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2002 VW Jetta "Resto-Mod Project" by Blacktree
Started on: 05-02-2020 12:33 PM
Replies: 19 (195 views)
Last post by: Blacktree on 10-16-2020 02:04 PM
Blacktree
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Report this Post05-02-2020 12:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm not a Fiero owner anymore, but still have the itch to fix and modify stuff. So I started working on my 2002 VW Jetta TDI. It has the 1.9 liter turbo-diesel (engine code ALH), with a 5-speed manual gearbox. I've owned it since 2015. I do most of the maintenance myself. But recently I decided to kick things up a notch. In addition to basic maintenance, the Jetta will also be getting some upgrades.

Here's a quick overview of the car:



I decided to start by upgrading the suspension. The suspension bushings were getting old and tired. And the handling was starting to get sloppy. Part of the solution was to install Energy Suspension urethane sway bar bushings.



Stay tuned for more updates!

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-26-2020).]

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Blacktree
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Report this Post05-08-2020 02:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Shortly after replacing the sway bar bushings, I also replaced the rear axle beam bushings. The Jetta has a very simple rear suspension. The axle beam is a U-shaped piece that functions as both the control arms and the sway bar. So upgrading the bushings has the same effect as upgrading control arm bushings and sway bar bushings on a typical suspension.

I didn't want to completely remove the rear axle, so I did an "axle tilt" job, similar to the cradle tilt on a Fiero.



Altogether, I paid less than $100 for the sway bar and axle beam bushings. And they made a big improvement in handling. The car feels flatter in the turns, plus it tracks straighter on the highway. The rear end does pick up a little more road noise, but it's not obnoxious.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-26-2020).]

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manbearpig
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Report this Post05-09-2020 04:23 AM Click Here to See the Profile for manbearpigSend a Private Message to manbearpigEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
It's called a twist beam. Many cheap cars use them, gets the job done, but not as good as an IRS. Just don't back into a rock and bend it like my sister did in her Cavalier, lol.

[This message has been edited by manbearpig (edited 05-09-2020).]

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Blacktree
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Report this Post05-09-2020 01:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yeah, it's a torsion beam (aka twist beam) setup. Super simple. For a daily driver, it's good enough. But for a "performance vehicle" I would prefer IRS.
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Blacktree
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Report this Post05-11-2020 11:58 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I had to put the upgrades on hold, to address a problem. The A/C compressor clutch decided to uninstall itself while I was driving the car. Thankfully the car has a belly pan under the engine, and it caught the parts. But the compressor clutch was damaged. Luckily, the compressor itself wasn't damaged. So I just had to replace the clutch.



Apparently, this is a common problem. The nut that holds the clutch hub will back out, and the hub will fall off the compressor. So when I installed the new hub, I used a Nyloc nut.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 05-11-2020).]

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Blacktree
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Report this Post05-15-2020 02:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
A few years ago, I installed a light bar for fog lights. The first set of fog lights that I installed were kinda weak, so I replaced them with better ones. Now the new ones are so bright, they're blinding other drivers at night. Instead of swapping out the fog lights again, I decided to install a brightness control. LEDs don't respond very well to voltage changes, so I decided to use a PWM unit (pulsewidth modulation). It basically strobes the light, really fast. You can change the apparent brightness of the lights by changing the length of the on and off pulses.

Here's a video of the install:




PHOTOS






[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 05-15-2020).]

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Blacktree
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Report this Post05-18-2020 07:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I had to take a break from the upgrades (again) to fix another issue. The Jetta suddenly developed a nasty coolant leak. It took awhile to find it, because the faulty hose was hidden behind other stuff. The offending part was a short section of hose that connects between the cylinder head and a T-fitting, underneath the vacuum pump.





It's common for these engines to leak oil from the vacuum pump. And the pump is directly above that hose. The oil must have softened the rubber. I replaced the seal for the vacuum pump when I replaced the timing belt a few months ago. So this shouldn't be an issue anymore.
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Blacktree
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Report this Post05-22-2020 05:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
OK, back to the upgrades. I decided to install a PCV catch can, to reduce the amount of gunk buildup in the intake manifold. That's a common problem with direct injection engines, and even more of a problem with direct injected diesels. The oil vapors from the PCV system mix with soot from the exhaust gases in the EGR system to make a nasty black residue. It can build up so thick, it starts to choke off the engine.

Here's what a caked-up EGR valve looks like:



Also, here's a shot of the catch can installed.



And last but not least, a video of the install.

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Blacktree
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Report this Post05-24-2020 10:53 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Amazon dropped off something. I'm gonna make some "faketory" (fake factory) wheels.



Also, happy Memorial Day.
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Blacktree
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Report this Post05-28-2020 10:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The "wheel makeover" is done. I'm very happy with the results. Here's a sneak peek:



I'll have a video up tomorrow.
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Blacktree
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Report this Post05-29-2020 02:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
On these aftermarket wheels, the center caps are painted. But the rest of the wheel appears to be powdercoated. On the plus side, the powdercoat is holding up great. But the clearcoat on the center caps was peeling off. So I decided to refurbish the center caps. I also decided to add some VW badges for that "OEM Plus" look.

Here's a shot of the finished product.



And a video of the work I put into it:

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 05-29-2020).]

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Blacktree
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Report this Post06-01-2020 03:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Here's an update on the Jetta.

I had to revisit the catch can install, to fix some minor issues. Plus, the missing battery cover was bugging me. So I modified it to fit. Also, the engine cover was rubbing on the breather hoses, so I clearanced it. And I decided to put some filter media (metal Brillo pad) in the catch can, to make it more effective.

Here's a quick video about it:

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Blacktree
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Report this Post06-26-2020 02:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
It's been awhile since I posted anything Jetta related. That's because I've been chasing some cooling system issues.

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Blacktree
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Report this Post07-03-2020 06:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Recently, the starter in the Jetta has been making "coffee grinder" noises on start-up. After some research, I found that can happen if clutch dust (or dust in general) builds up inside the starter. So I took it apart to clean out the gunk.

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Report this Post07-12-2020 11:28 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
This time around, the Jetta's headlights get some love. I replaced the old Philips CrystalVision bulbs with Hella Optilux bulbs. I also replaced a lens that was turning yellow.

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Blacktree
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Report this Post09-05-2020 01:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I recently bought a beat-up old BMW for a project car. You've probably seen the build thread already. So the Jetta hasn't gotten much attention lately. But the timing belt was due for replacement. Plus the water pump was starting to weep coolant. And the thermostat was sticking open. I decided to tackle all that stuff in one shot.

I bought a "high mileage" timing belt kit, which also includes a water pump and all the idler pulleys for the timing belt. The special tools required to do the job would have cost around $250-300. And I only plan to use them once. So I decided to rent them instead. Below is a shot of all the parts, and the special tools.



I've done timing belt replacement on other cars. But this was on a completely different level... bordering on absurdity. I would not recommend this to a novice.

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Blacktree
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Report this Post09-26-2020 09:41 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just a quick update: I remastered a couple of the older videos, because the audio wasn't very good. I recorded new voice-over, and balanced the audio levels. I had to do this for the sway bar and axle beam videos.

Edit to add: I updated the video links up above, to reflect that.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 09-26-2020).]

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Blacktree
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Report this Post10-16-2020 01:27 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Can you tell what's wrong with this picture?

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Monkeyman
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Report this Post10-16-2020 09:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MonkeymanSend a Private Message to MonkeymanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Is (was) that a fuse?
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Blacktree
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Report this Post10-16-2020 02:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I haven't seen a fuse burn up like that in a long time. But apparently, it's a common problem with these Volkswagens. When the radiator fan goes bad, it draws a lot of current through that fuse. And instead of just blowing the fuse, it makes the fuse heat up and melt. On my car, it got hot enough to melt the fuse holder, as well. So I had to replace the entire fuse holder.

Here's a quick video about it:

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