Brian UltraDork
Nov. 20, 2013 4:49 p.m.

I just picked up a relatively beat one for chump change. It's a 96 GL gasoline 2.0 with 4 doors and a majorly bad alignment. Impart your wisdom o'hive of knowledge.

SlickDizzy UberDork
Nov. 20, 2013 4:57 p.m.

If it's a manual, reverse gear WILL go out at some point. They also rust really bad around the strut towers and rockers. If yours is rusty, don't plan on it ever being more than a beater. Arguably the least-loved VW platform because it lacks the simplicity of the A2 and the refinement of the A4 with some of the worst build quality in VW's history. They can be made to go fast like any other VW, but prepare to open up the pocket book.

Brett_Murphy UltraDork
Nov. 20, 2013 6:46 p.m.

I have a rust free, 2 door sport model, plaid seats and all. I call it the Brokeswagen.

GRM had a project car of this type, but the "Completed Project Cars" link isn't working.

(edit) there was a work around in the feedback section.

http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/project-cars/1995-volkswagen-golf/

Knurled PowerDork
Nov. 20, 2013 6:55 p.m.
Brian wrote: I just picked up a relatively beat one for chump change. It's a 96 GL gasoline 2.0 with 4 doors and a majorly bad alignment. Impart your wisdom o'hive of knowledge.

What you bought is a slightly heavier MkII but with all of the typical MkII upgrade bits installed at the factory. It's got the best transmission, the best 8v, the best rear beam, the best front stuff, and the shell feels a lot stiffer besides.

It's a couple hundred pounds heavier, but meh. The tradeoffs are worth it.

NGTD Dork
Nov. 20, 2013 9:27 p.m.

I had a 95 with a Turbo Diesel - 335K kms on it when I sold it.

Key was very few options - crank windows, etc. Never had a single problem with reverse.

Knurled PowerDork
Nov. 20, 2013 9:29 p.m.

I've only ever seen Reverse go bad when people blow past the interlock (or have poorly adjusted/crappy linkage) and get R instead of 1 when downshifting at speed. GRONK.

That's the only real problem. 020 transmission, therefore you get to replace the Tinkertoys on top of the trans every 10k or so. It's simple to do, and the arrangement works really really well when it's not all loose, but it gets loose quickly.

captdownshift Reader
Nov. 21, 2013 6:24 a.m.

i'm just going to leave this here. It takes a weak point of the car and makes the shifter feel bmw fantastic

http://www.usrallyteam.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=13_34&products_id=1763

captdownshift Reader
Nov. 21, 2013 6:29 a.m.

suspension wise there are the usual options, but i really like shine suspensions stuff on vw, power wise TM tuning makes a nice oversized throttlebody that is plug and play, used neuspeed superchargers can be found for less then a ground and are simply to install, bahn bremmer kits provide a higher kick, but cost a but more and install is a bit more involved, and before doing either i'd install a bolt kit, limited slip, 4.25 R&P and .75 5th gear in the 020 trans, because if not (for the bolt kit) the rivets will blow

Paul_VR6 HalfDork
Nov. 21, 2013 6:33 a.m.

Watch for rust, they get eaten. Somehow mk1s and 2s are fairing better. Strut tower welds in the front, rockers under the skirts and floors are suspect until after inspection.

Mechanically, nothing overly scary.

bradyzq Dork
Nov. 21, 2013 9:15 a.m.

Pre-96 should have forged cranks.

captdownshift Reader
Nov. 21, 2013 10:47 a.m.

obdi cars have the forged crank and under piston skirt oil squirters

doc_speeder Reader
Nov. 21, 2013 12:54 p.m.

The 2.0 ABA engine is a bit of a tractor in stock form, but they take to boost very well and they're tough. A Peloquin/Quaife/Wavetrac diff will make a huge difference in front grip while cornering and also replaces the weak part of the transaxle. I had one with the USRT linkage above. Awesome unit.

Rust is the main enemy with these as has been stated several times already.

Don't be a afraid to go big on the cam. With a shaved head, adjustable cam gear, a good long-tube header and a Techtonics 276 or 288 cam and the appropriate tuning, they'll rev happily to 7000 revs and make 130-140 at the wheels and still a bunch of torque.

I gave up on them due to the constant rust issues, and I live in Southern Alberta. Cars really don't rust here...

Travis_K UltraDork
Nov. 21, 2013 2:20 p.m.

I would add Audi tt control arm bushings and vr6 strut mounts. The clutch is probably nearly dead too. They do run fine with a big cam, but it may misfire enough at idle to turn the check engine light on.

doc_speeder Reader
Nov. 21, 2013 4:36 p.m.
Travis_K wrote: I would add Audi tt control arm bushings and vr6 strut mounts. The clutch is probably nearly dead too. They do run fine with a big cam, but it may misfire enough at idle to turn the check engine light on.

Haha, yeah. Like the CEL isn't on already. Good one.

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