Author Topic: US VW Cabriolet 85  (Read 731 times)

Offline Madone_si

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US VW Cabriolet 85
« on: 22 February 2019, 21:28 »
Hi Everyone,

Brought myself a 85 cabriolet locally in Washington USA, brought from family from new and only had 2 family members drive it. low miles, LHD, runs and drives, has AC and power steering but needs some love and few things are not working, but who wants to buy a perfect mk1 anyhow! :laugh:

Plan is to get it running and working 100% and then I will focus on body work, new paint, interior and suspension, wheels and other areas I am thinking about upgrading.

Biggest issue to focus on straight away is a good clean inside and out, its seen better days!

Here is car!





Hopefully should be fun project and I hope to share my experience, what I learn, how I fix things and overall engage again with Golfgti family - you might also see now and updates on my other build - mk1 Golf Racer R updates too.

Thanks Si
Old Skool Mk1 Golf Gli (82), Mk1 US Cab 85 and 83
SOLD - BLACK SOY 92

Offline Madone_si

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Re: US VW Cabriolet 85
« Reply #1 on: 28 February 2019, 04:47 »
Well the northwest rain is keeping me from giving the car a good clean inside and out, so I started to check all the electrics inside the car and here is what I found

Open either door and inside light does not come on (does come on if push switch to on position) - need to check door switches and cables
Dashboard cluster - functioning correctly, expect - no lights coming on (will check blubs, fuses and dimmer switch)
Dashboard cluster clock (digi) not coming on - will check cluster, fuses)
Looks like the main lights only come on, I don't see any side light bulbs in my main light units - is this normal for US spec cabs? They come as standard in European models.
wipers work - little slow for my liking (will take out wiper unit and refurb or upgrade)
side indicators working at front and passenger rear, look like the drivers rear not working (discovered the whole light unit is not working) - need to investigate more.
Hazard switch works for 3 corners working
Heater unit works, due to this vw cab has AC installed, I need to read up more on each of the selections, I cannot hear the heater unit as I would from previous vw cabs I've had, but then again none of them had AC installed. Interesting when select #3 on heater knob the radiator fan comes on - not sure if that is normal either.
Original stereo / Radio - working fine, speakers are blown and the Aerial Antenna  needs replacing.
There is an alarm system installed in the car, but it looks like someone disconnected it - there are wires everywhere - that will be a job for weekend to trace it all and take out. (Clifford alarm - I hate these makes, had one in the UK and it used to go off whenever it liked!)
Rear window defroster switch is solid and not working (I pulled this out of the dash and found the following below) - need to trace the cabling back to the main loom and see if any other cables are impacted too.


Well looks like the switch over heated and melted, I need to order a new switch and rear connector as well. switch should be easy to order, but I'm not seeing connector for sale anywhere. Time to widen my search to various online forums :)







When I drove the car back home, the oil pressure light and buzzer was going off when I went over 2k, I know this is one of the oil switches on the oil filter unit, I tested it after it started to happen on the side of the road (Full details on this issue is well documented but for others here are few links)
https://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?2049336
http://www.cabby-info.com/gauges.htm
https://www.reflectionsandshadows.com/cabby/dopws.html

I wonder what else I will find wrong with this cab???
Old Skool Mk1 Golf Gli (82), Mk1 US Cab 85 and 83
SOLD - BLACK SOY 92

Offline Madone_si

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Re: US VW Cabriolet 85
« Reply #2 on: 28 February 2019, 22:36 »
So here one of the other mk1 cabs I have as well, its actually in good condition. This one is automatic 1983. Not sure what I am going to do with the second one, might strip it and make into a cab racer with 16v or R32 conversion as a friend of mine wants to learn how to work on cars and race.

Need a good clean and starts and runs.


interior is in amazing condition - big bonus


So back to 85 cab got a custom car cover, as this car sits outside most of the time, due to other cars taking up garage space and the car port area.



So I started to look and find where the alarm system was - well it was not hard, it was glued to the underside of the lower dashboard right next to the main loom and also sensor unit (Broken) inside the center console and wiring to the starter and battery. I have most of it out, just got few pieces of wires to clean up.

Who ever installed it was a cowboy, the wiring is a mess.





I have complete gear shifter kit, so not too worried about this one being rusted out, but it now makes me want to take out all the seats and carpet to make sure there is no further rust anywhere else.

Fuse cover has seen better days!



Also ordered myself mkII throttle body - get better throttle response once I have all the other mods done too (going to keep the 8v engine with CIS.

Old Skool Mk1 Golf Gli (82), Mk1 US Cab 85 and 83
SOLD - BLACK SOY 92

Offline Madone_si

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Re: US VW Cabriolet 85
« Reply #3 on: 01 March 2019, 17:26 »
Productive few hours today.

1. Finished up removal of the alarm system - Clifford you are done!
2. Removed cluster from dashboard - some switches broken ;(
3. Fix the cluster clock and tested everything
4. Managed to get nice upgrade item - could not stop myself!

All the parts I removed from the car relating to the alarm - took hour to rip it all out, didn't even have to remove anything - that is how bad this installation was!


Before taking out cluster in dashboard


sadly few of the switches broke as taking out - they just come apart with backs coming off - its happens no big deal, will order new ones. The worst one was main light and cluster light adjustor (this could be why my cluster lights not work - but will validate that with testing cluster and each bulb.


I don't think this cluster has ever been taken out.. (which is good)


Super clean cluster, so happy no damage.


cluster taken apart and you can see broken switches at the top left and I got spare replacement clock unit too, as my original was dead. Also tested each cluster bulb and they all worked, so I think the main light switch is the main cause.


Testing the new clock unit - it works!


and all back together again, I also installed superbrightleds - bulbs - so I can see the cluster in dash!


The cluster with new LEDs - lit up on my desk - they really are bright now :peace:



and here is my little upgrade item - vw mk2 recaro seats - I will be having them completely rebuilt (part of whole interior being done) - I will do most of the work but get an amazing local upholstery company redo cloth for me.
Old Skool Mk1 Golf Gli (82), Mk1 US Cab 85 and 83
SOLD - BLACK SOY 92

Offline Madone_si

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Re: US VW Cabriolet 85
« Reply #4 on: 03 March 2019, 17:15 »
oops another mk1 upgrade item bought today!

Managed to pick up set of 14x6.5 4x100 ET30 BBS RM wheels, need to sort out new center caps. With dropping the car on coilovers (need to figure out which coilovers yet) and these wheels should get a really nice low look but very functional.





Old Skool Mk1 Golf Gli (82), Mk1 US Cab 85 and 83
SOLD - BLACK SOY 92

Offline Madone_si

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Re: US VW Cabriolet 85
« Reply #5 on: 06 March 2019, 18:06 »
Well managed to stay dry for most of the day for me to do some electrical work on cab.



Start out with replacing the rear window defrost connector. Compare new and old, cut the wires ready for soldering wires so everything is done right and protecting the soldering of wires.

The issue;


new connector


wires ready


loom wires ready


tools of choice to solder and heat up protection over soldering


key to make sure wires are intertwined and then add solder and after minute, put protection sleeve over and heat up for perfect finish.


all done on defrost wiring. I did add electrical tape just in front of the protection sleeves to make sure all wires are together just like OEM finish before.


Now moved onto the starter motor power cable in the engine bay. When I removed the alarm system they cut into that cable and well it was not done well so I wanted to repair it right. Here is cable pulled out and showing what was in place.


I noticed the wires was about 4-5 inches short cut to cutting and cleaning up, so add a new section to the wire, clean wires intertwined and soldering and protection sleeves add.


All the crap taken out from that single wire.


Tested the car to make sure starter kicks in and started the car :) - works perfect.

Now onto the rear of the car and why drivers side rear light unit is now working and replace the rear boot strut as it wasn't work.


Well after looking at both sides of the rear lights unit, it was clear the issue was just rust on all the connectors, so took out both, cleaned them up and place back (20 minutes of work later) and lights all working perfectly.. I get a feeling I am going to discover more ground issues on this cab...


Now moved back inside the car and temp installed the dashboard and most of the switches to test out work I did on cluster - happy to say clock is working and everything else works as need but with one issue. The cluster lights and some of the switches lights are not working..


So time to check the fuses and relay and grounds to figure out why cluster and some switches are not lighting up.

Well everything looks ok on fuse/relay box or is it?


Well this is not good...


and the top two relays had alot of rust too on relays and on the connectors too..


So getting the fuse/relay box out was easy but the star ground connectors are pain to get too, so I remove the lower sub-bar dashboard (that was not fun to do)


checked all the relays, cleaned up most of the connectors, but two of them are bad, so I think I will need to take them apart see if I can clean them and test them - 26 and 37 are the worst ones.


Relay 37 taken apart.


Cleaned up well and was just the pins that had rust, rest was perfectly clean inside


Relay 26 on the other hand had rust inside and I could not clean it without breaking parts and seeing as I can get a replacement for real cheap - I ordered new one


I took out the star ground x2 connectors they are so bad and had a lot of rust also on the bolt to the metal bracket, I need to order new ones and clean up the bracket too. Will show more on that on next update. I did so a quick test with ground from brown cluster cable to back of the dash metal and the cluster lights came on, so I know I have ground issues - well that is nothing new for a mk1 owner.. :banghead::laugh:
Old Skool Mk1 Golf Gli (82), Mk1 US Cab 85 and 83
SOLD - BLACK SOY 92

Offline Madone_si

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Re: US VW Cabriolet 85
« Reply #6 on: 08 March 2019, 00:14 »
more investigation into the source of water leak. It could be the antenna its broken but its more than likely the 20mm hole on drivers side 50% outside and 50% under the front wind screen (its the only hole and rust area I can find on the outside of the car) - typical!

All grommets look good in the engine area on firewall area - I will check them all anyhow and replace if any break or not up to my standard.

I spent today clean my spare cabriolet top cover, got it in December. Plan is to clean it up see how it looks afterwards, if good use it, if not I think I will dye it Black.

before


during


after


one area looks to be unclean able :(


So end result is it cleaned up well and everything is good enough to use, but I am going to dye it Black so now looking into how to get that done :laugh:
Old Skool Mk1 Golf Gli (82), Mk1 US Cab 85 and 83
SOLD - BLACK SOY 92

Offline Simeon

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Re: US VW Cabriolet 85
« Reply #7 on: 08 March 2019, 15:58 »
Great work mate, reminds me of watching Edd China work on cars on Wheeler Dealers, very methodical :)

Lots of rusty connectors eh, I hate electrical gremlins, usually such a pain to find and fix

Offline Madone_si

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Re: US VW Cabriolet 85
« Reply #8 on: 08 March 2019, 17:20 »
Thanks Simeon - maybe I should start up a youtube channel  :laugh:  :smug:

yeah the rusty connectors are everywhere.. I think this car sat outside not used for long while  :cry:
Old Skool Mk1 Golf Gli (82), Mk1 US Cab 85 and 83
SOLD - BLACK SOY 92

Offline Madone_si

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Re: US VW Cabriolet 85
« Reply #9 on: 12 March 2019, 17:53 »
little update - cleaned up the star ground connectors with vinegar - worked a treat.

Just placed into bowl with vinegar


few hours later


and with wipe of cloth - looking like new again.


I have to wire brush the inside yet.

The next challenge is how do I get the rust of the end ground loom cable up inside the dashboard. Been thinking about putting vinegar in bowl and into a clear bag and placing the cables into the bag and bowl and then somehow hold the bag up in place so vinegar can do its thing to the cable end pins. Will try out and see what happens..

Next week is going to be exciting and big update... all exterior is coming out and sending off to get new look....
Old Skool Mk1 Golf Gli (82), Mk1 US Cab 85 and 83
SOLD - BLACK SOY 92