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Author Topic: Going grey on top.  (Read 180 times)

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Offline Tristan

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Going grey on top.
« on: December 27, 2014, 01:40:20 am »
Not sure if you lot have any interest in road cars , if not , we can just delete this.

It all started with two guys , one my Dad , who has been hugely influential in my motoring life , and a friend of his called Bobby . Dad was a master mechanic , and an outstanding driver , with a passion for motorsport and nice cars , which led to him servicing a lot of cool cars . And here we meet Bobby.... , tall , broad and handsome with a hot girlfriend , a few bob in his pocket , and most of all...... a Mk1 Golf GTI . As a wee lad , that was the coolest car I thought ever existed . Bear in mind , this was in the 80's . And so the seed was sown.....

Fast forward to the 90's and 00's , and I'd been around , owning , working on and building various VWs for my self , mates and family , from diesel Mk1s and Jettas through mk2 GTIs , Polo 1.0s , Corrados and Caddys , and others too. I flirted with other brands , of course , Jap , French and Italian , and indeed it was my Italian stallion that led to the Mk1 bug resurfacing .

I was getting my Integrale touched up , and spotted a straight mk1 in the corner of the panel beaters yard .... one word led to another and next thing I knew , it was on my trailer! That was back around 2006 . It was a 1.1 shell , with some GTI running gear kinda fitted , but not running . I stripped the wiring and plumbing and robbed bits from my rusty Campaign and got it going. Over the next few years , I had a bit of fun with it , but never got around to doing it "right" . And it had a tough life at times , as I took it road-rallying a couple of seasons!


So enough waffle , I apologise for prattling on . but for me the story behind the cars is as important as the cars themselves.

During  winter 2013 , with a bit of help from my mate Andy (Mycroft) and young cousin Nick (DjNr8) , it got stripped to a bare , bare shell in the garage at home.
The car was stripped to every single last nut and bolt in the workshop in my limited free time.
On popping the front wings off , it appeared I had passengers!


You can't make it out , but there was a small octopus in there , at least that's what I reckon , as it was too frickin big to be a spider! I didn't cry though , I just got my mam to get rid of it...... :D

Luckily that was the only scares in the front arches! Myself , another mk1 loving mate and sprayer , Dent Doc and Mycroft had spent a while assessing the shell , and it was generally agreed it was in good order , albeit with a share of dents and scrapes . I have another one that is possibly in better condition , but I'm kinda attached to this one.... Anyways , more pictures.






the bottom section looks a lot worse than it actually is , in that pic , it's just surface scale.





and a pretty straight floor

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Offline Tristan

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Re: Going grey on top.
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2014, 01:47:00 am »
Now , those of us with a mk1 (or indeed , any old car) know that a "good" shell is only one that isn't rotten! lol! As I said above , this one is solid , but that's not to say Dent Doc was going to get away with just a rub down and lick of paint... There was always going to be a few scary (to me) bits.

This was a 1.1 shell originally , at some stage it had GTI running gear hung onto it , the job running the wiring may have been a little rough and ready...
this is where the most of the loom exits the firewall into the 'bay.


and dizzy wiring


There was a hole at the lower LHS corner of the windscreen , handy really as it would let water drip onto the poor , over worked and hot Fusebox... :roll:  :p


And another smaller one at the front lower corner of the LHS back window.


I was afraid that when the rear spats came off that I'd have holes ... oh ye/me of little faith , apart from a few dents , all was pretty good! Especially when you consider it was dented like that since before I got it..


the front panel was a bit battered looking , I had a shortage of talent at a critical moment one night , on some cowsh1t...


luckily the chassis leg was untroubled my my indiscretion!


So , I was happy enough , and didn't expect to need any repair panels .

Wrongly.. as it turned out...

Offline Tristan

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Re: Going grey on top.
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2014, 01:59:13 am »
So soon enough , the shell was bare and the removable panels off , or barely attached, leaving me with a mess in the shed and the first true realisation I was in deep...


the engine bay is a horrendous mess whilst being stripped!


But no time to backtrack , gather up all the random bits into the van ..


and away to my own place for the next phase!


As mentioned in a previous post , I decided to strip ALL the underseal , so as to be 100% sure that there were no hidden surprises .
Word of warning to those considering this.... If you can find someone willing to do it for you , even for handy money....let them off . It's a horrible , boring , hateful , time consuming barsteward of a job , and there's no easy way to do it all , properly . And if you are going to do it yourself , don't even consider starting it without having the car on a spit/rotisserie. Life is too short.


The heavy , sound-deadening stuff on the likes of the floor pans is easiest , I heated it with a plumbers blowtorch..


then scooping it off with a paint scraper .


Same for the stuff on the majority of the outer side of the floor.

At the seams though , and in areas like around the petrol tank , spare wheel well , lower side of back panel..is a whitish stuff... which I soon came to hate .


this had to be scraped off with sharp chisels , heating it just make it smelly and gives off fumes , and makes it come away in tiny bits . When cold it'll pare off in slices . Very effing slowly.....


As bad as that was , the stuff in the arches was possibly worse , it had to be chipped away , it's really hard , almost brittle.



So soon enough , the shell was bare and the removable panels off , or barely attached, leaving me with a mess in the shed and the first true realisation I was in deep...


Eventually.... and it felt like forever , I was left with this.






Was I glad I bothered? Yes , actually . In a surprising amount of spots , under seemingly bomb proof underseal , which looked intact , there were rusty sections .






« Last Edit: December 27, 2014, 02:14:56 am by Tristan »

Offline Tristan

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Re: Going grey on top.
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2014, 02:10:42 am »
After most of Christmas and New Year in the shed , armed with countless mugs of Tea , and several chisels etc , all the shell , and all the panels were ready for the next step .

So up on the trailer , behind my faithful 4x4 , classic tax and NCT exempt Range Rover! (I love plodding along in this thing , surprises a lot of people with it's Mazda 3.5 tdi conversion)




For your info , 2 normal sized , non wimpy blokes can lift a mk1 shell onto a trailer! lol ;D

So , on my mate Paul's recommendation , away myself and herself headed to County Carlow , to a guy called Brian Kinsella , for media blasting . I'd made a lot of enquiries , soda was the alleged best , but everyone in the Media Blasting world said it was over rated , and crushed glass was just as good for 99% of stuff . I dunno what I was expecting , prior to visiting Brian's to check it/him out , I suppose I was worried it would be like sand , when actually it turned out to be more like flour! I was happy then that it was the Right Stuff.

Anyways , as d'internet says , regularly , This thread is useless without pics!

Brian was good enough to send me pics as he was progressing , he only does a bit each day so as not to heat panels and warp them .





It's amazing what paint hides , I never knew there was fillers on the car , I thought the paint was mostly original!

It was initally going to take 10-14 days , but as my luck would have it , Brian had a mishap , so I didn't get it back for several weeks . But I have to say , he did a great job , didn't leave a ripple anywhere , and gave it a good clean down and heavy coat of protective primer .

Once I got a chance , back onto my own rotisserie , and I started tidying the engine bay . I have decided to fill any unused holes , and to remove any brackets etc that aren't in use , to tidy things up .



One thing that always bugged me was the driver's side engine mount , it was not fitted too nicely....
I had to take the Angry-grinder to it! And the remnants of the original small block mount.Andy/Mycroft was good enough to donate a "big block" mount to the cause.




a bit better!


Then the Dent Doc , Mycroft and DJNR8 descended upon me one fateful day.... I mentioned I wasn't happy with the back panel and that I had a NOS small light one put aside , you just can't turn your back on these lads for an instant!


after a lot of measuring , we decided the V8 wouldn't fit in the back...lol! :D :D



Offline Tim Moll

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Re: Going grey on top.
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2014, 09:38:41 pm »
Tris,

Road cars are as welcome as anything else on here.....looking forward to seeing the rest of the build thread and will get you the info on the radiator  ;D  ;)

Keep it coming....

Tim

Offline Tristan

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Re: Going grey on top.
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2014, 06:27:29 pm »
Thanks Tim!  Lots more pics and musings to follow. 8)

Offline Tristan

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Re: Going grey on top.
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2014, 11:23:53 pm »
so this was the view from my back kitchen.... no excuse for progress!



soooo... the night before the VW show in Cork , my mate Dent Doc decided he was staying in my place . They say there's no such thing as a free lunch , so he was directed to bring his Spray gun!

Enter the man behind the mask lol


I'm going to try "dry build" the car , so it won't see paint til next year most likely . To help it last the winter , Derek rubbed it down , gave it a quick blast of Por-15...




We decided to just do the inside , the underside and in the arches , as the outside will be getting sanding and filling . And the bay was left alone too as I'm still tidying that up. With that , after the Por-15 had dried enough to put a top coat over , (and more honestly , we were back from gorging ourselves on burgers and chips! lol) we decided to give it a lash of some 2k white I had lying around . A happy side effect of this is that it makes it easier to work on the car as it makes everything so clean , and bright looking .





Offline Tristan

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Re: Going grey on top.
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2014, 11:37:23 pm »
I spent a loooooooooooong time , thinking , scratching my chin , measuring... thinking some more....measuring some more...


then eventually I bit the bullet and picked up the angry grinder for a fairly serious decision on the front suspension....



the legend that is my mate Paul , aka Plane donated 2 good strut tops from another shell , in return for a wee favour I did him .
these were painstakingly measured , then cut to fit the inner wings , and to sit on top of the original turrets . I also cut the raised lip off , where the top mount comes through.


as simple as it looks , I spent bloody ages measuring and levelling them , so they were perfectly in line with the original ones .


One of the reasons for messing with the strut tops was to use Mk4 Golf style top mounts . VW will sell you the steel plates that are welded into a mk4 turret that the mounts press against , for little more than E10 each . Beats chopping them out of a scrapper mk4!


These will fit straight in , but me being me , I trimmed them so as to be able to fit them as rearward as possible , and slightly inward , to add some caster and a little negative camber .

I put them in roughly where I thought they'd fit best , and then put on a wishbone and a front hub and strut , without a spring. That way I could check that the strut wouldn't foul on anything . I trimmed a coil spring into a few sections , so to make sure it would fit too.

Now , you can spend thousands on fancy measuring gear , to jig a shell , but I don't have thousands! So I used builders tools I had around the shed! Crude , but a measuring instrument is a measuring instrument , and gravity is always the same , so a Spirit Level and a good quality tape measure can work well if you're patient.

AS the shell is on a rotisserie , I can rotate it to level it , so I picked 4 spots , across the front panel , across the front chassis legs and the front suspension legs , and across the rear floor . I tweaked the rotisserie til the car was "true" and clamped it in place.



Now that the car was level , I could set the height of the top mounts , using a straight edge over the turret area , and measuring down to the mounts.


then , picking as many reference points as I could think of , I measured each side from side to side , diagonally and from the bulkhead .


getting close now , I was happy the camber would be pretty equal both sides , so they got a tack to hold them .





Offline Tristan

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Re: Going grey on top.
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2014, 11:41:48 pm »
Caster now , I really wanted that spot on as it's very hard to adjust on a mk1 .

This looks crude , but appearances can be deceptive! First , recheck all was level , no harm to recheck... then I ran a plumb line (ok , a piece of baling twine weighted down with big sockets!) down through each top mount hole. look closely here and you'll just see it.

I clamped a hefty bit of angle iron across the car , onto the lower suspension legs . The plumb line hung just beside it , giving me something to measure to , in the front to rear line of the car.





I put on the wishbones , lhs on the rhs and vice versa and upside down , and measured from the string to the balljoint . I stayed tweaking top top mount plates til I had the same measurement each side , from balljoint centre to string. Which meant in effect , the caster was the same . A final recheck of the plates diagonally and front to back to be certain the camber was ok too , and then a few more tacks of the welder , to hold them in place.

remove all the "measuring instruments" (!) , and weld , weld , weld..... luckily , one of the lads is a highly skilled engineer and welder , to oversee that operation .

Now that took only a couple of minutes to type...and a full evening to do in reality! But as said already , I really didn't want this to go wrong!

and what did I end up with for my labours? A mk1 with raised front turrets , which in effect lowers the car on stock struts about 1.5 inches , with extra caster and ready for using the vastly superior mk4 top mounts , and still fits under a stock bonnet.





I reckon when it all gets a lick of the sander , some seam sealer and paint , most people won't notice the difference.

I was wary about posting the pics as it's pure dog rough , country style harmless looking stuff , baling twine and angle iron...But , as I said already , straight is straight , level is level , so if you work carefully AND TAKE YOUR TIME, you can get away without all the fancy stuff.
Thanks for looking.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2014, 11:44:59 pm by Tristan »

Offline GEL

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Re: Going grey on top.
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2014, 08:09:24 am »
Excellent ... thank you for sharing.

How many `degrees` of negative caster do you reckon ?
Mk1 Golf GTI 16v
Alpina B10 V8 Touring
Audi S4 Avant V6 quattro

Offline Tristan

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Re: Going grey on top.
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2014, 01:06:11 pm »
I can't remember exactly,I think about 1 degree only.

Offline GEL

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Re: Going grey on top.
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2014, 02:21:48 pm »
OK ... thank you.
Mk1 Golf GTI 16v
Alpina B10 V8 Touring
Audi S4 Avant V6 quattro

Offline JMR

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Re: Going grey on top.
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2015, 12:24:51 pm »
That's one epic write up Tris!....a massive thank you for taking the time to share it!

A background story is always good...and some serious passion there. .fantastic to see! ..of course now you've started the tale... ;D

Nothing wrong with barn door engineering. .ingenuity is the bedrock of many a great build...anyone can throw a cheque book at a project if they're lucky enough to be able,  and while it's still nice to see a top result, most here have other commitments first and cars second. .so a bit of ingenuity goes a long way to getting projects rolling. .a top effort there Tristan!

 

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