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Pineapple's Express 2.0: Dude Where's My Car?

Superfreak

Autocross Champion
Location
Denver
Car(s)
‘19 M2C, ‘05 Taco
The biggest PITA is pulling the bumper. If you’re comfortable with doing that, it’s not a hard job. I think, outside of pulling the bumper it took us about 20m to do @dtfd headlight swap.
No need to pull the bumper for the headlights, if I recall correctly. Just carefully pull and lower the bumper from the wheel well to expose that stupidly placed allen screw. I use some microfiber towels to avoid scratches.
 

Pineapple

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Boston, MA
Car(s)
2017 Golf GTI S
FMIC is the way.

I'll do my first inspection with the new lights in February, but I'm not expecting any issues.

I did the last inspection at stage 2 with a neuspeed downpipe and had no issues. No codes thrown either however.

I'll update you guys with how it goes with the lights.
It is February 😄
 

Pineapple

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Boston, MA
Car(s)
2017 Golf GTI S
Update for March

Currently experiencing a coolant leak issue. Observed coolant at low mark during my first oil change late Dec after purchasing late Nov. First inclination was the water pump. Coolant clear of crap. Kept an eye on it and saw level declining. Preemptively bought coolant last week when fluids check showed low low. Friday afternoon, low coolant alert triggers on startup. Smoke observed near turbo on opening hood, puddle present under engine bay with finger-test indicating glycol. Fluid was still present in overflow tank so I headed over to gas station around the corner and bought a jug of universal coolant. After letting cool, topped off a bit to middle range. Level declines steadily with daily driving but nothing that topping up after cooloffs can't keep up with. Replacement part on order, will conduct repairs per research Post with research here: Post in thread 'MK7 "Random / "Stupid" Questions Thread"'

Also planning some much needed quality of life upgrades.

Planning on buying a set of Koni Special Actives. Experiencing decision paralysis because I figure there's other suspension work I should accomplish while I'm there. Also wondering if I should take it to a shop, or book an appointment at @Acadia18 's garage. If I recall correctly the rears are easy but the fronts are hard?

Also in need of a shifter kit, driveline mounts kit, and a tires refresh. Probably good to preventively maintain spark plugs, gear oil, brakes and rotors.
 

dtfd

Autocross Champion
Location
Massachusetts
Car(s)
MK7.5 GTI
Thank you for the reminder my cars only been out of the garage once since Thanksgiving, I probably would have forgotten to get this done.

I'll update yall once I go through the inspection
Update.

Went for the inspection today. Passed with no issue.

Still have the neuspeed downpipe and stage 2 tune on. The downpipe does not throw an o2 code and everything reads as ready. I had no issue with the lights either.
 

19birel

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

Currently experiencing a coolant leak issue. Observed coolant at low mark during my first oil change late Dec after purchasing late Nov. First inclination was the water pump. Coolant clear of crap. Kept an eye on it and saw level declining. Preemptively bought coolant last week when fluids check showed low low. Friday afternoon, low coolant alert triggers on startup. Smoke observed near turbo on opening hood, puddle present under engine bay with finger-test indicating glycol. Fluid was still present in overflow tank so I headed over to gas station around the corner and bought a jug of universal coolant. After letting cool, topped off a bit to middle range. Level declines steadily with daily driving but nothing that topping up after cooloffs can't keep up with. Replacement part on order, will conduct repairs per research Post with research here: Post in thread 'MK7 "Random / "Stupid" Questions Thread"'

Also planning some much needed quality of life upgrades.

Planning on buying a set of Koni Special Actives. Experiencing decision paralysis because I figure there's other suspension work I should accomplish while I'm there. Also wondering if I should take it to a shop, or book an appointment at @Acadia18 's garage. If I recall correctly the rears are easy but the fronts are hard?

Also in need of a shifter kit, driveline mounts kit, and a tires refresh. Probably good to preventively maintain spark plugs, gear oil, brakes and rotors.
The fronts weren't bad, there's just more work involved to get them out. The rears are dead easy.

I feel you with the decision paralysis though getting caught up with whether or not to do the "while you're in theres" I'm at that point with the suspension on my daily, $600 for fresh dampers turns mentally into a couple grand to do control arms etc. and then nothing gets done at all haha
 

Pineapple

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Boston, MA
Car(s)
2017 Golf GTI S
Update.

Went for the inspection today. Passed with no issue.

Still have the neuspeed downpipe and stage 2 tune on. The downpipe does not throw an o2 code and everything reads as ready. I had no issue with the lights either.
Guess I'm adding LED retrofit for front and rear to the QoL list 😆
 

Acadia18

Autocross Champion
Location
The Greater Boston Metropolitan Area
Car(s)
2019 Golf R
Feel free to come on down. We use a 2x4 for the fronts in this garage, makes quick work of it.
 

Pineapple

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Boston, MA
Car(s)
2017 Golf GTI S
April update: month's retrospective and planning

Retrospective
Coolant issue was dealt with on the 17th as outlined above. Easy quick fix, cheap parts, what more could you ask. It was pretty bad at the end though, with coolant smoke pouring out of my hood at stops and puddles underneath at rest. I was relieved that it wasn't a more significant repair, but I'm at the cusp of the 8yr/80k mark for the water pump. Almost want to find a problem there so I can get a free replacement 😅

Shortly before that I had my battery die on me. Not a fun surprise expense, I sensed it starting to die due to slower starts but I assumed I had more time and got caught off guard when it wouldn't start a few mornings later. I had a bit of a scramble because it was the first day at work in weeks that I had to be prompt and present. Thankfully someone was able to cover for me.

On the 21st I installed OE Euro-spec mk7 LED tail lights. Install was plug and play, with a slight adjustment to a clip to get it to fit. I'm really liking the look, but I need to adjust the seating on one for perfect fitment. And also do the wiring.

Planning

Suspension

I have had the Special Actives for a few weeks now, and I have time scheduled with Acadia to do the install by the end of the month. Will be doing mounts at the same time but nothing else at the moment.

Wheels and tires
The tires still have life, but they're fairly imbalanced. Debating selling the winter set (premium blizzaks but shit motegis also with balance issues) and getting nice all seasons, or keeping them and getting summers. Didn't even put on the winters this year so it seems kinda pointless to have them, but it's not like I can make best use of premium summers either.
Also could probably clean up all the curb rash accrued while I learned how much my new wheels poke out.

Cosmetics
With the tails installed I've been assembling the components to enable the full features suite: amber turns and rear fogs. I'm probably not going to get to it for a while since I need a few comfy weekend hours to pop trim pieces and run wires.

With the rear looking nicer, the need for tint has increased significantly. I also have great justification now for going in for some OSRAM headlights so I think that may be my next big purchase.

Car would benefit a lot from paint correction and detailing.

Quality of life
The shifter is stock, and I really need to go and make the usual changes. I'm planning to do a DG kit with the extras bits.

Like the loosey goosey shifter, I've been feeling quite a bit of movement under low loads and shifting power. Powertrain mounts are probably shot after 78k miles at stage 1. Per this thread I may need to do more than just engine, trans, and dogbone, but it's still a good starting point.

Maintenance
The following components should get a refresh in Spring, either from symptoms of age or just peace of mind:

Brake pads, rotors, brake fluid, gear oil, plugs, engine oil, cabin filter, engine filter, tires, carbon cleaning...

I'd like to send my oil in for analysis at the next change.

I should look into an unidentified clunk that happens when I first touch my brakes after sitting for the day. Might be related to why the hill assist feels too grabby sometimes.

Dreams For Future

Thinking about a turbo back system from Jake. GF continues to give me shit for the magnaflow that the car came with, and the resonance present at 1100k and 2000k is kinda annoying for me too.

Thinking about enhanced fueling systems, which on is20 may be carts before horses. I don't really need more top end power, because I hardly get to touch it. Retaining/enhancing low end oomf would be preferable. I could probably drop in an is38 as it stands (a downpipe would be nice though too), but if I'm touching power I'm leaning towards going big rather than falling into the incremental increase trap.
 

Pineapple

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Boston, MA
Car(s)
2017 Golf GTI S
Long overdue update. I didn't feel like doing a play by play update as things developed, as I was pretty distracted by life and car. Now I'm in a more steady state I'm preparing a lot more upgrade work for the car. Since last post the following developments occurred:

Met up at the New England Forum garage with Acadia and DTFD. Did some nice work on session 1, including ruth sparks, six sigma short shift, and Koni Special Active (fronts). It took a bit of finagling on the last two. During this session we discovered a leak in the rear driver brake caliper.

Not long after, I had my water pump/thermostat fail me. I noticed my coolant gauge creeping to the right one drive, and sure enough I had codes pop up soon after. After being denied by VW of NA for the repair at 1k miles beyond the warranty, I felt a bit salty and decided to do it myself. It took longer than expected and was more of a task than I originally intended. Got it back put back together and working without too much drama once I managed to get it apart. I could do it much faster now. Humblemechanic was quite helpful, but still didn't explain why things were done or how. Spent nearly as much as the labor costs in new tools, but I can carry those forward to all my next tasks.

I've been steadily acquiring new parts for the past month and a half, and fell pretty far behind while managing the critical repairs and living life outside the car stuff. I've got planned and ready to go on: OSRAM headlights, euro taillight harness, bfi engine mounts, transmission inserts, and dogbone inserts, a throttle pedal spacer, DG superpin, moog endlinks, and mk8r control arms. I've also got stock gti springs that need to go on to support the koni SA's, and I'll need fresh untrimmed bump stops for that. I need to buy a rear driver side brake caliber to replace the one that's slowly leaking, plus associated hardware. I'll be flushing the brake lines, so I also should do related brake things like pads and rotors while I'm at it. And then I'm like well, should I actually buy new pads and rotors for the non-pp brakes, or should I hold off and upgrade the brake system?

After I get the purchased parts on I'll get the brakes refreshed or at least stable, and then I think it's onwards to the wide worlds of power upgrades and paint correction
 
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Pineapple

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Boston, MA
Car(s)
2017 Golf GTI S
Solid plans! She's gonna look and feel fresh once you get all that installed!
Btw I saw you mention you run eibach springs and SA's. I have "eibach pro" (exact product unknown, purchased by prev owners) on SA's and I'm experiencing occasional rub on the driver rear wheel now it's all settled. Did you have any issues dialing yours in? I'm not really looking to change my wheel/tire setup so I'm looking at putting in a set of stock springs I originally intended to use with the Koni's. Lot of work overhead plus hardware costs
 

19birel

Autocross Champion
Location
Pittsburgh
Car(s)
MK7.5 - MK4 - B8.5
Btw I saw you mention you run eibach springs and SA's. I have "eibach pro" (exact product unknown, purchased by prev owners) on SA's and I'm experiencing occasional rub on the driver rear wheel now it's all settled. Did you have any issues dialing yours in? I'm not really looking to change my wheel/tire setup so I'm looking at putting in a set of stock springs I originally intended to use with the Koni's. Lot of work overhead plus hardware costs
Mine are "Eibach Pro" as well and I don't have any rub. That said, my springs (and the SAs) are MK8 spec. So IDK what, if any difference there is between the two.

Have you considered trying the TT rear spring pads? Those might help give a little more clearance
 

Pineapple

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Boston, MA
Car(s)
2017 Golf GTI S
Mine are "Eibach Pro" as well and I don't have any rub. That said, my springs (and the SAs) are MK8 spec. So IDK what, if any difference there is between the two.

Have you considered trying the TT rear spring pads? Those might help give a little more clearance
I would like to tune how the rears feel a bit, I would be ok with it if it wasn't rubbing but I don't love it. Maybe a thicker swaybar
 

19birel

Autocross Champion
Location
Pittsburgh
Car(s)
MK7.5 - MK4 - B8.5
I would like to tune how the rears feel a bit, I would be ok with it if it wasn't rubbing but I don't love it. Maybe a thicker swaybar
rear swaybar is probably my next suspension mod, I'd like just a little bit more rotation from the rear
 
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