I've been trying to keep track of how much time I've spent on this project (aside from the web page!) So here is a copy paste of my notes:

Latest updates at the bottom:

New Stretch:
Orig Wheelbase 97" overall 180"
Add 59" by stretching
Result Wheelbase 156" Overall 239" (~20')

Old stretch
Wheelbase 144" overall 228" (19')

Work record, for future insurance valuation.
Picked up Rear half from Jay. Exchange for 6 pack, 1 week free use of finished stretch and help selecting and installing a stereo in his car someday.
Cleaned up and removed most of the window tint.
6 hours.
5/10/98 - 2:30 AM
finished removing window tint.
Arranged and bought engine. $1616.25
Out of a 97 Jetta GL. VIN #3VWRB81AXVM069820

Mexican generated Jetta.
ECU 0 261 204 281/282 and 037 906 259E
Removed old diesel, studied mounts.
9 am to 2:30 am 1 hour break. 16.5 hours.

215 mm diesel clutch:
Needs disc, TO and pilot bearing.
PP looks good, no real wear, Flywheel will be fine with a cleaning and a sanding.

Motor mount left side needs welding.
5/10/98 - 9:11 PM
3 hours cleaning.

5/11/98 - 5:46 PM
2 hours flywheel resurface and clutch shopping.
5/12/98 - 3:07 AM (9:21:17)
9 hours, swap and clean oil pan, pump pickup and mounts. Install flywheel and clutch, put in engine.
Brian, 4 hours clean up of engine compartment.
5/12/98 - 11:24 PM
6 hours. Install computer, clean and modify oil pipe. install pump belt. check out wiring.
3 hours Karen clean interior.

5/13 ????

5285K41 2 7/8" hose from Mcmastercarr for intake splicing 3' long. $26.33
5/14 2 hours . work on coolant pipe?
5/15 7:30 pm to 4:30 am. 9 hours, Coolant hoses. finish coolant pipe.
5/16/98 10 am to 1 am 15 hours, Muffler and header work. About $135. drain tank.
5/17/98 10 am, 1am 15 hours, finish cooling, modify throttle cable, install fuel pump
5/19/98 bought Header gasket and trailer hitch $6. and $154.53 1.5 hours Trailer hitch is for a 87 to 95 Nissan Pathfinder, U haul # 75020
6:30 pm to 1:32 AM 7 hours. Wiring, route, mount relays, wire interface to car.
5/20/98 - 2:27 AM from 10 pm 4.5 hours. Wrap wiring, rinse fuel tank w/1/2 gal gas. wire FP. check dash lights, wire batt. finish hooking up fuel line. Run engine. Drive. fill w 10 gals reg. Runs strong, way too low gears.
Needs Air filter( too loud intake), needs deck lid mod, wire and fuel line tied up, evap stuff installed, MIL hooked up, check alt light, Check temperature gauge!! bleed system, possible coolant leak in splice pipe.
5/21/98 6:30 pm to 2 am. 7.5 hours. Hardware $20. Install Honda air box from 91 Del Sol. Install yellow top in right rear. Fix coolant light and oil light wiring. Bleed air from coolant, adjust headlights, tighten mirror.
5/22/98 - 12:22 AM 9.5 hours. Take to Lazanos for wash. Get and install new air filter, radiator cap, Clutch master cyl. Bleed clutch. Cut engine lid and cover, first with plastic then with pie tin, Good Cook item # 04011 from safeway. 14.5" X 10.5" X 2. Weld in and then silicone seal it in. Remove fan from dash, fix dash lights at switch, hook up right speaker, carve rear foam around tin. Diagnose bad fresh water pump and remove. Tie up fuel lines. Test drive 40 miles. Test fridge and stove.
5/23-26/98 test drive 1000 miles to Saline. Noisy Fuel pump stopped making pressure a few times but recovered.
5/27/98 4 hours, cut and weld receiver hitch
5/28/98 - 11:33 PM 1 hour. Wire trailer connector.
To Do:
finish wire and fuel line tied up, EVAP stuff install, MIL hooked up, check alt light,
bumper install
Engine swap running total: 5/28/98 at 106 hours for swap work.

6/4/98 oil change 124278 on 82 Westie
6/6/98 - 4:41 PM
Re replace clutch master 1 hour.
Cil Wire ??
Fuse box??

7/14/98 - 8:14 PM
Pick up front half from Denver: $5K. from Randy's VW
106772 Boulder 9:50 am
107022 Rawlings 1:42
107472 4:47
107472 Wendover 8:38 after shopping
107534 9:33 stop for headlights till 10:pm Ig switch went out.
107554 10:20 stop for night till 6:10 am
107718 8:27 winnimucca
107859 10:54 wadsworth rest stop included, met Steve with broken water pump. this is near BM 1087 miles would be 15.5 hours at 70 mph average.
108184 5:23 pm home. total 1412 miles.

7/19/98 11 am to midnight 13 hours
remove Syncro engine,trans and gas tank.
sold Syncro tranny and engine
Pick up Tranny from Jim Previt $150 DK from a air cooled 7 pass w/144K on it.
4.57 w a .855 fourth.
equivalent of a 3.90 final.
6 hours.

7/26/98 - 9:53 PM
sat: pull tranny, swap bell housings, start to form Syncro tank.
2pm to midnight 10 hours.
Sun: pull coolant lines and tank from Westie, pull fuel lines and pump, form tank more, make holes in tank :-(
11 am to 10 pm 11 hours.

7/28/98 - 10:51 PM
3 hours: remove Syncro fuel filler support and pipe, cut hole in side of westie.

7/29/98 ~3 hours Install Syncro filler and pipe
7/30/98 ~3 hours Drain coolant and pull hoses from Syncro, prep for cut,
7/31/98 ~6 hours Prep Syncro for cutting, strip interior and front to rear stuff.
8/1/98 4 hours, prep Westie for cutting
8/2/98 12 hours, cut front and back, big party. Do some clean up cutting.
8/3/98 4 hours 6:30 to 10:30 trim cutting.

8/4/98 4 hours weld frame reinforcements into back half 1.5" X 3" X .090" X 4' times 2 Re-cut and measure and mark cut lines a bunch.
8/5/98 5.5 hours 7 pm to 12:30 trim more, align and weld two halves together. on frame only.
8/6/98 6 hours, weld sides and roof together.
8/14/98 5 hours fill side window holes. Weld frame members.
8/15/98 12 hours. grind welds, touch up, hook up hand brake, and hyd brake lines.
8/16/98 10 hours ? work on gas tank.
8/19/98 6 hours install interior (most of it)
8/21/98 4 hours Insert for gas tank
8/22/98 17 hours, work on gas tank
8/23/98 15 hours, work on gas tank, give up on gas tank, install transmission.
8/24/98 11 hours, extend shift rod, accelerator cable, install shock, clutch line, propane tank, .
8/25/98 7 hours, electrical hookup, install axles (Jessica repacked them), Bleed brakes and clutch, mount jerry cans on back door,
Test drive, take to Oregon
8/27/98 ~110K plus. Changed trans oil.
9/1/98 - 4:28 PM order heater valve from Kyle at Volks Motorsports, got here by 9PM!
9/2/98 Go to Burning Man, about 3000 miles on stretch now.
9/11/98 - 10:05 AM Replace starter motor, re-weld cracked header
9/19/98 Oil change 111376
10/8/98 - 8:27 PM 1.5 hours, Replace front rotors and pads. Thanks Kyle! Old rotors were at 11mm, spec is 13 mm min.
10/15/98 3 hours, Get new CA ID# from CHP, they removed the two original VINs and installed two new plates with the same assigned ID #CA747537.
10/15/98 4 hours, strip all wanted parts out of leftover halves.
10/16/98 Take leftovers to the wrecking yard.
10/19/98 7:30 to 1:30am 6 hours, install transmission from KCR. 4.57 final .77 fourth gear, 1.217 third
first sounds like reverse, some whining in all other gears. This is expected with the heavy duty racing gears. 4.2 quarts of redline shockproof heavy. Shifting is good. Engine does not have the HP to do go up 85 to 280 at 80mph the whole way. Gear ratios feel good, third goes up to 80 mph with the A3's higher redline.
10/21/98 1 hour, Replace clutch master in front half with the almost new one out of the back half.
10/30/98 1 hour, Soldered a wire to terminal 1 on the coil and hooked up tach. Works, oops! Buzzer sounds.
10/31/98 3 hours, Ran a yellow wire from second oil pressure sender connection (yellow) to yellow on Syncro harness. Oil alarm is now quiet. Installed a 3 wire Jetta speed sensor in the back of the speedometer. Hooked up power and ground. Use the Gray and white wire to the rear (why did VW install a wire full length without hooking it to anything??) to send the speed signal back to the Motronic system. Wow! Runs better, The rev limiter just got a lot higher, it cuts out at what looks like 7000 rpm. The tach needle is near reserve on the gas gauge.
11/6/98 2 hours, Welded in swivel base for passenger seat, looking for good place to put the amp.
11/7/98 Weighed it on the scale at the dump, with 2 165# people in front, 1 gal gas, water tank on red, propane full.
Front: 2580
Rear: 2480
Both: 5120 Hey, that's what the scale said!
So: figure 4790 curb, Hmm, needs a diet!
Got 14.5 MPG, most driving at 85 to 90mph and some city. Still poor.
11/7/98 1 hour, Weld in drivers side swivel seat base.
11/12/98 5 hours, Install Cell car kit, pull header and patch many cracks.
11/13/99 4 hours, buy sheet metal, cell antenna, design tank, fix exhaust- new O2 sensor and bung.
11/14/98 6.5 hours 10.00-4.30 bend sheet metal for tank.
11/15/98 14 hours, 12 noon- 2:04 AM, work on fabricate gas tank, Pull tranny.
11/16/98 6 hours : gas tank
11/17/98 8 hours work on and Install gas tank
11/18/98 5 hours gas tank
11/21/98 - 10:26 AM in Ashland, weigh station. F 2550 B5300 R 2750
11/21 - 11/24/98 ~25 hours. Install amps and 3- 12" subs in rear seat. Install 4- 5-1/4s in side panels with much help from John Wayland, Mark and Frank on my thanksgiving trip to the San Juans.
12/23/98 115871 Oil Change B4 trip.
12/25/98 to 1/4/99 Death Valley trip,1000+ miles 100 miles washboard. no problems.
1/29/99 1 hour, Add fans to the amps to stop the overheating.
1/29/99 Went to the City to see Maceo Parker with a pile of people. Had a celebrity appearance when we gave Cory Parker and Sweet Charles a ride back to their hotel! See pic Below:
2/28/99 Replaced the Sony head unit with a Alpine CDA-7844 ( well, plays home burned CDs well.
4/5/99 Driving back from Death Valley the header down pipe lost about 1.5 feet. Exhaust system cracked and broken in 6 places.
4/22/99 5 hours, rebuild header down pipe, including a ball joint flex coupling with a new 2 into 1 and using mandrel bends on all the 1-3/4 pipe.
4/23/99 5 hours, weld in new oxy bung. Hook up the charcoal canister purge valve and the air pump system. Test drive, it seems to be adjusting mixture now, stutters sometimes off the line, (lean?).
4/24/99 Drove a couple hundred miles up north. Engine quit in San Fran due to a broken fuse link (physical fatigue) on what was the diesel glow plug fuse but was now driving the fuel pump relay.
First mileage test mixed freeway, city, and country roads 20.7 MPG. Does not smell like it's running rich anymore. :-)
5/?/99 Took it to Kyles and put it on the OBD tool. Cleared 17 codes, hooked up check engine light and got it to go off. Persistent code had to do with a second EVAP valve which I can't find in the manual.
5/16/99 Check engine light came on again after a few hundred miles, still running lean enough but it's not quite smooth in its acceleration. Cleaned plugs, looked good, didn't change much. Still getting 19 to 21 mpg.
5/19/99 Put Disk Break Quiet on the front pads, still squeals. Those pads really suck, I'll have to find out what kind they were.
5/22/99 Just rolled through 122000? indicated (12K on stretch). New record of 12 people in it while ferrying people around San Francisco after the KFOG sky concert.
6/5/99 Replaced air filter, it was really bad. Cleaned the plugs hoping that the check engine light would go off, it didn't.
6/14/99 3 hours, started ripping wires out of the Subaru for the air suspension control which I want to adapt.
6/15/99 Mil. 121947 Had Freds Garage clear the codes. It immediately ran smoother. Accelerates without stumbling now.
Codes were: EVAP Emission control LDP Circuit short to ground (this stays on but doesn't light the light)
Fuel trim bank 1 system too rich /SP
EVAP emission control malfunction /SP
Long term trim bank 1 too rich /SP
A guy at the dealer says that they could have been caused by a dirty air cleaner.
Got a wiring diagram for the Subaru air suspension.
6/20/99 Check engine light turned on again and engine started running poorly again.
6/24/99 Oil change 122059
6/25/99 Found the missing EVAP parts that are not in the manual. Still need to figure how to hook it up. Replaced rear door with the gold one from the Syncro Added the GTI emblem. Replaced 3rd brakelight with a HP LED type.
6/26/99 Repack glasspack with fresh glass. Exhaust is holding up well since the installation of the ball and socket joint.
7/18/99 7 hours. Made a mount for and installed the charcoal canister and charcoal canister purge valve assembly.
7/20/99 Cleared codes at Freds Garage. 5 codes shown. The EVAP 2 code turned off after clearing. Yet after 50 miles the check engine light came on again.
7/23/99 Mil. 122835 Tried to clean the pickup on the Mass airflow sensor with a Qtip and it broke. I was getting error codes of a high reading on the sensor all along which could have caused the codes. Bosh # 0 280 217 117 VW # 037 906 461C Replaced with a new one $230 ouch! and cleared the codes again.
7/25/99 7 hours. Relocated the Electric smog pump and Charcoal canister purge valve to the cavity in front of the left taillight
7/31/99 Wheels, what to use? Current target 15 X 6.5 Mercedes 8 hole wheels, with Michelin Agelis 205-65 15s
8/4/99 2 hours Picked up the 8 spoke wheels from Acker Wheels #210 401 03 02, 6.5JX15H2, ET 37 , ordered tires.
8/5/99 1 hour Drilled out stud holes in wheels to 15.1 mm, chamfer and deburr.
8/18/99 Bought Porsche studs. Rear 901 331 671 00 from a 65-68 911 rear 52mm (need longer). Front 911 331 671 00 from a 924 Rear Disc 79 - 82 67mm. About $85 for 20 studs, aftermarket.
8/18/99 5 hours Install studs in front Syncro hubs. These went into the hub with light pressure indicating that a slightly larger spline would be better. The hubs had to come off to install the studs. Machined 1/4" wheel spacers for use on the rear with steel wheels.
8/20/99 Mil 123360 Installed rear studs, did not need to remove the hubs, only the drums. Rear studs pressed in tight, rear studs should be longer by 5mm for full thread engagement Machined stud contact seat with a lug nut made into a cutting tool mounted on a stud as a pilot. Mounted Mercedes wheels with Michelin Agilis tires (205/65 R 15 C, M&S, 102/100T, 1875 LBS at 54 PSI) Tires ride well, small bumps are more pronounced, rolling drag is down some, steering is much easier, sidewall flex is much reduced. Installed pop top seal from Bus Depot.
9/7/99 Mileage 124792. Just returned from Burning Man. Towed about a 3500 lb trailer, sometimes as low as 35 mph over the Sierras Mileage about 15 mpg with trailer. Check engine light is still off. It looks like the FI is happy now. Filled up the tank with 11.3 gallons after gauge was one line below the low line below the red on the gauge I suspect there was no more than a quart left.
10/20/99 Mileage 126814. Installed the Q Chip for OBD II (carb eq# D-375-3, VM4-259E) from Kyle at Volks Cafe. I've been waiting for the check engine light to stay off before I did this so that I knew I had all the emission controls working correctly. A quick test run shows that it will now rev close to 7000 Rpm (Tach goes to 1/4 tank) and produces more power, especially at higher rpm. I can now run third gear up close to 90 MPH :-) It's idling pretty rough, I'll give it time to calibrate itself.
10/29/99 126983 Check engine light started blinking, Engine running terrible. Replaced chip in ECU with original, but it's still in limp home mode.
11/1/99 - 12:58 PM No compression in #4! Argh!
11/1/99 - 5:00 PM 4 hours. The head is at the machine shop, #4 exhaust valve has a section missing. The plug was also missing most of the center. Head showed some sign of possible leakage on that cylinder. All the rest of the valves were white from lean running. There was no rounding of the valves as would be caused by a long term problem.
11/3/99 - 2:13 AM 4 hours. Valve job is done. Ellsworth replaced #4 exhaust, both #4 guides, resurfaced the head, did the valve grind and supplied the head bolts and gasket kit. $417. Ouch!! I should have stuck to my own advice of not using aftermarket junk. It's possible that the Q-chip did not cause the problem, but the evidence shows that it might have. It needs only to have run it too lean, fracturing the plug. Then the piece broke the already hot valve.
11/16/99 New light switch from Kyle at Volks cafe.
11/18/99 3 hours. Replaced Muffler. Got a generic truck muffler from Bay Muffler in Mountain View, like you see hanging below the bob tails. Welded it in place of the glasspack which had gotten loud again. It's much quieter now, especially at high power levels.
12/11/99 130887 4 Hours, install "Equus" cruise control model 9000-B. It doesn't make it to full throttle, despite the chain being just taught when it's off. maybe it needs more vacuum. It seems that the integral term is too slow/weak. More testing will tell.
Got a 12 CD changer Alpine CHA-1214 from, hooked up but not mounted yet.
12/13/99 water pump pulley and belt for a non AC /non PS, ABA motor.
The pulley # is 028-121-031-K. I'm told the belt is # 037-903-137-H.
1/19/00 133495 Installed the new pulley with a Gates Belt # K060400 which is a 21mm X 1030mm. It was a tight installation so a 1033mm belt might be better. Air conditioner is now disconnected
Engine started misfiring at high load, especially when cold. Replaced Cap and rotor. Bosh #s 03360 & 04170 respectively Other numbers 1 235 522 443 & 1 234 332 350. Much better but not yet fixed. Probably the coil finally giving up.
Later, Replaced the coil with a used one, still misses at high load especially after idling waiting for a light.
3/4/00 134607 Mil. Checked the Bosh platinum plugs. Center electrode is worn, recessed pretty deep in the insulator after only 8000 miles. Replaced plugs with the super 4 prong ones from bosh. Runs normal again. Faster? It's very hard to tell. At $5 a plug, bosh says it's supposed to be. Maybe I need a V-Tech sticker to really speed it up. :-)
4/18/00 - 7:15 PM 9 hours. 137495 miles, Changed oil, Wix filter. Replaced Oil pan which was cracked from the Lube Place overtightening it. New oil pan (068.103.601.AB) has dual drain plugs, one in front and one in back and a plugged hole for oil return (probably for the Turbo version). Welded up cracks in Exhaust system. The factory header developed cracks on the outer lip. Check engine light has been on for a while, since just before Phoenix, I've ordered a scan tool.
6/12/00 1.5 hours 139259 Miles. Replace left rubber motor mount and install H4 Headlights and rock guards from Fast forward. Motor mount had deteriorated to the point where the oil pan was rattling on the strap under it. It was certainly being helped along by the header being so close to it. Replacing it made the engine Much quieter! The headlights work much better as well. I replaced the adjusters at the same time (from the dealer) it uses 2 each of: 255-941-133, 255-941-141-C, 191-941-297.
6/23/00 139290 4 hours. Replaced rear drums, shoes and wheel cylinders. Bled rear only. Tried to put in longer studs from Automotion but the spline is too big for the hub. Also, poor quality of manufacture makes me uncomfortable with using these studs. (uneven heads, differing hardness levels, odd and inconsistent discoloring from the heat treat process). Took to Big Sur, no troubles.
6/30/00 140974 Bad news on the tranny. Input shaft bearing started making noise on the way to Las Vegas. It may have been exacerbated up by the extended hill climbs in 3rd gear at 6 K Rpm at max power.
7/7/00 - 5:10 PM 4 hours. Removed old tranny and packed and shipped to KCR in Riverside.
8/2/00 - 1:12 PM 141000. Transmission reinstalled along with resurface flywheel, new pilot (Brazil) and throwout bearing and the rest of a new Sachs clutch kit. Kcr reported the mainshaft bearing out as well as the pinion shaft bearing on the carrier end. Replaced carrier, bearings and 3/4 fork and slider (due to my stiff linkage, need to fix that). CV Joints are due for a repack, not done yet.
8/21/00 - 141183. Changed oil and filter. Removed extra bushing in shift rod to reduce stress on the 3-4 shift fork. Replace Coil isolation opto because it stopped firing after sitting for a while. Repacking CV Joints, found they all have pits in them. This should be the last time I use the cheap rebuilt axles. Replace all CV joints, install Old Man Emu shocks on rear.
12/18/00 147071 Been wodering if the tranny is getting louder. Check tanny drain plug and found what could be bearing retainer pieces about 2mm long,
12/20/00 KCR built me up a stock rebuild ($800, inc core) as a spare, swapped it out and left the good one with Kevin. Did not find any more metal pieces when the bellhousing was removed.
2/16/01 Had Bay Muffler replace the muffler with a new heavy duty style truck muffler. The old one had rattled apart. Header is holding up just fine.
3/6/01 149,600 replaced Plugs Bosh 4 prong, didn't look too bad. Changed oil and filter. (earlier oil changes not all noted..) Topped up tranny oil 1/2 quart.
7/8/01 153750 Changed Oil,
156660 Changed oil w/ filter.
11/13/01 - 9:40 AM 158924 miles. Left rear sidewall cut from running into a plow when parking. Ordered road hazard replacement
11/25/01 160223, back from the valley. It's been running poorly, reduced power. cleared codes: misfire on cyl 4, cat efficiency low, MAF error. replaced plugs, we'll see if that helps.
11/29/01 160313, Was still missing on cyl 4. Replaced plug wires, cap and rotor, Oil and filter, Air filter. Checked compression cold: 185,175,155+(tester was leaking), 190. Finally as it got dark I discovered that the #4 plug was cracked. That seemed to fix the #4 missfire. Still getting a MAF high code. The MAF seems to be of a defective design. Fortunately it doesn't seem to affect the running of it.
12/19/01 - 11:31 AM Actually, it does. It's running poorly and alternating between 12mpg and the usual 18 mpg.
12/22/01 - 161201 It had spewed a P1127 code which I don't know, in addition to the usual MAF high. Replaced MAF (117) and cleaned intake up to the throttle valve. Flex hose had oil in it and grime form the dust that got by the air cleaner on desert runs. Relocated the MAF about four inches to the right, to reduce the chance of oil contamination. At first, after clearing codes, the pending MAF high code remained and soon became a real code. Cleared it again and now it seems to have stuck. Not showing MAF high anymore.
Runs much better but not perfect yet, still hesitates over 4000 rpm. Won't pull over 5000 rpm.
Then, it ran really bad for a while and spewed some codes which were random missfire, and missfire on 3 and 4. But then it cleared up again. It sounds like a bad ground on something for 3 and 4, need to check it out.
1/31/02 - 7:01 PM 162084, Codes were for random missfire, missfire on 1,2,3,4 and low cat effectiveness. Fixed wiring at engine connector, Looked like it could have been causing some things. replaced Cat at Bay Muffler. $250. Now runs very well, much more power. The cat was badly clogged, probably from all that time spent towing the 914 with a bad MAF sensor.

Want list:
Body work and paint job
Finish Big zipper for the side in the meantime
New windshield, better quality.
New heater fan front
Someone who does fiberglass to stretch the luggage rack

Last update 01/31/02



A3 Engine swap

Electric drive

The donors

Cutting up

Putting together

Suspension and Wheels

Interior and Stereo