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nickcc60

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Hello! New member looking for advice
« on: February 15, 2004, 01:28:29 AM »
Hello all, my name is Nick, and as of a few days ago, I am the proud new owner of a 1998 Passat 1.8t.  I go to school in the Springs, but I'm originally from Golden.  I want to pimp out this car somewhat and maybe give it a little more oomph, although I don't plan on racing it or anything.  Being a college student, I'm trying to do this for as cheap as possible.  I don't know too much about cars, but I've been reading up on my new baby on the internet, and I was hoping you guys could give me some guidance/advice.  

A little bit about the car:  Manual, it's got 104k, but the engine and turbo were completely replaced about 15k ago.  Pretty much everything is stock, except the cd deck - it's got a JVC El Khameleon.  

Here's a list of everything I want/need/would like to do.  Any suggestions on the best way to do this stuff, where to go, whether or not it's worthwhile, etc. would be appreciated.
    New clutch (When I got a pre-purchase inspection, the mechanic said it's only got a few months left)
    Fix the sunroof (apparently a track is broken, haven't had a chance to really check it out yet)
    Get a tint (can anyone recommend a place in the Springs?)
    Get some new wheels - it only has the plastic hubcaps on now.   Maybe 17s or so?
    Get clear corners and indicators
    Get xenon/halogen/HID lights (I guess I really don't understand the difference here, I think xenon is what I want though)
    Maybe chip the turbo - from what I've read online, it sounds like this gives the best performace/$ ratio and I can do it for less than a few hundred
    Add a little more bass to the sound system, I'm not sure if I need a sub, or just some better speakers will do the trick
    Replace the stick shift leather dress (I think that's what it's called) and the piece of plastic that surrounds the drivers side window controls - both show serious signs of wear.  Anyone know if you can get these anywhere?


Thanks a ton to anyone who responds!

Nick

03Indigo

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Hello! New member looking for advice
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2004, 03:22:18 AM »
NIck, there are so many things you can do.  One place to check for cheap wheels and suspension upgrades is www.clubb5.com classifides.  Many people are selling their older stuff there, some great deals.  You can also find some chips for sale over there at very reasonable prices.  Don't know much about sound systems, sorry, can't help there.  As far as replacement parts for the shifter, called a shifter boot, you can find aftermarket ones for reasonably cheap, check out www.parts4vws.com they will have HID options for you as well, Xenon has the bulbs and ballasts, where HID are just High Intensity Dispresion, Halogen.  You can get many options with the projector styles that are available for aftermarket, either H7 bulb power or D2S Xenon bulb power.  Plan on spending between $600 to $900 for those set ups.

Well, there are some starters for you, I am sure others will chime in.  Welcome to the club, hope to see you around sometime.

cheers
jon

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Hello! New member looking for advice
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2004, 03:22:18 AM »

92UrS4

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Hello! New member looking for advice
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2004, 03:34:00 PM »
Hey Nick, welcome to the club.  UNless you have $900 - $1200 I would forgo the HID's for now.  However, you can get some clear HID look housings for around $300, these sales sometimes include the matching clear corners as well (check out the Group Buy forum on clubb5.com). If you're on a tight budget Jon was right, clubb5.com has the best classifieds for our cars in terms of wheels and other componenets.  If you check out the Group Buy section there you should be able to get the clear corners and side markers.  If there are no deals there sign up at www.parts4vws.com as a RMCB5.com memeber, we get a discount (a small one)  that may help on that cost.

A chip definitley gives you the most bang for the buck, depending what that engine is, new or used, depends on what kind of gains you'd get.  I am going to guess that the timing belt went and the engine had to be replaced.  If that's the case they probably reused the same turbo and if that is so you ahve a stock 150hp.  With most chips you;ll get up around 195hp.  Upsolute has the most affordable chip on the market that does any good in my opinion.  However, the best chip overall seems to be from APR.  Giac has a very stable one as well.  I would avoid Neuspeeds chip, doesn't seem to be very memorable.

There's a few folks on here in the springs, hopefully yhey can shed some light on tint shops and a good place to get the clutch done.  Chas on here did his clutch himself and said it was the worst thing ever.  He does everything himself on his car so hearing that from him makes me feel it is worth the money to have it done professionally.

Hopefully we'll get to meet you in the near future, we get together often to work on our cars or just habeg out and geta  few beers.

DenverPat

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Hello! New member looking for advice
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2004, 03:34:28 PM »
Congratulations, Nick.  It's always nice to have another member of the club.  You'll find a lot of people here that were in your shoes just a couple years ago that have gone through what you plan on doing.  Because of that, these people are a great resource.  Even better, pretty much everyone on here is willing to go out of their way to help you.  I drive an A4 myself, so may not be the best to ask about your car specificallly, but I can tell you a couple things:
1.  First and foremost, chip the car.  As you noted, it's a great bang for the buck mod.  There are several out there, including GIAC, Upsolute, APR Neuspeed and some others I'm forgetting.  APR and GIAC might be the most popular, but I don't think there's a huge difference between any of them regarding performance.  One thing APR offers that others don't is multiple programs and some bells and whistles.  Check out http://goapr.com for more info.  I have an MTM chip which isn't big in the Passat crowd, but popular in Audi circles.  If you do buy a used chip, do your homework!  There are a few different programs for different cars.  For example, a chip for a 1997 tiptronic might not work for a 1998 manual.  Just be sure it is compatible before laying down the moolah.
2.  17" wheels are a great compromise between performance and looks.  I've been on 17s for the last few years, but just put on new 18s this morning.  I'll keep the 17s for snow tires.  Take a look at the clubB5 and classifiedshttp://audiworld.com classifieds for some cheap used wheels.  They're on there all the time and if you're patient you can find great deals.  The B5 S4 and A4 use the same bolt pattern as your car, so if you find an S4 or A4 owner selling their old wheels, they'll work on your car, too.
I'm sure some other people will chime in soon with more info.
We're meeting at ColoradoB5's place Saturday, so stop by and hang out if you have time (see timing belt get together post).
"Of all the extreme sports I've ever participated in- windsurfing, kite boarding, wake boarding, tow-in surfing and snowboarding- skiing, for me, made everything else easy."
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kt037

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Hello! New member looking for advice
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2004, 06:28:35 PM »
congrats on the new car and welcome to the club. this club has alot of combined knowledge about dubs and audis, so if you have any questions i'm sure someone here can letr you know the answer or at least point you in the right direction....

my name is mike and i live in fountain (7 miles south of the springs) and go to UCCS,
 where are you going to school at?
 maybe we can hook some time for lunch.
we also have another new club member here in the springs (handle=mike618...) we should hook up and do a Rmcb5(-south) garage day down at my place when the weather gets a little better

also if i can get off work, and get my head back on by sat. i will be going up to winstons house to share some of my (recently gained) expertise in timing belt changing at the GTG/garage day, If you would klike to go gimmie a call 287-0929 and we can roll up together.

again welcome.
OT DISH?-----> nope!
and YES I KNOW I CAN NOT SEPLL!!!!

ColoradoB5

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Hello! New member looking for advice
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2004, 03:50:16 PM »
Hey Nick, welcome to the club.  We have decided to organize to provide a resource for other car interested people.  Specifically those with B5 Passats and B4 A4 Audis (they share lots of the same parts and engines).  We get together and go for drives, do maintenance days (aka garage days) and just hang out for beers and social stuff too.

1. For the clutch I would recommend having a shop do that for you.  Make sure they have experience with VWs

2. For the sunroof issue, I have not heard of anyone having these issue, but register and post over at www.clubb5.com and I'm sure someone that has seen this before may be able to give you some info on this.

3. For tint, check with the guys at www.edition719.com as they will have some recommendations for you.  These guys are a local VW club for the springs and a

6.  fun group to hang out with.

4. Clear corners and indicators.  www.parts4vws.com is our sponsor, so if you want to order from them, call them up and tell them you are a member of Rocky Mountain Club B5 and they will hook you up.

5. HID = High Intensity Discharge aka Xenon lights.  These have to be used with the projector headlight housings.  You can also just get the projector housings (the $300 ones gietl was referring to and add HID/Xenon later)


6. Either get a chip or change the stock suspension when you can.  It's a tossup as to which one you will appreciate more.

7. For bass, the best bet is the Mobile Electronics forum at CB5 here:

http://www.clubb5.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=21

There are some guys here that are real gurus for ICE.

8. As to the shift boot, I would check around, maybe even visit some junk yards that may have some in good shape.


Mike (kt037) and Mike (mike618) are both in the springs area.  We are long overdue for a GTG down there, so keep checking up on the GTG section and once again welcome to the club.

Winston
You can't rehabilitate a fire ant.

kt037

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Hello! New member looking for advice
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2004, 02:21:31 AM »
RM window tint in motor city, at the top of the hill (behind the car wash) and acrodd the st from pikes peak acura truck/suv store... best place in town, they have done 4 of my cars in the last 2 yrs!

also if you need to find anything in the springs car-wise/anything else let me know!
OT DISH?-----> nope!
and YES I KNOW I CAN NOT SEPLL!!!!

nickcc60

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Thanks!
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2004, 02:51:49 AM »
Wow, you guys rock!  Thanks to everyone who responded.  Yeah, $600-$1200 (or even $300) is way more than I can afford to spend on lights.  I'm wondering though, what's the deal with the xenon headlights that you see at Checkers or on ebay (like here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=36476&item=2460918062") for so much cheaper?  
Jay, I looked over the paperwork, at it looks like the turbo was replaced 25k ago and the engine 20k ago.  I don't think it was the timing belt though, something related to oil - it's hard to tell with the cryptic dealership lingo.  Would that make any difference in what you said?
Mike, I go to CC.  Did you go to either of the CC-UCCS B-ball games this year?  They were crazy.  I have to work this Sat, but it'd be cool to meet up some time.
Winston, what are the benefits of changing the suspension?  What do I need to do this, just springs, or is there more to it?  How much does that usually run?

I'll post my audio questions at clubb5, thanks for the suggestions - I'm trying to hook in my mp3 player too, which seems to somewhat of a pain in the ass.  I have a few more questions for y'all though:
- I think I can get my friend who's an automotive student at the university formerly know as USC to do the clutch for me.  However, I thought I remembered reading somewhere on clubb5 that they recommended using a better than normal clutch if you're going to chip the car.  I can't seem to find that post now, though.  Anyone have any thoughts or recommendations on this?
- Should I always use premium gas?  Or am I okay with midgrade?

It'd be great to meet up with you guys sometime, I'll keep checking back on this site.

Nick

DenverPat

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Hello! New member looking for advice
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2004, 02:57:46 AM »
Always use premium gas.  Period.
The clutch is a real PITA from what I've heard.  Chas (one of our resident tech experts) did it himself.  He normally does everything for his own car service-wise, but highly recommended bringing it to someone to have the clutch done for you.  I'm sure if you drop him a line he'll give you more details.  Unless you plan on big power mods, you should be fine with the OEM clutch.  I have 120K miles on my 1.8t, most of them with at least a chip.  I drive harder than most, and my clutch is still fine.  I think my engine now puts out around 240 torque and 225 hp for reference.
"Of all the extreme sports I've ever participated in- windsurfing, kite boarding, wake boarding, tow-in surfing and snowboarding- skiing, for me, made everything else easy."
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madigan

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Re: Thanks!
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2004, 03:34:06 PM »
Quote from: "nickcc60"
Wow, you guys rock!  Thanks to everyone who responded.  Yeah, $600-$1200 (or even $300) is way more than I can afford to spend on lights.  I'm wondering though, what's the deal with the xenon headlights that you see at Checkers or on ebay (like here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=36476&item=2460918062") for so much cheaper?


Hey Nick, all the bulbs you see on eBay and in Checker are gimmicks. I could type all day telling you about the difference… so check out this link instead.

http://www.xenondepot.com/faq.html#2

It will give you an idea of what the difference is between halogen-xenon bulbs and true xenon bulbs.

If you’re at the GTG on Saturday, you can see, for yourself, the difference between xenon HID and xenon halogen; a few of us have true xenon (HID) headlamps.
mad wagon

jayryan

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Hello! New member looking for advice
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2004, 07:18:35 PM »
Welcom to the club!

Mark and I can give you a side by side comparison...he's got trues...I've got wannabes...I think he's got trues... :lol:
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nickcc60

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Hello! New member looking for advice
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2004, 10:40:54 PM »
But the wannabes are still better than the stock bulbs, right?  Any recommendations on wannbes?  Just the cheapest off ebay?

jayryan

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« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2004, 01:08:30 AM »
Wannabe's are way better than stock...I got PIAA extreme whites...I paid a little much for them...Sylvania Silverstars are hear are pretty good...that's about $40 for a set from like Checker or Autozone...
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madigan

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Hello! New member looking for advice
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2004, 02:39:33 AM »
Quote from: "nickcc60"
But the wannabes are still better than the stock bulbs, right?  Any recommendations on wannbes?  Just the cheapest off ebay?


Nooooooooo! Don't buy the cheapest bulbs you find on eBay. Have some respect for your car. :P Buy bulbs from a reputable company like PIAA, Sylvania, Hoen, etc. If possible, you should buy them from a local shop incase you have any problems or happen to get defective bulbs. You have to make sure you don’t buy bulbs that exceed the appropriate wattage too. You can fry your wires and melt the housing if the wattage is too high. Also, not all bulbs are better than stock. Some of the “xenon” (halogen) bulbs you see on eBay and in Pep Boys, Checker and Auto Zone are actually not brighter than stock. Many have a blue coating that inhibits light emission. All the blue coating does is mask the yellowing effect. Do yourself a favor and buy a quality bulb. :)
mad wagon

jayryan

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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2004, 11:36:55 AM »
Yuppers...stay away from "cool blue" or any form of blue lights...they stink
Reputable brand is good...
Mark has more money to spend then the rest of us though :wink:
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BlackA4

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Kryton Series Bulb
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2004, 03:53:48 PM »
DO NOT buy the brand "Euro Dezigns". They look really awesome and match my Xenons pretty well. However they have a lifetime warrenty and it sucks. The bulb will burn out in almost exactly 3 months and it cost 5.95 to have a new one shipped out. I have sent them back 3 times and recieved new bulbs no problem. Then 3 months later boom there out again. I have spent more total in warrenty retuns then I have to buy them in the first place. I even received a set of free one because I wrote a letter complaining. Steer clear of these guys!!!!!!   :evil:   By the way it was the H7 fogs I had problems with.

I recommend Kryton Series Bulb brand for headlights. They look most like BMW xenons and have a nice cool blue not ricey. Worked for years in my old car and dont fade color after time.  I am not aware of what bulbs the Passat halogens use if they are different from Audi or not.  Here is a link to the H7 Kryton Series. http://store.autotoys.com/cgi-bin/wfp53024.storefront/403642a00308a0ea27464200c14805e6/Product/View/KRYPTONH7
Those bulbs BLOW my roomates PIAA brand identical bulbs out of the water, He paid $30 bucks more and mine worked and looked better. So you see, more is not always better.  :D  As a matter of fact I am ordering these right now to replace my burned out fog light I got from Euro Dezigns. Damn crappy bulbs.
--> general link for good accessories http://www.autotoys.com
att

nickcc60

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Hello! New member looking for advice
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2004, 09:52:22 PM »
Thanks again to everyone for all their input.  A few more questions:

- Any thoughts on Silverstar vs. Krypton?

- I messed around with the sunroof, something is wrong with the right side track, although I can't seem to see anything wrong just looking at it.  Is there anywhere I can take this to get fixed other than a dealership?

- All the clear corners I've found online (cb5, ebay, parts4vw) are crystal clear.  My headlights are not the crystal though.  Do these look alright together - anyone have any experience?

Nick

92UrS4

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Hello! New member looking for advice
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2004, 12:02:13 AM »
Yeah, that's how 99% of B5 owners with CC corners run:


ColoradoB5

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« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2004, 06:43:00 PM »
Hey Nick,

Suspension does make a huge difference.  When you take sharp turns or accelerate/decelerate hard, the B5 tends to roll to much.  Springs and shocks will tame the car and make it perform much better under these circumstances.
You can't rehabilitate a fire ant.