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Acadia Finishes Carbon Cleaning, Car Doesn't Explode And Runs Normally

Acadia18

Autocross Champion
Location
Rhode Island
Car(s)
2017 VW Golf R
Update:
The GTI is gone, as of 2/2/2022. I picked up my GTI on 5/09/2019, so it was in my possession for exactly 1,000 days.

I've since moved on to a 2017 Golf R. Oryx Pearl White. If you want to read my GTI build thread, the first 4 pages are worth a read, and cover up till when I put the Vortex in. The next 100 pages are shit posting and me going through the tuning process.


Click here to jump to the start of the R "build" thread!

_______________________________________

Not sure why this took me nearly two years to do. Guess I don't want to have to just dump any photos of anything I do in the "What did you do today?" thread.

Most of this is just going through my Google photos I took, and laying out what was done with the car.

Feel free to follow on IG, @johnny__hotwheels. My wife said if I got a GTI, she was going to make the account for me, mostly in jest, to post about my car.

Prior to my GTI, I drove a 2013 Nissan Altima. It was comfortable, got my from point A to point B, and did everything I needed it to. But it wasn't fun. Which I didn't think really mattered. One day, my friend let me drive his stage 1 MK6 GTI. After that, my Altima just was boring. Felt like driving a car in molasses. Luckily, I had a little bit of equity in my Altima, and was well enough financial position to buy a car I didn't need just because I wanted to. So I started the hunt for a GTI.

5/4/2019

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My GTI as I bought it. 2016 SE DSG with the Lighting Package. $18,300, 32k miles. Was the 3rd owner, no signs of prior modification. Fun story: The 2nd owner (paperwork with his name on it left in the car) was in politics with his own Wikipedia page. Nothing major, worked on Obama's campaign if I recall.

May 2019

My first "mods". An MKVII badge for the rear and Badgeskins Clark Plaid steering wheel inlay.

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I know. Starting off big.


Tried a BMS Pedal Tuner.

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I forgot where I read it, but someone said something along the lines of "It makes it so you can't take off from a red light without causing a scene", and they were right. Hated it. It ended up on the classifieds here.

My first real mod. An ECS Kohlefaser Luft-Technik Intake. Grabbed it from from the classifieds here.

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I learnt a very important lesson installing this intake. Even when you think your car is cooled down, it's not. If your intake requires you to disconnect the coolant hose, best to do it first thing in the morning. I thought I had waited long enough, and it sprayed hot coolant all over everything.


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My wife: "Why would you buy such an impractical car?"

Say that to the lawnmower I fit in it...

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JB4 on. Took less than a month to need more power. Got it from the classifieds here. Seeing a trend? Try being as thrifty as possible Apparently this is the only picture I have of that install. Peep those drops of coolant all over everything. It got everywhere.

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June 2019

P3 Boost Gauge. From... the classifieds here. Another fun story: I got pulled over doing 32mph in a 20mph school zone. Cop was cool, no ticket. But he pointed to the P3 gauge and goes "What's that? Is your car fast?". It's like bruh... You just pulled me over for speeding, and you want me to say my car is fast? "Nah, it's not really fast. Just monitors a few things to keep an eye on the cars health."

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Remember that JB4, installed like... 3 weeks prior or something?


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Yeah... about that...

My plan was to get an EQT tune, but also had plans on getting a downpipe, and didn't want to pay for a tune twice. So I bought an MA Performance tune to use in the interim. Waste of $75. Double digit knock, it lasted about 2 hours on my car. Decided to just use the included Cobb tunes. While the power delivery sucked, I didn't have any knock problems with it.

To be continued...
 
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Acadia18

Autocross Champion
Location
Rhode Island
Car(s)
2017 VW Golf R
What's that? You can't fit a grill in a Nissan Altima?

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Have no problems fitting one in an "impractical" GTI!

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August 2019

New rims! Neuspeed RSE11's. Have to have some contrast. Light car, dark rims. Dark car, light rims.

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Wiper delete. Don't see a need for a rear wiper. This one is from Kill All Wipers, but I ended up swapping to the ECS cap one instead eventually.

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OEM Roof Rack on. From the classifieds here. Damn it looks good.

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Peep that steering wheel inlay. Still holding on strong!

Oh, and some tasty potatoes from Taco Bell...

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"Impractical" GTI with something like 300 linear feet of baseboard trim strapped to the roof. Was redoing our downstairs over this summer.

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Took my car on a 400 mile round trip to go visit a friend in NH and see Cage the Elephant & Beck. Had good tickets, were only something like 10 rows back. Usually prefer smaller club venue shows, but this was more to visit my friend than anything.

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Beck was great, but Cage the Elephant totally stole the show.


Decided to lower my GTI... by shoving a bunch of flooring in it. Impractical she said...

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Acadia18

Autocross Champion
Location
Rhode Island
Car(s)
2017 VW Golf R
September 2019

Wash day! Added a fairing to my roof rack.

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Added an auto-dimming rear view mirror (from the classifieds here), and a Blackvue dual channel dashcam, wired to a Power Magic Pro so it's constantly recording.

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November 2019

Tint. Took way too long to do.

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After 5 months of being on Cobbs stage 1 tune, I finally ordered and installed my downpipe. a catted & resonated MA Performance downpipe. While their tune absolutely sucked, the downpipe checked all the boxes I wanted. Looking back, I wish I went with a better one, but live and learn. And you know what the downpipe means! EQT Stage 2 flashed to the car as well!

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Another live and learn moment...

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It was short lived, and ended on the classifieds here.

Speaking of that, got tired of all the carbon under the hood. The ECS intake ended back on the classifieds this month too. Just did the snow guard removal with a K&N High Flow drop in.

December 2019

Quiet month car wise, but for Christmas my wife got me an actual tool chest! No more storing my tools in an old, dilapidated, cheap, particle board dresser!

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February 2020

My car with the MK6 that started me on this whole journey.

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Had rolled past 40k miles, so it was time for the DSG service. Did the top fill, measure and replace method. Plan on doing it every 20k miles form here.

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Took a drive to the CT/NY border to meet up with Navi, and bought a lightly used set of DWS06 tires off him. His car is dope in person. Hell, and in pictures.

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Goodbye shitty tail lights, hello sweet sequential Euro LED tails! One of the best visual mods you can do to the car, completely transforms the exterior appearance.

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Acadia18

Autocross Champion
Location
Rhode Island
Car(s)
2017 VW Golf R
March 2020

Let the pandemic boredom spending start...

Ordered a set of knock off Akrapovic tips off AliExpress. These were actually ordered in like January, but you know how that shipping goes. Had to drop the exhaust and cut off the tack welds holding the original tips on.

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April 2020

Decided the modified stock intake wasn't doing it anymore, ordered a VWR R600 Intake out of boredom. Like that it still keeps the stock-ish look.

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Also decided it was time for the roof rack to come off.

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The other big purchase in April was the DSG flashing for my Accessport. $400 for a 1kb file to flash to my AP. Ridiculous. Also shelled out and got the EQT DSG tune. I was very hesitant to spend this money, because I'm not an aggressive driver. I thought "D" mode was fine, and was content with it. But man, the DSG tune is fantastic. It really does change how the car should come from the factory. While cruising, normal D mode isn't changed, much. It doesn't rush to 6th, but still stays in a reasonable range. But the second you push down on the pedal to accelerate, it drops gears instantly. It's incredible.


May 2020

More pandemic boredom spending. VWR lowering springs. Did the 2x4 method by myself, was a bit of a pain, but got it done.

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Lowered for real this time. Roof rack had been put back on temporarily as I needed to grab a screen door from Lowes.

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Yup. Pandemic boredom shopping... R1 Concepts drilled and slotted rotors for the front and rear. 100% just for the look.

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June 2020

Is the pandemic over yet? This shit is getting expensive.

Like an overprice 8" Non-Nav matte screen with matching honeycomb trim from Eurozone Tuning. I had contemplated the glass one, and while I prefer the way that looks, matching trim was super important to me. I tried vinyl wrapping trim, but nothing looked good. Thought about doing a full piano black trim swap, but didn't want to spend the money. Little did I know that in 6 months a friend would buy me a digital dash and force the trim swap, but we'll get to that.

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July 2020

Fuck it's hot. IAT's climbing up there. Gotta cool it down somehow...

Enter the eBay Twintercooler.

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Acadia18

Autocross Champion
Location
Rhode Island
Car(s)
2017 VW Golf R
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I didn't want to go through the hassle of a direct replacement swap, so this was a good compromise.

August 2020

I redid our kitchen in August, which included installing cabinets, having a quartz countertop installed, and doing a vinyl tile on the floor, so that kept me busy and not spending money on my car in August. Mostly finished ktichen:

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September 2020

Ok, I think at this point I can stop blaming the spending on the pandemic.

Racingline shocks and dampers to match the springs already on the car. Because if taking my suspension off once wasn't a pain the ass, I figured lets do it twice.

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October 2020

I decided I might want a new exhaust, but since I didn't even know if I wanted one, I didn't want to spend a lot of money. I'm a grown man, I don't want something super loud. But something a bit louder than stock would be nice.

Bought a Rev9 Exhaust. It fucking sucked. Fought to get it installed since the reducer it comes with blows. Finally got it installed. Drones like a motherfucker. Too loud. Again, just fucking sucked. Had it on for half a day.

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At this point, I've also made the decision I want to wrap my car Nardo Grey. Got in contact with a guy and started emailing questions back and forth. Let him know I was going to wait until after the winter was over, as I didn't want salt and snow to fuck my fresh wrap, but I would be in contact.

November 2020

Fuck.

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Always best to be a trend setter, I say.

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That Karthoun? It's from my buddies MK6, the one that got me into my GTI that was seen a while back. At this point, I've been letting my buddy keep it in my garage. He upgraded to an MK7, and didn't have room at his apartment unless it was parked on the street. As well, there were a few things we needed to do to it to prep it for sale. Needed to do the brakes. Swap the downpipe off. Try and fix the horn. A few other things. When everything was said and done, it cleaned up nice.


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Fun story #3: I replaced the tire with a new one, and picked up a 2nd nail 30 days later in the same tire. That one was able to be patched from the inside at least.

Since the Rev9 Exhaust didn't work out, I bought an AWE Track Exhaust with a Baun Resonated midpipe off a member here. Cut the reducer off my downpipe to pair it up, so it would be a full 3" TBE exhaust.

The MAP resonator on the downpipe vs. the Vibrant one that Jake uses.

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Acadia18

Autocross Champion
Location
Rhode Island
Car(s)
2017 VW Golf R
December 2020

After my buddy sold his MK6 and it left my garage, as a way of saying thanks for storing and working on it, my buddy sprung it on me that he was going to buy me the digital dash (along with one for his car). While I said he didn't owe me anything or have to get me anything for helping, as that's what friends do, he said friends also take care of friends when they go out of their way to help. Super awesome of him.

We didn't go the OEM route, but the EZ Retrofit Digital Dash out of China. Shipping took forever, so that will come in a bit. But since he did that, and there is no matching trim, it forced my had to do a trim swap. Meaning the 8" glass screen.

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Well, the heater control trim doesn't match, so let's get the capacitive climatronic panel to retrofit in.

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Picked up the rest of the piano black trim. Still waiting on the digital dash.

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Well, nearly a month after ordering, they finally arrived. Shipping itself didn't take long, the seller said they were waiting on the factory to load a new firmware version on them. This was the week after Christmas.

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Ok. At this point, I really need to calm down on spending money on my car for a bit. I can do that, right?

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Sigh.

Fuck.

Well, looks dope at least.

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I would recommend the steering wheel upgrade to anyone. It feels so much better in hand.

At this point, @El_bigote_AJ messages me and goes "Hey man, is the trim on that digital dash slightly different than the OEM one?"

I hadn't noticed it yet, but he was right. After pointing it out, it was all I could see. Fucking asshole 😂

I ended up ordering the OEM trim through my dealer. Had to separate the front plate from the back, since they were different. But got it done.

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Acadia18

Autocross Champion
Location
Rhode Island
Car(s)
2017 VW Golf R
January 2021

Grabbed a BFI DSG shift knob, and a new set of Monster Mats, and that rounded out the inside of my car.

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For now at least. I'm not the biggest fan of the shift knob, but still rolling with it for now.

Decided to check my plugs and do a compression test. Compression checked out fine, but noticed a bit of seepage from my PCV breather hose.

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Got the OEM PCV, and the ECS breather hose, because I loathe that plastic clip on the OEM breather hose where it connects to the inlet pipe.

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Neat shot inside the engine.

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And done.

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During January, I went and scheduled to have my car wrapped on 3/1, and put down the material deposit. Since I knew I was going to be wrapping my car, I had ordered a bunch of black emblems to replace the chrome ones.

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The black VW ones are the only ones I ended up using.

February 2021

Counting down the days until I get my car wrapped! Since Nardo Grey and silver wheels don't go, had to get new rims. I searched high and low. But I'm extremely picky. Scrolled through Fitment Industries about 6 times, but could point out something I didn't like with just about every wheel. Finally, I found ones I liked. Some eBay, no name wheels. Vors TR37. A straight copy of the Volk TE37.

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The only bad thing about the wheels, is they're not truly 5x112. They're 5x114 that were slightly drilled out to accommodate 5x112. Nothing wrong with that, but would have been nice to know up front.

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See that snow? That's why I wanted to wait until after winter to wrap my car...

Got the accents ready for the wrap...

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Woke up on 2/28, the day I was supposed to drop my car off, to an email from the installer. Something came up (completely understandable, but not going to go into his business on the forums), and would have to push the wrap out 3 weeks to March 22. Which was disappointing, but no big deal. I've waited 5 months, can wait 3 more weeks. And getting upset I had to wait to have the color of my car changed would be the ultimate first world problem.
 

Acadia18

Autocross Champion
Location
Rhode Island
Car(s)
2017 VW Golf R
March 2021

The lug bolts I had bought off Amazon started to rust, so I ordered the VWR stud conversion kit.

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They stuck out way to far for my liking, so didn't end up using them. No pictures of them, but ended up getting a set of Mcgard Lugs. They're fantastic.

I wanted to get shit out of the garage so I'd have more room to work on my car, so I told my wife I was going to get a shed. Ordered that and all the stuff to build a foundation and workbench from Lowes.

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Shed's up!

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And workbench is done!

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I ordered the ECS gloss black rear diffuser that I was going to wait until after getting the wrap done to put it on, but decided I didn't want to chance ruining the wrap pulling the old diffuser off. So the morning I was to drop the car off to get wrapped, I put it on. I also pulled off my old exhaust tips, as I was trading my chrome AWE tips for another members Diamond Black AWE tips.

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One final picture before dropping the car off. This is the last picture of my car in Carbon Steel Grey for at least a few years.

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Drop the car off on Sunday, 3/21. That Monday, he disassembled and cleaned and prepped everything, then on Tuesday he started the actual wrapping. That Wednesday, I got a progress shot.

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Looking great.

That Friday, he reaches out and says the car will be ready the next day.

Damn it looks incredible.

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Reinstalled the diffuser (he didn't put it back on), installed the black AWE tips, and my Rennwagen spoiler.

If I could make love to this car, I would. Pictures don't do it justice.

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Acadia18

Autocross Champion
Location
Rhode Island
Car(s)
2017 VW Golf R
It looks really good in grey. Holy crap

nice journal! Yours was the best I ever read on here. Probably due to the comedy LOL

Thanks. Pictures really, really don't do it justice. It looks amazing in person.

I also didn't expect this to be this long, but I guess when you're going through two years of pictures to summarize things, it gets lengthy lol.
 

Keehs360

Autocross Champion
Location
Denver
Car(s)
Mk7.5
Thanks. Pictures really, really don't do it justice. It looks amazing in person.

I also didn't expect this to be this long, but I guess when you're going through two years of pictures to summarize things, it gets lengthy lol.
LOL I could imagine!

I saw a nardo wrapped GTI with silver RF wheels last summer. It was really nice man. That red hit in the front bumper, for contrast, worked so well.
 

Acadia18

Autocross Champion
Location
Rhode Island
Car(s)
2017 VW Golf R
So what's next?

I'm pretty sure I've decided on doing a Macan caliper swap next.

From there, I've been eyeballing some adjustable dampening coilovers, probably the EQT Balanced Line ones.

I also plan on a turbo swap eventually. Keep bouncing back and forth between just an OEM IS38, or EQT Vortex. Will be on just pump 93 with an EQT pro-tune either way. I was initially going to make that my winter 2020/sprint 2021 project before deciding on redoing my entire interior and wrapping the car.

I think part of my hesitation, and constantly pushing it down on my list of things to do, is being nervous about doing it. I'm an amateur hobbiest at best when working on cars, and have no formal training or anything. I've done all the work on my GTI myself, prior to this the most I did were things like my own oil changes or doing brakes once before. While I'm very good at watching YouTube and estimating what I can do, and I've watched quite a few turbo swap how tos and feel I could tackle it... It's still a very daunting task for fear of messing it up. And it would definitely be the most complex thing done. So I think subconsciously I keep pushing it down on the list of things to do to the car lol.
 

Keehs360

Autocross Champion
Location
Denver
Car(s)
Mk7.5
So what's next?

I'm pretty sure I've decided on doing a Macan caliper swap next.

From there, I've been eyeballing some adjustable dampening coilovers, probably the EQT Balanced Line ones.

I also plan on a turbo swap eventually. Keep bouncing back and forth between just an OEM IS38, or EQT Vortex. Will be on just pump 93 with an EQT pro-tune either way. I was initially going to make that my winter 2020/sprint 2021 project before deciding on redoing my entire interior and wrapping the car.

I think part of my hesitation, and constantly pushing it down on my list of things to do, is being nervous about doing it. I'm an amateur hobbiest at best when working on cars, and have no formal training or anything. I've done all the work on my GTI myself, prior to this the most I did were things like my own oil changes or doing brakes once before. While I'm very good at watching YouTube and estimating what I can do, and I've watched quite a few turbo swap how tos and feel I could tackle it... It's still a very daunting task for fear of messing it up. And it would definitely be the most complex thing done. So I think subconsciously I keep pushing it down on the list of things to do to the car lol.
Any reason why you're stuck on those two particular turbos?

Why the decision to swap the day fluid every 20k miles? Just a maniacal thing?
 

Acadia18

Autocross Champion
Location
Rhode Island
Car(s)
2017 VW Golf R
Any reason why you're stuck on those two particular turbos?

Why the decision to swap the day fluid every 20k miles? Just a maniacal thing?

I don't have big HP goals, or really push the car much. Compared to many, I'm actually a pretty timid driver. And I don't feel the need to squeeze every last little bit of power out of it.

I've read too many horror stories about the Sheunk IS38+ to consider that.

The HPA IS38+ would be a consideration if I was planning on pushing it and running an E blend, but it's just going to be on pump 93. Which the OEM IS38 handles fine (see every MK7 Golf R for an example).

The TPC20. Considered it at one point, but yeah... You've read the threads lol.

EQT Vortex XL. Way too big for me.

I know Littco has some options, but I really haven't looked into them too too much.

I think for what I want, just a snappy every day driver, those are two of the best options, and leaning on just splurging on the Vortex.

And yeah. Extra maintenance never hurt. VW recommends every 40k on the DQ250, but since I have the TCU tune on it, halfing that is probably a good thing.
 
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