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    Thread: MK6 VW GTI Alltrack build for overlanding, Montana first.

    1. Member
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      2003 VW GTI 20th AE
      02-11-2019 08:55 AM #1
      Well, I did something. Some may know others don't, I like to travel and this GTI has done around 30,000 miles around USA/Canada on roadtrips. The biggest downside to a GTI on roadtrips is the 5" clearance, low profile tires that get punctured easily on offroad and sleeping on the back seat is far from comfortable. Instead of getting a different vehicle for roadtripping, I decided to make this GTI more suitable. The first stage was to lift it and get higher profile tires, it was archived with the parts below.

      - MK1 Tiguan front and rear springs(Tiggy rear springs since this is a GTI so rear is lighter than Sportwagen)
      - Sparco Terra 16x7" wheels
      - Yokohama Geolanger A/T 215/60/16 tires.

      There is no rubbing and GTI is more comfortable to drive due to the higher sidewalls. I can't give to much feedback for now since I will be taking off the Sparco wheels and will run random wheels for a week while the suspension settles. Alignment is set for next Monday.(2/18/19)

      Just some background on the GTI, I bought it wrecked with 2,xxx miles, repaired it myself and it has served me well for the past 90k miles. I am planning a trip to Montana/Idaho/North Dakota this year(July) and want to get the GTI ready for that trip.








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    3. Member
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      02-11-2019 08:56 AM #2
      Approximate route for this year, open to ideas for good roads, places to see, trails to hike, natural hot springs, etc.


    4. Senior Member Son's Avatar
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      02-11-2019 09:09 AM #3
      Curious to hear, if the car uses all of its upwards suspension travel often now.

    5. Member CostcoPizza's Avatar
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      02-11-2019 09:09 AM #4
      Heck yeah!

      I thought about doing something similar to the Clubman and wondered if a fun compact car could be made to absorb bumps relatively well.
      Last edited by CostcoPizza; 02-11-2019 at 09:12 AM.

    6. Member col.mustard's Avatar
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      02-11-2019 09:21 AM #5
      how does raising the ride height make the back seat larger and more comfy for sleeping? there are plenty of used wagons/suvs on the market to fit even the smallest of budgets. there even appears to be one hiding behind your car in the last pic.

      edit: sorry, that came across as grumpy... the car looks cool, and the execution looks fun. the idea seems misplaced.
      Last edited by col.mustard; 02-11-2019 at 09:43 AM.
      praise the lowered
      ¡save manuel!

      Originally Posted by George Bluth >>
      It's so obnoxious when VW Golf/Jetta owners comment

    7. Member
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      02-11-2019 09:35 AM #6
      This thread makes my Monday better! The GTI looks amazing and I'm pumped to read through another one of your awesome road trip threads.

    8. Geriatric Member spockcat's Avatar
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      02-11-2019 09:38 AM #7
      While I'm sure with proper tires and increased ground clearance a FWD vehicle will do fine on the trip, isn't an "Alltrack" AWD?

    9. Member
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      02-11-2019 09:44 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by Son View Post
      Curious to hear, if the car uses all of its upwards suspension travel often now.
      I haven't felt a knock from suspension over-extending. I will be testing more, worst case I can get shocks that have better rebound control.

      Quote Originally Posted by CostcoPizza View Post
      Heck yeah!

      I thought about doing something similar to the Clubman and wondered if a fun compact car could be made to absorb bumps relatively well.
      The 10 miles I had on higher profile tires felt good. I can't speak for the GTI yet since the alignment is off and I am on random low profile tires for a week.

      Quote Originally Posted by col.mustard View Post
      how does raising the ride height make the back seat larger and more comfy for sleeping? there are plenty of used wagons/suvs on the market to fit even the smallest of budgets. there even appears to be one hiding behind your car in the last pic.
      This is just the beginning. Lift and higher profile tires will help with some trails that I take and I should be able to worry less about punctures. The car in the background(Tiguan) isn't mine. GTI is my primary vehicle, it is well maintained, gets good MPGs, its actually nice to roadtrip in and its salvage so its worth almost nothing. I don't see a need for a another vehicle nor do I have space for it.

    10. Member
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      02-11-2019 09:53 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by bnkrpt311 View Post
      This thread makes my Monday better! The GTI looks amazing and I'm pumped to read through another one of your awesome road trip threads.
      Thanks.

      Quote Originally Posted by spockcat View Post
      While I'm sure with proper tires and increased ground clearance a FWD vehicle will do fine on the trip, isn't an "Alltrack" AWD?
      Alltrack is AWD so the title is misleading. The GTI will have tires that are a better fit for some offroad use and a lift for more clearance. Alltrack has 6.9" of clearance, I am a bit over 7" of clearance. (tires are 1" oversize so they add another .5" lift)

    11. Senior Member
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      02-11-2019 09:53 AM #10
      Nice.

      Lean into this-get longer travel shocks/bum stops for a Tiguan, a monster skid plate, big auxiliary lights, rally armor mud flaps, and a big roof rack.

    12. Member
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      02-11-2019 09:56 AM #11
      This is relevant to my interests.

      We did the drive from Omaha to Glacier National Park last summer in a Kia Forte. While driving Going to the Sun Road I couldn't help but think how much better that road would be in my MK6 GTI that was in the garage back home. I've been trying to sell it but it also appears to be worth almost nothing as well. Will be following this thread closely. Good luck!

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    13. Geriatric Member spockcat's Avatar
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      02-11-2019 10:06 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by pawa_k2001 View Post
      Alltrack is AWD so the title is misleading. The GTI will have tires that are a better fit for some offroad use and a lift for more clearance. Alltrack has 6.9" of clearance, I am a bit over 7" of clearance. (tires are 1" oversize so they add another .5" lift)
      I was hoping you were doing a full AWD conversion.

    14. 02-11-2019 10:13 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by spockcat View Post
      I was hoping you were doing a full AWD conversion.
      I thought for sure we were talking about a Haldex conversion here. Leaving disappointed . . .

    15. Don't be me. Don't be a 'Rick' Cabin Pics's Avatar
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      02-11-2019 10:14 AM #14
      In for this.

      Also - Feel free to drive through northern Arkansas instead of the middle of Missouri. Fantastic roads, and I'll buy you a beer on your way through!

      (For real though, some fantastic driving roads in the Ozarks, PM if curious)
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      Buy my E46 sport springs. H&R part # 29485 - PM for details.

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      02-11-2019 10:35 AM #15
      If you remove the rear seat bottom (really easy to do on a mk6, requires no tools) then the rear seat backs will fold completely flat and give you a nice space for sleeping/cargo. I left the bench out almost permanently in my old GTI to make it a fun little cargo van.

    17. Member Pnuu's Avatar
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      02-11-2019 10:39 AM #16
      "Lifted GTI to drive on flat gravel roads" =/= "Built a GTI Alltrack for Overlanding".

      Sorry.

      Also, the Mk6 traction control is pretty terrible and will cut throttle when a single wheel sightly starts spinning. The lack of LSD in this car is one reason why I sold mine. You will NEED a real LSD at the minimum, but a real AWD swap would actually make this car capable on anything beyond a flat gravel road.

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      02-11-2019 10:40 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by pawa_k2001 View Post
      Approximate route for this year, open to ideas for good roads, places to see, trails to hike, natural hot springs, etc.

      Highly recommend Beartooth Highway


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      02-11-2019 10:41 AM #18
      Are those G015s?

      Keep your receipt with you, I've got a set on the Outback, it's a great tire without being as heavy as KO2, but they do wear faster than expected, I believe they have 50k miles warranty, and I'm trying to make that claim which has been bit irritating.

    20. Member Samson's Avatar
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      02-11-2019 10:42 AM #19
      Looks like a good use for a salvage GTI and a fun trip. We're planning a Glacier trip this year as well... but with less driving and more flying from NC to SLC or somewhere in the PNW, and then driving up in a rental CUV that I'll probably damage on some trail. I'll be interested to see what you do up there.

    21. Geriatric Member spockcat's Avatar
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      02-11-2019 10:42 AM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
      I thought for sure we were talking about a Haldex conversion here. Leaving disappointed . . .
      I imagine someone has taken a Golf R and done an offroad version similar to the OP's GTI.


    22. Member Baltimoron's Avatar
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      02-11-2019 10:52 AM #21
      I think OP would have been much better off with a homemade Previa van RV conversion
      The content above does not represent the views or opinions of any sane or logical human being. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

    23. Member
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      02-11-2019 10:54 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by Baltimoron View Post
      I think OP would have been much better off with a homemade Previa van RV conversion
      Its basically the same thing but without the toilet.

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      02-11-2019 10:56 AM #23
      I ain't even mad about the changes to your GTI, and I thoroughly enjoyed your last adventure thread. I look forward to the next one!
      Quote Originally Posted by 20aeman View Post
      No, the real enthusiast vehicle would be the RX8. It combines V12 Lamborghini gas mileage with Hyundai Genesis 4cyl. performance.

    25. Member Harold's Avatar
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      02-11-2019 11:09 AM #24
      ND will be a boring drive, spot a water tower in the distance and see how far away it is (about 10 miles). If you think ND is empty wait until you get to eastern Montana. Fun fact: Theodore Roosevelt Park is the least visited National Park in the US. Quick stop at Painted Canyon visitor center for a nice view before the main entrance at Teddy Park. Definitely do Going-to-sun-road in Glacier, but if in summer time Campers, RV's won't make it a nice drive.
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      02-11-2019 11:18 AM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
      Definitely do Going-to-sun-road in Glacier, but if in summer time Campers, RV's won't make it a nice drive.
      There are no RV's on Going to the Sun Road. There is a length restriction. (no longer than 21' and no wider than 8') The largest thing on that road are the red tour vehicles.



      It's my favorite automotive memory. We drove up to Logan Pass at sunset when there was little traffic. Ended up stopping for a family of Moose on the shoulder.
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