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Back from the hairdressers - MK4 R32

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Well, anyone who has known me for a while will probably remember my old GTI R32 rep from a few years back.

I've always wanted an R32 but at the time insurance was not on my side as I'd only had my license for a few years. After the MK4 GTI I built a decent MK5 GTI and then my Mini.

After shooting a magazine feature for the Mini I decided that I couldn't really go much further with it and decided to sell up and look for something new. My friend Louis had recently bought an R32 as a weekend car but he wasn't getting to use it as much as he had hoped so knowing that I liked them he offered it to me.
2003, 92k on the clock and completely standard other than the Airlift suspension setup. It's rough round the edges, very rough infact, and needs some TLC but it was also very cheap so it was worth the gamble.

Plans so far are just to tidy it up. The whole front end and one of the skirts need painted, theres a few other marks and a small dent on one of the rear quarters, the drivers seat bolster has a small rip in it and one of the wheels has a bit of kerb damage.

After fixing that I don't know what the plans are yet, some sort of exhaust maybe.

Had thought about fitting my Corbeau buckets from the Mini but after finding out the standard seats are heated I don't think I'm going to bother.

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Loads of stuff happened on this since the last update. Rear wiper is gone and replaced with a Kill All Wipers delete.


I've fitted US tail lights


Relocated the air controls to the armrest


and got my plate on


But the most work has went on with things you can't see. Timing chains were done this week and while we were at it I decided to change the clutch too as although the old one wasn't slipping, there was wear and the pedal feel was awful so it made sense to do it while the gearbox was already off to do the chains.

I also had the car mapped by Gavin Black who is now an authorised dealer of Celtic Tuning remaps and although you don't see huge power gains on a NA car, it has made a big difference to the power delivery and the engine is much more free reving than before. Think I'm also going to throw an ITG panel filter in it as well to help the airflow.

With the chains, clutch and the map its a completely different car to drive now than it was 2 weeks ago!

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Long overdue update time... finally got over to Scotland to lift my wheels and they're even more stunning in person.
And some obiligitory test fit photos. Borrowed some 20mm adapters off Pete from Paintworkz to see what sizes I need to order. Think I'm gonna go with 25mm for the rear, and either a 15mm or a 20mm for the front.

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No major updates as of late. R32 was due for MOT so threw in some new top mount bearings and sent it through only for it to fail on the handbrake effectiveness. I'd felt like my rear callipers had been a bit sticky for the previous fortnight, so stripped them back, greased the sliders and pads and wound back the pistons to make sure nothing was sticking.... the drivers side was.

If anyone has ever tried to buy an R32 calliper before you'll know that they arent cheap. I wasn't prepared to pay £150 for an aftermarket one so decided to buy new seals and pistons and give a DIY refurb a go. The rebuild kit was only £20 and was actually a great job. I was skeptical about the quality for the price but it all seems to be equal or better quality than the OEM parts.

With the calliper stripped back I found the culprit - a split dust boot had allowed the elements to get at the piston and it was showing signs of corrosion.


Was so impressed with the kit and how easy it was to fit that I'm going to order another kit and do the passengers rear as well just as a preventative measure.

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For a long time I've wanted to replace a head unit in a car with an iPad and with my girlfriend buying me a new iPad Mini 4 at Christmas there was no better time than the present.

I've seen a lot of guys fibreglass these style of dashes but I've never been that impressed with the finish and shaping, especially around the corners so I ordered an RTA fabrication iPad panel and a spare MK4 radio cage (not cutting into those R32 brushed alu trims).


Chopped both the iPad panel and the radio cage to size and then tacked them together with some contact adhesive...


and then used epoxy to bond the panel into the cage. Once it was all together I noticed that the magnets to hold the iPad in place were fouling on the heater controls so I had to shave them slightly.


Panel now needs some filler and a lot of sanding before paint and then installing it in the car. I plan to move my Alpine head unit to the glove box and use bluetooth to pair this to it.

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