I bought my 1994 Jetta III GL in October 2003 from an old lady outside of Greensburg, PA.  I have been working on it ever since!  About 7 years ago I resprayed the body and did some light rust repair work, then from 2007-2009 I totally reworked the suspension.  The current project started as an engine bay cleanup project, and has evolved into a total ground-up restoration, laced with custom fabricated pieces and small details that only I can get excited about.

Here is the most recent "built" thread I put together on the VWVortex forums.  This contains all the details of the hydraulic suspension build, including the independent rear suspension and wheel tubs.

There is about a 2 year gap between the end of that thread an the start of this blog, I plan to document it all someday in another 'built thread' on the Vortex once the current phase of the car is complete.

The most recent segment of my project started with the engine compartment in November, 2009.  Here is what it looked like before:

I spent about 7 months totally rewiring the front half of the car.  I'm using all new components - from the fusebox to the sensors.  All of the wiring is the quality level you would find in a high-end race car or airplane.  All the wiring is high-temp, covered in chemical resistant heat shrink, and all the plugs are circular quick-disconnect.

Here is the engine harness in progress - all new black wire.

Custom fan shroud for new radiator fans

Fan wiring harness

This is the shape of the intake pipe I will be using, and the engine cover/intake manifold setup. The final pieces will look much better!

I rebuilt all the A/C hoses so they're hidden.

Then I started on the metalwork in the engine compartment. Before:


I spent a lot of time repairing rust in the floors and rocker panels; this was around Summer 2011

I'm even making mods to the replacement panels to clean them up

In September 2011, I sent the whole body of the car out for media blasting.  It came back with just a layer of epoxy primer, so I have a fresh canvas.  All the old bodywork, paint, undercoating, and rust has been removed.

Media blasting uncovered some more rust, so I spent a few months repairing that.

After a considerable amount of metal shaping and finish work, here is the updated engine bay.

In Spring 2012, I took a break from the body itself to work on the engine components themselves - the engine, transmission, and all the accessories.

Months of cleaning and sanding...

I'm painting every component on the entire car, these are engine-related accessories.

I built a custom stand to hold the motor/transmission assembly when I resume work on the body.

Rebuilt and painted alternator

October 7 2012: The motor/transmission assembly is relatively complete, so I covered it up. 

More rust repair:

Exhaust and heat shields:

All of the plumbing - brake lines, hydraulic lines, and fuel lines - are being converted to 304 stainless steel.

New stainless steel fuel cell with Aeromotive pump, Wiggins clamps, and an aluminum filler neck.

Every component is being rebuilt, including the shift linkage.

I shaved the bottom of the hood, getting rid of all the unused holes.

Even the hinges are getting the full treatment!

The car originally had a sunroof, but I re-skinned the roof to remove it.