VWVortex.com - How To: Mark I 1.8 JH to 2.0 ABA swap / conversion, Cis to OBD2, 85 Cabriolet.
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    Thread: How To: Mark I 1.8 JH to 2.0 ABA swap / conversion, Cis to OBD2, 85 Cabriolet.

    1. 02-13-2007 05:27 PM #1
      Hello I am putting an obd1 ABA into my 85 cabriolet, i will be using an obd2 harness and ECU. This is so that i can easily drop in a 1.8t down the road via reflex tuning...
      I'll try to take pictures along the way of all the steps, There is no timeline for this project...

      The cabby all loaded up.

      The motor





      Towtruck arrives

      Scraping going on the truck.

      New crib.

      All loaded up.

      The unit 10x20

      She's hiding.

      Bye bye JH

      Some of the goodies, not done polishing yet.

      Beetle intake, semipolished.

      The setup.

      Starting point, remove the ignition wires, there are five.

      Get organized.
      First Step disconnect, terminals and remove battery, 13mm tray bolt

      Battery and tray removed.

      Jack up the car, place jackstands underneath.

      Oil drain plug, 21mm bolt, replace seal when you reinstall

      Drain the oil into something.

      Set oil aside out of the way.

      Coolant hose to be disconnnected, i should've unhooked the thermostat instead...

      Coolant being drained into bucket.

      Coolant resevoir to be removed, there are two hoses connected.

      The first one is long and skinny, connects to top of the radiator.

      The second one is connected to the block, some coolant may still flow

      Coolant resevoir removed.

      notice the coolant coming out, grab some shop towels..

      The next coolant hose goes fromt the radiator to the block.

      Rotate the hose out of the way.

      Next is the harness connected to the headlights...

      I couldnt unclip the connector so i cut it, being careful to leave extra wire.

      Unclip the same harness from the fan motor, the red wire.

      Disconnect all the connections to the starter.

      Tuck the one half of the harness our of the way.

      The other half, connects to the alternator, notice the duck tape..

      Closeup of connection, it pulls away easily.

      Complete battery harness removed.
      More to come, this is time consuming.... the motors almost out though, just gotta find a lift.

      Modified by MKIIIVWburg at 7:20 AM 2-15-2007

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    3. Member LOVINandDUBBIN's Avatar
      Join Date
      Dec 13th, 2006
      north new jersey
      02-13-2007 05:29 PM #2
      OBD1 all the way, and same goes for cabbys
      current- 64 Bettle / 78 Rabbit / 87 RWD GTI / 91 EA Cabriolet

      sold/crushed/parted -74 ghia/ 88 & 91cabbys /97 rhd cabrio/ 97 rhd golf

      Der Berg Ruft! @lovinanddubbin

    4. Member chrisbmx68's Avatar
      Join Date
      Aug 14th, 2003
      Schwenksville PA
      1991 318is, 03 m5
      02-13-2007 05:29 PM #3
      I think your missing an oil pan. Good luck!!

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    6. 02-15-2007 10:21 AM #4

      The next harness is the grey harness, that runs diagonally, those 5 colored ones will be removed next.

      After the harness is free, pull it through above the tranny, and tuck it away behind the intake.

      remove the plugs connecting the 5 colored wires to the motor.

      Pull the harness towards the fire wall, find the white plastic connectors.

      These are a bitch but must be disconnected, you may have to cut, if youre not reusing the harness...

      The throttle cable is removed next, pull up on the cable, a ballhead attaches it to the bracket on the cable.

      Pull the throttle cable towards the firewall, and tuck it away, in back.

      Next up, removing the vacuum lines, stay tuned... I'm going to pull the motor out, this is taking a while to put together, so the info will be a bit late, meaning i'm further along then whats posted........

      Modified by MKIIIVWburg at 7:24 AM 2-15-2007

    7. 02-15-2007 10:29 AM #5
      Nice Job, well thought and thorough for a writeup!

    8. Member Hannebauer's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jul 28th, 2005
      Kelowna BC
      1980 GTI, 2003 Impreza OBS
      02-15-2007 01:31 PM #6
      i am going to be watching this, as it is a nice and well detaled documentation.
      thx for the info.

    9. Senior Member urogolf's Avatar
      Join Date
      Dec 10th, 2000
      Somerset, MA
      13 Plug In Prius, 15 Venza
      02-15-2007 06:24 PM #7
      sweet man, you are gonna like it
      you are going to have clearance issues with that intake manifold with the aba and your hood
      as seen here

    10. 02-16-2007 10:00 AM #8
      is there anything i can do about that?

    11. 02-16-2007 01:30 PM #9

      Remove this vaccuum valve, and all the lines it connects to.

      This is what you shoul've removed, there may be more, alot of stuff was bypassed on my motor.

      Next you wanna remove the connectors to this 3 way valve, they are very brittle, they broke on me, anyone got any tips? If youre junking the motor like me it doesnt matter....

      Valve broken, lines disconneted, now you can remove the intake.

      The intake tube, flathead clamps on both ends.

      A vaccuum thingy is still connecting the intake to the motor, disconnect this.

      Removed intake tube...
      Stay tuned, i've got lots more...

      Modified by MKIIIVWburg at 10:34 AM 2-16-2007

    12. Member Holden McNeil's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jul 26th, 2004
      Hennepin Co, Minnesota
      2013 Fiat 500 Turbo
      02-16-2007 02:36 PM #10
      Holy crap - You might be able to do the first ABA Swap Step-by-Step DIY with all the pics and info!!!
      Good luck with your swap!!! *subscribed

    13. 02-16-2007 03:14 PM #11
      I any not having any clearance issues with mine.

      Modified by nbarks at 6:57 PM 3-15-2007

    14. Senior Member urogolf's Avatar
      Join Date
      Dec 10th, 2000
      Somerset, MA
      13 Plug In Prius, 15 Venza
      02-16-2007 03:21 PM #12
      Quote, originally posted by nbarks »
      I any not having any clearance issues with mine.

      an aba fits fine under there with its own intake manifold but when a mk4 manifold is used it is too tall..
      it fits with a 1.8 x-flow but not a 2.0l x/flow because the 2.0l block is taller than the 1.8
      my old 1.8l x flow on digi2 with a mk4 manifold

    15. Member chrisbmx68's Avatar
      Join Date
      Aug 14th, 2003
      Schwenksville PA
      1991 318is, 03 m5
      02-16-2007 03:24 PM #13
      he is using the mk4 intake manifold though not a jh aba

    16. 02-16-2007 04:06 PM #14
      great post! ill be watching this!

    17. Member Cadbury's Avatar
      Join Date
      Feb 12th, 2003
      Richmond, VA
      02-16-2007 04:20 PM #15
      This is a great post for anyone wanting to do this to their MKI. Nice job and the pictures step-by-step are great for the DIY! Thanks for doing this and I will def. be watching this thread!

    18. 02-16-2007 04:58 PM #16

      Next we wanna remove the harness, that goes through the rain tray near the top right of the bay.

      Here you can see the wires, that need disconnected to free the harness.

      One of the wires, is a black ground wire, a 10mm nut holds it to the battery cables.

      The other end of the harness, in the raintray, a metal clip holds it in place.

      The harness removed.

      Next you wanna take this tube of the intake, its held on by clamps.

      Detatch the harness, on the master cylinder, where the orange screwdriver is.

      tuck it away, with the rest of the harnesses.

      This is what should be left around the intake....
      More later tonight...

    19. 02-16-2007 05:51 PM #17
      First thing, first, disconnect the fuel cap to depressurize the system.

      I realize now i could've skipped the next couple steps and just removed the whole airbox assembly, feel free to do so, but this is how i happened to do it. I cut a few lines in places where they could be replaced if i needed to reuse anything.

      first i wanted to disconnect all the hardlines, that held the fuel system to the airbox assembly, and finally remove the filter and airbox....

      after stuggling for a bit, i decided to cut the first line to the left of the filter...

      A better angle of the hose cut.

      I then took the filter off the bracket, and removed the bracket 2 10mm bolts.

      Bracket removed. I then removed the six 10mm bolts that held the two halves of the airbox together...not entirely neccessary but made it easier for me to see what i was dealing with.

      This white plug is on the firewall side of the airbox, and must be removed.

      Top half of the airboxed exposed now, notice the white plug on the right you just removed.

      Another fuel line i decided to cut...again there is prob. a better way.

      Now there is nothing holding the top part except for the braided fuel lines.

      There are five 13mm bolts that need to be disconnected, and one more on the block.

      Follow that last cable on the left, and thats the last 13mm connection.

      Modified by MKIIIVWburg at 3:05 PM 2-16-2007

    20. 02-16-2007 06:17 PM #18

      A closer look at the last fuel line connection, i removed both lines, so i could access the line on the right w/ my socket, this one seemed like a 14mm for some odd reason?

      Top half of the fuel/airbox assembly removed.

      Tuck the fuel lines out of the way like you did the rest of the harnesses, i had no zipties, but that might help.

      Next up this hose, this connects to the weird tube you already disconnected from the intake, see next pic if thats too vague. just pull back gently on this one...

      Intake hose removed.

      Next i used to adjustable wrenches to remove the fuel filter, from a hardline.

      Fuel filter removed.

    21. 02-16-2007 06:28 PM #19

      Next i disconnected the white wire, its a ground connected to the battery cables, 10 mm.

      The middle airbox, and cleaner lifts right out...


      This clip holds the lower box on...

      Lower box removed.

      With the box gone i spotted another ground, so i undid that, again 10mm

      theres another 10mm on the right it was tight so i used a wrench.

      Modified by MKIIIVWburg at 7:12 PM 2-16-2007

    22. Member veector's Avatar
      Join Date
      Mar 1st, 2006
      Southern Onterrible, Canada
      1997 AAZ Jetta 1981 JP Jetta
      02-16-2007 08:36 PM #20
      awesome thread, keep it coming [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
      Buju Banton - Hills and Valleys

      [ ][ ]====W====[ ][ ]

      { + }-------W-------{ + }

    23. 02-18-2007 08:12 PM #21
      i'm backed up with schoolwork, i'll update tomorrow...

    24. 03-15-2007 01:26 PM #22

      Next pull the headlight harness free, so you can spot the connections.

      The other half of the harness connects to the pass side headlight.

      Disconnect these two connectors.

    25. 03-15-2007 01:33 PM #23

      The harness is now free.

      Tuck it out of the way for now.

      Disconnect the plug on the brake fluid resevoir.

      Next wer'e gonna detach the trans line on the left, follow this to the tranny and you'll see where it detaches.

      Trans line hole, after disconnetion, you might wanna plug this with a rag in the meantime.

      Transline, tuck out of the way.

      Next we'll disconnect the harness on the right.

      harness removed.

      Next the plastic coolant bracket/device in the middle needs unclamped and removed.

      Coolant piece removed.

    26. 03-15-2007 01:35 PM #24
      The motors out and the newones being torndown and rebuilt now. big update tonight or tomorrow.

    27. 03-15-2007 02:01 PM #25

      Disconnect this fuel line from the intake manifold.

      Line removed.

      Next remove the two 6mm allen bolts and the wiring behind the metal bracket will be exposed.

      Disconnect the wiring connectors.

      Also disconnect this harness right below the previous harness on the leftside of the intake manifold.

      Harness disconnected.

      I decided to take the raintray off so i could clean, pull off the plastic seal, and the tray lifts off.

      Tray and seal removed.

      4 6mm allen bolts hold the Throttle body to the intake, remove the TB for better access to the exhaust manifold.

      Throttle body removed.

      I decided to just tuck the fuel lines out of the way rather than remove them.

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