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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 February 22nd, 2017, 05:59   #1
thechoochlyman
 
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Campbellsville, Kentucky
TDI(s): 97 Passat
Fuel Economy: 47.5 daily, 51.4 highway
Default Finishing my B4 - the "Family Vacation Package"

Right now I'm sitting on 185k miles and will be doing all my scheduled maintenance soon - Oil change, Timing belt, water pump, and thermostat. We're thinking about taking a trip to Florida to visit family later this year, and have discussed the possibility of taking everyone (all five of us) in my car, towing a little cargo trailer behind. Right now my car rides pretty darn low with that many people inside, plus the fact that I keep all kinds of tools and spare parts in the trunk.

Here are the current upgrades I've made that are relevant to this goal:
  • Boost gauge
  • Stage III Malone tune
  • All struts replaced about 43k miles ago

And my work list:
  • HD Wagon rear springs
  • Pyrometer Installation
  • Build and install Trailer hitch (already contacted TDIDaveNH for drawings)
  • New brake master cylinder? (Brake pedal has bit of travel before engagement, brake pedal is rather stiff in comparison with other vehicles)
  • Wire trailer lights

Anybody have suggestions for me?
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1997 Passat 5 speed - No longer bi-tone
2.5" Straight-pipe exhaust CCV/EGR Deleted Malone Stage 3, 2.0 IQ Autometer Gauges Billet Stuff
Billet Coolant Flanges - Idler Pulleys - CCV plates - Window Guide Clips
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Old February 22nd, 2017, 19:03   #2
tdidieselbobny
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I don't know how you plan on wiring your trailer lights, but I suggest looking up how TDIDaveNH did it-I believe there is a how-to. Get one of those inline fuses to attach directly to battery and run wire to trunk. I already sold my setup to another member after I totalled my B4.
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Old February 22nd, 2017, 19:35   #3
sandmansans
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Location: NJ/PA
TDI(s): 2014 Jetta
Fuel Economy: Best tank:54.7. Drove From Chattanooga Tennesse to Poconos PA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by thechoochlyman View Post
Right now I'm sitting on 185k miles and will be doing all my scheduled maintenance soon - Oil change, Timing belt, water pump, and thermostat. We're thinking about taking a trip to Florida to visit family later this year, and have discussed the possibility of taking everyone (all five of us) in my car, towing a little cargo trailer behind. Right now my car rides pretty darn low with that many people inside, plus the fact that I keep all kinds of tools and spare parts in the trunk.

Here are the current upgrades I've made that are relevant to this goal:
  • Boost gauge
  • Stage III Malone tune
  • All struts replaced about 43k miles ago

And my work list:
  • HD Wagon rear springs
  • Pyrometer Installation
  • Build and install Trailer hitch (already contacted TDIDaveNH for drawings)
  • New brake master cylinder? (Brake pedal has bit of travel before engagement, brake pedal is rather stiff in comparison with other vehicles)
  • Wire trailer lights

Anybody have suggestions for me?
In addition to and or as an alternative, I'd consider airlift airbags. You can adjust the height and firmness as needed. Fully inflated the car won't even budge or bring it down to around 5 psi for a normal ride.
Also I'd consider getting rv /tow mirrors for the car.

Last I'd also look into upgrading the cooling system if possible. 5 humans + trailer is a lot to handle. Especially if driving for a distance.

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Old February 22nd, 2017, 21:52   #5
john.jackson9213
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Location: Miramar, Ca. (Think Top Gun)
TDI(s): 1996 B4V
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thechoochlyman View Post

<snip>

And my work list:
Anybody have suggestions for me?
I suspect the HD wagon springs will be too much for your sedan.

Check with Abacus. He had standard duty wagon springs on one of his sedans.

I still have my old standard duty wagon springs if you decide to use them, send me a p.m.
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1996 B4V, Hella E-Codes, GLX leather, EuroTuning.cz 02A 6 speed conversion w/.71 5th and .588 6th gear, A4 shift linkage by Matt-98AHU. 11 mm pump by Oldpoopie. Now, GTC1549VZ turbo by Whitbread. TDtuning, 24 lbs. boost, 162 hp, 285 lb/ft tq. Smoke Free (9/18/15). Koni Yellows and Big Brake 5 lug conversion.
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Old February 23rd, 2017, 02:52   #6
sandmansans
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kooyajerms View Post
B4 rears are inside the spring itself, so no space for an airbag ;(
Oh darn...didn't know. Thanks for informing.

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Old February 23rd, 2017, 06:52   #7
thechoochlyman
 
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Campbellsville, Kentucky
TDI(s): 97 Passat
Fuel Economy: 47.5 daily, 51.4 highway
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandmansans View Post
Last I'd also look into upgrading the cooling system if possible. 5 humans + trailer is a lot to handle. Especially if driving for a distance.

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
Thanks for reminding me - actually, my slave fan pulley broke last summer and I never fixed it. I figured out that the Cabrio I'm parting out has some compatabilty there, so hopefully I can fix it with those parts. Still haven't had any trouble with overheating though, and October should be a cool month.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdidieselbobny View Post
I don't know how you plan on wiring your trailer lights, but I suggest looking up how TDIDaveNH did it-I believe there is a how-to. Get one of those inline fuses to attach directly to battery and run wire to trunk. I already sold my setup to another member after I totalled my B4.
Thanks! Great idea. Always a good idea to follow in Dave's footsteps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by john.jackson9213 View Post
I suspect the HD wagon springs will be too much for your sedan.

Check with Abacus. He had standard duty wagon springs on one of his sedans.

I still have my old standard duty wagon springs if you decide to use them, send me a p.m.
I'll have to ask him about it....

Why do you think it will be too much? Too stiff of a ride? I already carry 100+ pounds of stuff in my trunk every day.

I've been considering other alternatives as well - maybe one of these,


Or a roof rack. The idea is that I'll machine some small tapped blocks to attach into the rain channel of my car with self-tapping screws, then fabricate my own aluminum-framed rack that can span the entire length and width of the top. I really hate the idea of those clamp-only designs, seems sketchy. And expensive!
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1997 Passat 5 speed - No longer bi-tone
2.5" Straight-pipe exhaust CCV/EGR Deleted Malone Stage 3, 2.0 IQ Autometer Gauges Billet Stuff
Billet Coolant Flanges - Idler Pulleys - CCV plates - Window Guide Clips

Last edited by thechoochlyman; February 23rd, 2017 at 07:12.
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Old February 23rd, 2017, 07:33   #8
thechoochlyman
 
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Location: Campbellsville, Kentucky
TDI(s): 97 Passat
Fuel Economy: 47.5 daily, 51.4 highway
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To finish up my last idea:
Make four of these tapped brackets,



...and mount two on each side of the car in these locations.





I could fill up the area around them with windshield urethane.
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1997 Passat 5 speed - No longer bi-tone
2.5" Straight-pipe exhaust CCV/EGR Deleted Malone Stage 3, 2.0 IQ Autometer Gauges Billet Stuff
Billet Coolant Flanges - Idler Pulleys - CCV plates - Window Guide Clips
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Old February 23rd, 2017, 07:36   #9
john.jackson9213
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I installed H.D. rear springs on my wagon. It pushed the rear end up in the air a bit more than I like. But I don't normally have anything in the back of the wagon and never got around to putting a trailer hitch on the wagon.

Instead I decided to go with a TDI engine in a Jeep Comanche pickup truck. That will give me all the utility of a mid size pick up truck and 30+ mpg on a long vacation trip over the Alaska Highway I have been wanting to do for decades... Even got a Wildernest camper shell for the truck. Has a fold out tent on the top of the shell.
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1996 B4V, Hella E-Codes, GLX leather, EuroTuning.cz 02A 6 speed conversion w/.71 5th and .588 6th gear, A4 shift linkage by Matt-98AHU. 11 mm pump by Oldpoopie. Now, GTC1549VZ turbo by Whitbread. TDtuning, 24 lbs. boost, 162 hp, 285 lb/ft tq. Smoke Free (9/18/15). Koni Yellows and Big Brake 5 lug conversion.
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Old February 23rd, 2017, 07:42   #10
thechoochlyman
 
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Campbellsville, Kentucky
TDI(s): 97 Passat
Fuel Economy: 47.5 daily, 51.4 highway
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by john.jackson9213 View Post
I installed H.D. rear springs on my wagon. It pushed the rear end up in the air a bit more than I like. But I don't normally have anything in the back of the wagon and never got around to putting a trailer hitch on the wagon.

Instead I decided to go with a TDI engine in a Jeep Comanche pickup truck. That will give me all the utility of a mid size pick up truck and 30+ mpg on a long vacation trip over the Alaska Highway I have been wanting to do for decades... Even got a Wildernest camper shell for the truck. Has a fold out tent on the top of the shell.
That's a cool rig you ended up with. Got any photos?

The more I think about it, the more I think I'll like the HD springs. As often I like to have more than one passenger, I think it'll help. Plus all the cargo I have. A stiffer ride won't bother me any.
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1997 Passat 5 speed - No longer bi-tone
2.5" Straight-pipe exhaust CCV/EGR Deleted Malone Stage 3, 2.0 IQ Autometer Gauges Billet Stuff
Billet Coolant Flanges - Idler Pulleys - CCV plates - Window Guide Clips
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Old February 23rd, 2017, 08:40   #11
kooyajerms
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Make sure you build that hitch like Dave, it should attach to the frame rail/bumper supports and not just the spare wheel well like the da'LAN. Or that cargo basket will flex your sheet metal to kingdom come.

I'd be running the 2" recovernow but none were made for wagons (hint hint your next set of things to sell us!)
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Old February 23rd, 2017, 08:43   #12
thechoochlyman
 
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Eh, I'm a machinist not a welder - not by profession, anyways.
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1997 Passat 5 speed - No longer bi-tone
2.5" Straight-pipe exhaust CCV/EGR Deleted Malone Stage 3, 2.0 IQ Autometer Gauges Billet Stuff
Billet Coolant Flanges - Idler Pulleys - CCV plates - Window Guide Clips
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Old February 23rd, 2017, 09:29   #13
Yblocker
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Pretty heavy load. Make sure your tires are rated for it. We were 5 people and gear traveling 200 miles to a river tubing trip last summer with 90 degree temps. I had 2 tires with tread separation about a month later. These were 15-inch Kumhos.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 08:06   #14
thechoochlyman
 
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Campbellsville, Kentucky
TDI(s): 97 Passat
Fuel Economy: 47.5 daily, 51.4 highway
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After some thinking I went ahead and ordered the HD rear wagon springs. I don't think I'll regret it. At the very least I can tell everybody else what they're like. Now I'm looking for those upgraded rear dust covers to put on my struts while they're removed.

The stock tires were rated for ~1100 each, the larger ones I'm running now are rated for ~1500. I'm in good shape there for sure.

So this weekend I'm planning to do the Timing Belt (with water pump and thermostat), rear springs, and hopefully remove my exhaust manifold to drill a hole for my pyrometer probe.
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1997 Passat 5 speed - No longer bi-tone
2.5" Straight-pipe exhaust CCV/EGR Deleted Malone Stage 3, 2.0 IQ Autometer Gauges Billet Stuff
Billet Coolant Flanges - Idler Pulleys - CCV plates - Window Guide Clips
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Old March 1st, 2017, 09:11   #15
thechoochlyman
 
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Campbellsville, Kentucky
TDI(s): 97 Passat
Fuel Economy: 47.5 daily, 51.4 highway
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Well color me surprised, I actually did install new dust boots last time. I think I just recall them not fitting as snugly as I assumed they would and forgot I even put them on.



Oh well, new springs are arriving today so I'll get to check that out.
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1997 Passat 5 speed - No longer bi-tone
2.5" Straight-pipe exhaust CCV/EGR Deleted Malone Stage 3, 2.0 IQ Autometer Gauges Billet Stuff
Billet Coolant Flanges - Idler Pulleys - CCV plates - Window Guide Clips
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