GTI build – Update 1

So, I’m roughly a week away from leaving for OCMD for H20 International and unfortunately, the beast is not ready. 🙁 In fact, it’s honestly far from it. I was a bit upset with this realization…. but I’ve come to terms with it all.

I took this on as an effort to make a dream come true and started late. That particular aspect is my own fault but there were plenty of factors that went into why I started late and why it’s not done yet. Waiting on tools, funds, know-how, availability of friend’s help, etc. None of these are really excuses, but just a reflection on some limiting factors. For example, a good friend of mine who has rode this Rodeo a couple of times before has projects of his own and also lives in another state. So we don’t get much time save for weekends.

Have I even made any progress? FUCK YEAH. Motor is out, apart, being prepped for paint and installation of new parts (some OEM, some go-fast). The engine bay is partially stripped of paint. Some components/brackets and covers are cleaned and painted already.

What is left to do?

  • Wiring. Which is a nightmare for me because I’m electrically inept.
  • Grinding the rest of the engine bay down to bare metal. I’m lacking an electrical grinder.
  • Sanding, filling, shooting primer, possibly welding and painting the engine bay.
  • Finish degrease block and painting it along with other components.
  • Finish degrease  transmission and painting it along with other components.
  • Building back the motor with the mentioned parts.
  • Swapping ABS brake system to NON-ABS to clean up major eye sore.
  • Sending out Cold Air Intake pipe for polishing or do myself.
  • Refinishing my favorite set of wheels (including paint/tires/mounting)
  • Rebuilding a rare set of head lights.

What the hell am I waiting for?

Well, let’s see….. NOTHING!

I have 90% of the parts I need to “build” the motor. The head is out at a machine shop being built with the bulk of the “go-fast” parts. The rest of the block cannot be  put together until I receive back the head. I need to buy an electric  grinder to attack the bay; I need more funds to acquire this. I’m not sitting around in the meantime. The things I can address are being done on pretty much a daily basis. The goal is to get the motor built, reconnect to stock/untouched wiring harness, to ensure it “starts”. Then I can tackle shortening the wire harness and removing unnecessary components to clean the overall flow of spaghetti. I’m attempting to do as much as I can simultaneously, but not rushing at the same time because I don’t want to overlook something important and end up pulling the motor back out 5 times before it’s said and done.

What are you doing to organize your flow? I am using Microsoft Project where I have created a project plan putting times and variables around ALL the components involved in getting this thing built the way I want. Lot’s of moving parts and dependents variable on other components so there is definitely a lot of activity. It’s very helpful though because it gives me a real time look at the scope of this project on a “schedule/workflow” level and a reality check on what is possible in terms of time.


  1. yuk

    I love you PK, but that cabrio had a pretty decent influence in the GTI not getting done. You had like 4 sets of wheels and a ton of other things for that jawn. Told you to get a decent beater you won’t modify! I’m just playing, projects are expensive and time consuming. My cabrio will never get the attention it deserves, I just can’t afford it.

    I hope I can talk you into a post Toys for Tots party at my house if you decide to go!

    1. Author

      Matt, I can’t argue with this because it’s 100% true. I get distracted very easily by things of interest. That’s why it’s gone and I got a Jetta. Sadly, the Jetta is already jealous of the GTI and becoming the new “attention whore”. Smh. Thanks for understanding though! I would have been down for TFT and the Post party had the new bitch been up and running.

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