Sunday, 31 August 2014

Golf GTI 16V Alloy Wheels - Bottle Top OEM Wheels refitted

The original Montreal bottle top wheels are now fitted to my 1989 Golf GTI 16V and I've sold the G60 wheels that were on it via Ebay. I know the G60 wheels are popular but personally I much prefer the look of the standard wheels on the Golf GTI 16V. The OEM or original wheels were sometimes known as bottle top wheels as the pattern had the look of a metal top from a glass drinks bottle.

Photo of 1989 VW Golf GTI 16V with OEM standard alloy wheels
VW Golf GTI 16V with OEM Montreal standard alloy wheels

VW Golf G60 wheels

VW Golf 16V Happy 25th Birthday!

My VW Golf GTI 16V is 25 years old today, registered on 31 August 1989.

VW Golf 16V Happy Birthday!
VW Golf 16V Happy 25th Birthday!
For a 25 year old car it has lasted very well with minimal rust and little underbody corrosion, a testament to the build quality from VW in the 1980s.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Golf Rear Stub Axle Replacement/ Brake Disc/Rear Wheel Bearing Fitting Instructions & Guide

Steps to replacing the stub axle on a mark 2 VW Golf GTI 16V. These photos show the process for replacing the rear stub axle on a VW Golf Mk2 but will equally apply to fitting a new rear wheel bearing or rear brake disc to the car.

Loosen wheel bolts, jack car and remove rear wheel

Wheel removed showing brake disc and rear bearing

Remove rear bearing cover & locking pin

Pin removed from rear bearing

Remove 2 bolts holding rear brake caliper on

Remove bolts holding brake carrier to brake disc

Remove calliper carrier

Remove brake disc

Rear brake disc removed with wheel bearing resting on it

Remove dust cover and access to 4x stub axle bolts

Remove wheel bearing components

VW Golf Mk2 wheel bearing replacement guide

Remove stub axle bolts from rear beam

Stub axle removed showing rear beam

Old stub axle removed from VW Golf GTI

Brake calliper and wheel bearing components removed from car

New rear stub axle fitted and brake cover attached

New dust cover fitted to stub axle covering bolts

Dust cover fitted and rear wheel bearing placed on top

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Original VW Golf GTi Montreal Bottle Top Wheels

I managed to get a set of original VW bottle top wheels with virtually new tyres on them to fit to my Golf GTi. These are the wheels that would have come with the Golf GTI 16V when it was new and were called Montreal style wheels but more commonly known as "bottle top wheels" due to the look from the side being similar shape to a metal pop bottle lid.

Original Vw Golf GTI Montreal Bottle Top Wheels

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Repairing Damaged Door Cards

When I bought my VW Golf GTI the door cards were rather loose and didn't fit flush to the door frame. I assumed a previous owner hadn't fixed them properly so when I needed to repair the regulator it gave me a chance to look at why they didnt fit and resolve it.

The problem was that the door card material was deteriorating and breaking down. Unlike more recent ones the cards are well, almost made of card. It's a board type material and with constant attachment and removal the screw holes had expanded and the bottom fixings were no longer strong so couldn't support the cards.

I bought some fibre glass repair as the screw holes needed to be strengthened and add more support so the cards could be attached the in the correct place. That worked well so I then looked at the base where there are different slots to attach the card to the door frame. These had lost all rigidity so wouldn't hold the card in place.

The board of the card looked quite absorbent so I decided that soaking it in the fibre glass solution may work rather than using the fibre matting as I had done for the screw holes. Left it for an hour or so to set and bingo, the base of the card  is now solid again and will clip properly to the door again.

I'll load some photos once it's a bit lighter but hopefully this may be of use.

Monday, 25 August 2014

VW Golf GTI Mk2 Fuel Economy - How Many MPG from 1.8 Litre Engine?

The VW Golf MK2 is a 30 year old design as it was released in 1984. How economical is the 1.8 litre 8V engine? Does it compare to current cars or is the economy and MPG far worse?

VW Golf GTI Mk2 Fuel Economy - How Many MPG from 1.8 Litre Engine?
VW Golf GTI Mk2 Fuel Economy - How Many MPG from 1.8 Litre Engine?

In my 1986 Golf GTI 8V I got an average of 37MPG in the 18 months I owned it. That was a mix of motorway and town driving. The range was a best MPG of 45mpg and worst was 33mpg.

I've not done enough miles in my current 16V to be able to tell the accurate MPG but I'd expect it to be a little worse than that. However my 16V has had many components replaced whereas the 8V was mainly original so there may be little difference between them. 

Cleaning VW Golf GTI Car Seats Covers in Washing Machine

If you've ever struggled to get your car seats clean just by cleaning them in the car even with a Vax or sponging them off then removing the seat covers and putting them through the washing machine is a good option as it enables them to be fully washed rather than just the surface.

What temperature do you need to use to wash car seat covers in a machine?

These are the seat covers from my VW Golf GTI that I removed and washed at 40C. They came up really clean and removed 25 years worth of dirt on them! I wouldn't recommend a higher temperature than 40C as it may shrink the fabric but certainly that temperature has worked fine on all the seats I've tried it with.

You can find out how to remove the covers from seats in a VW Golf here. The video shows the Golf Mk4 but exactly the same process was used to remove the seat covers in my Golf GTI Mk2.

Cleaning Car Seats in Washing Machine
Cleaning Car Seats in Washing Machine

VW Golf GTI seat covers after washing machine
VW Golf GTI seat covers after washing machine

Sunday, 24 August 2014

VW Golf GTI MK2 - How KJetronic Fuel Injection Works

While searching for some info on tuning the Golf GTI I found this handy video showing the components of the K-jetronic fuel injection system used on the Golf GTI 16V (and 8V up to 1987 before Digifant engine was introduced)

My First VW Golf GTI 8V - The 1986 registration C650OFW

My first VW Golf GTI was a black 1986 model 8v that I bought in Feb 1998. The registration was C650OFW and it cost me £1750. Unfortunately the car was written off in November 1999 but the memory of how great the car was to drive stuck with me and inspired my current purchase of my 16V Golf GTI I'm running now.

C650OFW was my first Volkswagen and after previously having driven low powered Fords since passing my test it was a different experience to have a car with what seemed so much power. It also introduced me to the build quality of VW cars. During my ownership there was a recall for the heater matrix and I had to take the Golf to our local dealer for the bypass modification. I was stunned that a 13 year old vehicle would be treated in such a way but I have since found that it does reflect VW brand reputation.

The other difference I found buying a 12 year old VW compared to Fords was the lack of rust. Even for a car of that age there was only minimal rust on the body yet previous Fiestas that were much younger had suffered from more serious rust.

The only surviving photo I can find of the car is one taken on the truck as it was taken away after the accident.

Photo of Golf GTI C650OFW written off
Photo of Golf GTI C650OFW written off

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Speed reading with different tyre sizes - How does Speedo read with non standard tyres?

The tyres on my VW Golf MK2 are different size to the ones that were originally supplied with the car which means the speed reading isn't the same as the standard tyres.

An excellent site called Car Bible has a calculator to show the rolling radius of different tyre sizes which allows calculation of the difference between the speedo reading and the actual vehicle speed.

 You can see that the radius of the 185/55R15 tyres fitted as standard is 1762mm but the 195/50R15 tyres now on the front wheels have a radius of 1737mm. This means that the speedo reading of 70mph is an actual speed of 69.0mph. Obviously this is very close and not visible on the speedo.

However the rear tyres are 195/45R15 which have a radius of 1678mm.This is a bigger difference and at 70mph shown on the speedo the car would actually be travelling at 67mph. Obviously this means that you are still safely within the speed limit but using larger tyres could mean the speedo reads low and at 70mph you could be actually breaking the speed limit.

Speed reading with different tyre sizes - How does Speedo read with non standard tyres?
Speed reading with different tyre sizes - How does Speedo read with non standard tyres?

Monday, 18 August 2014

Yellow Vauxhall Cavalier Mk1

After the selection of Fiestas I was looking to buy a house so needed a very cheap car for a few months having cleared the finance on the Fiesta I owned and subsequently sold. Price was of the essence so when a £200 yellow Vauxhall Cavalier Mk1 came up locally it fitted the bill. The car drove brilliantly and had some very long journeys without incident but had a minor problem that the alternator was broken so wouldn't hold charge. I ended up keeping a spare battery in the boot to start it each time!

Yellow Vauxhall Cavalier Mk1
Yellow 1980 Vauxhall Cavalier Mk1

Sunday, 17 August 2014

VW Golf Mk2 Correct Tyre Sizes - Which Tyres Fit?

What are the Correct Tyre Sizes for a VW Golf Mk2?

When a car gets to the kind of age of the VW Golf Mk2, the tyres that are on the car when it is purchased may not be the original sizes for the vehicle due to wheels being changed and tyres replaced over the years.

My 1989 VW Golf GTI is a perfect example. The front and rear tyres are different sizes despite both being 15" wheels. As can be seen below, the front tyres were 195/50/15 and the rear 195/45/15. You can see the official tyre info from the petrol filler cover which shows the correct size should be 185/55/15

You can check which tyres fit and how the tyre size affects the speedo readings here

Some tyres can make a significant difference with changes that could be nearly 10% different depending on sizes.


What are the Correct Tyre Sizes for a VW Golf Mk2?

Saturday, 16 August 2014

VW Golf MK2 Tailgate Trim Loose

The tailgate trim on my MK2 VW Golf was loose when I bought it and had been fixed using cable ties. The real clips to attach it properly were easy to find on Ebay and I discovered a fantastic local shop called B& B Components that supplies VW parts but also ships mail order.

I ordered a set of tailgate trim clips and removed the cable ties to put them on. On doing so I then discovered another problem in what has become a familiar routine of one job leading to another! The interior of the tailgate was seriously rusting so needed treatment to prevent it getting even worse.

Friday, 15 August 2014

VW Golf Electric Window Switch Broken

The passenger window switch was missing when I bought my MK2 Golf so one of the first jobs was to investigate what was wrong. A replacement switch was under £10 and very easy to fit. Having done so the window immediately worked again.

An easy and very cheap fix and I found it very odd that the previous owner hadn't bothered to do themselves.

I bought on Ebay from a seller called Tierod69 that also operate a shop nearby called B&B Components who have proved to be very useful for VW Golf Mk2 parts.

DVLA Vehicle History Records - Previous Owner Details

I heard that DVLA are able to provide a comprehensive vehicle history file so you are able to find out details of previous owners and dates that they vehicle registered keepers changed.

I decided to give it a try as it only cost £5 so I downloaded the form from the DVLA website, made a copy of some ID to confirm my address and sent the completed form off to them with a cheque for the fee.

It was a fairly long wait having sent the form off as it took about 6 weeks to come but is very comprehensive and well worth the fiver to get the history details of the car over the last 25 years.

For that I've got all registration documents for each change of owner since new and summary of owners. Really useful to see where it has been and how long it was owned. I'll make a short video to show the information that is provided but need to remove any personal data from it.

You can access the form on the DVLA website

VW Golf MK2 GTI 16V Repairs - List of Maintenance Jobs

I've started to document the various repairs and maintenance items that I've carried out since I bought my 1989 VW Golf MK2.

The link is on the side bar for every page and I'll try to update it as I carry out further maintenance tasks in future,

VW Golf repair and maintenance job list

VW Golf MK2 GTI 16V Repair List
VW Golf MK2 GTI 16V Repair List

New Replacement Window Guide for VW Golf Mk2

VW Golf Mk2 replacement window guide

Thanks to VW Heritage I now have a window guide so that I can refit the window in my MK2 Golf GTI. Unfortunately my local VW dealer were unable to supply the guide but could provide the bolts to attach the guide to the window regulator mechanism.

The photo above shows the new guide along with the  rubber insert. You can compare with the old rusted window guide here and the photo below.

It should be a fairly easy job to swap the electric window regulator mechanism and then fit the new window guide to the glass in the door. Hopefully this window guide will give another 25 years of service!

Rusted window guide VW Golf MK2

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Ford Fiesta MK3 1.6S 1989 G464NKL

I owned my MK3 Ford Fiesta 1.6S 1989 G464NKL in 1994, only selling in 1996 when I needed a bigger car for motorway driving following a promotion.

Ford Fiesta MK3 1.6S 1989 G464NKL
Ford Fiesta MK3 1.6S 1989 G464NKL

Black Ford Fiesta MK3 1.6S with twin spot lamps

Saturday, 9 August 2014

VW Golf Mk2 Electric Window Guide Channel Rusted - Window won't shut properly

When I bought my VW Golf Mk2 the driver's window had a fault that meant it worked fine on the electric window switch for dropping the window but to raise it again the glass had to be held as it would otherwise drop on one side. So why did the window not shut properly?

I had bought a new window regulator mechanism and assumed that one of the connectors had come adrift causing the window to not line up once it had been lowed. The actual cause was far worse! 

VW Golf Mk2 Electric Window Guide Channel Rusted
On closer inspection the window channel guide that the window glass slots into had rusted completely in the centre section where the guide attaches to the window regulator mechanism. Rather than replace the window guide (price around £10) a previous owner had glued the window guide retainer further along the metal from the rusted area. This now meant it was no longer central so the weight was not evenly spread and the window therefore fell down at one side as a result. In order to get the regulator to fit they had also had to bolt the regulator to different holes in the door, again pushing the weight away from the centre of gravity.

Fortunately a fairly easy and cheap fix to replace the window guide channel and rubber and refit to the new window regulator mechanism.