Alain's Brasil-style turbo Fox build

By alaincopter

38 minute read

( 7 )

Compliments of alaincopter @


Since my original thread got deleted when the forum changed, I've decided to make a new one showing everything that has been happening to this car since day one. It is a lot of stuff, so please be patient! 

Let me start by saying that I've always wanted to have a nice Voyage, ever since I was a kid. I was born and raised in Brazil so I really grew up around BX platform cars. My first favourite car was my aunt's white Voyage. 

Anyways, onto the fox-coloured Fox. This is when I first got it in 2007.  





The 87 Trans AM you see beside it eventually got sold to fund the Fox; the grand cherokee was my first vehicle and I still drive it today. 

At 318,000 km, this Fox appeared to be in good shape... until you looked at the engine bay. Not the ideal candidate for a turbo project, but this car caught my eye and I really wanted to see its potential underneath all the dirt and rust. 


I sort of knew what I was getting into. This was a very inexpensive car to begin with and I knew that making it nice would be a neverending story, but I was really set on saving this one, one little thing at a time. First thing to do was wheels. I was always set on following a brazilian OEM+ style with this car so I decided on similar wheels to the brazilian Voyage Sport - the BBS 14" basketweaves from the late '80s BMW 325. Pics: 





Then right before winter came (bad idea but whatever) I decided to cut the springs.  

Ghetto thing to do, but Foxes ride surprisingly well with cut springs. 


First actual brazilian goodies on the car: '91-94 Voyage Sport smoked tail lights and clear markers: 


Believe it or not, this car made it to New York City and back. It also made it to Chicago, and to Montreal several times.


then the real fun (and lots of work) was about to begin. Took a trip to Brazil in '08 and came back with a turbo kit and some other goodies.
Here's my cousin holding the box with my biagio .48/.50 turbine, outside the Fast Street performance shop in Campinas, São Paulo (those folks are awesome to deal with and very knowledgeable in anything related to adding horsepower to AP engines)


A couple of pics from inside their shop



And then back home with the goodies waiting to be installed.


Well, you gotta start somewhere. I knew I would have to revisit most of my install to clean everything up and do things right, but I was really eager to get the car back on the road and feel some power/hear that blow-off sound that I decided to leave some things for later (ie do a dirty install) and get the car working quickly. Yes, this involved a "custom exhaust" made mostly of flexpipe!




Luckily I then moved out of student housing, into a house with an actual garage!

Flexpipe exhaust, PVC plumbing: I really had it all! Fun times though. I could finally enjoy driving a rough turbocharged Fox. It wouldn't be long till it was back into the garage for some more work. 



Homemade AFR meter, following the schematics on the website... using a DVD case!! 


Then, rough as it was, the Fox made it to Columbus, OH for the Odd School Class Reunion '08. Met some of you awesome folks, and sure got some mixed opinions on what my Fox had become so far. 





I had gone to OSCR with hopes of having Jonathan build me a proper exhaust; unfortunately, he was incredibly busy with preparations and with other people's cars. He did help me a lot by tuning my DPR and giving me a ignition advance/retard diaphragm from an Audi turbo; but then back home something had to be done about my exhaust. So I got myself a pipe bender, got the downpipe welded, ruined many feet of pipe, and eventually got it done. 



Then I did a few more things... replaced the rear drums for wagon-sized ones and cleaned up rust back there, also cleaned up more rust in the engine bay, and got a fuel distributor from a 5cyl Audi, since the car was leaning out in the very top end. 


Next was an adjustable cam gear, new alternator, and finally the brazilian fog lights got installed. New foxes found their way into my house, too.









Went to my friend's cottage which is called the "Fox Farm" too


Up until that point the car still had a 4-speed on it. Shortly after having acquired a limited slip differential from Brazil, I got a hold of the first PSA 5-spd tranny I could find and installed it. Turned out that transmission had a bad synchro on 2nd gear.


Turned out being okay, since I had an excuse to install this ceramic clutch that arrived shortly after. The stock clutch had been slipping the whole time since the turbo had gone in.

So I pulled the known good PSA from the blue 4-door Fox I had, cleaned it all up, painted it and installed it. 

The installation can be seen in more detail in this thread "Transmission and clutch swap DIY






Finally got the centercaps for my wheels: 




Some new parts, mercedes V8 fuel distributor (cause more fuel is always good), callaway valve cover: 




Some pictures with my friend Andrew's jetta 


Now the new teardown. Time to do things right! 



Some new and refinished parts... big valve head back from the machine shop, multi-layered steel head gasket (corrado G60), freshened up distributor, manifold cleaned up and flameproof coated, and my turbo next to a K03 for comparison 





Thanks for the comments, folks!

Yes the car still has cut springs believe it or not. I keep meaning to have some coilovers brought from Brazil but it hasn't happened yet. Soon enough.

I am running 4 injectors for now, which may change to 8 in the future. Let's see how the car does on the road and if it starves for fuel at the psi setting I want first. I have a feeling that it will be fine with 4 for now, and that I'll be able to move to 8 in the future when I rebuild the engine with forged pistons and crank the boost some more.

Anyways, I thought the thread would move to 2 pages after post #20; guess it takes a bit more than that. I'll keep going with the pictures!

Disbritutor and spark plug cables in:

Exhaust manifold and turbo in:

Water pump, rad, oil filter support


The body of the wastegate also got the same flameproof coating (i love bbq'ing my parts)

Started refinishing the wheels in silver one by one - first stripped them completely with paint stripper spray then sanded them free of what little residue had stayed


That's because the goal is this:


This is a photoshop on this picture Adam took of my fox back in OSCR 2008

I still prefer the BBS basketweaves to orbitals, but it'd be nice to have orbitals as a 2nd set

New fuel distributor in:


Intercooler (from a Passat 1.8T) and tubing:




Got it ready to fire up.


Hooked up the battery, alternator, cold start (on a temporary push-button because my thermo time switch is toast), timing belt, timed it, and made up some injector lines out of brake line and fuel injection hose - all because the holes and threads on each injector port on the FD are larger than the ones found on Fox and Audi units. I'll eventually get adapters so I can go back to the steel braided lines but for now these are working well with no leaks

Finished all the wheels and took the car for a little test spin. Lots of tuning left to do, but so far, it's described by my friend Steve as "s**** your pants fast"




Thank you! And I am still not goingto Brazil for a while, unfortunately. That's why in the meantime, I'm working on making my own litte Brazil here!

So I've been working on this car inside a barn for a little while. Finally got all the good parts and panels I've been saving up onto it. New (to it) hood, fenders, windshield, doors, dash, seats, carpet, door cards with map pockets and GL pullers, and a few other odds and ends. The car is really coming together, all in different colours!

The plan is to take the hood, doors and trunk lid off in the summer, do all the bodywork, paint everything and put it back together.



Thank you Lido I hope for the same!!

I had to put the project on hold because my work permit expired and I had to store the car and move away, but I will continue it! After spending a couple of months in montreal with the family I came to Brazil, where I'll stay until my actual immigration application goes through. Good opportunity to pick up a few parts!

This is my latest acquisition

One step closer to the dream!

I just hope I resist the temptation of getting a Voyage here too, i see nice ones everywhere, but none of them go for less than a few grand here


1965aaron, the link used to be this, but it went offline a while ago... Might still be able to access it cached through Google.

Banned I may be able to... hit me up with what you need and I'll see if I can source it for you. I've done it a couple of times for people on here like a LSD for Southcross for his race dasher (that was flown in though, too heavy to ship) and a set of fogs for Edcon91.

Anyway, these babies just showed up in the mail today


So, yesterday not only did the little Gol GTi 1:43 die cast miniatures come in the mail,

But I also got something I've been waiting for a while; samples of the cloth used in the Recaro seats for the '89 Gti:

I'll be trying to come close to the interior shown below. Keeping my carpet black, though.

The plan is to find a set of recaros from another VW when I'm back in Canada, and then re-upholster them with the cloth I order, along with the back seat and door cards.

The cloth is purchased by the meter, not original recaro cloth but close enough. The width of the rolls is 1,40m and for each length of a meter they are charging about $15 + shipping. How many meters do you guys think I'll need? I am thinking of ordering 7 meters of the solid and 4 meters of the striped one.


Cloth arrived

I'm wowed!


It does!

Almost time to come home!

Purchased a few last parts and I'm all set to return.

Front upper strut bar, and 3-gauge panel for the cubby hole:

Short shifter kit:

Time to pack up and go


Finally some updates! Recently got back to Canada and towed the Fox from Ontario to near Montreal where I've been working on it inside a garage again finally. Both cars and all the parts from Brazil made the long voyage just fine 

Worked on it for a couple of days and got to do a few things:

- Test fitted the GTi side trim panels on the driver's side - they required some triming, still need a bit more)
- Installed iMohr front upper strut bar
- Installed iMohr three gauge panel in the cubby hole along with the afr and boost gauges - still need to order the third gauge (oil pressure), for now I put in my old broken boost gauge to fill in the third hole
- Replaced shifter bushings, put in short shifter rod (shifts amazing)
- Wired in radio, ipod hookup and inside windshield mounted antenna so later I can delete the fender antenna
- Replaced the interior light with the GL one that has a reading light

I'm loving the shifter feel, tight and firm, and the steering responsiveness since the strut bar is quite nice. Didn't get the chance to test it around speedy turns yet, but so far it does seem to have stiffened things up in the front end 

I still haven't washed it or cleaned it inside at all, so everything has over a year of dust over it. Will take some better pictures later when it's clean but for now these will have to do:

Still have to align it a little bit better

Excuse the dust

Going to replace the gauge on the right with an oil pressure one, for now that one fills in the hole

More to come soon


Thanks Eric - hey man, no need to hate, just plan a trip and join the club seriously though, I wouldn't mind wrenching on that V6 wagon sometime!

Abel Turanskiy - Thank you! The work never ends! I'll actually be painting this car blue; dark blue almost similar to yours, actually. I really love the copper color but the monaco blue/silver trim has been a dream of mine for a long time, I have to go for it!

Got to install the passenger-side trim a couple of days ago (still need to align it a bit better too)

Since these pics were taken I've replaced the grill, front trim pieces and corner lenses with new/freshened up ones, but no pics yet. Also been working here and there, new ground strap, replaced a tail light, put the rear license plate support back on, etc. New pictures soon


Thanks for showing that, Difus have you talked to iMohr about it and seen if they will replace it under warranty?

When I got my bar, it did seem a little lighter than I thought it would be - but that made me happy I chose to ge tthe bar from a race-bred company rather than the cheap generic chromed bars that are popular in Brazil. I believe the iMohr bar takes the damage so that your unibody doesn't have to. A stronger bar could maybe ruin your strut towers over time.

But then, I am also beginning to wonder if your strut bar mishap would have anything to do with your car being salvaged from a roll over accident? Either way, time will tell if my bar will stay straight.

Lol about the CIS looking like a diesel setup for us brazilians: I was actually a huge Back to the Future/Delorean fan as a kid. I knew what a fuel distributor was before I learned they equipped Foxes


Thanks nick, looking good   

I've been working hard on the Fox, doing body work, getting it ready for paint. Sanded through pretty much all of the copper paint back onto either the original white, original primer, or bare metal, since the top coat clear was peeling in lots of places and you could tell it had been a cheap colour change to begin with. Had to fill in a few areas to get rid of dings and low spots and such, which took way too long. 

Since the bottom half of the car will be covered by the bumpers and the Gol GTi cladding, I will keep it in rocker guard painted black, in order to keep costs down and protect from our dear rust. The blue colour will only go above it, but you won't be able to tell easily with everything on. 

After a few weeks of prep, finally got to spray the two-part epoxy primer today. So satisfying! 

Anyways, the pictures 





Soon the doors and hood will come off, the door jambs will be sanded and primed, a little more body work here and there, more primer, then everything will get painted. 

I'll also be replacing the engine, mine just happened to be burning oil, and it did have 350,000 km. It's a shame after all this work, but it's gotta be done. Recently brought home an engine (thanks myboxyfox and Rob) which is getting cleaned up, seals replaced, my parts swapped onto it, then swapped. But after paint. It is a small valve head engine which is a downgrade from mine but I really just need to enjoy this car, so I'll drop that in and later down the road rebuild my big valve head and swap it back in, maybe along with forged pistons if money allows. But I really just need to be able to DRIVE this car this summer or I'll go nuts!


Thanks, fellas 

The short shifter is cheap, about $40 for one like mine I think, but I can't get parts from Brazil right now. I may be going back there late September though, so if I do, parts season will be opened again!

Steve, I have no concerns at all about the added weight of the turbo on the motor mount. I was concerned at first about the added torque going through all the mounts, but when I did the engine bay in 2010 I closely inspected them (that was after 2 years of a lot of road abuse with the turbo in) and they were still fine. I do plan on replacing them with bmw E30 ones at some point, but I'll never diss the stock Fox motor mounts. They may not be the stiffest, but they do take a lot of abuse and they last - they are over engineered like a lot of stuff on the car


Getting ready to paint the main shell. Prepped and primed the door jambs, trunk lid, fuel door and a couple of spots I had spot puttied  


Well the main shell is painted for now. I really liked the process and the overall result! Learned a lot and the car is shiny. 




This is the first time I am painting a car so I did run into a few of the problems you'd expect, including a couple of runs, a couple spots where paint coverage wasn't full, orange peel and a few dust specks, but this car is my school to learn on, and I did learn a lot! 

In the future when I repaint things I'll do panel by panel, with LOTS more light; for now though I am happy with it and want to drive it! 

More pics 

Nevermind the dust in the engine bay and trunk! 

Front was first rocker guarded like the original 


No runs on driver's side though  


Thanks for the comments and the tips everyone!! 

efritsch - I'll paint your passat if you promise to finish the Wagon  

Difus - I got the cloth from JB Tecidos, not sure if they would have the one you're looking for but it's a good place to start the search   

QuantumSyncro - thanks for the tips! It is metallic, bc/cc, will definitely have to do some sanding and re-clear certain areas, but looking at it in the sun today I noticed base didn't cover fully in quite a few places so will have to do some of it over again... it's ok though live and learn. 

foxygrandpa - thanks for the comments, I am still a learner though! just very hands-on learning, I guess! This car has been a great school to learn on and at least it's not too expensive to make some mistakes on it   

Thanks Road Boss, Mean 'n Green86, ziddey, turbofox and reddfoxx!! 

I haven't done any more painting for now, but hopefully will have time to do some soon - for now I've been busy putting some stuff back together, and getting the new engine ready, in and running:




John: Thank you! The motor is running - it starts right up but it's got a rough idle due to my injectors (I have newer ones coming). The current ones are so bad that when testing them, if I press down on the air plate just a little bit (trying to recreate an idling situation) only one injector sprays in a nice pattern; two don't spray at all and one sprays in pulses. They are not bad at part to full throttle though, and I could tell so in a couple of test drives around the block 

Still gotta put those radiator surround pieces that Rob gave me, that will be a nice addition!

Chris: Thanks for coming by! It was great to meet you as well and talk some Fox; thanks for the gifts and for the ride in the Wagon - it drives SO nice! I hope you enjoy the rest of your time in Montreal, the concert and the vw show/camping on your way back, you're welcome to stop by again anytime in the future and I'll be sure to visit next time I drive this Fox to your neighborhood!

Looking at the pictures above I realised it's missing one of the engine compartment all put back together, so I took one last night: 


Thanks things are really fitting together and this is definitely the funnest part of the build.

Did a few things lately; repainted the front fenders, painted the bumpers and added the blue striping to match the GTi side trim (rear bumper is still not mounted, just kind of sitting there), also painted the doors, hood and trunk lid. Re-assembled the doors including the vent windows I brought for it, and mounted everything.

Gotta say most of my time has been spent getting the engine to run right - chasing a mysterious vacuum leak, changing and cleaning injectors, etc...

Turned out what seemed to be a vacuum leak was actually my diverter valve, which stays wide open at idle, and though not a true vacuum leak because everything happens past the air being metered (no extra air is coming in), it was hurting my throttle response big time maybe because one of the ports is connected too close to the air plate on the FD, who knows. Later on I'll fix that issue by adding a pressure switch and a solenoid valve, which will effectively only allow the DV to open when there is positive pressure in the charge tubes before the throttle. I had done this back when I was running a blow-off valve with good results.

The engine is running pretty well now, time to fine tune mixture and timing for boost and emissions. Also going to do all the work to repaint the quarter panels, then mount the rear bumper and enjoy the car a bit



Well everything is pretty much back together for now:

Unfortunately though, my fueling problem persists - new injectors and fuel filter did not help much. The injectors are still pulsing, which causes the car to buck and smoke. I'm suspecting a bad fuel distributor, since it has never run right since replacing the fuel distributor with the Mercedes V8 unit. I pulled that from a 450 in a junkyard, so there was never any guarantee that it was good. But fearing that maybe it's my fuel pump, fuel accumulator or fuel pressure regulator, I made up a thread in the CIS injection forum asking for help with the issue...


Yeah, though I chose not to install the B-column cover from the GTi, which I still have laying around.

I just prefer leaving the B columns stock on my Fox, I like how they look. Come to think of it, I might put them up for sale in the classifieds so someone else can enjoy them.


Finally the long awaited update: we're back on the road!!!  

The fueling problem is finally solved with stock CIS-E injector lines (thank you denver_fox!!), which were made to work with the Mercedes FD via "adapters" I made by tapping and shortening brake line fittings - they are basically threaded sleeves, M10x1 outside, M8x1 inside, which allow the smaller bolts from the Fox to fit the larger ports on the Merc FD: 


As I had posted and commented with turbinepowered and ziddey over in the CIS forum, the idea was to go with commercially available M10 to M8 adapters; but those were near impossible to find, terribly expensive, and would make the line fittings sit a bit too high in the end. With the adapters I made, everything works and looks close to stock: 



The car is running awesome, and is a blast to drive. I spent some time tuning it for emissions and I have to say I love what this FD can do. It has no problem running on a smaller engine and half the injectors it originally was meant for - mixture is stoich at idle and part throttle, fuel delivery is constant and smooth, throttle response is great, and it gets nice and rich when in boost - all the way from 0 to 11 psi. It is fast and fun! 

I've since replaced the motor mounts with bmw e30 ones, added the radiator surround covers that myboxyfox's friend Rob gave me. This past Friday I took it on its first road trip since the rebuild. About 600km from Montreal to Waterloo and it behaved very well! 

Pics after today's rainfall: 




Next will come a little bit of buffing and detailing, then taking it to the Berlin Klassik show coming up this weekend


Thanks for the comments everyone it's been such a joy finally getting to drive it! Got it back on the road just in time for the show, and to enjoy driving it for another week before I go back to Brazil for a few months.

Steve, love the teardrops and if they make them in 15" I might have to go for them in the future... kinda glad they aren't available in that size yet though because it'll be a while before I'll be able to afford them!

Berlin Klassik show was great, lots of great looking cars there, and along with Adam (VW Fox) and John (myboxyfox) we got to represent the Foxes with three fine specimen

My car was dyno'd at the event too, but unfortunately due to some ignition trouble it wouldn't make any power past 4000 rpm. At 4k we got 140.5 hp to the wheels and 200 ft-lb of torque - I'm sure it can do more after everything is squared away but still, with an estimated 15% drivetrain loss we're at right around 160hp on the motor which is double the power of a stock Fox, so I can't complain

Even with the car running its best, it never really did anything past 5000 rpm, since I'm still runing the stock camshaft and also have the cam timing advanced about 3 degrees or so, which brings the power band to even lower rpms.

Some pics from the show:

(From left to right above, or right to left below, or higher to lower, or older to newer - John's 4-door, mine, and Adam's)

A couple days after the show I drove it 660km back to Montreal without any issues at all. I've got a few more days of driving it around here and then once again it'll go into rest while I visit the motherland. Now let's see if this time around I can finally bring some suspension bits for it


In the meantime, I did manage to acquire a few things for the Fox during these past few months, some of which I am installing soon, others which will have to wait.

This is what I'm most excited about

They were a nightmare to purchase long distance and it was a long wait to have them brought over - I would never do it again - but I'm glad it's over and done with and they're home It'll be a while before they go in as it will be along with a 10.1 brake upgrade and other bits such as control arm bushings, ball joints and tie rod ends - but all that will all have to wait as first I'll have to complete some work in our Jeep - our "safe" vehicle - to keep it safe for our baby girl

In between working on the Jeep I am managing to install power windows and door locks on the Fox though - which is straightforward and very satisfying

The power window switches will mount on the console - this is going against what VW did in Brazil (the switches were mounted on the door cards) but I prefer them on the console for convenience.


Thank you folks!! I certainly will!

A few days ago the flip key I ordered for $3 off eBay arrived, and I immediately went to work on it.

Following the DIY in this thread here in the Vortex, I adapted the Fox blade onto it. Very straightforward, the whole thing took about half an hour.

The tough part was the keyless entry remote - that took almost a full day to complete. The remotes provided with the power locks kit work very well, but look a bit cheesy.

The board is quite larger than the space inside the flip key:

I had to use a dremel to increase room inside the housing and cut the board in two, just below the buttons; the connections were remade soldering some phone wiring. The buttons and the battery had to be relocated, and in the process I managed to ruin one of the resistors, but luckily I had one with near the same resistance lying around. I placed the board to line up the LED just right; the whole thing looks like a rat's nest inside, full of little wires and JB weld, but once closed up it looks OEM and it works!

I'm very happy with the final results considering how much everything cost. I still need to finish the power window install, but power locks/keyless entry is complete.

Thought I'd post the links for reference:

- Power windows and locks
- VW flip key (this one used to be free shipping)
- Flip key logo


Thank you Kevin!!

Today the vw logo arrived and added the finishing touch for the key


Thanks folks! Progress has been slow, as the Jeep has been taking most of my car work time. But I did pretty much finish the power windows and locks install on the Fox. Made a quick little video of it working:



Really excited about this update. Finally found some Recaro seats for sale locally that didn't break the bank! Driver's side has typical bolster wear but I already ordered some new foam from

I still need to get one more base, and figure out the gameplan to reupholster them with the gol gti cloth I brought back from Brazil. It'll be a long project redoing the interior not to mention the suspension and brakes I have lined up also... can't wait to get to it!


Another small update on the seats. Got the two pieces of fabric back from embroidering 

Super happy with the result 

Heading up to the motherland tomorrow, too - have a foxy Christmas, everyone 


Back at home for a bit over a month now, before sharing what I brought back this time, I'll show what I've been working on for the past month.

Been tackling the seat project myself, learning about sewing and upholstery. It's simpler, more straightforward than I thought, but it does take a lot of time and patience - especially since I am doing it mostly by hand, wherever there are curves or piping involved. I've learned how to thread and use a sewing machine, but I only use it where the stitching goes straight.

Basically I've taken apart the seat using this thread as a reference, then marking along where each piece of cloth meets each other for later reference, undoing the original stitching, ironing each part separately, then tracing it on the new cloth, and sewing it together the same way it was before, with double the thread to make it last.

It helps that these seats have a really smart design, where anyone can actually take them apart with simple tools and work on each piece individually pretty easily. The hardest was making sure the lines and segments all lined up for the blue striped cloth, but after some trial and error it went really well. I'm glad I bought more cloth than needed 

The first seat is almost done; this is a test fit. Still need to finish the bottom of the back rest, and do the headrest. So far so good.

Then it's on to do the back seat and door cards 


Thank you for the comments, folks!!

I finished the first seat a few days ago. It took a couple of months total working a bit on it most days, but a lot of the work was undoing the previous covers and copying them; the next seat should go a bit faster. The rear seat is uncharted territory though, and will probably take longer to make.

Before moving onto the next seat, I started a little side project to build the trim pieces that cover the side of each seat base. Here is a pic of a gol gti showing the piece I'm referring to:

First I'm making a plug out of balsa wood, which later I'll coat in fiberglass resin and filler to smooth out, then make a mold of it using plaster. The final parts will be fiberglass.

So far so good, as long as I don't ruin it trying to make a mold we should be good. I ordered some PVA release agent to help that step, as so many times in the past I've tried using something I had laying around as a mold release (oil, wax, butter, foil, etc) and it never worked very well.


Thanks for the messages, Steve, Luca, 89wagen!

Indeed, an update has been long overdue.

Truth is, I've done very little work lately... between work and life at home as a parent I haven't dedicated much of my time to work on the Fox, and we're actually expecting our second baby in a few months!

I did acquire a few things for the Fox which I really can't wait to get to, but it may take a while.

For now on the second seat I've only managed to make the covers for the head rest and one lower bolster. It turns out the foam I ordered from Capital Seating in the UK is not that great of a match, it looks ok but in reality it is thinner than the original, so the cover took a lot of tweaking and re-sewing to look right.

After taking these I realized the pictures don't allow for a proper comparison, I'll take some others later on showing the differences a little better, hopefully it will aid those going through a similar process.


Another small update on the seats - just getting rid of a bit of rust on the driver's seat base. Wire-wheel, then some spray rust converter and a bit of black paint.

I really need to get moving on the upholstery work but as that can also be done through the winter, other things may take priority while the weather is still warm. I've accumulated lots of new parts I'm excited to work on and install, including coilovers, control arms, ball joints, tie-rod ends, hubs, 10.1 rotors, carriers and calipers (still need pads), brake hoses, updated Gol G3 cast shifter linkage, spark plug cables and updated Gol G3 coil, front and rear bumpers and rebars, and an Audi 5000 turbo intake manifold I plan on cutting up and welding in a few different places, adding 4 injector bosses to


I reconnected with my Fox over last weekend. This below is one of the things I managed to bring with me from Brazil last time I went!

I was going to save this for a surprise once it was all done, but with the way things are going with little time for projects, I might not even have it all ready yet by the time I go to Brazil again at the end of the year.

I also brought the rear bumper and both rebars, so it won't be a difficult task mounting it. But I do still need to do a few things to it first.


Hey Kyle, thanks for the note man - it's cleared now! Just sent you a PM.

Been pretty busy since back from Brazil but I do have a couple of news to report 

Work on the Fox will pick up again, slowly - one thing I did do was to install a Brazilian on/off battery kill switch, which belonged to my dad, and he used it in various air-cooled VWs he had in the 70s and 80s. It's since been in a box or another until now-ish. Since I've found myself disconnecting the battery often on the Fox (especially after adding the slow battery draw of the power windows/keyless entry), figured it was about time to make the process a bit easier and add a bit of family history to it 

Excuse the poor phone pic; 

The black knob screwed in tightly makes the negative ground connection; to kill it you'd either unscrew it a bit and leave it there or remove it completely for theft prevention. I've seen something similar for sale locally, but with the switch being part of the battery terminal connector itself. I really like the fact that this Brazilian switch can be mounted to the firewall, or even inside the car if preferred.

Other news is pretty exciting - the Fox got a voluptuous girlfriend! It's a polar opposite from it in many aspects, but they do share quite a bit in common as well (Quiz: which other VW platform besides the BX was offered in both air-cooled and water-cooled versions, within the same generation??)

It's a 1.6 NA Diesel full Westfalia camper - very slow stock, so the first thing I did to it was replace the stock injection pump with a Giles performance unit. It has no problem keeping up with traffic now! The fuel economy is amazing on this van. Plans for it are some body work, freshening up the interior, and maintaining it well.


Thanks Kyle! That's exactly it - this thing is just about the most useful, versatile vehicle I can think of for us, and it gets twice the fuel mileage of our Jeep. Loving it! Everything works, fridge, stove, sink - just needs a bit of attention here and there. TD might be a possibility for the future, but at least for now I'm enjoying driving it as it is. Looking forward to seeing pics of your rado!

mcavour - thanks for the comment! Especially coming from someone with experience in foxes both in the north and in the south. It really was the car to have back then and there. Most everyone dreamed of owning one; my dream just never faded.

Marcao - thanks man, they really are coming out great. I always found this cloth combo to be really classy, but comparing my seats to the original gol gti ones I gotta say I like the overall seat design of these better than the original gol gti ones, even though those came with really cool looking headrests.

Here's a long awaited update, though. Finally fitted the brazilian front bumper, along with the gol gti overriders and aux lights. I really liked the finished look. I was hesitant on the lights and overriders at first but I'm glad I put them on in the end!

Also happy to say soon work on the Fox will really pick back up. We recently bought our first house - it's old and needs some work but it has a garage! I'll bring the Fox over to it sometime in the next couple weeks and soon after I'll finally get to do the suspension and brake upgrades I've been preparing for it


Thanks very much for the comments!

Looking forward to the warmer weather to hopefully get some more work done on it - there's always something higher up in the priority list. I recently picked up a cheap mk4 golf tdi to use as an economical daily driver and it needed a few things, so I've been working on that over the other cars lately.

In the meantime I realized I never posted my steering wheel reupholstering/heating project on my thread, so here it goes!

I'm not sure how much really cold weather driving I'll be doing with the Fox, but after trying out heated steering wheels from other cars, I've decided that living in Canada is reason enough to have the feature in as many of our cars as possible  

Since the leather looked quite beat on my 4-button steering wheel, even after paying a leather place to recondition it and re-dye it, I decided to try my hand at re-wrapping in leather, using the baseball stitch style. I got a black leather jacket at a thrift store and cut it up, which gave enough leather for this steeringwheel, a shifter boot and armrest reupholster for the golf, and plenty leftover.

For the heating element, I gutted a $20 ebay heated steering wheel cover that's supposed to get plugged into the cigarette lighter. Basically it's a wheel cover with heated wire running inside it. I carved a few channels on my steering wheel and ran the wire, grounding it to the wheel itself, and adding a second copper ring running inside where the horn contact is, for a sliding brush contact to send power to.

Here's some pics of it all:

Nearly finished:

And the end result:

For the switch I gutted one from a iirc 2011 Kia sportage ($14 on ebay), using a latching push-on push-off light up button as the actual switch, jb-welded behind the kia button

I'll probably be placing the switch on that spot on the bottom of the dash (the non-knee bar dash) to the left of the steering wheel, where the choke is on the brazilian cars. I still haven't figured out the brush contact I'll be using, so I'll have to leave that for later!


Wow it’s been a long time since the last update. O many things took priority over the Fox again but I have been finding time here and there to work on it.

I redid the hard fuel lines and replaced the rear brake hoses, also made my own new filter/pump support as mine was rusted out and now with a flux core welder and some 2.5” exhaust segments from Brazil I  my final exhaust set.

Also got to install the Recaros and began working on door panels. I’ll work on the back seat sometime this winter.

More updates to come also. For now some pics 


My pleasure, very glad to have my build featured - thanks for everything! From day one I've seen how hard you've been working on this site and you made it exactly the way us car nuts love - a great place to quickly access great builds and helpful info, along with a easy to use platform to post new content, even easier than the forums. Many props to a great site!

Posted by alaincopter on 5/3/17 @ 1:43:00 AM

Thanks! We appreciate the kind words. :)

Posted by diyauto on 5/4/17 @ 9:48:42 AM

Looks great and thanks for adding! I love that blue :)

Posted by diyauto on 4/21/17 @ 10:24:00 AM