My beloved wagon rolled back into a tree out of the driveway.

intro

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Location
MA
TDI
02 Jetta Wagon
Have had the car for 11 years. I've been parking on my sloped driveway for 10.

I've always put the car in gear as a precaution when I get out. Today, I must not have or it popped out of reverse somehow, but I found the car down the slope and the tailgate was crushed. I've already replaced it once due to rust. Looking at this damage, is it time to let her go? I can try to replace the tailgate again (it still shuts and opens ok), and the bumper, but it looks like I will have to replace a support bar there behind the bumper.

I had a couple of fenders I had recently picked up to replace my rotted out ones, just redid the headliner, had leather seats to put in, planned to fix the rocker panels as well. I was about to hit 200k miles. Still mechanically sound as I've replaced most everything on the car over time.

Thoughts?




 

P2B

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Location
Toronto & Muskoka, Canada
TDI
2002 Jetta, 2003 Jetta, 2003 Jetta Wagon
The hatch still opens and shuts so it's repairable with bolt on used parts if you can find them. I would at least try.
 

intro

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Location
MA
TDI
02 Jetta Wagon
Ok, i will work on removing the bumper and support bar today but i guess I’m wondering what damage to look for behind there that could interfere with just replacing all the associated parts? I’ll update the post with more pics later.
 

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
Bummer, that happened to my sedan also, but only dented the lid.
 

intro

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Location
MA
TDI
02 Jetta Wagon
Going to be harder to find the "shorty" bumper. May have to settle for the newer style.
 

kjclow

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Location
Charlotte, NC
TDI
2010 JSW TDI silver and black. 2017 Ram Ecodiesel dark red with brown and beige interior.
Looks like your support beam did it's job and kept most of the damage out of the passenger compartment. Make sure to check the spare tire well and the fuel tank and tank straps. I remember when my dad's F100 got rearended, there was a lot of unseen damage but then again that was a mid 70s truck.
 

shoebear

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2002
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
TDI
1998 Jetta, 2003 Jetta Wagon, 2005 New Beetle, 2013 Sportwagen
I'd repair it. 200K miles and well-maintained means your car is barely into middle age. Mine has 367K miles; I figure that if it eventually hits 500K, I will have gotten my money's worth. :cool: If you love your car and hate to see it go, you will be happy you saved it. If you are tired of it and are lusting after the latest model of Turbo Beep-Beep, then repair it and sell it. The difference in price between selling it as is vs. selling in good condition will probably more than pay for the cost of repairs.

MK4 wagons are rare in pick-and pull junkyards, but I do see them from time to time. You may have to be patient while you wait for an appropriate car to be available. You might also inquire if your local junkyard would be on the lookout for one to get for you. Junkyards that sell already-pulled parts can do a nationwide seach for your parts and get one shipped in; but you will pay a lot more for the parts that way. You might find the parts you need on eBay, although that is more common for small parts due to shipping cost. If you cannot find a hatch and bumper cover in the right color, your biggest expense will be getting them repainted.
 

sisyphus

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2008
Location
Appleton, Maine
TDI
99.5, '01 A4 Jetta sedans, 5 sp box, Hamman mod, Joey mod, Bilsteins, 2.00" lift
Friend of mine had his roll out of a driveway, through a yard with several trees without hitting any, across the street, and…into the pond across the street. At first he thought someone had stolen it but he saw the Thule roof rack sticking up out of the water.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis, MO
TDI
There are just too many to list....
That's how I got my set of GTI brakes! Someone didn't know how to properly use a parking brake, and it ended up across the street in their neighbor's living room! :D

The irony in that is... it just had a new set of parking brake cables installed... which I removed from the car, and put them in some other fixer-upper I had! LMAO!!!!
 

J_dude

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2020
Location
SK Canada
TDI
2003 1.9l “Jedi”
Looking at this damage, is it time to let her go?
HECK no!! 200k? That's just barely broke in!
Look at it this way, how much will it cost to fix that? (Source junkyard parts yourself, don't take it to a shop they'll screw you) Now compare that with what it will cost to get a new car to replace it. And if buying used factor in all the hassle of shopping around for a new(er) car, dealing with idiots on marketplace of wherever. Plus all the catch-up maintenance you'll have to do, all the surprise OP hack fixes you'll have to repair. Not worth the hassle in my opinion.
I'd say keep the car, you already know it inside and out, and it has lots of life left still.
 

intro

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Location
MA
TDI
02 Jetta Wagon
I park on a hill. This is a good reminder to me always to set my parking brake AND leave it in gear.
Yes, my cables are a little, how should I say this-WEAK at the moment. I haven't had it in me to investigate yet. I must have absent-mindedly forgotten to lock it in gear because I wouldn't have put the break up without also putting her in gear.
 

ducatipaso

Airhead Butcher
Joined
Nov 17, 2001
Location
norcal
TDI
2002 Jetta TDI
that looks like the rebar for a short bumper car. those are getting hard to find. I am also partial to wagons and say "fix it"
 

intro

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Location
MA
TDI
02 Jetta Wagon
Friend of mine had his roll out of a driveway, through a yard with several trees without hitting any, across the street, and…into the pond across the street. At first he thought someone had stolen it but he saw the Thule roof rack sticking up out of the water.
It sucks. When I didn‘t see it i quickened my pace and just started saying the f-bomb repeatedly. Fortunately,it was after work and I’m the last house on a cul de sac with no kids on the street.
 

intro

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Location
MA
TDI
02 Jetta Wagon
that looks like the rebar for a short bumper car. those are getting hard to find. I am also partial to wagons and say "fix it"
Yes, getting another shorty probably won‘t happen, but I will try. I didn‘t realize the support bar was specific. I will probably just have to switch to the newer style on both counts.
 

SpamJ

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2001
Location
Cable, MN
TDI
Jetta Wagon 2002 Silver
I have an '02, added the Bosal hitch, I wonder if that is an option for you.
 

intro

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Location
MA
TDI
02 Jetta Wagon
So after pulling more pieces off I'm not sure it's worth it anymore. Curious to hear what others think? The chassis is affected and I'm not 100% certain that the bumper would line up or I wouldn't have water intrusion in the cargo area based on what I'm seeing. I could maybe pull some of the dents out a bit and hammer down some high points + hope the new bumper and hatch conceal everything decently enough, but the center mounting bracket is rotted so that will have to be fabbed up and welded on (unless maybe all the other bumper mounting points are enough?) Doing a search this morning and the parts (especially the lid gate) are scarce to nonexistent in my area. Factoring in some floorpan rust, rotted out rockers, I'm really starting to think about a dieselgate wagon (there are plenty of those around) or even an E-Golf. This is my daily and I feel like I'll never get around to some of my passion projects this way. Perhaps it's time.



 

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
Frankenstien it
 

shoebear

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2002
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
TDI
1998 Jetta, 2003 Jetta Wagon, 2005 New Beetle, 2013 Sportwagen
All of that is fixable; it boils down to how much you love your car, how much time you have to work on it, and how much money you are willing to spend on it.. All that body damage and deterioration can be fixed. Since it's mostly covered up by the bumper, it doesn't have to be a perfect job, and you can probably DIY. Or take it to a body shop, or find a moonlighting body man on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, etc. who will do it cheap. The rusty bracket may be repairable with some wire brushing and paint. If not, a welder can probably fab and attach a replacement for $100 or so.

Ultimately, it's your decision.
 

J_dude

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2020
Location
SK Canada
TDI
2003 1.9l “Jedi”
All that body damage and deterioration can be fixed.
Yep, that's what body guys are for.

Just this summer I discovered my Jetta had some previous damage back there as well, that had been repaired by a previous owner. I never even would have known if I hadn't been swapping bumper covers with my parts car.
 

mittzlepick

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2001
Location
union maine
TDI
2004 jetta wagon (365k)2001 wagon tire burner 6spd 2003 wagon(417k)
Cant see most of it when reassembled.same blue bumper cover. I have parts if you end up stuck.
Like 6 or 8 kids. In maine midcoast. Pm me if you want
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
Have had the car for 11 years. I've been parking on my sloped driveway for 10.
...........................snip...............................
For those of you with sloped driveways, or anyone really.
Park the car, step on the brake, set the parking brake.
May even prolong the life of the park brake.
 

Mk4Play

Member
Joined
May 16, 2023
Location
Maryland
TDI
2000 ALH Golf
Have had the car for 11 years. I've been parking on my sloped driveway for 10.

I've always put the car in gear as a precaution when I get out. Today, I must not have or it popped out of reverse somehow, but I found the car down the slope and the tailgate was crushed. I've already replaced it once due to rust. Looking at this damage, is it time to let her go? I can try to replace the tailgate again (it still shuts and opens ok), and the bumper, but it looks like I will have to replace a support bar there behind the bumper.

I had a couple of fenders I had recently picked up to replace my rotted out ones, just redid the headliner, had leather seats to put in, planned to fix the rocker panels as well. I was about to hit 200k miles. Still mechanically sound as I've replaced most everything on the car over time.

Thoughts?




Fix that wagon ! Or I'll take it if you'd like
 
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