Just Clowning Around


just clowning around
State of the Car - 2013 VW GTI 4dr DSG Autobahn

  • APR Stage ED30 K04 V3.2 Tune (Stock/91/93/100)
  • APR v1.4 DQ250 DSG Tune
  • APR Carbonio Stage 1 CAI
  • APR Carbonio Stage 2 CAI
  • APR 3" Downpipe
  • APR 3" RSC Catback Exhaust
  • APR Traverse 2.0T Intercooler
  • APR K04 Conversion
  • Audi R8 Ignition Coilpacks
  • NGK PFRS7EG Double Platinum
  • HPA Lower Motor Mount HVW-904-75
  • 034 Motorsport Engine Mount - Billet Aluminum (SKU# 034-509-5016)
  • 034 Motorsport Transmission Mount - Billet Aluminum (SKU# 034-509-5016)
  • HS Tuning Subframe Shim and Bolt Kit
  • Turbosmart Kompact EM Plumbback BOV (TS-0223-1263)
  • UNIbrace RB (Black)
  • UNIbrace UB (Black)
  • UNIbrace XB (Black)
  • Audi TT-RS front 4 piston calipers (Blood Red custom powder)
  • Audi TT-RS 370x28mm 2-piece cross-drilled rotors (Front)
  • Audi TT-RS 23.81 mm master brake cylinder
  • Audi TT-RS brake line brackets (Front)
  • Hawk HP+ brake pads (Front)
  • Bilstein B16/PSS10 Coilovers
  • Audi Q7 17z rear 4 piston calipers (red)
  • Fabless Manufacturing rear brake carriers
  • Wilwood spot calipers for parking brake
  • VW Mk4 R32 parking brake cables
  • 034 TT-RS Stainless Braided Brake Lines (Front)
  • StopTech 17z Stainless Braided Brake Lines (Rear)
  • Audi TTS strut mounts & bushings
  • 310mm (Golf R) Stoptech Rotors (Rear)
  • Hawk HP 5.0 brake pads (Rear)
  • McGard diamond black 2 piece lugs
  • H&R 28mm front anti-sway bar
  • H&R 24mm rear anti-sway bar
  • Motul RBF660 brake fluid
  • SuperPro Roll Centre Adjusting Ball Joint (#TRC0003)
  • SuperPro Roll Control Aluminum Lower Control Arm (#ALOY0001K)
  • SuperPro Roll Control Anti-Lift Kit (#ALOY3273-80K)
  • VW R32 Engine Undertray (#1K0 825 237 P)
  • Hankook Ventus R-S4 235/40/R18
  • Rays Volk TE-37 Sagas 18x18.5 ET35 hub 66.6
  • ECS Tuning metal centering rings 66.6mm to 57.1mm
  • Verus Engineering rear diffuser
  • Powerflex bushing replacements kit (most control arms) (PF85K-1006)
  • Powerflex rear subframe (PFR85-528)
  • Powerflex front subframe (PFR85-527)

    Winter Mode (no longer relevant)
  • VW Serron 18x7.5 ET51
  • Yokohama iceGuard52c 225/40/R18
  • ARP extended wheel lugs (20x)
  • 42 Draft Designs 12mm spacers (Front)
  • 42 Draft Designs 15mm spacers (Rear)

  • XPEL Ultimate Paint Protection Film
  • Klii Motorwerks Candy White Hatch Insert
  • Ed's Vacar R20-Style LED Tail Lights
  • VAGCOM Tweaks
  • Optiwerks Votex-style sideskirts
  • OEM-look widebody front fenders
  • 3M 55% FX Premium Tint
  • DeAutoKey LED Turn/reverse bulbs
  • DeAutoKey LED fog light kit
  • VW European blind-spot mirrors
  • VW European front lip spoiler
  • VW side markers (extra set) painted CW
  • Scotch Vinyl Mastic Roll 2210 rain tray swap
  • Flow Designs GTI Front Lip Splitter v3
  • Flow Designs Golf R Side Skirt Splitter v3 (Pair)
  • Flow Designs GTI & Golf R Rear Spoiler Extension

  • Autobahn Trim Package
  • VW Mojo Mats
  • P3Cars VIDI Boost Gauge (Red & White)
  • APR Mobile Dongle
  • Ram X-Grip Phone mount seat-rail mounted with charging
  • Double Apex USB Charger
  • Double Apex Valentine1 Mute Button
  • Podi Steering Column Pod
  • VEI V1 Series Valentine1 Remote Radar Display
  • VW European aluminum glove box handle
  • VW European headlight switch + trigger wire
  • Uberstealth Underfloor Sub Enclosure
  • Uberstealth Underfloor Amp Rack
  • AudioControl LC2i 2-Channel Line Out Converter & Sub Control
  • AudioControl Remote volume control know in custom enclosure
  • Pioneer TS-SW2501-S2 10-Inch Shallow Subwoofer
  • Rockford Fosgate PBR500X1 Punch 500W Mono Rail Amp
  • DeAutoKey LED Interior light kit
  • Studio RSR 4-point chromoly rear harness bar (black)
  • Status Racing GTX carbon shelled driver/passenger seats
  • Status 5 point seat harnesses
  • Planted GTI seat bases L/R
  • EuroKreations Rear Seat Delete

  • VW CarGo Heavy Duty Trunk Liner and Blocks
  • WeatherTech Digifit All Weather Mats (4 door) [Sold]
  • Ebay Stainless Steel GTI Seat Lever Inserts
  • H&R 7mm hub-centric spacers (front)
  • HST 5mm hub-centric spacers (rear)
  • ARP extended length black anodized lugs
  • GoFastBits DV+ (w/ bolt b/c APR k04: McMaster #92290A338) (July, 2018) [Sold]
  • VW Driver's Gear Lowering Springs [Sold April 2015]
  • Bilstien B8 struts [Sold April 2015]
  • P3Cars VIDI Boost Gauge (All Red) [For Sale - PM]
  • VW Tiguan Center Wheel Caps [For Sale - PM]
  • Dunlop SP Sport 01 A/S 225/40/R18 [Sold Oct 2014]
  • Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32 [Sold Oct 2014]
  • Steel Wheels 16x6.5 ET50 [Sold Oct 2014]
  • APR Front 27mm Anti-Sway Bar [Sold]
  • APR Rear 27mm Anti-Sway Bar [Sold March, 2015]
  • NGK PFRS8EG Double Platinum Spark Plugs
  • Bilstien PSS/B14 Coilovers [Sold]
  • 034 track density strut mounts & bushings [Thrown away; broke/created noise; replaced with OEM TTRS]
  • BBS CF custom powder-coated 19x8.5 ET35 [Sold]
  • BBS color matched stems and carbon fiber caps [Sold]
  • Continental extremeContact DW 235/35/19 [Sold]
  • VMR V705 19x8.5 ET45 [Sold July 2021]
  • Hankook Ventus R-S3 235/35/R19 [Tossed]
  • Hankook Ventus R-S3 235/40/R18 [Tossed]
  • 3mm prototype spacer pair
  • 5mm prototype spacer pair
Last edited:


just clowning around
It's been two months since I've gotten the car, but I've beent taking a bunch of phone pictures and I would like to document travels and wrenching as I go. Sorry about the backfilling of postings! Feel free to comment if you got anything to add, recommend or say! I'm always looking for more advice. :D

May 7, 2013 - Pulled the trigger and traded in my 2003 Infiniti FX35 Premium for a 2013 VW GTI DSG 4dr Autobahn. Literally flipped a coin between Candy White and Deep Black Pearl. You can see the results of that toss. Worked about 10 dealers across three states. Ended up with a solid deal from Hatfield VW in Columbus. Drove down one weekday, traded in the FX, and drove back up with the new GTI. It was hard to let that FX go, after driving it since 2003 and putting on over 170k miles. I drove it through blizzards, a broken rear axle, lots of repairs and wrench time as well as through several major phases of my life.

Parting images of my FX:

Finally home (Car was delivered from MI, I bought it from Hatfield VW in Columbus, and drove to Cleveland.) The ~150 or so miles on the way home was a great trip. Drove on a lot of country roads and OH-13 instead of I-71 just to get a feel for some more interesting roads.

These were taken very quickly the next day.



Ready to race!
I'm curious to see how the clear bra comes out. I probably should have done it a while ago, but I think there's still time to finish it before I hit any more cones (or buckets).

Please provide any info on the clear bra you can so that I can understand the process better.



just clowning around
Well, I got XPEL Ultimate Film and I plan to wrap the front bumper, extended hood and fenders coverage, about 22", a strip around the windshield, then the front headlights/fogs and the door handles. Contemplating doing rear fenders as well, but probably won't. Apparently this film doesn't discolor as long as you avoid petroleum-based cleaning products. We'll see though, I don't plan on this for a few more weeks... it'll be a pretty time consuming process.

I was going to avoid it entirely, since it ain't cheap, but after driving for 2 months & grinding out 8k mi, I have a large chip on the hood, a small one above the windshield and two or three small chips on the front bumper. Highway driving and driving around country roads in southern Ohio is killer for paint integrity. I actually just bought some touch up paint pens from the dealer today and I'm going to spend tomorrow washing those areas so I can fill them in. It won't look perfect, but as long as I get the surface even again I won't be grimacing every time I try to wash this car.


just clowning around
May 18, 2013 - Stopped by HS Tuning for the first time. It was Saturday, they were closed but the garage was open and Ken and his friend were working on a Jeep's brakes. Ken was nice enough to say hi, check my vehicle out (bone stock at that point) and make a few fast VAGCOM changes. Horn on lock turned off @ 1218 mi. Went through some part lists and general chit chat.


just clowning around
May 29, 2013 - Finally got my real plates to replace the temps. Also bought a Swift Hidden License plate holder (google it). It showed up... and then two weeks later another one showed up. I only got charged once, so now I have two Swift plate holder kits sitting around. Never installed either of them, because it extends nearly an inch below the front bumper and also sticks out about .75 in, which is hideous on a GTI facade. If anyone wants a brand new un-touched Swift hidden license plate holder PM me for details. I've got two of these kits just sitting around. For a clean install, you'd have to start cutting into the bumper, which I would not do. I've got zips and my front plate ready to stick on if I need it, but I'll keep that plate off for now.


just clowning around
June 13, 2013 - Finally the Sway bar set came in. Installed both DG Springs and front/rear sway bars. That drop feels perfect and the combination of both springs and bars makes the car feel so much more planted. Makes me wonder if I still want/need Unibraces. Well, I've got a 1500 mile trip ahead of me, so we'll see how it feels.

Springs and bars installed - still lifted.

Right out of the box.


OEM exhaust is the next thing to come out... New car and it's already showing rust spots. Do not like. Especially with the salty CLE winters.

Overexposed to show the tire. Nice settled drop.

Stock bar is black.


  • 2013-06-10 23.53.32.jpg
    2013-06-10 23.53.32.jpg
    193.3 KB · Views: 5,928
  • 2013-06-05-17.59.41.jpg
    289.9 KB · Views: 5,919
  • 2013-06-05-18.46.38.jpg
    333.8 KB · Views: 5,826
  • 2013-06-05-18.51.20.jpg
    296.7 KB · Views: 5,906
  • 2013-06-05-20.22.33.jpg
    314.1 KB · Views: 5,852
  • 2013-06-05-20.23.14.jpg
    294.6 KB · Views: 5,851
  • 2013-06-13-17.41.48.jpg
    407.9 KB · Views: 7,371
Last edited:


just clowning around
Well, this is taking too long and damned if I'm going to write this all out. Short hand just for my own records.

The month of June was spent installing the Stage 1 software, Stage 1 intake, DG springs, and both front and rear sway bars. No complaints at all, other than the fact that my trunk lid is lined on both sides with plastic and sometimes rattles. May invest in some adhesive-backed felt and try and quiet that down.

July has been a very busy month. Two trips to Montreal from Cleveland, with assorted smaller trips tossed in around the end of June as well. Overall, 8000 miles before settling back into the work weeks. Of course, someone driving a maroon SUV backs into my car, thinking that the spot was empty and tries to reverse into it. Then hits my little car and drives off. Really? That's cool man. Real cool. Luckily, between my insurance and Ganley (Collision Center in Middleberg Heights) I got that sorted out within a week. Of course, this little incident meant replacing a hood, right headlight, grill, and repainting the front bumper. Sloppily, of course. Well... at least it's back to me and I can clean it up in a few weeks when this new paint cures.

Of course, it cost me because I'd scheduled an appointment with a tinter, who showed up @ my house... forgot to re-schedule and the car wasn't around. We'll get it done eventually... That and the clearbra. I can't wait to have this all in.

In the meantime, I've finally installed all the parts ordered and this APR Stage 2 is sitting real nice. Got convinced to install an APR Intercooler too... so that's there. Some mounts and the k04 and I might finally start investing in the interior a bit. Those cubbies are looking real nice. Or a p3. Saw one in person @ HS Tuning and it's a lot better in person that it is in pictures. Looks very clean and not nearly as gimmiky as I'd feared. I'm not in love with the digital display, but it does have the advantage of ease-of-installation. Cell phone pictures of everything once I manage to get them off my phone.


just clowning around

It was hard letting my FX go, but there was a ghost in the ECU - it kept refusing to start, would sometimes go into limp mode during rush hour traffic, and after 170,000 mi, all the mickey mouse repairs were getting in the way of the enjoyment of driving it. Broken driver side seat engine, failed AC compressor, exhaust welding needed to be redone, ECU acting up, road rash and general cosmetic wear, etc.

I loved driving it though. It was time for a change to a much smaller car though. @ Stage 2, this little GTI is is getting 29.7 mpg and I'm not holding back my foot at all.


Go Kart Champion
i miss my FX.. i had the Black on Black and the 20's. such a fun Crossover vehicle.
i only had 100K on mine. but it was starting to show some wear.. some rust on the subframe.. didnt do the belts yet.. oil leak. trans pan rusting (it was a ticking time bomb) but interior was 9/10 exterior was 8/10. i loved my FX. but it was time to move on and get back into the car tuning world again. after getting cofee one day, i stopped at a VW dealer and bought my car 2 days later. havnt looked back since. oh, and the gas saving is a huge plus.


Go Kart Champion
how do you like the front and rear sways with the dg springs?


just clowning around
how do you like the front and rear sways with the dg springs?

It definitely isn't a unique set up, but I really enjoy it. The springs stiffen enough from the stock ride that it makes a noticeable difference. A week or so after I installed, I test drove another 2013 mk6 4 dr from the dealership and you can feel the difference in the turns with both sways and springs. Even passing or a pothole swerve feels a bit crisper? I'm not good at describing these terms. In combination, these bars on medium make it feel extremely planted.

I do feel like something is missing though. A lot of conjecture would have us believing that some mounts and unibraces help and I'm inclined to believe it, but we'll see. I think in terms of daily drivability and longevity for the interior components like plastic body panel clips etc, I might hold off on anything more than a dogbone and a xB-like brace.


just clowning around
i miss my FX.. i had the Black on Black and the 20's. such a fun Crossover vehicle.
i only had 100K on mine. but it was starting to show some wear.. some rust on the subframe.. didnt do the belts yet.. oil leak. trans pan rusting (it was a ticking time bomb) but interior was 9/10 exterior was 8/10. i loved my FX. but it was time to move on and get back into the car tuning world again. after getting cofee one day, i stopped at a VW dealer and bought my car 2 days later. havnt looked back since. oh, and the gas saving is a huge plus.

The crossover vehicle that helped jumpstart the trend! Now every manufacturer has one in their line up, but I still find the first gen FXs the best looking. Those clean sheet metal lines are so nice.

I started out looking at the mazdaspeed, volvo c30, and the a3, but they all weren't very great fits. I definitely wanted a change to something small and lighter than a SUV though. The C30 I think is an amazing looking car, but its all show no go. The interior is also extremely dated - my 10 year old FX interior felt newer that a 2013 c30's with all options.

I've been getting about 100 more miles out of the same quantity of gas I put into the FX vs the GTI, give or take. I still fill weekly, but I'm averaging about 360 miles with a 1/4 left in the tank.