November 2011 – The OEM Driver Gear Stainless Steel 2.5 inch cat back sport exhaust system, part number 1K0071901U, went on a closeout sale from Volkswagen in late June. By the time I heard about it, Volkswagen sold out. I even had my friend who works at a dealer check the nationwide inventory at Volkswagen and came up empty. In usual fashion, ECS Tuning bought several units from Volkswagen. I am sure they got a wholesale deal. They put them on their web site for the same amount, $399. However, they wanted to charge $80 to ship the exhaust (box and unit weighs less than 28lbs) from Ohio to Massachusetts (three states away). I boycotted the deal. ECS Tuning sold out of the exhaust systems by Labor Day.
I started to get the mod bug when my birthday rolled around. The anniversary of the GTI purchase just passed as well. I still wanted that exhaust but all channels were sold out. I did some more investigating and found one available on eBay for pick up only. I emailed the seller if they would ship it but I heard no reply. I called the seller several days later. He picked up a few of these systems when they went on close out in June. We came to terms on the shipping. I paid way too much for shipping but I got a great deal on the brand new exhaust system. In the end, I paid less than what ECS Tuning wanted for the unit shipped over the summer. I had to purchase a new exhaust clamp sleeve, part number 1K0253141N (fomerly 1K0253141C), as mine had two rusted bolts. I used a cut off wheel to remove the clamp. Below are some pictures of the exhaust.The job from removing the stock exhaust to replacing with the new stainless unit took about 90 minutes by myself. I recall reading that the stock exhuast weighs 35.4lbs. The new exhuast which weighs 20.8 lbs fit like an OEM exhaust should. Futhermore, it sounds great.
About an hour before I tackled the exhuast swap, I replaced the Diverter Valve on my friend Rachel's 2007 United Grey GTI. A mechanic wanted to charge her hundreds of dollars to replace it. I offered to do it. I had her order the updated part, 06H145710D , which has a stronger diaphram and piston, from ECS Tuning. I pulled out the previous version "C" out. It was also soaked with oil. I had the new one in once I clean everything up around the turbo. I bought a nice swivel head 1/4 inch ratchet from Harbor Freight that was extremely helpful. I used an extention on the hard to reach bolt at the top. Other than that, this job was not too difficult. It sounds like the car is doing well, unfortunately, her check engine light remains on. I have ordered the Micro-CAN interface with VCDS license from Ross-Tech so that I can use VAG COM to do some diagnosing on the MKV in the future. Below is a comparison of version C on the left that was removed and version D on the right.
October 2011 – After reading about Cam Follower nightmares on the forums, I took it upon myself to inspect mine on the MKV GTI. I had to remove the engine cover and remove the fuel pump. The cam follower remains in the head, resting on the cam. I pulled it out and was satisfied with the condition. There was no wear to speak of with 61,238 miles. I had purchased a new one from Autobahn Performance along with a new fuel pump seal. Thus, I installed the new one for peace of mind in the future. I will check on the condition of it periodically as part of the maintenance schedule for the 2008 MKV GTI. Below are pictures of the cam follower that was removed. The new part and gasket are in the container. The new one was installed.
September 2011 – I completed an oil change and 60k maintenance. This included replacement of the spark plugs, air filter, cabin filter, fuel filter, and tire rotation. The stock tires have perhaps another 10K miles left. I used Lubro Moly 5W40. All the parts came from my friends at Autobahn Performance in Peabody. Michael, the parts manager, is a great guy and always willing to help.
September 2008 - I've been checking out the new Gti's since they came out in 2006.5. The Candy White color with the 18" Huffs always caught my eye when I saw it out front at North Shore Volkswagen in Beverly. I'd drive by it and drool. I've always been content with my herd of VW's so I never gave it any consideration. Meanwhile, the miles and maintenace continue on the daily drivers which were both Corrado's depending on winter or summer.
I saw an ad on craigslist for a 2007 United Grey Gti with DSG locally for a good price. The color grew on me and it had the 18" Huffs. I test drove it and fell in love. It had the DSG with was really smooth and you could do some paddle shifting if you got bored. The car turned out to be a lease and just would not fit my high mileage driving style.
I then checked in with North Shore Volkswagen on the following Monday to see if they had the same car but a 2008 with the same options in stock. They only had a 6spd but they found a demo car with my options minus 18" Huffs in Rochester, NY. It had 4K miles and I was surprised the price was not better than what I was expecting. I let it slide and got my deposit back. Two nights later, I test drove the 6spd and worked out a price with the sales manager an hour later. I got zero percent APR on the promotion that started in July so I scored a good one here. I paid $150 over invoice and they threw in some monster mats per my request so I am very happy. Gene Porzio, my salesman was real cool throughout the whole process. Props to his manager, Tom, who wanted the business and sealed the deal.
Within two hours of picking the car up on a Saturday, I imediately got the 3M paint protection installed on the front end and mirrors. The car will be driven in the winter so this should offer some highway protection against road salt that beat up my Corrado over the past few years.
I want to tear into some mods as soon as I break the car in but I am going to hold back for a bit. I just want to flash the ECU with an upgrade from GIAC or APR. I have some snow tires and wheels coming soon. Stay tuned.