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Boosting on a Budget- 19birel's MK7.5 Build

19birel

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Pittsburgh
Car(s)
MK7.5 - MK4 - B8.5
EDIT: I will be updating this first post with the car's most current mod list

Exterior

- ECS Tuning Street shield
-Sequential mirror turn signals
-Clear bra on headlights, front bumper, partial hood, partial fenders
-Yellow tinted fog lights
-Xpel nanoceramic 30% tint

Interior
- WCT Performance throttle pedal spacer
-Rennline throttle pedal & pedal extension
-OEM GTI Monster Mats
-Bracketeer Fire Extinguisher mount w/Kidde extinguisher
-OPT7 LED light strips w/bluetooth app controller
-HD clutch pedal stop
- Virtual Cockpit Retrofit (Aliexpress version)
-Rennstall Type 2M shiftknob

Suspension
- Eibach Pro Springs
-Koni Special Active Dampers
-034 Motorsport Camster plates
-ECS Tuning rear strut mounts

Drivetrain Performance
- Burger Motorsports Pedal Tuner
-APR DTR6054 turbo
-APR spark plugs (2 steps colder than stock)
-Custom flavor town🔥 tune by me (It's not actually that spicy lol)
-Clutch pedal spring delete
-ECS Tuning Bleeder Block
-034 Motorsport dogbone insert
-Porsche Macan engine cover
-BMC Drop-in filter
-Snow Guard deleted in OEM airbox
-Ported OEM airscoop mod
- G Plus twintercooler

Braking
-EBC Bluestuff pads (front) & Yellowstuff pads (rear)
-Endless RF650 fluid
-OEM Audi RS3 brake ducts

Wheels/Tyres
-Apex Race Parts SM-10 wheels 17x8.5 in Graphite
-Toyo Proxes Sport 245/40/17
*Summer/Track setup

-Stock 18" Pretorias in Black
-Bridgestone Potenza S001 rft 225/40/18
* "Winter"/Wet Track setup


Hello all! Excited to join you guys with my Mk7.5 build! The past couple months I have been absorbing as much as I can from various threads learning about mod potential of these cars and now I finally have one to sink my teeth into! First a little backstory...

For a while now I have wanted something fast that I could also use occasionally on track. The fastest car I have ever owned is my current Stage 2+ B8.5 Audi A4, and while it's pretty quick for what it is, it's just that. It's a really great example of how a car can be quick and not fast. For daily driving it's fantastic and gives the Subaru crowd a run for it's money, but I'd like to own at least one car that really scoots. I also want to get out to the track more often and the Audi just isn't suited to that.

The Mk7 has always impressed me with how much power could be extracted from it even with a stock motor and between my dad's former '16 GTI S and my sister's current '17 Golf S I was also impressed by how nice of a car they are in general. I figured not only could this be a fun toy, but something of a secondary daily because it's more practical than my Audi, and a really nice place to be.

Where does the budget bit come in? Well, rather than search local dealerships for the right car I hit the likes of IAAI and Copart for a crash victim ripe for resurrection. My A4 was salvage rebuild I did in college, and I helped my dad rebuild both his GTI and my sister's Golf (along with a bunch of other cars) so this sort of project isn't new to me, especially in the context of MK7s. I got immensely lucky though and found a White Silver Metallic 2021 GTI SE 6MT with just 18k miles in Tampa with undercarriage damage. No this car was not in the flood (was totaled a month beforehand), and miraculously the auction lot escaped Ian's path. Here is how she looked coming off the truck...







And the damage...
Core support and front lip are knackered






This is the worst of it


Drove it around the block, and it drives straight with no warning lights!


Basically it just need some patching on the floor and a bunch of new plastic bits to be road ready again so the rebuild process should be pretty easy.

The other day I mended the core support, only the bottom bit where the under tray screw into was damaged so I just made a bracket and now it's probably stronger than it was before.


I also pounded a dent out of the passenger footwell which I forgot to document. Currently waiting on parts to show up and then more progress will insue!

So what's the game plan?
Well of course I need to get it road legal again, but after that I'm going to eventually go hybrid turbo (I'll go stage 2 as an inbetween). My goal is over 400whp, and at least low 9s 60-130. I'll be doing some handling mods for the aforementioned planned track use and some non-performance related stuff as well but the main goal is power haha. Thanks for making it this far and stay tuned for more!​
 
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swcrow

Autocross Champion
Location
Virginia
Car(s)
7.5 GTI/'29 Ford
Great pull and with your history and knowledge, making her 100% should be no issue. That's a nice natural AC hole there for ya....nice. Are you going to get a local shop to verify straightness of frame?
 

19birel

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Pittsburgh
Car(s)
MK7.5 - MK4 - B8.5
Great pull and with your history and knowledge, making her 100% should be no issue. That's a nice natural AC hole there for ya....nice. Are you going to get a local shop to verify straightness of frame?
Yeah the a/c hole would've been great this summer but might need to patch that up for winter haha😅

As far as verifying frame straightness, given the nature of the damage I don't think it's necessary. All the panel gaps are good, there's no creasing in the body work, and the car drives arrow straight.
 

19birel

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Pittsburgh
Car(s)
MK7.5 - MK4 - B8.5
Made some progress today! So the passenger control arm took a hit in the accident; as I said the car drives straight so I think it's okay, but some paint was removed.


In order to prevent corrosion (and not draw attention to it) I decided to paint it with some Por15. If you're unfamiliar, Por15 is an epoxy based rust inhibiting paint that brushes on and self levels to a smooth finish. Great stuff!



Good as new! I'm going to have the alignment checked at the Volkswagen dealership to ensure that the damage to this control arm was just superficial, but logistically that is far easier to do when the car is road legal.

Next I replaced the front lip, as you can see it was pretty knackered. *Sidebar, the VW packaging they're sitting on is what the new lip came in- super nice to keep around and put on the garage floor whenever you need to crawl under the car haha


Now I removed the old one with the bumper on the car, but to install the new one it's far easier to remove the bumper and install. I found it easiest to remove the fog lights and the screws holding the bracket pictured below in order to get the lip clipped in at both ends.


Installed (completely forgot to snap a picture until it was dark and I was leaving lol)


One thing I noticed when I had the fog lights out was that they were already showing signs of pitting. I think I'm going to give them a polish and cover them in Lamin-X or similar to keep them protected. The question is, clear or yellow?


The fender liner got cracked in the accident as well, but it was still in decent shape overall. Since it's hidden away in the wheel arch, I opted to try and fix the broken liner by plastic welding it. We did it from the back to try to make the repair a visually pleasing as possible.


From the front- You can still see where it was cracked, but it's now one piece and again it's something that won't be visible.


The PO must've snagged the mats out of it and without even carpet mats I knew I needed to take care of that. Guys on marketplace were asking $90 for used mats so I just got new from the dealership and boy do they look fresh!


Last but not least I got an ECS Street Shield to replace the stock skid plate that was MIA. Now ECS sells two versions, with and without a strengthening kit. I opted for one without because it was $170 cheaper, but neglected to read the install PDF to understand how it mounted to the car. This thing is HEAVY, and the only secure points are at the rear where it attaches to the subframe. The front attaches to the lip/valence like OEM; given the weight of the ECS Unit this just seemed like a bad idea. Sure it probably holds fine, but if you hit something the skid plate seems like it would just smack the oil pan defeating the purpose. I called a friend who has the same skid plate on his car and he said without the reinforcement kit, the skid seemed pretty useless so I coughed up the extra cash and ordered it. I'm annoyed but to be honest it's my fault for not researching the product enough to decide I wouldn't be happy with it on its own without the reinforcement kit, one lives and learns.

At least it looks nice haha

Those extra bits should hopefully be hear by Wednesday when I'm off again so I can toss them on. Next on the docket after that is getting the rest of the floor sorted. Goal is to have the car done by the time the title arrives!
 

19birel

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Pittsburgh
Car(s)
MK7.5 - MK4 - B8.5
Mannnn how's your salvaged white silver 7.5 look nicer than mine 😅 welcome fellow white silver brotha! Following along to enjoy this journey!
Thanks man! I'm still pinching myself over how nice this thing is haha I'm stoked about this color as well, everyone who has seen the car so far has commented on how unique it is. I'm also glad I didn't end up with another grey car:LOL:

So yesterday I didn't make nearly the progress I was hoping for, I've been working on the car outside and got rained out. That said I still got a few things done!

So in order to get the plastic under tray on, I needed to straighten out some of the studs underneath the car so that it could screw on. Unfortunately after straightening them out they started to break off.



As you can see this one is barely hanging on. If it broke off, replacing it would be a mission and a half so I wanted to preserve them while they were still attached to the car. My solution was to use steel stick by JB Weld. It's basically an epoxy putty designed to adhere to metal and it dries hard as a rock.



After applying Steel Stick- this shouldn't go anywhere now!

I also put some in the small gash, I'll apply some seam sealer on top of it as well.


Next I got to work on the ECS skid plate. I went to install the stabilizers and they look really well made but the first issue I encountered was have to slightly bend the tab back to get it to fit.


Finally got it to fit and now the outside nut cant screw on to mount it. The solution is to pull the bumper and unscrew the bolt in the frame rail, then drive it back in with the nut behind it.


None of this was outlined in the instructions, maybe it's a difference between MK7 vs. MK7.5, no bigee but I didn't have time to pull the bumper off last night so I'll do this over the weekend. Also still trying to decide how to take care of the larger hole in the floor. There doesn't seem to be a great way of straightening the metal out to reduce the size of the opening so my tentative plan is to use foam to fill the opening, then a layer of seam sealer to prevent water ingress. The foam would just be so I had something to put seam sealer on top of, rather than filling hole with a glob of the stuff. I think this should work well but I'm open to any suggestions.

Also, I got the MyVW app setup, I've never had an app for my car before so it's kinda neat. I'm curious as to how much I'll actually use it, but I already really like how it shows my car's service history telling me what dealership performed what services to it so far.
 

powderwt

New member
Location
Dayton & Cincinnati, Ohio
Car(s)
2018 VW GTI SE 6MT
Thanks man! I'm still pinching myself over how nice this thing is haha I'm stoked about this color as well, everyone who has seen the car so far has commented on how unique it is. I'm also glad I didn't end up with another grey car:LOL:



Also, I got the MyVW app setup, I've never had an app for my car before so it's kinda neat. I'm curious as to how much I'll actually use it, but I already really like how it shows my car's service history telling me what dealership performed what services to it so far.
I liked the app solely for the status of my sunroof. I usually leave my sunroof popped up, so it was nice if it started raining to be able to close it lol. Wasn't worth the money in my opinion though.
 

19birel

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Pittsburgh
Car(s)
MK7.5 - MK4 - B8.5
I liked the app solely for the status of my sunroof. I usually leave my sunroof popped up, so it was nice if it started raining to be able to close it lol. Wasn't worth the money in my opinion though.
Yeah once the free trial ends I don't think I'll pay for it, but the sunroof status definitely sounds nice. I leave mine popped a lot during the summer and have had to run out of work a few times to shut it when it rains so I can see that coming in handy for sure haha
 

19birel

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Pittsburgh
Car(s)
MK7.5 - MK4 - B8.5
Got the ECS skid plate installed with the bracing kit, feels rock solid and looks great too!




Then I got to repairing the floor some more.


After re seam sealing


Tackled the other spots, and where the larger void was we were able to pry the metal closer to shape to close the void a little. No foam was used in the end, just seemed like it would create an unnecessary mess of things, the seam sealer seemed sufficient.




New under tray went on (sorry forgot to snap a pic) then I tossed in the repaired fender liner


And just like that, Ophelia the GTI is ready for inspection! The title just arrived this evening so inspection will happen Wednesday morning. My only concerns are things related to basic state inspection, tyres (the rears are close to the state minimum) and the tint which I'll be really pissed if I have to remove it. Fingers crossed she makes it through with flying colors though!​
 

Cuzoe

Autocross Champion
Location
Los Angeles
Yeah once the free trial ends I don't think I'll pay for it, but the sunroof status definitely sounds nice. I leave mine popped a lot during the summer and have had to run out of work a few times to shut it when it rains so I can see that coming in handy for sure haha
If the SE has auto wipers (meaning rain light sensor) you can probably code it to close sunroof and windows automatically if it rains.

I don't have a sunroof but have coded my car to close the windows if it rains. It doesn't rain here in SoCal but I tested it with a spray bottle of water 😁.

Very cool to see a car being rehabilitated, btw. Keep posting them pics!
 

19birel

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Pittsburgh
Car(s)
MK7.5 - MK4 - B8.5
If the SE has auto wipers (meaning rain light sensor) you can probably code it to close sunroof and windows automatically if it rains.

I don't have a sunroof but have coded my car to close the windows if it rains. It doesn't rain here in SoCal but I tested it with a spray bottle of water 😁.

Very cool to see a car being rehabilitated, btw. Keep posting them pics!

I can't remember if it has auto wipers or not (though I sure hope it does because I've gotten quite used to them haha) but if so I'll definitely look into coding that functionality! Heck that makes me wonder if my A4 has that capability to utilize its rain sensor like that haha

Glad you're enjoying the thread, the fun is only just beginning with this car! If you enjoy rebuilds like this, feel free to check out my Audi build linked below, that car was actually a fair bit worse off than this was!
19Birel's B8.5 A4 rebuild
 

powderwt

New member
Location
Dayton & Cincinnati, Ohio
Car(s)
2018 VW GTI SE 6MT
If the SE has auto wipers (meaning rain light sensor) you can probably code it to close sunroof and windows automatically if it rains.

I don't have a sunroof but have coded my car to close the windows if it rains. It doesn't rain here in SoCal but I tested it with a spray bottle of water 😁.

Very cool to see a car being rehabilitated, btw. Keep posting them pics!
Holy crap…… that is game changing if so! I just got myself an obd11 off someone here too! Just gotta learn how to use it!
 

Cuzoe

Autocross Champion
Location
Los Angeles

19birel

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Pittsburgh
Car(s)
MK7.5 - MK4 - B8.5

19birel

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Pittsburgh
Car(s)
MK7.5 - MK4 - B8.5
So I took the car in for inspection and....it failed:cautious: They hit me for the window tint; it's not even the shop being difficult, they have to send pictures of the car in to the state who would reject the them with the tint. On top of that they also changed the paperwork process, so even if it passed I wouldn't be on the road yet. Essentially, because my Salvage Certificate is from out of state, I've been told that in some cases they have seen up to a 4month wait to get everything processed. Previously this didn't effect your ability to drive the car immediately after inspection but now you have to wait for all the documentation. The solution is to flip the salvage certificate to a Pennsylvania salvage cert which takes 1-2 weeks, and expedites the process after inspection. This is unfortunate, but I'm thankful that the office manager at the shop I use gave me the pointer about flipping the certificate and even gave me the required paperwork and told me where to go to get it sorted out.

Since I have a couple weeks to wait now, I got the car moved from my parents place to mine so I can remove the tint, and tinker with things much more conveniently. First order of business was a proper wash, with a chemical decontamination. Still debating how far I want to go in terms of a pre-winter exterior detail.


Next I got started on the tint, I was running out of daylight so I only did one window. I learned that it's best to start from the middle rather than trying to lift a corner edge, and that the glue is insanity to remove. For the glue I just let it soak in adhesive remover for a minute and start scraping with a razor blade. This is an extremely tedious process but it's not terribly difficult.


I normally prefer fishbowl, but I honestly really liked the way this thing looked with the tint so once it's through the enhanced inspection I'll have it booked in for it to be reapplied.

Shot of it in the garage next to my MKIV, I was pretty excited to take this pic haha

Also did some more OBDEleven tweaks
-Scandinavian DRLs
-Passenger mirror tilt in reverse
-Pulsating start button
-Enabled speed limiter (stoked about this because I'll never use cruise control but I'll 100% use this on road trips)

I couldn't find the ability to enable the sport displays, I'm not sure why but my car doesn't have them enabled from factory (or at least doesn't appear to)
 
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