03 Jetta Wagon GL TDI 5sp Silver - Maintenance, Mods, Pics


Veteran Member
Jan 17, 2006
near Youngstown, OH
Too Many
******this post and thread will be fluid for a while until I get everything typed into it nicely*******

03 Jetta Wagon GL TDI 5sp Silver - Black cloth interior - Maintenance and Mods

Stock nozzles, IC, IC Piping,
Has all headrests, and rear cargo cover (in perfect condition), glove box is not broken, non-mouse-eaten under-hood insulation, power mirrors work, heated mirros work, all air vents work properly and are not broken

Pics to follow...

Issues - Falling headliner, fender rust both sides, hatch rust on lower corner of window, passenger rear window pops out of the regulator clips, just needs new clips, "T" in "TDI" had fallen off prior to me - have another "TDI" but never put it on, A/C functions but does not blow very cold, battery starting to show signs of getting tired,
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Veteran Member
Jan 17, 2006
near Youngstown, OH
Too Many
Maintenance & Mods:

Word of mouth items done prior to my ownership:
100kmi - Timing Belt Kit (have sticker with 99,991mi on it)
150kmi - Starter, Thermostat, and Thermostat housing
160kmi - Front and rear Pads, Rotors, Calipers (Questionable ???????????)

Purchased 2014_0402 @ 172,000 miles

172kmi - Lift is homemade 2" strut spacers front and 2" spring spacers rear with VR6 auto trans springs in front and euro towing springs in rear.
172kmi - Installed on used struts from 2002 Jetta sedan with 120kmi on them.
172kmi - Have rear shock extensions that I never installed yet.
172kmi - Tires are Kumho KR21 size 215/75r15 on stock Avus rims
172kmi - Front wheel bearings and ball joints
172kmi - 2014_0613 - Alignment

173kmi - New antenna and antenna base
173kmi - New hatch wiper motor from IDparts
173kmi - Fuel tank filler vent mod done
173kmi - Added ebay leather armrest (factory GL has no armrest)

179kmi - Oil and Filter change with Oil change kit from IDparts
179kmi - Fuel filter and Air filter with extra mesh fabric (not just the pleated paper one)
179kmi - New front sway bar bushings and rotate tires (F to B only) though wearing very evenly - front was 8/32, rear was 9/32
179kmi - Full Timing Belt kit w/ water pump from IDparts installed

181kmi - both rear wheel bearings
181kmi - Rear rotors high carbon from IDparts, Pads IDparts ceramic, turn front rotors, no new front pads they were good

182kmi - cleaned wiper plenum drains
182kmi - Ebrake cables good, the calipers were sticking some, ordered external caliper springs from someplace, and installed, seemed to really help.
182kmi - 2017_02?? - Replaced all Vacuum lines
182kmi - 2017_02?? - Whitbread Performance Racepipe, deleting EGR, EGR cooler and anti-shudder valve, EGR cooler delete hose from IDparts
182kmi - 2017_02?? - In process broke dipstick tube, replaced with new from IDparts

183kmi - 1qt low
183kmi - Replaced glowplug #1 in cylinder #4
183kmi - Did stock hardware tune from a tuner who will remain nameless, boost was all wonky
183kmi - Swapped out turbo vacuum actuator for one off of a spare turbo, set actuator rod length properly with mitivac, got way better, but still didn't control as good as I thought it could.
183kmi - Did MAF test and looked good
183kmi - swapped egr solenoid for n75, didn't fix anything
183kmi - Several tune iterations still couldn't get boost to track nicely.
183kmi - self tuned hybrid poly dogbone, forget where I bought the insert from

184kmi - Removed snowscreen was decently clogged/plugged
184kmi - Cleaned grounds under battery tray, ABS and Brake light were flashing and beeps
184kmi - Replaced glowplug #3 in cylinder #2, was open circuit

185kmi - Boost still not perfect as I'd like, so I decided to teach myself how to self tune, built pretty decent stock nozzle/stock turbo/stock clutch tune
185kmi - Boost control is darn perfect and rips over 2500rpm compared to other tune.
185kmi - Had to look out for slipping stock clutch <2500rpm, edited TL (torque limiter) accordingly.

187kmi - 1qt low

189kmi - Polish headlights were pretty yellow/corroded
189kmi - Oil and Filter change with Oil change kit from IDparts, barely 1/4qt low
189kmi - finally figured out oil is dripping from valve cover gasket and/or vacuum pump area
189kmi - Rotate tires (F to B only) though wearing very evenly - front was 7/32, rear was 8/32
189kmi - Install 1-1/4" Curt Hitch

190kmi - 2017_1112 - Installed engine cover pop off kit bought from TDIclub
190kmi - 2017_1112 - Installed homemade grille block kit made of black pipe insulation
190kmi - 2017_1112 - New hatch struts from IDparts

190kmi - 2017_1120 - Install engine side skirts and alum skid pan from IDparts
190kmi - 2017_1120 - Install new valve/cam cover from ECS
190kmi - 2017_1120 - Install new vacuum pump gasket and Oring from "oring store online" and from IDparts
190kmi - 2017_1120 - Install used Buzzken 2.5" 409 SS full exhaust used from TDIclub, has resonator and high flow cat

192kmi - Brand new Alternator, alternator clutch pulley, and serpentine belt from IDparts
192kmi - 2018_1217 - IDparts quiet clutch complete kit, pressure plate, single mass flywheel, throwout bearing, shift fork, and all bolts
**Need to turn up the low end torque in self tune now with new clutch

196kmi - 2019_0629 - 1/2qt low

Random: Added pop out cupholder above radio, new oil fill cap and gasket,
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Mar 17, 2019
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
2003 Jetta TDI
That's an impressive list of mods / maintenance that you've done!

Can't wait to see the pictures, may have to come back to ask some questions about your tunes and lift.




Veteran Member
Apr 7, 2016
2003 Jetta TDI wagon, 5 sp, 226K miles

What are your thoughts on the VR6 front springs? how much stiffer are they over stock and how much lift did you get from them?