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My 1998 Colorado Red Varient Daily Driver Rebuild

2467 Views 15 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Volk14
My Craigslist score:
Crappy CL pics:
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I'm not the most active on these forums because my B5 is a reliable daily driver that hasn't been much of a passion for me. I haven't chipped it for fear of the automatic transmission failing. Well now I will be stepping it up a little. If you have seen me on the Vortex or TDIclub you will know that I love Corrados and TDIs.

My goal is not for a show car. I love my sedan and now varient because its great for parking lots where door dings might happen. I could care less if they happen to my B5s but they would piss me off it it were my Corrado or CC. I just want a fairly good condition car that is safe and reliable.

Right now after bringing the Varient home I can tell you that the rear suspension is very tired and the steel wheels have a minor bend in them. Oh and what a difference the 12" brakes make. I've had the 12" brakes and ecs lines since day one with the sedan and couldn't imagine driving without them.

I already have a 1999 an Automatic Sedan that I'll be transferring all of the good parts which include:
  • OEM VW AEB re-manufactured long block (60k miles) This thread will be of great help: Biketsai's DIY Auto-to-Manual Conversion
  • Bilstien HD shocks and struts
  • mk5 Wheels
  • 12" brakes
  • ECS Brake lines
  • Control arms
  • Autotech Rear Swap Bar
  • Leather seats (can the rears be swapped???)
  • leather door car inserts? (are the rear doors the same door panel???)

Then the reverse of the parts will occur on the sedan., Has anybody seen any documented 1.8T manual crank engines mated with automatic transmissions? I figure I'll give it a stab. I figure the sedan will be one of the CL low price cars when completed.

Some pics of the parts being swapped:

Oh and based on the production numbers in this thread l it seems like a B5 AEB/Varient/Colorado Red/5spd with black or grey interior is a fairly rare score. I didn't realize it until after getting this car. I had been looking for months/years for a combo like this so I could use my 1999 parts.

If people would like to help here are some of the things that I'm looking for:
Wagon/Varient rear cargo cover in black
how to for a manual engine into an Automatic car
Rear suspension beam bushing R&R how to (I haven't looked yet)
Some body parts that would be nice but not mandatory, C.R. rear bumper and hood in original paint without paint issues.

The swap of parts won't occur for a couple weeks
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The back seat may not swap between the sedan and wagon. You'll probably be able to tell if you compare one to the other. The door cards should swap.

There are several threads floating around with information about manual/automatic swaps. The difference is in the end of the crankshaft. The manual needs a pilot bearing.

Keep your radar up for a used chipped AEB ECM. Find yourself a deal and save some cash. :thumbup:

That CR varient will be great when you're finished with it.
Yeah I think I had read that the rear seats weren't a direct swap. Time will tell.

I'm aware that the crank ends are different. I'm aware of the pilot bearing needed to mate an automatic engine with a manual transmission. (I even posted the link in the original post) I need to know about swapping the other way around manual motor to an automatic trans. I haven't seen this covered, if you have please let me know.

I think I have a pretty good source for my chip. I've been holding off for 3 years on asking him because of the necessity of the sedan being operational (auto trans by VW are CRAP)

time will tell. My goal is to swap everything except the engine in one weekend to make the wagon operation and safe. Then a couple weeks later I'll swap the engine into the wagon over a three day weekend after prepping the automatic engine (new timing belt/tensioner/flywheel and pilot bearing)
(auto trans by VW are CRAP)
These are actually ZF transmissions. Other manufactures use them also including marine and rail applications. Taking a 1.8t from 150/170 horse power up to 195/210 isn't really going to kill the trans. The W8 puts out just under 300 hp and THOSE are known to eat torque converters. The thing that will kill one of these transmissions (or clutches) with a 200hp engine is the driver hammering on it.
Is ZF the same manufacture that makes the b5.5 tdi transmissions and Torque convertors that are known for issues? After seeing all of the 1998-2000 b5s forsale with slipping transmissions on craiglists is how I make my determination that they aren't worth dealing with.
Did some cleaning and then swapped on a set of spare wheels to see how they would look:

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Cool. A two car swap. Slushbox engine to 5-speed install, 5-speed engine to slushbox install. Fun new angle. :hatoff:
Hi Frank, I didn't know that you had a little bit of love for passats. Welcome to the club. You're going to love the wagon.

About the rear door panels, the rear sedan door panels won't be a direct fit on the wagon.

Good luck with your projects.
BTW did I spot a rallye golf behind the sedan?
Passats are great for when the corrado is too small. That is a Rallye. Its the one that NGP owner now has, a 2.9 VRT. My owned it for several years and had me do some tweaks to it.

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That Rallye looks super clean and love the french headlights. Mk2's are my favorite platform. I still have my 90 Corrado (broken) and a 91 GTI, both under the knife. I have great plans and ideas but not enough money to keep up with them :D

Did you make it to sowo this year? I didn't see your Corrado.
This year I only hit H20 and that was for less than a day. I'll probably wait until my son can handle a full day at a car show before I hit a couple shows in one year again.
yes, I totally understand that. We have a 10 month old at home. If you ever come to Asheville let me know. It would be nice to finally meet you.

You'll love the cargo space of the wagon, they're very practical. I daily drive mine with the back seats down full time. I've loaded complete VR's in it without a problem :)
I think it's been mentioned above, but the rear door cards will not be a direct fit. The top segment is a different thickness where it sits down onto the door. It looks like you could dremel off the tabs that hold that top part on, and swap the top portion to make it work. I was considering doing it in my own car, but I opted to pull the fabric insert and recover instead.

The seats will be a direct swap, except for the rear bottoms. The wagon bottoms have the fold forward feature, which is part of laying the seats flat to extend the cargo area. The sedan bottom can be made to fit, but IIRC, you'll lose the fold forward ability. If you're not concerned with being able to lay the seats all the way flat, then it might not be an issue for you.
This weekend I pulled off the wagon's tired suspension and brakes (front and rear). This includes the spindles, control arms, rear beam and everything in between. Its a tight squeeze in my garage right now because I've got it arranged so I can have both passats in the garage at the same time in case the weather is bad this coming friday and Saturday when I plan to finish the conversion. I plan to pull the sedan in next to the wagon Thursday evening and by saturday evening have both cars running and out of the garage.

I'll be saving the motor swap for another weekend in the next month or two. The cool part is that I found a 2000 wagon in the local pick and pull and scored a cargo cover for $17 and a cloth rear seat with the child seat anchor for $17.
Frank, bringing this back. Were you able to swap the engines? Any updates? Your work is always top notch :)
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