So I bought a 99 TDI Golf for a run about to cash in on the 900+km per tank I can get. Working for VW it makes it easy to maintain/repair.
My Sunday drives with the dogs however started to continually end up on logging roads and with a low hanging engine oil pan and car tires getting punctured I had to change something.

First thing was a skid plate, 1/4" thick and mounting to the frame rails and subframe. It no longer looks this shiney and is quite scrapped up.

Some stock height drives around Princeton, Sunday Summit, Harrison and Duffy Lake

That saves the engine but tires were my next problem, punctured 2 in 2 weeks. So lift and tires were ordered, yes you can do that.
This was last Saturday morning

Going from 195/65 to 215/75 with slightly more tread

2" lift installed with stock suspension in place and some decent trimming up front for turning

So it was lifted on Saturday and tested with a 600+km drive on Sunday, I like it a lot. Mileage of course went down a little but I'm still looking like 850+km to a $53 tank of diesel for now.

I did an EGR delete this weekend as well as fixing a coolant leak at the same time. It has plans to get a new turbo and power upgrades to hopefully put out 330 ftlb of torque afterwards.