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  1. I've owned this since 1997,bought to replace my '89 Mazda 323,it was my first car that had a bit of pep to it,everything else beforehand was small engined for insurance purposes. It came into the breakers yard where I was working at the time, the boss used to sell a few trade cars,and often had varied and interesting stuff floating about. So a deal was done,and I had entered the world of superior German engineering and quality........... Coming from my previous Japanese car it was a disappointment to find out none of it was true.....,well screwed together,but it was a car that needed constant bits doing to it Two weeks into ownership it needed a head gasket, as it started to use water,the electric window regulator's would fail with monotonous regularity,the steering rack needed to be replaced,it had wheel bearing's ,alternators, bushes,the gearbox crunched in second when cold(TADTS),and numerous other bits that I've forgotten over the years. It was my daily for 5 years and 70 odd thousand miles,and despite all the parts it required to keep it on the road,it never actually broke down(although it did run out of electricity on two occasions, but was able to be got going again) It was replaced by a Honda prelude, now that was a revelation after the VW,being actually able to own a car that didn't constantly demand my attention, and worked as it should for the next 7 years despite being 11 years old when purchased. So,the Golf got parked and forgotten.......... Time to breathe life into it again. Where to start? Let's get it mobile,and take it from there. It's lovely and crusty,just how we like them,back plates were rusted through,and an attempt to remove them resulted in sheared bolts in the hub,they needed to be drilled,and the only way to do that was remove the wheel bearing.....So this it kind of where the resurrection began. May as well clean and regrease the driveshaft and fit new boots. Rebuilt front hub,freshly painted. Rebushed and painted wishbone. Front calipers were surpringly good,just needed to be cleaned and regreased. Slapped a coat of paint on them for good measure. Just gotta do the other side now..... Ta dah....New shock,new top mounts,bearing, disc,pads,brake flexi,wishbone bushes.... So that's the front sorted. Rear beam of much crustyness! Boxes of rusty assorted rear beam crap.Yay. Time to fit new rear bushes. Out with the old,I'd replaced these before many moons ago. And in with the new,awkward shape made it difficult to get them to go in evenly,but some creative bodgery managed it. All cleaned and painted ready for reassembly . Molly wasn't best pleased with me using her kennel as a work bench. An reassembled back on the car,cleaned up the original discs,new bearings,pads, flexis ECT.Fitted mk3 gti rear calipers as these are less shit than the mk2s,they have Ford stamped on one part of them,it's nice see see VW using decent parts at last Also fitted a new rear brake load valve,that was eye wateringly expensive, but as I was buying so much stuff the guy in the factors gave it to me at a big discount. New copper/nickel brake lines gone in too,although some of the original ones are still serviceable. That's it,for suspension and brakes(I hope) Time to wake up the engine. More crustyness! New timing belt kit,water pump,thermostat,oil,filter, rocker cover and sump gasket later,I started it and let it run. Bottom end is quite clean,I always kept the oil and filters changed in it. Sump painted. It was time to start it up,which it did. It was always a good car to start,I will say that in its defence. Except it started to mix it's fluids......oil in the water......FOR FUCKS SAKE!!!!! So some headscratching ensued. It ran well,and didn't overheat,when I did the gasket years previously I'd used a genuine gasket, head skimmed and new strechbolts,so it was possible it was failing,but still there was some niggling me. A chance conversation with a guy selling tools at the local market one Saturday morning gave me a idea,it could be the oil cooler!! One new oil cooler later,and hopefully it's sorted,the old one was clearly past it's best,so it's possible that was the issue(fingers crossed) The new oil cooler also wasn't with out it's problems,namely the fact it didn't come with a new "O" ring to seal it to the block. I didn't fancy using the old one,a trip back to the factors was useless,"they don't come with them" was the reply,although in fairness he did try to find one,but had nothing in the correct size. A trip to a local hydraulic spares shop found one that would fit,so that saved the day. So,that was a much as I could do to the mechanical side of things,time to look as the body work. Oooh look a small crispy bit......... TBC.
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