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2012 Deep Black Pearl 4dr Base Model GTI, or Veronica as I call her

mkv_martinez

Go Kart Champion
A short intro...

I've been immersed in the VW/Audi World for about 15 years now. Been to quite a few Show & Go, Waterfest, H20i (pre-hoodlums) and other VW/Audi-centric car meets over the years. I remember my first time being shown a modified MK4 GTI and I was never able to stop thinking about it.

Over the years the forums have always been entertaining & educational for me. I hope to contribute a bit back with my build-threads and other comments/input.

My goal with this car is to build an extremely solid, reliable, powerful stage 1 GTI. This basically means I want just about every bolt on other than exhaust & turbo.
While I dont think I will ever upgrade the turbo, I want to be fully ready to just throw a k03+ or something like that on here should I get impulsive one day.

I've had 2 GTI's before this. An MKV 4dr black GTI and an MK6 2dr White (build log here)

Last post in my old build thread shows pics of the accident that lead me to part ways with the car.

As for this new one... here is a photo with my wheels already on it:


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Car has 97,000 miles and was owned by my brother. Lots of the same modifications I had put on my previous car are already done here, so in a way its like a fresh start with a different chassis but a similar mod-list to what I was used to already.


As for the mods...


Already Done When I Got the Car

Performance:

OEM S3 Short Shifter (replaced)
034 motorsports dog bone mount bushings
BSH Speed Shop engine mounts (tranny, motor, dogbone)
Unitronic Intake
TurboSmart Mechanical Diverter valve
ECS Stainless Steel Brake Lines (Rear)
USP Stainless Steel Brake Lines (Front)
EBC yellow brake pads
EBC rotors


Accessories:

Black Sidemarker housings
COBB Shift Knob
Defi Stepmaster VS-2 digital boost gauge


Done by me

Performance:


Integrated Engineering stage 1 tune
Enkei wheels - General Gmax RS tires
Deka ext-30l 21lb battery
Southbend Stage 2 daily clutch
ECS Exact Fit Stainless Steel Clutch Line
IABED Rear Main Seal
ECS Clutch Bleeder Block
R8 Coil Packs
Bosch Double Platinum Spark Plugs (.032" gap)
APR Throttle Booster
ShopDAP Holy Shift Kit (short shifter)
APR Metal Shifter Cable Bracket

Non-Performance

Complete Timing Chain System (Chain, Tensioner, Guides/Rails, Covers & gaskets) (@ ~100k Miles)
Carbon Cleaning (With New Intake Manifold & Injector Gaskets) (@ ~100k Miles)
Metal Housing Water Pump (@ ~100k Miles)
Integrated Engineering Catch Can
ECS Tuning Universal Catch Can Drain System


Accessories:

De-Autokey Fog Lights (Yellow & White with Strobe)
De-Autokey Taillight LEDs (Reverse, Turn Signal & Brake lights)
De-Autokey Headlight LEDs (Turn Signals)
De-Autokey Red LED Interior Footwell Lights (With red rear-footwell lights)
ECS Carbon Fiber Rear Spoiler Extension
ECS Carbon Fiber Mirror Cap Set'
Rennline Exact Fit Magnetic Phone Mount
WeatherTech Side Window Deflectors


Wheels/Tires:

Spring/Summer/Fall:
17X8 ET45 Enkei Tuning TFR Copper Wheels
235/45ZR-17 General G-MAX RS SL Tires

Winter:
16x6.5 ET44 Steelie Wheels
205/55/16 General Altimax Artic Tires

On The Way Soon-ish:

ECS Charge Pipes + Turbo Muffler Delete
Dark Tint on Windows (Currently has Clear Ceramic Tints - Can't Stand the Lack of Privacy)


Plenty more to come as I progress with making the car my own.
 
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mkv_martinez

Go Kart Champion
Picked up the car from the mechanic last night.

New Southbend stage 2 daily clutch kit, IABED Rear Main Seal, ECS Stainless Steel Clutch line & ECS Clutch Bleeder Block all installed.

What a monumental difference all that makes. My last GTI had the same clutch and no RMS or Stainless line/Bleeder block (I had ECS motor/transmission mounts) and this car feels nothing like my old one. So much stiffer.
To the point where I wonder if I'm gonna like it long term comfort-wise. I'll have plenty of fun in racecar mode - but when stuck in traffic it may not be so much fun...


Getting quotes for timing chain, tensioner & guides replacement.. gotten the following prices in: $1,650, $2,000, $3,200 & $4,000.
All but the first claim to use only OEM parts. All sounded honest and like they knew what they were talking about so.... quite the range of prices.
Of course - the most expensive is the dealership price.
 

mkv_martinez

Go Kart Champion
Recently been trying to hunt for the cause of two issues I noted. Unsure if related.

I noticed my MPG wasn't as good as it should be. Changed plugs & coil packs the same day I threw on my winter wheels/tires.

In the following days I paid attention to how the car felt to see if it felt better and in paying close attention I noticed something didn't sound/feel right at about 60-70mph in 5th or 6th gear around 2,700RPM. Almost like what I imagine a misfire sounds/feels like. Very repetitive and rhythmic "lugging" type sound. Not only do I hear it, I feel it through my gas pedal.

I swapped my plugs & coil packs back to the old ones (coil packs first, then spark plugs - on different days) - issue still present after both changes.

I then noticed my car was ghost or self-revving when I came to a stop. From normal idle to about 1,100-1,400RPM. I know when that happened on my last GTI it was the manifold flappers.

Scanned for codes with VAGCOM cable - nothing alarming present.
No record of codes for misfires, lean state, knock or anything alarming there.

Checked my intake for loose clamps/connections - nothing there. Nothing appears loose on SAI or rear breather hose from PCV to intake either.
Checked my PCV by checking for suction on the oil cap - idle changed when oil cap removed and suction present
Oil level is good - recently changed after IABED RMS install
Cleaned MAF & IAT on separate days hoping a dirty sensor was the cause - no luck. Still need to clean MAP sensor.
One thing I have not yet checked is if I have any issues with stuck injectors. I know my last GTI had an issue with one being stuck open - i dont remember the issues/symptoms it caused though.

I am really hoping this is simply me not being used to the mounts on this GTI being more aggressive than the ones on my last GTI.

I have a few logs I tried taking last night - not really so well-versed with taking logs so I am not sure if I captured the data needed - but during both logs I felt the issue I am describing. From what I understand - it does not look like anything is out of wack on the logs; but I dont understand much about logging.

If anyone has any ideas on what to log to help look for my issue - it would be greatly appreciated. I will log anything necessary and available with VCDS.

Logs available here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ibk9WvGD2KOY0nI3JortNVgmgn4qVrTM?usp=sharing
 

GolNat

Autocross Champion
My car does the same and it eventually did pop a code for intake runner malfunction or something like that. Yours might not be bad enough to cause a CEL yet.
 

mkv_martinez

Go Kart Champion
My car does the same and it eventually did pop a code for intake runner malfunction or something like that. Yours might not be bad enough to cause a CEL yet.

That is what I am leaning towards.
Starting to notice a but of cold-start hesitation which is another symptom of Manifold flapper/runner failure.


I will have to look into what values I can log or check with vcds to confirm.
 

GolNat

Autocross Champion
That is what I am leaning towards.
Starting to notice a but of cold-start hesitation which is another symptom of Manifold flapper/runner failure.


I will have to look into what values I can log or check with vcds to confirm.

Yeah mine does some funky stuff on a cold start. Started minor and now it’s very noticeable. Isn’t intake runner flap position a measurable value?
 

mkv_martinez

Go Kart Champion
Took a few more logs and added to the folder:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ibk9WvGD2KOY0nI3JortNVgmgn4qVrTM?usp=sharing

I dont appear to see anything that seems out of wack - but then again I dont really know what I am looking at here.

Looks like my runner flaps are fine - specified vs actual seems to be close enough 99% of the time

Dont see any obvious boost leaks

Dont notice a high number of mis-fires in any rev-range

No idea how to interpret injection timing or timing retardation - any help on reading these logs would be greatly appreciated.

I attached a few pics of Injection Timing & Timing Retardation for reference
 

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mkv_martinez

Go Kart Champion
also got a little inspection cam and checked out a few cylinders while changing spark plugs

looks to me like 1 & 4 look great - was in a rush so I didn't move the pistons to get shots of 2 & 3

One day i'll have the guts to push the cam though the IAT hole and check my valves - gave it a small try but its a lot of wigging around and I got nervous i would ruin something in there...
 

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mkv_martinez

Go Kart Champion
No pics to post - but got a bit of maintenance done this weekend

Changed out the fuel filter with a fresh 6.6bar one. Was relatively simple and doesn't even take much space to get done. Jacked up passenger half of the car, un-did the screw holding the filter, un-did all 3 clips and capped the filter as I went so no gas leaked. I read posts of people getting gas sprayed in their face and stuff - no idea how that happens.
I made sure to do it in the morning after my car sat all night. I pushed it into position, jacked it up and did the work without turning it on - maybe I had much less pressure in the lines due to that than most other people...

Also cleaned out my Unitronic Intake air filter. Was not terribly dirty but was already cleaning the wifes cold air intake filter so I figured I'd get them both done while I was at it.

Lastly - got a fresh oil change done. Not sure what brand the mechanic at the shop put in after the RMS install so I wanted to make sure my usual oil was flowing.


One thing that came up this weekend as I changed the wifes sparkplugs - why do some cars coil packs bolt in, and others dont? Our GTI's coil packs simply press into place, but the mk7 has a screw that holds it in place; as does my wifes Veloster Turbo and some other cars i've seen. Weird that sometimes it requires a screw to hold it down/secure and other times its fine just pressed into place.
 

Thumper

Autocross Champion
I read posts of people getting gas sprayed in their face and stuff - no idea how that happens.
I made sure to do it in the morning after my car sat all night. I pushed it into position, jacked it up and did the work without turning it on - maybe I had much less pressure in the lines due to that than most other people...

Yeah, they almost certainly walked out to the car and opened the door thus pressurizing the system then climbed under and got some sweet unleaded in the face.


One thing that came up this weekend as I changed the wifes sparkplugs - why do some cars coil packs bolt in, and others dont? Our GTI's coil packs simply press into place, but the mk7 has a screw that holds it in place; as does my wifes Veloster Turbo and some other cars i've seen. Weird that sometimes it requires a screw to hold it down/secure and other times its fine just pressed into place.

Because the previous generations without screws would regularly wiggle loose from vibrations and cause misfires. I make it a habit to push down on all the coils every oil change and after every session on track.
 

mkv_martinez

Go Kart Champion
Been working on trying to find an oil leak I noticed not long ago on my block. I think i've zero'd in on my Upper Timing Chain Cover Gasket & the O-ring for the camshift bridge.

I feel like it looks a lot worse than it is. No measurable amount of oil is being lost- which, for as much oil as I see down there is kind of hard to believe - but i've been checking the dipstick regularly.

I saw a few other posts on this forum with similar "crime-scene" photos and those people ended up needing to swap those gaskets. I took a close look and I do see a small pool of oil on my valve cover juuuust next to the upper timing chain cover in the front. Kind of near the spout where we fill with oil.

If it ends up not being the $41 worth of gaskets - I will mention it to the mechanic I am calling to do my timing chain & guide system whenever I get around to taking the car in.

My PCV seems like its in working order (idle changed when I pulled oil cap) - but my RMS is now the IABED - would excess pressure from a bad PCV blow these gaskets out instead of my RMS since my RMS is now (supposed to be) "super" strong? Could be.... However, Integrated Engineering Catch Can going in soon - so no more PCV to worry about.

What is tripping me up is it really looks like there is oil on 3 sides of the block. Seems like it should be a head gasket or something... but lets start with the gaskets I guess? No coolant in oil, and no oil in coolant so far...

Photos of what I see from the bottom of the car looking up:



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mkv_martinez

Go Kart Champion
The more I think about it, the less it makes sense. Then again, I'm no expert or mechanic.

I didn't think there was oil pressure or really even that much oil behind the timing chain covers. Even if there is some oil...is there pressure? Wouldn't there need to be pressure to push the oil out from behind that timing chain cover?

I took some more photos after a short drive home from work. Oil on the valve cover didn't look too bad today, but plenty of evidence there of what I'm talking about.


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mkv_martinez

Go Kart Champion
Got my Integrated Engineering catch can in the other day and finished my install this morning.

Was pretty straightforward and easy to do.

Very nice to know I am no longer dumping oily mist into my intake manifold now.

Getting my upper timing chain gasket, cam adjuster magnet o ring & seal this week. Next update will probably be me throwing those in.


Here are some photos for reference:







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mkv_martinez

Go Kart Champion
In trying to chase down an oil leak ive found on my block, I replaced the gasket & o-ring in the upper timing chain cover.


Everything people say about this job is true. If you are not religious, you will be praying to God by the time you are halfway through this job. The bottom two bolts on the cover require a lot of patience and some whisky to work them out.
Wont even touch on what hell it is to then put them back in.


YouTube has a few good videos that mostly go over the job, so there are not many surprises. Good lighting, long wrenches, and combination of 1/4" & 3/8" sockets/extensions are needed to get to different areas with the right access.




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mkv_martinez

Go Kart Champion
Thinking my oil leak dripped onto the water pump or some coolant connection and some hot oil must have cracked plastic somewhere because I see a decently big leak under my car.

I noticed the car smelled funny when I parked it not long ago - when I went to move it the next day I saw this under my spot:
Screenshot 2023-03-28 081059.png


So I moved the car to another part of the driveway and ran to work in the wifes car.
Came back and looked about 2 days later - even with carboard under the car - here's the crime scene:

Screenshot 2023-03-28 081044.png



I already had an appointment with a local shop ( Drive Auto Works in Mountainside, NJ ) for the oil leak, a timing chain, and 1 or two other things I wanted them to look at - so I will just add this to the list...
 
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