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Coprolalia's Asylum - '89 Scirocco - older, slower, dirtier engine swap

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£2,000 for a 53 plate Skoda estate? :shock:


Lawn mower racing looks a blast!

Lawnmower racing sells itself as the cheapest UK motor sport. Bloody immense. Started in a village near where I grew up. Four classes (run behind, roller driven, bonnet-less ride on, bonneted ride on). Engines are all similar output from a list given by the club, so it's down to build, gearing and driver skill. http://www.blmra.co.uk


For you Northerners there's a club with races up your way. http://www.nwlmra.org


Yeah I paid £2k 2 years ago, and it looks a stupid waste now given depreciation. They were £1k-3k then and at the time I had no working car (golf and scirocco both kaput), and needed something that would do 70 miles a day commute, plus carry housing renovation gear. I bought on condition with the plan that it would be my daily for 5+ years with minimal work. Daft really...

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Love the lawnmower racing too - there isn't much of a 'scene' here in Belgo-land - they tend to go straight into trashing old cars with grasstracking in farmers fields..... I have a contact here offering Jetta and Golf TDs he has a plethora, ready to race in the beginners category for €200 a pop. Can't wait to try it out........


Are there any mower teams where you can pay to play kind of thing? Like hiring a seat for a while in a racer?


Great project with the Scirocco - that engine bay looks immaulate, especially the bulkhead! Just read the entire thread - very interesting stuff you're into - and ther barn of dreams is incredible! Lucky boy growing up surrounded by that lot!

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I can't claim to be doing all myself. I do what I can, but most of the conversion is being done by my mate who runs an indy VW specialist in Devon and has done these conversions before.


To answer Qs: 


There was no Scirocco TD from the factory. I guess it didn't fit with the relaxed GT-car image VAG were going for. However the Golf and Jetta have the same floorpan, so a 1.6td from them bolts straight in. The UK got a bit of a short deal on Scirocco's as it never received the 16v KR engined ones either, which were a bit of a weapon.


Clock swap will be the whole binnacle as it swaps straight in. The wiring and relays all plug directly into my existing fuseboard as well. I'll likely install a 3.5inch rev counter and boost gauge instead of the fag tray.


Mower racing is pretty small scale and cheap. There's no pay-to-play as far as I'm aware, and no sponsorship allowed either.

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  • 3 months later...



The 1.6td is in, and I'm starting to feel like this will work. After further searching I'm still not sure what the engine has come out of, could be anything from a late mk2 Golf or Jetta GTD to a t25 camper. My google-fu is insufficient.


The gearbox (which we don't think was original) has suffered with a 2nd gear graunch for some time (TTATS), so has been replaced with a better identical 020 box. From memory it's either 4T (longer final drive) or 4Y (close 1st/2nd ratio with longish final drive). With the new engine mount this has been bolted to the original engine mounts for a neat finish. I wonder if this car is cursed, as unfortunately the friend who was doing the work has closed his garage for health reasons, so the final plumbing and wiring work will fall to a competition race engine builder on the same estate. Two steps forward, one step back.


I've hauled the original 1.8 petrol back to Wales, and got this far to sticking it on the engine stand before realising I'll need bigger bolts.



The BBS rims off to one side are a rarer 15" 4x100 diameter set which I took off a breaker and need restoration some time next year. Speaking of wheels, the Octavia continues to provide solid dependable service, and so was treated to a new pair of Pirelli P7 Cinturatos as they were on offer at Kwikfit. This has removed the horrible grumbling from the rock hard 50,000 mile, 5 year old Prestivo's it came on.


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  • 4 weeks later...

More progress but no pictures unfortunately.

Plumbing is pretty much done and wiring 80% for the 1.6td now, being done by Jason at JMR Racing. A good starter has been cobbled from two. Not sure about the downpipe or air intake yet and trying to work out throttle cables too.

May have the first go at starting this afternoon, and MOT attempt later in the week!

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. A good starter has been cobbled from two. Not sure about the downpipe or air intake yet and trying to work out throttle cables too.

May have the first go at starting this afternoon, and MOT attempt later in the week!


a 1.6d mk1 golf/jetta throttle cable should work on the mk2 TD pump 'outta the box' - as long as it comes with all the clips.


I built up a mk1 caddy from a bare shell a few years ago; filled the void in the engine bay with a 1.9TD AAZ out of a mk3 golf; I managed to track down n buy a mk2 jetta TD airbox which fitted well ontop of the drivers side chassis leg; I think I paid €50 for it; which I was a bit sore about at the time (scene tax) - but it was better than the cone filler jobbie I initially fitted...


the downpipes on the diesel  mk2 td 1.6 are cast, restrictive n 'the work of the devil' - the cast down pipe outta the turbo  joins to the tubular steel exhaust down pipe via 'bowl n biscuit' set up  with sprung C clamps that you have to open up with either a thick steel wedge or a modded exhaust U clamp to fit -literally knuckle shredding stuff!!... they used to set up allow for movement /vibration in the marriage of hung exhaust to occasionally moving engine (a flexi joint does the same thing in most other cars0...


...an alternative to this is to make up/weld up your own down pipe directly to the turbo using 4mm plate n bends; 2.25/2.5in - I have a pic of one I made years ago somewhere, if its of any help but google images should gen up a few - you then add /weld in a regular flexi exhaust joint in the system...


I also fitted a 4T 020 in mine; it rattled quite a bit on a 'long journey' - I threw some Castrol gearbox additive in it which did quieten it down a bit - they don't seem to like abuse or high mileage...


Best of luck with the project

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More progress today.

We don't think a mk1 golf 1.6d throttle cable will work as Scirocco's have a slightly longer distance to the pedal box than most other A-platform cars. Found this problem before when switching from Pierburg to Weber carbs and ended up using a Polo mk2 throttle cable. Current plan is to make a bracket to extend the distance on the pump armature.


There's just about enough clearance between the turbo manifold and the bulkhead for the existing downpipe, but we think it will knock and it's rusty. A new OEM downpipe has been ordered up (£45) and it's going to be altered by the fabricator who works from the same industrial estate to fit. It'll still use the same bastard C-clamps (well versed in them). If we can't get clearance then I'll get something lobsterbacked up in stainless (££!) and then put a flexi joint in.


020s are notorious for being a bit shit, but I had one cheap available, and I like the idea of the period box rather than mucking about changing to a hydraulic pedal box.


I've also ordered two 45 degree bend silicone hoses to knock up an intake from www.autosiliconehoses.com. This will give us clearance from out behind the engine down to the front of the bay, where for now we'll put a generic cone filter until I can find something more correct. Should arrive Monday, which means potentially MOT attempt next week.


The dash clocks have come back out (a few screws only), as we realised that the 1.6d clocks I ordered off eBay are from an earlier car and CE1 not CE2. This means the multiplug on my loom won't work with them. Instead we're going to use the original petrol clocks, take the rev counter signal off the W pole of the alternator and wire up a seperate glow-plug light somewhere else on the dash for now. I'll see about getting a CE2 TD dash at a later date (they're rare as hens teeth and suffer scenetax).

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Really building up a head of steam now (hopefully not literally though). Plumbing and wiring is mostly done and just a few little bits of fabrication to do.

The £10 silicone hoses from Amazon arrived and aren't bad TBF. Engine bay now looking a bit like this:

Some generic +10whpyo! cone filter will get installed temporarily.

Coolant header tank will take a bit of headscratching and not pictured is the original clocks are going back in and the electrics bod is going to try and bastardise in the glow plug light from the other tell-tale dash light into mine.

Currently holding up play is the gearbox selector linkage rod going walkies at some time in the merry-go-round of engine swaps. It's the long rod in the top of this diagram.

Had a root about in my lock-up stash of VW bits but no joy, and they're NLA from factors/ VW but luckily found one on eBay so ordered that up.

Sharing the workshop and photobombing here, a Lada Riva getting an LS 400 V8 transplant before going to live in inner city London (?). They're also building this mk1 fiesta up with a spaceframe chassis and MX5 powertrain, should be a laugh!

Should have first run by the end of this week, and aiming for MOT-time next week. Much excitement after 18 months off the road.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just had another update from my mech in Devon, all moving ahead well. Had to wait a bit for some parts to turn up which has delayed MOT date, but not unexpected.


The engine has had a new breather fitted and all the plumbing and underbonnet wiring now finished. We're waiting on a cone filter to complete the induction system.





Internal electrics has also been done, including the glow plug relay mod. Lights tested for the MOT.



The downpipe wasn't rotten through, but was pitted and old. A new downpipe has therefore been bought, a cone fabricated adn the c-clamp flange welded to it.



Getting some diesel for it over the weekend.

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...looks like your moving ahead; lots of progress.


I see a clear cone fuel filter in line in one of the early pics; it wont have the capacity reserve for a diesel, n the innards will soon collapse. I used a 1.9D vento in the original bracket (thers two studs on the drivers side strut tower usually on a mk1 golf) - I did this as while I had an original screw on style alloy diesel filter housing, the filters for that were €39 vs €12 for a vento one... I think I eventually swopped it for a 2000 era landrover freelander filter - I was having trouble with the clip in bit - think its the return line, on the vento filter - was letting air into the system... I got the filter n bracket off a freelander a mate was breaking n adapated its bracket to mount as per mk1 golf/caddy....

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Cheers for the tip dieselassist. Ultimate plan is to fit a different diesel filter so it can run veg (maybe a BMW or Landrover) but didn't realise the temp placca one could cause issues with flow.


Anywho, news, she turns over and "builds on one" but isn't running yet. We've got diesel at the injectors. Glow plug relay still being fiddled with, hopefully sorted this pm, and hopefully a bit of hot tip action will get her clacking.

May have first run of the GTD today!


One of the VW gurus who's lending a hand on this asked how long the lump has sat and I had to admit I had no idea, but definitely a couple of years in a couple of different garages.


Come on derv donk!

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A few more steps forward, another few steps back.

Exhaust manifold was all mated up, but fouled on the gear selector linkage.



Linkage was removed, chopped and modified.





Induction system was completed with cone filter



Theoretically all should run now, but the starter motor doesn't seem to be up to the job. Looking at ordering a replacement with better guts to get her spinning up.

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The end of last week we found that the starter wasn't man enough for the job. Unsurprising as it's the stock 1.8 petrol rated at 0.8KW. Trying to find a compatible diesel starter (rated at 1.8KW) was a bit of a challenge, and I ended up using a code for a Mk2 Golf GTD. Main dealers and usual factors wanted more than the rest of the engine has cost me to date. Eventually going through Bosch part numbers I found a Manchester Auto Electrical who had a rebuilt one for 50-odd quid. That arrived and was fitted.

With sufficient starter gumption fault-finding turned to the Bosch pump, to find the pump timing swinging in the wind. Some googling supplied the correct pump timing, and with a bit of boost from a jump-pack magic happened.



For an unknown engine that's been sat on various garage floors for 5 years, I call that gurt lush.

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  • 2 weeks later...

What with the weather and some further fettling required the MOT got delayed... but today is the day!


It's had a bit more welding and fabrication to the engine mounts to get them to clear the exhaust, as they were pretty tight. It's also got a new 60amp/hr battery with 550 cranking amps that should be man enough for the job.

Some time has also been spent tidying the paint. I'll either try a rattle can DIY or cheap blow-over in the future to cover the patches where the paint was worn through a few winters ago under a cover.




Just been dropped off to meet the tester for the first time since May 2016.


Edit: Note to self - sort the bloody diesel filter.

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  • Coprolalia changed the title to Coprolalia's Asylum - '89 Scirocco - older, slower, dirtier engine swap

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