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


Go Kart Champion
Car is currently at the shop ( Drive Auto Works in Mountainside, NJ )

Got a call Tuesday confirming my suspicions.

Oil leak coming from the timing chain covers, which then that hot oil blew my water pump.

While they had it on the lift, looks like they found both rear struts are leaking.

So they are doing the full timing chain refresh (with new timing chain covers) , metal housing waterpump, walnut blast carbon cleaning & new rear struts

They also mentioned my brakes & tires are almost due for replacement.
So towards the end of summer I will probably do Brakes, Tires, & Transmission fluid and then as far as I can tell my car will be in tip-top shape to run another 75k-100k miles with just regular maintenance.

Probably going with this brake set up
Also probably just gonna get another set of the same tires I have already have on my wheels as I have had no issues with them.
For transmission fluid I am looking at this kit. In the past I've used a few quarts of this fluid and I had no issues. The ECS kit I linked is still 75w90 but just a different line of fluid so I assume it will act mostly the same.
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Go Kart Champion
Got my car back yesterday. Crazy fast turn-around by Drive Autoworks. Orlando & Dion took care of me.

Dropped the car off around noon on the 11th, got a call with quote & lead time within 4 hours. Had the car back in my possession 3 days later with all the work they got done.

Can't ask for much more as far as I see it.

Car drives super strong now. Very smooth - feels new again.

Valves before carbon cleaning:
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Valves after cleaning:

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Go Kart Champion
Finally threw on my Carbon Fiber mirror caps - looks pretty good against the black paint. Just need to add some other CF bits to make it look more cohesive.
I have the rear spoiler extension - I am thinking Carbon Fiber door handles and maybe a Carbon Fiber front lip would get me to the look I would like.

I posted a quick DIY just so others know the process - I didn't see many forum posts about this. There are a few videos on youtube that get you in the neighborhood of understanding what to do, but a good old fashioned dedicated DIY never hurts.

Here are some quick pics - I will have to take better pics of the complete car sometime soon after a wash on a nice sunny day.



Go Kart Champion
Put some good work in on the car this weekend.

At some point some genius mechanic was a bit over enthusiastic with my oil drain plug and they stripped the shit out of it.
I never take it to a mechanic for oil changes so at some point when I was at the mechanic for something else, it must have required an oil change as a necessary step.
As a result, I've had a slow drip of oil from the drain plug staining my driveway if I dont get a container under it. Not enough to drop the oil level on the drip stick - but enough to be annoying and dirty the bottom of my car.

This weekend I put it up on 4 jacks and emptied all the oil out - let it drip for a while and even ran a few psi through the dip stick to make sure I was as dry as possible down there.
Once it was dry - I put the drain plug in with thread sealant, a bonded washer, and I shmeared black gasket maker around the outside once the bolt was in place. Gave it like 18 hours or so for all that stuff to set and seal, then topped up with oil again.

I have a schwaben fluid extractor I use for oil changes so that bolt is basically useless to me. If I never need to get in there, I will just replace the oil pan at a later date.

I also got my battery tie down in finally. Ordered this off amazon.
Took out the battery tray, drilled a few holes and voila. Previously I had used just the J Hook threaded rods and 1 1/4" x 3/16" Flat bar with some holes in it - but I like this set up a lot more.

I am pumped the battery box cover fits on without any signs of whats going on underneath.
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Here is how I had this set up in my last GTI - much happier with my current set up.


Go Kart Champion
Recently swapped my wifes car for a 2020 45 premium plus Q3 - as far as I can tell the car has the same motor as comes in the mk7.5 GTI.

I am working on modifying it to our taste little by little and plan on keeping it mild.

I ordered an APR Throttle booster to see how the Q3 drives with it, but the Q3 had to go in to the shop for some paint work.

So... I saw the part is compatible with my GTI as well... and.. well, you know I had to do it.

The car drives like a monster with the throttle booster. I never tried one and always heard bad things about them, but in my short experience it's been a blast.

the 80% eco mode makes the car much easier to drive at low speeds. Then at 150% it drives like a bat out of hell. Starts spooling very hard much faster.

Obviously top end is un-affected, but the way to car reacts to acceleration is completely different.

I dont even have the balls to test the 175% or 200% out because Its just so explosive at 150% already.

Thinking I might have to buy another one for the Q3 and keep this in my car....
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Go Kart Champion
Noticed the car got a bit squirrelly when taking a turn in a spirited manner. Was worse turning right than left. Only noticed at speed.

Brought the car to get an alignment today and had everything straightened out. Looks like the front wheels needed to be dialed in again. Was told passenger side was off a bunch more than the driver side.

Hopefully gonna take it on a test drive later this week to stretch its legs and see if the car is back to feeling solid again.

Thinking of adding a few more mods to the list.

Recently ordered a ShopDAP Holy Shift kit along with the APR Metal Shifter Cable Bracket. Should clean up the shifting feel and make it more exciting.

Next I'm thinking charge pipes and maybe a front strut tower bar and possibly a rear sway in the near future. I had the Rear Stress Bar Kit in my last GTI and loved it other than how it ruined the ability to fill the rear trunk with stuff and flip the back seats down to get more space.
I've read lots of mixed reviews from people going back and forth on different rear sways and I see lots of people express a front sway isn't really needed on this car.


Go Kart Champion
Spent a few hours Friday night + Saturday morning on installing the ShopDAP Holy Shift Short Shifter & APR Metal Shifter Cable Bracket.

The Holy Shift Kit is basically the same concept as the Diesel Geek Sigma Six short shifter - not sure if there are any minute differences but as far as I saw its nearly the same deal.

Below are a few photos along the way:

Old shifter set up removed - OEM shift linkages + OEM shifter cable bracket still in place


Audi S3 short shifter + stock side to side shifter removed

OEM Shifter cable bracket next to the metal APR one:

New Metal APR Shifter Cable Bracket in place:

Everything installed:

Everything buttoned back up again:

Overall - it makes a huge difference.

Shifting is much more engaged + notchy

1st to 2nd is 2 quick clicks. Just clicks into place. Side to side is also reduced by a bit as well.
I'm super happy with the outcome. Would definitely recommend.

I saw after purchasing my APR Metal Shifter Cable Bracket that there are OEM stamped steel ones floating around which people use solid bushings on - I assume thats the same outcome but cheaper. I just didn't know about it when I ordered my parts. If I did this again I might hunt down a stamped OEM bracket over the APR one - but I'm fine with what I ended up with.

Would definitely recommend this to anyone looking to have a more racecar feel. My last GTI had an S3 Short Shifter & Solid Shifter Cable End link Bushings - This is a whole world of a difference from that. Not even close to the same.


Go Kart Champion
Ordered a few more parts for this car so updates coming soon.

This thing is slowly becoming a fully bolted on stage 1 GTI.

Essentially this thing will be fully ready to drop in a new turbo one day if I decide to upgrade the car to that level.

After my next round of performance mods, I will be turning my attention to bushings & other suspension/reinforcement mods.

Will probably go with these three ECS kits to start the refresh.