'88 Scirocco, 1.8 20 valve turbo (AEB, AGU Ancillaries)


Registered User
Jul 14, 2012
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Chard, Somerset
Hey guys, I'm kind of new hear, so I thought I'd show you all my Scirocco. I don't actually own an Audi at the moment, but the Scirocco has got an Audi engine wedged in it, so I hope that's enough of a link for me to hang around? (Also, I did used to have an A4 a couple of years back, but it was a rather boring standard 1.6 avant.)

I've had this Scirocco 4 years now (Since I was 19) but it's been off the road for a while waiting for me to find the time/motivation to fix it. I decided the time to do it was finally here when my dad explained that he wanted to pull down the barn it was kept in, so I made the decision to put it back into daily use and sell my Passat, like the sensible person I am.

The catch to putting it back in use was that it currently had a 1.6td golf GTD engine in it, which I fitted when I started uni to allow me to keep it on the road as I couldn't afford the fuel costs of the original petrol engine at the time, this engine had however decided to commit spectacular and very effective suicide on the A34 about this time last year, hence why the car was put in storage and a bargain basement diesel Passat was purchased.

Choosing what to replace the diesel with took some thinking, I didn't really want another diesel, as although it suited my needs at the time I fitted it, it doesn't really suit the character of the car. I thought if I was going to do another swap I may as well do it properly, so I narrowed it down to an ABF or 20vt. Although they're the same power from the factory, and the ABF is lighter and easier to fit, in the end the decision was made by the 20vt's potential for more power, as well as it's economy when driven sensibly, and the fact I have a lot of spare 20vt parts 'in stock' for my other project (mid engined mini clubman estate). A Passat AEB engine was found, then all the parts to rotate it to the necessary transverse orientation were scrounged from an A3 obsessed friend, (You know him as Prawn) including an 02j gearbox. Sadly I had to sell my trusty 1.6td B3 Passat estate to fund it all, and then things got under way about a month ago.

I won't go through everything in too much detail, as we'd be here all week, but if there's any specific questions people have then by all means fire away! I've done a few bits in ways that probable seem a bit odd, this is basically a mixture of the fact that I am a little bit odd and like doing things my own way, (I'd rather work something out my self than read a guide about it,) and that I was working with what I had with very limited transport/time to get other bits.

Dragging the car out after a year in my dads barn:



The car was covered in bits of dead moth from the bats that roost in the barn, not pleasant! (And neither was the accompanying bat-excrement!)


We towed the car up to a friends workshop that they'd kindly agreed to let me use as long as I covered to costs of what I used, giving me access to a 4 post ramp, and an extensive selection of tools, including composite and metal fabricating kit.

Once there the old engine was freed:



And the interior and dash were pulled out so I could wire in the new engine, as most of my Scirocco's dials were knackered I decided to fit the full management and dials that came with the engine, which also meant I didn't need to send the ECU off to remove the immobiliser (The eagle eyed of you will spot that the seats aren't from the VW stable, they're '90 spec Escort RS turbo Recaros, and they're not normally that reclined!)


The new engine waiting for it's next home:


And a pile of parts ready to make the engine fit:


The 02j gearbox was bolted to the engine with an ABF flywheel and a gifted VR6 clutch that had sod all miles on it. The Audi A3 manifolds and turbo were fitted too to put all the pipework in more favorable positions for its new home.

The steel sump off the diesel was adapted to take the turbo's oil return, (the diesel one clashed with a ridge on the block.) The diesel's fixed cam-belt tensioner was fitted to the new engine, freeing up space to fit the original cam-belt end mount, which bolted straight on, giving me a nice datum to use to make up the other mounts confident that the drive-shafts would end up in the right place.


Then I knocked up the other engine mounts all 3 of the others needed making as the 02j gearbox didn't have the original locations for the nearside and rear ones, and the Passat oil-filter housing was in the way of the front one. These received more reinforcement on the bench after:


Once the mounts were all the right shape the engine came back out to give me space to work on the shell again.

Next up some mounts for the shifter were welded into the cabin, and holes for the cables drilled in the bulkhead. I like high shifters, so I chose to mount the new cable unit quite high in the cabin rather than under the tunnel, this feels lovely as well as freeing up space for the exhaust. The handbrake mounts needed a little tweaking to make it sit a little higher at rest in order to clear the shifter:


I was in a weird mood when I tackled the clutch, so I decided to go about converting to hydraulic using a master cylinder from a classic Mini, it's what I had to hand and I thought the way it fits, as well as it's built in reservoir made for quite a neat touch. This fits in the scuttle-tray, so a hole was cut in the tray and a 2.5mm steel platform was welded in for it to sit on, including a pair of M8 mounting studs:



The clutch arm had the cable related bits chopped off (leaving enough for the return stop to still do it's job) and an extra little arm was welded to the rear of it and drilled to take the clevis pin for the master cylinder, this was done with quite a high pedal ratio to make up for the fact the mini master cylinder is a larger bore than the one that would normally go with the box:


The master cylinders push-rod was extended to reach the pedal and made adjustable so I could fine-tune the biting point:



While the engine was out the pullys were adapted to loose the power-steering pump and reduced to run a single serpentine belt by welding the outside of the power-steering pumps pulley onto the centre of the water pump's one and then rummaging in the local parts place for a suitable belt:


The engine bay got a good degrease and clean too, not as good as I'd have liked, but I needed the car working ASAP having sold my daily driver and living in the middle of nowhere! In fact the attention to detail's not as good as I'd have liked on most of the build, the priority's been on getting the car on the road in a reliable fashion, rather than cleaning or polishing things:


As the car was originally carbed I needed to do something about fitting a fuel pump and preventing starvation on hard cornering, so I knocked up a swirl pot that contained a Vauxhall Astra 2.0l 16v fuel pump, which I mounted in the engine bay with a facet low-pressure pump supplying it with fuel from under the floor below the rear bench:


An exhaust was made up using 2.5" pipe for most of it, with 3" for the down-pipe and a single box at the rear:


Once the engine went back in the down-pipe could be finished off, I ended up making the flange by cutting the centre out of a classic Mini disc brake! :lol:






Single tail-pipe added (excuse all the welds, I'd run out of proper 2.5" bends by then!):


A new standard Scirocco radiator was fitted and there was a massive amount of faffing around with coolant and intercooler flexible pipe adapting and solid pipe fabrication until all the plumbing was looking good and air/water tight. The intercooler was already mounted from the turbo diesel that had come out.


The dial faces and needles were moved around allowing them to just fit inside the standard dials housing, the paper blanking was replaced with one cut out of a thin sheet of carbon-fibre. These were fitted behind the dash with a bit of chopping about of the dash's steel structure:


Some wires, relays and fuses were added, a key was turned and it drove. Easy.... honest.. ;)

Having been sat for so long the brake flexies all needed replacing thanks to perishing, but once that was done it flew through the MOT without even an advisory.

The only trouble was the clutch was slipping horenously, I was worried it was my somewhat unorthodox clutch set-up, but some fault finding removed that as a possibility and after much swearing I bit the bullet and pulled the box back off and replaced the 1000 mile old clutch I'd been given with a nice new one, problem solved!

Since then I've done a couple of hundred miles in it and it's not missed a beat. Starts first time every time and goes pretty damn well!

The dials fitted:


And illuminated, green back-light matches the Scirocco's dash well:

I got a few photos of it this afternoon after giving it a quick clean to remove a years worth of barn-crap and oily finger-prints. The wheels are temperary, I've got some 16x7.5" Azev A's to go on it, but they're at the wrong end of the country at the moment, so these have been borrowed off a friend's mk2 Astra Rally car while it gets a new gearbox over the winter. Besides the engine the car's got the Ford seats, some TA Technix coilovers (with a few tweaks) and 280mm front brakes, but from now on my priorty will be to sort out the handling, I might have something posh lined up for the brakes, and although I'm very impressed with the TA Technix for the money, I'll be doing what I can to get the suspension as good as possible as and when funds allow:











Anyway, I hope you like the car. It's a little tatty visually, but generally solid and free from any structural rust, and it's a great laugh to drive. Even with the standard map on there it shifts along well, it should only weigh around 900kg.

Thanks for reading, Robin.

(As I say, any questions fire away!)
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Robin, welcome to the project room, updated pics from those earlier are fantastic. That was a totally awesome read. Thanks for putting it all together, very descriptive, great pics throughout, excellent work. Thanks for sharing. :) x
Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed the write up. It's been a fun conversion to do, although it would have been nice not to have the pressure of needing it to get around, as I could have done things to a slightly higher standard visually. The engine feels good, although there's a couple of little issues to tinker with it's being great on the whole so far.
Nice motor mate and great work on the fabrication for the mounts etc. :thumbsup:

I bet the gauges are fun to read with needles flying all over the place lol
Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed the write up. It's been a fun conversion to do, although it would have been nice not to have the pressure of needing it to get around, as I could have done things to a slightly higher standard visually. The engine feels good, although there's a couple of little issues to tinker with it's being great on the whole so far.

Are you going to take it to one of the local meets in your area, the guys would just love it. I put the link below in case your interested. :) x

​Smaller (Local) Events
Thanks Sandra, I'd be interested but nothing much seems to be happening down here in the depths of the South West. I'll keep an eye out anyway, I'm more likely to attend some around Hampshire visiting Prawn, and I'll try and make it to anything that happens at Castle Combe as that's not too far for me.
​Robin, you are welcome to go to any of the meets events in other areas, the guys will all love to see your car. Prawn will be aware of meets that dont always get posted on site. Look out for the big main site events for next year, they are well attended. Smaller section were set up so that members could get local meets arranged. If your ever in Scotland your welcome to join us in our various meets. :) x
Love this!

Well done chap for getting the car to where it is now :icon_thumright:
Love this car.

It was fantastic fun with the old 1.8 engine with the webber fitted, it wasn't to my taste as a tdi, because it's the fuel of the devil, but I was highly impressed with the conversion still.

Now it's got a 20vt it's the perfect blend of technical brilliance with quirky retro cool, a bit like Robin :laugh:
Thanks Nick. I am increasingly convinced that it's down on power/mid range grunt though. It feels quick to me but then I'm not used to driving fast cars (for those of you who don't know me, I've been driving an 80bhp diesel Passat estate the last year, that's a huge ~64bhp/ton!). When I actually pay attention to how it picks up speed it's not as quick as it should be, it's far from slow, but then even with no turbo on this engine it would be far from slow. I think tomorrow's going to be spent looking for boost leaks and cleaning/replacing sensors until it's got more of a kick to it.
just bang an mbc in there and crank up the boost, it'll hide all multitude of sins :laugh:

Seriously though, VAGCOM is a truly fantastic tool that is now available to you for the epic sum of a £12 ebay lead.

Get a diag port wired in, and get an ebay cable, I'll send you a cracked copy of VCDS, and you can pretend you're a pro!
Yeah I'll definitely be after a cable and VAGCOM sooner or later. I do need to get around to wiring in a diagnostics port though. Trouble is I can't do it at home because I can't get the car close enough to the house to get electricity to it, so it'll have to wait until I can use someone's workshop, there's no way I'm crimping to wires that small, it'd last about 30 seconds.

I'll still have a good hunt for leaks tomorrow, and double check all my plumbing and sensors.
brilliant read mate and fair play for the budget build. Love the old scirocco's.
Thanks guys, I'm glad you like it.

Following a bit of advice from Prawn yesterday I set off out for a spin in the evening with a couple of spanners and had a go at setting up the turbo's actuator linkage. Result's a steady ~6psi rather than the old 3/4! Pulls much better now, and it's generally much smoother and nicer to drive. Good result I think! I was sure it'd be something small and mechanical.

So the priority now is to get the handling better, first step's to get my wheels down from North Wales as these borrowed Vauxhall wheels feel horrid. Both the wobble of the wheels being out of true and the tall, narrow, hard compound tyres that are on them. Next up after that will be bracing the shell up front and then looking at reducing the movement in all the bushes.
Looks really good! A lot of work gone in to it. The dials are my favourite! :)
Sweet build mate, love the motor!

Having converted a mk2 golf to 20vt im aware of how fun the older breed are with the newer lump. Bet yours is a hoot!

One day ill own a mk2 rocco, a clean GT2 i hope!

Keep us updated bud, great project!
Well the new wheels have finally found their way down to the shire, with a massive thanks to a couple of the guys off Retro Rides who collected/delivered them from North Wales for me for free, legends! Tried them on the car and I'm really pleased with how them look. It could do with coming down a few mm, and the rears need spacing to fill the arch (and maybe the fronts) but I think they look a hell of a lot better even as they are, and I reckon there's potential for them to look great on there.

The downside however, is that one of the wheels has a pretty huge kink in it ::) I really am starting to loose faith in humanity, why are people such selfish ******? Anyway, I don't think it's beyond repair at least, I've got the majority of it out already, and I'll have more of a go at it tomorrow. I'm hoping it'll come out nice and round, but if not I'll be on the look out for a pair of 16x7.5 Azev A's.

The tyres on them are 205/45 R16, which works out as a few mm oversized rolling radius wise, but this is a good thing in terms of gearing with the torque the 1.8t throws out (nothing by the standard of half the cars on here, but remember this thing weighs ~250kg less than even a base spec A3), and they seem to clear everything fine, when they wear out they'll probably get replaced with 215/40s though. The extra tyre height definitely needs taking out on the coilovers sometime, but I want to do some other mods before I come down much more, unfortunately it's kind of at the limit of where they start driving badly as it is, nothing that can't be corrected though ;).

So then, pictures. Obviously the centre caps will be painted silver to match sometime, and once the salt dissapears off the road I'll probably polish the lips like they are on genuine Azevs:





So yeah, what do people think? Down and out a little more for now, then the wide track and silly arch mods when time/money allow I think.
looks great mate well done! love the old roccos shame theres not many ols school motors left on the roads nowadays, i too want a clean gt2
Thanks guys, glad to hear other people like the wheels too. I think the black centers are growing on me, I still want to do something with them, but I'm not 100% what yet.

A couple of quick shots mates got while I was swapping over my outer CV joints at the weekend at a friends workshop:

Backing into the unit:


And me looking my usual geeky self (although I'm usually somewhat more washed, this was after sleeping in a workshop all weekend!):


The Scirocco's been brilliant in the snow. The wide low-profile tyres (for the cars weight) mean traction's not brilliant, but the very direct controls and lack of power assistance makes it very easy to drive in sketchy conditions, you can really hold it on the limit of traction/grip well, feels much safer and more confident in it than my Mum's Fabia that I drove us up to Wales in last week, you couldn't feel what it was doing at all through all the power assistance, and the ABS was a nightmare on loose snow.
So it's been a while, a fair few miles have been racked up and a few things have been tinkered with.

There's been a few teething issues but nothing that's taken it off the road or been difficult to fix.

The most recent one being the clutch fluid reservoir, which I'd had to modify to give proper clearance from the wiper mechanism after a bit of a miss-judgement when positioning it. Originally I'd used epoxy for the modifications in the hope it'd withstand the fluid, but unsurprisingly it gave up after 6 months or so, so I re-did the mod's, but this time plastic welded the pieces in:

In terms of modifications I swapped the engine mounts for poly ones, which has made it nicer to drive when thrashing it, but they're not hugely comfortable when just trundling around. I've also fitted some poly wishbone mounts and just earlier today an Eibach rear ARB, which seems to have really sharpened up the handling:

The old wishbone bushes coming out:

Some aero wipers, which are also a little longer than factory to sweep a bit more of the screen:

A comparison of the rear ARB's (Factory at the bottom, Eibach at the top if you couldn't guess ;)):

And fitted:

A few photos in the recent sun:

And the little Scirocco trying it's hardest to be practical:

So yeah, that brings us about up to date. The to do list includes poly-bushes for the rear beam (sat here waiting to be fitted), make up a front lower strut brace and a pair of solid strut-top mounts, and also try and get around to painting the wheels. I'm thinking polished lips with red centers, to mimic it's old look on the Porsche teledials (I miss those wheels :():

So I changed wheels, again. Hopefully the last time for a while though as these ones seem pretty damn spot on!









So yeah, loving how it looks at the moment. Seems to turn a few heads and raise a few smiles now, which is nice, as the green ones only ever seemed to get scowls!

I bought a new steering rack a little while back and finally got around to fitting it today, not as bad job to do as I expected. I put it on with new track rods, rod ends and gaiters, as it didn't make sense to re-use the old ones. The shell's on about 180k now, and the rack was getting noisy which worried me.

The new rack came (as it should) with brackets to hold the rod-shift linkage. As I'm running an internally mounted cable shifter this is all no use to me, plus my downpipe runs very close to the rack to help ground clearance, so I lopped that lot off and chucked some paint on earlier in the week, then fitted it this morning.

The rack as it arrived, covered in brackets:

And a comparison of the old and new. You can see the brackets are gone, and there's some new poly-mounts on there. I haven't taken it apart to see just how warn it is, but once off the car it was obvious the old rack was VERY warn out, it made horendous noises when you pushed it from lock to lock, and the puddle in this picture is all water that dribbled out of it!

I'm very pleased with the improvement it's made to how it drives! The steering's completely lost the slight dead-spot it used to have and feels nice and responsive now, as well as tracking more steadily and smoothly than before. A very worthwhile thing to get done.

If you've got a high mileage car then it's well worth considering changing the rack, this didn't make any obvious signs it was warn until the last month or so, but the steering has always felt the same since I bought the car.