Occasionally, our big mouths get us into trouble. You see, we were casually commenting on how it would take better men than us to make the new Jetta look good, when somebody at VW called our bluff.
As a result, we’ve been given a Mk6 Jetta 2.0 for a year to transform it into something more than simply an affordable car. We’re about three months into our loan and are pleased with the gas mileage and the lack of attention from cops, if we’re honest.
However, it’s always nice to turn some heads with a build on an unlikely candidate. So we conducted a few Q&A sessions with our friends on Facebook to get an indication of the direction you’d like us to take the build, as well as gauge whether you even think it’s possible to build a Mk6 into something that could impress the bodies.
Working against us is the lack of aftermarket parts for the 2011 Jetta. However, we have ambitious plans including air suspension and a turbo. But to start, we chose the genuine VW body kit for our first installation. The quality of the parts meant fitting is easy and the finish is OEM, so this was an easy choice. And with a 2" drop with the new front spoiler, it’s starting to make our poo-brown sedan a little less pooey…
For the installation, we again turned to FMS Automotive for their expertise. You may remember we previously worked with them on the body kit fitting for our ’08 VW Passat 2.0T (et 2/11) and ’09 Jetta TDI (et 3/10). With various FMS Volkswagen projects touring the US, the company knows the kit better than anybody else in the country and were the perfect candidates to walk us through this DIY installation.
To prep the Jetta for its facelift, raise the car to provide access to the underside and turn the wheels to full lock. Then remove the single screws from either wheel arches and eight screws under the front bumper.
Inspect the upper edges of the new kit and trial-fit to ensure edges are flush to the body, and all brackets are free of debris. Templates are provided for each piece that determine where the edge of the panel should sit. This is marked with tape to help you align the piece when gluing it onto position. All the pieces are supplied with a full instruction book to illustrate the major stages.
Slide the metal speed clips into their positions on the two Z-brackets and two side adapters supplied. These should be screwed into position on the car using the screws you removed earlier. The spoiler is then screwed to these brackets after it’s been glued.
The bumper is supplied with a central bracket already in place. You will need two longer, silver T25 screws (supplied) where the side brackets join the central bracket. These can be tricky to fit because you’re fiddling with the speed clips and screws under the car.
Now take the new front spoiler and sand it just below the top edge to allow the glue to adhere better. Clean the surface with alcohol and apply a bead of the supplied one-part glue along the edge. Working quickly, bring the spoiler into position and securing it with low-adhesive 3M tape. You can then fasten the spoiler and brackets to the underside using nine supplied screws to take some stress off the tape. However, wait until the glue is dry before fastening four supplied screws into the adapters in the wheel arches. This will prevent the spoiler from bowing out.
The skirts are straightforward. Looking from the front wheel, remove all but the third of four rubber gourmets from under the sills and press-in the supplied plastic adapters. With the screw-side of the adapter facing inward, push the adapter’s lock into place.
Remove one screw from each front wheel arch. Then sand the skirt’s inner edge with 30-grit paper and clean with alcohol. Apply a bead of glue before two people mount the skirt with a hand tight screw in the front wheel arch. Then push the side skirt into the position marked by your tape determined beforehand by the supplied template.
Tape the skirt to the body to hold in place while the glue dries. When dry, tighten the wheel arch screws and then use three supplied screws in each plastic adapter. At the rear, fit the supplied cylindrical spacer and remaining screw on either side.
Clean off the trunk and spoiler with alcohol. The position of the spoiler should be marked on the trunk with tape. The instructions tell you to measure 403mm from the sides of the trunk and 325.5mm in the center, then mark with tape.
Pull back the tabs on the red tape on the spoiler. Apply painter’s tape to the tabs to hold them out of the way. Sand the bottom of spoiler and clean with alcohol before applying glue. Then align the spoiler to the tape marks on the trunk and secure in position with more tape. Once the glue is dry, pull the red tape tabs to expose more glue under the spoiler to further increase its adhesion.
For the rear apron, remove the reflectors from the bumper. On our car we had a tray covering emissions controls blocking access to the right side. To remove it, undo five T25 screws along with the two 10mm bolts. Then use a long screwdriver to push the four tabs and the reflector will pop out.
Remove two screws from each wheel arch, one screw from under each arch and three from under the center of the bumper, as well the tow cover.
Loosely attach the supplied Z-brackets on either side of the bumper using the factory screw location under the wheel arch. Position the bracket so it touches the inner edge of the bumper and use it as a guide to drill three 6mm holes into the bumper. Press the six supplied expanding screws into the holes to lock the Z-brackets into place.
Now take the central Z-bracket and slide seven speed clips into position and attach it to the bumper with the three factory screws.
Using sandpaper, scour the inner lip of the apron, clean with alcohol and apply a bead of glue. The rear apron doesn’t need a tape guide to install; it simply snaps into the holes for the rear reflector. Tape the edge to hold in place while the glue dries.
After it’s dry, attach the arch adapters to the apron with two supplied screws and then screw the adapter to the remaining hole in the wheel arch. Now tighten the 11 screws in the Z-brackets into the rear apron.
To finish the bumper, fit four metal clips into housings on the tow cover before inserting two rubber straps. Slide the top into the apron cut-out and snap the bottom into place, then affix the straps.
|Front spoiler||VW Accessories||$650|
|Side skirts||VW Accessories||$775|
|Rear apron||VW Accessories||$870|
|Rear spoiler||VW Accessories||$340|
When it comes to OEM VW body kits, FMS Automotive in Cerritos, CA has been working with Volkswagen since the ’90s. They manage the delivery port installations in the US and Canada, drop shipping parts to dealers and distributing the OEM body kits to warehouses worldwide. FMS also advise VW on fitting procedures, manufacture some parts, paint them in-house and train the fitters. You’ve undoubtedly seen their handiwork, such as last year’s VA Passat police cars or SEMA Jettas as well as our two former project cars, among others.