When we last left our hero the 2005 VW Golf TDI there were no reverse lights. A 
trip back to the TDI guru confirmed that the shift linkage in the transmission 
was incorrect for that car and would never have worked, fortunately the old 
transmission donated its shift tower which works perfectly. So now we're all 
inspected and legal.
Driving home from the TDI guru today I was glad for the "ICE COLD AC" in the 
car, its hot and sticky today with only the hint of a breeze.
Having put over 100 miles on it now the carbon is starting to burn out of the 
engine. When I first got it it would smoke pretty bad on cold start, now it 
blows one puff and settles down. It also had "turbo hunt" which I guess is 
common on the variable vane turbos but a couple good highway runs has burned 
off that carbon and its better. What I was finding was that in 2nd gear at 
around 2,000 rpm (quick driving in a parking lot say) the car would surge and 
back off, surge and back off. That is completely gone, now the only complaint 
is the turbo vanes don't open up completely until around 2,200 rpm so I get a 
hard engagement then. Its fun to drive that way but not right. 
My '98 is faster until the '05's turbo really kicks in, then it can start to 
pull away. I think in the quarter mile the '98 gets the edge, the '05 has 10 
more HP and 30lb/ft of torque but it weighs something like 400# more. In a mile 
or longer run I think the '05 would have it. The '05 is quieter and more 
refined too.
Last step (for now) is to get a new driver's side front fender. Supposedly a 
yard near work has an A+ perfect one, I'll call and see if I can get it 

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