Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   GOLFMK7 - VW GTI MKVII Forum / VW Golf R Forum / VW Golf MKVII Forum > Volkswagen GTI / Golf MK7 General Topics > Member Car Journals

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-22-2018, 09:00 AM   #1
penguinsgestapo's Avatar
Drives: 2015 GTI Autobahn
Location: Houston, TX
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 60
Penguingestapo's 2015 Autobahn MK7

I usually do these on every car I buy and this will be no different. This is my first VW and coming from a mechanic's background I never thought I would buy one. I moved from North Dakota to Houston and quickly decided I wanted to switch from a truck that got 11 mpg to something that got better. I wanted a quick, four door, turbo, hot hatchback car that was comfortable for me to sit in for around 25-30k. In fact, the seat comfort was one of my top priorities. So after looking around I realized I'm down to the Honda Civic Sport, the WRX, the Focus ST, and the MK7. The civic was out because I just frankly just think its not ascetically pleasing (and I already owned a turbo civic). The WRX wasn't comfortable enough. The Focus ST I came very very close to buying, but ultimately when comparing it to build quality, the MK7 just blew me away. After driving all the cars, my wife even commented that I looked the most excited about the MK7. This surprised me because the Focus is a great little hatch and really defines that market. Never the less, I decided to purchase a 2015 Golf MK7 Autobahn with light package. It had 30k miles on it (slightly used). This is the car as it sat the day I bought it:

Current mods are:

AFE Drop in Filter
MAP 3" DP w/ vibrant cat
034 Mount Insert
JB4 Map 5
Rev9 BIG Intercooler

2004 Porsche Cayman 4 piston Brembo Front Calipers
Stop Tech Drilled and Slotted rotors
Hawk HPS Street Pads (Front and Rear)
ECS Red Stainless Steel Brake Lines

H&R Sport Springs
ST 25mm Rear Sway Bar
Unibrace UBQ
Unibrace XBQ

Wheels and Tires
18" Sparco Pista

The main point of this car was to build something that I could still comfortably DD but still be sporty enough to enjoy myself on mountain cruises. I have a cabin in North Carolina on US129 and try to get up there 4 times a year at least.

After first buying the car, I wanted to give her a good wash, wax, and remove all the shiny stuff they spray all over every inch of it at the dealership. I like the "natural" clean finish of an engine bay.

Impromptu photo shoot in the back of my neighborhood

After looking the car over, I decided that the first thing was to get new rotors, springs, and a downpipe. I own a DSM so I jumped on the MAP downpipe as they were always known for quality in the DSM world. Well they didn't let me down here. I also put on the JB4 at this time, but have no pictures. Yes I did get the BT addition. I will eventually go Cobb, but I like warranties. I put on the ECS flush kit for the stock wheels at this time too.

Bad Rotors

Good Rotors

MAP Downpipe. Small wonder this thing has such good gains when compared to restrictive stock. Seriously VW engineers how did you even let such a terrible stock pipe leave the factory.

ECS Flush Kit

After that I took this car up to the mountains and really put her through the paces. I was highly impressed with the car compared to some of the others in the area and kept up well with cars/bikes that would be considered outside of its class. To get to NC I drove almost 9 hours straight and I have to say that even with a terrible back (fused vertebrae) it was such a comfortable and easy ride. Also the sunroof on these cars is just impressive. I'm so glad I decided I wanted a sunroof because this thing is huge and really opens up well to allow nice air flow. Also being able to close up the black mesh while keeping the roof open is great when the sun is up!

I also took the time to dyno the car with the current mods, and while I wish the numbers were higher, it was a heartbreak dyno.

The only drawbacks I had are 1. The brakes on the non PP suck and 2. I need a full exhaust to hear that glorious DSG.

Even though she is lowered, I'm not afraid to take her offroad fording streams. Before anybody asks, our intake inlet is right behind the VW logo and this stream was less than a foot deep.

Heartbreak Dyno

2015 Golf GTI Autobahn LP | JB4 | MAP DP |

Last edited by penguinsgestapo; 03-27-2018 at 04:50 AM.
penguinsgestapo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2018, 09:01 AM   #2
penguinsgestapo's Avatar
Drives: 2015 GTI Autobahn
Location: Houston, TX
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 60
I saw that Unibrace has pretty much decided to shut their doors, so I jumped in on the "last run" that they were going to have. Although they have since done another one. I tell you though these are quality products and if you get the chance to order them you should. I haven't had much of a chance to really throw it around curves, but I put them on at different times and the one behind the seats made more of a difference than the one under the car when driving around town. Machined well, painted well, shipped well. I went with the "red" color and that will continue to be the theme on this car. Subtle red.

At this time I also wanted to redo my garage. I picked this color combo because the shop I was trained at before I went back to school was painted this color and I've always liked it. I still need to do the floor (grey with red flake) and just frankly haven't had the time after the weather has gotten better. Shameless picture of my other baby. 1999 DSM. Rebuilt from the ground up still rocking A/C. Needs a new paint job pretty bad. I had to bring her in because we got SNOW in Houston and I only run Water Wetter + distilled water.

I got new shoes for her too. I went back and forth on what I wanted and ultimately decided on something I haven't seen much of: Sparco Pista's. Sparco's are essentially OZ's as they have been together since 09'. Yes there is a dent there, its 100% my fault and it really chaps my ass. There are some side skirts ECS carries that I will hope to put on here this year to cover it up.



40k Mile Service. Went ahead and bought my own DSG kit. I am unbelievably anal about maintenance and oil choice. Its not that I can't afford for other people to do it, it is that I don't trust other people to touch my stuff. Got everything from ECS in a kit during Cyber Monday. It all came in around February 1st. Unbelievable. Probably the last time I order from ECS.

My wife has decided that this corner in my office on the other side of my couch is where my packages should go.

This little tool is awesome. Simple to use, no mess, but you do need a compressor.

Remember how I said the stock non PP brakes suck? Well in preparation for going up to the mountains again this month I have decided to go bigger, better, and more solid. 2004 Porsche Boxster calipers w/ stainless steel lines, hawk pads, and upgraded fluid. I can easily put together a guide on how to do this if anybody wants. If your reading this I do caution you DO NOT EVER EVER EVER EVER let the brake fluid run low on these cars. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to bleed the air out without taking it up to VW to have them put it on a machine that bleeds all four calipers at once simultaneously.

ECS's red braided brake lines. Even though I had to wait four months these things are high quality.

Calipers as I got them. These do require brackets to run. Like I said these are four piston fixed calipers off of a 2000 - 2004 Porsche Boxster. I have about $700 in this setup, which is cheaper than buying other kits. With these you can utilize the stock non PP rotors.

Decided to paint them and put them on. I did fail to rebuild them and when putting them on found out they they did infect need rebuilding. As I was going to miss a deadline that I wanted them on for, I decided to send them off for powder coating.

Remember how I said I sent them off for powder coating? Yeah they didn't do it. They also didn't tape anything off so I had to clean that up. No recourse to get my money back but I left them a blistering review everywhere I possible could.

I cleaned everything up and went ahead and rebuilt them. I also bought bleeder screws with check valves so you can bleed yourself and I have to say, those check valves are worth their weight in gold.

I hated that the back were rusting so I cleaned them up and coated them in black caliper paint

That is about where we sit now. Hope to get some really good pictures in a couple weekends when I go up for a car meet on the Dragon.
2015 Golf GTI Autobahn LP | JB4 | MAP DP |

Last edited by penguinsgestapo; 03-22-2018 at 09:58 AM.
penguinsgestapo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2018, 01:12 PM   #3
Senior Member

Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 202
Much good work.
Enjoyed the read and like the build. Looking forward to more.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
sandmangti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2018, 01:39 PM   #4
mikkelz_za's Avatar
Drives: MK7 Golf GTI
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 41
Epic build! Thoroughly enjoyed reading through this.

16 MK7 Golf GTI | Pure White | DSG | DCC | PDC | Keyless Access | Panoramic Sunroof
mikkelz_za is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2018, 02:08 PM   #5
Senior Member
Diggs24's Avatar
Drives: 2015 GTI; 2003 Saab 9-3 SS
Location: Flyover Country, looking at JB4 logs
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 6,756
Nice build. What did it put down on the dyno?
ED Moose E50 tune / ED DSG tune / Tomioka IHX475 Turbo / IE Intercooler / MAP cat+res Downpipe / Autotech HPFP
Diggs24 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2018, 02:47 PM   #6
Senior Member
MonkeyMD's Avatar
Drives: 2016 VW Golf Tsi S Manual
Location: Central Tx
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,833
Originally Posted by Diggs24 View Post
Nice build. What did it put down on the dyno?
For real. Just glossed right over that one.
Of course no one on here likes numbers.
MonkeyMD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2018, 03:09 PM   #7
Senior Member
Drives: GTI Mk7
Location: Charlottesville VA
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 888
Cool build. Some good tips in here about the brake work to be sure. Personally it sent me off on a "fixed versus floating" caliper read which was fun.
wheelwell & GTI mk7 journal
I cut vinyl stickers for cheap.
sprinks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2018, 06:45 AM   #8
penguinsgestapo's Avatar
Drives: 2015 GTI Autobahn
Location: Houston, TX
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 60
Originally Posted by MonkeyMD View Post
For real. Just glossed right over that one.
Of course no one on here likes numbers.
On the heartbreak it put down 259whp/315tq. Not really happy about that number, but that isn't the dyno you go to for high numbers. Just was convenient to the trip. I was trying to find the printout. Not sure what I did with it but its around here somewhere.
2015 Golf GTI Autobahn LP | JB4 | MAP DP |
penguinsgestapo is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 04:33 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.