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    Thread: Speedo's Beginner Autocross Build

    1. Junior Member vw_speed's Avatar
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      99 Golf Wolfsburg Edition
      01-25-2016 07:30 PM #1
      Hi, I'm new to the Vortex but not new to VWs. I don't think that I have owned a VAG car for 10 years but I have had 5 VWs and an Audi in my lifetime. I was interested in starting out in autocross and wanted something that I can work on and enjoy driving so here I am!

      I had a suspension setup for a Mk3 (Koni yellows and H&R Sport springs) from an older car still sitting in my garage so I set out to find a cheap Mk3 that wasn't too beat. I ended up picking up a 99 Wolfsburg Golf for a good price that had a recent clutch and other work done the last couple years so I grabbed it.

      Here she is:



      Took her for a drive, found out that the struts are definitely shot but brakes seem OK, power seems 2.0 typical but its leaking oil quite badly

      I knew that it needed a thermostat, and due to that and the cold weather it was throwing a CEL so I replaced that first and cleared the CEL and it hasn't come back.

      While I was under the car I cleaned up all the oil mess. It seemed to be coming from the little cover between the oil pan and transmission so I was dreading it being the rear main. Oil cooler seal and oil pan gasket replacements later and it seems to be done leaking.

      [EDIT: Adding parts list here and will keep it up to date]

      Installed:

      Cheap eBay front and rear strut tower braces.
      Autotech 28mm Adjustable Rear Sway Bar - http://www.autotech.com/mm5/merchant...e=10-525-1129K
      Koni Yellow Struts - 8741-1258 Sport & 8041-1102 Sport
      H&R Sport Springs -
      Prosport EVO Series Digital Oil Pressure Gauge - https://www.ecstuning.com/ES3010017/
      Prothane Front Bump Stops - http://www.prothanesuspensionparts.com/221301
      195/50/15 BF Goodrich g-Force Sport Comp 2 tires - http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....e+Sport+COMP-2
      Meyle HD Strut Top Mounts - http://store.blackforestindustries.c...vr6hedust.html

      On Order:

      Ground Control kit - http://www.ground-control-store.com/...p/II=113/CA=65
      Last edited by vw_speed; 05-24-2016 at 02:59 PM. Reason: added parts list

    2. Junior Member vw_speed's Avatar
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      99 Golf Wolfsburg Edition
      01-25-2016 07:35 PM #2
      The car cleaned up well, clay bar and a polish took most of the luggage scrapes off the back bumper. Interior is pretty decent but the drivers seat needs replacing since the bolster has a big chunk taken out of it.







      Shiny!



      (I know it looks pink in this pic, but its due to reflection of the red beam in the garage ceiling.)

    3. Junior Member vw_speed's Avatar
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      99 Golf Wolfsburg Edition
      01-25-2016 07:43 PM #3
      Had a cheap EBay JDM plate relocation bracket so I threw that on:



      But it is really ugly pointed up that high.

      So, a little hammering and I ended up with this, which is much better:



      Currently I have the Konis swapped onto the rear but having some trouble getting the front struts off... was able to get one top nut undone with a 22mm o2 sensor socket and an allen wrench with a bar on both and vice grips on the shaft but the driver's side wont budge at all. I will have air tools in a week or so to help me rattle it off.

      The rear hasn't dropped much but seems way more stiff. The bump stops and mounts looked terrible so maybe it was sagged quite a bit already.

    4. Junior Member vw_speed's Avatar
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      99 Golf Wolfsburg Edition
      01-25-2016 07:49 PM #4
      So that will catch you up to where I am. Thanks to everyone on vwvortex for getting me even this far, lots of info on here has helped me replace the thermostat, chase down my oil leak and such and I expect that I will use this resource many more times in the future.

      Here is my plan for this ride:

      - finish swapping the Koni yellows on
      - replace both front seats
      - exhaust (current one is leaking)
      - rims and tires (15 inch, I think)
      - rear sway bar
      - front and rear strut braces

      Driver training is in May so I hope to have the car driving and feeling well by then for the start of my first autocross season with a local club.

      I will keep this thread updated as I go, just picked up a GoPro and some mounts to record my runs on the track!

    5. Member 1917's Avatar
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      '98 VW Jetta GL (RIP), '98 VW Jetta GLS (DD), '98 VW Jetta GLX (The Moth), '88 Toyota Supra
      01-25-2016 08:08 PM #5
      Sub'd

      I want to see some auto x action
      "I Self Lord And Master, shall bring disaster to evil factors
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      Unto the Earth from the Sun through triple darkness to blast ya"-G.U.R.U.
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      This site isnt about keeping good german vws on the road its about ruining them.

    6. Junior Member
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      1997 mk3 golf
      01-26-2016 12:30 AM #6
      Sub'd I want to get my 97 2.0 golf on the auto X level too


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    7. Moderator root beer's Avatar
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      96 Harlequin Golf 98 Tacoma 4wd
      01-26-2016 12:43 AM #7
      Looks like a nice base for a project. Go fast.
      13.33@101

      All Motor, Daily driven 12v Harlequin

    8. Junior Member vw_speed's Avatar
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      99 Golf Wolfsburg Edition
      02-02-2016 10:36 PM #8
      So, the either the dumbo that owned the struts before me managed to totally toast the threads at the bottom of one of them or over three moves and the last 15 years I have had them in the corner of my garage they have gotten mangled. So with that I can't tighten down the strut mount nearly enough after putting the springs on one of them. Ordered a tap and die set, hoping I can run a die over it to clean it up enough. If not, new Konis I guess.

      I really should replace the upper mounts on both sides. Looking at getting the upper strut mount kit from ECS.

      I would really like to get Ground Control sleeves at some point, but since I really have no idea how to autocross nor how this car will handle I will make that upgrade later for next year's season. The last thing that I want to be playing with is adjusting ride height while I am trying to just learn how to drive.

      I did pick up a bluetooth OBD2 adapter and the Torque app for Android so I can play with that a bit at the track, maybe overlay some gauges on my GoPro footage of my runs. I'm such a nerd

    9. Moderator root beer's Avatar
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      96 Harlequin Golf 98 Tacoma 4wd
      02-03-2016 10:15 AM #9
      I wouldn't worry too much about not adjusting ride height. It's not a huge deal other than realigning the car. Of course, any auto-x mod should probably be analyzed per class requirements so that you could be a little competitive if that interests you.

      Whatever you have to do to get out there. You'll quickly identify the stuff you need to fix.
      13.33@101

      All Motor, Daily driven 12v Harlequin

    10. Junior Member vw_speed's Avatar
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      99 Golf Wolfsburg Edition
      02-07-2016 04:31 PM #10
      I chased the threads with an M14 x 1.5 die and some cutting fluid and it fixed up the worn down threads. The nut goes on easy and the struts and springs are all back in. Took it for a quick drive and its much more stiff than before.

      This week I will tackle some rust repair, I'll take some before and after shots of what I am dealing with.

    11. Member justin_6649's Avatar
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      02-13-2016 04:13 PM #11
      gonna try and keep following this

      our cars are pretty much the same except im obd1, no sunroof,no airbags and planning to start lapping this summer because there isnt really any auto-x around here

      have fun

    12. Junior Member themxracer121's Avatar
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      02-19-2016 01:56 PM #12
      awesome, don't see too many of these at autocrosses around here, good luck with it!

      the torque app is pretty sweet for any kind of racing, but a word of warning, my '96 jetta fried one of the cheap amazon adapters so I've been scared to put a more expensive one in it. maybe it's just from it being the first year of OBD2 or just my car in particular(it's a swap) but it's always had issues even connecting to the software when I first got emissions done on it.

      ive used the torque app quite a bit on my lancer at autocrosses and it definitely helps figure out where you can gain more time even looking at it between runs.
      Adam Hardin

      Rally America G2 Car #122 - 1996 VW Jetta 2.0: Build/Progress Thread
      Rally Videos: YouTube Channel

    13. Junior Member vw_speed's Avatar
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      99 Golf Wolfsburg Edition
      02-19-2016 02:14 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by themxracer121 View Post

      ive used the torque app quite a bit on my lancer at autocrosses and it definitely helps figure out where you can gain more time even looking at it between runs.
      Awesome, that what I am hoping. I will be co-driving with my dad so I think that it will be useful to see how one of us may be getting better times (overall or just through sections).

      I have a cheap amazon adapter, so if it burns it up no biggie. I've only used it a bit.

      Quote Originally Posted by themxracer121 View Post
      awesome, don't see too many of these at autocrosses around here, good luck with it!
      Yeah, I dont think they are really competitive but I am starting out in a pretty non-competitive club for this starting season so it doesn't really matter. Just stuck with what I know and have worked on in the past and had some parts for.

    14. Junior Member vw_speed's Avatar
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      99 Golf Wolfsburg Edition
      02-19-2016 02:21 PM #14
      As far as the build goes, waiting for my paint and clear to show up now that I have ground down the rust on/around the doors. Wasn't too bad. First time painting, might not look like a pro job but its a track car and part time daily so who cares.

      I did notice that my relay ball and bushing has a lot of slop in it so I am looking at replacing that. Looking at the TT Deluxe Short Shift Kit, but I came across this kit from USRT - http://www.usrallyteam.com/index.php...roducts_id=360 anyone have any experience with it?

    15. Junior Member themxracer121's Avatar
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      02-19-2016 02:36 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by vw_speed View Post
      I did notice that my relay ball and bushing has a lot of slop in it so I am looking at replacing that. Looking at the TT Deluxe Short Shift Kit, but I came across this kit from USRT - http://www.usrallyteam.com/index.php...roducts_id=360 anyone have any experience with it?
      I have that exact kit in my car, and it's awesome. but I had a bad experience last time I tried to place an order with USRT. no problems when I ordered the shift kit, but last year I tried to order some other components from them and they became unresponsive, not answering calls, email or responding to my voicemails. I would call them to double check they are still in business before placing an order on the website.

      if you do find a way to get that kit, you will be happy. I finally replaced the linear bushings and rebuilt the ball in the shifter box itself and it helps a lot too. the USRT kit only replaces the components on the transmission side. your weak point in the shifter will then become the rocker that bolts through the transmission mount. I've twisted two of them but they are pretty cheap and easy to replace.
      Adam Hardin

      Rally America G2 Car #122 - 1996 VW Jetta 2.0: Build/Progress Thread
      Rally Videos: YouTube Channel

    16. 02-20-2016 03:14 AM #16
      Swaybars and nicer tires at any point? Looks good, I wish my mk3 was white.

    17. Junior Member vw_speed's Avatar
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      99 Golf Wolfsburg Edition
      02-20-2016 08:37 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by M0HNKE View Post
      Swaybars and nicer tires at any point? Looks good, I wish my mk3 was white.
      Yup, definitely a big sway for the rear, haven't decided on one yet. Currently looking for 15 inch wheels to wrap in some nice tires. Might get a second set of wheels for street use, if the wife allows.

    18. Moderator root beer's Avatar
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      96 Harlequin Golf 98 Tacoma 4wd
      02-20-2016 08:49 AM #18
      Grassroots Motorsport had a project auto-X mk3 that was actually quicker with just the front bar removed. Might be worth a shot first?
      13.33@101

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    19. Junior Member vw_speed's Avatar
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      99 Golf Wolfsburg Edition
      02-20-2016 03:55 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by root beer View Post
      Grassroots Motorsport had a project auto-X mk3 that was actually quicker with just the front bar removed. Might be worth a shot first?
      Sounds like an excellent and low cost option to try out first. How streetable would this be? I wont drive it every day, just to cruise once and a while and commute once a week. I'll have to look that up.

    20. Moderator root beer's Avatar
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      02-20-2016 07:58 PM #20
      I daily drive a vr6 4 door with no bar. It's a pretty common thing to do on these cars.
      13.33@101

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    21. Junior Member vw_speed's Avatar
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      99 Golf Wolfsburg Edition
      02-20-2016 08:20 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by root beer View Post
      I daily drive a vr6 4 door with no bar. It's a pretty common thing to do on these cars.
      I'll take it off this weekend and see how she handles. Thanks.

      Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

    22. Junior Member vw_speed's Avatar
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      99 Golf Wolfsburg Edition
      03-04-2016 10:22 PM #22
      I took it out for a drive and a couple trips to work during the week and found out a few things:

      First, the coolant temp is getting to 99 degrees (not flashing the dash light for coolant temp yet) and fans are not coming on. My commute is short and its not very warm here yet so not sure if it would eventually overheat but at 99C the thermostat should be open and the fans should be running. Not sure if the fans ever worked since the thermostat was stuck open when I bought the car and it was throwing the CEL that it wasn't reaching operating temp. Its also possible that I have air in the hose from my thermostat change - when I did that it never got hot enough for the fan to come on when I refilled the coolant system as it was pretty cold in my garage and it wasn't insured to drive at the time. I read a couple guides and will work on diagnosing that this weekend.

      Next I am getting the low oil pressure light when the car is warmed up, actually when its quite warm at about 97 to 99 degrees it has come on. Currently running synthetic VW approved 5w40, Mobile 1 filter. I have ordered both oil pressure switches and an oil pressure gauge, sender and wiring kit. I should know from there if I need to start looking at the pump. I also have the stock Bosh filter to swap in now, I know that cheap filters can cause this problem with the ABA but I thought the Mobil 1 filter was OK?

      Lastly, the airbag light has come on steady. I will have to see if there are any codes causing that but I am not terribly worried about it.

      I have picked up some wheels and tires though that should do me for a little while until I find something perhaps lighter and a bit cooler: VW Sebring wheels and BFG g-force Sport Comp 2 tires with low kms. My buddy grabbed them for me since they were being sold out of town and I should have them in a few weeks when he visits next. Pics coming when I get my hands on them.

      I also picked up a badgeless grill, currently priming and painting the lower part.

      Should have some updated pics this weekend.

    23. Junior Member
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      03-04-2016 11:07 PM #23
      In for the progress, I have a white ob1 golf and I'm planning on autox mine aswell.

    24. Junior Member themxracer121's Avatar
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      03-04-2016 11:46 PM #24
      Unless you have a low temp thermostat it won't open until over 100c and the fans won't kick on either. I have a high temp thermostat and I wanna say low fans kick on around 220f, high around 230f

      As for low oil pressure the first thing I would check is the pickup. Pull the pan off and see if the screen is all clogged up with gunk. When I pulled my engine it was disgusting

      Sent from my A0001 using Tapatalk
      Adam Hardin

      Rally America G2 Car #122 - 1996 VW Jetta 2.0: Build/Progress Thread
      Rally Videos: YouTube Channel

    25. Junior Member vw_speed's Avatar
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      99 Golf Wolfsburg Edition
      03-05-2016 02:38 PM #25
      I took a data dump from the Torque app for Android and the corresponding cellphone video from my dash and mashed them together the best that I could with DashWare.

      The result is a bit of a jerky mess, and synching the data and video is difficult with the low polling rate:



      The cheap bluetooth OBD2 adapter is sending data about once a second. Even though in Torque I set fast data transfer on and set the logging interval to .25 seconds it looks like the data being logged is mostly repeated 3 or 4 times a second. As this looks like fun, I think I will update to a better OBD2 adapter with a much faster polling rate.

      This is what I am currently using, for those that are interested:

      ODB2 Adapter:
      http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B0051DUVK0

      Torque Pro for Android, with Track Recorder plugin
      https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...l.torque&hl=en
      https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...recorder&hl=en

      DashWare PC software, to get fancy and custom gauges and make the video:
      http://www.dashware.net/

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