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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey folks,

I did something silly - I have two Mk1 TTs now! I guess I have a type.

Here's the new one:

Wheel Cloud Sky Car Tire
Wheel Tire Sky Cloud Vehicle


It's a 2001, 225, AMU engine. This one is a little beaten up, it hasn't had much love in the last couple of years. Just as an example of the standard of care it has had recently, the tyre pressures on the day I bought it were an incredible 56psi:

Watch Tire Hand Wheel Automotive tire


My plan for this is to turn it into an off road/safari adventure car. I specifically looked for a car that has a lot wrong with it and will be challenging/uninteresting to restore to original condition, and this one is perfect. Lots of interior damage, paint in bad shape, lots of fault codes and even the airbag light on the dash is flickering intermittently. Not particularly remarkable as an example of a Mk1, and I reckon anything I do to this battered car is going to be an improvement!

The intended use is screwing around in the mountains and deserts of California and Nevada in various seasons - lots of dust, rocky trails, snow, and mud. Not going to be doing any rock crawling, desert racing, etc. This is just for supporting fun adventures in entirely the wrong car for the job.

The vision is to try to preserve as much of the beautiful lines and style of this car as possible. There's an off road conversion of a Mk1 on YouTube by Dave Makes Stuff, which is the only other person I've found mad enough to have tried this with a Mk1. Not a fan of the missing/cut bumpers though, I'd like to preserve more of that.

With that in mind, my intended feature list:
  • Lifted, ideally doubling the ride height to around 200mm but I'll take what I can get. Looking at air kits but haven't found one in stock yet...
  • 16" wheels in white, looking at Braid Fullrace T Dakar at the moment. Would love to go smaller but from searching around I can't make 15s clear the front calipers.
  • Knobbly mud tyres, looking at BFGoodrich KM3, but haven't decided on that.
  • Might have to flare the arches but hoping to avoid it, it's too pretty...
  • 20mm spacers
  • Custom top rack, using the four OEM mounting points.
  • Custom rear rack, extending down from the top rack to new mounting points that'll come out through the rear bumper.
  • Carrying two full spares on the rear rack - they'll be on hinged mounts allowing them to swing out of the way, supported by gas struts, so you can fold the wheels up and still open the boot.
  • Tow bar! (Curt 11765)
  • Skid plate under the front bumper, probably stainless.
  • Skid plate covering the under body fuel lines.
  • Strengthened skid plate/support bars under the sump.
  • Haldex TouchMotion controller.
  • Rear seat delete.
  • Custom curvy bull bars - trying to match the beautiful curve of the front bumper.
  • LED light bars - one on the bull bars, one on the front of the top rack.
  • Amateur radio - mobile unit probably replacing the CD changer, with a remote display on the dashboard.
  • Big antenna, to support 2m and 70cm bands.
  • Cute little dune flag - it's a low car and it's already a dumb project, so why not!
  • Wrapped, probably something matte and dark. Not black, maybe a dark green. There are some "forest green" TTs, maybe something close to that. Toyed with the idea of dazzle camo in black and white but that goes against the idea to preserve the curvy lines as much as possible, so that's out!
  • Delete the skinny spare, more space for fun stuff.
  • Delete the weight under the rear bumper.
Before I even get started on that list though, I need to address:
  • Oil, filter
  • Air filters (engine, cabin)
  • Spark plugs
  • Flush coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, bleed ABS pump, etc.
  • Replace all suspension bushings and tie rod ends
  • Replace/diagnose problem with the longitudinal motion sensor
  • Diagnose the flickering airbag dash light, didn't see it set a fault code... Not sure what's up there.
  • Replace brake rotors, pads, and probably calipers - opportunity to get them in red! Might just paint them once they're out, or take them to a friend who has a powder coating setup.
Anyway, that's the plan - looking to the forum here for advice on what I've forgotten, and parts I should be looking at.

Specifically on suspension - I'm looking for as much lift as possible. There are simple spacer kits for up to 1.5" of lift, air suspension kits that are mostly designed for lowering. Not sure what to do there, and it's sounding like a four corner air kit for the Mk1 is difficult to find but I'm working on it...

Advice, support, insults, all appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The tow bar arrived recently. Still amazed that anyone bothered designing and manufacturing one for this car, I laugh every time I see it... Fitting it is going to be fun too, you need to drill the frame and use some wire to fish nuts inside it to get them started on the bolts.

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Well from 1st post you can see, it won't see European roads ;)
Difficult to be sure as his location is set as Ireland. Which is still in Europe.

I did suspect he is in the USA though and they get away with just about anything over there...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yep, probably best! Though I notice that Dave's project is road legal in the UK, wondering if there are any corners cut there, and I wonder what his insurance company knows! Still, CA and NV in particular are much more permissive.

Ireland vs US - I'm in both, have a TT in each! The Irish one is stock and well kept, the US one is the one I go nuts with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Still struggling to find an air suspension kit - nobody seems to offer them for the rear. Air Lift Performance only offer it for the front. (see the fitment list on the bottom of that page, lists the Mk1 TT but front only)

May need to put something together myself with their "builders series" and perhaps do some fabrication work.

For the first stage of this project I'll probably just get some solid spacers, so I can use it this summer. Probably these:


Tire Wheel Automotive tire Light Product


If anyone has advice about how I should go about lifting it and what parts to use, please let me know!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Starting with the basics: changed oil, flushed and replaced coolant. Cleaned sludge out of the coolant reservoir.

Now that I've done some of the essential work, spent a while under it, and driven it tentatively for a few days I trust it a bit more. Couldn't resist taking it for the first little dirt road adventure - just a five mile run up and down a 1100ft hill. Rocky dirt roads, some big ruts and bumps. It performed well, coolant temp stayed under 85C, some little slides around corners that felt pretty controlled.

This is nothing, but it's a start!

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Automotive parking light Wheel Tire Automotive side marker light Vehicle
 
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