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Thread: We can rebuild it. 91 Golf

  1. #1

    Default We can rebuild it. 91 Golf

    I've always been a fan of mk2's and been looking for an opportunity to pick up a project. Last year it came as a tornado red 91 Golf CL. I bought it off a vwvortex member near Waterloo. It's had numerous previous owners starting in Nova Scotia, making its way to Ontario, sitting in a field for two years and finally me for a whopping $150.

    These are the pics of the original FS ad.

    The motor/tranny were gone. The interior was ripped apart, all the seats and headliner smelled like mold from sitting outside for so long. Both rear drums were seized, the rear quarters needed replacing, the subframe/suspension/rear beam/brakes all looked like they come off the titanic. I was told the main fuel pump and the intermediate pump were dead. None of the door latches worked and the rear hatch was rotted along the window seal.

    However it was a two door, it had no power steering, no ac, no sunroof. All the things I wanted. The floors were solid and it didn't have the famous mk2 windshield surround rot.
    The guy said if I didn't buy he was going to send it off to get scrapped. You see less and less of these on the road here so I bought it. The owner had a flatbed and for a small gas fee was able to tow it to my place the next week.


  2. #2


    These are the initial engine bay shots.


    Started with removing the hood, taking off the rotted front crossmember and rad support.
    Bolt heads for the front rebar/crossmember were severely rusted, it was a real pain in the ass to get them off you had to continually downsize the size from metric to imperial and hammer the socket on before trying it again. Forget air tools.

    Removed more stuff from the bay, brake booster, cables, bay harness, brake hardlines etc.

    Rusted battery tray

    Found this when I took off the fenders. You can see the hood support bracket there too. Not too safe.

    Removed the Dash, HVAC box, fusebox, meters worth of ghetto speaker wiring.

  3. #3


    I picked up a battery tray and a pair of rear quarters for the car off
    The stock one is held in by a number of spot welds that need to be drilled out.

    Got to stripping the bay.

    Numerous oem holes were patched, rust cut out etc.

    The whole time I was praying that the bolts wouldn't brake or have the threads strip.
    The two rear sub frame bolts thread into a sort of threaded cap that is welded to the body.
    The only way to get to them is cutting the floors from the inside and welding them back on if they happen to break off.

    Last edited by renngolf; 01-10-2011 at 01:16 AM.

  4. #4


    This was also replicated for the passenger side inner brace.

    The inner fenders were also stripped out, stitch welded seams, seam sealed, rust bulleted and painted with rocker guard.

    Certain parts of the rails, especially the corners and the seam that joins the firewall to the floor was treated with some rust bullet prior to primer.

    Last edited by renngolf; 01-08-2011 at 09:01 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    mmm i like, hope you have done alot of progress. that means alot of pictures, we all like pictures you know.
    Stretchsaurus and Pokemon.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Perth, Western Australia


    and great work so far. at this rate its gonna be very tidy

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by Zic View Post
    mmm i like, hope you have done alot of progress. that means alot of pictures, we all like pictures you know.
    Hopefully enough to satisfy interest until I can start working on it again when it warms up.


    A bit more progress on the floors. Looking back I wouldn't do this again but its the I might as well's that get you. Rear portions were easily cracked and removed with a chisel. The front's were a gummy kind of tar shit that was a nightmare.

    Rust Bullet

    Seeing Red

    Not such an eyesore anymore

  8. #8


    im likin this! im a hugh vw fan!

  9. #9


    I am backtracking posting the progress there is a good chance I might forget certain steps or details. Sorry about that.

    Took a break from the body to refurbish the steering rack.

    Centered and buttoned up.

    Mk3 10.1" Spindles, new bearings, hubs, balljoints, rod ends.
    Balljoints are coupled with PMW balljoint extenders. The spindle tie rod arm was drilled out to accept a taper sleeve allowing the running of the rod end underneath as opposed to the top to keep the bumpsteer in check.

    Out with the with the not as old.

    Stitched the front crossmember and repainted it. Its fitted with 4 powerflex bushings and a Bahn Brenner solid front mount.

    I got a mk2 subframe with control arms that was in far better shape than the original one.
    It was still cleaned up, had the seams stitch welded and repainted along with the control arms. Control arms were fitted with R32 rear bushings and poly front. New balljoint hardware.
    The sway is the OEM 17mm with new links/energy bushings.
    The tranny mount is G60, rear engine is non-hydro TT heavy duty.
    The shifter bracket was sourced from another car repainted and fitted with all new bushings. Missing Linkz UHMW relay ball.

    If you're ever pressing these at home. Use your old strut top hats.

    The one piece I saved of the old subframe were the sway brackets. The bolts snapped off in the nuts. I had to grind them down and weld on some new nuts.

    So far all the hardware is new 10.9. Nothing better than new bolts.

    Restored a crappy rad support with new latch.
    Last edited by renngolf; 01-10-2011 at 01:23 AM.

  10. #10


    Some more pics of the progress.
    I didn't get any pics of this but the exhaust tunnel heatshield was removed and the shifter box dropped disassembled with a full rebuild kit. While all that stuff was out any spots of rust were wire wheeled away, covered in rust bullet, seam sealer, a ton of rocker guard. It's a pain in the ass without a rotisserie and crawling underneath it with a grinder and painting after licks bag.

    Drivers side rocker guard

    Bottom of the floors. You can see just how rusted the beam is in the back along with the tank straps.

    Shifter box went back in a long with the tunnel shield. Had to reuse it because it would be impossible to locate one in better shape.

    With the shifter box in put up the subframe, bolted it up according to spec.

    Also threw in a adhesive backed heatshield since you won't find an oem one and I didn't want to use an enormous mk3 one. The exhaust runs so close to everything there its a piece of mind.

    Before throwing in the steering column I replaced the ignition switch in it. Gave it a quick spray in black and regreased the ujoints.
    Clutch return spring piece snapped on me

    I was too lazy to go to the dealer so I just fabbed up a steel one.

    Mk3 22mm master cylinder, new reservoir.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2010


    Very nice work! Love mk2's

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    West Chester, PA


    So much work.

  13. #13


    Fresh mk3 calipers and carriers. New hardware and boots.

    Rotors are simple blank Brembo 10.1"

    Steel braided lines from Eurosport

    The coils are Weitec XS, Height/dampening.
    The pads are the thick TRW 15mm's. Loved these as far as longevity is concerned.
    New vr6 strut mounts,bearings are nuts were used on the front.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Waco / Dallas


    awesome work!!

    my buddy has a 92 that he bought in pretty rough shape to and is in the process of restoring, hopefully like this.

    props dude, i'm excited to see this "resurrection"

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Turku, Finland


    Looking good! I totally LOVE builds where everything gets renewed and theres loads of pictures. Keep it up.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Berlin, Germany


    My eyes like what they are looking at.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oxer View Post
    I dont know why, but I love your car.. Its OEM cleanness makes me happy in the genitals.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Deuce Oh Four


    im loving this. I had a 91 JEtta Coupe that was written off cause i had the infamous rot around the windshield. I should have fixed it.

  18. #18


    amazing work! attention to every single detail = win! love this built, cant wait to see this mk2 finished!

  19. #19


    Thanks guys. Questions, comments, advice are always welcome.

    In the midst of the build I picked up a MK3 rear beam off a friend. It uses the same brackets that the mk2 uses it will push out the width around half an inch on each side. Everything else is the same. The main difference is it uses 56mm dia bushings while the mk2 uses skinnier 44.5mm bushings.

    VW decided to use an 8mm allen head on the carrier bolts. 3 out of 4 were stripped out before I got to them. I had to weld a nut onto the allen heads and turn them out.

    Proportioning valve spring

    The prop valve also uses long thin allen type bolts that have an acorn seat so they sit flush when they are tightened to the driver side beam braceket into some welded on nuts.
    As usual these were seized, heads broke off. I had to cut off the welded nuts on the bracket to take off the prop valve which probably stopped functioning like it should years ago.

    This picture is going back in time but the beam and brackets were treated to a wire wheel to get the rust off the welds. It was covered in rust bullet and painted. You can also see the shifter box here.

    The the beam was really the only thing I could use out of everything that came with it. I took apart the rear calipers and found the coating on the pistons was pretty pitted so a rebuild kit was useless. They're good for cores at least. Stub axles had deep scratches in them. It looked like the bearings grenaded in the past. Rotors were also trash.

    The bushings were a real treat. Chances are if your mk2 or 3 has never had these changed out the rubber is just floating around in its metal sleeve. You have to make a relief cut in the sleeve to get them to budge.

    Once the beam was painted and bare I threw in a bildon motor sport style torsion bar to keep it from twisting. I will never drill one out again.

    Makeshift bearing press I made.

    Almost there. You want the metal collar to extend 8mm past the socket. Spec is the same for mk2 and 3.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    detroit, michigan


    nice dont mess around!

  21. #21
    06SharkGT Guest


    Looking good.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Oshawa/Peterborough Ontario


    Wow awesome work, at first i was like nahhh that thing is to far gone, but obviously have the required mad skills to prove me wrong.

    "I was too lazy to go to the dealer so I just fabbed up a steel one."

  23. #23


    Haha thanks.
    It kinda got out of control since it wasn't supposed to a full resto. I've had a few 'what the hell was I thinking?' moments.
    Bolting things back on is the fun part

    Edit: Added a few missing pics to their respective sections.
    Last edited by renngolf; 01-10-2011 at 01:24 AM.

  24. #24


    Love where this is going!
    Keep us updated, I wanna see how this turns out.
    Volkswagen Jetta, MKiii (Daily)
    BMW 320i, E21 (FOR SALE)

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2010


    props for even starting on that rust bucket

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