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Old 10th June 2014, 14:21   #1
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Default Panzer underbody plate for the Jetta Mk5?

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Request our experts to advise.

I am thinking of replacing the underbody protective plates (OEM) in my Jetta (Mk5), with the plate advertised here :

http://www.dieselgeek.com/Golf_Jetta...pp-mk5-mk6.htm


Is this worthwhile for our roads? We know about the state of our roads, which with a few exceptions are extremely risky for cruising.

I also ask this in the context of taking the Jetta -a bit further north than what I have done so far- to HP and maybe to Leh-Ladakh, if I am absolutely sure that the Jetta is well equipped .

{I understand this is only for the plate below the engine. The Jetta has another protective plate further back, to protect the rear axle ( I assume).
Will try to get info. if this second plate is available or not, from this vendor.}

Regards

You may find my ownership experience, albeit inconsistent/irregular, here : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...-vw-jetta.html
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Old 10th June 2014, 15:31   #2
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Default re: Panzer underbody plate for the Jetta Mk5?

"The Panzer Plate features a sturdy .190 inch solid aluminum bottom plate."

I don't know specifically about this, but a plate of solid metal (yes even the aluminium) which is about 1/5th of an inch should offer great protection against rocks and pebbles thrown up against the underbelly.

Wow, a real armor for the engine!
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Old 10th June 2014, 17:10   #3
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Default re: Panzer underbody plate for the Jetta Mk5?

That plate looks pretty good but have you considered the import duties and the international shipping rates? I believe those would kill the deal. Did you check with your service advisor/service center if they have an underbody protection for the new Jetta? Some parts can be retrofitted from the newer generation models with no or minimal modifications. In this case, they are using additional stainless steel clamps and there seems to be a lot of work to get a simple plate fixed! Check out the installation guide to get an idea.

What I would advise you, is to go the DIY way with the help of an FNG if you have some time at your disposal. Go to a sheet metal shop and get an aluminium sheet of 3 mm thickness and an area of 1 sq. m. Raise the car at the FNG and you would notice plenty of bolts screwed to the sub-frame. Get a cardboard to prepare the template of the actual plate. Cut the cardboard to the actual size of the plate and there may be locations where the plate needs to be bent to avoid interference with other parts. Remember you need to only cover the engine/transmission and not the whole car! Mark the locations for the fastener cutouts on the cardboard. Cut the sheet metal using a shearing tool (available at machining shops that does sheet metal fabrications) to the shape of the cardboard template and fix it to the subframe of the car using the same fasteners. This will be cheaper than importing the plate from US and will look much better if executed well but time consuming.

Rather than a plain sheet of aluminium, you can also opt for a chequered sheet (the ones you find on the flooring of buses). A colleague from our purchase department says it costs Rs. 210/kg. A 1000 x 1000 x 3 mm thickness weighs in at approx. 8 kg (density of Alu. = 2700 kg/cu. m) so this sheet costs Rs. 1700, give or take a few hundred Rs.

Like this:

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Someone has it done on his old Landcruiser:

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Just my 2 cents.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 10th June 2014 at 17:15.
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Old 10th June 2014, 17:26   #4
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Default Re: Panzer plate for the Jetta Mk5? Advice requested

>>>

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
That plate looks pretty good
Just my 2 cents.

Very valuable 2 cents! Thank you.

- Will check with the vendor (dieselgeek) in terms of shipping costs & import duties ( the price of $275.00 will be ~ INR 18k)

- Am not a DIY guy, but will check with our Bombay auto enthusiast fraternity to find out if it can be fabricated to a quality approximating to that of the Panzer

- The underbody plates are available for my Mk5 (will confirm with the VW workshop shortly- the last time I enquired some months ago, was told that they will have to get it from Aurangabad as its a "non-priority" part

- Idea was to replace the existing OEM part with a more impact and shock proof plate, for some driving on hill roads, within the limits of the car the ground clearance being 152 mm

-The Panzer weighs in at 22 lbs (approximately 10 kgs, not far off from your calculation)

- In a DIY plate the critical aspect is the tolerances of the holes and the bolts to hold it firmly in place

Regards
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Old 11th June 2014, 12:53   #5
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Default Re: Panzer underbody plate for the Jetta Mk5?

Personally, I'd never take my premium German low-slung sedan to Leh Ladakh. It's not built for that. One slip in concentration and the treacherous terrain can cause severe damage to your car. Even if there's no major damage, the car will take a thorough beating and might have rattles & squeaks to show for it.

What I'd do: Enjoy the Euro sedan on regular highways and rent a self-drive SUV for Leh-Ladakh expeditions. There's some solid self-drive options out there (including XUV500s, Fortuners & Pajeros).
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Old 11th June 2014, 14:18   #6
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Default Re: Panzer underbody plate for the Jetta Mk5?

I am not sure what kind of pretection Jetta comes with, if it is at par with Laura and Superb, you won't need to upgrade to take it anywhere, Ladakh included. Remember there is no substitute for careful driving in difficult terrain, i have seen SUVs(2wd, Rohtang Sep2012) stuck where my Laura managed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Personally, I'd never take my premium German low-slung sedan to Leh Ladakh. It's not built for that. One slip in concentration and the treacherous terrain can cause severe damage to your car. Even if there's no major damage, the car will take a thorough beating and might have rattles & squeaks to show for it.

What I'd do: Enjoy the Euro sedan on regular highways and rent a self-drive SUV for Leh-Ladakh expeditions. There's some solid self-drive options out there (including XUV500s, Fortuners & Pajeros).
Matter of personal opinion, comparing SUVs to Sedan, there is no comparison. If it has to be a sedan i'd prefer a German sedan(over Japs and Koreans) for Ladakh like terrain because of Underbody protection and Superior build. Ladakh's regular route is overrated for difficulty, any car can do it comfortably(atleast Srinagar-Leh route).

My Laura at 60k has ZERO squeaks/Rattles, Done Ladakh and lots of similar stuff!

Last edited by .anshuman : 11th June 2014 at 14:20.
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Old 16th June 2014, 11:33   #7
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Default Re: Panzer underbody plate for the Jetta Mk5?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Personally, I'd never take my premium German low-slung sedan to Leh Ladakh. It's not built for that.. rent a self-drive SUV for Leh-Ladakh expeditions. There's some solid self-drive options out there (including XUV500s, Fortuners & Pajeros).
Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
I am not sure what kind of pretection Jetta comes with, If it has to be a sedan i'd prefer a German sedan(over Japs and Koreans) for Ladakh like terrain because of Underbody protection and Superior build. Ladakh's regular route is overrated for difficulty, any car can do it comfortably(atleast Srinagar-Leh route).

My Laura at 60k has ZERO squeaks/Rattles, Done Ladakh and lots of similar stuff!
>>>

Two contrasting and interesting points of view!
GTO's point is a zero risk option, which I would prefer, except that I don't find Mahindras/Fortuners comfortable at all ( again a matter of personal opinion).

.anshuman,

I'll check with VW on the quality of the underbody protection, although I am fairly certain that it will be similar to Laura/Superb/Passat.

I have done UK many times in my Bombay-Ranikhet runs; the car has done about 58k kms and again, as in your case, there has been nary a squeak or rattle ( touch wood). Leh-Ladakh would be qualitatively different from driving on pucca Himalayan roads, so I thought a beefing up might be nice.

If the normal underbody protection is fine for the Laura, it will be fine for the Jetta.
Will ping you when I am in Delhi in Sep/Oct., simply to say hullo.

Re. GTO's suggestion of self driven SUVs, I will also try to see if I can land a self driven Forester-now that will be something!

Regards
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Old 21st June 2014, 13:03   #8
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Default Re: Panzer underbody plate for the Jetta Mk5?

>>>

Panzer installation update : shelved plans for the installation.
The inspection yesterday at the Downtown VW workshop revealed that the original plates are all undamaged, despite the speed breakers encountered in the state highways of Karnataka during my Bom-Coorg-Bom run, in February this year.

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Old 21st June 2014, 14:29   #9
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Default Re: Panzer underbody plate for the Jetta Mk5?

yes, and even otherwise, such things don't cost much. I have a desi underbody plate put in by a mech in delhi. he charged 3k in may 2012. The morons at MSM Chennai have made it a rattle trap (they lost the original bolts and put in some crap). In 2010, Motorcraft had asked for around 8k + ST (IIRC). Panzer may be industrial strength but you need something for an occasional hit, not industrial strength stuff for deliberate rock bashing.

Edit - note that the panzer sits flush with the pan. That close fitment means that in the case of a massive hit (going over a solidly lodged rock), I worry that any plate may still transmit some of the impact into the sump just above it.

Last edited by phamilyman : 21st June 2014 at 14:32.
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