Project Car: 2004 Jetta GLS 1.8t

I have always wanted to rebuild a car. Unfortunately, I have never had the space or time to take on such a project. After buying a house in January, I finally had a garage. The remaining problems: no tools, no knowledge, and no experience.

I decided to go with Honda or Volkswagen due the active online communities, affordable aftermarket parts, and number of vehicles for sale locally. Both seemed like reasonable choices for a 1st project.

I ended up purchasing a 2004 Jetta GLS 1.8t with 90,000 miles on the dash, 4 bad tires, and a dead battery for $1,400. I had to jump the car and put on the spare tire to get it home. It drove reasonably but the brakes were pretty scary. Now she’s home and bathed.

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Shane Bellone

At the intersection of capricious and whimsy.

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By Shane Bellone