View Full Version : How To: Convert Mk5 Golf Front End to GTI, GT or Jetta

04-10-2007, 12:56 PM
How To: Convert Mk5 Golf Front End to GTI, GT or Jetta

* Note – Nothing in this guide relates to the Mk4 Golf or older. Mk5 only.

This guide is to show how to convert the Mk5 Golf front end from standard (any version, eg petrol or diesel) to the GTI, current design GT or the Chrome fronted Jetta. This guide will not relate to an R32 front conversion, but Im sure the process is very similar. I will also show how to fit the GTI Twin Exit Exhaust Backbox to NON 4-Wheel drive Golfs (eg, not the R32 or 4 Motion versions since the design of the vehicles underside is different) but the lower spec models or the older version Golf GT’s that do not have the Twin Backbox like the new model.

1. First of all, some facts...

The GTI and new shape GT front bumpers are identical, the only difference are the grilles. Therefore the lower GTI Splitter / Spoiler will fit onto the GT’s. Additionally, that enables you to also vary the grilles you fit, for example I went for the Special Edition ‘Speed’ look for my Mk5 GT with lower honeycombe GTI grilles and upper GT Grille instead of the honeycombe. (VW made a handful of Special Edition Speed Golfs but only released them in Germany I believe, pictures are on the internet) Coincidentaly, the Jetta Upper Grille is identical to the GT but is chrome in colour.

When purchasing the parts for the conversion please note the following parts come unpainted but are undercoated in grey primer...

* The Main Bumper
* The Centre Panel that goes below the Upper Grille. This panel is where the Registration Plate is mounted. (The Jetta version is Chrome which I would believe comes Chromed and does not require painting but Im not sure.)
* Two small corner ‘Mouldings’ that go on the corners of the front bumper. Some Golfs have the Headlight Washers mounted into these so the part numbers are different depending on the model you have.

All other parts come in plain black plastic but can be painted if required. The GTI bumper lower spoiler comes unprimered in black plastic also.

The front Fog Lights on the GTI are different to any other model and are required if you are fitting the Honeycombe mesh grilles. A word of warning, manufacturers constantly alter minor parts on cars and can sometimes prove a problem when changing things. The bulb holder and socket on the GTI fog light is different to the plug on the wireloom from your car, I managed to bend the pins in the socket very carefully with a pair of small pliers for the plug to fit. I do not know if you can get alternative plug / sockets to fit properly. This was on my particular Mk5, this may not be the case on yours.

To save yourself a lot of time and hassle before commencing this front end conversion get yourself a set of ‘Star’ Keys. Very similar to Allen Keys but are in a star shape, I learnt the hard way and did the conversion with allen keys and screwdrivers that just fit the bolt heads. Near the end of the job I acquired a set of Star Keys, everything became alot easier once I had those. I would highly recommend you get a set, this will avoid wearing away bolt heads.

2. Heres some photos of ‘Before and After’, also you will see mine converted below also.


3. Part Numbers, these part numbers are for the parts that I ordered from VW to do the front conversion, these parts are required regardless the type of conversion you are doing, eg GTI, GT or Jetta (the next chapter shows the parts that can be varied, eg the Grilles) Please note these parts are only required for the standard shape Mk5’s, if you have a new look GT, all you need for the GTI look is the Grilles. And vice-versa.

*Prices are ex-VAT and prices correct as of Sept ’07 from VW Main Dealers

V1K0 807 217D GRU (Main Bumper) £134.81
V1K0 807 889 B (Piece) £2.67
V1K0 807 890 B (Piece) £2.67
V1T0 941 699 D (Fog Lamp) £38.42
V1T0 941 700 D (Fog Lamp) £38.42
V1K5 807 248 A (Foam Insert) £6.87
V1K5 853 600 MQH (Front VW Grille Badge) £13.18
V1K0 807 285 B9B9 (Front Numberplate Holder) £4.54

The Carrier - basically a large plastic shell that ‘carries’ the whole front end of the car, the most important of which is the Radiator. I was very surprised at guides I found on the internet that failed to clarify if you had to remove the Radiator to do this conversion, I can confirm you do not have to remove the Radiator system to do this conversion....However, the Radiator sits in the carrier, so the radiator has to be raised slightly for the old carrier to be removed. I would advise you secure the radiator in place with rope after the Carrier is removed since it is quite heavy and cannot be allowed to fall forward as this will rupture the hoses and cause a coolant leak. Tie rope around the Radiator and secure it to the Engine Block or anything strong enough to take the weight behind the Radiator. Also stand a block underneath the Radiator to take the weight, as you can see from my photo I used a Dulux paint tin as it was just the right size. No other Engine components have to be removed or altered to do this conversion. Imagine the front of your Mk5 with layers, the front most being the outer Bumper and the Carrier as the inner most.

The Front Member has to be changed since the Towing Eye is located in a different position and matches up to the GTI bumper. If you ever break down, the Towing Eye can be accessed easily. If you do not change the Front Member you will not be able to tow the car when the conversion is done.

Lower Front Member – Slightly different shape and designed to fit the GTI Carrier.

V1K0 805 588 S (Carrier) £130.84
V1K5 807 109 B (Front Member) £60.63
V1K0 807 093 D (Lower Front Member) £33.49

4. These parts can be varied in combination to how you want your Mk5 to look, for example, the GTI look with all honeycombe, or GT with all ‘transverse’ grilles or the ‘Speed’ look with half honeycombe – half trans. You could even have the GT look with a GTI honeycombe upper grille only. The choice is yours.

Main Upper Grille...

V1K0 853 651 EV W8 (GTI Honeycombe Front Grille) £65.98
V1K5 585 365 1H GRU (GT Front Grille) £127.05 – More expensive than the GTI !!!
V1K5 853 653 A9 B9 (Jetta Front Grille in Chrome I think) - £25.96

Bumper Lower Spolier / Splitter (Optional)...

V1K0 805 903 H9 B9 (Bumper Lower GTI Spoiler) £30.57
V1K0 807 110 9B 9 (Additional part to the GTI Lower Spoiler) £29.22

Lower Bumper Grilles...

V1K0 853 666 P9 B9 (Lower Left Side Honeycombe Grille) £4.68
V1K0 853 665 S9 B9 (Lower Right Side Honeycombe Grille) £4.68
V1K0 853 677 B9 B9 (Lower Centre Honeycombe Grille ) £9.02

V1K0 853 665 AD 9B9 (Lower Left Side Trans. (GT) Grille) £4.68
V1K0 853 666 R9 B9 (Lower Right Side Trans. (GT) Grille) £4.68
V1K0 853 677 C9 B9 (Lower Centre Trans. (GT) Grille) £15.12

Bumper Corner Mouldings...

V1K0 807 717E GRU (Moulding – Left - for Golfs with Headlight Washers) £7.18
V1K0 807 718E GRU (Moulding – Right - for Golfs with Headlight Washers) £7.18

V1K0 807 717 BGRU (Moulding – Left – for Golfs WITHOUT Headlight Washers) £7.18
V1K0 807 718 BGRU (Moulding – Left – for Golfs WITHOUT Headlight Washers) £7.18

5. GTI Twin Tailpipe Exhaust Backbox

The second mod you could do to make your Mk5 Golf look like the new GT or the GTI, you could install a different backbox to give you the Twin Tailpipes out the back of the rear Bumper Valance. On models lower than the GT or GTI, the backbox has two ‘turned down’ tailpipes hidden under the rear bumper. For the sportier look you can change the lower half (Valance) of the Rear bumper with a cut out to allow for the Tailpipes. The GTI Valance has a slight difference in appearance to the GT’s and your be happy to know the GTI Backbox does fit to the GT and vice-versa.

Both silencers are practically identical except for one point – which is important if you buy a GTI system for the GT! The pipe leading up from the Backbox to join the cat and manifold (basically the long straight piece that runs along the centre section of the car) is SHORTER on the GTI version. To remedy this, when the old system is removed, cut the existing pipe on your GT so it reaches the shorter GTI pipe. Merge the two pipes together by welding or with a clamp to seal the system. Experienced advice may be needed for this mod or have a Garage do it for you. Note: My local Kwikfit wouldnt fit the exhaust because I didn’t buy the exhaust from them and Formula 1st only fit like-for-like exhausts so wont do a welding ‘mod’ job. I had to find a smaller independent Garage that were happy to do it.

Other than the shorter pipe between the GTI and GT exhaust, the rest of the system – including shape and the hangers are the same.

Part Numbers:

V1K6 807 521 D9B9 (GTI lower Rear Bumper Valance)
GT lower Rear Bumper Valance –UNKNOWN

GTI Rear Exhaust Silencer with Twin Chrome Tailpipes - UNKNOWN

I hope this guide proves helpful to anyone considering this conversion for the Mk5 Golf, and I must admit, from the planning stage, buying the parts and installing (which I did myself), the whole process is easier than you think. All you need is a dab hand and patience. Oh yes, those bolts do rust, seize up and can prove very difficult to undo. With alot of WD-40 and perserverence they do come off eventually.

In total, the entire conversion that you see above, including the Front End change, painting and the Exhaust mod amounted to the following...

*I got the GTI Silencer second hand so I do not know the price from VW

Total Parts - £937.99 inc VAT
Bumper Painting - £150 inc VAT

TOTAL - £1087.99

The look of a GTI with the Economy of a Turbo Diesel!

01-07-2009, 04:45 PM
hi mate i have just converted my golf to jetta front with the chrome strips above the lower grilles i have used the gti front grill to make it a bit different from the jetta 6190