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Your car makes me wish that I had been patient waiting for a sidemount. I miss my fogs (and not having to constantly monitor the coolant temp). Car looks amazing.
 

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Discussion Starter #109
On January 4th I moved some things around in the garage in order to get this thread's car out of the winter elements. It put a pretty hard stop on working with the Spyder project for a few days until I just couldn't bear it much longer, made some spacial adjustments and have been working on that car ever since.



I had a professional detailer come out and do a little bit of work. Since the car had sat outside for a few weeks, it had collected a bunch of nastyness and needed to be cleaned up for storage before something etched the paint. It was too cold to wash, so I called up my guy who did in-garage wash, clay and wax.

It has sat in the garage, and aside from taking it on-and-off of a battery tender, hasn't seen much action since my focus is currently dedicated to the Spyder.

In September the green car's registration came due. Knowing both of my builds and having an idea, I dug around and ordered a custom plate for the '95 as it was due for renewal anyhow. Given that the other project is getting close to being fired up for the first time on the new engine, I went looking to fulfill a minor detail. Now that I'm closer on the Spyder, I had an old friend plot a little vinyl that arrived today and I applied.

Behold!



This summer is going to be very interesting...

 

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Discussion Starter #110
The Thermal R&D exhaust didn't even make it a full year before I decided to change it out. Tomorrow was supposed to be my appointment at the exhaust shop, but I'd messed up my days off. Luckily, my guy was able to get me in.

Back when I'd bought my Thermal second hand, it had the neck-down at the cat flange removed and a true 3" collector flange welded on. To "fix" this issue, we had cut the flange off the cat and welded on a matching 3" collector flange onto the factory exhaust. This posed many issues when I decided the volume and unwanted attention the massive Thermal tip was netting me wasn't worth the minimal power gains. For what the car was intended as, the exhaust was just too much. When attending the '17 Shootout, after about hour 3 of 9+ one way highway cruising, the constant sound became annoying. We had to keep the windows down drop as much volume out of the cabin as possible.

The Thermal exhaust is nice, it sounds good, it looks great.... but it just wasn't for me. The police (specifically the Virginia H.P.) don't care at all for aftermarket exhaust and will ticket based on un-verified dB alone, or simply if the exhaust doesn't look 100% factory. I've been pulled over and issued a warning before because I had installed a nice exhaust tip on a stock exhaust system.

So, we did a little work to the car and re-installed some stock stuff. The now r-bolt cat flange was there to stay. Rather then going full tilt factory, I had found a 2.5" extension flange that would match the 3" 3-bolt flange we'd previously welded on. With some fancy bend work and a nice bit of welding, we made a new 2.5" cat back pipe to the factory muffler.

Let me tell ya, it's nice to not have to have the always-on volume of an aftermarket exhaust.

Since we were under the car and I had the parts kicking around, we also were able to weld up my original electric cutout just before the muffler. Since these things like to leak when closed, I wanted any audible leak to be as close to the muffler as possible to help mask the noise inside the car.

I haven't yet ran the wiring to it, but we fired the car up briefly before installing the cutout and it sounds mean! Since the only exhaust muffling present is from the cat, it is pretty loud. I'd even venture to say that it may be deeper in tone then the Thermal at idle. I didn't hear any raspyness either which I find untasteful. After installing the cutout, it was back to near-factory quietness.

I'll be wiring it up in the next few hours in addition to securing one of the exhaust tips that has broken it's weld, then I'll try and shoot a video and include some pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #111 (Edited)
Pictures-

The pretty new cat back pipe. I'd debated just having the factory cat back fixed so we could bolt it back in, but this seemed like it would be more straight forward and a bit less restrictive. I took the gamble of having it a bit louder then factory by eliminating the two small resonators. Luckily it didn't give me any odd issues once I got to drive the car.



The cutout mounted up. Placement isn't great for flow, but having some volume every now and then is nice. I'm likely to bolt a turn down to it, but it seems to have clearance back there with no issues.



I wired up the switch at home. I wasn't really sure where I wanted to mount it since the interior is so dang stock. After about 20 minutes of looking around in the cabin, I decided that hiding it under the second cup holder was a good place for it. It is hidden so good I had to tweak the picture a little so it would show up. Also, you can see where I added the secondary power outlet that keeps an old iphone charged and is now a dedicated ipod. The phone is setup wirelessly connect to the factory head unit via a bluetooth cassette tape so I could avoid destroying the stock interior with an ugly aftermarket head unit.



You've all seen a TSi before, but here it is with the factory muffler back in place.



I took the car for a test drive and am really happy with how it does on the highway. I can still hear some exhaust, but it's hardly loud. There is more wind and road noise then exhaust drone. On a low level, the radio can tune that out.

I did make some purchases for this car a while back. I'm going to be putting in an aluminum radiator so I can get a little extra cooling capacity. I also picked up a black 90* elbow for the UICP to replace the obviously not factory blue one. When I get around to doing any of that, I'm likely to remove the strut tower bar and swap the factory air filter box back in to further some of the factory appearance.
 

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Discussion Starter #112
A little bit more but a whole lot less. I have installed a black upper intercooler coupler in order to hide the fact that I've upgraded the I/C pipes. It looks a bit more stock now without the glaringly obvious blue silicone. While working under the hood I also threw the factory turbo intake, air box and bov tube back in, and removed the strut tower bar. Basically now under the hood doesn't appear to be modified to the untrained eye.

I should be getting new clips for the door strakes today. I haven't ever been very happy with how they fit using a Christmas tree style clip that I had to tweak, so I'm hoping what I ordered will work and hold the strakes closer and tighter to the body.

This car has always smelled of coolant after being driven. Threw my pressure tester on it last night and it held 14-15 psi for a pretty long time without any signs of leaking. I'm not sure why it smells of coolant, but I may address that some time down the road now that I've bought another used short block to rebuild. I'm not diving in head first into building something for this car, but pulling out the current engine and cleaning everything up like the Spyder would have this car looking amazing and give me the opportunity to freshen up a couple of things. That is a part of this project that will be quite a ways down the road provided I don't have to re-purposed the "new" short block to something else.

The car is pretty dirty/dusty from driving it on the wet roads to get to the exhaust shop...and spring pollen. I'll need to wash it up and throw the XXRs back on as I have a car show coming up this Saturday that I'll be attending. Maybe I'll throw the new radiator in today if I feel up to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #113
Got the new strake clips on and it holds them to the door MUCH better. I found a way to lock them in place also, so I'm pretty happy with that. I had to pull the door panels to access the rear of the tree clips to cut them and remove the strakes. Since they were off when I re-installed each strake, I was able to run a zip tie loosely through the new one-click style fasteners (versus the tree kind), then taped the zip tie up to the inside of the door skin. Snugged and locked in place with a little safety net- I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.

While I was in the door, I taped up the front speaker buckets and poly filled them as well. Sealing off and throwing the poly in has helped the sound stage quite a bit and the quality is just that much better. Again, really happy I finally took the time to pull the panels again.

I did wash the car up last night and was able to throw the XXRs on it today at work. While I had it up in the air, I tossed a little flat black on the muffler and cut-out to help clean that area up some more. A little bit of detailing before the show and she's good to go. I'll come back to the radiator in a few weeks since I need to return my focus to the Spyder build.
 

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Discussion Starter #114
So I attended the car show and remembered why I'm not much of a fan of today's car culture any longer. That is an entirely different subject that I won't dive into any further, so here's the long awaited update....

The car did well on it's 60 miles round trip to the show. I'm happy with the exhaust and the car as a whole. I have since found time to install the newer radiator but have yet to take the car back out for test driving and watching if the 2-row unit has any additional cooling effects.

Since this car is meant to be mostly stock, I did paint the upper tank satin black and was able to re-use the factory fans, although the j-pipe for the turbo is RIGHT on top of the passenger's fan. Alas, it all went together and I've parked the car in the garage again. My attention has been on the Spyder.
 

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Pictures-

The pretty new cat back pipe. I'd debated just having the factory cat back fixed so we could bolt it back in, but this seemed like it would be more straight forward and a bit less restrictive. I took the gamble of having it a bit louder then factory by eliminating the two small resonators. Luckily it didn't give me any odd issues once I got to drive the ca
Is the sound raspy? My plan is to remove the resonators and replace the muffler. I will do this exhaust mod maybe next week because I'm currently busy with my truck tool box project.
 

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I am very fond of your build. Your work is impressive. I'd say that your choice of wheels caught my attention as well. It reminds me of the spoke-design of HD wheels. It looks quite identical to the MSR Satin black HD wheels that I previously had. I would love to see more update of your rig.
 
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