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2011 VW Jetta - Project Jetta 2.D’OH

We finish our low ’n slow Project Jetta 2.0 with a set of ST coilovers and H&R spacers.

Neill Bachand
Jun 22, 2012 SHARE
Eurp 1206 01+2011 vw jetta+cover Photo 1/13   |   2011 VW Jetta - Project Jetta 2.D’OH

Company Part Price Contact
fifteen52 ST Speedtech Coilovers $799.52 fifteen52.com
H&R 10mm/12mm wheel spacers $95/pair plus bolts hrsprings.com

We’ve had our VW Jetta S almost a year now and it’s been an interesting build. While it’s tough to make the Mk6 Jetta 2.0L any faster, we were delighted with people’s response to our cosmetic modifications.

People outside the Euro scene are really taken with the VW Accessories body styling and wheels. The retro chocolate paint scheme gives it a dash of cool. On the whole, we get stopped in 2.d’oh as much as any of our faster project cars. Most people seem surprised that it’s a $16k Jetta S, assuming it’s a more expensive model.

Despite its rather generic styling, the Volkswagen designers seem to have captured a variety of different tastes with the muscular shoulders and generous proportions of the new Jetta. It certainly appears this car is opening the door to the first German experience for many drivers.

Our aim was to see if we could create a car that could hold its own at a Euro car show or GTG, without us having to park around the corner and walk in. And the general consensus seems to be that people like the new Jetta and what we’ve done with it. So if we’re going to embrace the low ’n slow lifestyle, we decided our final installment on Project 2.d’oh should give it a more appropriate stance.

We’d been hinting that our Mk6 would get air suspension but we were unable to source the parts in time for our deadline. So we decided a coilover kit would be cheaper and more fun anyway, allowing us to create the right look and improve the handling.

With such an affordable car, it didn’t make sense to fit expensive parts, so we opted for Speedtech coilovers from ST Suspensions. The company is quick to point out these are essentially KW Variant 1 coilovers sold at a good price.

The ST coilovers were sourced from VW/Audi specialist fifteen52, and Matt Crooke kindly offered to install the suspension while we documented the numerous steps.

With the ride height coming down, the 18x7.5" VW Accessories wheels would need a little more offset. So we also contacted H&R Springs for a set of its Trak+ wheel spacers. This would allow us to push the VW Motorsport wheels into the corners of the fenders without having to buy new wheels.

Installation
The installation was fairly straightforward. We’ve covered the process a number of times and you can find our full step-by-step guide at eurotuner.com

Also check out the online video available at eurotuner.com or youtube.com/eurotuner

One thing to note during fitting is that the passenger-side has a shorter axle, making strut removal more difficult. So after you’ve unbolted the sway bar end-link and removed the brake line clip, undo the pinch bolt using a 14mm 12-point triple-square driver. The control arm needs to be unbolted from the bottom and you should remove the axle. However, Matt from fifteen52 managed to muscle the strut lose with the axle in place. You can follow our “how-to” online.

Stance
Once the wheels were refitted, the Jetta had an aggressive rake, with the rear in the air. The rear springs were as low as possible, so Matt suggested we remove the rear ST perches altogether since we didn’t need them. Their removal gave us a 0.25" drop to sit the car more level.

The next problem was the wheel offset. The VW Accessories wheels looked fine with the previous H&R lowering springs we’d fitted. However, the ST coilovers showed the mild offset. As a solution, Matt suggested 10mm front and 12mm rear spacers would get the wheels flush in the fenders.

Reaction
The stock Jetta 2.0 rides like an old mattress, so we’d previously fitted H&R lowering springs, as mentioned. This gave an improvement in both ride and style, although the soft stock dampers could sometimes create a floating feeling at high speed.

With the ST coilovers, the components are well matched and have transformed the car. We can now take advantage of our 225/40 R18 Nitto NT850 tires we optimistically fitted months ago!

The ride quality, roll control and handling are an absolute revelation. You can appreciate the more rigid Mk6 Jetta bodyshell now, and throw the car into sharp curves with abandon. The ST coilovers certainly don’t feel like a cheap kit, owing more to their KW ancestry than the name suggests.

As usual, we wish we’d followed our instincts and worked on the chassis first, so we could have appreciated these improvements for longer.

With its humble 2.0L 8v four-cylinder engine, Project 2.d’oh can never truly be described as sporty, but we finally have the ability to maintain our precious momentum through the twisties, allowing us to enjoy the car more.

Modifications to Date
PartSupplierIssue
Body KitVW Accessories11/11
18x7.5" Motorsport WheelsVW Accessories3/12
225/40 R18 Head UnitNitto Tire3/12
RNS-315 Head UnitVW Accessories3/12
RNS-315 iPod KitVW Accessories3/12
Sharkfin AntennaVW Accessories3/12
Sport SpringsH&R3/12
Spark Plug WiresNeuspeed5/12
Power PulleyNeuspeed5/12
Wheel SpacersH&R6/12
ST Speedtech Coiloversfifteen526/12

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Sources

H&R
Bellingham, WA 98226
888-827-8881
http://www.hrsprings.com
Fifteen52
213.373.1552
http://www.fifteen52.us
By Neill Bachand
72 Articles

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