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    Thread: To Cabrio or not to Cabrio...that is the question.

    1. Junior Member Lunchbox2021's Avatar
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      02-19-2012 01:04 AM #26
      seriously spike if for some reason it doesnt work out or it does work and you wanna get rid of some parts let me know cuz you know cabrios are hard to come by around here

    2. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      02-28-2012 07:02 PM #27
      Anybody here work for a dealer, and, given a vin, can get a key cut for a 99 cabrio?
      What about a remote for that same car...what do they cost?

      I got a price of $150 for a key and remote from local dealer. Just want to see if thats realistic or can I save a few bucks.

    3. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      03-05-2012 10:51 PM #28
      Thought about it and decided to go for it. Took today and tomorrow off to put the plan in motion.

      The junkyard moved the car to the front of the yard for easier access.
      Loosened the drivers side door handle to get the key code.

      Junkyard office said they found the title. It was at a wrecker service. Apparently
      the car had been left on the streets of new orleans for too long and it got towed away.
      After storage fees built up without the owner reclaiming the car, the towing service obtained title
      and sold the car to the junkyard where I found it. The car also had a parking sticker for a local college. After slipping them a $20 for their time, they signed over the title to me and provided a bill of sale.

      Called a locksmith I had used previously to try and get a key, they couldn't help.
      Went to the dealer, they couldn't help but suggested somebody.
      Found where somebody lived, guy retired, no luck.

      Did quick google search using my phone and found a another local locksmith.
      Called them...they said they could cut a key.
      Drove to the their office...for $35 and the keycode I walked out with a key that MIGHT work.

      Went back to the junkyard, held my breath and slipped the key into the door handle.....


      wait for it.







      BINGO! KEY FITS!
      Stuck it into the ignition, worked in the ignition as well.
      Even called the locksmith back and said thank you about a dozen times because the key fit.
      They appreciated it because nobody ever tells them if the key fits or not on strange jobs like this.

      So...got title, got key, need wheels.

      Talk to the junkyard. They send a wrecker to my house to pick up the 91 jetta I'm bailing on.
      They tow it to the junkyard. By this time the cabrio is outside the junkyard in a parking area.

      We jack up the jetta and transfer the wheels one at a time to the cabrio. Cabrio hubs are rusty, but we get most of the lugs installed.

      While under the cabrio, I see the catalytic converter has been cut off....didn't expect that but oh well..it is what it is.

      So as of now, this is the to do list.

      Replace hood.
      Replace front cross member that holds hood shut.
      Replace all brakes.
      Take a/c compressor off parts car for good car
      Have alternator tested...it was already removed from the car.
      Hook up fresh battery and see if starter/engine spin over....
      Find/beg/buy/steal a front grille.

      Fingers crossed.
      Comments welcome.

      Here's the car when I left, with the jetta wheels on....doesn't look so lonely any more.
      Will get it towed to my house tomorrow. The car really is that shiny.
      Last edited by CajunSpike; 03-05-2012 at 11:14 PM.

    4. Member kamzcab86's Avatar
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      1986 Cabriolet Best Seller; 2000 Jetta VR6; 1990 Vanagon Westfalia
      03-05-2012 11:47 PM #29
      That is one lucky Cabrio.

      And one very unlucky little Jetta...
      Cabby-Info.com -- Your online guide to VW Cabriolets/Rabbit Convertibles
      Old Blue's Blog -- The adventures of a 1990 Westfalia
      "Fashion is a waste of money that could be better spent on, say, maintaining your car." ~James May

    5. Member H3LVTCA's Avatar
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      03-05-2012 11:47 PM #30
      What are the chances of getting those Wolfsburg fenders off the other Cabrio?
      I desperately need a set, and would pay for shipping & handling to me!
      Quote Originally Posted by TrillyPop View Post
      The 2.5L forum is full of high hopes and huge disappointment.
      MKV Rabbit Dyno Thread
      MKIII Cabrio Build Thread

    6. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      03-06-2012 12:12 AM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by kamzcab86 View Post
      That is one lucky Cabrio.

      And one very unlucky little Jetta...
      The deciding factor was that the Jetta would have to be painted after mechanical work was done.
      All the door seals were gone and the glue in windshield was cracked...and we know the story about glued in windshields.

      I just don't have that kind of money to paint that car.

      The ghost of the Jetta will live on in the wheels being used on the Cabrio.

      I'm basically a good mechanic with no body working skills. I work with cars that have mechanical issues primarily, because I can fix those. I just don't have the patience or skill to do a quality body paint job.
      Last edited by CajunSpike; 03-06-2012 at 12:28 AM.

    7. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      03-06-2012 12:14 AM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by H3LVTCA View Post
      What are the chances of getting those Wolfsburg fenders off the other Cabrio?
      I desperately need a set, and would pay for shipping & handling to me!
      If you or anybody else wants parts off that 91 Jetta before the junkyard gets permanent hold of it,
      just ask.

      You want both fenders off the parts cabrio? or the Jetta?
      I have to pull off the front bumper and top core support on the parts cabio...so pulling the fenders wouldn't be much more.

      I have a brand new in box jetta high pressure fuel pump I no longer need.


      The big mystery at the moment is the rear trunk lid. I tried inserting the new key(that works in door and ignition) in the rear hatch lock. It goes in about 1/2 way and stops. Is the trunk lid on a different key?
      Last edited by CajunSpike; 03-06-2012 at 10:45 AM.

    8. Member gunnarpaul's Avatar
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      03-06-2012 01:55 AM #33
      Just throwing my .02 cents here, good find. I still want the door cards and the seats but thats another story. As far as the auto tranny goes, yeah they suck. Just ended up swithing my mine out to an 02A and can.t believe the difference. Its a lot of work and and had to "fab" some parts to make it work but well worth the effort. The cars new Monikor is Frankentstien as there are so may parts from different rigs and custom made that if I ever sell it no one will be able to work on it without the master list I;ve created.

      Well worth the effort in the end result. And I;m sure you'll love the end result. sorry my typing sucks but don't have a useable litle finger at the moment.

      I'll be doing a write up on the process on "Frankenstein" in the next few days. But night and day difference between the two.

      I really hope you enjoy it.

      I'll post more when I;m not getting interuppted ever two minutes and throw the link into the thread so you can see whats all involved.

    9. Member H3LVTCA's Avatar
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      03-06-2012 10:41 AM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by CajunSpike View Post
      If you or anybody else wants parts off that '91 Jetta before the junkyard gets permanent hold of it, just ask.

      You want both fenders off the parts Cabrio?
      Uhhhhh, I would be forever indebted to you. I have been searching high and low for Wolfsburg Cabrio fenders. The photos you posted showed very little or no rust along the bottom. I'm located outside Chicago, and would need them shipped to me. However, I am willing to travel long distances to find good fenders. I'll PM you!
      Quote Originally Posted by TrillyPop View Post
      The 2.5L forum is full of high hopes and huge disappointment.
      MKV Rabbit Dyno Thread
      MKIII Cabrio Build Thread

    10. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      03-06-2012 10:43 AM #35
      Not sure what it is about cars down here but they don't rust much. Haven't inspected the fenders closely, but from what I've seen, both cars have no rust. The parts car is sitting on a box from the back of a pickup, so getting to bolts on the lower side are pretty easy.


      Gunner, I'll check the condition of the interior of the parts car...and post photos of it too. It does have seats, dunno bout door cards.

      Whats an 02A out of? I'm not up to date on tranny codes.
      Last edited by CajunSpike; 03-06-2012 at 11:17 AM.

    11. Member H3LVTCA's Avatar
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      03-06-2012 10:48 AM #36
      I PM'd you as well, but can we find out how much the junkyard would want for both fenders, assuming they are rust-free?

      Seriously, I can't believe this is even an option. Is this real life?
      I've been looking for these fenders for a very long time.
      CajunSpike, you are a king among men.
      Quote Originally Posted by TrillyPop View Post
      The 2.5L forum is full of high hopes and huge disappointment.
      MKV Rabbit Dyno Thread
      MKIII Cabrio Build Thread

    12. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      03-06-2012 11:15 AM #37
      Here's my philosophy guy....the people in this forum have been nothing but kind and helpful with all the problems I've posted(and I'm sure I'll be posting many more problems). I just try to return what was given to me..knowledge and assistance in whatever way I can. Eventually that parts cabrio will be crushed...so whatever can be used from it to help somebody else, is just good common sense.

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      03-06-2012 11:22 AM #38
      Glad to see this thread going again

      Whats so special about those fenders? The pics are not loading on my phone so i cannot tell.
      Last edited by hyperlightboards48; 03-06-2012 at 11:26 AM.
      dink and flicka

    14. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      03-06-2012 11:57 AM #39
      From talking to the guy, there is a cutout on the fender between the well and the door. Either a wolfburg emblem or a light fixture can be installed in that cutout. Not all cabrio's have that cutout in the fender, so finding original fenders that have the hole, is apparently hard to do. I would assume that the fenders on his car are rusted beyond repair, so he's looking for another set.

    15. Member gunnarpaul's Avatar
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      03-06-2012 01:06 PM #40
      Quote Originally Posted by CajunSpike View Post
      Gunner, I'll check the condition of the interior of the parts car...and post photos of it too. It does have seats, dunno bout door cards.

      Whats an 02A out of? I'm not up to date on tranny codes.
      The O2A is basically built for the VR6 cars and has hydraulics for the clutch rather than the cable. Little tougher trans than the O2O and the hydraulic system is more dependable than the cable set up. Mine came out of a 92 Passat.

    16. Member H3LVTCA's Avatar
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      03-06-2012 06:46 PM #41
      Quote Originally Posted by CajunSpike View Post
      From talking to the guy, there is a cutout on the fender between the well and the door. Either a wolfburg emblem or a light fixture can be installed in that cutout. Not all cabrio's have that cutout in the fender, so finding original fenders that have the hole, is apparently hard to do. I would assume that the fenders on his car are rusted beyond repair, so he's looking for another set.
      You hit the proverbial nail on the head!

      My fenders are rusted about the rocker panels beyond repair, and I have been searching high and low for fenders that would replace mine. Unfortunately, the ones I have found have either been on the East or West coasts. Tough for someone like myself trying to get a pair to Chicago...
      Quote Originally Posted by TrillyPop View Post
      The 2.5L forum is full of high hopes and huge disappointment.
      MKV Rabbit Dyno Thread
      MKIII Cabrio Build Thread

    17. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      03-06-2012 07:58 PM #42
      went back to jy today. Pulled hood, bumpers, and fenders. Put good hood on car. Pic to come.
      Last edited by CajunSpike; 03-07-2012 at 12:38 AM.

    18. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      03-07-2012 12:38 AM #43
      update: A tow truck showed up at my house about 8:00pm with the cabrio on it. We offloaded it
      into the drive way.


      The party starts now....

      Already all the drivers in the house were asking if they could use the car...even with it not running...

      Also, somebody has offered to buy the entire Jetta as is...so that too might be saved from the scrapper.

    19. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      03-07-2012 10:19 AM #44
      This is now sitting in my driveway. Pulled the damaged hood off and put the one from the parts Cabrio on. Gotta do the paperwork and start getting parts ordered.

      You can see the 91 Jetta in the background.

      Anybody who knows, what bolts do you have to pull to remove the front clip? Already got the
      4 10mm on the fenders off..which others have to come off?

      Last edited by CajunSpike; 03-07-2012 at 10:36 AM.

    20. 03-07-2012 03:19 PM #45
      Not sure if you managed to get into the trunk yet but if your key doesnt work, there is a trunk pop button either in the center console cubby or sometime in the actual glove box on the left side.

      But on the cabrio most likely on the center console.

      Whats special about the fenders is that all cabrios built in germany have side markers in the fenders but here instead of side markers they fitted wolfsburg crest inserts into the holes.

      All cabbies built until 1996 have square holes and some 1996 cabbies have oval holes. In mid 1996 production for north american cabbies moved to mexico where they just started using new fenders without the holes.

      so if you have a german built cabby it will have holes in the fenders.

      As far as removing the front bumper, the foglights and signals need to be removed, theres a bolt behind the foglights i think. ( cant remember for sure )

      Then you have to get on the ground and look under the bumper and theres a bunch of bolts that hold the bumper cover to the rebar if i remember correctly.

      there may also be a bunch of bolts that hold the bumper cover on between the top of the bumper cover and the bottom of the grille.

      once you get the bumper, headlights off, the Rad Support is very easy to remove. not welded on like MK1s.

    21. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      03-07-2012 03:30 PM #46
      thanks agnes. i was able to get the top rad support, from the parts car. This car's support was torn up from somebody forcing the hood open. Need to remove the bent part on this car to install the replacement. On the parts car I had to pull the plastic bumper cover off to get to the bolts that hold the bottom of the rad support in place. Not sure if there was another way to get to the bolts without having to pull the plastic cover.

      Have not gotten trunk open yet. Am charging up battery to see if its any good before i go any further. I thought the key should work, but gets 1/2 way and sticks, wont go further in the hole.
      ty for the trunk popper info...didn't know that. will look for it.

      I was able to pull the fenders for the gentleman and will be shipping to him shortly for a fair price.
      I did the vin lookup on my car and it says was built in pueblo, mexico.

      all comments and info, historical or otherwise is awesomly appreciated.
      Last edited by CajunSpike; 03-07-2012 at 03:50 PM.

    22. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      03-07-2012 09:12 PM #47
      As so we begin.

      Two items at this time.

      1) Looking for a grille. Found one on ebay but the guy said it was for a single headlight.
      Is this a single headlight or not? if not is it a custom light assembly?



      2) Attached a partially charged battery to see if engine would spin over. Horn starts beeping at regular intervals, which I believe is the anti theft warning. How do I disable/bypass/override this?
      Engine will not spin over. Don't know if its because engine is locked or anti theft.

      update:
      Found this in the Mk3 Thread..thanks to the poster, Germancarnut51.

      #1 If you had the Owner's Manual for the car, and read it when you first got the car, you would have known that the alarm will sound every time you disconnect and reconnect the battery. To reset the alarm system, all you would have had to do is insert the key in the driver's door, and turn it to the unlock position after the battery is connected and the alarm sounds. You can find an Owner's Manual for your car in the Vortex For Sale Forum, OR eBay, OR Amazon.
      Last edited by CajunSpike; 03-07-2012 at 09:28 PM.

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      03-07-2012 09:45 PM #48
      nice... thats a nice cheap fix. Did it turn over?
      dink and flicka

    24. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      03-07-2012 09:58 PM #49
      The used battery didn't have enough power to spin it. Jumped it to my Etienne.

      Trick to kill alarm worked.
      Headlights work both hi/lo beam.
      Turn signals work.
      Mileage is 90255 Car is barely broken in!
      Hit key, engine did spin over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Didn't crank much, just enough to try.
      Check engine is on, low gas is on.

      Ordered head water outlet and both sensors that go in it from GAP.
      Now I need to find an A/C compressor so I can install it and the alternator to really try to start it,
      once the water outlet is installed as well.

      Yippee!!!!

    25. Member mabbonizio186's Avatar
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      03-07-2012 10:00 PM #50
      The front clip comes off with just 6 bolts, there are two on each side of the rad support up top and two behind the turn signal / dummy plates. you'll then need to remove the two bolts on the top of the rad support that hold the radiator in place ( you'll get what im talking about when you see it on the car). You can then disconnect the main headlight harness and the entire front, lights, wires and all will just slide right off. The rad will still be on the car. It can appear intimidating, but I've removed the front end of my car so many times I could do it in my sleep in less than five minutes, honestly not exaggerating. Those headlights are dual chamber lights, one chamber for the high-beam and one for the low, they are standard on high line cabrios and gtis.

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