Frank: 1978 VW Rabbit

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Nikwit
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Frank: 1978 VW Rabbit

Postby Nikwit » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:40 pm

Here's what I've been doing for the past week.

Chapter 1: Exhumation

I bought this car in 2008ish. It had been sitting in a lot by my high school for 9 years, when I decided it was time to be a complete idiot and take it home. $10 put the car into my name. I did some mild tinkering for the next two years, rarely ever used it for anything. In 2010, I did enough work to make it daily-driveable, and my friend used it for about two months until the #1 rod decided it wanted to see the world. It got parked again, under a tree, in the jungle that is my yard. It is currently a verifiable death trap made of rust and spiders. There is no good reason it should ever be driven again. So that's exactly what we are going to do. On to the photos!

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Upon purchase. Hold on to your butts, it's only downhill from here.

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Because I was young and stupid, I thought I was going to restore it. It actually went ok for a while.

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Notice vintage un-modified Nik Romano Miata.

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Gave it a little cut-spring drop. Only the best for this project.

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I have no idea what we were doing.

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My friend who used the car for a summer had just bought a pair of shoes she really liked. So, we painted half of the car to match. The other side never got done.

Shortly after that, she blew the engine up. Fast forward three years.

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It needed a thorough cleaning and disinfecting to remove three years of nature. If that ever happens, I'll let you know. For now, it gets rinsed with hose water.

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A heap of junk, that also happens to have some stuff in the trunk. Check the first gen Scirocco wheel.

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This is an upside-down picture of a massive cobweb. Deal with it.

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More junk. And...is that a......

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Yes. Yes it is.

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Next up: The Odyssey, Part Deax
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Re: Frank: 1978 VW Rabbit

Postby w00fm00baaa » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:30 am

Five golden stars to this man. Popcorn ready, bring on part 2.
i rike fassssssssssssssssssst
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Re: Frank: 1978 VW Rabbit

Postby thehak » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:48 am

good stuff
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Re: Frank: 1978 VW Rabbit

Postby JediJoker » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:15 am

So excited that this is finally happening!
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Nikwit
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Re: Frank: 1978 VW Rabbit

Postby Nikwit » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:38 am

Chapter 2: The Odyssey Part Deaux

It's two miles to the shop. We have an empty engine bay, half a dozen friends, no way to tow, and some time to kill...push it!

Cheesy 80s movie fake-quotes aside, that's exactly what we did. With Robert at the helm, 2.5 manpower biomotive force driving the chassis, and a secondary broken VW support vehicle running interference, there was no way we could fail. Surprisingly enough, we made it!

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We even have video.







From Lanny's phone:

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Next up: Mysophobia
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Re: Frank: 1978 VW Rabbit

Postby TheOtherRedMiata » Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:27 am

Wow.
brkinshiz wrote:Great. Now there's Pick-N-Pull on my cheese.

Douche Bag Boy wrote:
brkinshiz wrote:No one wants you to flip and die [. . .]

Speak for yourself.

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Re: Frank: 1978 VW Rabbit

Postby 2cam16 » Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:55 am

Awesome. Subscribed.
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Re: Frank: 1978 VW Rabbit

Postby CPTMULLER » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:08 pm

Awesome
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Re: Frank: 1978 VW Rabbit

Postby maxh2o » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:12 pm

nice
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Re: Frank: 1978 VW Rabbit

Postby Scandinavian Flick » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:53 pm

This is an entertaining read. I blew air out of my nose somewhat faster than usual multiple times. Literally. Like, out loud-ish.

Your license plate is also eerily similar to my Volvo's... 1HWB974.
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Re: Frank: 1978 VW Rabbit

Postby Nikwit » Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:21 pm

I have about three days more of work to upload, so there is plenty more where this came from. The rest of the crew is still hacking away while I'm in Arizona. By the way, I should mention one more detail:

This car is currently signed up for a track day at Laguna on November 3rd.

Wish us luck, or maybe try to talk some sense into us.
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Re: Frank: 1978 VW Rabbit

Postby Scandinavian Flick » Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:39 pm

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Re: Frank: 1978 VW Rabbit

Postby maxh2o » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:55 pm

^^lol!
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Re: Frank: 1978 VW Rabbit

Postby rennkafer » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:05 pm

If you need some basic track alignment specs let me know... I raced a '77 Rabbit for 5 years. (+100k street miles)
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Re: Frank: 1978 VW Rabbit

Postby Nikwit » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:42 am

I'm up for any help we can get. Current plan is to max out the stock camber adjusters up front, hope for maybe a degree and a half depending on height, and go for about zero toe as a starting place. Rear isn't adjustabke without modification.
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Re: Frank: 1978 VW Rabbit

Postby rennkafer » Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:53 pm

I ran -2 all the way around... slight amount of front toe out, zero toe in the rear. The rear is adjustable with shims a good alignment shop will have, you just take the 4 bolts that hold the spindle on loose, put the shims in, and tighten it back up. It's a bit trial and error but it works.
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Re: Frank: 1978 VW Rabbit

Postby mr_robs » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:58 pm

I used to daily a Mk2 GTI. Even with the endless maintenance and rebuilt head on that car i would be afraid to do a track day in it.

With that said, in for track day video.
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Re: Frank: 1978 VW Rabbit

Postby rennkafer » Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:50 pm

I did a crapload of track days, hundreds of AX's, and over 100k miles worth of daily driving on the '85 GTI engine that was in my '77 Rabbit... never once had an engine issue.
Bill J
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1967 International Travelall
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Re: Frank: 1978 VW Rabbit

Postby Nikwit » Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:04 am

I have almost two weeks of work that I just haven't had time to upload yet. I've been at the shop until 5am almost every morning to get this thing done. Today is the last day we have to wrench before it has to be driven to Sacramento. BEAST MODE ENGAGE.
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Re: Frank: 1978 VW Rabbit

Postby Nikwit » Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:53 pm

Chapter 3: Mysophobia

There are interesting things that happen to a car when it sits under a tree for three years. Subtract several windows, and add in 22 years worth of Michigan winters, and these interesting things get amplified. Nature was working very diligently to reclaim its elements that Volkswagen had restructured years ago. The flora was bad enough; sticks, leaves, rainwater deposits, a general layer of dirt and grime...it was the fauna that was more concerning, however. The car was inhabited by far more creatures than is preferred, with far more legs than I find acceptable; two, four...fine. Eight? Nope. Nopenopenope. This was a problem, that needed to be addressed with ample use of chemicals and fire.

First step was probably the least pleasant though, and that was pulling the wet and moldy carpet out, along with the rest of the interior.

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Delicious.

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We had had our suspicious about the nature of the cars inhabitants. Suspicions confirmed. Look closely, you can see a hint of red.

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Here are some more friends we made that night.

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This was war. I don't think I can accurately describe the horrifying and excruciating battle that ensued over the course of the next several days. You are all probably better off that way.

Our first line of defense: Bug bombs. Specifically, three bug bombs, each rated to do a medium sized living room on its own. No messing around.

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I agree, Jess. I agree.

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One of us had to be brave enough to hold our breath, venture into the Cavern of Death, and deposit the bombs. When that didn't work, we blackmailed Zach by threatening to tell the world that his Porsche lost in a drag race to my Miata. Success!

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Here's what Frank looked like the next day.

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Spider free, right? Were it so easy. After unwrapping revealed yet more black widows, we re-wrapped the car and bombed it AGAIN. Still no dice. They had clearly evolved past the need for our planet's oxygen, so it was time to get a bit more barbaric with the cleansing. If you all had bought stock in Naphtha and Brakleen, this would have become NorCal Bentley and Lamborghini two weeks ago.

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I'm sure we don't need to be concerned by this at all.

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Torch + Shop vac. It's super effective!

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Further stripping of the car commenced.

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Some pieces came off that we didn't even intend.

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But we did find a few goodies.

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And then, I had to leave for Arizona for a few days. This was how I left the car.

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The rest of the guys continued to work while I was gone, though. Stay tuned to see in what matter they managed to torment this poor thing that just wants to die. More Mysophobia to come soon(ish).
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Re: Frank: 1978 VW Rabbit

Postby Nikwit » Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:55 pm

I'll come back and fix the sideways photos soon. For now, enjoy the new installment!
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Re: Frank: 1978 VW Rabbit

Postby rennkafer » Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:10 pm

Nick, I mentioned a while back that there were shims available to adjust the rear camber/toe with. Ran across them on a website and thought I'd share. Second line down the page.

http://www.eurosportacc.com/collections ... bolts-kits
Bill J
1997 Miata STO, 550/350 FCM adjustables, 15x9 6UL, 225/45-15 RS3's, 6spd, turbo in progress...
1967 International Travelall
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