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After having this thing for so long, it's almost ridiculous that I never got a thread up. Especially as I'm such a sucker for build threads.

I've been on this forum for a good few years now, and if it's one thing I'm kicking myself over, it's not documenting my progress. I managed to trapse through as many old files as I can, so I can clump some sort of timeline together. What's life without memories, eh?

Quick backstory. I'm Courtney, 25, from London.

I picked up this black GTI as my first car when I was 21. It's a Y-reg, 1.8T with an AUM.
A bit tatty in places, and in need of some work, but seemingly mechanically sound, and once I'd been out in it, my boyish excitement meant I had to take it home.

Home and given its first wash:
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A first car with low down punch and a turbo? It was like crack to me.

I spent the first 6 months or so driving it about with a fat grin plastered across my face. I probably washed the car more than I did myself :lol:

I was at uni studying computer science and games programming at the time, and had taken a year out to gain some work experience, so most of my time and spare cash went into fixing all the little niggly bits.

I fixed the all-too-common door lock module issue.
Replaced the alternator with a 120amp R32 one chasing an odd parasitic drain issue.
Replaced any interior trim bits that were broken/generally worn, like the glovebox, radio cage, etc.
Got excited at one point with an engine bay detail and knackered a coilpack, so put some red TFSI ones in.
Replaced my blown stock speakers with used standard ones.
Fixed some squeaky bushes.
Replaced the clutch pedal as I snapped the bracket it on it when pulling out of a car park.

There's probably more that I can't remember right now, but it wasn't too shabby after all of that. It drove lovely and everything (well, most things) worked. I was chuffed.

Then I got smacked on a roundabout by some idiot that didn't understand lanes.

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Gutted.

Most first-time owners would cut their losses, but I'm a wet towel, and entirely too sentimental, so I went completely the other way.

I carried on driving it like that whilst adding some interior goodies:
  • Genuine B7 RS4 gear knob
  • S3 leather electric Recaros
  • Leather front and rear door cards
  • Bora Sport/Anni clocks
  • Genuine R32/Anni aluminium trim
  • US-spec centre console
  • Anni pedals
So we had a car that was lovely and plush and cool to sit in, but it was getting a bit dogged-looking outside.

The aforementioned side-swipe had revealed that the rear quarter had been repaired before, with an ALARMING amount of filler used (you can see closely in the pics above). On top of that, the bumpers were peeling, and the panels were matching less than an ugly guy on a Tinder spree. I had to do something about it.

I had the whole car resprayed in the existing L041 black by a well-known forum member. Whilst it was in, I had a few choice bits slapped on for good measure:
  • Votex front splitter
  • US/Jap-spec rear bumper
  • Smoothed front rubstrip
  • R32 side skirts
  • Anniversary petrol rear
  • Rare (I think) ABT boot spoiler
  • Delocked handles
I did some other things, like delete the rear wiper with a glass blank, and some other bits. I really, REALLY wish I still had pictures of this when it was fresh out of paint, I lost quite a few when my hard drive died and a bunch of iPhone backups went missing (rest in pieces).

So I had a car with fresh paint, and a decent amount sitting around. I started collecting pieces to make this thing a bit more special.

17x8 BBS RFs, ET 18 with a really odd PCD (5x108)

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Joey-modded OEM Xenons (got these off Kev when he was breaking his Gora, which is now back with a vengeance)

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Bagyard Supreme front air struts and a Viair 444c compressor

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After that, my bank balance had had enough. I'm surprised it didn't leave me a Post-It note on the counter telling me it was leaving.

I drove it daily even after I finished uni, moved house a couple times, changed jobs, started to let maintenance slip a bit. I'd carried everything out myself (bar the paint) at that point and with neither the funds or the space to work on it properly, things started going wrong.

The water pump sheared on my way to work. In stand-still traffic. On a hot summer morning. So, that was fun.

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Got that towed to a main dealer and fixed (my brother in law is a service advisor at VW, thank God.)

I let someone change my oil, and they did my sump plug up with an impact gun (and presumably, with one eye shut and a pasty in their mouth).
Unbeknownst to me, the sump threads had stripped, and I was slowly leaking oil. I was none the wiser until one day I went round a bend and the dreaded red STOP! hit me.

I filled it up with some 5w40 temporarily, and the car ran fine afterwards, so I don't think I caused any permanent damage. but at this point I was a very stroppy man. I was frustrated that the fun stuff about the build had slowed to a halt, and my insurance was also coming to an end, right before I was about to move back into my childhood house with my girlfriend.

Flip it, I thought. I parked it up on my drive and let it sit. It became little more than a driveway ornament.

Aaaaaand that brings us up to date. How it stands now:

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So, plans for this then.
  • Finish off the air ride build and LORD JESUS FINALLY LOWER IT
  • Refresh the suspension components while I'm at it
  • Step the RFs up to 18" and throw them on
  • Simplify the engine bay (might shave it eventually)
  • Get the engine running healthy with stage 2 hardware and map it (huge thanks to @adam- and @rainbird for giving me the confidence to map it myself)
  • Add loads of neat little OEM+ touches I've been planning
I'm looking to have the car come together by the summer. Doesn't sound like long, but who doesn't love a project?

Anyway, thanks for reading. If you've come this far, we're basically family. You're invited to all of my barbecues.

I'll update this soon with some progress!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Whilst it's been sitting, I've been doing a few odd jobs here and there. Predominantly so I don't get bored. When the weather clears up a bit, I can start tearing stuff apart properly.

Pulled the seats out, and gave the carpet a good hoover. Probably needs a wet vac, but it can wait.

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Had a Momo boss sitting around, so threw it in the car whilst I had the interior apart.

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Stock wheel came off:

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And bang, on goes the Momo:

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I still need to put some heatshrink tape around the airbag resistor, and change over one of the horn connectors.

I'll order a Renown 130R wheel shortly, should look the part. If anybody has use for the stock wheel, it's yours for beer money.

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More updates soon.
 

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Looks good - like the seats (and wheels). Look on the bright side - at least you didn't have a build thread up where you used photo bucket!
 
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It's a relief right? I've actually never had a Photobucket account. Just as well really.
Nor have I - although I use Flickr and they could just pull the plug at any time I suppose!

Where about in London are you? I only ask as it looks a little like an area of East London not too far from my parents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So, quite early on I fitted full-FIS Bora Sport clocks, which are lovely, but with all the cluster trickery going on recently, I'd be mad not to join in ;)

Pulled out of the car:

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I wasted no time in ordering some SMD LEDs from Rapid Electronics. I have the link for these if anybody needs it :) . They're 300mcd, so shouldn't be too bright.

White for the faces and red for the needles. I'll change those out to something a little more special eventually.

These things really are tiny! I'm going to need a smaller tip for my soldering iron.

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I'm also going to need smaller hands.

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And the patience of a saint. Or a nerd holding out for that girl he really likes.

I'll pull the clocks apart one of these evenings and solder them in. The foils and rings will get some nice custom touches too.
 

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I'm from Ilford, in East London! I moved back here last year.
Thought so - I grew up in Hackney and Leyton but we lived in Barking for a while (near Upney station) up until last year. Then we moved out and up the M11 to Herts.

You realise you are getting old when you say to people you are "moving for the kids" :lol-lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thought so - I grew up in Hackney and Leyton but we lived in Barking for a while (near Upney station) up until last year. Then we moved out and up the M11 to Herts.

You realise you are getting old when you say to people you are "moving for the kids" -lol:
Upney station is literally down the road! Small world eh?

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Upney station is literally down the road! Small world eh?

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Totally - I'll have to keep an eye out for the car when I'm round that way visiting my in laws (they are still in Barking).
 
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