Saving A Full Spec 3 Door VR6

Started by LouieP, December 19, 2019, 11:20:54 PM

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the phantom

Quote from: LouieP on April 23, 2020, 05:46:14 PM
Haha yup! I hope it was well looked after when you took ownership. MK4 R32's will soon be cheaper than they already are!

sadly the subsequent owner had a series of cooling and starter motor issues and it was wrecked by Platinum
Land Transport New Zealand, taking the fun out of driving since August 2008


Time to sort the tunes out...Hope everyone is all well and okay? As much as i love the look of the OG Blaupunkt HU and how period correct it makes the car look, it is pretty useless. The screen is partially dead and some buttons don't work. I did not throw it away and it will eventually get sold with the car. Some of you are probably wondering why the heck would you put a radio in when you could listen to that VR noise  ::) >:D

Pulled the unit to find what i love the most about NZ New cars, ISO harness! :laugh:. The head unit i was using came out of my previous mk4 and at the time i purchased an ISO to Kenwood adapter so easy peasy. I realised i needed one of these antenna adapters for euro cars so one was purchased online and it was posted out to me.

Harness hooked up and all ready to go back in

I removed the glovebox to route the microphone for the HU neatly through the car for an OEM fitment.

Fitted and working great. A modern touch to an older car. Bluetooth to connect to spotify and also built in hands free which is all we need nowadays

I quickly learnt how crap the factory speakers are...I guess that's one more thing to add to the list and maybe a sub in the boot.

NZ New MK3 Golf VR6 3 Door


great find and love the work you're getting on in restoring this classic.  Growing up in KZN, this was also one of the cars I dreamed of owning one day, alas not gotten around to ticking that bucket list item off yet.  looking forward to the updates.
2016 Audi S4 (B9)
2019 Mercedes Benz B180 AMG (W247)


Any new updates on this beauty??  :D
Current: 2007 Audi A4 2.0T DTM sprint blue, 2007 VW Golf V 2.0 TDI BKD 4motion manual white.
Past: Audi A4 2.7 TDI silver, 2004 Golf 4 R32 black pearlescent, 2009 Audi S3 8P white / panoramic roof, 2004 Audi A4 B6 1.8T blue, 99 Golf mk4 GTI black, 2005 Audi A4 B7 2.0T black.


Quote from: superfueler on September 01, 2020, 11:35:31 AM
Any new updates on this beauty??  :D
Haha there is some, I just need some time to upload photos :P. Here is a photo next to her full spec'd grand kid (sunroof + buckets)

NZ New MK3 Golf VR6 3 Door


It's been a long time but lets see if we can get back to this

I wanted to give the ignition system a refresh as i think upon taking ownership of a VR, it should be amongst the first things done.

BBT leads from Qualitat, NGK platinum plugs ex UK, Meyle coolant temp sensor, Meyle serpetine belt and a Bosch O2 sensor (confirmed dead via obdeleven). I still need to find a cam sensor as the one i had coming from Latvia got lost during lockdown.

Plugs definitely need to be replaced

I heard through the grapevine that a 99 MK3.5 Cabrio was arriving at Zebra Onehunga. I woke up early and shot over to pick up something I've been wanting from this car for mine. If you've been following the thread you'll know what that is ;)

I wanted to see what the paint was like under all those years in the NZ sun with no protection. I whipped out my DS6 pro and did a quick one step. Came out great but then we went into water restrictions...the car never got a once over unfortunately but really motivates to continue the refresh

NZ New MK3 Golf VR6 3 Door


Steering wheel? Black sun visor and possibly grab handles?!
06 NZ B7 RS4 Avus Silver, 01 NZ B5 RS4 Avus Silver, 93 NZ VR6 Tornado Red 3dr, Renault Clio 172 & Renault Clio 197
MK2 VR6, MK5 GTI, 2 x MK5 R32, 8L S3 Imola, MK4 Golf V6 4MO, Polo GTI, 2x MK3 VR6, D2 S8, B5 S4 Avant, 03 NZ R32 Deep Blue Pearl, Renault Megane R26 liquid yello


It's been a long time since an update on this and frankly I've been more interested in driving it in the top half of the tachometer than tidying it up  >:D. If you still have one these by now, you'd know the rubber and plastic components in the shifter have turned to crumble pie. It was time to change that.

The parts needed where

1. Dieselgeeks Cabin Side Bushing
2. Dieselgeeks Super Slider
3. OEM Shifter Cable Holder

First was to do the Cabin Side Bushing

Unfortunately you have to cut the raised sheet metal on the tunnel to slide the pin out. A dremel was used for this job

The old bracket out and in not too bad shape but the ridges were worn down and thats what caused the side to side and up and down movement

New bushing on and back in the car

The slider was a little broken but it was changed anyway

Old one broken off which took more effort than I thought.

Super Slider on and ready to go back in.

The old cable holder had no visible breaks but was very flimsy compared to the new one. That must be from all the heat in the VR engine bay

Job done!

How does it feel? Excellent! Its like a new car again, the gears are crispy smooth and notchy in a good way.

I initially wanted to do the 02J shifter conversion but its too much work and after you're done, you still end up forking out $300 ish for Dieselgeeks short shifter. This is very OEM like and and helps keep the car feeling period correct
NZ New MK3 Golf VR6 3 Door


Oh, I didn't even know you could get those parts! I had a diesel geeks short shift kit in my mk4 and that was awesome.

I'd love to do this, thanks for the pics and steps. Do you have links for the parts/part numbers etc? Feel free to PM me
8) 8) 8)
06 NZ B7 RS4 Avus Silver, 01 NZ B5 RS4 Avus Silver, 93 NZ VR6 Tornado Red 3dr, Renault Clio 172 & Renault Clio 197
MK2 VR6, MK5 GTI, 2 x MK5 R32, 8L S3 Imola, MK4 Golf V6 4MO, Polo GTI, 2x MK3 VR6, D2 S8, B5 S4 Avant, 03 NZ R32 Deep Blue Pearl, Renault Megane R26 liquid yello


Quote from: Poonmobile on March 09, 2021, 10:05:23 PM
Oh, I didn't even know you could get those parts! I had a diesel geeks short shift kit in my mk4 and that was awesome.

I'd love to do this, thanks for the pics and steps. Do you have links for the parts/part numbers etc? Feel free to PM me
8) 8) 8)
To be honest, for a modified mk3 like yours, I would just look into a 02J conversion with a short shifter. Links are below and part number for the cable holder.

Cable holder 1J0 711 256 - Available from Qualitat $50
NZ New MK3 Golf VR6 3 Door


Heard 'do you still own that vr6 bro' at todays vask meet and to be honest, I forgot I had one myself  :laugh: .

I started focussing on the interior, there wasn't much work it needed but they were time consuming.

Headliner was starting to block my view in the rear view mirror so that needed to be sorted out asap! It was an absolute eye sore and it was quite funny seeing it touch the wof inspectors head.

Wish I had the progress photos but it was done so long ago, its been misplaced. Looks mint now though

Next up was the rear door card inners. They were separating from the panel and would flop around when driving or closing the door and it was the most annoying thing ever.  Door cards were removed, old glue removed and liquid nails to get the job done properly

Back in the car and looking fresh!

Although the car is 26 years old, it appears that only the drivers seat was used as the rest of the seats were in immaculate shape. The bottom bolster on the drivers side was split and and the top vinyl had a nice tear and was getting worse. I sent to off to the upholsterer to sort out!

Got the seat back and thought it would be rude to just throw them back in so did some more cleaning. A friend had a bissell spot clean so picked that up and went to town.

A naked interior before the cleaning got down

Some carpet cleaner and a brush attached to a drill to loosen up the years of dirt that had gotten trapped in the fibres

Also removed all the old grease out of the tracks and new grease put in

After, left to dry overnight

Next morning after a vacuum. Seats ready to go back in

Then i found something that I purchased yonks ago. Some door handle seals

Cleaned up the and polished the scratches out

Much better

Interior. Done! Some new premium mats were ordered from RubberTree. Such good quality and a good turn around for a custom set of mats. I would really like to get the weighted Black Forest Industries golf ball knob so it may be purchased in the near future.

Thanks for reading
NZ New MK3 Golf VR6 3 Door


nice work!  shaping up really nicely
2016 Audi S4 (B9)
2019 Mercedes Benz B180 AMG (W247)

80 Vert

This is looking great, good job.
2019 Jetta GLI (USA)
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


Inspiring me to show some more love to my 3 door VR6. Thanks for sharing.
Deep Blue Pearl Mk5 R32
<sold>Tornado Red Mk3 VR6</sold>


Continued with making my shifts extra crispy. Picked up some 034 Motorsport shifter bracket bushings to replace the tired old nice. Real nice billet pieces.

Mind the dirty engine bay. Will tend to that once everything I want to replace is replaced.

Old pieces out and in not too bad shape

Bushings in and the bracket cleaned as much as I could. Wish they could stay exposed but a washer goes over it and covers it up

Fresh fluid in the box too to replace what looks like 26 years old. The shifts feel amazing! Nice and notchy but not race car level. Not sure why I didn't do this sooner

NZ New MK3 Golf VR6 3 Door


99 B5 S4 Avant
85 coupe quattro
72 fiat 124 coupe
97 corolla wagon


Was treated to a nice surprise. A screw in my side wall and I'm pretty sure its one of my screws that made its way onto the driveway. A bit guttered because this tire size is not very common. I decided to throw on a pair of chinese Hifly's

At my last wof which is looking to be early 2021 now :-[, I was told by the wof inspector my rear bearings had some play in it. Unfortunately on these cars the bearing is pressed into the rear discs. It was only right I did it all

Rear discs masked up

First light coat

Did 4 coats in total, this was my last

Tape removed and ready for the bearing race to be pressed in

Masked up the car and started painting the calipers. After 4 or so coats

Masking removed and ready for some new bits. I hate when people paint their pads but I wasn't too fussed as they were being replaced anyway.

The disassembly begins

After scrubbing the dust shield of what looked like 25 years of built up brake dust... I kid you not this took more than 40 minutes. Even some of the strongest diluted degreaser was not shifting it

Sprayed a few light coats of zinc it, no idea how long this will last but we will see

There was still some life left in the pads but I was reading some good stuff about Black Diamond pads over in the UK and demontweeks stocked them. It worked out to around the same price as buying some pads from BNT so was a no brainer.

ABS Ring cleaned and back on

Went to town cleaning the stock wheels and they came out fantastic. They were de-tarred and iron fall out remover was used on them. Car back on the ground with new rear tires

I am also looking for two lug nut covers and a couple of vr6 engine screws. Mine have taken a walk somehow and I would love to buy them off you if you have some lying around.
NZ New MK3 Golf VR6 3 Door


Picked up some bits from another Vask member today and realised midway through the convo that this needs an update. I was leaking oil on the driveway and a quick look underneath revealed her leaking from the common spots. New oil filter housing gasket, oil sensors, oil cooler gasket and a new sump gasket ordered. I then got lucky and found the last new sump locally so snagged that up.

Old oil drained and looking very dark I must say

Oil filter housing covered in sludge

Housing scrubbed thoroughly, new sensors on and a new gasket installed

Oil cooler unbolted and both gaskets done.

New oil filter and topped up with Shell Helix Ultra 5W40. Been watching her over the last couple of weeks and she's leak free. The Bentley manual that Vask member Pristle donated came in handy this time round.

NZ New MK3 Golf VR6 3 Door


Quite a bit has been happening with this in the last 1-2 months to get her ready for the summer car meets and cruises.

The car kept on throwing codes for a bad O2 sensor since I got it. I have been clearing it occasionally and it would just come back. I never felt like it was an issue as the car drove fine. The plan is if the parts are available, replace it with new. I mean the car is going to be 27 years old in February!

Some scanning going on. This was after i disconnected the O2 to see if the code was different as I thought it may have been a loom issue. Better safe than sorry

Old one clipped at the wires and a o2 sensor tool used to unbolt it.

New one in, codes cleared and they have not come back! Car is now code free. Happy Days  :D

NZ New MK3 Golf VR6 3 Door


Boxes on boxes started arriving from Rock Auto, FCP Euro and Latvia at the office

There was around 25-30 door dings all over this vehicle and a huge dent in the front drivers side guard. Jeff from Dent Dragon was commissioned to remove all and he did a fantastic job. I highly recommend him

NZ New MK3 Golf VR6 3 Door