Author Topic: RedRobin - modified red DSG GTI  (Read 25921 times)

Offline jv

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RedRobin - modified red DSG GTI
« on: 13 February 2008, 10:11 »
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Offline RedRobin

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Re: RedRobin - modified red DSG GTI
« Reply #1 on: 13 February 2008, 18:10 »


For me it all started in May 2005 with Top Gear and the infamous Jeremy Clarkson's review - A motorcar which would sedately cruise like a big limo on the school-run but drive like a screaming rally car on the way home, and carry a 12-drawer cabinet whenever needed. At the time I had a faithful 2-door straight-six BMW and also a bog standard 5-door Golf Mk4, so I knew how practical any Golf would be for my needs but it had no performance and handled like a marshmellow when faced with roundabouts. I wasn't at all sure about DSG, but fortunately the VW salesman had raced go-karts and knew how to drive enthusiastically, so I had an informed demonstration. I also test drove the Mk5 2.0 TDI and was very impressed. Captain Sensible kept urging me to order the diesel and I even did so! But after a very sleepless night I knew I would regret it every single time I saw even a picture of a GTI, so I locked a screaming Captain Sensible in the garden shed and changed my order. I decided on the DSG version and was going for the 3-door until my then 14yo daughter, being far more mature than her 58yo father, started explaining why a 5-door was much more practical for me (and her jailbait teenage friends I would be giving regular lifts to!). She was right (of course!) and every time I load and unload my heavy music gear I'm glad about her powers of persuasion.

The 12 week wait was horrendous!!



When I took delivery of my Mk5 GTI I had no plans to modify it at all. In fact, I loved the car as it was and I'm sure I would still love it just as much if I hadn't carried out any mods whatsoever. After I had test driven and ordered my car in May 2005 I naturally, like most others here, set about searching the internet and everywhere else to find out absolutely everything I could. I landed on Tyresmoke.net - Fatal !! The wealth of knowledge there is awesome and people are always willing to help each other, when they're not taking the p!ss.

My Beemer wasn't modified at all but had a wonderful exhaust note and, being someone who doesn't enjoy driving any vehicle in which he can't hear the engine, I quickly felt disappointed that the GTI's cabin was so well soundproofed. Call me old-fashioned but my opinion is that hearing an engine is a valuable driving aid.



EXHAUST:

I quickly learnt that Milltek made top quality stainless steel exhausts which didn't sound baked-bean-can boy-racer-ish. I was also told that performance would be very slightly improved. So, more audible sound + stainless steel + performance gain = no-brainer. I got a deal from AwesomeGTI on some Milltek quads and then had to look at ways of accommodating the four pipes in my rear valance. Cutting the OEM plastic was never going to look professionally done and, on a red GTI, I never really liked that big black plastic rear anyway. In the Summer of 2005 there were far fewer options. In fact OSIR have only just now in 2007 released a very sexy rear bum with carbonfibre section for quads. AwesomeGTI were as usual very helpful and suggested a quad rear from Abt. I spoke to my VW dealer and he was happy to fit the Milltek and rear without automatically compromising my warranty.

I went through what everyone else goes through in trying to decide between Resonated and Non-Resonated system - Was the Non-Res version going to be too loud? The answer is obviously highly subjective and sound clips don't really deliver the sound accurately enough to judge the differences. This is further complicated by the fact that such exhaust pipes mature as the miles roll by. I chose the Non-Resonated exhaust. My first Milltek was the Cat-back version and someone at Milltek (who subsequently doesn't work there any longer!) totally misinformed me by claiming that I would gain about 10-15 bhp from a Turbo-back even without a remap. This seemed an attractively simple way of gaining a little more power, not that I needed it. Ray West duly fitted the Turbo-back, aka High-flow, section and I immediately felt improved throttle response.

My thoughts then turned towards a remap but I had witnessed one go pear-shaped on a DSG GTI and didn't want to compromise my VW warranty. At this time I began to research my remapping options and, appropriately or not, I proceeded with extreme caution.



SUSPENSION:

In introducing a GTI driving friend to Ray West for suspension modifications, I drove his car and was impressed by the KoniFSD+Eibach springs and Anti-roll bars. I had also driven Ray's 270 bhp, Bilstein with Porsche brakes, road 'n track GTI as featured in Volkswagen Driver magazine but we decided that Bilstein was overkill for a road car. The Mk5 GTI has an excellent chassis and is well known for its unexpectedly good handling, but adding ARBs takes it that extra mile and passengers are invariably impressed by how well planted my car feels. The KoniFSD system smartly and instantly adapts to the road surface and so is perfect for road use. Okay, the setup only allows a drop of about 10mm but slammed down on the deck might look very cool but it isn't always very practical.

AIR INTAKE:

Whereas one is glad that good modern turbos have solved the lag, it's disappointing that they are so silent. Thinking that I could add some subtle turbo sounds while also improving the engine's breathing, I decided to fit a Carbonio Cold Air Intake. During my remap research I spoke to so many tuners and it was Revo who told me that a CAI would compliment my High-flow exhaust regardless of a remap. Carbonio's CAI looks pretty sexy in carbonfibre but let's face it, anything looks sexy in carbonfibre. The 'sexy' appearance didn't seem to pass unnoticed by Her Majesty's Customs & Excise or whatever they call themselves nowadays, because it was held up by them for weeks and weeks. What did they think it is? - A miniaturised stealth spy plane!?

Eventually it arrived and was fitted by my VW dealer. This event coincided with my first tankful of V-Power (after running exclusively on Optimax) and so it became very difficult to assess what any improvements were. Even better throttle response and a very subtle increase in torque but, disappointingly, very little audibly except a soft whistle up to about 1,200 revs. This has probably the least felt benefit of any of my mods but it's good to know that my engine breathes more freely.





I considered a louder and beefier intake - EVOMS being researched as probably the best but the one I experienced made a raucous noise and it would have meant a completely different engine cover, also risking my warranty.

....................................CONTINUED>>>>>>>>>>>>
« Last Edit: 13 February 2008, 18:13 by RedRobin »
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Throbbin' Red VeeDub GTI Mk5 - DSG, Custom Milltek TBE, Forge Twintake, KW-V3 + Eibach ARBs, AP Racing BigBrake kit, Quaife ATB diff, Revo2

Offline RedRobin

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Re: RedRobin - modified red DSG GTI
« Reply #2 on: 13 February 2008, 18:12 »
..........CONTINUED>>>>>>>>>>

BRAKES:

Apart from the remap, this is the most dramatically felt of my mods so far. These brakes are totally awesome - Performance Tuner magazine described them: "Some mods, like the absolutely incredible AP Racing brakes are perfect. Totally fade free. 100% confidence inspiring. Pure class. These stoppers alone made for a rapid lap time, proving power is not everything". The day after they were fitted I crossed the Channel and drove 2,000 miles on hassle free autobahns with no speed restrictions and no middle lane hoggers....Utter joy!! AP's Senior Race Engineer installed mine with myself in attendance as an 'oily rag' and I now know what has gone into their design and production.

The OEM brakes are very good but don't have as good pedal feedback or quite the performance of the APs. Ultimately, staying out of trouble is down to the driver, tyres, and road surface conditions, but I've tested these brakes at 130mph and have much confidence in them. I've never driven my car on the track though and want to keep it as a fast, reliable and enjoyable road car.





REMAP:

The 2.0T FSI engine with DSG is still relatively new and I have been very cautious about remapping and have done much research. That doesn't make me an expert on tuning but I have learnt that generally VW builds in about 140% 'headroom' and, like all car manufacturers, has to accommodate a variety of lowest common denominator factors in different international markets. Also, differing fuel grades. I have also learnt that it is very wise to limit the torque for the DSG gearbox to 300 ft lb. The OEM car will easily handle 280 bhp, but do you want so many neddies pulling at your front wheels for road use? So I decided to go for a Stage1 remap still leaving me some headroom. Revo impressed me on every occasion I spoke to them and I was particularly attracted by their switchability feature - Something which other tuners are now offering. I was further impressed by one of their agents, JKM of Portsmouth - A keen family business of genuine enthusiasts.

The remap has brought everything together and makes the car exciting to drive without being a handful. The extra performance actually makes the car feel safer, especially when overtaking.

The next mod was to remap my brain and I did a course with Drivetrain - In my own car on public roads with a top grade blue light instructor.

TURBO CHARGE & DISCHARGE PIPES, HOSES, FORGE DV:

A friend with an early Mk5 GTI had gone through 3 diverter valves on his remapped car so I decided to invest in a Forge DV as a precaution, especially as it's a fit 'n forget item. It made sense to also revise the whole turbo line in the same workshop session so I had SAMCO silicone turbo hoses and the Charge and Discharge pipes by Neuspeed. All fitted by Jim at JKM Portsmouth who Revo'd my car and whom I greatly trust.







Not long afterwards I swopped my Pipercross flat panel air filter which came with the Carbonio, to one by ITG - Expensive but very low maintenance and with the best reputation.

COSMETICS:

Having the Milltek Quads had forced me to replace the stock rear valance, which I don't like the appearance of anyway - too much black plastic imo but each to their own. But it left me with one day needing to deal with the black side skirts. There was an old spider who swallowed a fly, and so on, and so I would also have to consider what to do about the black front spoiler one day too. Having done performance mods it seemed appropriate to pay attention to the exterior cosmetics so I checked out the road clearance of the OSIR front spoiler and had it fitted along with colour coded R32 side skirts. I then ordered a carbonfibre nosepiece to match the centre section of the new front splitter and also black carbonfibre wing mirror casings to relieve all the red-ness.





In noticing how many early Mk GTI's have black VW badges I decided to get a carbonfibre one but had to wait for months for stocks to be replenished and shipped from America. But the wait was worth it and it compliments the carbon mask and follows earlier VeeDub GTI traditions.

My engine cover central strip was getting dirty and impossible to clean up - It's a dull silver-grey plastic. Another excuse to get another piece of carbonfibre! And if I needed yet another excuse I later got a vented double skin carbonfibre bonnet by OSIR. I spent some time wrestling with the decision whether to leave the centre section exposed as black CF or not but having seen how sparkly it can look in large areas on a horizontal bonnet, I decided to paint the whole exterior and am very pleased I did. The vent is a surprise - It lets out a lot of heat from the turbo area below it and my bonnet never feels hot any more. It will also help to pull air through the engine compartment.







More recently I got some OEM LED tail lights, partly for appearance but mostly because the standard rear indicators are often tricky to see when with the brake lights are also on - It's a common complaint. Having driven on the German autobahns regularly, I would love to find some OEM-looking LED Daylight Running Lights.





When I first had Milltek quads back in 2005, the choice of rears was very limited and I chose the Abt. But more recently OSIR produced a carbonfibre exhaust trim which could fit the Mk5 R32 rear 'spoiler' (as it's correctly called by VW). I think it looks far more OEM and better integrated. The quad xzorst pipes fit much more snugly too.



I've managed to get the last CF rear boot lock with VW badge. I don't know if another specialist will ever produce any - I hope so.

DYNO-DYNAMICS AT JKM:




....................................CONTINUED>>>>>>>>>>>>

« Last Edit: 16 August 2008, 16:27 by RedRobin »
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Throbbin' Red VeeDub GTI Mk5 - DSG, Custom Milltek TBE, Forge Twintake, KW-V3 + Eibach ARBs, AP Racing BigBrake kit, Quaife ATB diff, Revo2

Offline RedRobin

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Re: RedRobin - modified red DSG GTI
« Reply #3 on: 05 August 2008, 15:10 »
..........CONTINUED>>>>>>>>>>


LED DAYLIGHT RUNNING LIGHTS:

Having driven on a few German unrestricted autobahns I am extremely impressed how the use of LED DRL's helps spot a fast approaching car in the rear view mirror without being dazzled by dipped headlights and also by being able to see the size and scale of the car and hence better judge its rate of approach - Much safer. But also not just at high speed on M'ways. I then started to investigate fitting some to my GTI but found that the strip LED's wouldn't fit without cutting into bodywork in the crash bar area or looking very aftermarket and not fitting perfectly enough. In my attempts I contacted Hell UK who weren't any help at all so I approached Hella in Germany who were extremely helpful and sent me some round LED lamps to substitute my front foglights with.



They are quite a tight fit but do look OEM.

It's incredible how controversial they are! Although I have never been flashed by other motorists so far, some drivers refuse to accept that they are a passive signal light and not an active beam light and consider them 'chavvy' by association with those who drive with their fogs on in clear visibilty. I consider them as a safety feature and they don't dazzle other road users so I don't care. They totally comply with European rules and automatically come on with the ignition and automatically go off whenever other lights are switched on, including by the autolight feature.



 

WHAT"S NEXT?:

I've recently driven a Mk5 GTI with a Quaife ATB and am definitely getting one!!

IN CONCLUSION:

I didn't set out for this car to be a "project" or to modify it but have simply gone with the flow. I have absolutely no regrets, quite the contrary. I believe I have a well balanced, fast and reliable road car which gives me both safe and fun journeys.

I keep thinking I've finished modding but.........


:cool: FACEFOOK: https://www.facebook.com/robin.procter.50?ref=tn_tnmn



Throbbin' Red VeeDub GTI Mk5 - DSG, Custom Milltek TBE, Forge Twintake, KW-V3 + Eibach ARBs, AP Racing BigBrake kit, Quaife ATB diff, Revo2