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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, this is my sixth or seventh watercooled build. Sort of fell in my lap. A series of unfortunate events left me with a rusted 04.5 gli and a need to sell most of it off to balance the budget.

Fortunately, I like chassis stuff and the gli has it in spades! I’ve never built a mk4 and wanted to do something different so I drove out to Baltimore yesterday and picked up a 2001 Beetle 1.8t 5spd manual. This will receive most if not all of the goodies from the gli: brakes, wheels, 02M swap, possibly even the interior.

The Jetta has a nice set of PS9 coilovers on it that I could swap, but I think I may go in a different direction - literally. We may be lifting this thing and throwing a set of 28.5” tires on the gli wheels. We’ll see.

Definitely needs paint. Right now it looks like a 60 year old woman’s empty nest gift to herself. No offense to 60 year old empty nesters, but not the look I’m going for. I’ve selected either matte desert khaki or olive drab green.

Stay tuned.

77372

77373
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here’s a breakdown of the 02M on 28.5” tires vs either the tdi or 1.8t 02J on stock (25”) tires. The 1.8t 02M lines up nicely with the stock ratios from the 02J, essentially mirroring that trans with an additional cruising gear that keeps you from turning over 3000 rpm at 70.

A: 02M (1.8t), 28.5” tires
B: 02J (tdi), 25” tires
C: 02J (1.8t), 25” tires

MPH @ 2500 RPM

A1-16...............B1-16.1..........C1-14.2
A2-25.75..........B2-25.7..........C2-24
A3-36.6............B3-40.............C3-36
A4-46.3...................................C4-45.5
A5-57.5............B4-56.............C5-56.6
A6-70.4............B5-72
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Spent today doing repairs on the Jetta donor and the beetle. The beetle had a crap idle when I got out to Baltimore, but wouldn’t stall. Like an ISV/IAC was bad, but of course these do not have an idle valve. Swapping the throttle from the AWP fixed the idle issue on the beetle. Parts donors ftw!

Chased a misfire under load for an hour or so on the gli. Didn’t sort it out. Installed a fuel pump from another gli I picked up for $20, a new fuel filter, swapped MAFs and throttles. No change. New plugs and R8 coils were white which says I’m still probably running lean. I set the plug gaps to around .027” and swapped the FPR off the beetle onto the gli (around and round we go!). Ran out of time though so I’ll drive it tomorrow. I don’t imagine it will make a difference but was worth a shot to rule out my last potential suspects before condemning the tune.

Fun project stuff to come soon, I promise :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
77397


Oh yeah! I couldn’t help myself. Still not sure if I’ll lift it but picked up a set of nearly new 225/60R18s off Craigslist for $100. Hence all these references to a 28.5” tire. Just a little bigger! This thing might end up looking donked out, which I might not hate. LOL
 

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Are you swapping the motor? I would if you aren't already planning to. The Beetle has an early 150hp 1.8T so the AWP will be a nice upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Are you swapping the motor? I would if you aren't already planning to. The Beetle has an early 150hp 1.8T so the AWP will be a nice upgrade.
I considered it, though the AWP I have has been beat on and the AWV is probably in better shape. Once tuned, they both make similar power. It will likely come down to whether I can get the AWP running well without having to have it re-tuned. If I need to send the ecu out anyway, I’ll keep the beetle motor and have that ecu reworked. I don’t mind doing the swap though if it saves a few hundred bucks!

Thanks for stopping by! It’s good to see that there’s interest in this project :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I’ve been toying with the idea of a 3.6 FSI swap for a while. Into something. Anything. This is a good candidate. I may start piecing that together once this is running and swap that in when the beetle comes due for emissions again in two years. Which is to say, I’m not going to dump a bunch of money into the 1.8t, I just happen to have an 02M swap and a spare 1.8t in my driveway. But I’m getting ahead of myself!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hahahahahahaha! Got her emissions inspected yesterday. That gives me two years to experiment before I have an excuse to try the 3.6 FSI swap on. (note: I do not advocate removing emissions equipment from vehicles driven on the road. This thing will get a 400 cpi cat and retain the majority of its emissions gear, but projects set lights. It's comforting to know I won't get hung up if I have to drive with a soft code set for some time while I sort it out.)

I laughed hysterically because on the way home, I really got into it for the first time and it misfired, cut boost, and set the traction control light! At least it did it after I got it inspected! So much winning with these cars lately. SMH. Time to go through some more misfire diag. Pulled pretty good to about 4k then fell on its face, so that much is reassuring - it should be a little beast when it's running well and tuned!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, that was easy. The beetle would barely idle when I picked it up. Checked a few things, but it was acting like the IAC/ISV was bad... except this doesn't have one. Swapped the TB off the gli and when I did, I must have neglected to tighten the inlet hose enough. Idle was fixed but the hose popped off the moment it saw boost! Tightened it up, cleared faults and got to beat the pants off the beetle for a few miles. This motor is good to go. Sending the ecu out next week to get tuned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Bentley porn. Beetle manual came in today!

78755


Not much doing with the project late this week. Exhaust comes in tomorrow. Riding out to pull a k04-001 this weekend. In the meantime, I started lubing all the hardware to remove the downpipe and exhaust manifold.

Probably pull the exhaust this weekend. Turbo is going to be... fun? Is that the word? No, terrible. That’s what I was looking for. Picked a hell of a platform to modify. Turbo looks packed tight under the cowl. Haven’t reviewed the repair procedure yet though. Going through the Bentley for it this evening. Wish me luck :-/
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Exhaust/turbo-ectomy in progress. Turbo wasn’t that bad. Pull the cowl and there’s about as much room as the Jetta, though it’s definitely tighter underneath. Cut the exhaust out while I was under there. Exhaust should arrive today - 2.5” 304 stainless eBay special - and I’m picking up the k04 tomorrow. Next weekend is a busy but I’m hoping I can get parts together, get the ECM back and everything reassembled by mid-April.

78839


78872
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just exhaust pictures. If you’ve ever considered upgrading your exhaust, do it! Look at the downpipe tubing alone! Also, the rearmost muffler alone weighs about as much as the whole aftermarket exhaust (I kid, but that muffler’s legit heavy).
79152


79153


eBay 304 stainless special is fitting great so far. It’s for a golf/GTI and was $180 shipped. Turbo back, 2.5” with a muffler and resonator. I don’t mean to count my eggs before they hatch though. Still need to install the turbo and test figment of the downpipe. Everything LOOKS like it should work. As in, it follows the contours of the body perfectly well.

The only issue running a golf/GTI exhaust in a beetle is the muffler tip. It terminates a few inches shy of the bumper, pointing straight into the bumper. 45* turn down tip and we should be ready to party! I didn’t want a 90 degree turndown as they tend to be louder in the cabin.
79156
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I said that I wasn't going to do a stereo in this car, but who am I kidding? Nothing "extreme" but should kick butt just the same. In the interest of keeping my cargo space and not adding a bunch of weight, I am not running a big traditional subwoofer. Instead, I will do what I generally always do and employ some creativity in my implementation. The plan is to hide FOUR 5.25" subwoofers throughout the vehicle in ported enclosures: two in the dash and one in each rear side panel. I have modeled these and the four of them (in ported enclosures) do as well or better than a nice 10" in a ported enclosure until about 30Hz. Hell, they modeled neck and neck with an 18" infinite baffle sub implementation down to 35Hz. I'm ok with that :)

The dash subs will function as midbass drivers, but receive subwoofer frequencies as well. They will be in stereo wired a' la component set with a pair of source-point/wide-band drivers in pods on the dash. The rears will be in the side panels and receive only "subwoofer frequencies". Otherwise, there will be no rear speakers or door speakers. There will be no tweeters. Pretty much just two drivers and a subwoofer channel (sorta kinda split four ways).

79251

So much room for activities! This beetle is a god send for people into stereo installs man, good lawd!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Swapping the Bilstein PS9 coilovers from the GLi today. Control arms come in tomorrow for the beetle so I’ll finish up then. I had planned to run the 18” RC336s from the GLi but I put them on the scale and they’re a solid 10 pounds heavier! Each! No thanks. Beetle wheels are staying on the beetle. GLi brakes just clear. Gunna be a sleeper in those shoes! LOL

79318


79319


Just clear! Less than 1/4” of breathing room between the beetle 16s and the GLi calipers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Finished the rear suspension yesterday. Doing the front today. Exhaust tip came in to make the golf/Gti exhaust play nice. Looks great. If it’s not crazy loud, the sleeper status continues! Cant tell there’s an exhaust on it otherwise.
79502


Just the tip:
79504

79505


Probably rivet some flashing on the under/inside of the bumper as a heat shield.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Awesome work!! You’re making huge progress


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Thank you! I work feverishly when I have a project. And we have our second child being born in a few months so there’s a fire lit under me to get it done enough to drive by then!

Front suspension is in! Had to do the job twice essentially, swapping everything between the Jetta and beetle.

79655
Pulling brakes in the rain today. Clean up the calipers and get them ready to refinish Friday. Cure over the weekend and install Monday-Tuesday. Turbo next weekend. Broke the exhaust studs on the one from the junkyard so I have that to deal with in the meantime :-/
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Rain was too heavy and some other toys showed up! Stereo is underway as well! Android tablet (hot spot to my phone), rca to a DSP, to a five channel amplifier, to four 5.25” subwoofers sealed in the dash as midbass drivers, two wideband drivers in pods on the dash, and a 15” subwoofer mounted infinite baffle in the spare tire well.

Enjoy :)

79784


Planning the dash “subwoofers”

79794
 
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