great write up so far, and a great deal of detail/cleanliness in your work. You've given me some good ideas and some questions. I didn't even know those parts existed for the 02j, so I may be picking those up in the future to try and "protect" her for as long as possible.
Hopefully I can see this car at some point this summer. With or without my jetta. Where is your filler for the rad system? I want to do something similar to your upper rad hose setup there. I already have the alum. housing on the side of the head too, it looks like to tapped it?
ps- the AEB looks so good without the solenoid mount on the side - much cleaner!