Problem 1 – Suspension
One of the reasons I bought this car was that it was modified ie the previous owner had bought the parts so I wouldn’t have to and this included uprated suspension.
When I bought the car I was a bit suspicious of why the owner was driving so slowly on the test drive and why he was so jumpy about me driving the car with any sort of speed.
I put it down to the bad roads in the area where he lived. I heard the suspension banging and bottoming out. At the time I put this down to the damper top mounts.
I was wrong.
So what problems does the suspension have?
It rubs slightly on the inner fender and on the outer fender when the suspension is moving a lot.
On close inspection it also looks like the wishbone bushes are shot.
The steering lock is very limited. Almost alarmingly so.
The driveshaft rubs on the anti-roll bar. A common problem on lowered cars with the VW MK4 platform.
And as I mentioned it bangs, like the dampers are running out of travel and/or like the top mounts are shot.
All these issues together make the car unpleasant to drive.
I don’t think there is going to be a magic bullet.
I am slowly going to replace/uprate parts until the car is how I want it and the first step in that process is going to be the springs. At the moment it is wearing springs from a manufacturer called “Mad”. I looked on the Mad website and could not find any information on the springs with regards to how much they lower the car. As it turns out it doesn’t matter because there isn’t much choice when it comes to springs for the RS anyway. I could only find H&R springs for the MK1 Octavia RS which is okay because H&R is my preferred brand anyway.
Hopefully the springs will stop a lot of the top mount banging, the anti-roll bar-to-wishbone rubbing and the inner/outer fender rubbing.
I don’t think H&R springs are going to solve everything but they should be a big step in the right direction. I’ll fit them, see what difference they make and go from there.
Fitting the springs and before and after comparison will be one of the next videos on this car, subscribe to the YouTube channel if you want to see it.
Fuelling is rich and short term fuel trims are showing big corrections. It smokes like an EVO under full bore acceleration and also puffs a bit when you lift off. I pray to god that it’s rich mixtures rather than blue smoke. The smoke looks black and smells like petrol so hopefully it’s not burning oil.
There is also a fault code for I think the inlet cam being to advanced, which could be related.
Solution is probably too strong of a term. Diagnosis is more accurate. I am going to do some datalogs of throttle position, boost, AFR and MAF signals and see what is going on.
Namely is the problem consistent or is it all over the place. The goal being to narrow down the problem. That fact the short term fuel trims can go to -25% to get a 14:1 AFR suggest to me a MAF sensor problem or possibly the cam timing issue. If it’s a MAF sensor issue that would probably be easier to solve
First and second, especially second gear, are very vague to engage and don’t feel nice in general. I have had a butchers at resetting the linkage and it seems better but I might have gone in the wrong direction when I set the cable ends. I pulled the ends out of the cable instead of pushing them back in like Diesel Geek‘s advises. Either way it needs to be improved, I might end up getting a new cable end, there seems to be a lot of play in one.
Generally it needs a good clean. The white seats and white carpet don’t do a great job of hiding dirt. The driver seat has also torn and has a hole in the bolster. Not at the top of the list of things to fix but I’d like to get something done at some point.
The steering wheel also has a wear hole in it. Not sure what I am going to do here ie fix/replace/upgrade. I quite like the idea of fitting a steering wheel from a MK4 Octavia but that looks like it might cost around 300 Euro/Pounds/Dollars
I need to go through the system to see what is wired up and what is working. The car has a full ice install with door pods on the front doors with dual subs and an amp rack in the back but like I said, I don’t know how things are hooked up. Also the weight of the two amps in the back must be 15 kg. I think I might end up selling the entire install and just beef up the speakers in the stock locations.
Generally they seem okay, no crazy kerbing but paint has been rubbed of some of them. Plus I’m not loving their colour. The design of the wheels I like. With regards to weight I need to measure them. I have taken one of them off the car and I don’t remember thinking “oh my god these are heavy” so I might be lucky on weight. A-Version is embossed on the wheel rim. I have not been able to find any information on this brand. They have the right specs for the Octavia RS ie 35mm offset, so that is a plus.
Goodyear Eagle F1s from end of 2019. Look okay but there is one huge problem with them. The label on the side of the tyre says they are heavy duty. From my experience with Michelin Cross Climate 2 tyres, heavy duty equals harsh ride. Again, not a top priority to change at the moment.
All of a sudden the key fobs refuse to unlock or lock the doors (not an uncommon problem on the Octavia RS and MK4 platform cars in general). And turning the key in the lock also does not lock or unlock the door. Hopefully the passenger side lock works. I have read about the syncing process for the key fobs but I couldn’t get them to do anything with this car. I have ordered VCDS to see if I can program the keys using that. If not, I’m going to have to get the drivers side lock working because at the moment the car cannot be locked from the outside.
It needs new disc all round, pads are a brand I am not familiar with.
Some light oil leaks, nothing major at the moment. I don’t have pools of oil caked in dust.
Octavia RS Introduction – Wrap Up
As of now, that’s about the scope of the issues. They could be easy to fix they might not be. If you want to join me on the journey with this project subscribe to the YouTube channel, look after yourself and I’ll see you again next time.