Hi there, I'm pretty new to the car community even though I've been interested in older cars as far back as I can remember. I was 8 when the youngest car I've owned came off the production line. (mk3 golf) I'm 30 now and have been driving for only 3 years.
I guess what attracted me to the mk2 golf was that I loved that it can be a practical old hatch that has sports car potential and is cool (when done tastefully). Although my other favourite cars are Ford Capri mk2/3, BMW E28, Morris Minor traveller, actually there's loads more really but none in my list made after 1997. Anyway enough waffling. This is my third mk2 but my first Gti. I had a 1.8 auto which I adored but eventually wanting to buy a Gti was the next step up. Searching various old haunts saw that there were many 8 valves out there, many chavved out eye-sores and many knackered old bangers. Never saw many 16valves but the ones I did see were either very well maintained/restored or were on the verge of being scrapped. Guess which I picked...
Other unseen issues include the gear selection requires a crystal ball to predict. Your basically stirring a bowl of soup. So new gear linkage set up was needed and was the first thing to be repaired. A few times I've held up traffic not being able to find first gear or worse still being frightened to go into reverse!
Other issues also include a very rhythmic rattle from the engine once you hit 5000 revs, which for the 16v engine (KR) is where you hit your power really. The steering wheel is wayyy too big, I found out from the mk2 owners club that its actually a mk1 golf campaign. It was a struggle to find the brake pedal sometimes as your lower thighs rub against the bottom of the wheel. Also it's got a manual rack which makes it even harder to drive safely in. Not good at all.
I'm also doing 99.9mpg
From what I've read this is a vacuum hose that has become disconnected from the back of the binnacle.
Ok A LOT of work is needed. There is one reason and one reason only I bought this car and thats the original colour, I had no idea that the car had been resprayed when I went to see it. It has been done VERY poorly as well by the way as you can tell from the pictures. So when I saw the original colour I thought s**t, I'll have to buy it now.
That's the scuttle after a clean. It was monza blue which just happened to be favourite mk2 colour so you could call it fate that I ran into this. There was only 1000 monza blue's made for the UK so it's also particularly rare.
One thing I also did one day whilst experimenting with paint cans was paint that inlet manifold and rocker cover. This is called... A priority!!
She (Ellen) E411 LLN was mot'd until December 2016. I bought her in the March for £900, I'd love to know who mot'd this car tbh.
Boot didn't open, passenger door didn't open, blow from exhaust were also on the to-do list. After making her reasonably driveable we did have some fun in the summer.
Also sourced some period correct small bumpers, the big bumpers where introduced in 89/90. They were also poorly fitted but discovered that was due to the fact they were being held on with cable ties. Just another bodge to add to the list. Poor car.
Ellen began to really struggle though. The rattle from the engine turned into more of knock. The cabin began to stink of exhaust fumes. And we had our first and only breakdown.
Heater matrix blew up on the m6 going to the lakes for a weekend away. It's a common fault for these to fail on mk2's and it did so in spectacular fashion. Going about 80 boiling hot water peppered me and my girlfriend through the vents.
Managed to pull over safely, just. What hurt more was the £145 I had to pay to the RAC to bypass the heater matrix, which is a simple thing to do by the way. But ahh well I will drive old cars. I'm surprised this was the only break down given the state her. Poor girl does need saving.
Next was the dreaded heater matrix replacement. Which is a pain to do with the dash in but all the dash bolts were rusted onto the bulkhead job so it was a dash in job. I spy a crack.
I did make a hash of this when I was putting it back in because when putting the directional cables back on to the hooks for the flaps I ended up snapping the hook. I could of cried. Means I have to take the whole box out again.
So anyway it came to the time where we started to look for somewhere to get Ellen restored. I always wanted one to make 'my own' as buying someone else's completed work wouldn't give me the same emotional attachment or overall satisfaction, granted it would save me a small fortune though. I did want to as much work on the car myself but giving the level of the work required and wanting to have the car to the level I want it I quickly realised that I was delusional.
Took her to Deutsch Doctors in Stoke-on-Trent. About an hour from us. We were actually picking up a set of wheels and saw this was close by. They were also featured on Car SOS when they restored a mk1 gti. Hoard of old VW's.
I was allowed to sit in a very rare Oettinger mk2. Worth a tidy amount.
The only issue was distance really. But It was a joy to walk around their workshop and look at all the old vw's on show and they were a good set of guys too. Oh the wheels in question.
Melber Mahles. I saw these on a guys car on clubgti. I didn't want to follow the crowd and go with bbs split rims or similar (even though they do look very good on mk2's) so I thought these look good enough and are rare enough to be on mine.
After speaking to various restoration companies I found a place very local to me.
They mainly do exotics but they had room for one more car. Their workshop is car builders dream. They prided themselves in their work and I was extremely impressed. So after a good talk I made up my mind and said I'd be handing over the keys. This build has gone to a level I never really invisiged when I first bought her.
A lot of sacrifices have to be made over the next 12 months financially and second thoughts as to whether it'll be worth it but I've committed to it. I may never get this opportunity again and I'll probably regret it if I never went ahead as I believe if you aren't following your passions your wasting your time. Work started in December I'll post pictures at some point today or tomorrow.
I love your passion for your Golf and I'm really looking forward to the updates.
This will be a lovely car when finished!!
Thanks clarkie 😀 she has a long way to go but hopefully she'll be something special at the end. The next big dilemma was to either replace or rebuild the engine. The KR 1.8 16v gets its power in the latter half of the Rev range but it really suffers from lack of bottom end grunt. Felt no more powerful than my old auto. Granted mine is not the most refined example out there. I really wanted to rebuild to be true to the originality and character of the car as most have 20 valve turbos from mk4's or 2.0 16 valves ABFs from mk3's dropped in nowadays but the cost vs benefits made me explore other options. And well.... I found this.
A Mk3 16V that has had a top end rebuild, furthermore it was rye1991's engine that he used on his gti and have followed his build long before he removed it (he's gone Vr6t). So point is I know it's been looked after and he even threw in the gearbox. The most important part is I can easily adapt the mechanical fuel injection system (k-jetronic) to run on this engine which is vital for me because I love the k-jet system and I can retain that aspect of originality so it's a good logical compromise which tuned correctly can punch out 180bhp all day long.
This is the engine running shortly before removal.
Us taking delivery
Shiny bits that are attached
Also worth a mention that the seller had an early 7 slat grill with (I've been told) a very rare 16v badge just lying around so I thought I'd snap them up too.
One last look at the mighty 1.8 139bhp powerhouse where it's been since around 1987.
There goes the old knocking donkey.
During the tear down I got a text from the restorer that contained phrases such as 'deathtrap' and 'accident waiting to happen'. Most suspension bolts were cross-threaded, the Crossmemeber was rusted so bad in a place where it meant the front engine mount wasn't very secure. So yes it looks like I brought her in at the right time.
Ha your spot on and the rear turrets are quite notorious. The fuel filler mount/neck looks OK from the outside, the rear turrets seem to be ok but I don't think the rear suspension has been removed yet. so basically watch this space. They will be starting the next step of the build which will basically be paint stripping and cutting out rot in the next couple of weeks. Next big update will be mid February.
Surprisingly lack of crust once windscreen was out but I'll have to wait till they strip the layers of black, PINK (yes I said pink) paint before I can say definitively how good or not the scuttle, A pillars and let's face it the rest of the car is really.
Just an example of how the car should look when finished.
Not a big update but it is at the same time. Just bought a full set of early 86/87 gti side mouldings, the later ones are wider and look plain ugly. These are as rare as garden gnomes in the arctic. Very happy.
Thanks guys I only found this site a few weeks ago but it's really good so thought I'd add mine to it. The next big update will be coming next week.
They've been having a job getting all the layers of paint off. But when monza blue is back on and it's abf powered I'm sure it'll be worth it. The paradox that I will have to get over when it's done is I'll be quite frightened of driving it in case of getting it scratched/marked or someone crashing into me.
But it definitely won't be a garage/show Queen however I fully understand now why people treat their pride and joys that way. When we have so much financial and emotional investment in our cars it is hard to not feel very anxious when they are taken out on public roads. Might just be me though haha 😂