Bynum Builds


Driver Build

Posted by Josh On April - 9 - 2013

Well I was going to build a driver – got an ’86 GTi with a bad clutch and fuel pump for $150. I then installed a rebuilt 2.0L 16v, and sent it to the paint shop. The shop kept it for 4 months and didn’t touch it. I then decided to use it for the basis of the car I would show this year and proceeded to buy insane amounts of parts for it. I brought it back home, and ripped out the 16v, and reduced the car to a bare rolling shell. My friend Mark Taylor – welding guru, and paint/body man helped me hatch a plan. The following pictorial is a progression from beater to beauty. Enjoy!

Pictures of the car with a 16v, before paint prep

Pictures of the car in Primer, before going o the booth

Pictures of the car in the booth

After the paint process, The shell of the car was moved back to the shop, and the assembly process began. I had been amassing parts for the car during the first paintshop fiasco. I had already sent all of my parts to the powdercoater and the polisher, so those were ready to go. Mark proceeded to paint my rear axle, the motor/tranny, the coilover bodies (colormatched to the car), the brake booster, and all the other miscellaneous parts. We also put the shell up on the lift and sprayed the underside of the car body color.

Pictures of the assembly process

Powdercoated K-frame installed

Eurospec rear brakes and MK4 rear calipers

My father and I assembled the engine with all new parts after sending the block and head to the machine shop. mark painted them, anmd then I began dressing the motor.

Polished oil filter housing, oil cooler, and metal crack pipe

After the motor was assembled, painted and partially dressed, I set the motor in the engine bay. The front motor mount carrier was installed, and the motor went in without a hitch.

After this the brake booster was installed with the pedal cluster, and the shifterbox. The powersteering lines and reservior were plumbed/mounted as well. We relocated the PS reservior right behind the DS headlight, and beneath the framerail.

After this the holes were drilled inside the car for running the wiring, and the front harnesses constructed and heatshrunk. They were then run through the frame rails , both driver’s and passenger side.

After the front wiring was installed, I proceeded to build the engine harness. I used 2 OBD 2 engine harnesses to make 1. The actual ECU harness had no major modifications to it, except to remove wiring that pertained to components that would not be needed – air pump, breather pre heat, aux. Coolant pump, etc. . I mapped out the running of the wires and used lengths of speaker wire to determine the distance of sensors, etc. from the twist lock connector on the ECU harness. I then made a diagram from longest to shortest, and at what point they branched out from the main trunk of wiring. I also made note of the distance of the component or sensor from the branch off point. I then started constructing the harness using the OEM harnesses. Each wire is lengthened if necessary, soldered, and then encased in heatshrink. The harness is built from longest to shortest, so that the complete harness can be covered in heatshrink.

Here is a picture of the engine harness coming over the top of the motor.

I used braided stainless covered rubber hose for the fuel lines and breather line. Spectre Magnaclamps were used throughout the engine bay wherever space permitted.

At this point the front valence and new 16v chin spoiler could be installed. Buttonhead polished stainless screws and washers were used in place of the factory attachment bolts for this, the hood, radiator support, and front fenders.

I decided to take a break from the engine bay and install the chrome Sparco gas cap, at this point. I had also received some small parts back from paint, and put them on as well.

The taillights with colormatched housings

I decided to move back to the engine bay, and installed the clutch master, slave, and the new brake fluid reservoir now. I also hooked up the shift cables. Buttonheaded stainless bolts and washers replaced the factory hardware here as well.

I had been putting off installing the MK3 dash rebar, but I was at the point that I had to do it. It was shortened on both ends, and then bolted to the kneebar brackets. The lower brace and bracket were removed from the donor car, and fitted (the lower bracket was welede to the transmission tunnel, just as in a MK3.)

The MK2 steering column bracket was welded to the bottom of the MK3 steering column, and then fitted. This info was picked from one of Rich Pugh’s old posts. Thanks Rich!

I then moved back to the engine bay, and fabricated an aluminum bracket to hold the coilpack. I then mocked up the coilpack to determine plug wire routing. You can also see part of the engine harness in this pic.

This was the last obstacle before mounting the upper manifold, and fitting the radiator. I used a pair of Derale 12” fans on the recommendation of Scott Mason, and they work Great! Modified Derale metal brackets were used to mount the fans. A custom fan relay and harness was built, soldered, heatshrunk, and installed. A new Corrado VR6 radiator was used, as well as a CSR filler neck and cap.

The engine bay is really starting to take shape at this point. Here are a few shots of the progress.

After the fans were fitted, I moved back to the interior of the car. New carpet padding was laid in the interior after fine tuning the routing of the wiring in the cabin of the car. At this point I had already installed the rear harness, all the 1/0 gauge power wiring, the MK3 dash harness, and all of the front wiring. A brand new fuse box was installed, as well as the MK3 column switches from the donor car.A new carpet kit from ACC (Auto Custom Carpets) was installed and tweaked. It fits pretty well, and looks worlds better than most of the used A2 carpet.

My mother is an excellent seamstress, and she helped me with all of the sewing in this project. She came up with a pattern for a multi piece Alcantara headliner, with integrated piping. Her idea solved all of the problems of covering the headliner in one piece of fabric. It turned out to be 5 pieces including the piping.

I covered ’86 GTI C pillars ( no seatbelt holes) with the black Alcantara. The A and B pillars were done too.

I had previously sent the front seat inserts and a rear seat to the upholsterer. An ’88 GTI 16v rear seat was used, and Trophy Recaros in the front. They received Grey Alcantara inserts to tie in with the exterior color of the car. I was lucky enough to be able to score a set of Rallye Golf black leather door cards over the winter.

After the rear cards, rear seat, and headliner were fitted, I moved back to the Dash. It was installed, removed, and installed about 30 times before all of the trimming and fitting looked good. You can see the polished Momo aluminum pedals in this pic .

After the dash was fitted, I installed the custom C2 motorsports intake pipe with hidden MAF bung. (Thanks Chris!) The engine wiring was tidied up, and the vital fluids were added. I temporarily installed my Braille battery, and we (Dad and I) test fired the car. It went “uuuuuhhh”, and then stopped. I then scratched my head and tried to figure why it would not turn over, after it had on the engine stand. After a bout with a 27mm socket, a cheater bar, and tired arms, the problem was discovered. When I had installed the underdrive crank pulley, I had forgotten to notch the tab on the front engine seal carrier. The pulley locked against it when it was torqued down. I remedied this situation, and we tried again. After some electrical double checking and sleuthing, an engine harness plug was discovered not plugged securely into the fuse panel. After fixing this, the car cranked right up! We filled it with antifreeze, and let it run on the lift to check it out. Everything went great, no leaks, and the fans worked great! WoW! A load off of my mind.
The car was given a clean bill of health, and I then installed the exhaust and rear muffler. VR6’ are much more tolerable in a small shop with a full exhaust…


Once the car was running, some other important items had to be tended to. The brakes and clutch had to be bled. This went without a hitch. It seems to go much better when all new parts are used…. I had received my wheels from Steve at Tunershop a couple of weeks earlier. Schmidt Modernline 3 piece , 16×8 ET21 in the front, 16×9 ET 21 in the rear, with 215/40/16 Toyo T1-s . The rears cleared the coilovers with no problem.
The fronts were another story. I am running Corrado G60 11” front brakes. The wheel would not clear the caliper carrier when torqued down. I ordered a set of 3 mm and a set of 5mm spacers. I tried the 3mm ones first. No dice, the wheels still rubbed. I then proceeded to try the 5 mm ones. These did not work as well. I decided to grind down the caliper carrier profile, from a point to flat. This worked very well. I was able to get the 3 mm ones to work with room to spare. I used the 5mm ones in the rear to achieve the same stance. After sorting the wheels, I tidied up the remaining details under the car. At this point it was time to finish up the interior.

Running the MK3 dash in the car caused a couple of minor problems. The mirror adjusters hit the side of the dash, and the window cranks are a very tight fit. The Rallye panels that I was able to source had MB quart tweeters where the window cranks went, so…..I decided to run power windows. I had a donor car for the parts, so I robbed a harness, switches, and 2 regulators out of the Jetta Carat, and went to work. I mounted a custom wood/ABS/2 tone Alcantara switch plate in the center console.

In this picture , you can also see the Alcantara shift and ebrake boots. They are black with grey stitching. After the windows were installed, I installed a Code Alarm keyless entry, and added door lock actuators to the doors. The front rallye doorcards were installed next. I was able to source quantum chrome door pulls as well.

The rear rallye cards were already in place. Here is a shot of one of them:

At this point, I decided to finish some of the dash details. My mother made covers for the kneebars out of the seat insert Alcantara. They were fashioned out of two pieces, and then sewn together with topstitching detail. I covered the kneebars and installed them. It really helps to give the interior that “plush” feel.

While in the interior, I finished off the headliner, sunroof control cover, and the sunvisors. Mom made covers for the sun visors and then fitted them, as they required some hand stitching to finish one edge. The domelight cover was also upholstered in black alcantara as well. This is a piece that has a recess in the middle that is hard to form to. Mom solved this problem, by making the cover out of 5 pieces of suede, and stitching it together.

Detail shot of the domelight cover

Here is a rear seat view of the dash and kneebars.

The front seats were assembled and ready to go in the car. I installed them, and used 2 sets of A2 seat rail covers to cover the exposed seat tracks. On the outside two, use a PS inner to cover the DS outer, and use a DS inner to cover the PS outer.

I covered the seat control panels with grey alcantara to match the inserts. I unfortunately don’t have a picture of this.

The next step in the interior was a stereo install, and the trunk area. MB quart 5 ¼” separates went in the front doors, Powerbass evolution 5×7” went into early GTI rear side shelves (no seatbelt cut outs, and 5×7” instead of 4×6” rear speaker openings) A JVC KD-SH707 Digifine headunit was used. A single Coustic 10” sub was used. A Soundstream P205 5 channel amp powers the complete system. A subwoofer enclosure was made, and mounted in the spare tire well. The amp and Braille battery were housed in custom enclosures as well. A false floor was constructed, and covered in the same black alcantara.

Once the interior was finished, I turned my attention to the outside of the car. The front and rear wheels were installed on the car after the respective 3mm and 5mm spacers. The front bumper and smoked turn signals went on next. I then received a call from Mark….he was on his way down with the shaved Radiator support and some other parts. Once Mark arrived, we installed the radiator support, the hood latch, and hood cable. Mark welded and filled all the holes in the radiator support, except for the hood snubbers. The attachment bolt holes on top were filled, and replaced with hidden bolts. This really gives a finished look to the shaved engine bay. Next to go on was the single round badgeless grille. I procured it from Dean Futrell at Futrell Autowerks. I highly recommend Dean for your A2 purchases. They are top notch! I wasn’t going to be happy with just an ordinary grille, so I made my own chrome stripe badgeless single round grille. It looks really good with the chrome door handles, the gas cap, and the wheels. All that was left now was to lower it down off the lift, check the stance and adjust the coilovers.

Here’s a front view:

Driver side front profile:

Passenger side front profile:

Passenger side rear profile:

(Note the filled rear seams above and below the bumper, and the deleted c-pillar swage line)

Driver side rear profile:

(note the filled exhaust cutout in the rear valence)

Driver side profile:


Well, there is lots more I could say, and there is a lot of detail in the car that I am sure that I overlooked. The car was a blast to build, and now I will continue to refine it, and enjoy it. The following pictures display some varying angles of engine bay shots, and various detail shots.

Radiator and CSR filler neck / cap

Thermostat housing area and vacuum line

Throttle cable and heater hoses

Windshield wiper motor

Polished fender bolts

Polished Radiator cover

Polished oil filter housing, and sensor cover

Front of engine

Driver side of engine

Tranny view of engine bay

Polished oil filler area cover, and Freedom Design oil cap

Engine bay Passenger side profile

Shaved Radiator support

Driver side over the top

Powersteering bottle location

Radiator filler area

Front shot showing engine and radiator support

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