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Author Topic: Calum’s pride and joy  (Read 971 times)

Offline CalMac

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Calum’s pride and joy
« on: July 27, 2021, 09:50:26 pm »
So I didn’t realise this is where you start a build thread… better late than never!

Nothing particularly insane just me attempting to keep my motor tidy.

Buying as a 20 year old, I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve managed to get and it’s more than enough for me for now. If you’re a younger lad like me this might be worth reading for some ownership cost reference.

So I’ll breakdown some quick costs for younger owners like myself who are looking to own a car like this:
-£5000 on 75,400 miles
-I’m the 3rd owner from new
-Good service history, only failed 2 MOTs ever.
-£657 one year insurance, 8,000 miles with Hastings. I have 3 years NCB.
-£320 annual road tax
I won some money back on the trade in of my Ibiza which needed more money spending on it than what it was worth to sell privately.

MPG is sweet, 35 for 90% of my driving needs, well into 40 on motorways, best I’ve seen is 44.7 on the trip.

In September 2020 I happened upon my 2007 golf GTI, about 40 mins from where I live. Ironically, this was an advert my mum sent me cause she was tired of me threatening to buy 30 year old hondas, I had stopped looking for a mk5 GTI cause they seemed to be out of my budget. This one was priced well for the condition.

It was my perfect spec (base), black, no sunroof, no Projector lamps, no Headlamp washers, the lightest mk5 gti you can get  :wink:

What mattered most to me was it’s a manual and had the cloth seats. Anyway, my good mate Ryan came with me to check it out and all was well.

Coming up to a years ownership in 2 months and I have nothing but praise for this car, seriously loving it. I also had ‘bragging rights’ for owning the fastest car out of my mates until one financed a golf R but as they say competition brings out the best in you!  :grin:

I’ll quickly mop up everything I have done with my car in the time I’ve owned it.

September 2020:
Oil service and filter change. I actually requested that this was done as part of my agreement for buying the car, never happened but probably for the better since I was able to make sure it got fully synthetic 504 5w30.

October 2020:
Cambelt and waterpump. I went for the bosch set. Cost approx £110 and then £160 for fitting. Precautionary measure, no mention in the log book of it ever being done. The mechanic who did it showed me that the waterpump in it was fairly fresh already but the belt was due in 1 year anyway so no harm done there.

November 2020:
Cam follower kit from CLP tuning £57, fitted for £40 or so, can now do this myself though

December 2020 - February 2021:
All my springs met their fateful end, back ones first, fixed them myself. Front ones followed soon after. Paid a garage to do the front springs cause I just don’t have the kit, included new spring bearings cause one was visibly damaged, and the rear brake discs and pads were changed. about £400 including all costs. Again I can do this myself now but the old ones were so crusted on I was just chewing the retaining screw.



May 2021:
Had my 17” monza wheels refurbished by Romax in stockton. Decent job, visibly uneven in some places but I’m not terribly bothered, they look nice enough for me. £240 one day service.

July 2021:
Oil service and filter. About 6,000 miles since my last one so definitely on its way to being due. Castrol edge 5w30 LL.






I’ve totalled it up and I’ve spent roughly £1,200~£1,500 on my car in maintenance and repairs alone. But as with any used car, the first year is always the most expensive. Please remember that some of the fixes I had done were not necessarily due, but done out of peace of mind, your experience will differ!

If you want to see what I get up to with my car on Instagram it’s @cal.tarmac
I run a YouTube page where I post mostly helpful things about cars, YT: CalTarMac
« Last Edit: August 09, 2021, 01:20:01 pm by CalMac »

Offline Irish_Mk5

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Re: Calum’s pride and joy
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2021, 01:19:27 pm »
Looks great! Reminds me of buying my own one!
Any future plans for it?

I have my NCT next month and suspect I may have a similar spring issue. We’ll be lowering it if that’s the case :)

Offline CalMac

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Re: Calum’s pride and joy
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2021, 02:39:52 pm »
Thank you! Yes, now I’ve sorted a good chunk of maintenance, I will be looking to lower it and I already have a set of wheels in the works. Trying to set this car up suspension and brake wise first before adding power, especially as the car is so good on stock power anyway!

I’ll keep the thread updated with changes and DIY that I do.

If your springs are broken, I would fully reccomend going for lowering springs, I really wish I went for the racing line springs instead of stock ones.

Fortunately I have spied a set of used KW V3 for sale at the moment. Going to gather some information on them and see what I think! Only thing is that my insurance won’t cover suspension changes so might have to sit for now if I do pull the trigger.

It would be good for you to check with your insurance first if they cover lowering springs or any suspension changes. Hastings won’t for me  :sad1: but I can’t change provider or I’ll miss out on this years worth of ncb, catch 22.

I think H&R springs are black and racing like ones are dark grey so even if you don’t tell your insurance I doubt they would suspect anything even if the worst did happen.

Offline CalMac

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Re: Calum’s pride and joy
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2021, 10:05:29 am »
Back in March, I had a go at restoring the headlights. I have the standard lamps which are plagued by the yellowing lens problem that all vws of this time have. The headlight was murky, rough in places, the beam was unclear and just all around looked awful.

I had a go at trying the Chrisfix technique which involves wet sanding the plastic lens back and then applying UV protective clear coat over the top to preserve a long lasting finish.

As I had chose to do this in the colder months, the laquer application wasn’t the best and I really struggled to get it into the top corners at the bonnet / wing body line. The cooler temperatures and changes in wind just made it a bit of a messy task.

Any way they do look much better than they used to and after 6 months they are still holding up pretty well! The lenses themselves have a good amount of pea sized smashes in them from stones which only became visible once I’d polished them up, I think next time I’ll just get replacement lenses.

Not a bad effort for the cost of some plastic laquer and a few of my own hours. It should last for at least a year from now I reckon. Apologies that my photos are gash, it was the sort of job that I just wanted to crack on with and not to botherd about documenting.








Chrisfix video link:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UEJbKLZ7RmM
« Last Edit: August 04, 2021, 10:26:25 am by CalMac »

Offline CalMac

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Re: Calum’s pride and joy
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2021, 01:24:15 pm »
Modifying a golf gti continues to prove to be a steep learning curve, it seems even the simplest changes I have in mind need hours of research and consideration before pulling the trigger. Here’s my latest headache:

I bought some wheels back in June with the intention of refurbishing them and installing on my car. While I had been very tempted by the weight savings of a set of OZ alleggerita, I ultimately went with a set of ‘blingy’ BBS in my endeavour to do something a bit different. The one pictured is the nicest of the set of 4 which I honestly could not be bothered unboxing all for a photo.








I managed to source a fair condition set of BBS RS795. These are often referred to as the RSII and I believe these were an optional wheel for the S4 and the A8 of the early 00’s although I’m not 100% sure.

I paid £450 for these in fair condition which I think is reasonable as this wheel isn’t easy to find for under £1000 for a full fresh set with centre caps, centre nuts, all the rest. These wheels are heavier than my 17” Monza however my logic is that they weigh identical to the 18” Monza II so I’ve gone up 1” in size, and an extra half inch in width and still remained the same weight as the optional 18” wheel. Not bad eh?



The specs of the wheels checked out with similar setups that I have seen and they are a direct fit with no modification. With the mild lowering I’m aiming for, they shouldn’t rub in normal use with 225/40/r18 tyres.

All seemed well until today when I enquired with BBS to get the correct paint colour for them and was informed that they must not be split when refurbished as this would make them unroadworthy. Now I assume that there is really nothing wrong with splitting a wheel to refurbish as long as you use new bolts and torque them in order, to spec. BBS just won’t want to be liable for anyone who doesn’t secure them properly.





I’ve run some costs myself and it looks like £562 is what it’s gonna cost to refurbish them. That’s a lot, but that’s just how it is for multi piece wheels. Since today I have learnt that the process for removing the face is more arduous than I expected. The bolts need to be heated to be extracted and extraction often results in some broken bolts and the thread needing tapping again, or worst case scenario even helicoil.

All of this has made me a bit uncertain about the aesthetic and (negligible) performance gain that I would get from this wheel set up. If anything it just makes me more mad that I missed out on a set of good condition 17” alleggeritas for £600 with tyres on eBay!

Anyway when they arrived I tried one on for fitment. I used a piece of wood which mimics the size of the tyre wall (yes I now know I should’ve rested the wood on the barrel not the rim). Because the springs hadn’t settled after being lifted the ride height hadn’t settled either and looked odd but gave me a good idea of what to expect.






For reference, the wheels have 2mm clearance inside the arch from being flush, I didn’t imagine they would be this aggressive initially. The brown tape was a mistake, left marks but never mind. Would be good to know what you guys think? I’m really split between selling them and finding a more suitable 1 piece wheel or just go all out and put them right.

I made a video on my channel showcasing these wheels and how I decided upon them at the time if that interests any of you.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HPi94VAIBew
« Last Edit: August 05, 2021, 01:57:31 pm by CalMac »

Offline LC5F

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Re: Calum’s pride and joy
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2021, 05:44:46 pm »
I do like those RSII's - I can remember being parked next to a new at the time big Audi with those on, very nice.

Lots of people refurb split BBS wheels - suspect BBS are just covering their arses incase something goes wrong.

Only problem with going up 2 sizes in diameter will need 2 drops in profile - to cope with terrible roads, I prefer a bit of sidewall - hope the roads are good near you -or- you drive like a granny!

Offline CalMac

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Re: Calum’s pride and joy
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2021, 11:37:11 am »
I do like those RSII's - I can remember being parked next to a new at the time big Audi with those on, very nice.

Lots of people refurb split BBS wheels - suspect BBS are just covering their arses incase something goes wrong.

Only problem with going up 2 sizes in diameter will need 2 drops in profile - to cope with terrible roads, I prefer a bit of sidewall - hope the roads are good near you -or- you drive like a granny!

Thanks! I like them a lot too, glad to hear that you agree about the email I got. These are 18” so it would be just 1 wheel size up for me, 19s are a bit too much for me personally. Most likely gonna keep my Monzas for winter.

Unfortunately, ‘good roads’ and ‘North of England’ never appear in the same sentence  :grin: .

Offline CalMac

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Re: Calum’s pride and joy
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2021, 01:24:04 pm »
Hi me again :)

I really haven’t made many changes to my car in the past few months, I’ve just been enjoying it while the nice weather lasts, and getting a bit of extra maintenance in. However, doing this has revealed more issues which will need to be addressed at some point.

I’ve recently had:
1- New front brakes and pads to correct some awful brake judder - £90 labour, £130ish for parts
2- a front wheel alignment - rear is too rusty to adjust - £40
3- a pair of part worn tyres for the front - £75 supplied and fitted

1- I’m not entirely sure of what caused the brake judder, it must be down to irregular pad/disc wear, the slide pins seem healthy and all. Anyway new pads and discs sorted that and I have a lot more confidence back in the car.

2- I really wanted a 4 wheel alignment in preparation for getting new tyres however the rear axle and bolts are so rusty that adjusting the alignment is futile. Gonna have to get the rear axle off at some point and freshen it up with new hardware too, perhaps the power flex road series bushings also? I really wish I had some garage or unit space to do more stuff myself, it’s impossible to find that kind of space and doing roadside work is not too kind for my neighbours.

3- About the new tyres…
when I bought the car, it was equipped with falken ziex up front and ‘gt radial’ on the rear. I knew the rear tyres weren’t the best anyway after feeling the back end step out on the twisty roads. But very manageable. I had been using them ever since buying and I decided that I should rotate the wheels to save me some tread as the fronts were now ~3mm and rears were ~4mm.

With the ‘gt radial’ on the front they were the worst tyre I’ve ever used, the compound is rock hard compared to the Falkens, they will spin some in the dry and they turn into bars of soap in the wet. Driving in the rain was dangerous even 30mph turns on a normal largish roundabout would cause understeer.

I would not normally buy a set of part worns but I just HAD to get rid of the ‘gt radial’ ones on there, and my 17s are my winter wheels anyway so not bothered. I managed to get some continental contact 5 tyres with ~4.5mm tread on them still, this will easily get me through winter. They are run flats so there’s a lot of ‘noise’ transferred to the steering wheel but not uncomfortably so. The road holding is light years better.

As an interesting side note, my friend who bought a mk7 R about 6 months ago, also recieved it with the exact same tyre set up except in 18”. I suspect that this is some sort of dealer way of installing the cheapest tyres possible on cars before they sell them? He also would say that the back end would be less stable than anticipated sometimes.

Nice part,

I took the car for a blast on the moor roads near me, just to get used to them. Once I found the rhythm of the roads and my car it was super, I really don’t need much more than what I already have. My confidence in the car is stronger since I know what my brakes are up to. The gear change felt super slick probably cause it was up to proper temps. I had a good play with a red 6R polo gti too.



Unfortunately I have developed a sort of dead spot in my steering now. I’m assuming it’s from bush wear or tie rod ends, the middle of the steering had maybe half an inch of steer which is noticeably lighter than the rest. I’m quite sure this isn’t some adaptive steering feel feature.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2021, 01:49:26 pm by CalMac »

Offline CalMac

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Re: Calum’s pride and joy
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2021, 01:33:17 pm »
I wanted to make this as a separate post cause I think it’s important.

The rusty front wing problem on the mk5 is very well documented and almost everyone will encounter it. I fully advise if you haven’t already, pulling back the fender liner and giving the whole wheel arch a real good clean. I used meguiars multi purpose cleaner, a rag and a brush.









I was shocked how much crap was stuck in my car and thoroughly advise everyone to give these spots a check!

Very fortunately, the chasis rail end, bottom of door bit, whatever it’s called, was completely intact with no rust. I probably made a nice weight saving on each side too  :grin:





I sacrificed one of my Amazon detailing brushes to get all of the muck out which really helped.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2021, 01:38:06 pm by CalMac »