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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

As you know we have been working on a new site for

Well, here you go:

Starting now, all our features will be on our website.
Thanks for your interest and support!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Couped Crusader

     Recently at a get together, I overheard a fellow enthusiast complaining that VW’s biggest mistake was the end of Jetta Coupes with the advance to the MK3 generation.
For New Zealander John Kanters, the lack of a MK4 coupe was nothing but motivation. With several builds under his belt, including several MK2s, MK3s, and BT 1.8 MK3 Vento Coupe track car, John needed something to test his body work and fabrication skills. Several years ago, his shop had purchased and tucked away a rolled .:R32 (New Zealand only got 32 of these total). Originally intended for a MK2 coupe, John quickly realized that a MK4 would be a much better choice and a more comfortable daily driver once it was completed. 

     After a MK4 Bora Highline rolled into his shop, already equipped with all wheel drive, John set up a plan. He wanted to build a MK4 Coupe, sporting the R32 motor, and then boosted with Garret GT3582. John dedicated himself, and after nearly two years, is nearing the project’s end.

    Some might picture a shop full of people, working on this beast of a project, but John did it all solo. From body work to engine building to painting, he hand crafted this vehicle all on his own, sometimes having to learn or just find out how to do the jobs. As John said “that was one of my criteria to at least have a go at everything!”

     One of the most difficult parts of his entire project was the rear window glass, which was nearly impossible to make due to two curves across the surface. Taking it one step further by adding electric pop-out capability only made the job more difficult. In the end, a company from China was able to make a batch of glass, perfectly matched, even down to the OEM dot-matrix border.

     What John has created is truly one of a kind, and with a fully custom front bumper soon to be completed, the car is truly a hand-crafter beauty. Still though, the OEM inspiration is very strong, being manipulated into the custom work that makes the car fantastic. Be sure to stay tuned on HellaIV for the continued coverage on this amazing build.
- Words by Zach!

Spec List:

Body / Exterior
- 2003 Euro spec Bora 2.8 V6 4-Motion (RHD)
- Custom coupe conversion
- Custom rear side glass w/ electric pop outs
- OEM HID headlights
- Smoked side repeaters/tails
- Euro-rub strips w/chrome
- Custom 3 door moldings with chrome strips & R logos
- Custom Skoda Octavia mirrors W/memory internals
- Custom MK5 trunk release
- Custom trunk lid with European plate recess
- Custom front bumper
- OEM R32 side skirts
- Caractere rear lip molded in
- Caractere roof spoiler
- BMW M3 rear trunk lip
- OEM Aero Wipers
- 35% tints

Brakes / Wheels
- Front ECS 14.1” rotor with Porsche Cayenne 6 piston calipers
- Hawk brake pads
- Rear stock R32 ventilated brakes
- Custom 20mm adaptors front & 25mm rears
- 18x8” OZ Superleggera ET51
- Continental Extreme contact DW tires

Engine / Transmission:
- Full R32 swap
- 2.8L 4motion transmission
- Integrated engineering rods
- JE 8.5:1 pistons
- Raceware head studs
- Siemens 630cc injectors
- Custom remap by Viper Tuning
- Custom intake w/ 4” MAF housing
- Audi V8 MAF insert
- Southbend single mass clutch kit
- Garret GT3582 turbo 1.07AR
- ATP turbo manifold
- Tial 44mm wastegate
- Tial 50mm BOV
- Custom SRI
- Precision FMIC
- E-Boost street EBC
- Custom intercooler piping
- Devils own water meth injection w custom tank
- Bosch 044 fuel pump
- Integrated engineering surge tank
- Uprated shift forks
- Peloquin front LSD
- ARP ring gear bolts
- Custom 3” V banded exhaust with hidden dual outlets

- Recaro leather heated memory seats, both left & right have memory function
- New South oil temp gauge
- New Sough EGT gauge
- New South gauge pod
- MK5 style headlight switch
- MK6 Scirocco steering wheel / airbag
- R32 rocker trims
- R32 brushed alloy trim
- Custom rear body brace
- R32 short shifter

- Weitec Coilovers
- R32 front arms
- R32 Sway bars
- R32 steering rack / Tie rods
- Custom rear adjustable upper / lower arms
- R32 front spindles


Saturday, December 03, 2011

When Sparks Fly

To many of our significant others, the car obsession is a nuisance. From the car not running properly, dragging the significant other to get-togethers, to throwing money away into the abyss of parts buying. For Devin and Dom however, the only argument is over which car to take. 

Devin and Dom met in 2008, chatting over Vortex PMs. As many do, Devin assumed Dom was a guy. However, context clues quickly sorted out the gender confusion. As the summer progressed, the two decided to meet up and check out each other’s cars and discuss MK4s in general. Both quickly developed feelings and as their relationship progressed, so did the degree of modification to each of their cars. Simple bolts-ons quickly turned into a snowball effect that us enthusiasts know so well.
“I had only known Dom for a month. When she invited me along with her to the body shop to check on the progress of her car, I wasn’t expecting what I actually saw – a completely shaved car with all new body panels, covered in primer. I knew from that point on that this girl was just as obsessed with her VW as I was with mine. From that point on, what turned out to me an ideal relationship seemed inevitable."
While most worry about sneaking in mods, hiding money spent on parts, and devoting equal time to hobby and relationship, Devin and Dom’s shared commitment has allowed them to be supportive and enthusiastic. With three years, three H20s, countless motor builds, resprays, and a continued passion for their cars, the couple have produced two fantastic MK4s.

“When I met Devin, I couldn’t ignore the chemistry we shared. Sparks flew…mega sparks.” To many on Vortex, the choice between form and function is a defining line for a car enthusiast. However, Dom and Devin are fairly unique in that they represent the best of both worlds. 

On one hand, Devin’s car Blair is basically as function oriented as they come. The car has been totally stripped, shedding an incredible amount of weight. The interior features only two Sparco seats, a shifter, and the dash. It is actually incredible how clean it looks for a stripped car. On the exterior, subtle mods complement a simple look, and with a set of white Rota Grids on the way, the car will look as aggressive outside as it does inside. The engine has been built internally, and has evolved from a modified K03, to a K04, and is currently rocking a Garret GT3076r, sitting pretty inside a fully shaved bay. As you can see, one mustn't be fooled by the overall stock appearance, this Jetta has a big turbo and a HUGE bite.

At the complete opposite end of the spectrum, we have Monster. Dom’s car is no racecar, it is a stanced beauty, sitting pretty on a set of Tracer Tech1s. The body has been shaved, bumpers swapped for R-line, and the bay cleaned up with a few subtle touches.  The interior has received a fair deal of OEM goodness, including full brushed aluminum trim and a black R32 headliner. The car is simple, clean, and incredibly classy. 

Both of the cars represent unique niches in the MK4 community, yet the beauty is that both are equally respected. In a community full of cheap mods, crappy suspension, and more bought than built, it is refreshing to find two cars like these. Dom and Devin each put an incredible amount of work into their cars, and the results speak for themselves. We look forward to seeing future work on a pair of cars that can only get better and better. 
Words by Zach!

Spec List: 
Devin's Jetta: 
Engine and drivetrain:
AWP block with IE rods and ARP hardware, stock pistons
AWP head with Supertech springs, titanium retainers, black nitride and SS valves. HD guides.
VHT painted Block and trans, flat black
02j with Peloquin LSD, Southbend STG V, 6-puck, sprung clutch kit, Verocious shifter bushings. Redline fluid and ECS magnetic drain plug
Garret gt3076r, .63A/R turbo, ceramic coated hotside, to4s comp housing w/ 4” inlet.
Custom oil+water lines by FFE, black fragola fittings, and ss oil lines.
AOP Tubular, equal length exhaust manifold with AMS cast collector and vibrant SS head flange. Backpurged and tig’d.
AOP custom 3” downpipe to 42DD 3” catback with turndown tip
Tial mv-s 38mm wg with custom dump tube and 1 bar spring
Unitronic 830cc file, with all deletes
Lucas 830cc injectors, walbro 255 in line, aeroquip fuel hose
4” couplers, piping, Vibrant velocity stack and AEM 6” dryflow filter
VF engine mounts, powdercoated wrinkle black
AOP custom intercooler piping with cxracing core and 42dd map flange. 2.5” hot and cold
Tial 50mm “Q” BOV w/ 11 psi spring
Audi tt225 intake mani with NS perf gasket, powdercoated wrinkle black
034 catch can and tapped Valve Cover
AEM UEGO air fuel gauge
NS sandwich plate

Deletes and Additions:
Deleted: SAI, n249+n112, Combi valve, EVAP, blueballs, A/C comp+ Condenser, Coolant ball, windshield res and lines, misc brackets, supports, and wiring loom.(All associated wiring for components also removed) horns. Stage 2 deletes include Heater core, associated coolant lines, rear 12v outlet, wiper wiring and motor assembly, power window motors, door wiring, comfort module, airbag wiring module and units. Stock seat belts, carpet, sound paneling, and interior trim from window line down. trunk liner, oem sunroof, hvac controls, radio, speakers, and associated wiring. Relocated batter to trunk, fusebox mounted on inner firewall, ECU is mounted on inner fire wall, above exhaust tunnel. Cleaned and removed wiring from main chassis harness for fuel door and trunk unlocks, airbags, etc. For a simple, essential harness. Bypassed Clutch positioning switch. Moroso Coolant recovery tank on DS frame rail/rad support. P/S res under passenger side framerail. All ECU wiring ran through center of DS frame rail and into dash compartment. Headlights, battery powers and misc ran through fender rail

FK streetline coilovers
R32 CA bushings
Deleted FSB
Hot Pink powder coated Hotchkis 30mm RSB
15mm spacers wheel spacers with ECS lug bolts
Rota Grids, 18x9.5 et38

B&M short shifter
Digital boost gauge inside gauge cluster
Custom vent panel with Autometer ultra-lite gauges: Oil press, Oil temp, and EGT
GLI pedal set
Sparco 383 comp steering wheel with momo hub
Autopower Race roll bar (4pt), welded
Sparco Chrono Roads with speedware mounts
Paint matched and cleared interior floor/metal
Custom CF radio panel with various switches
"Gas" oem switch for dual solenoid boost controller
Euro gas door popper switch, in stock dimmer location

Shave hood notch and fenders
De-badged trunk and paint matched emblem backing
Paint matched wolfsburg rear valence
4motion front lip.
Euro rubstrip
Ziza E-codes
Seidl Grill
Mattig euro cup mirrors
Black b pillars
Permanent fixed rear windows and manual font windows. No motors or oem panels.
Candy cane R/C/R/C taillights
CF sunroof plug/panel from
CF antenna plug, custom

Dom's GTi: 
Speedtech boser hood extension
OEM R32 rear hatch spoiler                        
OEM R32 side skirts                          
B&G coilovers
FK 1- badgeless grille
OEM Euro R32 front bumper
OEM stubby mirrors
20th AE stubby antenna
Cupra R lip
Diesel Geek skid plate
Custom 24mm rear spacers
OEM R-Line rear bumper         
Helix OEM HID replica projectors               
Neuspeed 28mm custom purple rear sway bar
Xenon Depot 5000k drop-in HIDs
42 Draft Designs white city light LEDs
Rear windshield wiper delete
Deleted front sway bar
Tracer Tech 1 Wheels with custom purple bolts
Falken 512 tires
Shaved side rub strips (side moldings)
Shaved front bumper washer covers
Shaved rear hatch handle (VW emblem left)
Shaved side blinkers
Shaved antenna

GLI cluster
OEM lit Jetta vents   
OEM polished hood strut
OEM polished rear hatch struts          
OEM 20th AE Pedal Caps + Dead Pedal                 
OEM 20th AE brushed aluminum ashtray cover
OEM 20th AE/R32 brushed aluminum door grab handles
R-Line shift knob
VEI dual display boost/oil pressure gauge
OEM Euro switch
OEM 20th AE rear view mirror
OEM R32 black headliner

Unitronic stage 2 software
APR R1 diverter valve
ITG cone filter
Godspeed side mount intercooler
42 Draft Designs 3" turbo back exhaust
Forge turbo inlet pipe
034 silicone PCV kit
Polished throttle body
Powdercoated intake manifold/piping
BFI Stage 1 dogbone mount
Verdict shifter bushings
AOP test pipe
Integrated Engineering SAI block off plate
Mk5 coolant cap
Stainless steel fuel lines with custom fuel rail
Eurojet throttle body hose
Deleted: SAI, Evap, N249, N112, blue balls, vacuum reservoir and combi valve


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The 2nd Coming

Sean Kirk started with a 1999 Tornado Red VR6 GTi. Unfortunately for him, the car was plagued with tons of problems. These problems would eventually drive Sean into buying a 2003 Silverstone Gray GTI, thought he kept the VR6 heritage alive in this car. Initially Sean had both cars as he kept the MKIII has a daily driver while throwing money into the MKIV. After attending H2Oi in 2008, he really got into the whole dub scene. Slowly but surely, his MKIV became an obsession as he traded a set of 18x8.5 HRE 448R’s for his TR GTi.

As we all know, this is where the addiction really takes over as Sean became to throw time and money into his car. At first it was small upgrades and details to help make the car Sean’s own. However he soon wanted the perfect fitment and ride height. He first got himself an air-ride setup to help drop the GTi to the ground. He then rebuilt his HREs turning the final specs to 18x9” with 2” lips in the front and 18x10” with 3” lips in the rear.

Expect to see this car again as a lot more is planned for this car in the future. Sean has plans to do a full respray as well as add more camber to the rear wheels to tuck it in slightly on top of a long list of other changes he wants done.

Pictures courtesy of bazookaphotograghy
Spec List:
Performance/Engine Bay:

-Autotech Cold Air Intake

-Custom 2.5" non-resonated catback with a Mangnaflow muffler

-GIAC reflash

-APTuning Stage 2 dogbone

-42DD solid shifter bushings

-OEM Audi R8 oil cap

-Slight wire tuck and engine bay cleanup


-Originally 18x8.5 et33 all around with 1.5" lips all around (painted all black with red bolts)

  Currently 18x9 et27 with a 2" lips and 18x10 et14 with 3" lips 

-215/40/18 Nankang NS2's

-HRE centers powdercoated Empire Bronze, Hand polished bolts, polished lips


-Airlift XL fronts

-Firestone rears with AAC brackets

-Accuair Switchspeed with touchpad controller

-Single Air Zenith OB2 compressor in chrome

-5 gallon tank powdercoated Empire Bronze

-WRD rear upper stress bar powdercoated Empire Bronze

-Passenger side frame notch, minor subframe trimming, bent pinch welds and light griding for tie rod clearance


-BFI black housing headlights

-OEM Stubby passenger mirror (heated and powered)

-OEM Sharan stubby antenna

-Euro GTI/R32 taillights

-30% Window Tint

-Rear wiper delete using a OEM wheel lock


-Reupholstered headliner and pillars in plaid

-Red stitched OEM leather seats, ebrake handle and shift boot

-R32 brushed aluminum dash trim

-MK5/MK6 golf ball shift knob

-OEM lighted Jetta vents

-AWE Tuning brushed aluminum pedals and deal pedal

-OEM Monster Mats

-Brushed aluminum door lock pins

-Black leather wrapped trunk floor


-Alpine headunit

-Factory Monsoon speakers and amplifier

-Alpine 10" Type R subwoofer

-Kenwood amplifier

-Rewrapped sub box in same plaid as headliner, flush mounted in floor

Words by Calvin Lun  
Photos by BazookaPhotography

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Growing Up Ain't Easy

I first met Zach right before Christmas in 2009 at one of our December monthly get togethers. Back then his car was still fairly new to him as his first MKIV was written off by a speeding driver. After convincing his parents to loan him some money on top of his insurance claim, Zach got his hands on a 2005 Black Magic Pearl Jetta GLi. Even in stock form, the GLi was a far cry from the GL he previously had. Little did he know, his car would become an addiction.

Since the first days of owning his car, the GLi has gone through many difference phases. From its initial small additions such as a grill and blacked out badges to the full blown OEM+ theme the car is based around, Zach’s GLi remains true to what he had dreamt his car to be. There are so many little things done on the car, some are so rare and hard to find that the unsuspecting passenger or even enthusiast might just write it off as stock. Zach built his car not to win shows nor are there any crazy extreme modifications but for himself. All in all it remains true to the OEM+ theme. Simply put, it is clean and elegant. His passion for working on and keeping his GLi in good shape will continue as he has big plans for his car. He has been tickling the idea of doing a 6-speed swap as well as getting new shoes which would be wider and much more aggressive than the current Hypersilver BBS RCs as well as talk of a new interior. We will definitely see this car around for quite some time and each time better and cleaner than before.

PS: Zach, you will forever be known to us as Elf Ears, Waldo or the little brother.

Spec List:
-New South Boost Gauge in 42DD A-Pillar Pod
-COGA-PA Public Adress and Musical Horn
-C-Pillar Brace with Camera Mount
-Hardwood Flooring in Trunk
-Audi TT Automatic Leather Shift Knob
-OEM Touraeg Navi with Kufatec Integration Harness
-Auxillary Input Harness
-OEM .:R-Line Floormats
-OEM Seat Arosa Headlight Switch W/ Rear Fog

-18x7.5 BBS RC's Finished in HyperSilver, Black Barrels, and Black Undercoat
-EuroImageTuning Custom Center Caps
-215/40/18 Falken 912 Tires
-20mm Rear Spacers
-10mm Front Spacers

-FK Street Line Coilovers
-Audi TT Control Arm Bushings
-26mm H&R Front Sway Bar
-28mm H&R Rear Sway Bar
-ECS Urethane Rear Coil Spring Isolators
-Reinforced Strut Tower Brace
-Audi TT Full Spindle Swap With Hybrid TT/MK4 Ball Joints
-Ground Control Camber Plates

-Zimmerman Cross-Drilled Front and Rear Rotors
-Hawk HPS Pads
-ECS Full Stainless Steel Lines
-Motul DOT 5.1 Brake Fluid
-Re-Painted Red Over Factory Powdercoat

-Filter-On-A-Stick Intake
-OEM Downpipe into stock piping with Flowmaster 40 Series Muffler

Helix OEM HID Replica Headlights
-6K HID Projectors
-H7 Sylvania High Beams
-BA9 Blinker Bulbs
-Amber City Lights
-Slightly Tinted GLI Tails
-OEM Shark-Fin Antenna
-Red Rear Tow Hook
-.:R32 Aero Wipers
-FixMyVW Key-Fob Gas Door Popper
-OEM Euro Rub Strip With Euro Cut Out and No Side Markers
-OEM Passenger and Driver-side Stubby Mirrors

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Not Yet Frozen

A reader of our blog recently got in contact with us regarding his car. Indeed it is definitely a very clean car.
 Richard "Mingan" HÃ¥veland from over in Sweden has a 1998 4 door Golf . Even though it has a fairly small engine when compared to us over here in the US, his 1.6 is more than enough to pull the stanced out Golf around. He is rather proud of his car although it is still a work in progress. Some of his future plans include a new interior and a color change for his wheels.

Golf IV 1.6 SR -98
Stereo: Hillman HDC-1560 Suspension: Ta Technix Coilovers
OEM Hoodbra
Golf GTi rear lights
25th Anniversary Front Valence
2.5" BSR Exhaust
0.5 degree Camber Shims
Wheels: 17 x 8.5" Fronts and 17 x 10" Rears OZ Futura
Tires: F Kumho 195/40/17 R Kumho 215/40/17

Future Plans:
25th Anniversary side skirts
New interior
ECU Reflash
New Color for OZ Futura
New Headlights
1.5 degree shims

Cranking down the coils even more
Yet another skid plate

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Sweet Like Candy

Check this out: A GTi with a 3.2 swap out of a TT on top of a shaved bay sprayed in Candy White. VERY DOPE!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lookin Sick

I love the wheels on this, polished on the faces, but painted on the inside of the spokes. Definitely gives the wheels good contrast.


Thursday, October 06, 2011


Check this car out... SOOOO dope.


Monday, September 26, 2011


Check out Will's dope JB 20th. His car has been on this blog before, and I'm sure this won't be the last.