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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I figure after about two years, I would now put together a build thread primarily so I can keep track and when people ask me, I can just show them this. So I will Updating all the previous things that I've gone through with the car and my experiences. I want to put up as many pictures as possible but some I just haven't taken :(

You can Always Check out My Flickr
First Few Details About The Car



April 9th, 2013 My good friend Brandon, which his GTI heavily swayed me into getting one, Drove up from MA to Hudson NH after school, not thinking i was going to buy this car, went with cash, Just in-case it was worth it. Yes it was worth it, i ended up buying right there on the spot, and the guy gave me a pair of Winter tires with steelies. Car had minor blemishes for a 9 year old car. Exterior I'd honestly say 6/10. Chipped driver side mirror housing, plenty to scraps, and starting to get the typical MKIV Fender rust on driver side. Didn't check the carfax until January of 2015, VERY CLEAN CARFAX, almost all dealer maintained. But the car checked out mechanically and drove exceptionally. From there it has been a major money pit and a delight! Read on and follow my journey with the car!

Year: 2004
Make: Volkswagen
Model: GTI 1.8T AWP 5-Speed
Color: Silverstone Grey- LD7W
Bought: April 9 2013
Miles: 111,000
Interior: Black and grey Cloth, I would say a solid 8/10. Needed a new center console cover, besides that, and new Floor mats, everything seemed to be clean.

Goal: Keep a Very clean OEM+ car. Initial goal was 350WHP and 350WTQ in that ball park, but build up to that point. I didn't want to do too many crazy things like slam it, or put hardwood floors in the hatch or things like that,I wanted to keep it practical and just really restore it mechanically first, and aesthetically after. Its been my daily Driver ever since, except for the first winter of 2013-2014, I drove my 97 Honda Accord due to some electrical issues i will post about later. And the month after when i bought my RX-8 ;).

New Goal: Realistically I want to get the car to atlas 200k Hopefully dreaming about seeing 300k. I stay ahead of maintenance and always (try) to do it right the first time. I will only use OEM or OEM+ (Better than OEM) Parts. No sense in cheaping out and not taking care of it, the Germans really knew what they were doing. Everyone who hates these never treats them right and they treat it like a Honda and drive them into the ground too soon!

Oil: Castrol Syntec 5W-40 every 3,000 to 3,500k
Oil Filter: Fram Ultra Synthetic (Large Passat Filter Starting at 156k)
Spark Plugs: NGK PFR6Q (Platinums) @111,000k (Copper Starting at ~135k)
Gas: ALWAYS 93, typically Mobil, Shell, or Cumberland Farms(Gulf)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
First Months First Mods: Turbo Back & Stage 2 Tune

So For the first Months I've had the car, I've been reading up and gaining knowledge of the car and some maintenance and DIY, as i ALWAYS will attempt to DIY if I can. So First day I did a basic Oil change, ran the gas down until the light came on and filled up some good 93. I used "injector cleaner" in hopes it would help and i can't say weather it did or not honestly but I hope it helped it clean some valves and free up the injectors. Below i'll post some initial Pictures.

First Modification:
Turbo Back Exhaust: (TBE). I Researched around to find the best sounding exhaust, to my liking, and i found a great combo. Megan Racing 2.5" downpipe, to a 42DraftDesigns custom Slip Fit resonated Cat-back dual 3" sing wall tips. Come Spring 2014, I will goto a 3" 42DD Race downpipe. I also used an o2 Spacer because I CANNOT Stand a CEL even knowing nothings wrong, the OCD would kill me! So With the help of my friend Nick and two hours in the drive way, She was installed! The factory DP came off rather easy as i soaked in TONS of PB Blaster, And PB Blaster is now my favorite. The first start up was Night and Day, and i knew i picked a good Combo. (I like the 3" DP SO MUCH MORE. Tons more crackle and pops, but also better flow)

42DD Review: 9.5/10
Great company, when this was ordered in 2013, they offered a selective line up, but customer service was great, the explained some good things and other reviews sounded great! So after working to find a great fit for me I Ordered. Installed and LOVED the clean sound. Not Ricey at all, nice low rumble but it sure does open up!
Only reason its not a 10, is because when I Ordered they didn't offer a Stainless option although i was willing to pay up, if I'm already spending good money I was willing to spend more on something that would hold up to NewEngland weather and winters, but they assured me atleast 10 years without rusting through otherwise they'd work with me for replacing the part that rusts through for free, just would have to pay shipping. But they're confident it would hold up! So far so good! I would HIGHLY recommend this company, as you will see i purchase ALOT more stuff from them and they do get some referrals from me. Just wish they had a rewards system but I completely understand thats hard for small businesses to offer! And i always seem to miss their free shipping sales :/


STOCK PICS:



Look at that factory exhaust!


Exhaust Comes In And yes, I sleep with my parts in my room! :D
MR Down pipe:


CatBack:


42DD Downpipe: (Installed Spring 2014 MR DP made a loud rattle)

Unitronic Stage 2: 10/10
After Much research and reviews, Unitronic seemed to appeal to me the most and pulled the trigger on their rather expensive Stage 2 Tune.... WELL WORTH IT! Drove down to Swift Performance in Norwalk, CT and installed within 30 minutes. Once again, NIGHT AND DAY difference. Worth every penny! I didn't have many supporting mods such as Hoses or intake etc. but those will come and further compliment the tune and get its full potential, and I Simply love it!



Tips:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Few Aesthetic Upgrades!

First thing was to get rid of those HORRIBLY worn out floor mats! The driver side had a huge hole in it from all that foot work! Also replaced the center console lid with a black leather one, didn't want to go cloth, I wanted to keep it different. It looks great however (at least I think it does) :)

These are not pictures of my interior with them, but this is what they look like. No longer offer the blue floor mats :/



Here is the Leather Center Console Lid


Besides that stuff, I got to know the ECS Tuning Website and kept up with the maintenance.
Hopefully ill get some interior Shots soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Extra Keys!

So during the fall, i had ordered 2 extra keys, had them cut and programmed for a FRACTION of dealer cost. The single key given to me during the sale was HEAVILY broken in and didn't stay folded and i just wanted a backup in case anything happened. And they work perfectly fine! Just had to match #'s perfectly, otherwise they won't work! Forget the website name but this is where I Would skip eBay shopping! I plan on using as little eBay parts as possible, IF any!
2 Keys:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
First Problems! Of course it's electrical!

So, after a fun summer and fall of some great worry free driving something came up.... it wouldn't start properly. So naturally I took the battery to advanced auto parts to test it, it worked fine and passed, then tested the starter, and was reading a bit slow, can't quite remember the cranking speed but it was in the low 100's RPM. So after days of having to pop start the car, yes I know.... poor clutch! I got a brand new REMAN Bosch starter, and installed it. For the next two days it started just fine, then during a winter storm leaving work early because of a blizzard, she didn't start:(. After long time of trying to jump and get it home, i went to pep boys and got a Bosch Battery! Viola! All problems gone, for only a short period. The battery was OEM Delphi battery, i didn't account for the plates being gone after 9 years, but now I know! After that two days later still in a storm, all the gauges stopped working and soon the car was in limp mode and had to try to move over in the break down lane! After 30 minutes i called a good friend who came with a portable battery and helped me drive all the way back home! Turns out my Alternator failed :/ or so i thought. After days of locating a 120 amp replacement (Special order for most stores) i gave a one last overview, turns out.... I was so foolish that after my car died with new battery, i didn't check the fuses on top the battery and behold the issue was there. The alternator band type fuse was blown to shreds! ONLY GET AN OEM FUSE! only couple cents at the dealer, and make sure you get the proper one. Installed it, charged up the battery... No issues ever since. Even in the Minus 27f winter that just passed.... no starting up issues what so ever, gotta love Bosch Products!

Bosch Battery:


Bosch Starter:



DAMN FUSE BOX!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Another Major Issue

Another major issue happened while leaving work... i was loosing coolant at an alarming rate and steam from the driver side... At that point i had no clue what it could be, so after texting my friend he advised me, that the coolant flange is an issue... So after much work, on valentines day I brought the car to the dealership, VW of North Attleboro, and they charged me $362.xx for the coolant flange... They robbed me blind, and thats the down side of not having a garage, work in the winter is almost impossible beside basic oil changes and simple things.

Coolant Flange: Not Mine, Just to give you an idea:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Spring Brake Refresh

So spring 2014 came around with great weather and now was time to get a good brake job done, The rear pads we pure metal, and i really didn't have a choice. SO i went to advance auto because i couldn't wait, plus budget was around $300 max Luckily i got it done for $200. I got all 4 rotors, and all 8 pads with the sensors. Overall, rotors are rotors... Blank ventilated are really the best plain and simple, look boring but work just fine! However, pads, i went with their most expensive and "Premium" pads, THEY ARE TERRIBLE! GO OEM or OEM+.... after about 15k miles, dust WAYYYY TO MUCH and VERY poor stopping once pads are warmed, in the summer, they're very poor. Going to replace sooner or later, Thinking Hawk HPS but not really sure. Just want good bite, but good longevity and nothing that eats through the rotors! So getting the rotors off, Biggest pain I've ever dealt with, all 4 rotor securing screws stripped and i had to drill out.... Overall, took about 5 hours in the driveway, lubed up the pins and kept all brake hardware, which soon fell off because i clearly didn't secure it properly.

Brake Pads and Rotors:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Fuel Pump Failure

So May 2014 Comes around and one day, after a trip to Boston area, coming home, the car had its power cut in and out and sounded like gunshots when more than 20% throttle was applied, and no acceleration. Then coming to a stop at an ATM i shut off the car, and it wouldn't restart... After looking online to help diagnose this, I hit the bottom of the gas tank where the Fuel Pump is located, and sure enough she fired up.... So i drove it home at 20mph with my hazards on, and finally made it home. That night after running the tank pretty much dry... I pulled the pump and looked at, the lines were completely black, and the bottom filter has no major contaminants, just very dark and dirty... Ordered a new Deatschwerks Fuel Pump 65v. I believe its 265LPH and fit right into the factory housing. After fitment, the hardest part was getting the gas level gauge to read properly and float on top of the gas... So i had been driving around with an emergency 2 gallon back up in the trunk!

Fuel Pump:

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Summer 2014 Mods

Summer of 2014 Rolls around and with a new Job, i was able to afford some great new mods for my little golf. So after thinking about what to get for a while, i figured what better than supporting mods for the stage 2 tune? I decided to get some quality stuff, so i of course went to Unitronic, ECStuning and 42draftdesigns. From ECS, i got a Newsouth Performance boost gauge, with the steering cover replacement, not just the overlay. Install was rather straight forward. Next from ECS was a forge008 Diverter valve, another simple install. Boy was i glad i waited for the forge008 to come in, really love it! Next: roof rack endcaps and locks, i bought the car, and they were missing all but one, and it didn't look good and waiting for those was also well worth the wait. Now off to Unitronic. With their new products, i pre-ordered slightly back in may but they finally became available in july-ish time. I got their Turbo Inlet Pipe (TIP) and 5-Piece Boost Hose Kit. The TIP went on rather nicely but the boost hoses, huge PITA, just takes some patience. The TIP and Hoses were on sale for a ridiculous price, and it was a no brainer! Im pretty sure they are no longer offered for what ever reason, but I'm glad i bought them! I hope anyone else with these will comment!! :D. Lastly, my big purchase was a 42DD intake. They utilized a velocity stack with a giant 5" k&n filter and a nice clean look in the bay! Overall, very glad with these mods, and BOY do they really bring alive the unitronic stage 2 tune! and boy does that krispy kreme ko3s do some work! Sadly i will need a FMIC which will come in 2016!

Some of the packages:


Boost Gauge:



Forge008 Diverter Valve:



Roofrack Endcaps w/ Locks:


Unitronic TIP:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
2015 Summer Suspension Overhaul

So after the past winter with the crazy amounts of snow, my cars suspension from factory and 130k miles has taken a rather though beating being in New England all its life. So after a buster passenger size CV joint, gouge in my tire, and LCA completely trashed, i figured I would go ahead and get a pair of Entry level coilovers, ECStuning stage 3 suspension refresh, and a pair of those bulletproof raxles!

Reviews:

FK Street-Line Coilovers: 8/10: Great value product, install went rather smooth and adjusted easily. Mild drop, i believe it is 23.5 inches FTG all around (1.5" ish drop). My goal was to get an aggressive "battle stance" because I am all about Function OVER Form and where i live, it would bottom out every two seconds and it would die! Overall, it is a little bouncy but boy was this a major upgrade from the beaten OEM. Hopefully i like these after a few thousand miles and they last atleast two years!



BulletProof Raxles 3.1: 10/10: Although these are VERY VERY expensive, i feel as if these are the best alternative because Marty and Raxles gets these built to order, offer LIFETIME WARRANTY, and Marty was GREAT to deal with, helped me out with figuring out how I should lower it, explaining to me the warranty process if things go bad or anything. These are slightly heavier but i got these incase i want to go BT in the future, i wouldn't have to buy a pair of axels ever again! :D



Stage 3 Suspension Refresh: 7/10: Like the fact that it was "affordable" and replaces the whole LCA and includes tie rods, ball joints etc. So installed everything except the tie rods because i did not have the tool for the easiness, but also, they were inspected thoroughly, and are in great condition! BUT BEWARE. These LCA have ECS polyurethane bushings which to me sounded like i could deal with the harshness, but boy, these Poly bushing amplify the road ridiculously on the highway so please beware. it feels like the wheels are out of balance but they are not, i did get them re balanced because i thought that initially. If this is something you want to avoid, get the TT bushings which i wish i did. Install, rather straight forward but be warned, you better GREASE the heck out of everything, if anythiative because Marty and Raxles gets these built to order, offer LIFETIME WARRANTY, and Marty was GREAT to deal with, helped me out with figuring out how I should lower it, explaining to me the warranty process if things go bad or anything. These are slightly heavier but i got these incase i want to go BT in the future, i wouldn't have to buy a pair of axels ever again! :D



Final Product: I Absolutely LOVE it, the way she handles and everything, just have to schedule an alignment before i drive anywhere. People, PLEASE get an alignment after doing such suspension work, after talk to a bunch of people saying its not needed, i have fear for other peoples car. Replacing things like this, definitely need to be re aligned!

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Rust Warranty Before/After

So With My car being a 2004, my 12 year Rust warranty is up soon, and i bought the car with little driver side fender rust. Needless to say, it got terrible, but they were able to Put a claim through, and get it squared away. Took it to VW of North Attleboro, My service advisor, Rick M. was great. Got the appointment for July 13, 2015 at DBA Autobody up in Walpole. Picked it up on July 22, 2015. The Paint match was amazing, he did amazing body work. brand new fender and door... Thats where the good review stops. He however, (Not sure if it was him or other people at his shop, but under his roof) messed up fuses because they "never disconnect batteries when unplugging things or radios" is what he told me. That is un heard of and needs to change ASAP..... Very unsafe and poor practice. Next, none of my windows or sunroof worked, my driver window rolls SO SLOW and Creaks as if it were to break. Broke my glove box handle, left my antenna off and stuffed on the dash and windshield crack, left sanding residue ALL OVER the interior, which he said he had cleaned..... ripped my E-brake about 65 degrees, no joke, and lastly my bluetooth iPod adaptor went missing..... So yeah, the worst experience and will never leave my car at any shop or dealer unless i see it being worked on with my own eyes.... He tried to say, since he did not do a pre vehicle inspection it wasn't his fault..... I said, thats completely your fault. He did pay the dealer for the fixing the windows ( fuse 14 was blown) and after calling him daily, he paid for my glove box.... which the dealer broke all tabs on my center console where my shifter is..... So now i have a car with no Ebrake and broken center console and a stolen bluetooth iPod adaptor. This was and is the WORST experience, if you want good work done, go to DBA but literally make sure you leave nothing in the car, not even the seats because they will ruin it.. they will ruin your interior or any other nice features of the car where they should not be and say... " well we thought you knew it was like that/broken/ missing.." Terrible. After detailing multiple cars, i don't get how people are willing to ruin ones proterty and completely lie about this.... Needless to say, neither will get a dime from me in the next season..... EVER. (Already bought tires from dealer, waiting for car to come back to put them on)

Before Picture found here on the form, JUST like mine though:
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After, Great Paint Match:
[URL="[/URL]
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Next Step: Brand new Hankook Tires

Next thing i did was, get brand new tires. My current dunlops weren't that bad, but did have some un even tread wear and one had a gouge in the inside side wall, causing some vibration issues, so instead of holding off, i got brand new hanks installed for free. Just paid Tax and price for tires. Figured i'd invest now and boy, does it compliment the new suspension perfectly, car drives like new, except for the sound of a wheel bearing going soon (believe passenger side). overall, lets see how the hank noble s2's perform in longevity and performance.

Initial Impressions:
Great ride quality, low noise, sticky, lots of treadwear but read it goes quick.... lets see how they last!

[URL="[/URL]
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
OEM Window Deflectors

So today at the dealer just picked up some window deflectors I've been long talking about doing, just on those rainy snowy days to get some fresh air without getting the interior wet. Got OEM ones around $44. Picked them up and installed today, rather straight forward, just had to make sure the bottom part closest to the mirror wasn't in the window track. Looks off but thats how they are. Overall, pleased with how they look as well :)

Passenger side Deflector:
[URL="[/URL]

Drive Side Deflector:
[URL="[/URL]

[URL="[/URL]
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
E-Brake Refresh

So my E-Brake Cables have been on their way out for a little, and then when i brought it to DBA Auto Body in Walpole, sure enough, they were't shy of breaking it one bit. cranked the handle up as far as the center console would allow and of course the cables snapped. Once again, if you want things to work, don't Bother going there, they only break and steal things. So I got the ECStuning OEM cable refresh kit... Overall, all those parts weren't needed, but work.

Ecstuning Parking Brake Refresh Kit: 4/5
The good here is that they give you Everything parking brake related, from the cable hangers to the weather boot on top of the exhaust tunnel where the cable comes into the car. Was all that really needed? No. Only things that most people need to replace are the pins, maybe the hanger and of course the cable itself. The hardest part of the job for me, was when i pulled out the driver side cable, the cable guide itself came out... Let me tell you, HUGE PITA getting the cable guide back it and the weather boot intact as well. In the end, after tuning it, Grabs nicely, but have to get new pads next year, and re adjust the parking brake at the calipers themselves, they seemed to be riding the rotor too much and dragging on them. I notice my caliper pins were cranked on, so i backed those out and it helped slightly.

Brand New E-Brake:


New Cables Installed:


Messy Center Console: (Of course i cleaned it out)
 
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