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Mk4 GTI build

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  • Mk4 GTI build

    All of my previous wrench sessions were generally on my daily drivers, so there was always a fair bit of anxiety of "what if I cant fix it?". Last week I finally got my first project car! Picked up a 2005 mk4 Volkswagen GTI for $500.

    I had been looking for a car that I can swap out for my current daily (04 Elantra) after wrenching on it, and I wanted a "Zippy Boi". After perusing I came across this lil guy and I'm completely in love. I've named it "BlackBerry" because all my cars have had fruit themed names.

    According to the previous owner, it has a bad starter motor, clutch switch, and battery connectors. The battery was also putting out a solid 2.7 volts so.... no way to test anything on the car whatsoever. So I bought it! Towed it home with the help of a friend and its chilling in my parking lot at my apartment building currently. No fancy garages for me.

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    Attached Files

  • #2
    To catch up to where I'm currently at, I picket up a battery first thing after I got the car back to my place and rigged up some janky connectors. Electric on the car works! Getting pretty much every warning indicator possible, but the lights turn on. Coolio!

    I wound up driving 50 miles north to grab a starter motor off an 03 golf some guy was parting out. Got a replacement battery connector and a hood latch assembly (the current one was bent out of shape and wouldn't latch). Then drove back home and another 20 miles south to get the only clutch switch sensor within 100 miles. 24 hour Auto Zone stores are great, but holy shit I feel like no one there knows what they're doing.

    Here's a basic rundown of how that went:
    ME: *walks up to the counter* "Hey, I need to get a starter motor tested"
    GUY: "Oh yeah... uhhhhh... hang on" *sticks head in the back* "hey, do we test starter motors"
    Other Guy:"Nah man. We don't do starter motors"
    Guy: (to me) "No, we don't do starter motors"
    Me: (holding up the motor) "You don't test... starter motors?"
    Other guy: (pokes is head out of the back) "Oh, we do starters, yeah!"
    Me: "..... starter motors" (holds up the motor to him) "Will you test this starter motor?"
    Other Guy: "We can test starters. But we don't do starter motors"
    Me: "Well.... can you test this??" (holds up the starter motor again)
    Guy: "Uhhhhh hang on" (takes it 5 feet away to the starter motor tester) "HEY! DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW TO TEST THIS THING?!"
    took them 20 min to get a manager to come do it because no one knows how to do anything. Come around and needs to input the part number.
    Me: "Its off an 05 Volkswagen Golf 1.8 Turbo engine"
    Tester guy: "there's a 2 liter diesel.... and a 1.9 non-turbo"
    Me: "K. Mine is a 1.8T engine."
    Tester Guy: "Thats not right. They didn't make a 1.8T"
    Me: "Well, that's a problem, because I own one"
    Tester Guy: "I don't know what to tell you."
    Me: "Just try putting it in as a GTI."
    Tester: "Oh, okay yeah. Here it is." (Writes down the part number and enters it into the starter motor tester)
    This guy flips the switch and a shower of sparks shoots out of the leads he attatched to my motor.
    Tester: "Yeah, its no good"
    Me: "Those sparks were.... what caused that?"
    Tester: "Ah yes. That. That was a result.... of... of the starter motor"


    So yeah. Starter motors were bad, but got the clutch switch. Solid 4 hours of my day :-P

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    • #3
      I love wrenching outside, but at around 10pm in the pitch dark, things get a bit annoying. Took far too long to get the starter motor out of the Blackberry. Went out and bought a set of deep well sockets the next day. After ordering the new motor off rockauto, those sockets made putting the motor back on take about 15 minutes. Solid purchase choice.
      70173126_477796419727641_557415157915975680_n.jpg

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      • #4
        What does starter motor tester look like?
        All I have ever needed to test starter motor.
        1982 Ford Taunus

        1984 Ratty Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser

        1963 Oldsmobile Super 88

        1974 Chevrolet El Camino

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        • #5
          Essentially this. I tested it with a battery and it didn't do much. I've never done that before though so I wasn't sure I was doing it right. Handed the guy $15 and took it to the parts store because they test that stuff for free. Wound up getting a bunch of other parts from that parted out golf for $30 total so I'm not counting it as a total loss.

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          • #6
            Long story short, just to get this thread caught up to present day. New starter motor, new clutch switch, new battery and janky battery connectors and it runs!! Engine sounds pretty good all things considered. I took it around the block a couple times and it feels really nice. Suspension needs work and there might be a small boost leak. Swapped out engine and transmission oil. I'm going to cross my fingers and hope that that much stuff in the bottom of the pan isn't going to be a huge deal.... for now. We'll see.

            Coolant is going to be a bit of an issue. Its so low that there's no liquid in the reservoir. What I'm reading is it's a red/orange coolant. The stuff I bought was green. I don't know alot, but I know not to mix colors. Went back to the shop and they exchanged for a coolant that their system said was definitely the right one. Got home, popped the seal and the new coolant is also green. Its apparently a universal coolant, but I'm not going to put it in until I'm certain its not going to cause issues.

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            • #7
              Better to be safe and get red coolant. + VW has red coolant from factory, if I remember correctly.. I used to be car mechanic and VAG cars are stupidly popular here.

              And if that shit in the oil is metal, you will have something nasty going on in your engine.
              1982 Ford Taunus

              1984 Ratty Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser

              1963 Oldsmobile Super 88

              1974 Chevrolet El Camino

              Comment


              • #8
                I wound up getting the G40 stuff thats made specifically for VWs. More of a purple than a red, but its not the generic universal stuff. It didn't feel like the little bits in the oil pan were metal, maybe more of a ceramic or a hardened rubber. The car had been sitting for a year before I got it so I wouldn't be surprised if something started to break down a bit. I'l keep a look out to try and pinpoint exactly what happened. As for right now, the engine sounds smooth.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by AlmostKindofUsefulTurbo View Post
                  It didn't feel like the little bits in the oil pan were metal, maybe more of a ceramic or a hardened rubber. The car had been sitting for a year before I got it so I wouldn't be surprised if something started to break down a bit. I'l keep a look out to try and pinpoint exactly what happened. As for right now, the engine sounds smooth.
                  Good. I wouldn't be too worried then as long as it sound healthy, has good oil pressure and doesn't smoke or anything it's most likely fine.
                  Last edited by SBC; 11-09-2019, 12:20 AM.
                  1982 Ford Taunus

                  1984 Ratty Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser

                  1963 Oldsmobile Super 88

                  1974 Chevrolet El Camino

                  Comment


                  • #10
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                    20190910_174419.jpg
                    evicted some mice today. Never seen a nest that bad. The air out of the vents smelled like horse shit but everything is fine now.

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