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Old 24th June 2019, 22:56   #91
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI : UPDATE: Making the GT great again! Sachs, Code6, BBS+Michelin

UPDATE:

Things have been quiet on my thread for a while, and rightfully so. But a lot has happened behind the scenes, i.e. intensive research on the right parts, their effects and consequences, et al. But when I found the right parts, I wasted no time in purchasing them. So every purchase has a back story to it. So let's get to it, shall we?

Brakes:

It all started when we had been on one of our drives to Sakleshpur, a small town at a reasonably significant elevation, nestled in the gorgeous Western Ghats. En route and back, I noticed a few things about the factory brakes.

At slow speeds, they are fine and do the job, albeit in a laboured manner. The first 30% of the pedal travel didn't do much. prodding further would at times induce sharp bites. one could even describe it as 'grabby'. But to really get it to stop, you'd have to hit the pedal hard. I could live with this, because the brakes would do their job as intended, just not in the most convincing or reassuring manner.

Out on the open road, the story was entirely different.

I must have been doing about 120 on the 6 lane Hassan highway, on our way back to Bangalore, and as I approached a junction that I could see a good 300 meters ahead, I let go of the A pedal and began to gently prod the B pedal. As usual, they felt a touch grabby at first, but it did not deliver the desired result. Just then, a two wheeler darted across the highway, right at the fast-approaching junction, and I had to work the B pedal a touch more. At this point, the braking wasn't great but what alarmed me was the shaking and juddering coming through the steering wheel and tyres.

It was clear from then on, that I had to do something about the brakes. The discs had warped and although the pads had another year in them, I did not want to risk it.

Back in Bangalore, I had a long chat with Azaan about the options available to me, and he immediately recommended Brembo Xtra Drilled rotors and Brembo Black brake pads. Inlcuding installation, this would have set me back about 20k. It seemed quite reasonable, but after experiencing this setup first hand, I wasn't entirely convinced. The improvement may have been 10%-15% at best!

Reading and research revealed several other options, like EBC slotted rotors and yellowstuff brake-pads. Several members on the forum recommended these to me, but these rotors and pads would be around 25k-30k. Pricey for what is essentially a stock-replacement kit. So I began to look elsewhere.

New BHPian Sharan strongly recommended the Big Brake Kit and told me that the whole lot could be acquired for under 40k. This kit comes with red calipers, carriers and pads (essentially identical to the ones on the GTI's front axle). The new larger single-piston calipers are now to be paired with 288 mm rotors/discs. (The stock size, I'm told is 250 odd mm.) It looked great, but I wasn't sure of it due to the pricing. Azaan made his concerns clear, stating that the BBK may have an adverse effect on the Brake Cylinder and lines, but I'm not planning on tracking this car anytime soon, so I looked this up.

4yourdrive.de had stock of the BBK, and I kept opening the link and agonized over it for a week. This would be my first online purchase that would require customs clearance, and hence I was skeptical. But all this deliberation and dilly dallying resulted in the part going out of stock! *facepalm* moment if there ever was one!

Some local guys like Vagtunes stock the BBK, but at eye-wateringly painful prices. At one site, I remember seeing the 1.3 lakh figure against the product and I simply couldn't digest it.

I was back to square one.

I may have been down but not out.

I continued reading up on the options, and the same German website that stocked the BBK had something very similar. In fact, it was essentially the same thing, but it had the 'S1' plaque on it. So these calipers are essentially the same ones that are found on the Audi S1! The catch? It was a cool 70 Euro over the plaque-less one.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-0-audi-s1-brake-kit.jpg

I flipped a coin and before I knew it, I drafted an email to the seller in Germany, in the bid to establish some sort of relationship and understand the nuances.

With all my doubts clarified by the seller, I bit the bullet and made the purchase! It set me back 202 Euro, inclusive of shipping. I know, it's a lot pricer than stock or stock-replacement aftermarket brakes, but these should last me a long time and this little mod will reduce the frequency of brake pad swaps. They're definitely worth it!

With that done, I had to now look for the right rotors to go with the calipers. The search began, and predictably I hit a few road blocks. The rotors I'd wanted - Brembo Xtra (drilled) were not in stock, and may not be in stock for the foreseeable future. I was told that only the blanks are available. The hunt continued though, and I was left with two options: EBC Slotted Rotors and Black Diamond Cross-Drilled and Slotted Rotors.

Both options were eye wateringly expensive, and after a quick calculation, I realized that I will be breaching the 40k budget i'd allocated for the entire brake setup I'd planned.

I remained unfazed and got in touch with United Distributors from Chennai who had stock of the 288 mm rotors that I needed. It helped that United Distributors gave me a good deal, so I went ahead with it. I wired the money and the rotors reached my doorstep in 2 days.

Suspension:

Whilst discussing rotor options with United Distributors over Whatsapp, they told me that they also have Eibach Springs in stock and were willing to give me a good deal on those as well.

At that point, I was desperately looking for a solution for the yawning wide gap between the tyres and the wheel arch. If anything, it was doing a disservice to the nice wheels I'd exhausted my savings on.

But all my research up until that point led me to believe that Coilovers are the only way to go, and this is a very important point to consider.

Coilovers are essentially dampers and springs that are engineered and built together and therefore, do a stellar job as the springs and dampers are perfectly matched to each other. However, good Coilovers from reputed brands like KW or its subsidiary, ST, will cost you an arm, a leg and possibly a kidney. The ones to go for - KW's Street Comfort coilovers - would have been 1.4 lakh inclusive of taxes and installation. ST's XA coilovers would have set me back 1.1 lakh for a similar setup, all inclusive.

I simply couldn't wrap my head around those figures. On a Skoda Octavia vRS that costs 30 lakh, it may make sense to invest in such a setup. But on a 11 lakh Polo? I think not. However, it has been done by several, and the reports seem to suggest that they're absolutely fantastic!

Even a set of used Street Comforts that recently came my way, tempted me to bite the bullet. But the thought of not being able to follow through with the rest of the modifications planned for the car loomed large, and eventually I had to make peace with the fact that I couldn't afford them at this time.

A word with tuner extraordinaire Sajan Thomas from Code6 reinforced it further. He mentioned that although the KWs are fantastic, they are sensitive to bad roads, and a few bad potholes or unmarked speed breakers could potentially ruin them. After spending nearly one and a half lakh on coilovers, I want peace of mind while traversing broken Bangalore roads and certain questionable highways. This is something KW will not deliver. Azaan's father's pearls of wisdom eventually sealed it for me: "KW is brilliant, but they are meant for nice flowing European roads, not for our ragged Indian tarmac."

So coilovers are no longer an option for me, unless my Firm decides that I should get a bonus, larger than what I deserve.

Lowering springs, on the other hand, are a cost effective way to improve the handling as well as drop the ride height. However, they are not recommended if the idea is to solely improve performance and handling. Sure, the center of gravity gets better as the car sits lower, but as the lowering springs are not designed in tandem with the dampers, they may not be a good match for each other and consequently, the ride could get unbearably stiff - something I couldn't deal with. Ride quality is important to me and I wasn't ready to compromise. Moreover, lowering springs destroy dampers in the long run.

However, upon further research, I found that although lowering springs do destroy stock dampers eventually, the Eibach Pro Kit Springs provide a marginal drop, and this will not harm the dampers as much as say, other lowering springs that drop the ride height in excess of 50 mm. And I figured, if and when the dampers do give up as a result of the shortened springs, it would be a good opportunity to swap them for Bilstein B8s.

The Bilstein B8 dampers are like the B6, but shortened and designed in tandem with the Eibach springs. SO they should work well.

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The deal offered by United Distributors was simply too good to ignore. So I phoned them and wired the money instantly, and the package arrived on the same day my BBK arrived!

The install:

Once I had all the parts with me, I spoke to Azaan and requested for a Saturday to get the parts installed. on the 22nd at around 10 am, I loaded the parts into my car and promptly drove straight to the garage.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-1-garage-1.jpg
Work began almost immediately upon arrival, with my car being put onto the lift.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-2-work-progress.jpg
Work in progress: Obviously, the stock suspension was removed to access the springs and only then did the new brakes go into the car

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-3-old-brakes.jpg
Old brakes look a bit sad, to be honest.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-4-springs-comparison.jpg
Pretty self explanatory, I'd say.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-5-dampers-new-spring.jpg
Here's a picture of the new spring on the Sachs dampers

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-06-brakes-installed.jpg
The Rotors and calipers in place.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-7-wip.jpg

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-8-caliper-fouling-wheel.jpg
Once the brakes and suspension were in place, we found that a part of the calipers, specifically the plaque that reads S1, fouled with the inner portion of the wheel. Drat!

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-9-alterations-s1-plaque.jpg
Azaan's genious mechanic got to work immediately by trimming the plaque so that the wheels accommodate the calipers without trouble.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-10-installation-completed.jpg
Installation complete!

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-11-rear-spring.jpg
A picture of the rear spring through the wheel, and a close-up of the same below.
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-12-rear-spring-close-up.jpg

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-13-comparison-other-polo.jpg
Azaan's garage also had another Polo GT TSI on that day - The perfect opportunity for a photo-comparo.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-14-box-shame.jpg
My box of shame, that now includes the rear mud flaps.

With the install completed followed by a quick bleed with .4 brake fluid, we were good to go!

With the install completed, we went for a short spin and once we confirmed that the install went according to plan, I drove straight to Madhus for a mandatory alignment job.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-15-alignment.jpg
Mandatory Alignment at Madhus.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-16-proctane.jpg
The ol' girl is now on a high octane diet!

I found this venture on Instagram called Proctane. It's an octane booster that is meant to be mixed with regular fuel. Initially, I was skeptical, but after having a long chat with Arjun, a friend and fellow enthusiast from Chennai who has been using it for a few months now, and having spoken to the owner of Proctane who shared with me some documentation, I was convinced and ordered a carton of the juice.

As directed, I emptied one 300 ml bottle of the stuff into a full tank of fuel, after the alignment at Madhus. A quick wash at Feynlabs and I was all set for a few pictures.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-17-before.jpg

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-18-after.jpg

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-19-wheel-up-close.jpg

Initial impression:

Brakes: I haven't pushed the car hard yet, and as advised I have avoided hard stops. We did go for a drive outside the city and I observed that the pedal now feels more eager to respond to inputs. The first 30% pedal travel that made no difference has changed. It's sharper now and I can sense the reserves of braking power available to me. It's waaayyyy better than stock brakes, and definitely a step above stock replacement brake rotors and pads, that's for sure.

I cannot wait to give them a proper workout! The month of July and August will consist of several weekend drives and I'm looking forward to it.

Suspension: The Eibach Pro Kit Springs have dropped the ride height and the stance has definitely improved. The yawning wheel gap is a distant dream now. On the move, the chassis feels marginally stiffer, about 10-15% perhaps? I have to say, that I am extremely careful while driving on roads, and I constantly scan the tarmac for bad patches and make the extra effort to avoid them as much as possible. If required, I slow down to an absolute crawl to negotiate some of the really rough stuff. So under such circumstances, the springs definitely held their own. Around faster corners, body-roll has decreased quite a bit, and the car feels ever so slightly more eager to turn in. The springs have also eliminated the minor back-and-forth rocking movement that I have experienced while coming to a dead stop from a crawl.

Note, these are initial impressions only, and a full report on my experience on this will be out in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 25th June 2019 at 10:52.
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Old 25th June 2019, 08:16   #92
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI : UPDATE: Making the GT great again! Sachs, Code6, BBS+Michelin

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
UPDATE:

Note, these are initial impressions only, and a full report on my experience on this will be out in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned.
Keen to learn more. Do keep us posted as you drive more in the new setup.

Also, could you share Azaan's contact details or link to his garage in the directory? I recall @ajmat also endorsing his competence with the Jetta.

I'm looking for competent and cost-effective FNG alternatives for servicing my Jetta. Thanks in advance!
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Old 25th June 2019, 09:35   #93
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI : UPDATE: Making the GT great again! Sachs, Code6, BBS+Michelin

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
UPDATE:

Things have been quiet on my thread for a while, and rightfully so. But a lot has happened behind the scenes,
Wow! Those are some solid upgrades for your GT TSI. Brakes and suspension have always been the weak links in this car. Nice to see some really thoughtful upgrades to tackle these.

Will keenly await your feedback on Proctane. It is a pain to drive all the way up to the sole HP outlet that dispenses Power 99. I've tried a few fills with normal petrol and off the shelf octane boosters added for my GTI. But the performance wasn't really close to what I get with the real high octane stuff.
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Old 25th June 2019, 10:13   #94
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI : UPDATE: Making the GT great again! Sachs, Code6, BBS+Michelin

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
New BHPian Sharan strongly recommended the Big Brake Kit and told me that the whole lot could be acquired for under 40k. This kit comes with red calipers, carriers and pads (essentially identical to the ones on the GTI's front axle). The new larger 4-piston calipers are now to be paired with 288 mm rotors/discs. (The stock size, I'm told is 250 odd mm.)
Aren't these single piston floating calipers? Still an awesome upgrade. Congrats!
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Old 25th June 2019, 10:51   #95
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI : UPDATE: Making the GT great again! Sachs, Code6, BBS+Michelin

Quote:
Originally Posted by BackInTheFold View Post
Keen to learn more. Do keep us posted as you drive more in the new setup.

Also, could you share Azaan's contact details or link to his garage in the directory? I recall @ajmat also endorsing his competence with the Jetta.

I'm looking for competent and cost-effective FNG alternatives for servicing my Jetta. Thanks in advance!
Thank you!

Please PM me for more details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
Wow! Those are some solid upgrades for your GT TSI. Brakes and suspension have always been the weak links in this car. Nice to see some really thoughtful upgrades to tackle these.

Will keenly await your feedback on Proctane. It is a pain to drive all the way up to the sole HP outlet that dispenses Power 99. I've tried a few fills with normal petrol and off the shelf octane boosters added for my GTI. But the performance wasn't really close to what I get with the real high octane stuff.
Thanks Santosh,

The upgraded links and suspension mounts have made such a huge difference to the car's dynamics.

I have done about 60 km since I topped up the tank with Proctane. Initial impressions: the engine feels buttery smooth. Vibrations have reduced quite a bit, and the car does not feel as strained in the midrange.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
Aren't these single piston floating calipers? Still an awesome upgrade. Congrats!
Apologies, you are correct.

The error has been fixed in the original post. Thanks for pointing it out.
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Old 25th June 2019, 10:56   #96
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI : UPDATE: Making the GT great again! Sachs, Code6, BBS+Michelin

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
UPDATE:

Things have been quiet on my thread for a while, and rightfully so.

Stay tuned.

Congrats Suhaas. That's a solid upgrade.

Could you please post few close-up shots of the GT?

Also, if you don't mind, please share the cost split-up for this upgrade.
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Old 27th June 2019, 13:18   #97
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI: UPDATE: Making the GT great again! Eibach springs, Audi S1 brak

Suhaas, some amazing upgrades man! I loved the BBS rims and the brakes. And the lowered stance complements the look nicely.

Thread moved to Long-Term Ownership section.
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Old 29th June 2019, 12:36   #98
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI : UPDATE: Making the GT great again! Sachs, Code6, BBS+Michelin

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
UPDATE:

It was clear from then on, that I had to do something about the brakes. The discs had warped and although the pads had another year in them, I did not want to risk it.

Stay tuned.
Congrats on the upgrades, Suhaas! Would love to get your break setup on my GT. I tried looking for the PM option but looks like itís not available for my profile yet. Whatís the best way to reach you for more info?
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Old 30th June 2019, 19:06   #99
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Making the GT great again! Eibach springs, Audi S1 brak

That is an excellent upgrade for GT TSI. I have more or less similar setup (B6 + Eibach lowering springs) on my Fabia 1.2 TDI (remapped at Pete's) from past 1.5k kms. I am however running on 15" stock rims on 195/60 rubber. The ride is definitely stiff and with 3 or more passengers the car does scrape some notorious unscientific speed breakers . However, where you will really enjoy it is on the highways and backroads - the car sticks to the tarmac like a leech. I was under the impression that 16" rims will further stiffen the ride and with B8+Eibach might affect rims in the long run. Eagerly await you detailed feedback on the setup
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Old 1st July 2019, 02:02   #100
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Making the GT great again! Eibach springs, Audi S1 brak

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prodigy07 View Post
Congrats Suhaas. That's a solid upgrade.

Could you please post few close-up shots of the GT?

Also, if you don't mind, please share the cost split-up for this upgrade.
Thank you!

Close up shots coming soon!

1) Calipers + Carriers + Pads = 202 Euro (17,000)
2) Customs for Calipers = 7000
3) EBC Rotors = 21,000
4) Eibach Pro Kit Springs = 20,000

Labour and installation not included as it varies from workshop to workshop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
Suhaas, some amazing upgrades man! I loved the BBS rims and the brakes. And the lowered stance complements the look nicely.

Thread moved to Long-Term Ownership section.
Thanks Gannu!

Quote:
Originally Posted by roopesh1326 View Post
Congrats on the upgrades, Suhaas! Would love to get your break setup on my GT. I tried looking for the PM option but looks like it’s not available for my profile yet. What’s the best way to reach you for more info?
You can reach out to me via email: suhaas.r.shenoy at-the-rate gmail dot com.

You could also drop a post here and you should receive a reply within 24-48 hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anuragbagur View Post
That is an excellent upgrade for GT TSI. I have more or less similar setup (B6 + Eibach lowering springs) on my Fabia 1.2 TDI (remapped at Pete's) from past 1.5k kms. I am however running on 15" stock rims on 195/60 rubber. The ride is definitely stiff and with 3 or more passengers the car does scrape some notorious unscientific speed breakers . However, where you will really enjoy it is on the highways and backroads - the car sticks to the tarmac like a leech. I was under the impression that 16" rims will further stiffen the ride and with B8+Eibach might affect rims in the long run. Eagerly await you detailed feedback on the setup
Thank you!

My feedback, after 300 km of driving this week, is below:

Update:

As soon as I'd driven out of the workshop, post installation on Saturday the 22nd, I rang up a few friends and coaxed them into joining us on a little drive outside the city the next weekend.

As mentioned in my initial impressions in my previous post, I'd found the ride a bit stiff with the new springs, about 10-15% stiffer, but I was happy generally with the upgrades and was unfazed after the short drive outside the city immediately after the installation. But the true test was yet to come, and that was in the weekdays to follow.

Monday was fine, I wasn't required for driver-duty and therefore, a few short bursts around the CBD before and after work helped me understand the limits of the car's ride over some of the mildly dented streets in the CBD. During the day, however, I had to face some astonishingly miserable traffic and that, coupled with some bad roads, threw me off completely. A few drives to my folks' house in Indiranagar left me in tatters because the ride was just too busy on broken city streets. The extra concentration I'd had to deploy, in order to keep the car on smooth tarmac as much as possible whilst negotiating said miserable traffic, was extremely taxing on the mind. After spending about 2-3 hours in said miserable traffic and on said broken city streets, I was thoroughly spent, and I even had freaking body ache by Saturday, the 29th!

Viddy's constant heckling, that I'd ruined my car and that I'd made it un-driveable, started to play on my mind, and I wondered if I had indeed made a mistake. Such was the impact of my limited experience and the needless heckling that I'd even started looking for alternatives and replacements for the springs. I couldn't go back to the stock setup as it was just too ungainly for me to digest. A few hours of research later, I'd found Bilstein B3 OEM-replacement springs - a good replacement I'd imagined, as it will give the springs more room for compliance whilst retaining about 60% of the stance - an advantage as it would be ride like the Euro-spec Polo.

The night prior to Sunday, I couldn't sleep, thinking I'd just wasted money on springs that will potentially ruin my back and the car as well. After all, the other upgrades would be rendered useless if I go back to not driving the car, like I had pre-February this year.

Nevertheless, we had woken up early on a Sunday, packed some lunch and proceeded to pick up our friends for the drive.

In May this year, we had visited Ladakh with our friends, and whilst doing some general reading on Ladakh, I'd come across this location tagged in Social Media as "Chota Ladakh". The location may be found in a quaint little village called Arabikothanur, next to Kolar town - about 70 odd kilometers from Bangalore. More reading on the location revealed that it's on the road to Tirupathi and for the most part, the roads are good / decent. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to give the Polo a much-needed workout.

Report on the ride quality and handling:

We left our flat at around 7 in the morning, 30 minutes behind schedule. After picking up our friends from Maharatahalli, I pulled the left paddle and exercised my right foot liberally, all the way to Kolar. We even had to negotiate some gargantuan speed-breakers, few of which had posed trouble to some of the larger sedans. And we didn't touch even one of them! Remember, the car is now lowered significantly - especially at the back, and there were 4 healthy adults on board, and a little bit of luggage in the boot as well! With all of us in the car, the 1.5 inches between the top of the rear tyre and the wheel-arch completely closed up and there was no gap left!

My worry was real!

But I shouldn't have been, because the car performed flawlessly! Broken and patched up roads at low speeds makes the ride quite busy at city speeds, but out on the open road, at speeds in excess of 60-70 km/h, such patchy surfaces were dismissed with aplomb!

Yes, the ride is still stiff.. cracks in the road are no longer absorbed and they filter through ever so slightly; expansion joints can be felt more prominently, and the ride is busy! But the car now sticks to the road like a leech! It remains unfazed at high speeds. Introduce sweeping corners to the mix, and the tail doesn't skip over bumps and undulations anymore. Body roll has decreased significantly too! The car corners flat now, and I found it hard to believe that I could now negotiate fast sweeping corners at three-digit speeds without fearing for my life! And the faster I went, the better the car handled the rougher stuff, it's unbelievable! Let's not forget that the Michelin PS4 played a key role in this experience.

For negotiating some really large speed breakers, I had to take the car sideways and that did the trick. Over most speed breakers, crawling over them would suffice, or so I thought! What I was really worried about was the damper-rebound at the back at speeds above crawl, but on our way back with just two of us in the car, the rear stayed put even at 20-30 km over smallish-medium sized speed breakers.

This is not to say that the ride is perfect. It's definitely busy and stiffer than the stock setup. It can be a touch too unfomfortable for some, and those who value ride quality over everything else should not consider the Pro Kit springs, as it does most-definitely make the ride more hard-edged.

When we reached Kolar, about an hour and a half later at around 8:30 am, we had to take a detour to reach our destination, i.e. Chota Ladakh. We took a short cut (courtesy Google Maps), and we found ourselves in a fully loaded and lowered car, driving through a muddy katcha road, with deep crevices courtesy the trucks and tractors that routinely use this path. We were essentially attempting to negotiate a path that would make me nervous in my car pre-Eibach springs! I was close to tearing my hair apart a few times, but the car pulled through as though it was just another day in the office! And as it turned out, our worst nightmare came to true when we realised that we couldn't proceed as the road was practically shut by a mound of mud blocking the path ahead, with a little path that only a two-wheeler could thread through.

We were forced to turn back and head to the main road, and we did. We eventually did find another path to the chill-spot, and thankfully it was freshly tarred. The road could be termed as a back-road - it was curvy albeit evenly cambered, lined by trees and shrubs on either side. About 6 kilometers of driving on this road would take you to Arabikothanur village. This little stretch was absolutely fantastic, as I hooned the car around the corners and used the paddles to make the engine sing its tune. It was a brief hoon, but with Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin on the stereo, it was one of the most enjoyable ones I've had in my little Polo!

Performance post Proctane:

There is no doubt about it, the engine felt so smooth it was uncanny! I could definitely tell the difference with the car on this diet. But it wasn't just the smoothness and creaminess of the engine at cruising speeds, it was just as creamy when I dialed in the revs!

The improvement in mid-range punch is more than just noticeable now, and even the engine note seems to have improved! The car pulled effortlessly to 120 with 4 adults on board. Earlier, the engine would feel a touch strained higher in the revs and while traversing three-digits, but not anymore! And I had not even used the prescribed volume of 450 ml for each full tank, for the desired result!

A cat-delete would make this car a true weapon on the open road, and I cannot wait!

Brakes:

It would be obvious to say that the new brakes have improved the car's stopping power. But it's experienced to be believed!

At slow speeds in town, it works fine. Top of the pedal braking is still not super-sharp, as I'd hoped it would be. Feathering the B pedal will help in slowing down marginally, as it would with the stock setup too. You do need to work the pedal a bit for the car to stop quickly. But there's definitely more bite in the first 30% of brake-pedal travel. It does not feel useless as it did on the stock setup.

As expected, high speed braking has improved, but such drastic improvements were unexpected. The car sheds speed with no fuss at all, and the wobbling / juddering / vibrations are a thing of the past now! In fact, I now get a lot of feel coming through the B Pedal, which was non-existent on the stock setup. I had to perform a few reasonably-hard stops during the drive, and using the B-pedal on these occasions felt like I'd dropped a one-ton anchor onto the road surface! Thankfully, the rear didn't lose its composure, as I had originally feared it would, due to the bias between the front brakes and the rear.

In the stock setup, on similar occasions, I'd hit the brakes at speed and the car would take much longer to scrub speed, and I'd felt the need to really stand on the B pedal to get the maximum out of it. Now, with the new brake-setup, I stop much earlier and don't feel the need to bury the B-pedal into the carpet to get the most out of it.

Verdict:

Needless to say, I'm quite pleased with the way my car now goes, steers and stops. In fact, it's so good that I'm wondering if I really need to upgrade to the Bilstein B8 dampers in the future. The Sachs Super Touring dampers provide all the mechanical grip I need, with a nice finish to the ride quality, as it dampens the ride just enough to make the drive comfortable. It's the best compromise between a compliant ride and sharp handling.

The engine is now as sweet as a nut. Post-remap, the car is a bit noiser at idle and the there's more of a rattle coming through the bonnet. With the octane-booster diet applied, the engine simply hums and sounds well-settled. It even makes a nicer engine note, unexpectedly! In fact, it feels a touch punchier now! The cat-delete with this diet is sure to make it fly!

Braking performance is no longer a concern, as the car stops on command. I feel a lot more confident pushing the car harder on the straight line and whilst carrying more speeds around bends, as I know that the brakes will do their job better than expected and the new spring-damper setup will help me carve the corner effortlessly!

Yes, the busy ride can get a bit cumbersome in the city, but seeing that the car can clear even the most unscientifically-designed speed breakers with 4 adults on board, I know I don't have to be too worried and I can sleep peacefully.

Some pictures of the car from our drive on Sunday:

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-1.jpg

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-2.jpg

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-3.jpg
Please ignore the fender rash - a fly in the otherwise near-perfect ointment!

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-4.jpg

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-5.jpg
I couldn't believe that the now-lowered car coped with non-existent roads so well! Ruined? Useless? Un-driveable? Flimsy excuses for the weak and risk-averse!

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-6.jpg
A few pictures from our lunch spot. More to follow..
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-7.jpg

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-8.jpg
She needs a hosing-down after what she's been through!

Stay tuned for more updates!

Last edited by suhaas307 : 1st July 2019 at 02:21. Reason: Typo
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Old 1st July 2019, 17:04   #101
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI : UPDATE: Making the GT great again! Sachs, Code6, BBS+Michelin

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
I found this venture on Instagram called Proctane. It's an octane booster that is meant to be mixed with regular fuel.
Hi Suhaas. Do you mind sharing how you purchased Proctane EVO? I browsed the seller's Instagram as well as FB, but couldn't find any links. I have used BP Speed 97 in my GT TSI once, and loved what it did for the car. But the one pump in Mumbai that keeps it is far away from my home, and it is much too expensive for regular use. I would like to evaluate Proctane as a more convenient and cheaper alternative. I am currently using System G (1 ml per litre of petrol).
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Old 2nd July 2019, 20:36   #102
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Making the GT great again! Eibach springs, Audi S1 brak

I've a silly question. Does the ABS work as usual when you upgraded the brakes ? Did you face any issues ?
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Old 3rd July 2019, 14:59   #103
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Making the GT great again! Eibach springs, Audi S1 brak

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLizardKing View Post
Hi Suhaas. Do you mind sharing how you purchased Proctane EVO? I browsed the seller's Instagram as well as FB, but couldn't find any links. I have used BP Speed 97 in my GT TSI once, and loved what it did for the car. But the one pump in Mumbai that keeps it is far away from my home, and it is much too expensive for regular use. I would like to evaluate Proctane as a more convenient and cheaper alternative. I am currently using System G (1 ml per litre of petrol).
Hi,

I reached out to them on Instagram. Their email is available on the page.

I would definitely recommend using Proctane! One of these days, after I run out of Proctane, I will give Power 99 a try as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fache89 View Post
I've a silly question. Does the ABS work as usual when you upgraded the brakes ? Did you face any issues ?
That is not a silly question at all.

No issues faced during installation. Everything went smoothly.

I do not think the ABS works well with this upgrade. There appears to be some sort of incompatibility with the upgraded calipers and the ABS module. I'm not sure about this, would appreciate someone with knowledge on this to clarify.

If it helps, I haven't induced the ABS to kick in just yet.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 3rd July 2019 at 15:00.
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Old 10th July 2019, 16:41   #104
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Making the GT great again! Eibach springs, Audi S1 brak

UPDATE:

After having installed the new steering wheel with paddle shifts, I was on the hunt for a good set of paddle shift extensions.

Now, one can easily live without these extensions (or the paddles, or the car too.. for that matter), but these extensions add a touch of convenience to the paddles-experience, as they allow you to tap-tap-tap up / down whilst mid-corner or negotiating a turn.

My hunt for it was proving to be futile though, as I couldn't find the right ones for a long long time. Fellow BHPian, Robimahanta, Dunzoed a pair he had lying around, but even those weren't the perfect fit. So the hunt died down for a while. And on a lazy weekend mid-June, whilst browsing AliExpress, I found the perfect set:

https://m.aliexpress.com/item/326970...Q1562341153132

The product is available in a range of colours, all finished in satin: black, silver, red and blue. Black was the obvious choice, I'd though to myself, as it would go well with the Piano Black trim on the dashboard and steering wheel. Silver would have been my next pick, as it would have tied together all the subtle silver trim in the interior. Red and blue were not in the running for obvious reasons.

However, as is always with AliExpress, there appeared to be a minor issue and that is the "Savanini" branding on the face of the paddles.

Hoping that it's just a sticker, and after browsing the reviews with photos of the paddles without the branding, I took a leap of faith and made the purchase. It was around 2k only, which helped as I was ready to write it off in case the product never reached me.

And then I totally forgot that I'd made this purchase!

On Saturday, the postman came-a-knockin' with this parcel and I couldn't figure, for the life of me, what it was. I was ecstatic when I saw the box, but the excitement was short lived when i saw the paddles..

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-1.jpg

Don't get me wrong, the quality is absolutely top-notch. It seems to be made out of aluminum and feels super strong yet light. It also feels great to hold, but.. and this is a BIG BUT.. the Savanini branding was engraved onto the face of the paddles.

But I knew that they'd be a solution for this, and immediately dialed Nirmal from Keystone Autocare for suggestions. Nirmal requested for pictures and after confirming with his team, informed me that the portion with the engraving can be wrapped to mask the branding. I was all for it, and asked him to proceed with the work. He gave me a time slot, (Wednesday afternoon - lunch time) and Munnazeer, his PPF and wrap specialist promptly called me at 12:30 pm.

He took all of 15 minutes to wrap the offending portion of the paddles with matt-black wrapping material and proceeded to install the paddles using 3M double-side tape, provided along with the Paddle Shift Extensions.

The result:

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-2.jpg

(notice how it extends downwards as well)

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-3.jpg

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-4.jpg

I must say, I am extremely pleased with the result. The wrap job is so good, it looks like there was never any engraving to begin with! and the install (with double side tape) was done carefully and very well too!

I am extremely pleased with Keystone and Munnazeer's work. If I do consider getting PPF or any sort of Wrap Job for the car, I will be getting in touch with them without a doubt!

Back to the paddles: They feel absolutely great to use! Now, I don't need to shift the position of my palms from say, 10-2, to 9-3, or from any other place on the steering rim, as I can change gears using a slightly out-stretched finger. Also, I no longer need to hunt for the paddles while negotiating turns or corners as the extensions allow me to tap the desired paddle for the desired result.

My only grouse with the extensions, if I had to nitpick, is the rear portion of the paddle extensions are smooth and not knurled.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI UPDATE: Blackworks Double-Divorced Coolant-Circuit.. MO POWAH BABEH!-5.jpg

A little bit of texture on the surface of the back would have been nice, as it will allow the fingers to grip the back of the paddles while changing gears.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 10th July 2019 at 16:59.
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Old 31st July 2019, 13:44   #105
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Making the GT great again! Eibach springs, Audi S1 brak

What an amazing set of mods you have carried out mate! Your car is perfect now all around, wonder when mine will be in such a position. I've been eyeing getting the paddle shifter steering, Eibach Pro-Kit and the Big Brake Kit, hopefully soon. I'm excited to see what else you have in store for the GT, keep it up. Your thread never fails to amuse me!

Is the S1 plaque on the caliper removable by the way? I've seen GTI Brake Kit on few Vento's and GTs before but haven't seen one with the s1 plaque. Unique!
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