The Purchase

June 2008

Price: $1000


Body was good overall with minor blemishes and scratches. The car was VERY dusty. So. Much. Dust.


Interior was intact, but a little worse for the wear. Recaro aftermarket seats were installed by a previous owner. Console lid: Bad. Shift boot: Bad. E-brake boot: Bad. Doors: meh.


Manual trans was unknown on purchase. Motor hadnít run in 2 years. Engine appeared complete and unmolested.


Everything was present, shocks appeared worn.


Seats were aftermarket and non-power. No issues aside from that.

Other Pictures

The overflow coolant is still very green. One possible sign of a BHG is oily, brown coolant so green colored coolant can be a good sign.

Get It Running


Battery was dead after 9 years of sitting. Go figure. Easy test here. Any auto parts store can test batteries if youíre unsure.

CPS Wire Fix

The CPS wires were brittle and cracked. The car would crank, but not start or run. There was no successful ignition at all. After soldering and protecting the wires on the CPS the car started.

Now It Runs! What's Still Wrong?

Coolant Leak

The thermostat housing gasket area was leaking like crazy. A new gasket fixed the problem completely.


The radiator had a slow leak and needed replacement. It was an eyesore in the engine bay anyways.

Hood Struts

When the hood struts are blown you look really dumb propping up the hood. This car needed new struts.


Eventually the starter went out. I didnít know about replacing contacts at this time so I swapped it out entirely. Generally you can replace the contacts alone for a few bucks and have a reliable starter again.



The Console lid, shift boot and e-brake boot well all recovered by Empera from All the pieces fit great and give it a new look. The console lid fits even better if you have some upholstery skills. I did not, but it still looked fine.


The wheels were stripped of the factory clear coat to show off the nice machined aluminum. This gives the mk3 wheels a great reflective finish, but it must be well protected. If you strip them and donít coat them somehow they will not age well, especially in climates where road salts are used.

Final Product