Misc. Prep – Golf R

Big few days for the Golf – with the M3 gone and the garage spot opened up, the first thing I did was get the Golf on the lift for a brake flush. Since the brake flush annoyingly requires the battery and intake to be removed, there were a few things to get done while the Golf was in such a state:

Clutch Bypass Relay

  • I purchased a relay that would allow the Golf R to start without pressing down on the clutch pedal. This is done in order to prevent increased wear on the thrust bearings which are dry when the car is started.
  • Unfortunately, while I was following the video below, it seemed my connector, for whatever reason, was missing the clip that I need to pull back on that lets me actually remove it so I could put the relay on. Due to the positioning, there’s really almost no way to get this done –  had to give up on it.
  • Since I am bringing the car into the shop on Tuesday, I am going to ask them to take a crack at it.


Head Unit Install

  • Figured while I had the battery disconnected, I would also install the head unit. This is a massive 9″ Android head unit that I can use to run basically any app I want to on it. This ends up being Google Maps 99% of the time.
  • The install was fairly straightforward. The surrounding trim panel pops off with a plastic pry tool, and the head unit itself is held in my T20 torx screws.
  • Behind the head unit, it has the larger adapter, the dual clip for the antenna, the green clip for Sirius XM, and the blue clip for the GPS. As I am not using the last two, I left those disconnected.
  • The next big fight was with routing the GPS line to the A pillar. While I’ve done this swap in the Evo, the Evo is completely empty behind the head unit – I can practically touch the back of the steering wheel from the dash. On the Golf, there are layers of plastic and metal that were making it extremely difficult to route the line. Finally succeeded by routing a cable down and taping the GPS to it. For the mounting and removal, I followed this:

  • After getting the battery hooked back up, crossed my fingers and… looks like everything works. BUT there is one oddity – sound only works when I am in reverse gear. This is a bizarre oddity, and I’m sure must be something to do with the wiring harnesses. Working that out with the manufacturer for now.
  • One of the nice things about this headunit is that it has CANBUS, so the controls that are changed on the HVAC below it are also reflected on the headunit itself.


Brake Flush

  • Brake flush was pretty standard. With the floating calipers, only one bleeder per caliper. Luckily the power bleeder adapter that I used on both the Mini and the M3 fit the Golf too, making the job much easier.
  • I started running out of fluid unfortunately, so there’s a mix of Castrol & Motul RBF660 in there. I didn’t get to flush as much as I would have liked, so I will likely reflush after the first track day.
  • Straightforward with 11mm bleeders.
  • Will re-bleed after the first event with a full 2 liters of fluid, half a liter per each caliper side.


  • Undertray took a while until I understood that the front portion of it locks in place, you just have to push it up and in above the lower shroud (pic). The rest of it is held by 8 T20 screws, 4 on each side. Took a little finagling, but not the most difficult job from these last 2 days.
  • The nice part about the undertray, aside from protecting the intercooler piping and various other bits, is that it has 2 vents on the passenger side that face fans from the radiator. This will be a nice way of pulling heat out of the bay, and will be worth it for the track days.

Spark Plugs

  • Turns out that the plugs I got from Amazon had a number of really recent reviews saying the plugs were fake. I decided to return them and grab a set from Advance (exact same model – NGK BKR7EIX). Wasn’t sure if they were fake or not, but just wanted to be safe.
  • Even if they weren’t, based on the forums it was recommended to compress the gap to around 0.025″, from 0.032″. This is a pretty large difference, but apparently the engine will run smoother with less misfire, as my idle has been a little rough lately.
  • Had some difficulty compressing the spark plugs, but did my best and installed – idle has smoothed out a little, but still a little rough.


  • While I didn’t accomplish everything, I did get the car wrapped up in time for the next thing, which is to get the valves cleaned on Tuesday. The RS4s are on the car, so it’s otherwise ready to go!

One thought on “Misc. Prep – Golf R

  1. Pingback: Intake Valve Cleaning (Golf R) | QL Motorsport & Car Journal

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