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"American Spec" 5-door VR6 mk3 Golf "GLX"

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  • "American Spec" 5-door VR6 mk3 Golf "GLX"

    so the story of this car is kinda fun. a friend of mine runs a vw shop where we "rescue" or strip old water-cooled vws. we try to save the solid ones, and we strip the rough ones and sell the parts to enthusiasts looking to build their own. its a pretty fun time, because we sometimes get some neat gems. a few years ago, that friend ended up with a 98 GTi VR6 that was so rusty, that you could push the seats down through the floor by pushing against the roof of the car while sitting. he had the car listed on that vortex site as a "donor" and refused to sell it with the title signed because the car was simply dangerous to drive in that condition. it ran and everything, just not safe due to lack of structural rigidity. he sat on that car for a good year solid, nobody wanted a perfectly good running vr6 swap in the middle of the USA for some reason.

    jump forward about a year, and i come across a really REALLY clean 95 mk3 golf 5 door with the little 2.slo ABA engine in it that had been severely overheated by the owner when the water pump went out and he kept driving, in town, for over 2 hours, after the water light started flashing. yeah, that little ABA got so hot that it actually melted everything plastic on and in the engine, including the cam splash tray. that melted down into the sump and hardened just as the oil pump sucked it up. ill post a pic of that, it's pretty epic. anyway, this car had only 130k miles on it, and had been garaged its entire life, so it had no rust, only a couple small door dings, and even smelled good inside. no automotive archaeology in this one! i called my friend, and we promptly bought the car for a couple hundred dollars, and he dropped both cars off at my place for the swap.

    now, i often do work for my friend for just parts as payment, which saves him money, and gets me parts i want or need, so its a win win for both of us. as payment for the swap, i was able to keep pretty much everything i stripped off of the 4cyl, which meant, among many things, the 2.0 ABA bottom end. from 93 to 95, those engines had extra oil squirters in the block, and were a little more durable than post-95. i used that block to do the rebuild aba/digifant setup in my mk2 jetta coupe, which was awesome. i say this, because now my coupe and this 5 door are connected by "blood."

    the build went well, and after a few days of work, he took the car back, scrapped the rust bucket, and posted the little "GLX" online for sale. after a bit, a local kid bought it and drove it for about 18 months.

    during that time, i got into a massive accident in my jetta coupe, one that put me in the hospital, and one im still physically paying for now that it's cold outside in the US, and i was out my daily driver. well, just a week prior to the crash, the little green 5 door popped up on Craigslist for sale, because something happened to it, it wouldnt stay running, and the kid wanted to sell it to buy a motorcycle instead. so i picked it up for much less than what my friend sold it for. ended up only needing the throttle body calibrated, and it's been running great for 6 months.|

    so after my crash, my poor jetta was towed back out to my friend's shop where i was able to strip a few of the undamaged things out of it, which included that rebuilt engine. i stuffed all of that in the back of the golf to take home, and a funny thought popped in my head: i wonder if the golf recognizes its old engine block....

    that was the day i had to finally let go of my Pirelli Coupe for good, but ive gained another great car, one that is fast, comfortable, and looks pretty decent despite being 25 years old! i have a lot of future plans, including a small turbo setup (10 pounds max probably), air suspension, a euro-spec "Golf GLX" badge i imported from Greece, summer wheels and tires, and a gramma-forest-green paint refresh, but in the mean time, it's my daily, and it's treating me just fine. F's for the old coupe!
    I will drive no car faster than it can go.

  • #2
    almost forgot, here's the picture of the melted plastic that got sucked into the oil pump pick-up tube. i saved it, because i sorta want to make a trophy out of it!
    I will drive no car faster than it can go.

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    • #3
      That's a pretty epic engine failure lol

      Make sure you get the car properly undercoated, mk3's like to rust A LOT. There's pretty much none left here in Europe

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      • #4
        Originally posted by GhomerGhamer View Post
        almost forgot, here's the picture of the melted plastic that got sucked into the oil pump pick-up tube. i saved it, because i sorta want to make a trophy out of it!
        That's a great idea! Perhaps you could even turn it into an annual Darwin Awards type of thing for epic engine failures!!!

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        • #5
          undercoating is on my list for future mods. i'd originally bought all the paint i needed to respray my jetta coupe, Montana Green (so epic), so i MIGHT paint this with that, or I may save that for a mk3 jetta coupe build that im thinking of undertaking. my wife will be upgrading from her mk3 jetta vr6 to a tiguan or mk5 tdi jetta, so i may seek out a golf coupe and cut it apart to make a jetta coupe. it's similar work to the repair i already did after one crash my poor jetta coupe had in 2018, and that came out really nice.

          so many people have mentioned the darwin engine awards, but i almost dont want to give it away to anyone haha, it's such an epic piece of failure. maybe ill scan it and have someone 3d print it
          I will drive no car faster than it can go.

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          • #6
            3D printing your Award is a great idea, go for it!

            No doubt it’s something that could become an annual thing on The Unicorn Circuit!!

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