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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD)

VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old February 13th, 2018, 08:34   #1
ojorek
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Default Panzer Plate vs ECS Tuning Aluminum Street Shield Skid Plate

I recently picked up a TDI Bug and its exposed. The Panzer seems most popular but costs about $60 more after shipping than the ECS. They both are close in thickness so I am asking for opinions on which way to go and if there is another option I am not aware of.
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Old February 13th, 2018, 11:02   #2
djrhetoric
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I couldn't find the skid plate by ECS that you mentioned. I see they have it for the 11-current Beetle, but not the 2001.

I've had a Panzer with side skirts for 5 years and it's been perfect in every way. I live in MN so I hit massive ice/snow chunks nearly every day in the winter, plus I've hit semi-truck retreads on the interstate at 70 MPH and it's not shown a sign of wear. It's a great investment for any MKIV.
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Old February 13th, 2018, 14:28   #3
JDSwan87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ojorek View Post
I recently picked up a TDI Bug and its exposed. The Panzer seems most popular but costs about $60 more after shipping than the ECS. They both are close in thickness so I am asking for opinions on which way to go and if there is another option I am not aware of.
Does the ECS model offer the optional metal side skirts too? If not, that would be a deal breaker for me right there. In the end I think you will get people who own one or the other and will say xxxxxxxx is better but I highly doubt you find someone who has bought both and evaluated each on for its pros and cons.

All that goes to say, something is better than nothing down there. Good luck with your decision!!

I own a DieselGeek panzer plate with metal side skirts, no complaints...
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Old February 13th, 2018, 17:18   #4
jettawreck
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I would be interested to see what anyone might know about the ECS unit also. I've been very happy (and often grateful) for my Panzer Plate on the 2001 but need another for the '03. I either need to buy another plate kit or a new set of Panzer mounting brackets and install the old plate on the "new" '03 Jetta. Metal side skirts "jacket" I don't care about, so the ECS version is an option if they actually offer it for the MklV Jetta.
I won't drive in the winter w/o one up here.
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2003 Jetta GLS Black w/leather (New Project Car) fixer-upper w/broken TB
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1999 GMC Suburban (It's MN-you need one)
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Old February 13th, 2018, 17:27   #5
drucifer
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Are there parts availabe for the ecs model? If not diesel geek does. Diesel geek also a smaller business and more likely to get better customer service.
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Old February 14th, 2018, 05:55   #6
ojorek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djrhetoric View Post
I couldn't find the skid plate by ECS that you mentioned. I see they have it for the 11-current Beetle, but not the 2001.

I've had a Panzer with side skirts for 5 years and it's been perfect in every way. I live in MN so I hit massive ice/snow chunks nearly every day in the winter, plus I've hit semi-truck retreads on the interstate at 70 MPH and it's not shown a sign of wear. It's a great investment for any MKIV.
Ahh, I see what you are saying, I selected the wrong Beetle dropdown. Guess that makes it an easy decision then. Thanks for your help!
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Old February 14th, 2018, 14:21   #7
thumpper
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Not to hijack the thread but what benefit does the side skirts do? (allow retention of heat better?) Going to be purchasing one for a 05 Beetle I picked up and was going to just go with the 'normal' skid without the sides. Thanks

**yes this is my 2nd post new to the TDI world so just learning**
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Old February 14th, 2018, 16:19   #8
drucifer
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If your plastic ones were missing or in bad shape you would probably just get metal. Metal also probaby cheaper than oem plastic.
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Old February 15th, 2018, 07:37   #9
Geomorph
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Originally Posted by thumpper View Post
Not to hijack the thread but what benefit does the side skirts do? (allow retention of heat better?) Going to be purchasing one for a 05 Beetle I picked up and was going to just go with the 'normal' skid without the sides. Thanks

**yes this is my 2nd post new to the TDI world so just learning**
The side skirts are on there to keep stuff from getting into your engine compartment. Original plastic ones on the sides has worked fine for me. You especially want one on the passenger side otherwise your serpentine belt would be exposed. Metal sides are for those who need or want them.

Evolution Imports also makes an aluminum skid plate. That is the one I have had on my cars for 10+ years. I am sure the Dieselgeek skid plate is also excellent.
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Old February 15th, 2018, 07:54   #10
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Besides being for newer tdi's, the ecs streetshield is more a heavy duty splash pan than skid plate. It doesn't have hard point mounting brackets in the front like the Panzer/ Atlas plates. It just screws into the plastic bumper junk.
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Old February 15th, 2018, 18:23   #11
STDOUBT
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I recently put the Panzer from DG on my 03 Jetta. It's nice. But I had to take it off because my suspension is original (113k miles), and I guess it's too spongy now to hold it up enough. I did not measure how much clearance I lost because of the weight, but I was scraping on things I didn't scrape on before. I reverted to the original plastic. Also, the handling and "pickup" of the car were definitely affected. My GF said it felt like the parking brake was on. I figure 11 years and I haven't had an "incident" so... But I will for sure keep it and when the time comes for suspension beef-up, I'll slap it back on and give it another try.
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Old February 15th, 2018, 18:34   #12
jettawreck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STDOUBT View Post
I recently put the Panzer from DG on my 03 Jetta. It's nice. But I had to take it off because my suspension is original (113k miles), and I guess it's too spongy now to hold it up enough. I did not measure how much clearance I lost because of the weight, but I was scraping on things I didn't scrape on before. I reverted to the original plastic. Also, the handling and "pickup" of the car were definitely affected. My GF said it felt like the parking brake was on. I figure 11 years and I haven't had an "incident" so... But I will for sure keep it and when the time comes for suspension beef-up, I'll slap it back on and give it another try.
The Panzer Plate weighs 17.25 pounds. Maybe another 10 (?) for the mounts.
If you can tell the difference in performance less than 30 pounds makes there are some things to address. That's less than a half tank of fuel weight.
The Panzer does perhaps lose a bit of ground clearance to the OEM pan, but if any, it's minimal.
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2001 Jetta TDI GLS Silver-current driver (salvage)permanently vented-Panzer Plate-Sprint 520s-ScanGauge-CheckTemp III-ZeroStart heater-CAT 2 filter
2003 Jetta GLS Black w/leather (New Project Car) fixer-upper w/broken TB
2004 Cadillac SLS (wife's)
1999 GMC Suburban (It's MN-you need one)
197? Shibura 2cyl diesel 4WD tractor-loader/brushhog (very handy unit)
196? International TD340 Dozer-w/Drott 4-in-1 bucket/back ripper attachment
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Old February 15th, 2018, 18:49   #13
JDSwan87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jettawreck View Post
The Panzer Plate weighs 17.25 pounds. Maybe another 10 (?) for the mounts.
If you can tell the difference in performance less than 30 pounds makes there are some things to address. That's less than a half tank of fuel weight.
The Panzer does perhaps lose a bit of ground clearance to the OEM pan, but if any, it's minimal.
This ^^^...

2 weeks ago the panzer did it's job when a large ice/snow chunk came off a semi in the other lane and into my lane. I had no where to go and couldn't hit the brakes hard or else I would have been rear ended. One solid "thunk" and I was fine...
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Old February 16th, 2018, 17:57   #14
sawmilldon
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Originally Posted by drucifer View Post
If your plastic ones were missing or in bad shape you would probably just get metal. Metal also probaby cheaper than oem plastic.
I just replaced mine with plastic ones from Rock Auto.

They are about 18 bucks per side.

I got 2 different brands but they are great thickness, even came with hardware to mount.
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Old February 17th, 2018, 09:35   #15
jmarvin
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I've had the Panzer full metal jacket setup for about three years now. Absolutely love it and worth the price. Only complaint I have is that you still have to remove the whole skid plate to change the oil, even if you order the one with the hole cut out to access the oil drain plug. If you leave the skid plate on and try to change the oil by just removing the little cover, you will end up having to remove the skid plate anyway because of all the oil that drains all over it.
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