Mk. 4 Volkswagen Jetta Trunk Swap – Part 1

Hey everyone, now that we have a “new to us” hood installed on the Jetta, the next order of business is to swap out the damaged trunk…

Considering the age of these cars and the wide availability of the cars and parts it is a very good and economical decision to chose to swap out rusty or damaged parts. That is exactly what we did in this case and took advantage of another Jetta in a scrap yard that still had a perfectly serviceable trunk on it. The only down side to it was we were unable to find a key for the new trunk so the lock mechanism that came in it is rendered useless. Our Jetta is a 2002 model year and it came with the emergency trunk release handle on the inside of the trunk lid. The new trunk did not have this, but as we wanted to keep the car mostly original we swapped over the release handle which we found was a very manageable change to make.

The first thing to begin the swap is to track down and remove all of the Phillips head screws that hold the trunk interior panel in place (there are 13 screws to remove). Ensure your screw driver or drive bit is fully bottomed in each screw before attempting to back the screw out. If your trunk has the emergency release handle you will need to disconnect the cable from the handle before you can remove the interior panel. If your trunk just has two formed grab handles then just slide the interior panel towards the back window of the car and it should come off easily. As a side note, it is always a good idea (despite what your mechanic or dealership may say) to get your car undercoated with Krown or other types of oil or wax-based undercoating products as it most definitely will extend the life of your vehicle and it prevents the very distinctive rust we are finding on this Jetta. It is also a good idea to always keep all plastic clips and extra fasteners as they are sometimes hard to find and often times the plastic clips will break down and need to be replaced and you will already have a spare to install right away.

Take your time removing the electrical plugs and the wiring harness (the plastic clips holding the harness to the trunk) so you can reuse it or salvage certain parts should the “new” one be damaged or not function correctly. As we mention when you have any electrical connection separated it is wise to put dielectric grease or some kind of insulating and water repellent grease or lubricant on the connections to decrease the probability of corrosion forming and causing electrical failures. Also, if you have any electrical failures in the trunk before you begin your swap it is most likely caused by the bundle of wires that pass by the hinge breaking internally as we talked about in the video. Even if everything functions normally when you begin your swap it is still a good idea to dig into that wire bundle and make sure there aren’t any wires about to break, because there always seem to be!

So we now have the old trunk lid stripped and removed from the car and the new lid stripped and just loosely mounted. With that, we will be back for part 2 and finish the swap!

Thanks for checking out our article, and enjoy the video!