Vigo's Smyth Kit Build - Putting the U-T-E in an Utterly Terrible Endeavor
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    1. #1
      Junior Member PillsHere's Avatar
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      Vigo's Smyth Kit Build - Putting the U-T-E in an Utterly Terrible Endeavor

      Hey everyone,
      Feel free to tag along here as I SLOWLY go through the process of building a Ute Kit for a MkV Jetta. Let's do this project management style, all boring and methodical.

      I. SUMMARY
      The project herein is to build a Ute.

      II. INTRODUCTION
      I am a early 30s' VW owner who would love to own a small car based pickup, both for the fun of having a unique vehicle, and for the utilitarian aspect of being able to use it yet not worry about a full size truck in my dense city. I have considered such routes as buying a Mk1 Caddy, or getting a Ranger/Colorado, or waiting for the inevitable return of a Dodge Rampage. Considering costs of each of the options and returning them to the state of condition and appearance I would like, the option of building a Smyth ute kit seemed still in the same ballpark. I have owned a Mk5 Golf and a Mk6 GolfR, so I am familiar with the chassis. When Smyth came out with the Mk5 kit, I finally decided to jump onto it.

      The doner car is a 2007 Jetta Wolfsburg with 177k miles. 2.5L cyl, manual, nothing much done to it other than hard miles. I purchased it from a shady car auction reseller place. The car is from Virginia and has no visible rust on any of the main body. The front suspension and brakes were totally shot, and I kind of think its all original, including the rotors. It has some dents on the doors, and some damage to the rocker panel on the passenger side. I have not decided if I will look for a new driver's door or how I will handle the rocker panels yet, but that will be after I get the conversion done and when I am finishing the rest of the body work.

      III. NEEDS/PROBLEMS
      I do not currently own a Ute.

      IV. GOALS/OBJECTIVES
      1. To own a Ute.
      2. To build said Ute.
      2b. Install RCN 210
      2c. Tire pressure button/ABS based tire pressure install.

      V. PROCEDURES/SCOPE OF WORK
      1. Lifting the Jetta using Tiguan springs, theoretically increasing the usable load capacity of the Ute. - Done
      1. Stripping the rear interior of all unneeded pieces. - Done
      2. Prepping/measuring/marking for the cutting. - Done
      3. Cutting the rear end of the car apart. - Rough cut done!
      3a. Interior cleanup while access is super duper easy - Done!!!
      3b. Radio installation - Page 2
      3c. TPMS button install - Page 2
      3d. Eos Seats - Page 2
      4. Rivet/bolt in aluminum bed - Page 2
      5. Affix fiberglass rear cabin and fenders. - Page 3; In progress
      6. Blend in panels/fix bodywork
      7. Paint - Specifically Mountain Green LE6B used on the Mk1 Caddy.
      8. Haul ass

      VI. TIMETABLE/GANTT Chart
      Gantt chart? Where we are going we don't need no stinkin' Gantt chart.
      Spring-ish to body shop and paint.
      I have usually two nights a week to work on this, and the occasional Saturday. My plan is between now and Christmas to fully prep the interior and measure and mark on the body where to cut, and to use my days off after Christmas and New Years to do the snipping.

      VII. BUDGET
      Too much already.

      VIII. KEY PERSONNEL
      Me, my patient fiancee, anyone I can bribe with beer and powertools. Also, competent and professional body shop to finish out fine blending detail and paint.

      IX. EVALUATION
      1. Can I drive my Ute.
      2. Will I be pulled over?

      X. ENDORSEMENTS
      I am a professional. Maybe not any sort of engineering or automotive professional, but whatevs.

      XII. APPENDIX
      Still have mine for now.
      Gallery

      The Kit came in right after my birthday, and looked amazing in its fun packing crate.


      Using bits from the crate, I have made my project planning throne.


      Additional note, if anyone is interested in interior trim or other parts from the rear of a Mk5 Jetta, PM me and maybe we can work something out. I am pulling the pieces without breaking them when possible.
      Last edited by PillsHere; 05-14-2017 at 10:51 PM.

    2. #2
      Junior Member PillsHere's Avatar
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      So far, I purchased the car in late September and finished with the suspension rebuild last month. I had been delayed about a month due to wrong parts and bad return management by a certain parts company. I will say Urotuning and Europa Parts were excellent to work with, even when things didn't go right.

      Bilstein TC Shocks
      2009 Tiguan 2wd springs from a junk yard
      Power Stop (K4068) brake kit for all 4 corners.
      The Urotuning lower suspension rebuild kit.

      I have also picked up headlights and wheels from craigslist/local classifieds. The old headlights look sandblasted, and the tires themselves must have sat long enough or been pinched by a boot to cause them to have flat spots/lumps.



      After suspension, before new wheels.




      I read up on lifting from the JSW lift threads and the Non-Stanced Rabbit thread and decided I wanted to go mild and not have issues topping out. Plus the base vehicle will end up lighter, so I will naturally sit higher instead. I would refer you to mldouthi for the pro on the subject, but the short of it is, all mk5/6 cars use the same basic bits and extra height is mainly added through stiffer springs that hold the car at a less compressed point.

      Because I went higher, I wanted some tires that fill the space well. Also, I really wanted a vintage look for how this will go together. My idea for the look is a modern Caddy. Heritage wheels are way too expensive... hello craigslist.



      And this is now where I am.


    3. #3
      I can attest to the problematic nature of this idea.

      And the "gross misuse of an automotive tool" award goes to us, when we realized that the rear wheels were positively fused with the brake rotors:



      OBNOXIOUSLY LONG SIGNATURE LOL

    4. #4
      sounds like a great project. I've only recently learned about this conversion, will be watching

    5. #5
      Member JColleran1991's Avatar
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      I'm excited to see someone local taking on this project! I'm located in North Olmsted. I actually noticed you live in Lakewood when I spotted the logo on your garbage can, before I even noticed it in your bio.

      I just bought a silver '05.5 Jetta 2.5L with 175K for my fiance, but have no plans to convert it to a Ute, just make it a reliable daily for her. I'm in need of a rear center armrest lid for it if you would be willing to sell me yours. I would also love to stop by sometime to see your progress!

    6. #6
      Junior Member PillsHere's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by JColleran1991 View Post
      I'm excited to see someone local taking on this project! I'm located in North Olmsted. I actually noticed you live in Lakewood when I spotted the logo on your garbage can, before I even noticed it in your bio.

      I just bought a silver '05.5 Jetta 2.5L with 175K for my fiance, but have no plans to convert it to a Ute, just make it a reliable daily for her. I'm in need of a rear center armrest lid for it if you would be willing to sell me yours. I would also love to stop by sometime to see your progress!
      Awesome, there is a decent amount of VW people here in the CLE I have been meeting even just by looking for a couple parts for this. I have a storage garage in North Olmsted for my other project car and to keep/work on this.

      I will probably post about cutting it, and have people over. I am aiming for around xmas, just got to figure out when. As of now I want to keep the rear seat and center armrest for future home bar seating, but if I change my mind I will let you know. I got the luggage tray out and all the rear side trim/pads out, and will probably pull the trunk carpet tonight. As Casbahboy shared my dirty photos, a Jetta with 175k will have a bunch of parts seized on and you will have to get a bit creative.

    7. #7
      Member arnoldcp's Avatar
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      Vigo's Smyth Kit Build - Putting the U-T-E in an Utterly Terrible Endeavor

      I am subbed to this. Originally from the CLE area now in PIT. Parents still live there so I make it back a lot.

      I really want to build one of these...I just wish you could drop a 4x8 sheet of plywood into it.

      Looking forward to seeing where you take it.

      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    8. #8
      Junior Member PillsHere's Avatar
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      And I am back for my once a month update!

      I was actually delayed because we needed new garage doors installed, and the company was a bit vague about the timeframe. But this Thursday they were installed(and mighty nice I might add), so today was my first day in totally gutting everything. Before that, I got the alignment done and a few other minor details squared away.

      Did not nuke my hand with the side curtain airbags! Remember, disconnect battery and ground yourself prior to handling.


      Wow its really roomy in here now!


      Don't forget to check your cabin filter every 175k miles.


      The sharpie mark is roughly where the cut will actually go. I have a grinder to make it through the super reinforced steel right on the edges.


      This is a little more zoomed out representation. Sharpie is laying across where it will cut.


      Cleveland is supposed to get warm later this week, so I may just get adventurous. As it stands now, I can still drive it perfectly fine, except for the ol sunroof being gone. Anything else coming off and the car is no longer moving till the bed is in. Up next, before actually cutting, is pulling trunk, doors, rear bumper, and probably the rear window. I cannot find any information on this, is it glued in or just good seals? I would rather not break it as its really nice. I also need to work on relocating some wires out of the way.

      Also up on my creative problem solving list, what do I do about the sunroof. The kitbuilders recommend sealing it closed, but I don't like nonfunctional items. A guy in SoCal built a cool ragtop insert; Cleveland isn't Socal. I will for sure have to cut the tracks, and not be able to slide it back. The sliding blind for it will have to go as there is no place for it to fit. I also will lose the rear drain to it unless i can fashion the drain piece to still fit. Anyone with good suggestions on how to handle this? Also, are there any sunroof switches that only have the pivot open function so I don't accidentally trigger a calamity?

    9. #9
      Member glifahrenheitcameron's Avatar
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      This is taking too long. I need to see results right meow.

    10. #10
      Member arnoldcp's Avatar
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      If you are good with wiring or you know some one that is I would think you could still have the sunroof tilt up in the back.

      You could perhaps section the entire assembly, cut off the rear slide portion and weld the drip tray back into place so as to keep the tilt and the rear drains.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    11. #11
      Junior Member PillsHere's Avatar
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      That's about what I was thinking for the drain. The drip tray is plastic, and adds about 3 inches of extra length to the back. The end of the tracks are not perpendicular, but have a bit of a funky Z cut. I was thinking of just trying to replicate the cut, then mating it back up, assuming I have the room. I will take a picture of it when I get home tonight.

      As for the switch, I will probably take a multimeter to it and see if I can figure out how it trips each function. It only has 2 wires, so I am guessing it varies how it applies current, but just not sure how yet. I just want to avoid accidentally switching it to slide, which I am 99% sure I would do.

    12. #12
      Member arnoldcp's Avatar
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      Vigo's Smyth Kit Build - Putting the U-T-E in an Utterly Terrible Endeavor

      If it's a knob like in my old B5 where clockwise does one thing and counter clockwise another thing. A decidedly low tech solution to avoiding the slide function might be to put a piece of tape or paint over the contacts on the clockwise or counter clockwise side. Even a physical stop under the knob might work.


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    13. #13
      Junior Member PillsHere's Avatar
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      I didn't think bout physically blocking/removing unwanted contacts, great lowtech solution!

      Quick update: 10pm last night...


      Tonight will be reroute the wires, pull the bumper, and quadruple check measurements and directions... Saturday is D-Day!

    14. #14
      Member navyfam1's Avatar
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      Following for sure... contemplating doing the Mk4 UTE in a couple years... told my oldest son it would be his first car, lol

      Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

    15. #15
      DAY: SAVED
      I had some XZN bits sitting around for him that could reach a bolt with less than a millimeter's clearance to spare.

      OBNOXIOUSLY LONG SIGNATURE LOL

    16. #16
      Junior Member PillsHere's Avatar
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      Better living through chemistry!


      I WIN!




      Oh ****, I gotta put this back together now don't I?

    17. #17
      So action. Very [angle] grinder. Wow.

      OBNOXIOUSLY LONG SIGNATURE LOL

    18. #18
      Member kitten_puncher's Avatar
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      This thread is incredible, you have my attention.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      Quote Originally Posted by s t a y g o l d View Post
      and don't trash talk people, that's for hos at the club.

    19. #19
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      subd

    20. #20
      Semi-n00b Htraitor's Avatar
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      Intriguing...


      Please excuse the typos this was sent from my iPhone

    21. #21
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    22. #22

      Vigo's Smyth Kit Build - Putting the U-T-E in an Utterly Terrible Endeavor

      Love the video, and great pics.... thank you for thinking of us! And the narrative isn't bad either.
      *pulls out the lawn chair and *


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    23. #23
      Junior Member PillsHere's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by JerryLtowIt View Post
      Love the video, and great pics.... thank you for thinking of us! And the narrative isn't bad either.
      *pulls out the lawn chair and *
      No probs, and thanks for watching! I may get a chance to work on it tonight, but probably wont get to anything exciting till my new tools come in the mail next week. Then I can do a fun edition of "Tool Time" and show some tricks of the trade from aviation mechanics for working with riveted body pieces.

      I decided to go the extra mile and change my seats and strip the carpet to clean/replace. I think the seats I need to look for are from either the Beetle(12-) or Eos. I want the shoulder handle to release forward, and leatherette/leather. 2 door golf/gti/golf r leather seats are usually a price premium. Tonight will be cleaning/vacuuming, and seeing what of the carpet I might need to replace.

    24. #24
      Junior Member PillsHere's Avatar
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      Is this the update where you see amazing progress, with more cutting, riveting action, and the formation of a pickup truck? No, this is not that update.

      Well, while the Princess is in another castle boinking Bowser, I decided to get some stuff moving on the interior. After some searching, I picked up some local seats from a Junkyard Eos. They are Tan, which isn't my first choice, but about the only thing available for a 4 hour radius that I could find. Shipping on seats is a damn nightmare, and would cost more than the set. Picked them up this morning and they were hella dirty, and wet . I did not take any pics of how dirty both were when I got them, mainly due to embarrassment. But here is after 2 hours of cleaning the Drivers seat, before starting the passenger.



      And here is after another 2 hours:


      A couple suggestions for seat cleaning in general.
      1. One small area at a time. Luckily you can see these seats have a lot of stitched panels, just handle each one individually.
      2. Lots of microfiber clothes. Where you are cleaning fills up fast, keep using fresh parts of the towel until its unclean, then throw it in the laundry pile and grab another. I used like 5 each and prob should have used more.
      3. Soft bristle toothbrush does wonders.
      4. Use a great cleaner protector solution. I used Mothers VLR, which is like a fat emulsion spray(think like hand lotions), helps lift the oils and grease.

      I decided to save $80+ by making my own shift boot and taking apart the old one. I have the BFI knob, and could have just bought their boot, but I like being a special snowflake and felt that is where I can make my stand on the hill of spiraling project costs.. Yes I will die on that hill.

      The housing around the boot had the soft touch plastic damaged. I scraped it down and repainted it using a Mercedes Anthracite trim paint(https://www.amazon.com/ColorBond-349.../dp/B00G6IQC0C). It isn't perfect, but better than seeing the scratched Soft touch. Once the boot is stitched together I will post the results. The boot is using a Vinyl from the scrap pile at Joann fabrics, looks spot on like the original too, though no clue if it will last. Also at Joann, I got all the materials to redo the headliner, but that will be for another day.

      While I got the old seats out and the carpet all cleaned in the car, it is as good time as any to get the radio swap going and add the TPMS button in.


      The new radio is the RCN 210, straight from Chinese EBay: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/VW-V...608.0.0.2bMMmA The video with it shows a pretty straightforward installation, and as long as I don't break any more trim tabs(damn the cold weather), should be quick.

      As for TPMS button, I long since forgot what shady link I got it from, but here are the instructions: http://www.vaglinks.com/Docs/VW/MKV/...lation_DIY.pdf Assuming all goes well this will happen tomorrow AM. Once all that is sorted out, I will tackle the wiring of the Eos seats... I haven't looked at it yet at all, but I am sure there will be some rewiring involved. Oh and eventually I will get back to the whole point of this thread...


      Edit: Totally forgot to mention, all the pieces to turn the door switch trim into the 2 door version will come in tomorrow too.
      Last edited by PillsHere; 02-04-2017 at 12:05 AM.

    25. #25



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