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1SlowVW Reader
3/5/19 9:17 a.m.

In reply to AAZCD 

Now you’re picking up what I’m putting down.

Yes, cut a hole in the manifold and block off the position for the stock tb. Remove the hood or get a junk yard hood and cut a hole.


AAZCD Reader
3/5/19 9:42 a.m.

Well, I went ahead and bought a supercharger. If I can't figure out how to make it work in this car I'll probably find another car for it or make it into a lamp. Here's a picture of a similar one with some notes:

It all looks fairly simple: Suck air through the throttle body and push it down into the intake. The bypass will also dump directly into the intake with no need for plumbing. I think I can cut a big hole in the intake and make a plate with gaskets to mount it. I don't think I'll ever figure out Aluminum welding, but JB Weld can do almost anything if I need to stick aluminum together (if it doesn't need to last forever). If this is a bad idea, tell me now or start the popcorn.

Current budget:

Officially the car was $800 with banners, boxes of stuff, old long block and transmission, some oil, and coolant. The new R888 tires were included for $100 more. $900 total at pick-up. I just spent $200 for the supercharger. I may buy injectors (white 36#) for another $45, but I'm doing a little reading and looking thru my parts pile before I do.

AAZCD Reader
3/8/19 5:24 p.m.

I don't think that's going to work.

In theory it looked pretty simple. Bolt it on, add a pulley or two, and rig the throttle body to fit. That might have worked if I bought a more compact unit, like the one on the Super Coupe. When the box for my supercharger showed up at the end of the driveway and my wife said that it was too heavy for her to bring in, I thought I may have made a mistake.

This one is a little bigger than it looked in the pictures. There are shorter snouts and smaller Eaton superchargers. I could work on adapting this one: Force it to fit with a big mount and some tubing. That would be a slow path to a stalled project. I got this unit cheap and it's in good shape, but needs some clean-up. I'm going to make it look nice and resell it. Message me if you are in need of one. The seller said that this one was from an '04 or '05 Impala.

So, what next? Continue to review what I have and what needs to be done to make it run well, corner tight, and stop quickly. That will be plenty. What about MORE POWER? I'm seriously thinking of a Chinese turbo kit.

There's an interesting one on Amazon, but I'm a little scared to click the 'Buy Now' just yet. It looks pretty and has lots of good words. My experience with cheap 'all-inclusive' kits is that they are often a cobbled collection of flashy looking parts that will all end up in the trash in 6 months. Maybe this time it will be different. About $600 everything included except for instructions. Who ever reads the instructions anyway? Give me some pics and a YouTube. wink

What could go wrong?

1SlowVW Reader
3/8/19 6:06 p.m.

The good news is you’ve got an m90. Do you have any machinists friends who can shorten up that snout? That blower will hardly be working on a vr6 as eaton says they are good on up to a 5l engine.


Ebay turbo kit will work. Still need management and stuff to build a downpipe....but nothing crazy. On low boost you can get away without an intercooler so that makes things a bit easier. 

I’d still try and make that blower work though because I’m a sucker for punishment and because the noise. 


I believe I’ve provided enough bad advice here. 

AAZCD Reader
3/8/19 7:03 p.m.
1SlowVW said:

I believe I’ve provided enough bad advice here. 

Actually, I really appreciate your advice. Nothing wrong with what you said. The problem was more that I ran off and bought the cheapest working Eaton supercharger I could find without really going over the details of how it would actually fit. Here's a picture of one installed. Somehow mine looks a lot bigger when I set it in the car.

It can work, but at a quick glance there are a lot of complications getting it placed right. I think I'll hold on to it for now as I get the car cleaned up and running. No need to rush into the boost, but I still want to boost it - for the learning and the noise.

Edit: A second look and I think it won't be quite that bad. Positioned as shown above, the M90 will cover the oil filler cap/neck and the bypass will not directly vent into the intake. I think that I can still work around that if I pick up another intake to experiment with. (I don't want to sacrifice the original without a back-up.) I need to keep in mind that this does not need to be a reliable daily driver. I can trailer it to Florida for the Challenge. Money wasted on things that didn't work out won't be on the Challenge budget unless it is installed on the car. I still have time and funds, so I'm not giving up on the supercharger yet.

AAZCD Reader
4/16/19 12:53 a.m.

Ok, back to basics. Yes, boost will be awesome, but I should really focus on having a running, driving car before I bolt on a supercharger. I don't have a running car.

The #3 VW project car brazenly jumped ahead in line and kept me busy for most of March. Now I am back on the Golf. It was looking pretty sad for a while, in my overfull garage serving as a shelf for cleaning products tools that needed to be put away.

My plan for this car is to focus only as a challenge build. The Scirocco is special to me and still mostly intact as an original car. Work on that will go more towards a street restoration build. It is covered and stored, so best left  undisturbed for now until I get the Golf to a better state. After sorting through the parts boxes in the car I had: a coffee can of nuts and bolts, a tub of cooling system parts (mostly worn out or broken), a box of rubber boots, emissions parts, and a MAF housing, and a large box of unneeded interior parts. The original radiator and fan is in the interior and its a large all-metal thing. I don't think it's going to be part of a challenge car.
My current focus is to get the car running. The ad said that it just needed an ECU and coolant to be running. Lets just say that seller was pretty optimistic in saying that. Keep in mind that this was one guy's project that blew an engine, was partly repaired, then abandoned and sold to a friend as a non-running project partly fixed, then ripped apart and abandoned again. There are many layers of 'project' in this onion.

I still thought that when I sorted out the wiring, cobbled together an intake assembly, and closed up a cooling system, that I would be able to turn the key and hear signs of life - at least a popping rumble of misfires. That didn't happen. The key turned, the cluster indications dimmed and the silence became louder. Rather than push onward that day, I decided it was a fine day to change the oil and spark plugs in my lawnmower.
A couple days later, my initial suspicion is confirmed: gunked-up stater. After removing it, I got it to work eventually with some turning, tapping, and jumping. Tonight at work, I just finished taking it apart, cleaning it up and greasing it. Reassembled now, it has more play in the shaft than I like, but it should do it's job fine for a Challenge car.

Note for budget: I bought a set of hoses, cooling and vacuum, for $81.21 w/tax. Currently still using the hoses that came with the car, but they are rough and I don't want to rely on them.

Catlas_Se7en New Reader
4/16/19 6:33 a.m.

In reply to AAZCD :

I'm jealous. I want the wheels for my Miata.

Hoondavan Reader
4/16/19 7:38 a.m.

I've done some reading up on Eatons, I've been contemplating putting on my M42 (4cyl BMW engine).  The pontiac M90 Eatons have a longer profile.  The M90 used on a thunderbird has a smaller profile.  I think the Thunderbird version is what you should have been looking for.  The Pontiac versions seem a bit more common on CL.  

M90 Thunderbird Version


M90 Pontiac Version

AAZCD Reader
4/17/19 10:36 p.m.

Here's a video from cranking it and sort-of running it today. I'm not 'building' it at this point. I'm just trying to see where my starting point is with the basics of cranking, fuel, air, spark, and timing.


In reply to Hoondavan :

The M90 Thunderbird Version is the one to get, but I haven't found one that looks budget friendly for the Challenge build. Once I get the car driveable, I'll have a better idea of what I can fit in the budget and start looking again.

de80q Reader
4/18/19 6:24 a.m.

The fact that it fired at all with no O2 sensor is a good sign.  Plugging that in should make a big difference.  I hate wiring, so God bless you for taking on someone else's rats nest.

10001110101 New Reader
4/18/19 7:57 a.m.

You won't have a tach with that speedometer needle bouncing. MK3 clusters are notorious for failing stepper motors and cracked solder joints. Sounds like it'll be a runner soon enough. Try unplugging the MAF, it'll default to a richer fuel map. 

AAZCD Reader
5/21/19 11:19 a.m.

Wow, it's been over a month?  Time flies and I did have to focus on the Kansas Gambler 500 right after that last post.

The fact that it fired at all with no O2 sensor is a good sign.

Yes, and if I had the correct O2 sensor I would have used it. I searched thru the pile of stuff in that car and there was no O2 sensor anywhere. I have lots of O2 sensors from various VAG cars I've scrapped, but none had the right connector and I didn't want to hack the harness to make a wrong one fit.  Add $29.55 to the budget with very slow shipping. Pretty good price for an O2 sensor really.

You won't have a tach with that speedometer needle bouncing. MK3 clusters are notorious for failing

Reading that, I realized that I had a good cluster from the MK3 Jetta I scrapped. It looks identical, and should work.

"Should work"... I still haven't had the car running again.

The O2 sensor took forever to arrive. From USPS tracking, I think it went to Texas, then back to California before eventually showing up in Oklahoma. While it was en route, I put a belt on the car.

I thought that putting a belt on would be pretty straightforward. It wasn't. First, the gap between the top of the crank pulley and the frame rail was too tight to fit a belt. The seller had mentioned:

2, Probably need to pull the engine out and bang the frame out some because the crankshaft pulley is ridiculously close.

I really didn't want to pull the engine or deform the frame. Looking it over I figured that if I lowered the engine about 1/4 inch it would work. The plan: Lower the cross-beam that the front of the engine mounts to with some thick washers and shorten the rear engine mount a little. First I tried unbolting the cross-beam; four bolts, three pretty well seized. I decided to soak them in penetrating oil for a few days rather than rush and take a chance of breaking them. The rear mount had been modified with a polyurethane bushing. I figured that I could cut the bushing a little shorter to lower it. The two lower bolts of the mount turned freely without coming out. ...stripped. I manged to tap them up from underneath until they jammed, then carefully turned them out. With the mount out, I compared it to a stock mount for a 2.0L ABA engine I had nearby. It was actually about 1/4" taller than stock. I cut about 3/8" off the top Poly, added a little to the bottom and cut about 1/4" off the steel center shaft to make it all fit tight again.

While the cross-beam bolts were soaking, I decided to install the belt tensioner. Three bolts, simple. Then I noticed that the pulley was a little loose. I grabbed a wrench to tighten it. It just kept turning. Reverse threaded steel into aluminum. Yep, of course it's stripped. I had seen a tensioner in a box somewhere in the back of the car and dug it out. The pulley bearing was shot, but the threaded hole was good, so I took the best from both and made a working part. When I was bolting it on, I noticed that the alternator was *not* bolted on. I found some good bolts in a coffee can. The top one went in easily, but the bottom was too close to the frame rail and wouldn't go in. Loosen all the engine mounts and lift the engine? Drill a hole in the frame? I pulled the alternator out, then slid it back in with the bolt inserted in the lobe. The bolt didn't initially align with the mount as it pressed against the frame, but it was close enough that with some strategic use of a hammer and pry bar, it eventually went in.

A day or two later, the cross beam bolts came out and spacers went in. I found some old threaded studs in a coffee can and replaced the rusted bolts. I may have to add $10 to the final budget to cover "Junk from Coffee Cans". Front and rear mounts lowered a little bit, the belt slipped on easily. Of course, the belt didn't fit because it was sized to go with an AC compressor and steering pump. I will probably measure and size belts when I figure out if this is going to be NA or Boosted, but for now I grabbed a dozen belts from my garden shed-o-junk and found one that fit (I think it's from a Honda B18).

Belt installed. O2 sensor arrived and installed. Ready for the next phase of running the car. I put in a battery, flipped the switch for the fuel pump, then turned the key and pressed the gas pedal. The throttle cable came off the pedal again. I need to really fix that. As I was rigging the cable I smelled gas.  Strong gas smell. I climbed from under the dash, got out of the car and saw gasoline FLOWING across the garage floor. Well, at least the fuel pump works. Next task, research the plumbing. There are obviously some original parts missing and questionable modifications.   Glad I didn't blow up my garage.

A neighbor stopped by the other day and said that they just had to see what I was working on now. My best explanation is that its a project car that was given up on by the two previous owners and I now have a better understanding of why they gave up. It's a nice shell and a workable VR6. There's just a lot of 'not quite right' mixed in there. "Challenge." Yes, it is a Challenge car.


AAZCD Reader
5/30/19 10:43 a.m.

These cars have a lift pump in the gas tank, then an inline pump to pressurize the injectors. The inline pump is in a plastic housing which also contains a check valve and an accumulator to hold pressure in the return line. The inline pump was connected to the harness and running, but didn't have and fuel lines connected to it. It was bypassed with some hose and an inline filter. The hose on the return line was loose, cracked, and leaking. I have pulled it all off the car and I'm figuring out how I want to fix it.

I may replace the whole tank, pump, and lines with one from the car I scrapped. I may be able to clean and revive the original system. I may rig a single pump in the original tank. ...and I'm probably buying another project car this evening that could refocus everything. If things go smoothly I may get this car to 'self-propelled' status today or tomorrow.  I'm not betting on "smoothly".

AAZCD Reader
5/30/19 11:37 a.m.

I tested the components individually and flushed it all out with waste Jet Fuel (like kerosene). Everything seems good. Some nasty stuff came out of the accumulator, but the pumps both worked. I'm going to put it all together in a fuel loop now, still outside the car and see what happens. I don't have a pressure tester, so I'm testing for leaks and basic function. If it looks good, it will all go back on the car for a test run again.

xflowgolf SuperDork
5/30/19 12:26 p.m.

do the vr6 cars use the secondary accumulator as part of a stock system... like say in a mk3 or Corrado?  ...or was that accumulator/pump setup under the car a holdover from perhaps the 16V that used to reside there?  

It's been too long for me to recall if the mk3 sending units are different making the secondary pump moot.  

Glad to see you getting after this like you have.  I really need to get my  mk2 mobile under it's own power.  

Catlas_Se7en Reader
5/30/19 12:57 p.m.

You should trade me those wheels for my miata...

AAZCD Reader
5/30/19 1:09 p.m.

In reply to xflowgolf :

The fuel system in this car is what it came with as a Mk2 Golf GTI. Reading on Vortex, a lot of guys swapped to the Mk3 system with the primary pump in the tank.

Leak and function checks look good. Fuel pressure is still an unknown.  I just put the gas tank back on, but have run out of time for the moment.

The future previous owner of a 2001 Boxster with a "bad engine" said that I can come two hours earlier than planned to pick it up. Terrible idea... Last thing I need... I told myself "No." for two days before I called. "Challenge Boxster?"

AAZCD Reader
5/31/19 2:53 p.m.

Today I put the whole fuel system back together in the car. It was a good exercise to pull it all out because I fully understand it now. Now that I understand it, I think that I'm gonna rip it out and dispose of it. When I powered it up in the car, it had a very fine spray of fuel coming out by the inline pump. The whole unit is decayed and brittle, just not worth trying to patch anymore.  I have a variety of pumps from cars I've parted and I think I can make a decent system with what I have. This car is close to driving, so even if I change my primary focus the the Challenge Boxster, I want to keep this moving along. I'll put a few more hours into it before driving or pushing it out of the garage.

AAZCD Reader
5/31/19 9:45 p.m.

I really thought I'd drive the car out of the garage today. A milestone. A bit of payment for the work I've done so far. Nope. I sorted thru my fuel system parts and nothing suitable would fit the tank. No in-line pumps. I adapted a stronger pump to the tank -rigging things now just to get it running. No start. The throttle cable popped off the gas pedal. The clutch pedal stuck at the floor.

Time to take a step back. I knew this car would need more than just the "OBD1 ECM" and "Coolant" as listed in the Craigslist ad, but at this point I'm having a hard time finding any previous work on this car that was done right or any parts that aren't worn out. This is all stuff that I can do. Things that I can fix, but it's disappointing. It's not what I want to do right now.

As the last daylight faded I pushed it out of the garage. Tomorrow it goes to the 'back of the queue', behind the garage. It's future TBD.

java230 UltraDork
5/31/19 11:31 p.m.

Don't get so discouraged!! I believe in it running! 

wheelsmithy SuperDork
6/1/19 11:24 a.m.
java230 said:

Don't get so discouraged!! I believe in it running! 

Well, you know he did just buy a $1600 Boxster. I can see loosing interest as this as a challenge carcool

AAZCD Reader
6/1/19 9:46 p.m.

In reply to java230 :

Thanks. Last night I was worn out and genuinely sad.  I had spent much of the previous 3 days laying in a puddle of fuel under that car. The parts that I was trying to repair were just too far gone and I felt beat. I am shifting my focus to the Boxster now. I realized later that if I don't need to keep the GTI on the Challenge budget, it opens it up to a lot more possibilities. It is going to sit in 'time-out' for a while, but I have not given up. It is still on the front side of the garage.

AAZCD HalfDork
11/5/19 10:02 a.m.

With the 2019 Challenge over, I'm looking over my queue of project cars figuring out what to do next and next, ...and next. This one is not high on my list. I have an '89 Cabriolet in the garage right now to restore The '81 Scirocco is lined up for a major restoration over the next year. I have a Cadillac Hearse that is too cool to not do as a project. My Challenge car for 2020 will be the Audi V8 Boxster. The VR6 '91 Golf is cool and I love the thought of it, but realistically, I am not getting it done anytime soon.

Want a cool classic for the 2020 Challenge? This car has Radwood written all over it. Someone should get this from me (I'm located in Northeast Oklahoma) and build it for the 2020 Challenge. It needs a fuel system and lots of TLC, but isn't too bad by Challenge project standards. I'm in it for $900 including a pair of 15" Toyo R888s. I can include misc parts for recoup or trade or keep the wheels it has to lower the sale price. I'm thinking $500 to $1,000 based on what goes with it and how inconvenient the transaction is. If you want it, post here, or send me a message. I'm not in a hurry to officially list it for sale, but I plan to in the next couple weeks. ...no low-ballers, I know what I've got, etc, etc.

Present me a plan that gets me out of building this car and leaves everybody happy. Ready, Go!

ebelements Reader
11/5/19 3:24 p.m.

I have owned too many mk1-mk4 VWs to not know better, but good golly do I love me a VR6. This looks like a screaming deal but also an easy path ending in just mostly screaming.

please sell fast so I don't have to test my sanity/marriage

JohnInKansas SuperDork
12/2/19 11:26 a.m.

You know it was a good idea when all parties involved have to go smooth things over with their significant others afterward.

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