Project: Mk2 ABF Jetta

Started by Skilfil, January 25, 2022, 04:55:48 PM

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Hey guys,

Been around VASK for a wee while, used to have a Mk2 C1 about 12 years ago, have had a few VWs since generally Mk3 / Mk4 and most recently a Mk6 Golf R. All fun cars but ultimately I wanted a Mk2 Jetta, I've wanted one for a long while just never found the right one or it has always been the wrong time.

A friend (member of the forum) put me onto a Mk2 Jetta located in Ngaruawahia, fairly rough but also cheap, good beginning for a project car, it already had an ABF swapped into it which was a bonus (Maybe?). I shot down and picked it up, immediately picked up a few issues with it that weren't described from the seller but nothing major.

Car drove nicely back up to Auckland, I'm not super confident in the brakes but it ripped up Bombay hill in 5th gear without labouring, no overheating or stumbling other than a rough idle.  The car is definitely a project car, about up there with one of the roughest I've had but not quite. Whoever did the ABF swap missed the mark on a few things, it seems like they kind of knew what to do but just skimmed over some of it or subsequent owners have ruined it.

The issues the car has currently that I know of / discovered during the drive:

- Tacho doesn't work (Done, miswired by previous owner)
- Horn doesn't work (Done, wrong relay)
- Blower doesn't work (Its missing the whole thing)
- Reverse lights don't work
- Odometer hasn't worked for 5 years
- Radio doesn't turn off with the car, 6x9 speakers have a constant coil whine in the rear (Disconnected all of these for now)
- Rust by the front window
- Window seals need replacing
- Sunroof motor is completely gone, sunroof is crudely sealed
- Car won't idle cold, idles rough when warm
- Seats are way too high for my liking
- Brakes are lacking confidence
- Shocks are floaty

Out of the above, I've already fixed the tacho and the horn, both had clear attempts by a previous owner to fix it but got it wrong both times, such as using a BMW relay for the horn and having the tacho feed pinned into the wrong pin.

Current plan is sort out basic wiring and idle issues, give it a service, sort the window rust and take it for a WoF check, fix whatever it fails on then drive it around for a bit to plan out what I want to improve/fix.
1997 Mazda MX5 (B2 Limited Edition)
1990 Volkswagen Jetta Mk2 ABF
2006 Lexus GS430


awesome, sounds like the car ended up in the right hands, got any pics?
99 B5 S4 Avant
85 coupe quattro
72 fiat 124 coupe
97 corolla wagon

mark2 golf

Looks like a pretty clean base to start with.
89 mk2 1.8t
97 mk3 gti 1.8t
90 190e 2.6
17 Amarok v6
09 golf gti

80 Vert

Nice, have always liked the Jetta.
2010 T5 Transporter TDI  Tuned by Superior Tuning NZ
2003 Jetta Coupe soon to be R36TT
1991 Golf GTI 2.0 TSI swapped
1963 Type 34 Karmann Ghia, turbo 2.0
1990 Porsche 964 911 Carrera 4
1980 1303 Beetle vert, under restoration


Good to see this car in the right hands. It was passed around plenty of times on facebook marketplace with the youngins.
NZ New MK3 Golf VR6 3 Door


Glad to see you're saving her, and can't wait to see the final product.

Would gladly have a MK2 ABF again in my life anyday!  The power you can get from a well-tuned stock motor, in a MK2 chassis is awesome. 

Curious about what engine management you're running with the ABF, and if you have any power plans for the motor?

That wiring looks gnarly, but luckily them MK2's are not too difficult to pull together and trace stuff - just time consuming to diagnose sometimes.  Re: the power cable for the radio, I don't recall the MK2 having an accessory point on the ignition, and Radio's were typically "always on" without the need for a key in the ignition to run them.  Wiring them to the ignition meant you had to have the ignition on in order to turn the head-unit on.   
2016 Audi S4 (B9)
2019 Mercedes Benz B180 AMG (W247)


hey skilfil...I'm trying to get my mk2 golf roadworthy again.  I have the original interior that matches the blue/yellow/grey check that seems to have found it's way into your Jetta, and looks like you are not planning on using.  My interior is a bit faded/worn in places and will need some repairs...wondering if you still have those seats?  Thanks, jesse
formerly mk1 gti
currently gti engineering mk2 which got ABF'd!
B5 S4
B5 RS4