vw tdi kit car

Kriesel

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Location
Afton, MN
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI
Can't wait to see the final product. Should be pretty nice.

Mark, I know you put a lot of stuff on twitter, but have you thought of putting up a small website for your Smyth Performance shop, and display pictures there as a central location?

I've been keeping up with the forum on ffcobra.com as well, this build definately catches my eye! Keep it up Mark!
 

mark smith

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2008
Location
wareham, ma
TDI
2000 jetta sedan, 2002 jettta wagon
web site

I like the informal nature of the brainstorming and input from all the potential customers. The web site will come around the end of the year but purposefully keeping the talk with enthusiasts with a direct connection to tdi's or FFR.

Rest of the world's opinions are not all that useful as it takes too long to teach them about tdi's or kit cars.

But soon:)
 

cpoore

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2008
Location
Martinsville, IN
TDI
06 Beetle and a 79 Wanderlodge with 3208 CAT
Wow...

I got to say I'm a huge fan of your kits. I remember the first one I heard (big block with side exhaust) at a stop light when I was younger and this old guy with this HUGE grin on his face. I just love those cobra designs and the Type 65 Coupe. So, having a family now and a budget I'm glad to see something rational come out of the kit-car world.

As far as design opinions, I would like to have a back seat for the kids to enjoy it. A hardtop Targa option or coupe. My favorite design is your Type 65 coupe and would love to see its basic shape modified into fitting this platform. Maybe just moving up the A pillar 24-36 inches would allow room for the rear engine and back seat. Either way... I love the idea. I thought about doing one of these with an early 30's kit-car setup as well.

I subscribed to this thread and going to try to sign up on your forum as well.
 

mark smith

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2008
Location
wareham, ma
TDI
2000 jetta sedan, 2002 jettta wagon
ffcobra is independently owned from ffr(there are times when we get criticized when I wish we did own it:)) but has an enormous following. This project has captured their imagination as many of us fancy car guys actually drive environmentally friendly cars during the week.

This project starrted out of a desire many of us car guys had to get rid of foreign oil. Love diesels...esp biodiesel..and hoping this car gives us motorheads a way to show people that they can make their own car that does what they want it to do and not sit back and wait for vw or any other huge company to force boring cars on us rational types.

great site guys... i am a fan. Go green but go fast.

mark smith
 

CFM

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2006
Location
Wells, Maine
TDI
1995 Saturn with a 1997 TDI drivetrain.
That is part of the reasoning for my Saturn TDI project; I love my hotrods, but I want to be enviromentally and economically responsible about it, too. Boring cars are for boring people!
 

Lug_Nut

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 20, 1998
Location
Sterling, Massachusetts. USA
TDI
idi: 1988 Bolens DGT1700H
fact5 said:
This project starrted out of a desire many of us car guys had to get rid of foreign oil. Love diesels...esp biodiesel..
Go green but go fast.
mark smith
Which brings up a question: What is the "year of manufacture" for such a car? Will it be subject to the same emissions regulations as a same model year mass production car?
If a car I assemble in 2010 is subject to 2010 new car emissions requirements that somewhat limits my choice of diesel power to the no-bio DPF emissions controls of the CR Jetta.
 

ChippedNotBroken

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Location
Pocono\'s, NYC
TDI
Jetta A4 1999.5 Green
Quote for quote, mmmm.

Which brings up a question: What is the "year of manufacture" for such a car? Will it be subject to the same emissions regulations as a same model year mass production car?
If a car I assemble in 2010 is subject to 2010 new car emissions requirements that somewhat limits my choice of diesel power to the no-bio DPF emissions controls of the CR Jetta.
fact5 said:
So enjoy the show..I have never done a car in public at such an early phase..it has been a ball so far. the hybrid floorpan/subframe idea that uses the jetta title has real possibility in the kit car world since titling and smog regs can be hard on home built cars.
 

mark smith

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2008
Location
wareham, ma
TDI
2000 jetta sedan, 2002 jettta wagon
registration

In the kit car world the registration process has been following the year of the engine and drivetrain. The advantage of starting with a titled vehicle and using the entire firewall to rear seat area of the car has huge advantages when the car is inspected or even if it must be retitled as a rebody(ala hummer replica on a suburban.

By retaining all the obd plugs and computer tie ins to the chassis vin and title the inspectors(registration or smog) have a much eassier time. So far factoryfive guys have not been forced to run new only engines but that day may come. So if you use the "old" gen 4 vw stuff...build on.

mark
 

Lug_Nut

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 20, 1998
Location
Sterling, Massachusetts. USA
TDI
idi: 1988 Bolens DGT1700H
So do us a favor and design it to accept the even older "gen 3" 1Z/AHU engine as well. A 1996 (or earlier) diesel donor is emissions exempt, thus completely avoiding that hurdle.
 

mark smith

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2008
Location
wareham, ma
TDI
2000 jetta sedan, 2002 jettta wagon
older stuff

The engine mounts are in the same spot i think(someone verify)...it should fit but you will use gen 4 lower control arms and spindles.
 

Tom W.

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2005
Location
Raleigh, NC
TDI
mash-up GettaTDI150, 1986 Jetta Delux D, 2005 Passat TDI sedan
Definitely some type of back seat- Dramatic insurance drop over a 2 seater. Plus, TDI owners are pretty practical- we like a back seat to put stuff.
 

mark smith

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2008
Location
wareham, ma
TDI
2000 jetta sedan, 2002 jettta wagon
building vs buying

From my experience in the home built car world the bluesport will only feed the desire for this car. Builders ike to tinker and build..buyers just buy a car. Tho its always fun to provide a good value for the builder to reward all the work...its the desire to do it yourself that drives projects such as this...

The bluesport is an incredible concept but the 2000 lbs ultra light tdi home built will be a hoot that no oem manufacturer can make for 20 grand:) which is why builders and hot rod guys have way more fun if you ask me....its always easier and cheaper to buy an existing car...but you cant say the magic words "i built it"

mark smith
www.twiter.com/factoryfive project updates
www.factoryfive.com
 

G60ING

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 5, 2001
Location
Alexandria, VA
TDI
No TDIs Currently, I have an R36 Corrado. I've had an ALH Corrado swap, AHU Corrado swap and 2003 TDI Jetta
Having the ability to use either the motor mounts configuration of the MK4 or the Mk3 will allow virtually all watercooled VW motors to be mounted in the car that have been used from 1974-2009. the only one that would be a tight squeeze is the 5 cylinder 2.5 that is currently in production.

I know I'd love to have the opprotunity to swap a 300+ HP 1.8T or VR6 Turbo into a RWD platform without having to weldup a whole frame or build a custom flywheel/transmission adaptor.

Swapping over the drivetrains, wiring and diagnostics is easier on the cars built before 2000. Cars made after 1999 have immobilzers in the keys, Instrument Clusters and ECUs which make it a little more tricky.
 

nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
I hope this isn't a dumb question, but what do the experienced builders think of the possiblity of integrating VW's ESP (Electronic Stability Program) into this kit car?

Edit to comment on G60ING's post: FWIW, I think anyone capable of building a kit car can easily handle the issue of immobilizer delete. Personally, I'd ONLY do this if the ECU came along. How hard is it to hide/locate a stripped cluster box and ECU? The hard part would seem to be redoing the wiring loom/harnesses. But you're going to have to redo it regardless because of the change to RWD layout, so is it that much more difficult to keep the ECU and stripped (hidden) cluster...? Or, why not just reuse the cluster even?
 
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mark smith

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2008
Location
wareham, ma
TDI
2000 jetta sedan, 2002 jettta wagon
general q's

Had a few emails asking questions about the project so I figured I would post the overall concept with a bit of detail as we stand today.

www.factoryfive.com ships between 500 and 1000 kit cars a year and has been around since 1994. Frame, body, aluminum gauges...soup to nuts race inspired kits.

www.local-motors.com is a start up headed by jay rogers with ffr as the first investor. They crowd source designs for cars and then design them ffr style for production...the difference is that it is not home built...you build the car in their micro factories around the country with factory technicians. Cool company with a unique vision.

smyth performance is my new company down the street from ffr that is designing the diesel sports car based on the jetta tdi/vr6/1.8t cut the front,rear and top off a jetta and move the engine to the midsection. A race style tubular subframe strengthens the floorpan and doors allowing a very low body to be used. Think lotus elise built at home weighing 2000 lbs and getting 60 mpg.

Hope that helps differentiate the various automotive efforts being discusssed.

www.twitter.com/factoryfive is my personal twitter page not ffr's which is why you see a bunch of other cool projects every now and then. This site saved me yesterday as the wagon went into limp mode...new 60 dollar part from the tech section and i am at full boost again....love this site.

cheers and thanks for the input.

mark

fact5 at comcast dot net is my personal email if you have any detailed q's
 

ARCJr

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2003
Location
East Brunswick, NJ
TDI
2000 Golf TDI "GTD"
Mark,
I finally made it through all 25 pages at FFCobra. Can't wait to view some of the mock-ups and photochops on a PC that doesn't block everything under the sun!

One question I have is in relation to the part of the thread talking about VINs, and the advantages of being able to use the VIN as attached to the original donor Mk4 chassis. Would a potential customer have to provide a Mk4 to Smyth Performance as a prelude to getting a Mini-Me kit, or would Smyth be sourcing and modifying Mk4s beforehand? Or would the customer be responsible for cutting and modifying their own chassis to specs provided by Smyth? I hope the latter is not the case, as that is well beyond my capabilities.

Thanks in advance.

EDIT: And one last question. Is it a Jetta for certain, or would a 2dr/4dr Golf or Beetle suffice? I would imagine the Jettas would be more numerous and cheaper than the Golfs, but I have seen some very cheap Beetles out there...
 
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mark smith

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2008
Location
wareham, ma
TDI
2000 jetta sedan, 2002 jettta wagon
mk 4 cut

Part of my twitter thread was documenting how I put a jetta outside and disassembled it with hand tools. Figured if I could do it in a driveway my customers would be able to do it in their garages. Amazingly simple to do since we are removing huge sections of the car with a sawsall. the trick is providing accurate templates for the cut. not for everybody of course but for the first customers this will be a reality.

Having said that I do envision a service where i cut the unibody..just tough to do without shipping cars all over as people will be expected to obtain their own donors. I smell a cottage industry developing here:)

It is light gauge sheet metal after all...if you have the ability to get the engine and suspension off the car you will find the cut a breeze...no critical cuts since we are providing a complete subframe...the rough edges are covered.

all the golf tdi variants will work including the golf and the beetle....the issue with the beetle is the dash wont fit so you would be sourcing those parts. Does anybody know if the door hinges on the beetle are in the same place as the jetta/golf? I am assuming they are the same. For now figure jetta/golf mk4 only.

mark
 
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ARCJr

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2003
Location
East Brunswick, NJ
TDI
2000 Golf TDI "GTD"
I'm usually very good at visualizing things, but I'm just not getting it, today. I am encouraged by your assurances, though, so I'll wait and see!

I'm getting a little excited by the whole idea, so I may have to ignore this thread for a while so I can get some work done...
 

dremd

Veteran Member
Joined
May 31, 2007
Location
South Louisiana
TDI
06 sprinter. 03 jetta wagon premium with 6 speed ALH swap, 14 JSW
Subscribed:
You can count me as a potential customer.
 

mark smith

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2008
Location
wareham, ma
TDI
2000 jetta sedan, 2002 jettta wagon
early in the process..pros and cons

It is hard for those that have not actually built a factory five to conceptualize this project I think but throwing this thing out for review in the early stages is still working well.

As the project is leaving the ideation stage and becoming tangible I will have some really fun pics to show on twitter of the car actually coming together and the tradeoffs we have to make. Even tho most of the comments have been from the 8000 strong builder base over at ffcobra.com discussion area..it is fun to expand to a new group with a solid interest in the project before the details of the car are finalized.

A great example of how this is working is the current discussion on targa 308 style buttresses vs a fastback glass for the rear. Looks vs simplicity and cost...classic struggle to get a less expensive design to look good.

mocking up the body panels and glass next week so stay tuned if you are into it:)

mark smith

ps I need another gen 4 jetta shell wo an engine to cut for the second prototype...rear end crash is best.

www.twitter.com/factoryfive

fact5 at comcast dot net
 

G60ING

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 5, 2001
Location
Alexandria, VA
TDI
No TDIs Currently, I have an R36 Corrado. I've had an ALH Corrado swap, AHU Corrado swap and 2003 TDI Jetta
You might want to contact Underground VW parts as they are known for selling drivetrain donor cars. They might be able to provide a shell as they could potentially benefit from your kit car making it into production. I imagine that a shell would be easy for them.

here is a link to them:
http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=969198
 

ARCJr

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2003
Location
East Brunswick, NJ
TDI
2000 Golf TDI "GTD"
Happened to be on the Top Gear website, and saw their review of the Lotus Evora. If you need some inspiration on packaging or the fastback look, Lotus manages to fit a "back seat", a Camry V6, and a trunk in what looks to be the same space that Porsche manages to fit their boxer 6 and...well, that's about it, into the Cayman.
 
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