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Hi all,

First post here as a prospective Lupo GTI owner. I've been keeping an eye out for one locally in decent condition, and although not exactly what I was looking for a project car with very heavy oil consumption (1.5L per 600 miles) turned up recently. I'm going to have a look at it on Friday, the price seems ok as long as the rest of the car is solid.

I assume it's either valve stem seals or rings gummed up/broken, so head off to check. I've rebuild a couple of motorcycle engines but never a car, so if someone could give me a rough idea of what I'm getting myself into it would be great!

Couple of specific questions:

Can you remove the head (and cylinders if necessary) with the engine in situ?

Are any VW special tools required that can't be avoided?

Thanks in advance for any help!

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Welcome to the forum

Valve seals are possible issue, but piston rings can wear prematurely - I would do a compression test before parting with cash.

Ask the current owner what grade of oil they are running - should ideally be 5w-40 Quantum Platinum - if they are running a thinner grade of oil it could just be rinsing past the rings.

Also running on low octane fuel can lead to burnt valves - ask the owner what they have been running

The rocker cover is a Cam box - to time up the cams you need to lock them in place, the tool isn't expensive - but an even cheaper option is you can use drill bits.  But if you go the whole hog stripping the cams out, there is no woodruff key on inlet cam for the VVT pulley - this does need 2 special tools to align.

The video below is a 1.4tsi engine rebuild, bottom end and head are similar to AVY - only thing to take extra care is rear seal, it has the timing ring built into it, you don't want that going in wonky - I really like his threaded rod trick for landing the RVT'd sump and rocker cover in correct location:

 

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It could be something as simple as a leak. If it's using a lot of oil (and burning it), you'd get a warning light as the O2 sensor would pick up the out of limit exhaust gas mix.

Like you say, if the rest of the car is fine, even if the engine is blown, I'd buy it. Engines are relatively easy to fix, as they're designed to be worked on. Upholstery, bodywork and electricals are more work...

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6 hours ago, mk2 said:

It could be something as simple as a leak. If it's using a lot of oil (and burning it), you'd get a warning light as the O2 sensor would pick up the out of limit exhaust gas mix.

Like you say, if the rest of the car is fine, even if the engine is blown, I'd buy it. Engines are relatively easy to fix, as they're designed to be worked on. Upholstery, bodywork and electricals are more work...

Mine never put a light on when she was burning through 4 litres a week! Just a huge blue cloud out the exhaust on over-run and little black spots on the tail gate. Mine was the oil control ring on piston number 3, luckily there was only minor scoring of the bore, so it was re-honed and new piston rings on all cylinders, doesn't use a drop now. I had the work done at 118k miles (along with a few other bits before I had this done, ie: valve stem oil seals and a new oil separator), she's now on 175k and drives like new. 

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I went to have a look at the car yesterday, it seems like an interesting project to learn a bit about working on cars (I've rebuilt a few motorcycles so have half an idea which end of a spanner is which) and a good opportunity to save a Lupo from being broken!

Positive points:

Interior is in very good condition for the mileage (110k)
The car hasn't been used in winter (by this owner at least), so the underside is very clean
Recent discs and pads all round
Seems to have been well looked after
 

Negative points:

Smokes like a trooper!
Patch of rust on one of the roof gutters
Paint peeling off spoiler
Steel bonnet
Standard wheels not currently included 
Rear brake light and both door switches broken
No tyre compressor

The positive list IMO outweighs the negatives in terms of importance, with the motor repair being the only thing requiring immediate attention. A couple more questions to that end:

I don't have an engine lift or stand, is it possible to remove the sump and access the rod caps without dropping the motor? Likewise, can you hone the cylinders with the crank in place without the risk of getting metal particles in the main bearings?

If it's really worth it I could always pick up the engine lift and stand, I just can't see me (hopefully) needing them again.

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Buy it. I'd guess a value of about £1500 like that, >with< the original gti wheels.

Roof easy to respray. Spoiler peeling. Brake pedal switch. Door locks. All very common faults.

Once fixed and roof sorted, with good engine and nice wheels, worth maybe £3.5-4.5k, and rising. Maybe worth more if a rare or desirable colour.

You can rebuild an engine in place. It's just a bit harder to keep everything spotlessly clean.

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Yes - sump can come off giving full access to rods, but down pipe needs to be dropped 

VW’s have a thing called service position - front panel comes off entirely - getting you right next to engine, one or two bodies could man handle the engine out without a crane.

sounds like it’s got all the usual problems - have you seen the how to section?

are wings and doors alloy skin? What’s the deal with the rims?

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11 hours ago, LR5V said:

Yes - sump can come off giving full access to rods, but down pipe needs to be dropped 

VW’s have a thing called service position - front panel comes off entirely - getting you right next to engine, one or two bodies could man handle the engine out without a crane.

sounds like it’s got all the usual problems - have you seen the how to section?

are wings and doors alloy skin? What’s the deal with the rims?

Useful info, thanks!

I've seen the how-tos for all the standard stuff.

Wings and doors are alloy still, it's just the bonnet that's been changed. It's currently on 14" steelies, which are for when it's sitting parked up over winter.

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And...it's now mine :D

Will stick a post in the 'new owners' section when I get a minute, here's a photo as it stands for the meantime:

IMG_20210214_154202237_HDR

The car is currently filthy and it's too cold to clean it, as per the plates I'm living in Austria and it gets a bit nippy here over the winter.

First things first, I'd like to download elsawin to gain access to the Lupo GTI workshop instructions. Can anyone recommend a trustworthy site to buy it from?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/15/2021 at 8:29 AM, Blue Loop said:

Good to see another one driving on the correct side of the road!

Really 🤷🏽‍♂️

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On 2/26/2021 at 10:44 PM, szrdave said:

That must be fighting talk in here!

Indeed 🤺

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Bit of an update, I did a compression test last weekend and got between 14 and 15 bar on all cylinders. I went for a short drive beforehand to warm the engine up and clear the oil out of the cylinders, but any oil left in the bores could have helped out with the results a bit. Still, nice and even across the 4 cylinders so I'm hopeful the bores are in good condition.

Pulled the Lupo into the garage and started the stripdown:

IMG_20210221_155728463

I was expecting the exhaust header nuts to put up a bit of a fight, luckily they span straight off. I can't get the heatshield off (poor access to the lower bolt, which already feels partially rounded), so will pull the head out with the intake and exhaust manifolds attached.

Drained the coolant, disconnected a ton of electrical, coolant and fuel connections and setup my newly purchased bridge lift. The nut was jamming on the threaded portion (I didn't think much could go wrong with a cheap engine bridge, wrong!), so half an hour later and one was installed and I could remove the RH engine mount (jack under the sump too just in case):

IMG_20210227_223648665

 

Unfortunately I bought the wrong crank pulley holder:

IMG_20210227_230753638

I assume this one is for a different variant of Lupo? My Ryobi impact wouldn't shift the nut, I'll fully charge it tomorrow, heat the nut slightly and try again.

I bought the car from a bit of a Lupo fan (who also visits here occasionally, hi Wolfgang if you read this!), who told me it's not a bad idea to remove the arch liners every now and again to stop trapped debris rotting the arches. Definitely good advise as I found half a kilo of mud, leaves and sticks behind there! Clean painted metal underneath once it was cleared out though :thumbup:

IMG_20210227_223710963

Hopefully I can get the crank pulley nut out tomorrow and the cylinder head off before next weekend. My girlfriend and I are expecting out first child at the start of April so time is pretty tight!

 

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That under arch is grim. One for my summer jobs that is.

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When I swapped over my front wings, it looked like I'd pulled a ploughed field out of mine from there! 

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Managed to get some quality time in the garage today. Got the new (correct) tool to hold the crank pulley and removed the bolt, can't give the Ryobi too hard a time for not undoing it, it was bloody tight!

Cams locked and belts off, followed by the cam housing and head:

IMG_20210307_175520103

I'd already wiped the worst of the oil and carbon of the piston crowns at this point, all the bores look in good shape for the 170k km on this motor so the pistons and bottom end can stay as they are.

With the head off I pulled the valves, saw this one and thought it had been contacting the piston at first glance:

IMG_20210307_175437390

On closer inspection there's just so much carbon build-up that it's started to crumble away at the edges. Good news, as I don't have time to pull the bottom end apart if I want to get the Lupo on the road this summer!

Popped all the valves out, every single one had play in the guide and heavy carbon build-up:

IMG_20210307_175455320

Quick scrub up to check the condition of the seats, and none are heavily pitted:

IMG_20210307_175508432

Two options now, either invest in a small press and change the guides myself, or give the head to a machine shop and get them to do it. The price will probably be about the same either way, option one I gain some experience and a press, option two is less stress and I know it's done right.

I'm leaning towards option one, would need to source VW tools 'drift 3360' and 'reamer 3363' though, if anyone has a lead on where to get them (or a suitable replacement)?

 

 

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Wow!  That is impressive carbon build up is that 1 to 2mm? - suspect it will have increased the compression ratio - not making your test scores look any better.

For the guides, I would say Option 2 - option 1 has possibility to run and run, you have no excuses to put it back together with option 2!

The non-official way to remove crank pulley bolt - carefully note what way the engine turns, put but socket in breaker bar on bolt located so breaker bar is turning into the floor and crank engine over to undoing the bolt. Not the best as you are twisting the crank in a way its not designed, rather than holding the pulley and turning the bolt, but it gets you out of a hole if your stuck.

By the way - nice Garage and home

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Posted (edited)
On 3/8/2021 at 11:50 AM, LR5V said:

Wow!  That is impressive carbon build up is that 1 to 2mm? - suspect it will have increased the compression ratio - not making your test scores look any better.


Heaviest deposits are on the valves, but the whole head needs a good clean. Will check the compression again once it's back together and see how much it's lost!
 

On 3/8/2021 at 11:50 AM, LR5V said:

For the guides, I would say Option 2 - option 1 has possibility to run and run, you have no excuses to put it back together with option 2!

The non-official way to remove crank pulley bolt - carefully note what way the engine turns, put but socket in breaker bar on bolt located so breaker bar is turning into the floor and crank engine over to undoing the bolt. Not the best as you are twisting the crank in a way its not designed, rather than holding the pulley and turning the bolt, but it gets you out of a hole if your stuck.


Nice trick using the motor to undo the bolt, although the €50 tool made it an easy job and I'll be able to torque it up correctly on reassembly too. Contacted my local VW garage for price and availability on OE guides, will see what they say before deciding which way to go with the head rebuild.
 

On 3/8/2021 at 11:50 AM, LR5V said:

By the way - nice Garage and home


Thanks! Garage is also a work in progress, floor needs epoxying and the electrics finishing off, but it's a nice place to work on the car. It's build into a hill on one side with the house on the other, lowest temperature so far in the winter (without using a heater) is 13°. Looked like this when we moved in a year ago:
 

IMG_20190707_141409431_HDR

 

Edited by szrdave
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When you're this far you should really do the rings.

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21 hours ago, Rich said:

When you're this far you should really do the rings.

What Rich said, you're there, get the rings done and save potentially having to strip down the engine again

036 198 151 C x4 - £61.85 inc vat each from VW, though VW UK are only showing x2 kits in stock, not sure on stock where you are based. 

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It is great to see my decision not to break the car and give it a chance to survive will be success full.

Please spend the time to make the rings it will make the car an enjoyable toy. Costs are neglectable.

Hope to see the right one  soon again at least for some nice pictures.

 

943392743_LupoGTISchlossTraunstein.thumb.jpg.d5c5a7c4d5aa73b75a4c29084fe7d77a.jpg

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