Thanks for dropping by my blog.

Just thought I chuck in a link here for those that love what my Golf is about, and why I'm so obsessively into it.

Monday, 30 April 2007

The US exchange rate

... has me considering Koni coilovers from WRD (US-based). The last I got quoted for these coilovers were $2700AUD from the same guys that I got my Koni Reds and springs from, but WRD has posted them up on the Vortex for a special price of ~$1042USD. That's easily cheaper than what I can get here, and with the exchange rate at $1AUD for $0.83USD, there isn't a better time.

BUT I JUST HAD MY NEW SUSPENSION IN!!! And it would mean I'd have to spend a little extra for these coilovers, probably another $500-$800 or so. It'll be worth it, but can I justify spending so much money on my car?! My heart says yes but my brain says no.

I guess I'll put up some criteria that has to be met if I want to get these:
  1. Combined postage + coilovers must be below $1300USD.
  2. Must have a potential buyer for the Koni Reds and springs before the coilovers are bought. Must be sold for more than $800.
Gosh. I better start saving up.

Pics of Mk3's with Koni coilovers - wound all the way down:

The black one has got me all giddy. The white one looks too low, but probably cos the 17's emphasises it. Black one has 15's.

Argh, this desire is killing me!

Edit: Gave GT Suspension another call just then - they quoted me $3490 as the retail price, but they are able to do it for $2800 shipped to my place. Man, if I could get it for $1500 shipped from WRD, I'm seriously snapping it up.

Edit #2: WRD replied back with a shipping of ~$450USD!!! That's nearly half that of the coilover kit itself! But that's within the cost of $1800AUD all together - I remember getting quoted for $1990 for an Eibach struts + springs from Pedders. It's still a crazy deal.

Edit #3: Discussed with fellow watercoolers at the watercooled forum and they kindly reminded me that anything involving a foreign purchase in excess of $1000AUD would impose a GST and import duty tax, at about 20% of the cost of the product in question. That's about an extra $300-$400AUD, putting the price in excess of $2000AUD shipped to my place. I've got this idea totally out of my system now!

Monday, 16 April 2007

Rear fogs

Got them working - when I got the car, only the right-hand side had the rear fog lit up. This was because the LHS did not have the cut-out for the fog bulb to go through. Due to my recent purchase of a dremel (hehe) I decided to put it to good use and cut out the cover. Was very simple to use - the small size of a dremel truly makes it easy to handle and control. I did the cut-out on my old taillights first just as a "trial", and it came out fine. I then proceeded on to the updated taillights, then cleaned out the dust and remnants of the cut-out.

The RHS fog used the same bulb as the brake light, and since I had a spare one, I just shoved it on. I'm sure it would be better to use foglight specific bulbs but I really don't know the kind of fitment for that - the brake light bulb fits fine so I'll just leave it as that (we don't get much fog here in metro Sydney so the foglights are kind of redundant anyway). Works great, and now it doesn't look weird when I put my rear fogs on, as both sides light up.

Here are some shots I took just then:

Park light only:

Park light + foglightPark light + brake light
Park light + foglight + brake light:
Peace :)

Edit: Gave Oli a call - he has a stock GL grille for me so I'll be picking it up either on Tuesday or Wednesday :D Got an essay due on Wednesday and a lab report on Friday though, so I can't really start on it until the weekends... Argh!

Friday, 13 April 2007

Getting ridiculous ideas

I'm craving for more DIY to busy myself with! I've got plenty of assignments and presentations to do for Uni but being busy with the car is just totally different to being busy with Uni work. I guess I prefer working with my hands than my mind. F*ck, that sorta came out wrong, but yous get the idea.

After viewing plenty of DIY jobs on the VWVortex forums, I have decided to tackle a few DIY jobs the next few months. I'm saying months because I really need to take it easy with things relating to the car and start focussing on my study. Anyway, I've got three DIY jobs I'm thinking of doing:
  1. Wheel repair:

    I've been thinking of repairing the awful curb rashes on my stock 14's myself, then respraying them a different colour. This is purely a fun project, as my options are either to sell them for dirt cheap or just chuck them out - no one wants to buy OEM wheels, and if they did, they wouldn't want to fish out a decent amount of money for ugly, damaged wheels, so I might as well gain the best of my situation and learn a few things with this DIY.

    It basically involves filling the curb rashes and other damaged parts of the wheel with metal filler (I recently bought some Selleys Knead It Steel) then doing your usual paint prep with sanding and cleaning. Paint would then go on like with all the other projects I've done - primer, basecoat, clear. Being used on wheels, they would be required to be able to withstand some high temperatures, so I'm still looking around for suitable products to use. When it comes to the colour, I'm thinking of going with gunmetal grey or charcoal, just so I can see what a darker shade of wheels would look like on the Golf. I'm thinking of refurbishing + widening + repainting the centres gold for the BBS RS (this will come much later), but many of my friends have expressed that black would look much better, so I'll use this project to try and sway my opinion a bit. Inspiration comes from this thread from VWVortex.

    This project will most likely start when I go for my next wheel alignment, which may be soon (it already feels out - car doesn't feel as stable as when I first had the new suspension fitted on). I'll have the tyres mounted off the 14's as it will definitely make the project much more easier to do.

  2. Badgeless grille:

    At the Nats, Paul from EuroCarDriver gave me quotes on some aftermarket items. Now, these guys are the only stockists as far as I know when it comes to parts from and FK. At the moment, aftermarket support in Australia is barely existent and most people buy from eBay from international sellers when it comes to obtaining their aftermarket goodies. There are a few shops that sell the odd aftermarket taillights and headlights, but they are incredibly expensive. The quotes that Paul gave me included a badgeless grille (2-slat and Kamei look-alike), and they were $299 and $199 respectively. This would probably come off as no surprise - it's basically a monopoly when it comes to the watercooled VW aftermarket market. I cannot justify $299 for a badgeless grille, especially when I see examples on eBay selling for only $60USD. Why shouldn't I buy from eBay then? It would end up costing me about the same when it arrives here in Australia due to the costly shipping. I've been quoted $100USD for shipping a badgeless grille, due to their long shape. I really can't part that kind of money for something that just improves the aesthetics of my car.

    Haha, /end rant. So because of that, I've decided to tackle my own DIY job on making a badgeless grille. Most obvious reason is cost, but there are other reasons too; I much prefer a 3-slat badgeless grille, and these seem to be quite rare in the market, and the only ones I've seen are the Bonrath ones. They are known to be of good quality, but I prefer it if there was no "by Bonrath" insignia on the grille itself. Since I have a stock GL grille, I already have 3 slats. All I would need is another GL grille (there should be plenty at the wreckers), where I can cut a small section out. I would then have the badge hole cut out, and in place would be the slats from the other grille; I can then weld/epoxy/glue them on. I would have to fill the bottom section of the grille too where the badge would have sat. All in all, it shouldn't be extremely difficult, though it may be when it comes to making it look flawless. Inspiration drawn from this thread.

  3. Smoking the front indicator cluster:

    Since I'm going for the smoked look, it's only a matter of time that I smoked the front indicator cluster. I was thinking of buying aftermarket smoked Hella fogs + middle blank + indicator, but they, like the badgeless grille, costs pretty much an arm and a leg for what they are. I would need to invest in a new headlight switch as well with the front foglight function, and a friend of mine has informed me that the dealer stocks them for $160. That's almost $500 when it comes to just getting smoked fogs and indicators installed and working. So that's a definite no for me.

    What I could do is buy a set of standard Mk3 fogs and the blanks that go with it, and smoke them myself. It would be very similar to what I did with the joey-mod for the headlights, but taking the lenses apart would be bloody tricky. I've tried to do so with my long blanks, but I've did nothing but crack them. They just don't hold up as well.

    Inspiration was drawn from this thread, again from the Vortex. As the pictures show, it looks great if done carefully.
I'm really set on doing #1 - hell, I've already bought what I need for it (I impulse bought a Dremel too :P), minus the wheel paint.

Idea #2 just sprang to my mind when I received an email from Paul about the prices today, but at the moment seems to be the most likely DIY mod that I'll be doing first. I really would like a badgeless grille, and they have been one of the first aesthetic mods that I wanted to do.

Idea #3 is just a 50/50 for me at the moment, since it just doesn't sound as fun as the first two ideas. I might just "ghetto" smoke what I have right now by just spraying matte black paint on the blanks and leaving the turns orange - I Dubmodder-ed this and it looks decent, though it doesn't tie in with my tinted and de-ambered rear lights + the smoked side indicators. Will have to see how it goes.

Here are some pics from Dubmodder with some Photoshop/MS Paint handy-work:


Haha, "modding" the grille to take the badge out was much easier in MS Paint. If only it was as simple as that in reality.

4am now, I need my sleep. Just went to John Mayer's concert and it was great - was a tad short though. Anyway.

Project DIY!

Monday, 9 April 2007

New pics

Just want to post up some new pics. Took it at a parking lot in Parramatta - thought I'd have some pics in before I do any more stuff.

Man, I need to get myself a new camera + tripod + photo-taking skills haha.

Sunday, 8 April 2007

VW Nationals 2007

Good day - a lot more aircooled than watercooled, but from what people were saying, this year had the BIGGEST watercooled turn-out than the previous 20 years! The count was at about 50+ watercooled cars - we met our quota and hopefully have cemented the fact that the watercoolers are here to stay in the Australian VW scene.

There were judges there and awards too, but I didn't end up having my car judged - the best Mk3 went to an Autosalon-esque styled Golf GL. Not many people were happy. The engine was untouched, he had fake Hella dual round headlights, in fake carbon surround too, was not lowered, and was wearing a set of Gestalt chromies. The interior was nothing to be desired either - some of the plastic accents were colour coded, and looked fake with the shiny plastic texture. It had a decent sound system though, but even that was poorly designed. The owner had a shop selling rice goodies as well, and was advertising it while having his car on show.
Lots of us want to move the European/American VW scene down to Australia (with their "Euro-tuner" style) and seeing it win dampened our hopes of it. But I'd say give it a year or two more, and we should have our act together.

Here are some of the photos. All of it can be found under this link!

Oli's 16V and TDI
Standard Mk2
Winner of Best Modified Mk3
Oettinger-kitted Mk5
Alex's (Australia's first) Vento-front Golf. Came all the way from Queensland!

Pre-Nats prep

It's 1am on Easter Sunday, and today I will be having the car on show for the first time.

For the past 2 weeks, I have been sorting out some bad rust areas present on the car (imagine my reaction when I found out). Only discovered them while detailing the car. They're all occurring under the rubbing lining of the doors. Fixed it up temporarily by getting rid of the rust, added rust remover/converter, bogged, primed, then repainted. Looks OK now, but will definitely have to get it done properly some day.

Detailed the car as well - finally clayed the whole car - my arm :( - and polished and waxed. I couldn't be f*cked applying ScratchX onto all the panels, so I'll leave that for next year haha.

Worked on the car the whole day, and I am bloody tired. Gotta get some sleep - early start tomorrow, gotta get to the show and help out with the watercoolers. Hope it doesn't rain until I get the car under cover!

Oh, and forgot, received the EmpireGFX taillight overlays, and got some cheap second hand stock taillights that were in good condition (mine were cracked to the sh*thouse). Stuck them on as per the instructions that came with the stickers (great set of instructions they were - will post them up as a DIY article later!) and even though my skill as a sticker-sticker sucked, the taillights look f*ckin' sick. Here are some pics:

Overlays:All-reds! Well, sort of...
There we go! After:Side-to-side comparison:
Pics on the car here. It was at night and I don't have a tripod, so I couldn't take proper pictures.

Double edit:
Got my smoked side indicators too!! Haven't taken any pictures yet though.

Don't worry, will have plenty of pics after the Nats :)

6 hours to go