Advice before taking on new project

larryscastle

Member
Joined
May 21, 2017
Location
Long Beach, CA
TDI
mk6 golf
Hey there!

I'm hoping to get some advice from you all about a 2005 Jetta wagon that I’m considering buying. The owner cracked the oil pan and blew the turbo. He’s willing to let me have the car for $500, but I’m not sure how much it will take to make it road worthy again.
He repaired the oil pan, but other than that, has not driven the car since the incident. Here’s the report from the auto shop. What do I need to figure out before taking on this project. Anything I should look for?
Thank you,

Kendall
 

Diesel Fumes

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Location
Creston, bc
TDI
2003 alh tdi 5 speed
For 500 bucks you should be looking at the overall condition of the car.. Assume the motor is toast. How's everything look besides the engine? You might get lucky and only the turbo was damaged from draining all the oil. Turbo is the first thing to suffer but more expensive things come next. You wouldn't know what else is damaged until you start taking things apart
 

Nero Morg

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 19, 2017
Location
OR
TDI
2014 A6 TDI, 2001 Jetta TDI, 2014 Passat TDI
I second this. If the body is in good shape, you know you'll at least need a turbo, plus probably cam followers. I would also take down the main caps and rod caps and inspect the bearings, if the crank is OK, roll new bearings in. Starts adding up fast.
 

larryscastle

Member
Joined
May 21, 2017
Location
Long Beach, CA
TDI
mk6 golf
Good point. Since I don’t have a garage, I will be relying on a shop to do the work, which can be pricey. The rest of the car is in good shape. A little over 200k miles, regular maintenance, no accidents no rust. I guess I’ll just have to decide if it’s worth the time and money for me
 

jmodge

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Location
Greenville, MI
TDI
2001 alh Jetta, RC2 w/.205's 5speed daily summer commuter and 2000 alh Jetta 5spd swap, 2" lift, hitch, stage 3 TDtuning w/.216's winter cruiser, 1996 Tacoma ALh
Sometimes you’re better off starting with a running car, especially if you’re paying someone to do the work. 17 year old cars can be money pits when they run. Same thoughts as others, what the typical wear points of a car that old is like. A DIYer could easily put 3-4 grand in a car like that, depending on what has been replaced already
 

Nero Morg

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 19, 2017
Location
OR
TDI
2014 A6 TDI, 2001 Jetta TDI, 2014 Passat TDI
Another option is a replacement engine, but again you still have to have a shop R&R it. If you're not doing your own work, I'd pass, but that decision comes down to a financial choice.
 

Nuje

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Location
Island near Vancouver
TDI
2015 Sportwagen; Golf GLS 2002 (swap from 2L gas); 2016 A3 e-tron
Yeah - if you were doing your own work, it just costs your time, plus parts. If the body was in excellent shape and electric (most notably cooling fans / AC system) also good, I'd take a flyer on something like that. Worst case (assuming body in good shape), you can re-coup your cost by selling off the body panels.

Once you're paying a shop probably $100+/hr to major engine work, you're going to be well into the thousands of dollars.
Maybe you get lucky and it's just an turbo replacement, but that's already pushing $2K parts and labor, but if not, just keep adding in multiples of that.
If I was in that situation (having to pay a shop), I'd keep looking.
 

tgray

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2004
Location
Marengo, IL
TDI
'02 Beetle, '05 Golf, 2000 Jetta, 2001 Jetta, 2002 Jetta
I did a Golf like what you describe a year or so ago. You can find junk yard engines but they are probably no better than what you have. If the turbo blew because of oil loss who knows what else is wrong. A bearing can score and you will not know until you tear it down. I think the car I got was the same kind of situation and so the guy drove it after putting the parts back on. Then the engine blew up so bad it even destroyed the transmission. The only reason I did this car was I already had a lot of the parts I did all my own work and still put a couple thousand into it. I would look for another car if I had to pay someone to do the work.
 

Nero Morg

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 19, 2017
Location
OR
TDI
2014 A6 TDI, 2001 Jetta TDI, 2014 Passat TDI
I did a Golf like what you describe a year or so ago. You can find junk yard engines but they are probably no better than what you have. If the turbo blew because of oil loss who knows what else is wrong. A bearing can score and you will not know until you tear it down. I think the car I got was the same kind of situation and so the guy drove it after putting the parts back on. Then the engine blew up so bad it even destroyed the transmission. The only reason I did this car was I already had a lot of the parts I did all my own work and still put a couple thousand into it. I would look for another car if I had to pay someone to do the work.
I wouldn't be so quick to jump the gun that wrecking yard engines are not that good, I've found several good BEW and ALH's at the wreckers that had bad autos attached to them, or they were wrecked. Matter of fact the engine in my neighbors car was a wrecking yard car we pulled the long block out of, still runs good to this day.
Biggest thing about using a wrecking yard engine is be observant about it. Why is it there? If it's a bad auto, engine is 99% of the time good enough for use.
 

tgray

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2004
Location
Marengo, IL
TDI
'02 Beetle, '05 Golf, 2000 Jetta, 2001 Jetta, 2002 Jetta
You are right I have had success with some junkyard engines but you never know and for someone not working on the car it is a gamble. I just totally rebuilt a junkyard Ford V10 engine they claimed had 60000 miles out of an RV that rusted out. How could I go wrong? They said all it had wrong was a leak in the head gasket and ran good. I got it cheaper since I bought it as is. Here is what I found after inspection. The reason the gasket was leaking was they put in a cheap china gasket that didn't match. The crankshaft spun one bearing and was loose and ruined the crank. The guy had no clue in what he was doing and rebuilt the engine and installed every ring gap up with each other. In the end I made a good engine but it was frustrating and expensive even when I did all the work. Yes, "better have some cash laying around."
 
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