I took a break this weekend and drove to Cleveland for a tour of Great Lakes Brewing.
I inspected their welds on the tour. They're better than mine.
They pump Edmund Fitzgerald directly from the storage tanks, through a maze of underground plumbing, into the taps at the brewpub. This is as fresh as it gets!
I did squeeze in a few hours of work on the Jetta. I made a new shift ball on my lathe from 303 stainless steel.
This is a comparison of the stock piece, which is molded plastic.
There are two Viton o-rings to keep it from rattling around, since now it will be metal on metal. There is also a bronze bushing inside. I didn't want to use a plastic or Delrin bushing because this is right next to the exhaust, and I'm deleting the factory heat shield. This ball will rub inside the stainless clad piece lurking in the background here.
On the bottom, I turned a 303 stainless countersunk washer to retain the ball and fastened it with a flat head stainless screw.