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Colored in Light's Mk7 GTI Project

coloredinlight

New member
Location
Dallas, TX
Car(s)
MK7 GTI Autobahn
The Firestone Indy 500s are great on my car. If your budget allows the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S is an excellent choice. It is the gold standard for a summer street performance tire as far as I am concerned. Stickier options such as the Nitto NT-05 are available at the expense of noise, longevity, and quickness to warm up.
I've heard good things about the Michelins. For the Nitto, probably will pass on that since it is the daily and will be carrying a kid around. I do want to retain some of the comfort as far as every day driving goes.
 

coloredinlight

New member
Location
Dallas, TX
Car(s)
MK7 GTI Autobahn
I have tried a ton of different phone mounts over the years with varying degrees of success. I landed on giving the Rennline Magnetic Dash Kit a shot for the Mk7 and I'm really glad that I did! Here in Texas, you have a couple options regarding phone mounts. The windshield suction mounts are your first choice but after sitting hours in the sun, they lose their ability and the plastic degrades. I've had so many mounts snap after becoming so brittle. The other issue is with the windshield mounts you can't fit a sun screen which is also needed to keep things a little cool during the day.

I also didn't want to lose one of my air vents (everything revolves around the Texas heat, right?) so I nixed that option and landed on the dash mount style. I really wanted a way to almost integrate my phone into my dash and I think the Rennline kit is the perfect option. It installs really nicely, the directions are OK but it's hard to take a photo from behind the dash so I can look past that. The mount holds the phone very securely, although with pressure you can still adjust the ball head even when tightening down all the way. Sort of annoying, but at least it doesn't move when you're driving or through bumps.

rennline mount.jpg
 

coloredinlight

New member
Location
Dallas, TX
Car(s)
MK7 GTI Autobahn
This ended up on my list of interesting things to install because it seemed like a no brainer. Claims of louder turbo noises and better flow were the main appeal. I found this to be the hardest install yet in this engine. It was difficult to snake things around, get the o-ring perfectly seated and aligned and was just a big hassle. It was even more of an annoyance once everything was back together and I really couldn't tell a difference in sound. Was I expecting too much? Maybe. But I guess for $45 I have maybe helped air flow through the pipes a little better. Worth it enough to me.

turbo muffler delete-2.jpg


turbo muffler delete-1.jpg
 

coloredinlight

New member
Location
Dallas, TX
Car(s)
MK7 GTI Autobahn
Over the week I had the chance to add something I was really curious about since bringing the car home. Being that this was my first turbo car, I was excited at the prospect of hearing fun wooshy noises from the turbo and BOV. After reading up on how these cars have diverter valves and true blow off valves are a little more than I was willing to spend at the time. I opted for one of these little valve spacers. Mine was ECS brand, but most seem like they're the same design.

Of course I read how people have no issues, people see their boost numbers drop or loose all boost pressure randomly. I came to the conclusion that I would just go for it, and see if the DSG trans had any affect on the overall performance of the valve spacer. Getting it in was pretty easy, one of the easier things I've done to the car yet. You can definitely hear the air escaping when in park revving up to 4,000 RPM. It's a cool little party trick. When I took it for a drive, I suspected that folks with the manual might have been complaining about loosing boost pressure through the gears since there's the time between shifts. All the videos I saw were of manual equipped cars and had that classic 'speww' noise between gears. The DSG simply shifts too quickly to even hear it activate, therefore, I didn't experience any noticeable drop in boost pressure through the rev range. Letting off the gas at higher RPM you can hear the valve open, volume dependent on RPM. I found myself having to manipulate the RPM and throttle position to make the valve noise noticeable. This was accomplished mostly by reving higher in paddle mode and just letting off the gas without shifting.

At the end of the day for $40 it's a fun party trick that surprises me at times of more aggressive driving. I don't feel any loss in power, boost pressure, etc. It's definitely not as noticeable as the cars with manual transmissions but cool nonetheless.

diverter valve spacer-1.jpg


diverter valve spacer-2.jpg
 

coloredinlight

New member
Location
Dallas, TX
Car(s)
MK7 GTI Autobahn
In Texas, we go weeks and weeks without a drop of rain. While I understand the rear wiper is great for some, I've had plenty enough cars here now without a rear wiper to justify this. I think rear windows/hatches just look cleaner without one. So, given my preference, I was excited to see a few companies that make bolt in plugs that replace the rear wiper with a subtle little 'dot'. I chose the one from ECS Tuning, since it seemed less permanent than other kits that require you to gasket it in with a liquid based product or glue. I like things that are reversible. Either way, I love the way it looks and I'm super happy a $30 kit can make such a dramatic difference in the rear of the car.

Next up, I have a set of H&R springs I need to dedicate some time to installing and the Aerofabb rear spoiler extension on the way as well. More videos scheduled for the coming weeks, so stay tuned and subscribe if you enjoy the videos!

rear wiper delete-1.jpg


rear wiper delete-2.jpg
 

coloredinlight

New member
Location
Dallas, TX
Car(s)
MK7 GTI Autobahn
As 'Phase 1' continues on with the Mk7 build, you've probably noticed most of the things I've done so far have been fairly mild. I'm trying to learn as much as I can about the car without spending larger amounts of money in the process. I.E. installing the H&R springs has taught me how the suspension is disassembled to make a coilover install even easier. So, without wanting to spend bigger bucks on a fancy open filter intake system, I chose to go with ECS Tuning's induction kit.

The induction kit includes 2 worm style clamps, their branded silicone hose and a K&N high flow air filter. I'm not crazy on the K&N stuff, and I saw recommendations for the AFE filter. I tried to mix and match and compare prices but ECS was less than $100 (on sale) and so I went for it knowing I could replace the filter in the future. Install was simple enough, pop off the filter housing and replace, replace the tube. I also removed the snow guard while I had the filter out. I have yet to drill out the other side of the air routing for the filter, that will come soon enough.

Overall, I certainly hear a difference in volume and tone coming from the intake/engine bay. It has a little bit more growl on acceleration and butt dyno feels a smoother ramp in power. Maybe not more, but it just seems a little more linear.

gti filter and pipe-1.jpg


gti filter and pipe-2.jpg
 

coloredinlight

New member
Location
Dallas, TX
Car(s)
MK7 GTI Autobahn
Mini Update - Gloss Black Mirror Caps
A few weeks ago I did a little exterior styling change in the form of some black mirror caps. I went ahead with the $45 Chinese knockoffs that are probably coated in a single stage black paint that will chip to hell in a year or two. For the price though, they're as expected. The paint is fine, I did a quick buff and sealed with a couple layers of wax. Fitment wise, they're OK. I had to grind out the inner clips on the caps to reach far enough to be held in by the mirror unit. I didn't do this at first, and while they were on snug, overtime they popped off (luckily not while driving). Their alignment is noticeably different on each side, but unless you're super OCD you will not notice after a bit, or just not care.

They blend in with the carbon grey paint, but provide a little contrast overall to the look of the car. I'm thinking about getting the roof wrapped next to blend in with the sun roof.
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20200816_080536.jpg
 

coloredinlight

New member
Location
Dallas, TX
Car(s)
MK7 GTI Autobahn
This is by far my most anticipated, favorite mod I've done so far. I'm no stranger to lowered cars. To me, take any car, ever made, and close the wheel gap and it instantly looks better. That was certainly the case with the GTI. It instantly changes the look from, "oh this guy has a GTI" to "OH, this guy has a modified GTI". The stock Austins compliment it fine, and I already have a "flush kit" set of wheel spacers on the way to get things looking more uniform.

The install however was probably the hardest bit of work I have ever done on a car, and I'm sharing garage space while I pull an engine for the first time on my MX-5. I struggled with the hub sleeves and removing and reinstalling them onto the shocks. I know some say it's easy, but compared to the little Japanese cars I'm used to where each strut is held in by 3 bolts and some chewing gum, it was tough for me.

Worth the effort though? I'll say, yes. Can't wait to update you all next week!

20200824_122230.jpg
 

coloredinlight

New member
Location
Dallas, TX
Car(s)
MK7 GTI Autobahn
I'm a man who recognizes and appreciates trends, as long as it's genuine and personifies a style, look or experience. My NC MX-5 has RPF1 wheels like 75% of other owners. Why? Because they look good and they work. I bought a Sony a7 when mirrorless cameras hit the market. Why? Because they work. When White Claw seltzer hit the shelves at my local gro- OK maybe not that.

Trends aren't always a bad thing. And if you like something, the trendy side of it doesn't matter after the purchase. So when I got my GTI and starting diving into exterior mods, it seemed everyone had great things to say about Aerofabb. Search YouTube for 'aerofabb mk7' and it's this, that and the other's channel on installing the Aerofabb rear spoiler extension. Hence, the trend aspect. I made a video on it. I installed it. And I love it.

The spoiler came with a perfect set of directions and was super easy to install. Some might be taken back by drilling into your spoiler, but body modifications are no stranger to me. My MX-5 has 2 gaping holes cut into the hood to fit functional hood vents and after I was sideswiped on my rear quarter panel I decided to just cut it all out and install over fenders. I keep my modifications, I wouldn't buy them if I didn't so the drilling aspect wasn't a big deal.

Overall, it looks great. It's subtle, especially with the Carbon Steel Grey Metallic paint. I'm really loving the way this car is looking.

aerofabb rear spoiler-2.jpg


aerofabb rear spoiler-3.jpg
 

coloredinlight

New member
Location
Dallas, TX
Car(s)
MK7 GTI Autobahn
When adding the H&R springs, I had already preemptively decided to look for a set of wheel spacers given that I was keeping the stock Austin wheels. It is what it is when utilizing OE wheels with suspension changes, it will just look a little funky.

My friend recently got a Veloster N and paired his car with a set of GarageLine bolt on spacers. I know many different vendors make 'kits' for these cars, as did GarageLine. It's a 15mm front and 20mm rear which is perfect for getting the look I was after. The spacers come with longer wheel bolts as well which provides that extra confidence.

Before, Rear
wheel spacers-5.jpg


After (20mm), Rear
wheel spacers-4.jpg


wheel spacers-3.jpg


wheel spacers-2.jpg
 

coloredinlight

New member
Location
Dallas, TX
Car(s)
MK7 GTI Autobahn
Been a bit since I've had an update here, but we had our first kid come into our world and it's taken up a little more time during my weeks. Between working on the NC Miata and GTI, the GTI took a back seat for a couple weeks since we were back and fourth from the doctors office, and other appointment. With that said, it's been an awesome daily and baby hauler. Couldn't be happier. Now onto the modification this week.

Some of you are probably aware of the slight differences in air ducting on the Mk7 and Mk7.5 - my front intake routing has one side covered and blocked off without the cowl vents above the grill. The passenger side has these, but the drivers does not. I thought about just slicing into the cowl hoping it would look good, until I found a kit from ECS that does it way better than hacking up a DIY option.

I took a dremel to the upper cowl so now we have a driver and passenger side inlet that goes to the air box, not to direct the air there. The little scoop was a powdercoated aluminum and really nice little piece of kit. I was missing the template, but getting it lined up and cut was pretty straightforward regardless. I love how the red powdercoat peeks through the grill.

ecs air inlet-3.jpg


ecs air inlet-2.jpg
 
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