Thumper's 2012 Stg 3 Golf R - The Defiant


Autocross Champion
Time to buy a cricut and do your own with your own supply of that color blue

My wife wants to have a word with you....LOL

Not sure how invested you are but you could almost certainly grab a spare light blue one from one of these previous tracks, reach out to a company that does vinyl stuff regularly and see if they could cut you a blue in the track shape in a similar color.

Worst case they just say no.

I reached out to the company that did my TTRS numbers and some track decals but never heard back. Maybe I'll try again when I need to add more tracks, they have a LOT of colors so if I have to redo the whole thing it would be nice to have some more choices. And maybe if it's for a big order they will be willing to take the job.

So, got some maintenance stuff knocked out today. The starter button has been sticking a bit almost since I got the car but has been getting so much worse. So bad that when the wife and I took it out for lunch last weekend I thought I was going to have to have it towed LMAO

Used this video

from this TDIClub thread

Disassembling the button was the hardest part, 4 clips around it, get one or two loose and then they pop back in when going after the next one. I just used a pencil eraser, they didn't even look dirty but I rubbed on the gold contacts and pushed the blue ones up to get them. Put it back in and tested it a few times with just the ignition and it turned on and off on the first push easily every time. Started it once and same thing, no issues.

Then changed the cabin filter which was FILTHY, a freaking dead bee came out of the old one. Sheesh.


Autocross Champion


Autocross Champion

I ordered the Mishimoto radiator like 3 weeks ago, I used Urotuning but it was getting drop shipped from Mishimoto direct. Amazingly I got an email the next day it had shipped and would be here the day after that. I paid a little extra for shipping to get it here but I was still impressed. Of course the next day came and no radiator and then UPS changed it to the next day. Next day came and went and then UPS changed the tracking to say "No update available". WTF? That was Thursday, I patiently waited till Monday and still nothing and no update. Let Uro know and they reached out to Mishimoto but apparently got not much back. I filed a claim with UPS after talking to someone in India who had no interest in finding the package just in telling me how to file a lost claim. After a few days UPS said they were denying it for "lack of evidence". I'm not sure why (or how) I was supposed to 'prove' they lost the package when their own tracking system shows they never delivered it, it never even got to my local distribution center. the tracking showed it was picked up and then nothing. Morons.

Luckily Uro put Route shipping insurance on it, I filled a claim with them and within hours they had placed a new order with Uro for another one (and I got points for both orders LOL). It took 2 days for UPS to send me this tracking number and so started the nail biting. I had ordered early to make sure I could get it installed and have time to shake it out before this next track weekend. Now it was a toss up if I was even going to have the time to get it installed at all.

Huazzah UPS delivered it a few days later. Not that they were gentle or careful with it.

Not great UPS

However, from dead on it doesn't look like it will hamper airflow and should straighten out easily except for that one spot down low. I made sure to inspect it, it looks to just be fin damage even though it looks terrible it's a small area. What else am I going to do right?

It is nice and shiny though!!! :D

Welds look pretty good as well.

Hopefully dropping the car off at the shop tomorrow to get this and a new OEM oil filter housing installed. I haven't heard back from the shop in the last few days trying to confirm my appointment. It's a small indy that the guy runs as a second job but they have always been pretty good on communicating during this delay until now.

Man, I just want my super powered little hatchback back!!!


Autocross Champion
Well.....took the car to the track this weekend. First disappointment was with the whole radiator debacle I forgot the wheels I bought months ago LOL needed hub rings. Lucky for me, I have a spare set......unlucky for me....I had no idea where they were. :cry: So could not mount the 888Rs. Almost cried, had these things sitting in the basement for over 6 months and finally get the car fixed and can use them and this. Damnit. And the Pirelli's I had been using last year did not have much life left.

Case in point after the first session the wear bars were part of the traction patch :ROFLMAO:

Luckily the second disappointment rendered it moot. Just past the halfway point of the second session the temperature gauged spiked, it didn't overheat but it was past the 3/4 point of the gauge. I backed off and cooled right back down but came in to the paddock. Popped the hood to vent heat as normal and went about checking tire pressures then noticed as I was coming around the front that there was coolant spray on the passenger side. :mad: I couldn't see anything leaking, the spray was on the passenger motor mount, on the frame rail under it, on the alternator, and a few splatters on top of the engine and across the coils. My first thought was spray from the overflow, but there wasn't really much on the bottle. Seemed most likely to be an air bubble but either way, the Pirelli's were starting to blister and peel so figured I was just done. Drove it back to the shop (20 miles from the track) and left it there. He's on vacation for a week so just waiting to hear back.

That Mustang was not catching me, I had passed him and leaving him behind. He's about 3 car lengths back there, look how HUGE it looks, makes the R look like a go-kart. :ROFLMAO:

Funny story, since I live 45 minutes from the track I decided to take the TTRS out Sunday since I had already paid for both days. When we woke up Sunday morning the "chance of rain" had turned into a thundering downpour with lightning strikes. With the state of the Pirelli's on the R I would have had to bring the TTRS anyway. The Pilot 4Ss are no spring chickens at 6/32 remaining and they were never awesome in the wet and they did not redeem themselves with standing water here again but at least I could use them. Hilariously out of about 25 participants in my group only 6 other people ventured out with me in the rain. Was an amazing session and so of course the GoPro didn't turn on when I started RaceChrono. Happens about 1 in 20 times and of course it happened this time. lol


Autocross Champion
Damn! They really did a number on it. Smh

Let me know what you think about this. I've been debating upgrading the rad on my car since it gets so hot in the summer. of right now the consensus is....don't LMAO

The shop can't find a damn thing wrong with car, rebleeded and got no air out, car runs fine normally. He was able to get it to heat up a bit under sustained boost but obviously can't simulate track conditions and cools right back down. So heat soak from the intercooler......accept it's an upgraded intercooler designed for the big turbo AND it wasn't heatsoaking the OEM radiator.

Going to contact Mishimoto and see if they have any ideas or maybe just say it's defective and warranty it out, but I feel like that's not it because it seems odd to be defective in such a way that it still works under normal conditions without issue, you'd think it would have some issues normally. If a tube was restricting or blocked it would present higher than normal under any conditions. I just want to go with replacing as a last resort cause if I replace it and still won't work I'll be apocalyptic.

I can try WaterWetter and installing louvers in the hood to vent hot air which I was going to do anyway to help with aero as well but it just feels like those are IMPROVEMENTS for a functioning system, not a solution for a system that is not working. I had zero cooling problems with the OEM part all last year, then I have the timing service done and new water pump and new upgraded radiator and then start having cooling issues the first time out at the track after, makes no sense.


Autocross Champion
Went to swap my plugs and found this crap in cylinder #4.

Cylinder #3

Cylinder #2

Cylinder #1

What's crazy is zero drivability issues, no misfires, no idle issues, no power loss or hesitation. There is sometimes some white smoke from the exhaust on startup and for about 1/4 miles but that has been going on for a while and before I changed the plugs and coils last time (coils are 1 year old, 1200 miles + 4 tracks days), plugs are older about 10k miles.


Autocross Champion
The hits keep on coming. Did a bucket load of maintenance this weekend getting ready for the season opener in 4 weeks and boy was it a chore, even with using the lift at my shop. Whoever designed the bevel box should be buried up to their neck in concrete in a field of porta potties. The fill plug placement is LITERALLY in the exact position it would be in if someone sat down and said "Where should we put this so that it is impossible to use?" Getting it out as tough but doable, filling it was a challenge...but, try to put the damn plug back in. Only way to get it started without stripping is by hand, and unless you have the hands of a 5 year old you can't get in there. Finally got it done but it was seriously a 20 minute process that I believe ended by the grace of God only.

Changed the cam follower and replaced the low pressure hose feeding the HPFP, replacing the OEM tension clamps with T-bolt clamps. Getting the hose on was no easy task, actually ended up saying fuck it and greased the barbs with oil.

This is the cam follower after only 14k miles (and a lot of track time), not a lot of concavity but the indentation of the HPFP piston and the fracturing starting does not look good. The cam lobe still looks good though. There was a lot of track time on this one so I will most likely change it again at the end of this year and see what it looks like then, won't be much mileage on the R anymore after the Allroad shows up in a couple months. Thank you FCP for free cam followers lol

Than replaced all the fluids

Engine oil and filter
Front bevel box
Rear diff/final drive

The fluid out of the diffs and the Haldex were clean, they were all changed at 47k by previous owner and I am at 73k now so not a big surprise but good to see anyway. I took a sample from the bevel box as people seem to see them fail, figured why not sample and check it. Unfortunately the next thing I pulled after the bezel box drain was the trans drain and I instantly wished I had another sample bottle. I had changed that fluid right around 11k miles ago and it was fairly dark, but more concerning was the drain plug. When I changed it last I put in ECS magnetic plugs and glad I did, kinda hard to see wife didn't tell me she had flubbed the picture until after I had cleaned it off. But the plug was covered with thick goop and filings, it was easily 1/4" thick.

I had to re-use the old washers since ECS sent the wrong size and they leaked a bit but apparently in the last 3k miles or so they started leaking a LOT and ran the trans a bit low. This time I got the wrong washer size from FCP so I guess I am dumping the fluid again after I get the right washers and get this fixed right. Probably a good idea anyway cause I am sure there's still tons of metal filings still in the trans even after the drain, a short change and another inspection of the magnetic plug will be informative.

Next gut punch was pulling the oil filter.

Last oil change was done by an indie, had him replace the whole filter housing that was leaking when he did my radiator. I'm running the CTS B-Cool filter cap and looks like he forgot to remove the cage from the factory cap. So will be ordering a factory cap to get a new cage and get that in before the April 14th kick off.


Autocross Champion
So yesterday I changed my trans fluid AGAIN not by choice but because the magnetic ECS plugs I got the first time I did it last year were leaking. They were leaking a little bit since I did the change last year but more of seeping really. After I changed the fluid in April they were full on leaking. This is my undershield after 5 laps on track, sitting in the driveway for 2 months and about 90 miles of street driving.

The good news is I had to reuse the plugs on the bevel box and rear diff (ordered new washers but the washers on the oem plugs are non-removable, I'm going with 034 magnetic plugs next time and due to track use will probably be doing that next year) and they are both dry. So relived, changing the bevel box fluid is a pain.

The ECS trans fill and drain pluigs came with washers, but they were 27mm washers and the plugs are 22mm. The first change I just didn't use them (factory doesn't use washers) and as I said they seeped. So when I changed fluid again in April I ordered some washers from FCP but when I went to install they were wrong size too so I put the ECS ones on since they came with them right?......and see above, leaked like a mother.

So this time I ordered copper 22mm sealing washers from McMaster, they fit perfectly so let's cross our fingers.

On an aside, I was thinking about those metal shavings I found at the change. This time the fill plug magnet was clean and the drain plug magnet only had a thin layer. So hopefully the rest washed out with the fluid dump (another reason I spent $60 more dollars for new fluid instead of reusing the fluid with only 90 miles on it) and it's pretty clean in there. But I was thinking, I didn't measure the fluid that came out last time and while some did leak out it wasn't like it was empty or even super low, so having that much damage would be odd. But what I did think about was I used MOTUL in the first change which states it is GL4 / GL5. I know the trans calls for only GL4 and I am wondering if that was the issue. The AMSOIL I put in last time and this time is 100% GL4 only.

The only other thing I can think of is the torque, now there are two torque specs listed with the difference being the head style of the bolt; multi-point or hex. I am 99% sure my OEM plugs were the hex I need to find them in my garage to check but 99%. So I am using that spec which is 30nm, but the ECS plugs are standard 17mm socket although they mention replacing the allen (hex) style so......... Since I was using washers that would spread the load more evenly (and because I left my small torque wrench at home, doing the service at my shop on my lunch and had to borrow a torque wrench that only went down to 25ft lbs) I went to 35nm this time.

Oh, and also fun....while I had it on the lift and at eye level........I saw rust creeping out from under the side skirt on the driver lower quarter panel........the part showing now does not look bad and I can easily remove it and treat the area.........but I am now really worried about what it looks like underneath. So that is a project for next weekend...........


Autocross Champion

Just had a track weekend end of July once again out at the best track in the world Ozarks International, just now getting around to posting. If you recall I had an overheat issue last year right after changing the radiator to an aluminum Mishimoto that only happened on the track. July was the first chance to test it out again since after getting some bad advice on tires and being left with a set of 888Rs that won't fit without some suspension upgrades and parking the R for the most part.

Now it wasn't as hot as it was last year when it overheated but it was close and I feel like it got a good work out and test and there were no issues. I went out on the Friday for a test n tune day and ended up running laps for an hour straight, I was just having so much fun I didn't even notice until I got a fuel cap warning light and pulled in to check it LOL After a track inspection break I went back out again and ran 51 minutes straight and again no issues. The rest of the weekend also so no issues so I am going to chalk the issue last year up to a rogue air bubble from the change and not an issue with the radiator.

Normally when I take the Golf R out the track photographers just ignore me, not flashy enough. When I take the TTRS I get tons of photos taken lol This time was different. This time the Golf R was featured as the background image for the entire album on Friday with this photo. :cool:

Clearly I need an even stiffer RSB :ROFLMAO:

Since I got so much attention I went ahead and bought a package as thanks to the photographer WJP Aerial

Got a new set of Pirelli PZ4 Sports back on the old plastidipped wheels to use until I get the suspension sorted and will be my wet weather set. This is what I used all season last year and when it rained they were still sticky as heck.

Looking to grab some camber plates in a few weeks and hoping those will give me enough camber to clear the 245/40R18 888Rs I have.