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2008 CW GTI by Darcness (build log)

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    Votes: 6 42.9%
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    Votes: 8 57.1%

  • Total voters
    14

darcness

Go Kart Champion
Location
Grand Blanc MI
Car(s)
2008 GTI CW
Here's the rundown to date:

7.26.08 - Start of project

Well, today I started the dreaded job of gutting my brand new CW GTI. I wasn't looking forward to it, but couldn't justify spending the money to have some one else do it. At least when I do it, I know it's done right.

First, a little background. I formerly drove a Buick Regal (99) w/a CarPC setup. After getting my fast, I decided I couldn't stand being with out my 120GB of music, my weather updates, and internet in my vehicle. I already have the PC in a car friendly box I made myself out of MDF. I also already own the amps needed, an Alpine MRP-M500 for the sub (Pioneer 305DVC 12"), and an OLD school PPI Sedona 630IX 6-channel. I use the PPI for my active setup on the front Phoenix Gold RSD 6.5's and Infinity Tweeters. Because I already had all this, this project will take a lot of time, but most likely very little cost out of pocket.

I'm going for a mostly OEM, very clean look. All the wires will be hidden, the LCD (already own an 8" touchscreen) will be molded into the dash where the stock radio was. The sub and amps will installed in a false floor or some other way to hide all the wiring and the PC will be put into a new custom case that should allow me to save some hatch space.

I will be running the front speakers (the 6.5's, and the tweeters) fully active like I did in the Regal. This allows me full time alignment, driver balance for all speakers, and crossover controls for each set of speakers. I also use a 10-band EQ for fine tuning and have a subwoofer volume control. All this is controlled at the touch screen by the PC and gives me complete control of my sound right at my fingertips.

In time, I'll be adding an engine diagnostic cable to allow me to monitor my fast real time and reset/read codes or tune if need be. Also, I want to hack the Sirius receiver and have sat radio on my CarPC as well. Lastly, I want to add GPS capability to the setup. This will come later, for now, I just want my music back!

I started today by tearing apart the door trim, the rear panel (2 door) and taking out the rear seats. I got my 4g power wire ran through the firewall, and back to the hatch. I got my ground done in the hatch and also hooked up my power and ground distro blocks. I ran the remote wire as well. I tip for y'all, which I've read here before. That cigarette lighter plug in the hatch is a SWITCHED 12v power source. Perfect for remote wires or any other switched +12v you may need. If you trace it from the lighter back to the panel where all the wires are, I believe it's easy to identify.

After getting all the amps done, I decided to go ahead and run the PC stuff. I got the VGA cord ran, the USB cord and the 4-port USB hub installed in the center console. I also decided to tie the PC into my ground and power distro blocks and hide all the wire mess under the floor in that foam where the spare tire and tools are.

Finally, I managed to get one of the door panels off just to see how they operate. I ended up running 2 sets of speaker wire to the door sills and up to where the grommet for the door is. Tomorrow I'll most likely end up running the wires into the door, just ran out of daylight today.

I did run a "cheater" wire from my rear stock 6.5 speaker today for the high power inputs on my Alpine amp. I just needed a sub for the time being. Sounds good for now. Once I have the comps installed in the door I'll go ahead and let the PC feed this amp the signal. For now, at least I have some low end.

I'll snap pictures tomorrow and post again with my progress. For now I've got pretty much all the wiring done and had a great day with a bunch accomplished. I will say that I did much better than I thought I would. I only managed to break 2 things. When taking the dead pedal off, I broke the bottom most "L" bracket because I didn't know it was screwed on, under the panel on the left side. It's still solid without the clip so no worries. I also managed to break the plastic cover on the rear seat hinge cover. I had no idea how to get this off without breaking it. The torx screw is directly under it, and has to be removed to get the back seats out. Without removing the seats you can't remove that plastic piece. Hence the conundrum I faced. Oh well, can't see it anyway.

If anyone has any comments, questions, or tips (NEED THESE) please feel free to comment. Like I said, I'll be taking pics and keeping a running work log of my progress as I go. Should be a neat learning experience and will look and sound great when it's done. Stay tuned!
 

darcness

Go Kart Champion
Location
Grand Blanc MI
Car(s)
2008 GTI CW
7.26.08 - Update on my worklog. Wiring, wiring, and more wiring.

Today I decided to finish up the speaker wiring for the doors. Because I knew this was going to be a major pain based on the quick look I got on the doors yesterday, I prepared for a long day and took plenty of pictures. They turned out MAJORLY blurry for some reason, but they do show well enough for those of you who want to do something similar.

I started out by removing the door panel and the door sills to retrieve the speaker wires I buried in there yesterday.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b266/brushlessae/gti/worklog/july 31 2k8/doornaked.jpg

After getting the skins off, I took out that rubber grommet that goes between the body and the door, right near the top hinge. This grommet spans from one hole in the body, to the hole for the wires in the door. The door side of the grommet is held in by pressure. Just pry it out slowly and it will eventually pop all the way out. The other side of the grommet (that goes into the body molding hole) comes out by a small clip on the top. Just pry on the top part of it gently and it should pop right out.

Once the whole grommet is out, unhook the wiring harness inside. The orange clip (seen in the pic below) needs to be moved down and then the whole plug will come apart. The side that is left in the body molding hole, needs to be removed. Again, this is simply clipped in and can be removed by pushing in on the two clips on the side, and then in towards the interior cabin. After this piece is removed, you can run the speaker wires into that hole, and through the grommet.

Since the stock wiring run goes through a completely sealed, rubber "hose", you can't use this run for the added speaker wires. Instead, what I did, is cut a small slit on the grommet we just removed, very close to the door side. Then, I simply pulled the speaker wires out of this.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b266/brushlessae/gti/worklog/july 31 2k8/doorwithgrommetoffhangeronspeakerwi.jpg

Next step was to follow the stock wiring run, and pull out the rubber seal where they exit the interior of the door and come out to the surface. It's an oval shaped piece of rubber in the center of the door, pretty hard to miss with all the wires coming out of it. I took a coat hanger and ran it through this hole, to the opening that the grommet I removed earlier covers.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b266/brushlessae/gti/worklog/july 31 2k8/exitholeforspeakerwires.jpg

Once that hanger is through both openings, I taped the speaker wires to the hanger. You can see this in the first picture I posted. This allows me to pull the hanger back out, and the speaker wires obviously come with it. Once the wires are out the rubber seal hole, I cut a small slit into the rubber seal, ran the speaker wires through that, and then re-installed the seal:

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b266/brushlessae/gti/worklog/july 31 2k8/exitholesealedup.jpg

And the door grommet.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b266/brushlessae/gti/worklog/july 31 2k8/grommetinstalledwithwires.jpg

On the door grommet since I ran the wires out of it, I just ran them back ABOVE it before installing it back into place. You can see this in the picture. I also plugged the wiring harness back in that the grommet houses. However, because of the added size of the speaker wires, I couldn't mount the inner part of the harness via the clips. I just left it plugged, but free floating, which shouldn't affect anything at all.

Now you can see I have my wires on the exterior of the door, and going to the places they need to be. One set for the 6.5 and one set for the tweeter.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b266/brushlessae/gti/worklog/july 31 2k8/dooralldonewithwires.jpg

Next up was the tweeters. I proceeded to remove the small sail panel which was fairly straight forward. There is one Torx bit screw that needs to be removed. Then, the rest of it just clips into place. There are two small plastic clips and one large rubber clip. The large rubber clip will come off with the sail panel. I removed this, and then inserted it BACK into the hole in the door. I tried to re-install the sail panel with it on, it wouldn't go back into the hole this way. Anyway, once the sail was removed, I used a pair of needle nose pliers and removed most of the white glue that was holding the stock tweeter in place. Once I removed most of this, I just used a flat head screw driver and pryed the stock tweeter out and unhooked the wires from it. Here's what I was left with.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b266/brushlessae/gti/worklog/july 31 2k8/stocktweetoutmountinstalled.jpg

The red and black wire is the negative lead, and the unshielded wire is the positive lead just for reference. After test fitting my Inifinity tweeters, I had the pleasant surprise that they actually fit right into place in the stock mounts, with no modifications needed. Bonus!

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b266/brushlessae/gti/worklog/july 31 2k8/infinitytweetinstalled.jpg

After getting the tweeter in, and the sail back on, I put the whole thing back together. I was left with a completely stock looking GTI door with an upgraded tweeter and wires ran for the upcoming 6.5" driver install.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b266/brushlessae/gti/worklog/july 31 2k8/dooralldone.jpg

That was it for the day...

Here's some quick shots of work I did yesterday.

4g power wire ran from stock power distro block:

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b266/brushlessae/gti/worklog/july 31 2k8/4genginebay.jpg

PC, sub, and amp in hatch:

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b266/brushlessae/gti/worklog/july 31 2k8/pcandsub.jpg

Testing the LCD, PC, and all the wiring between the two:

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b266/brushlessae/gti/worklog/july 31 2k8/pclcdon.jpg

USB hub in center console and aux in cable (for now):

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b266/brushlessae/gti/worklog/july 31 2k8/usbhub.jpg

This is where the wires for the USB hub and LCD come under the back seat, under the carpet, and up through the center console.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b266/brushlessae/gti/worklog/july 31 2k8/carpetholeandvideoin.jpg

The only visible wire/mod is the small slit I cut into the carpet to put the cables up into the center console. You can see this on the pic above. It's were the glare shows up on the lower left part of the center console. The black wire is just my aux in cable which will later be removed, and the yellow thing is actually the RCA video input for the LCD. This can be used for an Xbox, Playstation, or whatever else, and then be tucked back up under that console trim piece to stay out of sight until it's needed again. To get the wires into the actual console box I drilled a small hole for the wires to come into it, allowing me to have the hub in there, without any external wires hanging around.

At this point I'm pretty much done with the wiring. I still have to get the LCD installed in the dash, and that is my next priority. In the coming days I'll be ordering a Metra double-din dash kit and modifying it to my liking with the LCD housed inside. Once this is done, the interior work will be done and I can start working on making a nifty setup for the hatch. I'm still undecided on what to do back there, but I at least want to get/make a better case for the PC and fabricate some kind of amp rack for my two amps. I drive around way too aggressively to have stuff being unsecured back there, that's for sure.

Again, I'll keep updating as I go. For tonight, that's all she wrote.
 
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darcness

Go Kart Champion
Location
Grand Blanc MI
Car(s)
2008 GTI CW
7.30.08 - 6.5" RSD drivers installed, wiring completed, PPI amp installed.

The stock speakers on the GTI are actually riveted in. I had to dremel all the rivets out, then pop the backs out from inside the door. Not much room to work with as you can see in the pics previous.

After getting the stockers out, I simply drilled small starter holes in the door, and installed my 3/4" MDF baffles over the existing speaker "hole". This was simple and everything fit with ample clearance so I was very happy about that. I finished wiring up the drivers and tweeters and then proceeded to turn my attention towards the hatch.

I grabbed my PPI 630IX from the closet and put it in the hatch. As I used the molex connectors on my previous install, I just wired the new speaker wires (for the drivers and tweeters) with the molex connectors as well and hooked those up. I ran the power, ground, and remote to my distro blocks and hid all the wires down between the back seats and the hatch, and folded everything back up to have a look and listen.

The plus side to all this is the VW doors. They are built like a tank. The inner door is completely sealed from the outer door and there is no gaping cavities. The resonance is basically non-existent and my RSD's really came life in these doors. Plenty of midbass and they sound nice and tight. I did kind of have a MAJOR screw up though. While screwing in the passenger side woofer, I slipped and the screw driver went right through the cone. You want to talk about upset... I was livid. So in the near future I'll be looking to buy some new woofers unfortunately. For now, I just used some black e-tape and a TINY bit of silicon to sure it up until I can get some new drivers put in. Ghetto, but effective.

Even with the quick fix, the sound is great on the mids. Dynamic and rich, much better than my Regal and it's cavernous doors ever sounded. The highs are a bit muffled for me. I think this is because they are aimed off axis. In the Regal, they were off axis, but no as much as they are now. They seem to be lacking clarity and I'll most likely have to rework the way they are mounted to give them a better on-axis position.

For now, at least everything is installed speaker wise. In the coming days I'm sure I'll be doing plenty of tuning and trial. Also, I still have to get the hatch organized and the LCD mounted in the dash.

Updates will be forthcoming as well as pics of the above work...
 

darcness

Go Kart Champion
Location
Grand Blanc MI
Car(s)
2008 GTI CW
7.31.08 - YES! Fixed the shitty camera shots by adjusting some settings!

Snapped some more shots of the overall car. Figured I would since it was the first nice sunny day and I haven't posted anything but the poor thing all torn apart.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b266/brushlessae/gti/car pics/stockers/HPIM0626.jpg

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b266/brushlessae/gti/car pics/stockers/HPIM0627.jpg

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b266/brushlessae/gti/car pics/stockers/HPIM0628.jpg

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b266/brushlessae/gti/car pics/stockers/HPIM0629.jpg

Also, here's the wire mess I'm left with behind the rear seats.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b266/brushlessae/gti/worklog/july 31 2k8/HPIM0631.jpg

Luckily there is PLENTY of space down in there to run and hide all these wires. Once I get the screen in the dash, I'll go ahead and work on cleaning up the hatch. For now it's going to stay a bit messy. Out of sight, out of mind for now. ;)
 
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darcness

Go Kart Champion
Location
Grand Blanc MI
Car(s)
2008 GTI CW
8.2.08 - More work, audio and mechanical.

I did get some major work done today. Me and my friend Jon managed to rework many of the wires and even stealth mount my PPI amp under the hatch false floor. I cleaned up all my wiring as well. In the process I took some pictures of the RSD's in the doors that I installed earlier.

Since I was getting some minor feedback I had to isolate the PC from the power distro block and run the RCA's away from this as well. After this, it seems to have cleared up the feedback to where I can't hear it unless my ear is right next to the speaker. Below are some shots.

RSD's installed in the doors:





PPI amp hidden under the floor:



Jon fixing up the hatch:





Hatch as it sits now:



Wires for PC now much neater:



CAI installed:



Later in the day my cousin visiting from across the country called me and wanted to take a look at the new car. I took a ride over to my parents house and had a grand idea. Since I've been wanting to work on my exhaust, I asked my pops to use his car and head up to the auto parts store. 1 straight pipe, 1 coupler, and a few cutting wheels later, we were on our way to deleting my resonator. My cousin did the welding on the pipes and did a fantastic job. He did burn through once and had to put some extra weld on there to seal it up. Other than that, he did a flawless job. Again, some pics for y'all.

John welding up the new exhaust section:





Exhaust without resonator:



Resonator delete done:



Glad I got so much done today. It was a great day. I was out cruising after getting everything installed and found a group of guys with tuners at a local gas station. One had a Mazdaspeed3 which was my second car of choice after the GTI. Very nice car too, he had his hooked up pretty fat, with over 300hp to the wheels. Got his number and we'll most likely get together some time and go to the track or run the roads a bit. :D
 

applemonkey

I've got hoes
Location
Chicago, IL
:clap: looks good so far..have you finished the pc yet? If you have post some pics of the inside of the car im dying to see the finished product
 

Msteadman

Go Kart Champion
Location
PA
Wow, looks like an intense setup you have going. Interested to see how everything progresses. :w00t:
 

darcness

Go Kart Champion
Location
Grand Blanc MI
Car(s)
2008 GTI CW
I actually got the screen all mounted in the dash today. I had to take it out of the bezel (the silver and black housing) and just leave it naked. It looks great, almost factory. The only thing that really isn't up to my standards, which are perfectionist to say the least, is the edging on the screen. Because I had to take it out of the bezel, the touch screen overlay gave it a nice green (ewww) surround color. I had to cover this with some black e-tape. Other than this, the whole thing looks great.

I'll post some pics up of my screen and my DSP and explain how it works. It's an amazing little setup. :thumbsup:
 

Msteadman

Go Kart Champion
Location
PA
Sweet, looking forward to the pics of it mounted.
And I thought I was jealous of those with the RNS-510. :drool:
 

darcness

Go Kart Champion
Location
Grand Blanc MI
Car(s)
2008 GTI CW
8.04.08 - LCD mount fabrication and install.

The pics make the screen look blurry and slightly washed out. In person, it's note at all. The screen is perfectly clear, and I use automated gamma control to auto-dim the screen for certain times of day. Neat program, just looks like shit in pictures. The flash pretty much DESTROYS the pictures from the glare off the screen. I'll get some day time pics tomorrow. For now, here's some night pics and a shot of my desktop and DSP. I'll explain the desktop and DSP in a bit.





Desktop:



DSP:



On the desktop above, you can see the 5 windows open. Those are my volume control, independent for each speaker. The top right is my right tweeter, top left if left tweeter, middle left is the left midbass, middle right is right midbass, and the bottom one is my subwoofer. This gives me balance control between all my speakers, which as you can see, I need.

On the DSP you can see each of the boxes represents a certain plugin. It all starts at the left, and is processed from there. You can how the time alignment comes first, and then goes to each speaker from there. The top row is my tweeters. It includes crossover (4th order high pass @ 2.5Khz), phase reverse for both tweets (@ 180 degrees), and then the volume control. The middle line is for the midbass. It has a 10 band EQ, cascaded crossovers (high pass @ 2KHz, low pass @ 80Hz), then the volume control. The last line is my subwoofer which is crossed over @ 63Hz on my sub amp and then the volume control which is that bottom line of the DSP.

Any other questions just ask away. Like I said, with flash at night the glare kills any pictures. Hopefully you can get a good look at the screen and how it was mounted. In all honesty, the color/texture match of the kit is almost perfect and it only required removing the top and bottom sections and trimming them back to allow the LCD to sit flush. The only part of the dash I modified is the bottom trim piece that goes around the climate controls. I just took a SLIVER off the back of it to smooth the line out. I think it came out great. Just need to come up with something to tone down that electrical tape and maybe clean that up a bit. Or I may just leave it. It already looks good, but I'm a perfectionist tried and true.
 
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darcness

Go Kart Champion
Location
Grand Blanc MI
Car(s)
2008 GTI CW
What software are you using on the PC ? are you planning on mounting the LCD screen anywhere?

Software is Windows XP SP2. Then the program used is called a front end. It's a full screen app that uses a hidden load of media player to play music, movies, and display relevant information (such as album art, file information, ID3 tags, etc.). As you can see on the screen it picks up the information and just gives you an easy, touchscreen friendly software interface to use.

I also have a data cable for my cell phone so I can get online using the front end which has it's own built in web browser. The data cable also works for checking the weather, which is also built in to the front end and uses the weather channels website to get weather data.

In the future I'll be adding satellite radio, a VAG-COM interface, and most likely a GPS which can all also be built right in to the front end.

The only time I really need to use the desktop is to adjust my EQ or my speaker/sub volume settings. I do like having the 4-port USB hub in the center console because I just leave a USB optical mouse plugged in and can use that to navigate when I'm doing maintenance or need to use small menu's/buttons. I do have a keyboard plugged in as well. This chills in the back seat and I can easily grab it if needed.
 
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