Mk1 VW VR6 Cabriolet

It has basically been forever since I have done a post about the VW Cabby. Today I want to give you all some updates and show ya some pictures of how the Cabby sits right now. I have owned that Cabby for just over a year now. All things considered I am pretty happy with the progress. I am hoping to have her one the road before the end of summer. Should we all take bets on whether that will happen or not? LOL 😀

The VR6 Build
The rebuild of the VR6 engine is almost complete. The long block(engine block and cylinder head) are built. Most of the accessories are installed. The water pump is the only thing that needs to be installed before the engine goes in the Cabby. The transmission is all painted up. I still need to paint the axle flanges, and install new axle flange seals. I am thinking by Saturday the engine and transmission will be bolted together. THAT is exciting.

Stripped MK1 Cabriolet engine bay

Working on getting the engine bay ready

The Cabby Engine Bay
This is what I have been working on the last few nights. Cleaning, sanding, cleaning, cleaning and then more cleaning. There is an amazing amount of dirt and grime that sticks to the engine bay of a car. I have no intention of doing the “shaved bay” thing that many other are doing. I think that is a really cool thing to do. I would just like to drive my car some time this decade.


The Interior
I can sum up the interior of the car in 1 word, DISASTER! The interior is pretty much stripped. I wanted to be sure I could run the new wiring neatly. Plus I wanted to remove the last of the sound dampener from behind the dash.

What is left?
When I start to think about all the things left to do, it gets overwhelming. Here is a quick list of things I still need to do or to get:

  • Have the ECM tuned
  • Get a suspension setup
  • Wheels and tires
  • Pick up a battery box, for the trunk
  • Exhaust including header
  • Spark plugs
  • Radiator and fans
  • Pressure line for the power steering pump
  • Serpentine belt
  • Wiring, wiring, wiring, wiring and probably a little more wiring

I am sure that I have many more things that I am forgetting. I am learning that the key to staying motivated during a build like this is to celebrate the small victories. Getting the engine bolted into the car will be my biggest victory yet!

Well, that is where we stand with the Cabby! You can check out all the Luv-A-Dub progress at MK1 VR6 Cabriolet. Also a big shout out to Justin at and Mike and the boys over at EuroWise!


Damage to a VW tire

Hey everyone, It’s time for everyone’s favorite thing SHOP SHOTS! If you missed the blog post I put out yesterday, you missed the giveaway! Yep, you missed the Growler-Box Giveaway from my buddy Mike at Be sure that you enter! Even if you are not a beer fan, it is still awesome. You have until Friday night!

Volkswagen Wiring ProblemVolkswagen seems to be known for their “electrical problems”. That is a very generic statement that I love debating. In fact we could write an entire book about it. The issue is a perfect example of an “electrical problem”. The connector on this module has come out of the module. This is caused the airbag light to come on. A pretty easy diagnosis once you know the code stored.

At first look, we think “How can VW build a module that the connector can just come out?”. Oh but friends lets not just to conclusions. Many things that happen are due to outside influence. This car had a water bottle jammed under the seat. That pushed the connector out of the module. So the question is, Is this the customers fault, or poor design??? INTERESTING

Damage to a VW tireAs a mechanic, most of what I do is maintenance. Oil changes, tire rotation, and the like. My dealer also does a good amount of tire work. We have a dedicated guy to mount and balance tires, patch leaking tires, and perform alignments. To be very honest, doing tire work is not my favorite.

Finding leaks in a tire can be extremely difficult. This little metal sliver was in a tire causing a leak. I removed the tire from the rim to check for damage. It took me about 10 minutes of inspection to find it. The penny is there for scale. If I had my way, the tire guy could have all the tire repairs he wants. 🙂

VW EOS top IssueA few months back I wrote a post about A typical day for an auto mechanic. In that post, I talked about a 2009 EOS with a top issue. Based on the parts catalog, the only way to fix the issue was replacing the top. After many phone calls and much digging, we found out that a repair exists.

Last week we made the repair to the EOS top. We brought in 6 QTMs to help make this repair. The QTM is the guy we call out to the dealer to help with repairs. This was a crash course in EOS top repair. The QTM from Florida gave me and the other QTMS all the tricks and tip to make this repair. It was a really fun, hectic, intimidating, and educational day. It is very intimidating being around a much of guys that have forgotten more in their career then I will ever know.

What you are looking at here is the reason the top was not functioning properly. To explain how this broken track makes the top fail would be impossible. Even showing you guys with a video would be crazy confusing. Let me just say that an EOS with any type of damage to it is a huge red flag. This car took a year and a half for the damage to surface.

That rounds out our Shop Shots this week. Please don’t forget to enter to win the Growler Box. I am getting excited to pick the winner on Friday!

Customer beer holder Growler box

A while back on Shop Shots, I posted a picture of a six pack beer holder from my buddy Mike from Well, if you are a beer fa, or just like winning stuff, today is your lucky day. I got another customer Growler-Box with the Humble Mechanic logo! You have the chance to win one of only 2 custom beer holders. I am keeping the other one for myself 😉


Customer beer holder Growler box

How To Enter
I am making this contest as simple as possible. There are 2 ways to enter.

  1. Go to
    • Click on “Assembly instructions”
    • Copy step “5”
    • Paste that into the comments section below. Be when you fill out the comment to include a valid email. I am the only one that sees it.
  2. Visit Growler-Box on Facebook
    • “LIKE” their Facebook page.
    • Post this comment on their page “I want to win the Humble Mechanic Growler-Box”
    • When you type “Humble Mechanic” be sure to put @ so that it tags me in the post. If you did it right, it will highlight Humble Mechanic.

You can enter both ways. If you are on Facebook, I would recommend you enter both ways. Also, consider sharing this with your friends. If we really blow up Growler-Box’s FB page, maybe I will throw in a little something extra.

If you have any questions, post them in the comments below!

Other info

  • I will be picking up the shipping. Due to that, I have to limit the winner to the continental USA. Sorry about that, but shipping is expensive. If YOU want to pay shipping, I will ship it anywhere.
  • Contest will end Friday 6/21/13 at 9:00pm eastern time. Get your entry in ASAP!
  • If you are not a beer fan, that is cool. Don’t be selfish you can always give it as a gift 😉


Volkswagen Oil Leak

Hey everyone, normally I don’t repost a post. Last week something got messed up with all of my websites. It was something with a malware or virus that affected the back end of all my blogs. It is all worked out and everything is working properly. Host gator got everything worked out, except Volume 56 of Shop Shots. I am really impressed by Host gator. They spent all day fixing all of my sites. If you ever need hosting, I can’t recommend them enough. There is a link at the right of the site, use it, don’t use it, it doesn’t really matter to me. But if you need hosting, they are the folks to use. Alright, lets get these pictures rolling.

Volkswagen Tire IssueWe start off with this tire blowout. This poor customer was driving on the highway, and had her tire fail. Many times when you hear folks talk about having a blown tire, it is not to this extreme. The reason for her issue was due to having old tires. The tires on her car had good tread. The problem was, the tire was dry rotting. When you look at your tires, or have them looked at, be sure the entire condition of the tire is examined. If you look at only the tread depth, you could be missing a safety issueVolkswagen Oil LeakIt doesn’t matter how many certifications that a mechanic has. We do more oil changes than just about any other repair or service. That means we never mess up oil changes right? WRONG! This is a drain plug for an oil pan. It is the primary thing that keeps the oil in the car.

The tech that performed this oil change, made a small mistake. He installed 2 crush washers. Basically he put 2 gaskets on. Despite what you think, 2 gaskets are not better than one. The crush washer takes up any space between the engine oil and and the oil drain plug. This also means that the drain plug is not properly torqued. Luckily it there were no issues. But that did not stop me from harassing the guy that did it.

Customer beer holder Growler boxOkay, this may in fact be the coolest thing on the planet. If you have followed the blog, or know me at all, you know that I LOVE craft beer. Seriously, it is crazy. I also have an amazing wife that works in the beer industry(it’s a tough life I know). Well she hooked up this super awesome beer holder from Mike was able to take the Humble Mechanic logo and make a custom 6pack beer holder. If you like beer, swing by his site and check it out. He also has a Growler-Box Facebook page go ahead and give him a like.

I have also talked Mike into making me another one just like this. When I have the other growler box(I am not giving this one up 😉 ) Mike and I are going to do a fun give away. I will do a post about it, so stay tuned.

That pretty much wraps up Shop Shots. Sorry for the site issues last week. I am really glad things have been repaired. Thanks for hanging in there everyone. Also, be sure to stay tuned for that Growler-Box give away.