Friday, 27 June 2014

VW Golf Gearbox Inspection Plug Replacement

Something that seems to be a common requirement to replace on a VW Golf is the gearbox inspection plug. Over time the plugs seem to jam so have to be broken to access the inspection hole meaning that a replacement is needed.

The only place online that I could find replacement Golf Gearbox Inspection Plugs was on Ebay. It appears that the plug is the same for the Mk1, Mk2 and Mk3 VW Golf so there are many required as standard items. The cost on Ebay was uniformly £13.49 which seems a lot for a small piece of plastic.

While I was at my local Volkswagen dealer to collect another part I checked on price and availability for the gearbox inspection plug. Surprisingly the cost was lower than Ebay and with the dreaded VAT came in at £8.50, not a massive saving but worth checking for.

VW Part number for the gearbox inspection plug is 202-301-129B

I've now found a number of VW specific items that can be obtained more cheaply from the local dealer so it is always worthwhile to check before assuming that Ebay is automatically the cheapest place for parts.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Replacement Rear Badge VW Golf Mk2

There seem to be plenty of rear badges available for early Mk2 VW Golfs but later ones from 1987 onwards with the centre rear badge are much harder to come by.

Monday, 23 June 2014

VW Golf GTI & 16 Valve 1988 Original Sales Brochure

VW Golf GTI & 16V 1987/88 UK Sales Brochure

I managed to pick up a mint 1987 VW Golf GTI & 16 Valve sales brochure on Ebay. It is interesting to see how the car was marketed at the time and to see the original spec. As a result of the photos in the brochure I've realised that my 16 Valve is missing a logo from the glovebox that was specific to that model.

I'll get the whole Golf 16V brochure scanned as a PDF so that you can view it in it's original glory, another one I've seen online is low res PDF so isn't very easy to read.

VW Golf GTI 1988 Sales Brochure
VW Golf GTI 1987/88 Original Sales Brochure

VW Golf Mk2 GTI 16V Troubleshooting List

Having purchased my 1989 Volkswage Golf GTI 16Valve there were a few jobs that I identified when inspecting the car before purchase and during the test drive as well as items declared in the advert. There are also various faults & trim issues that have come to light having worked on the car and used it for a few weeks. It might sound like a massive list but you have to bear in mind that the car is 25 years old with 177,000 miles on it - far younger cars have more serious faults!

I've listed below all the major and minor items both mechanical and trim that I've noticed that will need attention and over time will mark off the list as the jobs are completed. I've now created a separate page with the progress on the job/maintenance list

  • Cold starting problem
  • Rough running and lack of power
  • Cold starting idling rough
  • Missing rear badge
  • No mats
  • Drivers seat bolster worn, side cushion degraded
  • No radio
  • Dashboard rattle
  • Passenger window switch broken/missing
  • Driver window not working
  • Rev counter intermittent
  • MFA intermittent with Rev counter
  • Rust on front scuttle panel
  • Horn not working, aftermarket air horn fitted
  • Scratch & stone chips on bonnet
  • Rear quarter panel cards not fitted correctly
  • Fron door cards not fitted correctly
  • Tailgate trim attached with cable ties
  • Parcel shelf support broken on driver's side

VW Golf Mk2 GTI 16V Troubleshooting List
VW Golf Mk2 GTI 16V Troubleshooting List

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Golf Mk2 Horn Blows Fuse - Horn Not Working on Steering Wheel

One of the faults on the to-do list was to investigate why the horn was blowing a fuse on the VW Golf MK2 GTI.

On the MK2 Golf the horn is activated by pressing the middle of the steering wheel. For some reason this was not working on my car so the previous owner had wired an air horn under the bonnet with a button on the dash to press instead.

Having had the wiring in the engine bay tidied and the after market alarm removed I also had the secondary horn removed and the dash button changed back to a blanking plate so the horn could be set via the steering wheel again.

Initially this all worked fine, however later on a journey it appeared that the horn on the wheel was no longer working again. While we had the dash apart to replace the instrument cluster bulbs we also checked the fuses.

According to the VW manual the fuse for the horn is meant to be 15A but the one fitted that had blown was only 10A. This was replace with a 15A fuse as per the spec in the handbook so hopefully this will resolve the problem with the horn working again.

VW Golf Mk2 Dashboard Removal to replace Lights

It's been a productive day with the Mk2 Golf GTI and the list of jobs to do is getting (slightly) shorter. Several off the list but one more added on!

The priority today was to replace the dashboard bulbs as they were not working but hopefully fix the intermittent fault with the rev counter and MFA (trip computer) as the dashboard needed removing in order to fit new bulbs behind the instrument cluster. 

Having removed the instrument cluster the clocks (speedo & rev counter) unit was taken out as shown above and the bulbs removed. The existing bulbs were not the correct ones for the car and had been soldered to melt the plastic sufficiently to fit into the slots shown below.

The new bulbs I fitted were specific for the VW Golf so slotted perfectly into the holes in the board.

Instrument cluster showing the 2 sockets. Some other Mk2 Golfs have single socket/connection setups so it is important to check if you are replacing the unit.

Once the dash was reassembled the lights were checked and all bulbs now illuminated the panel. Unfortunately the rev counter and MFA are still not working. They seem to be intermittent depending on temperature so when the car warms up they stop working.

Other items fixed today included fitting the radio correctly and routing the MP3 3.5" jack lead behind the centre console. While removing the centre console we also checked the Idle Control module that sits behind the console controlling the Idle Control Valve. We believed there to be a fault with the  Idle Control module as the car was not idling correctly when cold and the ICV had already been checked and found to be working.

Having removed the centre console we found the  Idle Control module. The connector lead wasn't totally in place so we removed and refitted having cleaned the terminals. Fortunately this seems to have cured the problem for the moment which has saved the cost of a replacement.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Pioneer DEH-P7700MP Aux Input for iPhone & MP3 Playback

I was fortunate to be given a Pioneer DEH-P7700MP CD radio for my VW Golf GTI as the previous owner had removed the radio before sale.

The Pioneer DEH-P7700MP had CD and tuner but according to the manual could be set to use an AUX input for iPhone, iPod and MP3 playback via the jack socket.

The lead to connect to the DEH-P7700MP was a few pounds on Ebay and once connected all looked good - except there was no way to show the aux as a source on the display, only CD and tuner.

The manual wasn't very helpful stating that the source button would cycle between all the options - NO it doesn't!

VW Golf MK2 GTI & 16 Valve Performance Figures

The performance of the Golf GTi is some way behind my previous car, a Porsche 911 which could reach 174mph and travel from 0-60 mph in 5 seconds.

However for a car that is 25 years old the performance isn't at all bad. The Mk2 VW Golf GTI 16V which has 139bhp can reach 60mph in 7.9 seconds according to the offical Volkswagen technical data for the car.

It is often suggested that the performance of the Golf GTI 16V improves with age as the engine loosens up so a frequently quoted 0-60 for the 16V is 7.5seconds which improves on the VW official performance figures.

I was rather surprised to find that the iconic performance car from my teenage years, the Ford Escort RS Turbo is actually slower than the Golf 16V as I'd always assumed it was far faster. I once had a lift in one and the feeling was of the huge performance surge as the turbo kicked in but clearly this didn't affect the overall performance.

The standard Golf GTI takes 8.3 seconds but only has 112 bhp.

VW Golf GTI 16V Performance Figures
VW Golf GTI 16V Performance Figures

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Buying a 1980s Iconic Car - The Mark 2 VW Golf GTI 16 Valve

It couldn't be much more of a change in direction but having sold the Porsche 911 I am now the proud owner of a 1989 Volkswagen Golf 1.8 GTI 16v! I owned an 8v Golf GTI some 15 years ago and really loved driving it so I am hoping that I get the same enjoyment from this car.

There is some work that I want to get done to bring the car back to top quality but it seems to be a solid base to work from and no obvious structural corrosion.
Buying VW Golf GTI 16V
Buying VW Golf GTI 16V

Buying VW Golf GTI 16V - interior shot of Mk2 Golf
Buying VW Golf GTI 16V - interior  photo of Mk2 Golf

Buying VW Golf GTI 16V - exterior shot of Mk2 Golf
Buying VW Golf GTI 16V - exterior shot of Mk2 Golf