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Franko's Garage: R32 daily driver rescue

43666 Views 225 Replies 42 Participants Last post by  Guido
*** Note added 30/06/2017. All the photos that this build thread is supposed to display are broken as of 30/06/2017. Photobucket changed their terms and conditions and have now prevented users from linking uploaded photos to Forums. Its already common to find that lots of old forum guides and threads have broken links, this is usually due to users moving or renaming folders on their host service. In this case the broken image links are out of my control and the work required to move all the photos to a new host and edit all the posts with new links seems hardly worth the effort, so for the moment all the photos are broken in this build thread. You can thank Photobucket for this ****

If you use Google Chrome, you can install the "Photobucket Embeded Fix" that allows you to see most of the photos that people have linked from Photobucket to their forum posts, go to the following link to install it to - https://tinyurl.com/yaly67gq

My first ever build thread, be nice!

This build is for my R32 "rescue" daily driver and is a look back on when I built it and will go up to the present day and I still have some plans and stuff to add to the car, my spare room/parts stash is evidence of that :)

So I've been driving MK4s for a long time, I started with a (at the time) 3 year old "R" reg 1.8T AGU, but I don't think I have any photos of it, if I do I'll add them later.

I then had a brand new "W" reg 2000 MY 1.8T AGU, which I got rid of 3 years later with 98,000 miles on the clock, I had this car before the days of digital cameras (yes kids!) so the pic I've added is a scan.

Then I had my third mk4, a brand new 2003 1.8T AUQ (same running gear/engine/brakes/gearbox as a 1.8T Anniversary), this car had a bit of extra spec, cruise control, dash CD changer, winter pack and was a great daily car to rack up a hell of a lot of miles in. This car deserves a build thread of it's own as I did quite a lot of mods to it over the years, but I guess it's not an R or a V6 so perhaps shouldn't be on this forum?

Whilst keeping the 1.8T I also decided I should own a V6 in my life finally but to be different (as I already had a Golf) I went for a Bora V6 4-Motion, which I still have today. This has been a great car and I might pop a thread on here eventually for it:
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Another update, this time from July 2015

So since I'd stripped the car's interior out for the clean up in 2013, I'd not had a centre console installed in the car. I bought a couple of US centre consoles a few years ago, one for was supposed to go in the Bora, but still hasn't been installed yet.

For anyone that hasn't seen one, the advantage of the US centre console is that it has two extra cup holders in the centre. To make space for the cup holders, the handbrake is re-positioned to face towards the passenger side seat, this way it is not covering the centre "area" of the console, so it is not covering the place where the drinks would be stored. For the US drivers, this is no problem as they sit in the left front seat and can reach down with their right hand to operate the hand brake, even if it is close to the right of their seat as their hand is on the right side of the handle. But for a UK right hand drive car, if the hand brake handle is near to the passenger seat then its a little less easy to squeeze your left hand into the gap between the handbrake and the passenger seat.

In a UK car it's a compromise, the cup holders are really useful, but the position of the handbrake right over towards the passenger seat is not ideal. Anyway, if going ahead with a US console install, the handbrake needs to be positioned to point towards the passenger seat. To do this there are two options, one is to get a US specific handbrake mechanism that has mount points on it re-positioned so that it angles the handbrake towards the left front seat, or the existing handbrake can be modified by enlarging the mounting points so when it is bolted down to the car, it can be angled to the left.

The diagram below is one from a US forum that I've slightly modified just to make it more clear for UK cars.

The pic below is my original UK handbrake unmodified, looking central. In this position it would be a nuisance for a US centre console, it would cover the cup holders, not only that but the handbrake needs to point to the left or the US console won't fit over it properly as the handbrake opening is angled.

Here is a standard handbrake on the left and a modified handbrake on the right (both viewed from underneath)

US console installed, notice the handbrake is pointing left

I fitted an armrest during this install, for anyone with an armrest, theres are the two trim piece part numbers for if you want to replace them:
1J0 864 279 B 2QL (left side)
1J0 864 280 A 2QL (right side)

Arm rest in place (I've got one that is in better condition but just fitted this one to try it out).

View of the handbrake from above, (The seats were probably slid out of normal position for this photo)

Another view of the handbrake from above. In this install I'm using a modified UK handbrake mechanism but it isn't perfect and the handbrake still needs to go further towards the passenger seat to allow it to move freely without fouling on the US console.

Here is a comparison of a genuine standard "UK" hand brake mech along with an OEM "US Console" handbrake mech.
Part number is: 1JM711303B01C

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Amazing project mate you must have deep pockets :shok: . Spent the last 30 mins reading and probably the best 30 mins i have ever spent reading. Just cantbelieve the transformation from its day on deaths door to today and looking amazing. Congrats on work well done, it must feel good when people look at you driving the car and knowing all the hard work and years of time spent on this rescue build. Im blown away by this project :good:
Great update as always, always have a read through when you add to the build thread.

Worth saying that the MK5 they put the handbrake on the wrong side anyway. And we've all gotten over that! :rofl:
just read this from start to end

I am jealous of your talents, fantastic amount of work and the car looks better than fantastic
Amazing project mate you must have deep pockets :shok: . Spent the last 30 mins reading and probably the best 30 mins i have ever spent reading. Just cantbelieve the transformation from its day on deaths door to today and looking amazing. Congrats on work well done, it must feel good when people look at you driving the car and knowing all the hard work and years of time spent on this rescue build. Im blown away by this project :good:
Thanks buddy, I've seen loads of broken R32s and it's a sad sight, some just broken for parts / profit when they are undamaged cars. The way I see it, the less R32s on the road means possibly less reasons for suppliers to stock parts for them or support them, so the remaining cars might get harder to keep running. I guess cost is all relative to what you consider to be costly, but the basic car was cheap, so putting all the parts back on it wasn't as expensive as buying a complete R32. I could have done it more cheaply but I over spent on the engine/gearbox as it only had 29k miles on it and was really mint (apart from the cut hoses I showed early in the thread). Also getting the roof lining/pillars added an extra cost, if I'd got a cheaper engine setup and not trimmed the headlining it would have been quite a lot cheaper, maybe 25% cheaper on the entire build. It's been a good project and its a nice car to drive as a daily, very calm/quiet but with a good shove on boost.

Great update as always, always have a read through when you add to the build thread.

Worth saying that the MK5 they put the handbrake on the wrong side anyway. And we've all gotten over that! :rofl:
Thanks fella, the handbrake isn't ideal with the R32 Konigs, but to be honest I do use the central cup holders a lot, so it's worth the slight hassle of shoving my hand in between the seat and the hand brake.

just read this from start to end

I am jealous of your talents, fantastic amount of work and the car looks better than fantastic
Thanks for the kind words geezer. I have a load of updates that I never put on here, need to add to this thread, sort of forgot about it, haven't updated it since October, will try and get it up to date. Not going to sugar coat it, the car does look a bit more "used" under the "cold" light of bright sunshine, stone chips etc, but its a daily and I enjoy using it.
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I'll try to bring this thread up to date, half of these updates are like a year or so out of date.

Originally when I was first getting this car onto the road I fitted a set of A3 leather Recaro seats which were pretty nice, but just not R32 original:

I soon realised that an R32 deserves to have Konig R32 seats so I installed these OEM full leather seats:

So I must have had my eyes shut when I bought the above seats. Reason is that I didn't notice that the R32 leathers I'd bought were the earlier versions that don't have lumbar support, I should have noticed it as these seats only have one control knob per side. I used to have a set of the lumbar support versions in my previous GTi so I know the difference, duh. I've noticed in the past that the non lumber versions of the seats don't feel as snug as the later seats with extra lumbar support, the only advantage I can see is they might be better for the "larger" person. I think the "non lumbar" seats were on the earlier "52 plate" and some "03 plate" cars. Not a deal breaker for some, but I just prefer the later "tighter feeling" seats.

Single knob = no lumbar support:

For anyone looking to buy R32 seats, leather or half leather, personally I'd check if the seats have both of the adjustment knobs on them, so they have the extra lumbar support and they should be a bit newer than the non lumbar support seats:

Anyway, lumbar boredom over with, I came across a guy that was breaking an R32 and made multiple visits to him to collect a load of parts, a lot for the Bora, some just to sell on, but got a few items for this car - pair of 03+ OEM xenons and a very nice condition late "half" leather interior.

I've had dealings with a few different sets of R32 seats in the past and one of the common issues I've had is that people who remove the seats when selling them damage the plastic clips underneath that the connectors slot into, these seats were no different, so I bought a pair and replaced the clips on both seats, means less chance of any rattling / tapping noises from under the seats from the plastic connector holders.

The connector clip under the seat that always seems to get damaged when ham fisted people try to remove the connectors in 0.2 seconds and rip them out:

To use daily I much prefer the half leather seats, the cloth isn't freezing cold in winter, or too sweaty in summer, also they feel much more snug and supportive than the full leather. On the downside I would say they are probably a bit harder feeling and before anyone says it, yes I know the material is not actually leather material, I still prefer them ;)
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You gotta update this more matey lol

Just had to check that i had the lumbar option on my seats....... yup! :)

Thanks for that!
You gotta update this more matey lol

Just had to check that i had the lumbar option on my seats....... yup! :)

Thanks for that!
Slowly bringing it up to date :)
July 2015:

Not really a big change, but if nothing else the part numbers might help someone. So I'd been driving the car with the number plate stuck directly to the front of the bumper. It looked okay at first:

But it didn't stay flat on the bumper and started to curl out at the edges. I know a lot of people like the "clean" look and don't want the OEM number plate plinth but the car was looking a bit off with the number plate bending like that, also I'm not trying to go for a show car look, I'm happy with the standard factory look.

So I got a new plinth from VW and as only the edges are visible when the reg plate is fixed I decided to paint it myself, the plan was to paint it and lacquer it.

Put the plinth in the "spray booth" (knackered chair on the garden). Everything went well..

Until a random leaf blew across the garden and of all the possible places to land it landed on the plinth when the paint was still tacky.
Total fail!

So got busy with some very fine sandpaper and flatted it back, got rid of any dust and did it again and managed to get away with it, couldn't see any problem after the second go.

As promised for anyone finding this on google etc, part numbers for the R32 plinth and it's fixings:
R32 number plate plinth 1J0807287AB41
R32 number plate plinth rivets SN0385491

Plynth? :)

Got the plinth fitted..

And some half decent photos of the car, not taken in a car park for a change.

Still more to come to bring this up to date.
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That number plate plinth is a great addition. I can never understand when people remove them (personally), the plate stuck on looks like an after-thought.

Nice touches, I even quite like the half-leather.
Never knew it came off, thought it was part of the bumper mould, but having said that, i can picture cars without the plate and a smoothed bumper. Never twigged!
I was supposed to be bringing this up to date... So..

So I had a bit of a brief visit to GTi International 2015 at Shakespeare's Park. I turned up a bit late, 10-ish which normally would have been ok but the weather report that day predicted rain in the afternoon and anyone who went might remember the rain hammered it down at about 1 or 2 PM, which closed the drag strip and sort of put an end to things early so I just about managed to have a look around before diving for cover when the heavens opened.

A few of my pics and other people's pics here:


Pics of other cars at the show here:


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July 2015 (couple of weeks after GTi International)

In summer this 2015 I bought some parts from a guy breaking an R32 on Ebay. I'd had a long running issue with my Bora where there was a "cracking" sound coming from the front of the car when turning or going over uneven surfaces, so basically I bought the full suspension setup from that R32 and ended up buying a lot of other parts, some of which ended up on this car. I wasn't looking for them at the time, but ended up taking his OEM xenons as even though mine were okay, they had some slight markings inside from where condensation had turned back into droplets of water and it had "stained" the inside of the glass and some of the silver reflector, leaving "tide marks" that I wouldn't be able to clean off. I wasn't that bothered but since this guy was selling a set I took them to replace mine. If you are picky or have a bit of OCD it's not easy to find a good set of OEM Xenons these days, a lot of them have the back cover slightly broken and dust, insects and moisture can get inside - take a careful look at OEM Xenons on cars at the car shows / meets.

Anyway... The xenons I picked up are in really good condition and I didn't lose any money by selling mine for a good price a few weeks later.

The xenons were fitted when the car was back at Gaz Jones (VAG Auto Care Services), we were looking at possible options for upgrading the standard S3 / TT twin side mounted intercoolers for a bigger FMIC, so we had the bumper and slam panel off the car to have a look, whilst the front of the car was off we fitted the xenons.

I also fitted headlamp protectors, though the car never looks as good with them on, it still looks better than it would with a stone through the headlamp :)
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Really useful information throughout the build :) keep it up

Prefer the Half Leather also
Bora Sport / Golf Anniversary half FIS conversion to full FIS

Half FIS:


Removed, stripped and rebuilt as full FIS, coded up to the car, mileage transferred etc

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Bora Sport / Golf Anniversary full FIS cluster repair of faded / aged LCD - 256000 miles


Confirming bad screen fade at over 30C which is a typical temperature range when the cluster is warmed up on on a sunny day.

New LCD installed...

And tested at over 40C

Cluster fully rebuilt, "Miles to empty" fuel range feature enabled and always lit needles enabled
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R32 full FIS cluster repair of faded / aged LCD, 156000 miles




Repair complete:
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R32 full FIS cluster repair of bad lines display, 89000 miles (same fault often seen in MK1 Audi TT clusters):


Repair complete:
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