Tag Archive for: Cabriolet

Luv a dub VW engine problem

I know it has been about forever since I updated the Luv A Dub project. Like many car projects, it is slow going at times. There are things that have to line up to get a project really rolling. I think we are just at the edge of this project really taking off.

I wrote a post a while back about the donor car I bought for the engine and the transmission. The 1998 Jetta had a VR6 paired with an automatic trans. When I got that Jetta I knew it had engine issues, and it would require some work to get running. The other issue is I wanted a manual transmission. I had a transmission that I was getting for free. It turns out that a transmission from a 4cyl tdi will not bolt up to a VR6. Seems pretty logical when I think about it. I just had dreams of getting a free transmission.

The transmission quest was a bug success. I found an transmission AND an engine for $400. The engine is a VR6 as well. I will be picking up the engine and transmission on Thursday and update you guys with pictures. The plan is to use that engine and transmission in the Cabby.

Since I the engine from the Jetta, I figured I would disassemble it and see just how bad the damage was. The engine had a blown head gasket. Below is a video of when I drained the oil. You will notice that it looks like water coming out of the engine. That is actually water draining out of the oil filter. The brown liquid coming out of the oil pan is oil and coolant mixed. I didn’t expect that much water to be in the oil. I would have started the video sooner. 🙂

This is what happens when oil and coolant mix. It makes a nasty mess. When I disassembled the engine, I found plenty more of the oil/coolant mess. This stuff is pretty tough to clean. It seams that this engine was in pretty bad shape. The tensioners for the timing chain were also broken. Little bits of plastic were stuck in the oil pump. It seems that finding that other VR6 was a really good thing. Below are a few pictures of the VR6 being disassembled. Thanks to my awesome wife for getting helping me out with the pictures.

That is pretty much where I am at with the Cabby. In a totally random turn, I met the guy that owned the car “pre-art”. He drives a 2008 Passat. He was in for an oil change and brought a spare key. Sadly it is not a factory VW key. He said that he is going to email me some pictures of the Cabby before he sold it. I am really looking forward to seeing those pictures.

I also need to let you all know that I will be traveling this week. I will be heading to VW training. I will be getting my hybrid certification. I actually got a chance to drive the Jetta hybrid last week. The car drives good. It has a great amount of power. The torque was fantastic. I will do a full post about it this week. If you guys have any Jetta hybrid questions post them in the comments. I have 2 full days of training. That means plenty of time to get all of our questions answered.


WOW, Wednesday always seems to come around in the middle of the week. What’s the deal with that?(you have to say that like Jerry Seinfeld) I have actually been out of the shop for a few days. My wife and I are taking a little road trip. So, I am going to be really selfish on this Shop Shots. I know I know, I should not be selfish. I still think you guys will like this weeks Shots!

MK3 Jetta wiring Humble Mechanic automotive service picturesThis is what a complete body wiring harness looks like. Never mind the seatbelt mixed in. This harness came from the 1998 Jetta that I picked up. This must be about 40lb of wires, connectors, fuses and tape. I was not sure what I would need for the engine swap, so I took it all. Basically every connector that is not the engine. Every light, button, airbag, and switch is on this harness. Replacing this harness might be one of the worst jobs a mechanic has to do.

Auto Mechainc's Tool BoxThis is a picture of my tool box at the house. YES I know it is a total disaster. I keep my work box really neat and organized. For some reason, I just can’t keep my box at the house straight. I think it is because I wont buy the organizers for it. This is actually the box I started as a professional mechanic with. It lasted about 2 years before I ran out of room.

I took a picture of it because I might be trading it. A buddy of mine has a yellow Matco box that I would like. So I might trade it for a tool cart, then trade the cart for the yellow box. I must admit, I will be a little sad to sell this box. I need to figure out how to save a few of the stickers that are on it.

Removed the dashboard from a MK3 JettaAh yes, back to the donor Jetta. When you remove an entire wiring harness, most of the interior needs to come out too. This is what it looks like behind the dash board of a car. I have seen so many cars with the dash out. It makes me cringe every time. I don’t dislike doing dash work. It is just not my favorite. I think that I have stipped all I can from this car. It will be given a proper send off. It has been smashed and abused it’s entire life. I am the 7th owner. It has been totaled twice. Now she has donated organs to help another car live. Thank you Jetta for your sacrifice.

Fender bender, auto mechanic shop shotsGRRR. This is a picture of the rear bumper on my Passat.(please ignore the chicken legs in the reflection) We got rear ended last week.

We were coming home from seeing Batman. This very bad driver in front of me basically cut me off. I had to slam on the brakes. The guy behind us didn’t stop. He hit my poor Passat. We pulled over and the guy that hit us took off. No one got a ticket, even though the lady that cut me off should have.

Maybe I should do a post on what to do if you are in an accident. Odds are, the bumper will need to be replaced. Ugh!

Well, thanks for checking out another round of Shop Shots. I will be out of town the rest of this week, and into early next week. Be sure to stay tuned. I will be doing some fun posts from the road!

Hey folk, it is FINALLY Friday!

Today’s update on Luv a Dub is the video I promised a while ago. I had the chance to test drive removing the factory sound dampener by using dry ice. The other methods that I tried were, chiseling, and using a heat gun and scraper. The chisel didn’t work at all. The heat gun worked awesome. You can see the video of the heat gun method at Removing VW Sound dampener with a heat gun.

The theroy behind using dry ice is that it will “freeze” the dampener and make it really easy to remove. That would mean much less clean up. The issue with heat is, it leaves the tar residue behind. Lets find out if dry ice is the solution.

As you can see in the video, dry ice didn’t work at all. I left it on for almost 30 minutes and it was no easier to remove than with the chisel. It looks like the heat gun was the way to go.

Here is the floor after removing the sound dampener. I still have to do a final cleaning.

This took me about 10 minutes of work. The dry ice took about a hour when you factor in going to get it. To me, dry ice was a waste of time. 🙂

I am actually off work until Wednesday of next week. That means I should have plenty of time to work on the Cabby. MY rust treatment came yesterday, so I will have a video up for that soon. While I am out of the shop, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook OR instagram!

What does everyone have planned for the weekend? If you got a cool project happening, share what you are doing..

Cabriolet Center Console

Well, I finally chose a name for the Cabby. Meet, project “Luv A Dub” I went back and checked the original post about the car. It just so happens that Garrett was the one that suggested it. Thanks Garrett!

This weeks update is 2 parts. First, I am still working on the floor pan. Removing all the sound dampener, rust, and crud is very time consuming. I am still working on the driver’s side. I have been using a wire wheel on a drill to remove any rust and the remaining paint, and glue. Here is where I am at on the interior.

Volkswagen Cabriolet InteriorHere is the driver’s side rear floor pan. Just a very small amount of rust. I removed the sound dampener, then cleaned the rest with a wire wheel. Next will be a complete clean of the floor. That is the part I don’t care for.

Volkswagen Cabriolet InteriorHere is a good before and after shot. I have not done anything to the passenger side yet. Notice how awesome the paint is that was under the rear seat. That has me thinking that I want to keep it the factory color!

If you notived that the center console is missing, great job. I took it out to make removing all the dampener possible. Here is a video showing just how much “art” is on this car.

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I am SO excited on how this came out. I will clean and restore the console so everyone can see how to do that.

Cabriolet Center Console

As you can see, the console came out great! I just wish the seats were that easy.

Well that pretty much recaps the work this week. Congrats to Garrett! I have a little gift pack for you. Just email me your address and I will send it to you. 😉

Have a great weekend everyone.

Removing Sound Dampener VW


I was having some technical issues Friday so this post had to hold off until today.

I got a Cabriolet update for you! My plan is to start with getting the interior all nice and pretty. Then I will move on to brakes, then suspension. After all that is complete, I should have the power plant and paint finalized(hopefully 😉 )

So today I am testing a method to remove the factory sound dampener from the car. I want to make sure there is no rust on the inside before moving forward. The heat method is the best way that I have found so far. I have heard that Dry Ice also works well. I will test that for you and we can all see the proof.

After all the sound dampener is gone, I will treat the floor with a paint treatment that will stop rust. Then I can put down some better quality stuff to help keep road noise and heat down..

Here are a couple of before and after shots.

I will also be ordering carpet this week. The best I have found comes out of the UK. It is a little more expensive, but it is already cut for the seats and the shifter. If I buy the stuff from the US, I will have to cut all the holes. The carpet basically comes as one giant “stamp”. I would have to tailor it to the car. 🙁


Hi folk

Today you get to see my first attempt at bringing the interior of the Cabriolet back to life. This video demonstrates 2 different products.

The goo gone worked okay for the price. The Un Do, didn’t really work but I don’t think that is the right application. I would say that neither of these 2 products worked great. Just remember that this is EXTREME! Just because a product doesn’t work here, doesn’t mean it is a bad product.

If you know of any super cool techniques to remove stickers, post them in the comments. I will be more that happy to try them. There is no shortage of places that need work. This video confirmed the work that I have ahead of me.

Remember that you can also connect with me on Facebook, You tube and Twitter. I am all about chatting it up on Facebook or Twitter!

Auto Mechanic Project Cabriolet

Well, as promised, I shot a video of the Cabby last night. After work last night I spent a few hours replacing the clutch. I will dedicate a post solely to that soon. Lets just say it was toast!

As you can see, I have some BIG TIME work a head of me. That is the fun part about the project right? I will say that the car is in pretty darn good condition.

After I test drove it, I found it would not stay running. A vacuum hose came off on the front side of the engine. I fixed that. Then I found the distributor cap and rotor were worn out. I got those coming along with some new spark plugs.

Well, what do you think? In over my head? I would love to know.;) I hope you all have an awesome weekend. I have some pics of the damaged clutch and some before and afters for everyone. I will post them asap.

If you knew that my first car was red, click one of the buttons below. BTW my first car was red.