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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I came across a pretty lucky situation.

I was dropping some papers off at a colleague of mine's house and I noticed some solar hot water panels that I was interested in. We got to talking and then he showed me his 1990 VW Jetta Wolfsburg edition in his driveway. The car originally had a stock gasoline engine but was converted to a 1.6L Diesel which I presume is a VW engine (he explained it as a new engine kit that was put in the gasoline engines place). The Jetta was then converted to run on veggie oil. He had another TDI in the driveway and went on to say that if i wanted this car, I could have it. Schwing! He did mention that it was going to be a money pit but I had my ideas in mind already. The body was in rough shape and underbody was rotten.

The day I picked it up, I started calling around to see if I could find a comparable body/shell that I could transfer the diesel and veg kit into. In the meantime, I was driving the car for a couple of months and on a day that I was about to take a small road trip, my engine mount rusted and a radiator attachment snapped. Bummer!

That same day, I received a call from a guy that I contacted 2 months ago regarding a Jetta shell. He said to come over and check out one that he had in his driveway and see how it might benefit me. I go over and lo and behold... the same exact car! Same Color - Carat edition - different bumper but all else was basically identical. The new shell is in immaculate condition both inside and out... all electrical works, great rust free underbody (which is unheard of in Vermont for a 20 year old car). What's the problem.. it's been a money pit for the guy, and the engine was funky. What's he do? Gives it to me to be make it my money pit instead of his.

So at this point, I received two of the exact same Jetta's. One with a good diesel engine and veg kit and rotten body, the other with a great body but bad engine. All within 3 miles of my house.. who would've thought.

About 2 miles from my house is Full Circle Automotive (, a VW and vegetable conversion specialist. I brought them both of the cars and the shop performed the engine swap for me. Total cost came to a bit over $2500 which included new discs, calipers, brake lines, exhaust system, and Veg installation. I stripped the rotten Jetta for everything that I could... almost nothing was spared, from speakers, door handles, grab handles, plastic trim pieces, blinkers, valve stem covers.. you name it.

SO luck is in my favor right now. I morphed two Jetta's into one for what I think is a good price considering the engine has 40,000 miles and the body has around 140,000- but looks and smells like 80k.

The car is running the diesel with a gasoline gearing ratio which makes for a decent acceleration but I won't be getting peak gas mileage as I would with a diesel transmission.

My tachometer doesn't work due to the sensors being different from gas to diesel. Here's a potential solution but it will be some time before I decide to do this. (
I can live without the tach. for the mean time.

I'd like to replace the rear speakers with after-market speakers but am not completely positive how I can do it without modification. Any ideas?

If anyone has any info. regarding the 1.6L VW diesel kit that can be installed into these vehicles, I'd like to read more.

Other than that, I'm a new (old) VW owner and smiles are abound.[woo]

2,465 Posts
thats a great write up, I love hearing of stories of ressurection so to speak, besides you wouldnt be a MarkII owner without a story..congrats..I myself know nothing about diesels tho:(
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