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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone,

I wanted to document my 2013 Mk6 R, so I can remember and track my progress as well as hopefully provide some useful information for other people.

First some background on myself and where I think I see the car going. From 2012 to 2016, I owned an Evo X, a Scrion FR-S, and a 2000 Miata. The Evo was a fun car that I did a few auto-x's with, but after one track day on it, I was hooked and decided that the FR-S might be better suited to what I wanted to do. Over the next few years, I did 27 track days across 14 different tracks throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and Central regions of the country. The car was super fun and I was learning and progressing a lot, however I had an unfortunate off at Hog Pen at VIR and ended up totaling the car in early 2015 (it was a very sad day, but I was otherwise fine). A few months later I bought the Miata, did some work to it, drove it for two track days, and then had a lot of life changes that required me to sell the car. So unfortunately from 2016 till now I have been driving pretty boring cars and have not done any track days.

On to the R. I am currently in southern New Hampshire and I bought the car in April 2019 (~ 49,000 miles on it) with the main purpose of being an everyday car that could handle snow (AWD), kids (needed 4 doors), but also be a fun track car. That narrowed down the list of options considerably, but I was able to find the R pretty close by for a good enough (at the time) deal. The first few months were a bit rough, as I felt like I was replacing things every other week. The car was in an accident before (known when purchasing) but seems to have been repaired well enough (got it inspected). However, the maintenance history was pretty sketchy and the previous owner had done enough mods in the "stance" theme, so there was a lot to do from a maintenance and drive-ability perspective. I try and do as much as I can myself, but unfortunately I do not have a garage so some work is harder to do in the dirt/gravel then others, or just basically means I need to take it to a shop.

First up was replacing the stretched wheel/tire combo and super-low and cheap suspension. I went with Sport Edition A16 (Tire Rack house brand) wheels in 18x8 with some basic summer tires that were on a steep discount (winter tires are on as of this writing) along with KW V1 coilovers and a Rennline wheel stud conversion kit. The wheels looks pretty good and are reasonably lightweight for what they are, but they'll eventually get replaced down the line once I get heavy into tracking the car again. Installing the coilovers is also where I learned that having the right/special tools for working on German cars was absolutely necessary!

Everything below are also items that I did between purchasing the car and about July 2019 (just about everything for the 60k service):
- coolant refresh kit from ECS
- the timing belt kit from ECS
- HPFP and cam follower
- spark plugs and coils
- re-installed the rear wiper blade
- IE intake and camber plates
- engine, transmission, bevel box, haldex, rear diff oils
- diverter valve (was leaking along with the recirc hose which was giving me underboost codes)

The brakes were in need of replacement so in October 2019 I did:
- ECS's two-piece rotor kit, front and rear
- TyrolSport front caliper stiffening kit and stainless steel lines all around
- Hawk HPS pads for street (still undecided on what track pads will be)
- Endless RF600 brake fluid (great wet and dry properties, second best to Castrol SRF, but apparently it is/was in a national shortage)

The brakes were not really as daunting as I read in some places. The fronts are pretty standard, with more work because of the caliper work, but the rears were okay. If you are thinking of DIYing them and need to get to the torx bolts, just unbolt the top suspension mount (I believe the upper control arm) and then you'll have enough room when the whole suspension falls a little and with the car high enough off the ground. Having the twisting cylinder retraction kit is also necessary. These brakes are not going to be as easy to swap track pads when required, so upgrading the brakes even more will probably happen within the next 2 years. I decided on the ECS rotors though because they are really the only ones that make something for the front and rear that is both lighter weight and has curved vein vented rotors (and I got them almost 20% off).

ECS claims 17.5 pounds less weight, with the majority from the fronts, and I would have to agree. The rotors weighed what they claimed (~ 66.5 lbs), and I weighed each stock front rotor at ~ 25.5 lbs and each rear rotor at ~14.5 lbs, for a total of 80 lbs. ECS claims the stock rotors weigh 84 total, so I could believe 4 lbs of material might be lost from 60,000 miles of use. Once I get out on track in the coming year I will update on how they seem to hold up, as well as how they deal with being driven in NH winters.

Second, the pedal feel after the TyrolSport stiffening kit was AWESOME! I realize I changed literally everything at once, but the pedal feel should be more a factor of the bushings, lines, and fluid. I absolutely recommend them, and plan on giving them as much money as I have for the rest of their mods!

This initial post is getting long, so I will wrap up with a last few things. The clutch just started slipping recently, so I am going to be replacing the stock clutch with a South Bend Stage 2 Daily Kit, which should hold up to the power I plan on making eventually, as well as drop a few pounds from the dual-mass flywheel. While they are there, I am also planning on installing a front Wavetrac LSD. I am pretty excited about that, but wish I had some comparison on a fully stock setup first.

As an edit to my initial post, if you are close enough to southern NH, I have a VCDS that I am willing to lend out to people/help out if you need it.







Editing post to have a running update of current mod list, as the signature doesn't have enough space:

Go:
- APR Stage 1
- IE intake
- HPA catback

Stop:
- ECS Tuning 2-piece rotors (front/rear)
- Stock calipers
- Hawk HPS pads (daily)
- Carbotech XP10/XP8 (track)
- Tyrolsport SS brake lines
- TyrolSport front caliper stiffening kit
- Endless RF 650 brake fluid

Turn/Chassis:
- KW V1 coilovers
- SuperPro LCA's
- IE camber plates
- TyrolSport front & rear subframe deadset kit
- TyrolSport Stage 1 hatch brace

Wheels/Tires:
- Sport Edition A16 - 18x8
- Falken Azenis RT615K+ (summer)
- Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 (winter)
- H&R 70mm wheel stud conversion

Other:
- Wavetrac front LSD
- IABED billet rear main seal
- IABED oil cooler
- South Bend Stage 2 daily clutch kit
- Clutch Masters billet slave cylinder
- Steel shift forks
- ECS engine heat shield
 

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Awesome post, I can't wait to see more. I just bought mine a few weeks ago from someone in New Hampshire, I live in Maine 2 miles from the New Hampshire boarder. I'm getting ready to finish up my 60,000 mile service right now, just waiting on my stuff to come in. Glad to see some more MK6 R's in New England.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I figured I would give a small update on some things to celebrate the R hitting 60,000 miles!

First, a comment on the brakes since I have had them on for a little over a month. Overall, still a favorable opinion of them, although they haven't been used in heavy winter conditions yet so we'll see. However, I have an "interesting" experience in the rain. When the brakes haven't been used while driving in the rain for a few minutes, getting back on them feels like they are "glazed over" and it takes some feet (dependent on speed) before I actually feel the effects of the brakes slowing the car. I've re-bed the pads and this only happens in the rain, so my guess is two-fold. First, the slotted rotor design, while designed to evacuate gas and material under heavy use, actually allows water to get between the rotors and pads. Second, when installing the brakes I also removed the dust shields (reasons for doing so were to help facilitate cooling on track and to allow for a BBK in the future), which I think is also letting more water onto the rotors than a stock setup would. I have read a few anecdotes of this happening to other people on other cars, and I am not overly concerned, just curious if others have experienced this when doing BBKs?

Second, one thing that I hope to shed some light on is how the AWD system works in our cars. I know there are some mods to reprogram or change out the hardware for the Haldex controller, but I haven't seem anything in the way of a before and after showing the effect of them. I plan on upgrading with the UM software in the future, but I should have a few track opportunities beforehand to really show what is going on. In the meantime, I found a nice empty road stretch to show what it looks like for me under a pretty hard standing launch. I'm not going to say I really did the best drag-strip launch but I think it shows a pretty good example of what happens. In the graph below at about the 55 second mark is when I made the launch. You can see the clutch valve opening to 40%, Haldex oil pressure peaking to 26 bar, and the clutch plate temperature rising. You can see though, that within 10 seconds everything settles back down, and in normal cruising it hovers right about 10% open on the valve. If only 50% of engine torque is able to be transferred to the rear, and we assume that the clutch opening percent is linear (I don't know if that is true, but would guess so), then that would mean for every 2% of the valve being open, 1% of power is transferred to the rear. This would mean that even under a hard(ish) launch, only 20% of power went to the rear. I have a winter driving school in January, which should be very elucidating as to how this works, however, I will also have installed a Wavetrac LSD by that point, which in theory may mean the computer could see less slip (but who knows). If anyone has more info on Haldex operation, I would love to see it!

Link to see a better version of the graph with some interaction, still working on my code. https://plot.ly/~jgayton/1/



Citation for graph:
Code:
R Core Team (2017). R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. URL https://www.R-project.org/.
H. Wickham. ggplot2: Elegant Graphics for Data Analysis. Springer-Verlag New York, 2016.
 

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The car has a feature where it will automatically apply the brakes every so often when the wipers are running to “clean” the rotors of water. Prior owner may have disabled this function through VCDS so double check.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
The car has a feature where it will automatically apply the brakes every so often when the wipers are running to “clean” the rotors of water. Prior owner may have disabled this function through VCDS so double check.
Thanks for the suggestion to look into! I went and checked and it is enabled, but it seems that the wipers have to be on for at least 5 seconds for it to work, and if it is light rain I tend to just hit it manually every so often so I will have to change that habit. I did try to see if it would work when driving around in all the snow yesterday though, and it still didn't seem to do much. The system is probably designed to not be noticed when it is working, so it's hard to say that it is really doing what is is supposed to, or if this is a symptom of the different mods I have done...I could easily see this being a function of the rotors too.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Another Haldex logging update. We got a few more inches of snow yesterday and the roads were pretty slick, so I decided to go around some different areas where I thought the car might show the AWD system working more actively. However, as you can see in the graph below, it doesn't really seem to kick in. There were definitely scenarios where the front continued to push and having power to the rear would have been great. This is by no means any sort of good test, as I was on not-ideal roads for getting into things more, but I think it still shows a general unwillingness for the car to use the rear. If anyone has other logs, I would love to see them. I am planning on doing a winter driving school in January, and have two track days booked in the spring, so hopefully that gives a better opportunity to open it up and test things out more. Otherwise one of the next mods is definitely going to be the Haldex.




Citation:
Code:
R Core Team (2017). R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. URL https://www.R-project.org/.
H. Wickham. ggplot2: Elegant Graphics for Data Analysis. Springer-Verlag New York, 2016.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sub'd for more Haldex results...
Did you get new diff with Wavetrac LSD?

Sent fra min SM-N975F via Tapatalk
Unfortunately no. Apparently Wavetrac is having issues getting some parts to make the front LSD so they're on backorder...hope is end of February now. As long as the clutch keeps holding I'm not in a rush.

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Discussion Starter #10
Time for a few updates. First up, I recently installed an APR catch can, and am quite glad I did and overall very happy with the product. The PCV is a know issue point and I have been told does not stand up to track abuse, so it seemed like a good thing to knock out before track season starts. That combined with the crap that I drain out of it makes me very happy it is not re-circulating back into the engine. It's winter so it is a water/oil disgusting combo that I drain out every other day to prevent any freezing issues. My main reasons for choosing the APR product were that I felt it was a trusted brand that could hold up on the track, and that it mounts to the front of the bumper instead of the engine mount (so changing out engine mounts in the future won't cause problems). I also got it during their annual sale for 10% so that helped a bit with the cost.

Second update is having some fun in the snow! I participated in a winter driving school hosted by the North Atlantic Audi Club at the Team O'Neil rally school in late January. It was a blast and I learned quite a lot about the dynamics of low traction driving and had a lot of fun overall. I even got my wife into it and she really enjoyed the program as well, so I hope to make this a yearly thing. I did some more Haldex logging and continue to think the the stock VW programming for the Haldex was pretty weak, as I still see very low and sporadic engagement of the rear axle, even under conditions that would seem to want to engage it. The car definitely LOVES to understeer! I really learned to have to work within that and transition between heavy throttle, lifting, unwinding (even counter-steering the other way), and brake application. Video of my two time trail runs below. I went the same time both runs, but you can see me botch the turnaround on the second run, which looks to be good for at least 3 seconds, so I can't wait to improve and get back at it next year!

In other news, it looks like my Wavetrac should be coming in mid-February, so I will be getting my clutch and LSD put in soon! I am signed up for two track events so far, one in April at Thompson Motor Speedway and then in May at Canaan Motor Club. I hope to do about one a month for the summer, so we'll see how that pans out.


 

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Discussion Starter #11
On another note, everyone kept asking me if my car was a diesel from the engine noise. The car has always sounded loud to me, but this is my first VW/Audi so I really have no baseline. Doing some searching it seems it may just be the direct injection, but has anyone had a similar experience and had a problem that was corrected? Is it anything with the fuel pump, exhaust leak, etc? Or are these just noisy engines?

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My car makes a horrible diesel rattle too. I’ve read that it’s the DI injectors but it dies down after every oil change for a few hundred miles. Maybe I should go down to 0W40 or do some kind of engine flush.
 

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very cool - looking forward to watching your build thread. similar path myself but i plan to leave the suspension stock aside from camber plates/few misc other things.

w.r.t. the pcv system, where did you read that it couldnt hold up to track abuse? i plan on this car being my daily and occasional track toy, so I do want to make sure every weak point is addressed before I go out there as well
 

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Discussion Starter #14
very cool - looking forward to watching your build thread. similar path myself but i plan to leave the suspension stock aside from camber plates/few misc other things.

w.r.t. the pcv system, where did you read that it couldnt hold up to track abuse? i plan on this car being my daily and occasional track toy, so I do want to make sure every weak point is addressed before I go out there as well
Talking with TyrolSport and looking over the information that APR has. It seems the valve itself is weak and a common form of boost/vacuum leak as is, so putting it under the stress of the track just adds to that. Overall it doesn't seem like a "you really must do it before getting on track" but it does seem pretty recommended. I would imagine if it goes out that you'll throw a couple CELs. The unfortunate part being that it isn't like these are cheap...but overall I have been really happy with it...there really is a lot of crap that this thing catches and I am happy it isn't going back into the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My car makes a horrible diesel rattle too. I’ve read that it’s the DI injectors but it dies down after every oil change for a few hundred miles. Maybe I should go down to 0W40 or do some kind of engine flush.
I do seem to think it is quieter for a little bit after changing the oil as well, but it seems to come back within a few hundred miles. It may be just how they sound but it was just funny how literally every person got in the car with me and that was one of the first questions they asked...I also had a funny moment over the weekend where I was walking in front of an BMW X3 and I thought to myself "huh, that car engine sounds kinda loud like mine," and then I walked around the side of it and saw it was a diesel...
 

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Our engines are certainly loud, they sound like ticking almost. I've owned 3 VW's and they all sound this way, even the 2.5 five cylinder in my MKV jetta. MY GTI was ticking too. They are a little on the loud side, I'll have to see if it is quieter after an oil change, I've never heard that before.
 

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Talking with TyrolSport and looking over the information that APR has. It seems the valve itself is weak and a common form of boost/vacuum leak as is, so putting it under the stress of the track just adds to that. Overall it doesn't seem like a "you really must do it before getting on track" but it does seem pretty recommended. I would imagine if it goes out that you'll throw a couple CELs. The unfortunate part being that it isn't like these are cheap...but overall I have been really happy with it...there really is a lot of crap that this thing catches and I am happy it isn't going back into the engine.
any other reliability mods you are focusing on for track? i want to make sure i do my best not to have a break down over 10+ trackdays potentially this year
 

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Discussion Starter #18
any other reliability mods you are focusing on for track? i want to make sure i do my best not to have a break down over 10+ trackdays potentially this year
The only other thing that I am going to want to do will be an oil cooler. I have seen some claims that the car doesn't need it, but to me, it is good insurance. Just divorcing the oil and coolant systems doesn't seem enough to me, and keeping the oil cooler/normal operating temp would be the best insurance against engine failures. An oil cooler is a common mod in the 86 community, and that is a simple naturally aspirated engine, so it seems unlikely that a heavily boosted engine such as ours wouldn't need extra cooling to keep everything running as best as possible. I hope to do it this year, but I may only do 3 or 4 days this year, so I could also say I will put it off for another year (but I shouldn't). Really, the hardest thing is that there was never a full "kit" made for the car that included everything, including brackets to install it so it is going to be custom for everyone.
 

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The only other thing that I am going to want to do will be an oil cooler. I have seen some claims that the car doesn't need it, but to me, it is good insurance. Just divorcing the oil and coolant systems doesn't seem enough to me, and keeping the oil cooler/normal operating temp would be the best insurance against engine failures. An oil cooler is a common mod in the 86 community, and that is a simple naturally aspirated engine, so it seems unlikely that a heavily boosted engine such as ours wouldn't need extra cooling to keep everything running as best as possible. I hope to do it this year, but I may only do 3 or 4 days this year, so I could also say I will put it off for another year (but I shouldn't). Really, the hardest thing is that there was never a full "kit" made for the car that included everything, including brackets to install it so it is going to be custom for everyone.
check with maperformance - i upgraded my evo oem cooler to a setrab and maperformance had a bunch of bracket kits to mount the thing
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Small update. Just got new summer/track tires to put on once winter goes away (probably another month). Went with Falken Azenis RT615K+ (stock size) which are in the extreme summer performance category. While they won't likely be as good as RE71s, RS4s, or Star Specs, TireRack is running a great deal right now; I got a set of 4 for $430, which is about $150 off the normal price and a good 50% less than the other tires mentioned.

The kicker for the deal is that these are 2017 production (26th week in my case) so these tires will be 3 years old in the middle of the summer, which I think is a fair trade off for the price. Based on the miles I drive for commuting and the (hopeful) number of track days I want to do per year, I don't expect my tires to last more than 1 season anyway, so if I can spend less money on them I'll do it until I really get serious about competing.


 
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