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Building a Wood Slat Mk1 Roof Rack

You’ve seen them. A vintage coke cooler on top of a wood slat roof rack, on the right car, its perfect..

 

I have made a few over the years ( I like them best on Jettas personally).  A few years ago I had some purpose built towers made to hold the roof rack as tight to the top of the car as possible, making it more aerodynamic (or aero-dramatic, same same)  
These are made from 304 Stainless, so you can run them in a raw finish, polish them, or have them coated, but you don’t have to worry about them rusting.

 

You can pick up a pair here  to start your rack project.

 

 

 

 

Now onto my Jetta and its new roof fixture.

 

I made my crossbars from some aluminum flat bar that I had bent to a 2.0″ ID and 1/2″ legs, but you could use some channel, or rectangle tube, even some hardwood like oak, teak, walnut etc..

I made the cross bars 40″ long, that keeps it from sticking out over the drip rails of the car and risking my clumsy ass from splitting my head open getting in and out..

You can see there is some room to make them alittle longer but this works out well for the spacing I wanted.

Off to homedepot for some cedar, 6-7 1x3x8 boards, my poor mk6 tdi has to be a truck sometimes.. 

Back at the shop I cut the boards down to 48″ and 2 to 41″

 

The next bit is to get the spacing you want, I ended up around 1.75″ between each slat giving me at total width of 41″ (that will overhang my crossbars by 1/2″ on each side, which helps to bury it where you cant see the bar ends, if you have a taller cross bar you may want to make your overhang greater than 1/2″ but I wouldn’t exceed about 1/3rd the width of your slat.

After your have the spacing you’re happy with, sand/prep your slats for stain/paint/sealer.  I rolled all the edges of mine with a palm sander to ease some of the sharp cut edges off and make them a bit more “weathered”

 

Now you are ready to glue and screw/nail/staple your boards to the wooden cross bar (if you’re not using a wooden top cross bar, you’re ready to stain/paint/seal your strips and attach them each individually to your tower cross bar) I glued mine and used a galvanized 1-1/4 crown staple to attach the slats to the wooden cross board. You also could use screws from the bottom side (so they are hidden).

 

 

 

Now I needed to stain my assembly (Staining after allows the glue to adhere to the wood and not to the sealer) I used a thompsons water based sealer for fences and decks, I had some left over from my summer deck project last year.

 

 

 

 

 

Last thing to do is to attach the unit to the cross bars, I counter sunk some M8 allen head screws, and tapped my cross bar for m8x1.25 in 4 places, drilling all the way through both layers of the roof rack.  Use a locking nut from the bottom for added security against the bolts backing out with vibration.

Time to throw some gear on top and cruise around, one of my favorite parts of a roof rack is opening the sunroof, you get the wind, and the open air feel, without being baked by the sun.

 

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Mk1 “Motorsport” Bumpers

Well, after looking at the options on the market for aftermarket Mk1 style bumpers, I couldn’t find what I was looking for. So I made what I needed. A lightweight bumper, all metal (aluminum) with welded end caps (nothing to break or fall off) with holes allowing air through the lower grills in the core support. Some of the smaller bumpers close this off with their fit to the body.

These bumpers are hand formed in house, from laser cut 10ga aluminum blanks, they are currently available for these MK1 models:  See them in the webstore

  • Rabbit – no turn signal cutouts
  • Cabby – no turn signal cutouts
  • Jetta – no turn signal cutouts

 

coming soon

Caddy

Scirocco

* these bumpers have not been certified to pass any DOT, NHSA, and probably cause cancer in California, – seriously though, they are sturdier than the plastic eurobumpers, and waaaay lighter than the original bumpers.

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Mk1 02a 02j Mk3 and MK4 Motor Swap Tips

I made a couple hardware overviews for our trans mounts, and engine swap kits, and I still have a few questions that I either didn’t address in one video or a tip I forgot, I am going to add a couple more videos soon, but this may make finding the info you’re looking for a little easier, if you have questions before during or after install please feel free to email me! Sal@s-pautomotive.com

 

General install Tips:

  • Press your bushings in before you mount the brackets onto the motor or chassis
  • If you have an 02j trans the upper trans mount holes are threaded, you need to drill them out to use the hardware provided
  • Grease the inner speedo cable with a silicone grease before installing!
  • I find it easier to set the radiator in the core support before I install the motor – but not bolt it down
  • For a cleaner install on a motor if you’re not using the AC/PS systems, (external WP motors ABA, HU, AEB cant be cut as much due to the waterpump) cut the bracket off just below the alternator mounting points to the block. (ALHs you will cut the PS off the top)
  • Always start all the bolts in a bracket, manifold,cover etc before tightening any of them down
  • If you are using the mk1 fuel lines, the best place to cut them I have found is just before the cross behind the steering knuckle, you can carefully hand bend them up toward the passenger strut tower and trim again to your desired length
  • Work the exhaust system from front to back, hang everything loose in the clamps and work each section into final placement front to back as well
  • If you’re using one of our harnesses the “Trigger” needs to have power in both the key positions START and RUN – this is often the problem for a no start, someone didn’t check that the wire they chose had power during the crank key cycle. A good source for this is your former coil power wire on gasoline cars, on diesels the injection pump power wire works well.

 

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Mk1 Vr6 Hardware Videos and Install Tips

I made a couple hardware overviews for our MK1 Vr6 kits, and I still have a few questions that I either didn’t address in one video or a tip I forgot, I am going to add a couple more videos soon, but this may make finding the info you’re looking for a little easier, if you have questions before during or after install please feel free to email me! Sal@s-pautomotive.com

 

General install Tips:

  • Press your bushings in before you mount the brackets onto the motor or chassis
  • If you have an 02j trans the upper trans mount holes are threaded, you need to drill them out to use the hardware provided
  • Grease the inner speedo cable with a silicone grease before installing!
  • I find it easier to set the radiator in the core support before I install the motor – but not bolt it down
  • For a cleaner install on a AAA motor if you’re not using the AC/PS systems cut the bracket off just below the alternator mounting points to the block.
  • Always start all the bolts in a bracket, manifold,cover etc before tightening any of them down
  • If you are using the mk1 fuel lines, the best place to cut them I have found is just before the cross behind the steering knuckle, you can carefully hand bend them up toward the passenger strut tower and trim again to your desired length
  • Work the exhaust system from front to back, hang everything loose in the clamps and work each section into final placement front to back as well
  • If you’re using one of our harnesses the “Trigger” needs to have power in both the key positions START and RUN – this is often the problem for a no start, someone didn’t check that the wire they chose had power during the crank key cycle. A good source for this is your former coil power wire on gasoline cars, on diesels the injection pump power wire works well.

 

 

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Wiring Harness Questions and Mailing Instructions

 

 

Planning on sending us your harness or ECU? Take a quick glance over this page, making sure that you have everything sent to us at the same time, to help expedite your order.

Please fill out our Mail In Request Form.   Mail the package with the form inside, to the address listed on the form..

What type of harness do I have?

Most pre 1999.5 engines

  • Engine Control Unit (ECU). (Most mk3)
  • mk3ecu
  • Harness from Engine to ECU.
  • mk3harness
  • Accelerator Pedal connector with at least 10 cm of wire. (TDI ONLY)
  • mk3mk4 pedal (Left: Mk3; Right Mk4)
  • If you want to convert to a mk4 style pedal for your mk3 TDI just let us know, its easier to get replacement pedals, and we have a bolt in bracket from your MK4 to MK1 accelerator pedal.
  • mk1DBW1

 

Engine Control Unit Engine harness Accelerator pedal plug (MK3 style)

mk3tdiplug

 

If you are missing some of these items, no problem! We usually can supply them to you at a reasonable cost.

 

Most post 1999.5 engines

  • Engine Control Unit (ECU)
  • mk4 ecu
  • Large connector ECU Harness, has 4 or 5 colored plugs to rain tray plenum, (or under the beetle dash cap)
  • mk4body harness mk4bodyharness2
  • Small connector ECU Harness has the majority of the connections to the engine.
  • mk4engineharness
  • Glow Plug Relay (TDI Swaps only) with it’s base and at least 6″ of wire. (pictured is an 02-up, pre-02 is under the dash)
  • 02up glow plug relay
  • Accelerator Pedal connector with at least 6″ of wire. (pictured on the left is the mk3 connector, Right is the mk4 connector)
  • mk3 mk4 pedal harness

If you are missing some of these items, no problem! We usually can supply them to you at a reasonable cost.

Other parts you will need You will need these parts to complete your installation. However, we don’t need them to work on your wire harness, so please don’t send these parts to us, unless you just enjoy paying for shipping costs..

  • Accelerator pedal (mk4 on the right, mk3 on the left)
  • mk3mk4 pedal
  • Turbo control valve (N75) (gas 1.8t on left, TDI on right)
  • gasn75 tdin75
  • EGR control valve (N18) *
  • tdi egr tdi egr asv
  • Intake Manifold Flap Valve  *
  • tdi asv
  • Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensor
  • tdimap
  • Intercooler
  • tdiintercooler
  • Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor *
  • tdimaf

 

 

* To make your installation process simpler for you, we can delete these items from your harness. However check local laws before doing so as you may not be able to pass certain emission tests.

 

How to remove your harness – 

 

 

How to correctly send us your wire harness

 

The fastest and cheapest way to send a wire harness is with the Post Office. If you live outside of the USA, you will more than likely have to fill out a customs declaration form, this process is quite simple! An important note: you are not selling us these parts, rather you are sending them for repair and to be returned! So when filling out the form simply write: Automotive wire harness sent for repair, no commercial value. In the value field, put one dollar. In the insurance field, insure it for whatever amount you feel comfortable with.

To help us plan our time around the arrival of your harness please forward the tracking information to our email.

If you insist on sending with a courier such as UPS / Fed­Ex you will be 100% responsible for all fees incurred.

What happens when the harness gets here?

Before starting the harness we will email you to ensure both parties are on the same page. If there are any missing parts or concerns that we may have with the harness, this will be discussed before any work commences. The harness will be sent back and labeled as a “repaired automotive wire harness.” Again, if you have any questions or concerns, please let us know!

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Davids 81 Scirocco

David called and said his 16v was making some “extra” noise, which he believed to be a rod bearing that took an unscheduled leave of absence..  David is from the great white north and had the car shipped down to us to look it over and try to come up with a game plan for his best options moving forward.  We weighed rebuilding the 16v, adding modern fuel management, even forced induction.  After several conversations about options he actually decided that a VR6 would be a nice mid ground to having a NA car, with modern injection control, and a fun to drive powerband.

So I got to work:

Ok, so I had to take advantage of the fact there were 3 red roccos here at the same time..

Now I really got to work…

With the old 16v out, the bay had a few issues from previous owners, while I do not sell myself as a paint and body shop, I will make repairs and spray an engine bay for a customer.

Back side of the repairs seam sealed and ready for service.
With the holes fixed, the bay was ready to paint.

A new coat of paint goes a long way in an old engine bay.

Onto getting the new driveline ready, I had an 04 touareg motor with under 80k on it.  With a touareg motor into a tranverse chassis there are a few pieces you need to swap from either a 2.8 BDF or mk4 r32 motor.  Oil filter housing, oil pump and pan,  exhaust manifolds, accessory bracket (if you want to keep AC, otherwise you can use the treg bracket and accessories) lower timing cover needs to be ground down to clear the trans.

As a rule I always replace service or wear items on a motor before I install it,  so this motor got chains, guides, rear main seal, plugs, coil packs, waterpump, water transfer pipe, thermostat housing, thermostat, valve cover and manifold gaskets.

With all of that done, I was ready to fit the motor.

As you can see the radiator is in before I fit the motor, I cover this in our install videos but this gets overlooked more often than I’d like to hear about.   I am using one of the S&P Mk1 Vr6 radiators with a single fan and a 70c fan switch.

David insisted that we find an Audi intake manifold to dress the motor up a bit over the boring Touareg manifold,  good call on his part, looks great on top of the VR lump.

I knocked out a hidden MAF intake, a remote fill bottle for the coolant system which finished off the plumbing to the radiator and heater core.  These along with the valve cover and upper strut brace got a wrinkle black powder coated finish from TopNotchCustoms located here in town.

Onto wiring,  as with many of these cars the wiring had been touched by alot of people, and they all left their mark..

I removed a lot of the old management wiring, some was even left from the 81 motor that was long gone,  there were abandon relays, multiple wire taps for radios or accessories at some point.  All of it needed to go and start with just what was needed for the current setup in the car.

With the interior wiring in a better place, I moved onto the battery which was moved to the back, using an S&P Battery Box I mounted the Optima Red Top into place with a main breaker mounted on the box itself, this prevents having a 2ga torch running the length of the car if you have a short between the battery and the fusebox/starter/alternator junction point.

The original headlights were tired, I installed some LED low beams and h4 high beams with a pair of Hella relays to keep the load off the switch, this also gave me time to put the face back on the ‘rocco.

Time to get under the car and install the exhaust system. Using a 2.5″ stainless kit from TT with a Borla muffler gets the VR notes out in the perfect way without getting that drone while cruising the highway.

Onto suspension brakes and bearings, I installed a set of Mk1 Solowerks Coilovers  along with new bearings into the ‘rocco spindles, the car was already setup for 10.1″ 16v brakes so just a hardware refresh was needed there.

The seatbelt retracts were sticky, and unresponsive so we sent them out to Safety Restore and had them install some red belts for a bit of color on the inside, David once again was right, it looks great without being LOUD.

With all the safety issues covered it was ready for some road tests.

With all the safety issues covered it was ready for some road tests.

Exhaust Video

Driving Video

I was able to take it to a local show before it had to be loaded up and head home to the Great White North.

This has been one of my personal favorites, its not overstated, its not slammed beyond function, its a ton of fun to drive (yes even in the corners thanks to sway bars and reasonable ride height), it sounds great, it looks good enough to be brought to any GTG or show, but doesn’t have brand new don’t touch me with anything but a diaper paint.  Overall a well sorted car, I hope David gets many years of enjoyment out of it.

Parts available from S&P

Mk1 Vr6 Hardware Kit – Base

Cable Clutch Kit 

S&P Radiator – Vr6 Mk1

Vr6 AAA Based coolant hoses

Tach Adapter

Speedo Cable

Mk1 SS Exhaust

MK1 Vr6 24v downpipe

Solowerks Coilovers

Wiring Services

S&P Battery Box

LUK clutch kit

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Bruce’s Black 84 GTI

 

Bruce wasn’t a euro guy, that was until he happened across an 84 GTI that needed some love.  Unfortunately some shady people took advantage of Bruce’s good nature and after starting on a 1.8t swap, his car sat and alot of the parts were “missing” .

He brought it to me and after assessing the missing parts, and the general state of the car he decided that he would rather start over with a different driveline and settled on a 12v VR6 that I serviced up with new chains, guides, ignition wires, plugs, new gaskets, fresh clutch and then bolted the S&P Vr6 hardware kit to the VR lump and set it into the mk1 shell.

The car also got a fresh set of 9.4″ gti brakes, a full set of Solowerks Mk1 coilovers and strut mounts.  We cleaned up some chassis wiring issues and sent it home with Bruce, he says he enjoys the look on mustang drivers faces when they cant shake the little mk1 econobox..

A few pics of the install below..

 

S&P Parts Used On The MK1 VR6 Build

MK1 VR6 Bolt in Conversion Kit

Mk1 VR6 Radiator

SoloWerks Mk1 Coilovers

Mk1 Mk2 MK3 VR6 Hidden MAF Intake Pipe and Filter

VR6 Flywheel and Clutch Kits Stock to Stage 4

Mk1 12v Vr6 Downpipe

Mk1 Mk2 02A 02J CABLE CLUTCH CONVERSION Kit

MK1 SHIFT LINKAGE KIT

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Black Friday Sales!

BLACK FRIDAY SALES SCHEDULE

Sitewide we are having a 10 percent off sale, when  you go to checkout, use the code turkeycoma – any current sales will still be active and your discount will be off your CART total, not off one specific product or category. (shipping is obviously not part of your cart total, nor are applicable taxes for TN residents)

 

Solowerks is offering a MAIL IN rebate on top of our discount, starting the 21st of November through the month of December (our discount sale only goes until the 1st of DEC, if you want the discount and the rebate you need to order before our sale ends) Once you purchase and receive your coilovers, print your receipt and mail it in with a form included in your shipping box to Solowerks and they will cut you a check for 50.00 (25 on caddy kits)

 

 

Malone Tuning is offering 10 percent off all tunes during our promotion!

 

Tower shifters and cables are included in this sale!! Powdercoating will take a few extra days with the holidays so keep that in mind!

 

Check out the products! 

 

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Install Videos !!

We have needed to do this since the first day we said, “Why don’t we ship out parts for everyone to put a tdi into their mk1” …

 

Well almost 10 years later, and we have a good start on a video library for using and installing our parts..

 

4cly Motor/Trans Parts Overview :

 

 

Hydro Clutch Kit

 

Mk1 DBW Pedal Install

 

Mk1 02a/ 02j Linkage Install

 

Mk1 Vr6 Hardware Overview:

 

Mk1 VR6 Harware Install 1&2:

 

 

Wiring Harness Removal Videos –

Mk4

 

Mk3

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1980 Caddy TDI Swap

We are building a tdi swap for a customer, he sent us his 1980 caddy, an ALH out of a 00 beetle, and instruction to make it a functional truck, and a great daily driver.

 

  • Alh TDI swap
  • New brakes with rear disc
  • Working Ac
  • New heater system
  • 020 trans w/LSD

 

Onto the evidence :

Getting the truck and motor ready for a steam cleaning, 250 degree pressure washer will cut right through the old grease.

 

Prepping the motor for mk1 install:

  • Remove power steering, trim bracket off
  • Clock Turbo oulet
  • Remove Egr
  • Remove small idler

 

Trimming the cover for the motor mount:

  • Cut along the ridge of the timing cover, then straight down through the relief for the lower roller bearing
  • reinstall and check the fit with the S&P Mk1 – Mk4 bracket

 

  • Clock the turbo by removing the bracket and VNT vacuum pod from the exhaust side,
  • Then loosen the 6 bolts on the charge side and rotate the housing so that it is pointed up instead of down.

 

We installed our 020 clutch kit, the transmission, hung the rebuilt alternator and the new starter.  Waiting on the intake cleaning,  and we are almost ready to set a motor in the car.

 

Motor is IN!

 

 

 

Last thing to do is get the pedal mounted for the DBW ALH ecu..

 

For this to fit the way you want, you will need to trim the floor vent on the factory airbox.. its hard to see in a picture but once you hold the pedal up there you will see exactly what we mean.

Truck is outside for final fluid checks and setting the timing on the pump, hopefully we will have some driving videos from the owner soon!