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Colin Doyle March 6th, 2015 13:52

'00 Beetle TDIsore
Long time lurker, first time poster. My name is Colin, and I'm from central Minnesota.

I got a good deal on this car back in the autumn. It's been in a collision and bears a salvage brand on the title, and it was in need of some TLC. Someone had used epoxy to patch a crack in the intercooler end tank, which had peeled back and caused a boost leak. Additionally, the pump timing was severely retarded, it needed a couple wheel bearings, the handbrake cable sleeves had collapsed, the exhaust had rusted out just after the flex pipe, and the turbo actuator was getting flaky. I addressed all those issues, as well as replacing the starter and cables and having the alternator rebuilt (rattling sprag clutch.)

I fitted a set of Basset racing wheels, fabricated a tube bumper and outfitted it with some leftover Hella 500s and an eBay intercooler from my spare parts bin, straight-piped the exhaust, installed an onboard battery tender and lower radiator hose heater, and sourced a pair of used roof rails and a new cargo basket. I added a few comfort/convenience features, as well: tinted windows, hardwired dashcam and radar detector, Ram mount balls on the dash, and an SD/USB stereo head unit.

Next up: .216 injector nozzles, a tune, 5-panel wink mirror, wagon/VR6 springs, General Grabber 215/75-15 tires, skidplate, and a rear tube bumper with a receiver hitch (so I can use it to launch my jet ski this summer.) I'd like to freshen up the transmission and install an LSD at some point, as well. Other than that, no future plans exist. It's a pretty good daily beater. :D

Buying a neglected, high-mileage TDI is not an endeavor for the faint of heart, or for those who hire out their repair work.

1854sailor March 7th, 2015 11:18

Great job! Keep us posted.

Colin Doyle March 7th, 2015 15:16

I drew a skidplate in CAD quite a while ago, and finally had it plasma cut from 3/16 aluminum a few days ago. I went to pick it up today and helped the guys operating the press brake with the bending processes, and then installed it on the car. It doesn't limit ground clearance as much as it looks - it just covers the bits that were already hanging low, and provides excellent protection to the pan, pulleys/belt, power steering hoses, and radiator. A boost in ride height is certainly in order.

I reluctantly reinstalled the front license plate, as well, to appease the local constabulary.

1nfinitum March 10th, 2015 04:34

This is actually kind of amazing. Some people may call it an eyesore, but I give you props for it. I would definitely be turning my head on the street.

Redeemed March 12th, 2015 20:10

Needs a lift maybe. But I like it. A lot

ItAintRodKnock March 17th, 2015 21:42

Basically this front bumper and intercooler idea is what I want done on my
Golf. This thing is sweet.

Needs a metalnerd lift.

Colin Doyle March 17th, 2015 22:15

Yup, it's in the works - I'll be fabricating my own lift.

I replaced the rear wheel bearings today, so that's something. Springs should be here soon. :)

The top of the skidplate is all covered in oil from my leaky pan. There's a Cummins 6BT-swapped '06 Dodge Charger occupying my hoist, and I'm a little too lazy to install the new pan on jackstands.

ItAintRodKnock March 23rd, 2015 13:36

How long did it take to fabricate the bumper? and about how much?
it looks great, id like to do similar for my golf; but im considering the route of buying a used one off craigslist for a truck and cutting it up and welding it back together where i want. any thoughts?

car definitely looks great though.

Colin Doyle March 23rd, 2015 21:58

The bumper took me a log day's work to lay out and tack, and then probably less than an hour to weld.

Cutting apart an existing bumper, reconfiguring it, and welding it back together sounds like a bit of a nightmare, and it probably won't yield anything that fits well. If you don't have a bender, maybe get some weld els and build it out of sch40 pipe?

Anyway, my lift and tires are now installed. These are the Moog springs with 2" spacers up front, which really just increase preload. I tried a 1.75" spacer under each rear spring, but the car had a huge rake to its stance. I may try a .75 or 1" spacer just to kick it up a bit - right now it sits level. Compared to the springs I removed, the Moog springs had an additional two coils per spring and a substantially taller free height.
I also installed new strut top cushions and bearings, outer tie rod ends, and ball joints.

It has a rust hole in the rocker, I know. I have far more important issues to sort before I repair that.

Kingcodez March 26th, 2015 06:54

Wow that thing is so epic, I'm thinking of going the utility route with mine as well.
Any chance on making another bumper/skidplate set?

Is there any more room for a bigger IC on that?

Colin Doyle March 26th, 2015 21:04

You can fit any intercooler you'd like, as long as you build a bumper to hold it. haha

I could build another bumper and skidplate, but it will be costly and shipping could be a hassle (especially if you're actually in Suzhou, China.)

Colin Doyle March 27th, 2015 01:35

Due to my 0-offset wheels, I had some rubbing issues on the front end when I installed these tires - they're General Grabber AT2 in 215/75-15.

On the back side of the tires, I had to trim away some of the plastic splash guard inside the wheel well and bump the sheet metal back with a small sledge until there was adequate clearance for the tire at partial-lock.

On the front side, the tires were contacting my bumper. I cut about 1.75" off the end of each side and created two matching bends to meet the main hoop's new ending locations, which I welded in place and smoothed with an assortment of sanding discs prior to paint.

Turned out swell.
Paint worn off indicates the extent of the rubbing.
Chopped out the offending sections.
That new steel smell.
After smoothing the welds.
Good as new. :D

I can't drive this car anywhere without people rubbernecking, taking pics & video, giving me thumbs up, etc. I'm not generally one to seek validation and approval from external sources, but it's kind of cool to witness a creation of mine having that sort of effect on people.

cevans March 27th, 2015 06:49

Beast mode!

Love it!

Colin Doyle March 29th, 2015 22:16


Today, I installed an EGR delete kit and a hybrid steel/aluminum oil pan (the original pan had a crack and had been leaking since before I installed the skidplate.) Looking forward to having a Malone tune performed soon.

ItAintRodKnock April 1st, 2015 11:57

Looks great. We did suspension upgrades about the same time. I went similar route, moog rears and two white two blue front springs and billyTCsports.
We had the same results, the front is sitting higher; I added 2 inch lift upfront and nothing for the rear.
Adding the weight of the bumper guard I imagine I'll only be doing a 1 inch pick for the rear.

So, as far as "chopping an existing bumper up" I guess sounds a bit more involved. My theory is just cut out the center beams(grill) and narrow them and reweld, then I would "just" need brackets to mount to the car.
If you were slightly closer I would bug you into doing a weekend project with me to help build another one for my golf, but that would be quite a drive for something like this.

Car really looks great man. I love it.

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