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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A month ago I bought a 2003 B5.5 V6 5 Speed GLX Wagon, 73k miles at pickup. A few dents and dings on the body, and a rear boot lid that is half body filler from getting rear ended by what I can only assume was a pickup. It also goes through a little bit of oil and I have to top it off about every Friday or so(nothing new to me since my Buick had a drinking problem). Aside from that it rides and drives great, super smooth ride and plenty of power. After some research I figured I should get on replacing the timing belt as soon as possible, I have a decent commute (150+ miles a day at worst) so that was the priority. Unfortunately, between myself and my father working 12+ hour days we couldn’t find much time to work on it. I needed the car for work, so it couldn’t be laid up for a week or more while I took apart the whole front end. So for the tune of $1K I had the timing belt done by a specialist who I knew would get it done right, used a Blauparts kit. For a couple grand I have a beautiful new ride that I don’t have to fix every weekend and has tons of potential.

But there are a few issues that I want to address in the coming months, to get it to what I deem to be a “nice ride”. Not to mention there is some stuff I want to do to "modernize" the car a little bit, that will come later though, once I know the car a little better. I just want to make it a clean, nice looking vehicle, something I can be proud of.

I guess I’ll break up what I want to get done into 3 sections, service, restoration, and modification. Service is what I hope I can get done in the next few months I will get done in the next few months. Never working on anything but American cars aside from a few Nissans (all beaters) and one of my buddies classic Alfas (a full resto-mod), I need to get to know this vehicle as best as I can. And figure out how the V6 got shoved into an engine bay the size of my shoe! I also need to inspect the electronics in this thing, from what I have read it may be backwards from what I am used to. Restoration is exactly as it sounds, I’m just bringing the vehicle back to what it was. Things that don’t have to be done as soon as possible but I would like to get done within the first 12-16 months of owning this thing. Lastly modifications, right now the list is pretty short, and I’m not in a rush to make these happen. I have bigger fish to fry for now, but I’m sure the list will grow as time goes on. As a preface, there is no particular order to these lists.

Service:
 Timing Belt (Done)
 Water Pump (Done)
 Serpentine Belt (Done)
 Tensioner (Done)
 Replace Air Filter
 Replace Fuel Filter
 Replace Plugs/Wires
 Change Oil/Oil Filter
 Rear Driver’s Side Window *1
 Inspect/Replace Passenger Side Fog Lamp
 Fix Electric Boot Latch *2
 Fix/remove rear wiper blade (Doesn’t Squirt)
 Replace Drivers Side Taillight (Water leaks in, is completely clouded)
 Inspect/Replace PCV Valve
 Inspect/Replace Brake Pads and/or Caliper and/or Rotors *3
 P2098 Code: Post Catalyst Fuel Trim System Too Lean Bank 2 *4
Source Coolant
 Source Oil
 Buy Shop Manuals (Ordered. [Bentley Publishers])

Restoration:
 Wash, Clay, Wax
 Polish Headlamps
 New License Plate Screws (The current set are rusted garbage)
 Windshield Replacement (Crack along bottom of passenger side)
 Replace Rear Seat (Has a gash [approx. 9”] in the cushion)
 Touch-Up Paint
 Driver Door, Underside Rubber (Missing a clip)
 Replacement Clips for door/boot panels
 New wheels (use stock as snows)
 Remove “Soft Touch Plastic” that is pealing all over interior (who’s idea was this stuff?!)
 New Head Unit (Double DIN, non-touchscreen, JVC maybe)
 Fix passenger side mirror motor *5
 New shifter boot

Modification:
 LED fog, head and tail lights
 New Side Skirts
 New Bumpers
 Re-Paint (VW Platinum Gray Metallic [LD7X])
 New shift knob
 “Fin” Antenna
 Coil Overs or Bags
 Badgeless Grill
 New/ Re-Upholstered Seats
Interior Lighting

*1 Motor and regulator are fine (took the panel off), the plug that inserts through the window is missing, I’m assuming it sheared due to a bump or increased resistance on the glass when it was trying to actuate. A quick fix.

*2 Have to look more into this, haven’t really had time and it’s not a priority. I checked the wiring harness with a multi-meter a few weeks ago but can’t remember finding anything conclusive. More to come.

*3 They are down pretty low on the outer pad so I can only imagine the inner is non-existent. Going to check tonight. I have pads and fluid so they are getting changed most likely.

*4 I am hoping (fingers crossed) that this is just an O2 sensor on its way out. I cleared the code once and was going to look at the OBD to see if any preliminary codes popped but, I had other things going on and it came on before I could check (lasted about a week before the code popped again). Have to try again, hopefully my tiny pea brain can remember this time

*5 When set to fold in, the motor doesn’t stop running and the mirror hits the door. Maybe an issue with the relay/switch of the mechanism. Need to research how these operate.


I’ve got some work ahead of me, nothing major yet, so I am going to try to keep this thread updated. For my own sanity, and for anyone who is interested. I have a few years of turning my own wrenches under my belt and work in power plants on industrial boilers and their systems, so I do have “some” experience. But, I value the knowledge of others very highly and realize that I have a lot to learn. If you have any pointers, comments or any questions for me please don’t hesitate to ask. This vehicle is pretty much a blank canvas so I am open to suggestions if anyone has any good ones! I’m just a newb here though, so cut me a little slack!
Thanks everyone, happy wrenching:wrench:!

VVVV If you are interested to know what my experience is up until this point VVVV​
I'm a mechanical engineer by trade and have been around cars non-stop for the past 22 years. I don’t think my father brought a single car we owned to the shops when I was growing up, and I was always his second set of hands. But I grew up around American cars, a '95 Crown Vic until I was about 13, 2006 Ford Taurus for about a year after that (Mother got in an accident). Then began the age of the Buicks. My father bought a '97 Park Avenue that a co-worker recommended, and shortly after a 2004 LeSaber followed. Both cars were unforgivingly comfortable and had beefy V6's that actually made decent power. When I started driving I was given the Park Avenue and tasked with keeping it running, and the folks bought a pair of matching black and white Mitsubishi Gallants (The Age of American cars has come to an end). 6 years later, after changing fuel lines in a blizzard, pressure senders in the parking lot of a Home Depot in pouring rain (it needed an oil change anyway), replacing half the undercarriage, a plethora of accessory replacements and not a single regret, I decided it was time to let the car rest. That just about brings us to now.
 

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And figure out how the V6 got shoved into an engine bay the size of my shoe!
You obviously haven't seen a W8 up close and personal.

Welcome to the forum. You've come to the right place for all things Passat. As far as being a noob, everybody's gotta start somewhere. This sight has always been noob friendly, even more so now than it used to be.
Nice little list you got going there. Something to add to it, VCDS software. Either the free version or the advanced version, it's worth the cost hands down. A single diagnostic session, obviously depending on how severe, could pay for itself in one use.

And mechanical engineer ay, looks like we'll be buttin' heads quite a bit. :D
I'm also a mechanical engineer (33 years) and a CNC CAM programmer.
 

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Welcome to the forum! That sounds like a very nice car (V6, 5spd, wagon!) and I'm sure you will enjoy driving it. It's a good thing you don't mind tinkering as well since even with those low miles you will become quite familiar with the car soon enough.

A few things:

1) for the rear wiper not squirting - there is a hard plastic elbow connection in the washer fluid line that can come undone. You can find it at the rear driver's side corner once your remove the access trim for the tail-lights. I'm working from memory so there may be a few other bits to remove as well but if the body cavity below the tail-light is full of blue-goo then that's the problem ;) I've secured mine with zip ties and I'm careful about that line now when messing around back there.

2) I have a badge-less grill I picked up from a boneyard once when I wasn't thinking straight:rolleyes: It's yours for $10 plus shipping if you are so inclined.

3) Enjoy your Passat! I'm a bit jealous of your car's configuration but living in CO I've come to appreciate the turbo on mine even though I like the way the V6 pulls off the line better.
 

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The gate latch:
Are you sure that it's actually inoperative? B5.5 wagon (U.S. market) is weird.
To open the tailgate: First pul' the 'trunk' button on the driver's door, or hold the 'trunk' button on the remote key (~4 seconds, alarm horn will say MeepMeep.) Then press the release pad (above the license plate.) Gate should now open. Note that the gate is only 'active' for 30 (maybe 60?) seconds after performing Step 1.

Unfortunately, this is how the CCM is programmed. If you don't mind being without a CCM for a couple of days, I can rewrite it so that the gate is 'unlocked' when all doors are unlocked. (I can also add "window operation via remote", too.)

If the gate still doesn't work, check the release pad. Sometimes they'll leak water (just a little), and the mechanism (not the switch itself) will corrode just enough that it won't 'return.' Once it's permanently applied, the CCM ignores the input. Can take it out, disassemble it, clean up the corrosion, and get it to work again usually.
Quick check here: Unplug the pad. Hit the trunk button, then simply jumper the plug (harness side.) Does the gate now open?
 

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73K miles is pretty low, so you should get plenty more use out of that car. Regarding some things on your list:

Plug wires- unless you have a suspicion that they are defective, I'd skip that expense. My '96 A4 still had it's original wires when I sold the car, running great, at over 270,000 miles.

Brake pads -you probably already know this, but don't install the "lifetime" chain-store, hard as rocks pads. I'm content with the Pagid brand, but everyone has their favorites.

Oil and filter; German Mann or Mahle filters are what I use, with a major-brand synthetic oil (Mobil-1, Valvoline, etc.). The V6 tends to be fairly easy on oil, but your consumption is a concern. If not leaking, there may be a problem with the crankcase vent valve or clogged breather hoses, causing leakage past seals or piston rings.

Speaking of leaks, expect to change valve cover gaskets at some point, especially if you see oil leaking from them, or have a oil smell in the cabin.

I'd also ask how your mechanic ensured that the cam timing was correct. There are tools for that, which hold the exhaust cams and crankshaft in sync during the belt installation. If he didn't use them, but merely swapped old belt for new, the cam timing may not be ideal.

Lastly, as AndreasPassat said, you will really appreciate a VAG-COM aka VCDS scan tool, way beyond a common OBDII scanner, because of the multiple control modules on this car that are accessible with VCDS through the diagnostic port.
 

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I would replace the rubber brake lines while you change the brakes and fluid. Salt and age are not kind to them and it may just save someone's life.

We tend to give a lot of slack around here. I don't mind Mechanical Engineers, it's the Industrial Engineers that I have to clean up after all of the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
AndreasPassat
Thanks for the warm welcome! And no! I'm pretty interested in those monsters though! When I was getting ready to buy I was thinking about getting a W8 but then I realized I didn't want to be filling the tank up every day :lol:
As for the VCDS software, I will have to look into it! I did a quick search tonight and it definitely looks like a good investment if I've ever seen one.

I look forward to buttin' heads with you brother, just a warning though I am as stubborn as they come!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Iowegian
Thanks for the input! I'll have to take a look in the boot and see what is going on, I could only hope its something that simple. Although it was rear-ended so I fear that may have something to do with it not operating correctly.
As for the grill, I appreciate the offer. But as I said I want to do make everything nice-nice before I start modding. Get all the important stuff out of the way first. If I start now I'm afraid of what might happen, even with something that small. But in a few months, I will drop you a line and see if it's still available for sure! Is it an all black or chrome trimmed?
And man, that turbo must come in handy when you're up in the twisties, I'm sure its boatloads of fun. The V6 is super responsive and really has some power behind it, it kinda sucks that it's pretty much un-tunable (so I've heard). I would love to slap a huge blower on it and make it a real grocery getter!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The gate latch:
Are you sure that it's actually inoperative? B5.5 wagon (U.S. market) is weird.
To open the tailgate: First pul' the 'trunk' button on the driver's door, or hold the 'trunk' button on the remote key (~4 seconds, alarm horn will say MeepMeep.)
I'm almost positive that the trunk button on the door and ket both operate correctly. However, when I use the key it doesn't honk but the lights give me a little flash-flash. I also know for a fact that the assembly back there doesn't actuate at all, so it is really up in the air. I gotta pop the panel off again and take a better look back there. But I will try everything you suggested, the bit about the pad is good to know! Thank you very Much!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The gate latch:
Are you sure that it's actually inoperative? B5.5 wagon (U.S. market) is weird.
To open the tailgate: First pul' the 'trunk' button on the driver's door, or hold the 'trunk' button on the remote key (~4 seconds, alarm horn will say MeepMeep.)
I'm almost positive that the trunk button on the door and ket both operate correctly. However, when I use the key it doesn't honk but the lights give me a little flash-flash. I also know for a fact that the assembly back there doesn't actuate at all, so it is really up in the air. I gotta pop the panel off again and take a better look back there. But I will try everything you suggested, the bit about the pad is good to know! Thank you very Much!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
ylwagon
I am hoping to have it for quite some time, I like to take care of my cars and I think I am already in love with this one.
The plugs and wires are not a real necessity I realize that, but I do like to check them and make sure everything is proper. I've used them in the past as health indicators for certain things (the gap itself, fuel mix, cooling, ignition timing) the basics. However, I probably won't need to do that if I pick up a VCDS scanner.

As for the oil and oil filter, I have always used Mann and Valvoline. My pops always made sure that I was using the good stuff.

The oil consumption I know is an issue and I need to diagnose it. I also just went back and re-read that and realized that I meant to write "every other Friday". I do check it every Friday though, and when I add its only a couple of ounces. I've added 8-9 ounces in the time I've had the car. Thanks for the tips though. I'm hoping that it is just a clogged breather. I really never get any fumes and I check the bay every week for leaks.

The garage I went to for the timing belt was a VW Audi and BMW specialist. When I brought the car in (already having the procedure and tool list with me that I made after a bunch of research) I told the owner I was a DIY kinda guy and asked him for a rundown of the job. He pulled out all the locks and pins and pullers and spanners I had on my list, as well as some other specialty tools that I didnt have (show off). He assured me that the job would be done right and his reputation stands through a few of my co-workers from my construction days. I also drove an hour away to get the job done so this guy better have done it right, or else.

Thanks for the interest! I really didn't expect this much of a response, your comment was great!
 

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AndreasPassat
Thanks for the warm welcome! And no! I'm pretty interested in those monsters though! When I was getting ready to buy I was thinking about getting a W8 but then I realized I didn't want to be filling the tank up every day :lol:
As for the VCDS software, I will have to look into it! I did a quick search tonight and it definitely looks like a good investment if I've ever seen one.

I look forward to buttin' heads with you brother, just a warning though I am as stubborn as they come!
Oh...
I smell a challenge in the room. :lol: Seriously though, I look forward to bouncing things off each other. Maybe we can get cchief22 in on this. Ya reading this Chief?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Brake Job Update!

Alright, just wanted to post a quick little update on my brake situation. I do have the light up on my dash to "check brake pads", but I will get to that.
Wednesday night I popped the wheel off and had a peak at the front driver side pad, I figured this was closest to the master cylinder, would have the most pressure behind it and be worn down the most. I really don’t know why I didn't check the brakes as soon as I got the thing, that’s my little pea brain at work again. The outer pad is worn pretty evenly, with about 1/4 of the pad material left. The inner pad though, is a mess. Uneven wear that goes from around the same thickness as the outer pad to almost nothing. The top edge (sitting on the outer edge of the rotor) is down to almost nothing, and that’s thanks to the rotor.

The front of the rotor is "serviceable" at best, there is no deep scratches or grooves but the thing is covered in what I can only describe as rolling peaks and valleys. Not warped, but not exactly in tip top shape. The rear of the rotor on the other hand, has the same issues as well as having an inch-thick ring of rust around the outer edge. No wonder the tops of the back pads were so low (I'm also assuming that’s where the sensor sits too). So I had to make a decision.

The original plan was to replace the front pads with some Wagner semi-metallic and run those until the backs needed changing, at that point I was going to replace all 4 rotors with higher end Wagner’s, and put ceramic Wagner pads on them as well. The new plan is a bit different, I did some research and came up with getting a Kit from Power Stop that has some pretty good reviews. The Z23 Evolution Sport Brake Upgrade Kit to be exact, only the fronts though. For around $168 bucks + shipping I got what I am hoping to be a pretty nice kit. I'm going to order the backs after I have a few weeks on these to make sure it’s worth it.
Not knowing the history of the car I am also going to do a full system flush, because I really don’t want any crud in my master cylinder. I am going to get a replacement cap for the reservoir, tap it, put an air barb in it, and then uses a garden sprayer to pressurize and power bleed the system. I’ve done this before and it works like a charm. Starting the bleed furthest from the MC and working backwards towards it (Rear Passenger Side, Rear Driver Side, Front Passenger Side, Front Driver Side), gets all the crud out and speeds up the job substantially. As of right now I don’t think I am going to do braided lines down there. (I also never thought those were anti-erosion only thought they were to keep the line from expanding under high pressure) I never changed the factory rubber (except on 1. caliper was seized and then replaced) of my Buick and that had 300k + miles.
But what I am going to do is clean up my calipers. I have no problem with the stock ones (as of right now) but they are absolute grime as it stands :puke:. I haven’t decided If I want to paint them though. If I did I would keep it very subtle, probably a silver undercoat with a few coats of black tint on top, so they just disappear back there but if you look for them they are looking clean and classy.
The parts have 3-day shipping but they still haven’t sent me a tracking number so I have no clue when they are getting here. The pads that are on there will work for a while longer, since I have short commutes all next week and I generally drive like a grandpa if I am not out on a mission to rip. Even if the pad is down to the plate by the time the job gets done I could care less as long as I can stop. The job looks pretty standard and I am hoping to be able to bang it out over the course of a day (maybe 2 depending on the weather, and some other chores around the house).

Thanks again for all the comments guys! I'll try and remember to take some pictures and post them up. Happy Friday! :thumbup:
 

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It is a pretty standard job. A couple of things to keep in mind, (I think it is the rear?) pistons need to be screwed back in and the easiest way to do this is to borrow the tool at your FLAPS if there is one that does tool rental. When I did my brakes, the surface of the calipers where the pads slide was rough and corroded so I filed it smooth before re-assembly. I've seen some pads that come with a stainless steel shim that fits over the caliper surface but since the holders are made of good german steel I didn't use them.

Finally....I was driving around with marginal brakes one time too and one day had to do a panic stop when a car stopped for a yellow left turn signal in front of me. I wouldn't want to experience that again. It's not a great feeling putting the pedal to the floor and seeing the car in front of you getting closer and closer while the brakes are only gradually slowing you down. I did stop in time but it put a new twist on 'panic' stop. Be careful until you get them fixed.
 

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Wednesday night I popped the wheel off and had a peak at the front driver side pad, I figured this was closest to the master cylinder, would have the most pressure behind it and be worn down the most.
The hydraulic pressure will be the same at all four calipers, proximity to the master cylinder has nothing to do with it.

Not knowing the history of the car I am also going to do a full system flush, because I really don’t want any crud in my master cylinder. I am going to get a replacement cap for the reservoir, tap it, put an air barb in it, and then uses a garden sprayer to pressurize and power bleed the system. I’ve done this before and it works like a charm.
Pretty clever to use a pump-sprayer for the pressurized air. Now, here's another use for VCDS, in case you inadvertently get air into the ABS unit: VCDS allows you to turn on the ABS pump in 'output tests', which purges the air out through open caliper bleeders.
 

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Let me know how it is going. I am original owner of a 2002 GLX Wagon, 5 speed, 137K. I am curious if you cleared up the P2098 - I just had the same issue crop up this week.
 

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Let me know how it is going. I am original owner of a 2002 GLX Wagon, 5 speed, 137K. I am curious if you cleared up the P2098 - I just had the same issue crop up this week.
Funny about this code my wife’s ‘03 with 121k just got it and I was going to replace the O2 sensors on the passenger side, last year I replaced both on the driver’s side....


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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The gate latch:
Are you sure that it's actually inoperative? B5.5 wagon (U.S. market) is weird.
To open the tailgate: First pul' the 'trunk' button on the driver's door, or hold the 'trunk' button on the remote key (~4 seconds, alarm horn will say MeepMeep.) Then press the release pad (above the license plate.) Gate should now open. Note that the gate is only 'active' for 30 (maybe 60?) seconds after performing Step 1.

Unfortunately, this is how the CCM is programmed. If you don't mind being without a CCM for a couple of days, I can rewrite it so that the gate is 'unlocked' when all doors are unlocked. (I can also add "window operation via remote", too.)

If the gate still doesn't work, check the release pad. Sometimes they'll leak water (just a little), and the mechanism (not the switch itself) will corrode just enough that it won't 'return.' Once it's permanently applied, the CCM ignores the input. Can take it out, disassemble it, clean up the corrosion, and get it to work again usually.
Quick check here: Unplug the pad. Hit the trunk button, then simply jumper the plug (harness side.) Does the gate now open?
if it works the way its supposed to (like above) great! but its probably the actuator motor. I Just did it last week, took an hour at most. And I did test the actuator motor itself directly and it didn't move at all.

Four philips head screws, pull the panel (its got like 14 clips holding it in, you might break a couple)
Disconnect the main cable from the actual latch (needle nosed pliers, also when putting it back, put it back upside down, way effin easier)
Disconnect the wire harness to the actuator motor (passengers side)
One other wire harness (one of two remaining, its obvious which one)
two 10mm nuts (you might be able to squeeze 1/4" drive ratchet in there) but a crescent wrench or pass through is just as easy.
curse a few times as you rotate the mount and get the whole thing to the right and get it to come out.
two more philips head screws hold the motor in place on the mount.
replace ten dollar part (or cheaper from a scrap yard).
do above in reverse.

IIRC the actuator motor is the same in the sedans as it is in the wagon, but the length of that cable is different.


As someone else said, 99% there is an elbow connector at the drivers side tail lamp that is disconnected. If you have the 6 CD changer, its right above it. also where the jack lives.


I got a spare 2 sets of wires from the scrap yard for 10 bucks. the ones from the adopted wagon were soaked in oil, and i broke one of the clips trying to get it off the coil pack.

save yourself the effort and if you are going to do all the above work, change the VCGs, because they are probably leaking, as well as clean the PCV (hard, brittle, 1/2" plastic) hoses.

....and i just realized i am very late to this thread!
 

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Funny about this code my wife’s ‘03 with 121k just got it and I was going to replace the O2 sensors on the passenger side, last year I replaced both on the driver’s side....


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Check your vacuum lines too
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Back from the grave

Wow, gentleman it has been awhile. I apologize for the absence. Unfortunately, my absence was not without reason.

On October 23, 2018 my little green wagon was in an accident. As anyone who has driven in or around New York City can tell you, some drivers get a little wild and I was at the mercy of my surroundings. The vehicle in front of me was cut off by someone who wasn't legally allowed to enter our lane, and due to the slippery road conditions and an aging brake booster I was unable to stop in time. The vehicle in front of me was able to pull over to a safe spot after the accident and I limped my poor wagon to where he was. My radiator was completely pushed in and leaking, the fan was shredded the radiator mount was broken in several spots, and the I could hear a few pulleys screaming out to be put to rest. I was crippled. He drove away though, with only a small dent in his bumper. After being stranded for 8 hours I had the car towed 3 hours back home.

The car is running and driving as of right now, I think it took me close 3 weekends of work and pulling at the junkyard to get the car back into running order. It has stayed mostly in the same state since then. Work has been keeping me extremely busy as my company recently lost a senior member of the team and I have been filling that roll in their absence. However, with the nice weather back in swing and my work load somewhat mellowing out I'm looking to get this wagon back into tip top (or close to it) shape. I will hopefully post the few pictures that I have from the accident, rebuild, and how it stands now within the next few days. It currently has no codes up (focused on getting all the mechanical bits working before worrying too much about aesthetics) and is freshly inspected so I have at least another year with this beast.

Also for those asking about the codes I just swapped out all the O2 sensors last weekend and that cleared the codes. If you are like me and buy the Bosche "direct replacement" ones don't get too upset when the passenger side rear connector is a different shape than whats in the box. Instead of trying to pull out the contacts or the pins and replace the connector I would suggest just profiling the new connector to fit the existing plug with a rotary tool. If anyone has any questions about this I can do a little write up on it. If one doesn't exist already that is.

Thanks for reading and expect to hear more from me soon. I'm hoping that you guys can give me a hand or some advice on a few things I haven't been able to figure out.:salute:
 
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