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MK3 Golf Project

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So I decided I wanted a winter project because we just built a shed and it needed filling. I've always liked MK3's even though most people I know think they're the ugly golf. I found a 1.4 SE 3 door on gumtree in Whitehead, went to see it and it had very little rust, just a few bubbly spots and very solid underneath. JOM coilovers fitted. Owner said it didn’t run but he got it started and it drove alright for a day or two.


Was a hard decision between VR6 conversion and 16V, but in the end I went for the abf as I wanted to drive it daily in the future. Sourced a GTI donor, bought it and stripped both cars. My friend and I stripped the engine, with a little help from his dad, who’s a mechanic. Just going to replace piston rings, bearings and give it a real good clean. There’s not much you can do to the ABF on my budget to be honest, would really love to supercharge it but we’ll see.






Thinking the GTI was in the scrap yard because of the immobiliser, because there is absolutely nothing wrong with engine or gearbox, and the shell was straight, so going to send the ecu away to get the immobiliser bypassed just to be on the safe side. Anyone have any experience with good companies for immobiliser bypass?

Have started swapping over bits from the gti into the se, but I want to go 4x100, so I need to source Audi 80 or G60 hubs to fit the gti calipers onto for 280mm discs. Wanted to keep the rear brakes drums to keep cost down, but with plans to disc it in the future. Have US front and rear to go on and a vento front as well. Was thinking of trying a diy vinyl wrap, just to keep cost down. Idea is to have it ready for dubshed.

Have cleaned the engine bay up, white is hard to really properly clean. Was thinking about doing a bit of a wire tuck and maybe a battery relocation but I’d rather have the engine in and going well before I start cutting and extending wires. Getting engine parts this week so hopefully will start building up engine after giving it a real good clean and a bit of paint this weekend. Was also considering doing a bit of smoothing in the bay



Thanks for reading!

Edited by wully9298

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Nice to see another mk3 project esp a home built one.

I'd stick the disc rear axle in if it was mine. They look far better and the only need to fit mk2 discs to run 4 stud.

What has u set on 4 stud anyway?


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Thanks for the comments guys.

Don't really know what has me set on 4 stud. The donor had abs, and I don't want to swap abs over so I'll still need new hubs anyway. Might take the axle out of the GTI tonight and see what i think. I do agree that drums look terrible behind nice wheels. Non abs 5x100 hubs will be easier to find than G60's so I may go down that route. 

Got the piston rings, shell bearings, main bearings and a gasket set yesterday from Ballymena Engine Spares so we'll hopefully have the engine rebuilt for Christmas. Bought a 02a out of a diesel of a forum member, think its a CTN, just because it was blasted and painted and saved me a lot of time cleaning my other box. Diesel ratios may leave her slightly long but we'll see when shes on the road, will be a good job for long runs. Just gonna paint engine with hammerite because i already have it, will also paint subframe etc as well. Royally buggered up my subframe after one of the wishbone bolts sheared in it, so I'm getting a replacement subframe of the same forum member tonight

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You can use the abs hubs. You don't have to run the sensors or anything in them for them to work.

Good to hear you're getting on with the engine bits.

I used hammerite on my subframe. If you lay it on thick it almost self levels and looks great. I used engine enamel on the engine but have used hammerite before. It smells a bit for a while then it calms down.

Keep up the work

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Il try and get the hubs and the rear beam out of this GTI this week. What way does the handbrake change over from a drum axle to a disc axle? All calipers will need refurbished as they were seized anyway.Got engine well washed on saturday, think im gonna etch prime it before i use hammerite to paint it. Will paint all suspension components etc. as well. Friends hot power washer was a good job for the engine components.

Hopefully have engine in for the end of the year

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Have any of yous any experience taking a fuel pump out? I have the sender unit off and push down and try to turn 1/4 turn anticlockwise but it won't budge. Am i doing it wrong? Have the 3 bar pump of a gti bought.

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Been working away at the car. Last weekend we were starting to build up the bottom end of the engine and found what looks like a crack when honing a cylinder so now waiting on the block to be inspected and confirmed. Not good. I've done a bit of research and think that if I can't find a 16v block, the 8v block is the same if the oil pump is swapped over and a hole is drilled for the crank sensor. Hopefully correct. 

Sourced second hand calipers all round as the ones on my GTI were seized solid. Going with 288mm fronts and a disc rear axle. Got the disc beam out and stripped and cleaned up. Still need to replace bushes in it but i have painted it and it looks good. Once the rear beams done I can get it put on the car and get it set down at the back again. Going to put BBS montreals with 195/45r16s on in the meantime because i won't be able to afford stancey wheels yet.



Friend sent me more pictures i sent to him before i changed my phone, makes me want it to be roadworthy even more now. Was so fun driving it around screwed down full.






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Small update on the progress of the Golf.

Got rear beam finished and mounted again, looks really good. All discs put on and most calipers, just waiting on a rear carrier off a guy and a brake pipe kit so i can make new brake pipes.




Sprayed the bay, intake manifold and the rocker cover today, came out well. Still need to clear coat them. Intake is the same colour code as the golf the ABF came out of so thats pretty cool.




Fitted mk4 seats in the golf. I used my grey seats from my mk1 leon as testers but i will put my electric leathers into the golf when its ready for the road. Takes a bit of cutting and grinding but is a worthwhile mod, really modernises the cab.


Engine block is here and clutch arrived today so I can start building the engine bay back up again any time. Got the flywheel lightened so that should be good craic. 


Excuse the friend being a bit of a hallion^.

Thanks for looking.

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Thanks for the comments boys. 

I did cut the brackets on the car to fit the seats but its done well, no hashing like id normally do lol. I was wondering what way you had your upper rear seats secured as mine just sit back at the minute and i've MOT soon and need to get it sorted

Went to Dubshed and seen a lot of stuff that has put some wonderful ideas into my head, mainly bay smoothing and tucking but its probably not a good idea at the minute. Maybe come next winter.

Havent posted on here in a while and plenty has happened since my last post.



Got engine in and running, had problems with it not idling and a water leak. The idling was sorted by adjusting the throttle micro switch back a bit to allow more air through. The leak was the lower push on pipe at the water pump, just couldn't get it to seal so ive made one pipe out of two and it works well.

Got 195/45r16s for the Montreals and put them on. They'll do in the meantime while i save for a set of splits.



Havent run the engine in yet as theres no exhaust after cat and its sorta hard to fly under the radar when the damn thing sounds like a spitfire. Going up to AM custom autos in Ballybogey on Tuesday to get a Powerflow made for the car.

MOT on wednesday the 20th and just have wee fiddly bits to tidy up before then.

I got a set of mk4 3 door leather recaros and fitted them and really happy with them just need to secure the rear seats somehow. Very supportive seats and in good nick too. Serious size of rear headrest on them though. Will get a momo at some stage when the funds allow.



Going to try painting car myself as id like to learn and theres nothing like just doing it to teach myself. Will hopefully have it the way i want it for Castlewellan. Really want a set of Gottis as i think theyre the best wheel on a MK3.

Getting there slowly, Thanks for looking

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Ive not really looked into the rear seats yet but a thick bar can be placed into the bracket to keep the seats together and then its a case of welding a catch for the latch to keep the seats up. This is coming nicely quite similar to mines but mines is a dirty derv lol

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Don't push me over the edge it was enough work getting the engine running right lol

Yeah I have the bit of threaded bar to mount the bottom of the seats but I need a way to latch them back, maybe just put the old ones in for mot.

As I mentioned before, I sent away the tax book with the conversion on it but they sent me back a tax book with my ABF engine number on it but still 1400cc so somebody messed up at Swansea. Best outcome for me like but I my have to send it back and get it done right when I have her on the road.

Getting car back from Powerflow tomorrow which is pretty exciting

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Got the golf back from Powerflow on Wednesday



Happy with exhaust, looks really good but it is seriously noisy it might as well be straight piped but it does has a single silencer. Dummy cat fitted so might not pass mot. Will need another silencer in the future.

Ive posted in the engine section but basically car misfires and cuts out when hot and will restart and run until it heats again. Not a good problem to have three days before mot. Hopefully get her diagnosed tomorrow night to see if it's anything obvious. It's never handy though, here's hoping.

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Failed MOT this morning on an excessively noisy exhaust, an apparently faulty clutch mechanism (which works when I drive her) and an oil leak. Would have surprised me if it passed anyway to be honest. Going to get a centre silencer put in next week and get a retest booked asap. The oil pressure switches were both leaking so I've ordered them from vwheritage. Mot man must have stalled car at least ten times, the lightened flywheel isn't easy to drive but it's not that hard like. Don't know what to do about clutch, just bleed again and hope for the best. Nowhere near the emissions limit even with the dummy cat!

Not be long until I'm surprising vr6s ?

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I was in with him on the rollers and he was having bother selecting gears and kept stalling it trying to drive off em. Also pushed it onto the lift. Thing is when I jumped into car after test for driving home, clutch was fine, so I don't know how to diagnose a working clutch. 

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