Golf MKIV Smyth Ute Project

Lex4TDI4Life

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Location
Stamford, CT
TDI
2001 Golf-Ute TDI GLS 5spd Manual
Congratulations mate! That's a nice build! I was wondering if you have enough room to slide the seats back in case you need to remove them. I'm considering doing the same thing with a TDI swapped Allroad and building a mimcro camper in the back.
Thanks for the kind words! The seats do come out with everything installed. Because my seats are from a 4-door, however, they do not flip forward, so I have to use the dial on the side to lean them forward a bit to get enough room.

As much as I love GLI Recaros, I am keeping my eye out for a clean set of 2-dr seats that flip forward. Add that to the list of things to do on this beast....
 

tothemax

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 7, 2006
Location
West Coast
TDI
03 Jetta, 03 Golf, 2016 Q5
This is such a cool project.. have dreamed of a TDI pick up for a long time .. congrats !
 

Lex4TDI4Life

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Location
Stamford, CT
TDI
2001 Golf-Ute TDI GLS 5spd Manual
Thanks! A bit of an update is in order:

I have lost my work space, so I am looking to rent a garage in the Fairfield County/ Westchester County/Danbury area for a few months to wrap up the body work and make some necessary mechanical fixes. If you have space or know anyone, let me know. Happy to pay a reasonable rent for usage.

Like a dumb-dumb, I decided to take her in to get her emissions done at the local shop (emissions are performed by private mechanics in CT). The emissions guy apparently could not wrap his head around what I brought in given that the VIN number, when put into the computer system, spits out "hatchback." So he decided to call up the state emissions office for guidance. Sigh...

I am on their radar. The DMV called me up and it looks like I will have to get this thing up to snuff to be registered as a composite vehicle: https://portal.ct.gov/DMV/Inspections/Inspections/Composite-Vehicles. A PITA, to be sure, which is why I want to button her up before winter. The adventure continues!
 

stp359

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2014
Location
Montreal, QC
TDI
Passat 4motion tdi 6speed
Thanks for the kind words! The seats do come out with everything installed. Because my seats are from a 4-door, however, they do not flip forward, so I have to use the dial on the side to lean them forward a bit to get enough room.

As much as I love GLI Recaros, I am keeping my eye out for a clean set of 2-dr seats that flip forward. Add that to the list of things to do on this beast....
That's a good idea:). I'll definitely look into it. Thanks a lot!
 

Lex4TDI4Life

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Location
Stamford, CT
TDI
2001 Golf-Ute TDI GLS 5spd Manual
So I have begun the final stages of getting this thing ready for an inevitable inspection as a "composite vehicle" under Connecticut law. First thing to address was the massive exhaust leak. I went ahead and ordered a new turbo-back, 2.5" system from IDParts: https://www.idparts.com/cat-back-exhaust-p-1176.html and https://www.idparts.com/downpipe-1j0253058gx-p-1173.html. Had to go with a catalytic converter, but am going without a muffler:



So, I get her up on a lift and started stripping out the old exhaust; found that the downpipe broke a couple inches from the turbo flange. That might explain all those fumes...

Sadly, when removing the old downpipe, I broke off two studs. Uh oh....good thing I have had an extra, brand new turbo sitting around for the past 8 years. Now was a good time to get it in.



So, if anyone wants a giant, sooty paperweight, shoot me a PM. Getting the new turbo in was not terrible. Because this thing was installed almost 20 years ago and has seen 350k miles, I soaked all fasteners in PB blaster overnight and was patient with their removal, resulting in no broken or stripped fasteners. The downpipe went in fairly easily as well:





Peter at IDParts (IndigoBlueWagon) went the extra mile and called up Mark Smith to figure out the right length for the tail pipe. I think it hits the mark:





Next up...more wiring and body work!
 
Last edited:

Lex4TDI4Life

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Location
Stamford, CT
TDI
2001 Golf-Ute TDI GLS 5spd Manual
It has been a busy few weeks as I have been getting the final wiring and body elements in order so I can get her painted and on the road for the winter. In no particular order:

In my initial assembly, I had not installed the blocking plates that fit between the door jambs and the inside-front of the quarter panels. This guy:



The reason I did not initially install it was that the mounting tabs do not line up with existing holes in the jamb. I believe this is a Golf-specific anomaly. The top tab was on target, but the bottom one had no place to go. I drilled out the rivets holding the quarter panels in place, carefully pulled the tail lights and pulled off the quarter panels. To get those blocking plates installed, I drilled into the jamb and installed an M8 rivnut for the lower mounting tab.



The plate was easily installed thereafter.



While I had the quarter panels off, I decided to pull the window surround and coat the inside with black bedliner. Had I been more ambitious, I would have used my charcoal headliner material, but I was lazy.



While I was in there, I also cut for and friction-fit a 3rd brake light assembly.

 

Lex4TDI4Life

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Location
Stamford, CT
TDI
2001 Golf-Ute TDI GLS 5spd Manual
It was then time to re-attach the panels, but first, I had to prepare to bondo (generic term here, I used fancier body fillers) the window surround to the roof. I friction-fit the window surround in place, got out my angle grinder and a 36-grit brush sanding wheel and sanded down the rear 3" of the roof to bare metal.





To make sure the rivets were flush, I countersunk the pre-existing rivet holes as well.



With the window surround riveted back in place, I did a final fit of the quarterpanels and riveted them back in place as well.
 

Lex4TDI4Life

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Location
Stamford, CT
TDI
2001 Golf-Ute TDI GLS 5spd Manual
With the window surround in place and the metal prepped, I got down to final attachment. As with most things I have encountered in this build, I am a complete novice when it comes to using body fillers (generically "bondo"). I did a bunch of reading, watched tutorials and even joined a body work forum before stocking up on gear and getting to work.

Considering that this would not be a show car, I did not go over the top. To bond the window surround to the roof, I used a lightweight plastic filler (Evercoat Rage Gold) topped off with a polyester glaze coat. I did not document this process in detail, but here is the near-final product:



There is no advice I can give here that wouldn't be stated better coming from a pro. Given it was my first bondo experience, I think I did passably.

Had I been more sane and less ambitious, I would have called it a day, taken it to a paint guy and ended my journey. Sadly, I saw pics from @runonbeer and his Smyth Ute project and decided to follow a similar path. This meant filling in the gaps at the leading edges of the quarterpanels and window surround with old fashioned spray foam:



On top of the foam, I layered fiberglass cloth/met with resin epoxy. This was extremely messy (in part because this is all new to me) and it took a lot of trimming and sanding to get things to a reasonable point. Here is some of the carnage:







Once I got the fiberglass sanded down to a reasonable point, I applied plastic body filler.





I have not applied a glaze coat yet because I know that my work is sub-par and will need more professional attention before it is ready to paint. The nooks and crannies in there are beyond my skill level.

I should mention at this point the sideskirts. I did a dry fit over the rocker panels, but have not yet attached them. The reason?



Yup, the dreaded rusted out rocker panel on the driver's side. The passenger side is fine. I had already obtained a pair of primed, unpainted, brand new OEM fenders. I was hoping that would be enough. When I get this to my body/paint guy, we will see if it is worth repairing the rusty rocker panel. Then we will install and bondo the sideskirts.
 
Last edited:

Lex4TDI4Life

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Location
Stamford, CT
TDI
2001 Golf-Ute TDI GLS 5spd Manual
It is worth a brief diversion here to discuss electrics. First, I bought off ebay a pair of non-smoked tail light assemblies



I did this for three reasons: (1) I chipped the original, smoked assemblies a while back; (2) I am a bit tired of the smoked look and want something that will pop a bit better; and (3) when I get this thing inspected, I anticipate they will not accept smoked tails. I followed the same process for these as the original ones and popped them in:



While I was about, I also replaced and rewired my Hella Supertone horns, which had become rusted with over a decade on the road:



I also installed into the rear bumper the license plate lights and my backup camera:

 

Lex4TDI4Life

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Location
Stamford, CT
TDI
2001 Golf-Ute TDI GLS 5spd Manual
The final bit of body work involved the rear bumper. I attached with countersunk rivets and bondo'd it in, this time with a short hair fiberglass filler that has more structural strength to it than the plastic fillers I used elsewhere. I use a polyester glaze coat and sanded it down to a pretty decent edge.



I also put polyester glaze filler over the countersunk rivet holes on the quarter panel rails and wheel arches.

That's about it for the moment. I still need to wired up the third brake light. The next step is largely out of my hands. I am going to shop around this week for a paint and body guy in my area who wants to do an interesting project for a not insane price. The sunk cost fallacy is working overtime on me. I plan on putting in all new OEM fenders, a new OEM hood, aftermarket bumper cover, grill and mirror caps. Unless the paint guy talks me out of it, I plan on just going back to reflex silver to honor her original condition.
 

GlowBugTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2018
Location
Cambridge, MN
TDI
2001 Beetle GLS TDI (BIODSL). Glow Bug TDI (sold)
looks really good, your getting close it looks like!

I would love to do one of these if i ever found a kit for cheap somewhere.
 
Top