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Toms 89 Mk2 Golf

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I bought Rolf (the golf) as my first car back in 2007 when I was 15 from a family friend. It had a damaged water pump and a broken radiator, and no oil in it. I found a water pump and a Haynes Manual on trademe and set to work, turns out the radiator was fine and no damage had been done to the engine due to the lack of oil. Its an awesome first car i drove it to and from school and university for a fair while on its standard 8 valve. Im filtering through all the previous build threads i made to try and create a bit of a timeline. This was always a learning experience and looking back on it some of the things I did I look back now and am a little concerned with. In saying that Ill probably do the same thing in 10 years time as well.

2010 (2l 16v swap)


$500 engine with bent valves was all i could find but at the time it was a good excuse to learn how to rebuild the head.



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Head cleaned up very nicely with a bit of a diy parts cleaning bin and some elbow grease.


A fresh selection of parts from the UK, i struggled to find new valves anywhere else.


The old 8v lump removed, made for a good paper weight. Took me so long to get this out maybe a couple of days. Having had the new engine in and out a couple of times now for clutch replacement etc, i reckon i could do a full removal in a couple of hours.


Struggled with breaking the cam gear, could not figure out why the engine would not turn over and then the cam gear would snap its tooth off. Turned out to be bent cams, which set me back a long time cause trying to find another set was proving a mission.


Found some new Cams in the end and it all went back together nicely.


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2011 (2l 16v swap)

Engine and gearbox installed and the car back on its wheels.


Mega squirt setup, despite this not being my final solution i was really happy i had a crack at this. Really taught me that all wiring looks horribly daunting before you start but after going through and labeling and sorting out each little bit step by step its nothing a good system cant fix 


There was a nice useful pin out so i actually made the megasquirt loom just connect directly to the existing factory loom for easy removal.






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So November 2018 after a little bit of time collecting parts I decided I wanted a little more power and a new challenge so the plan was set for a 1.8 20v turbo setup to be swapped in from a mk4 gti. Anyhow here is the disassembly.


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Gave it some love with a bit of paint


Anton filling in the last of the little holes with a little bog


All done with final coat, very happy with the industrial look


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This might be a little bit of a hack job but i needed the O ring on the MAP sensor to sit nicely and one of the best spots I could find to use without to much work was directly into the intercooler. So armed with a stepper drill bit and a set of taps I managed to make something work.


Fortunately it only required 3 washers either side to space the sensor nicely so that the o ring seated. Ideally i would have made a new aluminum part with the CNC and welded it on but I didn't really have the time and the skills for the aluminum welding so this was a nice simple solution.


I installed a larger Brake MC for more brake feel as the standard one was so soft and you had to do a lot of work to make something happen. Ideally I would like this car to be able to be taken on track days and drag meets (drive ability is pretty key/vital as this is not some show car) so I need some effectiveness from the brakes. Also spent a lot of time position the electric throttle pedal for a good heel toe operation.

I had spent a lot of time trying to make this Clutch MC work (its from a Pajero) as people spend a lot of money getting a specific pedal box just to make it work and getting one hard enough let alone paying for it to get to New Zealand. I was convinced that armed with a brake line flaring kit and a bit of thinking I could make something that would be effective. In hindsight this was really not the case and after a bit of research and failing miserably I found that i actually needed to do a lot more bench testing. I think that i mounted the MC inline with the pivot point of the pedal making the clutch have a incredibly light feel, it seemed to function but did not feel anything like how a clutch should. I also think I needed to spend a lot more time researching throw/movement lenghts of the MC vs the Slave.


It might post something in a technical thread as i really would like to know what to do next time but I ended up buying a bolt on solution for the time being. (above picture is not it this is my pajero mc with a spacer made with the CNC at work.

Meanwhile that fail was going on I was atleast able to work on my welding skills. If i can say anything as i come further through this project is that my mig welding is getting so much better even just with the flux core. This is a little brake line bracket i made and tapped with two pieces folded and welded together.



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