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    Thread: Twichel's GTI

    1. 09-02-2012 04:55 PM #1
      I wanted to make a thread that would help me keep track of progress made to my car. I wouldn't really call it a build thread, as this is not really a project car. This is my daily driver, family hauler, and grocery getter. I do plan on doing some tasteful mods, but anything and everything I do to this car will me on a very minimal budget, just like all my past cars!

      My car is a 1999.5 GTI 2.0/5 spd with 127k miles. It needs A LOT of work... ok well there is nothing major wrong with it, just lots of little things that bug me! The good news is that it's already lowered a satisfactory amount, rides surprisingly well, and already tinted (high quality job too).









      As you can see from the pics, it's not too bad looking, but needs a bit of up keep. The PO was awful to this poor thing, and I want to save it. I got it, despite the issues, for a few reasons; 1- I needed something better on gas, which so far, it is, 2- I have always liked mk4 Golf/GTI's and 3- I only had about $400 into the car that I traded for it. So it's not a bad place to start.

      Already done mods-
      Lowered 2'' on Neuspeed Yellow Race springs
      Struts are either Koni Yellows, or Bistein HD's (still have to get under the car to confirm)
      IKON front strut bar
      20% tint all around
      Updated center console with cup holders
      Freedom Design rear spoiler


      TO DO LIST-

      -Re-align front body panels
      -Replace front bumper (it's trash, held on by screws, cracked, and missing lower part) I am thinking about going with an R32 bumper
      -Do the ''joey mod'' on the head lights and replace lenses with glass
      -Recover the headliner, PO did a piss poor job on it, and like everything else on this car, it got put back together with less than half the hardware that it is supposed to have
      DONE-Find out and fix what ever is wrong with the drivers side front suspension!
      DONE-Fix shifter linkage (I don't know WTF happened here, there are zip ties and twisty ties, and it sucks. It shifts fine, but it's hard to get into reverse sometimes
      DONE-Replace high side AC line
      DONE-Fix slave cyl leak! (should be easy, it's only leaking from the O-ring where the hardline attaches
      DONE-Secure exhaust (PO put an aftermarket cat-back on it, and failed to secure it properly)
      DONE-Eventually replace exhaust with stock set up, I like my cars to be quiet, but then again, I am used to Mercedes
      DONE-Replace battery tray (there isn't one, the PO relocated the battery to the trunk
      DONE-Replace stock air box (again, there isn't one, only a crappy cone filter)
      DONE-Replace door panels (looks like PO broke every singe clip and bolt hole on these things when he took them off)

      AAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!

      Anyway, as you can see my to do list is pretty long, and thats just the stuff I NEED to fix, not the stuff I WANT to do! But it's hard to complain when it's really nothing major. The car runs great.

      TO DONE LIST
      -
      -Secured door panels and put back in as many screws as I could
      -Detailed in and out
      -Fixed door and truck locks (PO didn't plug buttons back in when he loosely hung the door panels back on
      -Fixed stalling issues
      -Adjusted shift linkage, so that I can shift into 5th gear!
      -Moved battery back to the front (the PO used way too small gauge of a wire when he moved it to the rear, and after the car was warm, it could not draw enough amperage to restart, and I would end up jumping it off of it's own battery! hahaha
      -Got a shift knob for it, PO lost it...not sure how that happens....
      -Fixed the sh**y wiring job they did on the MAF plug

      I might be getting some new wheels for it later this week. I am new to MK4's so if you guys have any helpful tips or know of good places to find cheap parts, let me know.
      Last edited by Twichel04; 10-03-2012 at 04:54 PM.

    2. Member
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      09-02-2012 06:57 PM #2
      The good news is that it's already lowered a satisfactory amount,

      It is?

    3. 09-02-2012 07:05 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by KWOOD View Post
      The good news is that it's already lowered a satisfactory amount,

      It is?
      HAHA. For me it is. I don't like my cars slammed. I drive my cars pretty hard, and the roads here suck, and there are a lot of speed bumps. Plus this is my DD/Family hauler. I don't need to be lugging around my daughter in a slammed car with a rough ride. No offense is meant to anyone here, I think that it's amazing how low some of you guys go, it's just not for me. I like that my car does not have the big wheel gap that these come with from the factory. If I were lowering this car my self I may have gone just a little lower, but I am happy with where it sits.

    4. 09-02-2012 10:27 PM #4
      HellaFunctional!

    5. 09-02-2012 10:30 PM #5
      I think that it's amazing how low some of you guys go[img]http://www.**********/6d.jpg[/img][img]http://www.**********/d.jpg[/img]

    6. 09-03-2012 03:46 PM #6
      UUUGGGGHHHH! More issues found. I decided that I wanted to know what springs/struts sat under my car. Springs are Nuespeed Race springs, struts are of a yet to be determined brand, yellow in color (I'm thinking either Koni's or Bilstein's) But any way, the issue is that I broke out a tape measure because I wanted to know how much it had been lowered from stock. I discovered that my driver's side front is sitting slightly lower than the pass side. Also the wheel sits a little too forward in the wheel well. I am thinking it is either a bent strut, or control arm. I am hoping for control arm, be cause I really can't afford to replace a Koni or Bilstein strut right now. As you can see below, my To Do List is getting longer and more colorful, where as my To DONE List remains sadly the same....

      Quote Originally Posted by Twichel04 View Post

      TO DO LIST-
      -Fix slave cyl leak! (should be easy, it's only leaking from the O-ring where the hardline attaches
      -Secure exhaust (PO put an aftermarket cat-back on it, and failed to secure it properly)
      -Eventually replace exhaust with stock set up, I like my cars to be quiet, but then again, I am used to Mercedes
      -Replace battery tray (there isn't one, the PO relocated the battery to the trunk
      -Replace stock air box (again, there isn't one, only a crappy cone filter)
      -Replace door panels (looks like PO broke every singe clip and bolt hole on these things when he took them off)
      -Replace high side AC line
      -Re-align front body panels
      -Replace front bumper (it's trash, held on by screws, cracked, and missing lower part) I am thinking about going with an R32 bumper
      -Do the ''joey mod'' on the head lights and replace lenses with glass
      -Fix shifter linkage (I don't know WTF happened here, there are zip ties and twisty ties, and it sucks. It shifts fine, but it's hard to get into reverse sometimes
      -Recover the headliner, PO did a piss poor job on it, and like everything else on this car, it got put back together with less than half the hardware that it is supposed to have
      -Acquire a set of GTI front seats (this car has been in an accident before. Seat airbags deployed, destroying the seats, and the PO replaced them with regular Golf seats.)
      -Find out and fix what ever is wrong with the drivers side front suspension!

      TO DONE LIST-
      -Secured door panels and put back in as many screws as I could
      -Detailed in and out
      -Fixed door and truck locks (PO didn't plug buttons back in when he loosely hung the door panels back on
      -Fixed stalling issues (THANKS TO YOU GUYS ON HERE!!!!!!!)
      -Adjusted shift linkage, so that I can shift into 5th gear!
      -Moved battery back to the front (the PO used way too small gauge of a wire when he moved it to the rear, and after the car was warm, it could not draw enough amperage to restart, and I would end up jumping it off of it's own battery! hahaha
      -Got a shift knob for it, PO lost it...not sure how that happens....
      -Fixed the sh**y wiring job they did on the MAF plug

      I might be getting some new wheels for it later this week. I am new to MK4's so if you guys have any helpful tips or know of good places to find cheap parts, let me know.

    7. Member 19birel's Avatar
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      09-03-2012 04:22 PM #7
      Sounds interesting
      Quote Originally Posted by Chauncey Wellington III View Post
      A Jetta is a work of art? I suppose a double wide trailer is a mansion to you? Applebees is fine dining? Bud Light is a "Special Occasion" beer (For when Milwaukee's Best just isn't fancy enough)? OOOH I bet you think Paris Hilton is a smoking hot fox, eh? You're a tasteless idiot and I hope you choke on your 2 for 20 meal.Thank you for your time.
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    8. 09-03-2012 06:11 PM #8
      Pictures of alignment/suspension issue-


      Passenger side- Notice how the wheel is nicely centered in the wheel well


      Driver's side- Wheel sits farther forward, and ride height is slightly lower

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      09-03-2012 06:20 PM #9
      Well I take back my smart comment on the height of your car . Anyone who takes the time to put arrows on a picture is truly and enthusiast and I can tell you love your car


      On a second note, I have never seen alignment off so bad, the height could be a bad shock, but sitting farther forward I have no clue!

    10. 09-03-2012 06:26 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by KWOOD View Post
      Well I take back my smart comment on the height of your car . Anyone who takes the time to put arrows on a picture is truly and enthusiast and I can tell you love your car


      On a second note, I have never seen alignment off so bad, the height could be a bad shock, but sitting farther forward I have no clue!
      LMAO! I am hoping that it is just a bent control arm, but I wont be able to get into it until tomorrow. I can deal with the difference in ride height, its not too far off anyway, it's the whole wheel being shoved forward that is really bothering me.

    11. 09-04-2012 12:21 AM #11
      Well this was really bugging me, so I went out in the dark with a flashlight, jacked up the car, and checked out the situation. To my surprise, the control arms look like they cant be more than 2 or 3 months old, bushings look brand spanking new. No visible bends in the control arms or the struts, and just from the naked eye, the struts appear to be at the same angle on both sides. I am starting to think that it may just be an optical illusion from the misaligned body panels on car making it look like the wheel is off center. But even so, I doubt it could make it look that far off. However from what measure by my self, in the dark, it looks like the front wheels are within 1/4'' of each other.

      That does not explain the fact that it does sit lower on the driver side, but that could just be the strut going bad, they look pretty old. The good news is that the struts are adjustable Koni Sports!

      Sorry for the crappy picture-


      EDIT- just took some more measurements... I measured from the center of the rear wheel to the center of the front on each side. There is def something wrong, the wheel on the pass side sits about a 1/2'' farther forward. I think that the mis-alignment of the body panels play a role in how far off it looks, but there is something else not quite right.

    12. 09-04-2012 01:23 AM #12
      Ok, I've been looking at a lot of pictures of mk4's with similar suspension set ups. And I have noticed that the front wheels on almost all of them sit slightly forward of center in the wheel well. Additionally, when I measured the wheel base I got 99'' on the driver's side, and 98.5'' on the pass side, according to Wiki, the wheel base for the GTI is 98.9'' (close enough to 99'') So I think that the reason that I cannot find a problem on the driver's side, is because the problem is on the pass side. So instead of the drivers side being too low and too far forward, I think that the pass side is too high and too far back...

    13. Senior Member Clean PG's Avatar
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      09-04-2012 09:01 AM #13
      regarding your fender to ground differences up front, it happens to all mk4s. when i was on coilovers and had the collars adjusted the same on each shock, my height was off by a good 1/2" or more. i actually had to spin my passenger side coilover a bit lower just to even it out with the drivers side.

      i've heard the same thing happening to many people, so if you ever decide to upgrade to coilovers (or bags ) you could remedy that issue quite easily
      || Mk4 Wheel Offset and Stance Picture Index || ClearWaterDubs || ClearWaterDubs@VWVortex ||
      || Please don't PM me with offset questions, post in THIS THREAD instead ||

    14. 09-05-2012 12:11 AM #14
      Ok, here is the latest report, everything on the front end looks fairly new (ball joints, control arms, bushings, etc. The caster is off. While I was down there I did notice that there is some wear and tear on the sub frame, but most of it looks like from bottoming out. I did find where the prior accident damage was located. It looks like it got hit on the pass side, right where the door and fender meet. It had been repaired, but I can still tell, lol. I'm sure that the accident damage is a major factor in this, and it also explains the fact that the issues are indeed on the pass side.

      Also, because I found out what my suspension set up is, I know that the springs have a 2" drop, and I know from research that the factory ride height from the ground is about 27''. So from that I took some measurements, and based on that info, the driver's side is sitting where it should, and the pass side is almost an inch too high....

      I did get the exhaust secured tonight though....but that's about all that was achieved...

    15. 09-05-2012 12:24 PM #15
      Ok, good news, the adjustments that we made last night needed a little time to settle. It's still not perfect, but the wheel base on the drivers side is 99'' and pass side is now 98 and 3/4'' and instead of sitting 1'' too high on the pass side, it is now only 5/8'' too high. I will leave the rest to the alignment shop. But than again, due to the accident damage, this may be as good as it gets.

      Also ordered the O-ring that I need for the slave cyl today. I would have had it fixed yesterday, but no one in town carried an O-ring that would work, so I was forced to order one from VW. $9 freakin dollars for a SINGLE O-ring! lol. It wont be in until Friday, so I'll be topping off the resivour until then, lol.

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      09-05-2012 12:47 PM #16
      I have to apologize, I came into this thread half expecting OP to be a donut puncher. Instead I found a well-written thread full of pertinent and entertaining content provided by someone who is knowledgeable and mature.
      #61 VRalliance

    17. 09-06-2012 04:56 PM #17
      Little preview of what's been going on today.....

      Door Panel Refurb DIY

      The door panels in my GTI were crap. I wanted to replace them, but with the going rate of around $200/set USED, I just can't afford that... I am a budget minded kind of guy. All in all this project cost me $29 in supplies and an entire Thursday evening.

      My door panels needed more than just the inserts recovered, they needed some repairs too.

      First off, remove the door panel, I am not going to explain that or take pictures, just don't be an ass like the PO of my car and rip the door panel off, braking a lot of crap and causing the future owner of your car look through this thread for info on how to fix it! Haha.

      Now you will need to remove the insert from the door panel. The factory inserts were put on over plastic tabs and then the tabs were melted the hold the insert in place. You will need to cut all these tabs off in order to free the insert. I used a cut off wheel on an angle grinder for quick work.


      Once you cut the tabs, the insert will pop out. Next you will need to pull off the old fabric (if it's still there) and clean off all that nasty glue. I used a spoon to scrape it all off, which worked pretty well.


      Now I needed to fix a few things. The inserts are actually made out of a thick cardboard-like material. On my drivers side door panel, the cardboard on the arm rest had been crushed a little and lost it's shape and rigidity, which you can see here-


      I needed to fix that. Solution- these handy dandy plaster strips, which you can get at the craft store. You just cut them to shape, get them wet, and layer them on.


      My wife doing the dirty work-

      Layer-


      Dry-


      Layer-


      Repeat.

      Newly restructured insert-


      Next thing to fix were the screw holes on the bottom of the panels. As I said, the PO broke them all


      So I cut a little slot-


      and then inserted a thick metal washer, and glued it in place-


      Ok, now the fun part. Recovering the panels.... This is a pain in the ass, and will leave you really pissed off...fair warning.... Make sure that you get a fabric that has a little flex to it, so you can match the curves of the inserts. I used a faux suede material that I found on sale at the craft store. 2 yards was more than enough to do all 4 inserts. It's a lot of stretching and pulling and cussing and kicking, haha. Also, the faux suede is very forgiving to imperfections because of the nature of it, and the fact that there is always a slight variation in the color and sheen.

      Panel drying-


      FYI, the rears are a lot easier to do than the fronts, due to the complex shapes of the front inserts. Go slow and be patient.

      Ok, now go back to the actual door panel, and cut what is left of the tabs completely off, you will not need them anymore.

      When the insert is dry, place it back into the panel and commence gluing it in. We used hot glue for this, which turned out to be surprisingly strong, and very forgiving. Still not sure how the glue will hold up to the mid day heat, but I am in Florida, so it wont take me long to find out, haha.

      Clean it all up and re-install!

      Before-


      After-


      Before-


      After-


      Installed shots-








      As you can see, they are not perfect, but look 10,000% better than before, I am extremely happy with the out come. It looks really cool at night when all the buttons light up red to match!
      Last edited by Twichel04; 09-07-2012 at 09:01 PM.

    18. 09-10-2012 09:19 PM #18
      Fixed the slave cyl leak. Turns out I had three leaks! After I replaced the O-ring it actually started leak much worse.... To the point where I was topping off the reservoir at least twice a day. I was having to disconnect the line at night and prop it up so it wouldn't leak out all the fluid into the parking lot.

      When I took the old slave out, I found out why it was leaking so much worse, the rubber boot and the seal had ruptured. I guess when we changed the bad O-ring, the old slave seals couldn't handle the sudden increase in pressure. The slave cyl was cake to replace. I am not sure why every thing I read says that you have to remove the shift linkage first, I didn't touch the linkage and I had it R&R'd in under 10 min.

      Turns out it had a third leak on the actual hard line, but it is very very slight (a few drops after about 30min of in town driving) I am leaving it alone for now, until I can get to the junk yard to pick up another. I refuse to pay the $109 that VW wants for a new line!

      Progress is being made here!

    19. Member Einkaufswagen's Avatar
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      09-11-2012 01:05 PM #19
      Very nice work! I have been trying to figure out how to repair the bottom of my passenger door card as it is all mangled like yours was. Good work keep it up
      My OEM+ build thread with a twist: Einkaufswagen's Build
      Cars Owned: 1999.5 Jetta VR6 GLS, 2000 Jetta VR6 GLX, 2001 Jetta VR6 GLX, 2001 Jetta VR6 GLX, 2004 Jetta GLI 1.8T, 2000 GTI 1.8T, 2004 Jetta GLI 1.8T,

      Quote Originally Posted by LC6X View Post
      Your doing it right, just go deeper.
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    20. Member DelawareDub's Avatar
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      09-11-2012 03:56 PM #20
      Damn your door was ****ed up. But nice job!! It looks great.

    21. 09-11-2012 04:00 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by DelawareDub View Post
      Damn your door was ****ed up.
      You're not kidding, and I didn't even show all the damage. There were cracks in the plastic, the door pocket needed to be re-attached to the panel, speaker grille was coming off, MISSING EVERY SINGLE CLIP! And that was all just the drivers side panel, lol

    22. Member Einkaufswagen's Avatar
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      09-11-2012 04:14 PM #22
      What did you end up using to reattach the door card insert and the pocket to the door card?
      My OEM+ build thread with a twist: Einkaufswagen's Build
      Cars Owned: 1999.5 Jetta VR6 GLS, 2000 Jetta VR6 GLX, 2001 Jetta VR6 GLX, 2001 Jetta VR6 GLX, 2004 Jetta GLI 1.8T, 2000 GTI 1.8T, 2004 Jetta GLI 1.8T,

      Quote Originally Posted by LC6X View Post
      Your doing it right, just go deeper.
      Quote Originally Posted by Passattimmy View Post
      I'm strongly considering prostituting myself so that I can get euro recaros...

    23. 09-11-2012 04:17 PM #23
      Hot glue, which worked surprisingly well, but I have also heard of others using gorilla glue.

    24. Member Einkaufswagen's Avatar
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      09-11-2012 08:16 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by Twichel04 View Post
      Hot glue, which worked surprisingly well, but I have also heard of others using gorilla glue.
      Hrmmm i wonder how well that is going to hold up in the summer heat

      I ended up putting tan leather on black door cards I used JB weld figuring contact cement would do the trick. but nope the inserts poped with about a years use on them quite frustrating! Either way yours looks great very nice work.
      My OEM+ build thread with a twist: Einkaufswagen's Build
      Cars Owned: 1999.5 Jetta VR6 GLS, 2000 Jetta VR6 GLX, 2001 Jetta VR6 GLX, 2001 Jetta VR6 GLX, 2004 Jetta GLI 1.8T, 2000 GTI 1.8T, 2004 Jetta GLI 1.8T,

      Quote Originally Posted by LC6X View Post
      Your doing it right, just go deeper.
      Quote Originally Posted by Passattimmy View Post
      I'm strongly considering prostituting myself so that I can get euro recaros...

    25. 09-11-2012 08:29 PM #25
      So far the hot glue is holding up well. And I am in Florida with a black car that stays parked in the sun all day, lol

    26. 09-12-2012 11:51 AM #26
      ON TODAY'S EPISODE OF: WHEN OLD PEOPLE ATTACK!

      WARNING- This post contains graphic nature, reader discretion advised.

      I was involved in a hit and run this morning. Older guy in a Buick merged into my pass side front fender while I was in the turning lane. Old guy did not stop, I followed him long enough to get his tag number, and call one of my cop buddies. I filed a police report and got all of the other driver's info. FYI he was born in 1927!







      I am a Geico customer, he was on Liberty Mutual, and I have to say that I am very impressed. The wreck happened at 830, I didn't call his insurance till 930, by 10 they made me an appointment at a body shop, 1030 I was at a body shop, and the guy there told me that they had already given approval to fix my car. I am just waiting for a call from the body guy now cause he was trying to crunch numbers to find out how much of my font end he can repair at no cost to me! And they are giving me a rental for the time that it is in the shop!

    27. Member Einkaufswagen's Avatar
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      09-12-2012 12:31 PM #27
      Attack of the Q-Tips!

      Dosent look to bad good luck with the repairs
      My OEM+ build thread with a twist: Einkaufswagen's Build
      Cars Owned: 1999.5 Jetta VR6 GLS, 2000 Jetta VR6 GLX, 2001 Jetta VR6 GLX, 2001 Jetta VR6 GLX, 2004 Jetta GLI 1.8T, 2000 GTI 1.8T, 2004 Jetta GLI 1.8T,

      Quote Originally Posted by LC6X View Post
      Your doing it right, just go deeper.
      Quote Originally Posted by Passattimmy View Post
      I'm strongly considering prostituting myself so that I can get euro recaros...

    28. Member
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      09-12-2012 02:29 PM #28
      remove datttttt "spoiler"
      +++ either way nice :]

    29. 09-12-2012 02:31 PM #29
      Whats wrong with the spoiler? I like it. I think the back of the car looks better with it than with out

    30. 10-03-2012 04:52 PM #30
      Small update- Got some more work done!

      Got the shifter linkage adjusted so that I can shift into all the gears perfectly. Replaced the crappy cone filter with a stock air box and new filter. Got a battery tray for it so the battery no longer has to be ratchet strapped in place, haha. Did an alignment on it and fixed the caster issue that I was having. And best of all... I fixed the AC! And man does it work! I think I can legally say that I have ice cold AC.



      Here is what my to do list is down to now

      TO DO LIST-


      -Re-align front body panels
      -Replace front bumper (it's trash, held on by screws, cracked, and missing lower part) I am thinking about going with an R32 bumper
      -Do the ''joey mod'' on the head lights and replace lenses with glass
      -Recover the headliner, PO did a piss poor job on it, and like everything else on this car, it got put back together with less than half the hardware that it is supposed to have
      DONE-Find out and fix what ever is wrong with the drivers side front suspension!
      DONE-Fix shifter linkage (I don't know WTF happened here, there are zip ties and twisty ties, and it sucks. It shifts fine, but it's hard to get into reverse sometimes
      DONE-Replace high side AC line
      DONE-Fix slave cyl leak! (should be easy, it's only leaking from the O-ring where the hardline attaches
      DONE-Secure exhaust (PO put an aftermarket cat-back on it, and failed to secure it properly)
      DONE-Eventually replace exhaust with stock set up, I like my cars to be quiet, but then again, I am used to Mercedes
      DONE-Replace battery tray (there isn't one, the PO relocated the battery to the trunk
      DONE-Replace stock air box (again, there isn't one, only a crappy cone filter)
      DONE-Replace door panels (looks like PO broke every singe clip and bolt hole on these things when he took them off)

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