17 May 2016

How to preserve your DSG7 gearbox?

I have been saying this for many times to many different people that ask me and also shared with me about their worries with DSG7 gearbox and how it is putting them off from buying a VW car equipped with DSG7 no matter how tempting the package might be.

Somewhat being the normal procrastinator that I am, finally I put my opinion out to a renowned automotive forum and it became a thread all by itself.

My opinion can be found here in this thread.
KCNG's Guide to Preserving VW's DSG 7-speed Transmission

Bear in mind those are purely my views since day 1 of owning and experiencing the DSG7 in multiple driving condition from heavy traffic, weekend touge and numerous track days.
I am just sharing it accordingly.

Of course your opinion and question is more then welcomed.

A big thanks to Tom from Zero-To-Hundred for giving me the chance to share.

P/S - It doesn't mean that by following my method, your DSG7 won't fail. Any mechanical parts will fail. It's just the matter of time. By using it properly, we can pro-long the lifespan.

12 February 2016

Volkswagen Jetta MK6: Boot hinge cover

I took delivery of my Jetta MK6 in November 2012. A CBU model.

Once of the main gripe I have with the car is the "incompleteness" of the product due to Volkswagen practice of implementing product updates on the car from time to time. 
(This will be another story for another time).

My gripe with my car will be this. The boot hinges.
My car comes with "incomplete" boot hinge as shown below.

As shown in the picture, the hinge on the left is partially covered with a plastic cover and the remaining bare metal is exposed. The hinge on the right is totally naked. In my opinion, this makes the car looks "budget".

A closer look on the stock boot hinge.
The left boot hinge that comes with my car.
The right totally naked boot hinge. Just scream "budget" as you can see.
So what I did to fix this was to get a pair of complete boot hinge cover.


The part number for the boot hinge set.
 

During the installation of the boot hinge, do pay close attention to the retaining clips position as they can be quite fragile. I almost broke one of the clips. If you broke the retaining clips, do not worry as the boot hinge will install and stay in position even with a few broken retaining clips.
The D-I-Y installation took about 5 minutes. Its a simple fit and snap into position job.

The end result is as below.

The right boot hinge.
The left boot hinge.
The overall look.


Now tell me, with the boot hinge in place, it does indeed look better now right?

The cost of this "improvement"?
RM 350.

Satisfaction?
Priceless.

31 January 2016

Volkswagen Jetta MK6: Running cost in Malaysia

Been busy lately to actually complete a few pending post / updates with regards to the VW Jetta MK6.

But one pressing needs that I have seen lately is in terms of the maintenance / running cost of VW Jetta in Malaysia.

There seems to be alot of questions with regards to the maintenance / servicing cost and when a guide is provided to them, they take it as the gospel and when the actual bill is higher, the hoo-hah started.

There is alot of reason why the bill is higher and some is lower.

So stay tuned if you want to know more.
I will be sharing the running / servicing cost of my very own VW Jetta soon.

02 September 2015

#todayishere

#todayishere



Keep flying high. We will always be behind you. Now and forever.



31 August 2015

How to get louder DSG fart for Jetta MK6

There is something addictive about the "pop" sound that the Volkswagen DSG gearbox makes every time it up-shift.

This "pop" sound is make iconic especially on the more performance oriented models of Volkswagen group, namely the Golf GTi.

This "pop" sound is also known as the DSG fart. All VW model with DSG gearbox will have this "fart". Its only a matter of loudness. It is more pronounced on the performance oriented models and very much lesser on the regular models.

How does a DSG fart sounds like? Take a look at the video below and tell me is the sound addictive?


In order to make this "fart" louder, there is a few ways to go about it.
Either you can go down the route of a full exhaust system change or you can do it the budget way.

As for me, I do not really see the need to go for a full exhaust change on the Jetta partly due to one reason, the tiny 1400cc engine. As wonderful as this piece of EA111 engine is, at the end of the day, its major drawback is its small capacity engine.

So what I did was to go the budget way to make this "fart" sound more pronounce.

I did a resonator delete.

The resonator is highlighted in the picture below.
A more close up of the resonator.
The resonator is removed and replaced with a straight thru pipe. The end result is that you get a louder more pronounce "fart" and yet there is not much drone if you are cruising at speed.

The end result is as below.
This is how it will sound like.


Total damage?
About RM 200 for this trill.

P/S - I will take a better video once I get my car as it is now literally a public property.

30 August 2015

Malaysia, my home, now and forever

Malaysia. The only home that I know and ever will. My home, now and forever. Where I am today is molded in Malayisa, my homeland.

Our fore-fathers fight hard for our independence back then and managed to get us on our way to be an independent nation from 31st August 1957 onwards.

For those who are old enough to remember during the independence declaration, the words "Merdeka !!" rings throughout the country, igniting the spirit in us to build a nation we can finally call our own. Where we are free from outside influence in how we are to shape our nation future.

From 31st August 1957 on, we as a young nation called Malaysia, forge ahead in building our home. From a nation of nothing, we modernize our home through the hardwork of our own people. We build the very foundation that will lead us to where we are today.

We modernize our industry, our workforce, our infrastructure.

From Tunku Abdul Rahman, to Tun Abdul Razak, to Tun Hussein Onn, to Tun Dr Mahatir, we forge ahead, making the world stand up and take notice of this young nation called Malaysia.

Somehow this young nation seems to lost its way after bulldozing ahead and making waves for 40 over years. From being able to show the world what we are capable of, we somehow degenerate to the laughing stock of the world. 

Scandals after scandals appear that seems to not have a logical explanation. We have clowns instead of proper ministers running the country. We have well connected personality getting richer while the rest of the nation suffers. We have hastily implemented regulations and taxes that has plenty of loopholes and is being exploited by those well connected parties. 

The man in the street, people like you and me, are unable to cope with the economy uncertainty. On top of that, the Malaysia we know is now an unknown. We, Malaysians, don't feel like its Malaysia anymore with the amount of illegal immigrants that we have among us.

Everyday without fail, we will be able to see some genius statement from people that is supposed to run the country. Our education framework is falling apart, giving birth to geniuses that is mentioned before. Divide and conquer has never been anymore real then now. Its simmering very close to the boiling point.

There is no longer trust in the latest people that is running the country. Patience is running very thin among the people in the street.

We just want the people that is entrusted to run the country to do what they are supposed to do. Run the damn country. 

I personally don't care who is the prime minister and what political party that he or she is from. The prime minister can be black, yellow, orange, purple or even green for all I care as long as he or she is able to lead the country into a bright future.

My heart wept and bleed for Malaysia at its current situation. This is not the Malaysia that our founding father envisioned for us.

Stop the bloody politicking and do what you are supposed to do. 
Run this country, my country, called Malaysia and bring it to the next level.
Show the world what we Malaysians are made of.

Build an even better platform for our future generations. Imbue in them on our Malaysian values, what our founding fathers fight for and to continue our journey as a nation into the future.

We need to start now. At this very moment. All of us Malaysian's need to do our part in shaping our future. That include you too Mr current Prime Minister.

Our future generation depends on what we do now.

Malaysia is for Malaysians. 
Our homeland, our kampung. 
We were born here and it is where we will die.

This is our home. Malaysians regardless of how long they have been away will always have Malaysia in their heart.

Malaysia is always in my heart. I am proud of our country. My country. 

Please, as my parting wish to the leaders, please bring Malaysia to the next level. Make Malaysia stand tall once again in the eyes of the world. 

Remember our fallen warriors that fought for our independence. They give their lives so that we are where we are now.

Do not let them down.

Happy 58th birthday to my country, Malaysia.

25 August 2015

Car modifications and warranty related issues

"Will this modifications void my warranty?"

The gazillion million trillion dollar questions that basically get on my nerves and I believe will also get on motorhead's nerve in general.

So to new car owners, the general rule is this (which pretty much is common sense lah, but I feel its lacking alot), modifications DO NOT go hand in hand with warranty.

What does that mean?
That basically mean that the moment you modify something, you run the risk of your warranty being voided.
IF you have modified something and your warranty is voided, please do not go around bitching about it. The terms and condition of the warranty is there for you to see and read. So please read and understand it.

So please do not go around asking the question. You basically make yourself look stupid.

You itchy backside want to modify, you run the risk of your warranty being voided.

Common sense. Grow some please.

And yes, I am very sensitive to this question. Sensitive as in very sensitive and potentially I will go super saiyan ape-shit if being asked question.
Here's a customary potato after a rant post.

P/S - modifications is not the same as enabling/disabling BCM functions.

23 August 2015

[Review] Volkswagen Jetta MK6 1.4 TSI - An onwer's review

Volkswagen Jetta MK6 1.4 TSI , launched in Malaysia back in October 2011 in a completely built-up (CBU) guise, imported wholesale from Mexico. The Jetta then retails for RM 149,888 without insurance.
The newer Jetta is now being assembled locally in Pekan via completely knocked down (CKD) packs and retails for RM 130,888 without insurance.

The difference in specifications between Jetta CBU and CKD can be found here.

A C-segment option in the already crowded C-Segment market in Malaysia where the Jetta will have to go up against the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla Altis, Nissan Slyphy, Peugeot 408, Kia Cerato K3 to name a few.

There is already test drive reviews by the usual motoring sites and magazines. Now its about time to get an owner's review as the owner will be the one using the car day in day out as compared to those motoring sites that only has the car for a couple of days.

To be continued... brain jam... LOL

21 August 2015

[Review] BC Racing V1 Coilover Kit for Jetta MK6

At the turn of the year, I've finally outgrown the stock suspension.

So its time to search for a performance suspension kit to fulfill my requirements.
After sometime of hunting around and exchanging knowledge with fellow petrolheads, I decided on BC V1 Series coilover kit.

For those lazy bum who is too lazy to even click or tap on the links, the specifications of the BC-V1 Series is as below.
- 30 way adjustable damping
- Adjustable spring platform
- Height adjustment via bottom mount to retain full damper travel
- Dust boot to protect damper seals

The kit I ordered come with the following spring rate installed.
- Front spring rate of 8k
- Rear spring rate of 5k

As per the norm, I have the kit ordered and installed at EA Autoworks. The kit cost me about RM 3.6k inclusive of installation.

So up on the hoist my car goes to have the stock suspension removed and replaced with the new BC Racing V1 series coilover kit.

Front suspension view.
Rear suspension view
Upon completion of the new suspension installation, the car is lowered from the hoist and lo and behold, the ride hide is really slammed low.

The original ride height of the Jetta is 60cm.
The preset ride height of the new coilover kit I believe should be in the region of 54 cm there about. My mistake as I did not take the ride height measurements. That is like 6 cm (60mm) of height reduction.

As the ride is slammed too low for my comfort (days of slamming it too low is behind me), its time to bring out the calculator (not literally lah, doh) to recalculate the optimal ride height and to get the proper preloading adjustment done.

Installing a suspension don't always meant removing the old and plunk in the new. A good tuner will always know and make an effort to get the entire kit preloaded spot on and mind you, preloading is not just as simple as twist, turn, voila kind of job. This is where I trust the folks at EA Autoworks to get it right.

For your info in a nutshell, lowering your car too much don't meant it will always handle better. At times it can and will cause the handling to be worst then stock as lowering a car too much can cause the suspension geometry to be thrown out the window. 
So be smart when lowering a car (no doubt a lowered car looks nice, but can it handle as well as it should?).

Case in point the car below. Looks nice but the handling will be crap (if it is not already crap to begin with).
Anyway back to topic, after much discussion on the ride height by taking into consideration the original suspension geometry setup, it is decided that we will test out a 2cm (20mm) height reduction.

So from a ride height of 60cm (600mm), the car is lowered to 58cm (580mm).
(No, I do not use fingers as a height measurement tool)
This is how the car looks like when the height adjustment is completed.

Closer look at the front height.
As for the damping, after some period of fine tuning which of course involve some run up and down the usual mountain route, I have come to find that by running between 16-18 "clicks" for the front and 12-14 "clicks" for rear, you can achieve a balance between handling and yet it will not be as trashy as it will be over uneven or rough surfaces while being driven around daily.

Please bear in-mind that I use the word trashy instead of comfort as there will be no way a coilover kit even at its softest settings it will never be as comfortable as a stock suspension.
If you want comfort, please stay stock.
There is less diving and squatting now under hard braking or sudden hard acceleration compared to before. This basically allows me to put more power down much earlier and also provide some improvement in braking stability.

With the damping for daily and weekend runs pretty much nailed, its time to turn the focus to the track. Of course it goes without saying that the suspension will be set to the hardest setting in track lah. Double doh.

A remarkable improvement. I am able to put my power down much earlier compared to before as the weight transfer is much more manageable now. With the new suspension kit and of course some help from the Big Brake Kit and RS3 rubbers, I managed to shave 6 seconds off my previous timing.
View it here.

#throwback picture

Mountain road test - checked.
Track test - checked.

2 test down and its time for the ultimate test of ferrying family members (my grandma and her 2 younger sister and my mom) around town visiting relatives in Jalan Ipoh, Cheras and Kemuning.

As I did not change the suspension settings from the previous track day, I take this opportunity to see if there will be complains from my family members that I am ferrying around.

Running around the said area with the hardest settings while driving at the legal speed limit, there is no complains what so ever from them. In fact they don't even realize that I am running on coilovers.
I am quite surprised at this. 

So suffice to say, at the hardest setting and driving around at the legal speed limit, the ride is not as trashy it is supposed to be (over the bad Cheras road condition and the infamous uneven Kesas Highway). There is still some degree of refinement or "comfort" to be found. 
Of course you don't charge over speed bump like you would on a stock suspension lah, the rebound will surely jolt the passengers. Just be more careful when going over speed bump and all will be fine.

With the family member test successfully aced, I don't think I will be reverting back to my original street settings anytime soon.

Apart from family members, I have given a couple of Jetta owners a ride and their collective view is that even at the hardest settings, it is still decently refined.
Even a buddy of mine who has a GTi MK7 and driven my car around town, commented that the car handles quite well.

Now come the question (as usual), will it void warranty? 
My answer will be "What do you think? This is a modification."

Ok seriously, the question will always be, why BC? Why not KW or Bilstein or some brand more "continental"?
My honest answer and opinion will be as below.

No doubt KW or Bilstein coilover kit might be better compared to BC V1 Series but how much better will it be against BC V1 to justify the price tag difference between a KW or Bilstein kit?
A KW V3 coilover kit will most likely cost you around RM 8k region. Since it is twice as costly as my BC V1 coilover kit, will the KW V3 perform twice as good? My personal opinion will be maybe just 15%-20% better at most.

At the end of the day, its your money and your choice. If you can afford it, by all means go for the branded kits. I am here just to share what is my experience with this BC V1 Series coilover kit and that I am happy with it.

Pictures with EA watermarks credit to Drex Chan of EA Autoworks.

22 July 2015

[Review] AP Racing CP5200 4-pot brake kit for Jetta MK6

Towards the last quarter of 2014, I had my stock Altis brakes upgraded to Golf-R MK6 brakes for an improvement in braking performance.

With a bigger disc (345mm vs 312mm) and a bigger caliper, it provides a much greater bite and of course with a bigger disc size, the brakes will be able to take much more heavier punishment before suffering from the dreaded brake fade.

At the turn of the year, towards the end of Q1 2015, I decided to get the Altis upgraded further in terms of stopping power.

After looking around and the indecisiveness between Brembo or AP Racing BBK (Big Brake Kit), I decided to go for the AP Racing BBK.

I purchase my AP Racing BBK from AC Gruppen Singapore. The boss, a nice guy name Jun, deals with my queries and provided some very sound advice. 
(Do let me know if you wish to purchase BBK from him. He carries Brembos and AP Racing).


My AP Racing kit consist of
- CP5200 4-pot caliper
- Mounting bracket for Jetta MK6
- 330mm Slotted original AP-Racing rotors
- Steel braided brake hose
- Ferodo DS3000 brake pads

All in all, it cost me SGD$2899 (RM 8200 with today's exchange rate).

I did not install the brake kit in Singapore. Instead I opt to transfer the kit back to Malaysia and have it install at Acanta Autotech.

Installation is straight-forward and a couple of hours later, the brake kit is now in place.


Looks good isn't it?

After some initial period of bedding in the brake pads, its time to test out the brakes.

Where else to test if not for the usual hill-climb route.

The braking performance of a 4-pot setup as expected, is a major improvement over a single pot setup. There is no need to slam the brake pedal to extract some serious stopping power from the BBK. All you need to do is just to modulate the brake pedal and watch the speed drop and it seriously drop really fast. 

Really confidence inspiring when some serious braking power is needed. You know the BBK will just give you the braking power the moment the brake pedal is depressed.

With the hill-climb route test done and over with, its time to hit the tracks.

Again as expected, in the tracks the brakes performed flawlessly. There is a renewed sense of confidence in braking much later before a turn. You just know the BBK will slow the car down before the turn.

One thing I found out on the Jetta is that if we are to stand on the brake pedal with this BBK, the weight transfer of the car is very much different compared to when I am on the R-brake kit. The rear of the car will loose its grip much earlier as the weight transfer from rear to front during hard braking with the BBK is much more apparent. This will upset the car balance prior to entering the corner if the front end of the car do not have enough traction and grip to cope with the more sudden increase of weight transfer.

This could be solve with a harder and stiffer front suspension or upgraded rear brakes.
I will update once I've experimented with this 2 solutions.

On the streets, this characteristic is not apparent as we are not pushing the car to the limits unlike on the tracks. So in this sense, it is pretty much safe and fool-proof. So do not worry about getting your car brakes upgraded with BBK.

On a final note, in my opinion, the Jetta stock brakes (which in fact is the same brakes found on the MK6 GTi, whiich technically means the Jetta is already running BBK out from the factory) is more then capable of stopping the car.

If you want improved braking power and upgrading to a BBK is too big a budget, getting the next best thing will be to use a better brake pads. You will feel an improvement for sure, just don't expect wonders like what BBK can offer you.

Apart from braking power, BBK adds to the aesthetic value of the car.
As the saying goes, "kereta slow tak per, janji gaya ada" (it's ok if my car is slow, as long as there's style)
Hehe.

P/S -
As I am using a Ferodo DS3000 brake pads, my brakes will be generating huge amount of screeching sound in slow moving / town traffic application. Those that have driven my car or have gone driving with me will know.

The screeching sound is annoying loud and if you can't stand the sound, stay away from this brake pads. This brake pads provide crazy amount of bite but the trade-off will be the annoying loud screeching sound.

The original AP Racing brake pad that comes with the kit will not emit annoying screeching sound but of course it wont match the Ferodo DS3000 in terms of bite.