H&R 24mm RSB & Moog End links
. Really glad I got this… It makes a noticeable difference when pushing it in the mountains. These end links are the ones to get; paint them so they don’t rust if that’s a concern where you live.
Ed’s HID headlights.
They are an excellent replacement aesthetically for the stock halogens and they make nighttime driving more enjoyable (and safer). I had an issue with the ballasts and bulbs not being included and I’m honestly still a little confused as to how they were supposed to be delivered. They were advertised as “plug and play” with the HID’s installed but mine were not and so when the shop put them in and brought them out with the halogen bulbs that were in the stock lights (pointed towards the sky I’ll add), I was totally confused. I sorted it out with Ed who basically said my bad and that was that. These have since been discontinued but BMP’s Luminator series is a comparable replacement. If I was buying again in 2021, I’d get the LED version.
BFI Stage 1 Engine & Transmission Mounts & BFI Stage dogbone 2 Insert.
Allow me to back up for a second… Before I did the engine and trans mounts, I installed the stage 2 insert in the summer of 2018. Remember… I’m a noob…. I have no idea what “significant NVH” is like. What I did know was that it was cheap, supposedly made a world of difference, and was easily reversable. Well, when I first started it with the AC on full blast, it was jarring. The “what have I done” which I experienced one other time (we’ll get there) with this build immediately hit me. Apparently the NVH is worse with the DSG. BUT, I was encouraged to stick with it until it breaks in after 1000 miles, so I did and I’m happy with it. The engine and trans mounts made an appreciable difference as well. I could definitely feel the motor rocking when I let off a heavy throttle before I had them. Expensive upgrade, but an underappreciated mod for sure.
cUsToM intake pipe
bro! Well, yes, but by accident. The IE V1 intake pipe comes extremely close to the hard coolant line and over time it rubbed and took off a couple thousandths of an inch of the coolant line and it rubbed right through the aluminum intake tube. We were scheduled to run the back of the dragon literally 3 days from then so Jake fabed me up a new intake pipe
and it was as good as new. IE has discontinued V1 and now sells V2 with completely different pipe routing and a quick search on in the interwebs revealed that I wasn’t the only one with this issue. I later had it powder coated red for another +5 HP.
EQT Stage 2 ECU & DSG
. Jumped ship from Uni during the Boost Weather sale. I knew I was making this move around June of 2020, but damn it if I’m going to light $1,200 of Unitronic tunes on fire, I’m going to save $250 by waiting for 6 months. EQT includes their OTS tunes for free with the purchase of the AP so I was OTD for like 1050 and I own an AP that I can re-sell and re-coup some funds eventually. Hate to keep shitting on Uni, but I don’t think this is a controversial statement among the 2.0t crowd… The EQT tunes blow the Uni tunes out of the water in max power and every day driving.
Baun Performance Less Aggressive CBE
. If you’ve been following along, you’ll notice I have a ton of Jakes parts on my car. His day job requires a strong attention to detail and he certainly brings that skill to the parts he builds.
I made the miscalculation on this one. Once again, I’m a noob… I don’t know any better. I had a DP and loved the way it sounded but got greedy and wanted more. I watched all of the youtube videos and loved the sound, I talked to StealthGTI and used his input to inform my decision. I learned that I had a low tolerance for loud exhaust notes; it was just too loud in the cabin for me. Perhaps the exhaust combined with the mounts made a difference. I sold it and I’m very happy at OEM+ levels… DP+MP+OEM CBE.
. I was not expecting to do this, but an opportunity fell in my lap to get this kit for a significant discount (no this is no longer available) and I jumped at it. This is a S model so it came with the non-pp brakes. Do I track the car? Nope. Is this completely overkill for my needs? Yep. Don’t care. The brake feel is improved and fade is no longer an issue, which I did experience in the mountains once before. If I could do it again, I would have done PP rears as well. Those non-PP rears are tiny.
Avalon King Ceramic Coating DIY.
This one was fun. I generally keep my cars pretty clean doing a wash on the driveway at least every two weeks and doing this has kept them noticeably cleaner for longer, even have a solid drive in the rain. The paint was in good shape to start with so I did a basic DA one step correction, clay bar, and iron remover so I could start with the cleanest (or at least clean enough to my standards) surface. Once you get the hang of how much to apply and how long it should stay on before it's wiped off (temperature dependent), it's a smooth process. The end results were phenomenal... The paint pops in the light more than it ever did and the hydrophobic properties are still as good today as they were 7 months ago. In my opinion, the margin of difference in the results is not justifiable to pay 4x what I paid for the big brand labels of ceramic coating.
New Exhaust Tips.
These are based on the JST-139 and I had them welded on at a local muffler shop.
I knew I was eventually going to do a turbo upgrade in February and it took me until June to decide which way I was going to go. I was conflicted for the longest time between Vortex or is38. As with all of the decisions I made with the parts I chose, I read every thread, asked every question, and had individual conversations to determine which was the better route for my goals. After 1500 miles, I feel like I can give a fair assessment of the turbo.... It's great. The power band is much more liner and it pulls hard all the way to redline. Around town, I can feel a slight loss of torque, but not enough to really make a big fuss over. It's still plenty peppy and once you get above 3k, it's a whole different animal. You big turbo E85 people pushing 600HP on FWD are nutty! More thoughts on the is38 in this post.