenger corner where I had previously braised in a new panel, and cleaning up the area around the rear license plate lights)

      New photos here: http://derekspratt.com/HTML/Automoti...ork_Paint.html

      New Video here: http://derekspratt.com/HTML/Automoti..._2_Videos.html

    10. 11-18-2013 01:05 AM #110
      After a trip to Europe this week where I brought back my light-weight Lexan windows from LWS in the UK I managed to complete building some nice audio equipment cabinets out of 1/2" square tube steel and glass - they look great. Nice to be able to fabricate this kind of thing to justify my GTI project tool purchases!

      I also got a full day today to work on the GTI and I spent it going over the whole passenger side of the car, sanding and filling, over and over. One area that I was dialing in was the fuel filler cap area and I was really killing myself trying to get the inside ring to be perfectly flush all the way around to the inner fender where I had welded in new material. I finally got the idea of wrapping the filler neck in plastic food wrap, covering it with filler putty and then quickly mounting it and letting it partially set. Then I got a sharp knife and cut away all of the excess material before it got too hard and then sanded it afterwards - and it worked nicely. I now have a perfect fit that will be water proof once I put a thin gasket in place when I do final assembly.

      I will keep farting around with the inner door jams and other side panel areas until I am ready for final paint and then I will shoot the whole side top to bottom, inside jams, lower sills, everything all at once as there is no simply transition area to mask off to otherwise. It shouldn't take me more than a week or so to get to that point, and then I will also shoot the rear of the car which is basically ready now anyway. Then I will repeat the process on the driver side which will be much faster as the lower sill is already done and there is no fuel filler area to stress me out.

    11. 11-19-2013 01:41 AM #111
      I made more progress than expected today and managed to complete the passenger side door jams and block sand the whole side of the car, and then shoot epoxy primer front to back. It looks really good and I am now motivated to get some minor touch-up work done with some putty tomorrow and then move on to the 2K high build primer Wednesday. I can see some 220 grit scratches thru the epoxy primer which reminds me that I should finish with 320 grit each time I prepare for painting, even if it is early primer coating. I'll post photos and another video this weekend once I have the passenger side all ready for the base coat ...

    12. Member Sk8rat's Avatar
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      11-19-2013 05:01 PM #112
      Quote Originally Posted by Derek Spratt View Post
      Nice to be able to fabricate this kind of thing to justify my GTI project tool purchases!
      there are people with far more expensive tools and equipment than you that have done builds not even half as good as yours. no justification needed. cant wait to see pictures of this thing after paint.
      "Hi-fi Gods try so hard to make their cars low to the ground"

    13. Member Blade3562's Avatar
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      '81 Rabbit L, '85 Cabriolet, '88 Cabriolet, '15 Golf LE
      11-19-2013 06:36 PM #113
      Hey where did you get the hood from? Do they do swallowtail style ones? Looking to do something custom for my 81!

    14. 11-21-2013 01:23 AM #114
      http://www.lwsdesign.co.uk/index.php

      You can email them for the correct photos as the rear hatch for the mk1 is shown as the mk2 (but they sent me a photo of a mk1 and when I ordered mine it came correctly).

    15. 11-25-2013 12:01 AM #115
      I put in about 15 hours this weekend doing a final epoxy primer sanding to the passenger side, then applying 2 coats of 2K high build primer (but I got some nasty runs in the paint because I put on too much - but it sanded out easily later ...), then I waited overnight to block and detail sand out the high build primer (which turned out great - really smooth and flat), and then I dropped the car down onto the roller frame, unbolted the rear bumper, sanded down the old paint on the rear, and then got the first coat of filler and block sanding done on the rear before dinner time

      New photos here: http://derekspratt.com/HTML/Automoti...ork_Paint.html

      New video here: http://derekspratt.com/HTML/Automoti..._2_Videos.html

    16. 11-25-2013 11:37 PM #116
      There have been, and currently are, some awesome builds threads on the tex, so to title your thread as the "ultimate" build takes some cajones.
      But you are living up to your thread title and I look forward to watching this process continue.

      Great work. just keep doing what your doing because it is looking awesome

    17. 12-01-2013 01:28 AM #117
      I have spent quite a bit of time on the rear drivers side getting the panel absolutely correct. There was a soft dent in the area and after a lot of careful layer by layer buildup of filler I found that I had to go wider and wider to acheive the perfect curvature that was required. It is 90% now and so I decided to epoxy prime it at the same time as I did the initial priming of the rear this weekend so that I can see the reflections on the surface when I complete this task. I am very happy with the way the rear turned out as there is only minor touchup that will be required. I hope to get those minor things addressed tomorrow so that I can finish the weekend with a 2K high build primer application.

      New photos here: http://derekspratt.com/HTML/Automoti...ork_Paint.html

      New video here: http://derekspratt.com/HTML/Automoti..._2_Videos.html

    18. 12-03-2013 01:39 AM #118
      I sprayed the 2K high build primer on the rear of the car Sunday evening and block sanded it tonight. In some ways I wish I hadn't sprayed it in all of the little nooks and crannys as it was a bitch to sand out all of the tight areas without breaking thru. But when it was done it looked awesome so I am happy I did it after all. I found a few low spots and a few uneven spots as a result of the sanding that will require another pass of putty and then I'll touch up those areas and re-sand with epoxy. And when I come back to the rear for base + clear I will seal everything first with a reduced wet epoxy coat first.

      I got creative with some reshaping of the rear bodywork below the bumper mounting holes - I essentially filled in and blended the curves where the indent for the spot welding was. After all of the smoothing across the rear and careful blocking out the back of the car now looks really striking - totally straight and smooth. I have carbon fiber Euro (early style) bumpers that I will mount fairly close to the body so these areas will be more noticeable than was the case with the larger, bulky looking US bumpers. I know this isn't "stock/OEM" and it goes against my idea to keep the interior and exterior "factory" but I never liked the look of the 5mph US spec bumpers - in my view they were just too large in scale to fit the delicate and quite beautiful (and minimalist) mk1 body shape/size. I don't really like the large rubber style wrap-around Euro bumpers either - again, this is just a personal matter. I haven't talked about the bumper design for this project yet: I have 6061T6 spec 1x2" rectangular aluminum tubing that I will cut and shape to create front and rear bumper assemblies (I will weld up the mounts out of aluminum as well, complete with matching hole covers where the mounts enter the body mounting holes - the carbon fiber will be bonded to the 1x2" so it will look beautiful, be really light, and also provide decent protection against minor accidents and such). The mounting legs will be painted silver to match the body color (you will only see about 3/4" of them due to the tight fit to the body) while the bumpers will be satin black. The front Euro turn signal lens will be smoke black to blend in and look more like the US spec bumpers.
      Last edited by Derek Spratt; 12-03-2013 at 01:55 AM.

    19. 12-04-2013 03:12 AM #119
      I got the 2K high build primer applied to the rear at the end of the weekend, sanded it down yesterday, did some minor putty touch-up today, shot those areas with a bit more epoxy, and then moved on to the drivers side. I sanded it down today and shot it with an initial coat of epoxy so I can lay on some filler and putty starting tomorrow

      New photos here: http://derekspratt.com/HTML/Automoti...ork_Paint.html

      New video here: http://derekspratt.com/HTML/Automoti..._2_Videos.html

    20. Member the dubshow's Avatar
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      12-04-2013 05:57 PM #120
      Cool project/resto.

      I do enjoy seeing pictures in the forum vs going to an external site. Could you do a simple bulk upload to a free hosting account to hotlink?

      Keep it up! I am nearing my mildly worked 16v on MS2. Any once efi is stable, dropping in my 2.1l monster.

    21. 12-09-2013 01:01 AM #121
      I decided to make my personal web site the primary source for photos and videos rather than trying to make this VW Vortex thread a full multimedia experience, which keeps the loading time down on the thread pages and allows me to focus on ensuring that my web site is complete/thorough, with an easy to navigate page structure and index, etc.

      I apologize for the inconvenience that this may cause for people here that don't want to leave the site and load additional pages, etc.

    22. 12-09-2013 01:05 AM #122
      Over the past week I managed to get several passes of filler on the drivers side and another coat of epoxy, then more filler and sanding, then some touch-up epoxy on the areas that I cut thru to the base metal, and a lot of work getting the depth and profile on the edges of the molding crease at the back of the car (using a near little metal tool I shaped to create the correct depth and shape), then today managed to get the high build primer on (and after some block sanding once it dries I will move on the engine bay for the final touch up filler, etc and then the roof)

      New photos here: http://derekspratt.com/HTML/Automoti...ork_Paint.html

      New video here: http://derekspratt.com/HTML/Automoti..._2_Videos.html

    23. 12-16-2013 01:32 AM #123
      I put a lot of time into the engine bay area all this week and weekend. I first sanding down the white epoxy primer and then did a bunch of filling and sanding over and over until Friday. Then I shot it with the grey epoxy primer and saw lots more imperfections so went wild with more filling and sanding all day yesterday and again today, then shot it again with the grey epoxy tonight. I also worked at the same time on the front window trim areas so it is all now 95% complete (it gets a little silly with the engine bay smoothing process as each time an area starts to look really nice it begs the challenge of bringing the rest of engine bay up to that standard, and then it goes on and on again until I start to think I am a fool to be doing this ...). With the gloss finish it is easy to see minor touch-up areas and I'll get to them tomorrow late in the evening. I will then shoot the high build primer either tomorrow or Tuesday depending on how tired I am. I will then block sand out the high build primer Wed evening. If all goes well I'll be able to get the car back on its side on the weekend and finish off the roof and sunroof areas before xmas so that I can head into the holidays with an eye towards stripping down the doors and starting on them. I haven't yet spent any time on them but I am seriously considering cutting out the inner door skins and then removing the heavy side impact steel braces and replacing them with aluminum bracing. We'll see if that is possible soon enough ...

    24. 12-19-2013 12:03 AM #124
      I completed the engine final smoothing filling and sanding process, spraying epoxy when I needed to see how close I was getting, and eventually I got to the point of completing the high build primer application and started on the final block sanding of all of the surfaces prior to the base/clear painting process which I will tackle in January. I also got the critical front window frame areas all completed which is very satisfying ... and thanks to Kevin Young, a fellow VW Vortex member, I had access to one of his mint NOS GTI badges to get a correct colour reference to compare both my original faded badges as well as the aftermarket Mk1autohaus replicas - it turns out that the repro rear badge wasn't even close but the front was.

      New photos here: http://derekspratt.com/HTML/Automoti...ork_Paint.html

      New video here: http://derekspratt.com/HTML/Automoti..._2_Videos.html

    25. 01-09-2014 11:09 PM #125
      Happy New Year to everyone.

      My xmas period was a bit of a drag as I caught a flu bug that slammed me for most of the time my eldest 2 boys were home with us. I got exactly 2 hours of GTI resto project time in until tonight. Well, I did manage to source some nifty 600 grit foam backed sanding pads which have come in handy sanding down the high build primer that I sprayed in the engine compartment area (with its thousands of little crooks and crannys to sand flat). I completed that task tonight and also worked on the front grill area. Most of that area will be covered by the plastic grill and the spoiler and/or the bumper but I can't help getting every last little area perfect so I will lay down some putty tomorrow and sand it all butter smooth, spray it with some epoxy, and then move on to the roof ...

      BTW, even though I was initially mad at myself for creating a huge amount of work by spraying high build primer into the engine area, in the end I am glad for it as it does such a great job of leveling out the surfaces and making the the project look its best - it just takes a lot of time to use 400 and 600 grit sand paper to smooth it all out.

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