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Golf GTI

So after that damn fiasco with the Integra I decided to be more sensible and get another German car, because i’m really a fanboy for German cars.

Had a look around, test drove some more cars, just the usual, and then stumbled on this MK5 Golf GTI. Took it for a drive, and wow, much like the R32 Golf it instantly left an impression on me. Not quite as good as the R32, but the combo of the turbo power and the DSG trans is a lot of fun to drive.

It was a Japanese import, had service history and was pretty well specced with heated leather, HID headlights, cruise control, heated mirrors and puddle lights. It was a really nice place to be and drove so well.

Along with the good spec from factory it had a few good modifications on it from Japan. VW Racing adjustable suspension, carbon fibre front splitters and rear diffuser, Forge diverter valve, Okada Project coils, some 16v ignition booster system (more on that later) and carbon look cluster trim.

It’s also the little things.

New key badges

And finally got a bottle opener (which also doubles as the divider in the cup holder)


At some point I also decided to do something I hadn’t done before, and modify the exhaust further. I purchased a decat 3″ downpipe from Aliexpress (it was super cheap!).

Packaging could’ve been better, the flange was poking out of the box (heh) when I got it, but seems although it was sticking out it hadn’t been bashed around and was OK.

Standard downpipe with cat and Kakimoto Einsatz axleback.

Downpipe is in the car, pretty easy to fit really. Remove the engine cover, Disconnect O2 sensor connector and feed wiring down. Remove the two top nuts from turbo flange (long extension on ratchet). Lift car, climb under and remove the axle heat shield. once that’s gone you can easily access the two bottom flange nuts. Remove them too (needed to buy a 16mm 3/8″ socket and spanner for this as my 1/2″ ratchet and socket was too big to fit).

Remove rear O2 sensor from pipe (will be fucking tight!), undo rear sleeve on pipe and side up pipe. Undo bolts on hanger and wrestle the pipe off the turbo and out of its home. Pull pipe out from under car.

Reassembly is reverse of disassembly.

Old pipe out, two cats

Both pipes together

O2 sensor spacer (which didn’t work anyway)

And what a MK5 GTI sounds like with an open downpipe

And with new downpipe fitted


I do have one issue though, the centre hanger does not line up at all. This is something that I have heard others have issues with on other ebay downpipes. Its nothing major, but i’ll have to book the car in at pitstop on the weekend and see if i can get them to cut the mounts off and reweld them correctly. Don’t want to drive too far without it attached as all the weight of the downpipe is resting on the flexi and turbo flange. Not ideal.

Overall impressions aren’t great. Its louder on cold start as expected, but other than that it’s really not that different. At WOT it’s noticeably louder but not amazing. DSG farts are marginally louder, and no popping or crackling. I suspect the fancy Jasma certified catback is stifling the awesome, but it’s a nice civilised exhaust.

Throttle response is good, maybe a bit sharper. The idle issues I had the other day were fixed with an ECU reset, its running great again.

Ultimately i’ve decided that i’m done with the car, and it is for sale now. I’m in no hurry to sell but I do have more money tied up in it than I want, and would like to get some of that back and buy something cheap to thrash.

Before it sold though I managed to fit some extended DSG paddles. Man, what a difference, every car with paddles should have ones this long. Much easier to find when driving hard.

But yes the car did eventually sell, and I do miss it. Its was a bloody good example. If I get another golf in the future, it’ll be an R32 though.


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