rocketeer928 - My 2003 VW Jetta TDI

rocketeer928

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Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Location
Northeastern Illinois
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
JettaJake said:
I cannot see the pictures ('cause I am at work) but will look when at home this evening -- we have nearly identically modded cars, btw :D (did I miss mudflaps/splashguards? :) )
The splashguards were already on my car. Yeah, I had to take them off and put them back on, but I didn't think about describing it.

shizzler said:
Wow. That's some dedication to modification documentation. Basically one giant DIY thread!
Thanks for sharing, nice job on the mods. Bet you can't wait for the RC tuning!
You know, I use everyone's "how-to" posts, and just figured it's time to contribute. Documenting everything made the job go longer, but it was worth it. I created a Word version for myself first, dumped the pictures into Photobucket (created the acct today!), and did a bunch of cut-and-paste to create all of these postings.

My primary motivation was to show my dad and friends what I've been doing to the car.
 
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Growler

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Millersport, Ohio
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Schmutz, 2015 Golf Sportwagen DSG & Schnurren, 2001 Golf GL 2 door 5M
rocketeer928 said:
The upper intercooler pipe was not long enough to reach the rubber elbow that connects to the DG race pipe. Fortunately, an approx. 3-inch metal tube the same diameter as the upper intercooler pipe was shipped along with the parts (must be a reason don’t you think?). I stretched the OEM rubber hose that went between the OEM air intake tube and the OEM VNT 15 turbo on the extra metal tube and the upper intercooler pipe. This combination provided just enough length to the rubber elbow with the use of an extra stainless steel T-bolt clamp.





The short piece of tubing you describe and installed here at the question mark pipe is supposed to connect between the 45 degree elbow and the 90 degree elbow down by the headlight on this upper pipe. that will give the upper pipe the length it needs to reach the question mark pipe.

unless Peter has changed his kit since I got my preproduction setup...

BTW, where did the Exhaust/DP come from?


Awesome Thread BTW!
 

rocketeer928

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2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
I DID NOT KNOW THAT! Ugh...

The upgraded IC pipes didn't come with directions or a diagram, so I made it up as I went along. I never did use that 90 degree elbow, and wondered what it was for. Now, should I go back and re-plumb or leave it be??? Hmm...

I bought the exhaust and downpipe through Peter and George at TDI Parts.
Thanks for the compliment on my thread. I'll be posting more soon on a few other things I did recently.
 
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rocketeer928

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Jan 24, 2008
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Northeastern Illinois
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2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
Modifications: June 2009

During June 2009 and before the Ho5G get-together on June 20th to get the RC4 chip tuning, I installed the following modifications on my 2003 VW Jetta TDI:

Ø Agricultural Strainer CCV
Ø New Parking Brake Cable
Ø EuroJet Side-Mount Intercooler and Vented Fender Housing
Ø LED Taillights
Ø Cut Exhaust Tip and Rear Spoiler with Cut-out
 
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rocketeer928

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Jan 24, 2008
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Northeastern Illinois
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2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
Agricultural Strainer CCV Installation

I purchased the following parts:

  • Agricultural polypropylene strainer (Part Nr. 2114130) and nylon fittings from Tractor Supply Company
  • Stainless steel scrubber from a local grocery store
  • Easy-tightening screw clamps from a local auto supply store
  • 1-inch OD, ¾-inch ID braided vinyl tubing from a local home supply store



Placed stainless steel scrubber into the mesh of the agricultural strainer.



Assembled the agricultural strainer and installed nylon fittings using Teflon tape. Boiled one end of the braided vinyl tubing in water to fit onto the CCV puck.



Cut and fitted tubing to size from where the CCV puck sits on the valve cover to where I was going to install the agricultural strainer and back to the OMI connector. Placed the tubing from the CCV puck to the strainer underneath the a small coolant hose, and placed the tubing from the OMI connector to the strainer underneath fuel lines Nr. 3 & 4. Cable tied the agricultural strainer to the Dieselgeek by-pass filter, which means I will have to cut it loose every time I need to empty the strainer of collected oil.





 
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n8ronJ

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Niagara Frontier - Somerset, NY
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2014 BMW 328d XDrive, 2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5speed Platinum Grey (sold), 2010 Jetta 6speed (bought back)
I just spent my whole lunchbreak loving this thread. I have a 2003 also but I'm still bone stock. Wish I had the cash to play and mod. Someday...

Us western New Yorkers are trying to set up a gtg this summer. Wanna make a road trip to show off?

-n8
 

rocketeer928

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Jan 24, 2008
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Northeastern Illinois
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2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
n8ronJ said:
I just spent my whole lunchbreak loving this thread. I have a 2003 also but I'm still bone stock. Wish I had the cash to play and mod. Someday...
Us western New Yorkers are trying to set up a gtg this summer. Wanna make a road trip to show off?
-n8

I actually grew up in WNY (Niagara and Orleans Counties) and much of family, including the folks, are still there. When is the GTG, and where exactly? No promises...

One thing I can't stand about WNY is how the big bugs plaster the front of your car in the summer. We don't get that in CT.

GO SABRES & BILLS!
 
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n8ronJ

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Niagara Frontier - Somerset, NY
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2014 BMW 328d XDrive, 2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5speed Platinum Grey (sold), 2010 Jetta 6speed (bought back)
Rocketeer928-
Our bugs are in full force. When they aren't coating the front of your ride, they are biting you by your peaceful bonfire.
Niagara/Orleans counties, eh? Small world - I grew up in Gasport, lived in Lockport when I got married and 2 years ago we moved to Barker. We haven't escaped WNY... what's it like? there's got to be a world out there with championship winning pro sports.
We've got T.O. now - you want to move back? :)

Our potential WNY GTG will probably be in Rochester. No date/location yet. My summer is filling fast so I'm hoping to make it myself. Love my TDI but family is first. :)
In the Eastern USA part of the forum there's a Buffalo/Rochester thread that talks about the GTG. http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=242165
 

rocketeer928

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Northeastern Illinois
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2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
I read the thread. I'll keep an eye out for date and location.

I was born in Albion, grew up in Middleport, escaped after leaving Roy-Hart, went to school at Ohio Univ. (not OSU), and then UMass at Amherst. Got a job in CT 18 years ago and haven't left (yet). There's nothing wrong with WNY, though. I still have my ties with family, the Sabres, and the Bills.
 
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n8ronJ

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What year did you graduate Roy-Hart? I'm a '92 grad. But I'm thinking that you're a couple years older than I.

I don't mean to hi-jack your thread, btw. So, I'll get back near topic I guess. After doing all these mods, what would you say I should concentrate on doing first to my car? I'm leaning more toward RC2/RC3 and then going for bigger nozzles. My goal is to spice up the driving experience but also keep my mileage up (if I drive it w/o playing too much).
I don't have much money to play with so I'd like to be strategic about the enhancements.

-n8
 

rocketeer928

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2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
So you went to Roy-Hart too, eh? I'm a 1985 graduate.

I think your plan is good; a tune and bigger nozzles. That's pretty much what I started with last year. I would highly recommend an aluminum skid plate, like the Panzer plate from Dieselgeek.com
 
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rocketeer928

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Jan 24, 2008
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Northeastern Illinois
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2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
Parking Brake Cable Replacement

I learned while getting my 5th gear swapped at Farnbacher Loles that my parking brake cable needed to be replaced. Apparently, water gets into the cable line, freezes, and rusts the cable. I was able to do it without replacing any of the clips underneath the car.

For some reason, I didn't take any picture. I simply followed the Bentley manual and a "how to" I had on hand. The trickest part was figuring out how to get to the two rear torque screws on the back of the center console. Both the Bentley and "how to" covered earlier models of the Jetta, so I had to figure it out on my own. After a while, I discovered that the plastic plate underneath the rear cup holder can be carefully pried off, and thus reveal those two pesky screws.

New parking brake cable works great. I tend to only use the parking brake when parked on steep hills. I always cringe when I here the ratchet of someone's parking brake being applied unnecessarily just for the sake of doing it. Seems to me that this would prematurely wear out the cable. First gear holds my car on a flat surface just fine.
 
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n8ronJ

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2014 BMW 328d XDrive, 2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5speed Platinum Grey (sold), 2010 Jetta 6speed (bought back)
I have an aunt and a cousin that graduated in '86. Small world. I was at another TDI'ers house in Buffalo yesterday to return his TB tools and use his Vag-Com to check my timing. I found out that he's related to my neighbor that lives across the road.

A skid plate is on the list. I'm the kind of guy that likes to make things on my own though too. I'm a cnc machinist so I have access to lots of machine tools so I'm thinking of making my own skid plate. Getting it done before winter would be preferred. You know what the ice chunks and snow are like out here. :)

EGR delete is not too expensive - maybe I'll do that one next. I'd like to make my own pipe at work.
 

rocketeer928

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Northeastern Illinois
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2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
EuroJet Side-Mount Intercooler and Vented Fender Housing Installation

I decided to install the new SMIC and vented passenger side fender housing to lower the temperature of the boosted air going into the intake manifold. This should help with power.

Removed front wheels and both plastic fender housings.

Removed bumper and passenger side headlight, as described previously.

Removed windshield washer fluid reservoir and unplugged its two connectors, as described previously.

Unplugged the connector to the 3-Bar MAP.

Removed passenger side plastic engine side shield.

Removed the upper and lower hoses from the stock intercooler by loosening the T-bolt clamps with a 7/16-inch socket.

Removed the nut holding the lower intercooler pipe with a 10-mm socket.

Removed the two top and one bottom bolts holding the stock intercooler with a 10-mm socket.



Pulled the stock intercooler out, and accidentally dumped a lot of oil on the garage floor.



Carefully, removed the two screws holding the 3-Bar MAP, as described previously.

Trimmed the plastic radiator support. Picture is looking upward with yellow outlining where the cut took place.



Used a Sawzall blade by hand to cut the plastic/fiberglass.





Trimmed a triangular piece of the same area so the EuroJet SMIC would fit.





Here’s the new EuroJet Side-Mounted Intercooler. It’s a little bigger than the stock, and a whole lot shinier.

 
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rocketeer928

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2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
EuroJet Side-Mount Intercooler and Vented Fender Housing Installation Continued

Installed the EuroJet SMIC with two bolts using a 10-mm socket to 10 Nm (7 ft-lb). I had to bend the lower bracket on the car slightly in order to line it up with the lower connection on the EuroJet SMIC.







Installed the 3-Bar MAP with the 10-mm bolts that were supplied with the EuroJet SMIC plus a lock washer on each with a 5‑mm Allen socket until tight.



Reinstalled upper intercooler pipe and tightened the T-Bolt clamp with a 7/16-inch socket until tight.



As a side note, I plan to re‑plumb the upper intercooler connections from the SMIC to the race pipe once TDI Parts sends me a new straight restrictor hose. This should raise and send the upper intercooler pipe toward the race pipe where it belongs. Right now, the upper intercooler pipe rests on the serpentine belt tensioner, which is not ideal. A fellow TDI enthusiast gave me a vinyl cap off a shelving unit to place over the tensioner to protect it from the upper intercooler pipe. I’m also hoping this change might help the headlight to fit better. Right now, it rests against the hose, which makes it bounce slightly at idle.

Reinstalled the windshield washer fluid reservoir.

Trimmed about ½-inch off the outer (bumper side) of the intercooler shroud and installed by hand.



Reinstalled headlight and, side markers, bumper, and grille. I had to remove the intercooler shroud because the bumper would not install flush. I may try to trim more off the side of the shroud the next time the bumper is removed to re-plumb the upper intercooler pipe.

Reinstalled driver’s side engine shield, fender housing, and wheel.

Cut approximately 1⅜-inch off of the lower intercooler pipe so that it would join with the EuroJet SMIC.



The scuff mark on the lower intercooler pipe is from my right tire when making a hard left turn.

Cut a 4⅜-inch section of a 2½-inch radiator hose to fit between the lower intercooler pipe and EuroJet SMIC.

Installed the lower intercooler pipe between the 17/22 hybrid turbo hose and SMIC with T-bolt clamps and 7/16-inch socket.



Installed a new, vented passenger side fender housing and splash shield.



Reinstalled the passenger side wheel.

Turned on the car and checked for hose leaks; there were none.

Reinstalled Panzer skid plate and bumper skirting.

Lowered the car and tightened the lug bolts to 120 Nm (89 ft-lb).
 
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rocketeer928

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2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
Notched Rear Spoiler Installation and Exhaust System Fix

Placed car on jack stands, removed the rear wheels and splash shields.

Removed the three, lower T30 bolts that hold the spoiler to the rear bumper.

Pulled the stock spoiler off of the rear bumper.



You can see the notch that I cut out in the above picture to accommodate the exhaust tip on the left side.

Here’s the new rear spoiler with the notch cut-out for the exhaust tip.



Since the spoiler was removed, I decided cut the crooked exhaust tip as straight as possible with a pneumatic cutter and a hand file. I used a piece of cardboard slipped over the exhaust tip to mark a straight line for cutting.



Before the cut



After the cut; fairly straight



Installed the new spoiler using a rubber mallet. Reinstalled the three T30 bolts hand tight, splash shields, and rear wheels. Tightened the lug bolts to 120 Nm (89 ft-lb) after lowering the car.



At the June 20th Ho5G get-together in New Hampshire, I showed my crooked exhaust problem to Peter and George from TDI Parts. The next week, George set it up so that I would make a 3+ hour trip to K&B Fabrications in Southeast Massachusetts and have the manufacturer properly adjust my exhaust system. The idea was to not only fix my system, but to also have the fabricators learn the adjustments necessary to properly fit the exhaust systems to A4 Jetta sedans. I learned that most of the 2½-inch stainless steel exhaust systems that had been sold in the past were mainly for Golfs, so my trip was used as a learning experience. The exhaust was straightened, the tip re-shaved, and smaller exhaust clamps were installed. Here are a few pictures, including one that shows the owner of K&B Fabrications (Kevin) and his son. Nice guys. It was also great to visit TDI Parts and to get to know Peter and George a little. It was also cool to look under my car without having to be lying on a creeper.







I’m still finding that the exhaust tip touches a metal piece hanging from the rear bumper, which can be seen in the above picture. However, it’s still much better than when I initially did the installation.
 
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btcost

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'12 JSW, '00 Jetta (totaled 12/23/10), 1987 M-B 300D
Does Kevin (of K&B) have the greatest shop EVER!!!

I asked if I could move in. . . he laughed! I was serious.

did you play find the 40' motor home??
 

rocketeer928

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2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
btcost said:
Does Kevin (of K&B) have the greatest shop EVER!!!
I asked if I could move in. . . he laughed! I was serious.
did you play find the 40' motor home??
Kevin's shop is great, and he's been doing it for years. His son enjoys the business too. Nothing came up about a 40' motor home, so I'm not sure what you are referring to.

Is there going to be a DSG dyno day again this fall? I want to compare my numbers from last year's modifications to this year's modifications.
 
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n8ronJ

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2014 BMW 328d XDrive, 2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5speed Platinum Grey (sold), 2010 Jetta 6speed (bought back)
So how much more can you possibly do to mod your TDI? Keep it up though, I'm enjoying the thread.
Nice work and the pics are helpful to understand what's what. I'm only a year and a half into having my TDI and want to learn all I can. I'm still just happy that I did my own TB change - a nice confidence booster.

I saw that you did the EGR delete - you had no problem getting rid of the anti-shutter valve? I've been researching this and I really like the look of a nice and clean pipe instead of the EGR and ASV.

-n8
 

rocketeer928

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2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
Thanks. I've had my Jetta TDI for 1½ years too. I'm writing two more postings, so stay tuned.

I did my own TB change last year too. It's very satisfying to have done it myself, as well as all the other work I've done. The hardest by far was upgrading the clutch and putting in a new single mass flywheel; mainly because I had to use my hydraulic jack and jack stands. I don't have a lift.

I had no problem getting rid of the EGR and its cooler. The only problem I face is that I've lost the concern about the soot build-up.:D If you remove the EGR then make sure that whatever chip tuning you choose has an EGR delete function. Otherwise, your CEL will likely be on all the time. Without the EGR, the car shudders a bit when turning it off, but it's not really a problem.
 
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rocketeer928

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Northeastern Illinois
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2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
LED Taillights Installation

I used the money I got for selling my stock VNT 15 turbo to buy new FK LED taillights for ECS Tuning.

Pulled out the lighting housing from the taillights, and removed the brake light, parking light, and turn signal bulbs.

Disconnected the wire connectors.

Removed the three nuts holding the stock taillights in place with an 8-mm wrench.

Pulled out the stock taillights.



Here are the new FK LED taillights.



Last year, I wired from my European light switch to the left stock taillight for a rear fog lamp. I spliced this left rear fog lamp wire to add a similar fog lamp to the right taillight using a new wire clip into the right housing position #1, since the new LED taillights allows for both lamps. The idea is when someone starts to tailgate me on the road, I can flash the bright fog lamps to get that person off of my tail without endangering them or me by hitting my brakes. I’ve tried it a couple of times, and it works!

I worked the new wire to the right taillight through the holes in the top of the trunk, so that they are out of the way.

Installed new LED taillights until tight with the 8-mm wrench. I had to be careful not to drop those small pieces; I dropped my wrench behind the taillight once. Ugh.

Upon starting the car with the LED taillights installed, the glow plug light on the instrument panel flashed continuously. Also, the LED brake lights stayed on continuously in a dimmed fashion. After some internet research, I learned that I had either a faulty brake light switch or the need for load resistors on each LED brake light. Apparently, the circuit loop for the glow plugs, brake lights, and cruise control is one in the same. In fact, I discovered quickly that I had lost my cruise control too, which I use all the time on the highway.

I also learned that this circuit is looking for resistance from the stock brake light bulbs, and since the LEDs use less power, the resistance needed just is not there. So, even though I picked up a new brake light switch, just in case, I decided that the load resistors would be the solution to my problem. Therefore, I ordered load resistors from superbrightsleds.com (RL-650; 6 ohm/50 watts). Here is a picture of a load resistor.



The load resistors for my LED taillights did the trick! I put them in about a week after the initial installation. A huge, frustrating struggle though. The wiring for the parking and brake lights aren't long enough, so it's impossible to get your hands where they need to be, make all the connections, and shine a light so you can see. I think the next time a turn signal, rear fog, or reverse bulb blows, I will take the opportunity to splice in some wiring to make them a bit longer with some crimp connections.

I wrapped the resistors in electrical tape to help keep direct heat away from anything. The heat shrink wrap I got from Radio Shack was not big enough to wrap around the ½-inch thick resistors.

Anyway, the brake lights no longer stays dimly on all the time, the glow plug light no longer blinks, and I have my cruise control back. Sweetness!

I have no plans to include LEDs for the turn signals. Instead, I'm using Sylvania's chrome/amber bulbs (Part Nr. 7507A ST), which don't distract from the look of the taillights.

Here’s a picture of the right taillight with all the lights on.

 
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rocketeer928

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Northeastern Illinois
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2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
RocketChip RC4 Chip Tuning Software

My whole intention of doing all these modifications in May and June was to be ready for the RocketChip RC4 Chip Tuning Software at the Ho5G get-together on June 20. The GTG was great, and I got to know a few guys I hadn’t met before, and learn a few tips, especially on how to pass CT Emissions (Thanks BlueCTTDi). I got the emissions due letter from CT last week, so the timing was perfect. Basically, I need to reinstall the EGR valve a few days before the test.

So, I arrived at the GTG at 9:40 am, and put myself on the RocketChip tuning list. I was number 14 on that list. Due to some technical difficulties with some of the cars (a Passat took 3 HOURS to tune!), my turn in the cue didn’t come up until about 9:30 pm. Ugh, I was hoping to be back at the place I was staying overnight by then. Oh well.

When it came to my turn, I requested an RC4 tune from Jeff. Jeff wasn’t initially too happy about my request for the RC4 chip software because of the glow plug circuit problem I was having at the time due to my new LED taillights. I didn’t have the load resistors installed yet. I told Jeff that I had a fix planned, and he said that the car might not run correctly, but ultimately it was up to me. By golly, I wasn’t leaving without some tuning, so I told Jeff to go ahead and get rid of my Unitronic Stage 2+ software and install the RC4 software. I really had no choice, since with my current modifications I had already went into limp mode once.

During the RC4 software installation, Jeff’s attitude changed quite a bit. Before I went out to test drive and collect data on his computer, Jeff discovered that my injectors and PP520 nozzles were very well balanced. I was actually surprised myself, since I didn’t even send them out for balancing. So, off my friend Dan and I went for the test drive and data collection.

As I pulled onto the road where I could stomp on the pedal, a cop was already chasing someone else going the opposite direction. I knew at that point that I likely had the freedom to put my TDI through its paces and test out the RC4 tune. Three times (twice downhill and once uphill) I floored the accelerator about 1500 – 1800 rpm in third gear to about 70 mph before throwing it into fourth. According to Jeff, my new redline is about 5800 rpm.

Wow, my Jetta TDI now has a whole new lease on life. The power was phenomenal!

Jeff’s attitude about my RC4 tune changed a lot once he started looking at the data that was collected from my three test runs on that road. Jeff started graphing the car’s response to the tune, and he was thrilled with a smile on his face. He ended up telling me that my car was a pleasure to tune and that my car was the best tune of the day for him. He also said that my car is running great with the modifications that I did to it, and that 60 mpg were possible. I want at least an average of 50 mpg. Now, the things Jeff said to me are what I really wanted to hear. My hard work seems to have paid off.

Thanks to Jeff for putting the RC4 on my FOW-VAY Jetta. Since I'm rocketeer928, I can now confidently call my Jetta TDI "The Rocket". What a difference over the Unitronic 2+. (BTW - my first new car was the original "Rocket", which was a 1989 Ford Escort; Zero-to-60 in two weeks. So, my name rocketeer928 has been around long before I ever owned a diesel; 20 years now).

Anyway, my RC4 tune put a smile both on Jeff's and my face. I was thrilled to see Jeff happy with the performance of my car.

Now, I can't wait for NE Dyno Day at Dent Sport Garage, assuming it takes place this fall.

Here is one of the performance graphs from the Excel file that Jeff gave to me.

 
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btcost

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'12 JSW, '00 Jetta (totaled 12/23/10), 1987 M-B 300D
rocketeer928 said:
Kevin's shop is great, and he's been doing it for years. His son enjoys the business too. Nothing came up about a 40' motor home, so I'm not sure what you are referring to.

Is there going to be a DSG dyno day again this fall? I want to compare my numbers from last year's modifications to this year's modifications.

there is a 40' motor home in the Shop!!! (that's how big this place is) I missed it the 1st time I was there too.

DSG this fall for sure.

some time in October

Brian
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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The motor home was outside the day he was there. The shop seems much more spacious without it.

Chris, impressive write-up. And I'm grateful for you taking the effort to come down and let us use your Jetta sedan as a model for future systems. Your car drove beautifully, I wouldn't change a thing. Well, maybe a bit more fuel, but...
 
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rocketeer928

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2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
IndigoBlueWagon said:
Chris, impressive write-up. Your car drove beautifully, I wouldn't change a thing. Well, maybe a bit more fuel, but...
Thanks, IBW. I bit more fuel means you know what... Bigger nozzles, which leads to 11-mm IP, which leads to upgrading the clutch and possibly SMF again!:eek: Maybe (and a hesitant maybe) next year.
 
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