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    Thread: My First Car, a 1983 Rabbit GTI

    1. Junior Member
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      1983 Rabbt GTI
      04-05-2019 12:00 PM #1
      https://www.flickr.com/photos/169416.../shares/88gkuB

      I just joined Vortex so I figured I'd introduce myself, and my car. The car is an 83 Rabbit GTI. It was recently purchased from Iowa and shipped out to me in CT. The craigslist ad showed that the car was in decent shape, no visible blemishes in the paint or major body damage. So upon arrival I was expecting a pretty good project car. When the car actully showed up, it was covered, and I mean covered in dirt and salt. Its the beginning of February, which means cold and snow up in CT. My first instinct when the car got here was to wash it and see what I'd got, which seems like a good idea until you factor in that its 9:30 at night and probably low 30's for the temperature. Lemme tell you, it wasn't fun. Even worse than the cold was seeing it in the garage the next day, still covered in dirt in some places. Oh no big deal, its daytime out so I'll just roll the car out and finish up the job. Nope, the hose froze rock solid overnight.

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/169416.../shares/38D0c8

      Whatever. Now that it's inside and I have a general idea of what the car needs, its time to order parts. My dad and I, orrtj who you might know if you hang around the Scirocco forums, recently completely rebuilt an 81 Scirocco S. I've been around A1 chassis Vws for most of my life, so I already have a pretty decent understanding of what's what on these things.

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/169416.../shares/1NkNUu
      https://www.flickr.com/photos/169416.../shares/5925oY

      And we wondered why the brakes were so bad.

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/169416.../shares/Jq370L

      The plan of attack on this GTI was to get it to be as good, if not better than it would have been in 1983, which means a complete rebuild of the brakes all around, and then move on to the suspension.
      Last edited by orrcj; 04-05-2019 at 12:04 PM.

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    3. Junior Member MKFUTURE's Avatar
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      2006 Jetta 2.5, 1999 Jetta TDI, 1979 Rabbit 1.5D
      04-05-2019 02:03 PM #2
      Welcome to the forum.
      Nice GTI, it looks like it cleaned up nicely.

    4. Member
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      81 S, 84 GTI, 86 16V, 92 Cabby
      04-05-2019 02:25 PM #3
      81 S and a GTI.

      Done
      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.

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    6. Member veedubman72's Avatar
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      04-05-2019 03:14 PM #4
      Looks like a nice solid GTI! Welcome to the forum and great job on the brakes. Looks good! Would love to see the interior.

    7. Member xXEuroBabeXx's Avatar
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      04-05-2019 04:55 PM #5
      looks like a cleaner version of my car. are the floors in good shape? i love the wheels.

    8. Member
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      04-05-2019 06:05 PM #6
      Welcome to the forum!

    9. Member rabbitnothopper's Avatar
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      04-05-2019 07:57 PM #7
      is it just me or i cant see any of the pictures
      flicker says bad bad panda



      this your literal first first car? or just first rabbit?

    10. Junior Member
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      1983 Rabbt GTI
      04-05-2019 08:58 PM #8
      Yes, this is my literal first car as I am 15
      Last edited by orrcj; 04-05-2019 at 09:01 PM.

    11. Member veedubman72's Avatar
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      04-05-2019 08:59 PM #9
      I think you have to have a Flickr account and be logged in to see the pics.

      Orrcj, I would suggest going through a 3rd party host like Imgur to post pics, so folks who don't have Flickr can see your pics.
      Last edited by veedubman72; 04-05-2019 at 09:06 PM.

    12. Junior Member
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      1983 Rabbt GTI
      04-05-2019 09:41 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by xXEuroBabeXx View Post
      looks like a cleaner version of my car. are the floors in good shape? i love the wheels.
      Surprisingly, yes, the floors are in excellent shape. The only issues with the underside of the car is someone completely shredded the heat shield that runs down the center of the car.

    13. Junior Member
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      04-05-2019 09:45 PM #11
      I am currently trying to get the images transferred to imgur, they should be available soon.

    14. Member mokoosh's Avatar
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      04-06-2019 10:10 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by orrcj View Post
      I am currently trying to get the images transferred to imgur, they should be available soon.
      I use Flickr for 3rd party hosting on this site. Make sure your photos are set to 'public' and then choose the share icon under your photo, select 'BBC code', cut and paste. Then you can edit off the Flickr ad on the end. Preview post will show you if your embedded photo is showing as you would like.
      Quote Originally Posted by rabbitnothopper View Post
      facebook...pfft. vwvortex baby!
      The NONSMKR now LE1ZCDY
      My Butte Whip: 82 Jetta Build
      perpetual online swap-meet(V2.3 FSOT: GTI Ashtray)

    15. Junior Member
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      04-06-2019 09:44 PM #13
      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

    16. Junior Member
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      04-06-2019 09:57 PM #14
      For those who are interested, here’s the interior. It’s in surprisingly good shape. The only issues that are noteworthy is the falling headliner, which is being held up by push pins from the previous owner, the driver’s side seat bolster which is torn.

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Another thing that's an issue is sill trim for the back seats, as pictured above

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      In the back seat is a roll of fabric which will be replacing the headliner.

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

    17. Junior Member
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      05-05-2019 10:43 PM #15
      If there's one thing I've learned working on this car, its that some people have no idea what they're doing.

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      As if using washers to lower the car wasn't bad enough, the springs were cut too.

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      I'm convinced this guy had a thing for cutting stuff. Another "improvement" he made was cutting go fast holes into the airbox because "more air means more powahhhhh"

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Unfortunately, the majority of this project is correcting stupid quick "fixes" that the last owner made.

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      What I assume happened here is the EGR pipe rusted away and in this guy's mind the best fix was to shove a bolt in the hole.

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      The stereo that's in the car is good, until you turn it on. It sounds okay when the car isn't running, but as soon as the volume is loud enough to overcome the engine noise, the stereo sounds like crap. There's also a random switch on the side of the center console that doesn't seem to do anything.

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Someone also added a cruise control system at some point, but was disconnected when I got the car.

      Since the headliner is getting replaced anyways, I decided to take some of it down, specifically on the C pillar. Underneath the headliner there's a hole that will hold a seat belt bolt perfectly. Does anybody know of rabbits getting 3 point belts for the rear seats?

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      On a not stupid note, its finally nice out in CT which means that it's time to roll out the Sciroccos.

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

    18. Junior Member CarpetSample's Avatar
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      05-06-2019 11:43 PM #16
      Damn. If all that is stupidity, I guess that makes me a borderline vegetable.
      Papa bless.

    19. Member
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      05-06-2019 11:56 PM #17
      Sweet garage

    20. Member 2.OhhhGTI's Avatar
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      05-07-2019 05:51 AM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by CarpetSample View Post
      Damn. If all that is stupidity, I guess that makes me a borderline vegetable.


      OP, welcome! Looks like you have a good guide at home to help you do the right things by the look of the rocco twins!

      I had my first car at 15 as well as both of my sons....younger son and I went to Ohio (from MD) to pick his up...91 GTI 2.0 16v. He's now a college grad and we just picked up "our" '03 Audi RS6 toy....neither one of us will grow up!
      '83 GTI 1.8 8v Callaway Turbo Stage 2+......'91 GTI 2.0 16v...El Diablo ...'99.5 GTI 2.0 16vT Stage 4+....Gone, but not forgotten...
      '07 Audi A4 2.0T Stage 1+...'13 Ford Explorer Sport 3.5 TT...'03 Audi A6 2.7TT 6spd...'03 Audi RS6 4.2TT...'18 Mini Cooper Clubman S 2.0T
      5 AWD cars, 8 turbos....

    21. Member itschrisb's Avatar
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      05-07-2019 08:02 AM #19
      Cutting holes in the airbox actually isnt that much of a "stupid" move. A bolt in the egr tube also isnt that unheard of. Cutting springs although unsafe also is pretty common. The washer trick is a little ghetto. Random switch on the side of the center console isnt that out of the ordinary consider the car is 36 yrs old with terrible OEM wiring and I'm sure a few uneducated owners.

      But yeah nice GTI.

      Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
      Last edited by itschrisb; 05-07-2019 at 08:06 AM.

    22. Member
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      05-07-2019 11:17 AM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by 2.OhhhGTI View Post
      we just picked up "our" '03 Audi RS6 moneypit....neither one of us will ever retire!
      FTFY.

    23. Member
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      Now: 84 Gti Callaway. Then: 79 Rabbit; 83 Gti, 80 Scirocco S, 86 Gli, and a few flips.
      05-07-2019 06:19 PM #21
      You had me at First Car/GTI and the Scirocco's put me over the edge! Some time and effort will make this one purdy!

      My 84 GTI Callaway
      2020 Mk7 GTI salvage rebuild
      Mk1 GTI Seat Fabric Measurements
      Still WTB: 1552 15" cast Snowflakes, NOS Mk1 Gti Blue hot-stripe seat fabric, clean or new factory Gti bumper over riders!

    24. Member 2.OhhhGTI's Avatar
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      05-08-2019 06:03 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by thegave View Post
      FTFY.
      Thanks for the corrected quote....at least there will always be something to work on...and when it runs, man, it RUNS!

      OP, fixing other people's "repairs" can be entertaining to say the least...I'm glad that you have an eye for original details and are willing to go through the trouble to correct them. It looks like you have a fantastic platform to start with and will be inexpensive to work on since you obviously have the knowledge (or knowledgeable help) to do things right....
      Last edited by 2.OhhhGTI; 05-08-2019 at 06:07 AM.
      '83 GTI 1.8 8v Callaway Turbo Stage 2+......'91 GTI 2.0 16v...El Diablo ...'99.5 GTI 2.0 16vT Stage 4+....Gone, but not forgotten...
      '07 Audi A4 2.0T Stage 1+...'13 Ford Explorer Sport 3.5 TT...'03 Audi A6 2.7TT 6spd...'03 Audi RS6 4.2TT...'18 Mini Cooper Clubman S 2.0T
      5 AWD cars, 8 turbos....

    25. Junior Member
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      06-13-2019 08:49 AM #23
      It's been a while since my last post, but progress has been made. Today's my last day of school and I should be writing an essay for my English final right now, but we all know a Mk1 Rabbit trumps that.
      The most progress I made was up front in the Engine bay.

      [IMG]Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr[/IMG]

      The following pictures will show lots of VW special tool goodies.

      I replaced things like the valve cover gasket

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      I learned how to replace a clutch, pressure plate and flywheel and that its difficult.....

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      This is a diagnostic tool from the 80's, we have two which we combined to make one nice example which does get used.

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr
      Here's a picture of it being used sometime in the 80's on a mk2 Jetta (I think)

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Untitled by C Orr, on Flickr

      Painting things like the cam cover and fan shroud go a long way in making the car look way better, which is my main goal.

      In other news, I rolled this thing outside and its starting to come together.

      Last edited by orrcj; 06-13-2019 at 08:59 AM.

    26. Member
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      Now: 84 Gti Callaway. Then: 79 Rabbit; 83 Gti, 80 Scirocco S, 86 Gli, and a few flips.
      06-13-2019 12:53 PM #24
      Is the last shot with the new suspension/springs?

      My 84 GTI Callaway
      2020 Mk7 GTI salvage rebuild
      Mk1 GTI Seat Fabric Measurements
      Still WTB: 1552 15" cast Snowflakes, NOS Mk1 Gti Blue hot-stripe seat fabric, clean or new factory Gti bumper over riders!

    27. Junior Member
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      06-14-2019 09:24 AM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by Hoffa View Post
      Is the last shot with the new suspension/springs?
      Yes, it's on H&R springs and Koni inserts for the front.

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