About the build

Who, what, how.


Hi, my name is Aaron and welcome to my caddy build site. I am a VAG enthusiast, software/electrical engineer and tinkerer. My day job involves software architecting and engineering mostly on the web. I have wanted to own a MK1 pickup since the day a found out they existed (around 17). From that day I have always been trying to find one that wasn't rotted out beyond reasonable salvation or plauged with the "nostalgia price tag". It took me over 10 years but I have finally found one and here I am.

Purpose of this site

The attempt of this will be to catalog all of what I learn and do throughout the process of this build. The ultimate goal being to make this information easily accessible to other individuals. I am datanaut and lover of all things information. I enjoy documenting things and sharing that knowledge with other people and want to truly give back to the community.

Goal of the build

The goal of this build will be to take a tired ol' VW truck and turn it into a weekend fun machine. I will continue to update this section as it is needed. This build will be completed in two phases. At time of writing mods include:

Phase 1 - get it on the road

  • Engine
    • Junkyard 1.8T engine
    • Refresh some of the basics (coil packs, water pump, timing belt, etc)
    • Bolt on mods including big turbo and IE intake manifold
    • Custom intercooler setup
  • Drivetrain and Suspension
    • O2J TDI Transmission swap
    • Airlift Performance front bag kit
    • Bagged 4 link setup in rear
    • Airlift 3H management
    • Powerflex bushings everywhere
    • Refreshing/replacing of all stock parts (ball joints, wheel bearings, etc.)
  • Interior
    • Roll cage
    • Replacing carpet and headliner
    • New racing seats
    • More to come

Phase 2 - more power and custom AWD grafting

  • Engine
    • All integrated engineering bottom end (rods, pistons, bearings, etc.)
    • Overbore of 1mm total on pistons
    • ARP hardware everywhere
    • GEN2 - Garrett GTX3576R Turbo
    • Head work including cams and valves
    • Extra bits that will be listed throughout various log entries
    • 500whp goal (will take some tuning and time)
  • Drivetrain and Suspension
    • AWD Quattro swap
    • Custom length drive and axle shafts
    • BBK and rear rotor conversion
    • Custom clutch pack for new transmission
  • Engine
    • 600 awhp goal
    • Bigger turbo depending on current performance
    • Accompanying parts for above

I'm sure im forgetting some things but feel free to browse around. And don't forget to comment if you have questions on anything and I will attempt to answer as best I can.

Website architecture details

This site is built with the Grav CMS. If you would like more information you can find the github repo here. By career I am mainly a Drupal/PHP developer but that was running a bit too slow on my Raspberry Pi used to host this site. Grav CMS utilizes a flat file system which makes it extrememly lightweight for any application. With no database and such it is not what I am used to but it runs nice and snappy on my low budget Pi server.