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Very nice, you’ve done a great job on resurrecting this beetle. My daughters boyfriends parents have one just like it sitting in their garage. (Red) No inspection and expired tags, mamma has a new vehicle and doesn’t drive it anymore. Up here in northern PA (rust belt) the rockers are beginning to show a bit of rust.

Your resurrection thread almost makes me want to go and make a deal for it, I think they’d sell it and then put it back on the road. I’ve already done a little transmission work on it, it was binding and sticking going from to gear so we lubed the linkage and changed the gear oil. It worked so much better.

I know very little about that 1.8 engine, I’ve never owned a gasser vw before. Then again maybe I should expand my experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
Thanks for dropping a note!

As to whether or not to resurrect a New Beetle 1.8T, I would highly recommend considering it! Here's a few reasons based on my personal experience with owning one.

1.) Iconic Car Design - I know its debatable, but I think the NB was one of the cornerstone VW designs and IMO is considered an iconic car. I've noticed that it turns heads even to this day on almost every drive. I get more people checking out this car in one drive around my neighborhood than I did with my MKV GTI in two months of everyday driving. Also you cannot buy a new car that has the NB's shape and physical presence in the new car market. It seems that most newer car designs all look to share the same chassis and general body style, which is most likely a the result of modernized structural safety features. I just think the NB is unique in many ways and will always be an attention getter, especially a clean well-kept example roaming the streets today.

2.) The 1.8T motor is a good powerplant - The 1.8T sure makes all the right sounds to satisfy the inner petrolhead in me. It may not be that quick of car on the factory map, but the BorgWarner turbo harmonics with an open element intake are amazing. You can hear the compressor spool up and with the kick of the clutch you get a nice DV swoosh with accompanying compressor surge, which I think sounds cool as well. Also, a well maintained motor can last a long time. Just maintain your timing components as well as water pump and the motor should have a nice long life with regular maintenance. Also the exhaust with a resonator delete makes a very nice sound, almost reminiscent of a 4cly rally car. You get natural pops and crackles even with the factory catted DP when coasting, which I prefer over one of those programmed tunes that can get excessive and sometimes obnoxious.

3.) They're overall cheap to maintain if you can fix small issues yourself - If you're not afraid to wrench a little and are willing to be patient you can self solve a majority of the little gremlins these cars experience. I like to think of this platform as durable, not necessarily super reliable. A healthy 1.8T motor is fairly stout and the 5SPD transmission is not a bad unit either. However, the small problems are abundant and thus being able to fix the small stuff yourself is essential IMO to have a worthwhile ownership from a cost perspective. For example, you'll most likely encounter small things breaking like; reverse light trans switches, abundant broken plastic vacuum hoses and check valves, trigger happy CEL's that pop up for minuscule issues (like evaporative system small leaks), SAI/Combi issues, camshaf and/or crank position sensors, interior plastic bits wearing or breaking - you get the picture. If you can repair these small jobs yourself, then I think you can make it a worthwhile vehicle to own and enjoy.

4.) New Beetles are fairly easy to modify - The 1.8T with just a software stage 1 tune will turn the modest power band from the base map into a lively torque curve which I've heard transforms the entire driving experience. It amazes me how conservatively tuned these motors are from the factory. In addition to power adders, I've also noticed minor cosmetic upgrades are often easy to find online, fairly cheap and easy to install yourself.

Anyways, there's a couple reasons to take on the endeavor. I really like the car's look/presence and love the analog driving experience served up by the manual gearbox and hydraulic power steering. You get pretty good road feel, I would say much more lively than some of the newer cars with electronic steering. Also, I'm a bit biased b/c I like manual transmissions, you get the sense that every drive is unique when you're in charge of shifting gears and each pull is an experience to be had. Also, I feel these cars are very easy to drive on stock power/clutch; heel-toe shifting is easy with blips to the throttle working seamlessly most of the time. All in all, the NB 1.8T offers a very engaging and delightful driving experience.

As for future value proposition? That's a whole other discussion hehe.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Hello Community I have yet another late-breaking update to the Bug build:

I finally ordered a VCDS cable and software license. Needless to say I'm SUPER EXCITED to learn how to leverage this brilliant tool.

More to come, I'm gonna start scavenging posts within the community to enrich my mind on how to properly use the software.
 

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Discussion Starter #25 (Edited)
Update! - I installed a 3inch catless downpipe on the Bug today that I bought on Amazon Prime. The install went smoothly overall and I'm pleased to announce that I didn't break any studs. The downpipe fitment is overall acceptable considering the fact that it cost less than $90 shipped. The hardest part of the install in my experience was the primary O2 sensor removal from the stock downpipe. I soaked that thing in sea foam deep creep time and time and again as it was being so stubborn and did not want to come out! After more soaking and more patience, I finally broke the threads loose a little, added more deep creep and waited another 5 mins. After more soaking the O2 sensor came right out.

Other than that, the turbo studs weren't too tricky on my car. Just took my time and tried not to muscle them out. Didn't want to break any studs. I think mine were easy to deal with given the studs/nuts are all relatively new from the recent turbo install. I removed the secondary post cat 02 sensor and harness altogether. Check engine light came on immediately on first start up as expected.

Took it for a drive after the install and wow, what a difference it makes compared to the stock downpipe! The spool is so much quicker and shifts almost feel faster. The pops/crackles are literally insane when coasting/upshifting under load. The car overall feels quicker up top in the power band which is nicely appreciated in this car. I'll upload an exhaust review on my YT channel of the new setup soon. Stay tuned!

Dowpipe - Amazon.com: BLACKHORSE-RACING 3" Turbo Downpipe 1.8T Down Pipe Exhaust Downpipe Down Pipe Turbo Stainless for 1999-2005 Volkswagen VW Jetta Beetle Golf GTI MK4 1.8L: Automotive

Old Downpipe with post cat 02 sensor & harness still plugged in (notice my mended flex pipe and terrible welds! That's what you get for a cheap exhaust shop quick & dirty repair).
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New catless 3inch dowpipe installed
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Post first drive update!

While the car was perfoming great and the sounds were on point, I did notice a slight rattle after 10 miles of driving coming from the downpipe area. Turns out one of the nuts almost backed its way completely off one of the DP studs! I'll tighten it down tomorrow and re-torque it, but the importance of a good nut & bolt check on this job is imperative. Super lucky I didn't lose the nut:
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Thanks for looking!
 

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Discussion Starter #26
As promised, here's the result of the downpipe install and what to expect if you run this setup in your New Beetle 1.8T!

 

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Discussion Starter #27
Hey community! Hope everyone is doing alright in these uncertain times. Hoping my NB posts add some much needed positive vibes to your day!

Just a little update on the bug, had it checked out by my trusted mechanic for the previously aforementioned valve stem seals and we ultimately determined that they are in fact slightly leaking. Compression is great, power delivery better than ever, however, the only symptom of the leaking seals is a small puff of blue smoke after the car has been idling for more than 2 minutes with the A/C off. It won't smoke under any circumstance when the A/C is on, which must be due to reduced vacuum pressure once the A/C compressor clutch engages. He recommended just living with it for now as the car is running fine and there's no risk of damaging up my catalytic converter given I've removed it. He said once it starts smoking worse or performance issues arise, then we can tear the head off and replace seals.

So in the mean time, I've installed a few goodies on the car; Stage 1 Ignition Upgrade by ECS Tuning, Alcantara Steering Wheel Cover (way nicer than I thought), and new headlight lens covers. Pictures below:

Fresh Eyes!


R32 got a new parking lot buddy!


Really happy with this steering wheel cover. Wanted to originally do a Momo Quick Release, but for now I think this will suffice.


ECS Tuning Stage 1 Ignition Upgrade - notice I opted to not relocate the vacuum reservoir. Function over form has been the theme under the hood (as noted by my fabricated boost pipe DV hose I made out of radiator hose).
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Thanks for checking out the thread. I've uploaded a POV drive demonstrating the sounds of the car on my YT channel. Plan on releasing the content to the public tonight after some editing so be sure to check it out! I'll post it to the thread once is published.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Update!

New white/blue emblems installed along with carbon fiber side mirror covers!

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What do y'all think about the updated look?

Hope everyone is doing alright and this update finds you well.

Thanks for dropping by!
 

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Nice work! For some subtle body styling; you might try the repro Votex side skirts, by Optikwerks:


Nice way to cover up any scrapes or damage; add a nice look, that comes from the Votex VW accessories catalog.
 
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