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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello!

Got into VW’s a little over a year ago with a ‘19 MK7.5 GTI which I’ve enjoyed modding and have used it for the occasional track day.

Was looking for a nice beater to take some use /miles off the GTI for the daily commute and stumbled across this one owner ‘03 Passat Wagon 1.8T at the neighborhood garage with a for sale sign. Timing belt and water pump recently replaced. 113k miles. It shows it’s age but has a certain amount of charm to it!

If it proves anything near reliable over the next few weeks I’ll probably invest in some Koni Orange Dampers and H&R springs, along with an inexpensive set of Sparco wheels to spruce it up a bit (the steel wheels and eBay hubcaps have got to go)!

Happy to be here!

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Today, got around to replacing the driver’s side tail light assembly which was cracked and faded and performed an oil/filter change.

There aren’t too many factory screws left holding that under engine splash guard! Mostly zip ties! Yeesh!

Interesting location for that oil filter! Moved the air pipe out of the way to access it.

New wheel/tire package going on Tuesday- should spruce it up a bit!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Today, replaced the Spark Plugs, Coil Packs and Air Filter.

That air intake area at the mesh at the opening of the intake filter box was completely clogged with leaves and organic material! The air filter itself was growing mold colonies!
 

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Moving this one into the B5 forum.
 

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Nice looking wagon.
I have a set of H&R 54794 springs in my storage with 20k miles that were on a 1.8 wagon that sold 13 years ago. Make me an offer if interested.
 

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GTI to a teenage son is asking for trouble and high insurance. I know I would have been in trouble if I had one when I was a teen, then again, I could have gotten in just as much trouble with any car (and even more with a wagon). Cars are looking good.
 

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Today, got around to replacing the driver’s side tail light assembly which was cracked and faded .
Do you have any "B5.5 insight" regarding how to easily change that driver's side tail light? I've swapped out a few and have not yet figured out how to get at that one nut blocked by the plastic rack holding the Amp/CD-Changer/etc.

I'd like to exchange the tail light on my current wagon (faded badly but not cracked), but don't want to destroy anything in order to do it.

The last one I took out was in a pick-n-pull junkyard so I became "that guy" and destroyed the rack to access the nut.

The last one I replaced, I used a soldering iron to melt a hole through the plastic to get at it. VERY inelegant but it worked.

Your mention is so casual it seems you did not encounter this issue, so maybe there is some forest that I am not seeing because of all the trees. Please enlighten me!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Do you have any "B5.5 insight" regarding how to easily change that driver's side tail light? I've swapped out a few and have not yet figured out how to get at that one nut blocked by the plastic rack holding the Amp/CD-Changer/etc.

I'd like to exchange the tail light on my current wagon (faded badly but not cracked), but don't want to destroy anything in order to do it.

The last one I took out was in a pick-n-pull junkyard so I became "that guy" and destroyed the rack to access the nut.

The last one I replaced, I used a soldering iron to melt a hole through the plastic to get at it. VERY inelegant but it worked.

Your mention is so casual it seems you did not encounter this issue, so maybe there is some forest that I am not seeing because of all the trees. Please enlighten me!
The amp/changer rack assembly has 5 or 6 screws holding it in place. I took the screws out (handy to have a telescopic magnet to fish out any that fall down the gap inside the body panel) and pulled/moved the rack as needed to access the nuts holding the tail light in place.

I used a ratchet wrench and socket for two of the tail light nuts. A mini combination wrench for the others. The hardest to access is the lower/outer nut!

The new tail light went a long way to give the car some class! The one I replaced was holding water inside and full of condensation.
 

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The amp/changer rack assembly has 5 or 6 screws holding it in place. I took the screws out (handy to have a telescopic magnet to fish out any that fall down the gap inside the body panel) and pulled/moved the rack as needed to access the nuts holding the tail light in place.
Thanks! You have given me hope. I will try it when the weather turns a little warmer.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Used some of that Cerakote headlight restoration kit in a pouch to bring some clarity back to the hazy headlights.

Passenger side came out excellent.
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Drivers side can benefit from one more treatment.
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They cleared up quite a bit as compared to how I got them (as acquired below!).
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Hello!

Got into VW’s a little over a year ago with a ‘19 MK7.5 GTI which I’ve enjoyed modding and have used it for the occasional track day.

Was looking for a nice beater to take some use /miles off the GTI for the daily commute and stumbled across this one owner ‘03 Passat Wagon 1.8T at the neighborhood garage with a for sale sign. Timing belt and water pump recently replaced. 113k miles. It shows it’s age but has a certain amount of charm to it!

If it proves anything near reliable over the next few weeks I’ll probably invest in some Koni Orange Dampers and H&R springs, along with an inexpensive set of Sparco wheels to spruce it up a bit (the steel wheels and eBay hubcaps have got to go)!

Happy to be here!

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Welcome to the forums! So, when are you putting a cage, seats, and five points in this? Haha. #trackallthethings
 
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