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It is huge to have your own garage space. I went from rental house to rental house for around 6 years, then lucked into buying a house in 2019 with a nice 2 car detached garage. It feels so much better to have a dry protected place to park, and to do work. Now I've fallen into the trap of stocking up on tools and wanting to build a new work bench.
Trap? trap?!? No, sir, that is a value-added, quality of life issue. Build the bench, and they (the tools and projects) will come.
 

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Agreed, that was a very well written story that I enjoyed reading. It brought back a lot of similar memories for me. I thought I was hot sh!t when I got my lightly used '03 Jetta TDI back in 2005. Got on the forums here and instantly discovered that my car actually sucked, until I modified almost everything on it, including dropping about 3 or 4" of ride height. So I also bought Koni coilovers, a mandatory skid plate, and started blacking everything out on it. Made it a few years until I finally realized that it truly sucks to drive a slammed car, and have to swerve around every pebble and pot hole in the road. So did I go back to stock? Hell no, I made lift spacers and bought 26.5" all terrain tires instead, and went the complete opposite direction - also kinda dumb. After 10 years and 120k miles with the car, I finally jumped out. Now I am back in a jetta, an '09 2.5 this time, and having fun doing a lot of the same dumb mods as a 38 yr old instead of a 25 year old. Good for you to keep yours, and work on freshening it all back up to snuff.
 

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How much weight of sound deadening did you actually install? Seems you would know from having purchased it and done the install, right? Yeah it sucks that it doesn't cut down on exhaust drone.

Those karthoums are awesome btw. Gold/bronze would look amazing on black, I say. And yeah Pilot Sports are the best summer tires evar.
 

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Haha! Tremendous. Hey, 24 lbs isn't nothing. And the mental weight lift is probably worth more than the car weight savings, lol.

I've been looking at my new (to me) '09 Jetta wondering how much weight I could get out of it without sacrificing comfort. And sadly the conclusion I came to was, not much. Maybe 10-15 pounds out of the exhaust if I don't care about it being loud. 40 lbs for the spare tire if I want to risk it out on the road. 5 lbs for the center rear seatbelt since I will never have 5 people in the car, but that just seems like too much work.
 

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Haha. As long as you are finding this all rewarding, and your spouse/family isn't fighting back, keep on keeping on, man.

But I was scrolling down the thread the other day and came to the before pics of the under carriage and thought, wow that looks pretty good under there. LOL. As compared to say, any American pickup truck that was driven through salty winters.

My '09 Jetta has significant cancer of the fenders and rockers. I tried to lightly coat it all to get through this Michigan winter, and have recently discovered that I pretty much just failed. Maybe slowed it down a tick, but it all rusted right back through where I painted over it. So I do envy the condition your vehicle will end up in soon!
 

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The rust never sleeps, indeed. But rust needs oxygen (air) to grow. So if you keep it 100% encapsulated, it can at least lay dormant.

The rockers and cab corners on my 2003 GMC Sierra 2500HD also have a rust issue. I just pull it into the garage once a year, sand it down, and hit it with rust-converter and then some semi-gloss black spray paint. Each year I lose a little more metal, but overall the cab is staying intact and still looks great from 10 feet away. The main thing is that I will NEVER drive this truck on salty roads again. Despite how rad it is to hoon 4WD drifts on deep snow days, she stays at home all winter now.
 

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great update. get her back on the ground! I can hardly bear to see those cloudy headlights, makes me want to come wet sand them right away.

Did you buy OEM fog lights, or the ziza ones? I chose the cheaper ziza ones from ECS and am hugely dissapointed, they are crazy dim. Only for show, basically.

I guess I can try some new bulbs but what the heck, man. Also used the ECS wiring kit which was convenient, but a bit unfortunate how they have multiple feet of extra wire length, and you have to just coil it up and stuff it somewhere. Because if you cut it to length and re do the connectors, well you might as well have not bought a pre-wired kit at that point.
 
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