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Thread: A Rough Guide to the MK2 Golf GTI

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    Supporting Member Mr Scruff's Avatar
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    A Rough Guide to the MK2 Golf GTI

    As the rarest of the Golfs in Australia, not a lot of people know about but are the best (in my opinion ) of the Golf GTI's, the MK2. So here is a rough guide. Hopefully it will inspire you to look at them as more than just another 20+ year old hatchback.
    Like i said it's a rough guide so i'm not going to bore you with technical data & loads of statistics.

    The MK2 Golf was launched in Europe in 1984 & 1985 in the U.S. The GTI was launched at the same time as the rest of the Golf range (from the poverty spec C through CL, GL & GT models).

    Unfortunately Australia didn't get any officially until the early 90's and they were de-tuned 1.8l 8v versions of the cars sold elsewhere and were all 4 doors in a limited choice of colours.

    All European & U.S models where available with either 2 door or as a 4 door. There was also a Jetta (sedan) variant.

    Model development can be split into 3 phases. 1984-1987, 1987-1990 & 1990-1993.

    1984-1987 TYP 19's
    These early cars had the model designation TYP 19. They are becoming quite rare and more sought after because they sit between the old-school Golf MK1's and the later more modern '90 Spec' cars.
    All early MK2's had a fuel injected 1.8L 8v engine putting out 110bhp (sorry don't speak Kw) driving the front wheels through a 5 speed gearbox.

    TYP 19's can be identified from later cars as they feature small bumpers, quarter windows in the front doors and LHD wipers.



    They can be identified form MK1 Golfs by the rear lights (triangular rather than square), a swage line behind the rear window and generally bigger in size.

    1987-1989/90 The 16v's
    Next stage of development was the introduction of a 1.8L 16v 'KR' engine and ushering in the most highly regarded MK2's. These models are still seen as one of the best handling cars of all time.

    The 16v, engine code KR, was introduced to up the Golf's game against strong hot-hatch competition from Peugeot with its 205 1.9 GTI, Ford's Escort RS Turbo & Renault 5 Turbo's.
    The 16v engine put out 139BHP again through a 5 speed box.
    The early 16v models can be identified by having small bumpers but a move to 'big doors' with no quarter glass in the doors, a deep front splitter, RHD drive wipers and small red 16v badges on the grill, doors & boot.
    8v engined cars in the same spec were also available at the same time as a cheaper option.




    1990-1993 '90 Spec'

    1990 saw the biggest visual change to the MK2 with the introduction of 'big bumpers' to replace the 'smalls'. All were available with either 16v or 8v engines.
    Updates to the interior were introduced with electric windows, sunroof and mirrors being optional.
    All Australian delivered cars were 4 door 90 spec cars with 8v engines only and also featured air-con.
    These cars are identifiable by the big bumpers. The interior was also upgraded with the addition of "Rainbow" trimmed seats, power windows and for the first time power steering was an option.


    Big bumper (grey) compared to small bumper (red).



    The Jetta

    Jetta's were basically a Golf with a boot.
    These models were available as either a 4 door sedan or a 2 door coupe.
    As with the Golf early versions had small bumpers and later cars big bumpers. They came with the option of an 8v or 16v engine.
    Jetta's are very rare in Australia as they were never officially imported. Coupe versions are rare an highly sought after.
    All came from the factory with square headlamps but many have been converted to round headlights.




    Coupe



    Special Editions
    There were a few very special MK2 models produced. All were only available in continental Europe.
    Edition 1 16v
    This was a special edition 90 spec car in a very cool deep purple colour. It featured the 16v engine & special Recaro interior;



    A supercharged G60 version was also produced in much the same spec.
    Rallye
    The Rallye was produced in 1989 as a homologation special for rallying. It featured an 8v G60 supercharged engine putting out 161BHP through a 4wd 'syncro' drivetrain. It is easily identified by its 'box' arches and unique headlights & grill.

    1989 VW Golf Limited 16v G60
    Based on the Rallye Golf Designed and hand-built by the Volkswagen Motorsport division; only 71 of these "Golf Limited" models were produced.
    The exclusive feature package included a G60 supercharged version of the 16-valve GTI engine, mated to a sports transmission and Syncro four-wheel drive mechanism. All were 4 door in black with a blue outline grill. This was the most powerful Golf until the MK4 R32 was built.


    Other special editions were produced such as the Fire & Ice models but these were just tarted up GTI's with sticker sets and different paint/trim combination's.

    Australian Market MK2's
    The MK2 was sold in limited numbers in Australia, around 150 officially imported between 1990 - 1992. They were all late spec GTI models (Big bumpers) with 4 Doors. The only engine on offer was the 1.8 8v, which was de-tuned by the use of a more restrictive exhaust, with a choice of 5 speed manual or 3 speed auto. Colour choices were Black, Red, White & Silver with red being the most popular. Optional extras were available such as air-con & electric windows.
    More were un-officially imported from Europe or South Africa. These were all private imports so specifications on these will vary. Easiest way to tell is if it is a private import is if it's pre 1990. South African cars were not built in Germany but under license in SA. These can be identified by having a higher spec, bigger engine & leather bolstered seats. There is nothing wrong with SA built cars, but i like my German cars to be German

    Modifying
    One of the best things about MK2's is how easy they are to modify. Engine swaps are especially popular with 2.0 ABF 16v's from a MK3 GTI, a VR6 form a MK3 and lately 1.8T and 20VT engines from MK4 GTI's becoming the engine of choice. A few people have transplanted R32 or MK5 GTI engines into MK2's but this a lot harder due to modern electrical systems.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFCcUSbdtzI
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtpsKV-8C_k
    Hope this all helps and makes you want a MK2, you won't regret it
    Last edited by Mr Scruff; 30-09-2011 at 08:21 AM.

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    Super Moderator Frenchie's Avatar
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    Top info Mr Scruff !!
    Nice examples.

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    Member shida's Avatar
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    I need to get myself a Golf!

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    Senior Member Jacquesvdub's Avatar
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    A legendary car
    She's gone

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    Senior Member Tinto's Avatar
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    I'd heard of the Rallye but hadn't realised it was AWD - awesome!
    Thanks for posting.

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    Senior Member kaoticice's Avatar
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    Thanks for the insight.. Those jetta's r making me drool..
    Edwin or Ed

    2010 118TSI, CW, DSG
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    Excellent thread, very informative thanks.

    So at the moment I'm looking at 2 different 1985 GTI Mk2 Golfs. Both small bumpers with the 1/4 windows. But, one has the LHD wipers and the other does not. Have you any insight into that?

    Also, was there a particular time that the Stripy seats were used? I haven't seen them in a big bumper, but then they often don't have stock interiors.

  8. #8
    Supporting Member Mr Scruff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sifty View Post
    Excellent thread, very informative thanks.

    So at the moment I'm looking at 2 different 1985 GTI Mk2 Golfs. Both small bumpers with the 1/4 windows. But, one has the LHD wipers and the other does not. Have you any insight into that?

    Also, was there a particular time that the Stripy seats were used? I haven't seen them in a big bumper, but then they often don't have stock interiors.
    The difference in wipers could be 2 different things. The one with LHD wipers will be a German built car and the other might either be South African built or a later car. You can tell an SA car by the vin number, if it starts with VWV it's German built if not it will be from SA. There's nothing wrong with the SA cars, they'll probably have better equipment specs but aren't as well built as the German examples.

    The stripy seats? Are they thick Black & Red stripes? These were fitted to earlier cars. The big bumper versions (90's onward) have a 'Rainbow' interior as standard which are grey cloth with rainbow colours stripes. If you find a MK2 with Recaro's in, it's worth buying for the interior alone.

    Good luck with your search. Are they 4 door or 2 door cars? Either way once you get it out onto some twisty NZ roads, you won't be disappointed

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    Thanks for that. The three (!) I'm looking at at the moment, one is 2 door big bumper but apparently isn't a real GTI as it's missing some of the GTI things, like disc brakes in the rear and various trim. The other is a 85 small bumper 4 door which has the 1/4 windows etc, but it threw me that it didn't have the LHD wipers, but turns out it is an SA car. And the other is a small bumper four door with the LHD wipers, but sadly it's red and I really don't want red, though I could live with it if the car was perfect, but it isn't.

    Ideally I want a small bumper 2 door, but the wife favours small bumper 4 door, either one should be NZ New, which means it'll be made in Germany. It will really be a matter of what comes up first in a car I think is worth buying. I actually just missed out on one for sale here that was pretty much perfect for what I want, it was more than I'd planned to spend and I couldn't assemble the funds in time. But the search goes on.

  10. #10
    Supporting Member Mr Scruff's Avatar
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    Good luck finding a good one, patience is the key with these things. You finding many rust issues?
    A 2 door is more desirable because they do look better, that's what i'd be looking for but they're way overpriced over here.
    Are there a lot of MK2's in NZ?

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