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    Thread: MkI FAQ/DIY Thread

    1. 11-21-2002 01:29 AM #1
      Following in the footsteps of some other forums it would be a time saver and useful resource for newer Mk1 owners for us to have a FAQ/DIY thread for this forum.
      Please add appropriate material to this thread; the things that are repeated will be deleted unless the general consensus is that they are more complete than the one that they come after.
      This isn't a chat thread but a manuscript of sorts to help out our fellow enthusiasts.

    2. 11-21-2002 02:23 AM #2
      Don't touch anything until you purchase a BENTLEY MANUAL

      Read it use it and throw away your Chilton piece of BM

    3. 11-21-2002 04:22 AM #3

      <rant about Mk1 not = A1 removed>
      Forthcoming history of the Marquee & naming conventions to follow.


      [Modified by TBerk, 5:10 AM 11-29-2002]

    4. Member vwrabbit's Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 21st, 2000
      '12 TDI
      11-21-2002 09:35 AM #4
      Better breathing tips:
      Any A2 throttle body will work after you swap linkages from your A1 TB over. You will then either need to port the TB opening to allow the larger butterfly, or pick up a Fox intake.
      Also, for anyone that has the "toilet bowl" exhaust manifold, you can replace it with a better flowing 4-into-2 design from an early gas or any diesel. Some diesels also have a "toilet bowl" design, but flows much better than the gas version, very similar to the 4-into-2 design.
      These 2 modifications are a must before trying to push any more HP from your engine.

    5. Member imaradiostar's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 4th, 2002
      Bedminster, PA
      81 323i, 2002 Jetta TDI
      11-21-2002 01:13 PM #5
      I suppose the core support question will come up, anyone who knows better feel free to augment this.
      If you have a square headlight rabbit and would like the round headlight look you'll need the radiator core support and fenders from a round headlight car. This means cabriolets up till 1992 or german-made rabbits of almost any year.
      The core support has several weld points that can be drilled out, freeing the support so it can be put on another car. It will have to be welded on...
      Fenders can be a real bugger to remove from the donor car without destroying them. Use your bentley manual (if you don't have one yet, order one NOW!) to help identify the locations of the screws/bolts holding the fender on. A small propane torch can be used to heat the undercoating that has most likely hardened, gluing the fenders to the body. Vortex member EVPusher cites that biodiesel is also very good for softening the old VW undercoating.
      There are several who have managed to use round headlight fenders with a square headlight core support. YMMV...
      A good supplier for new aftermarket A1 core supports can be found at This place is a great supplier for many kinds of VW parts including turn signal lenses, window seals, and door seals. VW Cabriolet fenders used to be available through JC Whitney but now you'd most likely have to get them from or a similar vendor. Most people just go to a local junkyard and grab them from a donor car...

    6. 11-21-2002 01:27 PM #6
      Want to do a turbo junkyard swap from a VW TD? Check out this how to thread in the FI forum:
      In addition, I have some good info on parts for turboing CIS.
      Use an audi 5000 Turbo or Volvo 240 Turbo warm up regulator with the 2 vacumn ports on the side of it. This is good to get extra fuel under boost.
      Should support 7 psi NOT intercooled and about 9-10 with a good intercooler.
      If you want more power and are willing to stay below 220HP then add on a Volvo 240 TURBO fuel distributor. You will need two extra #1 fuel lines from your favorite junkyard A1. This distributor flows 40-50 more HP worth of fuel than the stock unit.
      I also suggest a dual vacumn port advance mechanism from an early gas rabbit. By leaving the back port open, your timing will retard under boost which helps to prevent against detination.

      There is also a Saab APC boost control unit from bosch, but I have yet to find anyone who knows how it works!
      If you want more than 220HP from your A1, it will be best for you to swap to Digi 1 injection. I do not know enough about this to give info.... Anyone?

    7. 11-21-2002 03:18 PM #7
      someone PLEASE post mpg specs for cars and possibly mpg specs for modded cars and what the mods are!!!!!! that topic comes up ALL too often.

    8. Member
      Join Date
      Sep 17th, 2002
      mk3 Jetta / mk6 Golf - Retired: '85 & '86 Cabriolets, '86 Audi 4kq
      11-21-2002 07:58 PM #8
      CIS vs. CIS-e (for left hand drive cars)
      You have CIS if you have:
      A fuel distributor on the drivers side of the engine compartment,
      a control pressure regulator on the front of the engine (2 stainless braided lines going to it)
      And for those that are not that technical - windshield washer resivior is on the passenger side
      You have CIS-e if:
      You Fuel distributor is on the passenger side (some early A2 car's had CIS in this configuration)
      there is no pressure regulator on the front of the engine
      your washer fluid resivior is on the drivers side
      Digifant 2 systems (and the rest) use a fuel rail and an air-flow sensor (MAF-Mass Air Flow)(instead of a metering plate). Digifant 1 systems (used on the Corrado G60 and some california cars) are similar, but use a manifold pressure sensor (MAP-Manifold Absolute Pressure).

      Modified by Krautwagen at 9:44 PM 4-4-2005

    9. 11-21-2002 08:09 PM #9

    10. 11-21-2002 10:49 PM #10
      An awesome site gor the basics and such... excellent tech info. Bad Habit Rabbit page!

    11. 11-22-2002 06:07 PM #11
      O.k, here we go...
      ABA swap
      CIS/CIS-E Diagnostics
      Lots of info, European page but go to "tekstit" and find tons o' English info.
      Go to "tuning tips"
      Probably the best overall site ever
      Products for sale but awesome shift linkage info.
      If you swapped a 2.0L 16V in
      Various Mods
      That's my contribution from many hours of searches

    12. Member
      Join Date
      Jun 5th, 2001
      Royal Oak, MI
      86 Jetta Coupe, 07 Rabbit
      11-23-2002 02:57 PM #12
      Couple more resource sites: Lots of good info. New site, will be great as it fills up with quality info. Lots of usefull illustrated info. Not just for sciroccos.

    13. 11-23-2002 11:02 PM #13
      I got some ideas... how about soem info on the ever so popular dash swap like the cabby and mk2 dash as a start.

    14. 11-24-2002 10:46 AM #14
      You mean like this?

      [Modified by Dirtydog, 7:55 AM 11-24-2002]

    15. 11-25-2002 03:58 PM #15
      Installing Cabby/Jetta dash in US-built Rabbit
      Get some 1" flat stock, a little over a foot will be more than enough. Cut a length to fit the side brackets in the car, and mark/drill two holes so you can bolt it to the in-car bracket (we'll call it the "adapter piece"). Use the existing dash screws, just like mounting the dash.
      Now put your Cabby dash in place, exactly where you think it should mount. Thru the two holes on the side of the dash, mark the adapter piece that is bolted to the car. Remove dash.
      Drill out the two marks on your adapter piece, slide two screw clips onto it, and put everything back together.
      If you did it right, everything should line up, and you will be able to mount your Cabby dash in a factory-looking manner.

      [Modified by bluerrrabbit, 11:35 PM 11-28-2002]

    16. 11-25-2002 05:36 PM #16
      For those who want to go turbo... CIS upgrades vs. SDS EIC

    17. Member RabbitGTDguy's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jul 8th, 2002
      Elmira, NY
      2001 Audi TT-R 225Q, 2009 VW Tiguan SE, 2000 Passat GLS 30v V6 Wagon
      11-25-2002 08:25 PM #17
      What about a DIY for sunroof adjustment after installing a new seal and that...i went as per Bentley and still don't have it perfect...
      81 Rabbit GTD

    18. 11-25-2002 10:02 PM #18
      homemade poly motor mounts

    19. Member sirhc's Avatar
      Join Date
      Sep 23rd, 1999
      29' Model A, 02' 2500HD
      11-29-2002 04:22 AM #19
      For digifant 1 swaps, look here under the DIY section...

    20. Member vwrabbit's Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 21st, 2000
      '12 TDI
      12-02-2002 01:44 PM #20
      What to look for when buying a bunny:
      1) Check for rust! Here are a few places to look:
      - Strut towers
      - Rockers
      - Around rear tail lights
      - Spare tire well
      - Passenger foot wells
      - Remove the gas cap and check for rust.
      - If you can, remove the right rear tire and check the filler neck for rust also.
      2) Check for stress cracks! Since these cars are almost all 20+ years old...
      - Look underneath the front end. Where the control arm meets the body, check for stress cracks.
      - Look under the rear end. Check for cracks or even serious rust around where the rear axle bolts to the body.
      3) Check the fuse box for corrosion. This is usually a sign of water leaking in via the windshield seal, speedo grommet, or antenna grommet.
      4) Feel the carpet below the fuse box for wetness. Again, this is a sign of a water leak.
      5) If this will not be a serious project, aka engine swap, make sure all of the wiring under the hood and elsewhere for that matter, hasn't been all spliced together. If it is, it's a sure sign you'll have problems with something electrical later on.
      6) If the seller is claiming exact mileage, make sure the odometer actually spins. VWs have a tendency to stop working due to a brittle gear cracking.
      That's all I can think of off the top of my head. If anyone has any other things to watch out for, feel free to post them.

    21. Senior Member vdubspeed's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jul 18th, 2002
      Valdosta, GA
      I quit counting.
      12-03-2002 01:55 AM #21
      A1 AirConditioning Complete Removal write up:
      Built > Bought
      58 Beetle | 79 Rabbit 20vT | 84 GTI TDI |84 GTI 16vT |12 Golf TDI ----89 325i | 99 QCSB Ram Cummins | 02 Burb 4x4 2500

    22. Member The Nothing's Avatar
      Join Date
      Oct 9th, 2001
      Rabbit Convertible
      12-06-2002 02:14 PM #22
      Picture Threads (my biggest peeve)
      Cabriolet -
      Rally Rabbits -
      Jettas -
      Rabbits with 16" wheels -
      more to come (if you have more ideas, IM them to me...)
      aka PDX Cabby

      You're post makes me wanna because we already talked about this many years ago.

    23. Member TimboAA's Avatar
      Join Date
      Sep 11th, 2001
      1984 VW Rabbit GTI; 2013 Subaru WRX Hatch
      12-06-2002 06:21 PM #23
      Here is a list that was compiled of places to shop online for parts through people here on the Golf I/Jetta I forum. I hope it gives people ideas on places to go. This is not advertisement space, just a place to reference to when looking for places to buy parts online, because we all know how hard that can be. If someone comes across a good site, IM me and I'll edit this post and add it to the list.

      Here is the list:
      Techtonics Tuning
      Pottermans (Virtual World Parts) -
      RPI -
      Autotech -
      Rocky Mountain Motorworks -
      Memo Imports -
      J's House of Euro -
      Platinum Euro Parts -
      Cheap OEM Parts -
      JC Whitney - OEM Parts that they deliver FAST!!!
      Awesome GTI -
      Euro Parts Inc. -
      SWG Motorsports -
      Venom Motorsports -
      Adirndack Auto Brokers -
      Cheaper OEM parts (avolkswagenpart) -
      Concept-1 VW Werks -
      NGP Racing -
      SK Motor Sport -
      Volkswagen Interior Restoration -
      MissLinkz Shift Linkage Upgrades -
      AEI Performance -
      OldSkool Industries - - Factory matched paint in cans
      Rabbit Parts/RSJ Parts - Exterior restoration panels & more

      List by -vertigo-:
      General Parts, Accessories -- used & new
      Autosport Volkswagen
      Awesome GTI Store
      German Auto Parts
      German Car Company
      J Bugs
      JC Whitney
      M&T Manufacturing
      Rapid Parts
      Specialized German Recycling
      The Parts Bin
      Vee Parts & Accessories
      Volks Bits (UK)
      Performance Parts & Related Accessories
      Advanced Motorsport
      Concept 1
      DÄT Autosport
      Dubtechnik Tuning *
      Eurosport ACC
      GPR Parts
      Hawk Performance
      Import Vision Motorsports
      Memo Imports
      OMP Racing
      Perfect Image Creations
      Platinum Europarts
      Techtonics Tuning
      TMT Tuning
      TSR Performance
      Misc search sites:
      Alldata (recalls, technical bulletins, etc.)
      Gapa (parts stores)
      Partsvoice (search for OEM parts and where they're located in the USA)
      Top / Interior Sources
      Cabrio World
      Corbeau seats
      J Bugs
      M&T Manufacturing
      Meister gauge faces
      VW Interiors and Tops
      Wet Okole seat covers
      Floor Mats, Car Covers, Car Bras, Bike Racks & Other Vehicle Accessories
      Beverly Hills Motorsport
      Body Styling & Kits
      ABD Racing
      AMI Motorsports
      Concept 1
      Erebuni Corp
      EStrictly Foreign
      NOPI online
      Perfect Choice Motorsports
      TMT Tuning
      **Google to find them**

      [Modified by TimboAA, 6:48 AM 12-7-2002]

      [Modified by TimboAA, 3:20 AM 3-13-2003]

      [Modified by TimboAA, 1:15 AM 4-17-2003]

      Modified by TimboAA at 10:08 PM 8-20-2004

      Modified by TimboAA at 10:07 AM 4-6-2005

    24. 12-09-2002 01:04 AM #24
      Anyone got a link for some good quality replacement door panels besides JC Whitney's products which I heard wasn't the greatest.

    25. 12-09-2002 07:48 PM #25
      Tranny gear ratios:

    26. 12-20-2002 08:08 PM #27
      DIY port and polish info
      link to custom door card thread

      [Modified by vdubious, 10:23 PM 1-16-2003]

    27. Member eurotrashrabbit's Avatar
      Join Date
      Oct 24th, 2001
      65 sunbeam tiger, 76 Rabbit, 89 cabriolet, 95 s6 avant, 03 mazda protege 5
      12-23-2002 12:20 AM #28
      I have been in the A1 scene for about 5 years I have seen almost all of it and done most of it e-mail me at with any questions later Matt a.k.a Eurotrash

    28. Member jonny_breakz's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jul 26th, 2002
      Wpg Mb Canada
      99 Ford Ranger XLT
      12-24-2002 11:06 AM #29
      Politely pirated, but not by me. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.......
      pic's didn't make it....
      Welcome to:
      Wyatt's "I wanna sexy Wabbit" Mk1 Scirocco Headlight Conversion Pageola El Presidente!
      Here's my former blue bunny with the conversion. Look carefully while reading my explaination of steps. After about 300 e-mails from people wanting to know how to do the conversion, and about 300 replys from me saying that I can't type it all's the report:
      1. Get a early-type Mk1 Scirocco grille (its a two piece) and both left and right headlight bucket assemblies. Make sure there are NO CRACKS in the grille, especially in the holes where the grille fastens to the headlight buckets!!!!! In most cases, make sure the headlight retainer rings are complete (some come apart at the spot weld) and nice looking. I payed $20 for the grille and $20 for the headlight buckets....all in rust free condition.
      2. Obtain a good Dremel tool and a barrel cutter bit for it. (you're gonna make one hell of a mess, so you may want to do this whole operation outside or in a sweepable garage). The barrel cutter makes flat cuts, somewhat like a planer.
      3. Let the fun begin!
      4. Remove both square headlights and both turning signals.
      5. Inspect the outer "silver" frame of your original Rabbit grille. If its damaged you will need to find a grille that has a good outer frame. The Scirocco grille fits inside the Rabbit outer frame after some fitting, so you'll need a good outer grille.
      6. Gut out the center of the Rabbit grille, and use the Dremel tool to cut away all nibs on the inside of the frame, making a flat surface for the Scirocco grille to fit in. It is a good idea to remove the grille from the car for this part.
      7. Be patient when using the Dremel cutter. It can sometimes "run away" from you and cause serious damage to your hand or your project. Practice on some junk plastic until you have a steady hand and are confidant to continue. It sucks when you have to spend more $$$ just because you goofed on one cut!
      8. Notice that on the outer edge of the scirocco grille, there are some plastic line molds that must be cut off. Use your mind here, kids. You will need to carefully cut all the molds away so that the scirocco grille fits flatly and square inside the Rabbit grille.
      9. After you fit the parts nicely, run screws thru the scirocco grille to the rabbit grille to fasten.
      10. Now for the cool part.
      11. You will need to cut off the original scirocco turning signal mounts on the headlight buckets to make room for the original rabbit turning signals. Just get a cutting torch and cut them off as close to the outer bucket as you can. I used a plasma cutter which is easy as cake, but some of you RabbitHeads will probably prefer ffffire! Fire! FIRE!!!! Huh Huh F_I_R_E!!! Just as a note, you will need to trim the ends of the scirocco grille slightly to fit between the two rabbit turning signals!
      12. You may need to buy headlights for the buckets...DO IT!
      13. The buckets are held to the scirocco grille with two screws each. One on top, and one on bottom. Attach them to the grille and then fit the entire assembly into the rabbit grille if you hadn't done so already.
      14. A little more cutting: Notice that there are two small supports in front of the radiator core which will not permit you to immediately install the new conversion. You will need to cut them away with a Dremel tool cutting disc! (hope you bought one of those too!)
      15. Assemble using your best artistic judgement and hook up the outer headlights.
      16. To hook up the inner high-beams....wire up a switch!
      17. Make some 1" thick stabilizer straps using your best judgement to support the headlight cups....all that's holding them up at this point is the plastic grille via 2 screws!
      These directions are a bit simple, but you'll have to use your eye and steady hand to make the project come together perfectly. I'll post more detailed pics (maybe even a full breakdown) when summer comes and I can take more pics when the car is outside)
      similar job I've seen at a recent VW show:

    29. Member The Nothing's Avatar
      Join Date
      Oct 9th, 2001
      Rabbit Convertible
      01-02-2003 04:09 AM #30
      i'm soon going to be elaboration on this some more and will be put on the DCI Tech section... taken from a post i made recently in reply to emissions testing
      in your combustion chamber are 2 things Gas and Air. Gas is primarily Hydrogen (H) and Carbon (C). Air is mostly inert Nitrogen (N) and Oxygen (O). The hydrogen in the fuel reacts with oxygen atoms to form water (H2O). For every gallon of fuel burned, about a gallon of water is produced which exits the exhaust pipe in the form of steam.
      What Emission Testing is concerned about is the reaction between C and O what happens with all the N.
      If the A/F mix is towards the lean side, you will get more CO2 than CO forumed because there are more O molecules for the C to bond to. This, so far as emissions are concerned is good. If you are rich, there is a more equal ratio of C to O co you get more CO which is bad for emissions
      THC (total hydrocarbons) is unburned fuel. The tHC will be high if you are running rich and don't have enough O to burn it. A lower tHC level of course indicates a leaner mixture.
      NOx (or nitrous oxide) is formed when the cumbustion temp of the engine/plugs is too hot. This is can be because of the wrong plugs or because of an excessively lean A/F mix.
      The condition of your spark plugs will tell you a lot about your fuel mix and possible emissions issues. Bosch Platinums are notorious for being too hot for VWs. For a lot more information about reading what your plugs are trying to tell you and more, check out this webpage
      aka PDX Cabby

      You're post makes me wanna because we already talked about this many years ago.

    30. Member
      Join Date
      Feb 2nd, 2002
      Calgary, AB, Canada
      MK5 GTI
      01-08-2003 05:03 PM #31
      I hope to add my DIY Dry Nitro Set up for an MK1 write up in a few weeks.

    31. Member
      Join Date
      Jun 20th, 2001
      2003 VW 20th Anniversary GTI
      01-11-2003 05:14 PM #32
      MrDave's GLI Information:
      Yeah, so likes, that's all I can find at the moment here on the 'Tex. I know there was a link to the whole damn process, but I can't find it in the Recent or the Archived searches. I printed it out a while back, maybe it has the link on the printouts, I'll have to find them now.
      <script src="" type="text/javascript" language="javascript"></script>;

    32. Member The Nothing's Avatar
      Join Date
      Oct 9th, 2001
      Rabbit Convertible
      01-19-2003 05:42 PM #33
      i know i've mentioned this offhandedly a few times, but just came across the business card...
      For Owners Manuals and such:
      Automotive Books
      503-292-7747 - evenings
      503-292-5636 - 24hr Fax
      Logan Gray
      PO Box 922
      Beaverton, OR 97075-0922
      got the owners manual for my cabby (new) for like $10
      aka PDX Cabby

      You're post makes me wanna because we already talked about this many years ago.

    33. Member
      Join Date
      Jun 20th, 2001
      2003 VW 20th Anniversary GTI
      01-22-2003 10:21 AM #34
      As Posted by SteveLangFord:
      I was doing some research on my problem with cold starting of my cabriolet with cis-lambda (cis with O2 sensor), and noticed a bunch of post in the search with similar problems
      in a moderate to cold temperature day you crank the car, it will start right away then die after a couple of seconds, then you have to do the same several times until it warms up a little (enough) to stay running with the help of some opening of the trhottle (stepping on the gas a little)
      some people were mentioning the cold start valve, but if the car starts inmediately thendies, the cold start valve is operating properly, the problem is that the O2 sensor/frequency valve enrichment is not working, in other words the O2 sensor is trying to lean the mixture for normal operating temperatures, when the engine is in reality cold.
      there are two sensor on the coolant outlet, front of the head, the one on top controls the cold start valve, with the black red, green wires, the one at the bottom is the thermo time switch (2 brown/white and 1 brown/red wires)
      this is a switch that when cold it grounds the brown/red wire to disable the O2 sensor, to enrichen the mixture from a frequency of a 45-50 % to 75-80%, my thermoswitch was good but testing the brown/white wire did not have continuity to ground, so it was not grounding the system, so fix that ground (you can trace it all the way inside behind the dash or you can just add a new ground to the wires, and is fixed, cranck, starts perfect the first time, stays running, idle a little high, then when it warms up a little, the thermotime switch opens, so the O2 sensor system is not grounded anymore and takes over from there controlling the air/fuel ratio, idle goes back to normal and that's it.
      this problem was not a big deal for me because my location, but for some of you guys "up north" I bet it's way anoyying.
      hopefully is helpfull to some of you guys
      And as posted by Davela72:
      vdubspeed....I have an '84 GTi and when I first got the car it was doing something similar to yours. It would start perfectly in the morning but when I would go to start it at lunch, it would just crank and crank and then start. I remember putting many new parts on it and it turned out to be the check valve at the fuel pump. So, when I would shut the car off when I got to work, it wouldn't hold enough fuel pressure in the system hence taking it a while to start. It had to build up enough fuel pressure first, then it would start. It's worth looking into.
      (and SteveLangFord)
      davela72. That's exactly what it does. I assume the check valve and fuel accumulator are the same thing. EVERYTHING in the engine bay has been replaced that is worth anything....
      no, check valve is at the outer end of the fuel pump, the accumulator is a canister looking thing after the check valve, both help maintain residual pressure which is what helps re-starting the car after a period of time
      __________________________________________________ ___________________
      Hope no one minds!
      <script src="" type="text/javascript" language="javascript"></script>;

    34. 01-24-2003 03:53 PM #35
      If you want to swap a cis-e into a cis car, do you need the cis-e distribution and bx or can you use the cis. Any othe significant differences? (go gentle, its my first time!!!!)

      [Modified by rednighthawk, 1:03 AM 1-26-2003]

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