Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Derelict car projects

Because I obviously don't have enough to do, let's take on more projects!  :)

1996 Mazda Miata, 242k (yes you read that right), "needs a water pump".....well yes it did have a 1/2 inch of play on the pulley.  I did a timing belt kit.

2001 VW Jetta GLX, 12v VR6, leather seats, automagic.  "Needs an radiator", has a check engine light, and lord knows what else.


7/31/16 Update...Miata runs!  Water pump, t-stat, radiator, timing belt, and a bunch of degreasing.  I was lazy and didn't do cam & crank seals, or lifters. She is a bit clicky, after two heat cycles it sounded better.  After sitting in a two year coma, and having really black oil, it isn't all bad; we will see after some fresh fluids.


  1. Updated the post....Miata is awake from it's coma!
    The radiator is in on the Jetta, just buttoning it up. I ordered the wrong coolant fan sensor twice! The 1st one I ordered was actually for the ECU, the 2nd one I got had a square plug vs. a triangle one. Had to get a new "hose coupler" for the radiator outlet, a the only one and pretty much welded itself to the radiator outlet neck.

  2. https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/audi-volkswagen-quick-disconnect-coupler-apa-uro-3b0122291b?gclid=CjwKEAjwz4u9BRCbioK3stnBznESJADA75xbEfzeC4c2D6t8N4ZWDkdxyFzErloqL2moKRg0rvV-RBoCppXw_wcB

  3. Apparently MK4 Golf/Jetta's have radiator fan issues. The root cause for this car's issue was the fans quit working, caused the car to overheat, taking out the radiator and the heater core. One of the troubleshooting steps I used was applying 12v directly to the fans. The larger of the two fans didn't work on low or high speed; the smaller one worked only on high speed. I attempted to purchase used fans on CraigsList and various VW social media sites, made arrangements to buy a set from a guy in Buffalo. I get out to Buffalo, I test the fans before leaving, come to find out that his fans had issues...both of his sets had working large fans, and both smaller fans were toast. I went to a junkyard, they had five cars of this vintage, NONE of them had fans, they were either accident victims or gone. I went to a 2nd junkyard that had 12 similar cars, four had fans, one of those was rusty and didn't move freely, the remaining three had working smaller fans. I purchased all three just because!

  4. The Miata was taken for a short drive...seems to be just fine; weak struts, and I found that one of the rear calipers has a bent slider pin, so a new carrier is called for as well as non-rusty rotors.

    The Jetta was also taken for a short drive, all seems fine minus the radio, and again rusty rotors.