Author Archives: Scott

About Scott

I grew up near Houston, TX and served in the U. S. Coast Guard for over 30 years. I have an electronics background and continue to work in the electronics engineering field. I taught myself the basics about automotive systems as well as how to perform some of my own maintenance (cars and bicycles). I became involved with Amateur Radio and computers in 1995. The explosion of technology has made my job and several of my hobbies quite interesting. My hobbies include Volkswagens, bicycling, photography, electronics, amateur radio, web management, and reptiles. Visit my websites to learn more.

Fuel Economy with IS38

One look at that title must have you wondering – “What kind of lunatic tracks fuel economy in a modified GTI?” THIS GUY does. HAHA! Coming from a Volkswagen turbodiesel background and having a lifetime of fuel economy testing under … Continue reading

Posted in Mods & Projects, Product Review | Leave a comment

APR Stage 3 with OEM IS38

This is the upgrade I thought I’d never do because it increases maintenance needs and removes some of the low-end torque that I really enjoy… and it’s expensive. Still, I would have instinctively seen an IS38 as a good upgrade … Continue reading

Posted in Mods & Projects, Performance Related, Product Review | 2 Comments

VA to CA and Back: Full Trip Wrap-Up

Being a former TDI owner, I still love to track fuel economy and other technical stuff. Come to think of it, I’ve tracked MPGs from the day I got my first car, a 1973 Beetle in 1986. Overall for this … Continue reading

Posted in Road Trips | Leave a comment

Return to VA: Part 3

As I was digging in my suitcase and deciding what to wear, I saw a strange color that surely was not my normal thing. “What’s this?” A kid somewhere is upset! I guess finding someone else’s clothing mixed-in with my … Continue reading

Posted in Road Trips | Leave a comment

Return to VA: Part 2

I left Rawlins, WY bright and early. The drivers of the pickup trucks that had parked around me were early birds! They were already gone long before sunrise. I was certain that I-80 would be endless miles of boredom; that’s … Continue reading

Posted in Road Trips | Leave a comment

Return to VA: Part 1

My wife got up around 3:30am to pack her bags. I slept until about 10 minutes before we needed to leave. The hotel was just five minutes from the departure terminal; so, I had the luxury of kicking her out … Continue reading

Posted in Road Trips | Leave a comment

Return to CA: Packing and Sequoia National Park, Round 2

After a good night’s rest, we went to my mother’s storage unit to unpack and decide what was coming home with us. I nearly had a heart attack every time I heard my wife say, “Awww…” It seemed like a … Continue reading

Posted in Road Trips | Leave a comment

Return to CA: Sequoia National Park, The Giant Forest

In my previous entry, I had left my trailer in a pull-out just below the snow-line on the mountain climb to General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park. I didn’t want to spend too much time away from it since … Continue reading

Posted in Road Trips | Leave a comment

Return to CA: Sequoia National Park, The Ascent

I awoke nice and early because I wanted to beat the crowds to Sequoia National Park. My goal was to photograph the car with some Sequoias and to get a photo with the car/trailer in the fallen tree tunnel. The … Continue reading

Posted in Road Trips | Leave a comment

Return to CA: Part 3

Next, I entered the place that compelled me to pack extra fuel in the trailer: Death Valley. Websites and blog write-ups warn that there is no cellular coverage in Death Valley. They’re not kidding! I easily drove over 150 miles … Continue reading

Posted in Road Trips | Leave a comment

Return to CA: Part 2

I mentioned in my previous entry that I arrived in Flagstaff under moderate snowfall. I settled into my hotel room and enjoyed an early evening inside. Silly me, I didn’t look at the weather forecast before going to sleep. I … Continue reading

Posted in Road Trips | Leave a comment

Return to CA: Part 1

Rainfall during the days leading up to my departure was killing my workflow. But I got things done when I could. Here’s the trailer’s interior as it was for the outbound trip. I don’t think I mentioned that I’d be … Continue reading

Posted in Road Trips | Leave a comment

Return to CA: Kick Off

It came time to hit the road again. You may recall my “Coast-to-Coast” series from November (shared in January). My wife and I had driven to CA to retrieve my mother’s cremains and some of her effects. What we didn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Road Trips | Leave a comment

From the Vault: Our 2011 Road Trip

Note: This journal is printed as it was shared on my previous website at StealthTDI.com. It was updated periodically and followed by friends at TDIClub.com. I duplicated the journey on this site because it was a good trip and still … Continue reading

Posted in Road Trips | Leave a comment

From the Vault: Our Tour of the Northern United States (1999)

Note: This journal is printed as it was shared on my previous website at StealthTDI.com. It was updated periodically and followed by friends at TDIClub.com (before it was a registered site). As a result, it is written in a present … Continue reading

Posted in Road Trips | Leave a comment

Tiny Cargo Trailer Conversion – Exterior

The exterior: The final stretch! I had initially sanded the original paint and had a plan to have it wrapped. I did that before a lot of other projects started. Lockdowns put the wrap on hold. My goal was to … Continue reading

Posted in Microlanding, Tiny Cargo Trailer Conversion, Trailer/Cargo | 3 Comments

Tiny Cargo Trailer Conversion – The Interior

With the roof resealed and basic wiring done, it was time to work on the interior. I started with the insulation. A lot of DIY trailer converters like to use the pink stuff or the blue stuff. Unfortunately, the green … Continue reading

Posted in Microlanding, Tiny Cargo Trailer Conversion, Trailer/Cargo | Leave a comment

Tiny Cargo Trailer Conversion – Electrical

With the roof fan installed, I had some encouragement to rework the trailer wiring so that I could get some airflow while working inside. The factory wiring was terrible! It looked like this on both sides of the back door. … Continue reading

Posted in Microlanding, Tiny Cargo Trailer Conversion, Trailer/Cargo | Leave a comment

Tiny Cargo Trailer Conversion – The Roof

In “The Problems,” I mentioned my need to reseal the roof after finding leaks inside the walls. In order to reseal the roof, I first had to strip away the existing sealant. I thought that would be easy enough with … Continue reading

Posted in Product Review, Trailer/Cargo | Leave a comment

Tiny Cargo Trailer Conversion – The Problems

Converting my Homesteader Fury tiny cargo trailer into a sleeper turned out to be a real challenge! It was easy to assume the job would go smoothly since the original owner only had it for a year and was using … Continue reading

Posted in Microlanding, Product Review, Tiny Cargo Trailer Conversion, Trailer/Cargo | 2 Comments

Coast to Coast: Return Trip, The Final Stretch

We continued to Oklahoma City and checked in at our planned stop. It was a convention center. I knew unloading would be painful as soon as the receptionist gave me a map to the parking area. UGH! There was only … Continue reading

Posted in Road Trips | Leave a comment

Coast to Coast: Return Trip, Pt 2

We hit the road very late after loading the cats and Mom’s effects, perhaps 2pm. So, we didn’t aim to get very far, just out of the area and into our first hotel at a decent time. We took at … Continue reading

Posted in Road Trips | Leave a comment

Coast to Coast: Return Trip, Relearning to Pack

Our first order of business in the morning was to assemble the kennels and then repack the car without using any of the interior cargo space that we previously had. The three kennels took up everything but the floor behind … Continue reading

Posted in Road Trips | Leave a comment

Coast to Coast: Dealer Visit and Memorial Service

I drove to the dealer to get a set of ignition coils, commonly referred to as “coil packs,” while the rest of the family went to Sequoia National Park. They were not in stock. So, I ordered them for pick-up … Continue reading

Posted in Problems, Road Trips | 2 Comments

Coast to Coast: Outbound Trip, Pt 2

We got settled in our hotel room in Alamogordo, NM plenty late and planned to shoot at White Sands the following morning. Getting sunrise or “golden hour” shots would’ve been great. But the park didn’t open until 7am, or after … Continue reading

Posted in Road Trips | 1 Comment

Coast to Coast: Outbound Trip, Pt 1

Day 1 took us to Morrisville, TN. I wanted a short day so that we could practice the load and unload of the trailer, basically getting our act together for the longer haul. I lucked out and found a nice … Continue reading

Posted in Road Trips | 2 Comments

Coast to Coast: The Plan

My brother (from central Texas) and I recently visited my mother in central California for what we were certain would be our last chance to see her alive. She was 72 and had suffered from a rare neurological disorder for … Continue reading

Posted in Road Trips | Leave a comment

Baun Performance Cat-Back Exhaust

If you’ve followed my site for a while, then you may know that I had almost no interest in upgrading my exhaust. I had even added a resonator to suppress the extra drone that resulted when I upgraded to an … Continue reading

Posted in Mods & Projects, Performance Related, Product Review | 4 Comments

Scorpion SA-680 Black Widow 10-80m Antenna

I had a long weekend commute on quiet highways from 2006-2009. So, surfing the HF bands was a great way to help the drive pass. I was using a Yaesu ATAS-120A. Performance-wise, it can be described as “adequate, but  not … Continue reading

Posted in Ham Radio, Mods & Projects, Product Review | Leave a comment

Replacing the Manual Transmission Oil

I had a Mk3 Jetta TDI for 445,000 miles. I practiced 100,000-mile manual transmission drains, with the exception of one shorter interval during a differential upgrade. I decided to use the same drain interval on my GTI. Volkswagen does not … Continue reading

Posted in Maintenance | Leave a comment

I’ve Been Neglectful…

I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last post! One reason is because I had started a weight loss program. While it did not involve locking me up and taking away my computer, I endeavored to produce weekly … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

100,000 Miles!

The 100,000-mile mark is a significant milestone for many car owners. I’m almost uncertain why that’s still true today. Even though the cars I grew up driving didn’t even have an odometer that counted past 99,999 miles, the majority of … Continue reading

Posted in Milestones, Product Review | Leave a comment

More Changes to Ham Radio

If you follow my Facebook page, then you may remember that I relocated my Icom ID-5100A ham radio display to its third home about a year ago. It started in front of the gear shift in 2016, moved to the … Continue reading

Posted in Mods & Projects, Product Review | Leave a comment

DIY Awning

It’s been almost a year since I since I shared my desire to do some camping, perhaps leaning toward overlanding, or what I might call “microlanding” in my GTI. See that article here. Even after a year, I haven’t set … Continue reading

Posted in Microlanding, Mods & Projects | Leave a comment

ECS Street Shield Skid Plate and Tunnel Brace

It’s been over two years since I upgraded my factory plastic oil pan to a steel unit from USP. I went under the car to shoot footage for its three year anniversary video and discovered that the RTV gasket had … Continue reading

Posted in Mods & Projects, Product Review | 2 Comments

Sonax and Carbon Collective Oracle Ceramic Coatings

I had my GTI’s paint corrected and ceramic coated last April. I had a lot going on last year and didn’t take time to talk about it here, other than a short paragraph in an unrelated post. Nevertheless, I’ve been … Continue reading

Posted in Mods & Projects, Product Review | Leave a comment

Homesteader Fury 4×6 Long-Term Review – Conversion Builders Beware!

I bought my 2016 Homesteader Fury 4×6′ cargo trailer second-hand on a whim during a casual morning drive on a nearby highway. The original owner had it for about a year and gently used it for a clothing business. It … Continue reading

Posted in Product Review, Tiny Cargo Trailer Conversion, Trailer/Cargo | Leave a comment

Three Years and 93,000 Miles: A Summary of Problems So Far

This entry is a bit overdue. Previously, I had focused on sharing my reports here in my blog and then followed-up with a supplemental video on my YouTube channel. This time, I shot the YouTube video first and had intended … Continue reading

Posted in Milestones, Problems, Product Review | 10 Comments

“We Make Marines”

Note: This article is intentionally time-late and void of names in order to protect the privacy of our Marine. Everything written here is perishable info that is outdated. My plans to take the car on more road trips and camping … Continue reading

Posted in Road Trips, Trailer/Cargo | 2 Comments

90,000 Miles and APR Update

Looking at the latest activity on my blog, I can see that there’s been hardly any activity at all! I’ve been busy doing other things: LIFE. 🙂  The car has surpassed 90,000 miles without any significant issues. It continues to … Continue reading

Posted in Milestones, Mods & Projects, Performance Related, Product Review | Leave a comment