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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!
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.
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?;products_id=86
Yep. That would be it. It's not a super critical upgrade but it will help keep heat away from the calipers.
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.
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.
I have a CG lock.
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
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

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 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.
I'd say leave them amber with the darker headlights, but that's just me.
hmmm might be convinced of that

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.
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!!

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.
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%?
fiber optic
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.
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.
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
What kind of fuel consumption are you getting from yours? Have you got the draft 42 shifter bushings on the GTi?
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.
I get an average of 28-30 MPG out of mine currently (goes up a bit in the summer) and as soon as I can I am fitting the draft 42s as I hear they tighten the throw up quite nicely. At the moment I am torn between throwng a bit of money at the Leon (exhaust, FMIC, springs and dampers) or just selling up and putting a deposit down and financing something more serious.
I'm wavering a little bit about using this car as a basis for a track/HPDE/fun car, because it is in really nice shape as a road vehicle, but on the other hand it's only getting older, its mechanical history is 100% known and impeccable to boot so that seems better to wring to its limits than something with a totally unknown history, and there's a lot I can do with it without breaking the bank (relative to a lot of other cars on the market that would be worth tuning). So I'm sticking with my plan to convert this into something rather more extreme and uncompromised and pick up a DD in a year or two...probably a new car with financing, though maybe something late model used, haven't quite thought that far ahead.

Let me know what you think of those shift ends. IMO the best thing to do was to reduce movement of the transaxle relative to the shifter and that slop in the cables themselves isn't a significant contributor, but they're a cheap part, and I'm always interested in something that makes the feel of driving yet more precise!
Yeah thats pretty much the same way I feel about mine, it has been a really great car and I would miss it if it was gone but it is getting older now.

I am rather tempted by a brand new one of these

It has alot going for it.

0% APR on a new one
276 Bhp
Mechanical LSD
10 year 100,000 mile warranty

Or I could be stupid and just get a used TT-RS but I worry that it just wont be the same sort of fun as a hot hatch.
Heh, yeah my problem is that my favorite choice for a new car is the MkVII GTI with the performance package...which will end up being a front LSD-equipped hot hatch a lot like what I'm trying to do with my car. Trying to find the balance between having a DD that doesn't bore me when I drive it but that I won't be tempted to modify (basically impossible dry.gif )
Speaking of modifications do you have an APR distributor near you? Because a map really wakes these engines up.
Yeah there are a couple. A chip is on my list but I'm doing brakes first and then a few engine "stage 0" ish things. Basically, if my VAGCOM trialing leads me into engine maintenance, I'll do that, and I'd like to do a diverter valve (probably Forge 007, maybe 008) before I get into a chip. Also want to do a dyno run pre-chip as a baseline for whatever future power mods I do.

Beyond the chip also looking at coolant hoses, intake/turbo hoses, a larger intercooler, and an exhaust...some of those things might happen before the chip, I'm not 100% set on my order of operations yet. But one things for sure: the suspension can handle more power at this point and once I get brakes handled, so can they, so I'm definitely looking forward to it!
I dont know what its like in the states but over here APR will always do a before run prior to any sort of mapping because the guys are just as curious as you to see what kind of figures they can get and if you have stage 1 and want to go stage 2 ect then they do it FOC.

In regards to the diverter valve I had the 007P and then replaced it with the 008 (no differance I could feel) but knowing what I know now I would have eaither stuck with the OEM one or gone with an upgraded diaphragm one over the piston style because they react faster and dont need servicing.

I would 100% get a new intake pipe as the standard ones start to collapse on themselves at higher boost pressures.

What kind of brakes are you thinking of? I never really considered changing mine but I don't think we have the same 4 pot brembos.
Did you have the old style Forge without the o-ring or the newer kind? The newer style supposedly reacts more consistently and goes longer between services...

For brakes I'm looking at TT front rotors with Ferodo DS2500 pads and 11" solid European rears with Hawk HPSs. I already have front and mid SS lines and will add the rears when I do the rest of the brakes (I also already have Hawk HPSs at all four corners on stock rotors, with RBF660 fluid). Also pondering front titanium brake pad shims to shield the caliper piston from the heat of the pad.

People who track their MkIVs seem to be in general agreement that anything beyond a TT front with appropriate rear is showing, I just find it to be a very cost-effective upgrade. I don't have stock brembos, just the standard sliding 2-piston front/1-piston rear calipers on 11.3" front vented & 9.1" rear solid rotors.
The 007P was older but it 100% had the O ring as I had it out when I took it apart to service and replace the piston with the revised shape the 008 is only a year old.

I think the Cupra R runs the exact same brake set up as the TT so I can tell you that what you are upgrading to is pretty decent, the DS2500's are good too I just hope you don't mind cleaning brake dust off your alloys!
So how often did you feel you had to service the Forge DV?

I would expect the Cupra R to run either the 12.3" Front/10.1" rear all-vented TT 225 setup with sliding calipers all around or to run the 13.1" front/10.1" rear all-vented R32 setup. The TT/Golf/GTI/Jetta/etc. caliper is actually a single piston at every corner, while the R32 gets a 2-piston setup (with both pistons on one side of the caliper, so it's still a sliding design).

Happily I have just about the lightest MkIV you can get (2800 lbs. with all fluids and full interior, and I hope to be pulling a lot of interior out of it once I have another DD) so braking should be pretty manageable.
Well when I was at a show I got talking to the guys on the Forge stand and they said every 12,000 miles or so but that seemed stupid to me as the servicing interval for the car is 10,000 so why not just do it then.

There is a very basic test to check for leaks which is push the bottom piston up to the top of the valve while covering the top small vacuum nipple with your finger and then release the piston and keep the vacuum nipple covered.

If the piston moves back down whilst you have your finger covering the vacuum nipple then service the valve.
OK, good to know. For my use that would basically be a once-a-year service which isn't too bad, though just another thing on the maintenance list. When I go to buy a DV I will definitely factor that chore in my decision!

EDIT: Perhaps these are the way to go?
You cannot argue against the quality of the forge hoses, I used to have a forge intake pipe on mine before I switched to a full 3" pipe which forge unfortunately don't offer.

As for the DV I was going to suggest the R1 but I didn't want to sound like an APR fanboy plus it is the most expensive one of all.

Basically if I was to do it all again I would leave the standard DV in place (I have seen these handle 30psi no problem on big turbo applications) and if it was fine I just wouldn't change it.
Can you use the DV from the 2.0T FSI motor? the new piston style DVs works great.
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