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    Thread: Bariman82's 1998 Jetta restoration

    1. 08-06-2011 11:29 PM #1
      The long-overdue time has come. 13 years of being kept outside and driven year-round in the salty midwest has taken its toll. The thing is a rustbucket. However, it's the first car I ever bought. I suppose I'm still attached; I've been through a lot with this car. Move to school, move home, move back to school, move back home, countless roadtrips with both friends and strangers, 3000 miles a month for 18 months for a contract job in the Chicago area, hauling junk for a construction job. We've been through a lot. The only problem is that the engine and drivetrain are spotless. It runs so well, and I've sunk money into keeping things in top shape...except the body.

      The plan is to fix or stop/convert the rust. The rockers are shot, the gas door is atrocious, one shock tower for sure has a problem and a few of the rubber plugs rusted, ironically. I'll also be stripping the other shock towers just in case. The whole underside, towers, engine bay and exposed structures like the bumper rebars and subframe will be coated in POR-15.

      I've got a new trunk lid. The original here is crusty under the tub and in the license light holes. That lower right spot is a hole in a blind area.








      I was able to get this entire section out of a junkyard. The whole thing will be cut and replaced.












      This will be the trickiest. If the front frame rails look like this too, I'm in trouble.


      This was my previous project. It's a rust-free California '66. It's my driver until the Jetta gets done.


      This is what we both looked like on the day it was purchased back in 2002. Dig the sandals/socks, painter jeans and side part. Good grief.

    2. Member four-oh-one's Avatar
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      08-07-2011 12:01 AM #2
      that thing was mint..

    3. Member jbigs268's Avatar
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      08-07-2011 12:03 AM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by four-oh-one View Post
      that thing was mint..
      thing went to hell lol
      Quote Originally Posted by 95jetta17 View Post
      not again 11/11/11 never forget
      Quote Originally Posted by vento86 View Post
      anyone got anymore pics of that yellow gti?
      Yellowlove

    4. 08-07-2011 12:05 AM #4
      It's kind of sad, but all of that rust could have been prevented with a little preventative TLC.
      96 GTI VR6.

    5. Member nemo1ner's Avatar
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      1983 GTI on a diet;
      08-07-2011 12:06 AM #5
      9 years in Illinois and the car managed to rust that much? We have a 95 California Jetta GLX and it doesn't have one spec of rust on it. Our 97 Trek has a bit, but only from where all the dings are (it was a city car in the North East).

      What are you guys doing over there, salting the roads for fun?

    6. Member mikeone718's Avatar
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      08-07-2011 12:09 AM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by four-oh-one View Post
      that thing was mint..

      Word

    7. 08-07-2011 12:15 AM #7
      Yes, the thing was mint. It was four years old and had 32,000 on it. Only the last few years did it really start going downhill. The hardest part was suddenly seeing brown undercoat, picking at it, and having a three-inch hole open up. Same with the rockers. I had coated them with some sort of goop and when I pulled away a loose end, a pile of rust came down and opened these six-inch gaps. Water came in from somewhere and sat there. The door handle spots formed about a year ago. It spreads very quickly and I didn't catch it.

      Quote Originally Posted by nemo1ner View Post
      What are you guys doing over there, salting the roads for fun?

      You laugh, but you should see the trucks that leave the sprayers on at stoplights. It's awful over here. Just POUNDS of it for every light dusting.
      Last edited by Bariman82; 08-12-2011 at 09:26 AM.

    8. Member
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      08-07-2011 02:36 AM #8
      Im from the great IL to and I can also say they love salt. 2 years of winter driving in mine and its rusting to hell rockers shot the tower is starting to fenders are done for. IL loves salt and uses it like its nothing

    9. Member nemo1ner's Avatar
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      1983 GTI on a diet;
      08-07-2011 09:28 AM #9
      Holy crap. I though Jersey was bad. Maybe I should start writing to my town regarding the rust damage on my car due to salt.

    10. 08-07-2011 09:38 AM #10
      It's the cars too. My mother's 2002 Passat is pristine. Granted, it's kept in the garage but still driven year-round. MK3s are just rusty.

      I had a little hiccup with the Beetle, so Jetta work will start back up this week.

    11. Member mhjett's Avatar
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      08-07-2011 11:41 AM #11
      IMO that car is ready for the graveyard - too much cancer. You'll never get rid of all the rust. You could probably do better by swapping the drivetrain over to a clean shell if you want the posterity factor of keeping it going. Think heart=transplant.

      But I can totally understand your attachment to the car - I've had my GLX for 8 years and it'll be real tough to let it go...
      2008 VW Jetta SE 2.5 [current]
      1995 VW Jetta GLX VR6 [07.2003 - 03.2012]

    12. Member Louie Bricants's Avatar
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      08-07-2011 11:53 AM #12
      Make sure the floors are solid and put some nice coils and wheels on it. You can be the guy who didnt rust their car on purpose.
      planetcaravan

    13. 08-07-2011 01:07 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by mhjett View Post
      IMO that car is ready for the graveyard - too much cancer. You'll never get rid of all the rust. You could probably do better by swapping the drivetrain over to a clean shell if you want the posterity factor of keeping it going. Think heart=transplant.

      But I can totally understand your attachment to the car - I've had my GLX for 8 years and it'll be real tough to let it go...
      This isn't the first time that I've heard that. I think of the heart as the engine. The shell is the skeleton, and swapping that would really make it not my car anymore, even with all the other parts swapped over.

      I went to the junkyard a few months back. There were about six MK3s, and all but one of them had worse floors and rockers than I do. It was nice to know that I wasn't alone. In fact, the white one that I got the trunk lid off of has nicer doors. Maybe I should go back and get them.

      I look at it this way; the car is worth what, $1000 because it runs and drives without issue? So I sell it, take the money and buy $1000 of someone ELSE's problems with the added bonus of no reliable maintenance history. I know what I've replaced and what is coming up. If I get into the front frame rails and towers and they're shot, I'll start thinking about getting rid of it.

      Quote Originally Posted by Louie Bricants View Post
      Make sure the floors are solid and put some nice coils and wheels on it. You can be the guy who didnt rust their car on purpose.
      The floors and everything else. At the moment, I'd like to just replace the stock suspension and keep it stock height. I could be persuaded to coils provided it's just a moderate drop with the ability to be cranked up to stock height for the winter. I would also be looking at the ones with the best ride quality. We'll see.

      Never understood the rusted trend. Why one would desire to duplicate this condition on purpose is beyond comprehension. On the other hand, I must have some madddd scene points with this thing.

    14. Member I haz cheezeburgerz's Avatar
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      08-07-2011 01:13 PM #14
      scrap it and move on. holy crap dude.
      Things I need to purchase:
      ~mk4 golf driver's fender - Silverstone
      ~mk3 "GTI" front grille emblem, red, mk3 font

    15. Member HATCHET's Avatar
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      08-07-2011 01:26 PM #15
      They don't call Midwest the rust belt for nothing. Wisconsin is just as bad, you should see some of the cars driven daily that look like they were pulled from the depths of lake Michigan.

    16. 08-10-2011 11:38 PM #16
      I got to work yesterday and started tearing out the interior. There's not much left.


      Today, I really made a dent.


      I hope the battery tray isn't a hint of things to come. Two bolts came out nicely, one snapped and one rounded off.


      It's mostly surface rust, but we'll let the wire wheel find out for sure.


      Radiator support and subframe mount. Yikes.


      Here's where I left it today.


      Had I been thinking ahead, I would have had a shop vacuum and seal the A/C system. Now what? I have to disconnect it in order to get the subframe out, right?

    17. Member bagged_hag's Avatar
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      08-11-2011 01:28 AM #17
      Honestly, scrap the car. Part out what you can from the car and just let it go to hell as it already has. The amount of rust seen on the car in the places I see it just makes the car seem incredibly unsafe.

    18. 08-11-2011 02:11 AM #18
      Where do you park that thing, in a 3' deep puddle of salt water?

    19. 08-11-2011 08:35 AM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by McDubin View Post
      Where do you park that thing, in a 3' deep puddle of salt water?
      It's called "The Midwest", my friend.

      I'm unemployed right now, so I can't afford another car. I'm also doing this myself, so it's only costing me my time. I'm inspired by a few threads:

      Trixy:
      http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...eration-begins

      LucidDisarray:
      http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...d-my-car-over-!

      Wire wheel starts today; I'll know more after I get the undercoat and seam sealer off.
      Last edited by Bariman82; 08-11-2011 at 08:38 AM.

    20. Member
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      08-11-2011 09:19 AM #20
      Yo sick resto!! I have a 99 mk3 tdi that looks exactly like this if not worse from salty ass ontario and i HAVE to do this before the winter.

      I didnt see in the pics but you obviously looked under the trunk mat/carpet on the left and right trunk channels at the back mine are completely gone

    21. 08-11-2011 09:57 AM #21
      The trunk surface is ok, I think. There's some surface rust inside the channels. That will be tricky to stop.

    22. 08-11-2011 12:04 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by Bariman82 View Post
      It's called "The Midwest", my friend.

      I'm unemployed right now, so I can't afford another car. I'm also doing this myself, so it's only costing me my time. I'm inspired by a few threads:

      Trixy:
      http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...eration-begins

      LucidDisarray:
      http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...d-my-car-over-!

      Wire wheel starts today; I'll know more after I get the undercoat and seam sealer off.
      I absolutely feel you, man. If you could pull it off, then why not? Good luck. I'll be following.

    23. 08-11-2011 07:48 PM #23
      Hood, fenders, suspension, brakes and axles gone today. There are some rust issues.




      Uncovered some more rust in the seams.


      You can see here how the factory really caked on the rubber stuff, yet rust still got through.


      Any ideas on how to get the A/C out? I need to fix or replace both the front subframe and the radiator support.

      Didn't get to the wire wheel today. Hopefully I can get the engine out tomorrow.

    24. Member fatboyvw's Avatar
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      08-11-2011 08:04 PM #24
      Thats a lot of brown
      I My MKV

      I Root

      InstaGram: euro_addiction

    25. 08-11-2011 08:10 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by fatboyvw View Post
      Thats a lot of brown
      Yup. Well, one step at a time.

    26. 08-12-2011 10:30 PM #26
      Work got done today.


      I spent close to eight hours in the garage today.


      The engine is just covered in grime. I have plans to clean, blast and coat as much as I can. It looks like the headgasket is okay.


      Just a closeup of 178,000 miles of heat, corrosion and scale.


      This is why I'm not using the trunklid. That spare cost me $30, and it's even the same color.


      More tomorrow.

    27. Member VeeDuber416's Avatar
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      08-13-2011 03:42 AM #27
      I love fake wheels.

    28. Member cabriosnap's Avatar
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      08-13-2011 03:48 AM #28
      holy$hit thats a lot of rust! man, if it where my car, i would probobly have just got a clean shell and started swapping, but good for you for having the time, energy, and enthusiasm to undertake this kinda project. im sure it'll turn out tits
      -VDUBN-
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      4 doors more whores!

    29. Member Insan3Vr6's Avatar
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      08-13-2011 04:33 AM #29
      for saving a mk3.

      Do it right, or it will all just come back. Angle grinder, sanding disks, welder, rust inhibitor, and primer will be your new best friends.

    30. 08-13-2011 08:57 AM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by cabriosnap View Post
      holy$hit thats a lot of rust! man, if it where my car, i would probobly have just got a clean shell and started swapping, but good for you for having the time, energy, and enthusiasm to undertake this kinda project. im sure it'll turn out tits
      See, I'd be stripping it down for a new shell too, so technically, this right now is not wasted effort.

      Quote Originally Posted by Insan3Vr6 View Post
      for saving a mk3.

      Do it right, or it will all just come back. Angle grinder, sanding disks, welder, rust inhibitor, and primer will be your new best friends.
      I plan on POR15-ing the underside and engine bay.

    31. 08-13-2011 11:25 AM #31
      Nothing remarkable yet. I had a short morning, and this afternoon isn't looking good either. I got the parking brake arrangement removed, as well as disconnected the hard brake lines in the rear. They were rusted solid, so that took up a lot of time. I PB'd quite a few bolts, though. I'd like to get the tank and beam out today.


    32. 08-13-2011 04:12 PM #32
      Rear beam and brackets are out. All this undercarriage stuff will be cleaned and coated.


      Dig that rust hole in the front of the wheel well. Check those rubber plugs often before they turn into this.
      Last edited by Bariman82; 08-13-2011 at 04:16 PM.

    33. Member dankvwguy's Avatar
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      08-13-2011 04:34 PM #33
      good luck man
      THE CBOX KREW
      There's always time for a GI Joe orgy

    34. 08-14-2011 10:13 PM #34
      I spent a good chunk of my day covered in brake fluid and PB Blaster, but the car is more stripped-down.

      Subframe is out. This will also be coated.


      Exhaust, tank and brake lines are gone too. The brake lines were in rough shape. They were almost corroded through everywhere there was a clip to the body.


      I'm really hoping to start the wire wheel tomorrow. Today sucked.

    35. 08-25-2011 07:29 PM #35
      It's been a busy week with some job interviews and other business, but I've got some more done on the car.

      The heaterbox, wiring harness and fuel lines are the only things left. I'd like to get the heater out so I can check where the front floors meet with the firewall. I heated and scraped just about all of the tarboards.




      I got the wire wheel out and started into the driver's tower. It's a lot of surface rust and I was able to clean up some seams. The brown and cracked seam sealer had me worried a little. I'll still have to blast the mounts for the radiator support.


      I've made a good dent in the trunk. No issues here; just some rust-colored undercoat that the wheel just ripped down to metal.

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