drmike Reader
8/19/12 3:17 p.m.

A group of us out in Mojave, CA have started a LeMons build using a 1998 Volkswagen Jetta that currently has a bad clutch, but is otherwise in pretty good shape (as far as we know!).

First, a few pictures:

This is a 5-speed, with about 150K miles. No smoke (yet), and so on. The brakes are new - that's a plus. We've removed the interior, so if you're in the market for some '98 Jetta bits, let me know.

Being pretty ignorant about all things VW, I have a few questions:

  1. (Not VW specific) - how does one go about selling airbags? They can't really be shipped in the normal way. I have the Jetta airbags, plus some MINI Cooper airbags.

  2. Currently, I can fit a soda can, lengthwise, between the tire and the fender. I simply must get the car lowered a bit. I know I can cut the springs down, but I think we'll need stiffer springs for this pig. Any thoughts on what springs to look for when scavenging/foraging?

Finally, here's what a couple of my teammates hope racing will feel like (their first time on the track):

Thanks for checking out the very beginning of this build!

Travis_K SuperDork
8/20/12 12:47 a.m.

Get passat springs, sometimes you can find bilstien hd shocks in pick and pull for cheap too. Get audi TT bushings for the front control arms, and vr6 front strut mounts, and the suspension will be pretty good. You can modify the front swaybar from a drivers edition (or something like that) vr6 jetta to fit too, which is the same size as most of the aftermarket ones. Also, the clutch is most likely bad cause its oily from the leaking valve cover. They all do that, so get a good gasket so it doesnt leak anymore.

drmike Reader
8/20/12 8:07 a.m.

THANK YOU thank you thank you. We'll definitely be hitting the pick and pull yards with a grocery list.

DaveEstey Dork
8/21/12 1:00 p.m.

Bring a couple extra transmissions.

drmike Reader
8/21/12 10:35 p.m.

Wow, we rated a canoe. Nice.

So, fragile transmissions, you say? guess we better stay away from power shifting. I have a plan to mark a redline about 600 RPM below the factory mark as well.

Travis_K SuperDork
8/22/12 2:13 p.m.

I wouldnt worry about overreving the engine, the stock computer has a rev limiter that will keep anything from being damaged. The transmissions are really easy to break though, reverse is already mostly broken in a lot of them. If you just shift carefully it should be ok though.

noddaz Reader
8/22/12 7:20 p.m.

Sorry, the canoe was for danitas post which has been collapsed..

BTW, to upgrade the new strut mounts try this: upgrade stock mounts

You take a new mount and find a cheap plastic bowl that it fits into snugly. Put the mount in the bowl bottom of the mount up. Mix up the urethane and pour it in the gap between the mount rubber and the metal plate... I used shore 80 urethane. About $35 with enough to do both mounts.

drmike Reader
8/22/12 10:40 p.m.

Ah, yes, our Jetta mounts look just like the popped-up ones in your pictures.

I've purchased liquid urethane from McMaster-Carr previously. Is that where you got the urethane for your mount repair?

JoeyM UltimaDork
8/23/12 5:09 a.m.
noddaz wrote: look! A canoe...

Got it. Sorry about the delay.....I'm pretty busy, lately, and haven't been able to spend much time on the forum

noddaz Reader
8/23/12 8:33 a.m.
drmike wrote: Ah, yes, our Jetta mounts look just like the popped-up ones in your pictures. I've purchased liquid urethane from McMaster-Carr previously. Is that where you got the urethane for your mount repair?

YUP... Makes me wonder if the old mounts could be salvaged with a urethane injection...

drmike Reader
8/27/12 8:38 a.m.

Did a little work over the weekend.

Borrowed a pressure washer and cleaned out the engine compartment.

Also confirmed that someone previously installed wheel studs that are WAY too short. I put one longer one on to check the fit before I order some new studs. I don't know why the wheels didn't come off this car before.

Finally, put some of the Jetta parts up on eBay: Parts for sale

noddaz Reader
8/28/12 9:00 p.m.

Looking good...

kingbeann New Reader
8/29/12 11:50 a.m.

Nice, another black beater Mk3 Jetta racecar build! Hopefully you finish yours faster than my delayed project...

drmike Reader
8/30/12 10:48 p.m.

Hey yeah, thanks for pointing out your challenge car. I've already learned a few things looking through the pages.

drmike Reader
11/7/12 8:38 a.m.

Update - we finally have the clutch replaced. What a beating! Now we can move on to the fun stuff.

Brett_Murphy UberDork
11/7/12 7:39 p.m.

How the hell are you staying so clean working on a car? I'm doing something wrong.

Spinout007 SuperDork
11/8/12 3:59 a.m.

He's supervising. Look at the poor soul under the car, and the elbow of the guy sitting next to him. We are definitely doing it wrong.

dextervw New Reader
11/8/12 9:23 a.m.

Sweet build guys.. here's my recommendations (in no particular order)

  1. Rear sway bar! Either buy/build or weld a plate across the opening of the C channel on the rear beam... 12 inches long on center works pretty damn good 18 inches if your used to some good over-steer....

  2. Cut the Passat springs... you'll end up with about 5 full coils left.. but experiment... fox body mustang springs also fit in the front for an uber stiff setup (cutting for length required).

  3. look into a "mini slip" or similar device for the diff.. simple install and works pretty good for the $. Peloquin makes one.

  4. TT control arm bushings... the upper strut mounts i believe are already "vr6" style

  5. front and rear engine mounts... hockey pucks with about a 1inch hold bored in them (a hole saw works awesome) (I want to say 3 per mount.. maybe an extra on the front for underneath the cross member) and then the rear trans mount use the corrado g60 mount... it doesn't contain the chocolate pudding that can hamper a good race day if it escapes.

  6. chip and cam (watch on the boards there are a few out there making some "copies" of some good chips on the very cheap.

  7. have fun!!

kingbeann New Reader
8/30/14 12:11 p.m.

back from the dead... great suggestions from DexterVW above.

Anyone know what happened with this car?

Brett_Murphy UberDork
8/30/14 6:58 p.m.

No idea, but I re-read it and made a pick-n-pull grocery list.

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