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10001110101 New Reader
5/26/21 9:08 a.m.

Sounds like when they stereo was wired they didn't bother to find a constant 12v source. I had this issue in my 83 GTI. 

infinitenexus Dork
5/26/21 3:05 p.m.
10001110101 said:

Sounds like when they stereo was wired they didn't bother to find a constant 12v source. I had this issue in my 83 GTI. 

Which makes me fear even more, pulling the stereo out to look at the wiring.  I have a strong feeling I'm not going to find one of those nice plugs that come with a Crutchfield order, but instead a bunch of wires just twisted together, maybe with some electrical tape covering them.

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/26/21 3:28 p.m.

In reply to infinitenexus :

Nah. He bought coilovers! 

Hed have used yellow wire nuts.

infinitenexus Dork
5/26/21 8:20 p.m.

Google has shown me that I cannot replace the rack and pinion myself in a parking lot and to have it replaced would cost as much as I paid for the car. So I'll just deal with no power steering for now. I did order a can of star blue metallic touch up paint. I don't want the car to get too hot in the sun so I think I'm going to try to respray the roof blue and possibly leave the hood and trunk black. It'll depend on how much coverage I can get out of that single can. 

infinitenexus Dork
5/30/21 9:30 p.m.

The weather was nice today so we went hiking, then came home and I set myself to removing more spray paint. Both sides of the car are mostly done now. There's some primer spots that I'll need to cover with touch up paint once or comes in the mail, and I need to fix the front bumper and paint the driver's side wheels black as well. Depending on how much coverage I can get out of a can of touch up paint, I'm going to try respraying the top of the car. 

slowly getting there 

jfryjfry (FS)
jfryjfry (FS) Dork
5/31/21 9:56 a.m.

I was going to suggest buying a can of touch up spray paint and keep it as close to original  color as you can.  I think that would look better than black stuff here and there. 

I'd also do the other control arm.  If one is bad the other can't be far behind.   Start by applying pb blaster now every day!

glad to see the car is treating you well so far.   Any luck with the "dip" when you push in the clutch??

infinitenexus Dork
5/31/21 9:18 p.m.

In reply to jfryjfry (FS) :

Good call on the control arm. Especially since it's not expensive - 30 something for the new arm and $7 for the new ball joint. Pretty cheap insurance, especially since I want to autocross it soon. Painting it all back to the stock color will definitely look the best. My original idea of spraying the hood and trunk gloss black was me being as cheap as possible haha. I'm not sure what you mean when you mention the dip and the clutch.  edit:  I'm guessing you're referring to how my RPM dip down super low then come back up to idle.  I have my suspicions that it's the power steering pump.  I currently have no power steering, so I'm going to look into getting a shorter belt to take the pump out of the equation.  Less parasitic drag is always a good thing.

I just ordered some slightly softer front springs. 336 lb/in versus my current 397. Still should handle great but should handle these bumps a little better. I'm really hoping I can find a great deal on some cheap 15" wheels but so far nothing.  Next on my list will probably be a tectonics exhaust, as it's cheap and comes highly recommended, and my current straight pipe is getting annoying. Also I'd like to get under the hood and check and replace a few more things and learn about the basics of this engine some more. 

So far driving to work my gas mileage has been excellent. With summer coming up I need to fix the sunroof so I can enjoy that. And buy some sun visors, which for some reason are expensive on this car. 

infinitenexus Dork
6/8/21 8:38 a.m.

Well, my touch up spray paint arrived Saturday, but some berkeley face in my apartment building stole it, so I get to order another $30 can of paint.  Property manager is no help - for two months it's been "we're currently installing a camera system."  This is the third time my mail has been stolen.  Maybe a negative review on google will get them to start taking this seriously.  I'm asking my boss if I can just ship valuable stuff to work instead.

I did receive my springs, and I'll be putting them on the front after work today.  These bumpy Cleveland roads are just awful, so softer springs will be a blessing.  Hopefully going from 397 to 336 lbs/in will make a noticable improvement.  I think the next step down I found were 280 lb/in.  Considering this is a daily driver, that's a strong possibility.  After all, I can always just throw a rear sway bar on there to improve handling if need be.


I've also noticed a slight rattle coming from the front suspension.  I have tightened every bolt thoroughly but I still hear it.  I'm wondering if the control arm bolts were supposed to come with sleeves or something.  I'll check it again today after work.

infinitenexus Dork
6/14/21 9:23 a.m.

Installed my Oh E36 M3 handles and a sunvisor.  Mk2 sunvisors are crazy expensive for some reason.  I finally found a black one on eBay for less than $40.  Having a sunvisor makes a big difference though.  

I was pretty excited about installing the slightly softer springs.  I even went back and read Keith's miata thread and verified that his coilovers (same brand) used 2.75" ID springs.  I quickly took a measurement with my springs on the car and that looked right (wrong way to measure though!)  So when I went to install the springs yesterday, of course they were the wrong size.  Looks like the Jetta coilovers are 2.5" ID springs, give or take a few mm.  The bad news is I just wasted $39.  The good news is 2.5" springs are much more common, so I'll have more options and they should be cheaper.  I just hope they're actually 2.5" springs, my luck they'll be 2.6" or 2.4" or something metric that doesn't quite lineup.  This is America though, we only measure using freedom units.  I'll order another can of touch up paint here soon as well.  My wife currently hates this car, with it's incredibly stiff ride, horrific paint, and lack of a muffler.  Can't say I blame her!  I'm hoping after fixing the paint and adding a muffler she'll hate it a bit less.  Right now she's trying to convince me to get rid of it and buy a 996, since the Porsche 911 has always been and will always be my favorite car, and the 996 is the only affordable one left.  I like the 996 as well, and do plan on buying one in the future (unless their prices skyrocket as well.) We'll just have to see what the future holds!  Right now I'm searching for some springs around 280lbs/in.  I want the ride to not knock my fillings out.

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
6/17/21 8:03 a.m.

I hadn't noticed previously, and absolutely love, the lack of a front bumper cover and the indicators just being flush mounted through the bumper beam itself. It's a repurposed metal skid plate away from being rallycross ready for sure. 

infinitenexus Dork
10/29/21 4:20 p.m.

Haven't updated this in a while. I guess it's time.

Life has just been too busy lately and I haven't had the time to really work on this thing, although I've come to the conclusion that even if I did a lot of work to it, I still wouldn't like it. I replaced the springs on the coilovers, which were previously I believe 397lb/in with 220lb springs, and it still rides pretty crappy. The lack of a muffler is annoying. I pulled the barely working stereo out of the dash and it's a rat's nest, so that has to be done from scratch. I bought a sunvisor (why are they so expensive for this car?) and a crank handle for the sunroof. I also gave up on the wrecked paint and started plastikoting the entire thing white, which is actually turning out pretty decently.  

Today out of nowhere, on the way home, it suddenly lost a bunch of power. It still runs and sounds the same but it drives like it has 50 horsepower instead of 100. That was kinda the last straw for me. I honestly haven't enjoyed this car since I bought it, I just tried to convince myself that it was going to be a fun little car to wrench on. Once I finish the paint and stereo I'm going to put it up for sale and try to get something I'll actually like. I'll try to post a picture of it tomorow, it definitely looks a lot better white.

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