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Old 11-10-2010, 10:35 AM   #1
Bender
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Bender Builds a Backroad Burner

I am of the opinion that a lot of modding takes place in a haphazard fashion. I know this because I used to do the same thing. To combat this, I have taken my time even deciding what exactly it is that I want to modify.

This past Saturday, after a very aggressive drive, I came to some conclusions.

1) Power isn't my biggest problem. My buddies could pull away from me, from a stop, if they were flooring it (Heavily Modified RSX-S and Heavily Modified Volvo S60 R), but in general I can keep up just fine. Our torque curve is spectacular and at speed, I could easily keep up with more powerful cars. At 50 in third, I was faster and had far more usable power.

2) I started to loose confidence in my brakes during the very last part of the drive. Nothing to be concerned about, still better than my last car, but it was noticeable. That said, it was a 2 hour aggressive drive on twisty twist back roads. Fade was inevitable.

3) I was out driving my tires long before I was out driving anything else.

I am older and wiser than I once was so my attitude to tuning has changed a bit as well. A couple of years ago, I would have wanted to blow them away in pure speed. Though that would be fairly easy, its not the best use of time or funds. In fact, it would only exasperate issues number 2 and 3. If anything, on a drive like this past Saturday's, I would go from dominate member of the pack, to equal. Its a performance upgrade that would result in little gains in the real world type of 8/10ths driving that I do UNLESS I addressed these other concerns as well.

In my line of business, the first thing you have to do is identify the largest risk area. Once that is identified, you attack it and move down the line.

In our cars that risk area, arguably, is blow-by and the lack of a catch can. Following that, I have identified brakes and tires as the next risk areas.

That leaves me with the following modding path:

1) Catch Can - this won't do anything but save my engine and I know its need is debatable. I am not sure if I need it, but it would make me more comfortable. The Forge product intrigues me, but I am not sold yet.

2) Stainless Steel Brake Lines and High Performance brake fluid. I would be totally shocked if my brake issues were due to heat build up in the rotor. Its possible but, in my mind, doubtful. When rotors must be replaced it would seem natural to go with slotted or drilled, but I don't think its needed before then. I strongly suspect my fade issues late in the day on Saturday were a line issue. Replacing with stainless steel lines and switching to a higher performance fluid should solve the issue. Hawk Pads might be called for down the line, but the car is my daily driver (usually) and doing that might have ramifications for cold performance.

3) Tires. This is, in a sense, a higher priority than Brakes. That said, I have it as secondary to brakes because I am cheap and can certainly get another 10k out of my current rubber. I will lump rims in this section as well but ONLY if I can find something light weight and attractive. If so it would need to be fairly significant weight savings (5 pounds or so, per rim) to justify it.. This will be done in the spring. I LOVE the BBS RGR but I love my marriage more, so it will probably not be them. Any wheels will be 17s. Period.

I hear some of you screaming. I have yet to mention the two most popular tuning paths for this (and really all European or Japanese) car. I haven't mentioned a tune or suspension modifications.

This is extremely intentional.

I want a tune. Every morning I wake up and feel the weight of wanting a tune on my back. As I drive by AWE, when running around town, I feel myself and my car being drawn to it. Yet it hasn't happened yet... I have only myself to blame. I have been working so much that I haven't had a chance to do it. So... when will it happen? I don't know. Though I am critical of "off plan" modding (especially when the mod addresses something that isn't a risk), I can tell you it will happen at some point, in a seemingly random fashion. When I have a day off, it will happen and it will make brake upgrades and tire upgrades all that much more impactful.

Suspension - the great debate. I am not convinced that suspension modification is necessary or wise. There are obvious and significant appearance benefits, but I am a "go" before "show" kind of guy (show is nice, but not if it impacts my performance). In real driving (not talking going fast on exit ramps) there is some body roll, but its impact is minimal. Turn in is great. Steering feel is well balanced (exceptionally so for a fwd). If I did do suspension at some point, it would be the H&R sways and the H&R Street Performance Coil Overs. Matching proper springs with proper dampers is a chore that I do not want to go through anymore, and never gives you the same results as coil overs.

Other stuff - I still see some blank stares in the audience. So let me address those points:

1) Living in the Mid-Atlantic, you are right, an S3 intercooler is a must. This is a "to-do" but might not get done in Spring - Summer 2011. I would like it to, but who knows.
2) Intake - it is unlikely I will put a CAI on in the near future. Possible, but unlikely. I will get one when I go stage two or K04 (spring 2012, most likely).
3) Downpipe - Same as Intake, but more likely. Potentially next summer
4) Cat-back - I am going to avoid getting one. If someone is designing one that is quite under normal circumstances, then I would jump on it.
5) Any appearance mods? YES - Tint is already done and I am considering black roof vinyl.
6) Why the long timeline? Two car payments, mortgage, another project car, and a wife getting her PHD = money doesn't flow all that freely at the Bender household. Anyone want to give me a higher paying job? I am damn good at what I do.

So thats the plan. I am always open to comments/criticism/suggestion, so let me have it if you have any. This certainly won't be the flashiest build, but I suspect it will be one of the best paths for people to mimic if they want a badass backroad burner that is a daily driver all while having to face the monetary challenges of the real world.








UPDATE 1.5: http://www.golfmk6.com/forums/showpo...&postcount=269
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:57 AM   #2
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Sounds like a very good approach; subscribing to watch this one.

FYI take a look at USP Motorsport for SS Brake lines; they make the best ones I've seen to date at a really good price
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:12 AM   #3
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Thanks man! I am trying to take a measured reasonable approach.

I see they do a stainless clutch line as well - any experience with that?
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:15 AM   #4
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never knew you didnt even have a tune..
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:37 AM   #5
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Bender,
I completely agree with you on how many modifications take place haphazardly; no rhyme or reason behind decisions. That being said, I'd nonetheless pick up some used parts as they become available (assuming they're close to the original order of your build).
Definitely interested to see everything unfold.
Btw, I'm not chipped yet either!
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:55 AM   #6
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GREAT point - if a deal comes around I shouldn't skip it just because it is out of the plan.
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Old 11-10-2010, 12:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bender View Post
Thanks man! I am trying to take a measured reasonable approach.

I see they do a stainless clutch line as well - any experience with that?
I have DSG so no clutch lines, but after looking at their brake lines I would expect it to be really solid as well
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Old 11-10-2010, 12:02 PM   #8
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Also, as I just posted in another thread, the OZ Alleggerita HLT are my favorite lightweight + affordable wheel as of lately. I actually still want some in 17" size.
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Old 11-10-2010, 12:30 PM   #9
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Brakes are this cars weak point. On my last car, I added SS lines and Motul RBF 600 and wow, what a difference it made, almost no fade. I’m too old for coils. I had KW V2’s on my last car and while great, too harsh a ride. I’m surprised they’re something you would consider.
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:08 PM   #10
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I should have emphasized the "if" in that part of the post.

I don't like to do springs on their own because of the wear they put on the stock dampers. Doing 25k a year means I would be doing shock/struts every year if I was lowered.
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:11 PM   #11
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* May I suggest new brake fluid only; Then re-evaluate the stainless lines.
* What tires are you running currently?

I'm on Kumho LX Platinum - they've done well enough so far, and are progressive after they warm up - but they begin to 'whirr' quite a bit when they get hot. They don't squeal or squirm much though.
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:15 PM   #12
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Good thought on the brake fluid.

I am running the stock Contis but will be going to my beloved Continental ExtremeContact DWS (or DW if i get new rims and will run winters on my current rims).
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bender View Post
I should have emphasized the "if" in that part of the post.

I don't like to do springs on their own because of the wear they put on the stock dampers. Doing 25k a year means I would be doing shock/struts every year if I was lowered.
Agreed. Instead of going the coilover route again, I will be doing Koni Yellows. I have combined them with H&R springs in the past and found this to be an excellent combo.
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:19 PM   #14
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i prefered Bilstein mono tube over my dual tube Koni Yellows. I didnt like how the Konis were only adjustable in one direction of flow. The KGB AGX I tried were also just as good as the Bilsteins, with more adjustability. All 3 on the same car.
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