85 GTI ABA Build

Discussion in 'Car Journals/Projects' started by Unit91MS, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. Unit91MS

    Unit91MS Well-Known Member

    Well, it’s time I start a build thread for this guy. vvvv

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    Don’t let the wet photos fool you, the paint is not this glossy in its current state. This car is getting a pretty basic 8V ABA swap first and perhaps eventually a turbo ABA.


    I’ll try to be as pic heavy as I can in this thread, because I know you don’t really care what I have to say :wink1:


    I bugged George for a while late last fall to sell me this car for something fun and easy to work on and autocross the shit out of. I must be crazy, I know. Fast forward to early March this year. I found a ’74 BMW 2002 that I fell in love with from a guy just south of Rochester. Turns out the guy runs an Alfa Romeo restoration company. Cool. Once my mind is made up that I want that car, George texts me telling me I should buy his MK2. The timing of this kid... Well as it turns out the seller of the 2002 contacts me the morning I’m going to pick it up telling me I probably shouldn’t buy it due to a lot of additional rust he noticed after pulling it out of storage. I take an experienced restoration dude’s word for it, so I take the money burning a hole in my pocket to George’s and buy this glorious lump that same afternoon.


    All in all, it’s a good little car. George took really good care of it, it just needs a lot of lovin’ to get it to where I want it to be.


    This is a more accurate depiction of the current state of the paint.

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    It has Corrado red dot seats, which barring the driver’s seat, are pretty minty.

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    I got to work pulling the original 8V out to make way for the incoming ABA.

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    I’ll be reusing the 020 trans and the essentially brand new clutch from the 1.8 8V so apart it came.

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    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014
  2. Unit91MS

    Unit91MS Well-Known Member

    George was kind enough to let me use some driveway and garage space until I get this thing running, a decision I’m sure he now regrets ;) It’s a 25 minute drive from my place to his so it’s hard for me to get over there as often as I would like. I try to take a few things home with me every trip that I can do in my garage space.

    The first thing I did was take the front crossmembers and motor mounts, strip them down, and POR15 them. That stuff is just too awesome.

    I got bored while waiting for it to dry so I did a quick and dirty polish on the other motor mount that no one will ever see.

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    I ordered some new wheels and tires since the old set of tires were whipped and I also didn’t want Nick laughing at me for lacking the stance game. I still don’t think he approves of the general lack of both stretch and poke…

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    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014
  3. Unit91MS

    Unit91MS Well-Known Member

    I ordered a bunch of general maintenance parts from German Auto Parts to freshen the ABA up a bit. While I waited for them to arrive I started cleaning up the now vacant bay. It was a bit on the dirty side.

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    I uncovered some original? numbers under where the airbox once sat. Anyone know if these mean anything specifically?

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    My parts arrived and it looked like German Christmas in my living room!

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    I started to tear into the ABA to redo the timing belt, water pump, etc. and found that the motor had a newer style tensioner pulley with the hydraulic damper. This points to the motor being OBDII rather than the OBDI that I thought it was. I had ordered the timing belt kit for the earlier motors, but apparently it is somewhat common to replace the tensioner with the older style. I installed the older style tensioner and it seems to be working fantastically on the engine stand.


    I assume this means the motor is from ’98, further reinforcing OBDII.

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    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014
  4. Unit91MS

    Unit91MS Well-Known Member

    After power washing the bay, I had originally just planned to POR15 a few rusty spots and get some matching paint in a rattle can to spray over it. After some light arm twisting by a few bad influences, I went and got some PPG Omni series paint mixed. I cleaned and scuffed the whole bay then sprayed some fresh Mars Red. Overall I’m pleased with how it came out. It looks clean and uniform which is much more than I could say if I had just rattle canned it. I have plenty of paint left and will be painting the roof to fix the previously attempted blend job after the sunroof delete.

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    (Mars) Red, White, and Blue.

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    My OCD kicked in and I decided I couldn’t rightly put in the old greasy ABA in the freshly painted bay so I began cleaning it up the best I could without disassembling much.

    This is the crust that fell off of one side of the block (after 1 power washing and degreasing session had already knocked it down a bit).

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    On the way to more power washing, the ABA contemplated its future.

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    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014
  5. Unit91MS

    Unit91MS Well-Known Member

    Here she is after cleaning it up, spraying some engine enamel, new waterpump, and timing belt. Not perfect, but a shit load better than it was.

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    I splurged on a few “performance” parts in one of the order’s I placed. I got a USRT Delrin shift bushing kit to firm things up a bit. I’m glad I did after finding this gem. Yes, this is a coolant hose wrapped around the shift relay ball. This “fix” is about 10mm smaller than it is supposed to be. I wonder where all the shifter slop came from…

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    George insists he’s not behind this amazingness, but I don’t believe him :nono:


    I also ordered a poly insert for the rear motor mount. It says it’s guaranteed to rattle my teeth out, so that sounds promising.

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    I rebuilt the inner CV joints this week and have a couple other odd things to replace while the motor is out, like steering rack boots and sway bar end links. Then the motor goes in and all the fun wiring begins.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014
  6. unibagel

    unibagel Posting- God

    Great build thread! Keep it going! (I miss my 89 16V GLI!)
     
  7. Unit91MS

    Unit91MS Well-Known Member

    Nothing much to talk about here, but I ordered a few random things from ECS in addition to the flares they had on sale for ~$3 a piece. This is the friggin’ box they sent for 1 small Ziploc bag of assorted parts and 2 front MK2 flares. This emmeffer is 30x20x20 and filled ¾ with packing air. Now I understand why my shipping was so outrageous…


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  8. Unit91MS

    Unit91MS Well-Known Member

    Not too much of a substantial update from the weekend. The new motor should be back in by Wednesday at the latest, then the wiring can really get underway.


    Got the last few "maintenance" items completed in the engine bay on Sunday. The engine is 95% buttoned up and ready to drop back in now.


    I went to change the valve cover gasket and found out that the Fel-Pro gasket I ordered does not work with the valve cover I have.


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    The old gasket looks like this, fitting into the recess in the valve cover.

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    The new gasket is flat all the way around and has a very different "half moon" shape opposite the cam pulley.

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    Visually, it seems that the valve cover gasket (1993-2002 2.0L) would actually work with the original 8v cover.


    Is the valve cover I have a late MKIV cover? The existing gasket weeps a bit so I would like to change it before I fire it up.


    Lorge's shop cat stopped by to say hi as well...

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    After some staring at plugs that did not plug into eachother, we found out that I actually have an AEB harness instead of an ABA harness so that's in the process of getting straightened out.

    We also determined that the EGR valve (SAI valve? not really sure which one) would likely vent exhaust gas directly out under the hood. I removed the valve and picked up a plug from Ferry Hydraulic for the manifold.

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  9. Unit91MS

    Unit91MS Well-Known Member

    Thanks man! Any pics of the GLI?
     
  10. RocketSLC

    RocketSLC Moderator

    Nice work. The engine bay looks great.
     
  11. thesumof41is5

    thesumof41is5 tHeSumOf41iS5

    This is my old motor.. looks good, i should find your harness today haha
     
  12. lorge1989

    lorge1989 Posting- God

    Maybe he could convince you to drop off the harness and help wire her up, that is once all the mechanicals are assembled....
     
  13. Unit91MS

    Unit91MS Well-Known Member

    Thanks! It's far from perfect but it's much better than it was.

    Hey man! Thanks for tracking down the harness. I appreciate It. Do you happen to know what the valve cover is off of so I can order the right gasket?

    That'd be fantastic. I definitely could use a hand or two. Still have a bit of work to do before wiring starts though.
     
  14. lorge1989

    lorge1989 Posting- God

    I thinks its an MK4 gasket.
     
  15. 18t papa

    18t papa I'M OLD PAT!

    Correct. Specifically non AEG.
     
  16. Unit91MS

    Unit91MS Well-Known Member

  17. Unit91MS

    Unit91MS Well-Known Member

    Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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    Spent a little time staring at the old harness today pretending like I knew what was going on. I'm fairly sure I found the issue that was causing the car to not start. There was a wire that was shorted and missing all of its insulation. This wire came from the O2 sensor, postive side of coil, and pin 4 on the ignition module. I think that explains why it wasn't getting spark.


    My plan is to separate the lighting harness from the original engine bay harness and run that separately, then splice in the ABA harness where needed.


    Last week Wednesday with help from George and some UB SAE kids, the new motor went in. Still have a decent amount of work to do getting mechanical stuff hooked up, then it's wiring time.

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  18. What...too poor for Patron Gold after buying them sweet wheels???!!!!
     
  19. 18t papa

    18t papa I'M OLD PAT!

    Omgomgomgomgomgomg lololololololololololololololol that name though.
     

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