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Mk1 Skoda Octavia VRS Combi



RMDavis

ClioSport Club Member
Hi everyone,

Here's my first post in a very long time, but have been a lurker on the forum ever since moving away from Clio's as this is a great community and I've got a couple of mates that still have 182's.

I bought this a few weeks ago to be used as my daily/practical vehicle whilst I was also on the hunt for something for the occasional track day car.

However plans and my circumstances have changed so rather than running two cars I'm going to be putting all my attention into this old girl!

I was looking at all kinds of estates to fill this role, but none interested me with the budget I had, and I then came across this black Mk1 o wasn't aware Skoda made an estate version of the Mk1 VRS.

I've always been a fan of the Mk1 VRS my uncle owning a yellow saloon many years ago (probably brand new at the time) and I loved it.

This one is a little older now and currently sitting at 114k with plenty of history and invoices, after a test drive and a thorough looking over it was mine!

It's not mint, to be expected of the age of course, but I have set aside some cash to work through some of its issues and improve things where possible.

* Missing rear centre head rest
* Slight damage to rear bumper
* Slight rust under o/s/r door window rubber
* Slight rust to o/s/f wheel arch
* New Skoda badges front/rear and also alloys
* Cracked in o/s/f indicator lens
* Crack in o/s/r brake lamp
* Centre console lower ash tray mechanism faulty
* Glove box lid is marked and scratched
* Cup holder by hand brake permanently open and won't close
* Needs new floor mats urgently, to try and keep the grey carpet clean...
* Due an interim service
* Needs new wipers front and rear
* Needs a set of decent halogen bulbs (nightbreakers)
* Vibration through steering wheel under hard braking (discs and pads)
* 16" wheels fitted thinking the 17" wheels would look better?
* In urgent need of machine polishing and proper detailing session
* Finally will look into some basic modifications to eek out a little more performance, sound and handling


Here's a photo the day I bought at B&Q already having its boot capacity tested!


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With the above lengthy list bugging me I decided to give the 'hearse' as my wife calls it a full service, and address the vibration under braking.

* Oil and filter change
* Carbon cabin filter
* Fuel filter (replaced the following day)
* Bosch aero wipers all round
* Pagid Front discs and pads
* NGK Spark plugs
* Fuel treatment
* Refreshed all bulbs with Osram and Nightbreakers where possible

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Replacing the discs and pads cured the vibration, and I now have headlamps that actually light up the road ahead of me!

Didn't get chance to replace the fuel filter as I ran out of time due to snapping the dip stick guide tube which had the rigidity of soft cheese! had to get a mate to go pick me up a replacement as it had snapped right at the bottom...

Upon removing the horrid Bosch Super 4 spark plugs I found they were all heavily contaminated with oil which I can only assume is due to the rocker cover gasket so that's next on my to do list.

When I took the engine cover off I found the Y piece rubber hose for the pcv system had completely worn through and was doing absolutely nothing!

I'm glad I picked up an oil catch tank kit to rectify that issue, along with the obligatory induction kit!

I may look at removing all the unnecessary pcv pipework and the sai system later down the line as from what I've read online it seems to remove many of the issues these engines can suffer with.

Also earlier in the week I picked up some 17" spiders from a hatchback - exactly the same as what's currently fitted albeit an inch larger so should filleted arches a little better.


These have been refurbished and finished in a light anthracite, fitted along with a set of Michelin PS4 225/45/17's

New Centre caps for them, followed by genuine bonnet and boot badges.

A secondhand and undamaged o/s/f indicator lens replaced my cracked one and a unmarked glove box picked up for a tenner!

Won a secondhand travall dog guard specific for the mk1 estate on ebay for when dog duties are required!

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I'm really pleased with how they've turned out!

Looks much more purposeful in my opinion, just needs a slight drop in ride height and maybe some spacers to get the stance perfect!

With the wheels fitted I've really found myself enjoying this project and the car overall. I know it's nothing special but estates in my opinion are always cool and you don't see these everyday!

That being said I want to work towards making this a really decent example.

A massive bug bear for me is the grey almost white carpet Skoda decided to use. Now I'm sure it looked great back in 2005 but even the most avid detailer would struggle to keep on top of it!

After some research on the excellent Briskoda.net forum I found that the Mk1 Octavia shares its platform with a Mk4 VW Golf/Bora, Audi A3/A4, and the Mk1 Seat Leon of the same era.

Which meant all I needed was a black carpet from any of those models which also meant seats from any of the above.

So I bought these...

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A set of Mk4 Golf leather recaros from a 5 door car with heated elements.

The plan was to get them fitted along with a black carpet (which i had also bought) and get them wired up and working from an OE heater control on the centre console!

Very excited and very happy with the seats they are very comfortable and supportive! A massive improvement over the stock seats and again I'd loose the awful grey fabric.

They seemed to be in excellent condition apart from dust and a few marks, but hopefully they will clean up well.

It was an absolute joy removing the very tired and worn grey carpet and replacing with a black variant from a mk4 golf gti anniversary.

Along with a set of Recaro heated leather front seats, rear bench, and a leather armrest also from a mk4.

A fairly straightforward job made easier by using the many guides and information found on Briskoda.net

It's improved the look of the cabin massively and the seats are much more supportive than the original seats.

Next on the list is to wire up the heated elements and get them working via the original switch I fitted where the blank used to be.

From what I've read I need to get a loom from Kufatec, and a relay and then link it all up. A job I want to finish before winter arrives.

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This is how the car currently stands current plans are as follows:-

* KW V1 coilovers (on order)
* H&R spacers (on order)
* Mk1 Audi TT front strut brace (on order)
* Forge enlarged intake pipe (on order)
* Forge recirculation valve (on order)
* 3" downpipe with 200 cell sports cat (on order)
* Longlife stainless exhaust system (booked in for September)

* Poweflex Bushes where needed
* Uprate lower arms, etc with Cupra R components
* MK4 R32 front ARB
* Whiteline rear ARB
* BAF K brace

This is just a small list of what I have rattling around in my head at the moment but suffice to say when it's done I'm hoping it will be a pretty decent example!

I'm lucky enough that my work has a Full size spray booth and oven, although I've never sprayed a car before I spray 2k regularly for my job so I'm considering giving the car a full respray in 'Black Magic' later down the line as the paintwork is pretty tired!

Of you've got this far without switching off I really appreciate it!

Cheers,

Rob.












Sent from my SM-G975F using Tapatalk
 

RMDavis

ClioSport Club Member
Nice. Love the carpet and interior swap as the white Skoda use drives me nuts aswell.
Cheers bud, the tired grey carpet was really letting the interior down.

I do like these, they were massively underrated back in the day.
I think so too! I'd imagine there's a few of us that still remember seeing these on the road and making sure they weren't un-marked plod! 😂

Love a vrs. Looks good. Didn't @Jason_E have a yellow one? Or am I going senile.
Thanks mate!

Spot. On.
Ta bud. 👍🏻

Seats and carpet are a big improvement
Had to be done!
 

dann2707

ClioSport Club Member
I love how skoda will have had an initial kick off meeting for the development of the carpet and seats and will have gone through the thought process of right, we need a carpet that's hard wearing and durable for the type of car this is , the lifetime cycle of the car will be x amount of years where the car will be frequented multiple times a day. Let's go for a nice subtle colour that won't show up....

Cream/white.

Banging choice you all get a raise.

Car looks great Roberto!
 

Porl

ClioSport Club Member
Still a good looking car imo. Looks great with the golf interior. I'm surprised Renault's don't have a white carpet as that's certainly stupid enough for the to do😂. There used to be a green one around here that apparently was a 400hp weapon but I've not seen it for a while.
 
  LY Meg Cup-S STI wid
Nice.

I always fancied one of them after reading the original Autocar road test where they said its figires were better than a 330i for substantially less.

Was sneaking suspicion the press car had been breathed on suggesting it had the 225 bhp rather than 180 bhp 1.8T. However a slight boost increase would do the same I am sure.
 

R3k1355

ClioSport Club Member
I believe the 180 can be stretched out to 260 with the right supporting mode, pretty sure it runs the KO3s?
 

RMDavis

ClioSport Club Member
I believe the 180 can be stretched out to 260 with the right supporting mode, pretty sure it runs the KO3s?

Yeah these run the KO3s setup just like the Mk4 Golf 25th Anniversary which is 180bhp.

Rather than the 150bhp KO3 found on the regular Gti.

I think 260 is definitely achievable with the right mods on the KO3S, and more can be had if I went down the KO4 route however the bottom end on these engines are the weak point and 300lbft is the safe limit without forging everything!

I've got a long list of bits that I want to do relating to the engine regarding performance and refreshing older components and when they are done then I'll get it booked in for mapping to make the most of it.

P.S Skoda also made a 1.8t 4x4 Oxtavia but that did use the KO3 150 setup. Quite a rare car by all accounts.
 
  LY Meg Cup-S STI wid
Pity they never put the 4x4 running gear in the VRS Estate.

Mini RS4...... Like the current Superb with the Golf R Running gear.

If they did that it would have been a cult classic.
 

R3k1355

ClioSport Club Member
Depends on the KO4, the one of the 1.8T 225 is only really good for 280, maybe 290ish with a billet wheel upgrade, but the stock 1.8T manifolds are total dogshit and causing restrictions well before that. You can get adapter kits to fit the KO4-64 TFSI turbo which can make more power, but then you're needing rods and stuff.
 

Jason_E

ClioSport Club Member
  Golf GTI, Jap Tank.
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DSC_0836 by Jason.Easton, on Flickr

Loved mine. Did 4,000 miles around europe in it, to the very tip of Sicily and back and it was flawless. Good fun on the 'ring as well, despite peoples preconceptions they actually handle pretty well.

Sold it to a chap on here, no idea what happened but it looks like its been scrapped. Shame, previous owner to me kept it from 1 year old until selling to me in '15, and it was absolutely mint.
 

RMDavis

ClioSport Club Member
Well overdue update on the barge!

Since fitting the seats (which truly are awesome!)

I ordered a few bits and pieces and have just been waiting for them to arrive, and also finding the time to fit them as work has been rather mental! Literally worked for nearly 24 hours straight last week... 😳

So the weekend just gone I had all the parts ready and I had the time to fit them, so here we go.

Firstly I fitted a Baf Motorsport rear 'K brace' as the Combi's don't come with any bracing in the boot like the hatchbacks.

IMO it looks great and certainly should stiffen the rear end much better than before!

I also replaced the rocker cover gasket as I found that was pretty worn and the plugs were wet with oil when I carried out my initial service a few weeks ago.

Nothing major but it needed to be done and has given me piece of mind.

The suspension was next and I removed the very tired front and rear shock absorbers and have replaced them with some KW V1's and Poweflex front strut top mount bushed.

I had previously bought a secondhand Mk1 Audi TT front strut brace, cut the unneeded brackets off gave it a coat in gloss black and fitted it whilst the suspension was out with some nice stainless cap head bolts. Not bad for £40 all in!

The wheels went back on along with some huncentric H&R spacers 12mm up front and 8mm on the rear which has really improved the overall stance and I'm very happy with how they sit.

I kind of guessed the ride heights when putting the coilovers together, obviously measuring each side equally and it turned out okay. Although I'm going to let the suspension settle for a week and then adjust it to suit.

On Friday I drove to my local Longlife Exhaust centre and had a 2.5" system made no centre silencer but with a rear silencer. At the same time they fitted a MP Developments 3" downpipe with sports cat.

I'm really pleased with how it's turned out! I couldn't find an off the shelf system that I liked and I knew that Matt would be able to build something that I would. I've know him for years and this is the 6th system he's built for me and he's never disappointed!

It has a lovely deep note and no noticeable drone whilst on the motorway, the downpipe had definitely improved the pull under load. Overall a bloody good step in the right direction!

I'm sorry for the lack of photos of the various parts and progress of the install, but I get carried away and just crack on with the work! I have much respect for the people that catalogue every detail of their build. 👍

I've got a long list of things I want/need to do but I'm just really enjoying modifying a car again, and I'm growing really rather fond of this one! 😁

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KitsonRis

ClioSport Club Member
This looks smart. Do like a mk1 vRS. Had one a few years back and always keep an eye out for them for sale. Sort of wish I never sold my old one but it needed a lot of work on to get it how I wanted (wheel refurb, needed some body work sorting, suspension upgrading) plus a phantom oil leak no one could find which really put me off. Currently have a mk2 vRS but then as soon as I bought it a mk1 came for sale at the same price and local too which annoyed me!

Did you say you changed the cam belt? It is worth doing as I found out the hard way - the tensioner failed on my old one, ironically the morning when I was going to get it booked in to get it sorted. Just did an engine swap and while it was out everything was changed: cam belt kit, water pump, thermostat, clutch, any split pipe, rocker cover gasket, oil pick up pipe and put my old turbo back on as I knew that was a good one. After it was a totally different car and really went well. Spoke to mechanic when I was weighing up options and he said the tensioners were a recall item, mainly in the BAM engines.
 

RMDavis

ClioSport Club Member
This looks smart. Do like a mk1 vRS. Had one a few years back and always keep an eye out for them for sale. Sort of wish I never sold my old one but it needed a lot of work on to get it how I wanted (wheel refurb, needed some body work sorting, suspension upgrading) plus a phantom oil leak no one could find which really put me off. Currently have a mk2 vRS but then as soon as I bought it a mk1 came for sale at the same price and local too which annoyed me!

Did you say you changed the cam belt? It is worth doing as I found out the hard way - the tensioner failed on my old one, ironically the morning when I was going to get it booked in to get it sorted. Just did an engine swap and while it was out everything was changed: cam belt kit, water pump, thermostat, clutch, any split pipe, rocker cover gasket, oil pick up pipe and put my old turbo back on as I knew that was a good one. After it was a totally different car and really went well. Spoke to mechanic when I was weighing up options and he said the tensioners were a recall item, mainly in the BAM engines.

Thank you bud!

The timing belt is due towards the end of next year based on duration but well below the required mileage, but to be on the safe side I will probably get it done after Christmas so it's ready for the new year and I won't have any worries when it goes in for mapping! 😂
 

RMDavis

ClioSport Club Member
I've been busy with the Combi and got some jobs done over the last few weeks mainly trying to getting it up together for the colder months.

The nearside door mirror didn't de-mist and upon inspection found the previous owner must of fitted a MK4 Golf mirror glass as oddly the connecter for wiring is at the opposite end and wouldn't reach.

Both of the mirrors must of been replaced at some point because they didn't have the OE blue tint so I bit the bullet and replaced them with the correct versions and now work perfectly.

The rear window de-mister also wasn't working, I checked the fuse first which was fine so I stripped down the tailgate trim and followed the wiring finding one of the tabs had broken away from the glass itself.

I managed to secure it and is also now working as it should!

Finally I got round to wiring in the heated Recaro seats courtesy of loom from Kufatec.

I'd sourced a 255 relay and the correct Skoda control switch from a L&K Octavia and got cracking. It's a fairly straightforward and with the use of a voltmeter you can easily work out what wires to splice into from the headlight switch.

Well worth the effort and it's great to have a car with heated seats again especially with winter looming!


Now onto the big update:-

I've finally started the process of getting the car ready for its respray!

Today I got the rear bumper off and tackled something that's been bugging me for ages... The tow bar bracket IMO is hideous and I have no intention of using the car for towing.

I removed the crash bar and cut the bracket off with a plasma cutter - a little over kill but such an awesome bit of kit!

I bolted the bar back on and offered up a secondhand bumper I picked up without any cutouts and I'm bloody chuffed with how much better it looks.

I continued stripping and got the front bumper off, all four arch liners, headlamps, taillights, side repeaters, and the tailgate trim.

I didn't find any horrors when removing the arch liners etc with bodyshell in good condition, even the tailgate only has minimal corrosion a well known issue with the Combi.

The only corrosion I do have to deal with and treat is behind the window rubber on the offside rear door and the bottom of both the wings.

One note on the wings, if you haven't already I'd remove the arch liners and take a look behind them as I must of had about 2kg of earth/sand back there! absolutely horrendous, I can't imagine why the wings are suffering with rust! 😂

Plenty left to remove and I've got a ton of paint preparation to start but I'm really enjoying this process.

Without even thinking I was just going to go over again with 'Black Magic' but my colleagues (also petrol heads) have suggested a colour change and its got me thinking...

Granted its a little more prep work etc but I have access to a spray booth at work and will be doing everything myself and have plenty of time to do it justice.

Obviously Red, Silver, and Yellow are off the table because I could just buy a Mk1 in those colours anyway but maybe a nice blue or a green would look smart?

It needs to be the right colour and sympathetic to the age and style of the Octavia, basically I don't want a bright orange or a TVR inspired flip paint! 😂

Perhaps a VAG based gloss or metallic colour?

Any opinions or suggestions would be most welcome, even if it's to keep it black which at the moment I am leaning towards as I'd like to keep it original.

Sorry for the long and tedious post!

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  2014 Clio 200t edc
How about the later vrs blue? That was a nice colour. although I like you am thinking I’d keep it original.
 

R3k1355

ClioSport Club Member
Dark Blue would be a fairly safe bet

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Could also pull off a dark metallic silver, which would look interesting.

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RMDavis

ClioSport Club Member
Thank you for all the suggestions chaps.

Thinking about it over the last week I've decided to keep it original and stay with the black!

Managed to get the rest of the car stripped yesterday and it's now ready for paint preparation.

Removing the rear windows with the fixed pane of glass was a little tricky on my own as was trying to remove all the rubber window seals and roof strips without deforming them...

Got a shopping list for bits I want to replace when it goes back together and also want to upgrade the speakers whilst all the door cards off.

Ordered some Milotec vents for the front bumper as I really think they suit the car and add to the budget RS4 Avant look! 😂

I've also been looking at the Pro Alloy FMIC something that can easily be fitted whilst the car is stripped. It's a single pass intercooler and doesn't require any extensive cutting to the bumper which appeals to me.

Here's a few photos as the Combi currently stands, notice the orange box filled with individually marked bags for all the fixings! 😎

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RMDavis

ClioSport Club Member
Slow progress, but here's a few photos of the first bits to be painted!

Both the front and rear bumpers took quite a while to bring back to a respectable condition, but I'm really pleased with how they've turned out.

The front bumper now sporting the Milotec vents which I really think suits the Mk1 perfectly.

Seeing the painted bumpers has really lifted my mood as all the prep work and looking at a stripped car covered in dust, including the interior! Is a little demoralising...

Whilst the interior has been stripped I've also been busy improving the audio.

17cm Hertz components for the front, 6x4 Hertz coaxial for the rear. Connected to a Alpine headunit with an inline Alpine amp for the speakers.

A Subwoofer will follow but that can wait until everything is back together!

I also picked up a Forge front mount intercooler secondhand, which I was chuffed with as they get good reviews, but unfortunately no longer avaliable brand new.

This will get fitted whilst the front bumper is off.

There's other bits and pieces I've ordered and will be fitting/replacing whilst all this is going on, but I will update as I go.

Finally when it gets back on the road it will be getting a new timing belt, and water pump so it's all ready for next year!

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RMDavis

ClioSport Club Member
The Police round my way used these as unmarked cars back in the day, they still give me twinge of fear when I see one in the rear view.

Haha! You're not the only one!

The silver and black hatchbacks blended in very well...

It was a pretty good chance it was plod back in the day compared to now where they have a huge variety of undercover cars.
 

ForceIndia

ClioSport Club Member
  Gentlemans spec 200
Traffic light GP with one of them was very risky, Cov Police even had an unmarked Golf R32, there's no way you'd think that would be a Police car, sneaky b*stards.

There was a black r32 unmarked on the m40, saw a prick in an Astra tailgate it, flash headlights furiously, undertake and then brake check him. He deflated to half normal size when the lights came on.
 


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