Here at BFI we have been eyeballing the Symth Ute, J4 based truck kit, for sometime now. Talking about it, thinking about it, until we finally made the call to move forward and build one, putting our stamp on it. Our starting point, a 2000 Jetta GLX, tornado red and fully loaded with all the options: power/heated/memory leather seats, Climatronic, etc. But in pretty much completely stock and original as it left the dealership. We addressed some basic maint/service needs of the car in prep for the build.
Below is a short introductory video to our project:
Normally we would only choose to start with a manual vehicle, however this truck will be doing daily duty for an older customer who prefers the convenience of the automatic.
Pile of parts removed from the the Jetta, all said and done the Ute ends up ~300lbs lighter than the car starts off, which means there is ~1000lbs of load capacity including passengers of course.
After picking up the car, we got on the horn with Mark Smith of Smythkitcars.com(http://www.smythkitcars.com/) to get in the que for a kit. A little over 2wks later a big crate showed up and we got to unpacking. Plans, besides installation of kit, include making the Ute a double duty vehicle. To that end suspension will be courtesy of Airlift, exhaust will be semi custom with an electric bypass, and two distinct sets of wheels. Next step, cutting up a perfectly good car.
With all the pieces present and accounted for, it was time for the point of no return. Following the guidelines and instructions provided by Smyth, we measured and marked out our cut lines. After that it was time to break out the saws and go to town. All said and done, this process is fairly quick and straightforward if you're confident with your measuring and your use of power tools.
A few finish cuts are required from here but this is essentially the point where we can begin moving forward.