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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After ordering my car in September of 2014, I finally received it on 1/15/15. Its a 2015 GTI Performance Package S-Model 4dr w/ DSG and Lighting Package. I already have a race car and bike that I use to compete with on the tracks, so this will be my daily driver but it will see the occasional Auto-X, track day and 1/4 mile runs. I will share all my experiences, reviews and data with you that I gather as I enjoy reading everyone else's experiences too.

As of today, modifications installed are:

-IS38 Turbo installed (factory S3/Golf R unit)
-APR Stage 2+ IS38 93oct Tune
-APR DSG TCU Tune matching turbo software
-APR Catted Downpipe w/ 3" exhaust adapter
-APR Intercooler
-APR Carbon Fiber Intake w/ grille cut-outs
-APR Oil Catch-Can
-APR Turbo Muffler
-APR Boost Tap
-APR IC Hoses
-AWE Touring Exhaust System w/ black tips
-BFI Stg1 Engine and Trans Mounts
-BMS JB4 piggyback stacked that also controls the meth system, adds boost/fuel, tunes/monitors everything using JB4 Bluetooth Connect rev3 to my iPhone JB4 app
-BMS Water/Meth injection kit with under-bumper pump mount using the washer bottle to feed a CM7 nozzle
-BMS Turbo Inlet Elbow
-Denso IKH0124 Full Platinum & Iridium Race Plugs (not the cheaper IKH24's you are used to seeing) with the newer updated BorgWarner coilpacks
-Fluidampr Crank Pulley
-HPA DogBone Mount kit
-Spulen Aluminum IC Pipes (Boost &Throttle) and Intake Coupler
-Forge Turbo Blanket

-Bilstein B14 Adjustable Coilovers
-034 Solid Bearing Replacement Trailing Arms
-034 Motorsports solid strut mounts
-SuperPro 0007K Aluminum Lower Control Arms for additional caster and camber machined to fit in aluminum subframe
-S3/Clubsport Aluminum Subframe
-Neuspeed 25MM Rear Sway Bar
-SuperPro Front and Rear Adjustable End-Links
-TyrolSport Deadset subframe alignment kit, front and rear
-18x8.5 Enkei RS05RR ET45 (only 18lbs ea)
-255/35-18 Michelin Pilot Super Sports
-17x9 ET40 Signature Wheels, Forged with custom low profile barrels to clear the BBK for drag/Mexico runs
-245/45-17 Mickey Thompson ET Street-R Bias-ply Drag Radials (Street setup)
-26x8.5x17 M&H RaceMaster Slicks (Drag/Digs)
-StopTech ST40 355mm BBK w/ 2pc rotors
-Wheel Stud conversion kit with forged aluminum lug nuts
-ECS 20/15mm Flush Kit for OEM 18" wheels and 235/40 Michelin AS3 (winter setup)
-ECS SS brake lines
-ATE Super Blue racing brake fluid

-Full Euro-Spec ClubSport Front-end Conversion
-Clubsport Alcantara DSG Steering Wheel
-Clubsport DSG Shifter and Alcantara Boot
-Clubsport/Golf R factory Euro Spec LED Taillights
-Corbeau FX1 Seats with Custom Aluminum side mounts
-USP Power Folding Mirror Kit w/ Golf R covers
-Custom 3M Vinyl Roof Wrap
-Aggressiv CF Rear spoiler
-CF Rear Diffuser
-Tinted Window Visors
-3M 20% tint on all windows and 5% eyebrow
-LaminX tint cut to fit over amber in headlights and rear reflectors
-Black/Red GTI fender emblems
-Blue tinted Aspherical side mirrors
-VW roof rack, Thule wind guide and Snowboard rack
-deAutoKey LED tag, reverse and turn signal lights
-BadgeSkin gloss black front and rear VW emblem decals
-GTI Monster Mats
-Weathertech Trunk tray
-ProClip phone mount w/ Iphone 6 plus holder
-Rearview Camera Mounted Dual Dash Cam
-NewSouth Boost Vent Gauge
-Odyssey PCM680 15lb Battery with Custom Mounting Brackets
-Forge Washer Cap

Future Plans: I'm building a spare EA888 motor right now with all IE internals and on the hunt for a BT kit and fuel system that makes 600WHP+ :D.

Cecil and Englishtown Aril 2017

Mexico Bound 2/17:

Cecil County Dragway 12/16:

AWE Show 3/16:

Fall Philly Cheesesteak Run - 11/15

Katie's Cars and Coffee Show

1,739 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)

These are all the performance related parts or custom modifications I have installed at the moment and my personal opinion on how they look and perform. I'm installing each part one at a time with at least 50-100miles in between them so I can feel, hear and see how each one performs differently and they were installed in this order...

-APR CF Intake w/ Spulen Hose: Easy install, 10-15min. Better throttle response, awesome sound w/o being obnoxious in anyway. Slightly more and smoother power according to the butt dyno. I'm going to make a custom ram air scoop for this sometime over the next few weeks, stay tuned for details.

-GFB DV+: Easy install, 15min. Even better throttle response and smother power delivery.

-APR Turbo Muffler: 20min install. Sounds cool, can really hear the turbo now. Nothing else noticed.

-USP SS Downpipe w/ cat: 1.2hrs install, at least 20 min was spent on just trying to figure out how to get the OEM unit out once it was undone completely (TIP: face the back of the pipe towards the RR tire and rotate cat/dp 90* clockwise to remove). The VAQ diff makes this job even more of a PITA too, it right where the cat needed to come out. Started it up and its pretty loud even with the OEM exhaust, especially between 1200-3000RPM... a lot louder than what I though I heard on videos and i'm not sure if I like the sound yet (A little ricey for my tastes). Power is now smooth as can be for a turbo 4, very linear power delivery from 2500-6000RPMS and pulls harder until redline. Again, I'm not sold on the sound though... I'm going to have someone video tape the car from the outside to see how it sounds. There is no drone at HWY speeds, but the car is easily 3-5x louder now. I don't know why anyone would remove the muffler/resonator or replace the catback with a DP, too much noise for me. I'm going to install Dynomat in the trunk very soon so I don't have to hear it anymore lol.

-BFI Stage 1 Insert: Super easy install, 5min maybe? God I hate this thing, made my VW feel like a 1992 Honda Civic in 5 min. I drove for 100 miles with this thing and it was MISERABLE!!!!! I know they say after 500 miles they "break in" and have less vibration, but by then I would have driven my car off a cliff. It does have a function and I will put it back in when I go to the track, but for the streets you couldn't catch me dead with this thing installed.

-Euro Golf R LED tails and wiring harness from HSTuning: Not the easiest install, a lot of trim needs removed and its just time consuming- took me about 3-4 hours while hungover lol. They look great and function well, SUPER BRIGHT LEDS. Only problem is the warning light is is on due to different coding required for the PP cars, HSTuning and I are still working to figure this one out.

-LaminX over amber side markers: Very easy, 10min. Take a piece of plain white paper and trace the outer edge of your headlamp. Cut it out to fit the section you want covered then tape it to them LaminX and use that as a stencil. Lay it on and your done, my 7yr old could have easily done this job and it makes your headlights look like the ROW lights w/o the amber.

-VWR Springs: 2.5-3hrs, not too hard but the front axles are a PITA. Rear springs took only 30-45 min, the rest was spent on the front. Ride quality is damn near stock but the car feels more planted and is obviously lowered too. Best riding lowering springs I have ever had, and I have had a ton of lowered cars. Highly recommended mod for anyone.

-Custom Black Powder-coated 3.5" SS tips on OEM muffler: Install took about 1.5hrs with R&D. Here are the measurements to make your own..After the muffler there is a 100 degree bend in the pipe, at the bend there is about 4.7" between the straight piece of pipe and the tip on the exhaust cutout on the valance. You need to get a tip 5" or less in length for it to fit under the bumper, otherwise it will stick out and look like crap IMO. At the bend you will need a pipe about 2.6" ID, on the straight section you will need about 2.3" ID. The OEM exhaust flares out at about the last 3.5" in length to fit the 3" diameter OEM chrome tip, if you can find a tip that short the OD of that pipe (once the welds on the OEM tip are cut off and its removed) is about 2.8". Tips only come in .25" measurements but you can cut a slot in the end to make them fit your desired diameter pipe. I bought several different tips to see what would fit and cut, grinded, welded and powder coated all my parts to make them fit as there is not a bolt-on tip that fits our car on the market. Looks great too, very sleeper.

-18x8.5 Enkei RS05RR ET45 and 245/40-18 Dunlop Direzza ZII Star Spec: Fitment- I did my research before buying them and there is no rubbing at all, but this is about as wide of a wheel and tire that can fit inside of the front fenders. This is a very meaty wheel and tire combo, but made to enhance performance without sacrificing ride quality too much. The rear has a little more room and I will be running 5-7mm spacers for the rears to sit flush, the fronts are already 100% flush. The wider and much lighter wheels/tires transform the way this car feels, its super planted now and has gobs of traction at all 4 corners especially once they are heated up. This is by far the most noticeable change of any modification I have done to this car so far, these wheels/tires take all performance aspects of this car to the next level... I highly suggest investing in some wider and stickier tires to put down all the torque these little cars make.

-APR High Output Stage 1 Tune: Wow- that pretty much sums it up. More responsive throttle, passing power under half throttle feels twice as strong as it did under full throttle before and 4th gear is just insane for a car with these little mods. On the way home I went to pass someone on 95 with 3 lanes of open road ahead of them and mashed the throttle at 55mph, traction light flashed for a second then within a few short seconds the car was near 120MPH and still pulling like a freight train when I let off. I don't normally drive like this on the street BTW, but I wanted to see what the car was made of now and 120MPH came up very fast lol. I'm glad the tune wasn't available right away because now a I can really feel and appreciate the transformation that's happened, night and day difference. Downsides to the tune is traction under full throttle on A/S's is almost nonexistent in gears 1-3 and I will be burning through the P7's fast... but neither of these are real problems because I have a good set of summer wheels/tires that should be up to the task when it gets warmer and I want to replace the P7's with Michelin PS A/S 3's next year :thumbup:

-Neuspeed 25mm Rear Sway Bar and Neuspeed Solid Bearing Endlinks: Install takes about 30-45min on the ground and very easy. First off, anytime you upgrade your sway bars its always a good idea to upgrade the plastic OEM links as you won't see the full benefit of the thicker bar otherwise. Fitment is perfect and they included all the hardware with great instructions too. The PP GTI does not have understeer from the factory but suffers from a decent amount of body roll in the rear in hard turns. This bar keep the car very flat and even more responsive while making the car feel 100% neutral in normal to mildly aggressive driving. When pushing the car, you can get the rear to step out much easier and more controllable than ever before. I always felt the rear end needed some work as it used to wag around back there on uneven roads and during spirited driving, now everything feels nice and tight without compromising ride quality at all. One of my favorite mods to date.

-Golf R FMIC: Set aside 3-5hrs to do this if its your first time and take before pictures of the placement of all the plastic/rubber air guides... it will save you a ton of time during re-assybly. Its not a difficult install at all, just a lot of parts you need to be patient with. Fitment is perfect because it is OEM. The IC core is about 5mm thicker overall, has about 40% more cooling fins too and end tanks are about 6mm thicker. Its said this IC cools about 35% better than the OEM GTI unit and has been tested up to 400WHP without heat soaking. I don't notice any immediate power gain or any changes in spool, which is what I expected because it is still winter and I haven't experienced heat soak with the OEM unit yet.

-Spulen Boost and Throttle Pipes: Install takes about 1-2hrs. This is one of those products you buy and are a little disappointed when you see it in person, so I'll start with the negative. When you pay $300 for 3 aluminum pipes you expect the finish to be good and for it to have good hardware. Everything on the surface looks good, but inside the pipes there are huge unfinished welds protruding that will effect air flow and it comes with cheap Chinese worm clamps and couplers. I had to take 20min with my deburring tools to clean up the welds for smooth flow. Two of the cheap provided clamps broke during install, so I just re-used the OEM clamps. And save your money by not purchasing the throttle pipe, its basically the exact same diameter as the OEM pipe that has smooth bends, I don't see how you can improve on this OEM design any. The positives... The pipes fit great and the boost pipe (pipe between turbo and IC) is massively improved in diameter and flow pattern. This pipe gained any spool I lost with the DP install (and then some) and throttle response is improved as well, you can hear the turbo really moving air now too.

-APR Stage 2 93oct tune: Much smoother power delivery and the car hits you with a solid punch in the low-end of the RPMS now. Cars performing great too, really digging this setup.

-Eurocode Front and Rear strut tower bars: Installation was easy and straight forward, installed both in under an hour. First thing you notice when you open the box is the incredible hardware, everything is top notch quality and pretty heavy duty... no Chinese stuff here. Now I have ran these style bars in many cars over the years and some designs work better than others, but you will notice is more responsive steering and overall increase in chassis rigidity. Is it night and day?... No, but absolutely an improvement. Are there better systems out there for all out rigidity? Yes, but they compromise the storage space with the seats down and the pass through. I would have liked to have seen the front/rear bars triangulated and braced somewhere in the middle, this would give you a much more rigid setup but for the price these do the job just fine. Something hit me today while driving aggressively on some windy backroads and on/off ramps, my car is finally at the point where the electric PS no longer bothers me because the car is giving me enough feedback throughout the rest of the chassis and the steering input delay is heavily minimized too now with everything I have done... I'm really enjoying it :)

-Eurocode Tunnel Brace: Installation takes about 30 min (with the right bolts...) and everything is straight forward. The plastic under panels do get in the way some during install and you have move the brace around them prior to installing the bolts. This unit and hardware are top notch again, but the bolts they supplied to replace the OEM subframe bolts were the wrong size and thread pitch... E-code said mine uses the same size as an A3 but not the same as their MK7 GTI shop car (PP car different?). Luckily I have a Fastenal literally 2 blocks from me so I walked over there to get the correct bolts. Not a huge change in the way the car feels on public roads, but you can feel the extra rigidity when it comes to quick weight transfer changes and steering response. This is one of those mods you do when you have done almost every other suspension modification to tie up the rest of the loose ends. The OEM suspension and chassis setup is very loose and non-responsive, the car now feels the way my Evo did when it came from the factory... and that is quite a complement. I'll follow up on this once I get some track time with it...

-Bilstein B16 Coilovers: Install only took me about 2-2.5hrs this time as I already knew the exact tools needed from my prior spring install. I have about 1,500 miles on this setup now and love it. They are ever so slightly stiffer than the VWR springs but the dampening and adjustments alone make the car handle sooo much better. The car is flat in turns and the dampening adjustment is great for anyone who runs their as a street/track setup. I also want to note that the coilovers eliminated all wheel hop that was present during launches. Honestly, I highly suggest anyone looking to do springs consider going all in on coilovers instead, not only do they improve handling but the dampening is matched to the spring rates and travel as well on a good set of coilovers.
EDIT: The B16s ended up with 2 blown shocks after a few thousand miles. Bilstein was great to work with though and I ended up getting my full amount back, so I picked up some B14s and they seem to have very similar ride and handling characteristics

-StopTech 4 piston/355mm 2pc rotor BBK w/ SS lines all around: Install took about 2hrs with flushing the system and everything is bolt on. There is a noticeable improvement when braking hard or at speeds and even more so during 20min track sessions as I never noticed a hint of fade, even though the factory PP brakes did excellent for stock brakes. Most noticeable on the streets is the pedal response front the stiffer caliper mounts and lines, and the 26lbs of un-sprung/rotational weight loss makes a big difference in how the car responds and handles as it feels more nimble.

-AWE Touring Exhaust: Install takes about 30-45min, simple bolt on and pretty much self-aligns itself as there is only three sections to the system. Welds are super clean and I can see the time has been taken to grind down any excess that may effect flow. Hardware also looks to notch, not surprised though after visiting their facility and seeing their setup and process first hand. Let me start off by saying that I have a catalytic converter and a resonator both welded to my downpipe, I’m after a very mild exhaust setup. Start it up and its pretty quiet, which is exactly what I’m after. There is a growl from the exhaust when your on the throttle, but that growl does not drone and has a very sophisticated sound to it. If your looking for something that pops, crackles, has consistent DSG farts and has lots of volume their “track” model may be what your after or you can choose one of many other exhaust manufacturers out there, if you want a tame exhaust that’s wont bother your family riding in the car… then look no further. Oh and good the black tips, they have that black chrome look that adds a great touch to the rear end without screaming “look at me!”.

-Forge Twintercooler: Install takes about 1.5hrs and is straight forward. I reset my ECU after install so it took some time to adapt. Well the next three days reached 100*F+ and the my IAT never read more than 20*F above ambient temp while moving… about 10*F less than the Golf R IC alone. Best part is that I noticed zero increase in spool up, I’d assume this is partially bc the stock IC hoses are super soft and balloon under pressure and get replaced with the more ridged IC hoses that Forge supplies. Ready for bigger turbo now J

-APR DSG TCU Flash: If you own a DSG and already have a tune, this is a must have mod. It does the obvious; shifts faster, improves launch control, raises torque limiters and removes auto-upshift (if requested). I selected 3/3.25/3.5K launch control due to limited traction on most of my launches (I wont run this car with drag radials) and might step it up to the 3/3.5/4K launch selections later on to see how that works. The stock launch control basically has what feels like ~1-1.5sec delay when releasing the brake and its slips the clutch into either a bog or full wheel spin for a little while (depending on traction) then a torque limiter cuts throttle briefly before you take off again. With the TCU flash launching at 3500rpms, the delay when the brakes are released is easily cut in half and then the throttle is held at that RPMS to prevent bogging or spinning for a moment as the car takes off and builds boost. Shortly after that the power is then fully engaged as your rolling out, but note that some torque limiters are still present and will engage briefly if you start spinning after that like they do from the factory (only the limits in which they kick in have clearly been raised). The TCU flash makes driving the car in D sooo much more enjoyable. It makes the car much faster on city streets as it seems like it's always in the right gear now rather than in top gear trying to think about the right gear for a moment. Passing on the HWY is a breeze now too, I don't know if the factory settings slipped the clutch too much or didn't choose the right gear all the time (maybe both) but it makes the car feel like a rocket in the passing lane. And of course the shifts are silly fast now, even faster than my fathers 991 Porsche 911 PDK shifts. Only down side I have noticed is the trans in "S" mode constantly going back and fourth between gears at times while just cruising at a constant speed, especially 3rd/4th gears. Other than that, I highly suggest anyone with a DSG should consider this mod if your tuned.

1,739 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sweet! I bet you're itching. You think your downpipe will be ok with their stage 1 tune or maybe an undercover stage 2 just for you :laugh:

Sub'd. Looks great Rj!
Thanks man :thumbup:. It should be fine, its the non-catted guys who were having some drivability issues in the early versions of the tune due to zero back pressure but I know a lot of guys running this setup without a problem.
Clean and classy mods! Looks really nice! Congrats! You'll love it even more after the tune is flashed. Congrats! :beer:
Thanks, I hope so!! :beer:

1,739 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
from where did you get the mirror caps? are they 3M adhesive or replacement cap?
Ebay :D They were like $95 shipped from some guy in Wisconsin, they are real CF caps too.

1,739 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Well done. :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

Any rubbing issues?
Believe it or not, there is no rubbing at all. I did the front fender screw removal mod and thats it. Not rubbing in the hard/fast turns or wheels fully turned in either direction either. These are meaty tires too, one of the wider 245's on the market... I was pleasantly surprised by this. I am going to run 5-7mm spacers in the rear when the wheels stay on full time come Spring for the rears to sit flush, fronts are 100% flush as it.

I assume the Enkei is a 45et?
Yes, et45

Premium Member
‘22 OWP GTI SE DSG w/ Blk Wheel/Leather
2,422 Posts
Believe it or not, there is not any at all. I didn't the front fender screw removal mod and thats it. Not rubbing in the hard/fast turns or wheels fully turned in either direction either. These are meaty tires too, one of the wider 245's on the market... I was pleasantly surprised by this. I am going to run 5-7mm spacers in the rear when the wheels stay on full time come Spring.
Are you saying that I can do 235/40/18 tires on 18" Austin wheels on the new GTI PP???

6,633 Posts
Looking good RJ :thumbup:

Get those rear bumper reflectors matched to the tails and you're good to go. :beer:

And definitely let us know how the tune goes. I'm sure you'll be more than satisfied.
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