Tag Archive: Jetta


Over the weekend I managed to find time to get out to the garage for some EV time. The other week my cousin brought the 1997 VW Jetta donor car up to my garage to get it out of the way where it was as well as get it stored for working on.

A little worse for wear from sitting, but not really beat to pieces. I pop the hood and what do I find but some of those gremlins that everyone talks of!

It was getting dark when I took the photos and didn’t have my real camera with me. The girls had fun seeing what the car was like in its current condition. I wanted to open the sunroof and take some pictures that way, but I ran into a problem: I knew the battery had been removed, but the battery cables were gone too!

That was mid-week. Saturday I found some time to get out there with Jay and Scott, my buddies that are also in on this project. After a bit of contemplation and shop talk, we decided to quick-rig some wires with a small battery I had so that we could open a window or two as well as the roof. It’s hard to communicate easily from inside the car to outside with all the doors shut and windows all the way up.

Well, we get everything wired up, and get it all ready to plug in. Connect the last wire, and

BRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!

Jay and I both jumped (Scott hadn’t gotten there yet). So we unplug the horn and try again. BREEEEEEP! Sound is coming from under the fender near the firewall! Oh joy, it’s got a car alarm! Scott shows up, we ponder what to do, and decide to pull the fuse for it. I grab a flashlight, stick my head under the dash, and there’s nothing. The fuse box was empty! Read the manual, not really of much help. It does say that the sunroof is not part of the alarm. So we put a fuse in #21 for “body electrical, interior lights” and re-connect the battery. One beep! and then just the door chime. Yes! However, new problem: Sunroof still won’t open.

We move on to getting the car lifted to pull the rest of the exhaust off. Got the front end up on stands no problem. Crawl under the middle to see about taking the exhaust pipe apart, and I see a sight I didn’t expect that makes my heart drop:

The Rust Fairy came and visited the car while it was parked. I’ve heard mention of the Rust Fairy, and I’ve seen little bits of what happens when her fairy dust falls or her pet Tin Worm comes through, but nothing like this before.

A two-foot long gash in the floorpan, as well as a 5 inch diameter hole where you can reach up and touch the carpeting from underneath the car. Not sure what to do, and the mood ruined for all of us, we called it a night and closed up shop.

Jetta Engine Pull

Good Morning! It’s been a long, looooong hiatus for me. I’m not dead, and neither is this project – quite the contrary! I’ve just been both super busy and out of the loop for a while.

However, there is now progress to report! On Saturday, I went out to the family machine shop and my cousins and I pulled the engine out of the donor car – a 1997 Volkswagen Jetta. It was running when it was parked last fall, but winter and critters got to some of the wiring. No big deal, we won’t be using  most of it anyway!

My photos didn’t come out as nice as I had hoped. It’s hard to try and take good photos with a point-and-shoot in a dark-ish area when you’re trying not to get the camera dirty. We did have some trouble, but most everything came out pretty clean. The car is all askew in the last photo due to a bad tire, the fact that it’s not sitting level, and that there’s practically no weight over the front wheel. It may be kind of a beater, but it was free – and even now I smile when I look at the picture and think “This is MY OWN electric car.”

Photos by Jeff Haskell, Aug 13, 2011

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