Welcome to this months newsletter.
going to start off this month with a bit of a whinge.
A whinge at myself. I hate winter! There I have
said it. Don't get me wrong, the festive season is always an annual treat
loved by all, including me. What I hate is the short days, the constant
cold and associated bad weather.
Now most dubbers, use this time to lock themselves away to prepare and
implement their fresh look for the following season. Tending to the bigger
jobs that are little more involved and time consuming. Not me though, ohh no, I am more like a bear. A big dumb bear at that,
one who would happily go into hibernation until spring starts to break
through. I also have the motivation of a sloth during the winter months. In
my infinite wisdom I chose April as the perfect time to finally get round
to my planned engine swap.
replacement engine was nothing fruity, not even an engine most would bother
to go to the effort to drop in. A 2.0 8v out of a MK3 Golf, given it is
replacing a 1.8 8v, I thought it would be a nice little power boost,
without all of the headache of running a modded
engine. A safe reliable upgrade. Just what I need for my daily car. I
convinced myself that all would be well, and through some sort of delusional
vision, even believed it would be an easy swap. Well once started it became
very apparent this was going to be no easy task. Sure the physical act of
taking one engine out, and putting another in it's
place is relatively easy. Wiring the new engine in to make it run, sadly isn't. It took Craig (Carmegeddon
- Stealth Automotive) about 1.5hrs to pull the old motor! Doddle I thought,
does it show I was brew boy during this time? The new cambelt
and water pump were fitted to the new motor, all
the ancillaries were swapped over from the old motor onto the new one. This
is going great!! Too great......
on day one, after a 13hr day we were still trying to pick the bones out of
the MK3 loom, hoping that with fresh eyes we will see the light at the end
of a very dark tunnel. The call was made to down tools and come back to it
in the morning. We set off for home, only stopping to collect a curry
it bright and early, all we needed to do was crack this loom millarchy, thread it all back in, drop in the motor,
turn the key and hey presto! Well that was the plan at least. As the hours
passed by we started to completely lose the will to carry on. My phone rang
which thankfully broke the blokey silence. My
brother had found a B3 Passat in a local scrap yard which had a fog light
surround that Craig had been after. With very little encouragement from
each other, we used this as an excuse to run away from the wiring loom
nightmare, and go and play in the scrap yard.
in the corner of the yard, being squashed by another car was a rather sad
looking B3. Craig being the engine man he is, went
straight for the bonnet. As if by some stroke of luck, a magical moment, a
twist of fate, whatever you want to call it, right there and then our
wiring loom nightmare came to very sudden and very abrupt end. Because
before our very tired eyes was a 2.0 16v 9a engine!!!! The car still had
all four discs and calipers on (mine rocks drums at the back), a full GT
interior, loads of black plastic and a rear load cover.
Craig, with a look of disbelief and happiness on his face, said 'if it
fires we'll have it'. He connected the battery, stuck his arm though the
window and turned the key.....the old girl fired straight away! Our
nightmare was over.
going in there for a fog light surround, we ended up walking away with a
back to the dub cave tidied up the tools, moved the three engines that are
now living in there, and generally made room for another car to be stored.
You have never seen three blokes move so quickly, it was truly impressive.
Just don't tell the wives we can move that quickly though. They may come to
expect it all the time.
later the donor car was delivered to the cave on the back of a flatbed
tuck. With a bit of skilled (read that as lucky, very lucky) fork lift
truck driving by me. It was safely stored in the cave. Sat next to Yogi, it
did look very sad indeed.
following week with my car being out of action, was a right pain in the posterior!
Had to ride to work every day, ran the wife to work so I could use her car
on the Saturday. What a ballache! In my mind, I
kept telling myself it is all part of the journey,
the end result will be worth it all.
enough already on our plates, you would think we would be mad to take on
another project, right? Well when you are in for a pound, what's another
penny on top? I still think we have got this saying the wrong way round,
which maybe why we ended up finding ourselves driving from Blackpool down to Norfolk to A frame another 16v B3
Passat all the way back up. With a 5:30am start we embarked on a mission to
save a second B3 Valver in less than a week. This
was the day off Craig and I both deserved, the sun shone down on us all
day, the journey went a dream. With only a few 'moments' as you would
expect using a stripped out B3 Passat to A frame a fully loaded B3 Passat.
4:30pm we were back home, job done! Victor, as the new car is affectiantly now known, is currently being treated to
some light servicing/repairs to get him road legal.
our road trip, we got a hint that my donor car might be a bit of an oil
burner. Gutted!! So plan C was hatched. Drop the original motor back in,
and re-build the Valver engine. The last thing I
would want is to get the engine in to find out it had to come back out for
a re-build. Again I told myself it's for the greater good,
the end result will be worth it. It better had be!
rolled round, and back into the cave at 7:30 am. Dropping the original loom
and motor back in should be a doddle, we'll have
it done easily by tea time. WRONG!! We rolled out at just gone midnight! It
is surprising how undoing all the work from a previous week, can really
have a negative effect on your working pace.
simple engine swap has already got way out of control. I have gone from a
safe, solid, reliable engine with a little power increase, to acquiring an
engine with 50% more power than my original. Managed to talk myself into
re-building the motor, replacing the whole braking system, to now
incorporate a bigger set up at the front and discs out back. Install a full
set of electric windows, entailing running the loom and installing the
control unit along with all four window mechs.
The dash was black in the donor car, so why not throw that in too? Well if
the original dash is coming out, it I would be stupid to not fit a new
heater matrix at the same time. I'll just add that to the list then........
to do there? You would think so wouldn't you.
Imagine if your 'friends' start whispering about engine mods,
you would naturally expect yourself to tell them to go forward and
multiply, and simply choose to ignore the whispers. Not stupid old me! I
have now sourced some mild cams, along with some bike carbs.
When will this end? Damn it hasn't actually even started yet!
me having a list longer than a Leonard Cohen song, seemingly increasing
with every Ebay search, I have decided to put
some added pressure on, by setting myself a deadline. When have I set
myself the goal to get all this done by? That's right July ready for the UK
Passats The Gathering. Some are saying no way! With my skills prior to this
project only extending as far as changing a wheel and the occasional bulb,
I kind of feel the same. This said my enthusiasm to complete the task is
massive, and with the expert assistance of Craig, with a handful of other UKP'ers just on the end of the phone only to happy to
offer help, I have the faith!!!!! I am not sure my family
share the same level of excitement and enthusiasm, with the dread of
long days, late nights and oily hand prints all over the house...........
my opening statement, if I wasn't so lethargic in the colder, darker months
I would have lived all of this months ago and
would be now enjoying the fruits of my labor. Well I hope this is a lesson
learned for me, I wouldn't put any money on it though, as I really do hate
you have been up to, I hope you had as much fun as me, and whatever you are
up to I hope it all goes well for you. Hopefully I will meet a few of you
The Gathering, and by then plan C will be completed, fingers crossed!