Klutch Project MK2 I Intro
"The Reluctant Build Thread" If I was going to put a title on this blog, it would probably describe it best. Having been around the "car" scene if you will, for quite some time, I've had my hand in quite a few personal projects. What started as a bug back in High School going to Car Audio Competitions, quickly escalated into a foray into the Mini Truck scene with a full frame off custom. It wasn't long after that, myself and a buddy started to dabble with Volkswagens and never looked back. My most recent project having been a rather involved R32 Turbo, left me with a very sour taste in my mouth after realizing the immense amount of money that was seemingly wasted on the build. Having promised myself I would never pour large amounts of money into another project, I have reluctantly started this Project MK2. My angle with this project however is to accomplish something very powerful while being as frugal as possible with the budget.
** DISCLAIMER** I am not by any means a pro. The tools and techniques I use were mostly self taught and have worked for me in the past. I am always learning so other techniques might be better than documented in this blog. I take no responsibility for anything negative happening as a result of you trying these techniques. I/We appreciate suggestions, questions and critiques.
The car itself was purchased from a neighbor who only a week prior to selling it to me, struck a deer. I was able to pick it up with a running 12V VR6 swap already complete and passenger side body damage for $3000.00. There were several items inside the car that I was able to sell including stereo, seats and more and was able to recoup about $1000.00. During this build I will do my best to document all of the investment cost that go into it.
The car on the day it was delivered. It had fully molded flares with painted big bumpers. I apologize for the IPHONE pics but early images of this project were taken almost exclusively on my phone.
The car had been painted so many times that I quickly realized that all of the paint was going to need to be removed. I could have never imagined the amount of time this process would take. I can only roughly guess that I have over 60-100 hours in stripping the paint.
I've probably taken a few years off my life in the process huffing Aircraft remover fumes.
The accident with the deal caused most of the damage to the passengers side rear fender flare and sheet metal. The damage wasn't enough to hurt the quarter panel so I was able to trim off the damage which isn't such a bad thing given it will give me more room to run the widest wheels I can fit after fitting new G60 flares.
When the fenders were "pulled" it left a large void between the inner and outer fenders. This gap has since been filled with patches and welded in place.
More chemical stripping. I found out partly through the process that a good way to make the stripper work harder is to cover the stripper in plastic after applying it to the surface. This will keep the chemicals trapped near the surface instead of evaporating. This makes the chemical much more powerful. I used a sharp putty knife to scrape off the top layers and then used a DA sander with 80 grit paper to take the paint to the bare metal.
Corrado dash will need some better fitting prior to going back in.
Welded in roll cage...not sure what my plan is for this. I like that is gives added strength to the older mk2 chassis with the larger VR lump inside, but I am not sure I like the fit or esthetics.
Windows popped out using a little effort and a plastic pry bar. Not looking forward to putting them back in.
Shaved door handles which I am NOT happy about. I have been searching for a long time for clear big GTi doors and either everything is rusted bad or had a ton of body damage. I am willing to live with the shaved handles if I can't source new doors. Also considering a handle graft but undecided.
Getting closer to being stripped.
I was able to find new OEM fenders that were fairly clean. I could have bought some aftermarket units but you never know what you might get as far as the fit goes. Seeing as how I was going to be welding on them anyhow, I opted to use the older OEM fenders. I quickly filled the marker lights and radio antennae using a 22 aug. metal blank using panel adhesive (@$20 +/- depending on brand), some tack welds, and reinforced filler for the first layer. Quickly followed by a coat of white Epoxy Primer. I also trimmed and hammered out the lips to give more room under the front fender flares.
Tack welds to hold the blank in place.
Wet towel used to keep the heat down on the panel to prevent warping.
Duraglas as first coat. @$15.00
Epoxy Primer applied but still second coats of filler needed to finalize shave
After getting the metal clean of all paint, the next step was to clean the metal prior to putting on the primer sealer. All body work will be done on top of the Epoxy Primer Sealer. I used PPG DX579 Metal Cleaner to remove an surface rust that had formed while being open to the elements. Note that this car sat for several months with no paint on it so on some panels I had to re-sand prior to using the metal cleaner. I sprayed the cleaner on per the mixing directions and used a Red Scotchbrite pad to work the cleaner over the surface. The cleaner is then washed off with water 100%. The tricky part here is that the metal will flash rust almost instantly so I had to take another step to also scuff the surface using PPG DX330 Wax and Grease remover just prior to shooting the primer/sealer. You may find several other techniques for this stage by doing more research, but I found this works for me pretty well.
Because the surface needed to be prepped twice I decided to spray the primer/sealer on one section of the car at a time so I could control the flash rust. The garage does not need to be clean for this spray process because all of the body work is yet to be done over the top of this stage. A simple wet sand will remove and surface debris prior to Primer Surfacer.
The images in this blog cover about 1 year worth of work. However the majority of it has all happened in the past two months.
The next blog will start to cover the pulling of the wire harness, engine, and all front end parts.