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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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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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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!

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VR-lequin

S&P’s take on a VR6 Harlequin.

Almost everyone has seen one, whether or not they knew it was a purpose built car and not an accident, who knows…

In 1996 Volkswagen built a small batch of cars for a promotional purpose. They were built on a 4 door Golf GL chassis, the only real interior difference was the seat upholstery, it was the same fabric used in the “joker” trim on European models of the same era.  The outside is where the “magic” happened, VW took panels from 4 base color cars (Red, Blue, Green and Yellow) and swapped the removable panels between the other base color cars, leaving you with a very loud exterior.

 

Fast forward to 2015, and I have an opportunity to buy a very sad, yellow base harlequin locally.  It had been resprayed at some point to be all yellow, but the colored panels were peeking through the worn paint.  The driveline was tired, the interior was beyond tired, it was time for either a restoration, or euthanasia…

I sent the car off in pieces to my local painter, he began smoothing out life’s abuses and owners neglect, fixing shopping cart dings, and poorly placed jack stands.  We needed a new hatch, or at least a tub that wouldn’t fall out every time you closed the hatch or went over a bump.

I found someone parting a 4 door golf, that had a lot of Euro market parts, hatch, bumpers, core supports, rebars, etc.  We took it all.

Next on the list was the interior, after looking and not finding anyone wanting to sell their limited edition seats, I spoke with Kip at Loves Trim Shop and worked out a plan for some new threads.  Mk2 Recaros on mk3 bases, leather wrapped, suede inlays and stitching to match the colors outside, without making the interior too loud to enjoy driving it.

That left me to get started on the driveline, the stock ABA was no different in the harlequin cars than it was in a standard Golf GL.

I had a 2.8 24v from a GTI that was wrecked, I had the machine shop go through the block, hone and a ring job, new bearings, new chains, guides, gaskets etc.

I couldn’t help myself, since I had it all in pieces I painted each section of the motor in the matching colors of the car, engine block, head, upper timing cover, lower timing cover, valve cover, intake, accessories, brackets…
I was seeing spots from all of the painting and planning.

Now that the car had been painted back to its original colors, engine painted and assembled and interior back from Love’s, it was time to make it a whole car again.
This is always the fun part, assembly is very gratifying.

Since the interior itself wasn’t very “loud”, Brandon Rosensteel at EuroGlow made an overlay for me.

Once the car was fully assembled, we could enjoy the best part of a vr6 swap – DRIVING!

During this build, a lady had contacted me about wanting to purchase the car when it was done. That is another story all together and arguably better than the one I just told you.
She and “Polly” now are in the Knoxville area, so if you see them, say hello!

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Matts 1981 VRirocco

Matt wanted to be able to jump in his Scirocco and drive it everyday, without worrying about the failing CIS system leaving him on the side of the road.   To overhaul the 1.8 and rebuild the CIS system was a realistic option, however after looking at the cost of the rebuild he realized he was well on his way to a later model motor swap.  Even better.  Better mileage from an 02 controlled fuel system, more power, easier to find parts. Win-win!

On to the evidence!!

IMG_5176 IMG_5177

Slightly better after a washing!

IMG_5178 IMG_5179

Ready to Paint!

IMG_5184 IMG_5189

Our  MK1 VR6 motor mounts ready to go!

IMG_5181 IMG_5180IMG_5182

Motor hanging!

IMG_5201IMG_5202

Integrated Cable Boss on our mk1 02a mounts, we also offer a smooth version for our mk1 hydro kit

IMG_5211

 

Its ready to go home!

Mk1 Vr6 Scirocco conversion, stainless shift rod kit, full 2.5″ stainless exhaust, silicone coolant lines, hidden 3″ maf intake pipe, 2.25″ tucked radiator with fan and shroud.  everything you need to have a fun in your mk1!

 

Interested in installing one into your own mk1? Interested in having us install one into your mk1?

Check the kit out here !!  Contact us anytime :  info@s-pautomotive.com

 

 

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S&P Radiator and Intercooler Stack

We shortened up our dual pass radiator, and made it stockier, 2.5″ thick core, so that we could put a 21×2.5×3″ intercooler core on the top of it.  Now we can add a condenser to the front if we need to, or tuck it all the way under the core support and make some room for that 1.8t log manifold.

We should have this ready for shipment by mid to late February, we are sorting out the last bits of attachment points, testing outlet sizes and making piping kits for 1.8t and TDIs

 

IMG_4771 IMG_4770 IMG_4767

 

Keep your eye out for a purchase date!