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    Thread: 1990 Jetta 8v - Budget Project

    1. Member
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      2017 Golf R, 1990 Jetta
      08-25-2018 12:44 PM #26
      Got the engine out of the donor.

      Was taking off the coolant hoses to be able to give it a good cleaning and my heart sank when I saw this



      How bad is it?
      Can I just run it like this?

      Really upset at this point.

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    3. Member 400hpSlimGli's Avatar
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      08-28-2018 01:14 PM #27
      I would source another head and do a rebuild. Might as well take the plunge now then later. It sucks to find that out after getting the donor


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    4. Member
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      08-29-2018 08:17 AM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by 400hpSlimGli View Post
      I would source another head and do a rebuild. Might as well take the plunge now then later. It sucks to find that out after getting the donor


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

      Sourcing another head might be tough but ultimately necessary.

      I've already decided I'm going to rebuild it. While it's out and apart I should just do it once and do it right. Not going to load it up with performance parts, still looking to keep this 'budget' even though that sort of went out the window.. lol

    5. Member
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      Newest, 92 GTi half-swap plus
      08-30-2018 08:49 PM #29
      One thing I have learned from playing with Mark II's for 20 years.

      You can spend time, effort and money on it now and do it right, or you can spend even more time, effort and money on it later to do it right. It is your time, effort and money to waste as you choose.
      Working on Shell #4 with 14 donor cars scavenged for parts.

    6. Member
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      2017 Golf R, 1990 Jetta
      08-30-2018 10:57 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by Seax_Smith View Post
      One thing I have learned from playing with Mark II's for 20 years.

      You can spend time, effort and money on it now and do it right, or you can spend even more time, effort and money on it later to do it right. It is your time, effort and money to waste as you choose.
      haha yeah this is just my car to tinker and learn some stuff on. The goal is to have something that's reliable and nice to drive.

    7. Member
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      2017 Golf R, 1990 Jetta
      07-08-2019 08:40 PM #31
      So haven't updated this in a while. I took Seax_Smith's answer to heart and really thought about what direction I'd like this build to go. Dealing with ****ty parts wasn't what I wanted, and I wanted to do this right.

      I picked up the rebuilt engine in my tiguan. It's basically new now



      This is a cross post to try and get a wider audience, cross posted from here
      https://forums.vwvortex.com/showthre...#post113510303



      Have some noob questions.

      Context:
      90 (formerly ) Digifant1 Jetta
      Donor: OBD1 ABA


      After deleting the headlight harness and some other connectors that I hope weren't important I have the following left. I still have all the plugs I got rid of so can get those if needed.



      I've plugged it all into the fuse box, no issues there. 4 white and 1 yellow plugged in.
      This is how I have the power plugs arranged.. not sure if this is correct? Does anything need to go to Y3/4?
      From battery -> 30
      From battery -> 30b

      Nothing going to Y4 makes sense because this is on A2resource: Motronic ECU Pin 19, Fuel Pump After-Run Control Unit (G60)
      From what I understand that is probably a Digifant1 thing only.

      The reason I have 2 wires coming from the battery (and 2 grounds to/from the engine bay) is the harness in the car had these 2 going through the other harness bundle. I didn't want to deal with removing both harnesses lol.


      My harness doesn't have an 'injector wire' to plug into Z1. There was a post I saw somewhere from user bonesaw I think? saying OBD1 didn't have that injector wire.

      I also don't know if I have the plug for the clutch safety lockout? I have a green plug pictured below, but not sure if I need to jump this:



      One last thing, the negative wire going to the engine bay is on a different harness so I didn't initially pull that. The negative goes from Z2 on the fuse box to a nut in the engine bay. The mk3 obd1 harness has the same thing. I know this may seem basic but I'm not just sure.. What should I do with the second negative wire near the fuse box now? I'd like to keep it all stock without splicing. Should I plug it into the ground panel up above the fuse box, or cut the end off and put a ring terminal on it and find a nut somewhere? Just not sure where to put it. I know grounds are important with these cars.

      This is what the engine bay looks like with the two different ground wires

      The positive you see in that pic is going from Battery -> 30 on the fuse box.

      Thanks guys, appreciate the help

    8. Member
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      07-11-2019 11:11 AM #32
      Turns out a PO of the car put the 'smaller' early type of radiator in. From what I gather the 90-92 cars came with a wider radiator. This makes using the stock mk3 upper/lower rad hoses a bit of a pain. It looks like the mk1 guys who do the ABA swap have this problem as well, and many of them cut the upper hose, remove the 5-6 inches of excess hose, and use a connector of some sort. I found a billet aluminum coupler/connector on ebay that should be here in a week or so.

      Some guys posted that they just used pvc pipe with 2 clamps no thanks.

      In the mean time I've swapped over the brake fluid res connector, and the washer pump connector to the mk3 harness. I also swapped the 02 sensor connector to the one the mk3 uses. It's new and I didn't want to buy another one as they're pretty pricey.

      Also have a a cone filter on the way from amazon that i'm going to be connecting to the end of the maf housing.

      Next up while I wait for the connector to arrive, is I need to replace the rubber grommets at the base of the brake fluid res. I have a small trickle of brake fluid that is dribbling down the brake booster and I can only assume it's the rubber grommets? Hopefully that's all it is and that should be a quick (and inexpensive!) fix.

    9. Member
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      2017 Golf R, 1990 Jetta
      07-30-2019 10:20 PM #33
      Small update. Decided to go more oem, and bought an AC radiator. lines up perfectly with the ABA inlet/outlet hoses.

      Just as I was buttoning everything up, and adding the coolant, it started to pour down the firewall... wtf it shouldnt be coming out of there. After it finished leaking out, I checked the floor and yep, it's in there too. There's a puddle in the drivers side footwell

      Going to assume I need to replace the heater core now? Before the swap the heater core wasn't leaking. I guess with the removal and installation it was too much for the brittle ****ing plastic lol

      Kinda pissed, I'm assuming this is a 'dashboard out' amount of work? I need to do some searching on here. I have a new dashboard for the car but just wanted to get it up and running

    10. Member petethepug's Avatar
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      Orig Owner 90 G60 & 02 Allroad 6Sp Man w/ 3rd Row Seat 07 3x White NB & 08 Yukon Denali XL to tow em
      07-30-2019 11:28 PM #34
      Grrr, bummer! A/C equipped?


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      !! opɐɹɹoɔ ǝɥʇ!!ƃuıʇɔǝdsǝɹ !!!
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    11. Member
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      07-31-2019 09:44 AM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by petethepug View Post
      Grrr, bummer! A/C equipped?
      No it isn't, and from some research I did last night, makes the heater core replacement easier.

      Also after poking around a bit more, I'm hoping it was just a loose clamp. I'm going to take another go at it and double check everything.

    12. n00b
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      86 golf diesel(sold), 98 Jetta gt(sold),92 Jetta vr6(sold), 1988 Jetta vr6
      08-16-2019 02:47 PM #36
      Really like the way the rain gutter seal came out. I would really like to see more pics of the install or maybe even a step by step if possible. I need to do mine. For some reason I'm missing a chunk on both driver and passenger side

    13. Member
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      08-16-2019 10:25 PM #37
      Quote Originally Posted by 88A2JettaVr6 View Post
      Really like the way the rain gutter seal came out. I would really like to see more pics of the install or maybe even a step by step if possible. I need to do mine. For some reason I'm missing a chunk on both driver and passenger side
      Thanks, I'll try and document the other side a bit better. I'm really happy with how it turned out as well, looks OEM

    14. n00b
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      08-17-2019 11:17 AM #38
      Awesome. If you can that would be greatly appreciated I really like the finish as well. I have seen the ones vintage rubber are selling, but im thinking this may be the better route.

    15. Member
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      2017 Golf R, 1990 Jetta
      06-24-2020 02:28 PM #39
      Resurrecting this from the dead, as I still plug away every so often. Probably the longest an aba swap has ever taken I set out with the mindset of doing it right, and the 'while I'm in there I might as well do XYZ' has caused things to get a little expensive and time consuming. Sprinkle in moving to a new city, getting a new job, having our second kid, it's hard to find time to wrench.

      July 29, 2019 - Engine and harness are in


      July 30, 2019 - Where I left off, complaining about the leaky heater core. Was really frustrated/disappointed/depressed as this was when I planned on trying to start the car up for the first time.



      November 15, 2019 - Last thing from our old house that we needed to move, got the turd towed to our new home.


      Aaand then a couple weeks after moving in our second kid was born, and it was the dead of winter. Things got put on hold.

      Back at it though. I've done:
      • Fuel line hose replacement that had a big gash in it, replaced all the fittings
      • Both hoses that go into/out of the heater core (they were re-used from the donor car, bought new ones)
      • Started taking apart the bottom of the dash/hvac to replace the heater core


      That gets me to today, after digging around under the dash I found some janky connectors. I was hoping someone could identify what they are?

      First one, under the steering column. Blue + Brown/Blue stripe. The two wires coming out of it, go to nothing.
      My guess is the horn connector? I took these pics and then came back in to look at A2Resource.


      Second one, this one is on the right side of the dash, underneath the air vent. Not sure what this could be, or what is soldered to it, goes to. Red + Brown/White stripe


      Thanks for reading

    16. Member
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      06-24-2020 09:21 PM #40
      Awesome!! Glad this still going! Makes me optimistic I can still wrench even though I’ve got a little one as well.

      Congrats on your new baby!


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    17. Member
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      06-25-2020 12:08 PM #41
      Quote Originally Posted by ArclitGold View Post
      Awesome!! Glad this still going! Makes me optimistic I can still wrench even though I’ve got a little one as well.

      Congrats on your new baby!
      Thanks! Yeah I basically get time after everyone is in bed, so like 8-9pm onwards lol it's tough making time, but you just have to do it. Doing small, incremental things, as little as they may be, add up over time.


      Car update:
      I decided to tackle the front seats, which were always super wobbly? and extremely hard to move fowards/backwards..

      I bought the replacement seat guides a while back off ebay (from Mk1 Engineering) and put those on. Insane difference now. They slide! Turns out the seats didn't have the clips on one side.. how someone put them back in and said 'yep thats how it goes' is beyond me.

      Going to leave the passenger seat out as I'm sure it'll give me much more room to do the heater core.

      Also I think that unknown Red + Brown/White stripe plug goes to the passenger side speaker in the dash. I noticed the same wiring in the trunk, going to the read speakers...

    18. Member
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      06-26-2020 04:42 PM #42
      Got a lot done last night.. watched some youtube tutorials and decided to attack the heater core! I'm glad I did.. it wasn't as bad as I made it out to be in my head.

      Everything out! No broken bolts, tabs, etc which was nice. Having the passenger seat out was a huge help.


      Tackled the inlet side first, and cleaned things up.



      Going to continue with cleaning up the heater box and install the new heater core tonight. Looks like a PO had this out at some point, the blend doors have been fixed at some point.

      Thoughts on just continuing with swapping the dash? I have a very good condition red stripe dash to replace the ****ty cracked up one I have now.
      I figured I'm pretty much half way there to getting it out? I don't know.

    19. Member banjopete's Avatar
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      06-26-2020 07:34 PM #43
      Do it! I mean you've come this far right?

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    20. Member
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      06-28-2020 09:39 PM #44
      Quote Originally Posted by banjopete View Post
      Do it! I mean you've come this far right?
      Appreciate the motivation! Needed that extra kick in the pants lol Decided to just send it and go full dash swap. I had the dash sitting around for about 2 years now, so no better time than now to swap it!


      First some pictures of the dash I pulled out




      Dash is out!


      Comparison between the old and the new


      I was so happy at this point. It was a pain to get this thing back in to be honest..


      Ahh so much better. Radio is on it's way from Lithuania scored a really good deal on a VW Gamma 5 head unit with the code, so that'll get here in 2 years lol


      Those 2 unknown connectors I didn't know about were indeed for the speakers in the dash.

      Latest update:
      • Passenger seat back in
      • Coolant filled up, no leaks (finally)
      • Battery hooked up


      So I got the courage to start the car after the swap.. Cranked! But... doesn't run. I tried 3-4 times but yeah nothing, wants to fire but just doesn't. It smelt like gas pretty strongly so I'm going to assume it's getting gas. I hear the pump prime when I turn the key.

      I'm going to do some tests to check the ignition coil, and the crank position sensor. I realize this isn't the ABA/MK3 forum but yeah I'll need to dig into this a bit further. I'm really hoping it isn't some wiring issue

    21. Semi-n00b
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      06-28-2020 09:50 PM #45
      Nice work with the dash ! Had to put my hands into it and dissassemble most of the dash on my Jetta not that long ago, it's the thing I hate to do the most ! A real pain in the *** but the result is worth it
      Turnip engine.

    22. Member
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      06-29-2020 03:27 PM #46
      Quote Originally Posted by Nico86 View Post
      Nice work with the dash ! Had to put my hands into it and dissassemble most of the dash on my Jetta not that long ago, it's the thing I hate to do the most ! A real pain in the *** but the result is worth it
      Thanks so much! It's much nicer to be in the front now.. the old dash was so gross. One of the previous owners also decided to relocate the stereo to the glove box.. so it was all cut up and completely trashed. Overall much better now. Also welcome to the forum!

      My radio arrived, and after looking at the plugs on my harness, they're completely different than the typical connectors. Not sure if most people cut them off or what, but I'd like to keep mine oem and possibly adapt them.

      I am able to figure out every wire, except the 'pink' one on the connector on the right. Any ideas?




    23. Member
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      06-30-2020 01:26 PM #47
      I posted here https://forums.vwvortex.com/showthre...#post114500249 but wanted to also cross post here.

      Car cranks, and it sounds like it fires once, then just stumbles while it's driven by the starter.

      Pic of my fuse panel


      I've done the following tests:
      Crank position sensor
      - 916 ohms on the cps plug (is this too high?)
      - Same reading on pins 67/68 on ecu connector

      Coil
      - Between 2 connectors under flap - 1200 ohms - tried 2 different coils both had the same reading
      - From sp wire feeding the dizzy to terminal 15 - 3200 ohms
      Used https://www.google.com/amp/s/forums....f3527387&amp=1

      Tested continuity from coil plug, all good
      - Brown to ground
      - Black/red to pin 8 on ecu connector

      All plug wires are seated correctly.

      Do I need to do something like this? https://forums.vwvortex.com/showthre...1#post67465549

      It seems like the car wants to start, it fires probably once then just stumbles. It smells of gas after I try to start it a couple times, so it must be getting gas. That's why I checked the ignition system to make sure it's getting spark.

      Thanks

    24. Member
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      Yesterday 09:36 PM #48
      I posted this on the ABA swap thread, and is ABA specific probably but figured I'd share it here.

      Was following this post here https://forums.vwvortex.com/showthre...1#post49496328

      I have a solid ground
      I have constant at 54
      I do not have switched at 23

      My assumption is that the ecu isn't getting powered on because of a bad ecu relay. I have a black 109 relay in there now.

      Hoping I can find one locally quick

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