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poorchoices New Reader
10/30/21 7:38 a.m.

In more typical late updates,


Week before Lemons NHMS event we,

Figured out we needed 5v pullup's on the vr circuits for the Cas setup which completely eliminated the false triggers. Once the beetle coil and pigtail showed up it was trivial to wire the car to run wastespark. After a day of scratching our head on while it somehow ran worse it dawned on us that the timing was 180deg out. Rob took apart my adapter and was able to clock the internal drive adapter to get us spot on timing. Car fired right up, idled, and other than tip in settings being terrible reved like a real car. 

Next was rewire the disaster that is the interior of the car. It was all point to point wiring that was changed 5x to get to Thompson and needed to be fixed. All of the grounds were cleaned up, more relays added and the rest of the cartek battery isolation kit was removed as it failed (read: went up in smoke) and we had a traditional battery switch in the car anyways. I also wired in the factory fuel level gauge, added extra grounds to the fuel pump circuts and wired up the headlights and gauge lights because why not. 

After this we packed the car which drove into the trailer which was the most  pleasant driving experience i've had in this car to date. Even with zero time tuning, the engine was responsive enough to do a 38 point turn in my driveway while I did the car shuffle to get it loaded and the new 7/8 clutch master cyl and lower pedal ratio made the clutch feel like a stock car and we no longer risked snapping clutch cables.  Thursday night we dragged the car and trailer of tools / spares to NHMS and _drove_ the car into the garages.


poorchoices New Reader
10/30/21 8:12 a.m.

Friday we un packed, gave the car a once over and then argued over who was going to get the first stab at driving it. Rob and John convinced me to go out and after strapping in the laptop to let the ecu autotune I went out. 

I think I took it easy for a half lap before realizing that we may actually have a functioning car and drove it normally. Other than the terrible wheel spin on the uphill we had our selves a race car. It passed people in corners, straights and more. I think i did 3 or 4 laps before I started getting ballsy and passing on the outside of t9, t10, in the bowl etc. Car ran fine. 

I came in after about 10 laps of telling myself I should go in because I was having to much fun and Johnny was up next. I don't think he believed me that it was as fun as it was. We were fighting with the wide band shutting off and thus the auto tune not working but he went out anyway as it still drove pretty good even with possibly 3 laps of it auto tuning with me. 

Johnny went out, wide band failed right away but he improved on my times. He may have done 30min or so and came in. He was also pretty happy with how it went. It needs more tuning, and a diff (Bad!) but it starts, stops, turns etc.

Rob I think said something to the effect of 'seeing how happy you guys are im pretty excited to get in the car' and went out.  Wideband failed again but he did similar times to Johnny (read: they both bettered my times) He drove a while and I think came in for the lunch break. After this we found the error codes for the wideband which was ground fault and realized the negative terminal on the bat was sliding up the post. Quick peen on the post and it was fixed and the wideband stayed on. 

After lunch car did more test laps and auto-tuned, we went though tech which they gave us class C again and passed us with no issues. I think the car went out for the rest of the test day and ran flawless. We nut and bolted the car, changed the oil and were ready for Sat. 



poorchoices New Reader
10/30/21 8:35 a.m.


Sat Josh started the race as he wasn't able to make test day and the parade laps would be his only chance to get a feel for the car before everyone went all ricky bobby. Car had immediate pace and looked competitive right away. We had a miss communication on pit strategy and Josh came in early but its probably for the better as it gave us a chance to quickly check the car and at that point Johnny went out. We figured around 1hr stints and around 50min in Johnny said he could easily do 30min more so we went even longer to 1:45.  

If I remember right we were getting ready to hot pit for the first time and Johnny called in, cars broken, he thinks its an axle or the trans and hes getting towed. We were skeptical it was the trans but an axle was believable. Car came in and we just pulled a ball joint out of a knuckle which also nukes an axle and the tire was killed as well. Swapped in a spare axle, new ball joint hardware and we were good to go, car went back out with Rob as I recall. 

Rob drove for possibly 30min and radioed in, car is broken, i think its the throttle cable... (how does one even break that?) He was able to grab the cable with his shoe and limped the car back in 2nd. We patched the cable and he went out for the rest of his stint. 

This time we got a chance to hot pit and do fuel and a drivers change. It all went well and I got to go out. Car was quick and fun though the brakes sucked. engagement was way down from Friday and it felt like the car would rotate left on big brake events such as entry into T1. I drove around the problem and drove to checkered feeling pretty racey as i've said a number of times, the car is now fun to drive and I took it to the checkered flags ending day 1. 


poorchoices New Reader
10/30/21 9:01 a.m.

Sunday morning we decided to bleed the brakes in hopes it was just air or old fluid. After we fought with the car to start in the near freezing temps and realized that 15-40w oil doesn't like 1800rpm idles in 33deg's and we delt with a few oil leaks. After that the Fox living up to its VW name decided it no longer wanted coolant and pushed it all out the overflow and refused to bleed. We got the car bleed and on track just in time, Josh was going by T5 when they waved the green flag. 

Half way into his stint Josh called in, brakes suck but hes staying out, but they suck. He later radioed in, brakes are gone, there are none. He got to the garage and pulled in and we immediately found a pool of fluid forming by the passenger rear wheel so that was an easy problem to locate.  Turns out the forward brake shoe was gone and we over traveled the brake cyl. Easy fix except nobody on the team had done drum brakes in the last 10 years and we didn't really have great pliers to even pull it off. This also explained why the car would rotate under braking, right rear didn't have any brakes. 

After spending way to much time remembering how to do drum brakes we got the car assembled, bled and back on track. I think this was problem we had and just kept putting drivers and fuel into the car. 

Overall we placed good for a first weekend of actual racing though we would have placed much better had random things not broken but id still call it an overall success. I took the checkered flag again on Sunday and drove the car from the track to the trailer which is the best feeling after a whole weekend of racing, car still runs.

We are not sure if we will make Pitt's or Jersey in the spring but they are on the radar. Over the winter we plan on going though the whole car and just double checking everything but overall the car setup should stay the same. If I can swing a diff its probably the smartest thing to do as the car needs one bad, but even if we cant its not the end of the world.

Honsch Reader
10/30/21 12:05 p.m.

Congratulations  You got a Fox to finish a race!

Ditch the rear drums and upgrade the fronts to the larger vented discs if you haven't already.

I would not suggest a welded diff.  We tried one in our Fox and it was not good.  Welded front difs and manual steering do not work well together.

If you have the means, a Quafie can be installed.  You need to machine out the diff cover to take the larger bearing and you lose the speed sensor.  It's very nice.

preach (fs)
preach (fs) GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/31/21 7:44 a.m.

My team wants to start out at Pitts and work our way home to NH via the races, but I am not sure I will have the funds to do that with all of my other projects going.

That and our luck sucks. We tried to make our first race last year in NH and late friday night the GTI suddenly would not start just as we were going to put it on the trailer. That was after a 10+ hr/day 2 week thrash to get everything done. To add insult to this I was pulling my quick jack out of my truck and managed to compound fracture my right ring finger. I tucked everything in and wrapped it in duct tape and went to watch the race. The finger is still not 100% healed.

We ended up doing some welding after the battery was installed and smoked the ECU.

Lost a couple members and took 2021 off. We did find a free donor for the ECU and some drivetrain spares, so some progress was made.

Hope to see you in 2022. We are always named after submarines somehow...Sub-par, Sub-standard, etc. Car #688 as in the LA class subs. '92-ish VW Golf GTI.

Mezzanine Dork
10/31/21 1:08 p.m.
poorchoices said:

Quick peen on the post and it was fixed.. 

The what now? 



Kidding aside, great write-up! 

poorchoices New Reader
10/31/21 7:38 p.m.

In reply to Honsch :

Thanks, was a nice feeling finishing the race. Fronts are already vented and I will ditch the rear drums this winter / early spring. What diff did you use? If we could have put power down on the uphill at NHMS we would have placed much better. 

In reply to preach (fs) :

Your luck sounds like my luck normally. Ive also killed ecu's welding on cars and now unhook EVERYTHING, even if im taking exhaust with a ground very close by

In reply to Mezzanine :

My first choice of tool is usually a hammer, or something I can use as a hammer. In this case I used a carpenters hammer and (someone else's) flat head screwdriver to pit the negative battery post so the terminal would stop sliding up. Didn't move once the rest of the weekend after this. 

Honsch Reader
11/1/21 12:04 a.m.

I'm pretty sure the diff we used was a Quaife QDF6Q.  It wither requires an early diff cover from Europe, or the diff cover bored out for the correct bearing.

From the interwebs:
For 01/11/99 (Jan. 11, 1999) and later transaxles, Quaife ATB differential will install when used in conjunction with the following parts: 012 409 131H Side Cover 002 517 185A Bearing

I'd have to dig, but I got the right bearing and race from a local bearing supplier, not from VW.

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