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Old November 28th, 2005, 22:14   #1
JeffNLisa
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TDI(s): 98 Jetta
Fuel Economy: 40mpg, but I drive it like MAD!!
Default Sagging Rear and need Class II Hitch

Hello Forum-

I posted here

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=123695

but no one has shown any love!!

Please see what I posted there about my rear sagging, and I'd like a Class II hitch.

Any help or recommendations to other threads will be appreciated.

Thanks!!

Jeff
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98 Jetta TDI, Frybrid VO fuel system , Installation thread here. 27,000 miles on VO as of 9/1/06
91 F-250, 7.3, 5-Spd, blending in rear tank while working on a homebrewed conversion. 8,000 miles on VO as of 9/1/06

Installing VO conversion kits (all makes) in Southern California, e-mail me
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Old November 29th, 2005, 08:46   #2
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http://www.campingworld.com/browse/p...=1745&src=SRQB

Install those.
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Old November 29th, 2005, 09:46   #3
JeffNLisa
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Hello McBrew

Thank you for your response. I see you have a late-model VW yourself, so it seems you would know. You think those could be used in a Jetta?

There is a Camping World near me, and I'll drop in and ask 'em.

Thanks.

Anyone with any recommendations for a Class II hitch?

Jeff
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98 Jetta TDI, Frybrid VO fuel system , Installation thread here. 27,000 miles on VO as of 9/1/06
91 F-250, 7.3, 5-Spd, blending in rear tank while working on a homebrewed conversion. 8,000 miles on VO as of 9/1/06

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Old November 29th, 2005, 15:21   #4
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Any class II hitch will be fine.
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Old November 29th, 2005, 16:50   #5
VLZWGN
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Do a search for posts by member "dieselprogrammer". He's written extensively on the airbags and his personal experience using them. I installed the airbag kit about a month ago using his recommendations and was very pleased with the install and appearance.

I haven't towed or put a hitch on yet but have noticed that the car doesn't bottom with a full load of stuff or people over bumps or dips in the road. I believe that the car does have less body roll in turns as a result and the ride is a little stiffer as well which IMO was an improvement over stock (The car could probably use springs with a slightly higher rate on the rear axle). I used both fill stems from the kit for independent filling rather than having both airbags connected to one another in parallel with a single valve stem supply. I can't say for sure but I think this might reduce body roll since the airbag on the outside wheel which has weight transfered to it while cornering, can't transfer it's air (which is being compressed during cornering) to the inside airbag possibly lifting that corner.

BTW, I'm running the pressure at 6.5psi. This is a matter of personal taste and takes time to figure out what feels right. I started out with around 12-15psi and the car oscillated a lot going over bumps and rode pretty high.

Just my .02...

Good luck.
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Old November 30th, 2005, 07:50   #6
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The air bags could certainly be used in a Jetta. I use them in another vehicle, but not my Golf (yet). I am planning on getting a hitch, too. I was just looking at a Golf with a HiddenHitch. It looked okay to me... other than not being very "hidden". I am certainly going to put in the air bags when I add the hitch.

Also, when you put in your wiring, make sure to use a system that powers the trailer lights from your car's battery, not from the car's lighting circuit.
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Old November 30th, 2005, 08:50   #7
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Jeff...

I replied to you PM. However, I had a system lockup just after sending. Let me know if you did not receive it.
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Old November 30th, 2005, 10:12   #8
JeffNLisa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DIESELprogrammer
Jeff...

I replied to you PM. However, I had a system lockup just after sending. Let me know if you did not receive it.
Hi Don. Yes I got it, and thanks. As I suspected and was afraid of, the rear strut system I have is not like the setup your car has at all.

In order to set the record straight for others who may follow here, I am posting part of your answer to me. I haven't read about metalnerd anywhere yet, but if he's selling stuff he probably won't mind an extra plug. And I already saw mannytranny and his thread about what he did, so I'm sure it won't hurt to mention him here either.

Thank you so much for answering my PM request, and thank you for the "love"

Quote:
Originally Posted by DIESELprogrammer
Jeff...

I saw your post but did not reply because the air bags are not an option for you. They completely fill the inside of the coil spring - like a balloon, not a donut.

Air shocks are also . . . [not a choice] for the A4 chassis. There is not enough clearance between the inside fender and the tire for the increased diameter of the air shock over the stock shock. That is why the air bags were such a great find.

You could try to find a stiffer (variable) coil spring for the strut. There is also a lift kit sold by metalnerd here on the site that has spacers to lift the front of an A4 with stuts up to 2". I don't know if that could be adapted for rear struts. Also, do a search for a member (mannytranny) he did a lift on his A4 using strut spacers from an autoparts store (if I recall correctly).

At the very least or at least as a temp solution, you could install a set or two of the rubber coil spring spacers that you can get at any autoparts store.

Sorry I don't have more!

Regards,

Don
And to all who have written anything to help me -- THANKS!!

I'll STILL welcome any suggestions.

Jeff
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98 Jetta TDI, Frybrid VO fuel system , Installation thread here. 27,000 miles on VO as of 9/1/06
91 F-250, 7.3, 5-Spd, blending in rear tank while working on a homebrewed conversion. 8,000 miles on VO as of 9/1/06

Installing VO conversion kits (all makes) in Southern California, e-mail me

Last edited by JeffNLisa; November 30th, 2005 at 10:14.
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Old November 30th, 2005, 10:37   #9
JeffNLisa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McBrew
I was just looking at a Golf with a HiddenHitch. It looked okay to me... other than not being very "hidden".
Yea, that's why I'm so familiar with the name HiddenHitch -- because every time you see one on a car, it isn't very hidden!!

HiddenHitch only offers a Class I for the A3 Jetta, that I can find on their website or at a dealer here locally.

I've seen Class II offered by a company called Curt MFG on their website, but can't even see a picture of the hitch, let alone a dealer. And an RV shop here locally has a generic Class II that includes A3 Jetta on the list of cars it will fit. I may go that route, their werehouse is only about 30 miles away, and I could "possibly" get them to get it and let me hold it up under my car, and still send it back if it won't work around my auxilliary tank.

And then there's a hitch shop in the next city over (15 miles) that I've been referred to that will make a custom-made hitch if they can't find one commercially available. I am planning to go see them today, if time permits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by McBrew
Also, when you put in your wiring, make sure to use a system that powers the trailer lights from your car's battery, not from the car's lighting circuit.
THAT sounds like sage advice. Thanks!

Will STILL welcome any suggestions!!

Jeff
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98 Jetta TDI, Frybrid VO fuel system , Installation thread here. 27,000 miles on VO as of 9/1/06
91 F-250, 7.3, 5-Spd, blending in rear tank while working on a homebrewed conversion. 8,000 miles on VO as of 9/1/06

Installing VO conversion kits (all makes) in Southern California, e-mail me
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Old December 16th, 2005, 11:45   #10
JeffNLisa
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Default Update-

Hello all-

I had a hitch custom made and installed at a hitch shop in Riverside.

That night I promptly attached a tow dolly, and the next morning loaded a car onto it, and towed it nearly 500 miles to Nogales, AZ.

I get right at 40mpg in my Jetta, have never been able to get even 41.

We got around 33mpg towing the car, driving about 70mph most of the way. On the way back, got around 36mpg towing the empty tow dolly, going around 80mph most of the way.

I will post pics of the hitch shortly, along with some more descriptions of it.

Thanks for any and all input received on the hitch!!

Jeff
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98 Jetta TDI, Frybrid VO fuel system , Installation thread here. 27,000 miles on VO as of 9/1/06
91 F-250, 7.3, 5-Spd, blending in rear tank while working on a homebrewed conversion. 8,000 miles on VO as of 9/1/06

Installing VO conversion kits (all makes) in Southern California, e-mail me
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Old February 6th, 2006, 00:36   #11
JeffNLisa
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OK – At long last (for me, that is!!) here are the pictures and descriptions of the custom-made Class II hitch for my 98 Jetta.

It took me 5 hitch shops to find 2 who said they could do it.

But one was not real flexible to making exactly what I wanted, he just seemed to have the attitude “I’m the one who knows what I’m doing, and this is what I can do. You just have to accept what I can give you.” He was also the pricier of the two, but not by much I think he quoted me something like $385 for the cost of the hitch (fabrication) and the labor to install it.

The other was much more open to letting me say exactly what I wanted, where I wanted everything – and what I DIDN’T want – and then trying to make it exactly like I wanted, or as close to that as could be done. She quoted me between $300 and $400 when she looked at the car, and then when the job was done, the bill was $314. Cost of the hitch (fabrication) and the labor to install it.

The day she looked at it was at the end of the day, and I came back the next day to have it done. But my Frybrid WVO fuel tank lines were going into the trunk right about where she needed to put the brace on the passenger side!

So we had to remove the HIH lines from the tank, pull them out of the hole, cut a new hole farther forward and run the HIH lines in there. Then I brought it back another day, and they did it all in one day.

For those following the link to the discussion of the WVO fuel system, we used plastic ferrules in the compression fittings when we installed the tank, because I wanted it to be removable. I knew that I would eventually want to take out this tank and put in another one under the car (in the space that is framed by the hitch) and didn’t want the HIH assembly to be “permanent”.

If you use brass ferrules in a compression fitting, they will crimp the aluminum line, and necessitate cutting it off to remove the HIH, and then you have to shorten the HIH to get back on good line. But with plastic ferrules, you can dis-assemble the HIH and remove it; then when re-assembling it, just replace the 89 cent plastic ferrules. As I said, I had already known I would need to dis-assemble it – just didn’t know I would need to that soon!


I would have liked for the receiver to be totally hidden or removable. But I needed it to be full Class II strength, and I also wanted to be able to use “standard” hitches and accessories (like a cargo shelf) in the receiver. And the only ones I’ve seen that are fully under the bumper cover can only take a custom hitch and are only Class I. So small and unobtrusive was the best I could get for the functionality I wanted.







Most of the hitches I saw for Jetta had a support bar that went up and attached right in the middle of the trunk floor. While this would certainly add support, and I needed all I could get, I also needed that space to remain open for a custom WVO fuel tank to go there. So they had to frame it around the open space.




It is also given additional support by attaching to the bumper:















CONTINUES IN THE NEXT POST . . . .
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98 Jetta TDI, Frybrid VO fuel system , Installation thread here. 27,000 miles on VO as of 9/1/06
91 F-250, 7.3, 5-Spd, blending in rear tank while working on a homebrewed conversion. 8,000 miles on VO as of 9/1/06

Installing VO conversion kits (all makes) in Southern California, e-mail me

Last edited by JeffNLisa; February 6th, 2006 at 00:41.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 00:36   #12
JeffNLisa
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For purposes of fitting a custom tank, measurements were taken to show exactly how much room there is under there!!













CONTINUES IN THE NEXT POST . . . .
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98 Jetta TDI, Frybrid VO fuel system , Installation thread here. 27,000 miles on VO as of 9/1/06
91 F-250, 7.3, 5-Spd, blending in rear tank while working on a homebrewed conversion. 8,000 miles on VO as of 9/1/06

Installing VO conversion kits (all makes) in Southern California, e-mail me

Last edited by JeffNLisa; February 6th, 2006 at 00:42.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 00:37   #13
JeffNLisa
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And then these shots show the supports in the trunk:



She told me that if the hitch is installed here, then it has 2 full layers of metal to go through to help support it. Still just stamped sheet metal, but 2 thick layers of it.

The electrical just stashes in the corner when not in use.

When in use, it reaches out to the trailer, and the trunk lid just closes over it, as seen in one of the next pictures.

The first use we got out of it was towing a car. A Geo Metro is not the heaviest car ever made, but we towed this car 500 miles, able to cruise 70 mph all the way.




It is also worthy to note that we got about 33 mpg fuel economy towing this car. I was delivering it from Yucaipa, CA to Nogales, AZ. On the trip back, we could go 75 and sometimes 80 with the empty tow dolly, but it actually towed a lot smoother with the car on it than empty. We only got about 37 mpg towing the empty dolly. For comparison purposes, I usually get 40 or so. I’m told that these Jettas can get close to 50 mpg, but I have not looked into the wealth of information on the TDICLUB website about doing that. I also don’t drive 55, as should be readily apparent!!

This hitch was fabricated and installed by Guaranteed Muffler and Hitch, in Riverside, CA. Their phone number is (951) 687-9209, and the person I talked to is Patsy.

The work they did was stellar in my opinion, and the way I was treated was incredible.

I have my Mustang SVO for sale, and if it sells for a decent price I may be towing it as well. I will report results and post pics of that trip, if it happens.

Jeff
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98 Jetta TDI, Frybrid VO fuel system , Installation thread here. 27,000 miles on VO as of 9/1/06
91 F-250, 7.3, 5-Spd, blending in rear tank while working on a homebrewed conversion. 8,000 miles on VO as of 9/1/06

Installing VO conversion kits (all makes) in Southern California, e-mail me

Last edited by JeffNLisa; February 6th, 2006 at 00:43.
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Old February 10th, 2006, 10:01   #14
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Default Watch your turbo

Good job with the hitch, I had a Class I on my '98 before I sold it. The only advice I have is watch the use of full throttle while towing. Our turbos are not rated for continuous duty so towing up a hill with lots of full throttle has the possibility of overheating the turbo and blowing it.

This is why I believe towing with the TDI model is not recommended by VW. All other models are approved for Class I.
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 20:52   #15
JeffNLisa
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Thank you for that, I wouldn't have known.

Out across the road we traveled to Nogales, there was not much hilly country, but with no turbo boost gauge, I really don't know how much use it was getting on just the mild grades.

A pillar pod with a boost gauge, a temp gauge for WVO fuel temp, and one or two others in on my birthday list!!

Jeff
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98 Jetta TDI, Frybrid VO fuel system , Installation thread here. 27,000 miles on VO as of 9/1/06
91 F-250, 7.3, 5-Spd, blending in rear tank while working on a homebrewed conversion. 8,000 miles on VO as of 9/1/06

Installing VO conversion kits (all makes) in Southern California, e-mail me
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