Forum Friday: VWTURBOWOLF’s 6yr Timeline and Ongoing Build

There are project cars and then there are PROJECT CARS – the ones that you spend years or even decades on, turning them into the perfect piece of automotive engineering. VW Vortex user VWTURBOWOLF has one of those all caps project cars – a 2001 VW Jetta that’s been rebuilt from the ground up more times than we can count.  There are 30+ pages on the forum of updates and pictures from the last decade, so we’ll try to sum it up for you.


Currently at 145,000 miles, the engine of this Jetta was fully rebuilt at 125,000 miles, including balancing the stock crank assembly, replacing the rods and pistons, the stud kit, and pretty much everything from the ground up.  The entire bay has been shaved to create more room in the engine compartment, including a custom firewall.

HEP made the fuel rail and intake manifold, and the engine is now equipped with 630cc injectors.  The power steering reservoir, evaporator system, and battery have all been relocated and the a/c system, coolant overflow, and windshield washer bottle have all been removed to create more space.

We could write an entire piece just on the custom engine work that VWTURBOWOLF did – but that leaves out the rest of the work that was done on the rest of the car.

The stock transmission had to go, replaced with a rebuilt transmission equipped with a new flywheel, new 1/2 hub, a new slider, and new syncros for the smoothest ride possible.

It’s also equipped with a Diesel Geek short shift assembly.


You can’t do a rebuild without at least taking a look at the brakes. For an engine rebuild like this, stock brakes just won’t cut it. VWTURBOWOLF swapped out the stock equipment with 14.5-inch Porsche brake rotors and 6 piston calipers.  This is a car that isn’t going to be driving on a worn suspension any time soon. Also, the rear rotors were swapped out with a set of Eurospec 280mm brake rotors.  The whole brake system has been upgraded as well – lines were switched out with stainless steel 3/16 line and the pedal boxes were replaced with Tilton Engineering upgrades.


It’s not just the engine that was upgraded in this mind-blowing Jetta build. The exterior of the car has been customized with wider fenders and quarter panels, upgraded light housings, and other designs.  The VW logo has been removed from both the hood and trunk, as well as the grille, creating a smooth, seamless look that isn’t broken by a bright silver logo.

The interior of the car was all but gutted in order to complete these upgrades. The rear seats, center console, and heat vents have all been removed, and the front seats have been replaced with Recaro Sportster CS seats.  The interior upholstery was all replaced with black fabric to make it better match the rest of the interior.

Just a quick look at VWTURBOWOLF’s Instagram shows that his work has paid off.  The car looks amazing.

Current Build

Just because he’s been working on it for the better part of 10 years doesn’t mean that he’s done improving the Jetta.

His to-do list for 2017 and 2018 is nearly done – he’s done everything from installing a Hemi TB and opening up the intake manifold to fit an 80mm throttle body, to shave the core support and installing a custom alternator to allow him to remove the factory belt tensioner.

The rest of the year includes getting the hood finally installed, respraying the doors to match the rest of the car, and redoing the rear exhaust with a custom rear diffuser.  We can’t wait to see what VWTURBOWOLF does with his Jetta next!

Check out the huge thread and all the pictures here!