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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello from Austin, TX. This is me following forum rules and introducing Tulbirt and myself!

If I have any problems I'll search TDI Wiki as that covers write ups and forum posts!

After much thoughtful research I finally found a good condition '96 B4V Passat wagon -- a car I sought out because it is one of the most fuel efficient full-sized cars ever sold in the US. I've owned it only a few weeks, but I am generally familiar because I've had a handful of VW and Mercedes diesels over the years.
I am fairly mechanical, once a shop manager specalized in Hondas and Acuras, and once was a service manager at a Porsche + German cars performance specialty shop, and I continue build cool old motorcycles, expedition-worth off road trucks, etc.
I also lead off-road motorcycle trips in Mexico (Check out our upcoming FREE guided trip in October: Mextrek #10), and occasionally drive my thoughtfully-well-built LandCruiser through those beautiful places between places... My big old 'Cruiser is reliable and competent as hell, but only gets about 10mpg! Ouch!!

This terrible fuel efficiency inspired me to shop for a road trip car with much better MPGs; one big enough for all my gear (and/or to sleep in).
I wanted a car for "The Ultimate Low-Budget International Road Trip."
Hence, Tulbirt, my new/old Turbo diesel Passat!!

I bought Tulbirt in excellent mechanical condition, rust-free, and even with a 100% perfect, UGLY, Mexico-approved faded green paint! Since then I spent about 50 or 60 labor hours invested into working my way through a long list of nit-picky little details that the thoughtful, enthusiast-minded previous owner had neglected... The list includes spending a full day removing 2 layers of almost opaque window tint (carefully getting it all off from around the rear glass heater elements was a nightmare); replacing the missing VW hubcap emblems, lots of engine bay cleaning, did a full fluids flush: oil, transmission, power steering, coolant, Freon, clutch, and brakes (I'm an AMSOIL man, personally); rebuilt the shifter bushings (HERE is a LINK to the possibly helpful writeup I made); took apart the gauge cluster to repair a short at the Trip Meter button; flushed and rebuilt the AC, now happily blowing 45°F in spite of the blazing +100°F Texas heat; I added a TPMS, an UltraGauge to help monitor MPGs, and a phone charger. The headlights were my biggest complaint, so I went at them pretty hard, polishing the hazy lenses and upgraded the bulbs to high-end LEDs (with super-super bright ones for the high beams), wired high beam and low beam to come on together, and added brighter reverse lightbulbs . I also ordered a set of Euro fog lights & reflectors along with a "pull-style" headlight switch. Now I am shopping for a set of E-Code Hella Headlights, and might follow these instructions to rewire in headlight relays to combat old wiring voltage drop, something I've done for most all of the older cars I've owned over the years...

I love this car. Its tasteful Wolfsburg trim and tight suspension reminds me that this car was made to tour the Autobahn. It happily cruises along at 90mph, and sips fuel as though through a thimble at 70mph... the seats are comfortable, and now every time I hop in it, the open road whispers, "lets go somewhere far, far away!"
I'm feeling ready to answer that call. ♥

Here's a pic of Tulbirt and I when I first bought the car, at the seller's house. (I'm the one in the banana-rama shirt.) Its all just so exciting!

Anyway. Hi. It's nice to meet you!

Premium Member
9,741 Posts

Its nice to see you made an intro on your own. ;)

Any problems search TDI Wiki as that covers write ups and forum posts.
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