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1991 VW Golf Mk 2 Ryder

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On 16/03/2021 at 10:19, Nige said:

My early MkII 8V Gti, purchased from a Mr Glynn, I ran it for 2-3 years and sold it for not much money.  Should've kept it as it was unmolested, low owners and miles.


Golf GTI sweet spot for me right there. Mk2 3 door small bumper on steelies.

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On 17/03/2021 at 15:58, Lesworth said:

Golf GTI sweet spot for me right there. Mk2 3 door small bumper on steelies.

I saw a 5 door version going up the M40 this morning.  The same age, with the quarter light windows.  It didn't look particularly "loved" but must be worth a few quid now...   I must say it looked cool.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Driving around it the wet I noticed that there was water water everywhere in the engine bay, even on top of the air filter. So i got me one of these. Fitted it the other day. The pic is not the exact one I have and mine is a little short but very much cheaper.  I will have to make up some ali brackets to secure it properly but it's on for now and won't fall off. The support bracket is for use with big bumper cars.

Engine Under Tray £189.95 VW Accessories & Styling , Worldwide Mailorder

Having got a replacement strobe I decided to have a go at the timing. Timing is not something I have involved myself in really. I've not tried to avoid it but up until now I haven't really needed to worry about it on any of my cars so I followed the Haynes manual and watched a couple of vids.
The car (1.3 carb with transistorised ignition) has had poor fuel efficiency since we got it really and I suspected this may be down to the timing possibly being out. I also thought it was a little down on what power it should have (not a lot I know :lol: ).
This is what did but if you note any glaring errors please let me know.
1. took off cam belt cover.
2. disconnected vacuum pipe from dizzy and plugged the end (here I think I made a mistake. Should I block the pipe when it is connected to the carb or when it is connected to the dizzy? I blocked it to the carb which meant the little pipe on the dizzy was open to the air - wrong I think?)
3. put a bit of paint on the mark on the lower pulley wheel
4. took a picture as it tells a thousand words. I think I am right in that the notch out in the plastic bit, which is arrowed grey, is where I should see the timing mark when the timing is correct. The white arrow is where it was before I adjusted the timing.

5. set the strobe to zero degrees (it defaults to 10 for some reason). I believe that is right.
6. twisted the dizzy until the timing mark was in the notch (grey arrow).
7. the revs went up once set so I adjusted the tickover back down.

8. took it for a drive. It seems stronger at the top end and smoother all round with an almost silent tickover.

I know @Strictly has advised checking the timing at the high revs but I have no idea what the advance should be at 4, 5 or 6k (i'm not convinced it revs to 6k :lol: )

Anyhoo, I'm hoping the fuel economy will improve.


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Today I went to collect a dashboard I had bought on Ebay for £20. It was a risk, not only because it was a 170 mile round trip to collect, but that someone had previously tried to "flock" it (steady Matt). The seller said he hadn't tried to clean it off. Anyway I took it as a chance to blow the cobwebs off the SC. We met a very nice guy called Paul who owns a Mk2 Golf with a supercharged VR6 implanted. With 320bhp he says its great in the dry :o I should coco!

Got the dash back home and spent an hour with various cleaners. The solution was apply white spirit, allow glue to soften, scrub with cloth, wash off with soapy water, apply Autoglym plastic trim reviver stuff. What a result! Form this


To this............IMG_20210411_143647.thumb.jpg.2eff63638bebba1e50d85311a581d79d.jpg

Very pleased, that has made up for the £40 in fuel and fours hours driving :lol: Mind you it is only a quarter done................ 

Onwards and upwards.


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  • 1 month later...

A few things have happened since last.

The replacement dashboard fitted. That took a good six hours, start to finish. No pics of the dash in but this is what it looks like with it out.



We replaced all of the foam wiring sound deadening while we were in there and the ignition surround. The original had been ripped off in the past so we put on an ebay replacement.

I have also replaced the blower fan. I took the old one out and gave it a clean and checked the contacts but it still squealed so new one ordered and fitted. Five minute job but now there is a gale rather than an asthmatic puff.

Next was a trip to The Phirm in Camberley. I've never seen so many roadworks on the way down and that made us late. I hate being late but when we got there the guys were great. It went up on the ramp and had over an hours thorough inspection. All is good! :D

There have been rust repairs at the rear of the sills which I knew about but on closer inspection it looks like a plating over job so I expect to have to re-do that in the not so far future. There is a small rust hole behind the fuel tank but an easy repair while the tank is out. The arches have been cut to allow for wider wheels at some point but this is not a big issue since we have GTi arches to go on. Other than that the shell is "very good".

Mechanicals wise, some bushes need replacing and the lower ball joints need new boots. Oh, and the suspension was horrible, I knew this just from the ride. So, new Bilstein B4 gas shocks and Eibach lowering springs bought. They came in a kit but I had to buy new front top mounts, spring plates and top rubbers plus rear lower and upper rubber bushes. Still, whole lot came to about £320 - bargain :signs85:




And this is what came off...................scrap metal.


The ride is now soooooooo much better. It's still firm but it no longer "crashes" over every pothole. Number 1 son is not so happy as it is not as low anymore but there will be some settling (that's what I'm telling him anyway ;) ). It's now the same height as a standard 16v GTi .

Next is brakes, wheels and yet more new tyres. 



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  • 2 weeks later...

Beginnings of a brake conversion. These are big and heavy, we will certainly need a bigger engine after they go on! Single piston but they are huge!


Bearing carriers, hubs and caliper carriers are on way. The other downside is we are going to need bigger wheels 😀

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  • 2 weeks later...
While waiting for more brake bits to arrive.....and new wheels :rolleyes: to accomodate said new brakes we set about some remedial rust work. We have a set of four GTi arches waiting to go on but before that can happen the edges of the arches need de-rusting. They won't be seen obviously but they will only get worse, as we all know.
Car up, wheel off, arch liner out (missing two screws :angry: ). Much of the original wax coating is still there which is good. There is a lot to be said for arch liners.
and yuck again...
Some wire wheeling.......
Nasty hole.........
Not so bad at the front......
Some fabrication.......
And some welding. I spent more time welding up holes I blew welding up the holes I blew. Welding thin metal is pig of a job :rant_yellow:. Got there in the end..... I did go over it (and over it, and over it) some more filling the little holes...........honest guv.......
Finally some Rustbuster 121 resin paint. Sadly the paint had gone thick and lumpy. There was just about some usable left, once thinned. It's supposed to be silver but due to it's knackered condition it's come out bronze :lol: Once the arch trims are on it won't be seen but it will be doing it's job :)
What I already knew, but today realised is going to cause an issue, is that, at some point, the arch lips have been cut back to allow for wider wheels. Not an issue per se but the arch trims fix to the lip! In places there is not enough lip to fix to. I am going to have to bond some brackets to the underside of the lip where the arch trims fix. More work......
Edited by Phill
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  • 1 month later...

New front brakes fitted today, about nine hours all told. They are the equivalent of what is fitted to a Golf G60, 280mm discs and very meaty calipers that house a single 54mm piston.


Dismantled and lower ball joint position marked before removal.

Rubber on the old lower ball joints was completely mashed.

Mmmmm, lovely and clean and shiny.

Caliper and hose removed. Rubber hose attached to nipple and clamped to prevent brake fluid all over my work space (the road :lol:).

Replacement bearing carrier on.  This was a used item from a Seat Ibiza Cupra. I stripped them down and fitted new bearings and gave them a lick of paint.

Disc on and the caliper carrier. 


Disc and caliper on with pads installed. 


Then it was a case of connecting the new brake hose. 

Wheel on. A bit blingtastic for my liking but number one son likes them. These wheels required 15mm spacer to clear the calipers which means they are on the absolute limit for width with standard arches. A bit too wide for my taste, but hey, see above :rolleyes: Car looks high in the picture but it has settled now.


After the other side was done I replaced the brake master cylinder with a 22mm jobbie. This is a hateful job but @Lesworth helpful how to was great. On our car, a 1.3, you need to remove the air filter housing, then empty the brake fluid reservoir and remove the reservoir to gain access to the rear brake pipe connection. Of course the reservoir is never really empty so fluid went everywhere :cry:. Then undo the two nuts holding the cylinder to the servo and pull it out. Happily all the connections came undone relatively easily.
Then I bled the master cylinder. To do this I bought two M10x1 spigots and two M10x1 blanks as per Les instructions. Blanked off the unused side and put the spigots on the other. Mount cylinder in a vice, fit the reservoir and attached rubber hoses to the spigots. Fill the reservoir. Stick the open ends of the hoses in the reservoir and then pump the plunger. Keep topping up the reservoir. This is a laborious job because if you pump too fast or too hard you end up sucking air back into the reservoir. It's also very messy :cry:.
Then take the lot back to the car and mount the cylinder back on the servo making sure you get the actuating rod into the plunger correctly. Then of course you have to empty the reservoir and remove it to access the rear brake pipe. More fluid everywhere :cry:. This process wasted 500ml of fluid.
Finally, connect brake pipes, refit reservoir and refill, bleed brakes.

The verdict. Well clearly the pads need to bed in but there is a huge increase in braking performance as is to be expected.

Of course it doesn't end there. The rears look too narrow compared to the front so some stub axle spacers required there. Also, very annoyingly, the rear bearing cap protrudes too far through the wheel to to fit the wheel cap. Some 3D printing may follow. But it's another job jobbed :ani_clapping:

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