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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I signed up for the site a while back but I am finally going to post a question. I own a 99 passat sedan with a 1.8 turbo. It currently has 128,000 on it. Although when I look for parts on my car at the dealership the vin pulls it up has a 2000 model. This as made it a little difficult at times and has often lead to ordering parts twice because of subtle parts differneces between the 2 year models. I do work at a Mazda/VW dealership as a tech so I have acces to all special tools and diagnostic equipment which is very nice. I have alreadyt replaced the timing belt with the upgraded parts at 110,000. Although I do buy most of my parts online since I can get them cheaper then the dealership even with my employee discount of 5% below cost. I am looking for a plan to get the most performance and ride quaility out of my passat on a budget that doesnt break me. My passat is currently bone stock with all factory updates and recalls performed. It is still riding on the stock 15" rims. Any help anyone can offer would be great. Specially if there is a way i can reprogram the pcm for performance using the vw factory equipment. Thanks for any and all help that I am sure I will receive.
 

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Welcome. 110,000 is a lot of miles for the timing belt. Glad it got changed.
Just out of curiosity, do you work at Hiley Mazda/VW? Or are you somewhere else in Texas?

The general order of the most popular upgrades is:

Rims/Tires
Suspension
Chip

I just got my suspension done and will do a chip at some point in the future. I dont know that you can really "reprogram" the stock set up though. In that department most people get a chip, or if money is burning a hole in their pocket, a bigger turbo.
 

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That's weird with the VIN vs MY you thought you had. Any other stickers on driver door post for mfg date, etc? VWoA should also be able to give you "born on" date from the VIN. Unless it's a salvage Frankenstein, the VIN should rule. Maybe you really have a 2000?

If all basic maintenance has been covered, I'd say GIAC or APR chip, upgraded DV and 2.5" exhaust from DP back. Should run you $800-1,000 and you'll have a whole different car. Upgrade other stuff as it breaks or wears - tires, brakes, suspension, etc.

No way to reprogram using VW equipment, just nice to have for diagnostics.

Good luck!
 

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Hard to say on VIN v. MY info - I have a 2003 W8 sedan, and when I went to get some minor parts, they needed the VIN to get the correct part #.
It was simple stuff, too. The battery cover piece, for instance. Based on the MY2003, they showed two different parts. The earlier VIN range showed the same part # as a 2002, later VIN range showed the same part # as used on a 2004. My car shows a build date of 6/2002, which I think would normally be a 2002, but the VIN digit for year clearly says 2003.
 

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Hard to say on VIN v. MY info - I have a 2003 W8 sedan, and when I went to get some minor parts, they needed the VIN to get the correct part #.
It was simple stuff, too. The battery cover piece, for instance. Based on the MY2003, they showed two different parts. The earlier VIN range showed the same part # as a 2002, later VIN range showed the same part # as used on a 2004. My car shows a build date of 6/2002, which I think would normally be a 2002, but the VIN digit for year clearly says 2003.
Build date is not model year.
Most 03s were built in 02. This is so the dealers can sell 2003s in august 2002 and claim "the 2003s are here, so huy now or some such thing.
My 02 was built 05/01 and was bought 08/01 (one of the first 02s off the boat, at least on the west coast) :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes. I do work at Hiley Mazda/VW. I am a tech on the Mazda side but I do all the work on my car with the help and alot of advice from a very good VW tech.
 

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same old advice. assuming all maintenance is up to date, and the car's been fed only synthetic oil upto now (if not, might want to auto-rx)...

chip & dv
better pads/rotors
suspension & wheels

and if ya got more cash to burn, exhaust and fmic would be nice upgrades.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would like to keep the amount spent to under a grand for now. but we will see how that goes. I said the same thing on a 88 mustang that I bought in highschool and when i finally sold the car i had dumped a little over 10 grand into it. Those were the days when I lived at home, had a great job and no bills and the need to perform at the local drag track. Now I just want a faster daily driver. If you arent doing 80 to 90 on a Texas highway you are just wrong. It is also nice to be able to pull hard from the entrance ramp up to that speed. ABout the vin, I have all the original paper work from the time the car first sold to now including the original window sticker. VW parts told me that there was a split mid-year on the vins so that late 99's actually pull up as 200 models but all paperwork will show a 1999 model. Just sometimes when the split shows that it should be a 2000 part it ends up being a 1999 part.
 

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Since you can probably do your own installs, I'd suggest that too. I bought my suspension set up used for $550. I also got a used set of wheels and new tires for $700. Together that goes a bit over 1000, but suspension plus chip would be a good mix and maybe get you closer to $1000 limit.
 
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