Well its been a long time between drinks for my Mk1 or even posting on vortex.
Alot has been happening over the years, but I'll just focus on the Mk1. Yes its still going!
Last time I raced it, was April 2011!!
After hearing about a big group of mk1 numbers at a recent VW drag event in QLD Australia, I figured it was time to maybe have another crack with it.
So back in went the Spec drag clutch & the locked diff. diesel 4spd box.
I also fitted a new spherical shifter base for a more positive shift, as the original one was still fitted from 1976. The stock one wasn't sloppy, just time for an upgrade.
I also fitted some new front control arm bushes. When I first built this 76'er, I upgraded to 1979 arms with the larger balljoints & they still had the original bushes fitted from new.
They weren't stuffed, but when you'd launch the car, the front wheel's would pull forward causing the alignment to pull into toe-out & the car would wander through the first 60ft.
The new bushes are stiffer & noisy, but reduced the wheels movement on the launch.
Another thing was to get some new tyres, as the original Toyo RA1'a I use to use are shot & hard.
There are not many motorsport/drag tyres out there that are a street radial, 205 wide max & only 22" tall
So I was left with very few options. So on went some new Toyo R888. on some stock mk1 13" widened rims to 6".
After all the bits were fitted it, a service (as it was just over 10K since its last one), new gapped plugs etc., it was onto getting the tune dialed back in.
After a few power runs I felt the mixtures, boost & timing were good & safe & the car felt strong pulling hard 2-4th..
So packed my stuff & waited for the next day.
First thing, got everything ready, threw in some Nulon octane booster as a safety barrier if I decided to put a few more degrees of timing in it & headed off to race it.
Half way into the trip I noticed the car felt very sluggish & didn't rev freely to its 7000 limit.
The mixtures were alittle bit over the place & rechecked the ignition timing at the track. It hadn't moved & was all good.
As its my daily driver (not weekend car! Its my only car at the moment), I had to be careful how I launched it, as I also had to drive it home.
I'm also entered in the 5 day/4 track Drag Week type event here in OZ in a couple of weeks.
So not only do I want test it out after all this time, also try & run some good numbers with it, but also have to be careful not to break it.
First run, no issues heating the tyres in 2nd gear. Staged, 2-step, build boost & launched gingerly & it struggled to rev & barely made anywhere near its boost limit! WTF! [email protected] 2.3 60ft. I was confused!
Came back & looked over everything. Everything was good. Timing was good, mixtures were all over the place though.
Screwed the boost controller up alittle bit & had another crack.
Boost still didn't want to come up, struggled to rev & [email protected] I thought this is crap! It was heaps better yesterday.
So I decided to start pulling fuel out of the tune to lean it off a bit.
Next run [email protected] 2.0 60ft. Still crap & its best for the night!
This was basically how the night went on. Pulling more & more fuel out of it till it was lean & didn't make any difference! I was confused.
It was down 3mph from its best.
I thought, I know the K-jet is a very finicky & temperament system to different brands of fuels & thought maybe the octane booster has played funny buggers with it.
The tank was nearly empty after the runs, & filled up with fresh BP Ultimate. Its 1.5hr trip each way to the track. Half way home with the fresh fuel, it started picking up grunt again & had no issues building boost or revving to its limit! By the time I got home, it was turning the sticky tyres from a 60km roll-on without issue!
So I put the night down to a learning experience in regards to octane boost & K-jet, as I'd never tried it before & it failed.
But it was still good to get out racing after all these years & have a crack at it again
Also to test it before drag challenge & also be able to do a 3hr round trip, race it & not break anything.
& if anyone has experience racing early fwd VW's, its like trying to hammer a nail in with a glass hammer! You can't be violent with these drivetrains.
Was also surprised at the attention the rust bucket received too.
All positive & were very surprised. Especially when you say its a stock early 1.8L, journal bearing turbo & mechanical injection (which 99% of people didn't even know there was such a thing!) & it has gone faster.
I would of like to at least run low 13's at least after a long hiatus , but it wasn't meant to be tonight.
So will put another tank of fuel through, put all the tune settings back to how they were originally (I checked, marked & wrote down everything before playing around with the tune) & start again & have another shot in a couple of weeks.
I can't guarantee any times, but I'd like to make it through the week with a low 13's average, but the ultimate would be to see a 12 again after a 4+ year rest from racing.
Last edited by John Milner; 10-11-2015 at 08:41 PM.
A bit of an update with proceedings.
As I'm getting a bit older, I've been getting over the KW V3 suspension in the Mk1.
Yes they are a bloody awesome bit of gear, but the harshness for daily driving on the roads out my way are a joke.
I've done over 130K with this coilover package, so its not like I'm chickening out from them.
Everything has their place & that type of suspension with all the adjustability is more for the track.
So removing it, basically means, I don't have any plans on racing the Mk1 anytime soon.
So I went on the hunt for some stock OEM style suspension. Nothing sporty!
I eventually found a mob who do a complete kit with Bilstein B4 OEM replacement shocks, full Bilstein bump stop & dust boot kit & a set of Eibach "Pro-Kit" spring set.
I removed a set of original front & rear shocks from a bomb I have here.
The front struts were so original, they still had the factory paint markings on them!
So I cleaned them up & sent the front strut housings, top spring plates & rear top spring plates off to the powder coaters.
I received the suspension kit not long after & set about building up the shocks & fitting to the car.
Long story short after some extensive research. I found the Aust. spec. cars had different front springs to the Euro. spec. cars. The Aust. version had springs straight up/down which sat inside a large top spring plate, where as the Euro. version have the top spring taper into a pigtail & sat outside a much smaller top spring plate.
After a bit of research I found I could still order the Euro. spec. top spring plates from Vw Classic Part Dept.
So once all the parts had arrived it was onto finishing up building the front struts & installing the suspension.
Front strut comparison
Rear strut comparison
Yes it looks bloody ****house, but you know what....
I'm really past giving a **** these days. I don't race it enough to warrant having full race suspension fitted & killing my already crook back.
So.... Function over form.
& with the new suspension, the ride is bloody mint!!!!!! It soaks up all the **** that our crap roads have to offer. Has quietened down inside with very few squeaks/rattles etc. & just an overall nice car to cruise in. It can still light the tyres up from 60 without issue & has no axle tramp, which is surprising.
But I'll have to refit the rear swaybar at some stage, as the dreaded Mk1 body roll has returned! haha
So its gone from being this low with the P-Slots
Bugger all racing going on due to crappy weather, house, shed & car stuff.
Hopefully out racing again later in the year if all the planets align.
But for now, as my Mk1 is my only car & the rubbish pile has been building up, I needed a way of not only getting rid of it all, but also having to pick up larger type supplies etc., without having to borrow friends cars.
I managed to score a genuine "steel bumper" mk1 tow bar from a friend & got straight into it.
Rubbing it down & giving it a good thick coat of case paint.
Fitting it up & found for some strange reason the gooseneck facing down!! I couldn't figure out why. Its bloody way too thick to bend from anything a Mk1 could every tow!
So broke out the oxy, heated it up & straightened it up. Took bloody ages too.
Another coat of paint, rigged up some trailer wiring & good to go!!
Just need a half munched old tennis ball!
heaving loaded trailer filled full!
Not sure on the weight, but the mk1 still towed it ok without swaying around or getting nervous @100km/h & still managed to lite the tyres up Good fun.
Now just waiting on some NOS rear mudflaps & try & source a set of genuine plain front mudflaps & we have full stock looking Mk1, but detuned to around 210hp.
Good enough for me.
Also managed to source some tall ratio diff gears for my ultra long ongoing auto project. This will help it cruise alot better at hwy speeds & also work alot better with a turbo'd setup.
Another piece of the puzzle. One day it will get done.
Slowly managing to find some factory fitted options for the "super stock" looks.
Managed to find some genuine NOS rear mudflaps with the blacked out emblems.
I had my suspicions about how the factory ones were back in the day when Mk1's were brand new & having options fitted by the dealerships.
I had suspected the rears were either a "blacked out" or "white highlighted" VW emblem's with the fronts being a plain style semi-stripped
I asked a friend about this & he confirmed my suspicions to be true, as he was an apprentice when the Mk1's were BRAND NEW!
Hopefully along my travels, I'll be able to source some factory plain versions for the front too.
I only removed it, cause I came across a diesel 5spd & got sick of the 4000rpm cruise rpm. (2700rpm is much nicer, quieter & also getting 33+mpg with around 200hp)
The locked diff wasn't too bad overall. Just a bit of a pain with parking & having to fight the wheel, both turning & unwinding to take city corners, roundabouts etc.
One thing that was sketchy was rolling into boost/power through a bend & the car wanted to go into oversteer & made it hard to unwind the wheel to correct it.
I wouldn't recommend it unless your happy to have a fight with your car!
Hopefully later in the year I'll fit & test my next box, which will be a tall ratio auto filled with transaxle engineering internals & hopefully can get something like a peloquin 80% deal, as there is no lsd available for the 010 auto's.
Well that was worth the find of this thread and read. I have to say I do love a 8v turbo conversion for interesting than the modern engine conversions. Make me really want to try this setup on my mk1 cab.
amazing thread, loving the details and the adventures your having in mk1 and down under too