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Chris' 2011 GTI


Go Kart Newbie
I bought my 2011 GTI in July of 2018. It is a base DSG model. It had 20,400 miles when I bought it. The couple that owned it used it as a weekend car but just didn't drive it that much.

The first thing I did to the car was replace the original tires. I installed a set of Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ in 225/40/18. I've been very happy with them. They are quiet, ride smooth, have great dry traction and decent wet traction. I have 25,000 miles on them and expect to get another 5-10k more out of them

My first mod was a Cobb stage 1 tune. It was more powerful, but wasn't very smooth. I also noticed that it didn't seem to match up with the DSG very well either. I did some research and bought an Intergrated Engineering DSG tune. That made a huge difference in the way the car drove. I decided to sell the Cobb and buy IE's stage 1 ECU tune to go with the DSG tune. I really like it. It makes good power and is pretty smooth. A couple days later I got a misfire. I swapped the plugs and installed a set of Audi red coils. I haven't had any more issues with the engine since.

In March 2019 I ordered the tools and parts needed to do a DSG service. It was pretty easy but took an hour or so.

In April 2019 I found a set of five Audi Titanium Edition wheels for $500 on craigslist. Two of them had minor curb rash. I bought touch up paint from and repaired the wheels myself.

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In May of 2019 I signed up for a track day at Laguna Seca. My only prep was to swap the brake fluid out for Castrol SRF. The car drove well, but it understeered and the outside of the front tires were doing the bulk of the work. My best time was a 2:10.266.

I came home and immediately decided to improve the handling and braking. In July 2019 I found a really good deal on a used Brembo 330mm GT brake kit. In August 2019 I ordered a full set (front and rear positions) of SuperPro front LCA bushings, a set of RS-3 front brake air ducts to improve the front brake cooling and a set of Ground Control camber plates. The SuperPro LCA bushings added 1 degree of caster (more camber gain) and 10mm of anti lift to the front control arms. Around the same time I found a deal on an 034 subframe locking collar kit. I got everything installed over a weekend in August.

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Yes, the rotor is on the wrong side.

I got everything installed and realized that the brakes were rubbing on the wheels. :mad: I only needed 3mm but I found out that 10mm is the smallest spacer that you can find that is hub centric. I ordered a set of 10mm spacers from Deutche Auto Parts.

In August 2019 I tried AutoX for the first time. the suspension changes definitely improved the handling:

In November 2019 I bought and installed an H&R 22mm rear sway bar. I decided that it really didn't make a noticeable improvement. A week later I found a great deal on an 034 Motorsports 25.4mm rear sway bar with a set of 034 adjustable motorsport rear sway bar end links. I got the bar installed and immediately noticed a difference. I attended the SFR SCCA autoX test and tune.

I found this article about front sway bars and why they are necessary on strut based FWD cars. Basically, you need to control the roll at the front of the car to keep the tire from rolling over onto the outside shoulders. It made sense to me so in January 2019 I ordered a H&R 24mm FSB. Installing the FSB was the biggest PITA job I've done on this car. Basically, I had to drop the entire front subframe to get the old FSB out. Then when I tried to put it all back together I had to wrestle the three parts of the subframe, the steering rack, and the FSB at the same time until I could get everything lined back up and get all of the bolts started. Thankfully since I installed the subframe collar kit everything went back into alignment when I got it back together.

Around the middle of January I was looking for a set of used wheels I could use for the track. I found a guy that had two sets of wheels for sale. The first was a set of OZ Allegerrita HLT SEs with Dunlop Direzza IIs mounted on them. The second was a set of Enkei Fuijin with a set of slicks. I really wanted the Enkei with the Direzzas, but I decided to buy the OZs because it was a better deal. When I met the guy he saw the Audi Ti edition wheels on my car and flipped out. He had a Ti Edition S4 but didn't have the stock wheels. He asked if there was any way he could buy them from me. We worked out a deal where we traded wheels and he paid to have all of my wheels and tires remounted and balanced.


Track Day:

In late January I had the timing chain tensioner updated at 44,500 miles. While they were in there I had them install a new set of chains.

On February 13, 2019 I attended a track day at Laguna Seca with NCRC. They had a low turnout so they ran 3 groups with 7 sessions each. It was a great day. I got an instructor for my second session. I wound up running 60 laps. I started with both the H&R 26mm RSB and 034 25.4mm RSB on their stiff settings. I was getting a lot of lift throttle oversteer and the stability control was stepping in a lot. After the second session I moved the rear bar to soft (roughly equal to the H&R 24mm RSB on stiff). After that the car was balanced really well. I could adjust entry/mid corner oversteer with throttle. It still had a bit of lift throttle oversteer, but it wasn't nearly as obtrusive.

In the fourth session I was chasing this guy in a supercharged Mustang for 7-8 laps until we started hitting lapped traffic. His car had ~500 hp. He was killing me on the straights, but I had him in every corner.

This was my fastest lap. 1:53.51 in session 5.

I had to take one glamour shot before I left:

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