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docwyte UberDork
2/1/20 12:41 p.m.

Neuspeed rear swaybar showed up today!  Everybody knows that red makes you go faster!

There's a chance the APR exhaust will show up today too.  That'd be awesome and let me install both today.  The swaybar will be really easy to install with the exhaust off the car, so I'd like to do them together.

docwyte UberDork
2/2/20 2:57 p.m.

Unfortunately the APR exhaust didn't show up yesterday.  It hit my local FedEx depot, so I called them to see if I could go pick it up.  Depot is closed on Saturdays for customer pickups, doh!  So it'll get delivered tomorrow.

That really stinks because the weather yesterday and today is outstanding, like 60-70F, whereas the next few days will be in the teens with snow.  Ugh!  If the roads are dry enough for me to pull the 996 off the lift (and be able to get it back on) the Monday after next, I'll do it then.  Otherwise both the rear sway bar and exhaust will sit on my garage floor taunting me.

docwyte UberDork
2/4/20 8:50 a.m.

Well this showed up yesterday, just in time for our snow storm to hit.  Currently snowing right now, supposed to snow on Friday too.  Then I have to work this weekend and they're calling for snow again next monday/tuesday.  Ugh.  This will sit on my garage floor for a bit it seems.

It's in great shape but the seller had an enormous amount of styrofoam peanuts in the box and didn't tape/block off the exhaust pipe openings.  Yup, they were all packed full of peanuts.  I spent at least 30 minutes last night shaking the pipes and blowing thru them with my air compressor.  Pretty sure everything is out of the resonator pipe, but it only has a single inlet to the resonator so its possible peanuts are in there still.  The mufflers are the same deal, not sure everything is out of there. 

I'll shake/blow them out again before I install them and hopefully anything still in there will blow out the tips on first start up.  I really don't want any to get trapped in there long enough to melt...

Samebutdifferent New Reader
2/4/20 9:11 a.m.

Leaf blower...

Volume is the key, not pressure.

docwyte UberDork
2/4/20 9:26 a.m.

In reply to Samebutdifferent :

That's an excellent idea!  I have one in my garden shed too, I'll bust it out this Friday and go to town with it, thanks!

Mezzanine Dork
2/4/20 12:29 p.m.

That's a really pretty piece of kit there. Shame it goes under the car where you can't see it. 

docwyte UberDork
2/4/20 12:40 p.m.

In reply to Mezzanine :

Yup, it really wasn't used very much at all.  To your point I've never really understood polished exhausts unless they're on a show car.  Nobodies going to see it, so why pay extra?

docwyte UberDork
2/10/20 11:46 a.m.

So my driveway faces the main road of my neighborhood, which does get plowed. While this is usually a good thing, that does mean the plow throws a bunch of snow/ice at the end of my driveway.

Thursday night/Friday it snowed a foot here.  Saturday it was 50F and everything solidified into concrete, including the berm at the end of my driveway.  I didn't really think anything of it, I got into the driveway just fine and that stuff was so damn firm I wasn't going to be able to break it up.

Sunday AM I leave to go to the base.  Bacing out of the driveway and over the berm I can tell something wasn't right.  I assumed I ripped off the joke of a bellypan this thing has, nothing appear to be rubbing so I drive to work/base.

Once I get to the base, sketchy drive as it's 15F and snowing out now, I look at the car.  And am surprised to see the right rear wheel liner basically off and my rally armor mud flap missing.  I cut the liner off and go to work.  We get released early so I get home and look at the end of the driveway.  Oh, there's the Rally Armor mud flap!  At least I don't have to try and buy one of those or an entire set. 

Pull into the garage and look at the car, to my dismay the lower wheel liner mounts are completely ripped off the bumper cover.  Dammit!  So now I don't just need a wheel liner, I need a new bumper cover, paint, clear bra, etc.  Doh! 

Went by my body shop today, looks like the bumper and wheel liner are around $500.  So maybe $1000 out the door.  Sigh.  At least now I won't have damage on the top of the bumper cover where someone bumped the car at work anymore...

CAinCA GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/10/20 11:56 a.m.

If it were mine I'd see if I could repair the bumper cover. Maybe rivet a plate straddling the hole where the liner mounts to it. I drove a beater when I lived in Colorado Springs. E36 M3 like this is one reason why.

docwyte UberDork
2/10/20 2:15 p.m.

In reply to CAinCA :

Nothing to rivet it to, the entire mount is sheared off.  If the car was older and it wasn't the first new car I've bought in decades I'd be inclined to do that.  But since it's all of 6 months old and the first brand new car I've bought in decades, I want it fixed right.  My body shop looked at it and said much the same, they could hack the upper mount together but nothing for the lower.  Waiting for the complete quote but the bumper is cheaper than I thought, $350ish for OEM and the liner is $120ish.  So $500 in parts, then paint, labor and clear bra again.  Oh well.

I used the leaf blower trick on the APR exhaust today and was happy to see no styrofoam peanuts came flying out.  Now I just have to wait for the snow to go away so I can get the 911 off the lift and the R on it...

docwyte UberDork
2/21/20 3:56 p.m.

Today was install day!  A friend came over to give me a hand with the exhaust, as taking the stock one off and putting the APR one on is kinda a two person job for the rear mufflers.  I also threw on the Neuspeed rear swaybar at the same time as getting to it is much easier with the exhaust off. 

First you need to remove the wiring harness going to the exhaust valve motors.  These were a PITA and I actually dropped the rear mufflers a bit by loosening the 13mm bolts holding the rear hangers onto the car.  That way I could see the wiring harness connectors a lot better.  Pull out the grey tab, then push it down and pull the connector off.

Now take off the 4 13mm bolts holding the small crossmember in place just behind the downpipe.  Now loosen the 2 13mm nuts on the exhuast clamp and slide it forward onto the downpipe.  This will let the downpipe dangle off the exhaust.

Ok, now pop the exhaust off the two hangers in the tunnel and remove the two 13mm bolts holding the rear exhaust hangers onto the chassis and drop the entire exhaust.

Swap the muffler valve motors and rear hangers over to the APR exhaust.

You're supposed to be able to access the stock rear swaybar endlinks with them in place but there was no way.  You have to hold the inside of them with a Triple square 6 and then turn the nut off.  No space for my rachet, so I choose to remove the swaybar with the endlinks on it. 

The endlinks are held in with a 13mm bolt on either side, then remove the swaybar brackets with a 10 triple square.  Rotate the old bar out of the car.  Swap over the swaybar bushing brackets and endlinks onto the new Neuspeed bar.

Rotate the Neuspeed bar back into place and get the endlinks lined up and put the 13mm bolts back in.  This was a bit of a PITA.  Tighten all the bolts down and you're done.  The Neuspeed bar has two setting but the endlinks really only lined up easily with the inner (or most stiff) setting on the bar, so that's where I set it.

Back onto the APR exhaust install...

Put the rear APR muffler up into place, with the 13mm bolts on loosely.

Put the APR midpipe on making sure you've got the clamps in place and set the stock hangers in place.  Look at that Neuspeed rear swaybar, mmmm, delicious!

Put all the clamps on and tighten them down from front to rear.  Reinstall the cross brace.

We spent a large amount of time getting the tips as symmetrically placed as we could, looks good!

And I think it sounds great!  Not too loud, doesn't drone at all. 

Last thing is a gas pedal spacer.  Heel/toeing the car is kinda difficult as the gas pedal is just a bit low.  WCT makes this cool spacer that drops right in, takes 2-3 minutes to install.

Here's the spacer.

Here's the bolt you remove

Put the spacer in place

Put the bolt back in and you're done.  I can't believe the amount of difference this made!  So much easier to heel toe now...

jfryjfry Dork
2/21/20 11:53 p.m.

Aaahhhh!   That spacer is great!   I have the same issue with my z06 and have been planning on making an extension that would bolt to the face of the pedal but maybe I can just space the whole assembly out.   

also, glad you got the exhaust in and are happy with it.  It looks great. 

TAC_Rx New Reader
2/22/20 8:50 a.m.

Following this thread with great interest...just picked up '19 mk7.5 GTI on Wednesday. Not an R but I'm picking up some ideas. 

docwyte UberDork
2/22/20 8:56 a.m.

In reply to jfryjfry :

Yeah, I'm shocked how much better it is to heel/toe with the spacer in place.  I do need to get used to the gas pedal being higher in general tho as my ankle position is different.

I really like the exhaust, I was a little worried as I didn't want a really loud or raspy one. 

docwyte UberDork
2/22/20 8:56 a.m.

In reply to TAC_Rx :

You'll love the car, GTi's are awesome!

docwyte UberDork
3/28/20 6:44 p.m.

Well, as I posted in another thread, some jack wagon keyed my car.  Thankfully they didn't key the paint but they keyed the front windshield, both windows on the drivers side, the black trim between the windows and the roof (very lightly).

I didn't notice because we had crappy weather and the car was filthy, plus I got hurt and didn't drive it for a bit.  USAA covered it under comprehensive coverage and since I'm home idled from work because of all this COVID stuff I had time to get it fixed.

Off to my favorite body shop, where they replaced all the glass with OEM VW glass, tinted the drivers side windows to match, put on the new trim, polished the scratches out of the roof and did PDR on the front passenger door to fix a pretty deep ding that a different jack wagon did.

They turned it around in a day, which was awesome!  Car is back home and I'm very pleased, just have to fix the paint chip where the ding was.  Hopefully people will leave this alone now...

docwyte UberDork
4/18/20 4:19 p.m.

Summer wheels and tires on, again.  I put them on about 2 weeks ago and then it promptly decided to snow again, twice!  So I put the snows back on and then realized that the ECS Tuning stud conversion wasn't the greatest product.  Two studs on one wheel were barely finger tight and the rest easily turned out.  This was with red loctite on them and double nutting/35ft lb torqueing.

So I pulled them out and replaced them with the OEM lug bolts, then ordered +10mm length lug bolts so I could use my spacers.  Today I put the summers back on and had to repair the threads on two holes, luckily my local hardware store had the proper M14x1.5 tap.

Monday I'm finally going to install the much larger intercooler and Wednesday I'm going to install my APR downpipe.  Still holding off on the tune, reason #1 is my stock clutch probably won't hold the power and reason #2 is I wanna keep my warranty...

docwyte UberDork
4/20/20 3:06 p.m.

Got the new (to me) intercooler installed today.  IE wants you to remove the radiator, I chose to go thru the front of the car instead.  More stuff to remove but then I don't have to deal with burping the coolant and getting that stinky, sticky stuff all over my garage.

Wasn't a bad job, had a porsche tech friend come over to help (we stayed on opposite sides of the car).  Another set of hands is definitely helpful multiple times here, taking off the bumper cover, taking off the bumper beam, holding the radiator support with the radiator/intercooler/AC condenser stack.  Then putting it all back together again the IE intercooler weighs 20lbs MORE than the stock one, so having someone hold it up while everything gets put into place is really nice.

Since I bought it used I decided to flush it out with some gas, glad I did as there was ALOT of oil inside of it from the previous owners car.  Clear gas went in, ice tea looking gas came out.  

There are two large, white plastic clips that hold the intercooler into the radiator support and they're a bitch to remove.  Very stiff, thick plastic.  We broke an ear off of one, luckily my local dealer had it in stock.  It was surprisingly expensive but that the dealer for you.  I'd recommend buying two of those clips to have on hand when you do this job, just in case.

Other than that, it's just a ton of plastic clips and torx bolts to deal with.  Everything came apart easily (except those two white clips) and went back in.  Car runs great!  No pics, too hard with both hands occupied.  Can't feel much of a difference now, probably will once summer heat really hits.  Entire job took maybe 2.5 hours, stopped twice.  Once for about 30 minutes for me to grab that clip and another time for lunch and letting the gas evaporate out of the intercooler.

APR downpipe going in day after tomorrow!

docwyte UberDork
4/22/20 2:19 p.m.

Downpipe day!  Putting in a 3" APR downpipe, not only is it a larger diameter compared to stock but it moves the cat from directly behind the turbo to underneath the car.

First off, pop off the V band clamp from the stock turbo/downpipe

take off the two heat shields, one over the passenger axle and another one over the prop shaft.  Two 8mm allens, than a 16mm and an E10 triple square.

Three 12 point 10mm bolts hold the prop shaft on.  I marked the prop shaft to make sure I put it back in factory alignment.  Don't know if it's really necessary but I did it anyways.  You need to rock the motor forward so you can push the prop shaft to the drivers side of the car.  Take off the two 13mm nuts holding the upper downpipe bracket in place as well as the two 13mm nuts holding the lower bracket in place.  Take off the two 13mm that hold the exhaust clamp on.

Let's get this stock downpipe out.  It's incredibly long and I'm very impressed by people that get it out while on jackstands vs being on a lift like I was. It was a real PITA but it did come out.

I'd picked up a billet dogbone arm to replace the stock one.  I'm not sure how effective it's gonna be vs stock but it's a nice billet piece vs stamped steel and has a heim joint in it.  I picked it up used for a good price, so if it doesn't do much it's not a big deal.

Here it is installed

Ok, the APR downpipe is in two sections, lets get the top section in place.

Let's mock up the second section

Ok, time to play with the downsteam O2 sensor.  My car isn't tuned yet as I'm not ready to replace the stock clutch.  That means I have to deal with getting around a potential CEL and readiness monitor issue.  A guy on VW Vortex figured out that if he modded both a mini cat spacer but drilling holes in it and shortening it and then unshrouding the stock O2 sensor not only would it not throw a CEL but the readiness monitors would be set too.  So I got one from him months ago.

I did have to add a few spacers to the O2 sensor, I think the guy shortened it too much.  Luckily some of the crush rings for the 911 fit perfectly.

Here's unshrouding the O2 sensor

Let's tighten everything up underneath

Start the car up, no CEL!

Sounds awesome too!


docwyte UberDork
4/29/20 9:41 a.m.

So that mini cat spacer is doing the trick, no check engine light still.  So that's awesome!  Everyone told me that the downpipe adds a lot of volume to the exhaust sound and no surprise, they're right.  With the stock downpipe and APR cat back I'd drive around with the valves open and it was still pretty quiet.  With the full APR exhaust I drive around with the valves closed and it's still a bit on the loud side.

I need to drive it a bit more and see if I want to keep the APR catback or revert back to stock.  I don't lose any power putting the stock catback on.  At cruise the exhaust is pretty quiet but if I get on the gas it gets pretty loud, to the point where it's much harder to have a Bluetooth phone conversation inside the car...

docwyte UberDork
5/9/20 9:15 p.m.

Ok, after driving the car around with the entire APR turbo back exhaust I decided it was just too loud for me.  This is a painful reminder of the fact that I'm now middle aged.  20-30 years ago I would've *loved* the way this sounds!  The juvenile in me still likes it but the almost 50 year old isn't so enthused, especially for my daily driver.

Given that all the power is in the downpipe, that you gain literally nothing in the catback vs stock, I decided to put the stock cat back on.  Initially I'll run the exhaust with the center resonator deleted, like I had it before.  If I find that's too loud I'll put the center resonator back in.

A friend came over to help me, as while the installation is very quick and straight forward, having two sets of hands to hold the exhaust when you're dropping it and installing it is very helpful.  I dropped the APR exhaust all in one piece and installed the stock exhaust all in one piece.  Had to adjust the way the stock exhaust was hanging to center the tips and we were done in ~45 minutes.  Sweet.

This is a quick video clip of how it sounds now.  This is on a cold start so this is as loud as it's gonna get. Inside the cabin it's markedly more quiet than the APR exhaust.


I think it sounds great!  Very OEM+ like and if I think it's too loud, well, I can reinstall the center resonator in ten minutes.  I'm trying to figure out a way to connect the larger IE turbo inlet pipe to the stock airbox now.  Same situation, all the power is made from the larger turbo inlet pipe, not the intake.  Thinking of going sleeper mode, unfortunately only one company makes the proper silicone hose to connect the two and I'm not sure if they'll sell it separately.

What do you guys think of the exhaust sound?

docwyte UberDork
5/10/20 10:12 a.m.

Drove the car to my office today to drop off some PPE supplies and the boxed up APR catback exhaust.  UPS is picking up the exhaust tomorrow, it sold in a hot second online for what I had into it. 

Exhaust note is perfect now, no droning, sounds great when you get on it but very subdued inside the cabin at cruise.

docwyte UberDork
5/22/20 9:41 a.m.

So I was able to get back to work Monday May 11th.  This past Wednesday I left work in the R and maybe 1-2 blocks from work my TPMS binged at me.  Initially I didn't think anything of it, it bings when one tire is 2lbs low.  I drove maybe another block and the car felt sorta weird.  Stopped at a light, opened the door and my left rear tire looked pretty square on the bottom.  Doh!

Pulled up into the center median of a 6 lane road and got to work.  Luckily I'd bought the spare tire retrofit kit as the R's only come with a compressor and a can of fix o flat. 

Got the donut spare on...

Here's the culprit, picked up a sizable screw in the tire.  What sucks is that it's maybe 2/3rds of an inch from the sidewall.  I have an appointment today with the tire store, hopefully they can patch it.  I really, really don't want to have to buy a whole new set of tires.  I can't replace just 1 or 2 because the car is AWD and it'll mess up the differentials.  No tire stores near me shave tires either.  These are practically new Michelin Pilot Super Sports too.

clutchsmoke UltraDork
5/22/20 11:19 a.m.

Ughhhhhhhh that sucks. I think you're in the clear. Mighty close to buying a new tire from TireRack and having them shave it to match the other 3.

collinskl1 GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/22/20 11:25 a.m.

That tire isn't legally repairable - the puncture is too close to the belt edge (actually right at the belt edge).

Visually, I'd say that tire is close enough to new that replacing it wouldn't worry me. The typical real world variation in inflation pressure and front/rear load would change the effective rolling diameter more than that slight amount of tread depth difference.

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