Fog Light Trim Project

 

Painting Trim

Working on painting the trim above the fog lights.  Hopefully the paint matches up.  I’ll update once the paint cures and I have it polished up next week.

3/28/2011 Update:

I had to sand and reprimer all over again.  The color match was way off.  I am now trying Duplicolor perfect match, which brought its own set of problems.  The paint lifted on one of the pieces, I’m assuming due to poor prep work/paint incompatibility.  I was also getting some nasty sags that were not present with the Krylon paint.  The Duplicolor paint requires a much more accurate application.  To much and it sags, too little and you get orange peel.   What a pain.  Anyway, I have it clear coated now and it looks good, not perfect.  I just need to let it cure and then polish  I will probably redo them in the near future but I will wait to see how durability is.  I’m not even sure how the color match with Duplicolor is yet.

Here are a few dirty shots:

 

Duplicolor Candy White with Clear

 

Curing

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Ebay Jetta Fog Grills

 

Ebay Jetta Fog Grill - Driver Side

I grew tired of the hidden fog light look so I sourced out a set of Jetta fog grills on eBay.  I bought them from a seller called Eurosportgarage.  I also bought my Depo projector fogs from them.  They have good pricing and are quick to ship.  Anyway, I found a set of Jetta grills with fog cutouts for 40 shipped.  They do not include the trim strip however, so keep that in mind.  If you already have the trim strip, they are cheap.  If you have to purchase the strip separately, you’re better off buying elsewhere.  Those chrome trim pieces are about 50 bucks each if you buy them alone.

The eBay grills are practically OEM quality.  I have an OEM piece without the fog hole and you cannot tell the difference.

Lamin-X Fog Light Protection

One of my fog lights was destroyed by a rock and I replaced them with new Depo projector fogs.  To prevent it from happening again, I decided to try out a precut Lamin-X film kit.  It has two precut sheets of urethane film that adhere to the lens of the fog light.  This film prevents all but the largest of rocks from chipping and cracking the glass lens.  The film comes in a 20 mil or 40 mil thick size.  I opted to go for the 40 mil.  It is actually quite thick and maybe 20 mil would have been just fine.  In any case, it would take a huge rock to take out the lens again.  I ordered it from www.lamin-x.com. I have to admit that is a little pricey for the amount of film you get (2 round pieces for around 17 shipped).  It does beat a broken fog light though.

OEM Roof Rack

One of my favorite things about this car is the amount of utility it has.  That hatch is great when you fold down the rear seats, but for those times that you need just a little more space, it’s always nice to have a rack.  It makes transporting a bicycle ten times easier and snowboarding infinitely cleaner without having to throw the boards into the back.

 

Racked up

 

 

You have a nice variety of racks to choose from when it comes to the Golf platform.  Thule and Yakima are the big players with a smattering of other brands such as Inno rounding out the field.  They all field excellent reviews and I haven’t heard of one or the other having any condemning flaws.  For the purposes of this article though, I’m sticking to the OEM rack as that is what I have been using for the past few years.

 

Roof rack mounting point

 

 

The OEM rack is nicely designed with black bases and brushed/anodized aluminum load bars.  They are manufactured by Thule for Volkswagen.  The attachment design is similar to the Thule Aero bars.  Accessories for the Aero bars  fit the VW bars for the most part.  Both the Aero and OEM bars use a T-Channel mount.  You will need a T-Channel adapter when using accessories designed for the regular Thule rack.  The normal Thule load bars use a a square bar and accessories mount by clamping to the square bar.  Thule sells various adapters for the Aero bars, you just have to find the right one.

It can be annoying to have to buy an adapter for every accessory.  Sometimes, accessories are designed to accommodate the Aero bars, sometimes not.  When you buy an attachment, check to make sure that they have an adapter kit for the Aero bars or that there is a way to attach it.  This will save you a lot of headaches and money later on.

 

You can kinda see the racks in this overly processed photo

I don’t know the current pricing too well.  1stvwparts aka thevwpartsstore.com is selling it for 260.00.  Look around at ECS or DBC and see if you can find a better deal.  The classified sections of the Volkswagen forums are an excellent place to find a used set at a good price.  The local dealership can also order you the correct part.  Just remember these are specific to the Golf/Rabbit/GTI.  The Jetta bars, although similar, will not fit.  The rear bars will be too wide.

 

Depo Projector Fog Lights

Depo H11 projectors behind custom Jetta grills

One of my OEM projector fog lights cracked and I finally got around to replacing it.  It actually cracked a little while ago but I only recently ordered a replacement.  Instead of opting for just an oem single replacement, I took a chance on these Depo replicas.  A pair is the same price as a single OEM replacement.  They came in today and I am pretty impressed with the quality.  Glass lens, built in cut-off and adjustment.  The fit is excellent.  These take an H11 bulb, just like the OEM euro projectors.  The H11’s can be a little harder to find sometimes.  Anyway, light output through the lens is good and the cutoff is sharp.  Not bad for 80 dollars shipped on eBay.

Here are a couple of phone snaps:

 

Very well packed and protected

Nice quality projector lens, poor quality photo

Another angle

Amber Rear Turn Signals – DIY Mod

Red turn signals have always bothered me.  They’re much harder to notice than amber turn signals and difficult to differentiate from the brake lights in certain cars.  The MKV cars have amber turn signals in Europe but for some reason, the US-spec cars get the horrible red flasher.  Fortunately not all is lost.  A forum member by the name of Darcness came up with a cheap, very easy DIY to incorporate amber turn signals into the US-spec tail lights.  It just requires you to purchase two bulb sockets.  The mod requires some soldering but it is not difficult.  It also requires the use of VAG-COM to change some settings around.

I love this mod, I finished it up a few days ago and the amber turn signals do a much better job of signaling my intent to other drivers.  They are a little dimmer in the daytime but still very noticeable.  At night, they are absolutely fantastic.  I’ll get a picture up ASAP.  I will say that you should use 921NA bulbs in the mod.  It will give you the brightest light in this application.  A 194/168/916 bulb will fit and work but is dimmer than the 921.  The thread on the forum will state that there might be heat issues but with the intermittent nature of a turn signal, that won’t be a problem.  It may not even be a problem with continuous usage.

You’ll need a few things for the DIY:

Soldering iron

Solder

Cutter

Wire strippers

(x2) 921 NA (Amber) wedge bulbs

(x2) bulb holders  (Order these exact ones www.discoverbulbs.com/connectors.htm.  Click the link and scroll to the 194/921 wedge pigtail connectors; they are part number 60-XX @ 2.99 each)

EDIT: This site no longer exists. Try looking for 194 bulb sockets or pigtail connectors on ebay. A Google search will also bring up a good amount of sources.

Vag com or someone who has it

And finally the link to his DIY below

Amber Rear Turn Signals – DIY

Can’t thank Darcness enough for his DIY!  If you find his DIY useful, send your thanks his way on that post!

Here’s a video of them in action: