Haudi everyone! I'm still a semi-new member (rarely on here), but I'm not new to Mk4's when it comes to wrenching on them.:P
I figured my hoopty 20th Anniversary was worth leaving documented on here in case she leaves my ownership.
Note: Hoenequin isn't perfect and I don't aim to restore her into pristine condition. I like the idea of my cars having a story, and mismatched parts/ paint is a part of that. I apologize in advance if you guys come in hoping to see me fully restore her. I will try to somewhat do that if the opportunity arises, but it isn't my goal (being in college doesn't help either, but it doesn't stop me!) She will wear as much of her battle marks as she can. Plus it also fits with her name. Being that her plate includes HOE, she has mismatched parts, and the number plate is missing so I will never know what number she is. It also doesn't help that I'm her eleventh owner! ;)
Storytime: I first saw her posted up for sale on Letgo. She had been the victim of a hit and run (strange circumstances that I still question myself). The damage had been to the point that she was undrivable, at least that's what the description stated. I somewhat knew what I was getting myself into. Especially after taking into consideration that I had previously gone airborne in my 01 GTI, damaging the driver's side knuckle as a result. The pictures made it seem like it was going to be a pretty similar approach in regards to repair, except for the damaged panels of course. I messaged the owner and asked if the chassis was damaged. His response was, "yes, everything." After hearing that I had a, "ok then what," kind of moment. I ended up arranging to go just check her out, but the rented u-haul said otherwise. Before even seeing her in person, I had already decided I was saving her from a potential junkyard fate. After a two hour trip to her resting place, my friends and I were met with a pretty depressing GTI. She lay in pretty much the same spot she had when she had been hit. After checking her over and chit-chatting back and forth, she was mine for $700. This is pretty much where my ownership of her begins.
What I saw when I saw her listing:
7/8/2019: She is taken to safety. After getting her home, the chassis isn't damaged like the owner stated she was. Although one can assume why he would think so, looking at the pictures that is.
7/9-11/2019: I pretty much get her back to a drivable state. After finding out the axles are broken and the front end suspension is severely damaged. I make various junkyard runs and scrounge a knuckle and some janky struts and shocks just for getting her back in shape. The axles are replaced with some O'Reilly's replacements, again just to get her back. After swapping out the axles and suspension, she is now driving under her own power, albeit not in her greatest. I find out that the driver's side LCA is slightly bent and the passenger side knuckle is bent as well. Another junkyard run nets me those. With that done she is at least sitting straight, but not all the way. The janky wheels have bent from the hit and are wobbling hard, so out they'll go eventually ( I planned to get rid of them from the get-go). After finishing up and getting her driving, next comes the bumper and fender. Ones from a normal black one will have to do for now.
7/11-31/2019: Shaking things down, and getting her road legal! After swapping out the janky wheels for some slightly less janky fat fives, she doesn't wobble while driving anymore. Next comes getting her to pass smog. From what I knew when buying her, she had an aftermarket cat and was throwing up codes. I was told I would have to do the forbidden smog, but that wasn't happening. I ended up buying a factory cat (also knocked out two birds with one stone and scored the OEM lip!) and swapped it in, only to find out that the o2 sensor was throwing a code because it wasn't plugged in all the way. Regardless the aftermarket cat had to come out as it was held on by two nuts. A factory cat and a bit of driving around to work and home later end with her passing smog the legit way. From here, she is now *done* when it comes to saving her.
8/1-31/2019: Little things here and there.. Now that she's driving and legal, I can do some *refreshing*. Out goes the old and blown temporary suspension, and in go in some ching chong coil boys. At the moment, it's a small price to pay if it means she doesn't ride horrible. I also begin assessing the interior situation by cleaning it. Out goes the janky radio wiring and in goes in a *factory* radio (RCN 210). While fixing the factory amplifier wires, I find a what turns out to be a poorly rigged GPS tracker. After realizing what it is, it is promptly yeeted into a dumpster! (NOTE: I still wonder if this has anything to do with the hit and run circumstances..) Unfortunately, the fancy brushed panels are most if not all gone, and with the price of getting replacements. I decide to just go with black trim and the old door switch trim from my 01. I also swap out the chonky boy fat fives with the Montreal II's from my 01.
9/1/2019-Present: Waiting... I have acquired the whole headliner and trim from a GTI that I'll wrap with black fabric. Being my first 1.8t, I am learning a completely new maintenance process. With my 01 being a VR6, timing chains were the sketchy part. I knew about these being simpler to work on, but it's still a process. I have bought a complete timing belt kit with all the doohickeys and whistles and wait for them to arrive. For now, I continue with the headliner rewrap and finish painting the OEM lip.
I will work on my photography as I continue to document Hoenequin's journey, so again I apologize!:(
P.S. Feel free to ask about anything you spot or want to know more about, there is a lot to discuss when it comes to Hoenequin. Perhaps even figuring out what anniversary number she is? If it helps, she's spent most of her life in the Bay Area from what I've researched.