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Old 02-07-2017, 08:19 AM   #1
Hammersticks
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Hammersticks' "Less Is More" MK7 GTI

Really just doing this for my own tracking, and pointing people to what I've done with my suspension as I've gone through several setups (here is a reference guide I cobbled together on the suspension install if you're interested.) The general premise I'm taking with this car is a "clean, less is more" approach with a focus on handling...until the warranty is up and will then add more power. I'm not ricing my car out so you won't find massive aero kits, BOV's, etc. Hopefully I'll stick to my guns, even after I get bored with the unfortunate "nothing else to do" syndrome.

Current Setup: (*performed at approx mileage)
Suspension:
*25mm Neuspeed RSB (*5K)
*034 Strut Mounts (*7K)
*HPA SHS Coilovers (*8K)
*26mm H&R FSB (*10K)
*KW 30mm Spring Spacers (rear) (*13K)
Wheels & Tires:
*Neuspeed RSe10 18x8.5 (*5K)
*Continental DW 235x40x18 (*5K)
Engine & Transmission
*JB1 (*9K)
*Clutch spring removed (*9K)
*BMS Clutch Stop (*9K)
*Golf R IC (*10K)
*Boomba Short Shift Adaptor (*11K)
Cosmetic & Misc
*F1 Pinnacle Tint 50/30 (2K)
*Front-End Mod (10K)
*Badge adjustments (11K)
*Red Tail Performance Exhaust Tips (13K)
*OBDeleven tweaks (ongoing)

Past Mods:
Suspension:
*Koni FSD + ED Springs (Rear only)
*Koni FSD + Neuspeed Sport Springs
*Bilstein B8 + DG "E" Springs
*Bilstein B8 + Neuspeed Sport Springs
*H&R OE Sport Spring (front left only)
Engine & Transmission:
*034 Dogbone Insert
Exhaust:
*CSS Muffler
Cosmetic:
*Black Mirror Caps
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Old 02-07-2017, 08:24 AM   #2
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Hammersticks' "Less Is More" MK7 GTI

2016 SE MT PP LP. Not ordered but exactly what I wanted. Pickup day before being prepped:





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Old 02-07-2017, 08:39 AM   #3
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Hammersticks' "Less Is More" MK7 GTI

First order of business, TINT. I struggled a bit with this. I wanted clean but sporty, and legal-ish. This is 50 front and 30 rear with Formula 1 Pinnacle. If I had it to do over again I think I'd go with a different brand that has more of a matte finish, but this is the brand my installer of choice uses so I went with it. I like the color most of the time, but it does seem a bit light in super bright conditions. No worries though. It follows the theme.

Before:


After:



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Old 02-07-2017, 08:53 AM   #4
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Hammersticks' "Less Is More" MK7 GTI

Suspension setup #1.5: Emmanuel Design springs + Koni FSDs.

I first installed the rears and drove it before installing the fronts. It felt super mushy and not sporty. The springs are supposed to be great with the stock dampers but with the FSDs it felt way too soft. I aborted the mission and went to my next setup...

Suspension setup #2: Neuspeed Sport Springs + Koni FSDs.

I went with this setup based on various reviews, mainly from MK6 guys, but also a member here who had it. At the time I was looking for comfort around town, but also to tighten things up at speed. Overall I was pretty happy with the kit. It was more comfortable than stock around town and it was more responsive at speed. It definitely wasn't perfect but a big improvement over stock. It was a bit low for me though and I definitely learned where the potholes and road irregularities were while driving with this setup after taking some hits. I really liked the way the neuspeed sports handled though.

Neuspeed sports:




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Old 02-08-2017, 06:30 AM   #5
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Hammersticks' "Less Is More" MK7 GTI

Next up were tires and wheels. Like everyone and their mother, I went with Rse10's 18x8.5's, paired with Conti DW 235/40/18's. I know everyone has these wheels here, but not in my town.

The Conti DW's are awesome (price/handling/weight/durability) and I fell in love with the 10's based on these marketing shots. I was all set to go graphite but ultimately decided to go silver for a "stockish but not" look.











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Old 02-08-2017, 06:39 AM   #6
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Time to do something about body roll. I kept hearing guys say to start with the rear, so that's what I did. I didn't want to go extreme so I just went with the 25mm Neuspeed bar vs the 27mm. Bummer that it's not adjustable but it's fine for now. If the 034 bar would have been out then I would have gotten that instead. No worries though, the neuspeed bar is a big improvement over stock.


And dogbone insert... 034 is local, and it was only $43 so what the heck. Easy install and it works. Score.




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Old 02-08-2017, 07:03 AM   #7
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Hammersticks' "Less Is More" MK7 GTI

Suspension setup #3...(this is where I went to the loony bin for a bit with complete overhauls every few weeks it seemed)...anyway, setup #3: DGs + Bilstein B8's:


I had found the B8's used and kept hearing about how great the DGs were so I figured I'd give this combo a shot to raise it up. I wasn't exactly convinced the handling would be where I wanted but I knew I wanted to raise it up so I rolled the dice. Well, it definitely raised it up and rode VERY well. I thought the B8's would be way stiffer but they were surprisingly smooth and supportive. Handling left a lot to be desired though. I couldn't tell I still had the neuspeed bar anymore. No beuno.

This combo was the best riding setup, but I couldn't take the lackluster handling. The DGs were a bit of an impulse buy. I wish I would have remembered the HR OE sports instead. I thought about buying them after but decided I should see what the neuspeed sport / B8 combo would be like, even though I knew it would be low, I knew it would handle well (I already had the parts so what the hay...)

Oh, and I put the 034 strut mounts on with this install too. They are super beefy. Vulcanized rubber to fill the voids...me likey...




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Old 02-08-2017, 07:10 AM   #8
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A couple cosmetic mods. Decided to go with gloss black mirror caps and got a tip from a fellow member on changing my center caps from silver to black.

Before...




After...





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Old 02-08-2017, 07:21 AM   #9
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Suspension setup #4: Neuspeed Sports + Bilstein B8's.

Short of going to coils, I'd put this setup against any other spring/shock combo based on its all around strength. The B8's are remarkably supportive and felt REALLY good with the neuspeed sports. It was lower than I wanted but it handled very well and was extremely comfortable for a sports suspension, even on bad roads. It probably wouldn't be stiff enough as a track setup but it was very, very good for street.

"So if it was so good why did you get rid of it?" As much as I liked it, I still wanted to raise the car a bit. I also started getting more picky about handling and kept reading about how great the HPA SHS coil kit was. After a lot of debate I decided to pull the trigger on the SHS kit.



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Old 02-08-2017, 07:25 AM   #10
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Suspension setup #5: HPA SHS kit.

This is it! I've got it! Review here: http://www.golfmk7.com/forums/showth...ht=impressions

It's not as comfy as setup 4, but the handling is better and I have my ride height where I want it. I can finally say I am no longer on my suspension quest.

So yeah, it was a lot of work, but I was able to find what I liked and what I didn't. Anyway, I'm here now so it's all good.




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Old 02-08-2017, 07:34 AM   #11
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Hammersticks' "Less Is More" MK7 GTI

Front end mod...Chick turned left right in front of me. As luck would have it, she didn't have insurance. Uuurrrgggg. Uninsured motorist coverage to the rescue....

I had JUST dialed in the SHS kit before this happened.

$20k in damage. VW makes lots of money on parts.

I was all set to upgrade to the Uni intercooler, then my wife got in my ear about selling the car so I went with the R IC instead since it was essentially free. Wish I would have stuck with the Uni but oh well. At least I won't have to explain the IC when I go into service. They question everything.





After a LONG six week wait due to the holidays etc, I finally got my car back. STOKED!




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Old 02-08-2017, 07:36 AM   #12
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Not feeling the black mirror caps and silver wheel combo anymore. Back to white. I think it looks cleaner:




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Old 02-08-2017, 07:37 AM   #13
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Hammersticks' "Less Is More" MK7 GTI

I got boomba'd....

Big change from stock. Notchier...and WAY shorter throws.





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Old 02-08-2017, 07:47 AM   #14
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Hammersticks' "Less Is More" MK7 GTI

Had the H&R 26mm front sway installed. Even on full soft the difference is amazing. It really holds the front end down. Turn in is improved and the car is so much more balanced. Love it.




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Old 02-08-2017, 08:11 AM   #15
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I can't believe 20k didn't total the car?! Glad you got it back and you're happy but personally I wouldn't want a new car fixed, I'd want it bought back and start over with another new one
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Old 02-08-2017, 08:18 AM   #16
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Wow they did a great job on that repair. Makes me feel better about looking at all these wrecked ones at auctions for parts/transplant lol.
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Old 02-08-2017, 08:49 AM   #17
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Hey Jake, trust me, I tried as did the body shop. The claims guy said they didn't have a ratio. It does seem incredible they didn't consider it a loss, but on the flip side, it was literally a matter of the body shop buying a ton of OEM parts and sticking them back in. And it's not like the stock paint is anything to write home about.

Granted, I wish I didn't have a blemish on carfax and wish I could have gone after her insurance for diminished value, but sometimes you just gotta let stuff go. I plan on having the car for a while so hopefully the accident won't be much of a concern. I'd rather buy a car from me than anyone else.

Blade, thanks. It took a while but they wanted to make sure it was done right which I certainly appreciated. Amazing what some plastic surgery can do after getting sucker punched and sent to the hospital.


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