Author Topic: tomparkes - Mk4 1.8T AUM - Dec 2012 to Present  (Read 4393 times)

Offline tomparkes

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tomparkes - Mk4 1.8T AUM - Dec 2012 to Present
« on: 27 July 2013, 19:42 »
Hi all,

I’ve been a member here since December 2012, but haven’t really posted too much – mainly because everything I would want to ask, as somebody new to the Mk4 GTI, has already been covered a number of times! Found loads of useful threads and advice on here and I check in pretty much every day to see what’s going on. Finally decided to start my own Dub Rides thread, as things have recently started picking up with my car – here’s my story (might turn into a bit of an essay, so apologies):

Bought myself a 53 plate Mk4 GTI 1.8T (AUM) in December 2012 – car was registered in January 2004 and had done only 45,000 miles when I bought it (2 previous owners). Result! It’s a 3-door in Reflex Silver, and cosmetically in pretty decent condition for a nearly 10 year old car – there’s a couple of minor scuffs on some panels but nothing too severe. I was more concerned with the mechanics to be honest, as I wanted something that was decent to drive and was never looking to win any show’n’shines with it! Took it for a test drive, had a long look round, was pretty happy with the service history and the way it looked and drove, so I put down a deposit. There was some pretty nasty paint on the rear bumper (what I could only describe as water damage – like white, dried droplets) and the central locking didn’t work (only the driver’s door unlocked, and when you pressed the button twice on the key fob the passenger door and boot wouldn’t open). So I left it with the dealer to get the bumper re-sprayed and sort out the central locking. A week later, they’d sprayed the bumper but couldn’t fix the central locking – in that time, having read on here that it would probably be a case of disconnecting the battery for 10 minutes then re-connecting, I told them not to worry about it and went and collected it (turned out the battery trick fixed it, so that was sweet too – the mechanic apparently had all the door cards off and the locking mechanisms in pieces, managed to get it working and then re-assembled it. Didn’t work again. I told the dealer to get him to disconnect the battery for 10 minutes, have a cuppa, and re-connect. They didn’t bother doing that. Well done!)  :huh:

Having just forked out on the car, insurance & tax (only had a month left when I bought it :sad:), and with Christmas round the corner I knew any more big spending would have to wait, but there were a few things I had to get sorted soon. I’ve been driving for 8 years but this is the first car I’ve owned that I planned to modify – had a few rust-buckets over the years and there was never any point in spending money on them, despite always having an interest in doing so. I started out with “standard” insurance, as I knew I just wanted to get it on the road and wouldn’t be making any drastic modifications for a while – I’ve recently cancelled this and am now insured with Greenlight, with all my planned mods included in my policy. That’s really why I’ve decided to start this thread, because I’m now able to do pretty much what I want with the car (money permitting!) and have already got a few minor things sorted.

Here’s a few pictures of the car on the forecourt when I bought it:









You can see the nasty paint damage on the right hand side of the rear bumper – they did a decent job with the re-spray so thankfully that was long gone when I picked it up the following week. You might also notice the nasty dealer stickers and plate surrounds, and the ridiculously steamy windows... I’d just bought myself a Mk4 – yep, it was full of water! :grin: After a load of searching on forums, including this one, I found some possible culprits for where the leak was coming from. No water in the footwells, just a nice paddling pool in the spare wheel well. Eventually my alarm started going off randomly and I found it was because the boot lock mechanism was soaked (alarm thought the boot was being opened). Thankfully I managed to rescue the situation by drying it off and spraying it with WD40 to disperse any remaining water. I peeled back the carpet and the rear vents looked in good nick, so I took all the interior boot trim off and poured some water over the boot. Found that I had a nice little gap at the bottom of my rear window (looked like some shoddy welding to me!), so I cleaned it out and filled it in with a stupid amount of silicone sealant. Let it dry, poured more water over and the leak was fixed. I managed to buy a Mk4 during one of the wettest winters on record – nice one! But thankfully the fix was very simple and cost about a tenner to sort it out. I now had (for the moment, anyway!) a damp-free car and didn’t have to spend hours waiting for the windows to de-mist when I got in the car in the morning. 8 months later and the repair is still holding up, so I’m pretty pleased. No pics of any of this I’m afraid, as I wasn’t thinking about starting a thread then – more concerned with getting rid of my mobile paddling pool, to be honest.

Next up was getting the dealer stickers off, and also replacing the grubby old side repeaters with clear ones – picked up a pair of genuine used ones from eBay for £8. They were in perfect condition and were a doddle to fit – made the car look a lot cleaner in my opinion:

Before:








After:




I also picked up some new (not genuine, but do the trick) VW centre caps from eBay for another whopping £8, as the existing ones were knackered and made the Monty II’s look pretty nasty. Didn’t get any before and after pics actually, but it definitely made a difference. These are starting to look a little bit worn now after 8 months on the car, but they’d easily last a year before you might consider replacing them (£8 a year doesn’t make me feel too sick).

After a good clean, the exterior was taking shape and I had a pretty nice looking standard GTI:





I let about a month pass and then gave the car a minor service – pollen filter was replaced, new oil and oil filter, spark plugs cleaned and gapped, air filter and air filter housing cleaned, and MAF cleaned.



This made the car feel quite a bit better, but I was still experiencing a slightly “lumpy” drive. It was lacking power and seemed to be surging quite a lot in 1st and 2nd gear in low revs – thought my MAF might be knackered or I had a boost leak, or something equally unpleasant. Put some new spark plugs in a couple of months later and it sorted it. Pretty handy seeing as it cost me about £30 for some NGK PFR6Q’s :smiley: Now she drives like she should (until I get it re-mapped, of course).

Few little cheap interior mods to stop me throwing up every time I looked at the walnut centre console:



VW tax disc holder:


Silver door lock pins:




TT pedals:




Cheapo Chinese eBay gear knob & gaiter:






Matt black door pulls:






Pulled out all the centre console trim, sanded it, primed it, painted it black and gave it a couple of coats of lacquer – also popped in a nice shiny new black Pioneer head unit while I was at it:




All I need now are some custom floor mats to match my seats (black and anthracite grey) and I’ll be pretty pleased with the interior. Definitely come a long way from the nasty factory look – never had the money for Anni/R32 trim, and I like the simple black/grey appearance. Ties it together nicely. I’d probably also be sh1te at vinyl wrapping, but I know I’m half decent with a spray can :smiley: The finish is very smooth and it wipes clean really easily. Looks quite shiny in the pics, but it actually blends in nicely with the rest of the black dash when you see it in person.

Got myself some Wolfsburg plate surrounds, some nice clean new plates (going to get some legal pressed ones soon actually), an Anni GTI front grill badge and a bee-sting aerial – smartened up the exterior quite nicely, and on the cheap:





2004 1.8T AUM | CM Silicone Hoses | Pipercross Panel Filter | Smoothed Stock Airbox | Weitec Ultra GT -40mm Springs & Shocks | Genuine 18" Anni BBS RC's | Anni GTI Front Grill Badge | Sharan Rear Badge | Polo Stubby Aerial | Black Centre Console

My Build Thread

Offline tomparkes

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Re: tomparkes - Mk4 1.8T AUM - Dec 2012 to Present
« Reply #1 on: 27 July 2013, 19:43 »
I let some time pass and then it was time for some big spending – there was no record of the cambelt/water pump having ever been changed, and seeing as the car was 9 years old when I bought it, it really was time to bite the bullet. Got both sorted (not something I fancied tackling myself), so now I’ve got a bit of peace of mind that it’s done, and I’m happy to continue modifying.

Next up I wanted to get rid of my horrible scored, rusted rear brake discs and cruddy old pads. Not too expensive for parts which I ordered online at VW Spares – never really done anything to cars before but am reasonably handy, so read up a lot online and in the Haynes manual, watched a few videos on YouTube and decided I could easily do it myself. Ordered a caliper rewinding tool for about £20 I think on eBay, and set about doing it – really wasn’t difficult and it smartened the rear end up a bit and makes the car stop slightly better. Useful :wink:







I also decided to bleed the entire system while I was at it and give it some tasty new Dot 4 to drink – bought myself a Gunson Eezibleed, which I found to be an absolute heap of sh1te. It seemed to work well, and I thought everything was going swimmingly. Finished the job and had very little resistance from the brake pedal (until it hit the floor, of course). I kept pumping in the hope it would sort itself out – then my brake fluid warning light started shouting at me. Good. So I checked the reservoir and topped it up, thinking it might need to settle into the system and need a little top up. Nope, was just drinking it. Where the funk was it going? Turns out I’d failed to tighten the rear driver side bleed nipple back up properly – nice one. All the fluid was spewing out. So I nabbed a lift to Halfords to get myself another bottle of Dot 4 (good, bit more money then), and had another attempt with the Eezibleed. This time I made sure everything was tightened back up and was positive it would work. Nope. There was a stupid amount of air in the system and I copped the right ‘ump. Left the car overnight and gave it another go in the morning – my dad helped me this time, and we did it the “old-fashioned” way by bleeding each caliper at a time, depressing the brake pedal 10 times or so to get all the old (actually, now new after my two failed attempts!) fluid and air out. Went round each wheel, still thinking it would probably be knackered (having never tried anything like this before I didn’t have the highest of hopes), only to find the old man had sorted it with his heavy right foot. Good pressure from the brake pedal and no leaks. It now stops a bit sharper than before (I think) and it’s re-assuring to know that the brake fluid is clean and new, and not full of water. Sorted.

I also whacked a new fuel filter on the same weekend, as I was still getting the lumpy, lack-of-power driving – fuel filter didn’t do anything, but it cost less than a tenner, took about 30 minutes to fit and can’t hurt as a general service item. The following weekend I fitted the new spark plugs, as mentioned earlier, and this cured the nasty lumpiness (ohh err). Service-wise, that’s everything I’ve done to date. The car really is driving sweet now, so I’m happy to start spending a little bit more on modifying it, knowing that I’ve got myself a decent base to begin with :smiley:

Got my “modified” insurance sorted with Greenlight, and first-things-first I ordered a Pipercross Panel filter and set about smoothing out the stock airbox:





Also stuck the Pipercross stickers on top of the airbox cover for some engine bay bling:



I ordered a Creations Motorsport TIP and 5-piece boost kit:



Managed to get a couple of the hoses fitted the other week, but struggled with some of the others. Needed a bit more time to tackle those, so will give it a go soon – I got the stock TIP off but couldn’t for the life of me get the CM one to fit in there! I’ll have to get the coolant pipes off the side of the engine to make enough room, but again need a bit more time to mess with this. Got the two easy ones in (N75 pipe and DV-to-inlet) and whacked the CM sticker on my top cover, and also in my rear window:





Getting hacked off with the noisy SAI pump on cold startup, I got under the car and drilled out the knackered old rivets and secured it back together with some shiny new nuts, bolts and washers. Seemed to do the trick slightly – still growls a bit for 30 seconds or so, but it no longer sounds like a lawn mower and doesn’t give me the ridiculous “whoosh” when it shuts down, like I had before. I discovered that by covering the end of the hose (which should connect to the airbox I think, but there doesn’t appear to be a hole for it anywhere!?) with my hand, the noise stopped. So I taped it up with some duct tape, thinking it would be fine – drove it for two days before an emissions light appeared on my dash! Scanned it when I got home from work to find a fault code (which I now forget) that told me the SAI hoses were blocked. Better get rid of that tape then! Took the tape off, cleared the code – light disappeared from the dash and hasn’t come on since. Suppose I’ll just live with the bit of noise on startup. Before fixing the SAI, if I drove off while it was operational, the car would be extremely jerky and erratic. It doesn’t seem to do that any more, so at least the new bolts served some kind of purpose.

Took delivery of this last week:



The car is my daily driver and I’m not looking to slam it to the ground – I want a nice tidy drop, and to sort the handling out slightly. After a lot of research, I settled upon the Weitec (by KW) Ultra GT 40mm Springs & Shocks – bought from Damian at DPM Performance, who is a really helpfuly bloke. I’ve come to the conclusion that cheap coilovers wouldn’t be for me, so I’d rather spend the same money on springs & shocks in the hope of getting a better quality product. I’ve read only positive things about the Weitec gear – dropped the front springs & shocks with my VW mechanic mate earlier today who is going to assemble everything for me (I’ve got all new OEM top mounts, bearings, bushes and plates) and come over to fit it all one evening this week. Looking forward to getting it lowered slightly and having it feel more solid round the corners. Definitely likes to bounce and roll on the standard suspension! Will get pics up as soon as it’s done (hopefully this week, if not next) – should make a nice subtle difference to the appearance of the car. I’m going for OEM+ really, as I want it to be comfortable for daily use, practical, but stylish. Got plenty more plans for it yet, but lowering it was the first of my “major” mods I wanted to get sorted. 40mm is perfect for me, as it’ll close the arch gap up nicely (will look better when I get some 18s and spacers on it), firm up the handling, but I won’t encounter any problems with the ARB. I looked at the Eibach 30mm springs, but wanted to upgrade the shocks too and fancied a bit more of a drop. So the Weitec 40mm kit seems perfect for me – if I want it lower then I’m fooked, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be happy with it...

Lastly, I gave the car a good detail last weekend – I’ve never done much more than washing and the occasional bit of polishing in the past. Gave it a good two-bucket wash & dry, then got myself some Megs clay and detailing spray and clayed the entire car. It was pretty nasty. Now it’s smooth as glass :cool: I treated a few minor scuffs and scratches with Megs Scratch X 2.0, then I polished the whole thing (by hand – not got a DA or anything so the results aren’t fantastic, but I was almost dead on Sunday night!) with Autoglym SRP, sealed it with Autoglym EGP and finally waxed it with G3 Professional Super Gloss Paste Wax. I then gave the tyres a going over with Autoglym Instant Tyre Dressing – as my first attempt at a “proper” detailing session, I was pretty please with the results to be honest. There’s still a few minor swirls on the paintwork which I would eventually like to get out, but I think I need a stronger compound (suggestions welcome – maybe the Scratch X is suitable?) and most likely a DA to help me. But it was shining quite nicely when I was finished :smiley:









So, pretty much up-to-date now – an epic post, I know, but I’ve consolidated about 8 months worth into one hit! If you’re still awake, congratulations. You’re probably now in desperate need of a strong drink, but my future posts won’t be quite as tedious – I don’t think...

Thanks for reading and hopefully this will be of some use/interest to somebody out there – I had basically no experience working on cars before buying the Golf at the end of last year, and through helpful posts and the people on forums such as this, I’ve learned absolutely loads. It’s a wicked hobby, and as my mate who owned a pretty-much “show quality” Mk2 into which he’d thrown thousands of pounds has told me: “It’s all downhill from here, mate...” :laugh:

Cheers, Tom.


2004 1.8T AUM | CM Silicone Hoses | Pipercross Panel Filter | Smoothed Stock Airbox | Weitec Ultra GT -40mm Springs & Shocks | Genuine 18" Anni BBS RC's | Anni GTI Front Grill Badge | Sharan Rear Badge | Polo Stubby Aerial | Black Centre Console

My Build Thread

Offline FlashRedThree

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Re: tomparkes - Mk4 1.8T AUM - Dec 2012 to Present
« Reply #2 on: 03 October 2013, 21:49 »
Looking good mate, looks in a much better state now than when you bought it!

Offline Wayne

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Re: tomparkes - Mk4 1.8T AUM - Dec 2012 to Present
« Reply #3 on: 03 October 2013, 21:56 »
Looks a really nice, clean and tidy car :smiley:
Quote from: Diamond Hell
You suck at buying cars, please take the pointy D hat from Wayne and go sit in the corner.

Offline tomparkes

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Re: tomparkes - Mk4 1.8T AUM - Dec 2012 to Present
« Reply #4 on: 30 October 2013, 13:53 »
Cheers! Haven't checked this in a while actually - I'll get an update on here soon with a few new photos, as I've had my suspension on for the past couple of months now and will be fitting my refurbished Anni BBS RC's on Saturday, so should be looking pretty decent by then... :cool:


2004 1.8T AUM | CM Silicone Hoses | Pipercross Panel Filter | Smoothed Stock Airbox | Weitec Ultra GT -40mm Springs & Shocks | Genuine 18" Anni BBS RC's | Anni GTI Front Grill Badge | Sharan Rear Badge | Polo Stubby Aerial | Black Centre Console

My Build Thread

Offline caravanking

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Re: tomparkes - Mk4 1.8T AUM - Dec 2012 to Present
« Reply #5 on: 02 November 2013, 21:54 »
Yeah I would like to see this with the weitec shocks and dampers. I think my plans would be fairly close to yours tbh, although mine on a 5 door. looking good anyway!

Offline tomparkes

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Re: tomparkes - Mk4 1.8T AUM - Dec 2012 to Present
« Reply #6 on: 11 November 2013, 19:59 »
Time for a little bit of an update...

So I had the Weitec Ultra GT -40mm Springs & Shocks fitted. I only got one photo of the car on the standard Monty II's and it's not the best, but here it is:



Gave a pretty nice little drop, and the handling was way better - I think the arch gap looks bigger in this picture because of the shadows, and also the fact the Monty's are sunk back into the arch a little way. Definitely felt a big improvement over the standard suspension, and the comfort really wasn't compromised much at all.

I recently bought a set of refurbished genuine BBS Anni RC's through the classifieds section of this forum - they didn't come with centres as these were apparently really damaged and hadn't been refurbed, so I did a load of searching and found just one thread over on UKMKIV's with some pretty tenuous instructions on how to fashion your own using cheapo plastic 65mm centre caps, some sandpaper and a hot glue gun :cool: Results look pretty sweet in my opinion - got a nice fresh new set of wheel bolt covers as well, and I like the look of it. At the moment I can't really justify near £200 on a set of new genuine centres, so this will do the trick for now:



Basically, the 65mm caps don't actually clip in but they're the perfect diameter for the hole - you sand the clips down by about 5mm, then using a hot glue gun stick them into the hole. They don't budge whatsoever, and I've been driving the car for 10 days now without one flying off, so I'm pretty sure they'll stay on. Getting them off would be simple enough though - take the wheel off, flip it over and using some isopropyl alcohol the glue would give and they pop off. Simples! Took me less than an hour to get them all sorted, and it's a nice little touch to an otherwise "standard" OEM wheel.

The finish on the wheels is great - might not be an exact match for the factory finish, but it looks decent to my eye. The wheels suit the car, and as I'm going for the OEM+ route, I'm pretty chuffed with these. Few more pics:







Handling-wise, the car now feels even better running on 18's - the ride is a little firmer due to the lower profile tyres than on the 16's, but it's still very comfortable. Seeing as it's my daily and I drive over a few speedbumps and some dodgy road surfaces on my way to and from work, it's really not that noticeable.

For tyres I went with Falken's, and they're excellent - it's been pretty wet in the week or so since I've had them on the car, and the grip is superb. Don't feel any give going around roundabouts in the rain (not that I'm bombing it in those conditions!), so it's pretty re-assuring.

The bigger wheels have helped fill the arches, and the lower offset has also pushed them out a little more - definitely looks better now than on the Monty's so I'm pleased with the results. I still need some 15mm spacers on the rear, as these definitely are tucked in a little further and could do with a little bit of help to get the stance just right. Getting there though :smiley:

Last week I spent a few evenings getting my new Sharan rear badge painted up - fitted it on Sunday and it's made a pretty nice difference to the back of the car. I'm still debating whether or not I want to debadge it - I'm quite proud of the fact I drive a GTI and don't know if I'm ready to part with that just yet! :rolleyes: I'm edging towards it, but we'll see. I also fitted a new Polo stubby aerial bought from Wooosh on the forum here and it looks way better than my nasty cheap beesting I had on before. Not got any pics of this yet, but will get one up soon.

Here's the old rear badge:



And here's the Sharan one with colour-coded backing:



I'm pretty happy with the colour match - it's not a million miles off for a tin of Halfords spray paint! I got a decent smooth finish and made sure to polish it up with Meguiar's Scratch X (to remove any last signs of orange peel), followed by Autoglym SRP for a nice shine before gluing it back together:



I still need to polish around the outside, as at the top of the picture you can see the rim of where the old badge was - didn't quite have time as the light was fading yesterday after I'd stuck the new one on. The colour isn't an exact match, but on a small badge it's not that noticeable - don't think I'd be too happy painting a whole valance or something that way as it would stick out like a sore thumb. Think I'll leave those jobs to the pros!

My next plans are:

Aero Rear Wiper (really think the standard wiper spoils the rear of the car, but couldn't live without one!)
Painted Calipers (not sure what colour - red, black, or silver?)
Mudflaps (got the rears, just need to fit them and buy some fronts)
Uprated Headlight Bulbs (Osram Nightbreakers are top of my list so far...)
15mm Rear Spacers
Anni Side Skirts
Anni Front Valance
4Motion Rear Valance (all painted silver to match the car)
Milltek Catback System with Twin GT80 Style Pipes
Forge DV008
R-Tech Stage 1 Re-Map
Few little things to the interior

Basically, I need to find the time and more importantly the money to get these done, but I'm pretty happy with how the car's progressing now. Certainly sitting and handling a little better, and the new wheels and a few subtle touches have helped get the exterior more towards where I want it. No longer looks like a standard GTI, and I'm good with that :wink:

Cheers!
« Last Edit: 11 November 2013, 20:04 by tomparkes »


2004 1.8T AUM | CM Silicone Hoses | Pipercross Panel Filter | Smoothed Stock Airbox | Weitec Ultra GT -40mm Springs & Shocks | Genuine 18" Anni BBS RC's | Anni GTI Front Grill Badge | Sharan Rear Badge | Polo Stubby Aerial | Black Centre Console

My Build Thread

Offline iansabf

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Re: tomparkes - Mk4 1.8T AUM - Dec 2012 to Present
« Reply #7 on: 11 November 2013, 21:10 »
This is looking nice Tom. I think a boot spoiler would suit it we'll. Have you considered joey'd headlights? Both quite cheap to do and make a sublet difference.

Offline tomparkes

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Re: tomparkes - Mk4 1.8T AUM - Dec 2012 to Present
« Reply #8 on: 11 November 2013, 21:38 »
This is looking nice Tom. I think a boot spoiler would suit it we'll. Have you considered joey'd headlights? Both quite cheap to do and make a sublet difference.

Thanks mate!

Yeah a boot spoiler would definitely look decent - wouldn't mind doing that when I get the new valances and side skirts on it actually, that way I can get everything painted in one hit.

Not really considered the joey mod - might do some reading into that to see what I think. Cheers for the suggestions! :smiley:


2004 1.8T AUM | CM Silicone Hoses | Pipercross Panel Filter | Smoothed Stock Airbox | Weitec Ultra GT -40mm Springs & Shocks | Genuine 18" Anni BBS RC's | Anni GTI Front Grill Badge | Sharan Rear Badge | Polo Stubby Aerial | Black Centre Console

My Build Thread

Offline tomparkes

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Re: tomparkes - Mk4 1.8T AUM - Dec 2012 to Present
« Reply #9 on: 16 November 2013, 18:57 »
Quick update - today I fitted a replica Mk5 rear wiper assemply, which I bought from the Bay for £13. Compared to the genuine article, it looks pretty decent and fits just fine. Along with the Sharan badge and Polo aerial, it's definitely smartened up the rear. Dead simple job, but I couldn't find much info about it online so I've posted a quick how to guide over in the Mk4 section as well:

http://www.golfgtiforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=261673.0

Old:





vs. New:





2004 1.8T AUM | CM Silicone Hoses | Pipercross Panel Filter | Smoothed Stock Airbox | Weitec Ultra GT -40mm Springs & Shocks | Genuine 18" Anni BBS RC's | Anni GTI Front Grill Badge | Sharan Rear Badge | Polo Stubby Aerial | Black Centre Console

My Build Thread