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

Cuzoe

Autocross Champion
Location
Los Angeles

19birel

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

19birel

Autocross Champion
Location
Pittsburgh
Car(s)
MK7.5 - MK4 - B8.5
Got all the tint off this past weekend. I was using adhesive remover and a razor blade to remove the glue, but switched to windex part way through which made it much easier. The adhesive remover makes the glue gunk up and much harder to scrape off.


Next, I've been itching to do a mod so I snagged some sequential indicators off amazon for $30.


I went with the clear versions rather than the smoked ones


Just waiting for the salvage certificate to come back so I can get it reinspected! Interior detail is neck on the docket whilst we wait. Also my co-worker offered to give me a ride in his EQT Stage 1 Golf R so I'm thinking that I won't be able to keep this stock as long as I would've hoped once I experience that haha. I wanted to wait until spring to tune it, but I'm already chomping at the bit as it is haha​
 

19birel

Autocross Champion
Location
Pittsburgh
Car(s)
MK7.5 - MK4 - B8.5
So after weeks of waiting, my salvage title finally got transferred to a PA one. Got the car reinspected Wednesday, and then got it registered today!

I put about 120miles on the car this afternoon so I'll give my overall impressions of it so far.

Power- around town the car still feels reasonably quick; I was worried it would feel slow after being used to my Stage 2+ A4, but it really doesn't. Sure, it doesn't have anywhere near the torque of the tuned Audi but it scoots around well enough for now. From a 60roll on the highway though I was actually impressed that it seemed to feel darn close to the A4. The car still has a limited top speed so it's not tuned, this makes me excited for my plans of eventually upgrading the turbo. When I get the chance I'm going to get baseline numbers for both cars with the Dragy to compare them.

Handling- Terrific, the rear of the car wants to rotate a little off throttle, and turn-in feels sharp. The VAQ diff is superb, my dad's former GTI didn't have this and you could feel the need with the inside tyre frequently scrabbling for traction. This car has no issues getting the power down though. I think I noticed what might have been XDS intervening a couple times but until I get more used to the car I wont' mess with that stuff.

Gripes- The pedals are positioned oddly for heel/toe, at least to me. By the end of the drive i was getting the hang of it, but it will take some getting used to. Response from the electronic pedal also seems poor. Realistically it's probably okay, but one of my favorite simple mods on the Audi is a BMS pedal tuner so I'll likely get the same for this because that drove me nuts. Also as we know the clutch pedal is devoid of all feel so I think the ECS bleeder block is in my future too.

Overall, I'm pleased as punch with the car, this is where the fun begins! I also snagged some pics of her out & about this evening which I'll leave below



Promised myself I won't plaster this one in stickers but I had to do at least one so now Mia Wallace is in my back window haha


 

19birel

Autocross Champion
Location
Pittsburgh
Car(s)
MK7.5 - MK4 - B8.5
Smol update after logging some more miles.

I think I coded ESC to fully disable via OBDEleven, but not Traction Control. The car seems to be willing to rotate a little off throttle, but traction control has cut in a couple times under power now so I'll have to go back and recode so it fully disables.

I have gotten the hang of heel toe pretty consistently in this car, but the lack of clutch feel was really killing me. When aggressively shifting it feels like you end up dragging the clutch so I can see why these things can't handle a tune without slipping. Based on my experience driving my dad's former MK7 GTI I knew I'd never grow to like the clutch so I ordered an ECS bleeder block to improve the feel. While I was at it, I also ordered a BMS pedal tuner to bring the throttle response up to what I'm used to in the A4.

My current plan is to "Stage 0" the car over winter; essentially doing simple mods to eliminate the gripes I have whilst at stock power so that when I start turning things up, I'm starting with a solid base.

When I came up with the idea for this project, I decided the my A4 was enough fun on twisty roads but lacked on the highway and this car could fill that void with some mods while being something I could still take to the track on the weekends. Funnily enough, the GTI's highway performance feels adequate to me, attacking the local twisty roads has been my favorite part of the 200+miles I've put on this car so far. While I still plan to upgrade the turbo and shoot for more power, I'm starting to wonder if I should sacrifice roll racing prowess for responsiveness I can utilize on the twisty roads and track... I was originally thinking EQT Vortex or TPC20 making 450whp, but a Garrett Powermax S1 making ~400whp on 93 sounds like it could be a best of both worlds situation still being fast while having a quick spool. Still plenty of time to make a decision there though!
 

El_bigote_AJ

Autocross Champion
Location
Las Vegas
Car(s)
2019 GTI bunny

19birel

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

DerHase

Autocross Champion
Location
Hampton Roads, VA
Car(s)
2019 GTI Rabbit

19birel

Autocross Champion
Location
Pittsburgh
Car(s)
MK7.5 - MK4 - B8.5
@19birel be sure to bring it out to a track event before you get silly with power (overheating) mods. If you enjoy it on twisty backroads... you have no idea what you're missing on an actual track.

There's an event this coming weekend (though I know that's WAY too short notice)... but you should definitely come down to VIR in February: https://www.motorsportreg.com/event...rginia-international-raceway-tidewater-120123

I love going out on track (I've raced karts since I was a kid and used to do a lot of big races before college and then work consumed my time) and am really excited to see what this thing can do when I can really push it on a circuit!

Shot from back in the day

I was actually considering the VIR event this weekend, I got the car road legal the last day of registration, but didn't feel comfortable enough in the car, on the street to feel ready for a track day (heel toe with this pedal spacing was bugging me). I'll definitely be looking to head down in the spring though!

Once the power mods start coming into play I'll probably keep a low boost map on deck to help keep temps reasonable on track.
 

DerHase

Autocross Champion
Location
Hampton Roads, VA
Car(s)
2019 GTI Rabbit
I love going out on track (I've raced karts since I was a kid and used to do a lot of big races before college and then work consumed my time) and am really excited to see what this thing can do when I can really push it on a circuit!

Shot from back in the day

I was actually considering the VIR event this weekend, I got the car road legal the last day of registration, but didn't feel comfortable enough in the car, on the street to feel ready for a track day (heel toe with this pedal spacing was bugging me). I'll definitely be looking to head down in the spring though!

Once the power mods start coming into play I'll probably keep a low boost map on deck to help keep temps reasonable on track.

Awesome! Yeah put February 11-12th on your calendar for the next event at VIR. Not sure who you're looking into for more power... but after this weekend I'll be starting the OS tuning stuff myself. There is a LOT of cool stuff you can do with some time and learning. I've been playing with calibration files on and off for months. A <$100 dongle and you've got the best logger available plus stuff like map switching, etc. Plus there are a lot of overheating and over-temp safety measures that exist but are unutilized in stock form that could come in handy for track stuff.

Info here:
https://www.golfmk7.com/forums/index.php?threads/open-source-tuning-solution.380998/
 

19birel

Autocross Champion
Location
Pittsburgh
Car(s)
MK7.5 - MK4 - B8.5
Awesome! Yeah put February 11-12th on your calendar for the next event at VIR. Not sure who you're looking into for more power... but after this weekend I'll be starting the OS tuning stuff myself. There is a LOT of cool stuff you can do with some time and learning. I've been playing with calibration files on and off for months. A <$100 dongle and you've got the best logger available plus stuff like map switching, etc. Plus there are a lot of overheating and over-temp safety measures that exist but are unutilized in stock form that could come in handy for track stuff.

Info here:
https://www.golfmk7.com/forums/index.php?threads/open-source-tuning-solution.380998/
I'm planning tune via a Cobb AP and more than likely use EQT. OS sounds like it would be a ton of fun to learn and is definitely something I'll look into. I've always wanted to learn how to tune, that said I'd be a little wary to do it on this car haha. I'll definitely be reading up on it though, and who knows maybe down the line I'll give it a shot!

Another update!

Removed the clutch pedal spring the other night and what a difference! I can actually feel the bite point now and the car is far easier and more satisfying to drive as a result. Can't wait for the ECS bleeder block to arrive, I'm sure the clutch will feel incredible after that!

Took the car on it's first roadtrip, nothing crazy, just over 400miles round trip to pick my sister up from college for winter break. Doing 80ish most of the time the car averaged 32.5mpg which made me glad I didn't take the Audi which would've done 22 lol. The car was a treat, not as good a road tripper as the A4 predictably (outside the fuel economy aspect) but extremely pleasant! Many more trips are in this car's future!

When I got home I had a couple packages, the BMS pedal tuner and WCT Performance throttle pedal spacer so naturally I had to install them!


temporary mounting spot for the pedal tuner, once I have it dialed in I'll move it further back between the seat so it's completely out of site.

I've heard a lot of mixed reviews on these, so I'll give my 2cents as to why I got one. Simply put, theres a dead zone at the beginning of the pedal travel and with my first two cars having been dbc throttle this is something that bugs me a lot. In automatic cars I've driven, I'm not nearly as sensitive to this and never consider it an issue, but with a manual it's a must have mod in my book.​

Currently I have it set to "Stage 1" (Green) but it's a little aggressive so I might dial it back slightly. On my quick test drive, the more responsive pedal feel really wakes up the car which felt kind of sleepy until I really stepped on it before. For fun I went over to the A4 and checked to see what I set the pedal tuner in that car to...."Stage 3" (Red) +2 😂

I also installed the WCT pedal spacer, very nicely finished piece of hardware.



Obviously hard to get picks of it installed, but heel toe feels so much more natural now that the gas pedal isn't such a big drop from the brake. It feels just like the pedals in the A4, this was money well spent. Thanks for the recommendation @El_bigote_AJ !
 
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19birel

Autocross Champion
Location
Pittsburgh
Car(s)
MK7.5 - MK4 - B8.5
So I've been itching to see how this thing compares to my A4 in terms of straight line numbers. Stage2+ EA888.2 in a heavier car vs. stock EA888.3 in a much lighter car seemed like a cool comparo. So with the help of Dragy I logged a 1/4 mile run and a 60-120 run

In the 1/4 it ran 14.48 @100.28 it was 37degrees so naturally it spun a good bit on its Pirelli hockey pucks. What impressed me was the trap speed, which was nearly identical to the Audi.

For reference, the Audi's best run is 13.55 @ 100.55 in similar conditions

60-120 the VW ran 17.68 vs. the Audi's 16.91 (these were run back to back).

Now I know 0.7secs at those speeds means the GTI got walked away from, but the Audi is Stage 2+ and has it's stock turbo pushed pretty hard and the GTI is still bone stock. Further more, I think the Audi really only managed to pull that gap until ~100. Over that I don't think the A4 pulls any harder and the GTI definitely has better gearing. For the record the A4 has a roof rack with both a bike mount and a kayak mount so aerodynamically it's challenged, but I was also able to brake boost the Audi, either way these little tests really showed me that I'm starting with a base that has much more potential than the A4 did.

Needless to say I'm now dying to tune this thing haha, I was hoping to last until spring on the stock tune but we'll see what happens. As you can probably tell I'm thoroughly loving this thing
 
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19birel

Autocross Champion
Location
Pittsburgh
Car(s)
MK7.5 - MK4 - B8.5
Logging more miles and loving every minute! I feel very comfortable in the car now, and I think my next move is to look into disabling XDS and enable the "high grip" mode for the VAQ diff. My bleeder block from ECS got delayed again, so I won't see that until the new year, I don't want to tune it until I do that.

Speaking of tuning- Once the bleeder block goes in I wanted to go stage 1, however I'm once again torn between upgrade paths. I'm not convinced these 2019+ cars can avoid a CEL with a spacer in the case of an aftermarket dp and I don't want to shell out for a GESI so I'm limited to OTS tunes that take care of that or stock dp tune on a big turbo. EQT Vortex standard was my original plan, but looking at the costs I'm second guessing myself.

For a Vortex Std, $1,800 for the turbo+ $1,200 for the Acessport & E-Tune + $500 for an hpfp is a cool $3,500 (I've excluded things like fmic & clutch because I'll need those regardless)

IS38 with a canned OTS tune and a dp is a little over $2k

APR's DTR6054 with their OTS file is $1,500

There's a lot of back and forth about how good or bad the DTR setup is, and from what I've seen it doesn't really hold a candle to the Vortex, but neither does the price. It's cheaper than going iS38 and on pump gas offers comparable performance to an is38 running e30.

Right now I just have to decide if DTR will be "enough" both in terms of fun and the build process (since it's just bolt on and leave it alone I can't tinker as much) or if spending more than twice the money on the Vortex setup is worth it for my use. I started out with some big-ish power goals and while big numbers sound great on paper it's very easy to end be in an overkill situation haha. If money were no object I wouldn't think twice about the Vortex, but this is a budget build after all!
 

DerHase

Autocross Champion
Location
Hampton Roads, VA
Car(s)
2019 GTI Rabbit
You know my recommendation: just track it as-is! Way too many people make the mistake if throwing shit at their car and then when they finally do get on track, the rest of it is woefully unprepared.

Come out to VIR in February and you'll see:

https://www.motorsportreg.com/event...rginia-international-raceway-tidewater-120123

A buddy of mine bought a stage 1 Golf R that was nearly stock beginning of this year otherwise. $3000 worth of radiators/coolers/etc later it's finally reliable enough to get through a full session without crazy oil temps.

I would recommend an intercooler before any kind of tuning honestly. A heat soaked (which happens in a single hard lap) stock intercooler stage 1 car is only about 2mph faster at the end of the straights vs a stock tune with intercooler FWIW.
 
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