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

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  1. 0 comments? I find this guide very usfull ! thank you!

  2. Good guide for beginning dude, lots more that could go on but good start!

  3. Like what Leezy? Im modifying my Passat, any other things i should know about?

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