Vacuum hose tee and better routing on the GT6

Problem: The routing of the vacuum hose on the GT6 is a bit poo. Actually I don’t know what it was like from the factory, but most engine bays I’ve seen recently have it draped around the rocker cover or across it, and that can lead to problems.

Solution: I wanted to fix the hose to one of the rocker shaft studs as a more secure solution but couldn’t find a suitable hose clamp with an appropriate drilling. Hence this: Continue reading “Vacuum hose tee and better routing on the GT6”

Vacuum advance hose fix with WD40 nozzle

Problem: On a trip home from North Wales, the vacuum hose in my GT6 came loose and fell on the exhaust, melting and fusing it. Nasty sluggish acceleration  resulted.

Solution: I had no tools besides a knife and no spare hose, but DID have a small can of WD40 in the boot.  Continue reading “Vacuum advance hose fix with WD40 nozzle”

GT6 / Spitfire DIY alternator bracket improvement

Problem: Years back when I first did an alternator conversion on the GT6 the very rudimentary ‘pull it hard and tighten the nut’ fan belt tensioning method really annoyed me. It seemed there should be a way to achieve finite adjustment, and not risk noisy, slack or dangerously tight belt tension.

Solution: I don’t remember where now, but somewhere I saw a rigging screw (sometimes called a Turnbuckle). They are available in a load of sizes, lengths and materials from chandlers (sailing suppliers). So I used one of these to solve the problem. I then went on to sell them for a while on eBay under the name Mere Components. Continue reading “GT6 / Spitfire DIY alternator bracket improvement”

DIY Torque Wrench recalibration (with another one)

Problem: My old cheap Draper torque wrench was last used 7 years ago, and in that time I left it set to 40NM. Stoopid! Now I have no idea if it’s reading correctly and don’t want to risk snapping the studs on my head.

Solution: I borrowed a good (Digital Snap-On… oh my…) Torque Wrench from a mechanic mate to test mine against. Here’s the method that worked for me: Continue reading “DIY Torque Wrench recalibration (with another one)”

Homemade Triumph GT6 seat base diaphragm

Problem: Both rubber diaphragms under my Triumph GT6 (mk1) seats were shot, no longer able to support the seat base cushion squab thing.

Ripped and perished rubber seat diaphragm


Solution: Whilst these diaphragms are available (well, Mini ones are and they look pretty similar) I don’t want to spend £70 on a pair of new ones. Wife had an old summer wetsuit she didn’t want which looked perfect!

Continue reading “Homemade Triumph GT6 seat base diaphragm”

Homemade 6v Conlog type alarm fob battery.

Problem: A few old 90’s alarm key fobs use 6 volt batteries made up of 4 separate 1.5v button cells. Last year I needed one quick-like – same day – for the Golf Mk3 I’d just bought. There are plenty online, eBay etc, for about £5 to £10 but I couldn’t wait 2 days for one.

Solution: Nipped down to the Pound Shop and bought an assorted selection of hearing-aid button cell batteries for a quid! Taping four AG3’s together with Sellotape or Electrical Tape didn’t make a good enough electrical connection between the cells. Turns out a piece of Heat Shrink tubing, placed over all 4, then gently shrank (shrunk?) with a lighter forces the cells together nicely! After this is done, trim the top and bottom of the tubing to make sure the battery contacts are able to make connection. Continue reading “Homemade 6v Conlog type alarm fob battery.”

Replacing Golf VR6 Mk3 rear light seals, fixing a leaking boot.

Problem: The boot of my 1996 Golk mk3 VR6 has been leaky since I got it last year, and this autumn and winter it’s beginning to get out of hand and make the car all stinky and damp!

Solution: After removing every piece of trim and carpet in the boot area, it was clear that water was getting in around the tail light cluster / unit seals. The part number for these seals or gaskets is 1H6 945 191, and they can be ordered from a VW dealer parts desk for about £20 a pair. I wanted mine a but quicker than the dealer could do it so went to a Trade Parts Specialist who ordered them in for me next morning by 8:30am.

Here’s how to fit them… Continue reading “Replacing Golf VR6 Mk3 rear light seals, fixing a leaking boot.”

Noisy gritty squeaky Golf Mk3 steering wheel

Problem: My steering wheel sounded like it had sand in it, scraping on every turn. Nasty business.

Solution: Behind the steering wheel there are one or two sprung metal contacts that ‘slide’ over a metal contact ring on the steering wheel itself, presumably to connect the horn and airbag electrics. After 17 years it seems that lots of dirt and crap have built up on the contacts. Continue reading “Noisy gritty squeaky Golf Mk3 steering wheel”

Using the Vgate VS450 with a Mk3 Golf VR6

Vehicle: 1996 Golf Mk3 VR6 Highline.


I bought a Vgate VS450 to check out some error codes on my VR6. It’s an OBD2 interface scanner, but as there are several other interfaces/protocils it can read, and mine is a ooooold car, it took a few attempts to get it to read anything worthwhile. Here are some screenies to guide you thorough.


Step 1: Plug the unit into your OBD port. On my Golf Mk3 (’96) the port is under a plastic cover to the left of the ash-tray. To remove the cover, first take out the ashtray (there’s a little sprung lever under the tray that allows it to be removed completely), then slide the plastic cover to the right. In my case the OBD port was crusted up with 18 years of dust so a quick wipe over with Switch Cleaner sorted that out. Continue reading “Using the Vgate VS450 with a Mk3 Golf VR6”

Golf MK3 Boot / Tailgate ‘grip molding’ fixing missing

Vehicle: 1996 Golf Mk3 VR6 Highline.

Problem: One of the 4 machine screws attaching the trim surrounding the hatchback / tailgate / boot lid lock mechanism was missing. This resulted in rattling, which is an irritation, but more seriously the trim bent every time the boot was opened. The original fixings are Torx headed with an integral washer.

Solution: The original fixing’s part number is N90626201 but it’s no longer available. Taking measurements from an existing fixing shows that the size is M5 x 14mm (standard 0.8 mm pitch), and fixings of this size are available all over the place. Be careful with the length, this fixing screws into a closed-head Rivet Nut welded into the panel. Continue reading “Golf MK3 Boot / Tailgate ‘grip molding’ fixing missing”