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> GTI - the 2013/14 off-season
clarkma5
post Oct 14 2013, 12:26 PM
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Well I've gotten fully engrossed in trackday fever, and while I'm probably looking at 2015 before I can really dedicate the GTI to track work as a second vehicle, I'm definitely looking forward to running it in 2014 at more events and getting it quicker and more capable on the track.

First NASA trackday of 2014 should be early May, so I'm looking to get some things done before then:

1) Some maintenance issues up first, including my normal seasonal MTF change, replacing my leaking left-rear shock, and trying to address some fueling issues I seem to be having (mileage has come down about 3-4 MPG across the board, starting to get occasional fuel smells in the car on cold starts, and the idle has taken to occasional dips in RPM). Potential avenues to explore there are fuel delivery (filters/pump screen/fuel pump/associate electronics), an exhaust leak upstream of the O2 sensor and/or a failing O2 sensor, or maybe even a camshaft position sensor giving bad info. to the fuel system (basically when the CPS gives bad or no data to the engine management, the car cuts fuel to reduce fire risk in an accident.)

2) Brakes! TT fronts, 11" euro rears, completing my SS lines with ECS's new rear lines, Ferodo DS2500s, and maybe some sort of cooling duct arrangement if I could figure that one out. Some form of caliper refresh is also in order, at least to grease and maintain the pins and perhaps refresh some seals.

3) Sway bars. Looking at 22 mm front/28 mm rears with some form of adjustability for fine-tuning purposes.

4) Power. DV, chip, exhaust, intake/turbo hoses, larger SMIC...probably won't do ALL those things by May, but want to get something going. Will be sure to get a baseline dyno run before I start so I can see what I gain.

And somewhere in there, there are some cosmetic things I would like to address. My front headlights have succumbed to the yellowing and fogging of age...a couple attempts with some polishing and what not has helped but I'd rather replace them, so I think I will pull the original polycarbonate lenses off, do a joey mod (paint the background of the headlights black) and put on new glass lenses. Will match that blacked out look with some new side markers and side turn indicators. Also looking into getting the minor cosmetic damage on my rear bumper repaired, and try to give the whole car a thorough detailing too. Been pondering replacing the lower front black plastic grills with a black metal mesh as well, perhaps something that will allow me to run my tow hook all the time?

So I guess this thread will become my little catch-all for what I do between now and the spring on the GTI. Gonna start with a weekend at my friend's in a couple weeks doing the maintenance and some fueling diagnostics and see where it leads me!
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dukenukem
post Oct 14 2013, 04:36 PM
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Good choice on the pads. wink.gif

You could further future proof you car with some titanium shims to help prevent any more brake fade.
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clarkma5
post Oct 14 2013, 04:47 PM
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The idea being that they're less conductive of heat into the caliper?

Truthfully, my brake fade at the moment is pretty well managed...the pedal gets a bit softer with hot lapping but never really disappears from me with the HPS's and the RBF600 fluid on stock rotors I'm running now, but I will look into those shims because every little bit of brake feel and confidence is wonderful to have!

EDIT: These I take it? http://hardbrakes.com/index.php?main_page=...;products_id=86
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dukenukem
post Oct 14 2013, 05:08 PM
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Yep. That would be it. It's not a super critical upgrade but it will help keep heat away from the calipers.
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clarkma5
post Oct 14 2013, 05:34 PM
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For $100 with practically an endless lifespan, it falls into my "worth it" category. Particularly when getting great brakes for the track takes every trick in the book.
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dukenukem
post Oct 17 2013, 12:52 AM
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Are you running CG lock or a 3 point harness? If I am going back to the track, I am getting the harness for a fact. (the CG lock wont fit my seat belt buckle.)

Edit: If you want CG Lock, i have 2 in perfect condition that wont fit my seat belt buckle.
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clarkma5
post Oct 17 2013, 07:17 AM
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I have a CG lock.
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clarkma5
post Oct 17 2013, 10:40 AM
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NASA Northwest just released their tentative 2014 trackday schedule, looks like they're opening in Portland in May and their first WA trackday weekend is June 7th & 8th. I'll almost certainly skip the Oregon event (it's a rather long drive) which gives me an extra month! Hopefully I can put it to good use
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clarkma5
post Oct 17 2013, 01:19 PM
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Opinions on lighting:

I'm really liking the looks of smoked/joey modded/25th AE headlights on Silverstone Gray MkIVs and will definitely do something along these lines http://volxtuning.com/products-page/headli...dlights-smoked/

However I'm kinda torn on whether or not to match them with smoked side indicators and turn signals...I really like this combo of the dark background/clear faced turn signals with the smoked side marker http://www.ecstuning.com/Volkswagen-Golf_I...Markers/ES5455/ but does it look any good on the Silverstone Gray cars??



Currently my stock side markers are amber and the turn signals are clear. They are both available in clear, amber, or smoked and I'm trying to think of which combination would go best with the dark headlights.



Lastly I want to try this taillight film...just the "gunsmoke" tint, quite subtle. http://www.ecstuning.com/Volkswagen-Golf_I...in-X/ES1873346/
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midnightdorifto
post Oct 17 2013, 07:07 PM
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I'd say leave them amber with the darker headlights, but that's just me.
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clarkma5
post Oct 17 2013, 07:52 PM
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hmmm might be convinced of that

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Bjorn
post Oct 18 2013, 04:30 AM
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I've always been a fan of clear. Smoked always kinda looks odd to me . . . reminds me too much of kids driving their mom's Pontiac Grand Prix.
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clarkma5
post Oct 21 2013, 07:52 AM
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Because I cleaned and waxed it and had my big camera out, here it is as she stands, on winter wheels and tires of course. OMG I put a sticker on it!!

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clarkma5
post Oct 28 2013, 11:58 AM
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So it was a 90k maintenance/investigative day at my friend's yesterday. Tasks accomplished:

Oil change
MTF change (from RedLine MT-90 to MT-85, for the winter)
Refreshed K&N air filter
Replaced leaking left rear shock with new one
Fuel injector seals & retaining clips replacement
Pulled fuel pump to inspect and clean intake screen and to check for tank sedimentation. Fuel tank looks pretty clean, pump intake screen wasn't too dirty but had a little bit of stuff in it so cleaned that out.
Pressurized the exhaust system and checked for leaks; there was a little leaking at the turbocharger/downpipe connection. Tightening the bolts up seemed to fix it.

So hopefully the exhaust leak and injector seals will help bring my mileage back. Car feels like it's running better at the higher RPMs and idling smoother but could be psychosomatic, or an impression given off by the change in gear oil weight or the fresh engine oil. Will be monitoring the fuel economy carefully now.
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Bjorn
post Oct 28 2013, 04:07 PM
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I've been thinking of getting a K&N filter for the Legacy. Is it one of those things where you notice a difference, or is it just another thing that adds 1%?
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fiber optic
post Oct 28 2013, 04:09 PM
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QUOTE(Bjorn @ Oct 28 2013, 07:07 PM) *
I've been thinking of getting a K&N filter for the Legacy. Is it one of those things where you notice a difference, or is it just another thing that adds 1%?


One of those things that lightens your wallet with no perceptible difference otherwise. I circle-binned mine and use a regular paper filter now. It's too much hassle to clean and oil them.
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clarkma5
post Oct 28 2013, 04:23 PM
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IMO it was one of those things that added 1 real HP and 5 audible HP. I don't think the cleaning is much of a hassle...if you don't destroy it, it's only a few bucks a pop to clean and re-oil it vs. whatever a disposable filter costs. I'm a fan but yeah it's nothing to get too excited about one way or the other.
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clarkma5
post Nov 27 2013, 09:39 AM
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Just got a VAGCOM on order. Car probably needs a throttle body alignment (will clean it at the same time too) and I should also use the computer to cycle the ABS unit as I've gone a couple brake bleeds without doing that.

So far (it's only been a tank) my fuel economy doesn't seem like it really got helped a whole lot by my 90k service, though at least it didn't get worse and it is running nicely. Will be using the VAGCOM to check for codes of course, also want to use it to monitor A/F ratio, boost pressure, etc. while underway and see if I can learn anything. EGR, O2 sensor, MAF, or some sort of boost pressure leak could be a factor?? Will be educational!

I'll be driving my car down to the bay area for Christmas to A] get my bumper fixed at cost at my friend's VW dealership and B] drive around my favorite roads because it's been too long and getting a few MPG back would be nice before I go, though it's also possible that I'll get fuel economy just by getting it out on the highway. I have been puttering around town a lot more than I used to this last year.

I also got my latest Blackstone Labs oil report back and everything remains tip-top there. Knowing the history of this car from day one and knowing it in-depth is invaluable! Hope it makes a great basis for a track vehicle someday smile.gif
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350Z
post Nov 27 2013, 10:37 AM
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What kind of fuel consumption are you getting from yours? Have you got the draft 42 shifter bushings on the GTi?
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clarkma5
post Nov 27 2013, 10:46 AM
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I would say that until 6-12 months ago, I consistently got 25 MPG city/30 MPG highway. Lately that's been more like 21/28 (yes, the dip in city fuel economy seems a lot worse than the dip in highway economy). Would like to know where that went so "suddenly"; the way the engine's using fuel under cold start conditions seems like an area to investigate further.

All my shifter bushings are stock; I have the OEM shift linkage from the Audi TT which reduces throw lengths ~15% and that's it. The best things I've done for my shifter has been to stiffen up the subframe/engine/dogbone mounts and changing my gear oil seasonally to best match the weight to the ambient temperatures. It's actually a really nice shifter now.
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