GolNat's Build Thread - 13' GTI 6MT Coupe K04


Autocross Champion
ALK kit is installed and front LCA bushings have been replaced with Super Pro poly ones. Car still needs an alignment but I decided to get a sub frame bushing kit before I get another alignment. Reached out to ECS about purchasing their sub frame spacer kit but without the bolts since I already have them. They told me they come packaged that way :rolleyes:. Super helpful, so I bought a CTS kit from Urotuning instead. Ordered Tuesday and arrived at my door Friday!! Urotuning Rocks 🤘. Sunday I will start on the sub frame kit and try to get an alignment scheduled for next week. Once aligned I'll give my impressions of the ALK.

The bushings came out easily once I stopped trying to make everything straight and pretty. Just get er close enough and push it out.

Make sure you use a lot of lube. You get a tube with the ALK and a tube with the other LCA bushings so that's a tube per arm. I used about 75% of each tube on each arm.

Original GTI LCA weight with bushings.

Passat LCA weight with bushings.

Installed on the car.

Also got a shift knob after #knobchat in the ChiChat thread. Bought it off a forum member. I understand why people love their Slammer shift knobs. Super high quality and heavy AF. I need to get used to it. It has brought to light some of the short comings in the OEM shift assembly and I don't think that is helping. I can see a Diesel Geek in my future as well.

K04 fund is slowing growing. Stage 2 is loads of fun which means K04 has got be TONS of fun.


Autocross Champion
Diesel geek is well worth it my friend. Very glad I chose to do it, totally transforms the shifting experience and now I have the opposite problem as you haha. Knob is noticeably too light so I can feel the shortcomings.

Go DG!😁


Autocross Champion
K04 has been acquired. Used unit with 11k miles on it. Shooting for an August install. Just need to get an install kit and I should be good to go. Was on the fence about port and polish but after talking with SoCal porting on pricing and having to ship it to them I'm gonna pass at this time. I need to draw the line somewhere and that money can go toward an intercooler.

I think I got my alignment all squared away too. I have been tweaking it for a few weeks and it seems to be dialed in perfect now. I still need to actually measure my toe I have just been tweaking it and seeing how it feels. Now that my alignment is better you can really feel the ALK in the corners when driving more aggressive. Steering is more accurate and turn in has improved. An absolute for track people and a great addition to us road warriors who want some more response out of the steering.

Took the car out today to run some errands and she is real joy to drive. Great all around car for comfort, agility and speed.

So K04 install and oil change is next on the agenda. Shooting for August to get that done.


Autocross Champion
Congrats! I'm starting to feel some K04 FOMO...


Autocross Champion
Port it yourself?

I kinda considered that but didn't want to chance messing it up or it messing with the Uni tune. I don't think it would make a big enough difference to throw the tune off but I don't want any extra headaches. I'm already sweating bullets thinking about the heat shield bolt and manifold nuts 😬.

Congrats! I'm starting to feel some K04 FOMO...

Thanks. Figured I'd get on it while I could. Was planning on doing some other stuff before K04 like intake valve cleaning and intercooler but WTH.

K04 install kit has arrived and I am going to start on the install process next week. I have printed off the DIY that was on the forum along with IE's install guide. Will also change the oil.



Autocross Champion
K04 is officially up and running!!! Install went pretty smooth with the exception of the turbo outlet pipe hitting the timing cover. Ended up having to clock the compressor housing a bit and it's still pressed up against it. I'll keep an eye on the coupling. I noticed today when putting the fender liner back in that I have 2 8mm triple squares left. Not sure where these went but I think one is for a bracket that is no longer used and the other I'm not sure. I'm going to review the install instructions and see if I can figure it out.

Install Tips:
  • Not all K04 hardware kits come with the "thicker" washer that you need in order for the return coolant line to clear the plug on the CHRA. Luckily the guy that I bought the K04 from included it.
  • It's very important that you have 2 washers on the oil feed, coolant feed and coolant return lines. One below the banjo and one above. So you need 6 of these washers. 4 are not as wide and I used them on the coolant lines. The 2 wider washers went on the oil line.
  • Before installing the K04 check the orientation of the the outlet to make sure it matches the IHI. I had to pull it back off to adjust it. I thought tightening up the exhaust manifold would move it out enough but it didn't.
  • I used about a gallon of coolant to get it back to the full mark. Make sure it's pink. My local Import parts shop gave me blue coolant which is BMW/Mercedes. Honest mistake as the part # that was written on the bottle was correct but the PN of the bottle was not.
  • Install time was about 10 hours I'd say not including having to clock the housing. 1 hour of that is searching for shit that gets lost in the sub frame 😑.
  • You can drive the car on Unitronic Stage 2 software it just won't run well at full boost.

Don't have many pictures. It's a pretty simple install as long as everything comes apart and nothing is seized.

I did end up cutting the bracket for the coolant return line. Made it fit better.

Unitronic UniConnect+ Software.

The car fuckin moves!!!! It's in such a none dramatic fashion that it is deceivingly fast. Above 70 into the 100's it just keeps pulling.


Autocross Champion
Forgot to update this. Collected a few parts to install when I get some time. Will probably do the LED in the next few weeks before it gets too cold. Intercooler will be a spring project.

Unitronic Intercooler used but never installed

LED Tail's

A little something to help distinguish Jetta keys from GTI keys

K04 fuel mileage!! I wasn't even trying.



Autocross Champion
LED tails installed a few days ago. Super easy and no errors. In full winter mode. A little early but I had time.


Checked my phase today before going for a drive. Looking good 👍


I’d like to get new wheels for the GTI so I might put my 17’ OZ on the wagon and get 18’s for the GTI, not sure yet. Or I might just get new wheels for the wagon and keep the OZ’s for the GTI. They are not my favorite looking wheel but they are nice and light.


Autocross Champion
Ugh, love clean black cars. I'm envious, mine likely won't be clean until next year -- it rains too often here.


Autocross Champion
How do you like your shift boot? Quality? Ease of install? Longevity? I'm looking to replace mine and this one is the best one I've seen.

Great quality but it was a pain to instal. It is very thick and the way the trim ring on the boot is it does not allow for anything much thicker then the OEM boot. I had to remove the hem at the bottom of the boot in order to get the ring to snap on. I used glue I think staples would have been better. Has held up great but I also don’t use the car daily. Matches the plaid perfect 👌

Mine came from StitchBoots. Etsy has some too that might be thinner.