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Weekend Recap: Do-It-Yourself?

posted Dec 21, 2017, 5:30 PM by Gran Touring Motorsports Club
Article by: Brad N; 12/20/2017

D . I . Y. -- Do It Yourself, solo, alone, by yourself, without any help… apparently a few GTM members didn’t fully understand that that’s what DIY stands for because a few of us embarked on Casa de Monterastelli last weekend to do some DIY projects on a few unsuspecting GTIs.

The Gus (2002 GTI 1.8T), Eddie (2003 GTI 1.8T), and the Yuri (2003 GTI VR6; a new addition to the MKIV Mafia) were all undergoing some major surgery. The plan was to take apart the Gus and remove all the parts that would make it less desirable as a street-car, then take all those more street-friendly parts off Eddie and the Yuri and essentially turn 3 track cars into one good street-car. The road map was simply laid out on a piece of paper taped to the Gus’ windshield and some items were already crossed off the list (thanks to Eric getting a head start on the project). I arrived at about 9:30am Saturday morning with Eddie in tow. After unloading Eddie and pulling into the garage it was just about time to get to work. Except, it wasn’t. First I had to check out the new shop that was built and shoot the shit a little. Around 10:30am club friend Travis Dixon from SCCA showed up to pick up some firewood, this tore up my back (as I would later find out) but we loaded up his trailer. Still, no work on the cars just yet. Then around 11:15am GTM member Kerwin W. showed up and we decided it was finally time to get started.

Day one was spent on the exterior and engine compartments. We swapped the front-mount intercooler, front bumper, front fenders, hood, headlights, and rear hatch all from the Gus and moved them to Eddie. Eric also did some extra work on Eddie replacing the snorkel piping and the emissions delete kit. It was quite the project, but thanks to Kerwin’s help and expertise (did you know he is a certified mechanic???) everything was able to happen quite smoothly and without much incident. This DIY weekend started off great. While we all worked on the cars in various stages, The Fast and The Furious franchise movies played in the background, Chili, Paula Dean mac-n-cheese, and mulled apple cider all simmered in the crockpots, and Travis spent time diagnosing the electrical issues hampering Eric’s portable lift (turns out it was a bad relay). By dinner time Eddie was put back together and all the goals for day one were met. Kerwin and Travis went home and Eric and I cleaned ourselves up and celebrated by taking GTM junior member Clio to see Star Wars Episode VIII.

Day two started with pancakes. Delicious and fluffy pancakes. But after breakfast the car work would start. The plan for today was to pull Eddie out of the garage, pull the Yuri in, and swap the entire interior from the Yuri to the Gus. However, this was put on hold for a bit because GTM members Mike and Chrissy C. came by to lend a helping hand. While they were there though, Mike took advantage of the empty garage space to quickly change their oil in their VW Camry (Passat). Once that was done however, the work had begun. Mike and Chrissy got to work removing all the stickers and decals from the Gus while I got started on the door cards. After the door cards and a break to ease the pain I was feeling in my back, I started on the seats. While I worked on removing interior pieces from the Yuri, Eric and Mike spent time finishing up the exterior pieces on the Gus (hood and fender install and alignment). Pretty soon it was lunch time so we ordered some pizzas and took a quick break. It was around this time that Chrissy and I took a trip to Wal-Mart to get a tupperware container to mount to the hood of Eddie. Let me explain, see now Eddie has hood louvers that, while they work really well at circulating air and providing some downforce to the front end, they do absolutely nothing to protect the engine from the elements, and Eddie sits outside 24/7. So we got the hood cover (AKA tupperware tub) and went back home. By the time we returned, Mike and Eric had most of the stickers removed and the hood lined up on the Gus. I went back to work on the interior of the Yuri and Mike and Eric went to work on the rear hatch interior panels. Fast Forward a few hours and Chrissy and Mike went home, the interior of the Yuri was successfully transplanted from the Yuri to the Gus, and the Yuri was ready for a carpet removal and roll cage install (once the race seats were installed). To the naked eye you wouldn’t even be able to tell the Gus was ever a track car except for the hood pins from Eddie’s hood that were unavoidable.

All in all the weekend was a huge success, everything that needed to be accomplished was basically accomplished, and everything happened basically without incident (except for my back, which still hurts a bit even today). Special thanks to Kerwin, Chrissy, Mike, and Travis for coming out, hanging out, and getting their hands dirty. We couldn’t have gotten through this “DIY” weekend without you guys.

We hope to see more of you at the next GTM get together. It was a lot of work but also a lot of fun.