Well, I did it: I removed the gas engine from the Jetta. I foolishly forgot to unhook a few things before renting the engine hoist; a 2-hour rental turned out to be a 4-hour rental and I ended up just cutting an exhaust clamp off because I got sick of fighting with it with the clock ticking. But, out she came, so now I can continue disassembly of the brakes, steering, subframe and suspension. I'm not going to just replace everything with new parts, but I am going to disassemble and inspect everything and replace as necessary and upgrade where I feel like it. I've already got a list of electrical improvements to make; stock Jettas of this year won't warn you if you leave the lights on, but this one will by the time I'm done with it. :)
Here's the engine on the hoist, the transmission is on the floor. Transmissions always seem small to me once they're out of the car, for some reason. They're pretty light, too, easily liftable by one person. Uh, don't try that with a pickup truck trans though.