scardeal Reader
Feb. 1, 2010 12:09 p.m.

I just wanted some advice as I prepare for the thaw ahead... Feel free to chime in with suggestions.

Around Thanksgiving, I wound up buying a 1998 VW Jetta for fairly cheap (Wolfsburg Ed. 2.0L 8v 115HP). What I didn't know at the time was that it had 4 leaking struts and a hole in the muffler :( My fun car is a 350Z that I really enjoy, but do not want to drive in winter. As is, the Jetta is nautical and dog-slow. (I figure it needs an extra ~20HP and much better suspension to be fun enough to be a bearable DD.) It's on the original clutch too.

Anyway, after the great thaw, I feel like I've got 3 or 4 options, and I'm wavering between them.

  • Fix the Jetta with new cheapie shocks and a junkyard muffler.
  • Fix Jetta with Bilstein HD (Koni?) shocks or H&R Touring Cup Kit or similar, and some sort of cat-back exhaust. This leaves much less money for the Z.
  • Sell Jetta, buy something more fun, more potential, cheaper? aftermarket and better condition, eg Ford Focus, Honda Civic, e36 BMW, or even a VW Golf/GTI?
  • Sell Jetta and Z. Buy a cheaper fun car that I'd have less emotional problem stripping interior and a decent DD (I don't really think I want to do this. I'm pretty attached to the Z.)
BoxheadTim HalfDork
Feb. 1, 2010 12:12 p.m.

(1) would be my choice, although I'd be tempted to get a new muffler because the junkyard one will be berkeleyed shortly after you put it on.

It's a DD, aka boring a-to-b winter transport. No point in throwing too much money at it.

DukeOfUndersteer SuperDork
Feb. 1, 2010 12:14 p.m.

Its kinda diffcult getting more power out of the 8 valves without investing some money... I say, Raceland coilovers - $380 shipped to your door, an intake and exhaust and call it a day. It would be a fun curb jumper. Leave the rest of the $$$ for the Z. How many miles are on the car?

scardeal Reader
Feb. 1, 2010 12:25 p.m.

154k miles...

I'll have to keep those raceland coilovers in mind... They're a good $200 less than the H&R kits...

DukeOfUndersteer SuperDork
Feb. 1, 2010 12:31 p.m.
scardeal wrote: 154k miles... I'll have to keep those raceland coilovers in mind...

John Brown SuperDork
Feb. 1, 2010 1:14 p.m.

Invest little, drive much.

I would source some replacement struts/shocks from KYB or Boge.

I would then pick up a replacement "cat back" system from NAPA (usually cheaper than you would think).

Use as a driver/winter beater.

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