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Fitting a VR6 into a Mk1 Golf


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Hi, I am hoping someone can help out with this conversion, maybe someone who has done it before and knows of specific pitfalls and where to obtain parts which might be needed. I have a Mk1 Golf (GTI) at the moment, and I am seeking to purchase a complete VR6 auto. I have already done a bit of research and here are some issues:

1. I'll be needing to weld in engine mounts into the Mk1 bodyshell (if I have the complete donor car, I can cut them out and re-use?).

2. I'd need to source an OBD1 VR6, to avoid the in-built immobiliser int he ECU?

3. Does it matter what the donor car is? Golf, Corrado? Sharon?

4. What about the exhause system? Can I use the front half of the donor car's system and the back half of the Mk1?

5. Can I save some front end weight by fitting lightweight starter motor and alternator, and relocating the battery in the boot?

Thanks, everybody. I tried a search but it came up with 0 hits, possibly because "Mk1" is too short a phrase to search on?

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Lots of people on VWVortex have done this conversion.

Do a search on this forum:

http://forums.vwvortex.com/zeroforum?id=38

And you should find everything you need to know.

You say you're looking at a VR6 Auto as the donor car. Does this mean you're wanting to retain the auto box? If you want a manual box, you're better off using a manual VR6 as the donor car. I speak from experience here!!

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You say you're looking at a VR6 Auto as the donor car. Does this mean you're wanting to retain the auto box? If you want a manual box' date=' you're better off using a manual VR6 as the donor car. I speak from experience here!!

[/quote']

Yes, I am going to be retaining the auto box!

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You say you're looking at a VR6 Auto as the donor car. Does this mean you're wanting to retain the auto box? If you want a manual box' date=' you're better off using a manual VR6 as the donor car. I speak from experience here!!

[/quote']

Yes, I am going to be retaining the auto box!

If you dont mind me asking.....why?

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You say you're looking at a VR6 Auto as the donor car. Does this mean you're wanting to retain the auto box? If you want a manual box' date=' you're better off using a manual VR6 as the donor car. I speak from experience here!!

[/quote']

Yes, I am going to be retaining the auto box!

If you dont mind me asking.....why?

Basically, for consistency in 1/4 mile runs. With a manual gearbox and clutch, and a high power FWD car, there is some skill in applying just enough torque to keep traction and make the best time. And each gearchange must be done the same way. By using an auto, the 'launch' is much more consistent (even if you wheelspin, you'd only have to learn one aspect, throttle application) and the gear changes are naturally going to be consistent too, assuming a full throttle and change-up performed at the red line.

Also in the back of my mind is adding a nitrous kit, later on, should the existing power/weight ratio not be enough.

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Makes sense I spose but then launch control and plenty of practice on a manual might not be a bad thing. The auto boxes are known to give up much sooner than the manuals and don't take kindly to thrashing. Just a thought.

Why the conversion on a classic car, such as the Mk1 GTi? The Mk1 GTi is a rare gem. Grab a basic Mk1 shell and convert that ;)

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wouldn't need to to mess about with fighting torque to front wheels if you had racelogic t/c.it also has launch control.contact vince at stealth racing.have this system fitted to a mk3 s/c golf.it really DOES work mated to a manual box.

Im using a supercharged vr at the moment (will post up pics soon) with racelogic t/c and believe me, it is unbelievable!! Launch control off the lights!! But the issue would be that in a mk1, you would have to fit the abs from the mk3 donor.

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Just like to add, I've an auto( it was very cheap!!!) and it changes up at the red line when you boot it or use the manual gear selector, it also changes quite quickly i thought? certainly not slowly, but it is my first and only auto, only got my mates mishibushi legnum VR4 to compare it with( mighty fast car!)

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Given a decently sized (power) engine, the auto transmission shouldn't 'overpower' the engine like it can do in a smaller car. I realise it will not give numerically better manual-transmission cars, but I am after consistency, not necessarily lowest 1/4 mile times.

I'd be interested to know views from a number of owners, whether the auto transmission really is markedly weaker/shorter lasting than the manual (bearing in mind, the car will probably be driven 2000 miles/year and not see much track action).

I know the Mk1 is a 'classic' but I am not changing its external appearance at all, also there are plenty of others around in far better condition. Mine, upon close inspection, has a number of faults which are simly down to wear & tear, abuse or neglect through the years - which would be too much work (uneconomical) to simply spend the time on to arrive at a standard car. So its some way off being a 'mint' car.

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Another plus point for an auto in a drag race, is that an automatic car might be able to achieve a better heating of the tyres, by being able to do a burnout and spin the front wheels quicker. You could probably do a burnout in 2nd gear on a manual car; but an auto can spin the tyres and also do an upchange under full power during the burnout.

Until someone pits a similarly powered auto car against a manual, its a bunch of relative factors, though!

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Paul, there have been a few discussions regarding the auto box in the past but they might be difficult to find as 'auto' may not have been in the title. I remember a couple of posts where owners of auto's said that the auto box needed servicing/rebuilding at approx 80k miles. Have a chat with Vince at Stealth Racing, he would know for sure.

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you only get spin with the racelogic t/c in 1st in the wet.as sparkz says- it is unbelieveable[but never used the launch from the lightsLOL].TOTALLY tractable in ALL gears regaurdless of the conditions.speaking from experiencs it is an untrue statement that a front wheel drive car cannot handle 250bhp+,eh sparkz?maybe someone should contact clarkson,he's not big on being proved wrong?

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  • 7 months later...

i've just put a vr6 into my mk1 jetta wich is the same as a mk1 golf.. if i can help in any way just give us a shout..

Matt

Many thanks for the offer! Was your car at Edition 38, I remember seeing a Jetta with a VR6 there. Unfortunately, the only way you could help out right now is by lending me a lot of money :S The 'general' renovation of the car took way longer than first anticipated and has cost thousands, so I now have the car back on the road, but the engine is still a 1.8. After having reviewed a lot of engine conversions and the many choices for the Mk1 Golf, I'm still going to eventually put a VR6 in, except that I'll probably end up using a manual box.

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  • 3 months later...
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