Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Passat B5 Air Box Drill Mod

Drilling your airbox is the easiest and cheapest modification you can make.  I did mine while changing the air filter, its a good alternative to replacing the air filter with an induction kit which will be exposed to the engine heat and often not do any better than the OEM air filter.

Tools required:

  • Drill
  • 25mm drill head piece
  • Socket wrench
  • 8mm socket head

Firstly remove the air flow plastic pipe that sits over the airbox by the passenger headlight.  It will simply pull off from one end.  Unclip the airbox housing cover, there are four clips, one by each corner.  Lift the cover up and out of the way.  You do not need to fully remove the top cover as it may still have the OEM locking clips holding the pipework together which will need to be replaced by jubilee clips if you do take them off.  Remove any wiring or pipework that may sit in the way by lifting up and pushing to one side.  You wont need to actually take off any parts but may need to negotiate them to avoid obstruction.

Lift out the old air filter which if it looks anything like mine did then can go straight to the bin.  Next you will see a bolt to the inner wing from the airbox housing.  Remove the bolt and lift out the bottom of the airbox which sits on two rubber bungs.

Clean up the bottom of the airbox and remove any debris and loose dirt.  Its not adviseable to wash the box unless you have the time to leave it out to fully dry, but to be honest a good brushing and wipe with a clean cloth will achieve the same results.  Now look at the sides of the airbox and select suitable positions for your extra holes.  Try not to position your holes over the criss cross of the plastic as its the structure to hold it in its shape.  I found several suitable positions which lined up with each other.  These holes will not be visible once you have refitted the box but its a good idea to drill where it will gain the most natural air, near the front is best so the holes sit behind the passenger headlight.  I used a standard 25mm drill tip which can be purchased from any hardware store.  You can drill individual smaller holes if you only have small drill tips, and in this case it would be best to bunch the holes together and form a grid.

Once you are satisfied with your drilled holes use a stanley knife or curved file to remove any plastic bits still attached to the edges of the holes you have made.  Refit the airbox housing and refit the 8mm bolt.  Carefully fit the airfilter and refit the top of the airbox and clip down the four holding clips.  Done.

Now take your car for a drive around the block.  Depending on how many holes you made and how much surrounding noise you have you should hear a slight sucking sound from the air being drawn into the filter.  This modification will not affect the fuel economy or give any negative effect to the engine, but also it wont give you turbo speeds and massive power hikes.  Its a small mod that may free the air flow into the engine slightly and give a slightly smoother acceleration but for the time it takes and the cost its well worth doing especially if changing the airfilter anyway.

Check out this great business directory -> -> -> www.freebd.co.uk

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Passat B5 Door Card Removal

As usual VW don't do things by halves and the door cards are no exception. The door card is straight forward and I will show the removal with photos to guide. The inner skin however is not the usual plastic sheet held in place with a bit of sticky, these have a metal plate held in place by 10mm bolts instead. I will cover the plate in a seperate blog.  View my about.me page here!

Tools required:

I have used a rear door card to remove as an example although the proceedure for the drivers and front passenger are almost the same.  There is no need to worry about switches or speakers as the door card comes away with all the covers intact.

Firstly you will need to prise out the plastic cover over the inner door handle which conceals the two main screws that need to be removed.  If you look to the inner side of the door handle right at the point where the plastic and the door card trim meet you may just about see the leverage point (see the second picture below).  Place a small flat blade screw driver into the join and prise the plastic cover out from one corner.  You may need a second screw driver to prise the plastic while the first holds the gap.

Now remove the torx bolt at the bottom of the door card located in the centre and is held in place with a T15 torx bolt.

Now you can unclip the door card using your fingers starting from the bottom.  If you are unable to get the card to come away then a flat blade screwdriver strategically positioned will do the job.  Be careful not to damage the door card or metal work if you use a screwdriver.  As you pull the door card you will hear the clips pop as they break free, you will not cause any damage so don't worry here.  From the bottom pull the door card out slowly and carefully, you may not break the clips but you can break the door card if you are too rough.  Once you can feel the clips have free'd you will need to lift the door card upwards to free it from the door lock nib and the window seal that the card sits over.  Now hold the card and keep it close to the framework as you still have all the internal electric connections attached.  

Unplug the puddle light connector and window switch.  The final part to remove is the inner door handle wire.  To do this I found it easiest to look into the door card through the window from the outside so you can clearly see the wire.  It only needs to be pulled back slightly and it will come away from the plastic guide, then you can lift out the hook that connects to the back of the inner door handle.  Now it will be free the door card can be put to one side.

If removing a front door card there is no need to pull away the wing mirrors internal cover as it does not get in the way and the proceedure remains the same and even the plastic holding clips are the same.  When refitting the door card the process is the reverse of the above guide.  When the door card is in place but not fitted take a look along the sides of the door card to make sure the clips line up with the locking points on the door frame as this is where you can end up breaking the clips off if not careful.  Use the palm of your hand or back of your fist to press down where each clip sits so you can hear it pop back into place.

Here is a picture of the rear door minus the door card but with the metal plate in place.  As you can see all the components sit on the plate and not the back of the door card trim which makes things a little easier when taking the card off.  However the metal plate cover holds in place the window mechanism and electric motor so I will remove it and document it at a later date.

If you find my information useful please feel free to make any comments.  Thanks.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Passat B5 Exhaust System

The Passat B5 exhaust system is made up of three main parts so unless the whole system needs changing it shouldn't be a big expense when a section starts to blow and needs replacing.  Have a look at the information below and the exhaust diagram.  I have included several links for information purposes but the first place you should go is to a local exhaust fitter for a quote.

Starting from the engine end check the exhaust manifold and cylinder head for any leaks of exhaust gas.  The gaskets between the parts can and will wear over time from the constant expansion and contraction of the heat from the system.

With the engine running listen for any hissing or popping sounds as you can often identify the location of the leak this way.  Look for any discolouration or burns from the heat near the exhaust ports on the cylinder head.

Inspect the area that connects the head pipe and exhaust manifold as the movement from the engine caused by drive torque can lead to movement at the joint where these meet.  Look out for any indicators of discolouration from any escaped exhaust gases.

Look along the exhaust pipe system from under the car as you may be able to identify any damage or corrosion.  Place the palm of your hand over the tailpipe with the engine running and listen for any changes in the engine sound.  The suffocation should force the engine to drop in revs and change the sound, if there is no difference with your palm covering the exit pipe then there is clearly a hole or break somewhere in the exhaust.

If you still cannot find the cause of the fault then speak to a mechanic or local exhaust fitter and ask them to read your engine intake manifold vacuum as low readings will indicate a blockage.  But don't get caught out with a big repair bill as the components of the exhaust system are not very expensive.  Check the system reference below.

System reference 930691

321338..........CAT. EuroCar + FR Pipe.....£119.47 + vat
380213..........CAT. MetalCat + FR Pipe....£63.83 + vat
401659..........CAT. Fix Kit..........................£2.26 + vat
SYA10..........Clamps.................................£0.91 + vat
SYA23..........Clamps.................................£0.74 + vat
VAG4............Gaskets................................£1.48 + vat
VAR34..........Rubber Mounting..................£1.48 + vat
VAR36..........Rubber Mounting..................£2.09 + vat
VW465C.......Box + Tail Pipe....................£54.84 + vat
VW466B.......Box + Centre Pipe...............£120.06 + vat

Have a look at my hubpage for my experience with my Passat exhaust problem - 

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Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Passat B5 Gear Knob Removal

All manufacturers have different methods for attaching a gear knob and gear gaiter.  The VW variant is very simple and requires no tools to remove.  As is not dependant on lifting the gear knob to engage reverse gear any type of upgrade or replacement can be used.  Most aftermarket heads will fit on in minutes with no modification necessary.

Start by prising the back of the gear gaiter which should just clip off, then do the same for the front and the gaiter should come free completely.  Lift the gaiter so it sits by the neck of the gear knob and simply unscrew it by the head anticlockwise.  Do not pull upwards as you may detatch the gear lever linkage from underneath.  If you need to seperate the gaiter leather from the gear knob itself now is the time as it is held in place with a circular plastic barrel and can just pull off.

To refit simply turn the gear gaiter fully inside out and holding by the gearknob place over the gear lever screw thread and screw on clockwise until the gear knob is tightly fitted and the correct way around.  Don't push down on the outer gear gaiter as you want to leave the leather sitting up slightly which makes it look fresh and nice, if you push down on the gaiter leather you can sink it completely and it will look worn and tired by comparison.

Feedback and comments welcome.  
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Passat B5 Fusebox Location

Blowing a fuse is not an expensive repair but if you don't know how to access your fusebox you can end up spending unnecessary money at a garage to do something that would take seconds to do yourself.  The Passat uses standard sized fuses and are clearly labelled on the accompanying fusecard if you have one, if not don't worry as I have pictures below.

If you blow a fuse but don't have a owners manual you may be left scratching your head looking for the fuse box as VW have integrated it and hidden it very well.  Open the drivers door and at the side of the dash you will notice a plastic cover.  Using either a flat blade screw driver or if you are careful your fingers prise the curved part of the cover and pull forwards.  As well as pictures of the fuse box I have also added some of the fuse location card which obviously won't be present in all cars.  Have a look at the pictures below as they do all the talking.

The fusecard lists the function and position for each fuse and contains information on both sides.  It is located on the inside of the fusebox cover.  Here is the card for your reference.

Feedback and comments welcome.
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Sunday, 7 November 2010

Passat B5 Modifications

Here is my list of recommended modifications and upgrades for the Volkswagen Passat B5 including web links and contacts.  As an enthusiast and owner this is like a wish list and many of the suggestions on this page have been done myself already or are in the pipe line of changes I intend to make.  If anyone has any new ideas or suggestions please feel welcome to post a comment and I will add it in.

Exterior Mods


I have always used 'the plate man' for my first Euro styling mod when doing up a VW or BMW and find this supplier very good.  They offer 100% authentic metal pressed Euro and German number plates from Celle Germany (pressed in the same factories that supply the European Motor Industry).  I have never personally had a problem with these plates although technically they are illegal so may cause a problem with a picky policeman or MOT tester, but if you have any reservations then try Dubmeister who offer guaranteed UK legal plates complete with the all important BSAU145D stamp.


Alloy wheels always come down to personal preference but I think that keeping things OE are a always a good way to go, but if you prefer something different why not go the euro way with wider deep dish rims and a nice drop on the suspension to compliment the look.  Personally I think that lowering the suspension should be the next consideration after alloy wheels as often the standard ride hight can make your nice new wheels look incomplete.  My recommendations for alloy wheels for the B5 Passat are the Schmidt TH or BBS RS or for a nice classy look go with a set of Maybach rims.


When it comes to suspension you have two main choices, springs alone or full coilover setup.  This decision is usually made by your wallet as a set of lowering springs around 40mm will cost about £110 whereas a full coilover set starts from around £225.  However unless you are fitting yourself you will also have to take into account the fitting costs which is usually around £100-£150 to fit springs and around £100 for a full coilover set.  The springs are more expensive to have fitted as the existing suspension struts have to be dismantled for the new springs to go on, and it can be a dangerous undertaking as compressed springs are not fun to work with.  Personally I feel that as long as your existing dampers are in good health then only a set of springs need be added.  A quick way to test your suspension damper is to push down on one corner of your car and see how it bounces.  It should only bounce back once and then level, if it feels very easy to push down on or bounces several times then you might as well push the boat out and buy coilovers.

Body upgrades

VW really got the look of the Passat right when they built it but there are a few changes that are worth considering if the budget allows.  My favorite body mod for these cars is R32 style bumpers.  The front bumper has a much more agressive motorsport look about it and does make a big difference.  If the budget is tight then you can totally transform the appearance of your car by painting all the black plastic parts around the bumpers and skirts black again which not only makes it look fresh but also gives a subtle modified look.  The other main area for change is the badgeless front grille, again its down to taste but I don't really like the mesh grille as you can see straight through it and from afar looks like the grille is missing.


Lighting upgrades can be an expense but will totally transform the front end of the Passat.  Halo rings are a bit last year but still look nice if they are CCFL quality rather than just a set of cheap LED's which are never bright enough, but again saying that some of the newer style LED light units look amazing.  I think the best look is the black chrome, a look you can achieve yourself at home.  I will be posting a guide for this modification soon so keep checking this page.

Interior Mods


Being a four door saloon the options for aftermarket seats is quite varied as you don't need to worry about the seats having to tilt forward as you would with a two door car, this also makes the fixed seats a little cheaper.  Thankfully my interior is the charcoal velour which looks nice and is very hard wearing, however if I was unfortunate enough to have bought a Passat with the light grey interior things would be different.  Seats are readily available and can be bought with or without the mounting frame which gives even more availability.

Gear knobs & gaiters

Changing the gear knob and gaiter is a five minute job and refreshes the interior to no end.  The gaiter is usually the first thing to wear from the constant use and a scruffy one will make the car look scruffy.  There are hundreds of aftermarket ones available with the cheapest on places like eBay.  The gear knob is attached to the gaiter but is removeable and simply screws into place so any knob should go.  My preference is always either Momo or Isotta when it comes to gear knobs and steering wheels and there is lots of choice, but in this case I opted for a knob and gaiter from a newer model which avoided the situation of having to modify unnecessarily.  Have a look at my guide on how to remove the gear knob and gear gaiter -> -> click here.


To me the most important feature is the audio.  A good quality headunit will radically improve the sound quality of the existing factory fitted speakers which is often overlooked by the boy racer who upgrades the speakers first.  I have an Alpine headunit in my Passat but there are so many brands to chose from.  The only real consideration you need make is to try and buy a headunit with the best matched illumination to your dash guages.  A few manufacturers specialised in colour matching the bluey purple of the Passat but I never saw any top end varieties.  My second consideration when buying a headunit is that I prefer a dot matrix display over the old calculator looking digits.  Dot matrix will allow any combination of pixels so can easily produce images as well as defined text and numbers.  Finally make sure you buy a stereo with MP3 playback and with an AUX input as well as phono connectors for an amp should you want one at a later stage.


Engine Mods


Air induction kits

Chips & remaps

Check out this great business directory and shopping website -> -> -> goomad.co.uk

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Passat B5 Blog, Forum & Web Links

This is a compliled list of my favorite forums, blog links and useful web sites for all things Passat.  If you have a VW blog page please post a comment with your URL and I will be happy to add it to the list.  Im always on the look out for new sites so if you have a favorite not listed here let me know.  I will keep adding sites and links as I find them.

Forum Links

Passat World Forum
VW Audi Forum
UK Passats
Volkswagen Forum
Club GTi Volkswagen Chat

Favorite Blog Links


Feedback and comments welcome.
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Friday, 5 November 2010

Passat B5 Specifications

The Passat introduced a new design language, first seen on the Concept 1 concept car, for the latest generation of Volkswagens such as the Mk4 Golf, Bora and Polo Mk4. The smooth lines, heavily raked windscreens, and smooth underpinnings helped give the B5 Passat an low coefficient of drag, rated at 0.27 (saloon model).


Manufacturer Volkswagen Passenger Cars
Production 1996–2000
Assembly Emden & Mosel/Zwickau, Germany
Class Large family car / Mid-size car
Body style(s) 4-door saloon/sedan
5-door estate/wagon
Layout Front engine,
front-wheel drive or
four-wheel drive
Platform Volkswagen Group B5
Petrol engines:
1.8 L I4 ADR/APT 20v
1.8 L I4 AEB/APU/ANB 20v Turbo
2.0 L I4 AUZ
2.3 L VR5 AGZ
2.8 L V6 ACK/APR 30v

Diesel engines:
1.9 L I4 AVB TDI
2.5 L V6 AFB TDI
Transmission(s) 5-speed manual
5-speed 5HP19 automatic
6-speed manual
Wheelbase 106.4 in (2703mm)
Length 184.1 in (4676mm)(saloon)
183.8 in (4669mm)(estate)
Width 68.5 in (1740mm)
Height 57.4 in (1458mm)(saloon)
59 in (1499mm)(estate)
Kerb weight 1,406 kg (3,100 lb)
Related Audi A4

Performance Information

1.6 8v Engine ADP/ AHL/ ARM/ ANA
0 - 100km/h - 12.5s
top speed - 192km/h 119mph
power - 100 PS (74 kW; 99 hp) @5300 rpm
torque - 140 N·m (100 lb·ft) @3800 rpm

1.8 20v Engine ADR/ APT/ AVV/ ARG
0 - 100 km/h - 11.1s
top speed - 206 km/h 128 mph
power - 125 PS (92 kW; 123 hp) @5800 rpm
torque - 168 N·m (124 lb·ft) @3500 rpm

1.8 20v Turbo Engine AEB/ APU/ ANB/ ATW/ AUG
0 - 100 km/h - 8.9s
top speed - 223 km/h 139 mph
power - 150 PS (110 kW; 150 hp) @5700 rpm
torque - 210 N·m (150 lb·ft) @1750–4600 rpm

2.0 8v Engine AUZ/ ASU/ AVA
0 - 100 km/h -11.1s
top speed - 203 km/h 126 mph
power - 120 PS (88 kW; 120 hp) @5600 rpm
torque - 175 N·m (129 lb·ft) @2600 rpm

2.3 10v v5 Engine AGZ
0 - 100 km/h - 8.9s
top speed - 223 km/h 139 mph
power - 150 PS (110 kW; 150 hp) @6000 rpm
torque - 205 N·m (151 lb·ft) @3200 rpm

2.8 30v v6 Engine ACK/ APR
0 - 100 km/h - 7.7s
top speed - 238 km/h 148 mph
power - 193 PS (142 kW; 190 hp) @6000 rpm
torque - 280 N·m (210 lb·ft) @3200 rpm

Wheel Fitment

Wheel PCD 5x112
bore 57.1


  • 1999 Used Car Buyer Greatest Used Buy Awards — Most Sensible Car Award Overall & Best Family Car
  • 1999 Auto Express New Car Honours — Best Family Car
  • 1998 What Car? Car of Cars — Best Medium Car
  • 1998 Which? Magazine Best Buy — Large family car market winner