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    Thread: First time poster, new to me 1984 VW Rabbit GTI

    1. Junior Member stick70's Avatar
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      Apr 22nd, 2011
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      '84 GTI 16v, '89 Supra Turbo, '84 Volvo 242 Turbo, '66 Volvo 122S, '91 Honda Beat
      08-10-2017 11:54 PM #1
      I've been a member on here forever but never had a VW to post up. I bought this one from a friend of mine a few weeks ago. Its been sitting forever, but its a decent little car with what will be a fantastic patina. I currently have no interior at all, and I'm a little split on what direction to go with. I'm really considering a couple of racing buckets and a half cage with carpet, dash, and door panels, but another part of me wants to just do stock interior. I'll figure that out as I go.

      Here's when I picked it up:





      Its been sitting like 7? years. All of that time out in the open, and most of it on the street in a few different towns in North Carolina. It's got awesome potential though. It sits right, and with a coat of clear and some new GTI red accents it'll be perfect.

      Cleaned it up a little:









      You can peek my other projects ^ there. There's also a 1966 Volvo 122 Wagon hiding in front of the rabbit.

      It came with 2 sets of MK2 seats, the GTI I have no interest in, they'll definitely be up for sale. I threw the grey set in just to have a seat of some kind.





      All that was inside the car believe it or not.



      It's also got a Scirocco 16v swap. MK1 GTI trans attached to it, and I was told it has a different 5th gear in it but who knows.

      What I do know, is it has:

      Some kind of homebrew coilover on the front
      Bilsteins in the rear
      Stainless brake lines
      BBS RA
      Zender spoiler
      Hella fog light grille
      Scirocco 16V swap

      Did have a lexan back window as shown in the pictures, but I've already had it swapped for glass. It's sooooo much better.

      Right now I'm just going through it and figuring out what I've got. I'm also chasing water leaks. Theres a notch in the floor where the fuel cell is mounted, and theres rust in the seams of the front floors from leaking for so many years.

      Apart from that the biggest challenge is theres no interior or wiring whatsoever inside the car. I plan to go megasquirt and maybe a painless harness, so thats not a huge deal.

      Thanks for looking.

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    3. 08-11-2017 01:36 AM #2
      240 turbo on the right?

    4. Junior Member stick70's Avatar
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      Apr 22nd, 2011
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      '84 GTI 16v, '89 Supra Turbo, '84 Volvo 242 Turbo, '66 Volvo 122S, '91 Honda Beat
      08-11-2017 08:21 AM #3
      Yep!

    5. Member
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      81 S, 84 GTI, 86 16V, 92 Cabby
      08-11-2017 09:15 AM #4
      GTIs are usually best brought back to stock IMO, but that one will be grateful to have been saved at all, good on you for taking it on.

      If you're not set on a stock interior, you shouldn't have much trouble finding stuff in the classifieds, even a dash.

      Light car + 16V + GTI gearbox=

      Edit: you mention 5th. Some folks swap a taller 5th gear into the 4k or 2h [GTI] gearbox. It lets you use the short 1-4 to rip around town and use 5th as an overdrive on the highway. The stock 5th was also short so after a road trip, our ears would ring for a day or so...
      Last edited by echassin; 08-11-2017 at 09:21 AM.
      It's hard for me to know exactly what these things cost me. I'm guessing a LOT, but I like them, so that's that.

    6. Member rabbitnothopper's Avatar
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      Oct 19th, 2009
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      RIP81. 78 VW Rabbit 1.5L EH 4speed 020 GC->GP, 82 Rabbit Pickup 1.6D
      08-11-2017 07:15 PM #5
      a close ratio gear would be roughly 3000-3500rpm at 60mph
      very loud but in the power band
      a long/tall ratio gear .70/.71 or .75/.76 would be 2500rpm at 60mph....much better.......

      not only can to calculate this with the excel file found on the internet *cough cough*
      but using your tachometer i have done a swap and seen it.

    7. Junior Member stick70's Avatar
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      Apr 22nd, 2011
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      '84 GTI 16v, '89 Supra Turbo, '84 Volvo 242 Turbo, '66 Volvo 122S, '91 Honda Beat
      08-11-2017 10:11 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by echassin View Post
      GTIs are usually best brought back to stock IMO, but that one will be grateful to have been saved at all, good on you for taking it on.

      If you're not set on a stock interior, you shouldn't have much trouble finding stuff in the classifieds, even a dash.

      Light car + 16V + GTI gearbox=

      Edit: you mention 5th. Some folks swap a taller 5th gear into the 4k or 2h [GTI] gearbox. It lets you use the short 1-4 to rip around town and use 5th as an overdrive on the highway. The stock 5th was also short so after a road trip, our ears would ring for a day or so...
      Quote Originally Posted by rabbitnothopper View Post
      a close ratio gear would be roughly 3000-3500rpm at 60mph
      very loud but in the power band
      a long/tall ratio gear .70/.71 or .75/.76 would be 2500rpm at 60mph....much better.......

      not only can to calculate this with the excel file found on the internet *cough cough*
      but using your tachometer i have done a swap and seen it.
      Thanks for the input guys, I really need to investigate that. My buddy has a red 84 gti with the stock trans and it does indeed scream on the highway.

    8. Member
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      1983 VW Rabbit GTI
      08-12-2017 04:40 AM #7
      Very cool!!

      I LOVE the seats... Very jealous.

      Nothing wrong with a 16V swap!

      Love the wheels too.

    9. Member dubsteez79's Avatar
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      Jul 17th, 2014
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      84 GTI, 74 Beetle, 01 mustang, 70 Corona MK2, 01 Silverado, 97 Civic, 77 Z28
      08-22-2017 03:23 PM #8
      Get them carb-hoo-raters put on homie quan!
      Spiral Innovations LLC
      Mechanical Engineering and Design

    10. Junior Member stick70's Avatar
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      Apr 22nd, 2011
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      '84 GTI 16v, '89 Supra Turbo, '84 Volvo 242 Turbo, '66 Volvo 122S, '91 Honda Beat
      09-25-2017 11:56 PM #9
      So I'm currently working on another project of mine but I have been trying to get some small things done here and there. I've evaluated the engine situation and it seems livable. The head looks brand new, and the shortblock looks...maybe ok? It's really greasy but it makes compression and turns over freely. The suspension on this thing however is sketchy at best. It has bilsteins and some poly but that's where the good things end. I'll just leave this here...



      Yeah. So the front springs aren't big enough to fit over the hacked up coilover sleeves that are on there. So they just sit on top, which isn't ideal. Plus the springs themselves are really short. The rear is better, the springs are blue which is...blue. I don't know much about them apart from they're worth taking off.



      When I got it in the air it had a scary amount of wheel play. The RF axle wasn't tight at all, and neither were the LF strut bolts.

      Moving onto the brakes. I threw new bearings in the rear and mainly just cleaned everything up. I did have to replace the wheel cylinders but that was mostly it. The shoes and drums looked ok, so I just hooked everything up right. The e-brake cables were just dangling under the car. I don't have any finished pictures, but here's a before.



      In the front I threw on some new rotors and Hawk HPS pads. Luckily the calipers weren't seized and I could re-use them. The car also has stainless lines on it which is nice, one less thing to buy.

      What else...oh yeah. So what I probably should have done is just built a cheap MS1 and rolled. The car would probably work by now. Instead I decided yeah! Carburetors are cool! Induction noises yeah! So I sprung on a set of used R1 carbs off of ebay. They were nasty when I got them and it took several days to clean them up. You can tell by the condition of the float bowls. The 4th one looks like it was full of water for a while.



      I got them all cleaned up though and got some float bowl seals in. I still need to re-jet the mains, but its not a priority atm. They're going to be fed by a Holley low pressure pump, and I went ahead and bought a new fuel tank from Rock Auto.

      I did some looking around and noticed that some guys are making steel manifolds for these things, but Danstengineering out of the UK sells these really nice manifolds for reasonable money. It made more sense to buy one than to mess with the fab work.



      The port transitions are really nice too.



      Grabbed me some silicon couplers off of Jegs and threw them on there.



      The most recent thing that I've done was scrub the roof with scotch brite and clr. It really helped to bring out the small amount of paint that was left, and got a lot of the red rust off of the car.



      And a decent side shot of it in the shop.



      I'm still plugging away when I have time, I think next I'll work on getting an ignition system. I really need to find a 16v knock box and harness. The next thing after that is going to be interior, I really really want to get this thing back to stock red gti interior. It doesn't have to be great but anything will be better than the nothing I currently have.
      Last edited by stick70; 09-25-2017 at 11:58 PM.

    11. 09-27-2017 12:56 AM #10
      Brap brap!

    12. Junior Member stick70's Avatar
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      Apr 22nd, 2011
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      '84 GTI 16v, '89 Supra Turbo, '84 Volvo 242 Turbo, '66 Volvo 122S, '91 Honda Beat
      10-05-2017 09:31 PM #11
      With little money to dedicate to this thing I haven't done much to get it moving. On the bright side I'm planning on getting some interior for it this weekend. I did go full type R mode and painted the valve cover red, that's gotta be worth 5hp.


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