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The Burd's MK1 Golf Rivage - fun and games of various nature's 22/11/22


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Fitting was the reverse of removal:



Time to fill up the system - using water at the moment as I need to order coolant.

(I decided to add some french flair to the topping up process!)



I then went to start it to bleed the system, and it was most recalcitrant to start..turning the key yielded much silence and very little actual cranking.


So it was time to start problem solving.

First up, rule out the ignition switch by pulling the loom off the back and bridging it


I got it to fire a couple of times, and start once, but it's very intermittent.

I think it had a new starter motor when the timing belt and water pump were done., So I suspect either an earthing issue or wiring faults at the fusebox..

I stopped there and brought the battery in to charge - will have another look later on.

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I had a starting issue with my scirocco replaced the starter/HotWired the ignition switch. Turned out it was the battery going bad.

If you do have to replace the starter, bin the original vw Allen key style bolt and just replace it with a normal hex bolt that isn't made of cheese.

Also chuck a few more decent earth cables on, always worth doing for the price of them. See if a decent earth made out of a jump cable helps it any, quick easy one to try.

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On 10/7/2019 at 10:36 PM, billy_bunter said:

MK1 forum is usually pretty good. I used to ask stuff on there about my old Audi.  They have a couple of VW electrical whisperers on there as well.

Relay/ignition -  Fuse boxes on these are notoriously weak so make sure ALL connections are OK. Check for heating/burn around the plugs on the rear. Good pin connector function guides on the MK1 forum on these as well. Looking at the age of the car you should have the better* mk2 version of the fusebox.

Think you are right track at moment and good perseverance sir!

Looking at that fuel relay your fusebox will be rusty inside. The plates inside are brass but the pins connecting them are plated steel or just steel so they rust.  I cannot remember if the pins for the plugs on the back are the same affair. Also these type of boxes the pins are riveted to the plates inside. When they age and get tired they slowly but surely vibrate/come loose. Just enough to cause intermittent problems.

Did you get registered on the mk1 forum?

Fusebox info thread - https://clubgti.com/forums/index.php?threads/fusebox-faq.219775/ 

If you intend keeping the car buy a new fusebox.  If I have got the part number correct. It should be one of these 171941821d cheapest on ebay is £85 from vwheritage on the south coast.  Meyle still think its worthwhile making these even thought the last one was fitted in a European factory somewhere in the early 90's.

Obviously test it all out 1st as i may be painting an overly glum picture.


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At the beginning of the week, I started out to get the golf running and the coolant bled through. 

A fully charged battery was added, and we started trying to get it to run.

Initially, the starter was lazy (as can be heard in the video), but once we had it cranking over, it fired up no bother.

As can be seen and heard (apologies for the crappy editing - done on my phone), the car stumbles when asked to come off idle. It'll even out a bit if you hold it at steady throttle.

To date the following has been done

Timing belt

Water pump

Rotor arm

Dizzy cap

Spark plugs

Fuel filter



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Today after work, I decided it was time to try some other things to see if the Missfire could be narrowed down.

I pulled the plug leads off the Toledo (therefore disabling a working car) and fitted them to the Golf.

Toledo leads:


Old golf leads:



Looks very similar yes? Well they are the same basic design ( though the Toledo is a single point injection, and the golf is multi point).

The only difference was that the Toledo plugs didn't have the small silver nubbin at the top - so 2 mins with some twiddling made the golf plugs the same


This seemed to improve things slightly, and I was satisfied that the spark side of things was in decent order.

Next up was to have a look at the fuel tank and in-tank pump.

This was easy as being able to put the roof down gives you plenty room to work:)

Firstly, the pump was located:


Then I disconnected the lines and power, and removed the pump housing

This is what greeted me



Time to fire up the pela, and try to lower the tank level so I could fish out the filter that fell off the bottom of the pump.


the filter spent look too bad, but I suspect that detritus gets sucked onto it when the pump is running, and falls off when stopped.


At this point I accidentally dropped a spot of petrol:


I dunno about you, but that looks watery to me..

At that point, I decided draining the tank was a plan.


Car started without the fuel relay bridged, and ran until no fuel (so no pressure in the line)

Inlet line to filter removed


Empty veg bottle deployed


I then got the burd out to drive the fuel pump bridging wire.


The result?


Howlin'! It had very little odour - suggesting it was lucky to be running at all.

I think the following:

1) it had some shite fuel in it when filled in Swansea
2)it was diluted a bit with refuelling en route north
3) the breakdown was the fuel pump relay failing
4) I think the miss is a combo of old fuel (poss water getting in too) and some shite in the tank bottom.


Next step is to see if I can get the tank cleaned out a bit - any suggestions as to how I could do that? 

Also going to try adding fresh fuel

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13 minutes ago, bigfella2 said:

I think the only solution to your problems is to stick it on a low loader and sell it to me.

Looks a nice MK1 cabriolet.

Lol! I'm not quite there with it yet:)


It doesn't need too much to be a lovely thing - just need to keep plugging away at it

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I'm currently trying to work out how I could pull the pump out the tank and get it into some fresh petrol.

The main challenge is that the power supply lead is very short - I may be able to rotate the pump down into the rear foot well but that would be about it.

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10 minutes ago, The Mighty Quinn said:

The tank has GOT to come out. Fairy liquid and a hose, really wash it out, drain as much as poss and let it drip dry upside down. There will be so much rusty shit in there you will never get it clean with it fitted, end of.


You may even find a rust hole somehere, explaining the water in the fuel.

If I get to that stage I'll fit the new one.

Currently the task is to get to the bottom of the Missfire.

To quote Rumsfeld 

"There are the known knowns (rusty tank), known unknowns (it's Missfiring), unknown knowns (fusebox/relay) and unknown unknowns (why I started this all!):)

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2 minutes ago, billy_bunter said:

Run it from a fuel can?

The fuel pump cradle is too big to fit, and I need to be able to place the return line in too. Biggest issue is whether I can get power to the pump when it is removed as the power cable is short...


I could possibly just run the hoses into a can and let the main pump do all the work


But not today as I Cannae be arsed

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Today, I decided to have another swing at the golf.

First order of business was to try and rule out the in tank pump/rust issues and watery fuel.

First up, open the boot


I unloaded women of the shite so I could locate the depressurisation tap for the hydraulic hood system.


Lefty loosey is the winner. And allows you to do this:


This was important, as having drained the tank last time, I had no way to run the engine to get pressure into the hood system.

Removal of the in tank pump showed that there was still a bit of a rust/skankytanky issue.


All the guff has collected in the wee swirl pot.

The Pela was deployed to sook out the remaining 150ml or so of petrol, before a cursory wipe.


Not great but significantly fewer chunks than previous.


That done and it was time for some top quality engineering*

This is in no way* two bits of garden hose clamped over the pipes for the in tank pump. 



Doing this let me do a few things:

Rule out poor fuel

Avoid any issues with rust blocking the in tank filter

Test the main fuel pump directly


Setup was as follows: feed and return lines into the one can of fresh petrol.


Brilliant, let's try it...


Oh fuck


That'll be fuel pishing out the main feed where it enters the distribution head.

I disconnected the pump, and managed to clean up the mess. And then disconnected the battery.

Some time, and some cleaning later, I got the banjo bolt seated correctly and the system pressured up with no leaks.

The fuel that got pipes round seemed clean after running.


Time to test it - a handy little video to show how it was running

Fresh fuel from a can seems to have improved the idle, but the engine still misses under load.

When driving it, it pulls well enough in first, but once on second, the engine doesn't give much response.

I am wondering if the main fuel pump is not able to supply enough pressure?

Or possibly a vacuum or air leak?

Anyone any idea?


Once that had happened I decided to give it a rest on the mechanical side, and move to some cleaning.

I started by greasing the hood hinges:


that should keep it functional:)


The hood. Ah yes, the only thing stopping the golf from being a hot tub rather than a car.

After approx 11 years outside, the roof on the car looked a touch the worse for wear:


a cunning plan was hatched.

Soak the hood

Apply soapy water (car shampoo) and agitate heavily with a scrubbing brush.

Allow to sit for a few moments

Deploy the free wetvac recieving from @blackboilersuit of this parish..


To say there was an improvement may be an understatement.


Turns out the hood is blue...


the crud that came off was howlin'


I'll give it another pass tomorrow and get some waterproofing on it - the kit arrived yesterday:)

to end, have a satisfying hood hoovering montage!



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That’s come up amazingly well!

Worth putting some good hood protector/waterproofer jollop on it or the moss will be right back in no time. Ask me how I know.

I fitted that hood new 9 years ago last week. The previous hood looked like this:


I also replaced the rear window frame - they rust. New ones are available from Crazy Quiffs if it’s gone again, but hopefully not.



I don’t seem to have an ‘after’ picture but it looked like it will now you’ve cleaned it.

At least the hood isn’t holed; water ingress is more around the seals than through the fabric.

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11 minutes ago, spike60 said:

Re the proofing I've owned convertibles for years and use Fabasil tent etc proofer very so often if the roof isn't so great. I think Auto Glym etc is probably fine for maintenance on a good roof but sometimes you want something you can slap on with a 4" brush 

The autoglym is what I have in stock - so will have to use that:)

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A new window frame is a princely £11.50 from Crazy Quiff’s Mk1 Golf Emporium: http://www.golfmk1.co.uk/Items.php?cat=SLAREA&group=ROOF

I don’t know offhand whether you can replace the window frame without having to replace the hood.  It would probably involve some swearing as you try to keep the fabric evenly stretched.

BAS International are recommended for hoods if you do have to go down that route: http://www.car-hood.co.uk/golf-mk12-h1102.  £236 + VAT and postage.  Fitting is about a day’s DIY work; a second pair of hands is helpful at intervals.

The Mk1 OC has good instructions on its website.

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Today, I had 2 goals:

1. Get to the bottom of the poor running

2. Get the hood finished and waterproofed


Goal 2.

I started with another swing at the roof using the patented "Scrubbing brush and wetvac" method..

It's still not perfect, but it is a hell of a lot better - so much so, I got the waterproofing applied and am hoping for some rain:)


i'm deeply happy with this - real progress!


now to goal 1...

folks on the MK1 Golf Facebook page suggested doing a flow test for the fuel pump.

The spec is apparently 750ml in 30secs via the return line.


How to measure 750 ml? Wine bottle of course..

We hooked up the whole kit, and waited the prerequisite time.

The result?



Time for moar investigation.


The pipe with the tape on it is the return line.

Apparently MK1 golfs are notorious for these lines clogging up. Nothing for it then, but a strip down and check out.

I looked out the weapon of choice:

A low E string from my guitar.


I then pulled off the banjo bolt and cracked the union onto the return hard-line (basically like a big brake union (14/17mm)


The banjo end was nice and clean, so a plan was hatched..


I reattached the banjo section, and put that in the wine bottle.

Still no dice.

I even tried fitting the in tank pump to assist getting fuel to the main pump:


Initially it made no difference. Turned out the new in tank pump was not working.

A switch back to the original one had fuel attempting to squirt everywhere.

I called it quits.

Current sitrep:

Engine side:
New sparks
New dizzy cap
New rotor arm

Fuel side:
New in tank pump (seemingly now not working)
Fresh fuel from a can to rule out stale fuel and rust from tank bottom

No fuel down return line.
Return line has been cleared as best as possible.

No fuel right at the return section of the metering head

I appear to have fuel at the injector lines at the metering head.

My overarching suspicion is that something is lowering the fuel pressure, so it can't achieve the needed pressure for the metering head to function properly.

Likely either a blockage or the main pump gubbed.


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12 minutes ago, Fraz said:

Are new pumps and lines super costly?


plus what’s the plan with the rusty looking tank? No point replacing pumps and lines then dragging that all back through it 



Pump and lines not too expensive, but getting a bit parts darts..

New tank ( in our possession ) would resolve rusty tank. But back axle needs to come off..

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  • 320touring changed the title to The Burd's MK1 Golf Rivage - fun and games of various nature's 22/11/22

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