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CAinCA
CAinCA Reader
2/15/20 2:45 p.m.

I copied my entire build thread on GolfMk6.com over to the GRM forums. 

 

I bought my 2011 GTI in July of 2018. It is a base DSG model. It had 20,400 miles when I bought it. The couple that owned it used it as a weekend car but just didn't drive it that much.

The first thing I did to the car was replace the original tires. I installed a set of Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ in 225/40/18. I've been very happy with them. They are quiet, ride smooth, have great dry traction and decent wet traction. I have 25,000 miles on them and expect to get another 5-10k more out of them

My first mod was a Cobb stage 1 tune. It was more powerful, but wasn't very smooth. I also noticed that it didn't seem to match up with the DSG very well either. I did some research and bought an Integrated Engineering DSG tune. That made a huge difference in the way the car drove. I decided to sell the Cobb and buy IE's stage 1 ECU tune to go with the DSG tune. I really like it. It makes good power and is pretty smooth. A couple days later I got a misfire. I swapped the plugs and installed a set of Audi red coils. I haven't had any more issues with the engine since.

In March 2019 I ordered the tools and parts needed to do a DSG service. It was pretty easy but took an hour or so.

CAinCA
CAinCA Reader
5/14/20 11:36 a.m.

In April 2019 I found a set of five Audi Titanium Edition wheels for $500 on craigslist. Two of them had minor curb rash. I bought touch up paint from https://touchupdirect.com and repaired the wheels myself.

 

CAinCA
CAinCA Reader
5/14/20 11:37 a.m.

In May of 2019 I signed up for a track day at Laguna Seca. My only prep was to swap the brake fluid out for Castrol SRF. The car drove well, but it understeered and the outside of the front tires were doing the bulk of the work. My best time was a 2:01.266.

 

 

 

 

 

CAinCA
CAinCA Reader
5/14/20 11:41 a.m.

I came home and immediately decided to improve the handling and braking. In July 2019 I found a really good deal on a used Brembo 330mm GT brake kit. In August 2019 I ordered a full set (front and rear positions) of SuperPro front LCA bushings, a set of RS-3 front brake air ducts to improve the front brake cooling and a set of Ground Control camber plates.  The SuperPro LCA bushings added 1 degree of caster (more camber gain) and 10mm of anti lift to the front control arms. Around the same time I found a deal on an 034 subframe locking collar kit. I got everything installed over a weekend in August.

 

I got everything installed and realized that the brakes were rubbing on the wheels. I only needed 3mm but I found out that 10mm is the smallest spacer that you can find that is hub centric. I ordered a set of 10mm spacers from Deutche Auto Parts.


 

 

CAinCA
CAinCA Reader
5/14/20 11:43 a.m.

In August 2019 I tried AutoX for the first time. The suspension changes definitely improved the handling:

 

CAinCA
CAinCA Reader
5/14/20 11:44 a.m.

In November 2019 I bought and installed an H&R 22mm rear sway bar. I decided that it really didn't make a noticeable improvement. A week later I found a great deal on an 034 Motorsports 25.4mm rear sway bar with a set of 034 adjustable motorsport rear sway bar end links. I got the bar installed and immediately noticed a difference. I attended the SFR SCCA autoX test and tune.

 

CAinCA
CAinCA Reader
5/14/20 11:44 a.m.

I found this article about front sway bars and why they are necessary on strut based FWD cars.

https://nasaspeed.news/tech/suspension/camber-matters-optimizing-track-performance-for-strut-suspension-cars/

Basically, you need to control the roll at the front of the car to keep the tire from rolling over onto the outside shoulders. It made sense to me so in January 2019 I ordered a H&R 24mm FSB. Installing the FSB was the biggest PITA job I've done on this car. Basically, I had to drop the entire front subframe to get the old FSB out. Then when I tried to put it all back together I had to wrestle the three parts of the subframe, the steering rack, and the FSB at the same time until I could get everything lined back up and get all of the bolts started. Thankfully since I installed the subframe collar kit everything went back into alignment when I got it back together.

 

CAinCA
CAinCA Reader
5/14/20 11:47 a.m.

Around the middle of January I was looking for a set of used wheels I could use for the track. I found a guy that had two sets of wheels for sale. The first was a set of OZ Allegerrita HLT SEs with Dunlop Direzza IIs mounted on them. The second was a set of Enkei Fuijin with a set of slicks. I really wanted the Enkei with the Direzzas, but I decided to buy the OZs because it was a better deal. When I met the guy he saw the Audi Ti edition wheels on my car and flipped out. He had a Ti Edition S4 but didn't have the stock wheels. He asked if there was any way he could buy them from me. We worked out a deal where we traded wheels and he paid to have all of my wheels and tires re-mounted and balanced.

Daily:

 

Track Day:

 

I was getting a little rub in the front, but I couldn't find any spacers smaller than 10mm that were hub centric. I wound up buying a 3mm spacer with a 65mm ID and turned a set of hub centric rings that slip fit into the spacers. The spacers were ~$15 on amazon.

CAinCA
CAinCA Reader
5/14/20 11:50 a.m.

The timing chain tensioner on the 2009 - early 2012 GTIs redesigned 2-3 times because of early failures. In late January I had the timing chain tensioner and chains updated at 44,500 miles.

 

On February 13, 2019 I attended a track day at Laguna Seca with NCRC. They had a low turnout so they ran 3 groups with 7 sessions each. It was a great day. I got an instructor for my second session. I wound up running 60 laps. I started with both the H&R 26mm RSB and 034 25.4mm RSB on their stiff settings. I was getting a lot of lift throttle oversteer and the stability control was stepping in a lot. After the second session I moved the rear bar to soft (roughly equal to the H&R 24mm RSB on stiff). After that the car was balanced really well. I could adjust entry/mid corner oversteer with throttle. It still had a bit of lift throttle oversteer, but it wasn't nearly as obtrusive.

 

In the fourth session I was chasing this guy in a supercharged Mustang for 7-8 laps until we started hitting lapped traffic. His car had ~500 hp. He was killing me on the straights, but I had him in every corner.

 

This was my fastest lap. 1:53.51 in session 5.

 

CAinCA
CAinCA Reader
5/14/20 11:51 a.m.

I had to take a glamour shot before I left:

CAinCA
CAinCA Reader
5/14/20 11:53 a.m.

At the track day in February I managed to warp one of my rotors and trash the brake pads. 

I bought a set of PFC Carbon Metallic Z Rated pads from my local O'Reilly Auto Parts as a temporary fix. I also attempted to turn the rotors on my lathe at home. Unfortunately the slots in the rotors caused the tool bit to chatter. They looked OK but once I started bedding the pads I could feel that they aren't perfect anymore. After bedding the pads in I can see that there's a patch of rotor behind each slot that isn't in contact with the pads anymore. 

I seriously thought about selling this kit and getting something bigger. I spent 30 minutes on the phone with a tech rep from Brembo this morning and I learned a few things.
1. Their recommendation was to stick with the 1 piece rotors. Even though the 2 piece rotors cool faster the the 1 piece rotors are 7.5mm thick vs. 5.5mm on the 2 piece rotors at the friction surface (~35% more iron to soak up the heat).
2. FM-1000 pads will wear at an accelerated rate once they are over their operating range but shouldn't fade until they are WAY over their operating range.

I probably made a couple mistakes.
3. The pads should have been replaced before the event as their was about 50% of the friction material left. That left less mass to soak up heat.
4. Since I came in hot and parked pretty quick the already overheated pads probably heat soaked one spot on the rotors while the rest of the rotor was able to cool down. That's likely why they warped. I should do a full cool down lap and keep rolling for a couple minutes in the pits to allow the pads to cool before they can soak the rotor.

Next, I called Porterfield and spoke to Ken about brake pads. He recommended their R4 pads. They have a wide temperature range and can be driven on the street. They are also compatible with the Z Rated PFC pads I already have. Ken also said that the Z rated pads are a great street/AutoX pad so I'll keep running those for DD.

I've also been looking at the brake cooling. There really isn't room for a full duct setup. The TT-RS colling ducts I currently have are just a paddle that sits at 90 degrees to the airflow. I can't imagine that they provide a ton of cooling in that configuration. I was looking at them over the weekend and realized that I could use a different hole in the arm to mount them canted forward about 25 degrees. That should help a bit. I also ordered a set of the GT3 ducts. They are more of a scoop design and hang down into the airflow more than the TT-RS ducts do.

This morning I ordered a new set of slotted rotors, a set of Porterfield R4 pads and a set of the GT3 brake ducts. I should have these in time for my next track day on the 14th. Unfortunately it looks like it's going to be tight to get the GT3 ducts in time.

CAinCA
CAinCA Reader
5/14/20 11:54 a.m.

I replaced the front pads and rotors in early March. The Porterfield R4 pads were great right out of the box. I wouldn't have any problems running them on a daily basis.

It was raining almost the entire way to Laguna Seca on Saturday. The first session was damp but not fully wet. It was fun to push the car on the damp track. The track was pretty much dry after the first session. I was keeping up with a Cayman S for a handful of laps in one session, tracked down a C7 Vette in another, and tracked down and passed a Miami Blue 911 in yet another. There was a guy running a Focus ST on RE-71Rs. I was just as fast as him everywhere but the corners. I'm pretty sure it was all down to the tires. There was another guy running a Mini Cooper S on Yoko Advan A052s. He and I were neck and neck. I'm pretty sure that my Direzza IIs are at the end of their lifespan. I can probably get one more day out of them.

Anyway, I set my best time of the day on the last lap of the last session: 1:52.68

 

CAinCA
CAinCA Reader
5/14/20 11:58 a.m.

I’ve had the sway bars on my car for a few months. I settled on stiff front and soft rear. That gives the car a really neutral balance. Unfortunately it’s too stiff for the streets and I notice a lot of head shake when I’m driving on not so perfect roads.

I’ve concluded that I won’t be using the RSB in its stiff position ever again. It would be nice to have a softer setting to go to though. I sold the 034 RSB and ordered an H&R 24mm for the rear. At its stiff setting it should be very close to what I have now but it will allow me to use the soft settings on both bars for the street. They should be about 20% softer. Hopefully that will be noticeable.

CAinCA
CAinCA Reader
5/14/20 11:58 a.m.

Lately I've noticed a lot of popping coming from the front end when turning sharp or going over bumps. I was beginning to wonder if I made a mistake going with the Ground Control camber plates. After doing some reading I decided to retorque the subframe bolts. I had to drop the subframe when I installed the FSB back in January and hadn't checked them since. Sure enough, every one of the subframe bolts needed to be tightened. I took the car for a test drive afterward and and the squeaks and pops are gone.

CAinCA
CAinCA Reader
5/14/20 12:00 p.m.

I installed the 24mm RSB and set both bars to soft. It made a noticeable difference in the way the car rides. I'll probably set them both to stiff for track days.

CAinCA
CAinCA Reader
7/27/20 1:19 p.m.

I went to Laguna Seca with NCRC again yesterday. It was a 103dB day so there were a lot of fast cars. I wanted to run in Point By but was told that I should stick to Solo for this day since there wouldn't be a driving school and everyone in Solo was supposed to have previous track experience. There were 3-4 drivers in the class that clearly should have been with an instructor. I was passing some of them 2-3 times in a 20 minute session. Some of them were fine but one guy in a Mini was braking hard and pointing people by in the middle of corners. Another guy in an Elise was braking really early, in mid corner, not following the line and not pointing people by. He was really pissing me off.

 

Anyway the car felt really stable even under hard braking, turned in well and felt balanced mid corner. The RS4s were nice. I set them to 37 PSI hot and had to remove some air after each session. They are a little squirmy, but they had better traction than the Direzza IIs that I had before. The tires had even temps across their faces. The fronts were in the upper 130's and the rears were in the upper 110's to lower 120's. I set both sway bars (H&R 26mm F, H&R 24mm R) to stiff and left them alone.

 

Right when I got home the TPMS light came on. The tires must have finally cooled off enough on the way home to lower the pressure. I'll check the cold pressure today to see where I wound up.

 

 

Yes, that was a Viper ACR passing me at the beginning of the front straight. He was by far the fastest guy in my group. 

red_stapler
red_stapler SuperDork
7/27/20 1:55 p.m.

In reply to CAinCA :

This is a pretty neat build. I'd probably be doing something similar if I still had my Mk6.

CAinCA
CAinCA Reader
7/27/20 5:05 p.m.

Thanks Michael.

xflowgolf (Forum Supporter)
xflowgolf (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
7/27/20 5:38 p.m.

nice write-up.  Sounds like a good compromise car.  GTI's play that role well.  

Curious on the front spacers, I was under the impression that under 5mm they didn't have to be hub-centric because the factory hub nub would stick through enough that the wheels would still seat on the lip without needing the spacers to have their own lip.  Or do they taper down too narrow? 

I had a mk6 4-door TDI Golf as a commuter and it was a great car.  

CAinCA
CAinCA Reader
7/27/20 6:01 p.m.

I have to say I like the car but it rides a bit rough in its current form. We live on the edge of the suburbs and farm country. Some roads are a pleasure to drive while others give the car a lot of head shake. I've thought about going to adjustable shocks but I think I've hit my personal spending limit on this car. I'd really like a  2010+ Cayman or turbocharged ND Miata but my oldest will be heading off to college next summer so I'm trying to act like an adult even though some days it really kills me.

 

Both sets of aftermarket wheels have larger hub bores than the stock ones so they both need centering rings anyway (~67-68mm).  The centering rings that came with the wheels also have a large chamfer on the back side, ~5mm. There wouldn't be much (if any) of the ring riding on the hubs with the spacers. I did all the math and wasn't comfortable with the answer. 

einy (Forum Supporter)
einy (Forum Supporter) Dork
7/27/20 7:17 p.m.

Cool thread ... thanks for posting it?  I also have a 2011, and was convinced that I was the only one out there who did the proactive cam chain tensioner replacement!  That was NOT a cheap day ...

amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter)
amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
7/27/20 11:24 p.m.

Cool ride. I’ll probably be seeing you at the track one of these days 

CAinCA
CAinCA Reader
7/28/20 1:29 p.m.
einy (Forum Supporter) said:

Cool thread ... thanks for posting it?  I also have a 2011, and was convinced that I was the only one out there who did the proactive cam chain tensioner replacement!  That was NOT a cheap day ...

Yea, if I wasn't tracking the car I probably wouldn't have done it so early. It wasn't cheap, but it was a lot cheaper than replacing the engine. 

CAinCA
CAinCA Reader
7/28/20 1:30 p.m.
amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter) said:

Cool ride. I’ll probably be seeing you at the track one of these days 

Thanks. Let me know when you're heading out. I met up with some guys from the golf mk6/7 forums this weekend. It's always fun to meet fellow enthusiasts.

CAinCA
CAinCA Reader
7/28/20 1:31 p.m.

My next track day is at Laguna on August 23rd with SpeedSF.

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