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VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs This is a discussion about MKIII-A3/MkIII Jetta/Golf (<99.5) and B4 Passats (96,97) TDI's. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old September 5th, 2017, 15:02   #16
aja8888
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I MIGHT consider a 5 or 6 speed manual tranny B5 model... if it ever landed in my lap... but that's ever more rare that my B4V!
Many conversions vibrate a lot. Even the B5.5 in stock form vibrated more that I would like and I had two of them with less than 90 K miles on each. Both were converted to a gear driven balance shaft.

Nice cars, but very unique and require attention. I loved the wagon I had, but got tired of changing outer CV boots.
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Old September 5th, 2017, 16:14   #17
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I've owned two B4s (a V and a sedan, which I still have). I haven't owned a B5.5 TDI, but I did have a B5 Audi A4 for several years. The B5 is a far more refined car in many ways. But the B4 has its appeal, despite its rather crude nature by current standards.

But B4s are pretty much a thing of the past. Rust, wear and tear, lack of parts availability, and their old car driving experience are causing values to fall dramatically. People who keep them (probably most of the people posting here) hang on for reasons other than logic. I know that's true for me. I like my B4, but I rarely drive it. I think of selling it but it's not worth much, so why would I? And as soon as I do one of my kids will need a car. So I hang on to it.
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Old September 6th, 2017, 05:34   #18
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I think one reason the B4 TDIs held their value unusually well for a while was that there was nothing else available like them. The B5 came out in 1998, but it was not until 2004 that we got a diesel version. So during that time, the B4s literally had NO competition. None. Nothing at all even came close. And they really did not sell that many here to begin with. 1995s were all gas. 1996 the TDI came out, and every one we got here sold pretty quickly, and the diesels were MUCH more popular than the 4cyl gas or the VR6. So much so, that after a couple months the 1997 model year dropped the gas 4cyl altogether and made the TDI the standard engine. However, that same year the Jetta got the TDI option. This meant that a lot of the George Costanza types that were purchasing Passat TDIs solely for low fuel consumption reasons, just bought the cheaper Jetta instead. So 1997 Passat TDI sales were not as strong, and the new B5 came out early in June of 1997. And if you drove a new 1997 Passat TDI back to back with a new 1998 Passat 1.8t, you very quickly came up with reasons why you did not need a diesel. Lots of people did. And with a TDI version of the B5 promised, I include myself in that. I waited patiently, and when it was clearly not going to happen, I bought one of the last 1998 Jetta TDIs brought to our dealership. I would have bought a '97 Passat, but by then they were all gone.

But the 1998 Passat was a VERY popular car, I can only imagine it would have been even more popular had a diesel engine been offered. Only it got overshadowed very quickly by the other big thing that happened at Volkswagen in 1998, and that DID get a diesel!
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Old September 6th, 2017, 23:55   #19
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VW completely botched reintroduction of diesel into the US in 1996, the B4 should have been much more heavily promoted. The Mk3 was a bigger success but even then less than 2% of Jettas in 1997 were tdi. It wasn't until 1998 that the numbers were better, but they promised a Golf Mk3 tdi and then backed out on that like they did on the B5 Passat tdi.

These were seriously stupid moves by people who were supposed to be professionals. VW even had three or four B5 TDI cars stateside as traveling demo cars, one of which is in MN, the other three I think are in JY's by now.

Personally I am not a fan of the Jetta, I wanted a Mk3 Golf TDI, but the asses never kept their promise to bring it. Now I suppose it doesn't matter but a lot of people were let down when those promises were broken.

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Old September 7th, 2017, 02:58   #20
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Keep in mind that VW was limited in the number of TDIs they could bring in by corporate average emissions. 2-3% of production was about the limit, I think.

Even later it was difficult to find a TDI. I wanted a Golf in 2002, couldn't find one despite working with dealers both in Massachusetts and Colorado. Finally got IBW because another customer got tired of waiting. It was one of two TDI wagons my dealer got that year.
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Old September 7th, 2017, 05:24   #21
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Volkswagen was having a lot of issues with things in this market at that time, but was on a pretty strong rebound even before the 1998 boom from the NB and new Passat.

CAFE did not matter much due to the small market share they had and the fact that they didn't have a bunch of serious gas guzzlers and trucks to worry about. They even had some early emissions stuff that was LEGALLY turned off, like SAI, because as our instructor put it "they didn't sell enough cars here to worry about it".

The turnaround they did during the '90s was pretty amazing. Shame it all went to crap in the last couple years.
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Old September 7th, 2017, 07:57   #22
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Their turnaround really gained momentum with the MKIV cars. Although the B5 Passat sold well, I think the MKIV Jetta Sedan saved the company in this market. Unfortunately they've yet to duplicate that success, although the MKVI Jetta Sedan has also sold well.
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Old September 7th, 2017, 08:18   #23
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Agreed. Volkswagen really needs more product offerings here. Unfortunately, they seem to be headed to a place where we JUST are going to get Americanized stuff for us. Atlas, anyone?

Sad, because their product portfolio globally is pretty good.
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Old September 9th, 2017, 23:11   #24
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Agreed. Volkswagen really needs more product offerings here. Unfortunately, they seem to be headed to a place where we JUST are going to get Americanized stuff for us. Atlas, anyone?

Sad, because their product portfolio globally is pretty good.
VWOA always screws up product offerings in the US. It think it's fruitless to ask for better from them at this point, they're in a position where they need to retrench and consider their viability. Anyone who thinks governments are done milking VW for $$ is not paying enough attention.

Sad really, their future offerings were just getting nice until this emissions deal happened.

At this point I just want to two tdi's I have to last until I'm not driving anymore, but that might be a lot to ask for in all honesty.

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