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1990 Tornado Red Corrado G60 Restoration/Build up

1990 Tornado Red Corrado G60 purchased on 11-05-08

We picked up our Corrado on 11-13-08

This is our new project a 1990 Tornado Red Corrado G60.  We intend to do a complete restoration along with some performance mods but don't want to take it to far and get away from what a Corrado is. No outrageous body kits,  maybe a subtle rieger body kit nicely installed and all of the european upgrades available.    

For the performance mods we will be looking towards Neuspeed. We already have many Neuspeed items. Neuspeed front and rear swaybars. Neuspeed short shift. Neuspeed Horespower kit. We will temporary help the ailing suspension with some good used Bilstein Sports and new Neuspeed springs. This suspension will hold us over while we decide on a set of quality coilovers.  

We also have a rare and complete european recaro interior for this G60 along with a euro seatbelt set up straight out of Germany. 

We are also on the lookout for a Passat glass sunroof and much much more.                                                  

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 Known problems before purchase;

1. Electrical problems coolant fan does not run many wires cut   

2. Supercharger bypassed  

3. ABS light is on (still brakes good) could just be a dirty sensor if not we have the parts anyway.

4. Speedometer not working PO said it was the cable and even supplied a new one.

5. Temp gauge not working.

6. Front rad support needs replacing bent up a little.

Numerous cosmetic and little things that are not really a big issue.  

The above six items are the biggest problems with the car, the electrical issues mentioned by the PO is problably or most likely the ignition switch that is bad found this out on the way home. This could have also been the cause for the radiator fan not running. Further investigation will determine all the problems. For the moment our diagnosis for this Corrado is very good not really any major problems and an easy fixer upper as this Corrado drove back to Houston without incident after the first few miles this is very understandable.  

The good, this Corrado did come with an Alpine Headunit and a DEI amp powering a 10" sub.  Also has 51/4 door speakers. The system sounds very good.   

Also has good tires and is pretty much all there has never been hit sideways. Does appear to have had light front damage as the hood is a VR6 hood and looks like both front fenders were repainted to match the new hood as both front fenders are original and have never been removed from the car so the damage was mostly cosmetic. As far as the rad support maybe the damaged one was reused as they can be hard to find here in Texas.

All in all this Corrado is very restorable and is a Texas car with absolutely no rust.                                                           

11-13-08

Left Houston at about 5:30pm (allot of traffic). We arrived in San Antonio to pick up the Corrado at around 9:00pm already dark. We get there and the owner is adding water and states the battery is dead, ok no problem he has jumper cables, I did not take any Frown. So we jump it with my truck and it starts with a little trouble battery was completely dead had been FrownGot the car running and start adding water fill the reservoir and the water slowly goes away, after filling a good amount I'm thinking a leak. Looked for leaks none we do this for a little while still the same. So I ask the owner if it had been using water he states no I said ok, guy seems fairly honest from what I can tell. Thats good I was thinking the head gasket was passing water like in a previous silver corrado I had, (it would use water I guess draw it in during the down stroke not sure I did replace the head gasket and problem solved when I got it out noticed a very small crack in the fiber gasket.) I did notice this corrado had the factory fiber head gasket. Today the updated head gasket is metal.

The water finally stops dropping so we thought, by the way the temp. gauge is not working but the low coolant level light is thank God for the this working light.

We start back towards Houston we get about 5 miles down the road and the low coolant light goes off. Were like damn we put allot of coolant in, is it coming out or passing it? Battery has not charged because as we were heading towards the off ramp I turn the car off and it wouldn't start so I used the momentum and popped the clutch and got it running. We pull over sure enough it's low and car is getting hot coolant fan not running. We buy some coolant and fill the reservoir and we take off. Light is still going off I needed to reset the instrument cluster to get it to turn off so I turn the ignition switch off and then on pop the clutch car starts and the cluster is reset light turns off ok good as it's about 11:30pm on I-10 heading back toward Houston. So were analyzing the situation and we can only guess we have a lazy thermostat or it's not opening all the way and was creating a pocket of air in the cooling system because we continued on to Houston without any further problems.  

On our way home we tried to get a feel of the car to learn where it needed the immediate attention if any. Although the suspension needs replacing the car didn't feel that bad out on the open road. We do know that most everything that wears out will be replaced anyway. Besides the radiator cooling fan and the ignition switch, we did notice that our transmission shifter was wore out. It probably needs every bushing replaced and an adjustment, we have a brand new genuine Neuspeed Short shift waiting. Night driving was bad due to the poor lighting headlights, misaligned and dull corrado headlights (American spec) have poor lighting we have some European spec headlights waiting. We also noticed the electric rear wing was not deploying but would operate very slowly with the manual override switch. This is probably due to our non functioning speedometer although we need to look into why the slow operation maybe the gear is wearing out.

We did note our great gas mileage with the bypassed supercharger.

11-20-08

Yesterday was our G60's first day of attention. We started by pulling the instrument cluster we wanted to learn about the kill switch and check out the wiring. The so called kill switch was actually a bypass for the faulty ignition switch and was wired to a double relay harness. We pulled out the relay harness and started looking at the Alpine headunit install. We ended up pulling the radio as the wiring job was not up to our specs. It was getting dark so we ended the work day at this point.

11-24-08

We last ended with the radio being pulled out that done, we started working on the faulty ignition switch. We had it swapped out in no time as we had a new one on the shelf. We have a special tool we made just for this job. It makes it so much easier, we do not have to disassemble the steering column, we work or special screw driver in and turn the single little screw and out it comes. assembly is just as easy. It took us a whole 5 minutes max. Next we diagnosed the temp gauge after having swapped out the temp gauge sensor and still no reading we swapped out the temp gauge in the instrument cluster and it worked. We had a faulty instrument gauge.

By now we have fixed 2 items in less than 20 minutes. Next came the speedometer cable it was rusty inside the sleeve. We have seen this before in 1990 G60's moisture gets in the sleeve and rusts out the cable and it breaks. We supported the vehicle on drive on ramps and undid the cable from the bottom with a small crescent wrench. The drive pinion unscrewed from the tranny instead of just the cable no problem we pulled it all out and unscrewed the cable and attached the new one. The new cable supplied appears to be from an MK2 and not a Corrado original.  It still worked we will leave it in there till we get a new Corrado one from the dealer.

We next focused on the radiator cooling fan harness. This was an absolute mess there were missing connections and cut wires and a missing relay and a burnt ground wire. there was no way we were going to put this back together. Luckily we had another one from a 1990 Corrado that was almost complete so we made one from the two. 

11-25-08 

We still had to go to the salvage yard looking for the missing connector. We tried to solder all the cut wires back together but the copper was to weathered had engine oil and corrosion and the solder did not want to adhere too well this was after we cleaned all the wires so we used but connectors and cloth taped it all back together. Once we had the harness back together we changed out the radiator cooling fan temp sensor.

When this sensor goes bad people immediately try to wire the cooling fan direct to where it runs all the time. This is when the wire cutting and splicing starts. The result the cooling fan still doesn't run and you end up with burnt wires, relays or worse a burnt to the ground car. The sensor only costs about 20 dollars and is very simple to install. The s new sensor installed we next installed the battery and fired the car up. Well the fan didn't run after the car got up to temp, also on these Corrados if you turn the A/C on the fan will turn on to provide extra cooling required for the running A/C,  surprised NO we can only guess what other damage was done. One last thing the after run feature did not work, the fuel pump and radiator cooling fan should kick on after the car is turned off this could be the after run sensor went bad or the problem with the radiator cooling fan system is keeping it from operating.

Our day ended here but we will continue to look and see why our radiator cooling fan does not run. We will not stop working on our Corrado till we get it all working the way it should. We hope it will be something simple like a relay or fuse.

11-26-08

Got back on the Rado today before work. We went ahead and replaced the speedometer cable with a used one since the supplied MK2 cable would come off during driving. Later after the Thanksgiving holidays we will get a new one, the used one looked well used and had rub-spots on it. Next we got back on the radiator fan problem we started looking at the fuses and relays we found a couple of fuses that had heated up quite a bit, the plastic was distorted like if it had been under high heat for a little while. We checked the wiring at the fuse box and found a wire that again had been subjected to high heat but it was still good. We did not do any electrical testing this was a rather quick inspection to see what we were dealing with. After checking and replacing various fuses and doing a quick inspection of radiator cooling fan related relays, still nothing. We just can't seem to make the fan turn.

We took the car for a spin and the fan just will not turn. We witnessed it turn on during a stop from the drive back from San Antonio but that was it.

Next will be to see if the fan is getting power. Also the CE2 box will be replaced just for good measure it also has a broken ear that they hang from.

As we spend more time with the car we find more non working items. We thought that fixing the speedometer would make the cruise control work we were wrong.

The door locks do not work, fog lights don't work the wing appears to have stopped working. These are little items but can be annoying. Our biggest concern right now is diagnosing the radiator cooling fan problem.

Stay tuned for the fix.

11-28-08

Today we intensified our search for the radiator cooling fan problem and the after-run issue. We solved all the problems and learned allot about the Corrado rad. cooling fan wiring. We havn't spent much more than maybe what we paid for the ignition switch and the temp. switch. It has been mostly labor and a few salvage yard parts. Here are a few pics of the work.

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Here is a pic of the double relay harness that was used to bypass the faulty ignition switch. Unbelievable, this was 100% harder to install than just replacing the switch. 

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Here is a pic of the mess.
 
 
 

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Notice the mirror. What you see here is a reflection of the back of the faulty ignition switch where the harness connects. The small screw in the pic is the one holding the switch in place.  

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Here is a much clearer pic of the mirror showing the faulty ignition switch, the screw holding it and our special tool we made just for this job. It makes it so much easier and there is no need of taking the entire column apart.  

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Here's our special tool in action, about to unscrew the little screw so we can change out the switch. It took all of 5 min. max.
 
 
 

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This pic shows the newly installed speedometer cable. We ended up taking it back out because this is an MK2 cable and kept sliding off. The G60 cable locks on to the speedometer.

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Check out the radiator cooling fan harness it was a mess.

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These are two G60 radiator cooling fan harnesses. The one on the left is the one we had and will use, the one on the right is the one we pulled out of our G60. 

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Here again are both harnesses the one on the left is the reconstructed one and the one on the right was the original to our G60. 

12-12-08 Update

Our T. red Corrado has been a dependable ride so far. I have been driving it to work everyday and have had absolutely no problems with it. We have managed to order a few things for it mostly factory maintenance items. One major item we will be installing soon is a used T. red front radiator support thats in excellent condition that we picked up off the vwvortex.com.

 

12-15-08 still running great!!!

As you may of noticed this T.red G60 project is off to a slow start, hopefully this will soon change.  We continue to move forward with the buildup as we have started to purchase a few performance items. Today we called up Neuspeed and ordered a Corrado VR6 stainless steel 60mm exhaust and a Momo tuner steering wheel with hub. We also called Autotech and ordered a set of their red SHOCK THERAPY ignition wires and a red anodized aluminum intermediate pulley. Techtonics Tuning will get a call tomarrow for their early MK2 rear engine mount bracket so we can install the prothane poly rear engine mount in the VW original rear engine mount. We will post up pics when these carefully selected items arrive.  

12-24-08 19:45

Well I'm here at work on Christmas Eve and decided to update on the Corrado. It's still running great, we did get our parts in just need to find time to install them. We may of also found a complete Passat glass sunroof assembly. They have been hard to find lately and we need to jump on this one because it is complete and in good working condition also it is the second generation and the best one to get.   

01-24-09  Quick update

Been very busy the new year. have had time only for a few things on the Corrado.

Headliner done, Passat sunroof done, Momo Steering wheel done. VR6 Single Pump conversion done. Pics coming tomarrow Corrado runs great.

See ya 

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10-28-09

Well our Red 60 project is well underway. We thourghly examined our Corrado and there is no rust and has never been hit. It has normal dings and dent and such but nothing major. The most damage it has is the radiator support and we have one ready to replace the dented one. This G60 is in great shape. We did a little Car faxxing and discovered it had been owned by many like 15 different owners and spent most of it's life in the Central Texas area amazing it's in such excellent shape. It's a survivor. Now it's in good hands and will be taken car of and fitted with many well deserved high performance parts so it can shine like a Corrado should. Follow along as we transform this humble red Corrado G60.

08-09-10

Been very busy with the 337 but were hitting up our red G60 also we have the HVAC box all done with new silicone on all the airflow doors inside the HVAC box. We will be installing it tomorrow and finishing up the interior with the new undercarpet padding and it's brand new carpet and OEM floor mats. This red Corrado will have one awesome interior and some ice cold A/C. Completing the interior we will move on to completing the car and getting it running again.