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Colored in Light's Mk7 GTI Project

coloredinlight

New member
Location
Dallas, TX
Car(s)
MK7 GTI Autobahn
I was always really curious as to what these things were and why so many people had one. I finally decided to pick one up as I had replaced the license plate bulbs with LED bulbs that were not VW friendly.

The OBDeleven was really fun to play with, and I added things like a power folding mirror in reverse, sequential tail light turn signals, auto open windows and little creature comforts to make the car experience more fluid.

obdeleven.jpg
 

coloredinlight

New member
Location
Dallas, TX
Car(s)
MK7 GTI Autobahn
Ever since I got the GTI, I noticed the terrible wheel hop on hard acceleration where the entire front half of the car felt like a sponge. The 500 treadwear tires don't help, but if we want grip and convert that power to the ground we need to stiffen up the front mount.

I ordered the 'Street' durometer insert from Powerflex, as recommended. It's a pretty straightforward install and the bushing sits TIGHT inside the engine mount. This equates to a roughly 25% increase in NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) in the inside of the car. BUT, the wheel hop is all but gone leaving a stiffer and much more satisfying feeling that comes when you put your foot down. The noise and vibration is really nonexistent when moving, reverse gear is the most noticeable and at stop lights/signs it's really not bad at all. My GTI is the main car for baby transporting, and testing with a newborn she doesn't seem to mind at all.

After driving for a hundred miles or so, the NVH has been less noticeable, but the performance has still been retained. Next up, sway bars and chassis stiffening.

dogbone-2.jpg
 

coloredinlight

New member
Location
Dallas, TX
Car(s)
MK7 GTI Autobahn
So here's another "does it do anything?" modification. The ECS Tuning resonator delete. Brand aside, other manufacturers produce these too, so this little review probably applies to all. It's a pipe with 2 clamps, you cut off your resonator, wrench this one on and you should have more volume or tone from your exhaust, right?

Sort of.

I think the biggest benefit of this modification is the weight savings, I mean seriously, the size difference is immense. So you drop a few pounds underneath right in the center of the car so balance-wise, it's not totally thrown off. The tone of the car MAYBE changes slightly. I don't know if I noticed too much of a volume difference. Maybe from the exterior, behind the car you can tell. But the rev limit at idle, can't tell much.

You be the judge.

resonator delete.jpg
 

coloredinlight

New member
Location
Dallas, TX
Car(s)
MK7 GTI Autobahn
So it's been a bit since I've done an update, I'm well behind on keeping up with this post so here's a big update.

A lot of people rant and rave about sway bars, and I'm curious how the dynamics work on a FWD platform. I have front/rear sway bars on my Miata and love the results. I went with a 25MM Eibach rear sway bar to replace my PP OEM bar. I decided to leave the front alone as I hear the install is more involved and the PP front bar should be fine for the time being. I've always been a fan of Eibach products, and am definitely satisfied with the result paired with the H&R Sport Springs.

rear sway bar-1.jpg

Next up, I began ordering chassis bracing to try and stiffen up this hollow bubble of a car. The GTI has some OEM type bracing throughout to connect the deep exhaust tunnel together as well as subframe bracing. Whether or not upgrading them does anything, who knows, but modifying your car was never budget conscious to begin with. So here we are.

I went with the ECS Tuning rear chassis bracing that connects to the center brace and then adds 2 new points of structure in front of the rear wheel arches. I actually did feel a slight difference in rear end rigidity, not a ton, but the car feels 'thicker' as far as flex goes.

Continuing the chassis bracing, I found the ECS Tuning rear subframe brace and thought "why not". If I'm going to try and make the car as rigid as possible, might as well throw this on. It was pretty straight forward and it's designed to add more points of contact with the rear subframe, suspension and sway bar. It looks pretty cool too. I didn't notice a ton of difference with this, but also haven't driven the car very hard yet.

Finally, some new visual modifications. I have been back and fourth since I got the car on doing the VW badges in glass black. I loved the look some days, and other days I felt it looked like a big black ball rather than a cohesive design choice. Then I found that Badgeskins or Klii (ordered Badgeskins delivered by Klii) made color matching underlays. I though these would be perfect to break up the colors and have the logos stand out a little more.

Next was the badges, I found a product on Amazon that was essentially a gloss black cover that fit directly over the rear badge. It was a perfect fit, I didn't have to mess with the OEM chrome badge and it really didn't add a substantial amount of height or width over stock. The front, however, I decided to go the DIY route. I removed, sanded and sprayed some thick lacquer. I like the lacquer spray paint because it's sticky, and if you spray a nice thick coat and hit it with a heat gun quickly after it get's tacky enough to avoid any drips or runs. You just have to let it dry for a very long time to avoid fingerprints.

After, I threw on some black/red fender badges. I wish the black was more glossy than the slate finish, but it will do. It matches the plastics close to the mirror so I don't think it looks too "off".

hood lifts and badges-5.jpg


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hood lifts and badges-4.jpg


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hood lifts and badges-7.jpg
 

coloredinlight

New member
Location
Dallas, TX
Car(s)
MK7 GTI Autobahn
Back to some chassis bracing. This time, iSweep products. I was happy to see a JDM manufacturer producing parts for the VW. Being a Mazda owner, I had to do it. I went with their center floor brace to replace the stamped OEM unit. This brace is nearly twice as thick and sits right under the driver/passenger seats. It was really really easy to install and should pair well once I have the front subframe brace from iSweep as well. Next up, front tower bar and rear cross brace.

isweep lower center brace-2.jpg


isweep lower center brace-1.jpg
 
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