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Old 01-08-2013, 12:51 AM
"that kid with the bug"
 
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so i test drove an 03 Turbo S today around the block of where it was at. couldnt get above 35mph or really throw anything at it, but the car seemed "twitchy". granted ive been driving a 99 chevy malibu(aka rolling marshmellow....), but it seems kinda unstable. im going back to drive it again in a few days and id like some info on what could cause the car to react like that. when i go back i will be able to drive it fora longer period as well as toss some onramps at it and some highway + speeds. suposedly the control arm bushings have just been done as well as an alinment and all the mounts(motor trans dogbone) but the struts are original.

Matt
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by mat3833 View Post
so i test drove an 03 Turbo S today around the block of where it was at. couldnt get above 35mph or really throw anything at it, but the car seemed "twitchy". granted ive been driving a 99 chevy malibu(aka rolling marshmellow....), but it seems kinda unstable. im going back to drive it again in a few days and id like some info on what could cause the car to react like that. when i go back i will be able to drive it fora longer period as well as toss some onramps at it and some highway + speeds. suposedly the control arm bushings have just been done as well as an alinment and all the mounts(motor trans dogbone) but the struts are original.

Matt
The clutch is hydraulic which make it seem a bit twitchy and takes some getting used to, you will need to get it up to speed. Also unless the RPM's are around 2,000 you may feel the turbo lag on these. Some people don't notice or take off more slowly, but I notice it if I am taking off quick, unless the RPM's are higher.


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Old 01-08-2013, 01:07 AM
"that kid with the bug"
 
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i have owned a Turbo S before, the clutch, transmission, and engine all seem fine. and actually i find a cable clutch more "sensitive/twitchy" than hydro. and did you really just use "turbo lag" when refering to a 1.8T? lol, i am concerned about the actual suspension. i know that toe in can make a car wander alot, especially FWD cars. but since i was told it had an allignment im guessing its something more serious than just an alignment.

Matt
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:22 AM
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Well, a German designed VW will definitely handle differently then american vehicles; you could always have the car checked out by a professional and if you get serious about the purchase, I definitely would! The Mark IV series 1.8T VW's; have their unique issues and weaknesses. These are not like Toyota's or Honda's; they DO require quite a bit of maintenance to keep them on the road... the MAIN issue being the timing belt (1.8T is a interference engine). They are fun cars to drive and chip tuning is widely available along with other performance upgrades if that is something that appeals to you.
I guess the next question is to expound on the term "sensitive/twitchy"; the Turbo S comes with a "sport tuned" suspension (the turbo s is basically a GTI Golf in a different body) ; so, it is a German car and handles as they are designed. This makes for a somewhat taut feeling suspension compared to most soft slushy feeling cars out there (this seems to be changing on the newer cars however) and they are more responsive then what you are currently driving that's for sure...

Suspension parts that seem to go out: lower control arm bushings (mine are toast at 70k), rear trailing arm bushings (this seems to come with a audible "clunk" from the rear) and the struts could be done at this point. Obviously, basic things; like tire condition, quality and pressure are basics to look at. The typical things that fail seemed to have been addressed; LCR and motor mounts; have it checked out there could be other things worn out but my feeling is that you are sensing the sometimes drastic difference of the handling a German car vs. a American slush bucket. Once you get used to it; you will like it.... this is why many of us put up with the upkeep and issues of having a German car... they are so much fun to drive! I just started driving my turbo s after it being down for 6 months or more and I could describe its handling characteristics as you have described. I just put new bushings in my LCR and had it aligned as well.

Expound on "sensitive/twitchy" and we will go from there....

Last edited by billymade; 01-08-2013 at 01:35 AM..
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:27 AM
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well the road i was able to drive on was a small 2 lane city road. not very well maintained with a good bit of bumps and camber changes. the car seemed to want to wander over every bump and when i got on the gas it torque steered a hell of alot more than i remember. when coasting the car didnt seem to track strait either. liek i said, it could just be because ive been driving a automatic Malibu. but it seems like something is wrong. i dont think shocks/struts would cause this much of a handeling problem. but maybe the alignment wasnt done properly?

Matt
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:38 AM
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Well, we are all theorizing at this point; most alignment/tire/front end shops will do a suspension/alignment inspection for free. I would ask the dealer if you could have the car check out and go from there; always a good idea to get everything checked out before taking the plunge and possibly being stuck with high repair bills! Did the tires seem good? Aside from the suspension; I would have a VW specialist go over everything with a fine tooth comb; I just had to have my transmission rebuilt (1st/2nd fork failure) and a new clutch as well. Keep those in mind; make sure it shfits smoothly no grinding etc. and clutch doesn't slip etc.

Last edited by billymade; 01-08-2013 at 01:43 AM..
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:46 AM
"that kid with the bug"
 
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well its being sold by a VW repair shop. i used him alot when i had my 1970 VW. im goign to take it to the local dealer for a $180.00 thurough inspection before i buy it. they scan for codes, check the engine/tranny, put the car on the lift and inspect everything, sample the coolent/oil, and put it on the alignment machine. the carfax shows it wasnt wrecked, and its been owned local since it was born so no salt damage(yay!!). the interior isnt fantastic, but i like the idea of a project. just not a project that needs a full front suspension. lol once i get to drive it for a bit i will report back, but im hopeing someone will chime in with a possable cause(worn bushings, camber off, tie rods, something) that would explain the behavior.

Matt
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mat3833 View Post
i have owned a Turbo S before, the clutch, transmission, and engine all seem fine. and actually i find a cable clutch more "sensitive/twitchy" than hydro. and did you really just use "turbo lag" when refering to a 1.8T? lol, i am concerned about the actual suspension.

Matt
If you don't like people's answers and know everything, why ask questions?

As I said some people may not notice the "turbo lag", but having worked on and driven, literally, hundreds of these cars as a volkswagen tech, yes I said "turbo lag".

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Old 01-08-2013, 01:55 AM
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Well, keep us posted on what you find out; the most major thing that can happen with the turbo s (aside from timing belt failure, turbo/head failure from clogged oil pick up tube), is the fork failure on the 02M transmission. You can read about my experience here: Turbo S; just lost 1st/2nd in my 02M, 6 speed!
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:01 AM
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If you don't like people's answers and know everything, why ask questions?


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you stated "problems" that dont relate to the suspension. if you have imput on the suspension please share, and i will listen. but throwing turbo lag and a hydro clutch out as the reason when i stated "suspension issues" isnt very helpful.

Matt
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:10 AM
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you stated "problems" that dont relate to the suspension. if you have imput on the suspension please share, and i will listen. but throwing turbo lag and a hydro clutch out as the reason when i stated "suspension issues" isnt very helpful.

Matt
Then act like a person who has some respect for others. If you don't want to take someone's advice who is offering assistance to you, don't.


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Old 01-08-2013, 03:11 AM
"that kid with the bug"
 
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Then act like a person who has some respect for others. If you don't want to take someone's advice who is offering assistance to you, don't.


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i wasnt trying to be rude. ive been asking technical questions all week and every time someone comes in and throws some unrelated reason into the conversation. i apologise if i came across a bit grating, it was not my intention. do you have any ideas as to what the problem could be asside from engine/trans related? the engine pulled smoothly and the trans shifted fine as well.

Matt
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:55 AM
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i wasnt trying to be rude. ive been asking technical questions all week and every time someone comes in and throws some unrelated reason into the conversation. i apologise if i came across a bit grating, it was not my intention. do you have any ideas as to what the problem could be asside from engine/trans related? the engine pulled smoothly and the trans shifted fine as well.

Matt
Thanks, I appreciate that, sorry if i got a bit hot as well. People on here really just want to help each other and there is a lot of experience on here, so if someone chimes in they truly just want to assist in amy way possible. I have never been in a friendlier forum. I have had a lot of experience with customers (when I was a tech) that would think it was one thing, but it wound up being something totally different, so when you said twitchy, I went off the description.

In regards to the suspension, as you probably know from your past TS, these are very sensitive to road crown and varying road conditions as mentioned earlier. I would venture with the work completed it would be unlikely to have a major suspension issue. I have seen too much toe out cause them to quickly veer like you're describing. That said, even though the car fax shows clean, frame damage would cause it to track odd. A good way to check that would be for you to have a friend drive behind you when you are driving, the car drives straight, but directly behind it you can tell it is tracking off. They also may have just done a crummy alignment.

I have also seen car fax show a car as clean and Volkswagen had it in the system as a totaled vehicle, turns out they painted over the sticker and cleaned the title somehow. It is my understanding that car fax uses info from insurance databases, so if it is not reported to an insurance company it will not show up. There is another service called, I think called auto check that I have found more descriptive than car fax, again just a suggestion.

My 10 cents


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Old 01-08-2013, 02:30 PM
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i have owned a Turbo S before, the clutch, transmission, and engine all seem fine. and actually i find a cable clutch more "sensitive/twitchy" than hydro. and did you really just use "turbo lag" when refering to a 1.8T? lol, i am concerned about the actual suspension. i know that toe in can make a car wander alot, especially FWD cars. but since i was told it had an allignment im guessing its something more serious than just an alignment.

Matt
It' shouldn't be "Twitchy" especially after an alignment was just done on it. I would verify that the Lower Control Arm bushings were recently replaced. My car wasn't twitchy when I got it but my drivers side control arm bushing was pretty much gone and whenever I stopped the car it made a horrible clunking noise and like the engine was still moving forward. At first I thought it was the motor mounts and replaced them but the problem persisted. So I jacked up the car and saw how bad the control arm bushings were. So I replaced the enitre control arms with Heavy duty Solid TT/R32 bushings and after that the car just handled like a dream. I also replaced the front sway bar bushings and the sway bar endlinks since they have seen better days and after a couple of months I also replaced the shocks and struts and ball joints. Car handles like a dream. I used the Monroe Quick Struts and matching rear shocks. Very easy to install. After that I took it to a recommended Allignment shop and they did a very thorough alignment and I was told my drivers side wheel bearing is starting to go bad. So that will be my next project.

A good alignment shop will tell you if there is anything out of place and would never sign off on a "Twitchy" handling car.
I agree, the 1.8 has no turbo lag to speak of. It's one of the least laggy engine's ever built. Spools up very quickly and is very responsive. If you want Turbo Lag drive a Mazda Speed 3 or CX7 with 4 cylinder Turbo. Those things have major Turbo Lag

Anyway, take it to a reputable alignment shop and let them make an inspection of all the front end parts. Might be well worth the 60 to 80 bucks they will charge you.
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:42 PM
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It's one of the least laggy engine's ever built.
Completely agree with that . At least as far as turbos go.


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Old 01-08-2013, 05:20 PM
"that kid with the bug"
 
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definition of turbo lag - Subaru WRX STi... below about 4K RPM it feels like you are gerbil powered.

i called a few delearships near me and they all said the toe might be off some, combine that with the crappy road and BAM! you have "twitchy" lol. once i get a chance to put it on some smooth asphalt i will report back. keep throwing ideas at me tho, i dont want to get the car and have to dump 2 grand into new suspension componants.

Matt
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:49 PM
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You want turbo lag, try an old school IDI diesel. Our '84 TD is super fun, but that turbo doesn't even start to spool until about 3k...not much rpm range left after that either. Factory turbo on the 1.6 diesel in there is a T3, which is huge. We leave it on for the originality of it (factory TD cars are pretty rare) and we don't drive it hard anyway, but man, that's got some serious lag. Keep in mind, the car has a whopping 68hp factory
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:06 PM
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You want turbo lag, try an old school IDI diesel. Our '84 TD is super fun, but that turbo doesn't even start to spool until about 3k...not much rpm range left after that either. Factory turbo on the 1.6 diesel in there is a T3, which is huge. We leave it on for the originality of it (factory TD cars are pretty rare) and we don't drive it hard anyway, but man, that's got some serious lag. Keep in mind, the car has a whopping 68hp factory
But they sure get incredible mileage and last a long time.

Matt, sounds like you got some helpful dealers around you. A lot of people on here can't even get that much info from their dealers.

You may want to pick up a tread depth gauge and see if the car was also just out of alignment so long it wore the tires in a really bad pattern, this can cause problems as well, especially when they are overinflated. However the dealer will check that when you take it in for the used car inspection anyway. They should also run it for recalls and be able to look in their computer and tell you what type of warranty work has been done on the car.

Mine had 3 or 4 MAF sensors replaced on it under warranty when I had it ran. I also still need to get the coil recall done.


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Old 01-08-2013, 11:57 PM
"that kid with the bug"
 
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im going to bring a penny with me and do the mr lincoln test method for the tires. and they actually just got an 02 Turbo S with 77K miles today instead of 116K on the one im looking at. im going to check them both out once i get over there next week for a final test drive. everything seems to be working in my favor this month. got my fingers crossed. ill also be in the market for a new armrest as well as glovebox(both are broken) and maybe some door pannels.

Matt
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:34 AM
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im going to bring a penny with me and do the mr lincoln test method for the tires. and they actually just got an 02 Turbo S with 77K miles today instead of 116K on the one im looking at. im going to check them both out once i get over there next week for a final test drive. everything seems to be working in my favor this month. got my fingers crossed. ill also be in the market for a new armrest as well as glovebox(both are broken) and maybe some door pannels.

Matt
77k sounds nice. Make sure you check both inside and outside of the tires, worn inside would indicate the toe out problem. Also if you run your hand in the direction opposite of the direction of travel it will rough or choppy indicating bad wear patterns.

Just to state the obvious, you would definitely want to know if the t-belt and W/P had been done.


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