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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 21st, 2016, 09:58   #1
aja8888
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Default My 2003 Jetta TDI 5 Speed resurrection thread!

I purchased a 2003 Jetta TDI GLS with 297K on it in February 2016 in Dallas area for $750.00 from the original owner who relocated from Wisconsin a couple of years ago. He is a current TDI Club member. The car has the usual amenities that were found in 2003 (sunroof, power windows, locks, heated seats, leather, etc) and everything works as it should. The following is a re-worded summary of the recent ad he placed on the club for sale site that led me to the car:

From ad (edited by me)

The timing belt is due at 300K. (Kit installed 2/16)

The car is still on original suspension and it feels like it.

Main seal is suspect. In the last 20K, an oil leak developed. When it comes time for oil changes, a little bit of oil is seen in the lower engine cover. We're talking "wipe away", not "pour out".

Other important history:

Car spent its life in the rust belt of Wisconsin. The front wheel wells are showing the classic paint bubbling which precedes rust-through.

At 225K, car got rear-ended in a 45MPH zone by a guy that slammed on his brakes but couldn't stop in time. This was dealer repaired. Repair cosmetically is perfect and it drives no different than before, so A+ to the repair guys.

Installed a non-stock intercooler, upgraded fuel injector nozzles, new clutch, and turbo (from written receipts, it appears to be the “150 HP” kit from Kerma). It's got the Kerma stage 2 treatment with corresponding ECU reflash. Installed a non-stock cat converter and exhaust.

It's up to date on all other maintenance (oil/other fluids/filters) and had the AC system replaced at 288K and a new VNT17 turbo installed at 261K.

Though owner’s maintenance records are unfortunately spotty for the early days of the car, there is a solid history for the last 150K with all receipts and work orders.

A Kenwood 1DIN receiver with USB, Bluetooth, and mounted cabin mic for hands-free cellular was installed recently. Also has the HD radio module installed.

Nice glass headlight lenses from VX-Tuning.

Comes with two sets of 15” wheels. Original wheels have winter sport tires on them. Nicer Verde Protocol wheels have the all-season tires.

Kerma Q-Loader included with a CD that contains the original and modified ECU files.

Currently. I have a 2014 Passat TDI with 23K miles on it that is caught up in the "Dieselgate" issues and will be kept until such time as resolution of the matter is complete. I am recently retired and have the time (and funds) to work on the 2003 Jetta as a hobby and bring it into great shape. This car may be my daily driver as my wife has a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe that is not going to leave anytime soon. Here are a few pictures of the 2003 Jetta:





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2003 Jetta resurrection thread: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=457145
Bring the 1971 Beetle back to life thread:
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=472400

Last edited by aja8888; February 22nd, 2016 at 09:22. Reason: details added
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Old February 21st, 2016, 10:19   #2
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Default First order of business!

I picked the car up in Dallas earlier this week and immediately brought the car to the TDIGuy (Steve Glover) shop in Fort worth to have a timing belt kit installed and to do a quick shakedown of the car since I only drove it briefly before buying it. I didn't want to drive it to Houston without a new belt and associated parts since the belt was due (97K on it).

His top mechanic, Jacob, installed a 100K kit and gave the car a good look over. He was concerned about a black smoke issue and said that a hammer mod may be in order, but we left it like that for the time being.

As noted, the suspension is quite worn and needs struts and bushings. That will be a job I will tackle at home once I determine what to buy. I have two new ball joints sitting on the shelf for the car already. Tomorrow, I plan to get the car on jack stands and have a look at the suspension. I suspect I'll need:

Struts, shocks, mounts, hardware
LCA bushings,
Ball joints,
Tie rod ends,
Sway bar bushings,
Alignment.

Since the car will be a possible daily driver, any parts suggestions for the above would be appreciated. Also, if I decide my old bones are not up to doing the job myself, any idea of the estimated cost to have a Guru handle the job (your recent experience)?

My short list after a good car wash/clean is as follows:

Two new or used front fenders,
Engine cover (OE is cracked and pretty much worthless)
HID light conversion (buy from member Freakwithracket, aka, Jeff)
Change transmission gear oil (Completed 2/22/16)
Find solution for large amount of black smoke on acceleration, slight hesitation at 2000 RPM when accelerating.

Any suggestions on the above will be greatly appreciated, especially the smoke/hesitation issue.

Thanks!
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........"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face." -- philosopher Mike Tyson.
2003 Jetta resurrection thread: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=457145
Bring the 1971 Beetle back to life thread:
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=472400

Last edited by aja8888; February 22nd, 2016 at 13:40. Reason: Updated list
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Old February 21st, 2016, 11:48   #3
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Subscribed! Black smoke could be the result of a boost leak. Had a similar problem with the Golf.
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Old February 21st, 2016, 12:13   #4
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Subscribed! Black smoke could be the result of a boost leak. Had a similar problem with the Golf.
Thanks! That's one of the things on my list to look for. There are no MILs or any indication of a recordable issue, although I don't have a VCDS cable that works with this car to see if there is a boos problem. That cable is on the list also.

Looking under the car today at the plumbing I could see, I didn't see anything obvious like a loose hose or a crack in one. The car does not have a boost gauge also.
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2003 Jetta resurrection thread: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=457145
Bring the 1971 Beetle back to life thread:
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=472400
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Old February 21st, 2016, 13:23   #5
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Check the vacuum hoses too. Make sure they're all routed correctly/not torn or cracked. What kind of boost levels are you seeing? I was recently having an overboost problem (never let it go long enough to go into limp mode) but it was because of the vacuum hoses. It was still plumbed for EGR/ASV which had been deleted. Also the intake pipe was off enough to not be completely sealed which allowed more air in than the MAF was reading. A bottle of diesel purge may be a good idea too.

Those fenders look rough! Car is in really good shape for a Wisconsin vehicle (ask me how I know...lol). Good luck on the refresh!
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Awesome! where is a good place to find a crack pipe?
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Old February 21st, 2016, 14:05   #6
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Originally Posted by vdubwannab View Post
Check the vacuum hoses too. Make sure they're all routed correctly/not torn or cracked. What kind of boost levels are you seeing? I was recently having an overboost problem (never let it go long enough to go into limp mode) but it was because of the vacuum hoses. It was still plumbed for EGR/ASV which had been deleted. Also the intake pipe was off enough to not be completely sealed which allowed more air in than the MAF was reading. A bottle of diesel purge may be a good idea too.

Those fenders look rough! Car is in really good shape for a Wisconsin vehicle (ask me how I know...lol). Good luck on the refresh!
Thanks, underneath looks pretty good and the rear brake cable and emergency brake hardware was replaced a short while ago. Used fenders are around $200/pair and I used to do some paint work so for another $100 for base and clear coat, I will take care of the repaint.

As far as boost goes, no boost gauge and I don't have a correct VCDS cable (mine is for the 2014 Passat and not backwards compatible). I'm looking to buy one quickly. I did have a peek at the vacuum hoses and all look good topside. Tomorrow I will go underneath the car and have a look at the turbo plumbing.
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........"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face." -- philosopher Mike Tyson.
2003 Jetta resurrection thread: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=457145
Bring the 1971 Beetle back to life thread:
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=472400
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Old February 21st, 2016, 19:41   #7
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Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
As far as boost goes, no boost gauge and I don't have a correct VCDS cable (mine is for the 2014 Passat and not backwards compatible). I'm looking to buy one quickly. I did have a peek at the vacuum hoses and all look good topside. Tomorrow I will go underneath the car and have a look at the turbo plumbing.
Whoops I misread that. Thought you said it did have a gauge. Any idea if the injectors were pop tested when installed? Is the EGR deleted (no emissions in Wisconsin, so I assumed it probably was). Maybe the intake is clogged partially if not.

As far as suspension goes I plan on using this kit to do a full refresh this summer.
http://www.fixmyvw.com/mk4-suspension-kit/
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Awesome! where is a good place to find a crack pipe?

Last edited by vdubwannab; February 21st, 2016 at 19:45.
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Old February 21st, 2016, 20:10   #8
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Originally Posted by vdubwannab View Post
Whoops I misread that. Thought you said it did have a gauge. Any idea if the injectors were pop tested when installed? Is the EGR deleted (no emissions in Wisconsin, so I assumed it probably was). Maybe the intake is clogged partially if not.

As far as suspension goes I plan on using this kit to do a full refresh this summer.
http://www.fixmyvw.com/mk4-suspension-kit/
The nozzles, turbo, clutch and associated hardware was ordered from Kerma about two years ago. I believe the injectors were sent to Kerma for pop testing at that time. The owner had it all locally installed and purchased a Q loader and installed the 150 HP ecu tune. I'll have to check with the owner to see if the EGR was deleted in software, but it is physically there. Until I get a new VCDS cable, I am not going to make any progress on the smoke issue other than checking plumbing and hoses.

I have a receipt in the two inch thick pile of them that the owner gave me that indicates the intake was cleaned about the time the turbo was installed.

Thanks for the link on the suspension kit. I'll see if Andrew sells a set of sway bar bushings to go along with that kit.
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........"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face." -- philosopher Mike Tyson.
2003 Jetta resurrection thread: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=457145
Bring the 1971 Beetle back to life thread:
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=472400
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Old February 22nd, 2016, 13:50   #9
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Rained here in south Texas today so I put the car in the garage on jack stands. I changed the transmission gear oil today. Old stuff was pretty black and probably has been in there quite a while. Used the Redline product I had sitting on the shelf.



I may change the oil and filter while it sits high as it has about 8,000+ miles on it. I have a couple of jugs of Rotella T-6 5W 40 on the shelf.

Also took a look at the suspension and see that rear LCA bushings are cracked. Hey, after 297,000 miles, they should be! I need to measure the sway bar diameter so I can order the right size bushings.

I believe I am going with Bilstein TC struts and shocks, the Audi TT LCA bushings, and all the hardware/bolt kits. I'll price out the order tonight.
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Originally Posted by Big Mike View Post
........"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face." -- philosopher Mike Tyson.
2003 Jetta resurrection thread: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=457145
Bring the 1971 Beetle back to life thread:
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=472400

Last edited by aja8888; February 22nd, 2016 at 14:56.
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Old February 23rd, 2016, 08:25   #10
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Way to go AJ! I have VCDS if you need it. I will be watching your thread. I hate rust! Looks to be a winner as long as you don't find some huge unknown problem you didn't know about. At least you don't have to rebuild the head like me to start with. What was the price of the car?
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Old February 23rd, 2016, 08:28   #11
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I'm happy to see someone saving another ALH. I was thinking the other day that no one would bother to put this kind of time and effort into a, say, '02 Honda. Good luck and I hope you have no big surprises!
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Old February 23rd, 2016, 10:30   #12
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I'm happy to see someone saving another ALH. I was thinking the other day that no one would bother to put this kind of time and effort into a, say, '02 Honda. Good luck and I hope you have no big surprises!
Thanks for the support Peter! I think you will see more of these ALH's (and possibly PD's) being brought back to life and kept for second cars for a variety of reasons:

1. Simplicity of operation,
2. Relatively trouble free (we know all the issues),
3. Longevity,
4. Fuel efficient,
5. Fun to drive.

And I know you have a few yourself!
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........"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face." -- philosopher Mike Tyson.
2003 Jetta resurrection thread: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=457145
Bring the 1971 Beetle back to life thread:
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=472400

Last edited by aja8888; February 23rd, 2016 at 10:45.
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Old February 23rd, 2016, 10:32   #13
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What was the price of the car?
$750 as stated in the first paragraph.
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Awesome! where is a good place to find a crack pipe?
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Old February 23rd, 2016, 10:42   #14
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Way to go AJ! I have VCDS if you need it. I will be watching your thread. I hate rust! Looks to be a winner as long as you don't find some huge unknown problem you didn't know about. At least you don't have to rebuild the head like me to start with. What was the price of the car?
Thanks for the support here!

BTW, this is the second one I have fixed up. The last one was a 2004 BEW Jetta with a blown timing belt and 200K on it bought in McKinney, Texas last Fall. http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=450173

The PO kept it in meticulous condition and garaged for all its life. The exterior and interior were in perfect condition and he had all the maintenance records. Recent work was a new suspension, A/C rebuild, and rear brakes. I bought the car for $1,000 and put on a new head with camshaft and a timing belt kit. Within a week of me bringing the car home to Houston, my step daughter's Mustang transmission went out and she needed a car. To make a long story short, she now owns it!

On this 2003, which is not a Texas-only car (comes with some rust ), I paid $750.00 for it.

As you know from your experience with BlueBoy, these cars are "out there" if someone is looking for a candidate to bring back to great running condition.
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2003 Jetta resurrection thread: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=457145
Bring the 1971 Beetle back to life thread:
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=472400
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Old February 25th, 2016, 06:53   #15
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I wish we could save them all.

I just did a 5 speed swap on a beautiful 03 Jetta. White with black leather. It feels good.
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