Thai's grey mk1 Cupra R

Thai-wronghorse

Active Member
Dec 3, 2015
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Kent
Well after many years of mooching around on here and a plethora of VAG related groups over on Facebook I thought it was about time I started making some kind of documentation of how I spend the vast majority of my time and hard earned cash!

As some of you may already know I've had a long line of these cars, whether it be used on the road or simply to salvage parts from.

I spent a considerable amount of years buying and modifying VW & SEAT TDI variants and the past 4 and half years it was with a mk1 Leon FR TDI.

Several months ago I began to get an itch for change and decided it was time to dip back into the petrol territory but as I'd already accumulated so much for the mk1 Leon and mk4 Golf over the years it only made sense to choose the Leon Cupra R as newest bain of my life...

After searching high and low for months on a daily basis I came across a tidy fairly lowish mileage example at a great price.
Originally I thought it was in Bangor Wales but after further conversations with the owner it materialised to be in Bangor Northern Ireland!

Bare in mind I live in Maidstone, Kent so this was essentially a thousand mile round trip FFS!

The idea was quickly ditched even though it was super tempting but realistically I didn't have the time to travel across and expenses involved were racking up quickly.

About 4 weeks later the advert reappeared with a lowered price which obviously grabbed my attention once again as this basically ruled out additional travel costs involved.

Another message was pinged across and before I knew it I'd managed to wrangle the price down even further and I'd booked a flight over to Belfast and a ferry back via Cairnryan in Scotland.

Pics from the seller taken just before I collected it back in December 2018.

Basically stock 2 owner BAM R and had just ticked over 80k miles when I picked it up.


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Jimbobcook

Blue... Oh go on then
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The MK1 is definitely the meanest looking Leon! Looking forward to seeing what you do with it. Like above I'm impressed with how clean it is.
 
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Thai-wronghorse

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Dec 3, 2015
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Cheers, yeah I spent a long time looking for a decent one which wasn't over £5k!
It had to be grey as it's the best colour for the mk1 imo and my FR TDI was grey anyway and I was only really changing that for fuelling reasons and save myself some work on the handling side of things.

Yes it's clearly been looked after but it's far from perfect and on collection I immediately noticed some niggly issues that hadn't been mentioned but as I was committed at this point seeing as I'd just flown to Belfast from Stansted airport.

I was also on a very tight schedule so didn't even have much time to test it pre purchase or scrutinise the vehicle as I had a ferry to board, missing it would of meant I'd likely to have lost about £112 and have to make the 8 hour drive almost a day later...THIS COULDN'T HAPPEN!

So these are the bits I picked up on during my journey home:

Steering vibration / jerking at roughly 60mph
Offside wing mirror doesn't fold
Offside front door card badly fitted
Several interior plastic trims scratched or damaged / badly fitted.
Boot space looking very tired and rough
Rear screen washer jet not working
Offside headlight clip broken
(possibly some other bits I've forgotten?)


On the whole it made the trip down the country very well and breezed it down the motorways on a Sunday evening with no dramas.
I was extra cautious to transfer and increase my AA vehicle cover just in case the unexpected happened anyway.

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Deleted member 103408

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Love the wheels very clean. Are they original or refurbished.
 

Thai-wronghorse

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Dec 3, 2015
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Kent
Love the wheels very clean. Are they original or refurbished.
Apparently they were refurbished not too long before it went up for sale.
I agree they look good but they've since been replaced with another set of LCR Ronal alloys that were taken and put into storage from my FR TDI.

I had a set of 5 wheels refurbished in anthracite grey about a year ago.
New centre caps and a matching set of Goodyear Eagle F1 asymmetric3 tyres.

I prefer the darker more aggressive look and the tyres are much better than Pirellis it came with.


These are the wheels on my old (dirty) FR TDI moments before it was dismantled.


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bruceR

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Apr 11, 2005
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Monifieth, Dundee
Awesome looking car Thai, Pitt you didn’t have more time to inspect it more as you might’ve been able to haggle a bit more off. Decent starting point though, well done


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Thai-wronghorse

Active Member
Dec 3, 2015
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480
Kent
In all fairness I got it at a decent price and we'd both already knocked some off way before I'd even left my house so had to go with it really unless it turned out to be a wreck in person, which it wasn't.

Originally it was up for £3895 iirc which I got down a bit then had to bail out on once the travel expenses were added.
It was then dropped to £3200 about a month later which I was more than ready to pay after more extensive conversations with the seller I think he must have taken a shine to me and knew I wasn't messing about so dropped it another £200 so as to cover the bulk of my flight and ferry costs.

Car - £3000
Flight - £30 (I took my daughter along for the trip)
Ferry - £112
Petrol - £80 (already had some fuel)
Other - £40

Not too bad considering there was another identical one with similar mileage that came up for sale the same week i collected this one only 30miles away for £4995!

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Thai-wronghorse

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Dec 3, 2015
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Kent
Whilst I'm unusually sitting on arse for more 5 mins I'm going to try and bring this up to date or near as dammit.

Quite a few jobs have taken place in the few months of ownership, some minor and some major and not everything was photographed but I'll do what I can to cobble to together a coherent post with pretty pics.

Drivers door card was removed...it basically fell off due to lack of clips or broken ones.
This lead me to the offside wing mirror not folding.
Going by the fact the door card had been attacked and the little triangle trim was damaged I was pretty confident the mirror had already been off at some point.
My suspicions were correct and it turned out it had been replaced with a non-folding unit.
Irritating but easily resolved with a donor which I sourced cheaply.
Even more irritating was the fact I'd sold a pair of absolutely mint grey folding mirrors a couple of weeks previously!

I basically gutted everything from the boot space, all plastics, trims, carpets, parcel shelf and transferred the ones I'd saved from the FR.

A parcel shelf storage tray and genuine SEAT oil pouch was also added.

I'll be returning to this area very soon as I've got a custom fit 10" sub box and tiny amp to fit once I've run the wiring and applied the Silent coat sound deadening throughout.

Whilst the large plastic boot trim was off I also swapped the rear wiper motor to a spare I had.
This resolved the blocked jet and gave me an excuse to fit the Skoda Fabia rear wiper arm I had.

All 4 plastic seat rails were changed for better condition ones.

Battery cover and nearside headlight trim swapped, again for better condition ones.

The stock stereo headunit was pulled out on the ferry moments after departing Belfast, there was no way I was driving all that way home without my own tunes and bluetooth for my phone.

Glovebox 6 disc changer was removed and an insert refitted in its place.

LEDs fitted to the entire interior lighting

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Thai-wronghorse

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Dec 3, 2015
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Having collected a huge pile of parts for my last Leon that went unfitted it was time to utilise them and also deal with the steering vibration on the R.

The following parts were eventually fitted or taken out of storage ready for imminent installation.



Audi S3 front upper strut brace
Audi TT 20mm front anti roll bar and superpro bushes
H&R 25mm rear anti roll bar
BAF Motorsport rear upper strut brace
4x Bilstein shocks
4x Eibach pro springs
2x Febi balljoints
2x Febi track rod ends
Febi bump stops & dust boots (front & rear)
Lemforder top mounts & bearings
Drop links
Superpro steering rack bush
Refurbished subframe with Powerflex bushes
Superpro diesel dogbone mount
OE rear spring locators
10mm front spring drop plates
New genuine VW stretch bolts throughout
4x Audi TT jacking point rubbers


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Thai-wronghorse

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Dec 3, 2015
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I'd like to say it was a simple undertaking but in all honesty it was a ******* nightmare replacing this lot as I have very limited time to work on my car due to work, family and general taxi duties.

I never intended on going all out on the suspension and steering at this period of time but after battling just about every single nut and bolt when I swapped the shocks and springs.
Snapped balljoints, seized track rod ends and totally trashed arb and wishbone bushes it was inevitable this would have to be finished over a longer stretch of time and more parts were needed in the meantime.

The wishbones were literally impossible to undo hence I opted to drop the subframe and replace everything associated with it.

Two weeks of driving it with completely screwed geometry was bloody awful though.

Also the Eibach springs didn't quite give me the ride height i was expecting which was why I added the 10mm drop plates on the second stab at sorting it.

It's now sitting sweet though.

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Jimbobcook

Blue... Oh go on then
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Wowzers this is a good list of stuff! Do you have a car background for mechanical stuff or are you self taught?

I love the fact you changed the stereo on a boat lol that has to be a first...
 
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Thai-wronghorse

Active Member
Dec 3, 2015
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Kent
Wowzers this is a good list of stuff! Do you have a car background for mechanical stuff or are you self taught?

I love the fact you changed the stereo on a boat lol that has to be a first...
Yeah there's a fair few goodies amongst that lot.
It's by no means a fully extensive list of what i have tucked away though.

I'm not a mechanic per se but I've been fettling with VAG stuff for the past 20 odd years so kinda picked up a fair bit in that time.
I'm an engineer for a large security company and also have a fabrication background amongst other things so I'm always fixing and breaking things!

Speaking of breaking, I also buy quite a few mk1 Leon's, mk2 Toledos, mk4 Golfs & Boras to strip whenever time allows.

This allows me to get a lot of hands on experience with these vehicles and keeps me topped up with spares....and we all know how these cars crave spares lol

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Deleted member 103408

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I have to ask - How many garages do you have to store all this stuff or is your house just full of bits.
 

Thai-wronghorse

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Dec 3, 2015
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480
Kent
I have to ask - How many garages do you have to store all this stuff or is your house just full of bits.
I rent a garage about 5 minutes away from my workshop where I break cars.
My workshop is seriously loaded with parts for sale and simply stored away for myself.
I'm very lucky in the fact I'm able to have my parts there, many places wouldn't have it.
Up until last month I also rented a storage unit across the road which I had for the past year or so but wanting to reduce outgoings and a general need to condense the parts I was holding onto I decided to give that up and scrap, sell cheaply or move certain parts back home into my shed and loft - both of which are crammed Haha

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Thai-wronghorse

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Dec 3, 2015
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Kent
Finally no clunking, knocking, rattling or weird steering jerks woohoo!

I dropped the car off at STS Tyre Pros a few days ago to have the steering geometry set up properly.

They use the Hunter Pro Align systems so had a bit of faith in using these guys.

Acquired a friggin puncture on route FFS...



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Thai-wronghorse

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Dec 3, 2015
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After some discussion with the guy at STS he assures me the front figures are sweet now and it certainly seems to drive a lot better.
My only mild concern was the extra unwanted camber on the offside rear, its negligible but still not correct and might explain why the ride height still has a 9mm discrepancy even after replaced the shocks and springs.
This would suggest to me that either the rear beam or stub axle has a slight tweak in it.
I'm not too fussed at the moment plus I've got a spare rear beam I'd planned on building up with fresh bushes, calipers and stone guards anyway.

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