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Mk2 16v ground up rebuild

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I'm re-writing this thread from the beginning due fraudobucket. I've been putting this off for months haha.

 I bought this car in April 2016. It is my third Mk2 but my first GTI. My first was a 1.8 auto which i adored and is what made me fall in love with mk2's. I have always been into older cars as far back as i can remember, The youngest car i've ever owned was '94 Mk3 Golf.

      After searching the usual places (ebay, gumtree etc) i noticed many 8 valves for sale but not many 16 valves and the valver was the one i wanted so when one came up close by I had to take a look, and it was hiding a secret.

35497922030_331ee5051f_b.jpgca191754c16c65335f61ec815e492494 by Philip Coakley, on Flickr

35885831255_fff6bd429f_b.jpgcc8f3d11fc9bbdd10b8b5586aca9c2fb by Philip Coakley, on Flickr

Looks ok from a far distance.. no hang on it doesn't due to them AWFUL black L.E.D indicators, the P.O also had a name for her (Ellen) obvious to see why and the name stuck.

35046332754_e474b714bc_b.jpg8a0a805618b597b99d5a7a22109c155d by Philip Coakley, on Flickr

35885835955_fb6934514f_b.jpg0dcbf297ec13dfc9f77a4ed23f336c04 by Philip Coakley, on Flickr

35497922190_1d6e566ddb_b.jpgc8fca313b1fcec119d6ca46672930177 by Philip Coakley, on Flickr






Other issues also include a very rhythmic rattle from the engine once you hit 5000 revs, which for the 16v engine (KR) is where you hit your power really. The steering wheel is wayyy too big, I found out from the mk2 owners club that its actually a mk1 golf campaign. It was a struggle to find the brake pedal sometimes as your lower thighs rub against the bottom of the wheel. Also it's got a manual rack which makes it even harder to drive safely in. Not good at all.

35885832225_61ff276b24_z.jpga059c79f471735e99b588d0d3cc5258d by Philip Coakley, on Flickr

When I bought the car it had a rattle at the top end, and then eventually it heard a knock at the bottom end and then several knocks until it had more knocks than a van full of jehova's witnesses. I've covered 3500 miles in 6 months. Its now on 151,000 miles. I got it for £900 with an mot would you believe. Did manage to have some fun though.

Camping in the summer.




Didn't do much apart from fit period correct small bumpers as when I bought it it had a big bumper conversion which were held on with cable ties! And also give it a complete service. 



Much better.
Had a very scary moment on the M6 on the way upto the lakes for a weekend with the girlfriend.
Heater matrix blew up whilst doing around 80, ass was twitching like a rabbits nose, extremely hot water just peppered us both through the vents. Managed to pull over without crashing.... Just. What hurt more was forking out £140 to the RAC since i didnt have breakdown cover. Only needed a basic set of tools and a length of hose and i could of avoided all that, ah well.

Getting to more recently. Started looking for places to restore her which is something I had planned from the beginning, planned on doing some of the work myself but lack of time, space and general expertise on such a build made me realise that I was delusional. 

Took her to Deutsch Doctors down in Stoke (I'm in St Helens) who were very good and nice guys too. They had a hoard of mk1's and mk2's 





It was the daily until October and in that time the only breakdown was the heater matrix, one thing i did replace:

I spy a crack!
I used heat resistant table top protector, was a bit fiddly but it did the job with some spray on adhesive.
I didnt know much about Deutche Doctors apart they were on Car S.O.S. The only issue i found was distance. I looked for somewhere local and i found a small company called Quest Auto Body limited and was quite blown away by there work. Here are some examples.


They had space for one more car, very good set of guys who love what they do. That was it, Mind made up. Work will commence beginning of December so can't wait to see the first steps. Meanwhile I originally wanted the current KR to be rebuilt but something came up in the form of this...




An ABF from a car who's owner i've followed for some time on CGTI. rye1991 is his username on there i'm unsure if he's got a thread on here. I followed his build long before he removed the abf to make way for a vr6 so i've seen the car running and know its been looked after, also detailed remarkably well too with plenty of polished and painted bits as well as samco hoses. I am retaining the original k-jet system which is essential for me as i want it to look OEM and retain her original character. I did want to rebuild the KR but cost to benefit proved that it just wasn't worth it, it was a slightly bitter sweet pill to swallow but i doubt i'll complain when i feel that extra torque which the KR lacks low down in the rev range.


This is us taking delivery of the ABF and dropping it at Quest. And also a rare early 7 slat grill with an even rarer early 16v badge so i was made up with that.


Oh yes the hidden secret and the sole reason why i bought such a half dissolved lemon... the eagle eyed of you might have spotted the original colour.
Monza Blue which just happened to be my favourite colour on a mk2. Didnt even know it was hiding it under that abysmal respray. Which brings me more or less up-to-date. Work has commenced and i will be going up in a week to see whats been happening. They've took plenty of pictures of every process so i'm looking forward to seeing them more than christmas morning.






Edited by Coakers
photobucket fraudsters
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Yep, bare shell, we was debating whether it required media blasting (like the pagoda in the before pic) Already bought 16V calipers,and everything for a PAS conversion except the pipework. Theres lots more on the list though which include


- Coilovers (leaning towards KW3 variants)

- 16V hubs and carriers

- Gti tailgate (current one is a bit knackered)

- 50mm inlet manifold

- Early GTI side mouldings

- TSR exhaust manifold

- Trackslag exhaust system

- D/S wing

- Hella headlights and smoked gti rears

- Full leather interior or recaro


So not much then. Have to make a lot of sacrifices over the next twelve months because I'm by no means rich but I may not get this opportunity again so sod it, you only live once and I'm a firm believer that if your not following your passions your wasting your time.

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Awesome. Will be keeping an eye on this one. I'm a firm believer in doing it once and doing it right. Media blasting was done on mine, inside and out, but you just gotta be so careful not to hit the middle of the bigger panels with it. Great for underneath and around the rusty bits to take it back though.

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Ah brilliant, it seems a bit drastic but I'm waiting until they've made a determination whether it requires blasting yet, she'll might be in good enough nic? Or I may be deluding myself. Have you got a build thread Chaferross?

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Sadly not. Wish I had done and maybe I will do a retrospective one over Christmas. I stripped the shell and removed all of the underseal with a wire wheel / blow torch / heat gun and removed all of the bitumen sealer inside with a heat gun and thinners. When it was a bare steel shell, albeit with what was left of the paint and rusty patches (sills, rear arches, floorpan), it went to the bodyshop. They had it blasted before they started the repairs to the body. Well worth it in my opinion. Made light work of the engine bay and the floor pan. Not done on the rear quarters, roof or doors bonnet etc, they were all sanded back or chemically stripped. The guy did end up doing the rear panel below the tailgate and it warped a little which needed straightening out. 

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Those mk2 heater matrix are a bloody nightmare. A friends mrs got scalded quite bad on the legs when his failed. Sure she ended up in hospital. He ended up selling the car because of it. Was an immaculate Oakey as well.


look forward to the updates.

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Thanks for the replys. Well it has begun...



Edited by Coakers

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One last look at the KR where it's been since 1987

And there goes the knocking donkey, shame really. I had a text from the restorer whilst he was stripping this which contained words such as 'deathtrap' and 'accident waiting to happen'. Most of the bushes were perished. The Crossmemeber was rusted in a way that made the front engine mount insecure. More bolts were cross threaded than not. So great really. Battery tray is just about salvageable.

And thats about everything up-to-date really. I was in two minds whether to go through with this or not I could save and buy a mint mk2 and still save loads of money but I wouldn't be making it 'my own' and thats the point really. Plus this was never going to pass an mot so she was either going to be stripped for parts or scrapped other than a full restoration.

Oh when they started stripping the paint they found another colour underneath the p**s poor black respray... Wait for it

... PINK!!! This car has had a neglected life. Makes me even more glad I've saved it though.



Edited by Coakers

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Update 2: Paint stripping.











Quite satisfying to see her in bare metal



And Etch primed.. Did have more pictures but fraudobucket saw that some were lost, grrr

Reproduction wings were a pain to fit apparently, took a lot of fettling. Wish i had persevered and bought some rust free originals.


Bought a decent bonnet and tailgate as the others were just too scabby and weren't economically viable to repair (along with the rest of the car really)

Edited by Coakers

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Subscribed (I haven't seen anything decent on this forum for ages so fair play for keeping this going).


The pink might've been a block coat between the blue and black but if not - jeez someone was a dick to that car lol.


Keep it up.

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Thanks for the replies :) aye it's a long way off yet but should be ready for paint come early autumn. I have been on abit of a parts buying spree but i won't bore you with pictures of

Wishbone bushes and top mounts. What I will do though is post a picture up of these.






A genuine set of 86/87 of gti side mouldings. I'm really not a fan of the later 'thicker' gti trim, it just looks ugly in brighter coloured mk2's, so I was made up when I found them and since I've got the seven slat it all correlates with the early gti look I'm going for.

Also my set of g60 calipers came yesterday so thought I'd throw a picture of them in too. I'd already bought some 16v calipers but thought that extra stopping power is well worth having!




The g60 ones are on the bottom. I do want them rebuilt though so may send them off to bigredd along with the rears.

Edited by Coakers

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40.thumb.jpg.bb5fc96c8f43d234bdfc075852054a2c.jpgUpdate 3: Tin worm removal and welding. Focusing on the rear arches.

















Moving onto the other side.














Phew, welding session and a half, loving the workmanship... being skint? not so much.

Edited by Coakers

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Replacement tailgate shot blasted

Edited by Coakers

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79.thumb.jpg.d4e018cc4058546ed4d58b1e1c7e364c.jpgA little more welding because... you know you haven't seen enough already

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4d328dbc548e6380a12762f2791c4599.thumb.jpg.d375f46fc22ba9d6fc1df5e208ff8c78.jpgGetting down to the bare bones... and... more welding..














And just for fun this is what else they've had in the shop during the last year since project Ellen has been there.





A BMW CSL and a 60's Ferrari, unsure of the modelf5ecb853d440346d5fd12c81da8c0a62.thumb.jpg.d6dd58902936d1230766f08dee49831e.jpg



Edited by Coakers

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wow. world most expensive mk2? lol

seriously good to see a monza being saved though.

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Aye its took a lot out of me but anything worth while doesnt come without a bit of sacrifice or hardship.

Got a bit more exiting since then though. ;) first lets get the worst and most awkward placed bit of corrosion sorted first.FB_IMG_1501173116903.thumb.jpg.1892403d7687e53409cf53bb7739bdca.jpgFB_IMG_1501173143851.thumb.jpg.8362ff9d2157863a23fbb24bd458f95a.jpg


Yes very bad and dangerous. I actually had no idea that the corrosion was this bad at this part of the car. It had apparently just been covered up with filler. :angry:


Cut out.




Looking good... and now for the best bit.










Enjoy. This brings us to around late July in terms of updates.



Edited by Coakers
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Some real dedication in keeping that shell going, nice to see! That rear chassis leg rot was a bit worrying though :blink:


At the end of it though if you've got a 3dr 16v monza with an OEM ABF installed you're laughing!  

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I've got a few more pictures to upload as there have been a few twists and turns in this build. Feel free to follow me in on Instagram @coakers29 to see more detailed pictures and build details. Thankyou.

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