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Thread: Mk1 Engine Swap

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    19

    Mk1 Engine Swap

    I know I know itís been asked a million times and info is everywhere but bear with me.....

    Ď77 4 door project well underway completely stripped ready for sandblasting in the next couple of weeks and then off for paint.

    I have read a heap of stuff online and the answers by many very knowledgeable and ingenious people but for a VW noob like me it becomes very confusing with so many engine codes, different combinations with turbos, Efi, Carbies and personal opinions also a lot of the posts are years old now recommending engines that are harder to find and or totally flogged out.

    Please help simplify this for me, I am looking for some good power, nothing ridiculous that will tear the old girl apart but enough to put a smile on my face and surprise the odd knob at the lights in a more modern car.
    Iím not doing this on a shoestring budget but at the same time not going stupid.
    I want a 5 speed and my thoughts are to buy a complete donor car to provide the bits I need in one package and get the necessary conversion kit to suit, so question is... what is the best donor car to look for:

    Mk3 1.8
    Mk4 GTI 1.8t
    Mk4 2.0
    any newer options that will work

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Melb Westsideeeee
    Posts
    1,455
    Users Country Flag
    It all comes down to budget and mechanical understanding.

    For a budget friendly reliable package - I'd go with 1.8 from a mk3/cordoba. Throw on a weber and enjoy good power with a very simple engine swap. Gearbox bolts straight on, all engine mounts work . Id expect to pay a few hundred for the engine, and personally put in another 1-1.5k on maintenance and performance bits.

    With a bigger budget and more mechanical skill / time - could do a 1.8t. There are two options even within this to consider. ME3.8 ECU which is drive by cable and far easier to wire in, however the ME7.5 is harder to get wired in; the benefit is higher tune-ability.
    This swap has been done over and over - which means all conversion parts are able to be purchased, however does get costly.
    Expect to pay 1-1.5k on engine/gbox package and maybe another 3-4k on conversion costs.

    I've had both swaps. I personally wouldn't do a 1.8t again as they are pretty gutless. A 1.8 with a good exhaust and carb setup will be plenty of fun
    - Orange Golf mk1 LS, 1.8 5speed, 32/36 - sold
    - Golf mk1 Swallowtail rebuild, completely stripped
    - Brown U.S import 81 cabby
    - 88 Honda crx b18cr

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    19
    Thread Starter
    Thanks, good to hear from someone who has had both.
    For the 1.8 is the 5 speed from the Mk3 ok or should I be looking for something else?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Melb Westsideeeee
    Posts
    1,455
    Users Country Flag

    Yep, as long as it's a rod shift and not a newer cable shifter box - should work fine. You will need a 5 speed gearbox bracket though.

    If you did want to get a bit fancy, Installing a cable shift gearbox will make for epic gear shifts! There are short ratio MK4 sport gearbox's that will match up perfectly with a 1.8! This will require quite a bit of work, but as I think well worth it.
    - Orange Golf mk1 LS, 1.8 5speed, 32/36 - sold
    - Golf mk1 Swallowtail rebuild, completely stripped
    - Brown U.S import 81 cabby
    - 88 Honda crx b18cr

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