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2018 Golf Sportwagen S 4Motion IS38

tigeo

Autocross Champion
Bilstein B8s installed this past weekend. H&R Sport springs carried over. ~30K on springs, ~56K overall. Stock dampers honestly feel fine/normal and the mounts/bearing for the strut tops were in good shape but I replaced them anyway. Overall impression after doing some testing - just a more well-sorted/sport/touring suspension. A great upgrade and not too harsh. My biggest take-away is that the movement is just a bit more controlled which is exactly what you would expect. I DIY'd it using the 2x4 method, worked fine overall but as this was my first time, some hiccups along the way. The front drop is as it was; the rear gained 0.25" and that is likely just the overall pressure/force to compress the damper. I am looking into running the H&R rears from the fwd Sportwagen as they have less dead coils (just act like a spacer) and this would drop the car back down and likely put it even with the front.

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tigeo

Autocross Champion
A few updates as it's been a while.

1) I ended up removing the ECS air scoop I had put in last year. It just didn't fit the non-honeycomb (GTI + AT) grille well and I rigged it and well, I wasn't happy with it. Bought a new grille and tossed it the scoop. Just recently I find that ECS has modified them to fit the R grille (same as the Golf) so maybe I'll make another attempt if I'm bored. I don't see that it adds any value really beyond "look at this" at C&C or "I'm bored and need to mod to feed my addiction"..hahaha

2) United Motorsport Haldex tune. Bottom line - yeah, it helps with the added power I'm pushing. I've had some runs in the twisted at Alpine Volks Fair and it was great. Here's my write up.

United Motorsport Haldex tune - it's transferring more power!

Per Fred at United, the stock setup can transfer a max of 50% of the available torque. Stock that was 199 lb-ft so theoretically 50% can be transferred for ~100 lb-ft. The tune is supposed to remove that limit and allow 50% of whatever power you are making so for me on the IS38/Unitronic, that's around 325 per Uni's dyno sheet so I should now be able to get 50% of that for 162 lb-ft. I was getting a max of roughly 30% of the available before the tune.

The Graph shows a standing launch pre- and post-tune logging within the brake control unit (3) the awd channel "nM". This is clearly not the actual torque but some proxy/measurement that the ECU uses and matches roughly what United's graph on their site looks like so figured this was the way to do it.

I didn't take the post-tune run up to the same speed as the pre-tune run so that's why the post-tune line drops off out on the right. OBDEleven sucks big-time for logging and doesn't always use the same interval for data points - I did the best I could normalizing them and some of the slight differences in the 2 graphs' trend matching each other are most likely related to that but it's close enough.

Now for the big f-up on my part...I should have done a pre-run before my visit to New German Performance...forgot that the one I had was from last June when I was still on the IS20 (wha wha whaaaaaa)...what does that mean? I don't think much b/c the torque for both tunes is v. close, more hp on the 38 but torque is about the same (310 vs. 324) and I believe this is just showing power transfer so I *think* the graph would have looked about the same on the IS38 pre-Haldex tune but I'll never know now.

Datazap file:
https://datazap.me/.../pre-vs-post-haldex-tune-launch...

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tigeo

Autocross Champion
Here are the data that I deleted for *reasons*. They're back! IS20 vs. IS38. Blue are IS20, orange IS38 on the charts.
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tigeo

Autocross Champion
How she looks now.
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maxwell

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Pitt
Car(s)
2018 GSW 6MT 4motion
How many miles on it now? Looking good. I am starting to get serious about DP/IC/IS38 (and clutch) now that it seems my electric gremlins have been exorcised. I'm still only just shy of 38k miles. Thank you pandemic not only for the low miles, but the high resale value, LoL
 

tigeo

Autocross Champion
How many miles on it now? Looking good. I am starting to get serious about DP/IC/IS38 (and clutch) now that it seems my electric gremlins have been exorcised. I'm still only just shy of 38k miles. Thank you pandemic not only for the low miles, but the high resale value, LoL
62K on it now. Yeah, my miles dropped off due to COVID and for sure they are worth more but I'm never getting rid of it - will give to one of the kids at some point. Just too cool/interesting of a car to ever sell it.
 

maxwell

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Pitt
Car(s)
2018 GSW 6MT 4motion
62K on it now. Yeah, my miles dropped off due to COVID and for sure they are worth more but I'm never getting rid of it - will give to one of the kids at some point. Just too cool/interesting of a car to ever sell it.
100% agreed. I feel the same.

Edit: here's an old picture for posterity.



Even though it's still stage 1 on Bilstein B14's, and i've been distracted a bit with the birth of our first child, i'm still so smitten by what this car is. I keep thinking about what i'd want next, and sure while a BMW M2 Comp, or RS3 seems cool, i'd much rather have my 19k wagon. Wild, isnt it?
 

tigeo

Autocross Champion
Brakes. I decided it was finally time before I hit VIR this Nov to move up to the larger front brakes. My logic is simple – the MK7 Golf R has 340s at about 280 factory hp and about 3300 pounds. The GSWs and ATs are a bit heavier and with the IS20/38, at factory or stage 1 R power levels. Clearly VW thinks 340s are a good match for that power level and weight just like VW thinks a slightly larger intercooler and downpipe are useful for the IS38 turbo. Currently, I am running 312 fronts with Stoptech slotted rotors, EBC Yellowstuff pads, Motul RBF600 fluid, Neuspeed SS lines, and Audi RS3 brake ducts. It’s a good OEM+ upgrade and has worked fine for everything I can throw at it on the street including v. aggressive hooning in the mountains – I’ve had no issue keeping up with lighter/faster cars with BBKs. These brakes fall short on the track and last year during my first HPDE they were a limiter and actually caused me to be a bit nervous. I lost most of the first day due to having to replace rotors/pads b/c they were cooked after 24 min on the track. Larger brakes are the way to go for better heat management.

Options.
  1. R/PP. Downsides to me are simply weight and staying with a single-piston sliding caliper. I figure if I’m spending the time/effort, I may as well upgrade fully to multi-piston brakes and a lighter setup. Tons of pad options. Cost is the lowest especially if you can find them used.
  2. Macan. Seems to be the crowd favorite and the lowest-cost option. Downsides as I see it/have read are pedal feel but some have reported good results with some OBDEleven wizardry and some constant pressure valves. All-in with ECS 2-piece rotors was $1450, if you run basic blank rotors, this is sub-$1K for the ultimate budget brake upgrade. Tons of pad options. I just don’t like the comments about peddle feel.
  3. TTS. The shopdap kit is v. good and a true bolt-on setup in an easy package. They ran this on their project AT. I like that it’s MQB. Downside is cost vs. the Macan. With 2-piece rotors, this should weigh about the same or slightly less than my current 312 setup. All-in with Gyrodisc 2-piece rotors for the crem-de-la-crem brake setup was $2K. Downsides are pad selection is slim but for me, I can get the Yellowstuff pads I like and there are options from G-Loc and I-sweep.
  4. DICKASS/Prodigywerks. Great cost for sure but I just can’t bring myself to do it. All-in with their 2-piece rotors is about $1600.
  5. Real BBK. Certainly the “all-in/full-send” option and you pay for it. They all end up north of $2K by the time you add rotors and if you are going all-in, 2-piece rotors seem to be the “f it” option which adds a lot of money on top of the calipers/hardware bits. APR seems to have the most well-engineered feature-packed kit for our car and is actually engineered to work with our smaller master cylinder vs. the R/PP GTI (they have separate kits for each). This sold it for me vs. Neuspeed and the rest of the that that more generic/1-size fits all MQB that really means R/PP GTI. Their cost is right in-line when you consider it comes with 2-piece rotors. Lots of pad options as well with a common shape/size used on other cars if you want to run XYZ pad.
I bit the bullet and did the APR kit from New German Performance. Went with the black calipers for a stealthy look. I ordered a set of their more aggressive street/track pads which to me are similar in use to the EBC Yellowstuff I like; the street pads that came installed are in the spare parts bin for now. Install of the APR kit was straightforward and my 17 yo son and I did it over a few days taking our time. The dust shields have to be modified to make room for the caliper brackets and wider rotors (I picked up some 340 ones) and even now, I can get contact while turning on the p. side. The 34mm wide rotors leave little room. Still worth running them to protect the ABS and suspension bits. APR’s instructions are v. good/detailed and we followed them. You bleed them twice to start out and I did it again after about a week to ensure all air was out.

Here is the weight break down…so added 2.5 pounds per side:

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Pedal feel is about the same to me as with the 312s…again…I think APR did their homework. Stopping distance should be the same on the street b/c it’s controlled by tire grip and ABS. It’s the repeated use/heat build up that will cause that to increase and I’d say these will sort that out. I'll be hooning this weekend at Avantoberfest in NY then off to VIR so will report back afterwards with my thoughts.

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After:

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tigeo

Autocross Champion

tigeo

Autocross Champion
A few updates:

Brakes. Did a track weekend at VIR and the brakes worked perfectly for all 8 24 min sessions. V. happy I did a BBK vs. the Macans/other OE-type larger brakes. These things are beasts!

Engine/trans mounts. I had car in to VW for a re-occuring SAI combi valve fault/CEL. This was replaced (under warranty) earlier this year but the issue returned. Doing some trouble-shooting I figured it could be wiring harness related vs. the valve itself. Fortunately I know the technician that works on my car there so easy to chat about it beforehand. He ran a new wire(s) to the valve and fixed the issue. CEL was popping when I would briskly accelerate so I theorized that it could be related to engine movement... I went ahead and had him toss on some 034 Street Density engine/trans mounts. They are really just a stiffer/beefier OE rubber mounts. The old engine mount felt fine to me, but the trans mount was beat and v. loose. I'm going with that being a root-cause here. I was also feeling something move/clunk in the driveline. That all seems to be gone now with no noteable increase in NVH. Win.
 
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