August 15 COTM, Mike Roten's 83 GTI

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August 15 COTM, Mike Roten's 83 GTI

Postby my02vr6 » Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:49 pm

So with my vacation and Mike's busy schedule, I wasn't able to do a September COTM. So here's August's Car of the Month.


The story of Jack

In 1983, Jack [named by his original owner when new... like a Jackrabbit, Jack the Rabbit is small and agile, he said] was purchased new in Yakima, Washington at what was then Vista Volkswagen.

Meanwhile, I personally was pining for a GTI. I had read about them, then drove one new, but couldn’t afford the $10,000. So, I purchased a white 77 Rabbit in 1986, put a blue GTI interior and a 1.8 in it, and drove my own rabbit “GTI” until 1989. Way over 100k miles I put on that car, and made many memories in the most formative years of my life.

Jack was driven daily by his owner, and he drove quite a few miles right off the lot, even in the worst of Washington winters. Thankfully, Washington state does not use road salt and Jack avoided the tinworm. In the early 1990s, Jack’s owner moved to Florida where he took on a job working for NASA on the space shuttle program. He drove Jack to work every day, changed the oil regularly, and modified nothing. In all, Jack accumulated 278,000 miles on his completely original drivetrain and suspension!

In 2001, Jack’s owner was sent overseas on a “short term” work project, that eventually turned into meeting someone and relocating to the Philippines. All the while, Jack slept in his owner’s garage in Florida. Stock, covered, but not forgotten.

Fast forward 13 years... Jack’s owner decides it’s time to sell the house in Florida, and therefore Jack needs to go. So, Jack was listed in a 1-line ad on, and purchased by a fellow SacWater member with the intent of parting Jack out for his unmolested factory AC components. When the car arrived, there was no way Jack could be taken apart... I was on the hunt to replace my AAZ caddy, so I purchased Jack and the rest is history.

I plan on driving Jack daily for a long time
Since July ‘14, the following has been done to bring Jack to what you see now
[besides accumulate 7,000 miles!]

mechanical: air
air filter, all vacuum lines replaced and routed to spec, throttle body and intake system cleaned, original winter package intake tube/flap/stove deleted

mechanical: fuel
new fuel tank, fuel pump, fuel accumulator, fuel filter, wur rebuilt, injectors cleaned, new injector seals, O2 sensor

mechanical: spark/electrical
plugs, wires, cap, rotor, coil, hall effect sender, alternator, gear drive bosch starter

mechanical: cooling
all hoses, 2x coolant flush, coolant reservoir, coolant hard line, thermostat, fan switch

mechanical: lubrication
oil and filter, trans oil change, valve cover gasket

mechanical: transaxle
all 4 Techtonics HD mounts, transmission oil flush, new clutch everything, Techtonics short shift kit with weight, new axles, all 4 wheel bearings, rebuilt red brake calipers, new brake rotors, 200mm truck drum setup, new brake hoses

mechanical: suspension, wheels and tires
all new bushings up front, Bilstein sport struts and shocks on vintage HÖR Technologie springs, Neuspeed upper strut tie bar. original snowflakes refaced, OE spec tires

a nice soapy bath, clay, wax, LEDs in dash, dome, trunk, 3d printed clock knob, leather wheel, and there’s always ongoing general interior/exterior cleaning and refreshing

what’s up next?
rebuild the grille and headlight buckets, headliner and rubber windshield gasket swap, rebuild the head, lower tie bar, continue to rebuild the seats, have the headunit restored and replace the speakers, clean up the rocker panels, score some nice OE mats, better rear door cards, a 3A bottom end, drive, drive, drive

is Jack for sale?
Perhaps, but he won’t be cheap. I have a number in my head... besides, I prefer interesting trades.

02.5 GTI O:o====o:O 90.5 GLI [__]==\X/==[__]
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy"
-Benjamin Franklin

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Re: August 15 COTM, Mike Roten's 83 GTI

Postby 5doorGLS » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:32 pm

Car is sweet sir. I love the back story. Especially that you couldn't afford it when new. Makes it sweet owning it now.

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Re: August 15 COTM, Mike Roten's 83 GTI

Postby zuhaelter_82 » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:41 pm

TheWorm wrote: Ever wonder what makes special sauce so special? Yo!"

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Re: August 15 COTM, Mike Roten's 83 GTI

Postby K2WAGON » Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:08 pm

Very clean and we'll taken care of GTI! Wish I could afford one of these.

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Re: August 15 COTM, Mike Roten's 83 GTI

Postby taurus » Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:33 pm

Right on! Wonderful example of OEM+.
'13 Golf R
WTB: '08+ Rabbit/Golf 2.5L manual
function ≥ form

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Re: August 15 COTM, Mike Roten's 83 GTI

Postby veedubman72 » Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:17 am

So glad this went to someone who loves it as much as the original owner. Such a great car and a survivor. Gotta say I like the snowflakes better than the RAs :thumbup:

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Re: August 15 COTM, Mike Roten's 83 GTI

Postby DucMike » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:52 am

I approve of this message. :thumbup: Very nice car Mike & it has me seriously jones'n to get my '76 up & running (but we all know that won't happen any time soon...).
Mike S. :roll: (and where the hell is my smilee?)
2008 .:R32
2003 GTI 20th A.E.
1996 GTI VR6
1991 B3 Variant
1976 Rabbit
1966 T3 Variant

"What; was she Australian or something?"
"No, she was white."

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Re: August 15 COTM, Mike Roten's 83 GTI

Postby 8v fury » Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:56 pm

It's their new 2.5L diesel, direct injection, 5 cyl, 25 valve, twincharged, hybrid, 500 HP, 11ty billion torkz, 10,000 RPM, AWD, 6spd manual/ 7spd DSG, 75mpg, sedan/wagon/hatchback that goes vrooom vroooom vroooooooom

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Re: August 15 COTM, Mike Roten's 83 GTI

Postby ducatipaso » Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:35 pm

hey, thanks folks! It's been awesome.
none of this would have happened if it wasn't for Brian.

here's to you :cheers:

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Re: August 15 COTM, Mike Roten's 83 GTI

Postby fahvergnügen » Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:39 pm

Has he climbed the beanstalk yet?

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