Gave the wagon a GTI/GLI nose-job

Now it’s no-longer the main family vehicle I’ve been thinking a bunch about tweaks and mods I can do to the Jetta wagon.

I never cared for all the chrome on the nose and it turns out all the grille bits from the MK5 GTI/GLI are a straight swap.


Before: a bit blingy and busy

I’m still adjusting to how it looks as I’d got so used to the original over the years; I’m wondering if the red stripe would look better chrome in this context as there’s no other red accents elsewhere. There was an aftermarket piece I saw with that option and I do have a roll of chrome vinyl in the basement - only snag is I’m not sure i could get it off and on cleanly.

After a lot of hemming and hawing on Aliexpress I just went to FB marketplace and bought the grill pieces off a guy who was parting a GLI which had slipped it’s timing chain. Unfortunately it seems like when he pulled the parts he did it literally and busted half the clips in the process; they still hang on OK though I may want to go back and use a little 3M tape to secure some parts.

Now I have to install some fog lights to fill the gaping holes as my comfortline spec car didn’t come with them. I’ll also have to install a stand-alone relay/harness and probably a different headlight switch to activate them as I assume it doesn’t have the control module either.


Out of impatience I just overnighted some cheapo halogen fogs off amazon prime which showed up yesterday and yup they shipped me two left ones.


So I will deal with the seller on Monday, see if they can send me a right hand and if not I’ll do what I planned originally and buy some LED ones direct from China.

Teenage mechanical snob me would likely be horrified I went for the boy-racer cosmetic upgrade over any performance parts but he didn’t know what those parts cost....


At one time i had dreams of putting on coilovers, GTI wheels, bigger brakes, maybe the upgraded intake manifold and tune that’s available for the 2.5L, 5 cyl to push the power up to GLI levels (~200hp)

Sadly this project may not have a lot of runway left as the car is rusting: VW have a 10 year corrosion warranty which they surprisingly do honor. I’ve had 3/4 wheel arches and the tailgate fixed (twice) under warranty. However now the warranty is up, the remaining 4th corner is starting to rust from the inside out and the rockers are peeling away underneath.


I’ve got an appointment with the local body shop to see how economically they can swap the fender and fix any collateral damage on Monday but I fear the rockers are going to mean this is a sub $5k car that isn’t worth putting more money into.

Moral of the story - void the damn corrosion warranty and Krown spray your future project cars from day 1

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