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Old 12-29-2016, 12:42 AM   #1
Tony48
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Tony's Black GTI--pics galore

EDIT: Since Photobucket started charging for 3rd party hosting I've taken the time to migrate everything over to flickr and reposted all of my photos in this thread. Apologies for the poor quality of those photos since they could only be downloaded at a max resolution of 640x480. Everything loaded directly to flickr will be full size, high-resolution (click the image for full resolution).

Firstly, I've thoroughly enjoyed everything I've been able to learn on this forum. It's been a great resource as I work on modifying a car for the first time. I should have started a build thread awhile ago to keep track of everything but oh well. My goals for this car are to create an enjoyable car that can be used as my daily and also maybe the occasional track day. I'd like to subtly make the car a bit more eye catching than it is in stock form. More than anything I want to enjoy working on the car/learning since I will treat the car as a constant project.

I bought my GTI in April '15 with 54k. It is the first car I’ve ever owned. It was bone stock with the following specs:
-2011 Deep Black Pearl
-6 speed Manual
-4 door
-Bi-xenon headlights
-Sunroof
-Plaid Seats
-RNS-315 Nav System
-OEM mudflaps

I made a few cosmetic modifications but otherwise I drove the car for almost an entire year completely stock engine-wise. When I decided to get tuned I went APR stage 1 mostly out of convenience since I had a local shop that could flash me. Then I started making some other significant modifications to get to the point where I am now. This car is my daily driver and I pile the miles on.



Engine/Exhaust:
-APR Stage I 93 octane
-K&N Typhoon Cold Air Intake - Removed
-Integrated Engineering Cold Air Intake
-Forge Twintercooler
-RAI Motorsports 3" downpipe w/ 300 cell cat. Vibrant J spacer.
-Magnaflow Catback

Drivetrain:
-Dieselgeek Sigma 6 Short Shifter
-034 Motorsports Billet Dogbone Insert
-Clutch line flow restrictor removed
-eBay clutch stop

Suspension/wheels:
-H&R Sport Springs
-Koni Yellow struts/dampers
-TT Strut Mounts
-ECS 10mm Front Wheel Spacers - Removed
-ECS 15mm Rear Wheel Spacers - Removed

-OZ Ultraleggera, Black, 18x8 ET45
-Motorsport Hardware Stud Conversion (68mm) & Black MH Titan Lug nuts

Exterior:
-US Millworks Tow Hook License Bracket
-Volvo Rear License Plate Bracket (Part# 9154456)
-Golf R Upper Grille
-Custom Golf bar-style lower grille
-Gloss Black Front & Rear Volkswagen emblems
-Klii Maryland Flag Rear Badge Inlay
-Rear GTI Badge removed
-Color matched side markers (vinyl wrapped)
-Windows tinted 35% Llumar Classic
-LED tail lights (Reps, as discussed in this thread) - Removed due to dead LED's
-Depo dark cherry LED tail lights
-LED City/Parking Lights DIY Here
-DeAutoKey LED fog light kit
-Front fenders rolled
-Carbon Fiber OEM-style lip
-Hood Insulation Blanket Delete
-Carbon Fiber headlight eyebrows

Interior:
-ECS Tuning Vent Boost Gauge
-Euro Cupholder
-Soundaktor removed
-Airbag warning sticker on visor delete
-Hardwired USB Charger (Double Apex style in far right dummy button)
-OEM Euro Switch
-5 channel sound system
Amp: NVX JAD900.5
Front Speakers: Morel Maximo 6 Component
Rear Speakers: Morel Maximo 6 Component
Subwoofer: JL Audio 10w3v3-2 in SRQ Customs Sidemount Enclosure
4ga power wire, 16ga speaker wire, Head unit coded via VAGCOM to Dynaudio Sound System preamp outputs

VAGCOM:
-Gauge Sweep
-Windows up/down via keyfob
-Fogs as cornering lights
-Disable rear wiper in reverse
-Front wiper teardrop
-Coded LED tail lights
-Coded LED Parking/City lights

Noteworthy maintenance (starting at 54k when I purchased the car, not including routine maintenance):
-62k: I replaced the transmission oil with Motul Gear 300 75W90. It felt a littler notchier than OEM when cold but great when warmed up.
-65k: My water pump was leaking so VW replaced it for free at 65k.
-65k: A few days later the car felt like it was missing and threw a CEL so I took it to the dealer (before I owned VAGCOM) and they diagnosed and replaced a fuel injector for free. They noted heavy carbon build-up on the intake valves (no surprise there).
-72k: Bleed clutch & brakes. Removed the flow restrictor in the clutch line. This made a nice difference in how the clutch engaged.
-74k: The car threw codes P2015, P0088, P2279, & P2187 read via VAGCOM. I checked the intake manifold and the flap actuator arm was popped out of place. Took it to the dealer and they replaced the intake manifold for Free.99.
-74k: I had the dealership do the intake valve carbon cleaning. I was going to tackle this myself but paid 2hrs labor for them to do it while they replaced the intake manifold. The tech said they desperately needed cleaning. That, and the intake manifold replacement, resolved some hesitation issues I had ~4k rpm and made the car feel as though it was running much healthier.
-76k: Replaced the OEM battery in Oct. 2016--5years and eight months after the car’s build date.

Future Mods:
-Full timing system replacement. I plan on keeping this car for a long time.
-Vinyl wrap
-DIY RSR Clutch kit
-Stage II Tune
-Brakes???


Please bear with me as I add some pictures of how the car currently sits as well as the modifications I have pictures for.
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Last edited by Tony48; 10-30-2017 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:26 PM   #2
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Here’s the car on the lot the day I bought it. I had never even driven a manual before. Now I can't imagine driving auto again.


I slapped on gloss black emblems and went APR stage I to start my modifications. Then I picked up a Magnaflow catback from a local(ish) forum member. It cleaned up and installed easily.


K&N Cold Air intake went in a few days later. Picked it up for a good deal. All new stainless hardware for the intake.
IMAG0041_zpswolz52jl

Koni yellow’s and H&R Sport springs installed. Bought them on the forum classifieds. Fender Screw mod was needed immediately.


Stock vs. new ride height (w/10mm front & 15mm rear spacers)



LED Tails and Klii Maryland flag rear emblem insert


Pictures someone took at Cars & Coffee

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Last edited by Tony48; 08-24-2017 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:54 PM   #3
whitewolf33
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looks good
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Old 01-05-2017, 09:02 AM   #4
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Euro cup holder and hardwired USB charger going in. I bought the Double Apex style USB charger interface from China for ~$20. I bought a separate 12v to 5v usb charger and cannibalized the wiring to get it to work. This took more work than expected because the wiring harness that came with piece from china had a broken/disconnected wire somewhere. It was a total PITA but well worth the final product.




I didn't like the two self-tapping screws in the plastic body so I replaced with this volvo license plate bracket. Now the plate goes on/off easily and won't scratch or vibrate the bumper. It's basically a stud conversion for the license plate



LED City Lights for less than $15/shipped. Coded them out via Vagcom.



Picked up a Carbon Fiber OEM-style lip for $40 locally. The bottom is a bit scraped up but it looks perfect installed. The lip is the same as this one from ECS. 5x Speed Nut (OEM part# N90959101) and 9x Screw (OEM part# N90974701) are needed for install which takes 10min.



Decided my ezpass was too intrusive to the eye so I plasti-dipped it. Turned out better than I expected. It's all but invisible from the outside now. Small things like this, and removing the airbag warnings from the visors, really clean up the interior.



Received a few gifts for Christmas! Dieselgeek Sigma 6, ECS Tuning Boost Gauge, and 034 Motorsports Billet Dogbone Insert. I was thoroughly impressed by the quality of all 3 pieces.



Vent drilled for boost gauge wires. I added a 1/2" grommet to make it look professional. No one will ever see it but it makes me happy knowing it's there . Boost hose is pulled through the firewall by poking a hole in the main engine wiring harness rubber boot behind the battery box. My 4ga amp power wire runs through there as well. I stuffed the extra wiring, inline filter, and electronic boost sender thing above/behind the hood release handle trim.



Dieselgeek SS installed. This thing is definitely notchy and it takes more force to get the car in gear but I love the direct, positive feeling and reduced throw. Not to mention it's gorgeous.


Monster Truck mode aka 034 dogbone insert being installed. Took longer to get the car on jack stands than to install the insert. Yes, working on gravel sucks.
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Old 01-05-2017, 09:55 AM   #5
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5ch Sound System
I've updated this post with some pictures from installing my sound system. I did a lot of learning and made some avoidable mistakes along the way so hopefully the pictures will help someone out. I'll gladly answer any questions anyone has about popping trim off, using a filter to combat the DC offset on the head unit signal, coding for Dynaudio, etc. A photo overview is posted in this thread; for the full album click here.

This is the most in depth system I've installed. Previously I've replaced speakers, head units, and added amps/subwoofers, all at separate times. My goals for this system were to get more tight, low end grunt, increase clarity at high volume, retain the spare tire, and leave the interior/hatch area unaffected which meant retaining my stock RNS-315 headunit. I found out that I could pull 2 channels (L + R) of line-level output from the head unit if I VAGCOM'd it for Dynaudio. This would give me a nice, flat signal that didn't have any wonky equalization (this dude measured the output signal). Unfortunately this had it's own host of problems, namely ~6v DC present. My amp didn't like the DC offset so I had to add a grounded DC blocking circuit between the head unit output and the amp input. I chose an NVX JAD900.5 5 channel amp which has a feature that creates 4 full range output channels and 1 subwoofer output. From there it was all running wire, installing speakers, sound deadening, and tuning. This took around a month during which I drove around for a significant portion without door panels and had to open the door by pulling on the latch wire.

Here's a list of the main hardware I used:
-Amp: NVX JAD900.5
-Front Speakers: Morel Maximo 6 Components
-Rear Speakers: Boston Acoustics S65 RC (I had these lying around)
-Subwoofer: JL Audio 10w3v3 2ohm
-Subwoofer Enclosure: SRQ Customs 10" side mount enclosure
-Wiring: 4ga power (I needed ~15ft), 2 channel RCA (20ft), 16ga speaker, Speaker to RCA Adapter, "Add-a-fuse" for remote turn on, VW speaker wire harness

Wires are run in the following places:
Driver's side: 4ga power, remote turn on, Driver Front speaker, Driver Rear speaker, Remote bass control
Passenger's side: 2 channel RCA's, Passenger front speaker, Passenger rear speaker

Installed system pictures:
IMG_20170106_163304_zpsnaszpjfm by Tony G, on Flickr
IMG_20170106_163311_zpsombtvlo1 by Tony G, on Flickr

IMG_20170106_163414_zpsexocatfs by Tony G, on Flickr
IMG_20170106_163407_zps685cgkcp by Tony G, on Flickr
IMG_20161231_155728_zpsursdm0eo by Tony G, on Flickr

Amp Rack: The amp rack is made from ⅜” birch plywood (what I had laying around) and raised off the hatch floor by ” to allow wires to run underneath. It’s carpeted with Ford Dark Heather carpet (a perfect OEM match to my eye). The amp rack replaces most of the driver’s side underfloor foam piece. I chopped the top of the OEM piece off on the bandsaw so it could be retained for storage. Yes, I carpet color-matched something that goes below the hatch subfloor. Because I'm OCD like that and I can.
IMAG0418_zpshv4sakiz by Tony G, on Flickr
IMAG0419_zps5y9cbacn by Tony G, on Flickr
IMAG0453_zpsl0aasiil by Tony G, on Flickr
IMAG0449_zps5zt51yko by Tony G, on Flickr

Speaker Install & Wiring: Speaker spacers are made from plywood. ” for the front (the minimum needed for 2.5” deep speakers) and ⅜” for the rear. There’s plenty of backmount space for the rears. I rattle canned them black for some water protection.
IMAG0449_zps5zt51yko by Tony G, on Flickr
IMAG0423_zpsfs39agku by Tony G, on Flickr

I drilled out the rivets holding the stock speakers in and then drilled the mounting holes for 8-32 rubber wellnuts. These worked perfectly. I applied some vinyl self adhesive weather stripping before putting the spacers on with stainless hardware.
IMAG0488_zpsppxtrxof by Tony G, on Flickr
IMAG0490_zpsixqwyvwq by Tony G, on Flickr

Tweeters mounted right up in the factory sail panels with a little bit of rubber cement.
IMAG0496_zpseil2lqwf by Tony G, on Flickr

I ran each speaker wire through it's accompanying door's rubber “accordion” piece where the stock wiring is run. This required drilling out the bottom of the molex connectors to pass the 16ga wire through. This was actually quite easy but finessing the wire through the accordion pieces and reconnecting the molex connectors was a bit time consuming.
IMAG0500_zpskacnugq6 by Tony G, on Flickr
IMAG0502_zpsig8xk1a5 by Tony G, on Flickr

Front passenger door being wired up. The crossover is mounted with industrial velcro in the lower right of the pic.
IMAG0502_zpsig8xk1a5 by Tony G, on Flickr

Front Driver’s door wiring complete and ready for sound deadening (which I do not have pics of). I learned through trial and error that you should focus deadening in the area around the midbass driver. Make sure you also deaden that area on the plastic door card well.
IMAG0509_zpstnxt19u7 by Tony G, on Flickr

Amp Wiring: The power wire is run through the firewall with the main engine harness. There are small pieces that look like cow udders on the rubber boot. You can cut the tip off and run the wire through there. Otherwise just push a coat hanger through with the wire taped to it (that’s what I did for the boost gauge).
IMAG0463_zpsleidceyz by Tony G, on Flickr

The wire bundles on the passenger’s and driver’s sides of the car pass under the rear seats (passenger side pictured). I went back and put expandable braided sleeving over both of the bundles (you can see the sleeving over the bundles in the 2nd and 3rd pics).

IMAG0516_zpsf57kbnsq by Tony G, on Flickr
IMAG0517_zps324uzneo by Tony G, on Flickr
IMAG0518_zps1kmcn8pr by Tony G, on Flickr

Subwoofer & Enclosure: I was impressed by the quality of the piece from SRQ customs. Thick fiberglass and a nice carpet job. I had to drill a hole for the wire to enter.
IMAG0528_zpspbsesdmk by Tony G, on Flickr
IMAG0529_zpskgzirfqw by Tony G, on Flickr
IMG_20170106_163414_zpsexocatfs by Tony G, on Flickr

Last edited by Tony48; 08-24-2017 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 01-14-2017, 02:44 PM   #6
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A few quick updates:
1. I had my front fenders rolled so I can run the 10mm spacers up front without rubbing. Dude had me in and out in 30 mins and did a great job. Now I'm ready for when I decide to upgrade my wheels. I'll most likely end up with something that's 18x8 ET45. I had to cut about 1.5" off of the outer edge of the fender liners. Hopefully this doesn't lead to a lot of dirt making its way into my engine bay.
2. I picked up a Forge Twintercooler from someone locally. I'll be installing it next week. One step closer to being ready for stage II.


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Old 01-28-2017, 09:16 PM   #7
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Got the Forge twintercooler installed yesterday. My first thought was that it looks pretty badass. Install was easy enough and required a bit of trimming on the silicone hoses. As well documented, be careful putting in the lower bolt on the passenger side. The AC lines are very close. I thought I was well clear but the screw just grazed the line. Luckily no harm done. Car went back together easily and everything ran as it should. I noticed no difference in turbo lag or drop in boost pressure. Unfortunately I didn't bother doing intake air temperature logs before install so I have nothing to compare to. Eye candy:





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Old 02-12-2017, 11:50 AM   #8
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Lower grille temporarily removed while I attempt to retrofit a golf bar-style grille. I'm very tempted to leave the front plate off.

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Old 02-28-2017, 11:28 PM   #9
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Some progress photos of the custom lower grille. I'll update when I have it reinstalled.
IMG_20170226_011340 by Tony G
IMG_20170222_212104 by Tony G
Test fit
IMG_20170225_145538 by Tony G
Being painted in my professional paint booth
IMG_20170227_195200 by Tony G

I wet sanded and polished my fog lenses while I had the front bumper off
IMG_20170225_170103 by Tony G

Replaced my eBay tails that had 4 burned out LED's with a pair of Depo's I purchased from forum member coleminer. Thanks again, bud!
IMG_20170226_144344 by Tony G

I also picked up a DeAutoKey LED fog kit & euro switch from user charrigan. He was a pleasure to purchase from so you should go buy the other stuff he has for sale! The switch & trigger wire got installed but I'm waiting until I take the front bumper off again to mount the LED ballasts and resistors.
IMG_20170226_204907 by Tony G
IMG_20170226_170408 by Tony G

I ordered some 3M 1080 vinyl in gloss black metallic in hopes it will match well enough to use on my side markers.


Lastly, I'm trying to find some inspiration for my upcoming vinyl wrap and wheel purchase. Here's what I like so far:


Paired with black Sparco Assetto Gara's 18x8 ET48


I also like this blue. Decisions, decisions. Feedback and suggestions welcomed! I'd appreciate suggestions for vinyl/wheel combos!
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Old 03-05-2017, 04:40 PM   #10
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Nice build so far. and for the color wrap opt. Id choose the blue. But love them both!

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Old 03-05-2017, 06:23 PM   #11
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The orange/black
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Old 03-06-2017, 01:47 PM   #12
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Always been a big fan of the orange Fahrenheit models so my vote would be for the orange/black combo. The blue is also nice though. I guess another way to look at things is do you want your car to stand out (orange) or blend in a bit (blue)?
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Old 03-06-2017, 02:11 PM   #13
Tony48
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Thanks for the opinions, guys!
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodTimesIndeed View Post
Always been a big fan of the orange Fahrenheit models so my vote would be for the orange/black combo. The blue is also nice though. I guess another way to look at things is do you want your car to stand out (orange) or blend in a bit (blue)?
These are my thoughts exactly. I love the orange/black because it reminds me of of the Fahrenheit models. Plus I think the matte orange looks awesome with gloss black roof & wheels.

But I'm not sure I want to become that much of a cop magnet (hence the blue).

In other news, the modified lower grille should be going in this weekend along with the LED fogs. It's gonna be pretty cold out but I can't wait any longer. Fingers crossed the snow holds off! Pictures to come.
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Old 03-09-2017, 09:04 AM   #14
St3ph3nsvw12GTI
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So I see that you did a nice speaker upgrade. I might be looking at doing a sub in the back. Did you runs lines from the head unit?

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