Barn Find

DasBoost

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Location
Canada
TDI
Mk4 BEW Golf
Greetings. Here in Alberta, rust-free Mk4’s (or rust free anythings) are completely unheard of due to all the salt on the roads, and nearly every TDI that comes up for sale has 450,000km on it. Recently, I found a unicorn, and picked up this one owner 04 BEW Golf with 96,000km.

The owner was an older gentleman who passed away, so the car sat in the barn for a number of years until his wife sold the farm. I drove a few hours to buy the car sight-unseen, and after some bargaining, got it for a steal. Strangely, according to the service records, when it was new the owner had the dealer convert from power to crank windows before he even drove it off the lot. I guess he must have had past experience with VW window motors.

The tires had dry-rotted, but otherwise it looked like new. After getting the car home, spending some serious time with a pressure washer, and getting new tires on it, I started undoing the neglect. As expected, the battery was toast after freezing and thawing repeatedly. But the real nastiness came when I investigated the smelly HVAC. The entire bulkhead area where the cabin filter, ecu, and wiper motors are was a giant mouse nest, and clearly had been for some time.

So once the deep-clean inside and out was complete, I started looking at mechanical items. Changed every fluid & filter, installed a frost-heater, replaced the driver's door lock actuator, replaced the cracked lower front valance, did the timing belt, inspected the cam, verified the EGR brackets were all present & tight, purged the fuel system, and flashed a Malone Stage 1.5 tune.

At this point, it was time for the first real test-drive. The car had a significant boost leak, exhaust leak, and lack of power. Turns out the lower intercooler hose was completely disconnected, and the turbo was only bolted on finger-tight. A dig through the records shows a turbo replacement under warranty just before the car was parked (gotta love dealership service attention to detail haha), so after tightening things up it ran like a champ.

Now it was time to tackle some mods. If you've ever wondered why MK4's rust behind the front wheels, this is what I found after removing the inner fender liner:

After cleaning, to keep the rust at bay I bedlined the lower inner fenders:

Then installed an OEM Roof rack, Carplay deck, and small sub.

Also added a center armrest from ECS, and swapped all the interior bulbs to LEDs, and picked up a set of OEM 15" alloys for summer.

And that's how it sits to date. Runs great and rides like a cloud (for a MK4). Started it up in -30C this week with no problems. Future plans when the weather is warmer include undercoating the body seams/pinch welds, and then probably a VNT-17.
 

Nero Morg

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 19, 2017
Location
OR
TDI
2003 Jetta wagon, 2001 Jetta TDI, 2014 Passat TDI
Damn. Very nice find, glad to see it on the road once more, and in good hands.
 

csstevej

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 12, 2004
Location
north nj
TDI
2001 golf tdi 4 door auto now a manual, mine, 2000 golf 2 door M/T son's,daughters 98 NB non-TDI 2.0, 2003 TDI NB for next daughter, head repaired and on road,gluten for punishment got another tdi 2001NB,another yellow tdi NB
Nice find!!!?
 

reut1

New member
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Location
Wallingford, CT
TDI
2003 Jetta
Greetings. Here in Alberta, rust-free Mk4’s (or rust free anythings) are completely unheard of due to all the salt on the roads, and nearly every TDI that comes up for sale has 450,000km on it. Recently, I found a unicorn, and picked up this one owner 04 BEW Golf with 96,000km.
That thing looks amazingly clean! My 03 which I recently picked up was also sitting for a while and had mice living exactly where yours were!

I also had a ton of crap behind my fender liners, unfortunately when removed there was some surface rust which I needed to treat.

toothbrush for scale
 

benmarks

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2003
Location
Portland, OR
TDI
2004 Jetta GLS Sedan Platinum Gray
I have a different Sony, but I recommend those to lots of MK4 owners. In my opinion, the ones with volume knobs might be closest looking to OEM that you can find these days. If you squint, you might even mistake them for the old OEM nav unit:

 

Nuje

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Location
Island near Vancouver
TDI
2015 Sportwagen; Golf GLS 2003; 2016 A3 e-tron
Such a weird spec - no centre armrest, no heated seats, (I don't believe it had power windows - every Mk4 I've seen here in Canada with that seat-covering fabric has always come with crank windows)...but yet it has a sunroof (?!)

Regardless, nice find! Great condition, particularly for being in Alberta (the sand and salt there just beats the crap out of cars).
 

Rob Mayercik

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2001
Location
NJ, U.S.A.
TDI
2002 Jetta GLS, Baltic Green/Beige
Yeah, that could clog filters. Wonder how the ants got in?

Actually, before you close up the tank, what about pulling together a large simple filter (one in one out), some hose and an electric transfer pump, drop the in/out hoses right down into the tank, and let that cycle the fuel a few times to try and clean it up before sending any of it forward through the lines, the under-hood filter, or the engine itself?
 

DasBoost

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Location
Canada
TDI
Mk4 BEW Golf
New fuel filter and a can of diesel purge was literally the first thing I did when I bought the car. The original lift pump had a mesh screen on the intake so I’m not concerned about any insect debris in the lines. Tank is cleaned out now.

Question about the fuel system on these cars: when I turn the key, the lift pump runs for a couple seconds, primes the lines, then shuts off. When the car is running, the lift pump does not run. Is this normal? There are no stored codes when connected to VCDS.

Car seems to run fine, however it has hard starts if it has sat for more than a day, unless I cycle the key at least twice before starting. Seems like the fuel lines are slowly leaking down pressure, however there are no visible fuel leaks. The new lift pump hasn’t helped this, and it happens regardless of temperature. Any ideas?
 

Rozmataz

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2021
Location
St. Louis MO
TDI
2000 jetta
Nice! Your barn find is a whole lot nicer then mine. Im still workin out the kinks. This one had a mouse nest that took up the entire hood!
 

benIV

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2009
Location
SE NC
TDI
Orville - 2003 platinum gray Jetta 5m 220K miles ||| Wilbur (Knurren) - 2003 silver Jetta wagon 5m 230K miles
very nice find and progress! sounds like how mine got after a couple of years... so frustrating.
 

DasBoost

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Location
Canada
TDI
Mk4 BEW Golf
Got my summer wheels on just in time for a freak blizzard. Still trying to nail down the hard start issue. Tonight I verified that it has 7V NGK glow plugs in it, and all functional. Original owner had everything done by the dealer, so I’m assuming that means it also has the correct software flash, but don’t have VCDS currently to check. It still seems more like a fuel issue. New lift pump didn’t help. Car is very hard to start after sitting for a few hours, regardless of temperature. No fuel leaks to be found. Runs great after the first few seconds, and doesn’t lack power. I’m stumped...
 
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