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Rabbit Farmer's 1.8T 4-door money pit

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 Post subject: Re: Rabbit Farmer's 1.8T 4-door money pit
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 8:58 pm 
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Lots of updates... I had to organize the photos in folders/sub-folders just to apply some organization to the chaos.

Since I had a long winter to stare at the car to try to figure out some improvements, I jumped into it in November and ended up making a lot of changes, including one major project that I wish I never started.

Many months yielded only a weight savings of 16.2 pounds with the first phase of the project… removing the stock wiring harness for stuff I didn’t need... wasn’t worth it and wish I never started. More to come on that later after I work through the pictures to determine what is worth sharing.

So... I guess I will start somewhere in the middle as the beginning phase of the winter is long and very confusing.

Something simple. The Doors.

When I was putting the car together for the first time, I took what was currently there and modified (cut) it so that the stock door panel would work with the cage.

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I cut out the sections that interfered with the cage so that, when the door was closed, it looked good.

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Not that I expected a huge weight savings, I think the new modified door panels I did over the winter look better than the hacked up stock panels.

I started with the passenger door as it was easier to work with as it did not have window switches and the gas door/hatch switches. Yep… I still have power windows. The driver’s door is the mirror image of the passenger side so once I had a template, it was easy to duplicate for the other door.

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I picked up a roll of 22” wide by 10’ long 1/8” thick high density polyethylene plastic from http://www.SpeedwayMotors.com for $20 . Lots of other color options (black, light blue, dark blue, red, white, and yellow). I like the understated “black” though was tempted with red.

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I made some measurements on my high-tech concrete work surface (the floor)…

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Used a thick piece of aluminum flat stock as a cutting edge held in place by the typically bent tomato stake and bar clamps. A brand new blade in the utility knife was my friend.

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I purchased the world’s worst thread rivet nut insert tool available on the internet. It did not last the entire project and had to be disassembled at the end of each task just to get the threaded piece of the tool out of the pressed in threaded nut. I threw it away when done.

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The threaded rivet nuts that I used... 5mm I think.

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Installing one of many of the rivet nuts on the door.

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I used the top of the stock door panel as it had the door latch and provided some protection for the driver in regards to the top edge of the door.

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To hold the stock piece to the door, I made a simple bracket with a threaded rivet nut.

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I think it came out pretty good.

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Next… time for a door handle to close the door. Time to learn how my use the grommet tool that had very limited instructions (like which side of the grommet half goes towards the fabric).

Cutting hole (first attempt at strap)

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Lower part of die with half of the grommet

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Lightly tap it together

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Finished product (round 1)

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What I did discover is that the grommet would cut into the fabric when used as a door handle.

So I changed the design slightly for the driver’s side where I used three layers at the end and put the folded strap on top instead of the bottom. Seemed to work better.

Finished product…

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Now on to the driver’s side which proved to be a bit more difficult because of the lack of the correct tools (a vise only works as a metal brake with simple bends) and it seems my lack of visualizing an object in 3-D space. Damn monkey with a football.

The driver’s side door panel is not as flat as the passenger side so I had to made a support that went between the door panel and the plastic piece.

Anyway… it ain’t pretty so there is nothing to show. (sigh)

Driver’s door done and switches installed… more threaded rivet nuts to the rescue.

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Using the same 1/8” plastic, I made a piece in the footwell to protect the wires. The plastic was the perfect size to slide into the groove in the dead pedal.

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Probably too much information for what was a simple (albeit time consuming) project. It would have been sooooooo much easier in the summer as working with a roll of plastic in the winter is a pain. Hard to flatten it.

Enough for one update.

By the way… the car is currently at http://www.VEMS.us (Colchester, Vermont) awaiting its tune. Fingers crossed that everything works out.

Edit… while I was at it, I had to use the Command Prompt to change the file extensions from upper to lower case (used “Rename *.JPG *.jpg”) as the server is case-sensitive. Never a dull moment.

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 Post subject: Re: Rabbit Farmer's 1.8T 4-door money pit
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 11:23 am 
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Awesome build and detail. I loved using Rivnuts. The door handles are reminiscent of the early 911 RS straps!

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 Post subject: Re: Rabbit Farmer's 1.8T 4-door money pit
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 7:30 pm 
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Nice job.

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 Post subject: Re: Rabbit Farmer's 1.8T 4-door money pit
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 3:49 am 
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oil_me wrote:
Awesome build and detail. I loved using Rivnuts. The door handles are reminiscent of the early 911 RS straps!


I am sure the ratchet straps I used were cheaper. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Rabbit Farmer's 1.8T 4-door money pit
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 3:37 pm 
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Next minor update... still avoiding the big "wiring removal" post.

Two things I wanted to accomplish with this change....

1. Clearer lens cover on the cluster
2. Fewer idiot lights since my ECU doesn't even know my car is running.

Cluster removed from dash and plastic cover removed

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Off with the needles

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The inside of the MK4 cluster. Thinking of my old Rabbit days, I thought this was going to be an exercise in removing some tiny light bulbs. Nope... tiny LEDs that are soldered into the electronic board.

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Tach held up to the light so that you can see the idiot light images.

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Plan B... electrical tape.

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Results...

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Speedometer before...

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And after...

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Scratched cover...

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Pretty!

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I just used headlight polish. Works quite well.

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 Post subject: Re: Rabbit Farmer's 1.8T 4-door money pit
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 7:41 pm 
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When trying to start the car after the "big wiring project" (that I wish I never started), the fuel pump would not turn on and the engine would not turn over.

Engine turn over was the clutch switch not installed yet. I was planning on circumventing this control and wasn't planning on installing it. Of course, I should have either followed through with that plan or installed it prior to trying to start the car.

Then there was the fuel pump that was not... well, pumping.

I followed the yellow wire from the fuse box on the driver's side, through the dash board, and out the hole in the fire wall to the rain tray. There sat the 034 relay board.

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It has fuses in it. I can seem them. But access was not possible without pulling back the heat shield, removing the nuts that held the relay board, and then taking the little screws out of the relay board to access the fuse.

I couldn't see me wanting to do that at an event should I blow a fuse.

I marked the wires (should have use a paint pen) and removed all the screws so that I could run the wires through the firewall.

There is my yellow wire (marked #3)... and the fuse that was blown.

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To reattach the heat shield, I picked up a safety wire twist pliers.... mixing "a" with a plural sounds funny. Can't have a pant or a plier. Easy to use and quite functional.

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I started with a piece of aluminum stock that mounted to one of the bolts that supports the dash and then used an exhaust clamp for the outside mounting point.

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Next, Bob at Vermont Custom Sheet Metal cut of a sheet of 090 aluminum plate for me. Seems the machine was a bit of an overkill for what I wanted. He didn't blink an eye when I asked him for the small sheet... I guess he has seen all sorts of requests over the years. The machine out back would cut a half-inch piece of steel. Don't get your fingers in that one.

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Plate in place... ran the wires through the 2.25" hole to determine placement of the 034EFC IIC ECU, 034 relay board, and the water injection system that I use to spray the radiator.

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Determined location and drilled mounting holes.

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Some Hammermill paint.

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Custom grommet made from wire loom and zipties... it works.

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Everything in place. If I was doing this from the start, I would have made all the wires the correct length. Large lip tires are holding the wires, not the ECU.

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Dash coming together.

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Glovebox door in place... I used an aluminum rod that goes through the gutted glovebox door and is held in place my the stock indentation where the factor latch goes. The rod is attached (VW part # Hose clamp) to the cage on the outside.

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And done...

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And... one good thing did come out of the fuse being blown on the relay board for the fuse pump. When pulling the relay board wires through the fire wall, I found a wire (went to GPO 0) that was less than healthy. Glad I found it now.

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Last edited by Rabbit Farmer on Mon May 29, 2017 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rabbit Farmer's 1.8T 4-door money pit
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 9:14 pm 
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And to check something off my "to do" list for the day, some more photos.

Some of these are more for me to recall when I did something (who cares that I painted something or put fluid in something else?)

So... I painted the ceiling. I was going to replace the entire roof as I have a color-correct non-sunroof roof ready to install. Did not seem worth the effort. Instead, I painted over the mulit-color ceiling.

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Who the heck is "S. JONES" anyway? Don't know... figure I would have better luck with "Rabbit Farmer". Why not?

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Seems minor, but a "Euro Switch" has its benefits. I was not able to change it in the past because one of the tubes for the rollcage was in the way; when the dash was out I changed the switch. This switch allows me to turn off the headlights, which is nice when you have a dead battery and the headlights keep coming on when trying to start the car. The e-brake switch is supposed to do the same, but for some reason they still came on.

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I noticed that the transmission mount had a crack in it. I assume this was from when the dogbone broke at Okemo (2015?) allowing the engine to swing freely (and cause the throttle to get stuck).

I was going to take it apart and salvage the high density rubber for another mount, but I could not find one. Plenty of engine mounts, nothing for the transmission.

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Glad I decided to replace it because the entire backside was blown out.

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Enter a new set of "track density" 034EFI mounts. Now I have a spare engine mount.

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Broken mount and replacement.

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I put some fluid in something. Pentosin CHF 11S power steering fluid

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Time to address the steering wheel. Really, there was nothing wrong with the stock wheel as long as I was wearing my gloves. Without my gloves, it was a bit too smooth to ensure positive grip. Also, while it does not have any airbags, dealing with the airbag shell when I want to remove the steering wheel has always been a pain.

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Measured the dish.... 5 1/8"

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Sparco R-375 (360 mm diameter, 36mm dish, black suede, anodized black spokes, and 6 bolt mounting). Purchased from http://www.OGRacing.com

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And the Momo (part 8017) 6-bolt mounting hub (adapter for Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche)

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Done... I did not get the quick release as my seats are on sliders.

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Now for a lesson in Cause and Effect and the realization that I haven't closed the hood on the car since July 2016 +/-.

I added the Phenolic spacer to the intake manifold (cause) and now I can't close the hood because the part of the throttle body is hitting the hood. I am guessing the ball mount on the top is related to cruise control... just a guess.

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First contact... with the hood

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Opps... won't close enough to install the hoodpins.

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Enter Mr. Dremel. I also adjusted the hoodpins at the same time to ensure the hood was at the same level as the fenders.

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I used the cigarette lighter to charge my phone and camera. Then I came across a USB version that just made sense. I removed the stock lighter (thread body with nut on back), opened up the hole a little bit with the Dremel, and installed the USB ports. Nice.

Now I just need to find the little red coin tray that goes next to it. Somewhere in my garage, I hope.

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This was actually the last thing I did to my car (yep, I know there is that whole unexciting "big wiring project" update that is still to come) before it was off to the dyno.

Started and ran great.

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The Brake warning light is blinking and an occasional audible warning. Fluid level is fine. Borrowed a buddy's (Chris / vtgti) OBD2 scanner (Vgate Scan) and tablet to determine what codes the stock ECU could provide... nothing brake related.

Oh well, everything seems to work fine.

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Last edited by Rabbit Farmer on Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rabbit Farmer's 1.8T 4-door money pit
PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:39 am 
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Posting up more recent info in advance to the dreaded "big wiring project" update.

Tuning at http://www.VEMS.us in Colchester, VT... they also just hired someone (Nick) who tunes Subarus!

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Results: 335.9 wHP and 318.8 wTQ.

My goal was to move the power band down in the RPMs to give me more low end TQ. Surprisingly, it gave me a lot more TQ and HP, lower TQ RPM, and less boost!

From Jason (VEMS):
"The peak torque from before is matched 500 RPM sooner, but still climbs. At 4500 RPM (peak torque) it's almost 100 ft-lb ore than last time.
Now at 16 PSI boost instead of 20 PSI and I did take a bit of timing out of the top end because it didn't affect torque, so power timing is better"

What does this say? More power at the low end, more TQ overall, and a great tuner that is paying attention to things to ensure a good and safe tune. And he is local!

(the little spike to 350 wHP is due to the RPM pickup on the dyno)

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First event of the year is at the SLMP track in New York; had a great time in the Subaru WRX, but it rained all weekend.

First hillclimb of the year is the New England Hillclimb Association (NEHA) Mt. Ascutney hillclimb sponsored by the Sports Car Club of New Hampshire.

Had a great time and the weather was great.

Make sure you select 1080 HD for video quality.


Link to video

Here is a side by side from Ascutney #1 in 2016 (top) and 2017 (bottom)

(Top) 2016 2:56.10 | 302.4 wHP and 275.1 wTQ
(Bottom) 2017 2:57.79 | 335.9 wHP and 318.8 wTQ

Runs seem pretty much the same. A little slower in 2017, but many factors can play into the time difference, so I would call them pretty much the same. I think Okemo (more of a power hill) will show the difference in TQ in HP much better than the bumpy Ascutney.


Link to video

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 Post subject: Re: Rabbit Farmer's 1.8T 4-door money pit
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:12 pm 
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Trying something new.

I sent the broken axle (broke half way up the Ascutney hillclimb.... kinda in the straight) back to DriveShaft Shop (DSS). The outer CV join on the passenger axle broke.... it always seems to be this axle and this CV.

I am waiting to hear back from DSS.

In the meantime, since I have heard a lot of success stories with Raxle, I contacted them via e-mail.

Immediate response via e-mail that prompted a little back and forth conversation with Marty... the person from the e-mail... asking me to give him a call so that we could discuss options.

First, I have to say I really enjoyed talking with Marty. Down to earth.

After discussing my challenges with axles, the hills, the bumps, the power.... I ordered a set of race Raxles from Marty.

What does Raxles have to offer:
I haven't tested them yet, but based on our conversation, a superior axle
Great customer service based on my experience
Race axles (as opposed to their street axles) guaranteed for life (I pay shipping both ways) even with racing! (big selling point.... Marty said he hopes he never hears from me)

Based on personality and customer service, I highly recommend Raxle.

Now, the major decision point will be how they hold up with racing on the rough roads where lifting a tire, under power, in a corner is very common.

We will see.

And... I spoke with him late this afternoon and already have a UPS tracking number, which means they are on their way. Sweet!

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:59 am 
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I keep breaking the passenger side axles.... I believe this is because it is longer and there is more leverage applied to the outer joint (the part that keeps breaking).

Why don't I fix the problem to remove the longer axle from the equation. Good idea.

Epiphany!

My plan was to get into the Scirocco right after the Mount Washington Hillclimb in July.

But, it might be time to jump into it now as the Scirocco has an intermediate shaft setup so that the axles on the car are equal length.

I figure this is something that I could copy for the Golf.

Hmmmm......

But, in the meantime, while the DriveShaft Shop (DSS) axle is back with DSS for repair, I looked at other axle options.

Naturally, I ended up on Raxles website (http://www.raxles.com/) and had a conversation with Marty to hammer out what I needed.

The axles arrived yesterday.

I was very impressed with the boxes and overall packaging. Yep, seems immaterial as the quality of the axles is all that truly matters, but it was definitely bonus points.

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The axles seem very solid and well constructed.

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All new hardware with idiot proof instructions. Bonus!

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 Post subject: Re: Rabbit Farmer's 1.8T 4-door money pit
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:32 am 
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Nice Steve, havent seen your car in years, its looking badass. Bob at VT Sheetmetal looks like a character I need to know. Where are they located? I often find myself needing random sheet metal stuff, and have been ordering it online. I would prefer to get it from a local spot, and get some epic VT accents to go with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Rabbit Farmer's 1.8T 4-door money pit
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:23 am 
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Dana. If heading down to the old DN shop, they are immediately on the right before the 4x4 center.

Just thinking of you last night... I just ordered a 50 gallon Titan tank for the 2012 F250 and needed someone to install it as I have zero time. Interested?

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 Post subject: Re: Rabbit Farmer's 1.8T 4-door money pit
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:43 am 
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Cool, easy to find.

I actually have zero time right now too, I tore my house down and am building a new one, so I actually don't have any spare time to do side jobs! I could do it this winter :D

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-1990 90q 1.9tdi swap w/holset turbo
-4kq efi'd 10vt
-1990 90q 20vt: 3b swap
-1990 90q 20vt: 11.7 @124.5
-numerous other various junkers


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:30 pm 
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Okemo hillclimb was a lot of fun.

We had some technical issues on Saturday morning (a perfect storm) where everyone came together to find a solution. Great event!

Because Okemo (very fast hill) is the event prior to the Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb on July 7-9, 2017 (aka "Climb to the Clouds"), I decided to put the car in the trailer after two runs on Sunday to make sure I did not do anything stupid.

There is a bit more time in the car... apparent because I noticed many places where I could have driven soooo much better. Wished there was an Undo button on the dash to redo the previous corner. Oh, well, next year.

My top speed in the straight was 113 mph on Sunday. I think my speed was 118 mph in the past (if memory serves), but I am sure it is slower because of the smaller hot side turbo. It was not from lack of trying.

Video from Okemo... New GoPro5. Used the GPS to map the track, get speed (wasn't close after check 7, but dead on in straight per the radar gun), and used the GoPro "Quik" editor. Simple, but clunky, and I am unsure if I can add any photos, etc. for intro screen. Still learning how to use it.

Recorded at 1080 dpi and 120 fps. Doesn't "wow" me on the quality on my computer, but it might be excellent on the TV. I might have to reduce the fps to get some of the detail for the fast sections.

Frustrated with the phone interface so far... was able to connect at home, but after I powered it off using the app, I could not connect again. Menu is a bit clunky for using wifi. Could be simpler.

I'm sure my lack of experience with the new camera played into it also. I will find an expert (my lovely wife Julie) to figure it all out for me.

Video will be available soon... it is taking a while to upload and process. Youtube tells me it will be available here:


Link to video

A friend of mine in Canada (Ralph) drew the Rabbit Farmer Racing image for me. I added the text to the wheel to personalize it a bit. A Youtube video crash course on how to use Adobe Illustrator was in order. I got through it... looking forward to the other toys in AI. I am very familiar with the basics of Photoshop, so this is a very different world.

I have ordered a bunch of these shirts (long and short) in pink (for the wife), dark green (color of the car) and black (just because).

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Coming soon... actually, next week, Climb to the Clouds. The official credentials arrived. Good thing they spelled my name correctly. ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:44 pm 
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So.... this was Friday at Mt Washington.

Saturday and Sunday went a lot better.

Photos and videos coming soon.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:41 pm 
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Well... it has been a crazy summer.

After Mt. Washington there wasn't much to post. There was nothing to fix on the car as it ran great all year.

With the mishap at Mt. Washington, and the issues of connecting to it with my phone since day one (grrrrrr!), I did not use the new GoPro5 much the rest of the season. I need to send it back for replacement (has a 2 year "return even if you intentionally mess it up" plan). Some pictures, some video, but nothing you haven't seen before.

Backing up a little to the preparation for the season, one thing we did notice was a loose ball joint or tie rod end.... ended up being the tie rod. Chris Cheeseman of Cheese Factory had the time to fix the car with my compressed/rushed schedule trying to get the car ready. I trust this man with my cars!

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Car was aligned the next day with a shop down the road.

Highlight for me was at the historic Mt. Philo Hillclimb… passenger in a brand new Tesla Model “S” P100D driven at (almost) speed. Holy #$%@#$^ acceleration Batman! It was a rocket! First full electric car (I believe) at a New England Hillclimb Association event. Sweet!

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Winding down after a fun and successful season. Decided that a good friend of mine (Kyle) could take a look at the Golf to see if there were any major issues caused from the little excursion at Mt Washington. All fixed (need an alignment). There were still some issues with the car from the 2010 Ascutney incident that were not addressed (because we did not have a good frame machine).

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Then the summer got really busy as we packed up and moved across town. No time for cars or play. Winter rolled around.

The Volvo looking good with some snow fog over Lake Champlain.

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Now that it is almost March, it is time to retrieve the Scirocco (don’t get excited) from the storage facility where we stored during the transition to the new house.

I’m going to just start building the engine for the little MK1…. At least I can get that done so that the car is mobile.

Looking forward to the 2018 season.

Oh… Here is the video from the 2017 Mt. Washington hillclimb. At the end I included the “incident” and some pictures of it stuck on the rocks. Enjoy.

(it will be a while until it is posted as we are on really really really really really sloooooooowwwwwww DSL instead of our very very very fast Cable we had at the old house)

Youtube tells me the link will be here:


Link to video

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:04 pm 
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I had a coupon or gift card... something that effectively made this (nearly) free.

This is the GrimmSpeed "Master Cylinder Brace" that is supposed to firm up the brake pedal as this brace prevents the master cylinder from moving (firewall flex).

The website states that this will make the pedal feel firmer just like SS brake lines would do... but I already have SS brake lines, so I wasn't sure if there would be a huge difference.

It wasn't too difficult to install, but I was having some challenges because I could not quite visualize the end game... how it should look when installed. I am told this should be a 15 minute job (seems it should take longer since I had to chase some holes, remove some stuff, switch some things around, and have a beer). Just saying...

The Kit...

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Installed...

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The car... just begging for its gun metal stock rims with summer (not all season) tires.

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Now, let’s get to the good stuff.

Steel bottom oil pan, Raxles axles, and removing the steering lock on the Golf

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The steel bottom pan is called a hybrid pan. Whatever…. It isn’t all aluminum and it is shorter. It seems to make up for oil volume in the width (front to back) of the bottom of the pan.

Naturally, with the shorter pan, it came with a slightly shorter oil pick up tube.

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The gray stuff on the old pan is JB Weld that I used to seal a hairline crack for the last hillclimb (Philo) of the 2017 hillclimb season. This is the reason I was replacing the pan.

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Next…. Some Raxles axles. I spoke about them earlier. Very pleased with everything so far. The 2018 hillclimb season with be the ultimate test.

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Pan and both axles are installed!

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Okay… this is where the “way too much information, man!” section starts. If you have no interest in seeing how to remove the steering wheel lock on a MK4 Volkswagen, stop here and spend your time doing more useful things like getting lost on Youtube.

The disclaimer: I had no idea what I needed to do and was not able to find information on the internet. I even searched the dark web (my order of hookers should be here in 5-7 business days) with no luck.

First… You do NOT need to cut the snap bolts on the ignition as you do NOT need to remove it.

If you are removing the entire switch and do not need any part of it (electrical ignition switch or the chipped key), then you CAN cut off the bolts and consider this project done.

Read on….

Taking the Dremel to each of the snap bolts. I sliced the bolt head into little sections that then introduced blunt force trauma (well, it wasn’t blunt) via a chisel to shear off the heads.

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Both snap bolts removed, unplugged the chip key, unscrewed the single ground, and would normally remove the ignition switch plug on the back, but that was already removed as I have a separate flip-switch ignition switch.

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This is the steering lock pin.

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There are a lot of video tutorials online on how to remove the chipped key ring (black ring). Short version: Turn the key to on, insert paperclip/mechanics wire/etc. into the little hole next to the key. This will release the lock on the black ring.

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If you are planning to reassemble the key section of the ignition switch, pay attention to the orientation of the insides and be careful with the two plastic clips. I knew that I did not need any of this so I just focused on removal.

Remove the plastic ring. It is brittle.

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The bits and pieces… yep, that is the technical name. Look it up.

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Next is a hard to see black plastic ring. This needs to be removed so that the largest part of this assembly can be removed. This is the piece that is preventing you from removing the metal plate on the bottom of the switch where the actual steering lock pin lives.

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More bits and pieces… this is everything that comes out of this end.

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Pry off the metal plate. You will see that the plate has a ring that the previously removed part went through that prevents you from removing the plate. Note the two red dots in the image… this is red paint (or something along those lines) that cover set screws for the electrical part of the switch. More on this later.

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Remove the spring and the steering wheel lock pin.

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Removed!

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If you do not need the electrical plug, tap off the red paint and remove the two set screws.

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Remove what remains of the two snap bolts. These were easy to remove… I think you could grab onto them with vise grips. I used the vise. They were not tight at all.

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Chipped key ring reinstalled… nothing else was installed. The metal housing is completely void of all bits and pieces.

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Wait… why am I putting this switch back together after removing all the bits and pieces!?!?

Three reasons:
1. I am unsure if the chipped key is needed to run something on this car, so I reinstalled it.
2. The snap bolts also held the braces for the wiring harness on either side of the steering column.
3. There was a single ground wire that I didn’t feel like trying to find a new home.

It just seemed easier to remount the empty shell of the ignition switch instead of trying to solve all these new, albeit relatively simple, problems.

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What’s left…
1. Reinstall steering wheel
2. Install front tires
3. Install skid plate (left it off to check for leaks with the new oil pan)
4. Alignment
5. Wash the car

All easy stuff. I hope that it is for the list. I have some minor work to do to the Subaru WRX (new headlights and fix some plastic bits on the front end that did not like the snowbank in the middle of the road) and then have THE project (the Scirocco) to jump into. Damn it… I am going to work on it this year?

And speaking of the Scirocco.

Bill Rutan, the builder and racer of the Scirocco, passed away early this month. He had a very, very, very successful racing career and built some very successful cars. I paid very close attention to his advice on how to make my Volkswagens go faster and how to drive faster.

Race on Bill, race on!

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 Post subject: Re: Rabbit Farmer's 1.8T 4-door money pit
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:19 pm 
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Short update just to get caught up. Unsure if I will do videos for the Ascutney or Okemo hillclimbs.... we will see.

Before Ascutney....

I purchased the "QuickTrick Pro Series Alignment System for 13" to 18" Wheels" and the "QuickTrick Ball Bearing Turn Plates" to help me do my own alignment. Use it five times and it pays for itself.

First time doing alignment (caster, camber, and toe) on any car so there was a bit of a learning curve. It turns out it is quite easy.

Good enough to drive 30,000 miles on the road during the year? Unsure about that, but it is fine for racing.

Alignment tool is pretty simple (yep, you could get away with a much cheaper alternative like strings, spider webs, and other mumbo jumbo, but I needed something more idiot proof).

Metal arms mount to rim and tape measures determine toe.

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The turn plate makes it easy to rotate the wheel when adjusting toe. You could also use two pieces of metal with sand or oil in between them).

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Digital gauge that you first zero-out on the floor to take into account any angle on the work surface and then you can use it for caster (no adjustment on my car) and camber.

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Worked great... car handled as expected at Ascutney.

I did have an electrical issue with the wire going to the fuel pump. Lots of helpful people at the event who were more electrical savvy than I helped to get the car going again.

Then Sunday rolled around and I managed to twist the end of the axle off.

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If I saw this, my first guess would be that the installer over torqued the axle bolt. Not the case as I carefully followed the Raxles instructions as they call for very specific torques for the hub bolt and inner bolts.

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Since Ascutney, and prior to Okemo, I had the replacement axles back in hand. Now that is quick service! Thanks Marty!

The Ascutney hillclimb memorialize our racing, and mad scientist to everything Volkswagen, friend Bill Rutan.

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So... that slightly motivated me to get working on the Scirocco.

Already built engine:
AEB 1.8T engine
Bored to 1.9 liter
Manley rods
Supertech stainless steel exhaust valves
Cat Cams valve springs
Titanium retainers
New valve guides and Viton valve seals (e85 ready if I ever when that route)
Integrated Engineering's IECVA1 camshaft:
*CNC ground on new chill hardened cores
*Dialed in via extensive engine dyno testing
*For OE style hydraulic lifter buckets
*Strong power from 5500 to 8500 rpm
*270 / 274 degrees advertised (Intake & Exhaust)
*.370" / .378" Lift (Intake & Exhaust)
ARP connectors for everything including crank bolt with friction washers
Cometic head gasket

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And then I took a week off in Rhode Island for a wedding.

Enjoyed three breweries:
Revival Brewing Company
Shaidzon Beer Company
Whaler's Brewing Company (my favorite venue and 1/4 mile away from where we got married)

.....and then some Del's.

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 Post subject: Re: Rabbit Farmer's 1.8T 4-door money pit
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:08 pm 
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And so it begins....

DAY ONE

The Scirocco has been on the back burner (heck, not even on the stove) for quite some time. There is always something else that needs to be done just at the moment I wanted to start on it.

I've been planning and conceptualizing what I think is the perfect car (regardless of what you drive) for racing... reliable, easy to work on, easy to source parts (it is an old car!), and fun to drive.

The car has some crazy stuff going on... DAY TWO will include the documentation (photos and notes) of every corner of the car to determine what Bill did when building/modifying the car over the years (and why!); plus it will help me put it all back together.

Day one is strictly cleaning the car to get ready for day two. Day one is done.

But how did we get here? A fellow racer "threatened" to purchase the car. Put me in the spot of poop or get off the pot. I'm pooping. (thanks Brad!)

As mentioned early, the engine is ready. I will go through it to make sure everything is good. Need to research the cam to see if it will work for me.

The plan for the car:
Removable front end like the MK4 (I guess the MK2 and beyond were that way..... I kinda skipped from MK1 to MK4).
6-speed (02M) cable shift gearbox.
MK4 mounts on the car (as opposed to MK4 engine/trans to MK1 body mounts)
Air dam
Air ducts for front brakes (track events!)
Glass! Yep, I am going to make this street legal-ish.
VEMS standalone engine management
Bodywork and new paint (need to determine color)... blue? orange?

The car is going someplace very special down the road (more to come on this new development) within a few weeks to start the fabrication and bodywork.

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 Post subject: Re: Rabbit Farmer's 1.8T 4-door money pit
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:10 pm 
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I'm curious... can everyone see the images? For some reason on websites that are httpS, the images do not show on my browser (Firefox or Chrome). All standard http sites work fine.
Works fine on IE. Grrrrrrr.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:21 pm 
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DAY TWO

So far I am on schedule.

Day one to remove all the excess parts that I am accumulated over the years in preparation for when I was ready to restore the car. (Done!)

Day two, as expected, took a very long time. I just wanted to capture all the neat modifications (and everything is modified!) in the car to set a base for the project. It is always nice to go back to photos to see where one started and to help putting everything back together.

I took a lot of photos and saved them HERE.

Below, I captured a lot of the details that warrant sharing at this time.

I am still guessing how the rear suspension currently works. Wow!

I do wish I noticed that the car had grass clipping hanging from spider webs so that I could have cleaned up before taking the pictures. Oh well… one day I will have this on the lift to be able to get much better photos of the underside.

Front shot of the car. You can’t quite get a feel for how low the car is because it is on caster dollies, but I did measure from the bottom of the transmission (while car was on the dollies) and it was approximately 7.5” to the ground. The dollies raise the car approximately 2.75” for a difference of… carry the two and divide by zero… about 4.75”. You will see in the images below that the bottom of the transmission bell was cut off and there is a custom oil pan to give the car some ground clearance.

Of course, this will be a challenge with doing the 02M… assuming it is even possible with trying to keep the look of the car and not having a transmission 1” off the ground.

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I will try to show in the pictures that follow how much the interior of the car has changed to move the driver closer to the center. The center tunnel has been moved towards the passenger side. You know, minor stuff like that.

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Transmission is a 020 (typically Scirocco or Rabbit 5-speed) with the usual crazy spherical bearings for all connections from shifter to transmission. The shifter is also raised

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A little help in the survivability department… additional bar in the (modified) center of the car.

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Showing off the sexy fenders. Assuming I remember this correctly… the neat thing about the design of the fender was to allow this car to fit into the current rules that stated that the fender had to look stock from the side (stock profile, something like that). So, sure, looking dead-on 90-degrees at the side of the car, the straight out fender extension would technically not be visible, therefore, it meet the rule; it would not be considered modified/widened. Tricky. That lasted for one year.

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Let’s move around to the rear. Lots of cage work and reinforcement (notice the added braces on the floor between the bulk head for the fuel system and the wheel wells.

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Fuel system bulk head. I might add rubber seal to edge/lip.

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Stuff inside that I need to determine exactly what is needed with my future setup.

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Okay… what are we looking at here? Where the rear seat would normally go, the section is now flat and very structural. Hmmm… might have something to do with rear suspension. More below.

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Another photo showing the location of the driver’s seat vs. the passenger seat.

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Small passenger seat.

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Let’s move to the engine. When Bill built this 1.8T MK1 Scirocco, it was the only one I knew of at the time. I am not saying he was first, they just weren’t on my radar. The point is that because putting 1.8T engines in MK1 was relatively new, resources for mounting the engine and making it run were very limited.

Notice how the extra large radiator is mounted… more body modification that serves a function.

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Brakes and suspension. I am unsure if Bill modified existing vented brakes or purchased them… I have never seen cross drilling holes this large.

Suspension is the typical two step springs. I forgot to check spring rates when I had the wheel off.

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The crazy modified oil pan and transmission. I am surprised that he did not have a skid plate.

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Now things get interesting.

Equal length driver and passenger axles. Carrier bearing addresses the distance issue.

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Not the best picture… I am trying to show the sub-frame. This should be helpful with the 02M installation as we can mount the dogbone (MK4 rear transmission mount to keep the engine in place) to the sub-frame.

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And now to the rear of the car. I do recall that Bill used to run full independent in the rear. I thought he did away with that with future modifications. I’m still not quite sure how everything works at the moment. When I get the car on a lift, I can get a much better understanding.

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Got the tape measure to show distance from the inside edge of the seat to the outside edge of the roll bar. (approximately) Driver 23” passenger 18”

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More shows of the suspension, brakes, control arms, and flipped tie rod.

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There is a lot of distance between the unibody and the edge of the fender. The car has 215 wide tires in the front. I think the rears are 185.

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Well, that is about it for the night.

Thinks will get a little slower as I have to remove all the current wiring harness, take pictures and take notes, etc. to get the car rear for the fabrication and bodywork process. That will be a major stepping stone for this car.

Looking forward to it.

Oh… and the pictures should be uploaded “soon”… I’m on slow DSL and it will take some time to upload all the pictures.

First world problems, I know.

Enjoy!

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Rabbit Farmer's 1.8T 4-door money pit
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:41 pm 
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Been a while since I did a video.

The Burke #1 hillclimb on July 27-29, 2018 was a blast. As always, a great group of people, well organized, and good times. Thank you to all the organizers and volunteers that make these events both possible and successful!

The setup of my Golf makes it hard to do well at Burke because I am waiting soooo long for the power to come on after a sharp and steep corner that I slow down a lot... then the power comes on too much/too late, just in time for be to get off the throttle before the next turn.

Yep... there is a solution for that... a smaller turbo. We did try that route, just not enough. Without redoing all the exhaust work, our only (known) option was to get a small hot side to the turbo.

Car did very well at the bottom of the hill where speed was involved.

Anyway... Burke #2 is on August 17-19, 2018. (then Ascutney, Okemo!?, Philo)

Make sure to watch in 720 or 1080HD. Yep, the PIP video is slightly off from the main video. I couldn't figure out how to nudge the PIP video to sync them. Oh well, keeping my day job.

Enjoy
Steve


Link to video

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:09 pm 
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So… we have a lot of catching up to do. Just closing out the 2018 season.

**SEP 2018**

Spent a fun and relaxing weekend at the Canaan track in New Hampshire on September 1-2, 2018 with the Sports Car Club of Vermont. The event is essentially an autocross using the full track. Saturday we cut out a section of the track (ran it counter clockwise), but used the entire track on Sunday (clockwise). I was told it wasn’t that big of a track, but the person that told me has been to Lime Rock, Watkins Glen, etc.

I brought my Subaru WRX for two reasons. I understood it was a small track and that my high-end turbo breathing FWD Golf might not have been best for the event. Turns out the Golf would have done just fine. The other thing was the plan to travel from VT with truck, trailer, and Subaru to NH for the weekend, then leave on Sunday with everything, parking the truck and trailer at a friend’s in NH, and then driving the WRX to RI for the next three days for a family visit. Naturally, a drive from NH to RI and back with a non-street legal, $12 a gallon race fuel, etc. car would not be the best answer. So… the WRX it is.

Link to track: http://www.canaanmotorclub.com/the-track/
There is a great video on that page of someone driving the entire track at speed.

Had a great time at the track, but left early for the trip to RI.

Looking forward to getting back there again in 2019.

**OCT 2018**

Last hillclimb of the year was the Historic Mt. Philo Hillclimb sponsored by the Sports Car Club of Vermont. I have been helping a great group of people make this event happen since 1999 (when I started hillclimbing… the event was around since 1975).

I drove about half of the runs, but was very limited with how well I could do because the tires were so thin. I was spinning in 4th in the straights. Decided to get some good times and park it early on both days… wasn’t going to improve much with limited traction from the tires that saw their first event at Mt. Washington in 2017. New tires in 2019!

Had a great time.

We are working with the state of Vermont to move the event to May in 2019. The first hillclimb at Philo was in May 1975. I guess we are getting back to where we started. Hoping that the weather in May is warmer than October. We will see.

Video from Philo… yep, that is snow in the video!

Make sure to watch in 1080.


Link to video

Car was great all year with the exception of a problematic wire going to the fuel pump and a broken axle; both at Ascutney. Not a bad year.

Next update: The Scirocco

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:02 pm 
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Dec 2018 through Feb 2019

Progress on the Scirocco.

Sometimes you have to go backwards to go forward.

Short version is that I labeled and removed the entire wiring harness and removed the cage.

Long version with some pictures of some of the cool stuff along the way and did some exciting reading of the FIA 253J specs for cages. Exciting, I know!

-----------------

When looking through my photos trying to find images of when Bill first showed up with his car, I came across a few neat photos to share. Regarding photos of Bill’s car… I think they are real photos and before I had anything digital to take a picture. One day I will scan the old stuff in to share. Until then… sit!

One of the other Sciroccos at the hill was Dan’s MK2 (Bill’s son). This was a lot wilder than Bill’s MK1 as it was a V6 N/A AWD car (used to be 5 banger Audi turbo).

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Next… and unrelated, just happens to be the same event where I found the MK2, is Chris Havas’ MK4 rally Golf. He built the cage in my Golf. There… I tied it (loosely) to the verbosity induced story.

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And… same event. My old MK1 Rabbit 1.9 liter 12:1. First car I raced with a cage… yet, Chris did that cage also.

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…And now back to your regularly scheduled program…

There were some things that I have always been curious about this car. I looked over the car over the years when Bill owned it, but never really got to examine and try to understand what he did.

On the front of the car were two… well, nipples… where the outer headlights would normally mount. Bill actually had tassels on them.

One went through a flat grate, through what looks like a standard clothes dryer tube, to the custom interior fan system (more to come below).

The other was the air filter for the engine.

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Unscrew the nipple to remove the cover to access the end of the cone filter

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A very large cone filter.

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Labeled and removed the entire wiring harness. Generally, it seemed the orange wrapped wires were to connect the stock lights, fans, alternator, etc. in the car while the non-orange wires were for the Link Plus Engine Management system.

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The Atari 2600:

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Let’s take a look at that rear suspension. When I get it on a lift and clean it up, I should be able to get a better understanding how it did work when independent and how it currently works (solid beam).

This is the point on the driver side where it mounts to a very reinforced frame (same on passenger size). This frame continues to the front of the car going through the rockers (they were split open). I am unsure if the frame in the rocker panels is the same size as what was used in the rear.

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Center mounting mount.

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Showing how the independent suspension worked.

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Moving back inside..

Custom mounting of the steering column (does not pass through the firewall in the stock location… and goes to the power steering rack mounted on a MK2 Golf subframe); brake master cylinder (there is no brake booster); giant brake pedal, etc.

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Steering column upper mount and indentions for feet on the floor.

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Inside there is the raised shifter with the rod going through the firewall… this is normally under the car in the tunnel.

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The following pictures do not do this justice. When I remove the engine, I will make sure to get photos of this excellent engineering. This creates a very solid feeling shifter. Think about the level of effort and creativity that went into this!

The plan right now (and I need to do some measuring to make sure everything fits; especially with ground clearance) is to use the 02M 6-speed cable shift transmission.

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Moving under the hood gives a lot of stuff to look at… the stock interior airbox/fan location is blocked off; the interior heater lines go through the firewall in a different spot, and what is the large hole in the fire wall with all the wires?

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Another picture of that hole… this is where that dryer vent tubing mounted to bring fresh air into the car. I don’t know what that thing is with the three wires with red covers is.

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Inside is the fan…

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And a custom airbox.

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The fuel lines come from the back of the car, runs along the floor, and then goes through the firewall. Pretty slick.

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Time to cut out the cage…

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Removing the large sections of the cage was easy with the new AC/DC 7” angle grinder with a cutting wheel. Wood is there to protect the car when the cutting wheel jumps while cutting.

The hard part was dealing with where the cage actually mounted to the car as it was difficult to get the cutting wheel in there. I had to keep sectioning the tubes until they were down enough to use the 7” grinding wheel to make it flush with the body.

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Done!

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A dent in the roof.

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Since the cage was out, Jodi (Creep), who is doing the body work and a lot of the fabrication to make my modern stuff work in an older car, fixed the dent. Not too exciting, but this is actually the FIRST step forward in this project.

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What happens when the wife goes to bed early and I don’t want to do anything that makes a lot of noise. No alcohol was involved in this little adventure.

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Coming in the next exciting issue of Rabbit Farmer Chronicles:

The Golf IV gets a Nothing Leaves Stock (NLS) clutch slave shim kit and a Luk metal clutch slave cylinder/throw-out bearing (from USP Motorsports)… and perhaps a new clutch (we will see)… to help address the dragging clutch issue.

The Golf IV also gets an electric vacuum pump to provide vacuum to the break booster to avoid the turbo induced hard pedal issue that I had at Mt. Washington (where I got very creative with my parking on the edge of a cliff… well, it wasn’t a huge cliff, but I could have twisted my ankle in it or something like that.)

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 Post subject: Re: Rabbit Farmer's 1.8T 4-door money pit
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:24 pm 
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Lots of activity, but not a lot of progress.

We headed to... well, time for a joke.

Did you know that CAN was the original spelling for Canada. Yep. It was just call CAN. Then someone from CAN spelled it for someone else. It was C-ah N-ah D-ah, which finally ended up being Canada. True story. Look it up.

Anyway, we headed up to Canada to visit Ikea. Pretty cool place when you have a free 3 hours.

Next, we headed over to Fred's place (Tech-53; http://www.tech-53.com/) to check out his cars. Fred has a full time job in the real world, but has a big shop where he builds the cars that he races and loves to fabricate. Lots of MK1 performance parts on his site... check it out.

Julie (the little woman) loved the place and enjoyed the conversation. Good times.

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Meanwhile, back in the states, (and not car related) we headed down for some Mumord and Sons. Excellent show at the Dunkin Donuts Arena in Providence, RI. Loved the show!

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Later, when the unicorns ran free in the fields, a rally MK3 showed up for dinner.

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Back at the ranch working on the MK4. I have a few things to do to the car to get it ready for the 2019 hillclimb season.

First... let's make sure it is a straight. The body was straightened out last winter, but for some reason I could not dial in the correct negative camber for the driver's side. Something MUST be bent. Thinking back to the 2010 off road excursion (not mentioning any names), it seems that I did not replace the subframe. Good place to start in 2019.

So, based on the MK4 dimensions that I got from Fred (Tech-53), we measured the car.

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The fancy bodywork measuring tool thanks to friend/neighbor Kyle.

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Based on our measurements, the driver's side subframe was bent inward by 3/8". Seems to be the reason I cannot get my negative camber dialed in correctly on that side.

So, ordered a complete/loaded sub-frame from Pegasus Racing.

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I also have to deal with a dragging clutch. Removed the engine/transmission for the aforementioned NLS shim kit and metal/composite throwout bearing.

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Seems the Kales Custom exhaust manifold is holding up after all these years and still looking fantastic. Perhaps I will polish it up a bit if I have free time.

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And... new halo style seat from https://www.murraymotorsport.com/. Half price of what I could find locally, $46 shipping for seat and two sets of brackets, and arrived within 8 days. Sweet.

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Shown in picture are the new and old seats. I am hoping the old driver's seat will fit into the Scirocco (tight fit, we will see) and the new seat (which is actually for the Scirocco) will work in both the Golf IV and the Scirocco I.

If it works, I will purchase another seat.

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