How would you build your dream B4 wagon?

VWVenla

New member
Joined
Aug 19, 2017
Location
OR
TDI
1996 B4 Passat Wagon TDI, 1997 Passat TDI Sedan
After many years of mechanical catch-ups, basic replacements, and consistent maintenance, I am ready to begin investing in making my b4 wagon (96') the million mile car. So, my question to you TDI enthusiasts, is what would you do with a nearly pristine 1996 B4 Passat wagon?

I have a strong engine, injectors are well maintained, fuel economy is still great, new hoses throughout, and the paint is about to be new. Obviously, I have a budget, but if I didn't...?
 

Windex

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Location
Cambridge
TDI
05 B5V 01E FRF
Ensure all base mechanicals are up to snuff and all outstanding maintenance taken care of.

Then, in no particular order:

O2J shifter upgrade.
PP520s
malone stg 2 tune on a GQ ECU
Corrado big front brakes, or VR6 5 bolt conversion
Eurotuning 6spd conversion
Chubbs MFA conversion
Stainless exhaust 2.5" with one resonator
GLX Heated leather seats and matching door cards
Slightly lower stiffer suspension ( Koni FSDs would be my choice)
install factory foglamps / switch
Ecode headlamps
leather steering wheel from GLX
update shifter and parking brake boots to leather
B3 passenger side glovebox
scanguage II
class 1 trailer hitch from EU

stockpile window regulators
verify HVAC recirc is functional

I'll think of more and others will chime in. :D
 
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IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
Windex has a pretty good list, although I'm not sure I'd do everything on it.

I would make sure all suspension bushings are good or replaced. Getting good shocks is a bit of a challenge as there's not much left available. Bilstein TCs and OE (which are now Monroes, I believe) may be your only options. No Konis left, no Sachs.

I'd also get a taller 5th gear or, better yet, the 6 speed addition for that transmission.

I do like the glove box swap. And also stockpile door handles.
 

Windex

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Location
Cambridge
TDI
05 B5V 01E FRF
Yes - Bilstein TCs are good. Don't try to make suspension bits from a MK3 jetta work - they will fit, but will wear out very quickly.

And yes, stockpile door handles, and read up on Abacus' threads.

Lube up the door locks if you are going to encounter freezing temps, to avoid door "bonk"

MK3 remote door fob and module installation.

Skid plate

Ventectomy (26 gallon tank baby!)
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
I'd build it back in 1997, when plenty of new parts were still available. :(

I think that is the worst thing about those, lack of parts availability.
 

TDIL3dad

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2012
Location
N. VA
TDI
96 B4, 96 B4V project
The list from Windex pretty much covers it. I'd also recommend the "Plus" suspension swap form a VR6 B4. It took me a long time to be convinced but now that I'm driving a B4 TDI wagon with the "Plus" suspension, I tell myself I should have done the swap sooner. The difference in handling and braking is noticeable. Also, recommend you stock up on door handle gaskets. Finally, for the antenna mast, use the OEM BMW Z3 short "sport" antenna - fits and works well, looks better, and costs less than an NOS VW antenna if you can still find one.
 
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VWVenla

New member
Joined
Aug 19, 2017
Location
OR
TDI
1996 B4 Passat Wagon TDI, 1997 Passat TDI Sedan
Windex & TDIL3- this list is super helpful.

Also, fear not- I have two complete spare handle sets stored away for the undebatable future of more misery with the poor design. I'm thinking that I could modify them a bit and add an attachment at the right-hand side of each handle (masked screw or grommet) as the horrible design is just begging to pull away from the car... have you seen anyone do this?

Things completed so far:
Timing belt and water pump replacement
new engine mounts
replaced/updated all struts
updated intercooler (that was fun...)
new leather boots for shifter and e-brake
replaced all door handles
installed skid plate
 

lisab4

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2013
Location
Belgium
TDI
1996 Passat B4 1.9 TDI
Already building mine :) Stock OEM, but with all the missing options.
 

CrazyQuantumMan

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2009
Location
Oregon
TDI
96 Bagged B4V TDI Syncro Haldex Peloquin, 05 Beetle BEW Beastmobile
My list is what I'm building!

BV43 Turbo, Stage 4 Malone, Syncro, bags, 18's, fat sound system.

Another worthwhile upgrade for folks is to toss their crap OEM seats and install Mk4 seats. Simple chop and fabricate job.
 

Abacus

That helpful B4 guy
Joined
Nov 10, 2007
Location
Nobleboro, Maine
TDI
See signature for TDI's
Ensure all base mechanicals are up to snuff and all outstanding maintenance taken care of.

Then, in no particular order:

O2J shifter upgrade.
PP520s
malone stg 2 tune on a GQ ECU
Corrado big front brakes, or VR6 5 bolt conversion
Eurotuning 6spd conversion
Chubbs MFA conversion
Stainless exhaust 2.5" with one resonator
GLX Heated leather seats and matching door cards
Slightly lower stiffer suspension ( Koni FSDs would be my choice)
install factory foglamps / switch
Ecode headlamps
leather steering wheel from GLX
update shifter and parking brake boots to leather
B3 passenger side glovebox
scanguage II
class 1 trailer hitch from EU

stockpile window regulators
verify HVAC recirc is functional

I'll think of more and others will chime in. :D
This sounds familiar....

I'd add an 11mm IP, PD130, and FMIC. They're all on the schedule. The stainless fuel tank straps are already installed as well.
 

john.jackson9213

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Location
Miramar, Ca. (Think Top Gun)
TDI
1996 B4V
If you install a trailer hitch, you will want to install a pair of rear cargo coils from Amazon.uk. That will keep your trailer hitch from bottoming out.

Convert the turbocharger to a VNT turbo (retune required at the same time). I have the GTC1549VZ turbo from a 170 hp VW Diesel. Very responsive turbo!

The EuroTuning 6 speed conversion is wonderful! Really cuts down on engine noise on the Interstate Highways. And it has been dead reliable since it was installed.

Plus suspension is a good addition just for the bigger front brakes, if nothing else.

Find a couple of the Ultimate Cup holders to replace your broken factory cup holder! One of the best locations for the cup holder is the left front side of the driver's seat. Lets the driver reach for the cup without eyes off the road.

More good door handles anytime you find them. Same for the power window frames.

Motor mounts are an issue. Current CRAP doesn't last well.
 

jhax

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2012
Location
Golden, CO
TDI
96 Passat B4V, ALH engine out of a 2002 Jetta, some IE Rods and ASV Pistons. Nothing drivable yet though
Uhhghg. I just want the dent out of my rear quarter panel and the dent out of the very small rear right quarter, and a paint job, original green color like the one above. I like the slight lowering. Either Borbet A's or VR6 knuckles with Audi Pie Plates Remember, this is a luxury cruising land yaht from the 90s. Make it as close to where it came from as possible (aka, all of the euro luxuries).
 

kooyajerms

grocery getter
Joined
May 5, 2004
Location
Pomona, Southern California
TDI
97 B4V (mine), 11 x5 35d (hers) 04 V10 (that one you want), 2014 Q7 (mom's) 74 Shasta 1400
Update everything in the 1Z, CTN , and auxiliaries. Making a new engine and trans. Place back into the wagon shell. Voila.
 

Matt-98AHU

Loose Nut Behind the Wheel Vendor
Joined
Apr 23, 2006
Location
Vallejo, CA
TDI
2014 Passat SE DSG, 2005 Passat wagon, 2004 Touareg V10.
Urotuning 6 speed kit and a Wavetrac limited slip diff
Mk4 or B5.5 Passat leather seats up front
Mk4 shift linkage
Rebuilt engine with better rods and pistons
A VNT turbo for nice drivability, power and efficiency upgrade (VNT17, that turbo John Jackson has or if I really want power or a GTB1756VK to retain good response but get a good max kick or even a Borg Warner BV43).
Big injectors to compliment whatever the turbo and tune is.
11 mm pump (I've converted an AHU pump into one before, I kinda like that setup--looks more stock, adjusts like stock, no goofy offset to the pump pulley).
Clutch to handle the power level while retaining easy every day operation.
Some good window tint.
Audi TT control arm bushings.
Some good, firm struts. Bilstein HDs or adjustable Konis.
Find a way to make the window regulators and door handles less finicky. lol
Mk3.5 Cabrio 3 spoke steering wheel.
And find a way to make the steering column telescope. Been pondering grabbing a Mk4 column from the junkyard and finding a way to graft it to a B4.


I've got many of those on a wagon as it is. Just no power upgrades aside from 11 mm pump, no telescoping steering wheel (yet). I do have a set of Mk4 seats in that wagon too, but not exactly happy how I had to accomplish it... And they still don't move as easily as they should. Work in progress. But man are they so much more comfortable.
 

CrazyQuantumMan

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2009
Location
Oregon
TDI
96 Bagged B4V TDI Syncro Haldex Peloquin, 05 Beetle BEW Beastmobile
Matt! You built your wagon like I did! I've got a line out on another Syncro swap. I'd love to see your car AWD.
 

Matt-98AHU

Loose Nut Behind the Wheel Vendor
Joined
Apr 23, 2006
Location
Vallejo, CA
TDI
2014 Passat SE DSG, 2005 Passat wagon, 2004 Touareg V10.
Matt! You built your wagon like I did! I've got a line out on another Syncro swap. I'd love to see your car AWD.
AWD would be cool. Although I'd be happy with FWD and a Wavetrac. Still does what I need it to do without extra weigh and maintenance.

Though I suppose if I really wanted AWD, I'd probably start with a B5 Passat instead. Torsen instead of transverse syncro. Those BHWs aren't that efficient to start with anyway. Might as well give it a real reason to not be so efficient. lol
 

CrazyQuantumMan

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2009
Location
Oregon
TDI
96 Bagged B4V TDI Syncro Haldex Peloquin, 05 Beetle BEW Beastmobile
I have 2 viscous couplers to chew through so when those blow I'll go with Haldex. My CTN is out and most of the internals are destroyed (from my poor driving habits and that damn BV43 no doubt!) so I have some tranny building to do next week. Luckily I got a guy who has "several" 17/27 angle drives to fit the 02C/Haldex combo. It's crazy fun hunting down rare ****!
 

Jetter_Sprinta

Veteran Member - TDIClub Contributor
Joined
Nov 7, 2002
Location
Boston, Massachusetts
TDI
2 Peeps sharing 1 UseYerName//an array of cars
B3V 5th door ...way better looking... got one, it's on the list that'll never get done.
& while I'm in there, throw in a useless rear wiper delete


-s
 

Steve Addy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Location
Iowa
TDI
97 Mk3
I have 2 viscous couplers to chew through so when those blow I'll go with Haldex. My CTN is out and most of the internals are destroyed (from my poor driving habits and that damn BV43 no doubt!) so I have some tranny building to do next week. Luckily I got a guy who has "several" 17/27 angle drives to fit the 02C/Haldex combo. It's crazy fun hunting down rare ****!
As someone who wants to spend only so much time in the garage, that would completely annoy the hell out of me.

I can see the allure of syncro but I can't see all that much benefit unless you live in a seriously cold and frozen part of the globe.

B3V 5th door ...way better looking... got one, it's on the list that'll never get done.
& while I'm in there, throw in a useless rear wiper delete

-s
I think so too, and although I'm not running syncro, nor do I want to because of complexity, to me the B3 is the better looking of the two.

Also when I realized the rear wiper took a crap I got rid of it completely.

Steve
 
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