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Old 07-22-2017, 12:42 AM   #1
MrConflicted
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WaveTrac Review

Hello all, many of you may have already seen this review on GTIreview.com, but since that site has intermittent issues, I wanted to go ahead and copy the review of there.

...

So for whatever reason, you’re here reading about one of most expensive modifications you can do to a GTI without adding any horsepower. Crazy, right? Well, maybe not. It turns out that the mechanical LSD (Limited Slip Differential) from WaveTrac may just be one of the single best mods you can possible do for your GTI. I personally drive a non-PP (performance pack) car, which like all front-wheel drive cars, has the notorious problem of under-steering. While you can help reduce this issue with springs, shocks and sway bars, the problem is inherent with FWD cars irregardless. As you try to accelerate, weight transfers off the front wheels, further reducing the traction of the wheels delivering power. This is further worsened when you have an open differential like the one that is OEM in the non-PP GTI.

The WaveTrac differential is a helical limited slip unit. Essentially, the gearing units prevent either wheel from moving much faster than the opposite. This means as power is applied, both sides of the axle are “locked” together, though in reality some difference in speed is allowed. The helical-type limit slip units are usually regarded as the middle of the line, working substantially better than “viscous” LSD’s, but not as good as “clutch-type” LSD’s. The reason for this is the gearing mechanisms’ performance is not reduced by heat, unlike the “viscous” style LSD’s, but fails when a single wheel loses all traction, unlike a clutch-type LSD. WaveTrac claims to have solved this inherent issues by implementing their “wave” gear design. But enough with the nerdy details, on to the review:

Upon normal driving of the car, I noticed no downsides to the LSD. No additional noise, no change in MPG, and no change in torque steer under normal conditions. However, if you are as hypersensitive as I am, you’ll notice the steering feels a tad bit more weighted as you steer, indicating the presence of the limited-slip. Now, when you start to lay into more, that's when the LSD come's alive.

The real place where this differential shines though, is in the corners. While previously my GTI would push with the application of power, the LSD forces the car to hold its line. It also increases lift off-oversteer, which is already noticeable in my car thanks to a ST Suspension 25mm rear sway bar. It might take you a moment to real-learn the car as when you apply power you’ll actually feel the front end of the car suck into the corner. It's a very mild torque steer feeling, but unlike typical torque steer, always pulls the wheel into the corner. (Typical torque steer is single directional). I can only imagine how much this feeling would be amplified with a more aggressive alignment setting, such as toe-out.

When you do finally lose traction you’ll notice the car doesn’t want to torque steer offline either. It simply feels as if its clawing at the pavement, with both tires, pulling the car forward. It’s a pretty insane feeling, and much improved over stock. The same type of feeling can be found in a straight line as well. While traction control would still engage in 1st on my stock power GTI, it was obvious the LSD was doing its job. Even when the car does lose traction, it isn’t a total loss. You are clearly still accelerating, and I can’t say the same to be true when 1 wheel is spinning. I'm not IS38 (low boost) and can fully hook 2nd gear with 235 PSS.

So how does this compare to the electronic diff of the performance pack? How can this be better than a torque vectoring unit? To be honest with you, it can, and it is, and here’s my rational: The PP electronic differential works great under IDEAL conditions: A loaded corner, with good pavement. It also works great under proper operating temps. However, the mechanical LSD doesn’t give a shit about pavement quality, operating temps, or constant changes in steering angle, it just wants both wheels spinning at the same speed.

This glory was apparent to me when I took the WaveTrac equipped GTI down canyon road with old, bumpy pavement on a wet day. With the open diff on a dry day the TCS would light up almost every corner, but with the LSD it rarely lit up. Maybe once during the 2 mile stint of “touge” style road did the TCS light ever flash, and not once did I ever really “feel” it intervene. Even more so, it was wet this day! The diff seemed to pull the car out of every corner flawlessly. Performance never dwindled, never diminished, and simply kept asking me to power out harder.

Update: Track Impressions

Having the unit for quite some time now, (almost 20K miles), I've noticed no changes in performance. I've also had the chance to take it on track. The LSD really does wonders out there. Where before I'd watch cars slip away from on corner exits, I can now hold the line and come shooting out. Particularly impressive considering my last track was on 8 year old RE-11s that might as well have been made of stone. I'll go into more detail once I have my next track day with proper slicks

Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRzKYOA3QsY
(Don't mind my awful driving haha).

Final Thoughts:
This mod was 100% worth it for anyone who likes corners. If you have the means, do it. Track impressions to come, but I’m confident in a 2-3 second reduction in time on a 2.2 mile circuit close to home. If you’re doing this mod for roll racing, this might not be your best investment, but if you do canyon runs, autocross or track days, this mod is a must.

Side Note: Motul 75W-90 Gear Oil I used this gear oil along with my WaveTrac unit, as it’s the only “performance” gear oil supported by WaveTrac. The stock fluid that I removed was as thin as motor oil, but this 75W-90 stuff is thick as molasses at room temperature. This makes for a very notchy transmission when the car is cold. At operating temperature, however, the transmission feels close to stock. While this gear oil has increased the “notchyness” of the transmission, in return you are rewarded with confidence inspiring shifts. My guess is this thicker oil will really shine as the car further heats up on track.
I would like to thank Jess Wilson on the flawless job he did on installing this unit for me. He is an absolute professional. Thanks again for reading my review on the WaveTrac LSD!
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Old 07-22-2017, 12:56 AM   #2
psychonosspaz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrConflicted View Post
Hello all, many of you may have already seen this review on GTIreview.com, but since that site has intermittent issues, I wanted to go ahead and copy the review of there.



...



So for whatever reason, you’re here reading about one of most expensive modifications you can do to a GTI without adding any horsepower. Crazy, right? Well, maybe not. It turns out that the mechanical LSD (Limited Slip Differential) from WaveTrac may just be one of the single best mods you can possible do for your GTI. I personally drive a non-PP (performance pack) car, which like all front-wheel drive cars, has the notorious problem of under-steering. While you can help reduce this issue with springs, shocks and sway bars, the problem is inherent with FWD cars irregardless. As you try to accelerate, weight transfers off the front wheels, further reducing the traction of the wheels delivering power. This is further worsened when you have an open differential like the one that is OEM in the non-PP GTI.



The WaveTrac differential is a helical limited slip unit. Essentially, the gearing units prevent either wheel from moving much faster than the opposite. This means as power is applied, both sides of the axle are “locked” together, though in reality some difference in speed is allowed. The helical-type limit slip units are usually regarded as the middle of the line, working substantially better than “viscous” LSD’s, but not as good as “clutch-type” LSD’s. The reason for this is the gearing mechanisms’ performance is not reduced by heat, unlike the “viscous” style LSD’s, but fails when a single wheel loses all traction, unlike a clutch-type LSD. WaveTrac claims to have solved this inherent issues by implementing their “wave” gear design. But enough with the nerdy details, on to the review:



Upon normal driving of the car, I noticed no downsides to the LSD. No additional noise, no change in MPG, and no change in torque steer under normal conditions. However, if you are as hypersensitive as I am, you’ll notice the steering feels a tad bit more weighted as you steer, indicating the presence of the limited-slip. Now, when you start to lay into more, that's when the LSD come's alive.



The real place where this differential shines though, is in the corners. While previously my GTI would push with the application of power, the LSD forces the car to hold its line. It also increases lift off-oversteer, which is already noticeable in my car thanks to a ST Suspension 25mm rear sway bar. It might take you a moment to real-learn the car as when you apply power you’ll actually feel the front end of the car suck into the corner. It's a very mild torque steer feeling, but unlike typical torque steer, always pulls the wheel into the corner. (Typical torque steer is single directional). I can only imagine how much this feeling would be amplified with a more aggressive alignment setting, such as toe-out.



When you do finally lose traction you’ll notice the car doesn’t want to torque steer offline either. It simply feels as if its clawing at the pavement, with both tires, pulling the car forward. It’s a pretty insane feeling, and much improved over stock. The same type of feeling can be found in a straight line as well. While traction control would still engage in 1st on my stock power GTI, it was obvious the LSD was doing its job. Even when the car does lose traction, it isn’t a total loss. You are clearly still accelerating, and I can’t say the same to be true when 1 wheel is spinning. I'm not IS38 (low boost) and can fully hook 2nd gear with 235 PSS.



So how does this compare to the electronic diff of the performance pack? How can this be better than a torque vectoring unit? To be honest with you, it can, and it is, and here’s my rational: The PP electronic differential works great under IDEAL conditions: A loaded corner, with good pavement. It also works great under proper operating temps. However, the mechanical LSD doesn’t give a shit about pavement quality, operating temps, or constant changes in steering angle, it just wants both wheels spinning at the same speed.



This glory was apparent to me when I took the WaveTrac equipped GTI down canyon road with old, bumpy pavement on a wet day. With the open diff on a dry day the TCS would light up almost every corner, but with the LSD it rarely lit up. Maybe once during the 2 mile stint of “touge” style road did the TCS light ever flash, and not once did I ever really “feel” it intervene. Even more so, it was wet this day! The diff seemed to pull the car out of every corner flawlessly. Performance never dwindled, never diminished, and simply kept asking me to power out harder.



Update: Track Impressions



Having the unit for quite some time now, (almost 20K miles), I've noticed no changes in performance. I've also had the chance to take it on track. The LSD really does wonders out there. Where before I'd watch cars slip away from on corner exits, I can now hold the line and come shooting out. Particularly impressive considering my last track was on 8 year old RE-11s that might as well have been made of stone. I'll go into more detail once I have my next track day with proper slicks



Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRzKYOA3QsY

(Don't mind my awful driving haha).



Final Thoughts:

This mod was 100% worth it for anyone who likes corners. If you have the means, do it. Track impressions to come, but I’m confident in a 2-3 second reduction in time on a 2.2 mile circuit close to home. If you’re doing this mod for roll racing, this might not be your best investment, but if you do canyon runs, autocross or track days, this mod is a must.



Side Note: Motul 75W-90 Gear Oil I used this gear oil along with my WaveTrac unit, as it’s the only “performance” gear oil supported by WaveTrac. The stock fluid that I removed was as thin as motor oil, but this 75W-90 stuff is thick as molasses at room temperature. This makes for a very notchy transmission when the car is cold. At operating temperature, however, the transmission feels close to stock. While this gear oil has increased the “notchyness” of the transmission, in return you are rewarded with confidence inspiring shifts. My guess is this thicker oil will really shine as the car further heats up on track.

I would like to thank Jess Wilson on the flawless job he did on installing this unit for me. He is an absolute professional. Thanks again for reading my review on the WaveTrac LSD!


Nice review - glad you passed that damn mustang!
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Old 07-22-2017, 12:58 AM   #3
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Thanks for posting this up!
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Old 07-22-2017, 01:04 AM   #4
MrConflicted
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Only car that passed me in HPDE 2/3 was a gutted, caged, E46 M3 on slicks and a 991 body 911 turbo lolol.
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Old 07-22-2017, 04:32 AM   #5
Revolagoy
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Thanks for posting your review. I have been thinking of getting this lsd if I buy my car at the end of my lease. Do you have a six speed manual or a dsg?
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Old 07-22-2017, 05:22 AM   #6
MrConflicted
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Originally Posted by Revolagoy View Post
Thanks for posting your review. I have been thinking of getting this lsd if I buy my car at the end of my lease. Do you have a six speed manual or a dsg?


I have a manual. They make it for both though.


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Old 07-22-2017, 02:54 PM   #7
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Thanks for this review! Did you buy anything else w/the LSD (ie. bearings etc, install kit) or did you just get the wavetrac by itself?
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Old 07-22-2017, 06:16 PM   #8
Revolagoy
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Originally Posted by MrConflicted View Post
I have a manual. They make it for both though.


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Do you know if the gear oil requirements are the same for the dsg? I am concerned about the dsg and the notchy shifting you described with the manual. Maybe it doesn't apply to the dsg.
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Old 07-23-2017, 03:45 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by MrConflicted View Post
75W-90 [...] makes for a very notchy transmission when the car is cold. At operating temperature, however, the transmission feels close to stock.
I noticed this too.

I had a Wavetrac put in when I upgraded the clutch. It's great

I will never buy another FWD car without a limited slip diff.
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Old 07-23-2017, 01:32 PM   #10
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Indeed the LSD transforms the way the car handles,I have the wavetrac on my 7r using the stock dsg oil which is the normal oil they recommend.The motul is their higher performance oil.Since i don't track it's sufficient for my needs,I do yearly oil changes
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Old 07-25-2017, 12:42 AM   #11
MrConflicted
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Indeed the LSD transforms the way the car handles,I have the wavetrac on my 7r using the stock dsg oil which is the normal oil they recommend.The motul is their higher performance oil.Since i don't track it's sufficient for my needs,I do yearly oil changes

You did the front I'm assuming? How big of a difference is it on an R? I've heard great things.


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Old 07-25-2017, 12:55 AM   #12
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What made you choose the wavetrac lsd vs other options like peloquin?
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Old 07-25-2017, 01:16 AM   #13
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What made you choose the wavetrac lsd vs other options like peloquin?


WaveTrac claims to have better performance due to their planetary gearset. Read good things about it, even on RWD cars, so gave me good hope.

If there would have been a clutch-type option I knew of, I probably would have chosen that. But that being said, I'm still very happy with it.


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Old 07-25-2017, 03:08 AM   #14
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the LSD feel is most felt with traction control off upon which the the car feels sprightly that you need to experience to believe.
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Old 07-25-2017, 04:10 PM   #15
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The Wavetrac has additional clutch packs. That's why it's superior to Torsen-only LSDs
under harder conditions (one wheel losing ground contact). And that's why you'd want
to swap oil frequently too.


Quote:
So how does this compare to the electronic diff of the performance pack? How can this be better than a torque vectoring unit? To be honest with you, it can, and it is, and here’s my rational: The PP electronic differential works great under IDEAL conditions: A loaded corner, with good pavement. It also works great under proper operating temps. However, the mechanical LSD doesn’t give a shit about pavement quality, operating temps, or constant changes in steering angle, it just wants both wheels spinning at the same speed.
How did you perform a comparison to the PP's VAQ diff when you own a non-PP?

Just to avoid some misunderstanding, the VAQ LSD has a locking capability of 100 %.
I don't get why it should perform worse under non-ideal conditions.


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Old 07-25-2017, 06:45 PM   #16
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The Wavetrac has additional clutch packs.
Nope. The Wavetrac does NOT have additional clutch packs.

"The innovative, patented, Wavetrac® device in the center of the diff responds during these exact conditions when zero or near-zero axle-load occurs. At or near zero axle-load, the axles (and therefore each side gear in the diff) start to turn at different speeds.
This speed differential causes the Wavetrac® device to step into action: Precisely engineered wave profiles are placed on one side gear and its mating preload hub. As the two side gears rotate relative to each other, each wave surface climbs the other, causing them to move apart.
Very quickly, this creates enough internal load within the Wavetrac® to STOP the zero axle-load condition.
The zero axle-load condition is halted, and the drive torque is applied to the wheel on the ground (the gripping wheel) keeping the power down.
Some gear differentials rely solely on preload springs to combat loss of drive. The drawback is that you can’t add enough preload to prevent loss of drive without creating tremendous handling and wear problems at the same time. So, to avoid these problems, the preload from ordinary spring packs must be reduced to a level that renders them ineffective at preventing loss of drive. The Wavetrac® is the only differential that can automatically add more load internally when it’s required.
In the case where both wheels are on the ground during zero axle load, such as during a transition to deceleration, the Wavetrac® device is able to prepare the drivetrain for when the zero torque condition stops, eliminating the delay seen with ordinary gear diffs.
What this means for you as a driver is that power is delivered to the gripping wheels for more time and in a more constant manner making you faster and improving stability.
The Wavetrac® truly is different - and its innovative features can make a real difference in your car’s performance."
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Old 07-26-2017, 01:08 AM   #17
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And that's why you'd want to swap oil frequently too.
Wavetrac's website indicates that it is a maintenance-free part. Install it and forget it.
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