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    Thread: 'Modernizing' an early Westy (AHU + O2A)

    1. Member IdontOwnAVW's Avatar
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      Rabbit TDI, Colorado 2.8TD, 04 GTO
      01-02-2018 09:52 AM #1
      So, my friend and I have been churning away at fixing any issue I found on my previous thread about my 82, but due to some unforeseen issues we have found a much cleaner shell, so the future for my 82 Rabbit is unknown at this point. (see Sig for that thread)

      We found this car by chance while searching for new fenders on Craigslist, and I couldn't say no when the PO said pick it up for $150 with all the "extra parts" (3 sets of fenders, complete interior with crack free early dash w/ cyclops cluster, clutch setup for whatever motor was going into the car, all the glass minus the front windscreen, brand new lowering springs, complete prothane bushing kit...and randomly found a MBenz supercharger in the lot. ) The car also had a brand new round core support welded on with ZERO rust anywhere on the car.

      Got the car to my buddies garage, unloaded everything and then slowly got working on it.

      Some pictures from getting it back into my friends driveway






      First I made a jig from my 82 to ensure we're placing the motor mount in the right location:




      In the above picture you can see the threaded steel tubing someone made for some sort of motor mount, I later used a grinder and flapper wheel to get it off and cleaned up, I think Helen Keller welded it on.

      To save some space in the garage and allow the interior to be worked on we picked up hardware to have the hatch and doors hung, before doing so we cleaned up any rust the parts had from sitting outside which luckily wasn't much. While the hatch was out I decided I won't be running a rear wiper so we welded the holes shut and I smoothed out the area with some filler and a few hours of sanding.





      The car was once Sunbright Yellow, but someone crudely painted it red and then sanded it to do a repaint but never got around to it. The engine bay felt like 40 grit sand paper from all of the overspray but we used some 220 to smooth it out and now its ready to be painted a single color with the rest of the car. Not a fan of Yellow so unfortunately won't be going back to that, instead I'll be using a color that Holden painted the latest Commodore/Chevy SS which was Regal Peacock Green, but that idea isn't finalized just yet.

      While going thru all of the giant rubbermaid containers that came with the car I found the rear wiring harness from fuseblock to tail lights as well as the original build sheet hiding in the glovebox which I thought was neat, regardless.



      The motor and trans are below, unfortunately they were painted Ford Blue because the interior of the last car was going to be the same color, but too late to change it now



      Sorry for the wall of text, hopefully this thread will move quicker than my last.
      IG: @geeofff
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    3. Geriatric Member
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      01-02-2018 03:27 PM #2
      Bro, do you even own a VW?

      Subscribed regardless.

    4. Member BoostedOne's Avatar
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      01-03-2018 01:01 PM #3
      Nice find! It included the wheels too?

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    6. Member IdontOwnAVW's Avatar
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      Rabbit TDI, Colorado 2.8TD, 04 GTO
      01-03-2018 04:11 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by BoostedOne View Post
      Nice find! It included the wheels too?
      Included the set of ATS wheels with "brand new" (Date code of 2010 I think. ) as well as a set of steelies with center caps.
      IG: @geeofff
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      01-08-2018 03:10 PM #5
      Nice find. Even the pinch welds along the bottom of the rocker panels look straight,.. no one has put a jack to them.
      Going MTDI? Or using the computer.
      With a few adjustments (some spring swapping and cutting of the timing piston so it will move farther,.. along with the sprocket being upsized to a 19mm shaft). the 12mm pump from a cummins 4BT will fit/work on the AHU.

    8. Member IdontOwnAVW's Avatar
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      Rabbit TDI, Colorado 2.8TD, 04 GTO
      01-08-2018 06:20 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by fatmobile View Post
      Nice find. Even the pinch welds along the bottom of the rocker panels look straight,.. no one has put a jack to them.
      Going MTDI? Or using the computer.
      With a few adjustments (some spring swapping and cutting of the timing piston so it will move farther,.. along with the sprocket being upsized to a 19mm shaft). the 12mm pump from a cummins 4BT will fit/work on the AHU.
      Utilizing the ECU on this one, with the nozzles I'm using I should probably be looking to go with a bigger turbo in the near future but I just want the car to run damnit.
      IG: @geeofff
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    9. Member IdontOwnAVW's Avatar
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      02-20-2018 11:27 AM #7
      Shell is going in for paint in stages shortly. Bay and interior are getting done so my friend and I can get it running and then tow it up to the shop to have the rest of the exterior done. At this point with having the deadline of last June already well passed I think we'll just focus on getting it done and if its ready for any show then I'll be sure to have it there.
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    10. Member IdontOwnAVW's Avatar
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      03-06-2018 10:08 AM #8
      Bay and most of interior were done, some areas need to be polished and some of the interior will get fixed when the whole car goes up. Shop needs it running so it can be moved.

      Also "rebuilt" the steering rack with brand new inner and outer tie-rods, used a wire wheel to get all the grime off and threw a coat of black Epoxy paint plus the car came with a bag of Poly bushings so I utilized the Poly steering rack bushes.



      Came out pretty good.
      IG: @geeofff
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    11. Member IdontOwnAVW's Avatar
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      Rabbit TDI, Colorado 2.8TD, 04 GTO
      03-21-2018 07:54 AM #9
      So, another slow update.

      Ran all new stainless brake lines (never again), they don't look perfect but will get the job done! Waiting on the reservoir to show up in the mail and then once that's in I'll put a picture up of how that stuff looks.

      In the meantime I really didn't like the look of having the red overspray on everything underneath, so we pulled the rear beam to get it sanded down and we'll paint it. I'll also have to order some new rear drum materials as they were the original shoes and hardware...while it didn't look bad I'd prefer not to have 40yo brakes on a car.

      Here is a picture of how the car currently sits:



      We're hoping to have the engine and trans ready to go in within the week/weekend depending on this weather but I can't seem to find the 5 speed lever for the shift rod.
      IG: @geeofff
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      03-25-2018 10:07 PM #10
      On the stuff underneath the car I just brush paint on.
      I use 2-part epoxy and there is no gun to clean.
      I think brushing it on smooshes into the metal better.
      That's how I'd paint the rear end.

    13. Member IdontOwnAVW's Avatar
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      Rabbit TDI, Colorado 2.8TD, 04 GTO
      03-25-2018 10:41 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by fatmobile View Post
      On the stuff underneath the car I just brush paint on.
      I use 2-part epoxy and there is no gun to clean.
      I think brushing it on smooshes into the metal better.
      That's how I'd paint the rear end.
      That's exactly what we ended up doing.

      Unfortunately I realized Parts Place doesn't do Saturday UPS delivery so we couldn't throw the drums on but they'll be here tomorrow afternoon and we'll get that stuff done to get it back on the ground.

      Heres an after picture of the beam with poly bushes and all new lines.




      Tried to let it dry as much as possible but we got impatient so it isn't perfect but it's back in the car, albeit with the old drum hardware..pretty sure it's the original shoes since I think the cars been off the road since '86-'87.



      Once that was in we focused on the pedal cluster, I grabbed the pin that sits in the brake pedal from my '82 Rabbit (currently sitting in my friends driveway with no windows, covered by a tarp) and we made it fit into the pedal on the '80. Also after reading a thread on here I opted not to use the pressure switches on the master cylinder for the brake lights and instead went with a ATV/Dirt Bike styled switch that will pull out as the pedal is pressed.

      Also on it is a picture of the S&P Auto pedal bracket, but when it was bolted up I didn't like where the pedal sat compared to the brake/clutch so we bent it down, but once we had that done we realized there was way too much flex on the little piece of sheet metal it bolts to so back to the vise and scrap metal pile we went. Made a little |___| bracket and welded it to the pedal assembly, and then utilizing the hole for the original throttle cable we used a button head bolt/screw and bolted it to the firewall.



      Once the car is painted I'll be covering the interior with some sound deadening, closed cell thermal foam and some jute padding so any part of the firewall that may be visable will just be hit with some black paint to get rid of the old dingy sunbright yellow. Motor should be in maybe by this upcoming weekend.
      IG: @geeofff
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    14. Member TDIblitzkrieg's Avatar
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      03-28-2018 09:41 PM #12
      Nice work! I am putting an AHU into a Jetta but I'm still stuck in the rust repair stage, excited to see you get the motor in.

    15. Member IdontOwnAVW's Avatar
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      03-28-2018 10:55 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by TDIblitzkrieg View Post
      Nice work! I am putting an AHU into a Jetta but I'm still stuck in the rust repair stage, excited to see you get the motor in.
      Ask and you shall receive!

      Just got back from the garage after getting the engine bolted in; luckily the jig we made in the OP was pretty much on-point, the only "persuading" we needed to do was with the rear trans mount underneath the car. Only casualties in the engine bay's paint was a chip on the motor mount when my buddy hit it with the rachet

      Next step is running the wiring and figuring out the best way. Running the battery in the rear of the car so we're utilizing the original hood release cable as the battery wire access.







      Phone has been acting up so pictures are pretty crappy but it's in!

      IG: @geeofff
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    16. Member Andrewrg's Avatar
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      03-29-2018 02:17 PM #14
      That's a serious find. In for this.
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    17. Member IdontOwnAVW's Avatar
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      Rabbit TDI, Colorado 2.8TD, 04 GTO
      04-08-2018 10:03 PM #15
      Engine bay wiring has been ran, battery cable ran into the firewall aswell from the hole from the original hood release cable (going external release).

      Got some intercooler goodies to show up; as I'm not going for major power I feel 2" should do the trick for the time being; and may even give wiggle room to step up to a slightly larger turbo.

      Kind of hoping the layout works as it did on the Post-It note and in my head

      We're gonna cut down the legs on a 304 stainless elbow to try and get the 45* coupler to sit underneath the one running from the intake manifold and then have those running to the intercooler with another 304SS section of tubing and then into 135* couplers into the little 21x5x2 that will sit between the grille and the radiator.

      I did end up ordering some slightly important parts:




      Much excite.

      Ordered from Germany, took about a week or so; the other two for some reason took a flight to Louisville KY from the Philadelphia Int'l Airport instead of getting on the UPS truck to go a few miles south so they'll be here Monday.

      I've wanted a set of these since I was 16 and had my first MK1.
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    18. Member STDClayton's Avatar
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      04-09-2018 10:35 AM #16
      Love those wheels and love the work you're doing!
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    19. Member IdontOwnAVW's Avatar
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      04-10-2018 11:10 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by STDClayton View Post
      Love those wheels and love the work you're doing!

      Thank you!

      We got new bearings pressed into the spindles, I had hoped my stubbornness would have allowed us to use a vise to get them in there but I'm glad I threw in the towel. My dads friend came in clutch and got them together for me so now they'll be on the car at some point either tonight or tomorrow. We've decided it's best to install the suspension now rather than after the car gets painted so I'll just have everything at max ride height and then once it's back in my hands I'll drop it down.

      I had originally thought the front bearings were good until I noticed you could wobble the front wheels top to bottom with just two fingers. Once all that is together then it's a mater of just getting the fan shroud built for the Scirocco radiator and then making a harness for the front lights (unless someone has a spare harness for an 80 laying around. )

      Slow progress, yes; but we're getting there.
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    20. Member IdontOwnAVW's Avatar
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      04-11-2018 04:34 PM #18
      Worked on the car a little yesterday, going to finish up the front end hopefully tonight, just need to find a wrench to get the top nut tightened up on my coilovers, my friend has every size but 22mm

      I was going to wait until after the car got painted to do the suspension but kind of figured since it was currently apart to just go through with it. Ended up with new control arms and new bushings, put some Monroe strut mounts/bushings on the Solowerks and got that tightedned up in the bay. Before that though I sprayed the entire wheel well area with some rubberized undercoating to clean it up and make it uniform.

      Here are the before/after pics.




      IG: @geeofff
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    21. Member IdontOwnAVW's Avatar
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      04-15-2018 10:46 PM #19
      Got bored on this rainy Sunday so I stopped over my buddies house to get some work done on the rabbit. Today was working on the radiator setup..I'm using the Scirocco styled radiator with the filler on the piece itself, so we stopped at Lowes for some rubber grommets that I used to mount on the bottom as feet, and then I made an aluminum tab to slot into the radiator that bolts it to the rad support.

      We tried being lazy and finding a perfect fit baking sheet to modify for the shroud but ended up back at Lowes to pick up some 3/4 tube steel and using some sheet metal I purchased early last year we fabbed up a basic shroud assembly-- I ordered a fan tonight which will get here this Wednesday so we'll make a hole around then to finish it up. I don't have a picture of it as my phone died but I put a few coats of black epoxy paint to just prevent it from rusting.





      Last pic shows the tabs I made out of scrap metal and we tacked them on to bolt it to the radiator itself. I'm happy with the result for just a few bucks in metal.
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    22. Member IdontOwnAVW's Avatar
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      04-15-2018 10:53 PM #20
      Forgot:

      Saturday I got both axles installed finally, took us some time to get it all working out after grinding out the spindles to fit the 100mm axles but they're golden and should be good to go. With that said the front brakes are done...had to snip around the circumference of the backing plates as apparently they're different on GTI cars. (went to Vented 9.4" rotors)

      Also got an intercooler mounted, little lower than I wanted but I also wanted to give as much room as possible for the hood safety latch as not to nail the intercooler. If there is room to move up after the hood and everything is on, then I'll make some adjustments. I whipped up some brackets to bolt it to the rad support out of scrap metal (tons of it laying around at my friends garage due to his and his fathers Impala project)

      Only pictures I have at the moment:




      Once all the coolant hoses are on and the shifter assembly is correct we'll get that plumbed.
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    23. Member IdontOwnAVW's Avatar
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      05-12-2018 01:43 AM #21
      Ended up having to purchase a replacement shifter lever for the side to side motion as the shouldered bolt I put in there wasn't cutting it...seems like it's allowing too much play so we can't go from 1st to 5th. Either way here is a quick recap over the past month.

      Made a fan shroud for the radiator out of some sheet metal and 1/2" tube steel, then ordered and installed a rather slim SPAL fan as I knew we were limited on space as it was.

      The first pictures will show the sort of completed install of the intercooler that was last left hanging in the post above, followed by tonights most recent work. Last night my friend and I trimmed down the two engine harnesses and got rid of what wasn't utilized anymore, we removed the passenger side wiring for the headlights as we will be making a relayed harness, and tonight we set them into the firewall and used some weatherpack connectors for the Alternator Exciter, Low Oil Pressure, Coolant Temp Sensor, reverse lights, and the brake switch that I installed into the pedal assembly (removing the old styled assembly that plugged into the switches that screwed into the master cylinder)

      Also welded in the bung for the IAT on the charge piping, hopefully it's air tight.

      Whats left is confirming the wiring setup for the parking lights/turnsignals and then I need to make another ground cable or two, buy a battery and a battery tray then locate where we'll place it in the rear.







      Not sure it will be ready for madness, but still trying for it even though work schedules aren't helping.
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    24. Member IdontOwnAVW's Avatar
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      05-19-2018 11:30 PM #22
      Much progress was had today. Got the shifter nonsense figured out, never again will I buy this 02A shifter rod conversion kit. The little rubber relay rod ball thing at the bottom was actually binding up the 5speed shift tower and prevented it from going side to side, ended up swapping it out with the original part. We had to modify the bracket as it would pop the shift rod off when going into 2nd and 4th because it interfered with the trans mount...drilled out the original ball mounting point and utilized a spare from the shift rod kit, spaced out about 1/2" for some more clearance. Can't think of the correct terminology right now as I'm pretty beat lol.

      Also got the charge pipes bolted up for the last time, bolted on the heater box/heater core assembly so I can connect all the coolant lines and then used my thinking cap and figured out I can use the fuel filter bracket on the rabbit without cutting any other holes in the engine bay and also bolted a bracket to brace the air intake. Just need to get a filter that will fit.

      Four more wires preventing me from starting the car, but we're going to make the headlight relay harness and run everything together all at once. Gotta drain the remaining diesel from the tank which I'm sure is from the 80s.


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    25. Member Seomobster's Avatar
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      05-20-2018 12:11 AM #23
      Those wheels...

      nice choice mate.

    26. Member IdontOwnAVW's Avatar
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      Rabbit TDI, Colorado 2.8TD, 04 GTO
      05-21-2018 07:13 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by Seomobster View Post
      Those wheels...

      nice choice mate.
      Thanks, gotta order tires for them but I've been hit with some bills over the past few days so they'll have to wait.
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    27. Member IdontOwnAVW's Avatar
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      Rabbit TDI, Colorado 2.8TD, 04 GTO
      05-31-2018 09:17 AM #25


      Only thing left to wire up is the CEL coming from the ECU, and then need to run a constant hot from that junction/stud over to the fusebox to supply it with 12v. Once that is done it is a matter of bolting on this TT downpipe that should be here today, and then it should hopefully be cranking over this weekend after we drain the 30yo diesel out of the tank.
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