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Hammersticks' "Less Is More" MK7 GTI

Hammersticks

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Bay Area, CA
Car(s)
'16 GTI, '18 e-Golf
I'm doing this for my own tracking, and pointing people to what I've done with my suspension as I've gone through several setups (here is a beginner's guide to buying a street-based suspension and an installation reference guide I cobbled together if you're interested.) The general premise I'm taking with this car is a "clean, less is more" approach with a focus on handling...until the warranty is up and will then add more power. I'm oldish so you won't find massive aero kits, BOV's, etc., but here it is....


Current Setup: (added at approx mileage)

Suspension:

*H&R 26mm FSB (10K)
*H&R 24mm RSB (27K)
*034 springs (35K)
*Koni Sports/Yellows (22K)
*SuperPro 7K LCAs (27K)
*SuperPro trailing arm bushings (27K)
* Moog rear end links (35K)

Wheels & Tires:

*Neuspeed RSe10 18x8.5 (5K)
*Continental Extreme Contact Sport 235/40/18 (23K)

Brakes

* Daily: iSWEEP 1500 / Zimmermann rotors (35K). Track: Ferodo DS2500
* RS3 ducts

Engine, Transmission, Exhaust

*EQT Stage 1 / 91 Octane (v2.01 @ 33.5K, v2.51 @ 36.7K)
* Remus catback (31.5K)
*BMS Clutch Stop (9K)
*Golf R IC (10K)
*Metal relay lever (14K)
*42DD shifter bushings (14K)
*Steel Oil Pan & Fel-Pro OS30821 gasket (30K)
*Gold Plug AP-08 (15K)
*OE Euro Short Shifter (18K)
*WCT pedal spacer (25K)

Cosmetic & Misc

*F1 Pinnacle Tint 50/30 (2K). Sunroof 5% (33.5K)
*Front-End Mod (10K)
*Badgeskins (30K)
*Wolfsburg Center Caps (20K)
*OE Jack Mount Kit (26K)
*OBDeleven - Soundaktor off, DRL dim with turn signals, forget what else...

Maintenance:
* Oil changes: Dealer @ 5K, 10K. Liqui-Moly 5W40 Leichtlauf High Tech @ 15K, 20K, 25K. Castrol Edge 5W40 @30.5K. Liqui-Moly 35K.
* Cabin filter: 25K
* Door seals: Krytox 205 & Sailkote on 2/3/19
* Motul RBF600: 27K 3/10/19. Castrol Dot 4: 33K 4/10/20
* Air filter: 27K
* Performance Pack differential fluid flush: 9/29/19. 30.5K
* The Last Coat v2 - 5/21 (egolf and GTI)
* Spark plugs: 35K


Past Mods:

Suspension:


*Koni FSD + ED Springs (Rear only)
*Bilstein B8 & Koni Sports + DG "E" Springs
*Koni FSD & Bilstein B8 + Neuspeed Sport Springs
*Koni Sports + H&R OE Sports
*HPA SHS Coilovers
*034 Strut Mounts
* SuperPro Camber Mounts
*Neuspeed 25mm RSB

Engine & Transmission:

*JB1
*034 Dogbone Insert
*Boomba Short Shift Adaptor
*Shorty's Short Shifter

Exhaust:

*CSS Muffler

Cosmetic:

*Black Mirror Caps

Brakes:
Centric Posi-Quiet front pads (No dust but not confident with braking ability...especially with a tune). TRW pads gave me constant trouble with fitment issues and rattled like mad.

Tires:

*Continental DW 235x40x18 (17K miles - horrible center wear)
 
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Hammersticks

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Bay Area, CA
Car(s)
'16 GTI, '18 e-Golf
2016 SE MT PP LP. Not ordered but exactly what I wanted. Pickup day before being prepped:





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Hammersticks

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Bay Area, CA
Car(s)
'16 GTI, '18 e-Golf
First order of business, TINT. I struggled a bit with this. I wanted clean but sporty, and legal-ish. This is 50 front and 30 rear with Formula 1 Pinnacle. If I had it to do over again I think I'd go with a different brand that has more of a matte finish, but this is the brand my installer of choice uses so I went with it. I like the color most of the time, but it does seem a bit light in super bright conditions. No worries though. It follows the theme.

Before:


After:



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Hammersticks

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Bay Area, CA
Car(s)
'16 GTI, '18 e-Golf
Suspension setup #1.5: Emmanuel Design springs + Koni FSDs.

I first installed the rears and drove it before installing the fronts. It felt super mushy and not sporty. The springs are supposed to be great with the stock dampers but with the FSDs it felt way too soft. I aborted the mission and went to my next setup...

Suspension setup #2: Neuspeed Sport Springs + Koni FSDs.

I went with this setup based on various reviews, mainly from MK6 guys, but also a member here who had it. At the time I was looking for comfort around town, but also to tighten things up at speed. Overall I was pretty happy with the kit. It was more comfortable than stock around town and it was more responsive at speed. It definitely wasn't perfect but a big improvement over stock. It was a bit low for me though and I definitely learned where the potholes and road irregularities were while driving with this setup after taking some hits. I really liked the way the neuspeed sports handled though.

Neuspeed sports:




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Hammersticks

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Bay Area, CA
Car(s)
'16 GTI, '18 e-Golf
Next up were tires and wheels. Like everyone and their mother, I went with Rse10's 18x8.5's, paired with Conti DW 235/40/18's. I know everyone has these wheels here, but not in my town. [emoji1]

The Conti DW's are awesome (price/handling/weight/durability) and I fell in love with the 10's based on these marketing shots. I was all set to go graphite but ultimately decided to go silver for a "stockish but not" look.











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Hammersticks

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Bay Area, CA
Car(s)
'16 GTI, '18 e-Golf
Time to do something about body roll. I kept hearing guys say to start with the rear, so that's what I did. I didn't want to go extreme so I just went with the 25mm Neuspeed bar vs the 27mm. Bummer that it's not adjustable but it's fine for now. If the 034 bar would have been out then I would have gotten that instead. No worries though, the neuspeed bar is a big improvement over stock.


And dogbone insert... 034 is local, and it was only $43 so what the heck. Easy install and it works. Score.




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Hammersticks

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Bay Area, CA
Car(s)
'16 GTI, '18 e-Golf
Suspension setup #3...(this is where I went to the loony bin for a bit with complete overhauls every few weeks it seemed)...anyway, setup #3: DGs + Bilstein B8's:


I had found the B8's used and kept hearing about how great the DGs were so I figured I'd give this combo a shot to raise it up. I wasn't exactly convinced the handling would be where I wanted but I knew I wanted to raise it up so I rolled the dice. Well, it definitely raised it up and rode VERY well. I thought the B8's would be way stiffer but they were surprisingly smooth and supportive. Handling left a lot to be desired though. I couldn't tell I still had the neuspeed bar anymore. No bueno.

This combo was the best riding setup, but I couldn't take the lackluster handling. The DGs were a bit of an impulse buy. I wish I would have remembered the HR OE sports instead. I thought about buying them after but decided I should see what the neuspeed sport / B8 combo would be like, even though I knew it would be low, I knew it would handle well (I already had the parts so what the hay...)

Oh, and I put the 034 strut mounts on with this install too. They are super beefy. Vulcanized rubber to fill the voids...me likey...




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Hammersticks

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Bay Area, CA
Car(s)
'16 GTI, '18 e-Golf
A couple cosmetic mods. Decided to go with gloss black mirror caps and got a tip from a fellow member on changing my center caps from silver to black.

Before...


After...





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Hammersticks

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Bay Area, CA
Car(s)
'16 GTI, '18 e-Golf
Suspension setup #4: Neuspeed Sports + Bilstein B8's.

Short of going to coils, I'd put this setup against any other spring/shock combo based on its all around strength. The B8's are remarkably supportive and felt REALLY good with the neuspeed sports. It was lower than I wanted but it handled very well and was extremely comfortable for a sports suspension, even on bad roads. It probably wouldn't be stiff enough as a track setup but it was very, very good for street.

"So if it was so good why did you get rid of it?" As much as I liked it, I still wanted to raise the car a bit. I also started getting more picky about handling and kept reading about how great the HPA SHS coil kit was. After a lot of debate I decided to pull the trigger on the SHS kit.



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Hammersticks

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Bay Area, CA
Car(s)
'16 GTI, '18 e-Golf
Front end mod...Chick turned left right in front of me. As luck would have it, she didn't have insurance. Uuurrrgggg. Uninsured motorist coverage to the rescue....

I had JUST dialed in the SHS kit before this happened.

$20k in damage. VW makes lots of money on parts.

I was all set to upgrade to the Uni intercooler, then my wife got in my ear about selling the car so I went with the R IC instead since it was essentially free. Wish I would have stuck with the Uni but oh well. At least I won't have to explain the IC when I go into service. They question everything. :(





After a LONG six week wait due to the holidays etc, I finally got my car back. STOKED!




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Hammersticks

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Bay Area, CA
Car(s)
'16 GTI, '18 e-Golf
Had the H&R 26mm front sway installed. Even on full soft the difference is amazing. It really holds the front end down. Turn in is improved and the car is so much more balanced. Love it.




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GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
I can't believe 20k didn't total the car?! Glad you got it back and you're happy but personally I wouldn't want a new car fixed, I'd want it bought back and start over with another new one
 
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