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Old 10-20-2015, 03:08 PM   #29
franco516
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get a set of used coilovers.
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Old 10-20-2015, 03:38 PM   #30
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The XB really seems to be the consensus huh? I guess I don't fold down my seats that often, but the idea of having to take it apart is a little off-putting. I do like the idea of the car being a little more stiff at the rear though. I've heard a lot of different things about the effects of the UB, so if anyone could give me some feedback on that as well it would be much appreciated.

As for the springs, I'm glad to hear some good things about the VWRs if I end up going that route. I would have to look into the TT pads as well, since I definitely don't want a reverse rake. Though considering I'm on a relative budget here, how necessary is it to get new struts? One of the things I liked about the DGs is that they were made for the OEM ones, so I didn't have to worry about driving around on them if it took me awhile to get around to changing the struts.

Franco, I definitely thought about going the coilover route. I nearly jumped on a set of Konis a couple weeks ago. The issue is I do have to drive in the city sometimes, and I'm a bit worried about going so low. I know the Konis can be spun to a high-ish ride height, but then I started reading that the springs would sag at higher heights so I decided to just pass. Coilovers also tend to be a bit more on the pricey side. While I am upgrading various things little by little, I would like to go Stage 2 sometime next year (with an upgraded clutch to boot haha).
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Old 10-20-2015, 04:21 PM   #31
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It's finally time to get started on the suspension! On the last GTI, I had Neuspeed sport springs that came with the car. While they definitely had a nice drop to them and handled great, the ride was a little bouncy on the highway and didn't handle local roads so well either. Frankly, I kind of liked the idea of having a suspension that doesn't beat you up.

That being said, while I love the softer ride, I desperately miss the handling ability of the old car. I've been doing my best to get my hands on a set of DG springs, but given that they're sold out for 2 doors, it's proving somewhat difficult. While I'm waiting for a used set, the suspension definitely needs an upgrade somewhere. To that end, I picked up a 22mm H&R rear sway last night from another forum member.

I've read some good things about the Unibraces (UB + XB), but I'd probably only go with one or the other at the moment. I like the idea of the UB not being so invasive, so I'm leaning towards that. Otherwise, if I can't get my hands on a set of DG springs, does anyone have any opinions about the VWR ones? I've read through most of the threads comparing the two, and it seems to me that the general consensus is that the VWR ones don't ride as well as the DG ones? I'm really looking for a light drop, so I don't want to be too low. It's more about comfort and handling. Any thoughts would be much appreciated!
why not get a matching front sway before doing anything else, im on stock springs with just really stiff sways and a WALK and mine outhandles cheap coilovers or springs and dampers, and still feels stock in a straight line.
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Old 10-20-2015, 04:31 PM   #32
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why not get a matching front sway before doing anything else, im on stock springs with just really stiff sways and a WALK and mine outhandles cheap coilovers or springs and dampers, and still feels stock in a straight line.
Honestly, I really hadn't heard anybody running a setup like that, so I had never really considered it. That's actually a really interesting idea. I could do the UB and XB, 26mm front and 22mm rear H&R sways, and an ALK and call it a day. I'm actually pretty curious as to how that setup would work.
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Old 10-20-2015, 05:06 PM   #33
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The XB really seems to be the consensus huh? I guess I don't fold down my seats that often, but the idea of having to take it apart is a little off-putting. I do like the idea of the car being a little more stiff though at the rear. I've heard a lot of different things about the effects of the UB, so if anyone could give me some feedback on that as well it would be much appreciated.

As for the springs, I'm glad to hear some good things about the VWRs if I end up going that route. I would have to look into the TT pads as well, since I definitely don't want a reverse rake. Though considering I'm on a relative budget here, how necessary is it to get new struts? One of the things I liked about the DGs is that they were made for the OEM ones, so I didn't have to worry about driving around on them if it took me awhile to get around to changing the struts.

Franco, I definitely thought about going the coilover route. I nearly jumped on a set of Konis a couple weeks ago. The issue is I do have to drive in the city sometimes, and I'm a bit worried about going really low. I know the Konis can be spun to a high-ish ride height, but then I started reading that the springs would sag at higher heights so I decided to just pass. Coilovers also tend to be a bit more on the pricey side. While I am upgrading various things little by little, I would like to go Stage 2 sometime next year (with an upgraded clutch to boot haha).
New struts or not, depends on the number of miles your stock ones have on them. If fairly new (<10k) miles, you could retain them, but they will eventually go bad, be it VWR or DG.
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Old 10-20-2015, 05:15 PM   #34
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New struts or not, depends on the number of miles your stock ones have on them. If fairly new (<10k) miles, you could retain them, but they will eventually go bad, be it VWR or DG.
Fair enough. I bought my car used a few months ago and it's currently right around 28k miles. I guess I may hold off on the springs/struts for awhile then.

I'll have to do more research on the Superpro vs. Whiteline argument, but it's definitely an interesting mod. For now though, I think I'm gonna focus on the Unibraces and the sway bars, unless someone has more suggestions. I know everyone has different opinions/feelings on where to go, but I wouldn't mind gathering everyone's opinions and doing some research before I make my final decisions.
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Old 10-26-2015, 10:38 AM   #35
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So I've decided to take a bit of a different tact with this build then I had originally planned. My original thought for this car was to really build it - full suspension, Stage 2 (until I could save for K04), wheels, etc. However, the more I thought about it, I realized that the car I would have created, though awesome, would not have really fit my needs.

First and foremost, this car is a commuter. Primarily I take it to the train, but on quite a few occasions I have had to brave the tortured pavement in NYC to get to work. That being said, it makes little sense to me to drop the car from where it is now, since we all know the damage potholes can do. Outside of this, I use the car for the occasional road trip and some weekend driving. Rarely will I have the time to really explore the full benefits of a Stage 2 car, especially given the amount of time it would take me to save the money to purchase the parts I'm after. I would love nothing more than to go balls to the wall on this build and make it everything I want it to be, but at this point it just doesn't make a lot of sense. That being said, there is nothing stopping me from changing this again in the future - I can always buy a downpipe and go Stage 2, or even skip right to K04. Maybe at some point it won't be an issue to drop the car, and I'll toss on a set of coils. For that reason, I don't see this as an end of the line type build, but rather one that progresses differently as my needs from the car change.

To that effect, I have placed my brand new, never installed, AWE downpipe up for sale. Depending on if I can find a reasonably priced Neuspeed catback (for a little more sound), my AWE catback will follow. Instead of focusing on springs or coils, I plan on going for the two bigger Unibraces (UB and XB), H&R sways (22mm rear, 26mm front), and the Superpro WALK kit (if anyone has the exact part #, this would be much appreciated). I still plan on doing Stage 1 at the least, so power won't be neglected. I'd love to source a set of nice BBS CO/CH/CKs, though I haven't found too many local sets. I figure the best way to handle the car right now is to make it a balanced, fun daily driver. I may upgrade the brakes at some point as well.

I honestly see this car as a blank canvas, with so many different parts and ideas that I can't possibly know or fully understand the effect of each of them. For that reason, I am totally open to any suggestions or opinions anyone may have.
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Old 10-30-2015, 08:56 AM   #36
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Just a small update until install day this Sunday...

I got quite a few new parts in the mail yesterday. First up is a US Millworks Quick Release plate bracket. The OEM one that came with my car had been drilled crooked and was driving me nuts. I know the offset license plate isn't for everyone, but I think if it's done right it looks pretty cool.

In a separate package came my H&R 22mm rear sway and an AWE Boost gauge with APR boost tap. Ended up getting a pretty good deal on both and I'm excited to have picked them up.

To top it all off, I put both my brand new AWE Downpipe and my previous AWE Catback up for sale. The downpipe is still around, but the catback is gone as of this morning. Replacing it will be a Neuspeed Catback I purchased last night. It should be here sometime this coming week. I loved the AWE stuff, but over time I decided I just wanted to go with something louder across the board. That being said, the fitment and sound of the AWE stuff is fantastic. I couldn't recommend their products more.

I'll make sure to put up some pictures when I start swapping stuff around.
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Old 11-02-2015, 10:07 AM   #37
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So I finally got around to doing some things over the weekend. The AWE Catback sold a few hours after I threw up the ad, so getting it off the car took first priority. Since I needed something to get the car in the air, I headed to Autozone early Sunday morning to grab a pair of RhinoRamps. I know people have mixed feelings about them, but I felt more comfortable having the car sit on something solid than I did if it was up on jack stands. That being said, I grabbed a set of the heavy-duty versions (supposedly good for vehicles up to 16,000 lbs) and got to work. The whole job took about 1.5 hours since my friend and I had some issues getting to the bolts on the sleeve. The shop that had previously done my exhaust rotated the sleeve in such a way that the bolts were angled up into the tunnel, making it incredibly difficult to get a socket into that space. There was the normal rust covering as well, but the bolts turned pretty easily once we soaked them in some WD-40. The hangers were a piece of cake, minus the one at the back on the passenger side. I ended up following plac's video and just unbolting the whole assembly; it makes that piece so easy it's a joke. All in all it wasn't too bad, and 2 Idiots Garage got paid!

Since the replacement Neuspeed catback won't be in until later this week, We decided not to go through the hassle of putting on the stock catback for a few days and having to take it off again. As a result, the GTI has been relegated to the driveway for the week and the Volvo will take on daily driver duties. That in itself should be interesting, given there's some sort of issue I haven't been able to figure out where the switch for the headlights no longer activates any of the interior or dash lighting.

Once that was done, we decided to throw on the new US Millworks Plate Bracket. It really is a high quality piece, and it looks great on the car. In the picture, the front hasn't been scrubbed clean of the residue from the OEM bracket, but once I get around to cleaning it I'll make sure to take another picture with the bumper plugs installed.

Before the Neuspeed goes on, I figure I'll take the time to install the new rear sway just to give myself a little extra room to work. I'll probably work on getting the boost gauge in this weekend. It's a little more invasive than I realized, so I just want to give myself time to do the whole thing right.

I'm still going back and forth on whether to join the group buy and pickup either a Unibrace UB or XB. I like the idea of stiffening the chassis up a bit and having the install be less invasive, but from what I've read the XB has a much more pronounced effect on how the car feels. However, if I end up going with the XB, will the combination of a rear sway and the XB being in the rear with no upgrades to the front (I'm not ready to drop the subframe to install a front sway) cause the handling to have too much of a rear bias? I was thinking that there could be the potential for an effect similar to that of having an overly stiff rear sway where the car becomes dangerously tail happy in certain situations. If anyone has any thoughts on that, I'd definitely appreciate it.







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Old 11-04-2015, 06:00 PM   #38
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Just took the plunge - got in on the Unibrace group buy and got myself a UB. I decided to wait on the XB and see how the car feels with just the rear sway and UB. I want to be able to feel how the car's handling changes with each incremental improvement.
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Old 11-16-2015, 01:24 PM   #39
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Got quite a few things done this weekend. The AWE Boost Gauge went in first without too many problems. Wiring up the gauge was the biggest pain in the neck given that the gauge I bought didnít come with any connectors, but after a couple trips to home depot I finally got everything together and running. I really love being able to see how the car reacts when I get on the gas, not to mention it looks awesome.

Next up, the Neuspeed Catback I bought on here finally arrived. Due to timing issues, the car sat for two weeks between when I sold the AWE and when Fedex finally felt like getting the Neuspeed here. Install ended up being super easy (maybe 15 minutes in total), especially given that taking it off took 1.5 hours (connector sleeve was placed upside down). Once it was on there, I had to stop and take a second to stare at the rear end. The car just looks so much more aggressive with this exhaust, I couldnít believe it. As for the sound, I personally think it's nearly perfect. Itís not too loud when cruising, but the second you get on it the whole system really comes alive. Iíve been making excuses to go to the store all weekend just so I can keep hearing it. This thing definitely puts a smile on my face!

The last thing I threw on was somewhat of an afterthought to my plans. After coming across the thread on here about the eBay clutch stop, I figured for $10 Iíd give it a shot. Turns out, it actually makes a pretty big difference in how the car drives. This being my first manual transmission car, I never realized how much extra pedal travel there was past the engagement point. Thanks to this little piece, shifting is not only faster, but so much easier. For anyone with an MT, itís definitely worth a look.

I plan on doing the sway bar and the Unibrace UB (which is coming in tomorrow) sometime during the week. A friend begged me to wait so they could be there for it, so I held off (at least on the RSB) for the weekend. I canít wait to see how much the handling improves with those mods. The car definitely has too much body roll for me right now going through turns.

I havenít had a chance to take any pictures yet, but Iíll try to snap a few quick ones tonight.
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Old 11-16-2015, 02:57 PM   #40
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Got quite a few things done this weekend. The AWE Boost Gauge went in first without too many problems. Wiring up the gauge was the biggest pain in the neck given that the gauge I bought didnít come with any connectors, but after a couple trips to home depot I finally got everything together and running. I really love being able to see how the car reacts when I get on the gas, not to mention it looks awesome.

Next up, the Neuspeed Catback I bought on here finally arrived. Due to timing issues, the car sat for two weeks between when I sold the AWE and when Fedex finally felt like getting the Neuspeed here. Install ended up being super easy (maybe 15 minutes in total), especially given that taking it off took 1.5 hours (connector sleeve was placed upside down). Once it was on there, I had to stop and take a second to stare at the rear end. The car just looks so much more aggressive with this exhaust, I couldnít believe it. As for the sound, I personally think it's nearly perfect. Itís not too loud when cruising, but the second you get on it the whole system really comes alive. Iíve been making excuses to go to the store all weekend just so I can keep hearing it. This thing definitely puts a smile on my face!

The last thing I threw on was somewhat of an afterthought to my plans. After coming across the thread on here about the eBay clutch stop, I figured for $10 Iíd give it a shot. Turns out, it actually makes a pretty big difference in how the car drives. This being my first manual transmission car, I never realized how much extra pedal travel there was past the engagement point. Thanks to this little piece, shifting is not only faster, but so much easier. For anyone with an MT, itís definitely worth a look.

I plan on doing the sway bar and the Unibrace UB (which is coming in tomorrow) sometime during the week. A friend begged me to wait so they could be there for it, so I held off (at least on the RSB) for the weekend. I canít wait to see how much the handling improves with those mods. The car definitely has too much body roll for me right now going through turns.

I havenít had a chance to take any pictures yet, but Iíll try to snap a few quick ones tonight.
That's a lot of progress for a weekend! I agree with you totally on the ebay clutch-stop. It's brilliant!
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Old 11-16-2015, 03:20 PM   #41
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Nice progress for sure. You'll really like the addition of the rear sway bar. At low speed and through the twisties it certainly makes the rear more active (depending on setting) and planted. Its only at highway/higher speeds and maybe during hard pulls where you'll start to notice the unbalanced and "snappy" feeling. The front sway is definitely worth doing as well as the XB.
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Old 11-16-2015, 04:09 PM   #42
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Yeah, it had all kind of built up to the point that things just needed to go in. I started a new job a few months ago, so while that's given me the amazing ability to actually buy car parts, the long hours kinda leave me with very little time to actually put them in (out of my house at 5:45am, home around 7pm). With all the stuff I want to do, my weekends have to be productive or nothing gets done haha.
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