AUTObiography: J-tec’s 2001 VW Jetta

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Next up is VWvortex reader: J-tec

How long have you owned this car?

For 2 years and 10 days, but who’s counting?

Is there anything unique about the history of this car?

The previous owner of it was the owner of some bio-chemical company. I found his card when installing an iPod connector to the back of my head unit. I called him and asked if he beat on it, and he replied no, it was a daily, his Ferrari was for that. Ha!

Why did you choose this car to purchase?

I always liked the modified styling of the Jetta, but I mainly bought it (at the time) because of the engine and the wheels (stock RXIIs). It just stuck out to me when I was looking through ads online. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was mine.

What other cars did you consider?

MKIV GTI 1.8T and VR6, dare I say Mustang GT, WRX, and last resort, RSX Type S.

What was your objective with this car?

At first it was to modify it slightly, to just enjoy the car, eventually chip it and call it a day. The first day I drove it and heard the turbo, that instantly changed. I never thought it would change the way I look at cars and how much money I would put into it, but I love that factor.

What tuning style best describes this car (ex. Euro, bling, OEMplus, street racer, auto crosser)?

Style? It’s my own style. Except for the Euro plate. That’s strictly Euro.

Who helped you build this car?

My dad bought me the car for getting great grades in school. Big props to pops on that. Then completely myself for mods until I went to college. I had two jobs my entire senior year to pay for all the parts. Wrench time goes out to my five best friends and I, Emil, Andreas, Richy, Jason and Todd. My boss Murat at Common Street Auto helped me out big time too, can’t forget him.

What makes your car special?

I did everything (besides the K04 and Wavetrack limited slip differential) on a high school budget. It’s a daily driver, which I love, and on the weekends it’s a track monster.

What is your favorite part/feature/function?

My favorite parts are the K04-20 setup and the Wavetrack LSD I have on the car. The K04-20 kit is insane and completely transformed the car, while still maintaining that reliability factor I wanted. The Autotech (Wavetrack) LSD really helped getting the power to the ground. It’s an unbelievable upgrade that I would recommend to anyone, as well as the K04-20 kit. Both of those matched together make a very worthy track car, while still maintaining that daily driver mentality. It was dyno’d at 254 whp/270 wtq. The Wavetrack LSD was not on then, but it will have another dyno run soon with a new tune.

Who or what inspired the direction of modifications on this car?

Vortex and an old, old Waterfest video I saw before I bought the car. I was instantly hooked. As well as many of my friends that had turbo’d cars, I always wanted to have to boost, and a lot of it.

What don’t you like about this car?

That I don’t have a sunroof. It’s the only thing I hate about the car, and I swear it’s the only 1.8T Wolfsburg Edition without one.

What was your biggest obstacle in building this car?


How did you overcome the issue?

Worked my bum off at two jobs for my entire senior year.

What would you change if you could?

The miles on the car, I just hit 98K, I wish I bought it at 35K. And the fact that I don’t have a sunroof.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with the outcome of this project?

9.999999 (the other .000001 will be added when I get a sunroof).

What would you do to the car if money were no object?

Sunroof, R32 interior, 3.2 6-cyl swap with an HPA Stage 5 kit and 4Motion kit, just make it insane, something no one’s ever seen before.

Who has been your biggest critic of this project?

My dad always wanted me to be safe and not make it go faster. He told me once when I said I was going to chip it, “I bought you a Jetta so you wouldn’t go as fast as that Mustang you wanted, now you’re gonna go faster.” Thanks for the compliment, pops. He’d always tell me to save my money and stop putting it into the car, it’s just going to depreciate. I don’t believe in saving money so it doesn’t depreciate, I enjoy it. Hahaha.

What do your family and friends say about this car?

They love it, love the boost, how nice it is inside and out, how clean it is, how they love the front mount, the wheels, etc. They always ask me, “What’s up with the Euro plate?” My mom thinks it’s way too loud, my dad just wants me to be safe with it and my friends absolutely love it. Best quote after my buddy got a ride in it: “Dude, your car’s tahded.”

What is your most memorable/humorous/embarrassing moment with this car?

Memorable? Probably when my friends and I installed the FMIC and then the K04-20. Humorous? Definitely the time when I was coming back from “Staggered” in Connecticut with Darkstar Dubs. I was on the highway and saw a brand new Audi TT convertible and immediately decided move up next to it. A middle aged couple in the car, I come up next to the passenger window, wave and give the thumbs up. I get a smile in return, but I really wanted to see the TT move, hear that new K04 spool up. I encourage this, hitting full boost for a little and then letting off. As I come back next to the window, I glance over to see that they’re smiling and laughing a little, the wife has a huge smile on her face. The husband leans over, gives me the thumbs up with a big smile on, and reaches down for something. He shows us a black, foldable, leather carrier, with something shiny in it. My thought process of about two seconds goes like this: “What is that? Why the hell would this guy show me his wallet… OMFG, it’s a police badge!” Needless to say, I slammed on my brakes, waved, gave another thumbs up, and went on my way. Most embarrassing would be when I didn’t see a little oil cover sticking up in the road, hit it, bent two wheels and popped two tires. That was a great night.

Has this car competed in any events? Results?

Track events, quarter mile mostly, best I ran was 15.2@92 (on the K03s). Recently I ran a 13.3@104 mph with the K04-20 installed. I can’t wait until I can get it to the track now since the Wavetrack LSD is installed.

What is your favorite place to drive this car?

On this newly paved windy road by my house and on any road in my girlfriend’s town in CT, they have the craziest bends and turns I’ve ever seen. Pretty much any road with new pavement, S turns, switch backs, etc. that let me have fun with the car.

What is your ideal day with this car?

In the summer, fresh wash and wax in the morning with the crew, some Dub/Audi meet in the afternoon, a nice cruise with all my friends to the beach, pictures of all the cars at the beach, go for a nice swim and go for a nice run on the sand, have a nice dinner at a nice burger place where I can see the car from where I sit, cruise home with everyone, blasting Incubus and Chili Peppers the whole way home.

Who gets to drive this car?

Me, my girlfriend has sometimes, and my best friends.

What was your previous project?

This was my first car.

What is your next project?

I had my next project, but had to sell it to get the K04-20 because my K03s was dying; it was a MKII Golf and it was sweet. I sold it to my brother though, so it’s still in the family. But yeah, when I get more money I want to get a nice MKII Jetta, red, and do a VR6T swap, and it will have a sunroof!

What one word best describes your car?


Anything else you’d like to share?

Doing the K04-20 swap was unreal. After getting the turbo in, it was like night and day. The only problem I had with it is getting the power to the ground, and after putting in the Wavetrack LSD, it made a hell of a difference. Without it, the car wouldn’t be the monster that it is, with power at both wheels, the K04 can hurl the car across the track. I would recommend the setup I’m running to anyone. The K04-20 and the Wavetrack LSD is a perfect match. Something else I’d like to share is that I’m so glad I got into VWs. It’s the place for me. There’s no other car company out there that has the same type of hospitality and friendliness as VW/Audi does. It goes from getting waves from other Dubbers when driving, to having someone come over to your house 10 minutes after you put up a post on the forums saying your car’s acting up and need VAG-COM. The VW community is the best car community out there, and I absolutely love being a part of it.

Owner Information:

Name: Jonny

VWvortex username: J-tec

Occupation: Student

Club affiliations: Dark Star Dubs, Boston Euro Unit

Vehicle Information:

Year: 2001

Make: VW

Model: Jetta 1.8T Wolfsburg Edition

Mileage: 98,XXX

Original color: Uni Black

Current color: Uni Black

Engine: 1.8T

Engine modifications: K04-20 kit (manifold, injectors, 3” MAF, etc.), GIAC K04-20 93 and Race file, Wavetrack LSD, FMIC, N75 J valve, Intake, Forge 007 DV

Exhaust modifications: Full 2.5” cat-less turbo-back

Transmission modifications: Stage 2 VR6 power clutch with 14-lb flywheel

Suspension modifications: H&R cup kit

Brake modifications: GLI front brakes

Wheels and tires: 337 BBS RCs with Eagle F1 GS-D3s

Exterior/body modifications: 4Motion front lip, cut rear valence, Joey modded headlights, smoked side corners, badgeless grille, FMIC, tint, red calipers, S2000 antenna, GLI tails

Interior modifications: Black GTI sport cloth seats, black door handles, HKS turbo timer, boost gauge and center gauge pod

Audio/video/I.C.E.: Kenwood headunit, Infinity tweeters, Audiobahn A8000T amp, 2 12” Infinity reference series subwoofers, iPod hookup

Thanks/Props: Definitely BIG THANKS to my Dad for buying the car and really supporting me throughout owning it, really couldn’t have done it without him. To my Mom and Stewy for always helping with me with anything they can and dealing with tons of car parts being in the garage at all times. BIG BIG BIG thanks to The Crew and Co., Andreas, Emil, Todd, Jason, and Richy. These guys have always been there for me since before we could drive. Putting blood, sweat and tears into the Jetta, they’ve done some serious wrench time on the car. Countless good times fellas (baaacahk!), couldn’t have done it without you. BIG props go out to DSD/Fridays clique: Jon, Blake, Jim, Troy, Adam, from getting staggered for staggered to pushing Adam’s GTI out of the road to hangin’ out at the dome, these guys have really been there for me over this past year and the car, helping me with anything they can. Thanks to Rob and Denny at Autotech and Angel at Forge Motorsports. Shout outs to Zych, Tek, Bee, Andrew, Matt, Jay, Jon, Rob and everyone else at BEU! And last, but certainly not least, thanks to my amazing girlfriend who thank God loves VWs as well, for being the incredible girl that she is and always supporting me with what I love to do.

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