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5,227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey Vortex 馃憢 - Does anyone still do or even read build threads? Because I feel like writing one!

Been around VW's for well over a decade now, and I wanted to share my latest project somewhere, but couldn't figure out where was best. Audizine, Audiworld, TTForum, Tex... And I choose this place as it seems to have a lot of enthusiasts vs purists, and more consistent activity. Plus, I am still on here all the time out of habit/research for other cars! Will be using this thread to document and share the ownership experience of this TT. Bought on a whim and sight-unseen, the car has definitely stolen my heart and taken a lot of time & effort. As some of you may know, the slippery slope can get very slippery, and this car has been no exception to that saying. The car was acquired in Nov, 2018 when a friend sent me a link on cars.com of a 3.2 S-line, Dark Green in color, for sale at a used car dealer in TN. As a current owner of a Goodwood green B6 S4, and a long-time lover of the MK1 VR6 TT's, this car wasn't needed but hard to ignore. After a call with the salesman and some loose descriptions of condition, I decided to not let this one pass up.

This car has gone through a couple major phases, so I plan on breaking up the first few posts into those phases. Since I tend to document things as I go, I have decent content to share on each phase. Additionally, I have a lot of questions for the TT crowd, hoping to get them answered here as I contribute to the thread.

Happy to share anything ive learned, installed, purchased, etc. Car forums contributed so much to my passion, and the IG builds/picture strings today just dont have the same sense of community, so here goes to getting another build documented out there, of a very special car! (off my old man soap box now).

~ Phase 1 : Delivery and Specs w/ Initial Impressions ~

2005 Audi TT 3.2 Q S-line
Cambridge Green w/ Aviator Grey Interior
109k, 1 (documented) owner
Per AudiOfAmerica there were only 8 '05 TT's in this color, and 5/8 had Grey Interior. :snowcool:

The car was shipped to a local botique dealer near me, and I arrived to see it in person for the first time! Followed by an immediate impromptu photo shoot. The paint color was incredible, definitely different than goodwood that I was used to. Much darker, but spectacular in the right light.

Discoveries :
  • Wasnt aware of all the TT quirks/features. Like the aviation themed hvac vent rings that clock, the heated seat switches that pop out/in, fuel door & hatch switch placement, fuel door popper, etc. So the first meeting with the car was a lot of fun.
  • Driving it was great. To feel a VR6 again, and this time matched with a DSG was really cool. The stock exhasut let out just enough tone to indicate what it had and the car felt "better" than mk4's I was used to. The chassis tighter, the response and road feel stronger. Way more of a driver's car that I had imagined.
  • Condition was so-so. The car had cleary been "owned" and its body and interioir showed. Nothing to get upset about, but there were some things that needed to be addressed. Paint was probably 7/10, interior also 7/10, but mechancially the car felt pretty decent.
  • Ownership documentation was light. A couple of random receipts in the glove box, and a spotty carfax from the selling dealer. The car was 100% stock, with the exception of some no-name grey all weather mats.

Areas to be addressed:
1) Battery : The car really struggled to start, so I wondered if it had an old battery or had been sitting for a while prioir to my purchase. After charging it with no improvement, it was the first thing to look out for.
2) Bumpy Clunky - Car seemed to thrash a bit on bumps. My seassoned mk4 senses told me front upper strut mounts, and the uneven height of the caps in the engine bay were a nice reinforcement of this theory
3) Tired suspension feel overall. Slow to respond, and a bit wishy washy on harder inputs.
4) Dead pixels in the LCD screen
5) Little too much buzz/rasp in the stock exhaust note, maybe bad cats or muffler.
6) Passenger Headlight would go out after warming up, usually on bumps. Some spotty wiring repair evidence on the harness near the plug showed someone was poking around for this.
7) November in Chicago, wet and cold roads, the car seemed way too eager to spin the front tires. No codes or lights, but something wasn't right. !!!!
8) Rear emblem placement seemed off.
9) Clearbra / PPF on the hood, filler plate, mirrors, and fenders was aged, yellowing, and cracking in various spots. This was a "selling point" from the dealer I bought from, but in person it was anything but!
10) Large bubble in front right tire, and an overall noisy/loud set of tires for being seemingly good on tread life.

All-in-all, the car was really great and extremely satisfying for being so old. While I had no idea where I would take this car, even stock it was very fun. But soon, the mod bug would come around and send me into the abyss of mk4 upkeep, r32/tt mods, and general personalizing/experimenting.

Current Mods as of Nov, 2021:

Engine & Performance:
- UnitedMotorsports ECU & DSG Tunes
  • Techtonics Tuning 264/260 Cams
  • aFe dry-flow drop in filter
  • SuperSprint SS Headers, Coated, 034 SS manifold studs
  • USP Mid-pipe / HFC, w/ V-Band
  • Custom CBE, resonated 2.5" with custom axle back.
  • Thermal Management on Airbox/Intake Mani/Heathshields
  • Gruven IM bushing and actuator
  • Fluidampr Crank Pulley
  • CSF Aluminum Radiator
  • 034 Phenolic IM Gasket spacer
  • Porsche Coolant Cap

- Raxles front axles (dsg)
  • VF Engine and transmission mounts
  • 034 Dogbone mount, street-density
  • USP Cool-Flo DSG Filter housing
  • Powerflex Race series Differential mounts (F&R)

Suspension & Braking:
- HPA SHS Coilovers
  • H&R Rear Sway bar w/ SuperPro bushings, coated satin black
  • Gruven rear sway links
  • Megan Racing Adj. Rear Control arms (4) coated satin black
  • Powerflex Race rear-trailing arm front bushings
  • 034 Front Subframe Solid inserts
  • Powerflex Steering Rack bushing (Race)
  • RB 330mm front BBK w/ GLoc pads
  • RB Rear 2pc Rotor Conversion, painted stock calipers
  • USP rear and RB Front SS brake lines
  • Enkei RPF1 wheels, 18x8, w/ Conti Extreme Tires
  • 034 Wheel stud conversion
  • 42DD spacers (winter setup)

Exterior & Lighting & Appearance:
- "RS" Style honeycomb grille
  • Yellow foglight and high beam bulbs
  • Painted stock lower grilles in gloss black
  • Wrinkle Black coated valve cover
  • Amber Fender Markers

- Denison bluetooth adapter w/ Mic
  • EuroKreations rear seat delete
  • OEM Black conversion (carpet, panels, dash, Console, doors)
  • Euro/Mini-Door glovebox
  • Recaro Pole Position Seats w/ Side Brackets
  • 996 seat/floor adapters

Deletes & Weight Reduction:
- SatRad Module, 6disc
  • SAI System
  • Headlight Washer System
  • Brake Vac Pump and lines
  • Rear Seat, Belts, and hardware
  • Secondary horn
  • A/C system (compressor, condensor, and lines)


5,227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
~ Phase 2 : Suspension Upgrades / Refresh and First Mods ~

Within the first 2 weeks of ownership, the added seat time with the car yielded more clarity in what it needed.

We ordered & installed @ 110K mi:

1 - A new battery from Audi
2 - aFe drop-in filter
3 - USP's .:R32 HFC / midpipe (15 lbs lighter than stock)
4 - Flapper Mod (plugged the line)

- Car was definitely breathing easier. HFC's added tone, and the flapper mod had the car sounding great
- Sluggish starts were solved by the battery, which we realized was original :eek:
- Drop-in filter, dry-flow, changed nothing really, but was nice to replace the dirty stocker

After another 1,000 miles, and some time around the holidays, it was time to address the suspension issues. Additionally, the driver side front CV boot was leaking bad, and slinging grease everywhere. The car was now running our LB's with Conti DWS 06 and still spinning the front tires, so that needed to be addressed yet, and the roadnoise didnt disappear with the new tires. So the wheel bearings needed to be checked. After a thorough inspection of the car, we had some work to do.

We ordered & Installed @ 111k mi:

1 - HPA SHS Coilovers (about 10 pounds lighter than stock)
2 - Febi F&R Sway Bar links
3 - New OEM Front LCA Bushings
4 - New Hubs and Wheel bearings (front)
5 - ECS stiffened upper strut mounts
6 - Raxles front Axles
7 - Meyle HD ball joints
8 - Front sway bar bushings
9 - 034 Solid front sub frame inserts
10 - Powerflex "race" black steering rack bushing
11 - 034 Desnity line dogbone mount
12 - all new TTY / Suspension hardware, Strut bearings.

Install and part Pictures:

Old hubs & Axles & Suspension

New Parts

In the middle of this install, some vanitiy plates showed up. CBGP = CamBridge Green Pearl. Just in time to get the car to get its first 4 wheel alignment. A must after being lowered, and especially after you just had the entire front end apart.

Shortly after the install, a couple of other things were tackled:
1 - Euro Kreations rear seat delete (net 40lbs!)
2 - Denison blue tooth adapter w/ mic kit to be used with the stock Bose unit
3 - Deleted 6disc, sat rad module, and alarm horn. (net 12 lbs)

Deleted Items: (Note the cool impact / chassis braces)

New bluetooth mic added behind blind screen in headliner

- Car felt RESTORED. The SHS coilovers were tight, and had a great progressive feel. Not sure if the stock stuff was bad, but the car actually rode better, and felt more comfortable over bumps
- HPA SHS are not "go-low" coils, so I put the rears 80% down, and the fronts at about 70%. About an inch lower than stock.
- Road noise was gone, so new bearings and hubs, along with the Raxles had the car riding smooth and quiet again.
- The dogbone was a welcome mod, the shifts more crisp, throttle response finally felt like a real VR6, and the slop was eliminated
- Sway bar links, inserts, new mounts, and ball joints tied it all together.
- The deletes took about 60 pounds off the car, excluding the weight savings from the coilovers. Always a welcome effect.
- The steering mount brought the response to an immedieate level. One of my favorite cheap mods for this platform.
- The interior, now with a black rear seat delete, definitely called to attention the rest of the grey in the car. The two tone look was becomming a bit of an eye sore.

After install, we started to diagnose the fwd burnout machine this car was. With snow on the ground, and a slo-mo video, we were able to implement a field test. The rears were not engaging at all.... After a silent output test for the haldex via VCDS, we decided to address the haldex pump.

At roughly 112k, we installed:
- OEM Haldex Pump, O-Rings, and Fluid & Filter
- Powerlfex Front Diff Mount inserts (Black / Race )

The Pump was the culprit, and the car FINALLY felt like the AWD car it was supposed to be. I will admit ripping the front tires loose had its perks, but the car was now an animal around the conrers and off the line, all while still being on the DWS06 rubber. After the first 2 months of having the car, and about 3,000 miles. We were already well underway a solid path of maintenance and mods. It started to feel way more dialed in, eager, and fun to drive.

The car was ready for its first big road trip, and with spring around the corner - some new wheels & tires and a trip to WITW!

5,227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
~ Phase 3 : Summer Wheels, Road Trip, and Wookies 2019 Prep! ~

Decided to take a trip up to Northern WI to visit family, and with all the new bits on the TT, I was ready to enjoy the labor endured.

Right before the trip, I decided to swap in some yellow fog light bulbs. A nice accent to the oem Xenons and green exterior. During the install, we found a loose/spare H3 bulb just rolling around in the housing. :screwy: Apparently someone went in here to swap a bulb at some point and either inadvertently or intentionally, left the old bulb in there. To make this more confusing, the installed bulb AND the loose bulb were both operational. Ive seen quite a bit of strange things from PO's before. But never have I seen a headlight housing used for bulb storage ;)

Additionally, I wanted to experiment with replacing the OEM resonator. The stock unit had noticebale rust and flaking, so I went to my buddy Tan to have him swap in a new unit, and while we were at it, we replaced some of the piping before/after the resonator, and added some double-walled 3.5" tips to the car. (I run this tip on almost every car I own...LOVE THEM)

The car was sounding smoother, more crisp, and had great tone with the HFCS, resonator, and repairs. The road trip to WI was awesome.... The car rode great up north on the twisties, and actually had some great highway character. I finally got to strecth the legs on the car a bit too, which made me really apprecaite the 3.2 VR6 / DSG combo. I would never say this car is FAST, but you also cannot say its slow. Any other mk4 R32 / TT VR6 owner will know what I mean I think. It is a car of great balance.

Some pics from the first road-trip.

Shortly after the trip up north, I had committed to going to my first WITW, and I was going to take the TT. Before I could though, I had some other things to address after the long drive to WI and back.

So, at about 113k mi, performed the following:
- New Brake Light switch
- 18x8 Enkei RPF1 Wheels, (39lbs vs 54 stock 18" combo)
- Conti Extreme Sport Contacts 225/40/18
- Oil change w/ filter, Magnetic drain plug
- New front wheel speed sesnsors, to address false ABS issue
- Stoptech front SS brake lines
- USP Rear SS brake lines
- Flush and bleed with Motul 5.1 fluid
- New axle back Exhaust (dual-in/out muffler, with one port capped)

The car felt and sounded incredible. Summer rubber with light weight wheels, a more dialed-in catback setup, and fresh fluids for the brakes and engine. I literally had the exhasut done on my way to WITW, so the drive to TN/NC was the perfect way to break it in. As with any VR6 with exhaust, it has til this day, not gotten old.

5,227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
~ Phase 4: Wookies and the Carolinas ~

With the car well invested in, and ready for action. We went to wookies. I cruised down with my buddies Mike & Colin. (mk4 r32 and mk2 tt 3.2 vr6 6m/t, respectively). The trip was a blast. Great people, great cars, great roads, and just overall very great time. The experience of being in a VR6 on the dragon is hard to describe, but it feels very "right". The car's handling and powerband make it a very nice fit for those roads. And having a green car out in the mountains, is the perfect backdrop. :laugh:

After the trip to wookies, I visited my brother in NC, and then finished off the road trip with a weekend in Charleston, SC. The car did great on its way to wookies, its fast paced abusive runs on the mountain, and then to/from NC, SC, all the way back to Chicago. Not a single problem showed up!

Worth noting, during WITW, the car was flashed with ECU/DSG tune from United Motorsports. Although the tune was supposed to enable launch control, it did not. So I would not recommend anyone with the mk1 tt 3.2 dsg to purcahse the dsg tune. The change in shift points and behavioir in S mode is really the only thing I noticed/improved. But it was not worth the spend. I don't regret buying them, but it was not what I thought it would be. Apparently, US DSG TT's were supposed to have L/C, but this feature was "removed" on later 3.2's. Only a handful have the feature in the states. And simply flashing the new software does not enable it. Further changes are needed within the machtronics unit or harwadre itself. Project for down the road I suppose...

Some pictures from the spring trip.

Getting flashed for the ECU/DSG tune (not my photo)

Other images from the trip!

Once in NC, I decided to do a clay & wax, before heding off to SC and back home


5,227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
~ Phase 5 : Haldex Woes, BBK, and some 1/4 Mile Fun ~

With the car back from its road trip out east, and some wallet recovery time - a few months went by where we simply... enjoyed the car. As a matter of fact, for a majority of summer 2019, we just refined some things here and there. But that soon changed. On the dragon, the stock brakes were pretty decent, especially with the motul fluid and SS lines, but they did get tired, and it was time to upgrade. On top of that, while visiting a friend one day, I noticed the the rear end would clunk on tight corners. After some troubleshooting, we determined the haldex unit (controller likely) might be bad. Unplugging it at the controller alleviated the symptom, and once again, the TT was back in FWD mode until we figured it out. So... since I cannot seem to make one repair anything but a project - we decided to address this and the brake upgrade at the same time.

I have always enjoyed the quality, price point, and weight spec of the RB BBK. After a short trip to Lui's house to test fit my rpf1 onto his.:R32 (who also has the kit) we were home free. I needed a kit to clear these wheels, and also the 17" VW LB's we run in the winter. The RB MK4 kit, compatible for GTI and R32, was the perfect ticket. Coming in at a little less than stock diameter (330mm) and adding 4piston calipers, 2pc rotors, and new lines - we were on our way to ligther, better, and more attractive brakes. Upon removing the stock stuff, the results for weight were awesome... 20lbs lighter per corner, so an overall 40lb rotating mass reduction for the front of this car. :eek: Combine this with the RPF1 and lighter coilovers, this car was about to feel great before even touching that brake pedal.

Impressions - WHOA. The acceleration/throttle response off the line was the first notable thing, and of course after that the braking :) Overall great mod, and just what the stock brakes were lacking in. With the added benefit of weight loss and looks. The pads on this setup are easy to swap out. Just pull the two allen bolts and spring clip and out come the pads. The calipers are still lug mount style, and bleeding is done in two locations, but overall, easy to keep clean, and plenty of pad options as the the caliper accepts wrx pads. I ended up swapping out the RB provided pads for Gloc GS1 pads. RB's were a bit noisy.

Haldex Repair and Rear Diff Bushings

After sourcing a lightly used controller on vortex, gaskets, and a new filter, fluid, and drain plug. I was off to a haldex service. Additionally, I ordered a set of Powerflex race series rear diff bushing inserts. We had previouly installed these on a buddy's .:R32 so I knew I wanted this mod to match the front bushings already on the TT. Install was straight forward. Remove the rear mount brace, burn out the old, clean, and lube & pop in the new units. No more drivetrain movement.

No pictures of the haldex controller install, pretty straight forward once the mount is out of the way. But I did manage to mess up the gasket on first try, and ended up having to drive into Chicago to get another gasket from the only dealer in the state who had one. On that drive, my friends car decided to overheat. Funny how these things work :) To make things more interesting, the new tube of haldex fluid decided to break at the bottom when lifting it up to fill and spilled all over the floor. lol.

After this the car was ready for a visit to the track - where it received its new best of 14.4 with a pretty weak 60ft of 2.1sec. Not bad for a car with just a tune, drop in, exhaust and some weight reduction. Definitely slugglish off the line though, compared to our friedns R32 who was able to get high 13's and a nice 60ft. While our goal is not to have the fgastest N/A TT, still a great car to drive and really moves out nice.


5,227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
~ Phase 6 : Winter 2019 Overhaul - Headers / Mounts / Cooling & More! ~

The car continued to operate great throughout the Fall, and even thru Thanksgiving. Shortly before Xmas, right before taking a vaca, I noticed the front end steaming after a quick drive to the store. Coolant level looked a little low in the globe, and the steam smelled like coolant. After getting under the car, confirmed a small leak at the bottom of the radiator. At nearly 120K now on the car, I had some maintainence items waiting to go on. DSG service, plugs & coils, fuel filter, Oil change. So - at this point I decided to add cooling system refresh to the list.

1 - Mishimoto Rad
2 - U+L Rad hoses
3 - Coolant Res and Porsche cap
4 - oil cooler hoses, globe feed & return
5 - Gruven's Aluminum Tstat housing, Crack pipe, and thermostat kit
6 - CTS
7 - Valve cover and Intake Mani / throttle body gaskets
8 - 034 SAI block-off plate (UM deletes this in the tune, so the hardware was basically dormant)
9 - 034 Phenolic Intake Mani Gasket

Let the tear-down begin!

With the bumper off, and the carrier in the service position, I started by pulling off stock coolant items, rad, and SAI. I also decided to delete the brake vac pump, and headlight washers. All three items removed, came in at another 12lbs of stuff gone, and a little more breathing room. Capped the SAI solenoid and left it in place.

Also tackled the plugs & coils (which looked ROUGH)

It was at this point, where the slope got slippery. WITW'20 was 3 months away. And knowing what the car would be put through, with a lot of stuff off the car and some time to work on it, some ideas started to form. A couple things were detected with the car apart.

- Motor mounts looked tired, and engine mount looked to be wet
- OEM flexpipes were torn and starting to breakdown
- Accy belt had a chunk out of the side
- Alternator looked tired and the contacts were getting low

Downpipe carnage - ALso, broke my 02 wrench trying to get the upstream sensors out, so... add new O2's to the ECS cart. :(

With these things identified, it was time to order some more replacement parts, and some fun parts too. The friend with the mk4 .:R32, had a set of SuperSprint headers that he wasnt planning on running before wookies, and he offerred to let me run them and he would re-order on the next batch. In addition to this, I wanted to run a set of quality mounts. Not a lot of options for the MK1 TT 3.2, since it is a MK4 chassis, with VR6 AND with DSG, I couldnt find anything compatible.... So having some experience with VF mounts, I decided to have a little experiment. Throw in new tensioner, alternator, hardware, and some Intake manifold parts to complete the project. Since we have to wait for some stuff to arrive, I decided to have the headers coated, along with coating a new valve cover I had sitting in storage.

New Valve cover, coated in wrinkle black (Also got my S4 intake manifold done)

With the valve cover being refreshed, I ordered a new oil-air spearator for underneath, mid-install:

Breaking this post up into sections, as there were a couple of large side-quests in this stage.

Supersprint Headers
Before & after coating, Install hardware, and 034 SS studs to complete the install. Couldn't find a lot of info on these fitting the TT 3.2, but there were no issues. Just very tight by the driveshaft and a bit hard to reach. They also have an extra O2 port on them. The coating is a high temp ceramic


VF Engineering : Engine and Transmission Mounts

The MK1 TT 3.2 DSG shares an engine mount with the other mk4 vr's. But the tranmission mount is a bit of an oddball/rarity. It has a 2-bolt chassis mount like the mk4's, but the trans side is a 3-bolt style, like mk5&mk6 DSG that also run the 02E trans. I looked into BFI, 034, DLI, ECS, VWR, VibraTech., etc. Nobody seemed to specifically address the trans mount for this car. After doing some research on a couple of facebook groups, some owners have made something work or gone with custom brackets. On my mk4 jetta, I ran VF mounts, and remember liking the modular design aspect to them. The bushings across all gen's were shared, but the mounting base and brackets differed. With this in mind, I figured maybe I could make my own hybrid by using the MK4 and MK5 transmission mounts. So I ordered the following:

1 - VF MK4 VR6 Engine Mount (R32)
2 - VF MK4 VR6 Transmission Mount (R32)
3 - VF MK5 VR6 DSG Mount (R32)

Here are the trans mounts side by side

You'll notice that the two are very similar in terms of where they mount (left to right) and total height. The MK5 being a bit shorter. Both middle brackets, securing hardware, and bushings though, were all the same. So in theory, if the MK4 trans mount mates to the chassis, and the mk5 trans bracket mounts to the 02E, and the heights & length both are close enough, could this work? All I had to do was swap out the middle bracket between the two mounts.

Pictured below is the mk4 engine mount (left), and the mk4/dsg hybrid in the middle. On the right is the MKV mount with the old mk4 bracket

So - Time to test fit

Pretty close, a slight gap between the the bracekt and mating surface of the transmission. When compared to the OEM trans mount, the VF kit bracket is a bit thinner, and therefore the total height is affected.

Simply making up for this gap by threading in the bolts would either bottom out the bolts, or cause the engine to sit higher on the driver side. Leaving me with two options. 1) Either run a spacer, washers, or adapter to make up the void or 2) Run a pair of thinner bushings (two top units) to try and drop the mount down. Out of fear of the center VF bolt bottoming out early, or the bushing thickness not absorbing the vibrations as much. I choose option 1. WIth the help of a friend Chirs, I sketched a template and a few days later I had a custom spacer. During this time I also measured all the VF and OEM hardware, and ordered some nice ARP bolts and washers to spruce up the hardware. I also painted the bushings to get rid of the red. VF offers black bushings, but they were out of stock at the time.

With hardware arrived, and the spacer, it was time to assemble my hybrid mount.

Installation was perfect!

Engine Side done too:

Intake Manifold Make-over

At 120k and 15years, the manifold plaque was starting to warp, and with it off and some time to spare, I decided do some restoration to the manifold. I added the gruven bushings, gruven arm kit, some underside thermal tape, new glue for the emblem, 034 phenolic gasket, new TB/Head-side gaskets, and finally, a nice sanding, and repaint. I used duplicolor's high heat primer and silver rattle can. After paint, we did a through job of applying heat reflective tape to the underside of the runners and rear plenum. Turned out great for an @home DIY project. Also decided to add the tape to the axle shield, airbox, and OEM header heatshield. This combined with the ceramic coating on the headers, adds in a TON of heat management to the engine bay.

After cleaning and sanding, and applying tape:

Clamping and heating the emblem panel to get rid of the warp, then claping down to the mani with new adhesive. (used high heat double-sided tape)

Heat management on the header heatshield, axle cover, and airbox

Gruven Goodies and 034's gasket spacer (note the red dots, I had to drill two holes for the locating posts on the manifold for this to mount up)

After installtion - new mani, and ne valve cover, looking good! MK2 TT VR6 coilpack plenum cover in the works.

** Note - the addition of the spacer did make mounting up the manifold a little more difficult to thread in the bolts at the rear. But by adjusting the moutning angle of the exhaust heatshiled, which the bracket for IM mounting attaches to, I was able to get everythign seated/snug**

Final Assembly and Discoveries:

Got the car all back together with a lot of excitement. New plugs, headers, mounts, cooling system - this thing was going to feel like an all new car! Not so fast. Added coolant and did my first start. Not only the I need to adjust the midpipe and header connections for an exhaust leak, but my BRAND NEW MISHIMOTO aluminum raditaor was leaking, and so were the thermostat housing and crackpipe. I was shook - all new metal parts and here I was with three leaks. So apart the car came again... Oring was damaged upon install of the crack pipe, so triple checked the block port for smothness by using a deburring tool and sanding/cleaning. Then installed new oring. Sent the radiator to ECS for return, and replaced it was the CSF aluminum unit. To anyone reading this, I would recommend the CSF of the mishi. THe lower and upper rad hoses (OEM and brand new) did not fit securely to the mishi rad. fluid leaked out not even under pressure. So the car went back together and then was stated. Crackpipe STILL leaked, this time out of the oil cooler hose port and still the block. I decided to just buy a new plastic/oem pipe and t-stat kit, and got rid of the metal pieces all togehter.

Here is a pic of the radiator installed - THey do not list the mk1 tt 3.2 in their fitment guide, but like the R32's you just need to modify the A/C evap bracket and it otherwsie fits great. Also Looks awesome!

The last thing to do, was repaint my lower grills and new upper honeycomb unit, install the emblem, and finally enjoy this car a bit!


After a few test drives tweaks and small fixes, the car was transformed. The VF mounts worked great - def a small increase in NVH, but a welcome imporvement in engagement, power delivery, and shifts with the DSG. the headers didnt add much of a noticeable power increase (expeceted) but the sound was definitely changed. the pulses are smoother, the tone consistent, and the upper rpm is glorious.

At this point, the car was under for almost 2 months between all the orders, wait times, install and redo's. Witw was cancelled, so we were left with an awesome TT and nowhere to go but local! :)

5,227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
~ Phase 7 : Fluidampr & Rear Suspension overhaul ~

Things slowed down once we knew WITW'20 was cancelled, and with Quarantine, the car didn't have to participate in its daily duty, so I decided to address a couple more things.

Rear bushing refresh, install some megan arms that I had ordered in early 2020, and a little bit of a rear-sway bar restoration/project. It was also at this time that I took advtange of USP's sale on the fluidampr, so I picked one of those up and got it installed on the car. Was pleasantly surpised with how much of a difference this made in feel. (No pics of this)

Rear Bushings and Control Arms:
It is no secret that lowering the TT/R32 without getting adjustable arms will cause some accelerated wear on the rear tires, and I managed to chew through my rear tires in one season as a result of not doing this after the coilover install. So I committed to some Megan rear lower arms in early 2020 to install before Wookies. I was not crazy about the blue color, so I had them recoated in a satin black to tone things down. Since I would have a majority of the car apart for this, I also decided to address the trailing arm bushings (Both front, and rear positions). Step 1 would be getting the car up in the air and everything removed.

Getting the rear positions out required a ball-joint press tool with sockets and cups. THIS WAS FUN

Before & After Removal

Not sure if these things ever come out clean, but I got them out after pressing, cutting, heating, and shaving. Lemforder replacements from ECS. One of the things I learned from researching replacements is that Powerflex/SUperPro/Anyone does not make poly replacements for this location, as it is designed to articulate in a specific manner.

Next came the front position trailing arm bushings, these do have a poly replacement from Powerflex. Removing these was harder than I anticipated, and the stock bushing is solid rubber with a plastic ring. I had to heat the arm to melt the plastic, but could not get heat all the way around without damaging the surrounding area. So this took a lot of heating, prying, and general convincing to get out. After they were removed, cleaning the voids and popping in the new bushings went easy. I dont have many pics of the process, but anyone who sees the garage picture below will probably relate to the feeling of every tool being out at one time

New rear control arms back from powdercoating, and being prepped for re-assembly.

Installed - Getting these to pop into the rear subframe and line up isnt easy. But eventually using a mallet and some WD40 They pop in.

Rear Sway Bar:

My buddy Erik (1.8tgtimkiv) had a nasty H&R sway bar for his R32 that he never refreshed and installed, and donated this to me. <3 So I decided to wrap up the rear-end upgrades/refresh with this unit, and some Gruven adjustable links to keep all the geomtery in order. The bar came to me pretty flaked/rusty and the collars were about to fall off, likely not going to survive the blasting cand coating process.

After blasting, there was no major damage to the bar, so we moved forward with coating it, getting replacement bushings (SUperPro) and some aftermarket locking collars from DST Suspension. Gruven's links and fresh hardware to finish off the install.

Everything in and buttoned up (yikes the rust axle looks nasty!)

Before getting the car aligned and new tires installed, I also repalced the front Upper strut mounts from ECS. In about a year, that had already worn pretty bad.

Getting fresh rubber (new rear tires) post install.

Overall - as imagined, the rear refresh realyl buttoned things up. The sway bar has added a lot of confidence to the car, and the turn in is incredible. WIth the fresh alignment, tires, and bushings. The car is honestly quite capable. Not much else I think I need to change at this point. Would be curious to see how a front bar might stiffen things further, but I prefer the rear bias thats in play right now.

Next Post will likely be the progress on our interior conversion to black carpet/dash/panels

Thanks for checking in

5,227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No issues deleting the brake vac pump? I was going to leave mine out too, but also not a big deal to reinstall.
None that I have noticed - I have a soft open circuit code and that is it.

What do you think of the Fluidampr?
Hey! good to see you are still here. I love it. changed the exhaust note a tad which I wasn't expecting (smoother sounds all around) and top end felt stronger. We did this on my buddy's r32 so when USP put it up on sale again I snatched one up. Its not one of those WOW mods, but if you are looking for every little bit its def a sum-of-the parts type of things. Hope that helps

Nice build. Clean car.

Small update - The interior is officially finished! Swapped out all the stock grey with OEM black. Carpet, Door Panels, Cargo trim, lower dash, glovebox, console, radio bezel, sills, seat belts, etc. All converted to OEM black. Then I had the A & B pillars, and headliner done re-wrapped in black, and the cargo liners done in a black felt to match the rear seat delete.

Decided to go with a set of Recaro pole positions to pay homage to the UK TT-QS. Installed, Recaro side mounts, sliders, and used Porsche 996 brackets to adapt to the floor. Reused stock seat belts, and resistor'd the seat plugs for airbag codes. The seats fit the interior very well, and I am loving the all black look now. The grey was a bit dingy and toned down the green of the car IMO.

- Pics up soon -

Also ordered a set of euro tails from BKS tuning about 7 weeks ago, no update yet on if those will actually ship out or not, but hopefully they do, and I can source a LHD euro switch to get everything working right.

Premium Member
TTq, OBXT, Renegade
16,092 Posts
Hey! good to see you are still here. I love it. changed the exhaust note a tad which I wasn't expecting (smoother sounds all around) and top end felt stronger. We did this on my buddy's r32 so when USP put it up on sale again I snatched one up. Its not one of those WOW mods, but if you are looking for every little bit its def a sum-of-the parts type of things. Hope that helps
Thanks dude! I just bought a stroker kit for the TT so I hope to get my build going relatively soon, I'm not going to be starting a threat or anything until I'm actually ready to go, and I'll almost definitely be buying one

5,227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey everyone, been a while but the TT has still been getting some attention - Splitting this up into two posts: Interior and rear Brakes & upkeep!

Interior Swap: Grey to Black
Never really loved the grey interior on the car, and after the black rear seat delete was installed, the two-tone and mismatch vibe of the cabin started to get to me. One day I was browsing Ebay and came across a MK1 TT black carpet for $150 shipped. Looked great in the pics, and when it arrived I was blown away with how good of condition the carpet was in. I ended up reaching out to the seller/recycler and he said it was from a low mileage AZ car, so what started as a random grab for some carpet ended up spiraling into an entire black interior conversion over the summer. Essentially every panel, clip, cover, and grey part in the car has now been replaced with a black oem version. It took about 2 months to identify, gather, buy and ship each part.

Starting disassembly and about to pull Grey carpet out

Some of the Grey parts removed & organized

Steam cleaning the new carpet before install.

For the pillars, headliner, and rear cargo area - we decided that rewrapping them would be better than sourcing used units. So we went to a local shop for the work. They were able to get really close to the rear seat delete fabric for the rear, and had some nice black headliner material and padding for the pillars and headliner.

Back from the upholsterer (white balance makes the liners look less black than they actually are)

Glovebox - Didnt know this, but apparently there is a "mini" door glovebox on the market, maybe this is a Canadian unit? Either way I purchased this as I needed a black glovebox and it was discounted due to some hacking on the back for what appeared to be a stereo or aux device install. After about 2hrs of plastic welding and sanding, I had it working and mounted in the car. Fun fact too - although the door is smaller than the US version, the unit actually weighs about 5lbs less and has MORE interior volume. So very happy with this "surprise" mod.

After a lot of cleaning, assembly, and wrestling of the new carpet - it was time to install and decide on some seats. Debated rewrapping the stockers, or finding some baseball stich seats, but with the direction of the car starting to go more towards a motorsport theme, we ended up installing a set of Recaro Pole Positions in Black Velour. In the UK the TT Quattro Sport could actually be optioned with these seats, so I felt comfortable purchasing a set knowing they would suit the cabin well, and there were plenty of pictures online of the look. Turns out the TT shares a mounting layout similar to the 996. After a ton of research on the UK forum, recaro catalogs, and a few friends - I had the following ready to go in.

Recaro Seats (17lb each)
Black Recaro Side mounts
Recaro sliders
Stable Energies SS floor adapter
Resistors and Loom for Airbag deletes
OEM seat belt receptacles
Porsche 964 Seat belt brackets 90*

Each stock seat weighed about 60 lbs, so the seat swap netted about 56lbs all said and done after hardware, brackets and sliders. You could save another 4-6 pounds with this swap by using Recaro's aluminum side mounts, but I was already over budget on this interior swap and liked the black look better of the steel units.

Carpet, Glovebox, dash and radio cage all installed. Center console and all the assorted trim pieces, e-brake, lever, etc...

Stable Energies brackets and side mounts

Side shot, can kind of seat headliner and pillars in this photo

New OEM black floor mats to top it all off!

Rear liners are a near perfect match for the EuroKreations RSD

Shot of the exterior in full summer mode!

So there you have it! A full black interior conversion had our TT looking totally different on the inside and a lot more consistent. The headliner turned out great, it was my firs time ever having something re-wrapped. Still a couple of things I need to do to finish up the interior on this car but need to do research yet.
1) Harness bar (or half cage) across rear seat location.
2) Find out if blank switches exist for the now useless heated seat switches (wonder what the TT QS runs here)
3) I still need the large trim piece that surrounds the rear glass on the hatch in black.
4) Would love a suede/alcantara steering wheel if I can find one!
5) Debating doing a very light 35% or 50% tint on the car, but like the fishbowl look too.

5,227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Racing Brake Rear BBK Install:
During the rear suspension overhaul, noticed the rear brakes were starting to look pretty beat. Decided to go with the RacingBrake (RB) rear rotor upgrade, and also decided to get a set of new calipers from Centric. They are refurbed units, but after cores came out to only $100. Will likely get some black caliper paint of these. Upon install though, I realized I had a new issue.... the new rotors were wobbly and hitting the dust shield. Turns out my wheel bearing and/or hub actually had some slight warping to it causing it to "rock" back and forth almost hitting the carrier bracket! This caused me to have to pause the install and order some additional items. Ended up doing the following.

RB Rear "BBK" : 2pc rotors, caliper carrier adapters
OEM/Centric rebuilt calipers
Gloc Pads
Rear Hubs, Bearings, and new Wheel Studs
Rear ABS sensors

You gain about 2lbs per side with these rotors, but its worth it considering they are almost an inch larger in Diameter. The Long Beach wheels I run during winter BARELY fit over this setup now.

Wheel bearing pressing action!

Installed: (also decided to remove the rear perches at this time to address some nasty rake I had going on)

*you will note in this pic above, that the rear e-brake cable is not attached. I needed to almost max out the cable length from the interior in order for these to reach the new (taller) caliper position with this kit. I couldn't find any info on if this is an issue for the mk4 R32 crowd that have ran this. But without adjusting the cables, they would rub on the bottom of the rear axle boots. The hard fluid lines also needed to be bent slightly in order to mount up flush. For anyone who installs this kit, definitely want to consider this as it could turn a simple install into a longer one if you are not expecting it. *

Overall impressions is the car feels way more balanced when on the pedal. The rear upgrade isnt "huge" but it definitely has balanced the car out. I still need to do another bleed and flush most likely as I have some soft pedal feel, but I will likely wait until Spring to do this as the car wont be driven much in the winter with quarantine still in effect. Would also love to get these calipers painted black to match the front RBK kit. At this point, essentially everything in the rear has been touched/addressed from haldex to suspension to braking. The TT is really starting to come together.

Some Upkeep, Repairs and light mods/trouble shooting. Not a lot of extra content here but did want to document a few other items that took place this Fall:
1) Late summer I ran into the low speed fan issue. Ended up running two meyle fans, and a new OEM FCM. The car was running the fans at only high speed and as a result, blowing the fuse in periods of long idling.
2) Had to remove and lube the Gruven Intake manifold changeover to get it to operate fully. It was getting stuck in the plunged poistion and the car felt very flat on the bottom end as it wasn't able to use the torque port effectively.
3) After the cooling overhaul last winter, and then the fans - I now have an underheating issue. So today (December) I ended up swapping in yet another new thermostat and coolant temp sensor. It was taking the car close to 30min of normal driving to heat up. After install, the car reached temp at about 17min of idling. The tstat was not stuck open when removed, so I am still cautious if that was the issue or if its something more. Gauge/Cluster perhaps? :unsure:
4) Oil change a few weeks ago using Liqui-Moly and a new ECS dipstick (bye ugly orange!). Also swapped in a new crank sensor for preventative maint.

As of now the thread is up to date! Not sure what ill do next for this winter. Got some stuff in mind, but also have some major life changes on the way so need to do some planning for those.

Currently, I am looking into the following down the road:

1) TT Cams and timing chain job. At 124k on this motor, and would love to complete the power adders with some cams. (also the upper timing cover has a small oil leak)
2) HPA DSG and Haldex software. I still want launch control :D
3) Half cage, Roll bar, harness bar, something to complete the look with the seats
4) Cluster rebuild. Have some dead pixels and potentially a coolant gauge issue. Also the internal speaker is blown and crackles during chimes. Annoying!
5) Tint, and maybe a nice correction/detail.
6) Looking at deleting the rear muffler and running a single exit, or turndown and filled valence to clean up the rear and save some more weight on this car
7) The car is officially entering weekend car category. So I might take weight reduction a bit further and run an A/C delete to get some weight off the front end. (I think I have used the A/C maybe once in this car.

1,977 Posts
Great thread and build!

I just got a 2006 SE and I'm going through some of the same mods/maintenance items you did.
Good to see a TT V6 upkeep being documented like this.

Couple of comments/questions:
1. FYI, the 2006 SE (Special Edition) came without seat heaters, so there are available black buttons for the dash for sure! Edit: link to these here: Blind Cover - Sabre (Black) - Priced Each

2. Nice score on the pole positions...drooling here! Any issues removing the interior trim to get to the headliner? I worry all those clips are going to break...

3. Curious as to why you've kept the little shark fin antenna so far. There are delete plugs available and you can save some weight there too (not much).

4. Doing the A/C diagnostics, you can monitor engine coolant temp "live" on the A/C screen, seems like you have a bad thermostat (i have same issue and will be replacing soon)

Keep it up! Love the car. Luis
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